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Friday, March 4, 2016

Dandenong Railway Station, About 1890

Until the coming of the railway,the Greater Dandenong area was virtually on the frontier of settlement. Construction started at the Sale end and reached Oakleigh in 1877. After some delay,the link was made with Melbourne and the line officially opened in 1879,amidst great celebrations.

By the early 1880s,Springvale had a station, consisting of a platform and open shed. The first train to stop at Noble Park was about 1915. Electrification of the line between Oakleigh and Dandenong was completed in 1922. The line between Dandenong and Warragul was electrified by 1954. New stations were opened at Sandown in 1965 and Yarraman in 1976.

The railway was a factor in attracting people and industries to settle in the area. Workers could commute to the City. Farmers and market gardeners could send their produce to Melbourne by train. Railway access was convenient for firms such as Kelly and Lewis,which had its own railway siding,and for the Dandenong Market. General Motors Holden gained its own railway station.

When the railway age began,it tended to deflect government spending away from expenditure on roads. In more recent times, the reverse has applied and Government policy has focused on the building of freeways. The City of Greater Dandenong has examples of both these aspects of progress.

Apart from the railway itself, the oldest structures representing the railway age were probably the station and signal box at Springvale which was removed we grade separation happened at Springvale Road in the early 2010s. The substantial station complex at Dandenong,on the other hand,symbolizes a modern attempt to affirm Dandenong’s role as a dynamic regional centre.

Image Courtesy of D.D.H.S.

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