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The Rail Revival Alliance has called on the new Andrew's Labor government to increase the level of passenger rail services on the Maryborough line. Rail Revival President, Noel Laidlaw said that the current two trains per day was an inadequate service for a community such as Maryborough and the three communities along the line that are currently served by the train.
"Ararat, a city of comparable size to our own has three trains each way every day plus one additional train four days per week", Mr. Laidlaw said.
The current level of train and bus services is quite inadequate for communities of our size and does nothing to encourage more people moving from the Metropolitan area into the less congested country centres.
"Three trains each way per day will provide an opportunity to have day return services coming from Melbourne which will allow visitors to come to this district on a day return basis. It will also be far more convenient for local residents who do not wish to spend a whole day in Ballarat or Melbourne for such things as a medical appointment."
"The Rail Revival Alliance applauds the recently elected MLA for Ripon, Louis Staley for stating that the addition of more rail services was the most important thing for the State government to commit to in Maryborough."
"With the delivery of additional Vlocity trains that are currently being constructed by Bombardier, the age old excuse by Public Transport Victoria that there is not enough rolling stock is fading." Mr Laidlaw added
The Rail Revival Alliance sees the long term solution to Maryborough's transport woes is the plan to reinstitute passenger rail services between Geelong, Ballarat, Maryborough, Castlemaine and Bendigo. Part of this program would involve the reopening and upgrading of the rail line running between Castlemaine and Maryborough.
The previous government published a report that stated that the proposal would cost in the order of $900,000,000, however an independent report commissioned by the Rail Revival Alliance said that it could be instituted for less than one tenth of that figure. Following its publication the government did not dispute that figure.
The increase in the number of trains serving on the Maryborough to Ballarat line would be a good start to this program, he said.
In general terms, there is a number of significant transport issues that need to be addressed on top of the need for more daily train services. These include:
"The buses need to rationalised as soon as possible. The bus is however not the long term solution and the reconnection of Maryborough to Castlemaine rail must be made a high priority", Mr. Laidlaw said.
Rail Revival Alliance
M ; 0448 568 429
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