Laburnum railway station
The station after rebuilding
|Tracks||2 (room for 3)|
|Station status||Unmanned station|
|Website||Link, includes timetables|
Laburnum is an unmanned railway station on the Lilydale and Belgrave railway lines, in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Blackburn, Victoria, Australia. It serves the locality of Laburnum, in particular the nearby Box Hill High School.
Laburnum is made mostly from steel, built upon stilts either side of the track which is on an embankment. It has minimal facilities including a pair of side platforms with a small undercover shelter on each. It has steel ramps and steps leading from each platform, with access via Hillside Crescent, Thiele Court and Laburnum Street. There is a small gravel carpark off Thiele Court, which is normally full on weekdays. Laburnum has four bicycle lockers near Laburnum Street.
Both platforms extend over Laburnum Street, and parts of the platforms are held up by concrete blocks. The station has a rail bridge over Laburnum Street which used to bend sharply, making it a very slow, narrow and dangerous corner. The bend has since been widened and the curve smoothed as part of the re-construction of Laburnum.
Room has been left between the platforms for a future third track, which will allow the running of regular express services through to Blackburn and beyond. However, no room has been left for a platform to serve this track.
Platforms and services
- Lilydale line – all stations and limited stops services to Flinders Street
- Belgrave line – all stations and limited stops services to Flinders Street
Laburnum was opened in 1958 when residential development came to the area.
The original Laburnum station had two platforms with a substantial brick building on the citybound platform, and a small brick shelter on the outbound platform. It had four bicycle lockers on the city-bound platform. A Telstra payphone was located on the outbound platform, however this was removed after repeated vandalism well before the station was closed for the grade separation project (see below). The station was fully wheelchair accessible, as access to both platforms was primarily by ramps. Like most suburban stations in Melbourne during the late 1980s, the station was a target for graffiti. It has not been staffed since the 1990s.
The Middleborough Road Grade Separation Project involved lowering the Belgrave/Lilydale line eight metres below Middleborough Road. A side effect was the rebuilding of Laburnum station, and the removal of the bend in Laburnum Street beneath it. The station buildings were demolished starting from 28 October 2006. Part of Laburnum Street was closed from mid December, temporary undercover areas were installed and the platforms themselves remained until the start of the four week shut down from January 1 to 29 2007. Laburnum Street was reopened in mid February 2007.
During the shut down period (finalised on 28 January 2007), buses replaced trains from Box Hill to Blackburn. Travellers wanting to travel from the vicinity of Laburnum Station to the city needed to catch a bus from Laburnum to Blackburn, and then change to the Box Hill bus and vice versa. The grade separation project was completed at a total cost of $72.5 million - 30% above the original estimate.
Toot Toot - Drive Slowly sign
Laburnum Station was once known for having a sign reading 'Toot Toot - drive slowly' under the railway bridge, which crosses Laburnum Street. Drivers would often sound their car horns, as instructed by the sign, to warn oncoming, but possibly unseen traffic that might be approaching the narrow underpass. Infuriated neighbours would frequently attempt to remove this sign by painting over it, but to no avail; the local council would restore this sign every time.
When the station was rebuilt following the 2007 grade separation, the road underpass was substantially widened and the sign was finally deemed uncessary and removed for good. A plaque commemorating the sign and describing its history was erected, although it, too, has since been removed.
- VICSIG Infrastructure - Laburnum
- "Middleborough Road Rail Separation". John Holland. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- Chris Gordon/Vicsig (16 September 2006). "Warning sign on the Laburnum Street bridge at Laburnum". vicsig.net. Retrieved 2013-05-09.
- Lawrence Money and Suzanne Carbone (October 24, 2006). "Carbone & Money - Opinion". The Age. theage.com.au. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- Suzanne Carbone and Lawrence Money (October 6, 2006). "Gone up in a puff of smoke". theage.com.au. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- Chris Gordon/Vicsig (16 September 2007). "Historic information on the Toot Toot sign for Laburnum Street at Laburnum". vicsig.net. Retrieved 2013-05-09.
Media related to Laburnum railway station, Melbourne at Wikimedia Commons
- VicRoads: Middleborough Road Grade Separation Project
- Middleborough Road Alliance
- VICSIG: Middleborough Road Project
- VICSIG: Laburnum station - Contains photos of the old and new stations, and construction work.