Spring Vale Cemetery railway line
Tait train at Spring Vale Cemetery station
|Line(s)||Spring Vale Cemetery|
|Opened||7 February 1904|
|Closed||19 December 1951|
The Spring Vale Cemetery railway line, in Melbourne, Australia, branched from the now Pakenham Line at Springvale railway station, for a short 1.87 km (1.16 mi) journey to the Necropolis. The terminus was a railway station of the same name.
The Spring Vale Cemetery branch line and associated station were opened on 7 February 1904 following completion of construction in December 1902. The line was used to transport corpses, funeral cortèges and visitors to the Necropolis. Special hearse vans were constructed to transport the coffins and wreaths. The line was electrified in December 1922. Mortuary services ceased in 1943 and the visitor's service was suspended from 10 December 1950, following the end of the statewide 55-day coal strike. Formal closure was only a book date, being 19 December 1951.
Throughout the first few months of 1951, the line was dismantled back to the western boundary of the Sandown Park Racecourse, and eventually back to the station side of Sandown Road. By the 1970s, the visible remains of the branch line included a short stub of the line, known as "Siding B", and an electrical sub-station near where the branch junctioned, as well as a short section of the alignment between Sandown Road and the racecourse boundary. A stanchion base could be seen at the end of the Downard Lawn in the Necropolis.
By 2010, the remaining track, overhead power lines and supporting stanchions had been removed, along with other sidings east of Springvale station. The electrical sub-station building remains, along with the rail reservation up to Sandown Park Racecourse, although it is now crossed by Sandown Road.
A commemorative plaque has been placed at the site of the former Cemetery platform.
- Spring Vale Cemetery