There’s little doubt something has to be done about rail services in the Northern Illawarra.
Our stations stand idle as we are forced to drive to catch the train, Thirroul struggles under the weight of commuter parking, Lawrence Hargrave Drive is a clogged and when we do get on the train, carriages are overcrowded.
Repeated calls to the State Government to make changes to the timetable have fallen on deaf ears. Small concessions were made with services increased at Austinmer, but the changes have not been significant enough to make a real difference and best-utilise the existing rail corridor.
From commuter dissatisfaction has spring the lobby group ‘Illawarra Rail Fail’.
This group of disgruntled residents has come together to make some noise and have our rail services
“As individuals, we have little power. We assume that there is nothing we can do about standing from Sydney to Wollongong. We assume that there is nothing we can do about it taking an hour and a half to travel to Sydney,” says Illawarra Rail Fail. “In 100 years there have been basically no improvements to the South Coast Line. Today it still takes almost the same amount of time to travel to Sydney as it did in the era of the steam train.
“Statistics show commuters on the South Coast Line stand for the longest amount of time – sometimes over 1.5 hours. Yet the line is also home to the most overcrowded train on the Sydney network (the 3:24 from Central), but it still only has 4 carriages!
“If we had a government that had foresight, who listened to the people’s needs, instead of introducing a new fleet with less seats that still takes an hour and a half to get to Sydney we could have had locally produced tilt trains that would have provided a 60-minute travel time to Sydney. Instead we get a 1.5 hour trip, no local jobs and no seats.
This Sunday 2ndSeptember Illawarra Rail Fail needs community support to shoot a campaign video to improve our rail.
“We have an original, catchy jingle that has been composed by local musician Jeremy Boulton, and some awesome local musicians to bring the tune to life. But to make this video a truly community led campaign we need more of our community to be involved.
“We’re seeking 30-50 members of the community, passionate about achieving change for our rail line, who are happy to wear bright and colourful clothes and dance around for the campaign video (no dancing experience necessary and daggy dancers are more than welcome!)”
The Illawarra Rail Fail campaign video will be shot this Sunday 2ndSeptember from 5-7pm at Circus Monoxide in Fairy Meadow.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or RSVP for the event on the Illawarra Rail Fail Facebook page.