The Victorian Government is helping the popular Victorian Goldfields Railway to meet growing demand through a $500,000 grant to relocate its train stabling and servicing to Castlemaine.
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards was in Castlemaine today and said that relocating from Maldon would enable double the amount of tourist trips so that more people could experience the historic charm of the volunteer-run service.
A business case completed in 2017 identified that relocating to Castlemaine would enable Victorian Goldfields Railway to increase its visitor numbers from 20,000 to 40,000 patrons per year within five years.
The business case found that two thirds of passengers board the historic railway service at Castlemaine with most of those passengers travelling from Melbourne on the V/Line service.
Currently, trains run with few or no passengers from Maldon to collect passengers from Castlemaine and this puts wear and tear on the trains and requires more time from volunteers.
With the base relocated to Castlemaine, the Victorian Goldfields Railway will be able to run three times per operating day with more passengers on each service.
The project will increase tourism the goldfields region, which will have flow on benefits to local cafes, shops and accommodation providers.
The Victorian Goldfields Railway is a not-for-profit organisation that would not be able to take on this game changing project without the support of the Victorian Government through the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
“Relocating the Victorian Goldfield’s Railway base to Castlemaine provides the best opportunity to meet the growing demand for the historic rail service through Victoria’s Goldfields.
The Victorian Government is proud to help the not-for-profit Victorian Goldfields Railway to create a new future for its operations so that people can continue to experience this fascinating journey.
This project will significantly boost tourism in the Goldfields area over the years to come and that’s a real win for local business.