CONCERNED residents are demanding the Horsham train station and surrounds are cleaned up to better represent the town to passing travellers.
Residents say graffiti, overgrown vegetation and rubbish near the station are a "disgrace" and an "eyesore" that should be addressed before the Overland train service resumes on January 3, 2021.
Horsham north resident David McDonald said he was "disappointed" to drive past the "ugly" area every day.
"I'd just like to see something happen - this is something so many people see every day. I'm tired of it," he said.
"It looked better when the shipping containers were here (on the land north of the tracks) - at least then the land was being utilised for something.
"Right now, there's just nothing but overgrown grass and rubbish."
The area was assessed and slated for significant change as part of the Horsham Rural City Council's Horsham Rail Corridor master plan released in 2016.
The plan recommended significant changes, including the introduction of a playground and an indoor sporting facility on the land immediately north of the tracks.
However, progress on the plan stalled, partly due to a contaminated area below Mill Street.
This area, between Wawunna Road and Kalkee Road, is owned by VicTrack, and the majority of the area is leased to the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
VicTrack said they were analysing and assessing the extent of the contamination and future clean-up plans.
A VicTrack spokesperson also said the current leaseholders were responsible for the maintenance of the area.
An Australian Rail Track Corporation spokesperson thanked residents for "bringing the maintenance of the Horsham Railway Precinct to our attention".
The spokesperson said they would work to address concerns "as soon as possible".
The train station and the area south of the tracks is leased to the Horsham Rural City Council.
Council were unable to provide comment before the Wimmera Mail-Times went to print.
Resident Stephen Garwood said regardless of long-term plans, the area simply had to be "cleaned up" - no matter who was responsible.
"It's a disgrace for people passing through," he said.
"Something just needs to be done about it."
Horsham Rural City Councillors Di Bell and David Bowe were in attendance to hear residents concerns at the train station on Wednesday.
Cr Bell said the state of the station was "totally unacceptable".
"I've looked at it for a long time and been disgusted," she said.
"It's a huge job because it's been left so long.
"There's old traffic signals in the grass, there's rubbish, there's just so much stuff that needs to be fixed.
"There has been a hold up of transfer to the council because of the contamination issue.
"There is also the master plan in place, but I don't think people want to wait for the master plan.
"We need to clean this up now.
"It's a fire hazard and its a disgrace to the town."
The Overland service runs from Adelaide to Melbourne via Stawell, Horsham, Nhill and Dimboola.
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