A CARISBROOK engineer continues to push for rail services between Maryborough and Castlemaine and other rural area to re-open.
Noel Laidlaw has met with state opposition members over his plans, which were lodged with the state government, and also spoke to government members during a recent Bendigo visit.
The government undertook an extensive study into returning passenger between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, which found it would cost $230 million to $290 million to re-open the Maryborough to Castlemaine line.
Mr Laidlaw undertook his own study which found a slower service could open between Castlemaine and Maryborough for $51.5 million.
He said the government’s study looked at the cost to run trains at 160kmh along the lines.
“We said we could build this to Class 2 standard, which is 80kmh goods traffic which would be between 80 and 100kmh for passenger traffic,” he said.
“That wiped a huge amount off the cost. With a slower service you could get a reasonable public transport service for a fraction of the cost.”
Mr Laidlaw met with acting Shadow Transport Minister Richard Wynn over his proposal earlier this month and has also set up the Rail Revival Alliance Facebook page.
Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum said the study commissioned by the government had found re-opening the lines cost prohibitive.
“And I think the government took the view that unless it was actually a better service ... it had to be a considerably better service or people wouldn’t use it,” he said.
“But I would say Mr Laidlaw’s views are highly regarded.”
An opposition spokesman said the public was “sceptical” of the government study. They said no studies had "recommended re-opening or building new rail lines".