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News New South Wales

News New South Wales Above: On Wednesday 25 October 2017, torrential rain overflows the gutters at Branxton station, in the Hunter Valley, and (to the far right) a lightning bolt streaks through the sky, as 8248, 8218 and 8109 power through the darkness with Pacific National Manildra flour train 5938 from Gunnedah to Bomaderry. Kurtis Slomka Below: 5MB7 departs Cowan loop at a smart pace, with only 10 loaded containers and tankers behind LDP’s 009 and 002 on Friday afternoon 22 December 2017. This was the last revenue service Aurizon was operating on their interstate Intermodal service from Brisbane to Melbourne. The same day a non-revenue movement arrived from Melbourne operating as 5MN7 worked by 6012/6042/42206/X54 hauling a large number of empty container flats. The 422 and the X were dropped off at Hexham and the rest of the train continued north to store the flats. Shane O’Neil 12 RAILWAY DIGEST

New South Wales News Around Sydney Population set to swell around south-west Sydney stations The NSW government has cleared the way for the construction of about 20,000 new homes near six rail stations in Sydney’s south-west. Following a three-year consultation process, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment finalised plans in December to rezone areas around stations from Macquarie Fields to Macarthur on Sydney’s T8 South rail line. The most significant changes are set to occur around Campbelltown and Macarthur stations (located 54.7 and 56.7 kilometres respectively from Central station). The department expects another 3600 dwellings to be built in the immediate vicinity of Campbelltown Station in the next 20 years, with more beyond that. The department is proposing clumps of high-density development to the north and south of Campbelltown Station, with no maximum building height. Around Macarthur Station, the government is planning for 4650 new homes over the next 20 years. The plans are based around six storey residential-only apartment blocks, as well as larger mixed-used towers. The station proposals, which will be given effect through planning decisions of Campbelltown City Council, are only part of a larger series of land-use changes in Sydney’s south-west. The government has not finalised its plans for Glenfield Station (33 kilometres from Central). It is proposing to move Hurlstone Agricultural High School to the Hawkesbury campus of Western Sydney University, and use the large block of land the school is on for development.In addition, there is also no final plan yet for more land release further to Sydney’s south-west, in an area known as the Greater Macarthur Growth Area. Both the Glenfield Station and Greater Macarthur proposals should be finished in 2018. In relation to the land use changes near the other stations, Brendan Nelson – Deputy Secretary, Growth, Design and Programs of the Department of Planning and Environment – said in a statement that the proposals would maintain the character of the existing areas, while identifying new opportunities for homes, roads and community facilities. “We want to revitalise these areas around key transport infrastructure and provide a range of housing choice so families and extended families can live close to one another and near jobs in the regional city of Campbelltown, and the proposed Western Sydney Airport,” Mr Nelson said. Residents raised strong concerns about the lack of commuter car parking near the stations. In response, the Department said the proposals did not remove any commuter car parking spots, but nor did they add to the number of parking spots. Over the next 20 years, the government expects about 300 new homes to be built adjacent to Macquarie Fields station (43.8 kilometres from Central), 1000 new homes at Ingleburn (46.6 kilometres), 350 at Minto (49.7 kilometres), and 1000 at Leumeah (52.6 kilometres). The plans, however, envisage more dwellings beyond 2036. In a statement, the general manager of Campbelltown City Council, Lindy Deitz, said the revised plans would guide development so that rezonings could occur. FEBRUARY 2018 13

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