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Friday, December 4, 2020
Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts

Rail upgrade on track

The NSW Government has announced they will be investing money in developing a ‘fast rail corridor’ between Sydney, Goulburn and Canberra if they are to win the 2019 NSW election.

The project’s NSW funding will come in the form of a $4.6 million allocation from their Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund to investigate four routes, all within 300 km of Sydney.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said they are committed to reducing travel time by 2023.

“We have already identified parts of the corridor that need upgrading and certain bends that slow everything down.

“We will see this investment quite early, resulting in the realignment of the track between Canberra to Sydney, and speeds of up to 200km per hour and less than three hours’ travel time between Sydney and Canberra,” he said.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said his Government has been “working closely with our NSW counterparts over the past two years on improvements to the service”, having jointly bid for federal funding for the project.

“Earlier this year, the ACT Government committed up to $5 million in matched funding for business case development on the project, which was matched by NSW Labor.”

Mr Barr said Government surveys showed 57% of respondents would be more likely to travel via train between Canberra and Sydney if the travel time was between two to three hours.

“With both major parties in NSW making funding commitments for this work, I call on both major parties at the federal level to also commit to being a funding partner for the Canberra-Sydney faster rail project ahead of the 2019 federal election,” he said.

“We look forward to working with the NSW Government in the months ahead on the business case development and, once that work is complete, the speedy implementation of improvements to the service.”

Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government will fund the design and the work needed to bring the project to a shovel ready stage. “The NSW Government is prepared to go this alone if need be. We are committed to this and that is the exciting part of this next period,” he said.

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