Laverton Station

Laverton Station
Station
Line: Geelong and Warrnambool
Distance from Melbourne: 20.917 km
Track Diagram: View
Google Maps: Satellite /  Map
Opened: July 1, 1886

Laverton was once an important crossing loop, but is now just a suburban station. Today the station has three platforms linked by an overhead concourse at the down end, the brick station building located on platforms 2/3, the citybound platform 1 having a canopy for most of it's length. The junction for the Altona line is on the Melbourne side of the station, with an separate track running from platform 3 towards Westona.

Origins


Laverton opened for passenger traffic in 1886, and for goods traffic in 1887. The station was built due to the actions of a private developer, C.R. Staples, who asked the Railways Department to build a station in conjunction with the township of Laverton he was marketing. The early years of the station saw very little traffic.

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Explosives


The Truganina Explosives Reserve was established in 1897 to the south-east of the station, on the shore of Altona Bay. Located on marshy paddocks belonging to George Chirnside, they were built to replace the Maribyrnong magazine which was now being encroached upon by both housing and industry. The reserve opened on May 1st 1901.

A jetty was provided at the new reserve, along with 26 magazines, and a 1 1/2 mile long 2ft iron railed, horse drawn tramway. The tramway originally ran from the south of Laverton Station, east along the railway line, then turning south to run along Merton Street, then east along what is now Queen Street, where it entered the reserve. A powder shed was provided in the goods yard at Laverton Station in 1900 for the transfer of explosives.

At some point after 1915 the tramway was altered to run to the north of the station yard, using an underpass of the railway line at Merton Street. The number of magazines also increased to 61, and the number of sidings to 9. The tramway to Laverton Station remained in use until World Way II when road haulage took over. The reserve itself remained until 1962, when a new explosives storage area was opened at Point Wilson.

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Further growth


Crossing facilities were extended in 1912 with the provision of two extra dead end sidings. In 1928 they were extended again with the down end dead end converted into a loop, as well as the installation of ATC safeworking that allowed more trains to be run in the single line sections.

The next major changes followed in 1965 when the line was duplicated from Rock to Laverton, and the up end of the station was rearranged. In 1968 duplication towards Werribee followed, along with the provision of a second platform, located on the south side behind the existing one. Mechanical control of signals and points was replaced by an electric relay panel. A year later in 1969 a new station building was provided.

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Laverton derailment


In July 10th 1976 a Melbourne bound train from Port Fairy derailed at Laverton, resulting in one fatality and a number of injured passengers. The cause of the derailment was later found to be excessive speed through a crossover at the up side of the station. The incident also resulted in a lower speed limit being applied to wooden bodied carriage stock.

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Final changes


1983 saw the electrification of the Werribee line, and the end of railcars and diesel hauled local trains to Werribee In 1985 the signalling at Laverton was altered again, with the opening of the line to Westona. In 1986 remote control was provided from Newport.

By 1991 only a goods platform, loop siding, and short dead end remained of the yard. Construction of the parallel Standard Gauge line from 1994 removed these, with today only a single loop siding remains. This remaining siding is unelectrified and is currently unavailable for traffic. The parallel Standard Gauge line runs around the loop siding.

From then until 2008 the station had an island platform between the two broad gauge main lines, with a utilitarian concrete station building in the middle of it. A steel footbridge at the down end linked the platform to the streets and carparking on either side.

Extra carparking was added in 2007/08 at the up end of the station on the southern side of the line, despite this the railway reserve either side of the station still fills up with parked cars.

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Rebuilding


In 2008 it was announced that Laverton would be provided with a third platform to permit the running of trains starting and ending at the station during peak times. It is intended for the new platform to be built on the loop siding, with the two main lines to be slewed to run between the new platform and the current island platform, eliminating sharp slews at each end of the station for the west (up) line. The dock platform will be the current southern face, with a new line constructed from it east to Laverton Loop on the Altona line. The Princes Highway bridge will require undercutting to fit the extra track.

The total cost was $92.6 million, which also included a new footbridge to replacing the old bridge. As to why the new bridge wasn't built at the up end to provide two access points, and making it easier to get to the carpark? I am assuming they don't care about passengers, only wanting to cut down on the amount of ticketing equipment required.

Work started in late 2008, in October a works compound had been established beside the substation beside the freeway overpass, and in January 2009 a level crossing of the standard gauge line had been provided for construction access to the site of the new platform. By March the loop siding had been removed, the main line points being replaced by concrete sleepered track panels. At the same time track on the West Line (through platform 1) was rebuilt for better drainage pending the future platform alongside, and the traction power feeds from the substation were relocated away from the main line to make room for the new track to Altona.

