Rail group calls to fast track improvements to train services

CALL TO CHANGE: Orange Rail Action Group chairman Neil Jones at the group's weekly meeting, is calling for changes to rail infrastructure and services.

CALL TO CHANGE: Orange Rail Action Group chairman Neil Jones at the group's weekly meeting, is calling for changes to rail infrastructure and services.

The Orange Rail Action Group (ORAG) is calling on the NSW Government to fast track improvements to rail services and infrastructure connecting Orange to Sydney.

The group, and other Central West organisations have put forward recommendations in the NSW government'sDraft Future Transport 2056 - Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan.

Among the changes the group wants introduced is having a train depart Orange for Sydney at 6am and arriving at Central Station by 10am.

OARG chairman Neil Jones said at the moment the service runs the other way and means residents have to drive or catch a coach if they want to get to Sydney in the morning.

The group is speaking out due to attention given to recent accidents involving trucks on NSW major highways, and widespread calls to upgrade the Bells Line of Road.

"Unfortunately the draft report fails to recognise the urgency for implementing a number of the initiatives identified in the [ORAG] report, both committed and for potential investigation," Mr Jones said.

"While the report details rail rolling stock upgrades and replacements, and upgrades to a number of regional highways, the time frame to realign rail lines for improved speeds and capacity, and action on the Bells Line of Road is either delayed or not mentioned."

He said the group wants some of the sharp corners straightened because otherwise, even new trains, will be forced to crawl around bends.

It wants a replacement regional rail fleet, the Bathurst bullet to be extended to Orange, making Orange a regional hub for rail and coach connections.

Mr Jones said Member for Orange Phil Donato has brought up the group’s interests in parliament but so far the government response has been non-committal.

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