OF the 10 regional cities in Victoria, only two are lacking passenger rail services.
Residents of Horsham and Mildura, and surrounding areas, rely on buses as their city’s sole form of public transport. Both regional hubs lost passenger rail services 25 years ago when the state government made budget cuts.
Eight Western Victorian councils launched a campaign in April 2017 calling for the return of passenger rail to Horsham and Hamilton. They require funding to develop a business case for the Western Rail Project.
Meanwhile, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Wodonga, Latrobe, Warrnambool, Shepparton and Wangaratta residents can access passenger rail services throughout the week.
Horsham Rural City Mayor Pam Clarke said the eight regional cities had complained about a lack of passenger rail services in their areas – but she said they were fortunate to have trains.
Cr Clarke said there was no comparison between their services and Horsham’s services.
The City of Greater Geelong has 57 train services operating daily from Monday to Friday. Weekend services are reduced to 26 trains on Saturday and 24 on Sunday.
Both the City of Ballarat and Greater Bendigo have access to 20 passenger rail services each weekday, which is lowered on Saturday to 15 services.
Ballarat has 14 trains leaving directly to Melbourne on Sunday, while Bendigo has 13.
Likewise, the Latrobe City Council’s biggest town at Morwell has 20 trains servicing its population daily from Monday to Friday.
Services are reduced to 14 trains on Saturday and 12 on Sunday.
The Rural City of Wangaratta has five passenger rail services travelling to Melbourne daily while the City of Wodonga has three.
Both the residents of the City of Greater Shepparton and Warrnambool City Council have four weekday services and three weekend passenger trains.