A NEW daily NSW TrainLink coach service connecting Millthorpe residents to the electric train at Lithgow will go some way to plugging the gap in public transport for the village.
But with a late 5.35pm departure from Millthorpe and a 10.22pm arrival at Central Station, the new service doesn’t go far enough to improve travel for tourists, according to members of the Millthorpe Village Committee.
The committee has been asking for the XPT service to stop over in the village on its journey between Sydney and Dubbo.
Publicity officer Laurie Williams said passengers preferred the comfort of the XPT and most people do not cope with the timetable.
“You’d have to be a pretty hardy tourist to catch a train here from Sydney leaving at 4:20am in the morning,” he said.
“To go back you have to leave late in the afternoon or there’s an earlier service on Sunday so it’s not very tourist friendly.”
Mr Williams said the group was revising its submission to Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian to take into account the new bus connection, but would continue to lobby for the XPT stopover.
“Millthorpe is the largest town along the XPT route from Sydney to Dubbo where the train doesn’t stop,” he said.
Previously from Mondays to Saturdays there were two TrainLink train/coach services, with a changeover at Lithgow, for passengers travelling from Sydney to Millthorpe, but only one service each week on Sunday afternoons for passengers travelling from Millthorpe.
The new timetable gives Millthorpe a daily coach/train service to Sydney, but Mr Williams said the timetable and the all-station service with bus/train interchange was unappealing for tourists.
“The XPT solves all these problems, and allows a day visit from Sydney with a four-and-a-half hour stop-over in the village as well as convenient times for two day or longer stays,” he said.
Mr Williams said a lightly constructed platform similar to the Orange East Fork station was the only thing needed to give passengers access to trains at Millthorpe since the track was realigned several metres away from the station’s main platform.
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