New rail study is unlike any other

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the new study would look at upgradingthe line to the inland rail standard.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the new study would look at upgradingthe line to the inland rail standard.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke says those questioning the new Blayney to Demondrille line feasibility study should look at the opportunities it could create.

Ms Cooke said the new study will be far more comprehensive than any previous study done on the line and if the study found the re-opening of the line was needed it would be a state of the art upgrade.

"The line when it closed was classified as a Class Five line and any previous studies have looked at the rebuilding of the line to that level," she said.

"We are looking at a study that will look at the benefits of restoring it to a Class One, the equivalent of the inland rail standard, so we can take advantage of all of the developments in that space.

"Including rail operators being able to use their rolling stock on either the inland rail or this part of the rail network," she said.

Ms Cooke said the study would be, "end to end" looking at the infrastructure of the line from an engineering perspective.

"I don't underestimate the enormity of this project," she said.

"It's well over 100km of railway line that would need to be rebuilt from scratch, there's the Carcoar tunnel that would need to be dug out to enable larger freight trains to pass through.

"Looking at the benefits that would be delivered as a result of reopening the line the issues of tourism, of general economic benefit across the region and other growth opportunities.

"Looking at risk mitigation for when the western line is out of action and what happens to freight during that time and the cost of that line being down to producers and other businesses verses what could be achieved if it (the Blayney to Demondrille) were reopened and those business were able to still move their product," she said.

Ms Cooke said the re-opening of the line was a fight she would take up if the study recommended it.

"I don't shy away from the enormity of the task, but we really need to understand what would be involved," she said.

"It will become a fight if it is viable to reopen. It will become a fight about the funding and how we achieve such an enormous infrastructure project in NSW rail.

"I believe the line never should have been closed to start with and that is the consensus view of people right up and down the line. We need to pull out all stops and look at any opportunity to demonstrate that back to the state government."

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