A fourth daily service will be added to the Warrnambool rail line after a decade-long campaign, the state government revealed on Wednesday.
Under a plan outlined in the state budget, a return service between Warrnambool and Geelong will be added to the line and an existing coach service between Warrnambool and Melbourne on Sundays will be replaced with trains.
Passengers would need to change trains at Geelong on the extra weekday service.
A spokesman for Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan confirmed the additional weekday offering was part of a $131 million package to increase services on all regional lines.
Also included in the $1.3 billion regional transport spend is $198 million to rebuild the capacity of V/Line and $141 million for major maintenance to improve reliability on the regional network.
A further $5 million has been committed for planning the next phase of regional rail upgrades and $10 million to begin development of new regional rolling stock.
Great South Coast Group chairman and Moyne Shire mayor Colin Ryan said it was great news for the region.
“We’ve been lobbying for it for a long time, it’s good to finally see a result,” he said.
“It’s good news, it’s an improvement on what we have now. We look forward to a positive improvements.”
Warrnambool mayor Kylie Gaston said the extra service, expected to leave Warrnambool around 9am and return in the early evening, would increase flexibility and transport options for travellers.
South West Coast MP Roma Britnell said the additional service was long overdue.
"The community has worked really hard and campaigned solidly, it's not before time,” Mrs Britnell said.
“But the details are very vague. Our community hopes this will be rolled out sooner rather than later. If Premier Andrews can organise the metropolitan skyrail to be completed before the next election, upgrades in the south-west should be a piece of cake.”