Trial of additional train services between Singleton and Newcastle extended for another 12 months

All aboard for greater flexibility

THE trial of additional train services running between Singleton and Newcastle will be extended for another 12 months.

After more than a decade of community advocacy, Singleton finally landed extra passenger trains late last year.

Now, Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen said the latest extension would give customers across the region more flexibility, greater choice and better connections when planning trips to health, education and leisure hubs such as Newcastle, Maitland and Sydney.

"The trial was due to be assessed this year," he explained.

"However, given the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), it was decided to extend the period to the end of 2021.

"On the public transport network, we've seen a significant drop in patronage on the Hunter Line and across the board.

"Making an assessment at the end of next year will ensure a much fairer and reliable outcome, allowing train usage time to return to more normal levels."

The trial services provide Singleton customers with a total of six return options to Newcastle during the weekdays and four on the weekends.

This includes an evening service departing Newcastle (and Warabrook) after 8pm.

"Previously there was no option to return to Singleton after 6pm," Mr Johnsen said.

"For those who are still relying on public transport for travel during these times, this additional service in particular makes life a lot easier for Singleton customers, especially those who attend Newcastle University."

Transport for NSW will continue to monitor the trial closely.

A thorough assessment will be conducted late next year before any permanent changes are considered and will include a close analysis of key criteria including patronage and customer satisfaction.