Trains chugging along the Mid-Western Region's tracks is a distant memory for few locals, however for an entire generation, it's something never seen before.
In a bid to restore the region's rail lines to their former glory after 20 years of inactivity, a group of locals are proposing the reinstatement of the line from Rylstone to Gulgong.
With $2.8 billion earmarked for the NSW Government's Regional Rail Project, the Mudgee Region Passenger Rail Inc (MRPR) believe a "pittance of the huge budget" would see the region's rail line, once again, have purpose.
"It's all there, it's in place, it will need some work and some bridges will have to be replaced...but it's time," MRPR deputy chair, John Bentley said.
"We ask the Government to have a really good look at this. It's the only missing link in the inland state network and we would like to see it reinstated. We're thinking it's going to cost about $30 million and against $2.8 billion, that isn't much.
"They [Government] spent $12.5 million in the late '90s on the line and now we're asking for a pittance of the huge railway infrastructure budget of over $2 billion, a pittance," MRPR member, Scott McGregor said.
The group, who launched their project on November 9 at the Mudgee Train Station, suggest twice daily general service, light freight options and tourism operations as opportunities for the area which would hypothetically result in a monthly injection of millions.
"Here you've got the opportunity of tourism with the attractive journey the train takes between Gulgong through to the Capertee Valley on to Lithgow and beyond," Mr McGregor said.
"Ideally, we would like two services a day and the allowance of access for tourism trains and light/moderate freight services. We're not talking about coal trains, I think those days are over.
"Two services a day with smart, efficient, comfortable railcars that stop at all the little villages along the way...filling it up would be my dream."
The MRPR have sent "detailed" submissions to the Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders, NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce regarding the project.
"Every demographic is affected by this not being here," Mr Bentley said.
"Children and teenagers are fascinated by the idea of rail, many haven't seen it here before. It would be a benefit for all, and the older demographic would love to get on the train as they used to be able to do."
Following a campaign to see the Bathurst line reach Mudgee, the tracks were first built in Rylstone in 1883 before extending to Mudgee in 1884 and Gulgong in 1909.
While first closed in 1992, a public campaign supported by council saw the line reopen in 1999 before being shut once again in 2003 due to ministerial changes within the NSW Government.
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