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A passenger train has arrived in Stratford in Victoria's Gippsland, for the first time in almost 11 years.
The Stratford and Bairnsdale communities have lobbied for the train's return since it was scrapped by the Kennett Government.
Hundreds of people have packed the stations in Sale and Stratford to welcome back the first train.
Many still remember its last run, when a group hijacked it for the weekend, protesting that another community asset was being taken away.
Premier Steve Bracks says the return of the train is a credit to the lobbying of the region.
"It would have been easy to say this is never going to happen so we'll just back off. We won't push for it, we won't try and argue for it to come back - but they didn't," he said.
"They kept pushing and the result's here today."
Mr Bracks says the service will connect East Gippsland with the rest of the state and will be a catalyst for the return of services to Mildura, Ararat and Leongatha.
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