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Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
Dubbo City Council will call on local governments along the Western XPT rail line to join forces and fight for better passenger services in the bush.
Regional XPT hubs Tamworth and Wagga Wagga will also be invited to bolster the lobbying effort, aimed at State transport minister Michael Costa.
The proposal for a rail-focused summit of regional councils comes on the back of a report entitled A Future for Regional Passenger Trains in NSW.
The report found the long-term decline in regional rail passenger numbers could be turned around by an investment in better quality services.
Dubbo mayor Allan Smith said the report showed country people needed to "sit down and have a good look" at ways to improve their rail services.
"The report shows that no matter what side of politics has been in State Government, they've all been pretty poor at maintaining regional rail services," he said.
"This is a drive to tell the State Government we want passenger services with decent trains, we want them on time and we want them running on decent tracks.
"I have a strong belief that if you spend money on rail infrastructure, then people will utilise it, rather than expecting them to continue using a sub-par system."
Dubbo City Council this week voted to back a mayoral minute proposing the coalition of councils - Cr Smith said he hoped for a "positive response".
"Other communities have similar concerns to ours about rail so I think they'll want to put that point of view across in strength," he said.
"I think the XPT is at the end of its life - despite being within its intended lifespan it's been used more than it was designed for and is due for replacement.
"It will take some time to find and test a new train to replace the XPT, so it's something the State Government should be starting to look at now."
Rural Press Ltd
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