South Australian Labor opposition fights to save Overland Adelaide-Melbourne train service

Making the Overland a night service again, changing its days of operation – nothing is off the table as the state opposition fights to save the historic Adelaide to Melbourne train.

Upper-house MP Clare Scriven said Labor was open to "anything that can increase its patronage".

She took the train to Murray Bridge on Friday morning to speak with its passengers.

Some were regulars, but others said they had taken the trip for what could be one last time.

The South Australian government will withdraw $330,000 in annual funding for the service, without which Great Southern Rail has said it would not be viable, on December 31.

"It was interesting – people were saying they were coming on the train because of all the coverage recently," Ms Scriven said.

"We can capitalise on that."

Adelaide Hills resident Andrew McNicol, formerly a teacher at Murray Bridge North School, dropped his wife off at the station so she could visit their daughters in Melbourne.

Taking the train was safer than letting her drive on her own, he said, and saved her the hassle of getting through Melbourne traffic at the other end.

Instead she could relax, and he could buy a coffee and catch up with friends in Murray Bridge before heading home.

"I think (South Australia) should be putting some money in," he said.

Local resident Peter Crowley said subsidising the train service was one way governments could show they cared about regional areas.

"It wasn't set up to make money," he said.

"It was a service for the community.

"It was run by the government (in the past) because governments ran things when it was considered uneconomical for private enterprise to run."

More than 30,000 passengers ride on the Overland each year.


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