Months after closing for level crossing works, the shiny new Bentleigh and Ormond stations have opened today.
(McKinnon opened a few weeks ago.)
Bentleigh is the only one of the rebuilt three stations with Premium status, meaning it’s got fulltime staff. Curiously the booking office is adjacent to the bypass gate, but evidently the bypass gate is not designed to be operated from inside the office as seen on some other systems. Maybe that’s an improvement to come.
All three Bentleigh and Mckinnon stations have ramps, lifts and steps down to platform level. The ramps, meeting DDA standards, are pretty long, but some people were using them in preference to the stairs. (Ormond will have two sets of lifts, one on each side of North Road.)
While I was there, the Frankston line’s only X’Trapolis train came past for a visit.
At Ormond station, much of the platform area is under North Road, giving it (moreso than Mckinnon) the appearance of an underground station like Box Hill. (I heard both pro-skyrail and pro-trench rail opinions from passers-by.)
More music and cupcakes at Ormond, but how many cupcakes can one eat in one morning? Works are obviously continuing.
It’s great to see these stations re-opened. It was smart thinking to get them functional enough to handle passengers, and then continue with minor works while the stations operate.
Members of the project team that I ran into this morning seemed very pleased with the results, and so they should be.
After three months (Bentleigh) and five months (Ormond) with no trains, the locals seem very pleased to have them back.
And if you’re wondering, the peak hour express trains (and third track) return next week.
- 1/8/2016: Mckinnon station re-opened
- 23/5/2016: Station plans for Bentleigh, Mckinnon and Ormond
- Press release: Ormond And Bentleigh Stations Open Early
The project manager told me they did indeed originally plan to re-open on the 31st, but decided opening mid-week didn’t make sense, so tried to get enough done to open today instead. It might have cost extra money to bring it forward, but they’ve probably saved on two days of bussing costs. Even when only Ormond and Bentleigh had replacement buses, there were quite a few in service at peak times (plus despatch/customer service staff).