IT’S already being dubbed the Bathurst Bullet.
Monday’s surprise announcement by Premier Barry O’Farrell of a daily return commuter rail service between Bathurst and Sydney starting in October has been greeted with enthusiasm by the community.
An adult return ticket is expected to cost $11.40, pensioners will pay only $2.50, children $5.70 and students $8.20, so the service is tipped to be a hit.
Bathurst Business Chamber president Angus Edwards said yesterday the “Bathurst Bullet” tag fitted the new train service perfectly.
“For those type of prices you’d have to have rocks in your head to want to drive,” Mr Edwards said yesterday.
“I think people will take advantage of the service because it’s so appealing. It’s great value and presents major savings on fuel and stress.
“Certainly, the Premier caught us off guard with his announcement. We never thought this issue was so close to fruition.”
Jan Klemenchic from the local Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association said all the talk at their meeting tomorrow will be the rail service announcement.
“We will have John Hollis from the Rail Action Bathurst group to speak with our members at BMEC from 10.30am,” she said.
“I think the members will be over the moon. Personally, there’s only so much you can do in Bathurst and it’s great to be able to catch the train to Sydney and back in a day to visit family.
“This will make a world of difference. It’s very expensive and tiring to drive down and back.
“[But] even if you pay full fare of $11.40 return, it’s good value. At that price everyone will now be thinking whether or not they should catch the train. Who knows, it might prove so popular they will have to put on more carriages to keep up with the demand.”
Mrs Klemenchic said John Hollis and the members of Rail Action Bathurst needed to be congratulated on their efforts, as did Bathurst MP Paul Toole, who delivered on an election promise.
Andrew Rendall, from the Family Hotel, who travels to Sydney a couple of times a month for Australian Hotels Association Liquor and Gaming executive meetings, thinks it’s great.
“Generally my meetings start at lunchtime, so I can jump on the train and do some work on the way down and go through some notes and read up on what’s going on,” he said.
“I’ll still be fresh when I get there and can head home later in the afternoon. You won’t have to put up with roadworks, traffic jams or parking issues or having to worry about the fog if you’re flying.”
Mr Rendall said the announcement of the daily Bathurst rail service to Sydney and return is the culmination of years of lobbying.
“I would encourage everyone to at least give it a go to see if it suits their circumstances,” he said.