The Victorian Government has stepped in to save the iconic Overland train service between Melbourne and Adelaide, saving regional jobs and boosting tourism and travel options for Western Victorians in the process.
Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll announced today that the Government would enter into a new three-year agreement to fund the historic service – guaranteeing a future for the Overland, which has run between Melbourne and Adelaide since 1887.
“We’re proud to be preserving the iconic Overland train – giving certainty to regional jobs, regional tourism and regional Victorians who rely on this important connection,” said Mr Carroll.
He said the Government’s support will ensure the twice-weekly service – which also stops at Murray Bridge, Bordertown, Nhill, Dimboola, Horsham, Stawell, Ararat and Geelong’s North Shore – will continue to run for the next three years.
“We’ve listened to councils and communities in Western Victoria, who have told us the Overland is a top priority when it comes to public transport services in their region.”
The Government stepped in to save the iconic 828 kilometre route after the future of The Overland was put in jeopardy by the South Australian Liberal Government’s decision to stop funding the service, which is used by 20,000 people each year.
“We’re not just saving an icon of Australia’s rail network – we’re supporting vital jobs and the wider economy in the Wimmera, said Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford.
The service first ran as the Adelaide Express in 1887, before becoming the Overland in 1926. It is now operated by Australian tourist experience operator Journey Beyond Rail.
“The Overland has been bringing people between Adelaide and Melbourne and the regional towns inbetween for more than 130 years and is a significant part of Australia’s rail history. It brings me great joy to know that it will also play a part in the future of Australian rail,” said Journey Beyond Rail Chief Operating Officer, Luke Walker.