Marking 140 years since rail arrived in Horsham
Published on 06 February 2019
Horsham Rural City Council Mayor Mark Radford has marked the 140th anniversary of rail services by appealing to have passenger services to the Wimmera restored.
The line to Horsham was opened 5 February, 1879, creating a link to Melbourne for passengers and freight, particularly for the transport of the Wimmera’s wheat harvest.
A public holiday was declared in Horsham with more than 5000 people celebrating with a street procession, dinner and a ball.
Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Governor-in-Chief and Vice-Admiral of the colony of Victoria attended to see the first train arrive.
Fast forward to 2019 and sadly there is no longer a daily passenger train service with the last V/Line train running on 21 August 1993.
Dressed in period costume on Tuesday, Cr Radford along with Sue Exell OAM and Horsham’s Jack Janetzki performed a re-enactment of the opening on the platform at Horsham Railway Station.
“The purpose of today’s commemoration is to remind ourselves and the decision makers in Government, how important the Railway was and is to Horsham and the Wimmera region,” Cr Radford said.
“Our growing regional city needs a train service to support social and economic access and connectivity.”
Cr Radford appealed to the State Government for:
- In the short term, for a standard gauge passenger shuttle service between Horsham and Ararat
- To fund the Business Case for the Western Rail alliance project, which includes track upgrades and passenger trains to both Horsham and Hamilton