NORTHERN Illawarra commuters can expect improved train services to and from Sydney with the signing of two construction contracts totalling about $600 million to modernise and upgrade infrastructure on the rail network.
The infrastructure upgrades will support the introduction of the new Intercity fleet on the South Coast line between Waterfall and Wollongong, which are now being tested under their own power.
During peak times the Intercity fleet trains will operate as 10 car trains instead of eight, which the NSW Government says will provide a new level of comfort, convenience and reliability for customers.
With the improvements, State MP for Heathcote, Lee Evans said an extra off peak service will be provided each hour between Wollongong and the Sydney CBD, meaning a train every 30 minutes on average.
Mr Evans said the changes will result in the creation of hundreds of jobs for the NSW economy to deliver essential upgrades to rail infrastructure including stabling yards, signalling, track, station platforms and power supply at key locations between Central, the T8 Airport Line tunnel and the South Coast.
“With the signing of contracts for work on the ‘More Trains More Services’ project on the Illawarra line, this will create up to 200 jobs locally and once completed will increase capacity allowing for more train services for the Illawarra”, Mr Evans said.
The new jobs will cover a range of disciplines including engineers, rail construction workers, security guards, truck drivers, electricians, plumbers, labourers, concrete workers and apprentices.
The employment drive will also be focused on developing a diverse workforce by providing opportunities for skills development and training to groups such as women, young people, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Construction for the rail upgrades will begin in the middle of this year and be completed in advance of the service improvements, which are planned for late 2022.
The rail upgrades and resultant service improvements are being delivered as part of the NSW Government’s $4.3 billion More Trains, More Services program.
More information on the infrastructure upgrades is available at Transport for NSW More Trains More Services website.
A video with more information on the service improvements can be viewed here.
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