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A push to introduce direct morning train services from Orange to Sydney has been strengthened after a petition was launched on Tuesday.
The Orange Rail Action Group is hoping that if 10,000 people sign the petition it will lead to NSW parliament taking action and introducing new direct train services at times when most people want to travel.
Action group chairman Dr Peter Bilenkij said the group wants one or two morning services running from Orange to Sydney.
Dr Bilenkij said ideally the Bathurst Bullet would be stabled in Orange and depart at 5.30am if tracks were upgraded.
However, without track upgrades he said it would have to leave at 4.30am.
He said the group would also like a new morning service from Dubbo as well as a return service in the afternoon, rail infrastructure upgrades to support fast passenger rail, which isn’t possible now due to some of the bends, and early commissioning of the new Regional Rail Fleet on the Main Western Line.
CALLING FOR CHANGE: Member for Orange Phil Donato with Orange Rail Action Group member Geoff Bargwanna and chairman Peter Bilenkij. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0731jkrail2
“We the community want fast passenger train services between Sydney and the Central West. We hope to see the new regional rail fleet in the Central West as soon as possible,” Mr Bilenkij said.
He said people including students, professionals and the elderly want changes to train services as do people who have moved from the Sydney to Orange but still want to go back for visits.
Member for Orange Phil Donato joined the action group members at the launch at Orange Railway Station and threw his support behind the initiative.
Mr Donato said he wanted to encourage population growth in the region and travel between Orange and Sydney was important when it came to encouraging more people to make the move.
“To achieve sustained population and financial growth we need improved passenger rail services to support decentralisation, tourist visitation and regional-metropolitan connectivity,” Mr Donato said.
Member of Orange Phil Donato at the petition launch
Mr Donato said current travel options for travellers wanting to get to Sydney early in the day were not efficient and often involved people driving or catching a bus to Bathurst so they could catch the Bathurst Bullet.
He said this could be an issue for people with movement issues, luggage, children and people who want or need simple travel.
Dr Bilenkij said there were others who also drove and left their car at train stations in the Blue Mountains or transfer services in Lithgow if direct services did not run at the times they needed.
The petition can be signed at Mr Donato’s office in Byng Street during business hours and members of the action group will also be networking and taking the petition around to businesses and community groups.
TRAIN TIMES: The XPT pulled into Orange Station close to noon on Tuesday while on its way to Dubbo but wouldn't stop on its way to Sydney again until almost 4pm. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
This article first appeared on www.centralwesterndaily.com.au
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