Essendon railway station, MelbourneEdit profile
Essendon railway station is located on Buckley Street near Mount Alexander Road in the Melbourne suburb of Essendon, 9.2 km north of Melbourne's main central station, Flinders Street Station on the Craigieburn railway line, in Metcard ticketing Zone 1.
The station consists of an island platform accessible via a pedestrian subway. The station's building is constructed of red brick in the Federation Free Classical Style. Essendon Railway Station is a premium station, being provided with staffing from first to last train, a ticket office that sells V/Line regional tickets in addition to Metcards, public toilets, and an indoor seating area. In the mornings there is an on-platform coffee seller and a newspaper kiosk (open to about 9am).
Nearby attractions are Windy Hill where the Essendon Football Club practice.
Essendon is the nearest station to Kangan Batman TAFE. There are a number of local private schools, the students of which dominate morning inbound passenger numbers. The schools include Ave Maria College, St Columbus's College, Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School and Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School.
The ticket office is on the island platform, as are two ticket machines.
Outbound trains normally arrive on the western side of the island platform (platform 3), while citybound trains normally arrive on the eastern side of the island platform (platform 2). The other platform (platform 1), on the eastern side of the station, is generally unused as it is too short to accommodate a 6-car suburban train, and has no Metcard equipment provided.
The pedestrian subway was previously prone to flooding until improvements to the drainage system were undertaken. A second subway passes under the railway line on the north side of the station, but it does not provide access to any platforms, merely connecting Rose Street to Russell Street.
Platforms and services
- Craigieburn line - all stations and limited stops services to Flinders Street
- Seymour/Shepparton line - intercity services to Southern Cross
- Craigieburn line - all stations to services to Broadmeadows and Craigieburn
- Seymour/Shepparton line - intercity services to Kilmore East, Seymour and Shepparton
Essendon station opened in October 1860 as the terminus of the private Melbourne and Essendon Railway Company line from Melbourne. The service was closed in July 1864, before reopening under government ownership on 9 January 1871. The line to the north was opened in 1872 as part of the North East railway to Wodonga.
A completely new station with a single platform was provided in 1878 on the site of the present island platform, with passenger subways and footbridges added in 1886, along with conversion of the island platform to the current layout. It was also at this time that a road overpass was provided at Mount Alexander Road, in what was one of the first grade separation projects to be carried out in the state. The road opened was widened in 1931. In 1909 the present buildings were provided, along with a centre track between platforms 1 and 2.
Electric train services between Essendon and the city were inaugurated in 1919, with electrification extended to Broadmeadows in 1921. However Essendon remained the terminus of most suburban services, with a shuttle service operating beyond until 1925, with all day through services to Broadmeadows not provided until 1941. The station took the layout it has today in 1969, with the abolition of the centre track, closure of the stand alone signal box, provision of automatic signalling along the line, and replacement of the Buckley Street interlocked crossing gates with boom barriers. The station is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, and was upgraded to a Premium Station in 1996.
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