Southern Cross railway station

Last updated

Southern Cross
Inter-city, regional and commuter rail station
Southern-cross-station-melbourne-morning.jpg
Main entrance to the station on the corner of Collins & Spencer Streets in December 2007
Location Spencer Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Australia
Coordinates 37°49′06″S144°57′09″E / 37.8184°S 144.9524°E / -37.8184; 144.9524 Coordinates: 37°49′06″S144°57′09″E / 37.8184°S 144.9524°E / -37.8184; 144.9524
Owned byIFM Investors [1]
Operated byInfranexus Management [1]
Line(s) Alamein (weekday pre-peak and post-peak only)
Belgrave
Craigieburn
Cranbourne (Until 2025)
Flemington Racecourse (special events only)
Frankston
Glen Waverley
Hurstbridge
Lilydale
Pakenham (Until 2025)
Sandringham (weekends only)
Mernda
Sunbury (Until 2025)
Upfield
Werribee
Williamstown (weekdays only)
North East
Shepparton
Serviceton
Bendigo
Gippsland
Platforms16
Tracks22
ConnectionsBus
Tram
Construction
Structure typeGround level with mezzanine
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Status Premium station
Station codeSSS
Fare zone1
Website Southern Cross Station Pty Ltd Public Transport Victoria (public transport information)
History
Opened17 January 1859
Rebuilt1960s and 2000s
ElectrifiedPlatforms 8 to 14 only
Previous namesSpencer Street
Traffic
Passengers (2008-2009)13.089 million [2]
Passengers (2009-2010)14.400 million [2] Increase2.svg 10.02%
Passengers (2010-2011)16.930 million [2] Increase2.svg 17.57%
Passengers (2011-2012)16.828 million [2] Decrease2.svg 0.6%
Passengers (2012-2013)Not measured [2]
Passengers (2013-2014)17.091 million [2] Increase2.svg 1.56%
Services
Preceding station  TfNSW T.svg NSW TrainLink  Following station
Terminus NSW TrainLink Southern
Melbourne XPT
towards  Sydney
V/Line
Terminus North East line
towards  Albury
Shepparton line
towards  Seymour or Shepparton
Warrnambool line
towards  Waurn Ponds or Warrnambool
Serviceton line
towards  Wendouree or Ararat
Bendigo line
towards  Bendigo, Swan Hill or Echuca
towards  Traralgon or Bairnsdale
Gippsland line Terminus
Metro Trains
Direction of travel on metro lines between stations on the City Loop changes to either Flinders Street or Flagstaff depending on the line and time of day.
One-way operation
Terminus
Mernda line
towards  Mernda
Hurstbridge line
towards  Hurstbridge
Terminus
Lilydale line
towards  Lilydale
Belgrave line
towards  Belgrave
Alamein line
towards  Alamein
Glen Waverley line
towards  Glen Waverley
Pakenham line
towards  Pakenham
Cranbourne line
towards  Cranbourne
Frankston line
towards  Frankston
Sandringham line
One-way operation
Upfield line
towards  Upfield
Craigieburn line
towards  Craigieburn
Flemington Racecourse line
Sunbury line
towards  Sunbury
Werribee line
towards  Werribee
Williamstown line
towards  Williamstown
Great Southern Rail
Terminus The Overland
towards  Adelaide

Southern Cross railway station (formerly and still colloquially known as Spencer Street station) is a major railway station in Docklands, Melbourne. It is on Spencer Street, between Collins and La Trobe Streets, at the western edge of the central business district. The Docklands Stadium sports arena is 500 metres north-west of the station.

Docklands, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Docklands is an inner-western suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2 km (1.2 mi) from Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Melbourne. At the 2016 Census, Docklands had a population of 10,964. Docklands occupies an area adjacent to the Melbourne central business district (CBD), consisting of land and water totalling 200 hectares. It is bounded by Wurundjeri Way and the Charles Grimes Bridge to the east, CityLink to the west and Lorimer Street across the Yarra to the south and is a primarily waterfront area centred on the banks of the Yarra River.

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 5 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

Spencer Street, Melbourne street in Melbourne, Victoria

Spencer Street is a major street and thoroughfare in the central business district of Melbourne, Victoria. The street was gazetted in 1837 as the western-most boundary of the Hoddle Grid.

Contents

The station is owned, operated and maintained by Infranexus (formerly known as AssetCo), a subsidiary of IFM Investors, under a 30-year lease to 2036 from the Victorian State Government, under a public-private partnership. [3] [1]

The station is the terminus of the state's regional railway network operated by V/Line, The Overland rail service to Adelaide, and NSW TrainLink XPT services to Sydney. It is also served by suburban rail services operated by Metro Trains, being one of five stations on the City Loop, a mostly underground railway that encircles the Central Business District. It is the second busiest railway station in Melbourne's metropolitan network, with 17.091 million passenger movements recorded in 2013/14. [4] This figure excludes V/Line passengers who use the station.

