The Orange Rail Action Group has welcomed news of an additional Bathurst Bullet train service.
Action group member Neil Jones said the additional service scheduled for a 7.30am departure from Bathurst to Sydney presented an opportunity for the new train to be stabled in Orange and provide a much needed early morning service direct from Orange to Sydney.
"The provision of a seamless direct daily train service to and from Sydney is one of the key objectives of the action group," Mr Jones said.
"Access to the current early morning 5.46am Bathurst Bullet service requires the catching of a 4.55am coach from Orange, or driving by car to Bathurst.
The provision of a seamless direct daily train service to and from Sydney is one of the key objectives of the action group.Neil Jones
"Orange and region residents need and deserve a more convenient and direct train service to Sydney, without having to take the coach connection to Bathurst or Lithgow."
Mr Jones said the proposed new Bullet service could start its journey in Orange at 6.15am, then also connect to Millthorpe and Blayney, and still arrive in Bathurst by 7.30am, its scheduled departure time for Sydney.
A petition calling for a daily return service, track upgrades and new trains has attracted more than 7000 signatures and is approaching the necessary 10,000 mark to enable it to be tabled by Orange MP Phil Donato, and debated in Parliament.
"The very strong response to the petition demonstrates the demand by Orange residents and business people for better and faster train services," Mr Jones said.
"The Orange Rail Action Group has had very strong support from Orange City Council, and Mr Donato in presenting the case to the NSW government and the Department of Transport for better train services for Orange and the Central West.
"ORAG has welcomed the recent news that infrastructure upgrades of the line between Blayney and Lithgow are being planned, and that a contract has been signed for the construction, delivery and maintenance of new trains by 2023, both of which ORAG has been lobbying strongly for."
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...