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And those who have watched the success of the Bathurst Bullet daily train service to Sydney probably aren't surprised at all.
The once-neglected transport option has developed a new cachet in recent years as state and territory governments have poured money into developing new rail lines.
Light rail lines are being built in Sydney, Canberra and Newcastle, an extension to the light rail line is underway on the Gold Coast and the NSW Government is putting billions of dollars into the Metro system in Sydney that will use ultra-modern, driverless trains to whiz the citizens of the metropolis about.
The first stage of the Metro, from Sydney’s north-western suburbs to Chatswood, is due to open in less than two years.
And this week came the announcement from NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance that the Government will replace the regional Endeavour and XPLORER trains, including the Bathurst Bullet.
He said modernising the entire regional fleet would give an opportunity to incorporate benefits that were not available in 1982, when the first XPT rolled on to the tracks.
This rail revival might be a surprise to some, but it has been in evidence - on a much smaller scale - in Bathurst for some time now.
There were plenty of naysayers around the city when the Bathurst Bullet started running in late 2012.
Passenger numbers would never justify the government's investment, they said - but patronage in the years since has been strong enough that there hasn't been a word about the service ending.
On the contrary, Rail Action Bathurst chairman John Hollis felt confident enough to ask about updating the train for the Bullet service when he met with Mr Constance earlier this year.
Four months later, he has his wish - though an exact timeline for that replacement is not yet known.
It’s worth remembering that Mr Hollis said earlier this year that he has also been pushing for a realignment of the railway line between Bathurst and Lithgow to decrease the travel time to Sydney.
So what would be the chances of the NSW Government agreeing to that? It would have once seemed unlikely, but it looks a little more likely now.
This article first appeared on www.westernadvocate.com.au
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