If you’re considering a move to our region and think commuting back to the city for work will be a part of your tree change then you’d be happy to know the upgrade to the Castlemaine Railway Station has been completed in time for Christmas.
Part of the Victorian Government’s $20 million commitment to fund additional parking spaces at 16 stations on railway lines experiencing high growth in passenger numbers, Castlemaine now has 150 new commuter parking spaces, as well as new lighting, footpaths and security cameras.
The lure of a more relaxed country lifestyle continues to attract more people to our region and for many, a daily commute back to city is one of the trade-offs for a more relaxed and affordable way of life.
According to V/Line, more than 227,000 passenger trips were taken from Castlemaine in the 2016/17 financial year and the number of trips for the current financial year-to-date is already up five percent compared to the same period last year.
The Bendigo line remains among the top performers for punctuality and reliability on the V/Line network exceeding its reliability targets for the eighth consecutive month. And with 38 new weekly services, new trains added and now extra night coaches on the weekends, the travel options just keep getting better.
Regular commuter Marton Gross, who lives in Maldon and works in IT in Melbourne’s CBD says his 3 – 4 day a week commute fits easily into this life.
Marton carpools the 15 or so minutes between Maldon and Castlemaine with a group he’s met since moving here six years ago and says he’s found commuting a “really positive experience”.
“The service is reliable and comfortable and there are lots of options when it comes to choosing when to travel,” says Marton, who’s home for dinner with his family each night by 6.30 and says he’d never trade the joys of country living for city life again.
“You build the travel into your routine and it becomes part of it,” he says. “I’ve developed some really strong friendships with other commuters over the years and use the travel time to clear emails and tackle some work.”
“I think lots of people on the outskirts of Melbourne would have a similar daily travel time to me. The difference is they’re most likely stuck on a packed service without a seat. V/Line travel is totally different. The seats are big and comfortable and you always get one.”
There’s likely to be more good news for rail travellers in the next few months with detailed planning underway on the $91 million upgrade and improvement works on the Bendigo line as part of the Andrews Government’s Regional Rail Revival.
Visit www.vline.com.au to find out more.