In June 2009 the track for the East Line (through platform 2) was rebuilt, the site of the new platform and footbridge abutments were also enclosed with a cyclone fence to allow construction to continue without track occupations being needed. During the same period temporary walls were built under the freeway overpass to permit undercutting work to start, and boring commenced for the foundations of the new footbridge. An additional site office was established on the northern side of the line, and a new hut for signalling equipment was installed. By July the site of the new carpark at the down end of the northern side had been graded, and foundations for the new footbridge were visible. Work undercutting the Princes Freeway had also started.

In August a new temporary ramp to the island platform was starting to be built out of scaffolding. This allowed construction of the lift wells for the footbridge to continue upwards without obstruction. Piles were also being poured for the new platform, which was built on concrete stilts. By late August the tilt-slab lift wells for the footbridge were completed, along with the bases of the footbridge spans. In September the first concrete deck slabs for the new platform was in place, and the two steel footbridge spans had been delivered, being lifted into place on October 3.

Also in September much of the undercutting of the overpass had been completed, the foundations of the new Merton Street bridge were under way, and earthworks at Laverton Loop for the additional track had commenced. The single concrete span of the new Merton Street bridge was in position by November, made up of one girder either side of the tracks. The floor of the bridge was suspended between, with temporary formwork used to hold up the floor until the concrete was set. By December the new track formation between the freeway and the station was complete, with ballast laid but no tracks.

The track through the new platform was laid early on but left unballasted and disconnected, a new signal gantry at the up end of the platforms being erected by November 2009. By this time much of the new platform was complete except for fencing and furniture, these being done in December. The new footbridge opened in early February 2010, the last ramps of the old bridge being removed a few weeks after. The steps from the bridge to platform 1 needed to be hurriedly altered at this time, with about 20 centimetres needing to be removed from the outer edge. This was due to the edge of the platform fouling the tracks, which required the wheelchair access to the elevator to be moved inwards, and hence the stairs shrunk in size.

On March 9, 2010 the West Line was slewed through the new platform 1, with platform 2 left empty. Trains on the East Line continued to use platform 3 until April 5, when the East Line was slewed over to the former alignment of the West Line. After the completion of these works both main line tracks at Laverton are 'straight through', instead of slewing across as they previously did.

The April works connected platform 3 back to the main line at the down end via a set of points, however the up end of the new tracks was left hanging loose. This was rectified in June 2010 when Laverton Loop was abolished: the southern track connected to the new line towards platform 3 and the northern track connected to the East and West lines as before.

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Standard gauge


When the standard gauge opened in 1995 no facilities were provided at Laverton. However the line was slewed away from the northern loop siding to allow for a future side platform. The Princes Highway overpass required undercutting to fit the extra track.

The Specialised Container Transport (SCT) depot to the east was officially opened in August 2000, with the adjacent 1500 meter long crossing loop opened soon after. The loop is sometimes called "Galvin Loop", and even ARTC documents use it occasionally.

The SCT depot has a lead off the main line at the down end, with two sidings running from Merton Street and parallel to the main line, before turning north. A lead is also provided in the up direction. Inside the fence the sidings continue north to a headshunt at the far end, with dead end sidings located to the left and right, those to the west going into the warehouse. In 2008 a locomotive depot was built for servicing of the newly acquired SCT class diesels.

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Events


July 1, 1886 Opened
June 1, 1969 New station building provided.
Line Opened
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
May 2, 1965 Line duplicated Rock to Laverton
October 22, 1967 Line duplicated Altona Junction to Laverton
September 1, 1968 Line duplicated Laverton to Werribee
Safeworking
August 5, 1898 Large Electric Staff provided Newport South - Laverton - Werribee
(April 27, 1914) Miniature Electric Staff provided Newport South - Laverton - Werribee
April 29, 1928 Automatic and Track Control provided Newport South - Laverton - Werribee
May 15, 1928 Rock opened. Automatic and Track Control section now Rock - Laverton
October 22, 1967 Rock closed. Automatic and Track Control section now Altona Junction - Laverton
September 1, 1968 Drome closed. Automatic and Track Control section now Laverton - Werribee

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Diagrams


NOTE: Diagrams are not to scale.

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Photos


Nine of 24 images found displayed. Click them to enlarge.

Station building

Looking towards Melbourne

November 29, 2007

Down end

Two main lines, disused through siding road, then standard gauge line

November 29, 2007

Station building

Looking towards Melbourne

November 29, 2007

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Aerial Photos


1945 photo map of Melbourne, produced by the Victorian Department of Lands and Survey, now accessable via the University of Melbourne:

1945 aerial photo of Laverton Station

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Sources