Somerville railway station, MelbourneEdit profile
Somerville is a railway station in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, located in the suburb of Somerville, on the Stony Point railway line. Somerville is unmanned and is in Metcard Zone 2.Facilities
Somerville station is located between Frankston-Flinders Road and Station Street, with station access from both.
The station consists of one side platform, with a semi-large fibro building in the centre. Like all stations on the Stony Point line, the station contains no Metcard machine or validators, with passengers required to pre-purchase tickets and validate them on arrival at Frankston.Platforms and services
- Stony Point line - all stations services to Frankston, for connecting Frankston line services to Flinders Street
- Stony Point line - all stations services to Stony Point
- 782 Frankston – Flinders via Hastings (every day). Operated by Peninsula Bus Lines.
- 783 Frankston – Hastings via Somerville RS, Tyabb RS (Monday to Friday). Operated by Peninsula Bus Lines.
Somerville station opened on 10 September 1889 due to rapid growth in the fruit (apples and pears) and dairy industries. The dairy industry needed a quick way of sending milk and cream to butter factories.
When the railway line reached Somerville, the station was a mile or so from the school and hall which at the time was located on Lower Somerville Road. The town centre moved from there to its current site.
Somerville station also operated as a post and telegraph office in the early years and was a centre where people met as they collected their mail. The investment in special railway sidings servicing new packing sheds and cool stores over a period of six years from 1914 to 1920 created expansion in the apple and pear growing industry. The advent of iced T wagons made it possible to load chilled fruit for quick transport to Melbourne docks and load directly into refrigerated ships for overseas destinations.
Up until the end of World War II a special train ran to the horticultural show at Somerville which was reputed to be one of the biggest of its kind in Australia. The railway line also helped the fruit tree nurseries, and family-operated companies such as Brunnings, Shepherds, Unthanks, Coles and Grants. They sent hundreds of thousands of bare-rooted trees all over Australia, to the Goulburn, the Murray Valley and Sunraysia in Victoria, the Riverina districts of New South Wales and to the Granite Belt area, centred on Stanthorpe in Queensland. This traffic was seasonal and took place from May to September.
The station building that stood on the platform at Somerville was a portable, meaning that it was delivered in sections and bolted together. The building contained an office and a safe working area from which the staff and ticket system was operated. There was a van shed for small goods and parcels, two waiting rooms, one for the ladies and a general waiting room, and toilets. In the station yard there was a general goods shed, a loading ramp and crane and livestock loading facility. Later, two sidings were built for the Somerville Co-operative Cool Stores.
The station master's house was located at the Frankston-Flinders Road entrance to the station. Unfortunately, two Somerville youths set fire to the house during August 2009. The house was completely destroyed and the youths were apprehended, yet still await charge.
The station was usually staffed by the station master, but on occasions over the years he was assisted by a lad porter or assistant station master from Baxter. Somerville station was the banking station for all stations to Stony Point and supplied some of them with stores and stationary. Safeworking was originally the staff and ticketing system but this was varied from time to time until the opening of Long Island sidings when the electric staff system was introduced.