WESTERN rail advocates have re-enacted the arrival of Horsham’s first passenger train in an effort to grab the state government’s attention.
Eight western Victorian councils have been actively campaigning for the return of passenger trains to Horsham and Hamilton since April, 2017.
The Western Rail Alliance was unsuccessful in gaining a $4 million pledge from the state government ahead of the state election in November.
The money would have been used to develop a business case, which would be return to the state government for consideration.
In an effort to continue its push for state government support, the Western Rail Alliance has made a public request for the return of passenger rail to the Wimmera on Tuesday afternoon.
The alliance marked 140 years since the first passenger train to Horsham with a re-enactment of the day at the Horsham Railway Station.
Horsham Rural City Mayor Mark Radford said the re-enactment was to remind the community and the state government about the importance of passenger rail in the past and for the future.
“Our growing city needs a train service and we petition the state government to reinstate a regular passenger rail service between Horsham and Ararat,” he said.
“We ask that in the short term, a shuttle service be provided between Horsham and Ararat using the existing track and station.
“With consideration of our neighbours and the other members of the rail alliance, we also request for funding for a business case for the larger Western Rail Project.
“This will include passenger rail to Horsham and Hamilton and the upgrade of the track between Ararat and Ballarat.”
Cr Radford said a video of the re-enactment and the Western Rail Alliance’s petition for passenger rail will be sent to the state government.
He said he was confident that passenger trains in Horsham will be “well-patronised” by Horsham residents and the wider community.
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