Southland rail station deal draws closer

 

News article: Southland rail station deal draws closer

The state government is on the brink of clinching a deal to finally start the redevelopment of a new train station at Southland Shopping Centre.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The state government is on the brink of clinching a deal to finally start the redevelopment of a new train station at Southland Shopping Centre.

Almost four years after it was first promised, it is understood the Coalition will make the announcement well ahead of the May budget, adding to its multibillion-dollar package of transport sweeteners for November's election.

Once open, the station is forecast to become the fourth-busiest on the Frankston train line, attracting 4400 passengers a day.

Despite lengthy negotiations with Westfield, which has led to delays in the project getting off the ground, the government has insisted the redevelopment will be ''in line'' with the $13 million pledge made at the 2010 election.
Southland rail station deal draws closer


It is finally about to happen or is it?

Another Liberal Party announcement years behind schedule and in an election year.    Do you think Napthine instructed his staff to dust off everything they have on transport projects and bring them to the cabinet room?

Delays by the Shopping Centre owner? Unlikely!

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I'm not sure that Westfield have shown themselves to be especially keen on this project; it fits in with their behaviour at other sites around Australia where they've been ambivalent about public transport connections.

I believe the thinking is that a railway station enables all sorts of riff raff in whereas if a shopping centre is generally 'car friendly' then patrons at least have to afford to run a vehicle before they can afford to go there. I've been shot down before for suggesting this but the fact is the big places like Westfield don't want to attract patrons who sit around in the food court all day NOT spending money; they want people who actually spend.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I'm not sure that Westfield have shown themselves to be especially keen on this project; it fits in with their behaviour at other sites around Australia where they've been ambivalent about public transport connections.

I believe the thinking is that a railway station enables all sorts of riff raff in whereas if a shopping centre is generally 'car friendly' then patrons at least have to afford to run a vehicle before they can afford to go there. I've been shot down before for suggesting this but the fact is the big places like Westfield don't want to attract patrons who sit around in the food court all day NOT spending money; they want people who actually spend.
don_dunstan


Interesting post and I can certainly see the logic.  Do you Don think the same would apply to Chadstone and Gandel?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I'm not sure that Westfield have shown themselves to be especially keen on this project; it fits in with their behaviour at other sites around Australia where they've been ambivalent about public transport connections.

I believe the thinking is that a railway station enables all sorts of riff raff in whereas if a shopping centre is generally 'car friendly' then patrons at least have to afford to run a vehicle before they can afford to go there. I've been shot down before for suggesting this but the fact is the big places like Westfield don't want to attract patrons who sit around in the food court all day NOT spending money; they want people who actually spend.
don_dunstan

Spot on....AFAIK apparently not a cent has been offered by Westfield towards this project.

Mike.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Bevans: Yeah that's an interesting comparison and probably correct. Gandels (Chadstone's owners) have shown time and again that they're not the least bit interested in a heavy or light-rail connection between that monolithic shopping orgy and the public transport network - in fact they've been really quite obstructionist.

Chadstone has been trying to position itself as an air-conditioned alternative to Collins/Chapel Street and I think (having visited recently) this has worked. You tends to see lots of lunching ladies, well-to-do retired and private school-kiddies with money hanging around; lots of people like to treat the Chadstone experience as somewhere to meet and hang out as well as oggle the many luxury brands that proliferate there. It isn't my thing but I can see that there's a huge part of the population who love going to these shopping centres to park the Range Rover, lunch and spend. The kind of market that Chadstone is trying to capture is the direct opposite of the sort of patrons that a heavy rail link from Dandenong (for example) would bring.

People tend to forget that the exclusive function of a shopping centre is to part you from your money - it isn't there to provide a focus for the community or to act as an inclusive hang-out for everyone. If you don't have a lot of money to begin with then they're really not interested in making it easier for you to come in and sit around in their air-conditioning; especially not somewhere like Chadstone that's trying to position itself upmarket. Someone who arrives by train from Dandy is unlikely to have the money to spend at Hermes or Gucci.

