Australia earmarks 1 billion dollars for Sydney rail upgrades

Image: Pixabay

The Australian federal government will present its budget on Tuesday, which will include 1 billion Australian dollars (690 million euros) for improvements on the downtown section of the Central Coast & Newcastle Line.

The plans are to double the capacity of the line along a stretch of 10 kilometres, which calls for the construction and installation of dual track bridges, among other things. Closer to the city of Newcastle, some 150 kilometres to the north of Sydney, the train stations of Wyong and Tuggerah will be overhauled.

Upgrades to the line should make it possible “for people to be able to get to work quicker and live in more places across this incredible country”, prime minister Scott Morrison was quoted as saying by local media.

The state government of New South Wales will be asked to match funding for the project with another billion Australian dollars. State infrastructure minister Rob Stokes said the state had been advocating for the improvements for a long time, adding that he was “delighted” by the federal funding.

Four years until completion

Work is scheduled to commence at year-end 2024 and is said to take four years to complete. It remains unclear how much time the improvements will shave off the current travel time of some 2,5 hours between Sydney and Newcastle. Stakeholders are saying the connection will be faster, more frequent and more reliable. In the future, a possible high-speed service between the two cities should cut travel time to 45 minutes.

Opposition parties have questioned the timing of the announcement infrastructure improvements. Federal elections are planned for May 2022.

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

Chief Editor, RailTech.com

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