South Geelong Station

Station
Line: Melbourne - Geelong - Warrnambool
Junction with: Queenscliff Line
Distance from Melbourne: 74.412 km
Track Diagram: View
Google Maps: Satellite /  Map
Opened: November 1, 1883

South Geelong is a major commuter station during the week, being surrounded by a large carpark and residential streets with all day parking. It has a single platform located on the southern side of the line, abutting the Yarra Street level crossing. The station building is light brown brick and has a booking office staffed for much of the day, waiting room and privately operated coffee stall.

There are two dead end sidings at the down end, one either side of the main line. The northern siding forms part of the run around loop, which due to the direction of the crossover, cannot be used as a passing loop. The station is staffed for the longest hours of any station on the Geelong line, due to the signal frame needing to be operated for every train passing through.

Beginnings


The site of South Geelong station was first used during 1878-1879 as a ballast and bluestone loading point by Topham, Angus & Smith, the contractor building the Queenscliff branch. A tramway ran from here though the streets to Scott's Quarry 2 1/2 miles away at Newtown. Permission to construct the tramway was granted in September 1878.

It ran along Yarra Street south from the railway crossing, before turning west into Fyans Street, then for two miles to the quarry near today's Elco Street. Stone was taken along the tramway, fed through stone crusher that was erected at Yarra Street, then loaded into rail trucks.

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Early days


South Geelong opened on the line to Winchelsea on November 1st 1883. A 76 meter (250ft) platform was provided between Yarra and Bellarine Streets, both of which were provided with gates. A loop siding was also provided across from the platform, as well as a dead end siding running along behind. A wooden station building was also provided at the new station. On opening, the area around the new station was paddocks, located on the path between the town proper on the hill, and the factories on the Barwon River.

In 1887-1888 the platform was extended, and a goods shed provided. In 1892 South Geelong could be opened as a block point in the Geelong - Queenscliff Junction section. By 1898 home signals had been provided, as well as a public siding on the up side of the main line at the down end of the platform.

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Now a junction


Electric Staff was introduced in 1900, and in 1901 the junction of the Queenscliff was moved up to the line to South Geelong itself. An additional siding was added opposite the platform. A new 20 lever interlocked frame was installed to control the new layout. The frame still remains today, and is one of four remaining McKenzie and Holland No 6 Pattern 'Rocker' Frames in Victoria.

In 1912 the platform was again extended at the eastern end, along with all other stations on the Geelong - Warrnambool line. A new Station Master's house was also provided. It was also about this time that the Moorabool Street level crossing was replaced with an over bridge, that still remains today.

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Goods yard expansion


In 1914 the goods yard was expanded, with the wood and coal yards at Geelong being transferred here. Two new sidings were provided parallel to the main line, the level crossing at Bellarine Street was abolished, and a footbridge was provided in it's place. At this time the Swanston Street crossing was provided with hand gates and a Gatekeeper. The new goods yard also served a number of sidings located behind the station platform.

From 1921 South Geelong station was used as the inbound depot for gravel sourced from the council owned quarry at Gherang on the Wensleydale line. Other goods traffic included boiler fuel (coal and wood) for the nearby industries located along the river.

Further expansion to the yard occurred in 1940 when the State Electricity Commission opened a briquette depot in the station yard. Two new sidings were provided in 1943 running into a large asbestos roofed shed, that were used for the transfer of briquettes to the Geelong power station on the corner of Yarra and Brougham Street, this traffic lasting until the 1960s. The Geelong Hospital boiler was another user of briquettes transferred at South Geelong, continuing until the 1980s.

Two fuel depots also existed in what is now the station car park. By the late 1970s neither of them were receiving product by rail.

In 1959 Siding A, located opposite the station platform, was abolished. This removed the ability for trains to terminate and run around at South Geelong. From this date the junction of the Port Fairy and Queenscliff lines was the the down end of the platform.

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Special trains


South Geelong also saw a number of extra passenger trains run when rowing regattas were held on the Barwon River or football matches at Kardinia Park. On at least one occasion seven trains ran to and were stabled at South Geelong for the afternoon - six trains and one railmotor. This traffic continues today, with special trains running direct to the station to cater for Cat's fans attending home games at Kardinia Park.

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Commuter growth


On Monday 4th November 1968 commuter trains were extended to South Geelong with 1 train running each way every day. Operated as extensions of Geelong services, they were balanced in each direction by an empty car run. Where these trains ran around is unknown at this time - it is presumed it was carried out in the goods yard. Before this time passenger traffic was very light, with the only trains stopping at South Geelong originating from the Port Fairy and Queenscliff lines.

The original wooden station building was demolished in October 1983 due to structural defects, with the brick replacement being opened on Sunday 30 September 1984. The new building was much larger due to the increase in commuter traffic using the station. The new building was equipped with a ticket office, signal bay, small waiting room, and toilets. In conjunction with these upgrades, run around facilities were restored in 1982, with the the reinstatement of siding A alongside the platform.

Also by this time, the number of passenger trains had increased to nine in the morning, and eight at night. Goods traffic had reduced to a few truckloads per day of briquettes as factory fuel.

