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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:01 PM   #101
Macca-GC
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Not really sure i like the design of the stations, but good on Melbourne for investing in its train network.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:21 PM   #102
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I'm not sure I like the design of the stations either.

Brisbane seems to have a number of rail extensions on the drawing-board: most notably, from Beerwah to the Sunshine Coast.
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 02:10 AM   #103
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Here's a couple of photos from inside Flagstaff Station. The design is fairly indicative of Melbourne's three underground loop stations. They were constructed in the late seventies/early eighties.

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


Personally I love the retro feel of these stations, it's a nice contrast to the 1910 Flinders St Station, and the 2006 Southern Cross Station.
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 12:33 PM   #104
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Flagstaff is probably the most intact of the three loop stations and it's got that nice big open feel which was never present in Parliament and Melbourne Central's atrium has been built over (twice).
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 06:17 PM   #105
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You're right: it hasn't been modified. But nor has Parliament (I have photos but can't pull them out of my hat).

Museum/ Melbourne Central: well obviously someone decided the name just wasn't appropriate. Anyway, good Macs with French Fries and Coke there.

Problem with that station was: it was designed for people to get to the trains, not for people to go through the shopping centre.

This fundamental flaw has since been corrected.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 05:47 AM   #106
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That new station in Roxburgh park is ugly! Actually a lot of Melbourne's stations leave a lot to be desired. They spent so much money on Southern Cross station yet a lot of stations are either unmanned or just plain ugly. Richmond station receives so many passengers yet it is a horrible, dingy old station. Flinders street could also do with a makeover inside.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 05:03 AM   #107
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I dislike using Melbourne Central because of the layout of the station and the problems with access. IMO it's faster and easier to exit from the west end of the station than from the east. Reconfiguring the exits to attempt to force passengers to walk through the shopping centre was a bad idea IMO.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 05:12 AM   #108
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Richmond might have a huge number of passengers using it, but it exists almost purely as an interchange station unless there's a sporting event.

That's why there are three sets of underground passageways linking the ten platforms, but only one of them is open to the outside world.

North Melbourne, the other major junction station is being rebuilt right now. It would be nice to rebuild Richmond, but then again, it doesn't improve services in any way and doesn't suffer from poor access between platforms like North Melbourne.

As for the other stations, it is still important to note that the majority of them do not deserve any staff and only really need to provide some shelter for waiting passengers. Most station buildings are very old, simply because they serve their purpose and the general traveller probably doesn't care if their suburban station is a dump.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #109
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  • Flinders St. Station is schedulled for track reallignment & upgrade 2011-2016.
  • Richmond is schedulled for an overhaul commencing 2021 ...
  • Footscray's also schedulled for a revamp: I'm not sure when but the fracas has already started over acquiring properties to facilitate this.
  • Dandenong, Pakenham & Sandringham are also listed by the DoI (Dept. of Infrastructure): for extra platforms.
  • Since there are extra tracks planned (Footscray-Sunshine, Keon-Park -Epping & Caulfield - Springvale)), no doubt there will be extra platforms there as well.

Last edited by Yardmaster; October 6th, 2007 at 07:22 PM.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #110
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This photo is great and the station looks fantastic. I look forward to seeing this when I get down to Melbourne again.

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Old October 5th, 2007, 09:02 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gappa View Post
Yes, and they became this way because of the train. Melbourne has had trains almost from it's very founding (20 years after), and therefore has developed in a sprawling fashion. Workers didn't need to live close to their factories or offices as they had a cheap, fast and effecient means of getting them there. This is unlike older European cities within which workers had to literally walk to work.
This is of cause true due to the young age of Australia. And it is also true for the expansion of Australia’s cities. You can clearly see how they followed the original train lines. Naturally, with many European cities dating back a thousand years or more, the train is only a small part of their history and growth. That said, they also did develop along the train lines and no less so than Australia, in fact in many cases more. London for example is a classic case. The development of train lines was often built for and by developers, who wanted train connections for their new towns they created outside of the city. In many cases, they built the new towns (which are today suburbs of London), the train lines and the grand central stations. You can see some interesting examples like Victoria station which today looks like a single station with an odd wall partially in the middle and two different architecturally different sections. This was originally two separate stations side by side built by rival companies to transport people to their rival residential developments.

