The city has come together to celebrate a long-awaited upgrade to Warrnambool's train line which will add a new service from Monday.
Rail Projects Victoria's Regional Rail Revival team held a community event with some of the south-west's food, music and entertainment offerings to launch Warrnambool's fifth return train service to Melbourne on Sunday.
A new weekday mid-morning train from Melbourne to Warrnambool and a mid-afternoon train from Warrnambool to Melbourne will be available from December 5.
Regional Rail Revival delivery director Ben Henshall said he was excited about the first stage completion of Warrnambool's train line upgrade.
"We're hopeful that the community will take advantage of the extra service every weekday," he said.
"It'll offer greater linkage of the communities in Warrnambool and the communities in Geelong and the communities in Melbourne."
Mr Henshall said an important next step was underway which would involve level crossing and track upgrades allowing the passage of high-speed V/Line VLocity trains.
"Stage two will enable VLocity (trains) to run through to Warrnambool which will be the very first time," he said.
"We need the modern fleet getting out to all the major centres so that we can have the best service provisions in regional Victoria."
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Western Victoria MP-elect Jacinta Ermacora said the event marked a milestone for Warrnambool's train service.
Ms Ermacora said the state had come a long way from the 1990s when there were proposed closures of the railway line.
"Quite a few years ago, when Jeff Kennett was the Premier, I attended what I think would've been one of the biggest demonstrations in Warrnambool's history because that government had proposed to close the Warrnambool railway line," she said.
"Today makes me think of how far we've come from another government trying to close the line to the railway line now becoming the lifeblood of a connection to the rest of the state and country."
She said investment in the region's rail network would have fruitful effects on the south-west economy, connectivity and transport safety.
"The connection to Melbourne ... will take people off the roads meaning less risk to drivers, less damage to the roads and more affordable travel for individuals and families," she said.
"The connection between Warrnambool and Sunshine stations, in the long term, will provide an airport connection.
"It'll bring the ability for some people to work in Melbourne or Geelong more regularly and vice versa - it'll draw skills and talent to our local economy."
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