When temporary platforms trump permanent stations

Back in 2015 work on removing the Main Road level crossing in St Albans was in full swing, and I noticed a curious situation – the ‘temporary’ St Albans platform 2 was better constructed than many railway stations in Melbourne!

'Temporary' platform in place at St Albans platform 2

The good

The platform was smooth and level, with plenty of room for passengers.

Looking down the 'temporary' St Albans platform 2

With a roof over the seat and a next train display.

Passenger information and signage installed on the temporary St Albans platform 2

And the bad

Albion station has a platform so decrepit it’s been fenced off.

Crumbing section of platform at the down end of Albion platform 2

The brick platform face at Caulfield is cracked.

Cracked brick platform face at Caulfield

At Mont Albert it’s the concrete that is crumbing.

Crumbling concrete platform face at Mont Albert platform 1

Canterbury station is stupidly narrow.

Incredibly narrow platform and crumbling surface at the up end of Canterbury platform 1 and 2

Mont Albert is so narrow the yellow lines merge into one.

Incredibly narrow platform at the up end of Mont Albert platform 2 and 3

The concrete edge at Thornbury is cracking up.

Crumbling platform face at Thornbury station

East Camberwell is covered with lichen.

Lichen covered asphalt at East Camberwell platform 1 and 2

The timber edge at Strathmore has rotten away.

Crumbling platform edge marked for replacement at Strathmore station

Weeds grow through deep cracks at Kensington.

Weeds growing in a crack in the asphalt on the platform at Kensington station

South Kensington once had a yellow line.

Faded yellow line at South Kensington platform 2

With the other side of the platform falling down towards the fence.

Platform subsidence at the back fence of South Kensington station

So why did St Albans need a temporary platform anyway?

St Albans once had three platforms – one for the city, a second for trains towards Watergardens, and a third turnback platform on the western side.

EDI Comeng about to shunt into the siding from St Albans platform 3

To speed the removal of the Main Road level crossing, it was decided to use this extra space on the western side as the site of the new low level St Albans station, allowing trains to continue running through the old station.

The first stage of works saw platform 2 and 3 closed to passengers in October 2015.

Waiting shelters removed from platform 2 and 3

The old platform was cleared over a weekend, with piling works able to proceed while trains were running.

Citybound Sunbury service arrives into St Albans, with grade separation works underway on the opposite side

Steel brackets were then installed along the tracks.

Steel brackets used to support the cantilevered 'temporary' St Albans platform 2

Allowing a cantilevered platform to be opened over the future station site in November 2015.

Cleared land to the west of St Albans platform 2

Excavators then moved in to dig out the new train trench.

Removing dirt from the rail cutting at the up end of the new St Albans station

By August 2016 the new low level platform was visible beneath the temporary one.

Looking down to the platform face taking shape at the new low level St Albans station

The final stage came in October 2016, when the Sunbury line was shut down, and the ground level tracks were removed.

Remnants of the Main Road level crossing still in place

With the new low level St Albans station opening to trains in November 2016.

Down Sunbury service arrives at the new low level St Albans station

And now at Glenroy

The level crossing at Glenroy Road is about to get the chop – and to make room for the construction work, a temporary platform and footbridge have been provided.

A cheaper example

Back in 2007 the station building at Lara was extended.

Extensions to the station building

Requiring part of the platform to be closed to passengers.

Extensions to the station building

A temporary platform extension was provided to compensate for the closed section.

Temporary platform extension at the up end of Lara

But it was a much cheaper affair than St Albans – scaffolding, plywood, and shade cloth.

Temporary platform extension at the up end of Lara

And the ‘temporary’ solution that never went away

Back in 2009 temporary platforms extensions were provided by Queensland Rail at seven railway stations on the Sunshine Coast so that passengers could board six-car long trains.

'Temporary' platform extensions at Palmwoods station on the North Coast line

Six years later the temporary structures were still in use at an annual cost of $288,000.

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3 Responses to “When temporary platforms trump permanent stations”

  1. Michael Iurovetski says:

    [joke]”The concrete edge at Thornbury is cracking up.” Was it making someone laugh or something?!

  2. Abara says:

    Great post, thank you. One note: I think the ‘moss’ at East Camberwell is actually lichen (a more interesting organism), which is usually a good indicator of clean air (you’d expect it with all the trees around there, but still – yay).

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