One has to admire the success of Two More Trains for Singleton, a small group of local residents, committed to improving the rail service between Singleton and Newcastle.
Their 15 year campaign will see them achieve their name with announcement of two extra permanent passenger train services in Singleton.
The group were supported in their long campaign by Singleton Council and state politicians and Transport for NSW.
Speaking on behalf of the group Martin Fallding said their success was due to the fact that what they asked for was doable and sensible.
"We were helped by the fact we are located in a marginal state electorate and there are three tracks between Singleton and Maitland - one reason there are less services to Muswellbrook and Scone," he said.
"But we were hampered over the years by bureaucratic inertia, change is hard and the timing had to be right."
Train patronage locally has increased as is expected to grow as it is quicker to travel to Newcastle by train than car.
"It takes an hour and 12 minutes to Newcastle by train - so if you provide a reliable and timely service people will utilise it," Mr Fallding said.
With a new train fleet expected to start arriving next year Mr Fallding is hopeful of continued growth in train patronage.
As to the next campaign for the group Mr Fallding said key issues for Two More Trains for Singleton to follow up on are the desirability of one additional morning service around 8.15 am.
"We are also seeking a 7 day per week timetable, better connections with Sydney and Dungog services, and the desirability of a railway station at Maitland Hospital," he said.
Singleton Mayor Sue Moore praised the NSW Government for improving public transport connectivity in Singleton. She said the announcement that the additional services were being made permanent was a credit to a lot of work by a lot of people that the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison MP, Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell MP and Transport for NSW have turned conversations into action.
"This is a great achievement for the community, and a campaign that Council has whole-heartedly supported, particularly as part of the Singleton Advocacy Agenda over the past five years, and we are incredibly grateful to the NSW Government for listening to us and taking our feedback on board," she said.
"I'm extremely excited that these new passenger services will remain in operation permanently, and more importantly to see the people of Singleton and all the way down the line putting them to good use so we can leverage even more services.
"I'm thrilled with this outcome and congratulate everyone who has been involved in the countless meetings, letters and petitions over the years to achieve this result, in particular the tireless work of the Two More Trains for Singleton group."
Cr Moore said Council would continue to lobby the state government for even greater public transport options for Singleton to improve connectivity throughout the LGA and the greater Hunter region.