A re-elected Coalition government said $295 million would be invested in the fast rail network the government announced plans for in December.

RAIL: A concept image of a fast train passing over the Hawkesbury River railway bridge, which is in the Woy Woy to Sydney area to be analysed.
RAIL: A concept image of a fast train passing over the Hawkesbury River railway bridge, which is in the Woy Woy to Sydney area to be analysed.

The NSW government says $80 million will be committed to developing a new rail alignment between Woy Woy and northern Sydney if it is re-elected on Saturday. 

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said in a Liberal Party press release $295 million would be invested in the fast rail network the government announced plans for in December.

"Last year we appointed high-speed rail expert Professor Andrew McNaughton to confirm the most appropriate routes, train speeds and station locations and now we are taking the next steps to make fast rail a reality," he said.

"This initial $295 million commitment should be seen as a down payment on our future investment. We are committed to getting the early work done, so that we can move ahead in delivering a truly revolutionary rail system to connect NSW."

Terrigal MP Adam Crouch said part of the $295 million would go towards improving rail to the Central Coast.

"An initial $80 million will be invested to develop a new rail alignment between Woy Woy and northern Sydney, putting in place the building blocks for the fast rail that will give people greater choice about where they live and how they commute to work. The initial investment will also investigate potential tunnelling options which will support high speed trains to better connect the Central Coast to Sydney," he said. 

The press release, which quoted three Liberal candidates for The Entrance, Gosford and Newcastle, was released on Monday and did not provide a timeframe for the allocation of funding.

Fast rail between Sydney and Newcastle is being analysed by both the state and federal governments.

Transport for NSW told the Newcastle Herald last week Professor McNaughton's analysis would actually be based on a strategic business case the agency is developing for the Commonwealth's Faster Rail Prospectus.

The federal government provided Transport for NSW with $5 million to conduct the study in March last year.

"This strategic business case will consider opportunities such as track straightening, deviations and separation between passenger and freight," a TfNSW spokesperson said. 

"This business case is due for completion in mid-2019 and will help inform the development of the NSW Fast Rail Strategy."

The spokesperson said the state's Fast Rail Strategy was "due for completion in late 2019", and TfNSW's Commonwealth study would be what Mr McNaughton used.

"Through a collaborative, co-design process, [TfNSW] is working closely with Department of Premier and Cabinet on the development of the NSW Fast Rail Strategy and the strategic business case for Sydney to Newcastle corridor," they said.

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