Ascot Vale railway station: then and now

Here is Ascot Vale station, one of two hundred and something railway stations located on Melbourne’s suburban railway network.

Melbourne's Ascot Vale railway station in 2012

If we jump back about 100 years in our trusty time machine, then this is what you see in front of you. (State Library of Victoria, record no.: H4955)

Ascot Vale railway station, circa 1880s

Not much difference, eh?

Nitpickers corner

For those nitpickers in the audience, the changes over the past century include…

  • The addition of overhead wires above the tracks, to power electric trains.
  • The mechanically operated semaphore signal at the end of the platform replaced by a colour light unit.
  • The chimneys on the main station building have disappeared.
  • A timber shelter on the left hand platform has been replaced by utilitarian brick structure.
  • Picket fencing and gas lights along the platforms are gone, replaced by chain-link fencing and electric lights.
  • The platform edge was once bare, it now has a yellow line, and tactile guide markings are in the process of being added.
  • The people on the platform are nowhere near as well dressed.

The first electric trains in Melbourne ran in 1919 between Flinders Street and Essendon, replacing the steam locomotives that hauled the trains before then.

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5 Responses to “Ascot Vale railway station: then and now”

  1. yak sox says:

    Oh you forgot that they trimmed the trees. :D

  2. FrankR says:

    My late grandfather (born 1908 ) grew up in Ascot Vale only a short distance away from the station on St Leonard’s Rd. (The house is still there.) After school from the age of 9 or 10 he used to catch the tram to the city to sell newspapers: he bought armfuls of papers for a penny each and sold them to people as they left from work for twopence each. He told us that he had to catch the tram to the city as the train was far more expensive and really only for the wealthy. So that’s one reason why the people in the photo are so well dressed — they were rich and weren’t afraid to show it! Anyway, in order to make the venture worthwhile, after he finished selling those papers, he had to walk all the way home, otherwise he probably wouldn’t have made much of a profit. Tough times for working-class kids!

  3. Pat says:

    Great stuff I grew up as a child at 107 St Leonards Rd and spent many a time there as a child in the 70′s , also was quite sad looking at the demolition of the RCH I spent a few months there during a traumatic time as a kid in 79 , great site my friend I also love trains Thank You Pat

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