The creators of a report supporting the Maldon-Dombarton line have responded to criticism from Transport for NSW.
The University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility renamed the line the South West Illawarra Rail Link (SWIRL) and looked at changes like making it dual track and opening it up to passenger trains.
TfNSW highlighted concerns over the project’s cost and the predictions of speeds the trains could achieve on the line.
“This study was never designed to be a full engineering or environmental assessment, but rather a cost-benefit appraisal using standard costs for passenger and freight rail lines on a per kilometre basis,” a statement from the SMART Infrastructure Facility said.
“These costs included a modest number of additional train sets for the SWIRL. SMART also consulted with representatives of TfNSW in preparing this report.”
SMART’s former Director of Rail Logistics, and adviser to TfNSW, Andrew McCusker offered technical advice that supported an average speed of 90km/h.
“This study progresses the conversation around a passenger option to Sydney’s south west and gives the state government a credible starting point toward a submission to the National Rail Program, engineering and environmental studies would then follow,” Mr McCusker said.