In 1986 terminating a train and returning it to Geelong was simplified, with the hand gates at Yarra Street replaced by boom barriers, and the staff lock on the up end points removed and the points connected to the interlocking frame. Before this time running a loco around the train would require the hand gates to be closed twice against heavy road traffic, as well as obtaining the Train Staff for the Geelong - South Geelong section to unlock the Up end points.

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Rationalisation


1986 saw the simplification of the goods yard, with the down end connection to the main line removed. Further rationalisation continued until the mid 1990s when only two dead end sidings remained for passenger train stabling. The land once occupied by the goods yard is now taken up by car parking for the station.

In 1989 the operation of the line between Geelong and South Geelong was altered, with the line worked as part of Geelong Yard. In 2006 the station was resignalled with new LED lamps being installed, and the semaphore down departure signal replaced.

In 1992 the platform was further extended, taking it to the 6 carriage and locomotive length it is today. Also in the mid 1990s the station building was expanded to what it is today with a much larger waiting room and office provided. Under the 2006 timetable all Warrnambool and Geelong Line trains were altered to stop at South Geelong, with the exception of a small number of peak hour trains due to a lack of paths on the single line through the tunnel.

Bike lockers and an additional platform shelter were installed in early 2008. The up home signal number 4 was relocated from an offset gantry to a new galvanised steel post about this time as well. Purple Viclink signage was erected in July 2008. In November 2008 automatic pedestrian gates were commissioned at the Yarra Street level crossing.

Also starting in November 2008 in the same month the platform was extended in the down direction in order to fit 7 car Vlocity trains. The annett locked points at the down end were removed and replace by a new set, the associated siding was dragged sideways away from the main line to give train crews more space to inspect their trains, and signal post 5 was replaced by a new galvanised steel post lower down. The platform itself was not completed until late December, long after the entry of service of the new trains. Also in December a new bike cage was provided in the car park for cycling commuters, under the exceedingly lame "Parkiteer" name.

In February 2011 the track though the platform was relaid with concrete sleepers.

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Events


November 1, 1883 Opened
December 7, 1914 New goods yard provided.
February 2, 1943 SEC Siding provided
September 29, 1959 Siding A abolished
May 5, 1982 Runaround facilities restored
September 30, 1984 New station building opened
February 27, 1986 Boom barriers replace hand gates at Yarra Street
May 21, 1992 Siding C and D disconnected
June 13, 1992 Platform extended to current length
Line Opened
November 25, 1876 Line opened Geelong to Winchelsea
Safeworking
May 9, 1892 Staff and Ticket provided Geelong B - South Geelong - Queenscliff Junction
March 29, 1900 Large Electric Staff provided Geelong B - South Geelong - Queenscliff Junction
August 5, 1901 Line opened South Geelong to Drysdale
August 5, 1901 Queenscliff Junction closed. Large Electric Staff section now South Geelong - Moriac
July 21, 1913 Large Electric Staff provided South Geelong - Drysdale
(February 23, 1914) Duneed opened. Large Electric Staff section now South Geelong - Duneed
July 17, 1916 Miniature Electric Staff provided South Geelong - Drysdale
(January 14, 1918) Geelong Racecourse opened. Large Electric Staff section now South Geelong - Geelong Racecourse
July 26, 1921 Duneed closed. Large Electric Staff section now South Geelong - Moriac
December 12, 1922 Composite Electric Staff provided South Geelong - Grovedale
June 20, 1928 Miniature Electric Staff provided Geelong B - South Geelong
September 18, 1928 Miniature Electric Staff provided South Geelong - Geelong Racecourse
February 18, 1930 Composite Electric Staff provided South Geelong - Leopold
June 8, 1931 Staff and Ticket provided South Geelong - Drysdale
June 15, 1956 Miniature Electric Staff provided South Geelong - Moriac
November 6, 1976 Queenscliff closed. Staff and Ticket section now South Geelong - Cheetham's Siding
December 12, 1978 Composite Electric Staff provided South Geelong - Moriac
(November 13, 1988) Train Order Working provided South Geelong - Winchelsea
December 10, 1989 Track Block provided Geelong - South Geelong
July 20, 2005 Marshall opened. Train Order Working section now South Geelong - Marshall
December 1, 2005 Track Block provided South Geelong - Marshall
Line Closed
January 1, 1978 Line closed South Geelong to Cheetham's Siding

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Diagrams


NOTE: Diagrams are not to scale.

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Photos


Nine of 71 images found displayed. Click them to enlarge.

New pointwork for the siding, to permit platform extension

New pointwork for the siding, to permit platform extension

New pointwork stored at Swanston Street

New pointwork stored at Swanston Street

New pointwork for the platform extension

New pointwork for the platform extension

New pedestrian gates provided at Yarra Street

New pedestrian gates provided at Yarra Street

New signal post and points to permit platform extension

New signal post and points to permit platform extension

New track panels to replace old set of points

New track panels to replace old set of points

New points and signal in place

New points and signal in place

Old Annett locked points to be removed

Old Annett locked points to be removed

New signal post for down end

New signal post for down end

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