Where are they now? A history of Melbourne’s railway stations
Hmmm… is this a list of areas that .id has profiled or forecasted? Well some of them are, but not quite. They are in fact the weird and wonderful destinations from a 1980s Melbourne Comeng train destination roll. This handsome piece helps decorate the office at .id and provides a unique insight into Melbourne’s railway network (existing and proposed) in the early 1980s.
Wikipedia tells us that the Comeng train first appeared on Melbourne tracks in 1981, replacing the 60 year old ‘red rattlers’. Of the original 570 cars, 546 are still plying their trade around Melbourne’s rails but these have been substantially refurbished, including the removal of their original destination rolls and replacement with automated dot matrix screens.
Most of the destinations on the roll aren’t especially eyebrow raising, but there are a few entries worthy of further examination.
They gave their lines for the greater good…
• St Kilda
• Port Melbourne
• Princes Bridge
These fellows only experienced a few years of the Comeng train before being converted into light rail/tram lines in the mid 1980s. I’m showing my age when I can claim to have caught a train to St Kilda, but then again I also remember ice skating at St Moritz on the Upper Esplanade! Princes Bridge gave its life for Fed Square.
Ahhh so close…
• South Morang
The former Broadmeadows line was electrified to Craigieburn in 2007 but I imagine a little too late for our Comeng destination roll. As for South Morang and Sunbury, these are being constructed/electrified as we speak (a little hard to believe in the case of South Morang certainly but true)
• East Doncaster
The new Victorian Government has promised another review into a Doncaster railway line. It will take the authors at least one term of government to round up all the previous reports on the topic. As for Melton, perhaps we’ll all be in spaceships by then.
• City Circle
Not exactly sure how the City Circle is different from the City Loop. Maybe the marketers couldn’t agree on a name and decided to have a bob each way.
Mentone? In my train catching Frankston line school days I caught plenty of Cheltenham trains, the odd Carrum train and occasional Mordialloc train. Can’t recall a Mentone train though. Maybe another just in case option.
And finally, the dearly missed General Motors. Great efforts were expended by the railway authorities in the 1980s to inform us that particular trains were NOT stopping at General Motors. This not stoppingness gave General Motors its own mystique. It was a powerful statement of intent (or non-intent). Nowadays, it is left to South Kensington to carry on this grand tradition.
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