St Kilda railway line

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St Kilda railway line, Melbourne
Line details
Opened 1857
Closed 31 July 1987
Fate Converted to tram route 96
Length 4.5 kilometres
Stations 5
Tracks Double track
Former connections Link to Windsor, Port Melbourne line
Railways in Melbourne

The St Kilda railway line is a former railway line in Melbourne, Australia.

Operation[edit]

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.

Closure[edit]

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.[1][2]

The line was closed on 31 July 1987, along with the Port Melbourne line and reopened as part of the Melbourne tram network on 21 November 1987.[3]

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 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) broad gauge used by the Melbourne rail network to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge tram track as well as reducing the overhead voltage from 1,500 V DC to 600 V DC required for the trams. The new tram route now continues down Fitzroy Street and the Esplanade to terminate at Acland Street.

Line guide[edit]

St Kilda railway line
City Loop
0 km Flinders Street Tram} interchange
City Loop
Sandridge Bridge over the Yarra River
Queensbridge Street
Kings Way
Clarendon Street
Tram route 109
Tram Stop
Port Melbourne line (Tram route 109)
West Gate Freeway
City Road
York Street
1.7 km South Melbourne
Dorcas Street
Bank Street
Park Street
Bridport Street
2.4 km Albert Park
Albert Road
Tram Stop
3.3 km Middle Park
Tram Stop
St Kilda – Windsor railway line
4.6 km St Kilda
Tram route 96
Bold stations are termini.

References[edit]

Station on the line in the 1980s, with a billboard promoting the light rail
  1. ^ "Victorian Buses in the Eighties" Australian Bus Panorama 6/1 July 1990 page 13
  2. ^ "Melbourne - Brighton Bus Lines" Australian Bus Panorama 8/4 December 1992 page 10
  3. ^ Chris Banger (March 1997). "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960". Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)) 25 (3): pages 77–82.