Moves to modernise Warrnambool's rail line has upset some heritage train operators who say they have been left out of the picture.
John Crofts, who was behind a recent visit to Warrnambool of the Royal Train, said tourism trips like the high-end Captains Choice ones that visited earlier this year probably wouldn't happen under the changes.
Timetabling, signalling and track changes have frustrated heritage operators, he said.
Mr Crofts labelled it as a frustrating manifestation of the state government's inability to adequately plan and provide for heritage rail services.
He said the upgrade just caters for the new VLocity trains and nothing else. "It is an appalling lack of foresight," he said.
Mr Crofts said he wanted to shine a massive light on the issue, and called on South West Coast MP Roma Britnell to speak up for tourist railways and lobby the state government for "sensible outcomes".
The co-chair and president of a newly formed and yet-to be named board that oversees the states tourist and heritage railway organisations said the government was missing out on a massive opportunity.
Mr Crofts said his plan was to bring tourist trains to town for multi-night stays, which would mean leaving the train parked at Warrnambool for consecutive nights but with plans to rip up the tracks in the yard, that wouldn't be possible.
"This is extremely disappointing having gone to the effort earlier this year to develop proof-of-concept with the Captain's Choice trains and now we are going to be denied the opportunity to put something like that together," Mr Crofts said.
"It's a nonsense. They're going to pull out stuff that's already there in perfectly good shape and the cost of which is negligible to maintain in the scheme of things.
"It's frustrating in the extreme."
Mr Crofts said they had been told they had missed the boat with the project finalised and already out to tender.
"What a tragedy. We land on these great products that are really important for the region and these bureaucrats rob us of the opportunity to do that," he said.
"We're fighting it, and we'll fight it tooth and nail."
Mr Crofts said they had desperately tried to bring down the royal train for the Jericho Cup race but COVID had put a stop to that.
There was hope that that train - which would be up to 12 carriages long - would run next year, but the changes on the drawing board for VLocity upgrades could hamper those plans in the future.