16 February 2011
Macaulay railway station, North Melbourne, VIC, Australia
The setting is bad enough, but were the dank brick shoeboxes posing as station buildings really necessary? Even before Citylink was built overhead in the 1990s, these would have been enough to make you turn your nose up at Macaulay station. They're barely even useful - they don't exactly keep out the elements, let me tell you. I'm pretty sure they'd be right at home in the Walshe & Whitelock part of the property press, and no doubt if the railways desperately need an injection of funding, Walshe & Whitelock would merrily rent out both buildings for outrageous sums to the poor and desperate. "Cosy, modern riverfront unit close to transportation!"
Once upon a time (i.e. the early 1920s), things were different; Macaulay had a station that, although not an architectural marvel, was smart and functional. Below, compare the first picture from Victorian Railways.net with a photo I took in 2008:
Ridiculous. I'd say pull the fucker down and start again, but there isn't much you can do about that motorway looming ahead. If you must catch a train in the vicinity, you're probably better off spending a few minutes walking over to Kensington on the Craigieburn line, just a few hundred metres away, or if you're obliged to use the Upfield line, Flemington Bridge isn't far either. I'm surprised the station is still even open. Well, it could be worse: the neighbouring Moonee Ponds Creek (soon to be featured on the blog!) doesn't look as bad here as it does a couple of kilometres upriver. Here, the creek has been artificially widened into a canal that contains, gasp, water; upriver it has been raped and abused into a stormwater drain that is often just a stagnant dark smudge. Macaulay station has suffered enough since its origins as a smart little stop; at least it isn't made even worse by neighbouring a skidmark.