No time for local commuters 

WHILE commuters will benefit from three extra weekly services between Sydney and Canberra, the new NSW TrainLink timetable is a big disappointment for Goulburn travellers, says local rail advocate Leon Oberg.

The extra services will run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, meaning customers will now have three daily return services linking Australia’s biggest city and the nation’s capital, every day of the week.

Morning journeys from Canberra to Sydney will be around 13 minutes faster thanks to improved stopping patterns.

Member for Goulburn Pru Goward detailed the timetable changes in two press statements on Thursday – both of which fail to mention Goulburn (the city).

Train customers in the Southern Highlands will benefit from 55 extra weekly services and journey time reductions of up to 40 minutes a week, she said.

“A new timetable will be introduced in October, delivering improved connections, faster journeys and regular departure times for many customers,” she said.

“Travellers in Moss Vale will now have a genuine commuter service to the City, leaving Moss Vale at 6.29am and arriving at Central via Macarthur at 8.34am.”

Mr Oberg said Ms Goward was more concerned about trumpeting the vastly increased services between Sydney and Moss Vale rather than addressing the needs of Goulburn people.

“Yes, Goulburn misses out yet again for while there are absolutely no changes to the Goulburn weekend commuter timetable which comes into play from October 20, all week-day services continue in-situ albeit to slightly tweaked timings,” he said.

“Thankfully, the key Endeavour services that presently run to and from Sydney, will continue to do so.

“That said, Goulburn people have to some extent been inconvenienced with the most popular and economical commuter service, the 7.14am not departing now until 7.40am.

“And while the previous service was timetabled two hours 46 minutes to Central, the revised service will take two hours 54 min with added time required to attach two cars in Moss Vale and an extra stop at Tahmoor.

“Its afternoon return from Sydney will be 4.02pm (currently 3.48pm), arriving Goulburn at 7.07pm.”

He said Wingello, Tallong and Marulan passengers using the bus to access Goulburn for shopping or appointments will find it will be leaving five minutes earlier and return from Goulburn five minutes later from October 20.

Mr Oberg said there were no meaningful changes in the new timetable from the draft released in May.

“And despite a diversity of local bodies including the Goulburn Workers’ Club’s Day Out Society membership, the Goulburn Group and Mayor Geoff Kettle all taking the matter up with the administration and being massaged with reassuring words from Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian that the timetable was still in progress, this city’s needs have in reality been ignored, particularly in respect to the 7.14am Sydney Endeavour,” he said.

“Many insist its later departure will deliver many users into Sydney too late for most meaningful appointments, or days out.

Some urged that train be moved to a circa 7am departure and not the present five, but seven days a week.”

He said the “one genuine positive” was the restoration of the missing three Canberra-Sydney Xplorer services (former CountryLink).

“For more than a decade, the evening service has confusingly not returned from Canberra on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays,” he said.

“But I must point out that in one of Ms Goward’s press releases she insists there will be six additional evening Xplorer services between Canberra and Sydney each week. It’s three.”

Ms Goward said customers travelling longer distances, such as between Moss Vale and Sydney, will generally notice reduced journey times thanks to connections to faster services at Campbelltown via the Airport and East Hills Line.

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the new NSW TrainLink timetable is a big disappointment for Goulburn travellers, says local rail advocate Leon Oberg.

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