Reinstate Passenger Rail Services on the Tottenham Branch Line
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Sydney is becoming overcrowded and many families are now struggling to afford their first homes or even afford to commute across the city these days. Sydney is rapidly becoming unlivable, unaffordable and quite frankly no longer a nice place to live.
Decentralisation is the answer to many of the problems being faced in overcrowded cities like Sydney. However, before people will consider moving out west, they need to be reassured that the infrastructure they will need to commute to jobs is already in place.
Passenger services on the Tottenham Branch Line were shut down back in the 1970's and when that happened, all the towns along its route suffered terribly. People moved away in droves, businesses closed and basic services were shut down one after the other. Towns like Tullamore, Albert, Tottenham, Bogan Gate and Trundle all became close to becoming 'Ghost Towns' and each of those communities can now only boast populations of a few hundred people.
But it doesn't need to be that way. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all these towns, in the form of the Inland Rail Line which will soon be linking Parkes with both Melbourne and Brisbane. The Tottenham Branch Line also connects with Parkes.
There are new cobalt, nickel and scandium mines opening at Fifield, (near Tullamore) and there will soon be a need for better transport options to get miners and ancillary workers to and from their places of work. And once these mines are in full production, there will no doubt be even more jobs available in places like Parkes for new tech-mineral related industries, such as Li-ion battery and electric car production.
If the Tottenham Branch Line passenger services were to re-open, it would breathe new life into all the towns along the Bogan Way. New homes would spring up, more businesses would open and people would be able to commute to and from Parkes for work. And the Central West would become a viable option for many first home buyers in Sydney.
By reinstating just one passenger rail service, which offered a daily commute for people living in the Central West, an entire region in western NSW would start to boom again. It really is that simple to get the Central West back on track.
(Pictured: 1974 - the end of the line at Tottenham showing the old railway station and goods depot which have since been demolished.)
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