St Kilda Railway Station

 
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Cross Posted from Australian Railmaps with interest



Today's historic photo of the day: A 3-car 'Hitachi' electric train with car 3M nearest the camera sitting under the train shed at the railway station at St Kilda, Vic, 35 years ago today, December 22 1985.

St Kilda station was the terminus of one of Australia's earliest and shortest railways. Built in 1857 by the Melbourne and Hobsons Bay Railway Company, the broad gauge (1600mm) line from Melbourne Flinders Street was just 4.5km in length.

For most of its 130 year life, the St Kilda railway operated as a self-contained service with short trains shuttling back and forth between Flinders Street and St Kilda via South Melbourne, Albert Park and Middle Park. Trains did at times inter-operate with the Sandringham line via platforms 10 and 11 at Flinders Street.

For a very short time from 1859 to 1860, a second line operated out of St Kilda Station across to Windsor. It would have run across the field of view here and across to the left. This line fell into disuse once the direct line from South yarra to Windsor opened in 1860 and was dismantled shortly thereafter.

The Melbourne to St Kilda line closed to train services at the end of July 1987 after 130 years of continuous service. Much of the route from Flinders Street was converted to a 'light railway' by re-gauging track and re-using overhead wiring.

Here at St Kilda, route 96 trams now run more or less along the alignment of the siding in the foreground and call at a pair of low level tram platforms to the left of the train shed, then continue on by turning right onto Fitzroy Street and running around via the Esplanade to Acland Street.

This historic station building still stands although it was damaged by fire in 1989 and has been significantly re-built over the intervening years and now houses an array of bars, restaurants and retail outlets.

Hitachi trains, the first of which had entered service in 1972, continued to run on Melbourne's electrified suburban network until the last was withdrawn in 2014.

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  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Was the St Kilda line very busy respect of passenger numbers?
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Of random note, 3M was actually one of the very few Hitachis to remain in service into the 2010s, under its new number of 289M to differentiate it from X'Trapolis carriage 3M. By that stage, it was the oldest Hitachi motor, as 1M and 2M had been sitting in a paddock in New South Wales for some time. Sadly, 3M never received an upgraded cab unlike most single-digit motors (only 3M, 4M and 5M had remained unmodified), thus had not run up front since circa 1993.
  109portboi Beginner

I never knew of the route from St Kilda to Windsor. Is there anything left of this now, perhaps even something like the curvature of a current road that ran alongside it?
  historian Deputy Commissioner

I never knew of the route from St Kilda to Windsor. Is there anything left of this now, perhaps even something like the curvature of a current road that ran alongside it?
109portboi

Nothing west of Chapel St, but you can trace the route east of there.

The park at Windsor station was the start (later the goods yard). Crossed Union St at the intersection of Stewart St. Route is the funny shaped blocks north side of Union St between Stewart St and Upton Rd. Then the Gladstone Gardens west of Upton Rd. Then the houses on the south side of Gladstone St to Chapel St.

It then went through what is now Jewish Care Victoria to St Kilda Rd, came out on Queens Rd roughly where Ross Gregory Drive, and then curved around to roughly where Hockey Dr is to the station.

Over half - from roughly Gladstone Gardens - was on an embankment to cross Chapel St and St Kilda Rds on bridges, and the swamp at the edge of the lake (which extended much further south than it does today). That's all been removed.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

I never knew of the route from St Kilda to Windsor. Is there anything left of this now, perhaps even something like the curvature of a current road that ran alongside it?

Nothing west of Chapel St, but you can trace the route east of there.

The park at Windsor station was the start (later the goods yard). Crossed Union St at the intersection of Stewart St. Route is the funny shaped blocks north side of Union St between Stewart St and Upton Rd. Then the Gladstone Gardens west of Upton Rd. Then the houses on the south side of Gladstone St to Chapel St.

It then went through what is now Jewish Care Victoria to St Kilda Rd, came out on Queens Rd roughly where Ross Gregory Drive, and then curved around to roughly where Hockey Dr is to the station.

