Faster trains priority for Illawarra commuters

Keep your new, premium service trains Gladys, all we want is faster ones.

On time and more frequent wouldn't go astray either.

So say dozens of Illawarra commuters, who have taken to the Mercury's webpage in recent days to give their thoughts on what the region really wants when it comes to rail services.

Their responses come in the wake of the announcement by Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian last Thursday of a $2.8billion rollout of 65 new trains for the Illawarra, Central Coast, Newcastle and Blue Mountains lines.

Handout images of what the new NSW intercity trains could look like.

Handout images of what the new NSW intercity trains could look like.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward said the government would seek input from commuters on what features they would like to see in the 520 carriages of the new fleet.

"I know what commuters want. They want more rack and carriage space, cleaner toilets and comfier seats," he said following last week's announcement.

"While a safe, reliable service with available seats is understandably the major concern of most customers, we want to go beyond that to ensure our new trains provide the little things that will make a customer's experience more enjoyable."

But if the comments on the Mercury's website are indicative of the feelings of most travellers, Illawarra commuters will take fast over flashy any, and every, day of the week.

"We need faster trains not waste billions on new carriages," 'Dumb Liberals' wrote.

'Ashley' concurred: "These features we're talking about, they belong on interstate trains, not intercity. I'm on trains between Sydney and Wollongong three days a week, and all I want is a faster train with more seats, everything else is trivial."

Other commuters joined the chorus. "We don't need silver service, just faster, reliable trains that run on time," said 'Red Rattler', while 'Commuter' wrote, "Been doing it for 15 years ... Shorter commute, shorter commute, shorter commute."

Extra rack space, comfortable seats, clean toilets and Wi-Fi were also among the more frequently mentioned additions commuters would like to see.


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