Rail still a key to our development

August 26, 2017

Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford speaks at the event in Bendigo last week. Photo: submitted

COMMITTEE for Echuca Moama has once again called on the Victorian Government to improve transport in the region, including faster travel times and increased services.

Chief executive Martin Szakal attended the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership Forum in Bendigo recently.

Mr Szakal said the forum was attended by many Loddon Campaspe representatives, and included several ministers from the Victorian Government including Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford and Transport Minister Jacinta Allan.

Mr Szakal said he was sitting on the transport table and, being seated next to Ms Pulford, used the opportunity to promote the Echuca-Moama region and opportunities which will come with the pending $91 million Bendigo Echuca rail upgrade.

‘‘Considering that the financial commitment has already been made, it was a good opportunity to again promote our key messages to government; primarily these included faster travel times and an increase in the number of services,’’ he said.

‘‘However, I also promoted the absolute need for much stronger mobile connectivity on trains and even Wifi capability, the possibility of trains delivering passengers into Sunbury to negotiate the issues related to a crowded rail network at Southern Cross Station generally locking out extra services, and to include charge points for laptops and mobile phones for passengers, just as they are delivered in many other parts of the world.

‘‘Although we don’t expect to get a ‘HST’ (high speed train of 300+km/h) service any time soon, we certainly hope that the journey for those who do use the line, is one that delivers the best experience possible.

‘‘These we hope are being considered for any new rolling stock that is currently under production. ‘‘Essentially, we need this time travelling to be as productive as possible for those businesses, students and commuters who use the service. We need every opportunity to use our time as best we can,’’ Mr Szakal said.

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