This rather explains what Marcus helpfully showed me with diagrams. It was a dual line, rather than a single one that you would expect for a quiet local railway line. It would have seen many trains a day, far too many to be a single line with passing loops.
By 1910 the mess had been sorted out with the the gap between Collingwood and the city, Flinders Street Station, constructed and thereby giving a more direct route and it would have saved a lot of time if you were travelling by train to Heidelberg.
The above was also the same for users of the Whittlesea line, without the need to travel to Victoria Park. That is Spencer to Royal Park on the Upfield line, then onto the Inner Circle and then a leftish turn near Rushall. Yes, the train went on past its recent terminus of Epping, now re introduced to South Morang and continued on with stations at South Yan Yean and at Yan Yean before terminating at Whittlesea.
The part I was most interested to walk was Lygon Street to the old Fitzroy Station, located in the middle of Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy. While I wasn't directly setting out to find why a train terminated in the middle of a park, it was niggling at the back of my head.
In one of my earlier Inner Circle walks, works were happening along the Inner Circle railway parkland and so instead I walked along Brunswick Road/Holden Street where a tram line used to run. This time I started at Lygon Street and closely followed the Inner Circle line.
Inner Circle Royal Parade to Lygon Street.
Inner Circle parallel disused tram line.
Inner Circle Royal Parade to Royal Park Station.
Inner Circle Lygon Street to Fitzroy Station.
Inner Circle Lygon Street to Rushall.
Ah, I viewed this building from afar when I walked the old tram route. It is cable engine house for the Rathdowne Street cable tram, also know as the North Carlton tram. Unlike most Melbourne cable trams, it was not replaced with electric trams but buses in 1936. It headed towards the city straight down Rathdowne Street, right into Elgin Street, left into Lygon Street, onto Russell Street and right into Lonsdale Street.
Just a little wall decoration on what could be a nice house if you took out the modern aluminium windows. Let me rethink. No, it is not a very nice house, aluminium windows or not.
Not much in the way of evidence so far. I believe these villas are public housing and were built right where the train tracks were.
Very nice brickwork.
A new path and I think they have every user covered. I was quite surprised by the number of cyclists using the path. I really had to be careful to stay to the left and not do anything erratic while walking.
St Ali in South Melbourne is famous for its coffee. They have a branch here too, nearly at the corner of Nicholson Street in Park Street. I would have liked to take a wider picture, but there were so many people looking my way.
Aha, evidence as I crossed Nicholson Street.
A Railway Hotel where there is no longer a railway.
These poles are quite different to earlier overhead support poles, but they follow the path of the line.
A fine row of peppercorn trees.
Further evidence, although what it is, I am not sure.
Double track remains as I cross Rae Street.
This building spoke of something to me, so I took a snap or two. Once home I discovered it was once the power house for the Inner Circle line.
Even more tracks. This must be where the Inner Circle parted, with one line to Fitzroy and the other to the mainline at Rushall.
This is a very odd piece of railway line, set in concrete. No idea what it is about.
Yes, the line peaks through grass here and there.
In parts, it looks like the reservation is still there, just needing some tracks.
The path curved right and I crossed St Georges Road. Funny little thing to do to fence.
I really don't know if I am still following the train route. There is a lack of evidence and houses are quite close on both sides. This is looking back towards St Georges Road.
I am happy now. There is evidence again. Look how close the train was to the houses!
This sheet of hard plastic circles the tree to prevent possums climbing into the tree and damaging it. Someone has been creative.
Here we go into Edinburgh Gardens.
I diverted slightly to see what this thing is. In spite of reading a sign with information about it, I was not much the wiser. It is temporary modern art.
This is what used to be here, good old Queen Vicky, she of a dour visage.
And it seems here is the end of the Inner Circle Railway line, right in the middle of nowhere in a park. Or is it nowhere? Was it? Find out another day in the last of ICR walks.