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But the route's future beyond that remains unclear amid dwindling passenger numbers and a long-running funding dispute between the Victorian and South Australian governments.
The Andrews government announced on Friday it would help the operator, Journey Beyond Rail, keep the service running for the next three months "to give holidaymakers certainty".
"Given the South Australian Liberal government's cut to the service, Victoria will use the next three months to continue discussions with Journey Beyond about the future of the Overland," a spokeswoman said.
"This gives the South Australian Liberal government three months to reassess its cut in funding for the service - which is primarily used by South Australians."
The Premier's office would not provide the dollar figure behind the deal because it was yet to be signed off, a spokesman said. However, a year-long lifeline provided in December last year cost Victorian taxpayers $3.78 million.
“We’ve stepped in because the Overland provides an important connection to South Australia and for people in Western Victoria, and because it’s an Australian rail treasure,” Public Transport Minister Melissa Horne said at the time.
The Overland ran more than five times weekly in each direction in the 1990s, carrying about 100,000 passengers a year. That has since dropped to two services each way per week and about 17,000 annual passengers.
The South Australian Liberal government cited that drop-off at the end of last year when it announced it would withdraw its annual funding of about $330,000.
The Overland rail service has connected the Victorian and South Australian capitals since 1887 and stops at eight regional stations along an 828-kilometre journey.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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