If people want Chadstone to consider fixed P/T access they should focus on extending the East Malvern tram because at least that link would better connect Chaddy with their core market (inner eastern people with money); Gandels are more likely to agree to that than a heavy rail link bringing in riff raff from the outer 'burbs.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Is it any wonder Australia's wealthiest families who own Westfield and Chaddy want to maintain a class-divide in this country?

Anyway, these shopping centre owners have to at some point realize that with clogged roads/full carparks due to no public transport, their businesses will eventually be unsustainable....
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
Usually wealthier people make better use of public transport because they can see value for money. I am sure there are plenty of more suitable hangouts for poor people nearer to Dandenong. Those from districts about Toorak, Camberwell, Burwood and Oakleigh, would use public transport if links were improved to Chadstone.
  usedtobered Locomotive Fireman

There is a certain section of the Australian public who see PT as the realm of the lower classes. Chadstone is well served by buses, and the smart bus (Route 903 ) is especially appealing. A light rail extension from either of the nearby termini in East Malvern would be an added bonus. I see Chaddy has already bought up additional properties on Chadstone Road to one day expand car parking.
Surely management must one day see that one day, a lack of parking /difficult to find a park, will put patrons off?
Do you just keep adding on stories to your car park, believing that lobbying Government to extend light rail is a waste of time?
Interesting questions, I doubt any of us, as rail fans, could give an informed answer?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Usually wealthier people make better use of public transport because they can see value for money. I am sure there are plenty of more suitable hangouts for poor people nearer to Dandenong. Those from districts about Toorak, Camberwell, Burwood and Oakleigh, would use public transport if links were improved to Chadstone.
Rodo

As a regular rail user I would say there's a cross section; as the other posters observe I think it's merely a perception by some people that PT is for riff raff that holds expansion back. In reality anyone at all will use it as long as its not too inconvenient/dirty/unreliable. The worse that private motor traffic becomes the more attractive any forms of PT; buses are good but not as efficient at moving large numbers at peak times because they get caught in traffic like everyone else.

If Chaddy has ambitions at being a major business centre then maybe an underground heavy rail connection will be worthwhile; maybe it's worth the state trying to hammer out a deal similar to Sydney Airport PPP (individual station surcharges) to try and make the deal attractive for Gandels?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I wonder what the retail traders association and the businesses at the likes of Chadstone and Southland would say if asked about a railway station at their centres?

I am certain they would welcome any additional method to bring people to the centre.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
I wonder what the retail traders association and the businesses at the likes of Chadstone and Southland would say if asked about a railway station at their centres?

I am certain they would welcome any additional method to bring people to the centre.
bevans

Are you sure?

Think how it would be if you ran a small clothing or gift shop or similar sort of franchise. People who buy clothes in the suburbs tend to drive all the time. The number of extra potential customers for that sort of business who came to Southland just because it had a train station would be minimal.

Now think of the potential for listless adolescents to get the train up from [insert name of unfashionable suburb]. PSO's mean they've been chucked off railway stations, so they're on the lookout for somewhere to hang out. The problem isn't so much that they won't spend money, but more that they'll get in the way of ordinary people (a.k.a. customers) possibly disturb them and alter the vibe of the place to the extent that some people will be reluctant to shop there.

If I ran a small shop at somewhere like Southland, I suspect that I'd think that trains have the potential to deliver a whole lot of angst and bother without adding many new customers.

.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Is it any wonder Australia's wealthiest families who own Westfield and Chaddy want to maintain a class-divide in this country?

Anyway, these shopping centre owners have to at some point realize that with clogged roads/full carparks due to no public transport, their businesses will eventually be unsustainable....
Carnot

I realise I'm a lone voice, however these large shopping centres hold no appeal to me whatsoever.

The thought of sitting in traffic, fighting for a parking space, becoming disoriented in the multi-level jungle of shops and people, the crass commercialism of the stores and the rampant consumerism of cheap crap from China.

