Ever since NSW Rail realigned the railway line back in the late 1980s, the gap from Millthorpe’s railway platform to the track has been more than three metres.
After years of lobbying though by members of the Millthorpe Village Committee, planning is now underway to extend the platform at Millthorpe railway station to allow a stop-on-request service on the XPT.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said that consultants would soon be engaged to work with the community and heritage groups, in the first steps of what will be an 18 month project.
“There is a lot of work that has to go into the planning for this project and at $1 million it isn’t cheap, but it’s now officially in the budget and when it’s finished it will be here for decades to come,” he said.
Mr Toole said that a project such as this was unique and had many issues that needed to be worked through before the first hole is dug.
“The consultants will have to work out with heritage and design what that design will look like and then there are the safety issues and access for people with a disability and families with prams,” he said.
Millthorpe residents Randall Edwards and Laurie Williams instigated the initial push to have the station opened six years ago, when they began work on what is now the fifth draft of their working paper.
Although they’re ecstatic that their plans have come to fruition and that it is fully funded, they are expecting some problems to arise when it comes to heritage.
“There are certain heritage issues with an extension and what the heritage people will or will not want as there are conflicting boxes to tick,” Mr Williams said. “The heritage people will be the kings.”
Blayney Shire mayor Scott Ferguson said that the reopening of the station would be of great economic and social benefit to the local community, boosting jobs, business and economic growth.
“As the number one infrastructure priority for the local Millthorpe community, the service will facilitate growth in both the day tripper and overnight stays market for this significant and growing tourism village,” he said.