With the school holidays stretching to the end of January and plenty of Singleton residents making plans to hit the beach this summer, Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore is encouraging everyone to leave the car at home and take advantage of additional passenger rail services from Sunday, January 5 2020.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole announced in October 2019 that two new direct train services would operate between Singleton and Newcastle seven days a week starting early in the new year, giving customers six return options from Sydney and Newcastle on weekdays and four on weekends.
The services are the result of more than a decade of campaigning by the Two More Trains for Singleton group, supported by Singleton Council.
However, they will operate as a trial for 12 months to gauge demand.
"Our community has worked incredibly hard for the introduction of these services, and now it's up to us to use them to make sure they remain a permanent fixture on the timetable between Newcastle and Singleton," Cr Moore said.
"And January is the perfect time to give them a trial run.
"People can hop on a train to head to the beach in Newcastle, enjoy a meal overlooking the harbour at Honeysuckle, or go right through to Sydney for any number of school holiday activities.
"And best of all, there's no need to count the minutes to the return journey with more options to get back to Singleton without having to rush.
"Take out the stress of traffic and parking, and the train really is a good option for wherever you're headed."
Cr Moore said it was a wonderful way to start the new year - and a new decade - with a big tick on the community's wish list.
"Our community has been advocating for additional public transport options for a very long time, and it's a credit to a lot of work by a lot of people that the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole and the Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnson MP have turned those conversations into action," she said.
"I'm really excited to see these new passenger services in operation, and more importantly to see the people of Singleton and all the way down the line putting them to good use not only to keep them operating, but to leverage even more services."