The new Springvale station opened earlier this week as part of the $159 million grade-separation of Springvale Road.
Yesterday I took a quick look around.
Arriving on platform 2, it reminds me a bit of Box Hill, with part of the station being under the road, which means plenty of rain cover is provided. Note the low ceiling, and how close to the top of the train the overhead wires are — it would seem that we are destined to never again see double-deck trains in Melbourne, at least not on this line.
Double-stacked containers would also be impossible (unlike, say, Laverton, whose dizzyingly high staircases allows space for them), which is likely to force the addition of extra tracks for freight from the Port Of Hastings, if that project gets off the ground. Update: I’m told double-stacked containers aren’t possible on electric lines, as the pantograph on the trains would need to be gigantic.
The lower height is a blessing for passengers, of course – less steps. It appears provision for extra tracks will be on the southern side of the new line, where the original tracks were.
The overall look of the station is less grey than neighbouring Westall. From pictures earlier in the week, it looks a bit miserable in the wet — but most stations do. Note the extensive use of grilled surfaces, I assume to help prevent tagging.
The concourse level is light and bright. This photo is taken from the edge of the footpath. There are two Myki machines nearby. There’s a booking office, PSO “Baillieu Box” pod, waiting room, and toilets. The PID (Passenger Information Display, listing train departures) is perfectly readable to the human eye — I really must figure out the settings for taking good photos of them with my little camera.
Note that it appears gates will soon replace the standalone Myki readers.
Currently there are ramps and steps down to the platforms. One lady with a shopping jeep asked me if there are lifts — there aren’t yet, but there is a space for them, and signs say they’ll be installed later this year.
The platform and tracks have been configured to provide near-level boarding for Comeng trains — not too bad at all. There were rumours on day one of a Siemens train having problems with doors getting jammed open against the platform (their doors pop out when opened). It’s unclear if this is a big problem, or if it has been resolved, though come to think of it on my travels this day I only saw Comeng trains operating on the line. Perhaps just a coincidence — it seems at least some Siemens trains have been sighted on the line during the week.
At the eastern end they appear to have made provision for later extension of the platform, though it’s not clear if that would allow the extension to 9 cars as is often rumoured to be coming. Hopefully. Or maybe the platform is already long enough for 7 or 8. The western end doesn’t seem to allow any space for extension.
It was quite busy for ANZAC Day. The ramps mean much of the platform is a little narrow, though it seemed to be coping okay when I was there. It might be a little cramped in rush hour — hopefully the steps and ramps help spread the crowds out a bit. Note the drainage in the middle of the platform. I’m guessing this means there’s a slight slope away from the edge, which is one of the outcomes of several recent incidents involving prams rolling onto tracks.
Overall it looks pretty good; pretty usable for passengers, and everyone will appreciate no longer having to wait at the level crossing.
Hopefully the grade separations will keep on rolling — the second of the Anderson Road, Sunshine crossings is underway, and the Dandenong package to be funded in the May budget will include four other crossings on other parts of the Dandenong line, and planning works for the others.
More photos including from the construction, are on the project Facebook page.