Princes Bridge railway station
Princes Bridge was a Melbourne railway station built in 1859 and was the terminus for all Epping line and Hurstbridge line trains. The station was named after the adjacent Princes Bridge, which crosses the Yarra River. Originally Princes Bridge station was isolated from Flinders Street Station, even though it was adjacent to it, sited just on the opposite side of Swanston Street. Some years later the railway tracks were extended under the street to join the two stations, and Princes Bridge slowly became amalgamated into the larger Flinders Street Station.
Originally known as Prince's Bridge (as was the bridge itself), the station was opened as the city terminus of the Melbourne and Suburban Railway Company line to Punt Road (Richmond) in 1859. Extended to Prahran in 1859 and Windsor in 1860, it formed today's Sandringham line. A small engine shed was built east of the station in 1859 by the company. A locomotive depot later replaced it on a new site, built in 1888 and demolished for the Jolimont Workshops in 1917 as part of the electrification of the suburban network.
The Hobson's Bay, Melbourne and St Kilda and Brighton railway companies merged in 1865, with the three systems connected in October 1865 and Princes Bridge closed. It was not until 2 April 1879 when the Railways Department that it was reopened, to operate as the terminus of the newly opened Gippsland Railway. The City Morgue was located close to the station entry on Swanston Street, until acquired by the railways and demolished in 1890. The direct connection between Princes Bridge and Clifton Hill station was not opened until October 1901. Before this time trains from the north-eastern suburbs used the Inner Circle line via Fitzroy to reach Spencer Street Station.
By 1910 the two stations were joined together, the three platforms at Princes Bridge. One was an extension of Flinders Street platform 1 (number 1 east) while the other two were an island platform with tracks numbered 15 and 16. Track 15 was a dead end, but track 16 (the northern-most track) had a traverser between it and a parallel run around siding to allow steam locomotives to change ends. A footbridge provided pedestrian access to the east end of the island platform, with the 'Flinders Street D' signal box located beyond it. Further north-east of the main lines to Jolimont was a locomotive siding and a coal stage, and carriage siding were located to the south-east. By 1957 the sidings had been rationalised, with the locomotive facilities and traverser removed. The sidings now formed part of Jolimont Yard.
The original Princes Bridge station buildings were demolished and replaced with the Princes Gate Towers, also known as the Gas and Fuel Corporation towers, with new tracks and platforms commissioned in December 1964. The site retained the name "Princes Bridge Station" until 29 June 1980, when it was integrated into Flinders Street Station as platforms 14, 15 and 16. By 1975 the track had been simplified to only run into platform 14, 15 and 16, and had been further simplified by 1982 due to the construction nearby of the City Circle portal of the City Loop. The track layout remained the same in 1995.
From 6 December 1981 until 23 August 1993, a train service called "City Circle" originated at the station. This train ran in a circle around the City Loop, stopping at all stations, before returning to Princes Bridge. It was replaced by the City Circle Tram in mid-1994.
The State Government announced the Federation Square project in 1996, with the Gas and Fuel towers demolished to make way. Piling works and crash walls for Federation Square were done by October 1998 with the deck was completed by mid-1999, with building works atop of it commencing in August 1999. The old platform space is now used as part of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
- Leo J. Harrigan (1962). Victorian Railways to '62. Public Relations and Betterment Board.
- Leo J. Harrigan (1962). Victorian Railways to '62. Public Relations and Betterment Board. p. 184.
- S.E. Dornan and R.G. Henderson (1979). Electric Railways of Victoria. Australian Electric Traction Society. p. 63. ISBN 0-909459-06-1.
- Victorian Railways Signalling Diagram: Flinders Street 14'10 (1910)
- Victorian Railways Signalling Diagram: Flinders Street 8'57 (1957)
- Vincent Adams Winter (1990). VR and VicRail: 1962 - 1983. p. 206. ISBN 0-9592069-3-0.
- Victorian Railways Signalling Diagram: Flinders Street 10'75 (1975)
- Victorian Railways Signalling Diagram: Flinders Street 13'82 (1982)
- The Met Signalling Diagram: Flinders Street 25'95 (1995)
- Jodie Misiak. "Federation Square: Masterpiece or Publicly-Funded Folly?" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-07-26.[dead link]
- "Department of Infrastructure: Annual Report 1998-99" (PDF). transport.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
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