Marshall Liberal Government pulls funding from Overland train service

The future of the Overland train between Adelaide and Melbourne remains running on shaky ground after the Marshall Liberal Government officially pulled funding from the 131-year-old service.

The Overland service stops in Bordertown four times per week, offering two each trips each way to Adelaide and Melbourne. 

Back in August, South East Labor member Claire Scriven approached the Chronicle and said she was concerned the future of the service was under threat after passengers had been told that no services were scheduled after January 2019.

She said a crucial funding agreement was needed from the Liberal Government to ensure transportation services in regional areas, such as the Overland train service, continue to operate. 

The Overland’s operation was dependent on Great Southern Railway receiving funding from both the SA and Victorian state governments.

The Victorian Government had upheld its end of the deal, but in a statement yesterday, GSR revealed the Marshall Liberal Government would cease funding.

South Australian Labor member and shadow minister for transport and infrastructure Tom Koutsantonis said local South East MPs should be doing more to fight for the community and lobby against the cuts.

He said the service provides a vital transport link for communities in regional South Australia including Murray Bridge and Bordertown.

“This is a vital service, particularly for older South Australians who prefer train travel, and for country South Australians who do not live close to airports,” he said.

“The refusal by the Marshall Government to fund the Overland will have a tremendous impact on regional communities and our state’s tourist operators.”

Failing a funding agreement from the Government, the last Overland service is expected to depart Adelaide at 7.45am on December 31.