(Pic above: the 2021 version of the train map is starting to be rolled out in preparation for the
29th 31st January timetable change)
There’s a strong argument to name railway stations after the suburbs they serve. It helps as a wayfinding mechanism. You want to go to that suburb – you catch the train to that station.
There’s also an argument to stop messing with suburb boundaries where it means the names don’t match up. I recall being asked by someone coming out of Bentleigh station which way was it to Fairbank Road, Bentleigh. It’s far closer to Moorabbin station. But it’s technically in the suburb of Bentleigh because the boundary has been stretched all the way to Moorabbin.
In some cases, a precinct may end up being known by the station name, or at least known for being adjacent to the station, because it’s the most prominent landmark in the area. That seems to have happened to all the CBD stations. Even Southern Cross, despite the relatively recent pointless name change.
Will that happen with the Metro tunnel’s Anzac and Arden stations? We’ll see.
Fixing an error
A while back I lived in Glen Huntly (the suburb) and would catch the train from Glenhuntly (the station).
Over time the suburb has been spelt in different ways. Today it’s got a space, but you’ll find it without in the 1966 first edition Melway.
I suspect the official suburb name settled on Glen Huntly when the origins of the name were determined – it’s from a Scottish ship that arrived in Melbourne in 1840. The crew and passengers were struck down with fever, probably typhoid, and it prompted the creation of Victoria’s first quarantine station.
The railway station name has also changed over time. Originally Glen Huntly Road (1881) then Glen Huntly (1882), it got renamed to Glenhuntly (1937) and has remained so ever since.
So now the station name doesn’t match the suburb name.
Glenhuntly station is due to be completely rebuilt in 2023-24 as part of the level crossing removal program. This means there’s a good opportunity to fix the name so it’s consistent with the suburb.
- All the signage has to be replaced anyway
- The maps will have to be redone around that time for the Surrey Hills/Mont Albert merger
- It doesn’t involve a change in spelling (at least the letters), so it won’t clash with any other name
- The internal railway code (GHY) could stay the same.
- It’s of no real consequence if some documentation or old maps still excludes the space. It’s unlikely to cause any confusion
- It doesn’t involve swapping or moving a name to another location – which was what caused the government to back away from shifting the name “North Melbourne” from the current station to the new Metro tunnel station at Arden
There’s probably a few stations that are outside their suburbs, thanks to boundaries moving. It may be complicated to radically rename them – though it seems to be depressingly easy to get the boundaries moved needlessly.
Are there any other stations with spelling that is slightly incorrect, and a mere tweak could fix it?
Glenhuntly to Glen Huntly is easy. So how about it, decision-makers?
Update 12:30pm. There’s some great discussion on Twitter about this – especially this thread from “railmaps”. Click through to read it all.