The country generally, Orange in particular, gets a raw deal from the State Government when it comes to public transport.
Orange has tried for years to get a return morning service to Sydney. A petition with 10,000 signatures asked for it yet we've had no success while Bathurst has two.
But now trying to get to Sydney by rail is a nightmare.
Buses have replaced the XPT between Sydney, Orange and Dubbo initially because of bushfire damage to signals between Mt Victoria and Lithgow but because of further damage by line washouts on the mountains, trains aren't running past Springwood.
If you want to catch a train there's buses from Orange to Bathurst, Bathurst to Lithgow, then Lithgow to Mt Victoria and Mt Victoria to Springwood. On Saturday buses will run between Lithgow and Penrith and even Springwood is out. Who would want to do that with luggage?
It's just not good enough and it wouldn't happen if we lived in, say, Penrith or Hornsby. People there wouldn't put up being stuck on a cramped bus for five and a half hours like we do from Orange.
TrainLink could ease the pain somewhat by basing a train in Lithgow and running it to Orange and Dubbo and back daily until the line was reopened. They could get it here via Cootamundra and Parkes so that's not a problem.
The Bathurst Bullet is sitting idle somewhere and where is our XPT parked?
Rubbing salt into our rail wounds was NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean's plan to cut goods train emissions that could put grain trains and private operators out of business and choke roads with more trucks.
But thankfully after objections by Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Kean met train operators this week and agreed to water down the pro-green policy.
The government itself says freight is worth $60 billion a year to the NSW economy.
HEAR COMES LEAP DAY
There's lots of people in Orange who are going to have their first birthday in four years on Saturday because of this year being a leap year.
It dates back to 46BC when Julius Caesar took the advice of learned astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria who knew from Egyptian experience that it took 365.25 days for the earth to circle once around the sun, known as a solar year.
To account for that residual quarter of a day an extra 'leap day' was added to the calendar every four years in February because back then it was the last month of the year.
So, it's let's party for everyone born on February 29.
PC GONE WRONG?
Isn't it a shame people don't tell jokes anymore and it's all the fault of so-called political correctness and a bit of help from the internet.
Good natured Irish jokes are now racist in the eyes of the word police:
'O'Reilly opens the morning newspaper and is dumfounded to read in the obituary column that he'd died so he phones his best friend Murphy. 'Did you see in the paper they said I died?' he asks.
'Yes I saw it,' says Murphy. 'So where are you callin' from..?'
Blonde jokes have also pretty well gone because they're classed as sexist. Jokes like this: A robber comes into a store, steals a TV set and takes off. A blonde store assistant runs after him and yells: "Wait, you forgot the remote."
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS AND VIEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...