Slow steps towards faster rail

A faster rail trip between the Central Coast and Sydney could be a step closer with a $15M funding injection from the Federal Government aimed at finalising the scope, cost and timing of improvements needed to streamline the journey.

An announcement was made in March 2018, that a review the Coast’s rail network would be one of three business cases to share in $20M of Federal funding but little has been heard since.

At the time, Member for Robertson Lucy Wicks announced that the funds would be made available to the State Government to look at how the journey between Newcastle and Sydney could be speeded up.

Among possible refinements touted at the time by MLC Taylor Martin were straightening the rail tracks, removing deviations, having a look at level crossings and improving commuter safety,

Wicks said the latest funding commitment was part of a $2.7B investment into transport infrastructure as part of the Federal government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

“The Federal Government’s investment into the next step towards faster rail will be welcome news for thousands of Central Coast Commuters,” she said.

The project is expected to start mid-2021 and to be finalised by mid-2023.

Wicks said the move builds on the Government’s already committed investments targeted towards making the daily commute easier for Central Coast residents, including continuous mobile coverage along the rail corridor and free Wi-Fi at train stations.

Terry Collins