Have your say on proposed modifications to tunnels between Newnes Junction and Zig Zag Station on the Blue Mountains Line, essential work that will facilitate the introduction of the New Intercity Fleet trains between Sydney and Lithgow.

I’m proud to be part of a Liberal Government finally after nearly 40 years delivering modern trains to the Blue Mountains community. Modern trains that work across the network require modern adjustments to the 19th century line over the Blue Mountains. Once completed over the coming year or so the residents and visitors to the Blue Mountains will have a state of the art and future proof rail system that Labor failed to deliver after 16 wasted years in Government.

These state-of-the-art new trains, which will feature comfortable two by two seating with tray tables, the ability to charge mobile devices, dedicated space for luggage and prams, and improved accessibility features and security, will replace the ageing V-Sets, providing customers with a more comfortable and reliable journey.

Plans are now on display for minor modifications to the tunnels, known as the Ten Tunnels Deviation, which were built between 1908 and 1910 to bypass the Zig Zag Railway Line.

This is an opportunity for the local community and customers to have their say on the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) document which outlines the proposed changes, and the likely impact on the local area.

The design for the project has been developed in close collaboration with qualified specialists to minimise heritage impacts on the tunnels, which were previously modified in 1957 for the electrification of the network and in the 1970s to accommodate the interurban V-Set trains.

Most of the construction work will be undertaken during scheduled trackwork shutdowns to minimise any impact on customers.

We are looking forward to receiving feedback from the community during the display period. All submissions received will be reviewed by our project team and will help guide the final approach.

Subject to approval, work is expected to start later this year and take about two years to complete.

Approval has already been secured for minor signalling works, platform extensions where required and other minor modifications between Springwood and Lithgow to support the new trains.

A tender will soon be released for the design and construction work.

The Ten Tunnels Deviation Modifications REF is available to download from the Transport for NSW website at www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/new-intercity-fleet-program-ten-tunnels and the Have Your Say website at www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/haveyoursay.

Documents will also be on public display at the following locations:

  • Blue Mountains City Council, 2-6 Civic Place, Katoomba and 104 Macquarie Road, Springwood
  • Lithgow City Council, 180 Mort Street, Lithgow
  • Lithgow Library and Learning Centre, 157 Main Street, Lithgow
  • Mount Victoria Station, Platform 1 waiting room, Station Street, Mount Victoria
  • Transport for NSW Reception, Level 5, Tower A, Zenith Centre, 821 Pacific Highway, Chatswood.

Drop-in community information sessions will be held at:

Lithgow Valley Plaza, Bent and Lithgow Streets

  • Friday 9 February, 3-6pm
  • Saturday 10 February, 10am-1pm

Mount Victoria Public Hall/Mount Vic Flicks, Harley Avenue

  • Tuesday 13 February, 4pm to 7pm
  • Saturday 17 February, 8:30am to 11am

Features of the New Intercity Fleet:

  • Two by two seating on upper and lower levels
  • Wider, high-backed, fabric covered seats with arm rests and more space
  • Charging stations for mobile devices on each seat
  • Dedicated space for luggage, prams, bicycles
  • Accessible toilets, baby changing facilities and space for customers in wheelchairs
  • CCTV and digital screens
  • Cup holders and tray tables.