Lithgow district rail project short-listed for funding

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FILE IMAGE.

An upgrade for the Wallerawang to Lithgow bi-directional signalling upgrade is among 27 rail projects shortlisted for funding in the next stage of the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Rail infrastructure program. 

A full application for the funding will now be considered. .

The installation of bi-signalling infrastructure would help to increase network capacity and reduce overlap between passenger and freight trains.

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the proposals would cut delivery times and allow more goods to be transported by rail, reducing costs for both producers and consumers.

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“Fixing Country Rail is designed for both small and large projects that will provide productivity and efficiency benefits that reduce the cost to market for the movement of freight in regional NSW,” he said. 

“Transport costs can make up a third of the price of goods sold by regional producers harvesting grain, cotton, citrus, meat or other commodities and moving them to market.”

The NSW Government has reserved up to $400 million in Restart NSW funding for the Fixing Country Rail program over multiple rounds as part of the Rebuilding NSW State Infrastructure Strategy 2014.

In August, a Technical Panel reviewed expressions of interest received from industry, operators and network owners, developing a shortlist of recommended infrastructure upgrade projects to advance to the development phase.

The Regional Independent Assessment Panel, led by Infrastructure NSW, then considered and reviewed those recommendations before finalising a shortlist of projects.

Mr Toole said regional NSW produces around 210 million tonnes of freight a year, with freight volume expected to increase by 25 per cent over the next 40 years.