Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Da Tains and Trams

Our rail operator Metro Trains' contract has been extended for seven years, as has the contract of our tram operator Yarra Trams. The best news about this that I can see is that wrap around advertising will be banned. I hoped it is phrased as not placing commercial advertising on train, tram and bus windows, but I have the awful feeling it won't go that far.

The State Government is building a new underground train line, a rather long and expensive one. While it is a great thing, I may be dead before it opens in 2025. We put up with the construction but never get the benefit. I expect the construction might be sped up at some point.

There is a public competition to name the five new railway stations. Governments love to bring the public on board with their grand projects.

It's a bit silly really. Three of the temporary station names are very obvious and should stand, but two are much more complicated. Arden, Parkville and Domain will have most Melbournians know the approximate locations of these stations.

The problematic ones are the city stations, temporarily known as CBD North and CBD South. In the north is Melbourne Central Station, once called Museum Station but the museum moved and the station was renamed Melbourne Central after the shopping centre where it is contained within. The museum became the State Library

Because the new station, CBD North, will be linked to Melbourne Central, some think it should be called Melbourne Central too. I would go for Library, just as Bank is known in London.

It is the same for the new station near Flinders Street Station, some think it should too be called Flinders Street Station because it will be linked to the existing station.

A mistake in my opinion. I don't think the old Flinders Street Station at all resembles what the new underground station will look like, and it will be a line specific station, servicing one train line, not multiple lines like Flinders Street Station.

Melbourne's existing Flinders Street Station, under wrap at the moment while it is repainted.


Marie in London gave me great clarity of thought about this matter when she wrote a post about Paddington with us in mind. The simple version is that there is essentially two different stations within London's Paddington Station. To the south of Paddington Station is the area we know. To the north is Paddington Basin, with its canals. I thought we should just catch any train to Paddington from Kings Cross. No, not if you want to come out at the south into Praed Street. While it was not helped by R needing to find a toilet (what was wrong with the toilet on Eurostar we had just left?) we ended up hopelessly confused and lost. Well not actually lost, but trying to work out how to walk to Lancaster Gate with suit cases. It is not a great distance but R was stressed and becoming tetchy. We had already travelled from Amsterdam to Brussels where we changed trains to London. I made an executive decision and we grabbed a cab. Had we have come out into Praed Street, it would have been a short downhill walk to our hotel.

It was not a great start to our second London visit. It improved greatly when we arrived at our hotel in Lancaster Gate and it was rather good, and the next day when we met Marie

18 comments:

  1. Sigh on being brought on board by being given naming rights - unless the government of the day doesn't like the choices made.
    2025 is surprisingly close. I hope you are alive to see it.

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    1. EC, yes, the government will ultimately decide.

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  2. For me the most useful station names are those that unambiguously reflect their location either by suburb or notable landmark.

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    1. I am pleased you agree, Victor.

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  3. Why do you keep hinting that you may be dead before...(whatever). Do you have a terminal disease and should I start saving for a fancy wreath? 2025 is only 7 and a bit years away for criminy's sake!
    I think it's a good idea for new stations to be named after a significant nearby building, that way people will know for sure where they are going.

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    1. River, it is something we often say to each other and friends when talking about the future. You are right. I won't even get the pension until 2024. Yes, a combination of place names and use landmarks within the city.

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  4. Perhaps R didn't get the urge to go to the toilet while on Eurostar! Nature hits when Nature is good and ready...not always out our will, beck or call. :)

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    1. Lee, that's what he said. But couldn't he go preventatively? I do understand you don't always know in advance.

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  5. Ever since 'Boaty McBoat face' was offered as the name for some important UK boat, everything now follows the same idea. 'Trammy McTram face' might be OK if they ask for names.

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    1. Cro, yes that has been suggested with great passion.

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  6. Melbourne's existing Flinders Street Station is probably our most recognised building. I hope that when it comes out from under its tarpaulin, the original grandeur has been retained.

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    1. Hels, externally it should look good.

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  7. Living in a small town we don't use a lot of public transpo. My daughter on the other hand sold her car when she moved to Philly and didn't get another one till several years later when she had to commute out of town.

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    1. Sandra, it is good at least that public transport is used in your big cities. It is the only way big cities can function.

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  8. Flinders Station would be one of the main attractions for coming to Melbourne Andrew, that and to catch up with you guys of course 😊 Do you use Flinders much, if so can you please take some inside pics for me.. merci beaucoup!

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    1. Of course Grace. The most historic item within the station are probably the fifties of sixties wall tiles with Do Not Spit emblazoned on them. The interior has been renovated so many times, there is little historic left. The unseen non public areas are different, some original and decaying, such as the ballroom, others sympathetically modernised, and some just used but not really updated.

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  9. My husband will be one of the those which will be working on the new underground project. He will be moving to Melbourne shortly after we get back from our holiday. I have yet to decide what I'll do...

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    1. Really Sami. I have noticed some machinery from others states and now it seems workers too. You have returned from your holidays?

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