Two More Trains for Singleton has made a submission to the NSW Government’s Future Transport Strategy 2056 calling for reconfiguration of transport connectivity in the Hunter Region.
The Upper Hunter transport advocacy group proposes that the passenger rail system between Scone, Dungog and Newcastle should be upgraded to provide regular, reliable and linked services, supplemented by protection of future rail link corridors.
Since 2008 the group has campaigned tirelessly for additional passenger train services to be introduced between Singleton and Newcastle.
In August the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance, came to Singleton and announced the trial of a new express bus service between Singleton and Maitland to fill the gap.
Confirming buses were the only viable option due to the amount of freight trains using the rail corridor.
The draft Future Transport Strategy, draft Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan, and the draft Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan are on public exhibition for comment until Sunday 3 December 2017.
When finalised, these documents will guide future directions for transport infrastructure and operations in NSW, and specifically in the Hunter Region.
Spokesperson for Two More Trains for Singleton Martin Fallding says this is an important opportunity for the community to have a say in the future of transport in the Hunter Region.
“The group has made a submission requesting that the NSW Government give more attention to transport planning in the Hunter Region, and establish a regional transport authority with more focus on passenger rail connectivity,” he says.
“Priority must be given to regular, frequent and reliable passenger train services to provide the backbone of regional and inter-regional public transport links between Scone, Dungog and Newcastle.”
Two More Trains for Singleton has also requested additional paths for passenger trains on Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) managed track beyond Maitland to Singleton, and two hourly train services between Singleton and Maitland daily within 10 years.
Other initiatives have also been proposed.
“The Two More Trains for Singleton submission represents an important opportunity for community demands for better train services to be heard”, says Mr Fallding.
Submissions can be made at https://future.transport.nsw.gov.au/get-involved/submissions-proposals/