A PROPOSAL to mothball former North East V/Line railway carriages to use them for a Mildura passenger service has been rejected by a heritage train operator.
Wodonga MP Tim Quilty floated the idea in parliament this week, in the wake of the carriages being retired from service on the Albury run.
"Mildura and the north-west need a passenger rail service, and we should not close the door on delivering this cheaply with the N-class standard gauge train sets from the North East line," he said.
But Seymour Railway Heritage Centre president John Crofts said it would not be occurring with three historic train operators, including his organisation, having taken control of the carriages.
"There's no conditioning on the transfer of the cars to the heritage groups, i.e. to take them back," Mr Crofts said.
"There's no ability to take the cars back."
However, Mr Crofts said there was a possibility they could be utilised for extra services during the Commonwealth Games in 2026.
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North West Rail Alliance president Jane MacAllister, who is fighting to return passenger services to Mildura after their cessation in 1993, welcomed Mr Quilty's suggestion.
The N Class carriages have been divided between the Seymour enthusiasts, Steamrail Victoria and 707 Operations.
The latter two do not have standard gauge access to their bases at Newport in Melbourne, so their carriages are being stored at the Ettamogah Rail Hub.
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