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Updated: Bushfires divert Elvis trains along different route to Parkes Elvis Festival

ALL ABOARD: Elvis impersonator John Collins pictured just before boarding the Elvis Express at Central Station last year.
ALL ABOARD: Elvis impersonator John Collins pictured just before boarding the Elvis Express at Central Station last year.

Updated, January 9 8.45am

And the Elvis Express XPT has left the Sydney Central terminal!

This year both Elvis trains - the Elvis Express and the Blue Suede Express - have been diverted from its usual route through the Blue Mountains because of bush fire damage to the rail lines.

The change has only slightly affected the arrival and departure times of both trains, with the trains arriving close to the normal times just in reverse.

The Elvis Express departed Sydney this morning at 8.24am, travelling along the East Hills Line.

It's expected to arrive in Campbelltown at 9.07am and then Goulburn at 11.04am.

Its next stop will be Cootamundra West at 1.27pm, then Stockinbingal (freight crossing) at 1.49pm, arriving in Forbes about 4.17pm (second freight crossing).

The Elvis Express is planned to rock and roll into Parkes about 5.05pm, arriving to a celebrity-like welcome from eager Elvis Festival fans waiting on the platform.

The Blue Suede Express is planned to arrive at the Parkes Railway Station an hour prior.

ELVIS EXPRESS: The arrival of the Elvis Express train is among the biggest highlights of the Parkes Elvis Festival every year.

ELVIS EXPRESS: The arrival of the Elvis Express train is among the biggest highlights of the Parkes Elvis Festival every year.

Earlier, January 7

The devastating bush fires engulfing eastern NSW has re-routed the two Elvis trains that are set to depart from Sydney and arrive in Parkes for the Elvis Festival on Thursday afternoon.

Parkes Elvis Festival director Cathy Treasure has confirmed the change, which will affect the Elvis Express' and Blue Suede Express' departure and arrival times.

The Blue Suede Express is expected to leave earlier than normal, while the Elvis Express will leave half an hour to an hour earlier.

Both trains will travel via Cootamundra because of fire damage to the rail line through the Blue Mountains.

"The trains will be arriving close to the normal time on Thursday, except their arrival times are in reverse," Ms Treasure said.

"The Blue Suede Express is expected to arrive shortly after 4pm and the Elvis Express about an hour later."

"Obviously the fires are going to impact the people from those areas, [from travelling to the festival]."

Ms Treasure said they have only had a couple of cancellations from stall holders and entertainers but "everything else is going ahead".

"Overall it won't impact too much on the festival," she said.

"We are very sympathetic towards those impacted by the fires.

"Our thoughts are with them."

Keep up-to-date with all our Parkes Elvis Festival coverage here.

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