Portland push for more rail services

THE CALL for more train services in the south-west is gaining support from councils around the south-west.

Glenelg Shire councillors backed a motion last week to write to South West Coast MP and Premier Denis Napthine and the G21 Board to list more trains as a priority.
Cr Geoff White moved the motion which called for three passenger services a day to be increased to five a day.

Warrnambool City Council and Colac Otway Shire have also pushed for increased passenger services on the Warrnambool line.

Cr White said the demand was clearly there and it was important Portland had adequate bus linkages.

He said the south-west line did not compare very well to other regional train lines.
Cr White said an increase in services would mean people could commute to Warrnambool and Geelong while living in and supporting local communities.

He said it would also provide greater access to tertiary studies in Warrnambool and Geelong and improved access to specialist medical services.

He said increased services would ensure convenient and practical communities.
“We believe this is terribly important,” he said.

Cr White, who is also the chair of the alliance of councils for rail freight development, said given it was an election year, now was the time to raise the issue.

“I think it must happen,” he said. He said a passing lane was needed on the single track line around Camperdown with one completed between Colac and Birregurra.

“Also required is a new train set to service this demand,” he said. Cr White said councillors unanimously supported the move and had called on the lobby group, Geelong G21, to make it a top priority.

cquirk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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