It is apparent that preliminary works have begun south of Aspendale in readiness for the level crossing removals down to Bonbeach. All the scrub has been removed between the tracks and Station Street. Brought to my attention yesterday while visiting the area was the extant buffers now re-revealed next to the Down track just north of No2 platform at Edithvale . Research shows that a siding used to exist there (there was also another one on the Down side of Chelsea). Here is a 1976 diagram from Mark Bau's website:
What I couldn't ascertain from the various websites that referred to it was (1) if the siding was constructed as an original feature of the line when it first opened, (2) what was its purpose, (3) when was it decommissioned, (4) when was it removed.
Any info would be greatly appreciated as certain locals would love to learn more!
The entrance to the siding was at Aspendale, and had nothing to do with Edithvale itself.
1) No, it does not date from the opening of the line. The siding dates from at least 1909, and may date back to 1901. A staff locked siding was provided at Aspendale in August 1901, and the siding was definitely in existance in December 1909 when the line was duplicated between Mordialloc and Frankston. It is not clear that it originally extended all the way to Edithvale.
2) Its original purpose was to stable race trains for the adjacent Aspendale Park racecourse. As hbedriver says, after electrification it was used to stable suburban trains between the peaks. From memory, the short dead end at the Melbourne end was also used to serve a small goods shed.
3) The siding was truncated north of Lochiel Ave in August 1983; it could then hold 2 trains. It was still notionally in use as late as 1988.
4) The points at Aspendale leading to the siding were abolished in September 1992, as was the trailing crossover.