A train has stopped at Cowra’s Railway Station for the first time in 14 years, making for a promising step forward in commuting for regional residents.
Cowra’s railway tracks have undergone an $5 million upgrade in the hope to make transportation for residents more accessible, particularly to Bathurst which is one of the key stations in the Central West.
The Cowra community was filled with hope in May as commuters were allowed to ride the train on what was the first of many journeys.
Council worker Stuart Douglas said the reopening of the station was a huge effort on behalf of many residents and was worth the fight.
“The work that went into this tremendous occasion was outstanding,” Mr Douglas said.
“Volunteers from all different walks of life worked long, hard hours in the hope to make this day possible.”
While there is more work to be done on the upgrade, when completed, it will allow Cowra residents to access surrounding towns without needing to drive.
The first piece in place is the upgraded railway track from Cowra to Holmwood. This will allow for children who go to school in Holmwood to catch the train each day. From there, the plan is to expand the track as far as possible.
Working train lines also increases job opportunities, provides train drivers with income, and helps residents with their daily work commute. It is also hoped trains will increase tourism and help grow local businesses.
Train enthusiast James Connor said he was excited for the future of Cowra Railway Station and the opportunities it could bring.
“Being able to ride the train for the first time in many years was very emotional for everyone involved,” he said.
“Over the years I have struggled with no transport which forced me to catch a bus to Bathurst to access the closest train line to Sydney.
“The reopening of the Railway Station will have a positive impact for many.”
Cowra Council has placed warning signs along the railway lines for traffic, as drivers have not had to give way to trains for many years.
Mr Douglas said the opening of the Cowra Railway Station and the upgraded lines were a positive for the region.
“It is definitely a step in the right direction,” Mr Douglas said.