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A Labor MP fears The South Coast line may have missed out on attention from the NSW government's faster rail plan.
In December 2018, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the government would investigate faster rail for four chosen routes, including the "southern coastal route" from Sydney to Nowra.
That investigation would be carried out by high speed rail expert Professor Andrew McNaughton, who would decide the appropriate routes.
Almost a year and a half later, Prof McNaughton's report has not been sighted but the government is moving forward with two of the four options - neither of which are the Illawarra route.
On the same day late last month, the government released tenders to carry out scoping studies on the Sydney-Newcastle and Sydney-Canberra routes.
That led Wollongong MP Paul Scully to wonder where the South Coast rail line stood; had it once again been placed in the "too hard" basket?
"The question in my mind is 'where is the scoping study for the South Coast line?'," Mr Scully said.
"Is this a signal to Wollongong that the South Coast line is not going to be seriously considered for rail improvements?
"If not, what is the plan for the South Coast line and improvements?"
The topography of the Illawarra has made it an expensive proposition to fix; drilling tunnels under the escarpment would cut travel times but would also cost billions.
Mr Scully said the costs of taking action shouldn't result in shunting improvements to the side.
"The options made be expensive but that's not an excuse to do nothing," he said.
Transport for NSW said it had already earmarked $125 million for the duplication of the rail line between Gerringong and Berry, which will allow trains to pass each other and offer the possibility of more services.
A Transport for NSW spokeswoman did not say whether a scoping study would be carried out on the South Coast line.
"The NSW government's commitment to develop a blueprint for the delivery of a fast rail network is a major piece of state-shaping work," the spokeswoman said.
"This transformative vision will seek to link regional centres to each other and Sydney.
"The NSW government will continue updating the community as plans develop."
This article first appeared on www.illawarramercury.com.au
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