Here is Ascot Vale station, one of two hundred and something railway stations located on Melbourne’s suburban railway network.
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)
Not much difference, eh?
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- A timber shelter on the left hand platform has been replaced by utilitarian brick structure.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.