Thursday, 22 October 2015

Sandringham: Train to the Bay

As a writer, I've been blessed to have traveled by train over so many railway lines along Australia's east coast these past 12 months. Sandringham on the shores of Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay, was one of many train stations that I hopped off at to discover what lay just beyond the railway station's doors.

A Metro Trains electric set stands at Sandringham ready to form a return service to Melbourne, 2015.

The suburb of Sandringham lies 19 km from Melbourne's Southern Cross Station and is the end terminus of Metro Trains' Sandringham Line. Opened in 1887, Sandringham has the honour of being one of the first railway lines in Australia to be electrified, (the other being the Essendon Line) and the overhead wires have been a part of the station scene since 1919.

Sandringham Railway Station's country-style entrance. Photo taken on a gloomy day in July 2015.

Sandringham Railway Station has just the one platform that sits alongside a couple of carriage sidings to stable some of Metro Trains electric train sets until they are required to form a suburban service to the city. As such, the station building has more of a country station look to it that stands it apart from most other stations within the Melbourne Metro Trains network.

Sandringham's bandstand rotunda sits above the shoreline of Port Phillip Bay. July 2015.

Just a few hundred metres from Sandringham Railway Station's front doors along Melrose Street, lies the sprawling Port Phillip Bay. Here a covered bandstand rotunda offers views from Rickett's Point in the east, to Point Cook to the west.

Looking back towards Sandringham Station along Melrose Street. Photo taken July 2015.

Melrose Street itself is a slice of life from a bygone era. The stately Victorian two storied shop fronts frame Sandringham Railway Station and the towering date palms that stand outside. This isn't a tourist destination like Brighton Beach to our west. In fact, stand too long in the middle of the street to take a photo and you may just attract some curious stares like I did.

A Melbourne bound service waits to depart Sandringham Railway Station, July 2015.

Back at Sandringham Station, the next train has arrived and is now waiting to form the return service to Melbourne. There is just enough time for me to snap one last photo before jumping back on board for the trip to Flinders Street Station. But as usual, that is a story for another day.

Over the course of 3 days, I traveled a total of 365 km around Melbourne by train to write my Train Tripping Around Melbourne book. Available from just $0.99 to download onto your iPad, smartphone or eReader, my window seat guide to exploring the best of Melbourne by train will help you create a railway adventure of your own. From Geelong to Gembrook and the MCG, I saw it all from the window of a train or tram. Inside there is a wealth of history, facts and funny stories that I unearthed thanks to months of in-depth research. If you're a rail enthusiast or just a tourist on a budget, then I'm sure you'll enjoy Train Tripping Around Melbourne.

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