Wollondilly mayor Judith Hannan has launched a campaign to get faster and better support for the shire’s commuters.
Cr Hannan is calling on NSW TrainLink’s XPT regional trains service to stop at Picton station.
XPT stands for “express passenger trains” and these trains feature an aerodynamic design and a power car at both ends for added horsepower.
The XPT service from Canberra to Central Station via Goulburn doesn’t stop anywhere in Wollondilly.
The nearest XPT station stops are in Mittagong, Bowral and Campbelltown.
However, Cr Hannan said she saw great opportunity for Wollondilly commuters to benefit from the XPT service to travel into Sydney and back during the morning and afternoon.
Cr Hannan said she wanted to seek commuter feedback on the best times for an XPT train to depart from Picton.
“I think there would be great benefit for an express train to stop in Picton,” the mayor said.
“It gives our commuters the advantage of a much faster train in peak hours.
“I would like to see the XPT train stop once or twice a day in Picton to give our commuters more options during the day.
“The extra stops would allow people to vary their times when they want to go shopping in the city.”
Cr Hannan said Sydney Trains’ timetable for the Southern Highlands line “didn’t suit a lot of people in Wollondilly”.
She said the current morning schedule meant a lot of workers chose to drive into the city instead.
“People have to get up at 4am and jump into the car for work,” Cr Hannan said.
“I think the XPT is a simple solution that will also help take some cars off our roads.
“I am passionate about getting more train services for this region.”
The mayor asked for councillors to press NSW TrainLink for a XPT to stop at Picton at last month’s council meeting.
The motion was passed unanimously.
Cr Hannan said the XPT service “cut travel time” and would make a “world of difference to our Wollondilly community”.
Councillor Robert Khan agreed and said the extra stops would “be a great win” for local residents.
Cr Hannan said her campaign would begin in the “next week or two”.
A NSW TrainLink spokesman said regular train services were available between Picton and Campbelltown where customers could interchange to and from Sydney.
“There is also one direct train service a day in each direction between Picton and Sydney,” he said.