Cowra Shire Council and Mayor of Cowra, Councillor Bill West eagerly awaits to hear of updates from the NSW Government and from Transport NSW regarding the feasibility study on the Blayney-Demondrille Railway with previous reports stating the study would be completed and released early 2020.
“When the feasibility study on the Blayney-Demondrille line was announced in July 2019, it was also announced that the report was expected to be completed by the end of the year and to be released in early 2020,” said Cr West. “We hope that the report is due to come out very soon.”
The Blayney-Demondrille Railway project was initiated by five local councils to reduce dependence on heavy road vehicle transport and boost local business. Following strong community interest, a study looking into the feasibility of reopening the rail line from Blayney to Demondrille, which passes through Young, Cowra to Harden - with a branch line from Koorawatha to Grenfell - was announced with the study one of four feasibility studies funded under the Transport NSW Fixing Country Rail program.
The study was expected to look into the engineering of the railway line including above and below track items, crossings, bridges, tunnels, culverts and signalling and the cost of re-opening it. It was also expected to look into the strategic benefits of linking the southern and western line, reducing congestion on the western line and through the Sydney corridor, as well as benefits to Lachlan Valley Rail.
“I am concerned about when we are going to see this report released. We have heard very little from Transport NSW since the feasibility study was announced and it is vital for our region that this report is completed,” said Cr West.
“Without the railway, local, regional and interstate heavy vehicle traffic will continue to grow, with consequent safety and environmental impacts. Potential regional economic development opportunities will be missed,” Cr West continued.
“With the recent, devastating bushfires that tore through the Blue Mountains, they impacted the main western line resulting in the closure of the railway line and delaying important incoming and outbound services from the Central West to Sydney, Newcastle and Port Kembla. If the Government re-opened the Blayney-Demondrille railway line, those trains could have been re-routed through the Central West towards Western Sydney and straight to Port Kembla and Botany,” Cr West concluded.