Rail services secure
Tuesday, 30th September, 2014
The city's rail services are safe with plans to increase patronage under a new brand, according to NSW TrainLink's Chief Executive Rob Mason.
Mr Mason has been in the role for the past 15 months following a rebranding which saw the company drop its former name, CountryLink.
Since then, there has been concern over the viability of the local train services, which included the twice-weekly Indian Pacific service from Broken Hill to Sydney and daily coach services connecting with the Dubbo XPT.
But Mr Mason yesterday assured that there were no plans to cut back the timetable.
The former engineer arrived in Broken Hill on Sunday, via the Indian Pacific, and met with local stakeholders including City Council and State MP John Williams yesterday.
"I've been slowly making my way around the regional areas ... I hope to discuss with the local stakeholders ways in which we could drive tourism."
NSW TrainLink, owned by the State Government, has already worked alongside Council in campaigns headed by Destination NSW.
Mr Mason said it was hoped that families and "leisure travellers" could be encouraged to consider travelling by train.
"It's a better way to go; there's the beautiful scenery, you can have your buffet- it's an enjoyable time."
Local railwayman Trevor Rudd, who has been with the regional service for 46 years, added that affordability was a big factor.
"The other day I sold tickets to a lady for her and her four children to travel to Sydney for $280.
"She was surprised by how cheap it was."
Mr Mason said the company would also look at reducing the 13-hour trip.
"If we can speed it up and take half an hour off the journey we will," he said.
Mr Rudd said that the service had averaged 70 per cent patronage during recent times - the ideal number.
"If it got up to 80 or 90 per cent we might consider bringing in another service," said Mr Mason.