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Closure of Newcastle rail stations not technically a closure of whole line, State Government lawyer says
A federal review of grain freight rail lines across New South Wales has recommended the state government consider closing two lines but upgrade nine others.
The New South Wales Grain Freight Review was funded by the Federal Government and looked at road and rail infrastructure used by the state's grain industry.
Today the report has made 18 recommendations including closing two of the lines if funding cannot be found.
It means the future of the Cowra to Demondrille line in the state's central west is still in limbo unless it can economically justify its existence.
The other line facing closure is near Wagga Wagga.
The review flags increases in access fees to help fund rail maintenance and recommends a grain road network to replace those lines that are closed.
It also suggests a study on the future of Newcastle port in the grain export chain.
The New South Wales Farmers Association is welcoming the majority of the recommendations.
But Grains Committee Chairman Mark Hoskinson says lines that will remain open need more work than what is proposed.
"If they were upgraded from a class 5 line to a class 3 line they would attract better competition, especially with the reduced freight rates," he said.
"They would attract more grains onto those lines to make them more successful."
The New South Wales Government must now respond to the findings.
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