A SECOND daily rail service to Sydney will be a boost for local businesses, says Bathurst Business Chamber president Angus Edwards.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole announced a second daily service would be up and running next year to complement the Bathurst Bullet service that has been running since 2012.
The second service will leave Bathurst around around 7.30am each weekday and leave Sydney for the return trip around 3pm, getting passengers back into Bathurst by 7pm.
Mr Toole confirmed there would also be a second weekend service to and from Sydney but timetable details were still being finalised.
The Bullet will also be upgraded with brand new carriages being built out of a new maintenance facility in Dubbo. The carriages will be rolled out across the state's rail network from the early 2020s.
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Mr Edwards said the Bullet was already a popular choice for local business people with meetings to attend in Sydney but the late return - about 9.30pm - was a problem.
"This second service will have the option of a 3pm departure out of Sydney so it will be perfect for people with morning meetings who can then be home by 7," he said.
"We're also excited about the new carriages. The current carriages are quite uncomfortable when you sit there for a long time and hopefully that will be taken into account in the design and construction of the new carriages."
Rail Action Bathurst chairman John Hollis welcomed the announcement of a second service, saying Bullet patronage numbers showed it was needed.
On average, the Bullet was about 75 per cent full for the morning trip to Sydney and 50 per cent full for the return trip.
"This is great for the community and economy of Bathurst, and great for the Central West region," Mr Hollis said.
"This is recognition that Bathurst is growing, recognition of the patronage of the Bullet and recognition of the hard work of the members of Rail Action Bathurst all those years ago."
Mr Toole said work would start immediately on sourcing carriages for the extra services and employing new train drivers.
“When I got into politics eight years ago one of the big issues for me was that Bathurst did not have good rail links to Sydney,” Mr Toole said.
“Alongside Rail Action Bathurst, we worked hard to have a daily return rail service delivered for this community and it has proved to be a great success. This announcement today takes it to a whole new level.”
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