Lara Station

Lara Station
Station
Line: Geelong and Warrnambool
Distance from Melbourne: 57.504 km
Track Diagram: View
Google Maps: Satellite /  Map
Opened: November 1, 1856

Lara is a busy commuter station for local residents headed for Melbourne. Lara also sees heavy use during the bi-annual Avalon Airshow. It has an island platform, with the faces staggered to some degree. The station building is located in the middle, and has an enclosed waiting room, booking office, and toilets. Platform access is via a pedestrian crossing at the Geelong end over a single track. For many years the station was only staffed during morning peak up until lunchtime, in 2009 it was altered to be open until around 7 pm at night, to reduce the number of tickets needing to be sold by conductors onboard trains.

There is a loop siding about 800 metres long along the west line, and a crossover at each end of the station to allow trains from both main lines to access it. The loop is using during the Avalon Airshow to stable V/Line trains, and in 2008 was often used to stable late running down Warrnambool freight trains, until the reopening of the east side of North Geelong Yard for the purpose.

History


Lara opened with the Geelong - Melbourne railway line in 1856 as Duck Ponds. It was the first terminus of the line out of Geelong while construction pressed onwards, both goods and passenger facilities were provided, as was a crossing loop.

By 1899 the station was interlocked, and a substantial three road yard existed. In 1912 the sidings were extended in length. In 1926 a new signal frame was provided due he the previous one being destroyed by fire. It is believed the current station building was built at this time. (an alternative date is 1948 when a Station Master was assigned to Lara.)

Little change occurred at Lara until 1973 when all two position mechanical signalling was replaced with three position colour light signals, and a new control panel provided. At the same time No 2 Road was extended to form a 640 meter (2100 ft) long crossing loop.

In 1981 further change occurred at Lara with duplication of the line between Little River and Corio. A new back platform was provided to serve the East (Geelong bound) line, giving Lara an island layout. One of the yard sidings was also removed by this time. The final layout changes occurred in 1993 when another siding was removed from the yard, leaving only the long loop. The space occupied by the removed siding was used by the Standard Gauge line that opened in 1995.

In 2006 the signalling at Lara was replaced as part of the Regional Fast Rail project, with control being transferred to the Geelong Signal Control Centre. This allows the greatest advantage to be gained from the bi-directional lines, allowing slower trains to be passed by faster ones.

In 2007 the 'Parkway' (park and ride) facility was completed, which extended the car park, upgraded the bus shelter (with a roof so high it is useless if it rains) and put additional signage on the Princes Freeway. Other parkways are at Drouin, Ballan, Garfield, Gisborne, Bacchus Marsh and Wallan with a total cost of $5 million.

In June 2007 work started on a upgrade of the station building, with the construction of a temporary platform extension at the Melbourne end of platform 1. Work did not actually start until March 2008 when hoardings were erected around the station building, and temporary facilities provided by portable buildings in the car park. A 25 km/h speed restriction was place on the east line though the station, most likely due to the effect on visibility to the pedestrian crossing accessing the platform. The current building was then gutted, and extended to the south, and verandas built all around. The new building will feature a bigger waiting room and ticket office, a small kiosk, and upgraded toilets. Purple Viclink signage was erected in August, along with the finishing touches on the new building. Costing $700,000 the work was completed in mid 2008.

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Events


November 1, 1856 Opened
June 18, 1887 Tenders called for erection of Lime Shed
March 18, 1903 Tenders called for erection of 10 ton road weighbridge
May 20, 1912 Crossover provided at Up end between Nos 1 and 2 Roads. Crossover faces in Down direction in No 1 Road.
December 17, 1926 New signal bay provided with new frame due to fire.
November 2, 1932 SM removed
May 31, 1948 SM provided
January 1, 1973 No 2 Road extended at Down end to form crossing loop. (this year)
May 20, 1973 Mechanical interlocking abolished. Panel provided with switchout facilites. No 2 Road lengthened at both ends end to form an extended crossing loop.
April 26, 1981 No 1 Road slewed to form new Back Platform Road.
October 5, 1993 No 2 Siding abolished
Line Opened
November 1, 1856 Line opened Lara to Geelong
January 1, 1857 Line opened Little River to Lara
June 25, 1857 Line officially opened between Geelong and at temporary terminus at Greenwich. A ferry was used the complete the journey to Melbourne
October 3, 1857 Temporary Greenwich terminal and stub line closed. Geelong line now connected to the partially completed Williamstown line. A ferry complete the journey from Williamstown to Melbourne
January 17, 1859 Williamstown line finally completed to Melbourne. Geelong trains can now operate direct to Spencer Street Station
Track Amplified
June 4, 1981 Line duplicated Little River to Lara
September 19, 1981 Line duplicated Lara to Corio
Safeworking
August 5, 1898 Large Electric Staff provided Little River - Lara - North Geelong B
December 20, 1903 North Geelong A opened. Large Electric Staff section now Lara - North Geelong A
March 12, 1906 North Geelong A closed. Large Electric Staff section now Lara - North Geelong B
October 18, 1911 North Geelong A opened. Large Electric Staff section now Lara - North Geelong A
January 8, 1914 Corio opened. Large Electric Staff section now Lara - Corio
(April 27, 1914) Miniature Electric Staff provided Little River - Lara - Corio
July 15, 1928 Automatic and Track Control provided Little River - Lara
August 26, 1928 Automatic and Track Control provided Lara - Corio

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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.

Main entry to the station

March 04, 2009

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Sources