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Artist concept of the high speed rail. Artist concept of the high speed rail. Featured
05 January 2019 Posted by 


Linking region to State's interior
WESTERN Sydney stands to be a major beneficiary of the NSW Government’s plans to introduce a massive new High-Speed Rail network.

The new rail system will effectively stretch Western Sydney’s growth boom into the underdeveloped interior of the state.
Centres such as Bathurst, Orange, Parkes, Wellington and Dubbo would come within Western Sydney’s immediate sphere of influence, provided the network is properly planned.
A trip from Orange to Parramatta would take one hour under the new plan, meaning residents of the beautiful Central West could easily commute to Sydney for work and vice versa.
A trip from Dubbo to Parramatta, provided the network is expanded to the capital of the Golden West, would take two hours.
New network
The network would also let Sydney workers and business people live beyond Campbelltown, in the Southern Highlands or on the Central Coast and in the Hunter.
In turn, it would be a major boost for tourism because regional areas would be within quick reach of Sydney locals looking for a quick break or overseas tourists “going bush”.
Work will begin in the next term of the NSW Government, provided the LNP is retained in office.
Four initial potential routes have been identified and High Speed Rail expert Professor Andrew McNaughton has been appointed to confirm the most appropriate routes, train speeds and station locations.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a fast rail network would give people greater choice about where they live and how they commute to work.

“We know a fast rail network will transform NSW unlike any other project and we will make it a reality,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We need to make it easier for people to consider moving to regional NSW and there is no better way to do that than building a fast rail network.”

The four routes identified by the Government are within 300 km of Sydney:

·         Northern Route including the Central Coast and Newcastle.
·         Southern Inland Route including Goulburn and Canberra.
·         Western Route including Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange / Parkes.
·         Southern Coastal Route including Wollongong and Nowra.

“The expert will provide advice to Government on what is possible and what would be involved,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The delivery of fast rail on those routes has the potential to slash travel times by up to 75 per cent.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said a $4.6m allocation from Snowy Hydro Fund to develop fast rail would further boost confidence in regional NSW. 

“We need to do the work to gauge what is possible and when,” Mr Barilaro said.

"Making regional travel faster, safer and easier brings huge economic potential to NSW regional towns and cities by making it easier to invest, do business, build a lifestyle and visit our regional towns.

“We are delivering better water security, digital connectivity and freight connections from the Snowy Hydro fund and now developing game changing infrastructure to access regional NSW."

Immediate improvements
The advice from Professor McNaughton will pave the way for the NSW Government to take a new approach to the delivery of fast rail by identifying immediate improvements to existing rail corridors, while undertaking long-term visionary planning.

This approach allows for significant improvements in travel times for customers in the coming years, while at the same time delivering the building blocks for a high speed dedicated rail network.

“In the immediate future, faster rail would see upgrades along existing rail alignments and provide services of at least 200kph, slashing travel times by one third,” Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said
Urban Development Institute of Australia’s NSW chief executive Steve Mann said fast rail to the regions could fundamentally shift development patterns in NSW, reduce traffic congestion and boost tourism.
“This is a very exciting announcement. We welcome the Government’s commitment to building new infrastructure which will catalyse economic growth as part of the ‘decade of decentralisation’” Mr Mann said.
“However, there are still many questions which need to be answered. What urban planning will there be for the growth created by the rail? How much will it cost and will the Government raise taxes on new housing to fund it?
“The idea of fast trains to regional centres has been debated for decades. We may have reached a point where housing in Sydney is unaffordable, therefore a regional fast train network is needed now more than ever.
For video of the concept see:



Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.