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...

4 comments:

Andrew said...

No graffiti or damage? The metal seats with gaps in between the slats stay much cooler than you might think, well the ones in Bourke Street Mall do.

Victor said...

How come it was so desolute looking? Not another person in sight.

Victor said...

mmm, of course I meant desolate not desolute (whatever that might mean).....

Ben said...

Hmm I take your word on the seats Andrew. I've noticed that Metro seem to be more pro active on graffiti removal/vandalism repair.

Victor. Yeah it is a desolate. There is literally nothing near it. From memory a few people came and got on a city bound train. Plus more people got off one coming from the city. I'd say this station mainly used by city commuters during weekday peak times and school students.