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PLANNING for a high speed rail link between Sydney and Melbourne should start immediately, along with upgrade work on the current line, says The Goulburn Group.
(TGG) In a submission to the NSW Government Long Term Transport Management Plan, TGG’s ‘Train Watch Committee’ has urged the government to immediately implement urgent improvements to the Goulburn to Sydney rail service.
“The current service by both City Rail and Country Link is unreliable and painfully slow,” TGG-committee head Peter Fraser said.
“There are numerous speed restrictions that inevitably lead to late arrivals into Sydney. Then trains get stuck behind slow local services and arrive up to 30 minutes late on an already pathetically slow service,” he said.
“It truly is a below Third World service, when compared with countries like China and Taiwan, let alone Europe.”
TGG has called for a six-point plan to improve the current service, including repairing the track, upgrades of rolling stock and better training of staff to reduce incidents of poor passenger behaviour.
“It’s almost impossible for business travellers to use the services because of its unreliability and lack of facilities for business users,” Mr Fraser said.
“TGG members travel regularly to Asia and Europe. They see what could be possible. What passes for a train service in this state is disgraceful”.
TGG has also called for planning to start on a High Speed Rail (HSR) service between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, stopping at Goulburn as part of series of intermediate stations.
“There is a window of opportunity to effectively reduce the cost of building this infrastructure because it can eliminate the need for a second Sydney airport,” Mr Fraser said.
The group says current plane, coach and train passenger numbers along the corridor make HSR viable. Its cost could be amortized over 40 years to the tune of $100 a ticket.
“The figures add up – it’s just a matter of willpower and political courage to get things moving,” Mr Fraser said.
This article first appeared on www.goulburnpost.com.au
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