Passenger rail has been absent from the Wimmera for almost 30 years, but discussions are taking place to revitalise public transport in the region.
The discussions are being led by the Rail Futures Institute, a public transport advocacy, think-tank, and research organisation.
The Institute hopes to debate rail changes in the Wimmera.
In March, Rail Futures Institute president John Hearsch connected with many local government councils in the Wimmera to assess the interest of a potential return to passenger rail in the area.
Horsham Rural City Council, Northern Grampians Shire Council, the Southern Grampians Shire Council, and the Ararat Rural City Council have all joined in the discussions with residents now holding the key to the issues' next step.
"The west of Victoria has not had a proper service since 1993, when the twice daily trains to Horsham and Dimboola were discontinued by the Kennett Government and since then that whole area has relied on the bus network," Mr Hearsch said.
"We did have a significant improvement in 2004 when the trains returned to Ararat.
"This service has since established itself as a popular one which has seen the original three trains a day stepped up to five trains a day in and out of Ararat.
"We think there is a strong benefit to restoring rail passenger services to the west and we have a number of ideas about how that might be achieved," he said.
Mr Hearsch said his organisation would be talking to communities in the Wimmera and local governments to gauge the interest in potential changes to public transport in the area.
"We want to have more discussions with local government and local communities because at the end of the day they are going to have to do the hard yards in terms of advocacy and persuading the government," he said.
"We need to make that every body is on board because it is not going to be easy to persuade the government to spend the money that is needed to put these services back or put in new services."
In 2017, Mr Hearsch conducted a study funded by the Victorian Government and eight different local governments to assess the public transport in the state's west and said many of their findings are relevant today.
"That study identified a significant number of deficiencies and needs for improved public transport for not only rail but buses as well and the integration of these services," Mr Hearsch said.
"It was obvious there were many transport needs in the west of Victoria.
"The combination of rail being restored and considerably improved road coaches routes and even local bus services in the various towns was something that these communities really needed.
"I think it is fair to say that even though the report has been written and had quite a bit of support at the time, not a lot has happened to pick up our recommendations we have made at the time."
The 2017 report titled, Grampians and Barwon South West Region Passenger Services Study, recommended a long list of improvements to the Wimmera rail system to help tourism and disability support.
The report outlined a 10- year plan which would have culminated the reinstatement of passenger train services to Horsham, commencing from about 2023, with six return daily train services to Ararat and four to Horsham, with the Horsham trains also serving Stawell and Murtoa.
Ultimately, Mr Hearsch said the discussion is in the hands of Wimmera residents who need to raise their voices if they want change.
"What we are trying to do is get a feel of if local communities seriously do want to get behind this and push for re-introduction of rail passenger services as soon as that can happen, with the next state election in view as well," he said
"So the push is going to have to be fairly hard and fairly consistent, right up until the government will be announcing its policy and commitments leading up to the election in November 2022."