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After years of shuffling the idea like locomotives in a shunting yard, the reopening of Central West rail lines may be one step closer after the announcement of a new study.
Blayney mayor Scott Ferguson said that a study looking into the feasibility of reopening lines from Blayney to Demondrille, Cowra to Eugowra, and Koorawatha to Grenfell had commenced.
"This will be the definitive business case," he said.
"There will be a complete feasibility study that will also look into the full engineering of the line that includes above and below track items like crossings, bridges, tunnels, culverts and signalling, the cost of the whole lot."
We'll become a serious inter-nodal point as it was when it was built between the two world wars.
Blayney mayor Scott Ferguson on the potential reopening of the inland rail.
The development of the Inland Rail project and the privatisation of the port at Port Kembla has created new pressure points on the transport system, Cr Ferguson said, but they needed business input to help develop the business model.
"They're taking a whole of state and whole of freight view and seeing how this line comes up, so if any businesses have any commentary or ideas on how they could use the line, the team would really like to hear from them," he said.
The line is currently classed as only a grade three track, which limits the speed and weight of the rolling stock, but with a strong case being put forward, Cr Ferguson believes that the line would need to be upgraded.
"It was never used very much at all for freight as it was only a lightweight line, but the study will price up a class one line and a class two line," he said.
Like all projects like this, Cr Ferguson said that the benefits to Blayney are yet to be imagined.
"We'll become a serious inter-nodal point as it was when it was built between the two world wars," he said.
"There would be freight coming and going, unloading and maybe even being processed here in Blayney and then shipped on again as a finished product."
This article first appeared on www.centralwesterndaily.com.au
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