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THE lot at CountryLink, State Rail or Rail Infrastructure, or one of them, or who knows, all of them, have certainly done a good job vandalising rail facilities in the bush.
Rail lines have been closed and ripped up and stations, workshops and other rail buildings knocked down or leased to private interests to make sure trains are gone forever.
A loco building in Orange rail yards now houses heaps of compost, woodchips, soils, treated timber and rocks when once trains used to live there.
That’s probably all very well for gardeners except it might have cost us the opportunity to have another daily commuter service to Sydney and back.
Persistence by Bathurst people won them their own two-car Endeavour, dubbed the Bathurst Bullet, which leaves at 5.48am and arrives at Central Station at 9.25am. It comes back at 5.55pm, arriving at Bathurst at 9.38pm.
But here’s the crunch.
After arriving at Bathurst at night the Endeavour is taken back to Lithgow for an overnight sleep of less than four hours, apparently for security reasons, and then driven back to Bathurst again early the next morning before loading passengers and going to Sydney at 5.48am.
Had the loco shed still been vacant in Orange, the Endeavour could have come on to Orange, rather than go back to Lithgow, and spend the night here, giving us an early morning Sydney service.
But with new mob NSW TrainsLink now running country rail, we still have a fight on our hands just to keep our XPT, which could get the chop, let alone convincing someone to give us another train.
The XPT alternative dished up could include more buses or service sharing with Great Southern Railway, a private operator of interstate passenger trains, including the Indian Pacific which goes through Orange on its Perth run.
We deserve better than that.
This article first appeared on www.centralwesterndaily.com.au
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