Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Winner of the ugliest railway station in Melbourne

It received two nominations and it could be described as a minimalist railway station, that is, there is eff all there. I speak of Rockbank Railway Station.

Admittedly it is not part of our suburban system, but on the outskirts. Due to growth in the population of that area in the west, it has become a very busy station and certainly is ripe for a decent station befitting its passenger numbers.

From an interesting comment from Daniel, I spent a little time investigating Balaclava Railway Station. It was badly damaged by fire on the 9th of April, 1929 and repaired. It was again rebuilt in 1981 but without any reason that I can discover.

As you can see int the photo, Rockbank Station consists of shed on one platform and a old style bus shelter on the other. From Google Street View, it looks barren and desolate without decent paths to it.

I am used to decent railway stations, ok some a bit old and shabby or nasty newer ones. There is another that I laughed at when I saw it, somewhere between the city and Footscray I think. Not much more than a bus shelter.

Pic courtesy Wikipedia.


  1. Haha, I used to ride my horse past that station when I was a kid. Then, after she died I used to ride my bike past it. It has not changed in a long time. But, like everything, I am sure it will change. Just pop up a shopping centre, a Maccas and a KFC and the houses will come...and so too will the need for more trains etc etc.

  2. That.
    I've seen blocks of concrete in the city with more imagination and soul, that thing would make even Pollyanna do a nasty mischief to herself.

    Let's hope someone may nominate it for a make-over from Guerilla Gardeners

  3. somebody should alert the Overpaid Minister Of Transport that Rockbank is not part of the suburban system,
    hundreds of passengers get off the 5:08 out of SO.Cross there ... hundreds, in the blistering heat and the wailing west winds of winter.
    The train still has passengers standing onward to Melton where hundreds more alight. The train pretty much clears out at Bacchus Marsh where the carpark has just been extended to HUGE.
    All these commuters are people who cannot pay half a million dollars for a 2 BR Renovators Opportunity in Melbourne.

  4. That's not a railway station. It's just a track in its undies.

  5. Good choice, alhtough I'm not sure Rockbank is even worthy of the luxury of shelters. After all there is almost nothing at Rockbank, except for a few houses.

    Then again development is fast approaching from the east. I'm sure if they built a nice station now it would be appreciated by the new residents, and the government would be praised for the foresight to provide such a needed piece of infrastructure. And if Sunbury wants to keep it's V/Line trains, I'm sure Rockbank, Melton, Deer Park and Ardeer would welcome them.

  6. Anonymous8:51 pm

    I guess you folks never travel the Sunshine/St Albans line, or much out here in the west at all. It's like saying who's the best footballer of all time, you nominate what you know.

  7. Anonymous9:56 pm

    The western and northern suburbs suffer from the most deprived infrastructure. Typical. Their residents know no better to keep reelecting the same idiots who brought them their demise in the first place.

  8. Anonymous11:54 pm

    Fair comment.

  9. Ripe for subdivision Cazzie.

    Don't think even they could pretty it up much Jayne.

    Ann, hundreds using it is a pretty convincing argument for decent facilities.

    Very tattered ones at that Brian.

    As per Ann's post Ben, it seems like a lot of people use the station.

    Of course there is bias Captain but I have my fair share of readers in the west though.

    Reuben, always a problem for Labor voters in a safe Labor electorate.

  10. Do you remember when most country stations had great big stag horns and other plants well tended by the Guard? There were fires in the waiting room in fans much for summer but the buildings were solid and well ventilated.
    Wauchope Station in NSW is still like that but for how long.

    This is a shocker of a station i agree.

  11. Captain Sweetiepie: Sunshine is the station before Rockbank.

    The housing development at Rockbank is stalled by a local fight against people trying to establish factory poultry farming on those bare paddocks. Eventually land value will make it more worthwhile to subdivide, than to torture chooks there.
    It used to be a 'Lion Park' and there is one very tragic looking concrete hut bearing that label.
    poor lions.

  12. I do remember Middle Child. Maybe not so many here. Even some suburban stations had neatly cultivated flower beds, or other garden styles. There were competitions even. Stations destaffed, no one to care. Even if they did still have staff, no water.

    OMG Ann, I have been to that lion park, assuming there is not another in the immediate area.

  13. I think the designers were trying to make a statement in minimalism.

  14. Quite so AR. They succeeded.

  15. Anonymous1:30 am

    Yes, Sunshine is the station before Rockbank, just as Sale is the station before Bairnsdale, but there's great distance between.
    Rockbank is about twenty kilometres from Sunshine, it's always been rural, I like it that way.
    Cities are sickening and you don't realise it.
    Meanwhile I can still drive from Altona to Hoppers on a narrow back road with no houses, no people, and barely any traffic. It goes for about fifteen kilometres, sky and flatlands all the way. What a joy. But it won't last of course, parts are getting subdivided: clumps of houses with their stupid tiny backyards. One day it'll be wall to wall housing, the entire stretch. What a disaster.

  16. Anonymous1:45 am

    Don't wish the suburbs on Rockbank, or the station will improve alright -when the Big Shopping Plaza (God of everything, Lord of the Flies) goes up.

  17. Not sure Captain. Not as if it is preserved Australian nature. I guess it is farmland.