Thursday, January 27, 2011

Melbourne's Newest Station

It is of course Coolaroo on the Craigieburn line. For me this station has always been an enigma as it had always been marked as a future station in the Melway street directory. When the rail line between Broadmeadows and Craigieburn was electrified back in 2007 it was however ignored in favour of a station at Roxburgh Park instead (itself built on the site of the closed Somerton Station) Due to public demand the government finally built Coolaroo Station and it opened for business in June 2010. I stopped by on a sunny Sunday afternoon all the way back in August to take a look.

It surprised me that the landscaping was nice but simple. Also amazing was the fact that none of the plants had been pulled out! (also note the clearly marked and very well situated disable parking)

Nice big shiny letters and seats to sit on while waiting to get picked up. I would think the seat would be unusable on a hot summer afternoon as it faces due west. The metal would be scorching and the heat radiating off that wall unthinkable. I hope they keep the water up to that tree, it will be needed in the future. There are a number of these trees in this area out the front, they appear to be a native Sheoak/Casuarina, so should handle the conditions well.

This is one of the stairways. Disabled people are catered for by an elevator (you can just see the top of the door). Also a track for pushing bicycles up/down the stairs is provided

This is the city bound platform. It's pretty barren, but at least there are quite a few seats and some shady areas to wait under.

The passenger information display or PID on the city bound platform.

The Craigieburn platform. Pretty much the same deal as the other.

Station sign, and example of the building materials used. Very basic, some would say cheap.

Looking towards Craigieburn (Roxburgh Park is the next station though), and ultimately Sydney, Although with a change of gauge in Brisbane you could go on Mount Isa, Cairns, Kuranda and Forsayth. The interstate standard gauge is the track on the right.

A Siemens train approaches, bound for Flinders Street.

On each platform are some basic necessities for travel, including both Metcard and Myki vending machines and validators. There are also the usual posters showing maps, timetables and fare information.

A better view of the approach to platform 2 and the main station "building". The words plain and boxy come to mind.

The only design flourishes seem to be the red colouring on the stairs and a collection of words on the side of the overpass. And more Sheoak trees.

A close up of the interesting collection of "feel good" wording on the side of the overpass.

Interesting to see a water tank as well. It will be needed to keep those trees alive.

There is also a very large car park.

Just as I was leaving this V/Line sprinter bound for Seymour passed through.

A few notes:

Not pictured is a dedicated kiss and drop are which is a good touch, there are a number of short term (5 min parking spaces and an area to turn around in.

In terms of pedestrian access residents of the residential area on the western side have to cross the four lane Pascoe Vale Rd at a set of traffic lights. Pedestrians from the residential area on the eastern side have direct access via the station overpass. The 901 smartbus also serves this station from a pair of stops on Pascoe Vale Rd. As such people changing between the Frankston bound bus and train or vice versa also need to cross at the traffic lights.

Overall Impresions

My impressions are that the station is quite windswept and desolate. On the outside it just feels like a concrete oven. Although they have tried to counter this with some plantings. This really is a case of function over form, so you can't really complain.

That's one ghost station down. In all there are four new stations expected to be built on the existing Melbourne rail network over the next few years. Of those Lynbrook is one which has also been marked in the Melway Street Directory for many years and so also has that ghost station appeal about it. Lynbrook is to be completed some time this year...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I've posted a couple of New Zealand Posts in the last few days. They are posted on the days they happened they can be accessed by the direct links below or the New Zealand tag and links in the sidebar.

New Zealand Trip: Rototua
New Zealand Trip: Rotorua - Auckland - Paihia

Possibly Postponed


The wedding I mentioned in my previous post was to be this weekend. In fact it is my brothers wedding. As it is his third and (I believe) her second, so it's not such a big deal.

Why is it postponed? Due to the fact it was to take place in sunny Toowoomba. Clearly doing anything in South East Queensland at the moment is a bit difficult, so a wedding is definitely out of the question.

The plan was to fly to Brisbane, where we would hire a car and drive the 2 hours or so to Toowoomba. Given we need to drive through the flood waters to get to Toowoomba from Brisbane, I doubt we'll even make it if it were to go ahead.

My brother however still has some hope, and wont let us cancel our flights to Brisbane (Qantas is quite reasonably willing to waive all fees in light of the situation too). Never mind the fact that he is at his current home in western NSW and the roads between there and Toowoomba are cut. Last we heard he is still trying to contact his wife to be to see what's going on.

I guess we'll just wait and see...

Saturday, January 08, 2011

New Years Resolutions

I'm not one to make new years resolutions, but this year I will make an exception.

For this blog

1. Make more blog posts
2. Finish New Zealand Trip posts. (boy I really lost the plot there...)
3. see #1


1. Eat less, exercise more, loose some weight.
2. Take public transport to work at least once a week
3. Get out more looking at things and taking photos (helps with #1 in both lists)

That should about do it, don't want to overdo it.. Will review this latter in the year.

Christmas/New Year Goings on.

This year we spent Christmas day at my brothers house. As my New South Wales brother wasn't down this year it was just a small turn out of my mother, brother, brothers wife, niece, nephew, brothers wife's parents and myself. Brother cooked a turkey in the webber, and we had had a pretty good meal. Present wise I was more generous than usual, (I think). I bought my niece and nephew Mario Kart Wii (they got a wii off santa, he sent me a note to tell me) and a remote control aeroplane each.

I think I did pretty well present wise as well. My stand out present from mum is a ticket to see Billy Connolly in a few weeks. I also got a beach towel and straw beach hat, and some chocolates.

I didn't drink too much or get into too much trouble (both bad), although I managed to fly the remote control plane I bought my nephew on to the neighbours roof. He spent the rest of the afternoon complaining. I'm still not sure when he got it back. Lucky it was a cheap one. I bought myself one a few days latter and broke it a few days after that. Isn't that always the way though.

I really didn't do much between Christmas and new year's eve. One day I went to see a movie with mum. We saw Little Fockers. It was OK but pretty predictable if you've seen the previous Meet the Parents/Meet the Fockers movies. Another day I took the 901 smart bus to the airport (write up on that coming soon).

New years eve was again a pretty low key affair. I really don't like new years eve (I think I've mentioned it before) so I'm not that fussed about what I do. Once again like last year I went to my mums sisters house for dinner with some of the family. After dinner until nearly midnight I played pool and watched some movies with my cousin. As they have a two story house in Thornbury with good views of the CBD we got a very good fireworks show at midnight.

That raps up the Christmas New Year period really. Unfortunately after the one week off I was back at work on the 4th. Really could do with a few weeks more. A few days in Queensland for a wedding latter this month will have to do for now. I hope it stops raining.