Just posted on the holiday blog: Brussels — where I meet my new baby cousin in a tram museum (of course!)👶🚋
The state government are running a competition for naming the new stations to be built as part of the metro rail tunnel.
It’s a good idea to get suggestions. Some of the working names are a little uninformative, and someone out there might have a brilliant name idea that nobody in officialdom has thought of.
A panel will look at the suggestions and make recommendations to the government.
My thinking is the names should be dull but informative.
For all the bright ideas of naming them after people or using historical or cultural references, fundamentally these names are a navigation aid to be used for decades to come.
The first aim is not to honour something or somebody, but to help people get around, so the names have to tell you where the stations are.
As one observer pointed out: Jewell and Anstey stations (which are both named after politicians) just don’t work as names.
— Henrietta Cook (@henriettacook) August 28, 2017
Perhaps in time major stations can become landmarks in their own right, but I suspect this is unlikely with underground stations without a big surface footprint.
So for the tunnel, here is my initial thinking, from south to north, and using the working names as a reference:
Domain: To be located underneath the current Domain tram interchange. While Kings Domain (park) is further north, the broader Domain Parklands includes the area around the Shrine immediately next to the station site. So “Domain” or “Shrine” would work, as both are well-known landmarks. “St Kilda Road” would be too vague.
CBD South and North are too similar, so I think it would be unwise to keep the working names.
CBD South: If you were aiming to use a local landmark, then the station’s location is close to Town Hall, the City Square, and St Paul’s Cathedral.
But this station will also have a direct paid connection into Flinders Street Station, so to aid rail network legibility, it would make a lot of sense to simply call it (part of) Flinders Street.
CBD North: Some people have suggested RMIT, but RMIT has multiple campuses including in Bourke Street, and out at Bundoora. The major landmarks are the State Library (so perhaps “Library”) and the City Baths.
But as with CBD South, this station will include a direct connection into Melbourne Central, so again, there is a strong argument for calling it “Melbourne Central”.
There’s also a strong argument that “Melbourne Central” is not a very good name for Melbourne Central Station. It couldn’t stay as Museum after the museum moved away. You could rename the whole complex “Library”, but I suspect that ship has sailed. It may not be a main central station, but there are others around the world called “central” that aren’t the main station (I found one in Exeter) and at least the shopping centre is a landmark.
Parkville: This one will directly serve Melbourne University and the hospital precinct, and I can’t immediately think of any other landmarks in the area. I wouldn’t call it “University” — we’ve only in the past decade or two got away from trams using that name, which is vague given the number of universities in Melbourne. “Parkville” is probably a pretty good name.
Arden: This will be in a new development area. The name Arden is derived from Arden Street, but is that name locked-in as a suburb name? Whatever the suburb is going to be called, I’d use for the station.
Those are my initial thoughts.
- Official web site: Suggest a name
- Age 28/8/2017: Metro Tunnel: New train stations should be named after location, say transport users — where I note: “What we don’t want is another station name like Southern Cross, which is basically meaningless – it tells you nothing about where it is in the city.”
— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) September 8, 2017