In what is being hailed as a win for both businesses and residents, the Dungog weekday train timetable to Newcastle is set to change.
Dungog Chamber of Commerce President Jenny Lewis and committee member Alan Shrimpton have spearheaded a campaign which started when the timetable changed in 2014.
Ms Lewis has a mountain of correspondence on the issue with various NSW Transport Ministers. She said she grateful for the support of Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald in the campaign.
Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen announced the new timetable would come into effect in April 2019.
The most significant change means people will now be able to spend the day in Dungog – arriving around 9.50am and then departing at 3.26pm.
“Walking groups, service clubs and others can now come to town, have lunch, do some shopping and enjoy the area and still get home at a decent hour,” said Ms Lewis.
She said the change would not only benefit the central business district as people would now have time to co-ordinate travelling to other areas of the shire.
Mr Johnsen said transport planners have overcome a number of logistical challenges to achieve this, including coordinating with freight train operators, which share a single track with other passenger trains.
Mayor Tracy Norman who has also been campaigning since becoming Mayor welcomed the change, adding it would assist residents with appointments in Maitland.