Plenty of trains but a bit slow: report

Whenit comes to the number of train services from capital cities, Wollongong is better served than many but the trains are slower, says a report released on Tuesday.

Federal Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss released the report at the Australasian Railway Association’s (ARA) annual conference in Perth.

Called Trainline 2, it provides a “high-level overview” of Australia’s rail industry.

It was compiled by the ARA and the government’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.

The reports lists the number of weekly services for a range of “non-urban” passenger routes, which include many that start at a capital city and end in a regional area.

Each week, there are 262 services running from Sydney to Wollongong. Only the Brisbane to Varsity Lakes (on the Sunshine Coast) has more with 398.

The 262 services exceed other popular regional routes like Sydney to Newcastle (218), Melbourne to Geelong (191), Melbourne to Ballarat (112) and Brisbane to Nambour (128).

The report also lists Sydney-Wollongong as “among Australia’s largest inter-city commuter corridors”, along with Sunshine Coast-Brisbane and Newcastle-Sydney, via the Central Coast.

However, the report also shows the Sydney-Wollongong route is one of the slowest for trips of four hours or less.

It lists an average speed of 56km/h, that’s 2km/h slower than Brisbane-Varsity Lakes, 9km/h slower than Sydney-Newcastle and 22km/h slower than Melbourne-Geelong.

This is despite the fact those services also stopped at more stations than the Sydney-Wollongong route.

The report does mention the “mountainous terrain” as a reason for the slower speeds.

In terms of freight, the report does not mention the Maldon-Dombarton line, but does focus on the issues the east coast has with putting freight on rail rather than road.

“Along Australia’s east coast more container freight can and must go by rail with the large majority of freight currently moved by road between Melbourne and Brisbane and an estimated 30 per cent by rail.”

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