New train timetable "exact opposite" of what we need

A BUREAUCRATIC decision to wind back to the wee hours the departure time of the XPT train to Brisbane has come under fire from Kyogle Council as a blow to the local economy.

From October 20, those catching the train to Brisbane from Kyogle will need to get on at 2.46am instead of 4.22am.

Kyogle Shire Council's tourism economic development officer Malcolm Wallis said it was the "exact opposite situation required" to stimulate local economic development and cater for a growing population.

"This is just an outrageous decision; it's a major step backwards," he said.

"Either the departments weren't talking to each other or it was thrown to the side or disregarded for whatever reason."

Mr Wallis prepared a formal proposal last year for the NSW State Government, putting a convincing case for a twice-daily Northern Rivers rail service.

His cost-effective suggestion to add an afternoon service by extending to Brisbane the current afternoon XPT train that ends at Casino was met by an enthusiastic response at a February meeting with transport industry delegates and MPs.

He cited a long list of benefits of a twice-daily service including access to education, specialist healthcare services, concerts and sporting events.

"A twice-daily service would not only get us up to Brisbane, but also get south-east Queensland down to us."

"That connectivity makes us a very livable community."



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