V/Line regional passenger train and coach operator in Victoria, Australia

V/Line is a government-owned corporation that operates regional passenger train and coach services in Victoria, Australia. It provides passenger train services on 5 commuter lines and 8 long-distance routes from its major hub at Southern Cross railway station in Melbourne, as well as bus services across Victoria and into New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia. In addition, V/Line is responsible for the maintenance of much of the Victorian freight and passenger rail network, outside of the areas managed by Metro Trains Melbourne and Australian Rail Track Corporation.

<i>The Overland</i> train service operating between Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia

The Overland is an Australian passenger train service between Melbourne and Adelaide. It first ran in 1887 as the Adelaide Express, but has been called the Melbourne Express by South Australians. It was given its current name in 1926. Now operated by private company Great Southern Rail, the train completes two return trips a week covering 828 kilometres between the state capitals. Originally an overnight train, it now operates during the day.

Adelaide Parklands Terminal railway station in Adelaide, South Australia

Adelaide Parklands Terminal is the only interstate railway station in Adelaide, South Australia. It is 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the city centre, adjacent to the suburb of Keswick, and is within the southern part of the West Parklands.

Southern Cross also has a coach terminal underneath the Spencer Outlet shopping complex. Skybus Super Shuttle services to Melbourne Airport and since 2017 to Avalon Airport [5] operate from there, as well as Firefly Express and Greyhound Australia interstate coach services, and V/Line coach services to Mildura, Yarram, Mansfield, and other parts of Victoria not served by rail.

Skybus Super Shuttle airport bus service in Melbourne, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand

Skybus is an airport bus service operating in Australia in Melbourne, Hobart and on the Gold Coast, and in Auckland, New Zealand.

Melbourne Airport international airport serving Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Airport, colloquially known as Tullamarine Airport, is the primary airport serving the city of Melbourne, and the second busiest airport in Australia. It was opened in 1970 to replace the nearby Essendon Airport. Melbourne Airport is the main international airport of the four airports serving the Melbourne metropolitan area, the other international airport being Avalon Airport.

Avalon Airport airport serving Geelong and Melbourne in Victoria, Australia

Avalon Airport is an international airport located in Avalon in the City of Greater Geelong in Victoria, Australia. While located outside the Melbourne metropolitan area, it is the second busiest of the four airports serving the state capital in passenger traffic. It is located 15 kilometres (9 mi) north-east of the Geelong CBD and 50 kilometres (31 mi) south-west of the Melbourne CBD. The airport is operated by Avalon Airport Australia Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of logistics company Linfox.

History

Spencer Street station platforms and goods sheds, circa 1885 Victorian Railway station.tif
Spencer Street station platforms and goods sheds, circa 1885
Lithograph of the busy station complex in 1889 looking west from the Hoddle Grid Spencer street station 1889.jpg
Lithograph of the busy station complex in 1889 looking west from the Hoddle Grid

Opened as Spencer Street Station in 1859, [6] five years after the other major Melbourne rail terminus at Flinders Street, the station was a dead-end terminus, running parallel to Spencer Street, [7] [8] composed of a single main platform with a dock platform at the north end. [9] It was not until 1874 that an extra platform was provided. [9]

Flinders Street railway station railway station in Melbourne CBD, Victoria, Australia

Flinders Street railway station is a railway station on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It serves the entire metropolitan rail network. Backing onto the city reach of the Yarra River in the heart of the city, the complex covers two whole city blocks and extends from Swanston Street to Queen Street.

In the United Kingdom and in Australia, a bay platform is a dead-end railway platform at a railway station that has through lines. It is normal for bay platforms to be shorter than their associated through platforms.

The two major city stations were not linked until 1879, when a single-track ground-level line was opened. It operated only at night, and only for freight trains. In the 1880s, it was proposed that Spencer Street station be removed in order to facilitate the westward expansion of the city, but the plan was subsequently rejected.

In 2025, Pakenham, Cranbourne and Sunbury railway lines will cease to stop at Southern Cross Station as the Metro Tunnel Project opens.


