Commuter Train Fast Moving Through A Station In Sydney

The New South Wales Government has committed $500 million to help build fast rail connections between Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle.

The funding will go to the first stage of the Northern Corridor, helping build two new electrified rail tracks between Tuggerah and Wyong, new platforms and station upgrades, new bridges including over the Wyong River and safeguarding future fast rail connections to the north and south, subject to agreement with the new Federal Government.

The New South Wales Government commitment is conditional on $500 million in matched funding from the Federal Government that was announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese prior to the federal election.

New South Wales Premier, Dominic Perrottet, said the State Government’s Fast Rail vision could slash travel times between Sydney and Newcastle to one hour, Sydney and Gosford to 25 minutes and Sydney to Wollongong in just 45 minutes.

“We’re committed to a rail network that helps shape our state’s growth for the next century, starting with improvements to cut delays and lay the foundations for making faster travel times a reality,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This investment will improve reliability and increase capacity in the rail network helping deliver better services closer to home for the people on the Central Coast as we plan a brighter future for the people across the state.”

New South Wales Treasurer, Matt Kean, said the project would help transform New South Wales.

“We’re committing $500 million towards early works, planning and further development of the line that will initially minimise delays and eventually allow high speed travel and drastically cut travel times,” Mr Kean said.

“This will create tens of thousands of jobs and significantly boost the economy.”

New South Wales Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport, Rob Stokes, said these upgrades will improve connections as part of the State Government’s six cities vision. 

“Infrastructure creates opportunity. Faster and better connections between our great cities will improve reliability, improve travel times and ultimately improve quality of life for the many across our state,” Mr Stokes said.

“These infrastructure improvements have enormous productivity benefits for the whole community and pave the way for further investment down the track.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said the New South Wales Government’s commitment for rail improvements on the Central Coast builds on a Federal Government commitment to this great part of the state.

“This investment will help improve the capacity and reliability of the intercity network, and will make journeys to and from our region faster and easier for Central Coast commuters,” Mr Crouch said.

“This is in addition to the $300 million investment in the state-of-the-art rail maintenance yard in Kangy Angy, which has helped create over 90 full time jobs for Central Coast locals. 

Site investigations as part of the project are scheduled to commence before the end of 2022.

ARA welcomes fast rail funding

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed the $500 million commitment to support the delivery of faster rail from Sydney to the Central Coast in the upcoming New South Wales State Budget.

ARA Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Wilkie, said faster rail would have a transformative impact for people living in Newcastle and on the Central Coast.

“This investment will act as a catalyst for growth in the region and slash travel times for those commuting to the city,” Ms Wilkie said.

“With Sydney’s population set to rise by a further 3.7 million by 2060, investment in faster rail is needed now to support our sustainable growth.”

The ARA’s Faster Rail Report, released in 2021, confirmed the need for urgent action to deliver faster, more reliable and more frequent services between capital cities and regional centres.

The report found rail travel times that were competitive with the time it takes to drive were crucial to encouraging more people to choose rail.

Consumer research conducted by the ARA in 2021 confirmed 35 per cent of Sydney residents surveyed were likely to consider relocating to the regions after COVID-19, with almost half (49 per cent) saying faster rail connections would make them more likely to consider the move.

Ms Wilkie said a train trip of 25 minutes from Gosford to Sydney, or just an hour from Newcastle, would be a game changer for many living and working in the region.

“Investment in faster rail on routes like the Sydney to Central Coast link will make it easier for people to leave the car at home for their daily commute or weekend away,” Ms Wilkie said.

“Highways in and out of Sydney are already reaching capacity, so making rail a genuine mode of choice would help bust congestion and support liveability in these thriving regions.”

Ms Wilkie said faster rail could also be a key driver of economic growth and regional development.

“The global experience tells us faster rail drives urban renewal along the rail corridor, creating the opportunity for new housing and business precincts beyond capital city centres.”

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1 Comment
  1. David Lawler 1 week ago

    I think there should be a fast rail out to the Orange with links to Parkes , Forbes and Dubbo.

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