State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has spoken in Parliament this week, calling on the Transport Minister to build new rail carriages in the Hunter following an admission by the Government that it doesn’t have any additional carriages to add to the overcrowded Newcastle Line.
Ms Hornery has received a swathe of complaints from commuters using the Newcastle Line about overcrowded off-peak services, particularly on weekends.
Commuter services in peak times are so crowded that it is forcing more and more people to travel later in the morning or evening and off-peak services are only four car sets.
Ms Hornery recently wrote to the Transport Minister and in a response from the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Ms Petinos acknowledged that “there are no spare carriages available to increase off-peak services to Sydney from four cars to eight cars”.
Ms Hornery has called for the Government to build rail carriages here in the Hunter as a priority to allow commuters to have greater comfort, reliability and convenience.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“My office has received a sharp increase in the number of complaints from commuters in the Wallsend electorate travelling to and from Sydney on the Newcastle Line.”
“Commuters are reporting the morning peak services are already overcrowded and people are moving to the off-peak services to be able to get a seat. This is creating a problem on the off-peak services with people reporting trains being so full, passengers have been told they will have to wait for the next service.”
“Last month I wrote to the Government about the problem and they were happy to admit that they simply don’t have the train carriages to increase the number of cars for commuters from the Hunter.”
“We have the capacity in the Hunter to build trains at Cardiff and Broadmeadow and the Government should make it a priority to get additional train carriages built to accommodate the increasing number of people utilising the train service between Newcastle and Sydney.”
“The simple solution is to build them here.”