Over half - from roughly Gladstone Gardens - was on an embankment to cross Chapel St and St Kilda Rds on bridges, and the swamp at the edge of the lake (which extended much further south than it does today). That's all been removed.
historian
The line described an arc across the southern end of what is now Albert Park Reserve. It roughly followed Hockey Drv and possibly across Ross Gregory Oval. This portion of the line was carried on a long curved timber bridge across the former swamp.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Was the St Kilda line very busy respect of passenger numbers?
NSWGR8022

According to the 1939 Suburban Lines Services timetable on the Victorian Railways.Net website, there was a service every six minutes in peak-hour, which would have been seven-car Swing Door (Dogboxes or Doggies) trains. St Kilda Station was the northern terminus of the VR tram (5’ 3”) to Brighton Beach (which was physically connected to the rail line at St Kilda).

“The service became probably the most intense tram service in Melbourne with three trams (about 150 passenger crush-load each) in the peak hours connecting with each train arriving at St Kilda station at six minute intervals. The first tram ran to either Brighton Beach or Middle Brighton, the second tram ran to Vautier Street in Elwood shopping centre, and the third tram ran to Dickens Street, each returning direct to St Kilda station. Regular passengers knew which tram to board but Inspectors were there to give assistance to passengers if necessary.” – penov, ‘TRAMWAY ARCHAEOLOGY - Closed Electric Lines in Melbourne’ thread, Trams and Light Rail forum, 2004.

In the steam-era days, there was a traverser between #1 & #2 tracks at the southern end (Fitzroy Street), to reduce the length required for locomotive run rounds.
  109portboi Beginner

I never knew of the route from St Kilda to Windsor. Is there anything left of this now, perhaps even something like the curvature of a current road that ran alongside it?

Nothing west of Chapel St, but you can trace the route east of there.

The park at Windsor station was the start (later the goods yard). Crossed Union St at the intersection of Stewart St. Route is the funny shaped blocks north side of Union St between Stewart St and Upton Rd. Then the Gladstone Gardens west of Upton Rd. Then the houses on the south side of Gladstone St to Chapel St.

It then went through what is now Jewish Care Victoria to St Kilda Rd, came out on Queens Rd roughly where Ross Gregory Drive, and then curved around to roughly where Hockey Dr is to the station.

Over half - from roughly Gladstone Gardens - was on an embankment to cross Chapel St and St Kilda Rds on bridges, and the swamp at the edge of the lake (which extended much further south than it does today). That's all been removed.
historian
Wow, thanks! I checked it out on Google Earth, and yep can easily spot where the western part of that route is. The Albert Park part makes sense too.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Chapel Street - Punt Road?
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Chapel Street - Punt Road?
kitchgp
There are two parks/reserves (Windsor Siding and Gladstone Gardens) on the former alignment, and note the angle of property boundary lines for No.24 Upton Rd.
As for the remainder, extrapolating what you do know will fairly accurately determine the alignment.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Was the St Kilda line very busy respect of passenger numbers?

In the steam-era days, there was a traverser between #1 & #2 tracks at the southern end (Fitzroy Street), to reduce the length required for locomotive run rounds.
kitchgp
Interesting. I wasn't aware of that. Are there known photos of the traverser?
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Chapel Street - Punt Road?
kitchgp

Yes, blame brain fade.
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

Lockspike; if you look at the photo originally posted at start of page, you can see the train shed at the far end has a different roof line (and I believe still has today). That raised part allowed clearance for loco to be swept across by the traverser. Similar arrangements applied at Princes Bridge.

Sorry, no photos, but try checking out Victorianrailways.net, they may have something
  Katie Caboose Station Master

Location: near Rosstown railway- long wait between trains
I didn't know there were ANY pics of the St Kilda-Windsor loop line, except maybe for the one of the bridge over StKilda Road, so I was thrilled when Ian Jenkin from ARHS identified this photo from an English archive a while back:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/87532379@N00/15059497241/in/album-72157646617982880/
(sorry if it's been posted before, I'm sure somebody posted a useful historical map of the Loop here, but haven't seen the photo shared yet.)


More fun stuff-:
In 1926 a poster Melbourne & Hobson's Bay Railway poster from 1871 was uncovered when hoardings were removed at St Kilda station
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/140256445?searchTerm=St%20Kilda%20railway%20station%20poster

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