2017: 130 Years After It Was First Conceived, a New Railway Station Opens in a Melbourne Suburb

November 26, 2017

In the Australian state of Victoria, a new railway station was officially opened on Bay Road in the Melbourne suburb of Cheltenham. Southland railway station, which is part of the Frankston railway line (a commuter rail passenger train service in the Melbourne area), made its debut more than 130 years after building such a facility at that location in Cheltenham was first seriously considered.

As far back as the early 1880s, there were demands from local residents for the construction of a station on Bay Road at a time when the Frankston railway line was still under development. One of the earliest and foremost proponents for this proposed station was Thomas Bent, a land developer who would go on to serve as premier of Victoria from 1904 to 1909.

Notwithstanding the efforts of Bent and others to make that hoped-for railway station a reality, it would not be until sometime around 2010 that the needed support and funding for the facility began to gain sufficient momentum in the Victorian Parliament. The plans for building the station were finally completed in 2015, and construction started the following year.

The station owes its name to the mega shopping center based there in Cheltenham. Westfield Southland (originally called Southland Centre) is one of the biggest and most profitable shopping centers in all of Australia. The improved access that the Southland railway station was expected to provide for the shopping center was highlighted by Nick Staikos, a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly (the parliament’s lower house) a few weeks before the station’s opening in 2017. “This new station will make traveling to Southland easier for thousands of staff and shoppers every day,” he said. “We promised a new station and we’ve delivered – right on time for the busy Christmas period.”

For more information on Southland railway station, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southland_railway_station.

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