The Rail Revival Alliance Victoria is dismayed by the decision of V/Line to suspend all train operations on the rail line between Dimboola and Rainbow.
Speaking today, Rail Revival Alliance President, Noel Laidlaw, said that this was a terrible decision for industry and the local community.
“With the grains transport season about to begin, all of the grain from the recently built terminal at Rainbow will be forced on to road trucks. This means more traffic and more road damage,” Mr Laidlaw said.
“It makes a mockery of the stated policy of this and previous governments to shift bulk products such as grain from road to rail.”
The closure has come after a marked period of deterioration in the line due to a lack of maintenance. At the time of the closure of traffic in the past week, the line had a speed restriction of 15 km/h over the length of it.
“We are well into the 21st Century and our rail lines are in a parlous state,” Mr Laidlaw said.
“V/Line would be put to shame by the way the railways were managed 150 years ago, when important economic lines were kept in tip top condition.”
The Rail Revival Alliance is calling on the Minister for Transport Infrastructure to intervene in this matter and instruct V/Line to get this line back into serviceable condition so it can transport this year’s cereal crop to the port and to other local destinations.
Mr Laidlaw added “that does not mean simply doing a botched job and having the line restricted to 15 km/hr”.