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Closure of Newcastle rail stations not technically a closure of whole line, State Government lawyer says
Train services into Newcastle's central business district will be cut, as part of a $120 million transport overhaul for the city.
New South Wales Planning Minister Brad Hazzard will officially announce the plan today.
He will reveal plans to end train services at Wickham and build a new transport interchange, with frequent bus services to replace the trains.
There has been decades of criticism that the train line cuts of Newcastle from the foreshore.
Mr Hazzard has assured the city that the rail corridor will not be turned over to developers.
"What we envisage is that between Wickham and Newcastle, the line will remain in the sense that it's probably unlikely that the rail lines themselves will be taken out," he said.
"It's more likely to be that there will be refurbishment if you like, a bit like the High Line in New York."
The High Line, which was originally used for rail freight, has been turned into an elevated park.
Opposition Leader John Robertson has criticised the plan, saying Newcastle will be left with a second-rate transport system.
"It's extraordinary, at a time when the O'Farrell Government is building heavy rail and light rail projects in Sydney that they've announced, that they'd be ripping up heavy rail in Newcastle," Mr Robertson said.
"The Government is failing the people of the Hunter by not developing and implementing a fully integrated transport solution."
Yesterday the Government confirmed that trams would return to central Sydney, with a new light rail line to run from Circular Quay, through Central Railway Station to the Sydney Cricket Ground, Randwick Racecourse and the University of New South Wales.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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