Picton-Mittagong Loop Line scores funding in state budget

Wollondilly Liberal candidate Nathaniel Smith has campaigned for the Picton-Mittagong Loop Line to be reinstated. Picture: Simon Bennett
Wollondilly Liberal candidate Nathaniel Smith has campaigned for the Picton-Mittagong Loop Line to be reinstated. Picture: Simon Bennett

One of Wollondilly's oldest rail lines could be soon be back in operation.

Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith has secured funding to revive the Picton-Mittagong Loop Line, which would allow steam trains to run between the two towns.

Mr Smith said the $5.5 million was just one of the many things he was excited about in this year's budget.

"We are very excited - there is going to be money spent throughout all of Wollondilly," he said.

"The loop line will do great things for tourism in the shire.

"There are 60,000 visitors a year to the museum in Thirlmere - this could double or even triple the number of people visiting the shire."

The shire will also receive $1 million for the upgrade of the netball courts at Tahmoor which will allow the Wollondilly Netball Association to host championship events.

Picton Sportsground will also receive $1 million.

Mr Smith said another exciting funding announcement was the $5 million allocated to create 60 hectares of open space and koala habitat in Appin.

He said he was also delighted that planning would begin on a rapid bus service in Wollondilly.

"I basically just wanted something to complement the existing train network," he said.

"Department of Transport staff will consult with locals and do studies to find out about traffic pinch points and hopefully get a bus service up and running between Wollondilly and Macarthur Station with no stops."

Upgrade works at Picton High School will also continue.

Mr Smith said he was pleased with the money coming into Wollondilly but felt more needed to be done.

"I am delighted but I will always want more," he said.

"I am hoping for more funding for Stonequarry Creek in Picton, more money for sporting fields and of course for our roads."

Mr Smith could not confirm a timeline for any of the projects listed in this year's budget.