South Geelong railway station
|Location||Yarra Street, South Geelong|
|Distance||74.41 kilometres from Southern Cross|
|Fare zone||Myki zone 4|
|Website||Public Transport Victoria|
|Opened||1 November 1883|
The railway line to Winchelsea opened on 25 November 1876. Prior to South Geelong, the site was used as a loading point for ballast and bluestone loading point for a construction contractor, building the Queenscliff line.
A wooden station building was provided at opening. Opposite the station was a loop siding, longer than the platform, and behind the station was a dead end siding. Around 1887-1888, the siding was extended, and a goods shed provided.
A list of signals, dated around 1899, showed South Geelong having two home signals and two starters. In March 1900, the Staff and Ticket, between the sections Geelong - Queenscliff Junction - Mount Moriac, was replaced by electric staff. However, the station appeared to retain a block post between the station and Geelong, apparently so that trains can wait at the station, instead of at Queenscliff Junction.
On 5 August 1901, Queenscliff Junction was abolished, with a new parallel line built next to the old line, effectively making South Geelong the junction to Queenscliff. An interlocking frame was also provided around this time, with the station building partially rebuilt, to accommodate the frame. After this, the large Electric staff was now Geelong "D" signalbox - South Geelong - Mount Moriac, while the branch Staff and Ticket became South Geelong - Drysdale.
Alterations to arrangements for the Geelong Showgrounds and the Geelong Racecourse took place a few years later. The Racecourse, which was served by a short railway branch from Connewarre, moved to its present site in 1907, as well as the Showgrounds. They were served by a new siding and station. In 1912, the platform was extended at its eastern end, to accommodate the increasing length of trains. Similar platform extensions occurred at most stations along the line during the same year. During this time, nearby Moorabool Street was grade separated to the current day rail over road. A temporary loop was provided to allow trains to operate during works, with this arrangement operating until February 1913.
1914 saw alterations in the goods yard. The former Bellerine Street level crossing was closed, and replaced by a pedestrian overpass (now removed). This enabled the yard to be enlarged, with two long sidings parallel to the main running line, in the down direction, with a connection for down trains at the end of the platform. These sidings were brought into use in December 1914.
In 1921, the station became a depot for gravel from the Gherang pits, which was located on the short Wensleydale branch line. Other industries along the nearby Barwon River used South Geelong as a base to receive their supplies. Seven years later, on 20 June 1928, Geelong - South Geelong was converted to Miniature Electric Staff, with South Geelong - Racecourse - Moriac converted on 18 September of the same year. An automatic staff exchanger was provided around 1930.
The crossing of trains was generally avoided due to a lack of appropriate crossing facilities. Only on special occasions, such as holiday periods, trains were timed to cross. For example; on 24 December 1927, the 10.20 Warrnambool passenger service, due at South Geelong at 12.03, was due to cross the 09.35 passenger train from Camperdown, due at 12.02, and had to "wait for P3", P3 being the Warrnambool service. The train was then to wait on the Queenscliff branch line, subject to Rule 15 of Appendix VII, of the Book of Rules and Regulations. Therefore, the train, which had to wait, stood at the up home signal. This also prevented South Geelong giving Drysdale an electric staff for trains to approach, while a train waited for a cross, or shunting trains onto the branch line, while another train was approaching. Eventually, on 1 June 1931, passenger trains ceased on the Queenscliff line, and a week later, the Miniature Electric Staff was abolished. Drysdale was abolished as a staff station, and Staff and Ticket was re-introduced between South Geelong and Queenscliff.
Gates at the nearby Swanston Street level crossing were provided in 1914. In 1934, the gatekeeper was given control, via a ground frame, of two arms on "Post 3". The gatekeeper also controlled two arms above the bracket distant signal on "Post 5". This arrangement lasted until 1976, when flashing lights were provided. Boom barriers were provided in 2009.
The former State Electricity Commission (SECV) opened a briquette depot nearby in 1940. This led to two new siding into the depot. In March of the same year, the siding was extended by about 200 yards, with the staff-locked connection between the siding and the main line also extended. This provided beneficial for trains using the station to move traffic to football games at the nearby Kardinia Park, which is located nearby in Moorabool Street. Up to seven trains could've been held in the yard.
Commencing on 4 November 1968, local passenger services from Geelong were extended to South Geelong, with the car park established, built on part of the goods siding. Initially, one train each way was provided during morning and afternoon peaks, usually followed by an empty car movement. By 1979, the number of local services to and from South Geelong had increased to eight a day, in both directions.
In 1982, siding "A" was re-instated, and extended across the Yarra Street level crossing. The down end crossover was moved about approximately 175 feet. The down home signal was also moved. The points from the platform to the goods siding, now rarely used, and no longer holding empty car trains, could now be Annett locked. The automatic staff exchanger was also removed during 1982. The former Queenscliff branch, which closed in 1976, was now effectively siding "B". The controls for the down and up home signals were removed, and distant signal, "Post 7", in siding "B", was reduced to a single distant arm.
In October 1983, the original wooden station building was demolished, and was replaced by the present station building, which opened on 30 September 1984. Two years later, in February 1986, boom barriers replaced hand operated gates at the Yarra Street level crossing. Further signaling alterations occurred in 1992.
Today, South Geelong is staffed part-time, and is serviced by a majority of InterCity Geelong services. The former railway branch line to Queenscliff is now occupied by the Bellarine Rail Trail as far as Drysdale, and the Bellarine Peninsula Railway, between Drysdale and Queenscliff.
The former Geelong Racecourse station was located between South Geelong and Marshall stations. The last service to use the station was in 2005. In February 2011, the loop siding was disconnected from the main line, as part of a sleeper renewal program.
Platforms & services
- Geelong line: V/Line services to Marshall, Waurn Ponds & Southern Cross
- Warrnambool line: V/Line services to Warrnambool & Southern Cross
- South Geelong Vicsig
- South Geelong Station Rail Geelong
- McLean, Jack (March 1985). South Geelong and Environs. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). p. 68-73. ISSN 0310-7477.
- Swanston Street Rail Geelong
- Stephen McLean (September 1982). "Country Passenger Service". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society. p. 200.
- "Works". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society. April 1986. p. 127.
- "Works". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society. October 1992. p. 330.
- South Geelong V/Line
- Geelong Racecourse Rail Geelong
- Geelong - Melbourne timetable Public Transport Victoria
- Warrnambool - Melbourne via Colac Public Transport Victoria
- Newsrail March 1985 pp.68-73
- Victorian Railway Stations gallery