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Australian workers were some of the most well off in the 19th century, all because of the train and the advantages it brought them (the opportunity to own their own home for example).
The car has continued this trend of sprawlingness, only more so.
I don’t think it has anything to do with the train. European cities were far more developed as far as rail transport goes, and is still the case as can be seen on network maps. What was probably a more important factor was the cheaper land and thus housing. Australia was largely undeveloped and land was going for a song, quite an attractive offer for many working class families.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 07:19 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme View Post
<snip> I don’t think it has anything to do with the train. European cities were far more developed as far as rail transport goes, and is still the case as can be seen on network maps. What was probably a more important factor was the cheaper land and thus housing. Australia was largely undeveloped and land was going for a song, quite an attractive offer for many working class families.
The truth is, that the Railway Companies (which very soon in Australia became the State Railway Departments) were only just after the surveyors. Hence, they laid their lines over what was essentially construed to be "terra nullis" at the time. There is no similarity with the England or Europe of the middle 19th Century.

Another intersting comparison is with the USA (and Canada?) of the time: which also had a lot of "virgin" land and developed the same sprawling habits. However, Australia- at the time of its initial development (and subsequently?)- could not sustain the development of this infrastructure commercially, and relied on the State. Still does.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
The truth is, that the Railway Companies (which very soon in Australia became the State Railway Departments) were only just after the surveyors. Hence, they laid their lines over what was essentially construed to be "terra nullis" at the time. There is no similarity with the England or Europe of the middle 19th Century.
Actually, you are quite wrong here. The railway companies in Britain pioneered the development of land due to railway expansion. When the rail first reached London, it wasn't allowed into the built up area's of the city, so they terminated at the very edge of the urban area. This is why today you can see a ring of central stations surrounding what we now call central London. In those days, London was much denser and smaller than today. It was the rail, which allowed quick and easy access to the countryside outside of London which not only stimulated, but effectively created the suburban entities around the city and enlarged many of the existing towns between major centers (and in some cases, creating new towns). In fact some say that the first regular usage of the word "suburban" was by the rail companies (and in particular the metro-land company) to promote their new residential developments around the stations.

Metro-land was a perfect example and the Metropolitan line was to be the first "metro" line in the world. This company was setup by the Metropolitan Line as a way to create more passengers by moving people out of the cities and into the new suburbs along their railway line. It was emulated by the other railway companies across London.

The railways created London's suburbs and many other European cities in much the same way. Australia isn't unique here in this respect. What is different in Australia is the connection of major centers by rail did probably create new towns far from other places, where as in Britain and Europe, although this did happen, it was more likely to be closer to existing cities (there were already large numbers of towns scattered everywhere).
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Old October 6th, 2007, 09:32 PM   #114
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Although I don't dispute most of what you've said above, I am not "quite wrong" here. I certainly accept that railways in London were stopped at city boundaries.

In Victoria, at least, however, rail came within twenty years of European foundation, and within a year or two of the discovery of gold, which was, essentially, when it became more than a paddock. Even in what are now considered inner suburbs, the railways were laid across essentially vacant land. By contrast, Oxford, in the UK for instance, as I understand things, is still hamstrung transport-wise because it resisted rail initially.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 09:48 PM   #115
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Quote:
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Although I don't dispute most of what you've said above, I am not "quite wrong" here. I certainly accept that railways in London were stopped at city boundaries.

In Victoria, at least, however, rail came within twenty years of European foundation, and within a year or two of the discovery of gold, which was, essentially, when it became more than a paddock. Even in what are now considered inner suburbs, the railways were laid across essentially vacant land. By contrast, Oxford, in the UK for instance, as I understand things, is still hamstrung transport-wise because it resisted rail initially.
I can't say anything about Oxford, although it has quite good rail connections today:
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/system...dSouthEast.pdf

I still don't understand what you mean in the differences Yardmaster. When the London railways were laid out from their central terminus', they were essentually on vacant land as well - of cause, they would have already been farming land with many small villages. But certainly not urban.

Here is London before the railways. You can clearly see the urban area ending at Hyde Park. Everything on that map now is urban because of the railway expansion.


Look at it a few decades later and you can see how the built up area's have been following the railways.


Looking at todays map of London's heavy rail it is clear that railways were a major part of the development.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 10:56 PM   #116
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Lovely maps!

The point I was trying to make was, there was already an established pattern of towns and villages in England and Europe before the railways arrived. You can see this on your first map.

I sense we are arguing at cross-purposes here: what I'm suggesting, is that when London expanded, there were already many outlying centres present. Much less so here; since railways were only twenty years behind the advent of the initial European colonization. In fact, when the mainlines were constructed, the timeframe for the territory between was much less than that.

Apologies to any Native Australians reading this: I'm just recognizing the historical truth that, so far as the white guys were concerned, it was just open slather.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 11:54 PM   #117
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Quote:
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Lovely maps!

