TRANSPORT for NSW has approved an Intercity rail maintenance facility in rural Kangy Angy on the Central Coast despite acknowledging its 24-hour a day operation could involve “noise, vibration and lighting impacts” for people living in the quiet area.
An approval document shows 14 detention basins originally proposed to deal with excessive water in the recognised flood area have been reduced to three. The project will require more than 134,000 cubic metres of fill to raise the ground level for a maintenance facility for trains running between Sydney and Newcastle that will include six kilometres of electrified railway on the 50-hectare site. It will be seven tracks across at its widest point.
Transport for NSW defended its assessment process that did not include an environmental impact statement, where the determination was made by it, and where the Kangy Angy site was chosen after an approach by the former Wyong Shire Council and threats of “political level” objections if Transport for NSW selected a council-owned site at Warnervale.
The council later sold seven blocks of Kangy Angy land to Transport for NSW for the facility, and outraged Kangy Angy residents by describing the sale as “a win for the community”.
The Kangy Angy site was also chosen after a more favourable site at Bushells Ridge, owned by Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, was ruled out because Transport for NSW could not acquire the land by compulsory acquisition. It compulsorily acquired private properties at Kangy Angy instead.
Transport for NSW rejected objections from residents who alleged it failed to disclose the cost of a major bridge required to provide access to the site and overcome flood issues, and failed to include it in original scoping assessments of all sites.
It acknowledged residents’ concerns that the existing project, with a single access and exit point to the main northern rail line, was likely to be expanded in future. The design “does not preclude any future provision for a connection to the north of the site”, Transport for NSW said.
Kangy Angy Residents’ Action Group spokeswoman Michelle Nicholson said residents had been railroaded on the project.
A 2019 deadline for the Intercity trains to begin operating between Sydney and Newcastle meant the transport department was “committed to Kangy Angy from day one because they’ve run out of time and options”, Mrs Nicholson said.
Up to 300 workers will be on the site during the construction period, with up to 60 employees maintaining the new Intercity fleet once the facility is operational. Construction will start soon.