ALMOST six years after the introduction of the Bathurst Bullet service, an average of more than 1500 passengers are boarding the train at the Keppel Street station each month.
Figures provided by Transport for NSW for all of 2017 and the first half of this year show a high of 1762 people boarded the Bullet at Bathurst during December last year and a low of 1196 people during the shortest month, February, last year.
The next best month for passengers for the past 18 months was January this year with 1754 passengers, while the average for the past year-and-a-half was 1519 passengers a month.
The daily average of people boarding the Bullet in Bathurst in the morning ranged from 57 for December last year and January this year to 39 for February last year.
The figures are for people boarding the Bullet and travelling to any destination, so would include those who got off the service at any of the stations before the final destination of Central.
The Bathurst Bullet, a daily limited-stops return service to Sydney, was considered an impossible dream for many years before it began amid much fanfare in October 2012.
Locals were warned at the time that they would have to use the service or lose it, but there has been no talk about it being discontinued in the years since.
In fact, Rail Action Bathurst, which lobbied for the establishment of the Bullet, has turned its attention to a realignment of the track between Bathurst and Lithgow to cut the travel time.
The Transport for NSW figures for 2017 and the first half of 2018 show, as has been the case in previous years, that fewer passengers leave the Bullet at Bathurst Railway Station when the service returns in the evening than board in the morning.
The highest number of passengers leaving the Bullet at Bathurst over the past 18 months was 1180 in January last year, followed by 1108 in July last year, and the lowest number was 777 in February this year.
For the past year-and-a-half, an average of 953 people left the Bullet at Bathurst each month.
The highest daily average was 39 in January last year, followed by 37 in July last year, and the lowest daily average was 26 in both February this year and May this year.
The Bathurst Bullet runs seven days a week between Bathurst and Sydney, stopping at seven stations along the way.
It leaves Bathurst at 5.46am on weekdays and 7.40am on weekends and returns to Bathurst at 9.34pm both weekdays and weekends.