Weekend services bringing tourists from Melbourne and Ballarat to towns along the Maryborough rail line, better promotion of events, and activation of the Myki ticketing system are key priorities identified by advocacy group Friends of the Maryborough Rail Line.
Following their inaugural meeting of the group held last month, which was attended by around 30 community members, the group is pushing to enhance the local line which celebrates 10 years since its reintroduction this year.
Former councillor and Goldfields Tourism Executive member Chris Meddows-Taylor said the group recognised the rail service was under-utilised, but believed that better promotion of opportunities for visits to the area, including the morning weekday service which returns to Ballarat and Melbourne in the afternoon – tweaking times to connect better with other services, work with community groups to encourage train travel for Melbourne events and activation of the Myki ticket system to create more flexible access would all boost patronage.
“The group clearly saw that the big opportunity to boost patronage and build the visitor economy especially at this challenging time would be regular weekend services bringing people into Creswick, Clunes, Talbot, Maryborough and Dunolly each morning and return- ing them late afternoon, possibly commencing with existing major attractions and events,” he said.
For more on this story see Page 4 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, March 24