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The number of passengers travelling between Canberra and Sydney by train has increased more than a third in the last five years.
In 2014-15 just over 187,000 people made the trip, which is slower than travelling by bus or car, in either direction, while 250,977 people travelled by train in 2018-19.
Passengers alight from a train at Canberra Station in August 2009. The route between Canberra and Sydney has seen increased passenger numbers in the last five years. Picture: Graham Tidy
The biggest increase in traveller numbers was on the Sydney to Canberra evening route, which has seen a more than 69 per cent increase in passengers in the same period.
In 2018-19, 91.1 per cent of services on the route ran on time, up from 79.2 per cent in 2015-16.
In November, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said perfection should not be the enemy of the good and the focus should be on improvements to the current route rather than new high-speed rail between the two cities.
"The new trains that the NSW government have bought and a range of sensible and affordable signalling and track improvements will deliver faster rail quickly," Mr Barr said at the time.
"They will deliver worthwhile time saving benefits in the short term, and in the medium term help to build a more favourable environment for the consideration of high-speed rail."
Mr Barr has long agitated for better infrastructure on the route to speed up the journey, taking the train in 2017 to a meeting in Sydney with the NSW transport minister to demonstrate how long it took.
This article first appeared on www.canberratimes.com.au
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