Push to return rail services west of Ararat

REGION - A group of western Victorian councils say they will look at a feasibility study to determine the viability of returning passenger rail services west of Ararat.

The Wimmera and south-west councils met representatives of the State Government and Public Transport Victoria in Ararat last week to discuss the idea.

The Horsham council's chief executive, Peter Brown, say the region is being disadvantaged by a lack of services.

He says it is an important project for the region which would have significant economic, employment and social benefits.

"The ability of people to have fast public transport to centres such as Ballarat and Melbourne is really important and something that other people in regional Victoria have access to," he said.

"The Wimmera and the south-west need similar access."

He says they will now look at a feasibility study to determine the viability of a rail shuttle service.

"Using the standard gauge line across the Wimmera and also the standard gauge line that runs up from Glenelg, connecting both those lines to Ararat and then joining on the broad gauge service that runs from Ararat through Ballarat to Melbourne," he said.

"That seems to us to have a lot of potential as a way forward to return rail services to the Wimmera and the south-west."

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