Ballarat railway station, VictoriaEdit profile
Ballarat railway station is a railway station serving the city of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia.
The station is located on the Ballarat line and serves both freight and passenger functions.
Passenger services originating and terminating at Wendouree, Ararat and Maryborough also pass through the station on the journey to or from Melbourne.
The railway station buildings are of major architectural and historical significance to Ballarat and Victoria and many of the historic features including the mechanical swing gates and signal boxes have been preserved. It is one of only three in Victoria to have had a 19th century train shed (along with Geelong and St Kilda).History
Construction on Ballarat West Railway Station began in 1862 with the original buildings constructed at a cost of almost 22,000 pounds with the original railway line to Melbourne going via Geelong to service the booming Ballarat goldfields.
A bluestone engine shed was built to the south and the goods shed to the north were added in 1863. In 1877 the footbridge and waiting rooms on the south side were added,.Age of Greatness
Following the opening of the direct line from Ballarat to Melbourne was established in December 1889 and increase in patronage led to plans to upgrade the station. A grand portico, stationmasters office and clocktower were added in 1891 however the clock was not added at this time.
With the closure of Ballarat East Railway Station and the amalgamation of councils, the station gradually dropped the name West Ballarat.Preservation
Noted for their historic architecture, the building is classified by Heritage Victoria and the National Trust of Victoria
The clock was added to the tower in 1984.
On December 13, 1981 fire badly damaged the interiors of the 1888 section including the station master's office, waiting room, booking office, dining room and clock tower All of these areas were later repaired and retained and other features restored however some interiors including the booking office were subsequently modernised.Second Boom
Following the Regional Fast Rail project and the introduction of VLocity trains as well as services to Ararat in 2005, passenger numbers at Ballarat station boomed increasing by as much as 40% a year. The resulted in the call for a second station, Wendouree railway station to alleviate congestion primarily caused by park and ride commuters from Ballarat's outer western suburbs. The station saw a big increase in trains as the result of the opening of the Maryborough, being at the junction of the line.Services
- Ballarat line - terminating V/Line services, returning to Southern Cross
- Ararat line - peak hour V/Line services to Wendouree (as well as 3 trains per day to Ararat)
- Maryborough line - daily V/Line service to Maryborough
Most V/Line services use platform 1, as it has direct access to the ticket office, waiting room, and coach terminal. Platform 2 is used as required, such as when heritage trains visit the station.Connections
Ballarat station services coaches to and from:
- Halls Gap and the Grampians National Park (via Ararat and Stawell)
- Horsham, Dimboola, Nhill and Adelaide
- Hamilton and Mount Gambier
- Ouyen, Donald and Mildura
Ballarat railway station is of major significance for its historic architecture.
The exterior features a prominent 1888 neoclassical clocktower and portico balcony for the stationmaster's office.
The remaining interiors include a waiting room with large cast iron Egyptian revival columns, stained wood and stained glass skylight. There is a refreshments room (still used) and a dining room.
The engineering of the facilities including train shed, bluestone warehouse buildings is also of note.
The original mechanical swing gates have been altered and are still in operation.Trails
The station is the official starting point of two multiuse trails:
- The Wallaby Track, part of the Great Dividing Trail goes to Daylesford and Buninyong.
- The Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail goes to Skipton.