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The Overland service given reprieve, but long-term future still unclear

Wimmera residents can now book tickets for The Overland train service beyond December, but the service’s long-term future remains unclear.
The future of the historic train service between Melbourne and Adelaide came under a cloud in August, when people raised concerns The Overland was not included in 2016-17 timetables and fares released by owner Great Southern Rail.
Fares and timetables for The Overland service – which stops in the Wimmera at Ararat, Stawell, Horsham, Dimboola and Nhill – were not available after December this year.
At the time, Great Southern Rail chief executive Chris Tallent said the company was waiting on responses from Victorian and South Australian governments.
The South Australian government responded with a three-year funding agreement, but train travellers have had to wait two months for a response from its Victorian counterpart.
Mr Tallent announced today the Victorian government had agreed to a six-month extension of its existing agreement, which would allow it to operate until June 30, 2016.
He said the service relied on ongoing funding from both governments.
“We are very conscious that travellers who use The Overland need some certainty beyond the end of the year,” he said.
“While we continue to have productive discussions with the Victorian government, the extended funding means Great Southern Rail can offer rail travel between Melbourne and Adelaide in the short term.
“The extension also provides additional time for the Victorian government and Great Southern Rail to consider a longer term agreement for The Overland.
“We have opened bookings immediately for those who wish to travel on The Overland in the first half of next year.”
The Overland operates two return services a week between Melbourne and Adelaide.
Mr Tallent said people could visit or call Great Southern Rail Travel Centre on 13 21 47 to book The Overland tickets.

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Posted on Oct 29 2015

Posted by on Oct 29 2015. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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