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08 July 2020
SIR, – While it’s great that The Overland will continue to run for a few more years, it would have been a much better option for Wimmera residents if the Victorian government had used funds to install the Spanish TALGO-CAF automatic track gauge changer at Ararat.
This amazing system would allow V/Line Velocity trains to also run on standard-gauge lines, meaning Ballarat-line trains could continue on to Kaniva or even Bordertown with no delay.
This simple system would allow Wimmera towns to have a daily or even twice daily train service directly to Melbourne without going via Geelong.
The automatic gauge-changing system has been successfully operating in Spain for 10 years now and would be a lower cost than continuing to operate The Overland.
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It would also open up the possibility of rail freight to Ballarat and be a much cheaper option to changing the gauge of the Ballarat line.
Why it wasn’t changed when the line was upgraded remains a testament to the mismanagement of our rail system by successive governments.
The entire July 8, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!