A four-point plan to push for better rail services for Orange has been launched by the Greens party with the Orange Rail Action group.
It calls on the state government to ensure regional passengers will not have to change trains at Lithgow, extending the Bathurst Bullet service to Orange, upgrading the line between Orange and Lithgow and having the state’s new fleet of regional trains built in Orange.
It is unacceptable that passengers should have to change trains at Lithgow.Stephen Nugent, Greens candidate
The Greens NSW transport spokeswoman and upper house member Dr Mehreen Faruqi, visited Orange on Wednesday.
She said the state government was spending “tens of billions of dollars” on toll roads in Sydney that should be spent upgrading public transport, including improving regional rail services.
“That is money that could be so well spent in increasing the frequency of trains and improving the service in regional areas,” she said.
Orange City Council Greens candidate Stephen Nugent said it was important Orange City Council was involved in the discussions.
“The Greens have a four-point plan for better rail services to Orange and we believe Orange City Council needs to be on the front foot with this issue,” he said.
“We need to have a seat at the table when the decisions are being made.”
He said the route between Orange and Lithgow needed to be straightened out to allow trains to travel near their maximum speed.
Mr Nugent regional passengers should have a seamless train journey to Sydney.
“It is unacceptable that passengers should have to change trains at Lithgow.”
He said the Bathurst Bullet train should be renamed the Central West Bullet.
“It [should] start in Orange rather than Bathurst so that people in Orange can catch the train from here and people in Blayney can also jump on so they don’t have to do that drive or catch the bus in the morning.”
Mr Nugent also called for a morning XPT from Dubbo to Sydney via Orange.
He said the Electrolux factory and saleyards sites could be used to construct the new regional train fleet.
“It will bring jobs but also create Orange as a hub and a major player in regional rail.”
Retiring councillor and rail action group member Neil Jones said they would survey passengers to build a case for maintaining uninterrupted train services.