Box Hill railway station, Melbourne

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Box Hill railway station is on the Belgrave and Lilydale railway lines in Melbourne, Australia. It is located under Centro Box Hill shopping centre near the corner of Whitehorse Road and Station Street in Box Hill. A major bus interchange is part of the same complex, and the 109 tram route terminates nearby. Box Hill station is located 14.9 km from Flinders Street Station, and is the only Melbourne metropolitan station to be located underground besides those forming the City Loop. It is the 10th busiest railway station in Melbourne based upon passenger boardings, with an average of 10,400 boardings per day in 2009.

Facilities
Box Hill has been a Premium station since 1996, and as such, is staffed from first to last train and is in Metcard Zone 2. The station office is located above the platforms, selling both suburban and V/Line tickets. The Lilydale/Belgrave line changes from a triple to a double track at Box Hill. The station has 4 platforms. Platform 4 is used for outbound trains at peak times, with access by ramp or single escalator. All other trains use the island platform (2 & 3), accessed by stairs, lift and escalators. Platform 1 was used between 24 April 1983 and 9 June 1984 while the current station was being built, and has been retained for possible future use. The platform has no track or lighting, with a McDonalds Restaurant since opened over the ramp from the station concourse. Despite being a Premium station, there are no public toilets within the station complex. Toilets for station patrons were originally located out in Main St Mall, however, they have been closed permanently due to vandalism. Station patrons must now used the toilets provided by the adjoining shopping centre, which are only open during trading hours. There are also some toilets at the bus terminus. There have been calls for installation of toilets inside the station complex.

Platforms/Services
Platform 2:
  • Lilydale and Belgrave lines - all stations and limited stops services to Flinders Street
Platform 3:
  • Lilydale and Belgrave lines - all stations and limited stops services to Flinders Street at peak time
  • Lilydale and Belgrave lines - all stations services to Blackburn, Ringwood, Lilydale, Upper Ferntree Gully and Belgrave
Platform 4:
  • Lilydale and Belgrave lines - all stations services to Blackburn, Ringwood, Lilydale, Upper Ferntree Gully and Belgrave at peak time only


Bus services
A fourteen bay bus terminus is located two levels above the station or on the rooftop of Box Hill Central (also known as Centro Box Hill) shopping centre. Box Hill bus terminus is not a commonly used name for the bus terminus, however, there is an outdated sign that reads 'Box Hill Bus Station' on a section of wall which it is in the old PTC's green colour. It does not have many facilities but was "recently" upgraded. The terminus was upgraded with better lighting, better timetable information and new clearer and easier to read Metlink signage (orange coloured posts) were erected. Most facilities however are downstairs inside Centro Box Hill. On the bus terminus, each bay has a timetable affixed to the wall with a route map and a bay number sign, as well as many waiting benches for passengers. The terminus serves 20 bus routes, over 700 buses come in on most weekdays, about 330 on Saturday and 156 on Sunday.

Tram Services
  • 109 - Beacon Cove ( Port Melbourne Light Rail Station) via Whitehorse Road, Cotham Road, High Street, Barkers Road, Victoria Street, Victoria Parade, Collins Street, Spencer Street and Port Melbourne Light Rail. Box Hill is the only railway station on the Lilydale line to have a connecting tram service in Metcard Zone 2.


History
The original station opened in 1882 at ground level, when the railway line was extended from Camberwell to Lilydale. At the time, Box Hill was a separate town, with several hundred residents. In 1895, a large market was opened next to the station. On 19 December 1922, the section from Flinders Street to Box Hill was electrified, and this was continued to Ringwood the following month. In early 1983 the current station was built to eliminate the level crossing at Station Street. Box Hill Central shopping centre and the bus terminal above it were built over the top of the station. This was completed in 1985. During January 2007, the line was closed between Box Hill and Blackburn to facilitate grade separation works at the nearby Middleborough Road level crossing. Buses were operated between the two stations for the duration, and to cater for this a temporary bus interchange was constructed at Box Hill. The interchange was built directly on top of the tracks, which had been paved between the rails, to the east of the station, and was connected to platforms 2 and 3 by a raised walkway. With the completion of the project's major works at the end of January 2007, the bus interchange was removed.

Calls for upgrade
After a series of events, including faulty escalators, a once off (though nonetheless fatal) stabbing, along with the closure of a bingo centre (located alongside the bus terminal) on safety grounds, the community has been making calls for an upgrade. The upgrades calls are seeking a full refurbishment and redesign of the railway station and adjoining bus terminal to make it safer, improve integration (currently to get between trains and buses requires two sets of escalators and a layer of shops) and to make it more pleasant by improving the overall amenity. The upgrade call is supported by Anna Burke, Federal MP (ALP) for Chisholm, as well as Robert Clark, State MP (Liberal) for Box Hill and the Public Transport Users Association.

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