Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Meet you under the clocks

BAD is in New York City.

I may well have written a similar post in the past about the clocks, but hey, indulge me.

I've mentioned Flinders Street Station a few times of late. I am fond of it. It is the major train station for our suburban trains and externally, it is a wonderful beast. Not so historic nor nice inside, unfortunately.

These clocks above the steps up to the station indicate the train departure time on various train lines, helpful to those who see their train will soon depart and dash across Flinders Street in great haste. There were once altered by a man with a stick and there were also some drop down displays that he would change, giving a little more informations, such as Express to Caulfield. I don't remember them showing the platform as they now do.

The state government wanted to save on the labour costs of having a dedicated person changing them constantly, and so decided digital display would replace them. That was such an outcry that the government backed down and decided to electrify the existing clocks instead. It was and perhaps still is a meeting place for people. Meet you under the digital display doesn't quite have the ring to it like, meet you under the clocks. A while ago the clocks failed. Perhaps they were switched off while the station was repainted and relit. It appears in the photo that workers are attending to them.

But our at times rather stupid government keeps changing the names of terminating suburban stations, so if you don't know which old line your train is on, bad luck. As I have argued before, the lines should be named not by a station but a line name, as is the case in London or by a letter, such as New York. One sign has been updated though, with the addition of Cranbourne to the Pakenham line, with the Pakenham line once being the Dandenong line. Now even I can't remember what all of these lines now are. Let me check.

The Broadmeadows line is now the Craigieburn line.

St Albans was changed to Watergardens but is now the Sunbury line.

Ok, only two on this bank of clocks.


To the left around round the corner are some more, but none of these have changed names.


But where are the clocks for the Epping and Hurstbridge lines? Epping changed to South Morang and is about to change again to Mernda. I was scratching my head for a minute as I realised they have never been there, well not in my memory. Ah ha. Those two lines departed from another station with its own entrance, now demolished, just across the road called Princes Bridge Station. The two stations were kind of connected by platforms below the road and once had platforms 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16. As far as I know, only 12 and 13 are still used, usually by the Sandringham train, and how I hate being dumped there or having to catch a train from there. I must check if there are any other platforms there still. 

With most people used to a precise minute digital display, the clocks are probably rather redundant now, but I am so glad they have been kept. There used to be some at Princes Bridge Station, Spencer Street Station and South Yarra Station, all long removed now.

22 comments:

  1. Not only are the changing of names confusing but could you imagine being a traveler from Japan, Philippines, or any other non english reading country. Having said that, what a beautiful building. Would love to time lapse the inside of that sucker some day.

    Cheers

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    1. Padre, you are so correct. For a local it is hard to put yourself in the place of a tourist, but this one is really obvious.

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  2. looks interesting

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    1. Gosia, more than interesting to me.

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  3. Meet you under the clocks is so right. Meet you under the timeboard display just doesn't cut it. At all.

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    1. EC, no, there is no promise of fun at meeting under the timeboard display.

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  4. Under the clocks! Oh, I love it! We really don't have anything like that around here. I'm not even sure they do in the closest big city of Boston. But I do so love the clocks in your pictures! Reminiscent of a time gone by! But hopefully they will keep them!

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    1. Marbeth, by the previous outcry when they were slated for removal, I think they are safe.

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  5. In the days before the growth of great suburban facilities, all my social and commercial life was in the CBD. My friends always travelled into town by train or tram, and met Under The Clocks.

    Imagine the miserable state government wanted to pull down OUR clocks gggrr.

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    1. Hels, as did my Mother meet people under the clocks.

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  6. I hope the clocks stay as they are part of that beautiful building. I don't understand changes to train lines or stations either, what a waste of money!

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  7. No Platform 9 3/4?
    I don't see why they can't leave the original line name and simply add the newest end-of-line destination, for instance: Broadmeadows line -> to Craigieburn. Then when it gets extended further it becomes Broadmeadows Line -> to Outer Nowhere.

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    1. River, that is a Harry Potter reference? Your idea is not bad, but I think it makes the name too long.

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  8. Looooove the Flinders Street Station Andrew, what a shame the inside hasn't kept its original features. The clocks have to stay.. whether they work or not!

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    1. Grace, I don't know why it wasn't kept. Sydney's Central is not as nice on the outside but pretty nice inside, especially the main forecourt.

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  9. What a difference a name makes, right?(lol) Hugs...RO

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  10. The clocks definitely appeal.

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    1. Sandra, they fit quite comfortably with the exterior of the station.

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  11. And the tick-tocks of clocks mainly no longer exist.

    The faces of clocks of old are much more pleasant to look at than the digital variety of nowadays.

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    1. Lee, my grandmother's wedding present mantle clock from the 1920s ticks away on our shelves. It stopped working in the 70s and I as a youth paid to have it repaired and forty plus years later is still going. I hasten to add, we don't wind the gong up.

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