Buses scheduled for Hunter region

Buses will replace trains in the Hunter region, NSW, later this year as heavy rail work begins

A fleet of buses will run every ten minutes in the Hunter region of New South Wales to connect with trains in Newcastle from December 26.

Part of the heavy rail line will be closed December 26 will allow work to begin on revitalising Newcastle – opening up the CBD, building a new state-of-the-art transport interchange at Wickham and a light rail network linking the CBD and the foreshore.

Minister for Transport and Minister for the Hunter Gladys Berejiklian has announced a fleet of modern and accessible buses will run every ten minutes in the peak to connect with trains in Newcastle.

Operator State Transit Authority will run the replacement bus services.

Berejiklian says the NSW Government is committed to delivering this vital project for the Hunter region and was working hard to make sure interim bus arrangements were as quick and convenient as possible. 

 "We have worked hard to get the best outcome for customers and I am pleased to confirm that from January 5, all trains will terminate at Hamilton Station and meet connecting buses – a big win for Maitland and Upper Hunter customers," she says.

During an interim period from December 26 to January 5, trains will terminate at Broadmeadow while upgrades are completed at Hamilton Station.

After January 5, all trains will terminate at Hamilton, with buses taking customers to and from the CBD. 

"We considered various options such as having trains terminating at both Hamilton and Broadmeadow, which meant customers would potentially have had to catch a bus to transfer between train services," says Berejiklian.

"It was important we did the work to minimise inconvenience for customers, and I am confident we now have the best solution."

The bus timetable will be integrated with the train timetable, and buses leaving Newcastle will leave about 25 minutes before the connecting train departs Hamilton.

Whether using Opal or a paper ticket, travel on these buses will cost the same as if customers were catching the train.

When the new Wickham interchange is complete in late-2016 replacement buses will connect with trains at Wickham until the light rail network is completed.  

Berejiklian says constructing a new fully-accessible transport interchange at Wickham linking to the new light rail line will help re-connect the city with the foreshore and bring jobs, residents and visitors to the Newcastle city centre.

"We have planned the interim arrangements to minimise disruption and make it easy to move between trains and buses. We will also ensure there is plenty of room at Hamilton for taxis and cars to pick up and drop off customers," she says. 

"The many benefits the new light rail and transport interchange will bring to customers and to the city of Newcastle will contribute to the essential revitalisation of the city."

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