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Photo sourced from Flickr account pru_mitchell

Overland train saved

Overland train saved

Photo sourced from Flickr account pru_mitchell

Government steps in at last minute to save overland train

The Andrews Labor Government stepped in at the last minute to save the iconic Overland train service between Melbourne and Adelaide, which connects passengers from South Australia, Western Victoria and Geelong on the historical route.

Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne announced the Government would fund the service to keep a key part of Australia’s transport history alive, providing $3.78 million to help fund the route for 2019.

Ms Horne said the government will ensure this vital service will continue for the next 12 months.

“We’ve stepped in because the Overland provides an important connection to South Australia and for people Western Victoria, and because it’s an Australian rail treasure," Ms Horne said.

“Communities from across Western Victoria have told us how important this route is for their travel and to the history of their town, that’s why we’re continuing our support for this historic service.”

The 131-year-old route was put in jeopardy when the South Australian Government announced it would not be funding the service after December 31, 2018.

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The 828-kilometre service is operated by Great Southern Rail (GSR), which has been supported by both the Victorian and South Australian Governments since 2000.

The Labor Government has since pledged to ensure the twice-weekly service, which also stops at Murray Bridge, Bordertown, Nhill, Dimboola, Horsham, Stawell, Ararat and North Shore in Geelong, will continue in 2019.

The service first ran as the Adelaide Express in 1887, before becoming the Overland in 1926. It has been operated by GSR since 1997.

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