Published on : Thursday, March 9, 2017
Victoria has announced major funding to boost Gippsland tourism. The Walhalla Goldfields Railway will be improved, creating 15 new jobs and giving more people the opportunity to experience the best of everything Gippsland has to offer.
Walhalla Goldfields Railway will use the grant to restore and convert a 1926 Melbourne tram into a self-propelled rail carriage, enhancing the historical tourist experience.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford said, “This upgrade is great for tourists and for jobs. It boosts tourism in Gippsland and takes advantage of the skills of people in the Latrobe Valley with the work on the tram bodies being done right here at Yallourn.
“The Walhalla Goldfields Railway will soon be able to run every day of the week – bringing more tourists to this iconic region every day, who will spend more money at local businesses in Walhalla and throughout the Valley.”
The 1926 tram body will be fitted with a rail motor and the track will undergo infrastructure upgrades to improve the range of services available. For the first time, the railway will be able to operate seven days a week.
The project also includes the construction of a storage facility, ensuring long term security and protection from the elements.
It is estimated the project will increase the number of visitors by more than 15,000 in the long term and increase the amount spent on local businesses from $2.4 million to $3.3 million per year.