Sunshine railway station, Melbourne

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Sunshine railway station, Melbourne
Sunshine is a railway station in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, located in the suburb of Sunshine, on the Sydenham railway line. It is the junction for the line west to Ballarat. The Melbourne - Sydney standard gauge line is also adjacent to the station. Classed as a Premium Station, Sunshine is in the Metcard and myki Zones 1+ 2 overlap.

Sunshine is located between Monash Street and Durham Road, with station access from both. The station consists of a side platform and an island format; Platform 1 has a large weatherboard building housing an enclosed waiting area, ticket facilities and toilets, while platform 2 & 3 has a small brick building. Metcard and myki ticket vending machines are located inside the waiting area, which are able to dispense most ticketing options available and also accept notes and coins. A small coin-only Metcard ticket vending machine is located at the entrance to the island platform, with a myki vending machine by its side. A signal box is situated at the Watergardens end of the station, whist a disused SG (standard gauge) platform is adjacent to platform 1. An underpass is also situated at the Watergardens end of the station. Platform 1:
  • Sydenham line - limited stops services to Flinders Street
  • Bendigo line - V/Line services to Southern Cross
Platform 2:
  • Sydenham line - all stations and limited stops services to St Albans, Watergardens
  • Ballarat line - V/Line services to Bacchus Marsh, Ballarat, Wendouree (3 services per day extend to Ararat, 1 service per day extends to Maryborough)
  • Bendigo line " V/Line services to Sunbury, Kyneton, Bendigo (1 service per day extends to Echuca)
Platform 3:
  • Ballarat line - V/Line services to Southern Cross

The Melbourne and Murray River Railway (now named the Bendigo line) originating from Spencer St Station was first laid out through the area in the late 1850s from Footscray station on its way to Sunbury and beyond, however no station was built at that time on the current site; the closest station was Albion and Darlington which is on the site of the current Albion station. It was in 1885, when a railway direct from Melbourne to Ballarat via Bacchus Marsh was being built branching off from the railway to Bendigo, that a station at the junction of the two lines was built. The station opened on September 7, 1885, as Braybrook Junction - named such as it was at the junction of the two lines and lay in the Shire of Braybrook. In 1887 a railway connecting the new station at Braybrook Junction to Newport and Williamstown, Victoria's major cargo port at the time, was opened. In 1907 Braybrook Junction station was renamed Sunshine when H. V. McKay moved his Sunshine Harvester Works adjacent to the station. The Sunshine train disaster was a terrible episode and the worst train crash in Victorian railway history. On the night of April 20, 1908, 44 people were killed and over 400 injured when a Melbourne-bound train from Bendigo collided with the rear of a train from Ballarat, which was just leaving the station. Around 1,100 people were aboard the two trains. Almost all of the casualties were from the Ballarat train, as the Bendigo train was cushioned by its two AA class locomotives. A temporary mortuary was set up at Spencer Street Station (Melbourne's regional terminus), and flags at the station flew at half-mast. The Albion-Jacana line opened in 1929 connecting Sunshine station with the North East railway line so that freight trains could avoid the steeper grades and now busy suburban traffic on the line between North Melbourne, Essendon and Broadmeadows. The road level crossing at Sunshine was removed when grade separation was carried out in 1961. Boom barriers were provided at Anderson Street for the Bendigo line in the same year. A fourth platform was opened at the station in January 1963 on the adjacent North East standard gauge line, to enable passengers to transfer between the interstate Sydney and Adelaide expresses. In 1965 control of signals at Albion station was transferred to the signal box at Sunshine. Boom barriers were provided at Anderson Street for the Ballarat line in 1977. The station was designated as a Premium Station on July 26, 1996.

Future plans
The Regional Rail Link will have great effect on Sunshine station. Once finished, regional trains between Melbourne and Geelong will pass through Sunshine station. This will make Sunshine an even more important interchange for Victoria's western regional railway lines as all three will meet at Sunshine. Accordingly, Sunshine station is set to be "transformed" and extra platforms will be built.