The State Government has today promised more seats on local trains by 2022- with the timetable set to change, giving hub stations an express service every 15 minutes.
Heathcote MP Lee Evans, Transport Minister Andrew Constance and Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward met at Helensburgh Railway Station at 8am this morning to make the announcement.
They’ll order a further 42 Intercity carriages, on top of the new carriages that are currently being built, which will be added to peak hour services, meaning trains that currently have eight carriages will have ten carriages, creating more than five thousand extra seats during peak periods.
Heathcote MP Lee Evans says the carriages that have already been ordered are expected to be rolled out later this year and into 2020.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance says the investment is in response to a rapid increase in the number of people catching the train- with an increase of 1.1 million trips over the last five years.
“We will run 10 carriages on a fifteen minute cycle at the hub stations to ease congestion on those crowded trains,” says Mr Evans. “The extra carriages means 25% greater capacity per hour during peaks.”
Mr Evans has confirmed the timetable will change to accommodate the extra services but says it’s unlikely the smaller stations will see more services, as the government remains committed to the Hub model.
To facilitate the extra services, he says $800 million dollars worth of new technology is set to be installed.
“A new digital signalling system will be applied to the Illawarra South Coast line later this year, which means trains can travel closer together. There will be two trains every half hour to get commuters to and from work more efficiently and more comfortably.”