J Jay Samuel Davis

Melbourne, Victoria, Australian History 🏰

First 6 photos are the old Flinders Street Station and last photo as it is now in 1912, here’s a bit of history about the station….

Three major city terminals have acted as the hub of Victoria’s passenger and freight train services over the past 150 years.

Melbourne’s main passenger station, Flinders Street, is built on the site of Victoria’s first station – the city terminus of the Hobsons Bay Railway Company’s line to Port Melbourne (previously Sandridge). The humble building which serviced passengers and freight in 1854 was progressively extended over the next half a century to become a motley collection of ticket offices, footbridges and platforms with various awnings by the turn of the century. Between 1900 and 1910 the station was entirely rebuilt creating the grand facade which remains today. The impressive clocktower and imposing main entrance with its large dome roof and row of destinations clocks quickly began a key Melbourne landmark. By the 1930s, Flinders Street could lay claim to being the world’s busiest station serving almost 300,000 passengers daily.

Princes Bridge Station, situated on the eastern side of Swanston Street, originally opened in 1859 as the terminus of the Melbourne & Suburban Railway Company’s lines to Hawthorn and Windsor. It was first linked with to Flinders Street Station by a tunnel under Swanston Street in 1865. It was then closed for a period before becoming the terminus of the government’s Gippsland line in 1879 and of the Hurstbridge & Northcote lines in 1901. Princes Bridge Station lost its separate identity in 1980 when its platforms were integrated into Flinders Street Station and the suburban lines it served were diverted to connect directly to the new underground loop.

Far more humble in its origins was Spencer Street Station, the first government railway terminus. Originally known as Batman’s Hill Station, it opened for passenger traffic in 1859 with a single passenger platform and a temporary timber station building. As the government railway network extended to the north and west of Melbourne, Spencer Street became a major freight hub with extensive goods yards and several large goods sheds, but its passenger facilities remained a poor cousin of the grander country stations. In the 1920s, the existing outer suburban platforms were built with a connecting subway, but the main booking hall remained little more than a large corrugated-iron roofed shed. Spencer Street finally gained a modern passenger hall and refreshment area when the No.1 platform was rebuilt for the opening of the Sydney-Melbourne standard gauge link in 1962.

Flinders Street and Spencer Street Stations were first linked by a street-level ‘tramway’ in 1879, but its use was restricted to overnight goods trains to prevent interruptions to road traffic. The first section of the overhead viaduct linking the two stations was completed in 1891, being duplicated for the suburban electrification in 1913-15 and again for the underground city loop in 1981.

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