Southern Cross Station

NAME=Southern Cross

LINES=All lines
V/Line Trains
terminate here
PLATFORMS=16 (14 in use)
STATUS=Premium Station
TIMETABLES= [ Link],144.95047&spn=0.00628,0.009978 Link]

Southern Cross (formerly Spencer Street and before that Batman's Hill) is a major railway station and transport hub of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is located on Spencer Street between Collins and La Trobe Streets at the western edge of the central business district. The Telstra Dome sporting arena is 500 metres north-west of the station.

The station is the terminus of the state's regional railway network operated by V/Line, The Overland rail service to Adelaide, and the Countrylink XPT service to Sydney. It is one of five stations on the City Loop, a mostly underground railway that encircles the CBD. Southern Cross Station also has a coach terminal, from which operates the Skybus Super Shuttle service to Melbourne Airport, and various intra and interstate coach services.


Known in early days as Batman's Hill station, it was opened in 1859, five years after Flinders Street Station, the centre of the city's suburban railway network. The station was a dead end terminus, running parallel to Spencer Streetcite journal
author = Vance Findlay
year = 2003
month = August
title = More on Batman's Hill Station
journal = Newsrail
pages = 238–240
] (not on an angle like today) with a single main platform and a dock platform at the north end.cite journal
author = Sid Brown
year = 2002
month = November
title = Batman's Hill to Southern Cross - via Spencer Street
journal = Newsrail
pages = 335–347
] It was not until 1874 than an extra platform was provided.

The two stations were not linked until 1879, when a single-track ground-level line was opened. It operated only at night, and only for goods trains. In the 1880s, it was proposed that Spencer Street station be removed in order to facilitate the westward expansion of the city. The plan was subsequently rejected, although it was discussed at a Royal Commission.Fact|date=December 2007

From 1888 to 1894 the layout of the station was altered, with new country platforms being built on the angle they are today. The current coach terminal location was the site of a number of new platforms built for suburban services.

In 1888 work started on the double-track Flinders Street Viaduct linking the station to Flinders Street, the line opening to goods traffic in 1891 and in 1894 to passenger trains. [ Department of Infrastructure: Early history of Southern Cross Station] ] It was at this time that the first through platform was provided at the station, for suburban trains from Essendon and Williamstown. The viaduct to Flinders Street was expanded to four tracks in 1915, and in conjunction with the electrification works on the suburban network today's platforms 11 though 14 were opened between 1918 and 1924, along with the pedestrian subway providing access to them.

In October 1960 work on the 'modern' Spencer Street Station commenced, sparked by the construction of the interstate standard gauge railway link to Sydney. A new station building was constructed, a new convert|413|m|ft main platform was built, and the subway from the 1918 works was extended to country platforms. In connection with the construction of the underground loop, platforms 9 and 10 were rebuilt as part of the suburban section, and a new double-track viaduct was constructed next to the original one, bringing to six the number of tracks connecting the two stations. At the same time, the older four tracks were resignalled for bi-directional operation.

At one stage, a short underground narrow-gauge line transferred mail between the station and the old mail sorting office across Spencer Street. This line has since been closed and the tunnel filled in.

The mechanically interlocked signal box at the station was opened in 1887, [cite web
title=Signal box concerns | Herald Sun
] and was decommissioned in June 2008 as part of an upgrade to signalling. [cite web
title=Standard Gauge Work at Southern Cross
work=Railpage Australia Forums


Southern Cross was redeveloped by the Civic Nexus consortium, following an innovative design by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw which features an undulating roof. [ [ The Age: The roof transporting us to tomorrow - March 25, 2005] ] Construction began in October 2002 and was completed in late 2006, with the majority of the transport facilities having been finished in time for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The central features of the design include a wave-shaped roof, a new entrance and concourse on Collins Street, a new bus interchange, a new food court, a bar/restaurant, separate retail outlets inside the station and a separate shopping complex between Bourke and La Trobe Streets.

This new shopping complex comprises a Direct Factory Outlets centre, along with food courts. This opened on 30 November 2006, although not all tenancies were occupied, and stage 2 was opened in March 2007.

In addition to the station's physical modifications, its name was changed from Spencer Street on 13 December 2005. [Murphy, Mathew; The Age (December 14 2005), " [ Time's up at last for railway landmark] ". Retrieved 13 December 2005.]

By July 2004 the project had fallen behind schedule and over budget by $200 million. [ [ Auditor-General’s Report on the Annual Financial Report of the State of Victoria, 2005-06] ] This was covered extensively in the media. As a result of over-runs and design issues, some elements of the original design, including an additional proposed footbridge connecting Lonsdale Street with the Telstra Dome, were scrapped. [ [ The Age: All change at Spencer St - July 9, 2005] ]

Complaints about access to platforms, empty trains occupying space during the day and lack of government support were raised by Leighton Holdings, the construction firm overseeing the project. This led to concerns that the station might not be ready in time for the Commonwealth Games, and the government arranged with the railway operators to provide more access to the work site.

The station's redevelopment is part of the wider Melbourne Docklands development. The architect responsible for the design is Grimshaw Architects. The structural engineering design was performed by Winward Structures, a consulting structural engineering design firm. The station has been awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects' Lubetkin Prize for most outstanding building outside the European Union. [cite web
title =Lubetkin Prize 2007
date =2007-06-22
url =
accessdate =2007-06-23
] The other buildings nominated were the Des Moines Public Library and the Hearst Tower, New York City. [cite web
title =Revamped Melbourne station wins international award
publisher = [ ABC News Online]
date =2007-06-23
url =
accessdate =2007-06-23


Southern Cross' platforms are numbered from east to west, with Platform 1 being the furthest east.

Concourses are provided at Bourke and Collins Streets. Platform 1 is north of Bourke Street, while Platform 8 South is south of Collins Street. The remainder of platforms are located between Bourke and Collins Streets, with access from both concourses. Both concourses are further divided into an open access regional section for platforms 1 though 8, and a closed access suburban section for platforms 9 though 14.

Platforms 2 to 8 are numbered as two sections: section A from the Collins Street concourse to the Bourke Street Footbridge (formerly known as 2C to 8C) and section B after the Bourke Street Footbridge (formerly known as 2N to 8N).

Platforms 1 and 2 are fitted with dual gauge track, permitting both standard gauge interstate trains and V/Line broad gauge trains. The remainder of the platforms are solely broad gauge.

Platforms 1 & 2: "The Overland", and XPT interstate services, as well as Victorian regional services.

Platforms 3 - 8, 8-South: Victorian regional services.

Platform 9: Epping and Hurstbridge.

Platform 10: Alamein, Belgrave, Glen Waverley and Lilydale.

Platform 11: Craigieburn, Sydenham, Upfield, Werribee and Williamstown.

Platform 12: Cranbourne, Frankston and Pakenham and Sandringham.

Platforms 13 & 14: Bairnsdale line regional services and peak-period suburban services.

Platforms 15 & 16: Partially constructed as a provision for future expansion. The face of platform 16 is located outside the western wall of the station.



External links

* [ Southern Cross Station project]
* [ Diagram of the track layout at Southern Cross Station]

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