GRAVE fears are being held for the future of Griffith's weekly train service after a high-level report recommended Country-link trains be privatised or stopped altogether.
Former premier Nick Greiner's Infrastructure NSW report, released last week, warned Countrylink's "very low regional rail patronage" meant it was more financially viable to replace trains with buses or simply sell off the service to private enterprise.
Privatisation of the network would either dramatically increase ticket costs to unprofitable routes like Griffith or see the service scrapped.
The Griffith branch of the ALP has written letters to local member Adrian Piccoli and premier Barry O'Farrell demanding the service remain in public hands, while the local branch of the Pensioners and Super- annuants Association has also raised formal objections to a possible privatisation bid.
ALP branch vice-president Peter Knox has also called on Griffith City Council to help in the fight.
"Airfares are so prohibitive for pensioners and low-income earners that a train service is an absolute necessity," Mr Knox said.
"We're just becoming more and more isolated here.
"We had two trains a day here in 1925 and now we've only got one a day, which is replaced a lot of the time with buses."
Riverina-based Labor MLC Mick Veitch said with the state government in savage cost-cutting mode, the rail service was a "very real threat" of being lost.
"The transport minister keeps saying there are 'currently' no plans for it, which doesn't fill you with hope," Mr Veitch said.
"Our concern is that if it's privatised or moves to buses, it opens up a full review of the current arrangements and the corridors that aren't profitable.
"People in Griffith who don't own a car or can't afford air travel rely on rail and the government has a community service obligation to provide affordable public transport."