If people get some kind of buzz from rubbing shoulders with $2 shops alongside Hermes & Louis Vuitton, then they're welcome to it...Rolling Eyes

Mike.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
That's easy for you to say. For most people who live in suburbia, for anything much beyond a visit to their local supermarket or takeaway food joint, there is little choice but to shop at a medium or large shopping centre.

If you live in a picturesque country town (like you) or a hip inner suburb (like me), then we have other options. but the majority of people live in the middle and outer suburbs and they have to shop at those places.

BTW, I actually quite enjoy visiting suburban shopping centres, they are interesting and convenient, once you actually get to them. Smile
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Are you sure?

Think how it would be if you ran a small clothing or gift shop or similar sort of franchise. People who buy clothes in the suburbs tend to drive all the time. The number of extra potential customers for that sort of business who came to Southland just because it had a train station would be minimal.

Now think of the potential for listless adolescents to get the train up from [insert name of unfashionable suburb]. PSO's mean they've been chucked off railway stations, so they're on the lookout for somewhere to hang out. The problem isn't so much that they won't spend money, but more that they'll get in the way of ordinary people (a.k.a. customers) possibly disturb them and alter the vibe of the place to the extent that some people will be reluctant to shop there.

If I ran a small shop at somewhere like Southland, I suspect that I'd think that trains have the potential to deliver a whole lot of angst and bother without adding many new customers.
Bogong


I do.  There are people with money who do not drive or cannot drive.  I myself have caught the bus to a shopping centre (even last week) when my car battery was flat and I could not be bothered to call a marshall.

There are reasons why people use public transport.

Further, any means to bring people to the shopping centre is something all retailers would be interested in.  Sure, they may not by prada but they would buy a coffee and some food.
  Braddo Deputy Commissioner

Location: Narre Warren
I'm pretty disappointed that taxpayers money is going to be used for this project. Surely the shopping centre should pay for their own station.

There is no need for a Chadstone station, the shopping centre is a 5 minute walk from Hughesdale. Southland is about 10 minutes from Cheltenham, although the property does back onto the railway line I'm not sure I agree with building a station there either, there's already too many stations on the Frankston line.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Actually it's more than five minutes walk Braddo. I don't have a car, so on the one occasion I have visited Southland, I walked there from Highett station and then from Southland to Cheltenham station. It's a bit of a hike to either station and fairly unsuitable for anyone carrying more than a couple of small bags.

As I said in my two earlier posts on this thread, I reckon that 99% of people who wish to visit Southland have a car, so while some existing customers may start to use the new Southland Station, I doubt it will attract more than a negligible number of new customers.

But I will be happy if I'm proved wrong!
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
"Southland rail station deal draws closer."
So does Armageddon . . . it will be a race between the two.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Is it any wonder Australia's wealthiest families who own Westfield and Chaddy want to maintain a class-divide in this country?

Anyway, these shopping centre owners have to at some point realize that with clogged roads/full carparks due to no public transport, their businesses will eventually be unsustainable....
Carnot

Doubt it.

Suburban shopping centres typically have minimal apart from maybe a bus service, usually just a single bus route running past because in general a PT connection is of limited value due to their location. Their very nature, "suburban" means they are in lower density areas where there is only a minimal central hub so to speak and usually what is there was actually created by the shopping centre. In reality the railway stations near by are often the same with large carparks or on street parking as bus feeder services can only achieve so much.

Westfield doesn't pay because Westfield probably sees that having a railway station will not bring in sufficient customers to off-set the cost. Potentially it could have opposite affect if the railway station brought in the wrong crowd.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
You can't arbitrarily charge one shopping centre when you fail to charge private and commercial land owners anywhere else.

It's a perfectly reasonable thing to do in terms own extracting increases in land value, but only if applied universally.

Westfield doesn't pay because Westfield probably sees that having a railway station will not bring in sufficient customers to off-set the cost. Potentially it could have opposite affect if the railway station brought in the wrong crowd.
RTT_Rules

This.

If Westfield really thought it would bring in enough shoppers to justify the cost they would have gone begging long ago.

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