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Serviceton  Victoria

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A small, Western Highway border town, Serviceton gives a convincing impression of a town that has been by-passed by a railway which once breathed life and drama into the village.

The last train pulled out of Serviceton in 1986 and the town has been shrinking ever since. Today's dog days, however, fail to discount a fascinating past when the town has roots in both Victoria and South Australia.

For starters, the railway station not only straddled a disputed border but marked the spot where trains equipped for Victoria's wide gauge line had to pass on their passengers and freight to locomotives and rolling stock designed to ride the narrower SA rails.

Among other things, this meant that Serviceton needed two station masters, two sets of staff and two sets of infrastructure. The town's identity problem was also compounded by the fact that a surveying error sparked endless sovereignty and bureaucratic disputes which were not resolved until Victoria graciously consented to cede a 4.5km strip of the state to South Australia.

Nothing, however, is likely to save Serviceton from the current age of economic rationalisation which has reduced the town to a shell and the population to marginal numbers.


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