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Melbourne Central Railway Station

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by Purnima Nandy (subscribe)
I'm a masters student in the field of communication and media studies, living in Melbourne. My blogs are all about happenings in Melbourne.
Published June 10th 2012
Simon East (Wikimedia Commons)


For all those who live in the city of Melbourne and also those who come to visit, Melbourne Central Station becomes an integral part of their lives. This is one of the most popular and centrally located railway stations in the city. Situated right opposite the RMIT University and the State Library of Victoria, this station is named Melbourne Central for all the right reasons!

Melbourne Central Station is a part of the City Loop route and was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa in the Metabolist style and constructed at a cost of $1.2 billion. Currently it's a six floor shopping centre/food court/entertainment centre as well as the railway station. As per the 2009 statistics, 47000 people visited Melbourne central on a daily average. Another interesting fact about this station is the Fob watch, designed by Seiko, which was given as a gift to the people of Melbourne. The watch has a twelve and a half metre, two tonne chain, which was taken down during the centre's refurbishment and has since not been re-attached. Every hour, on the hour, a marionette display drops down from the bottom of the watch with Australian galahs, cockatoos and two minstrels performing Waltzing Matilda, under the watchful gaze of some koalas. Well this was a bit about the data points of this immensely exciting and happening place in the city of Melbourne.

However, my objective of talking about Melbourne central is a little different and I will get into it right away. The reason why I walked into Melbourne Central today was to use the restroom, yes funny as it may sound, well that's the real reason why I was one of the possible 47,000 or more people who walked into this place today. My job done, I looked around the place and noticed for the first time that possibly there were more people in the shops and food outlets than there were in the station underground and I began to wonder were there more people like me in Melbourne Central today who had come in for other reasons than to catch a train. So I decided to speak to a few people and ask them why they were there.

The first person I spoke to was an elderly Chinese lady and she said she was always caught her train at Melbourne Central so she could pick up her groceries from the Coles outlet present there. I spoke to a group of school kids who said that well they had just gotten off the train and were planning to grab a Big Mac before heading home. A young girl said she had come to meet a friend at the Hoyts cinemas and they chose this one as it was a rainy day and it would be easy to get back. An Indian couple said that they had come shopping and wanted to dine at the food court. I spoke to a cosmetics salesperson and she said that this was one of the busiest spots for her business. And yes of course there were quite a few who had either gotten off or were going to catch the train.

As I walked about I saw that there were people enjoying steaming hot coffees and lively conversations, some were striking great bargains at the discounts advertised on all the major brands, some were window shopping, some drawing money at the several ATM machines and some were just sitting and resting at the rest spots provided. The air was filled with activity and conversation. There was hardly any spot to stand and dream for the crowd would take you with them if you got in their way. All in all it was a happy spin to a rather grey and rainy day.

Well, you must be thinking it isn't unusual that people were doing other things at the station, but what I drew from my experience there was one simple analogy. I realised that life in general is like the Melbourne Central Station. We are here to live the journey, accomplish some goals and some milestones, but in the due course a lot of other things happen, like falling in love, meeting strangers and having interesting conversations, seeing new places, facing failures, realising our talents and interests and so many more things. And its all these other things that happen that makes life memorable, just like all the other things that happen at Melbourne Central while one goes there to also catch a train.
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Why? This station is named Melbourne Central for all the right reasons!
Where: La Trobe Street, between Swanston and Elizabeth Street.
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