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NSW matches Commonwealth’s $500m pledge to build fast rail link

The train journey between Sydney and Gosford on the Central Coast will be cut to 25 minutes on a fast rail link between the two cities, as part of funding pledged by the NSW and Commonwealth governments.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet today announced that $500 million for a rapid rail upgrade of the Sydney to Central Coast train line will be part of this month’s state budget.

The promise is conditional on the new federal government’s election campaign pledge of $500 million in its first budget for corridor acquisition, planning and early works for the Newcastle-Sydney HSR.

Perrottet said the total investment of $1 billion by the federal and state governments would make the upgrade a reality and commuters would eventually see significant reductions in commute times.

“Once this becomes a reality, we will see journey times between Sydney and Newcastle [reduced] two and a half to one hour, Sydney to Gosford in 25 minutes, then Sydney to Wollongong in 45 minutes,” he said.

“Half a billion dollars today will bring that vision to life.”

The construction would include two new electrified rail lines between South Tuggerah and North Wyatt.(ABC: Justine Kearney)

Central Coast Parliamentary Secretary Adam Crouch also announced funding for a new Newcastle University campus to be built in Gosford.

“This is a very historic day for our region – half a billion dollars in our rail network and an additional $18 million to provide delivery from a Newcastle University campus right here in Gosford,” said Mr Crouch.

NSW funding for Gosford University Campus also matches Commonwealth investment.

Perrottet said the rail improvements were a critical step in achieving his government’s six-city vision, improving accessibility between major centers in the state.

“You can’t build great cities without building major transportation infrastructure, and … this billion dollars from the federal and state governments will lay that foundation and put in place new investments as we move forward,” said he declared.

people wearing masks and walking along a train platform
The proposed rapid rail link would help improve accessibility between major centers in the state.(AAP: Bianca De Marchi)

The funding will allow construction to begin on the first stage of the Northern Corridor, including two new electrified rail tracks between South Tuggerah and North Wyatt, new platforms and station improvements in Wyong and Tuggerah, and new bridges.

Sydney CEO Gabriel Metcalf’s committee said the combined government funding would help deliver a ‘transformative’ HSR project.

“Making a trip from Gosford to the city in 25 minutes and Newcastle in under an hour will be a game-changer for commuters, students and many others,” he said.

“It will reshape the geography of our city.

“Better connections in this region, south of Wollongong, north of the Central Coast and Newcastle, and linking west of Sydney, mean we will operate effectively as a bigger global city, with a more economical gravitational pull. “

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