Mayor welcomes Overland funding

Horsham Rural City Council Mayor Robyn Gulline has welcomed funding announcements from the South Australian and Victorian Governments that will keep The Overland train running.

Victoria will provide $11.5 million over three years and SA $1.4m over four years to allow twice-weekly trips to continue.

The service first ran as the Adelaide Express in 1887, before becoming the Overland in 1926.

It has been operated by Journey Beyond since 1997 and carries more than 20,000 passengers each year.

Notably for Wimmera people, it is now possible to visit Melbourne and return on the Overland for the capped $10 adult fare from Nhill, Dimboola, Horsham, Stawell and Ararat.

The best way to purchase the cheaper fares is to telephone the V/Line booking service or on the V/Line website.

The Overland runs from Adelaide to Melbourne every Sunday and Thursday and from Melbourne to Adelaide every Monday and Friday.

Cr Gulline said the Overland provided a fundamental public transport link for western Victoria.

“Currently, The Overland is the Wimmera’s only passenger rail service, giving access to both Melbourne and Adelaide, so it is of high importance for our community,” she said.

In 2020, when the train’s future was in doubt, a small group of supporters from both sides of the border joined forces to advocate for its retention.

The advocacy, led by former HRCC Mayor Mark Radford, included letters, meetings and a video of an on-line forum.

The group now has more than 500 members from around Australia. It has put together a list of suggested improvements to be presented to the train’s operator.

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