Rail travel problems taste of future

Rail travel problems taste of futurePeople travelling from Maitland, Dungog and the upper reaches of the Hunter had to contend with scheduled track work on the Newcastle line last weekend, as reported in the Maitland Mercury:

Commuters from the greater Hunter have had a taste of ­public transport difficulties ahead of the planned closure of Newcastle rail line.

People travelling from Maitland, Dungog and the upper reaches of the Hunter had to contend with scheduled track work on the Newcastle line last weekend.

Bev Atkinson said the journey from Scone to Newcastle, usually a two-hour commute, took more than 3.5 hours.

She said it was a sign of things to come ahead of the ­permanent rail closure.

“It was a disaster; its planning and execution was chaotic,” Ms Atkinson said.

“People really suffered, nearly missed planes, crammed into full buses with luggage and bikes, were late and exhausted.

“On the return journey the bus was full at Hamilton. The desperate driver had to leave people for slower, later buses.”

She said the track work meant some people were two hours late to a rally that advocated for better representation for Newcastle and the Hunter at Civic Park on Saturday.

Read the full article at the Maitland Mercury.