Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Spencer Street Station
Spencer Street Station is a major railway station in Melbourne, Australia, in the state of Victoria. Located on Spencer Street between Collins and La Trobe Streets at the westernmost boundary of the central business district, it is the hub of the state's regional railway network, serving as a terminus for long-distance V/Line trains.
Originally known as Batman's Hill Station, Spencer Street Station (commonly referred to simply as Spencer Street; the context of use will indicate whether the station or the road is specified) was opened in 1859, five years after the opening of Flinders Street Station, the centre of the city's suburban railway network. The stations are connected by two viaducts along the north bank of the Yarra River, one built in 1891 (duplicated in 1915), the other in the 1970s. Passenger trains began using the first viaduct in 1894.
In the 1880s, it was proposed that the station be removed in order to facilitate the westward expansion of the city. The plan was subsequently rejected, although it was discussed at a Royal Commission.
Spencer Street is one of the five stations which comprise the City Loop, an underground railway which encircles the CBD. It and Flinders Street are the only stations in the Loop which are above ground.
At one stage, a short underground rail line existed to transfer mail between the station and the old mail sorting office across Spencer Street. This line has since ceased operation and the tunnel filled in.
Spencer Street Station is currently being redeveloped by the Civic Nexus consortium. Construction began in October 2002 and is expected to be completed in mid-2005, in time for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The central features of the design include a massive wave-shaped roof, a new entrance and concourse on Collins Street, a new bus interchange, a low-rise office building (older designs included a number of high-rise buildings), and a shopping complex between Bourke and La Trobe Streets.
In addition to the station's physical modifications, its name is to be changed to Southern Cross Station. The change, suggested by Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, was criticised for its disregard of the station's historically and geographically significant current name.
As of July 2004, the project has fallen behind schedule and been covered extensively in the media because of this. Complaints such as access to platforms, empty trains occupying space during the day, and lack of government support have been raised by Leighton Holdings , the construction firm overseeing the project. This has lead to concerns that the station may not be ready in time for the Commonwealth Games.
The station's redevelopment is part of the wider Docklands development.
|Anticlockwise: Flinders Street||↔||Spencer Street||↔||Clockwise: Flagstaff|
|Upfield, Werribee, Broadmeadows, Sydenham, Williamstown, Flemington Racecourse lines|
|City Loop||→||Spencer Street||→||North Melbourne|
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