Lithgow City Council to push for more carriages on Bathurst Bullet

The Bathurst Bullet at Lithgow train station. Photo: FILE IMAGE
The Bathurst Bullet at Lithgow train station. Photo: FILE IMAGE

Lithgow City Council has resolved to lobby for two extra carriages to be added to the Bathurst Bullet train to alleviate issues of overcrowding.

Councillors also agreed to write to NSW TrainLink to ask them to consider having the train stop at Tarana, Westmead and Strathfield.

Councillor Cass Coleman brought the motion to council on Monday night and said the public support for two extra carriages was “overwhelming”.

“The community has been talking about this for a long time, we’ve had conversations aplenty. It’s time to clock on, it’s time to get something done,” Cr Coleman said.

Current by-election candidate and former councillor Col Hunter asked the councillors to consider having having the Bullet pick up passengers in either Tarana or Rydal in open council.

The train currently departs Bathurst at 5.49am and stops at Lithgow at 6.57am.

The Bullet then proceeds to Mount Victoria, Katoomba, Springwood, Penrith, Parramatta before arriving at Central at 9.27am.

Cr Ray Thompson said council needed to be “very careful” about how they approached the issue as more stops would slow down the service.

“If we start stopping at Tarana, we stop at Westmead then at Strathfield then other towns down in the Blue Mountains will start to lobby to stop at those particular towns,” Cr Thompson said.

“We could lose out completely here if we start stopping at different stations to what is being put forward at the moment.”

Councillor Maree Statham spoke of her previous attempts to have the train stop at Westmead station during her time as mayor.

Cr Statham said she spent a lot of time speaking to former Minister for Transport and current NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to allow the service to stop at Westmead but this was unsuccessful due to timetabling.

She was also told by local member Paul Toole the extra stop would not be viable.

“I’ve got letters recently to suggest that the walk from Westmead station for elderly and sick people to the hospital is much harder than to go to Parramatta and to get the bus link right to the door,” Cr Statham said.

The councillors also carried a motion to lobby Paul Toole to introduce more express train services from Lithgow to Sydney.

Councillor Steve Ring said Lithgow needed better train services with the Bullet only saving commuters 20 minutes when compared to the regular service.

“The Bullet train, I mean just the name is an oxymoron,” Cr Ring said.

“It’s a joke, 20 minutes you’re saving. We stop at Tarana, we stop at Rydal, there goes your 20 minutes. You may as well have your stock standard train.”

Cr Ring emphasised the need for an hourly train service which could be achieved by extending the regular Blue Mountains to Sydney service.

“It takes us half an hour by rail from Lithgow to Mt Vic and we need them to realise that the train should be coming further, not stopping at Mt Vic,” Cr Ring said.

“If we want this town to grow we need a better train service.”