1880s: Passenger services commence

The 1880s saw the first of several grand but unrealised plans for the station. The first accepted design, drafted by Albert Charles Cook in 1883, was a fanciful Palladian palazzo design of two and three storeys, with central portico. [10]

From 1888 to 1894 the layout of the platforms was altered, with new country platforms being built on an angle to Spencer Street itself. The current coach terminal location was the site of a number of new platforms built for suburban services. [7]

In 1891, further plans were made for a significant new station complex, including three storey office complex and dominant clock tower reminiscent of the later Sydney Central station, [11] but the 1890s Depression put an end to such expensive schemes.

In 1888 work started on the double track Flinders Street Viaduct linking the station to Flinders Street station. The line was initially only used by freight trains, with passenger train operations commencing in 1894. [12] It was at this time that the first through platform was provided at the station, for suburban trains from Essendon and Williamstown. [9] The viaduct to Flinders Street was expanded to four tracks in 1915, [12] and in conjunction with the electrification works on the suburban network today's platforms 11 to 14 were opened between 1918 and 1924, along with a pedestrian subway providing access to them. [9]

In 1938 it was announced that construction of an improved station entrance and new car park had been approved, at a cost of £2,000, designed by architects Messrs Stephenson and Meldrum. [13] Once again however, no construction took place..

1960s: Modernisation

In October 1960 work on a new Spencer Street station commenced, sparked by the construction of the interstate standard gauge line to Sydney. [9] A station building was constructed which largely replaced the 1880s iron sheds, and a new 413-metre (1,355 ft) platform number 1 was built. The passenger subway which had been constructed as part of the 1918 works was extended to include access to country platforms. [9] In connection with the construction of the underground loop, platforms 9 and 10 were rebuilt as part of the suburban section of the station, and a new double-track viaduct was constructed between Spencer Street and Flinders Street station, alongside the original one, bringing to six the number of tracks connecting the two stations. At the same time, the four older tracks were resignalled for bi-directional operation.

In 1962 a separate subway network was constructed to carry mail between the station and what was then the Melbourne General Post Office and main postal sorting office, situated on the other side of Spencer Street. [14]

The mechanically interlocked signal box at the station opened in 1887, [15] and was decommissioned in June 2008. Originally built with 120 levers, it had 191 when it closed, making it the world's largest. [16]

2000s: Redevelopment

Work on the station in 2004 Spencer street redevelopment.jpg
Work on the station in 2004
Work on the roof in January 2005 New spencer st station.jpg
Work on the roof in January 2005
Construction work inside the station in late 2005 Southern-cross-station-melbourne-construction.jpg
Construction work inside the station in late 2005

Southern Cross was redeveloped by the Civic Nexus consortium, following an innovative design by Grimshaw Architects and Jackson Architecture which features an undulating roof. [17] Construction began in October 2002 and was completed in late 2006, with the majority of the transport facilities finished in time for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The central features of the design include a wave-shaped roof, a new entrance and concourse on Collins Street, a new coach interchange, a new food court, a bar/restaurant, separate retail outlets inside the station and a separate shopping complex between Bourke and La Trobe Streets.

This new shopping complex originally comprised a Direct Factory Outlets centre, a Virgin Megastore, along with food courts. This opened on 30 November 2006, although not all tenancies were occupied, and stage 2 was opened in March 2007. In 2009 the DFO relocated to a new site at South Wharf, the shopping centre being refitted by owner Austexx and rebranded simply as "Spencer Street fashion station". [18] In 2013 the shopping complex was rebranded as "Spencer Outlet Centre".

In addition to the physical modifications, the station was renamed from Spencer Street to Southern Cross on 13 December 2005. [19]

By July 2004 the project had fallen behind schedule and over budget by $200 million. [20] This was covered extensively in the media. As a result of over-runs and design issues, some elements of the original design, including an additional proposed footbridge connecting Lonsdale Street with Docklands Stadium, were scrapped. [21]

Complaints about access to platforms, empty trains occupying space during the day and lack of government support were raised by Leighton Contractors, the construction firm overseeing the project. This led to concerns that the station might not be ready in time for the Commonwealth Games, and the government arranged with the railway operators to provide more access to the work site.

The station's redevelopment is part of the wider Melbourne Docklands development. The architect responsible for the design is Nicholas Grimshaw. The structural engineering design was performed by WSP Global. The station has been awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects' Lubetkin Prize for most outstanding building outside the European Union. [22] The other buildings nominated were the Des Moines Public Library and the Hearst Tower, New York City. [23]

The redevelopment has meant that passengers take more time to get to the suburban network platforms than before. The pedestrian subway access was removed in favour of street level and elevated concourses. The subway also continued underneath Spencer Street, and its closure means it is necessary for all pedestrians to wait for traffic lights to cross Spencer Street at street level. For all suburban and some country services, passengers using the main entrance on the corner of Collins and Spencer Streets have to ascend two escalators to a shopping concourse and then enter the paid area of the station, before descending again to the metropolitan platforms. There have been some accidents in which people have fallen from this elevated level. [24] [25] The eight metre ascent and descent is more than necessary to clear the height of trains, and more than the three metre descent and ascent of the previous subway.

