Lithgow to receive additional express train service in late 2017

Lithgow is set to receive another express train service to Central to partner the existing Bathurst Bullet train.
Lithgow is set to receive another express train service to Central to partner the existing Bathurst Bullet train.

Lithgow is set to receive another express train service to and from Sydney in plans revealed by the NSW Government on Wednesday.

The return express service will run each weekday and will be introduced in late 2017.

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The morning Central to Lithgow express service will connect at Lithgow with coaches heading to Bathurst and Orange.

The return Lithgow to Central service will then connect with coaches arriving from destinations like Nyngan, Dubbo, Wellington, Molong, Orange, Lucknow and Bathurst.

The express train will travel from Central to Lithgow 24 minutes faster than at present and the return train from Lithgow will reach Sydney 18 minutes quicker.

Stops will include Parramatta, Penrith, Springwood and Katoomba.

Cutting down on crowded trains. Picture: MICHELE MOSSOP

Cutting down on crowded trains. Picture: MICHELE MOSSOP

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the changes were in response to a strong demand from regional communities for better connections to Sydney.​

“For many regional customers the new service will improve transport links to Sydney with quicker journey times and earlier arrival into Sydney,” Mr Toole said.

“We know that distance and journey time can discourage customers in the State’s west from travelling to Sydney. By introducing the new express services and ensuring these align with connecting coach services, we will deliver better connections to and from regional centres and the Sydney CBD.”

The additional service is part of the NSW Government’s ‘More Trains, More Services’ program.

Aside from the added Lithgow express train, the initiative will also make train travel from the Sydney to the Blue Mountains easier by adding:

  • 24 new express services between Sydney and the Blue Mountains on weekends
  • Dedicated 8-car express tourist trains to boost Blue Mountains tourism with around 20 minute cuts to return travel times
  • More than 25,000 additional seats every week, including an extra 18,000 on weekends

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance announced the service uplift would cater for rapidly increasing demand with more than a million visitors a year.

“We’re seeing the popularity of the train go through the roof so we’re adding capacity to both weekend and weekday Blue Mountains services,” Mr Constance said.

“The Blue Mountains are a huge domestic and international tourist drawcard with more than a million people seeing the sights and incredible local charm each year.”

The NSW Government will also fast track some improvements in coming weeks by:

  • Doubling capacity on six current weekend Blue Mountains services from 4 to 8 carriages
  • Providing more than 4,000 additional seats on weekends imminently

“We know many weekend trains are packed to the brim so we’re taking action right now, ahead of the new timetable due to be implemented late this year,” Mr Constance said.

“Late this year, we’ll then introduce more 8-car express tourist trains that will get to popular destinations like Leura, Wentworth Falls and Katoomba faster.

On weekends, a journey on an express service between Sydney and Katoomba will take around two hours, saving almost 20 minutes on a return trip while a return trip from Parramatta to Katoomba will take about 90 minutes, saving more than 15 minutes.

This is the next step in the ‘More Trains, More Services’ program – a capital investment of over $1.5 billion to provide an urgent uplift in customer service on greater Sydney’s rail network.