Sunday, February 25, 2007

news flash: jacana station is a hole

I am not sure if there's anything nice one can say about Jacana station. As an unstaffed station, the last before the end of the line (though of course this will all change in a matter of HOURS when the Craigieburn extension opens in a matter of HOURS) it performs its function adequately though it is badly co-ordinated, or not co-ordinated at all, with the 541 bus which passes by but does not have a stop near it for some reason. It is certainly a hotspot for people going other places - either by train, or by Pascoe Vale Road which passes just by it, or the Western Ring Road which more or less passes under it (incidentally, it's not in Jacana at all, but just outside the south-east corner of it - in Glenroy).

When I was a teen I came to Jacana station a couple of times to visit a girl I knew called Margaret, who lived in Glenroy somewhere. I have a vague memory of her house backing on to a large open grassy reserve, some of which is still there but most of which is now the western ring road. By the way just to add to the feeling that life is going on somewhere else, the vast electricity pylons pass overhead, and the goods train line is to the immediate west.

What do you do with a place like Jacana station? The station building itself is a crappy concrete box. It's never cleaned, as far as I can tell. It's noisy and harsh. There's almost never anyone there (though I will say that people do use it, Glenroy people mainly no doubt).

One thing I think should be done is bung in a bit of greenery, well, actually a lot. Redfern station, where I used to spend too much time, was an oasis - and as I recall won a few beautiful station awards - for its wooden fake wheelbarrows full of flowers, etc. Now admittedly that was a very staffed station, and I suppose there's always a danger that some hoodlums out for kicks could undo a lot of good work in a short space of time. But ivy, for instance, could lick hoodlums anyday. It's not exactly indigenous but it can be quite attractive. I'm assuming that anyone who thinks for a second about greening up a station like Jacana almost immediately imagines a headline, 'attacker waited in bushes', as if there weren't already 20 places for attackers to wait at a fairly lonely, unmonitered station like this. I would also put some trees against the fence on the east side of the line... it would be really nice to Ted Trainerise it all, with fruit-bearing trees etc, and there is room on the station platform for what must surely have been a tree-accommodating purpose, where the platform splits into two like an old clothes peg at the south end. The space thus created is currently used by those wasteful, spiteful, ignorant Glenroyites as a repository for old Macdonalds fries boxes. Fools! When they could be eating plums from the Jacana Station orchard.

I suppose a plumstone on the tracks could cause a derailment. We wouldn't want a repeat of the Jacana rail disaster of 1970something, that closed Pascoe Vale Road off for two months, true. AND wrecked the footbridge.

Anyway, someone should do something. I'll be part of a discussion group and a working bee if and when. Cuz I'm a stakeholder.


Meredith said...

The greenery at Redfern station is so homely - frangipanis, impatiens, pelargoniums, lots of ferns - I've always wondered if one of the station masters brings cuttings from home & potters around.

David said...
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David said...

It's a beautiful station anyway, or at least parts of it are, so they've got a good starting point to work from.

I remember in the 80s they had a weird wooden ticket office/ entrance part of which projected over the lines, with a big window so you could see when your train was coming (assuming you knew which platform). Nothing to do with greenery. It was an even nicer station then, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I think it is horrifying how people think its ok to dump their rubbish at Jacana Station! Something must be done