A NORTH Nowra retiree is keen to suggest his list of improvements to new trains about to be purchased for the South Coast Line.
Chris Bellamy catches the train from Bomaderry to Wollongong and Sydney on a regular basis.
It can be a pretty slow trip, and Mr Bellamy has had plenty of time to ponder possible improvements and discuss them with his fellow passengers.
On Thursday, the NSW government announced a $2.8 billion rollout of 65 new trains for the Illawarra, Central Coast, Newcastle and Blue Mountains lines.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward, who is an avid train user himself, has asked for input from commuters as to what features they would like to see in the 520 carriages that will make up the new fleet.
Mr Bellamy said last year when the timetables were changed, he feared there would be fewer services to and from Bomaderry.
While that hasn’t been the case, he said passengers were still beguiled by the timetable changing all the time without warning.
He is also annoyed that the diesel train from Bomaderry is only there to meet some of the services that arrive at Kiama.
“The service between Bomaderry and Kiama is crowded because it only has two carriages,” Mr Bellamy said.
“The doors are tiny and it’s quite a challenge for people with a lot of bags.
“It takes time to get people in and out – it’s quite a business getting everyone on.”
He added that plenty of people come up from Ulladulla to catch the train, and a lot also get on at Berry and Gerringong.
“When you get to Kiama, a huge surge of people rushes across the platform to get on the other train.
“They know they should put another carriage on the Bomaderry service, but they refuse to. It would be very helpful to have more doors.”
Providing more room for luggage is on top of his wish-list for the new trains.
“I usually travel with a bicycle so I sit at the end of the carriage, but there are also people with prams, surfboards and large pieces of luggage,” he said.
“I always find myself talking to people on the train who are on their way to the airport or to a cruise and they have mountains of luggage.
“We are sitting in carriages designed for city commuters carrying a small handbag or a brief case.”
Mr Ward said features such as seat configuration, power points for charging mobile devices and premium carriages would be considered.
“These trains will also include extensive state-of-the-art CCTV camera networks,” he said.