Local architects have cited some of the Southern Cross Station's shortcomings: the building's poor connection to the surrounding streets; its awkward juncture at the pedestrian bridge that links Spencer Street to Marvel Stadium; and the baffling manner in which the grand architectural gesture of Southern Cross Station tapers off into an uninspired homage to the boxy 1980s shopping mall — Spencer Outlet Centre, which houses department store Harris Scarfe along with Witchery, Cotton On, Starbucks and many more outlets. [26]

The station's wavy roof traps diesel fumes emitted by locomotives, which has caused illness among staff. [27]

2010s: Additional platforms

As part of the Regional Rail Link program an extra two platforms (15/16) were constructed and opened in December 2013. [28] [29]

Water Tower Clock

In May 2014, the historic Water Tower Clock was installed in the concourse of the station. [30] The clock had originally been erected in 1882 at Flinders Street station, opposite the end of Elizabeth Street, atop a lattice tower about 60 feet (18 m) high. In 1902 the clock was moved to Princes Bridge station, and in 1910 it was relocated again, to Spencer Street station, where it remained until it was removed as part of the station's redevelopment in the mid-1960s. The clock mechanism was given to Museum Victoria, but the characteristic turret that housed the clock was sold to a scrap metal merchant. It was later rescued by private collectors, and the clock was returned to public ownership, being put on display in 1999 at the Scienceworks Museum, Spotswood. The clock was extensively restored before its return to Southern Cross, but the original mechanism remains in the collection of Museum Victoria. [31] [32]

Platforms and services

Overlooking platforms 8, 7 & 6 Southern Cross Station.jpg
Overlooking platforms 8, 7 & 6
Overlooking platforms 9 & 10 Southerncross1.jpg
Overlooking platforms 9 & 10
The northern ("B") platforms as seen from the Bourke Street footbridge. Platform 3B is in the foreground and Docklands Stadium is in the background Southern Cross Station - Northern Platforms.jpg
The northern ("B") platforms as seen from the Bourke Street footbridge. Platform 3B is in the foreground and Docklands Stadium is in the background

Platforms are numbered from east to west.

Concourses

The main concourse of Southern Cross station Southern-cross-station-main-concourse.jpg
The main concourse of Southern Cross station
Shops in the concourse Shops in Southern Cross railway station 2017.jpg
Shops in the concourse

Concourses are provided at Bourke and Collins Streets. Platform 1 is north of Bourke Street, while Platform 8 South is south of Collins Street. The remainder of platforms are located between Bourke and Collins Streets, with access from both concourses. Both concourses are further divided into an open access regional section for platforms 1 though 8, and a closed access suburban section for platforms 9 though 14.

Platforms

Platforms 2 to 7, as well as platforms 15 and 16 are numbered as two sections: section A from the Collins Street concourse to the Bourke Street Footbridge, and section B beyond the Bourke Street Footbridge. These sections were previously known as the "Central" (2C to 8C) and "North" (2N to 8N) platforms, respectively. Platform 8 has these two sections and also a "South" section (8S) underneath Collins Street.

Platforms 1 and 2 are fitted with dual gauge track, permitting both standard gauge interstate trains and V/Line broad gauge trains. The remainder of the platforms are solely broad gauge. A motorail dock is located at the northern end of the platform, with standard gauge access only.

Platform 1 & 2:

Broad gauge

Platform 15-16 Northern Concourse Southern Cross Platform 15 16 Concourse.JPG
Platform 15-16 Northern Concourse
Interior of Southern Cross station in rush hour Southern Cross Suburban.JPG
Interior of Southern Cross station in rush hour

Platform 1 through 8 & Platform 15 & Platform 16

Suburban Platforms 9 to 14

Platform 9:

Platform 10:

Platform 11:

Platform 12:

Platform 13:

Platform 14:

Spencer Street tram stop in February 2014 E 6005 tram arriving at the Southern Cross tram stop on the St Kilda to East Brunswick route 96.jpg
Spencer Street tram stop in February 2014

McKenzie's Tourist Services operates one route to and from Southern Cross station:

Transdev Melbourne operate three routes via Southern Cross station:

Yarra Trams operate nine services via Southern Cross Station:

From Collins Street:

From Harbour Esplanade:

From Spencer Street:

The following coach services are operated to and from Southern Cross station by private companies on behalf of V/Line [46] :

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