|After the now annual speculation over the future of the Overland passenger train that plies the rails between Adelaide and Melbourne, it was announced on Friday that the Victorian government would extend their funding for the service for another three months whilst the long-term future of the train is decided.
The train currently runs twice a week in each direction and is the only passenger rail service serving locations from west of Ararat to Adelaide in South Australia.
Declining passenger numbers over recent years, along with agitation for a move frequent intra-state service linking cities and towns in western Victoria have created doubt over the future of the train,
Operated by travel company Journey Beyond, the train had previously been jointly funded by both the Victorian and South Australian governments, but the latter discontinued their contribution at the end of 2018.
The Victorian and South Australian capitals were first linked by rail in 1887 and since then a train, initially called the Intercolonial Express and then the Adelaide Express, and is now known as the Overland for the last eighty years, has provided the rail travel option over this route and is the longest running single gauge service linking state capitals in Australia.
Dimboola remains an important location for the operation of this service as it is the driver change point and one of the five Wimmera towns listed as stops for the train.
Above - what was to the be second last Melbourne bound Overland service before the state government confirmed on Friday they would continue to fund it until the end of March 2020.