Save Newcastle Rail Line — it’s worth the fight!

It’s hard to find any city where central rail lines are removed, let alone the sole one. Why would such a decision be made, when throughout the world cities are putting in rail?

But the NSW Government says Newcastle will lose its trains at Christmas. (If cutting train lines is such a good idea why not cut the Cronulla service back a couple of stations?)

People are being allowed to think the rail corridor will be open space, but the minister let it slip the corridor would be built on. Why the hurry to cut the rail line?

Polling shows the large majority want the rail corridor used for transport. Save Our Rail presented a petition of over 11,000 signatures to NSW Parliament in November 2013.

A traffic and parking nightmare on Hunter Street will welcome thousands of students and staff of the University’s CBD campus. Right opposite Civic Station but with only FIVE car parking spaces, and the direct rail is to be terminated at Wickham?

Newcastle has an intercity link to Sydney, Central Coast, Maitland and the Hunter region. There is no promotion of rail travel to Newcastle, though it boasts this direct railway connection right to the coast.

The money for the government’s proposals would just as easily allow all the easy crossing that is possible, with trains, without future demands on the budget.

Download the Currie Review Final Report

Two documents are available below as PDF files. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

First, Professor Graham Currie’s report “Decision to Close the Newcastle Branch Rail Line – Independent Review of Transport Reports – Final Report”.

Download the 38 page full report here: Currie-Rail-Review-Final-Report.pdf (157 kB)

This report details the findings of an independent review of recent reports regarding the NSW State Government’s decision to close the rail line to Newcastle Station.

Professor Currie concludes that “It is unfortunate that its sustainable transport system is to be discarded so easily based what can be factually identified as biased, flawed and misrepresented advice.”

Second, the presentation that Prof Currie used during his address to Newcastle City Council on 14th February 2006.

Download the presentation that summarises the full report: Currie-Rail-Review-Presentation.pdf (1.1 MB)

The closing remarks in this presentation are:

  • Government has every right to evaluate its options with expensive rail infrastructure
  • However analysis was weak, minimalist, biased, unobjective and included misrepresentations
  • Is it a sham? – Don’t know, its at least highly suspicious.
  • A major question remains unanswered -Is the railway worthwhile? Despite the bias towards closure no one seems to have answered this simple question.
  • Rail is certainly a high quality feature of the Hunter’s transport infrastructure and expansive for a city of the size of Newcastle. Some would see this as a competitive advantage NOT as a problem.