The Stony Point line is a greater-metropolitan railway line in Melbourne, Australia. The line extends from the Frankston line and is part of the city's suburban passenger railway network, and the Myki integrated ticketing system (Zone 2), but is not electrified like the rest of Melbourne's rail network. It has operated with a variety of rolling stock over, and was the last suburban service in Australia to be operated by a locomotive hauled train. The line is also used by freight trains serving the Long Island steel mill in Hastings.
Passenger services are run as a shuttle service between Frankston and Stony Point, with passengers from Flinders Street required to change at Frankston station. It is the only non-electrified line operated by Metro Trains, which operates Melbourne's suburban heavy rail network.
Since 27 April 2008, services have been operated using Sprinter diesel multiple units leased from V/Line, replacing the previous A class locomotive hauled trains and MTH carriages. The services appear in the suburban Working timetable and are given 85xx series train numbers, which fall under the 8xxx series given to non-electric passenger services.
Goods trains operated by Pacific National serving the Long Island steel mills use the line as far as the junction of the Long Island line between Tyabb and Hastings. Steel trains generally run twice daily. Trains from Long Island to Melbourne run approximately 4 am and mid-afternoon, while trains from Melbourne to Long Island run approximately midnight and noon.
The Stony Point line was opened from Frankston to Baxter station in 1888, and Hastings, Bittern and Stony Point in 1889. Branches were opened from Baxter to Mornington in 1889, and from Bittern to Red Hill in 1921. The 300-metre (330 yd) long branch from Long Island Junction to Long Island was opened on 29 April 1969 to serve the adjacent steel mill.
The Red Hill line was closed in 1953. The Mornington line remained until 1981, but the line south of Moorooduc is now operated by the Mornington Railway as a tourist railway. Passenger services on the entire line were withdrawn on 10 June 1981, and the line from Long Island Junction to Stony Point closed from 22 June 1981 until 26 September 1984, when passenger services were reintroduced. For the reopening DRC railcars DRC40 and DRC 41 used, with two MTH carriages in between them making up a 4 car train. The DRC railcars were frequently used, either in multiple or with MTH trailer cars. Frequent breakdowns saw diesel locomotives called in to haul the consist instead.
In December 1989, to celebrate the centenary of the opening of the line, DERM 58RM was used to provide shuttles. On that day the DRC railcar had failed, and a third series T class was used with two MTH carriages to provide the regular service.
During November 1987, locomotives used on the service included P15, T403, T355, P12 and P18. The locomotives were changed on a daily basis due to excessive wear of brake blocks from the constant stopping and setting back movements. Despite their failures the DRC railcars remained the preferred rolling stock until at least 1990.
In August 1994, a T class with two MTH carriages were used, but by November 1995, weekday services were being operated by a P class with 2 MTH carriages, with an A class used on weekends with an extra MTH car. On another occasion in November 1995, a X class diesel in V/Line Freight livery was used with three MTH carriages, but these kinds of workings disappeared after V/Line was separated into passenger and freight divisions.
By the 2000s, the service had settled down, with the A class locomotive and a single MTH carriage sent between Frankston and Spencer Street on a regular basis for refuelling and maintenance. Two MTH carriages would be used on the train, a third stabled at Frankston, and the fourth would be at Spencer Street or the Newport Workshops undergoing repairs. An A class locomotive and two car MTH consist could carry 126 passengers, weighed 199 tonnes and was 56.9 metres long; but with an extra car a total of 238 passengers could be carried, which weighed 238 tonnes and was 76.1 metres long. At some point the ownership of the MTH carriages was transferred from country operator V/Line to suburban operator M>Train, and later Connex Melbourne. On a limited number of occasions V/Line underwent locomotive shortages, with leased A classes from Freight Australia and later Pacific National appearing on the train in their green and yellow livery.
On 27 April 2008, diesel railcars were again introduced on the line, this time with the Sprinter units originally purchased by V/Line in 1993. Two units usually operate the service, with a single unit returning to Southern Cross for servicing on a regular basis, with another sent in the opposite direction to replace it. The units are selected from the normal V/Line fleet, and are not dedicated to the run. No ticketing equipment is fitted, but new locks were fitted to the toilet doors to prevent their use when being used by Metro Trains Melbourne.
On 1 April 2015, passenger services were suspended indefinitely following a series of safety breaches where boom gates failed to drop for an approaching train. After three months of remedial works, a full passenger service returned to the line on 30 June 2015.
In July 2018, the state opposition announced that if it won the 2018 election, it would begin work in 2019 to extend the Frankston line to Baxter station. The project involved duplication and electrification of Frankston–Baxter section and would have added two new stations—Frankston East and Langwarrin. However, the existing Government was returned to office. A business case for the project was delivered to the federal government in late October 2019.
|Stony Point railway line, Victoria|
Bold stations are termini, where some train services terminate; italic stations are staffed.
- "News: A better, harder working network for more customers". connexmelbourne.com.au. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.[dead link]
- "M>Train Master Timetable" (PDF). Connex Melbourne. January 2002. p. C 37. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- Sid Brown (March 1990). "Tracks Across the State". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). pp. 71–76.
- Chris Banger (March 1997). "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). pp. 77–82.
- "The Stony Point passenger service reopened". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). October 1984. p. 309.
- "Stony Point Centenary". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). February 1990. pp. 48–49.
- "News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). January 1988. p. 24.
- "News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). March 1990. p. 89.
- "News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). August 1994.
- "News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). November 1994.
- "News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). November 1994. pp. Back cover.
- "WTT addenda" (PDF). Connex Melbourne. March 2006. p. A 119. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- "Addenda" (PDF). V/Line Network Access: Information Pack. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- "Freight Australia A79 on the Stony Point train, borrowed due to lack of a red A class". Gwiwer's Photos. railpage.com.au. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- "Stony Point Line Resignalling". VICSIG - Infrastructure. vicsig.net. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- "VICSIG - Railmotors". vicsig.net. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
- "Boom gate failures force indefinite shutdown of Stony Point rail line". theage.com.au. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "Services back on track on the Stony Point line". Public Transport Victoria. ptv.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
- Cowburn, Brodie (4 November 2019). "Rail extension business case complete". Bayside News. Retrieved 14 November 2019.