St Kilda railway line
|St Kilda railway line, Melbourne|
|Closed||31 July 1987|
|Fate||Converted to tram route 96|
|Former connections||Link to Windsor, Port Melbourne line|
|Railways in Melbourne|
The line was opened by the Melbourne and Hobson's Bay Railway Company in 1857. It ran for 4.5 kilometres from the Melbourne (or City) Terminus (on the site of modern day Flinders Street Station), crossing the Yarra River via the Sandridge Bridge to branch off from the Port Melbourne line and finish at St Kilda, after stopping at three stations along the line.
For a short time early in the line's history there was a short connection provided to the then Brighton Line at Windsor from St Kilda, however this link was removed shortly after the direct link was provided to Brighton from Richmond. The line was taken over by the Government of Victoria in 1878 to become part of Victorian Railways. The line was electrified in the 20th century.
The line was originally to be closed in 1981 and replaced with buses as recommended in the Lonie Report. Plans were sufficiently advanced for Melbourne - Brighton Bus Lines to have taken delivery of six Volgren bodied Volvo B10M buses before it was decided to retain the rail service after much opposition.
Melbourne tram route 96 now operates on the converted track. The section from Southbank Junction to St Kilda was converted to light rail, requiring the conversion from broad gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) used by the Melbourne rail network to standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) tram track as well as reducing the overhead voltage from 1,500V DC to 600V DC required for the trams. The new tram route now continues down Fitzroy Street and the Esplanade to terminate at Acland Street.
Bold stations are termini.
|St Kilda railway line|
- "Victorian Buses in the Eighties" Australian Bus Panorama 6/1 July 1990 page 13
- "Melbourne - Brighton Bus Lines" Australian Bus Panorama 8/4 December 1992 page 10
- Chris Banger (March 1997). "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960". Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)) 25 (3): pages 77–82.