Wednesday, 28 December 2011

STATION PIER AND THE SEA PRINCESS

Station Pier is a historic pier on Port Phillip, in Port Melbourne. Opened in 1854, the pier is Melbourne's primary passenger terminal, servicing interstate ferries and cruise ships, and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Station Pier, originally known as Railway Pier, was officially opened on 12 September 1854. The 4.5 kilometre rail link from the pier to Flinders Street Station via the Sandridge Bridge (the Port Melbourne line) was opened at the same time to facilitate the transport of passengers and goods, and was the first significant railway in Australia. The pier was kept busy throughout the 1850s, due to the increased passenger traffic created by the gold rush. In 1861, the pier was extended to a length of 661 metres, in order to accommodate the ever-increasing traffic associated with the number of people settling in Victoria.

In the early part of the 20th century, the original pier was unable to accommodate the new breed of larger and more powerful steamships. As a result the current pier was built between 1922 and 1930 and is the largest timber piled wharf structure in Australia. The Stothert and Pitt cranes were erected in 1949 for goods handling. The original supports are still underneath the current pier, chopped down when the replacement was built. The new pier was designed so that passengers landed at the terminals above, while goods traffic moved underneath, in what was quite forward thinking for the 1920s. It has a wharf length of 933 metres, and capable of berthing ships 305 metres long with a draught of 10.3 metres. When originally built the pier had five railway sidings running onto it, as well as a passenger platform on the southern side named 'Bay Excursion Platform', a westward extension of Port Melbourne station. After the pier was rebuilt it was provided with eight tracks, four along each wharf face.


Melbourne is becoming an increasingly popular port of call for some of the world's most prestigious cruise liners. A record 57 cruise ships visited the pier in 2008/2009 cruise season and combined with increased patronage on the Spirit of Tasmania sailings, ensures an active precinct at Beacon Cove. Station Pier has two terminal buildings that provide for Spirt of Tasmania ferry services, and for visiting cruise ships, Navy or tall ships.  The increasing interest of Melbourne as a cruise ship destination is likely to result in larger ships visiting Station Pier.

This post is part of the Watery Wednesday meme.



16 comments:

  1. Your ship is a tad bigger and more luxurious than mine Nick - I remember leaving from Station Pier a few years ago for a trip to Tasmania - it was a very rough crossing and I decided that would be the last of I my ferry crossings. Good yto see it has a Heritage Listing

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  2. What a huge piece of a ship !


    Always two hands of water beneath its keel and a good Wednesday for you.


    daily athens photo

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  3. Terrific captures for the day! I love the ship! Hope you have a great week and a very Happy New Year!

    Sylvia

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  4. What beautiful pictures with such beautiful views and the great ship to the bottom.
    I hope you had a nice and happy Christmas, it will look very happy, I think 2012 will be a very good year. Thank you very much for sharing the beauty of your photos.

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  5. The Sea Princess was here, watched on TV news your white Christmas,. you OK?

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  6. Great shots. Thanks for the bit of history on the pier.

    Happy New Year!

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  7. Quite some years since I visited this pier when I travelled on the Spirit of Tasmania! And still it is beautiful! A great feeling of history there livened by a huge range of travelling spirits!

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  8. Very, very nice images! Love the water shots and the ship.

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  9. Beautiful captures!

    Watery Post, may you all have a prosperous new year!

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  10. How come did St Kilda Pier get blown down whereas Station Pier did not? Or was StK burnt down?

    I love the old style buildings like that. We have some along the waterfront up here, although here it is likely to have been painted glossy purple and acqua with olive trim and orange signs.

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  11. Hi Nick, great shot of Station Pier and very interesting history, many changes between 1854 and current time! The cruise ship looks fabulous sitting just off shore, so pristine white against the blue of the sea. I hope that you had an excellent Christmas.

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  12. It must feel almost humbling to see such huge cruise ships from your window on the waterfront.

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  13. Great shots, there is something "magic" about the second one!

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  14. great shot from a distance (wondering where from)
    heard you had a white xmas in Melbourne :)

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