• Loddon Herald

Train stop vision

COMMUTER passenger trains linking Inglewood and Bridgewater with Bendigo should be part of government transport planning in the region.

That’s the vision of former Loddon councillor and rural advocate Colleen Condliffe.

She says expected population growth in the towns and their closeness to Bendigo would only increase demand for better transport links over the next 20 years.

“We have a rail line in place, basic station infrastructure is still there. They are waiting to be improved,” Colleen said.

“Bridgewater and Inglewood can be the next exciting growth spots in central Victoria.

“We’re already seeing renewed business investment in the towns and increasing interest in local property from people looking to embrance and enjoy our country lifestyle.

“It makes sense, that as population decline of a decade ago is reversed in the area, that our towns are poised for a new era and that means we must have good transport links for all residents.”

Mrs Condliffe said central Victorians had seen the level of regeneration of Heathcote in recent years.

“Bridgewater and Inglewood have a real advantage over Heathcote ... we have a rail line that could connect our residents needing to travel into Bendigo and bring visitors to our towns from Bendigo and Melbourne.”

She hopes community conversation will spark government to investigate and plan for rail freight and passenger services to the towns.

“Governments have invested in developing rail transport linking Bendigo suburbs of Kangaroo Flat, Eaglehawk and Epsom,” Colleen said.

“Optimism and confidence for future growth of Inglewood and Bridgewater means it is the right time to look at our future needs and start planning now.”

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