The point I was trying to make was, there was already an established pattern of towns and villages in England and Europe before the railways arrived. You can see this on your first map.

I sense we are arguing at cross-purposes here: what I'm suggesting, is that when London expanded, there were already many outlying centres present. Much less so here; since railways were only twenty years behind the advent of the initial European colonization. In fact, when the mainlines were constructed, the timeframe for the territory between was much less than that.

Apologies to any Native Australians reading this: I'm just recognizing the historical truth that, so far as the white guys were concerned, it was just open slather.
No worries Yardmaster. Oh, and this is certainly not an arguement ;O) Just a friendly debate. I have no doubt you know more about Australian rail than I do, or will ever do

I do know a bit about the history of British and other European railways though.

Yes, there were already towns outside of London and the other centers, and these towns or villages were linked up by the railway lines. But they were often tiny before the rail and grew astronomically afterwards. There still were many cases that entirely new urban area's developed especially around the cities that were nothing but farmland before the train arrived. I guess this is similar to what you are talking about in Australia. There are of cause more examples of this in Australia because it's a younger country especially far outside the main centers. But did they really never exist before the rail, was a train station built in the middle of nowhere and a city built around it? Or was it a small town first and then a few years later the train came through and it grew?
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Old October 7th, 2007, 01:16 AM   #118
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Quote:
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No worries Yardmaster. Oh, and this is certainly not an arguement ;O) Just a friendly debate. I have no doubt you know more about Australian rail than I do, or will ever do

I do know a bit about the history of British and other European railways though.

Yes, there were already towns outside of London and the other centers, and these towns or villages were linked up by the railway lines. But they were often tiny before the rail and grew astronomically afterwards. There still were many cases that entirely new urban area's developed especially around the cities that were nothing but farmland before the train arrived. I guess this is similar to what you are talking about in Australia. There are of cause more examples of this in Australia because it's a younger country especially far outside the main centers. But did they really never exist before the rail, was a train station built in the middle of nowhere and a city built around it? Or was it a small town first and then a few years later the train came through and it grew?
In truth the rails ran to a destination: initially, at least, but imagine a line from London to Birmingham with nothing in between.

Beyond that: in the USA the railway companies were actually given land to promote their development. I guess we've strayed from the topic a bit here, but, regarding Melbourne rail, it's no accident that most lines head straight across the landscape like the threads of a spider's web: there was nothing to restrain them.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #119
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In Victoria, and I presume much of Australia, the railways were being built at the same time as the land was being settled. The railways could pretty much go wherever they pleased and routes were dictated purely by terrain or in at least one instance that I know of by wealthy property holders who wanted the public railway line for their own benefit.

The first railways were built by private companies but the government took over very early on and the government built the tracks to satisfy strategic aims such as opening up unsettled areas, stealing trade from neighbouring colonies, reaching mining settlements, or cutting off competing trade routes such as river boats. Looking at a railway map of Victoria from the turn of the last century shows railway lines reaching almost every corner of the state, often terminating at a remote outpost. With the government taking over the construction and management of the Victorian Railways and the coincidence of the gold rush, cost and viabilty became much less of an issue. The rail lines were built to cover geographical territory or on the predictions that land would be settled in the future. The Bendigo railway line is an example of a line that was built without worrying about the cost. Barely a few years after the founding of what is now Bendigo, the government was building a line to the area of such a standard that 150 years later historians were still debating how the young colony had commanded such engineering expertise.

The Victorian government had a policy to build lines such that farmers would be able to move their load of wool, crops, etc on a dray to a railway and back to their farm within the same day. Consequently spur lines reached every corner of hospitable land no matter how populated, and with the age of the motor vehicle the rail network was cut back substantially.

The same mindset appears to show in Melbourne's suburban network with a radial network with many lines terminating in areas that would have been very sparsely populated when the line was built. Occasionally they built a line with a bit too much optimism (such as the outer circle) where it became unviable before the suburban area could reach it.
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Old October 8th, 2007, 02:08 PM   #120
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there were indeed on the Victorian system several lines that were in fact "lines to nowhere".

The following spring to mind:
  • Nowingi to "Gypsum Siding", somewhere west of there. No station was ever built on this line, and no settlement followed, although apparently some gypsum was extracted.
  • Robinvale (on the Murray) to Koorakee/ Lette (NSW). Apparently no train ever ran on this track.
  • Murrabit (north of Kerang) to Stony Crossing (NSW).

You can see (with a little effort) the lines referred to on the map below, which I have reproduced from "Victorian Railways to '62", by Leo J. Harrigan:

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