Melbourne Central: How I hate you.

No, I don't mean the station itself (though, it does have it's moments).

I mean the damn abomination of a Shopping Centre that sits like a massive leech on top of it.

For those of us who remember, getting into Melbourne Central (then Museum) station was very easy.  It was escalators down from Swanson Street direct to the concourse.  It was the same, with a very direct route, from Elizabeth Street.

And the Concourse... the concourse itself was a large, wide open space.  Lots of room to move.  There was even a void from the concourse that looked down into Platforms 1 and 2 (in fact my hazy memory tells me there were two voids, one where the existing Coles end booking office now sits, and the other were KFC and Salsas now sit).

But as we all know,  Melbourne Central was renovated and they had to squeeze as much retail space as they possibly could out of every square inch they could find.

So, the easy ways in had to go.  Damn those annoying Public transport Passengers.

Getting down to the platforms from Swanston Street is more like flying the Millenium Falcon through an Asteroid Field.  There are several ways to go (none of which are as quick as the original, even when there's nobody around).

You might be able to successfully avoid the shops and food establishments in two of the walkways down to the Shot Tower, but under the Shot Tower itself you are greeted by a myriad of stalls and the odd promotional event, people trying to get you to sign up for paintball or the gym upstairs or sell you that pashmina you've always wanted.  I JUST WANT TO GET TO THE TRAIN.

Then it's down not one, but two escalators, both which are annoying skewed in odd directions, you never know which one is going to be going up and which down, and stupid students don't realise that you need to STAND TO THE LEFT.

Finally you make it to the myki barriers (you knew it had to be in here somewhere, right?) outside Coles, but wait.  Even once you get through those, assuming they are working today, you then have to walk ages out of your way to get to the long escalator down to platform 4.  And because of the joys of Melbourne Central above, you miss your train by about 15 seconds that in 1999 you would probably have been home already.

Of course Elizabeth Street entrance is almost as bad.  Lets see.  Let's take a nice wide open entrance to a train station, and cram in as many shops as we possibly can.  And when we've done that, let's put a useless newstand on the footpath outside so that potentially hundreds of people crossing Latrobe Street have to cram into the tiniest space, dodging smokers and the Charity Muggers trying to get you to sign up a credit card direct debit on a form on the street.  Are you people insane?  You seriously think I'm going to give my credit card details to some student in broad daylight on the street?

Thankfully getting down to the platform at the Elizabeth Street end isn't quite so painful once you get past the 7/11, the Newstand, Bank of Melbourne, that phone shop, Bank of Melbourne (again).  I am a customer... maybe I should just walk through there?

A note to the people responsible for making access to Melbourne Central Station the way it is:  In case you haven't noticed, Melbourne is getting BIGGER.  There are more PEOPLE.  It's only going to get WORSE.  And yet you have made it about as annoying and as diffcult as it could possibly be for people to get where they're going, constricting spaces that needed to be made larger, not smaller.

I am not a religious person, but in case I'm wrong I really, really, really hope there's a special layer of hell set aside for those responsible for the way this place is now, who I am almost certain probably visited once after it opened and then never set foot inside it again, while the rest of us scream at the Chuggers to get out of our way on a daily basis.

Oh, and to the blonde cute guy who hands out the MX inside the barriers.  You are very, very nice, but if you get in my way again your MX might end up in the one place it really belongs.


  1. Some may not remember how it was before.

  2. Thanks Daniel, I certainly don't remember how it was before but it looks much more ideal for passenger flow.

    I passed through Melbourne Central last night. It appeared there was something spilled or leaking from the roof that smelled like vomit and number 2 mixed together...disgusting. There was no attempt to clean it, just signs saying to avoid the hazard.

  3. Let's not forget that damned smokers pole opposite the cafe as you try to get to the Elizabeth St entrance. You're either walking into smokers trying to butt out or fumigated with the rancid smoldering butts.

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