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New Dubbo rail centre raises hope out west

2WEB’s Chris Dover (centre) at the Nyngan Ag Expo on Saturday with Deputy Premier Paul Toole (right) and National Party MLC, Paul Barrett, on left. Photo TWH

It may be a long way into the future, but for the first time the NSW government is talking about the restoration of passenger train services beyond Dubbo.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the government was considering re-purposing city trains as they were replaced on high usage services to regional and city centres.

The construction of the regional rail maintenance centre at Dubbo meant there was a glimmer of hope that the facility would enable future investment in passenger services further west, a plan that had previously been put in the ‘too hard’ basket.

Speaking to 2WEB’s Chris Dover at the Nyngan Ag Expo on Saturday, Mr Toole said the priority was to establish better transport connectivity to Bourke, Brewarrina, Lightning Ridge, Nyngan, Walgett, and other outlying communities through improved coach services, but he did not write off the future restoration of train services.

“It has to stack up financially and we must be mindful that it’s the taxpayer’s dollars, so we need to make sure the demand is there for what would be a huge investment,” Mr Toole said.

“Our priority is to increase bus services so that people can travel between towns for medical appointments, to see family and friends or to go shopping.

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