A panel meant to advise the government about faster rail options still has not been formed almost a year after it was announced.
In December last year, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced the government would investigate faster rail options along four routes.
One of those was "the Southern Coastal Route", linking Wollongong and Nowra to Sydney.
High speed rail expert Professor Andrew McNaughton was appointed to oversee the process.
As part of the study an expert panel would be formed to advise the Premier on the best route options for faster rail.
Nine months after its announcement, this expert panel still has not been set up.
However, Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole told a budget estimates hearing this week that, nine months after its announcement, this expert panel still has not been set up.
"Not at this point," Mr Toole said when asked if the panel had been put together.
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"Prof McNaughton has been holding a number of consultations and workshops across the state, getting feedback from communities around the area."
This is despite the suggestion from Mr Toole that a faster rail report could be just a few months away.
"It is still early days but I like the fact that we have an expert here, from the United Kingdom, who is doing the work at the moment to provide a fairly comprehensive report by the end of the year regarding fast rail," Mr Toole told the hearing.
However, it was unclear when - or even if - the public would see the report.
"If I get it at the end of the year, depending on the breaks of Christmas and all of that, it may be a few months into the New Year when it goes to Cabinet," Mr Toole said.
"Potentially that will be a decision that Cabinet makes as to when it may be released."
Mr Toole called faster rail "a big bold vision" for NSW.
"This is about opening up communities," he said.
"This is about connecting communities to other regional and major metropolitan centres."
Given the difficult geography between Wollongong and Sydney, a high-speed rail option is unlikely.
Instead, the focus is expected to be on faster rail, with time savings gained by making changes to the existing infrastructure rather than laying down new tracks.
The estimates from government claim that would cut the time of a Wollongong-Sydney trip from one hour and 20 minutes to around an hour.