It’s perhaps a minor thing, but…
Back in November 2017 the metro tunnel station names were announced, including a new station called North Melbourne, with the current station to be renamed to West Melbourne.
(See update at bottom of article. This plan was cancelled in early 2020.)
I don’t have a problem with that. It’s logical… but it has to happen well in advance of the new station opening, to minimise confusion.
At the time, there were assurances that this would be done quickly.
A good opportunity to rename a station is when there are other rail network changes, prompting a new edition of the rail map.
Publishing a new map is a big thing. It has to be designed, and then every map around the system needs to be replaced. Web sites are easy, but there’s every station, every train carriage.
Well they missed an opportunity. In August 2018 the Mernda rail extension opened, prompting a map revision. But “West Melbourne” is still “North Melbourne”.
If you want an illustration that replacing all the maps is a big task, note that many stations, including my local, are still displaying the old pre-Mernda maps.
So, what are the next metro stations to be opened? Well there’s actually nothing definite until the tunnel opens in 2025… including the new North Melbourne.
They could have done the renaming in August, but they didn’t.
Perhaps there are other factors holding them back; some behind-the-scenes issues that need to be resolved. Presumably those can be overcome; just as they were for Melbourne Central (Museum) and Southern Cross (Spencer Street).
There is another chance before 2025. There aren’t any more metro stations expected before then, but there is a V/Line station: Cobblebank, in Melbourne’s outer west, slated for completion during 2019.
Let’s hope they take this opportunity to rename North Melbourne well before the new station opens.
Update: In early 2020 it was announced the existing North Melbourne will not be renamed:
Authorities were told moving around the name of the century-old station would be difficult for ambulance signalling and create too much confusion for triple-0 callers.
It was also discovered thousands of wires and signal boxes would have to relabelled to ensure trains were still safely directed around the network.Herald Sun 25/1/2020: New North Melbourne Metro Tunnel station renamed due to emergency fears