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Chamber welcomes government focus on faster rail


Release Date: 4/12/2018
The Hunter Business Chamber has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement of an investigation into the establishment of a fast train network.
 
Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said investment in faster rail was nation-building infrastructure with potential to greatly enhance economic development in the Hunter.
 
“Faster rail between Newcastle and Sydney is a realistic objective, achievable in the medium term, that could make enormous difference to the Hunter by increasing the flow of commuter traffic and investment in both directions,” Mr Hawes said.
 
“Reducing the journey time will make it easier for people living here who need to travel to Sydney for business, but it’s not about making the Hunter a dormitory for people who want to work in Sydney.
 
“Greater connectivity and faster travel time will also encourage investors to bring their businesses and staff here, to take advantage of lower property and rental prices, the positive business environment and lifestyle opportunities.”
 
Mr Hawes said that while fast rail would not deliver the 45-minute intercity journey promised by high-speed rail, it was a more viable option that would deliver significant benefits in a much shorter time frame.
 
“High-speed rail continues to be a difficult proposition due to its prohibitive cost and the construction complexities,” Mr Hawes said.
 
“Fast rail can be a more immediate game changer for the Hunter, providing an opportunity to improve transport connectivity for both passengers and freight, encourage population growth and diversify the regional economy, with the added benefit of reducing the demands on existing and future road infrastructure.”



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