My usual stations (part 4)
When I finally moved out of home, it was to Hawthorn. Initially I was still working in Burwood East, and the commute was an easy tram ride, but the flat we had was planned to be midway between there and the city, which became useful once work moved into town. Cutting through the back streets, it was about a 6-7 minute walk to the station (ditto at the other end to work in Collins Street).
If there was a big gap in the trains (as there often was just after 6pm when coming home) the 70 tram was almost as quick as the train.
The commute got a tad more complex when I changed jobs to St Kilda Road, and met the perils of the peak hour St Kilda Road tram crush — yes, even back then.
To the untrained eye, Hawthorn has changed very little since then. You see it in television adverts every now and again, and I’m not surprised to see it’s heritage listed.
Moving into a flat in Booran Road, Glen Huntly, and living without a car meant it was a mix of tram and train travel. The usual work trip became either a tram ride on the 67 into St Kilda Road, or a train to South Yarra then a walk along Toorak Road (which was often faster than the cars) and across Fawkner Park, which was nice at least on a sunny day.
Later jobs changed that, and for a while I was catching the train to Richmond, changing onto a train to Box Hill, then a bus to Doncaster… which is what finally prompted the purchase of a car. After that was a job in Brighton, which sometimes involved driving, and other times involved a tram to Elsternwick then a train to North Brighton.
Most of my jobs since then have been in the CBD, so I’ve been a daily Frankston line commuter since about 2001.
Glenhuntly station (which unlike the official suburb name, does not have a space in it) hasn’t changed much over that time (though I recall earlier visits in the 80s when it still had railway gates instead of booms, pre third track).
Initially there was a booking office lady who could sell tickets very fast when a train was approaching — but at times there was nobody present, and no way to buy a ticket. For a short time she wore a bright jacket and was showing people how to use Metcard, and then she was gone, leaving only the machines.
A coffee shop installed itself into the booking office at one stage, but then disappeared again. Nowadays there are station hosts present during morning peak only.
I’ve written before about how the services through the station changed very little in the time I used it, while the operators changed from The Met/PTC to Bayside Trains to M>Train to Connex, then to Metro. It’s only in the past year or so that the timetables had a thorough re-write.
Even though I moved out of Glen Huntly in 2003, I continued to use the station until 2009, because the kids went to school nearby, and it was generally the easiest station to use as part of the school run. As a result, even though the car park is full by about 8am, I got to know the best all-day street parking spots nearby. It’s not really that hard as long as you’re prepared for a five minute walk.