Train station opens – Kangaroo Flat back on route

THE first train to pull in at Kangaroo Flat station yesterday arrived quietly at 6.01 am bound for Melbourne.It wasn’t a busy service, but it heralded a new era in public transport for residents who will now be able to cut down on carbon emissions and catch a train from their local station.The Sunday morning train was one of 186 additional services to stop at the new-look station each week, bringing the grand total to 200 stops a week at Kangaroo Flat.Train tickets will also be sold at the station from Monday to Friday until lunchtime, based on peak demand.And from today 140 buses will stop by Kangaroo Flat station each week for the first time to connect passengers to shops and residential areas.The extra buses are part of a 30 per cent increase in routes across Bendigo which begin today.Member for Bendigo West Bob Cameron said the 700 extra bus services would allow more people to use trains."All buses will now finish up at the Bendigo train station, making it easier for people to catch a bus to the train or to go to Marketplace,’’ he said.Mr Cameron described the rail and bus services and recent opening of the Calder duplication at Malmsbury as a ‘‘transport trifecta’’ for the region.He said the new services would address increasing demand for public transport in Bendigo.Following the station’s recent upgrade and construction of a temporary car park, a permanent car park is due for completion by mid-year.Liberal Party Kangaroo Flat branch president Chris Earl said the new services represented a ‘‘huge step forward’’ for the local community.He said young people would use the service from Kangaroo Flat station to commute to Bendigo for school, university and social events, which would help to develop their independence.

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