Greens call for a new study into local rail

NO ACCESS: Noel Laidlaw and John Brownstein at Campbells Creek train station. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

NO ACCESS: Noel Laidlaw and John Brownstein at Campbells Creek train station. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

CAMPBELLS Creek, Newstead and Carisbrook have at least one thing in common - a deteriorating, disused rail line.

The Victorian Greens and the Rail Revival Alliance believe this rail line can "revitalise" the small towns between Castlemaine and Maryborough.

Greens candidate for Bendigo West John Brownstein visited the former Campbells Creek train station on Wednesday, now an overgrown, littered pile of dirt.

Mr Brownstein said a recent $2 million state government report had overstated the cost of rehabilitating the 55 kilometre track, which came in at up to $290 million.

"The study was based on the trains travelling at 160 kilometres per hour, which would obviously make it much more expensive," he said.

"We think that a feasibility study should consider the project as comparable with speeds of road transport.

"We are committed to the concept, it ought to be reconsidered by the government."

Mr Brownstein said pushing for another feasibility study would be a Greens priority ahead of the state election.

The Rail Revival Alliance ran a heritage diesel train from Maryborough to Geelong last month to highlight the rail travel between the regional centres.

Alliance president Noel Laidlaw said his review of the feasibility study found the line between Maryborough and Castlemaine could be back in service for $52.5 million.

He said the longer the government waited, the more it would cost to rehabilitate the line.

The state government released the feasibility study in June last year, as per a pre-election promise.

Victorian transport minister Terry Mulder said at the time the report found coaches could better service the route from Geelong to Bendigo, and trains could become viable in future years.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop