Stawell railway station, Victoria

Ararat railway station, Victoria

Ararat railway station is a railway station located in the city of Ararat, Victoria, Australia. It is located where the Western standard gauge line intersects with the broad gauge Ararat line, and is also the junction for the Ararat - Maryborough line.

Facilities

Ararat has two platform faces, set up in an island format. The standard gauge platform is to the north, with broad gauge trains using a dock platform on the south face. A grade crossing exists at the eastern end of the station to allow the broad gauge to continue east, while the standard gauge turns south.

Control of signals is by the Australian Rail Track Corporation control centre at Mile End, South Australia and Centrol in Melbourne. A dead end siding is located to the east for broad gauge passenger trains, and across from the main platform are two loop and one dead end standard gauge sidings.

History

The railway first reached Ararat from Ballarat in 1875. The line south to Portland opened in 1877, and the mainline was extended west reaching the South Australian border at Serviceton in 1887. The line to Maryborough opened in 1890. Two signal boxes ('A' and 'B') were opened in 1891, and in 1914 the goods sidings were extended, with the locomotive depot built soon after. An turntable was installed - the largest on the Victorian Railways system.

Rationalisation to the facilities begun in the 1980s, the 'B' box was demolished in 1984 and the train control office following in 1988. The locomotive depot closed in 1989, with 'A' box following in 1996. Gauge conversion also came to the station in the 1990s, with the main line to Adelaide converted to standard gauge as part of the One Nation project. The lines west and south were converted, with the line to Maryborough converted to dual gauge soon after. The former main line to Ballarat had services suspended in 1995 and was left as broad gauge. V/Line passenger services westard to Dimboola had been withdrawn on August 21, 1993. In 1999 there was a head-on collision between two freight trains at the station, when the points for the yard were incorrectly set.

The line to Ballarat was reopened in July 2004 when the V/Line passenger services was reinstated. The contract for the works was awarded in February 2003, and required a diamond crossing and signalling to be installed to allow the broad gauge line to reach the platform. The Maryborough line was booked out of use in 2005.

Services

Two passenger rail services operate to Ararat:

Since 2008 the Ararat Transit bus service has operated 5 days a week, providing 86 services and connecting with train services.

Interstate freight services also operate though the station, primarily intermodal containers, but also general freight, steel products and grain.

References

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Between Ararat and Horsham, closed stations include (from Melbourne) Stawell and Murtoa.

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