Southern Cross Station as viewed from above

Before last week I’d never seen this view of Southern Cross Station. It looks quite unworldly. CL was giving me a quick tour of Media House — as he commented, it looks like something from Dune.

Southern Cross Station from above

What you can’t see from the photos (not even zoomed-in) is that some sections closest to the edge, and between the lumpy bits, are actually inflatable plastic. Presumably it’s some essential part of the design.

Southern Cross Station from above

Here’s a more conventional angle. Anubis and Chrome are still in residence.

Southern Cross Station main entrance

New platforms at Southern Cross

When Southern Cross Station was built/renovated/unnecessarily renamed, someone made the wise decision to include provision for an extra two platforms: 15 and 16.

These are now being built as part of the (possibly otherwise ill-fated) Regional Rail Link project, and seem to be progressing nicely.

July 2010:
Southern Cross Stn: Platforms 15+16 under construction

Last week:
Southern Cross Stn: Platforms 15+16 under construction

There’s a catch.

It’s the big glass wall. It can’t be (cheaply) moved. It’ll have to sit in the middle of the new platforms.

So what will they do? There will be doors in the glass to get through it. Which means if it’s raining, you’d better take an umbrella if you want to use platform 16.

Southern Cross Stn: Platforms 15+16 under construction

They probably have little choice now. Maybe the planning ahead wasn’t quite so good after all.

Southern Cross Station gets Chromed

I was impressed enough by the Google Chrome advertising at suburban railway stations, such as this poster at South Yarra.
Google Chrome advertising at South Yarra Station, Melbourne

Then someone told me Southern Cross Station had also had a Chrome makeover. Sure enough…
Google Chrome advertising at Southern Cross Station, Melbourne

Google Chrome advertising at Southern Cross Station, Melbourne

Apparently this Internet thingummy-wotsit has some money behind it.

(Note the banners along the sides of the upper deck.)

Uh oh

Every time your train is stuck inexplicably in a tunnel, every time a service is cancelled, the experience is not just eroding your quality of life. It is eating away at our city’s global competitiveness.

– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
in the London Evening Standard, 15/10/2009

A power problem at Southern Cross Station has caused this, this morning:

Metro status

(Somehow I doubt the Craigieburn and Williamstown lines actually have “Good service”)

Update 9:15. I went to the station, quite prepared to turn around and go and work at home if the trains were up the creek. Not too many people were waiting.

Around 8:25 an express came through. Some bloody stupid woman ran in front of it on the level crossing. It missed her by metres. The driver stopped after passing the crossing — I wouldn’t blame him if he’d shut his eyes and wasn’t sure if he’d hit her. Then he kept going.

The 8:31 turned up a minute late, and got a good run into Richmond, where it filled up. Some delays in the tunnel, but arrived at Flagstaff 8 minutes late, not too bad.

Glenhuntly station carpark half empty, Dandenong Road not moving, Alexandra Avenue and Punt Road barely moving — I’m guessing a lot of people avoided the trains (perhaps unnecessarily) due to tales of doom and gloom and drove instead, causing problems there.

Update Wednesday morning: It should be emphasised that while my trip in was relatively, smooth, it’s obvious from reports from around the place that many, many people were severely disrupted. As compensation the government has announced all metropolitan travel (train, tram and bus) is free on Friday. V/Line passengers with a ticket valid yesterday can claim a free travel voucher, and Metropolitan holders of weekly or longer passes can also claim a free ticket (on top of the usual monthly compensation that will most likely apply).