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City calls emergency meeting on transport
Horsham City Council will debate the future of Wimmera rail passenger services at an emergency meeting.
The Mayor Cr Hugh Delahunty called the meeting amid growing concerns over the future of passanger services on the main Melbourne-Adelaide line.
Rail: We’re going back to the 1900s
Accessibility, downgrading of services and lack of consultation were some of the issues raised at an emergency Horsham City Council meeting to debate the future of rail services.
Cr Delahunty said the Wimmera was set to lose its Murtoa-Horsham transport service as part of State Government plans to contract out services to bus companies.
A government guarantee to provide the same level of service did not apply to the Wimmera.
Cr Delahunty said he believed the government had made its decision.
“I don’t think keeping the rail service is an option. I’m concerned the government is throwing out the lot and that we’re losing a good service.”
We're heading towards the year 2000 and the government is flipping back to the 1900s.Cr Pummeroy
It will also ask the Transport Minister Mr Brown for a guarantee that bus services will have the same facilities as rail.
Mr Campbell said the government was looking for ‘innovative’ answers to accesibility problems for wheelchair passangers.
But the government did not expect all buses to have a lifting facility.
V-Line: Passenger service would need $13.5m outlay
V-Line estimates the capital cost of keeping the Dimboola-Melbourne passenger train service at $13.5 million.
It says such an ‘investment’ would be necessary when the line between Melbourne and Adelaide becomes standard gauge.
On a typical weekday there are 260 passenger trips each way on trains between Dimboola and Melbourne. Of the 260 trips, 100 are to or from Ballarat.
Rail cuts anger workers
Horsham Railway station workers are angry they are losing their jobs, at a lack of information from officials, at the fact they have neither seen nor heard from Member for Wimmera and Agriculture Minister Mr McGrath.
And angry that a service more than 100 years old can be cut with the stroke of a pen.Horsham Railway Station workers
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Officials told Horsham Railway Station’s 15 employees on Wednesday that the station would close in June.
Buses would be running by June 26.
“We have provided a service, it has been an excellent service. Anybody who has travelled on the train in the past 10 years has said it is a good service. It is a safe service and 99 percent of the time it is on time,” an emotional worker said yesterday.
“There will be no snack car facilities, no conductor security or help, no separate women’s and men’s toilets, no first-class seating, no disabled or blind people’s assistance, no wheelchair access, no spare seats available and no food stops on bus trips under three hours.”
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