Victoria’s sham ‘new station name’ contests

There seems to be an ongoing theme every time a new railway station is built in Victoria – fake community engagement with a station naming contest.

VLocity VL32 and classmate pass the future Caroline Springs station on an up Ballarat service

The tradition of sham naming contests started back in 2004 with the announcement of the new railway station at Grovedale, in the southern suburbs of Geelong.

The Minister for Transport, Mr Peter Batchelor today announced Marshall would be the name of the new train station to be located in the southern suburbs of Geelong.

Mr Batchelor said it was an appropriate name for the station, which was located on Marshalltown Road, in the locality of Marshall.

“There were some very compelling entries submitted into the naming competition for this station. We received the most nominations for the name Marshall and it has received positive backing from the local community,” Mr Batchelor said.

“Marshalltown Road was previously the site for a station named Marshall, so this name is really in keeping with tradition.”

Marshall wasn’t exactly an imaginative name, but it did differ from the original ‘Grovedale’ working title for the station – so the naming contest actually achieved something.

The pretence of community engagement rose again in 2007, when a new railway station was announced for Wendouree, on the outskirts of Ballarat.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky today reminded Ballarat residents that entries for the new Ballarat Station naming competition closed soon.

“Entries for the competition close on April 16, so there is still time to send in your ideas,” Ms Kosky said.

Ms Kosky said the entries would be judged on their relevance to the local area as well as ensuring the name was easily recognisable for both local residents and visitors. The winner will be asked to attend the official opening of the new station in 2008 and share in the festivities of the day.

The obvious name of ‘Wendouree’ was the winner – being both the name of the suburb, the name of the large lake located nearby, and the name of a railway station that occupied the site decades ago.

We now skip forward to 2010, when the “community engagement” sham reached new heights with the launch of two naming contests – one at Caroline Springs.

Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula was today joined by the Member for Kororoit Marlene Kairouz to turn the first sod at the site of the new station which is part of a $220 million package for new stations in Melbourne’s growth areas.

“The Brumby Labor Government is taking action to ensure people in Melbourne’s west have good access to public transport services,” Mr Pakula said. … “The station, due to open in 2012, will serve current and future public transport needs and help people access jobs, study and also stay connected with family and friends.”

Over 200 suggestions were received following a competition to name the new station. The name of the station will be announced later this year.

And a second for Cardinia Road station:

Residents in Melbourne’s growing south-east will have access to improved rail services with the start of construction of a new station at Cardinia Road.

Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula was today joined by the Member for Gembrook Tammy Lobato to turn the first sod at the site of the new station which is part of a $220 million package for new stations in Melbourne’s growth areas.

Over 200 suggestions were received following a competition to name the new station. The name of the station will be announced later this year.

New stations are also being built at Williams Landing, Caroline Springs and Lynbrook.

The level of consideration given to the above naming contests is apparent when you take a look at the media releases for both projects – the same “200 suggestions” figure appears in both!

In any case the suggestions went nowhere – no follow up media release was ever issued to announce a winner, and both Caroline Spring and Cardinia Road stations retained their original working titles for the entire life of the project.

Finally, we arrive at 2015 where Public Transport Victoria appear to have learned the lesson of their predecessors and dropped the entire idea of running a naming contest – with the new Southland station on the Frankston line, PTV just calls out “feedback from the community” as the driver behind the name.

We have considered the feedback received from the community, public transport users and stakeholders about the name of the new station and can confirm that it will be called ‘Southland Station’ as it makes the location of the station easily identifiable for visitors and emergency services.

I wonder what names the new Melbourne Metro stations will be given?

Footnote

Apparently the working title of Caroline Springs station was Ravenhall – the name popping up in myki transaction logs for a few months after opening.

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8 Responses to “Victoria’s sham ‘new station name’ contests”

  1. andrew says:

    Minor correction. The original Wendouree station was 900 metres east of the current site; at Forrest St and adjacent to the current Wendouree shopping centre. The current site (roughly) had been opened as a Rail Motor Stopping Place by 1957, and in 1964 was named ‘Linton Junction RMSP’. It was closed as a RMSP in 1977, but no railmotors had passed to stop since 1976 when the Linton line closed to passengers.

  2. Paul says:

    Given the locations and connections of the CBD stations, they really should just be called Flinders St and Melbourne Central.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      That is also how I’d name them – CBD North and CBD South should have the same name as the stations they are sitting beside. Otherwise you’d have confused passengers changing trains at Caulfield or Footscray because their train isn’t headed to the ‘right’ station, despite the two ‘stations’ being part of the same complex.

  3. Philip says:

    Yes, all of our stations have names that make sense because of the area they’re located in. All except for Southern Cross, of course, the name of which nails down its location to somewhere on the southern half of the planet.

  4. Darren says:

    You forgot to mention a certain station between St Albans and Sunbury that got (re)built in 2002. The name of it varied depending on where you were looking. Whether it be the station signs, the brickwork in the building, the train headboard, the information screens at Flinders St, various train maps, the Metrol line calls through the speaker or the station staff answering the telephone.

    What is the name of that station ???

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