The lights are on at the Mildura Station

The lights, at least some of them, are on at the Mildura Station but there aren't any passenger trains scheduled and haven't been since 1993.

The idea of the railway to Mildura commenced around 1888 but building at the station site didn't start until late 1901. By late 1903 rails had been laid up to Mildura and the official opening began on November 13th 1903. Between 1922 and 1928 a railmotor service operated between Red Cliffs and Mildura stations to serve local passengers. Major freight consigned from the region included bulk grain, sheep and cattle, and locally grown fruit. The current station building dates to November 1979.

Today Mildura lacks passenger rail services, but it is a stop on a number of V/Line operated coach routes. A service review was announced by the Bracks Government in 2000, in part due to the independent politician Russell Savage enabling the formation of a minority Labor government in the 1999 Victorian state election. The service has yet to be returned, but as recently as 2007 the Labor Party was stating that the freight upgrade as the "first stage in the reintroduction of passenger rail to Mildura". In July 2009 the government announced that they would start another transport study into the return of passenger rail services "soon".

For now, the lights are on but no one is home.

 

Tony Redhead

93 Maud Street, Unley, SA, 5061, Australia