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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2011, 19:55 
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The locations have been doing the media rounds for a couple of decades now, but some of you may find it interesting.

Melbourne's "Secret" Tunnels on 7 News. 6pm. Monday, September 5th



Cheers,

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Last edited by Doug on 25 Jan 2012, 21:19, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2011, 20:52 
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There's some misinformation in that report. Two examples:

(a) The tunnel under Spencer Street from the Mail Exchange to Spencer Street (Southern Cross) station was purely to allow consignments of mail to have unimpeded access to and from the station. It was provided in the days when almost all mail for country and interstate destinations was carried by train. It had nothing to do with payrolls, and its use as a pistol range is dubious.

(b) The proposed Doncaster railway wasn't supposed to run in a tunnel under the Eastern Freeway; it was supposed to run on the surface, along the median strip. That's why the bridge depicted has no centre pylon.


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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2011, 22:29 
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Corio, the tunnel from Spencer Street Station to the Bourke Street? mail exchange was as you say. Can you imagine shooting a gun in that confined area? I was puzzled about the Eastern Freeway tunnel. I ought not have been. It is a pity what could have potentially been a very interesting tv segment was so short and so inaccurate.

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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2011, 23:02 
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Highriser wrote:
Corio, the tunnel from Spencer Street Station to the Bourke Street? mail exchange was as you say ...

The Mail Exchange (built between 1913 and 1917) was on the corner of Bourke and Spencer streets. In fact it was Melbourne's official GPO from 1917 to 1964. The building is still extant, of course, as the Mail Exchange Hotel.


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2011, 00:56 
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There was a pistol range under Spencer St station, but it was on the far side of the platforms from the Mail Exchange. Presumably what they meant to be saying about the Doncaster railway was the excavation begun to take the line down on to the median of the freeway at Victoria Park.


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2011, 01:41 
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Corio wrote:
There's some misinformation in that report.
(b) The proposed Doncaster railway wasn't supposed to run in a tunnel under the Eastern Freeway; it was supposed to run on the surface, along the median strip. That's why the bridge depicted has no centre pylon.

There was a tunnel dug between Victoria Park station end of the freeway reserve, and the median strip; however it was filled back in again with earth once they started postponing (and ultimately cancelled) the Doncaster railway idea as part of the freeway construction.

There was a photo of the tunnel being dug in an old Country Roads Board / Board of Works (which ever it was) report from around the time - 99.9% sure I've seen that photo somewhere on this forum.

EDIT: it was the 1974/75 CRB Annual Report. No copy though, sorry.

There's a photo of it on a rail historian's site - image 616_04: http://pjv101.net/film_bw/pjv00707.htm


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