A photo of Neville Wran?
Whilst his government commissioned the XPT, he was also the father of closing country lines as well.
The difference between ALP and Coalition on railways in NSW is pretty mixed, some did this, some did that, comparing them is rather petty.
Gladys has her priorities... and XPT is not there at the moment.
The votes are closer to Sydney and focusing on Sydney transport may break this government. They know they can get another election or two out of XPTs.
Focus on the big money projects first, which I assume will include the V Set replacement.
XPTs will be here for a while yet
Under Shirley & his appointment by Askin, the policy was to push away general freight, that typified the branch line network that was outside the grain season, likewise the pushing away of lower volumne grains such as sorghum, oats & barley along with Sunflowers. He brought in a saying that went along the lines of "Branch lines dependent on general goods, rather than grain, cannot be justified in their retention" This of course was after the pushing away of general goods traffic along the lines.
When Wran was elected, his agenda included the continuation of country branch line closures that were started under previous labor governments in the Southern districts, however it was thwarted by Granville when Labor had to backpedal on a lot of what they or he wanted to do.
The Wran apppointment of David Hill, had him sucking up to staff in his early years, but it was not long before his collation of things & so called re-establishing the old NSWGR annual Commissioners tours around the state gaining staff input though his nickname of "call me David" that he announced the decree that was a take on Shirley's earlier rendition. His view became. Low volumne WHEAT ONLY, lines cannot be justified for retention. The first time that wheat by itself was used to describe lines rather than grain came into play. Prior to Shirley those other grains were carried in large volumnes & provided an almost full year useage of grain wagons & lines.
Thus the whole circle was pretty well complete, the pushing away of general freight & other grains than wheat, meant many of the lines that were in marginal wheat & grain growing areas had their futures affectively killed off.
The push away of so many items of goods from rail has not been confined to one side of politics either, all are equally to blame.