Have We Saved Newcastle Rail? NOT YET!

The State Government is now considering cutting the electric service to Newcastle, threatening the viability of the whole Lower Hunter transport system.

This would disadvantage all passengers through:

  • inconvenience
  • delay
  • overcrowding on the Hunter Line
  • loss of direct link to Newcastle from Sydney, Central Coast and Lake Macquarie, including the proposed Glendale Station.

It would ultimately lead to the closure of the line through loss of patronage.

THE DIRECT ELECTRIC SERVICE TO NEWCASTLE STATION MUST BE RETAINED.

With this in mind, Save Our Rail has a positive plan for the improving the line:

Upgrade:

  • Signalling – automatic, electronic rail signals, to be integrated with traffic signals.
  • Ticketing – integrated ticketing on public transport is long overdue.
  • Newcastle Station Access – open platforms to the foreshore, reopen western end to Bolton Street.
  • Civic Station Concourse – pedestrian concourse at Civic, connecting Civic and Cultural Precinct.
  • Level Crossings – to “urban” standard (currently “semi-rural” standard).

Provide:

  • Worth Place Crossing – new level crossing for pedestrians and motorists.
  • Stewart Avenue Rail Overpass – eliminate level crossing.
  • Glendale Interchange – electric rail service for Cardiff Industrial Estate (the Hunter’s largest employment zone) and Glendale retail centre.
  • Park and Ride – car parking outside of Newcastle CBD.
  • Bicycle Facilities – encourage another type of park and ride.

Enhance:

  • Landscaping – I’m sure the Backyard Blitz team could improve on what’s there now.
  • Replace Dingo Fence – with modern, attractive tubular metal fencing.
  • Slim Gantries – Attractive gantries with slim poles as at Wahroonga.

Promote:

  • Tourism – day trips, backpacker use.
  • Commuter Use – employer co-operation to encourage public transport use, freeing up CBD parking; employee salary-sacrifice of public transport travel passes. This on top of the “free” hip-pocket commuter promotion from $1.50 a litre petrol prices