Letter to Lord Mayor of Newcastle re: trial cut of Newcastle rail line

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle
Councillor Jeff McCloy
c/- Newcastle City Council

Save Our Rail NSW Inc yesterday issued a media release (attached) calling on the Government to test with full costing and appropriate evaluation, the proposed replacement system before any decision to cut the rail services or infrastructure to Newcastle Station

Save Our Rail understands there are many who believe that it would be in the best interests of the city of Newcastle to truncate the rail at a point between Broadmeadow and Newcastle. SOR does not believe it would benefit the city or the community at large, including the Hunter Region or indeed the state of NSW.

We have concluded that if the government is intending to proceed with a decision to truncate the Newcastle rail line, the only way to determine the benefit or resulting disadvantage is to run a genuine trial and to carry out rigorous and thorough evaluations of the reality of cutting the rail as proposed by the government and its advisers. The trial should simulate as nearly as possible the full program of replacement, including use of vehicles and other factors, such as traffic implications and effects on businesses.

We ask the Government to undertake this to ensure that public funding is spent for the maximum benefit to the community as a whole.

We request that you support this call and urgently contact the appropriate Members of Parliament and the Cabinet to urge that this trial is put into place before any final decision is made on this issue.

Many cities throughout the world have removed rail infrastructure only to realise their error, restoring it later at huge cost. It would have been preferable for Auckland for instance, to have had a temporary closure and a proper assessment before such a decision was made.

We earnestly seek your co-operation on behalf of the community you represent.

Yours sincerely,
Joan Dawson,
President, Save Our Rail NSW Inc.