Mitcham Railway Station – Thank You for 131 Years of Loyal Service.

Karen McTackettStarred Page By Karen McTackett, 8th Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2417u7jv/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Trains

Mitcham railway station opened in 1882 and closed a few days ago. Now, she is just a memory as the destruction is complete and her former grounds are leveled. This is a follow-up article to "The Last Train From Mitcham" by Porle Joen published on January 3, 2014.

The Old Mitcham Railway Station

Mitcham station opened for passengers on Christmas Day in 1882(1). In her early days, she was a gateway for passengers heading into the city for work in hulking steam trains on a journey of well over an hour (2). With new technology emerging, the Melbourne system began electrification and Mitcham station saw the change in 1922 (3). She had a good, strong, long life. The original Mitcham station survived 131 years, 1 week and 2 days before she was demolished on Friday, January 3rd, 2014 (4).

It's Time to Say Goodbye!

The simplicity of the destruction was rather exciting and intriguing to witness though there is a small sadness when you consider how long she has been a central part of the Mitcham community. The smaller station on Platform 2 that shuttled passengers to the Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood and beyond to Croydon and out to Lilydale took only minutes to be pulled, torn and crushed by heavy demolition equipment and flattened into a pile of scrap metal and components. Later that night, the main station house on Platform 1 that serviced the city was given the same steel crushing treatment.

Over the following weekend, the tracks were removed and the clean up began with a constant 24/7 turnover of industrial skips being trucked in, filled to the brim with broken concrete, bricks, twisted corrugated iron, bollards, fencing, and remnants of a 131 years of service, and taken away to be recycled or become landfill. In the background, the new station was steadily revealing itself as the foreground was removed.

And Moving Forward...

Only 5 days have passed since the last passenger stepped off Platform 2 at Mitcham Railway Station and the roller doors were pulled down behind them for the last time. Read about “The Last Train From Mitcham” HERE. Today, the ground is bare except for the demolition equipment, workers, and the incoming fill that is packing the huge ditch where the trains once ran. The new station is taking shape and form and the new track site is hidden from view by the massive concrete walls already in place.

It was 12:48 am on Friday, January the 3rd, 2014 when the old Mitcham station officially ended its service to the people of Melbourne but she will re-open to a flurry or passengers on Saturday, January 25th, 2014 (4). Her reincarnation will be modern and the premium station will be an aesthetic counterpart to the surrounding area that matured many years before the station. The south side of the Mitcham Village Apartments (which finished construction in November 2012) overlooks the station and was in clear contrast in aesthetic style to the old station; however, the new station and the resulting upgrades to the parking bays between the station and the apartments will finally give the apartments a modern view to match the architecture.

Good bye old girl. Your soul will enter the new station and boy, you will be a sight!

*** All photos remain the property of Porle Joen and may not be used or recreated without explicit written permission. Copyright Porle Joen 2014.

References

1. Waugh, A. 1998. “SRS Showday Tour Notes - Box Hill - Lilydale and Belgrave” Victorian Railways Resources http://www.vrhistory.com/Locations/T1998.PDF. Viewed January 8, 2014

2. Richardson, P (ed). 2010. Spiders in the loo : anecdotal stories from local history. Whitehorse Historical Society.

3. Wikipedia entry, 2013. “Railways in Melbourne” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railways_in_Melbourne. Viewed January 8, 2014

3. Joen, P. 2014. “The Last Train From Mitcham”. January 3, 2014. http://www.wikinut.com/the-last-train-from-mitcham/ktr9nbo8/1oj879ai/. Viewed January 8, 2014

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Comments

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
10th Jan 2014 (#)

Nice post and what will teh government will do with this building?

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author avatar Karen McTackett
10th Jan 2014 (#)

Well, there is nothing left of it, hahaha. The ground is completely flat now. The bricks and materials were taken away in trucks so I think your comment is an interesting one. Perhaps I will contact the council and find out to what level they are recycling as opposed to sending it for landfill.

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