THE government of the Australian state of Victoria has signed a new agreement to fund The Overland passenger service operating on the 828km Melbourne - Adelaide route.

Victoria’s minister for public transport, Mr Ben Carroll, has confirmed that the state’s Labor administration will provide $A 11.5m ($US 7.75m) over the next three years to fund the twice-weekly service operated by Journey Beyond.

The Overland links a number of key regional centres in Victoria and the neighbouring state of South Australia, including Murray Bridge, Bordertown, Nhill, Dimboola, Horsham, Stawell, Ararat and Geelong.

The new state funding will support jobs and tourism in the region as The Overland is used by 2000 passengers every month.

The service between Victoria’s state capital Melbourne and Adelaide in South Australia first ran as the Adelaide Express in 1887, before becoming The Overland in 1926. It has been operated by Journey Beyond since 1997.

This is the second time that Victoria has stepped in to save The Overland. In 2020 its future operation was put in jeopardy when the government of South Australia decided to stop funding the service.

“Since mid-2022, we have seen a strong passenger return to The Overland services,” Carroll says. “Our continued investment in these services will provide more certainty for The Overland to operate until at least 2027.”