Frustrated rail supporters believe their protests to save Maitland’s direct link with the Newcastle CBD have fallen on deaf ears with Premier Barry O’Farrell to announce before Christmas the closure of the line at Wickham .
Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson said her group has it on good authority that the rail line
will be cut at Wickham with bumpers installed on the tracks
to stop the trains.
Ms Dawson said the government would use $60 million from the Hunter Infrastructure Fund to build temporary facilities to move
commuters from the train to the platform – including bumpers – which would remain in place for two years to allow the redevelopment of Newcastle CBD.
She said the plan was diabolical for Maitland commuters.
“Maitland people are going to be deeply affected by this and it shows the government does not care about the people of Maitland,” Ms Dawson said.
Ms Dawson said the bumpers were floated by Michael Costa when he was transport minister.
“He told me all you have to do to stop the trains is put bumpers on the tracks,” she said.
The Mercury’s sources confirmed the plan.
Ms Dawson said Mr O’Farrell was tipped to announce the plan when he spoke about the
recommendations of the State Infrastructure Strategy.
A spokesman for the Premier said Mr O’Farrell said he would speak about the recommendations before Christmas.