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Monday, April 22, 2024

Frankston’s signal box turns 100

Frankston Mayor, Nathan Conroy, has joined dignitaries and community members to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the suburb’s much-loved historic Signal Box at Frankston Train Station.

The Mayor said the milestone was significant, adding: “The railway, when it came to town
was a big thing for Frankston.

“It enabled the city of Melbourne to come out to the ‘country’ and the quote of the day was
‘Fabulous Frankston part of Marvellous Melbourne’. It brought visitors, holidaymakers and
families to settle away from the city to Frankston,” he said.

“The Signal Box 100 th anniversary is a wonderful celebration of both our history and a
reminder of how far we’ve come.”

Mayor Conroy was joined by the Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, the State
Member for Frankston, Paul Edbrooke, Federal Member for Dunkley, Peta Murphy,
Frankston Historical Society President Glenda Viner, residents and Metro Trains officials for
the celebration.

Frankston City Councillors Sue Baker, Cr Claire Harvey and Cr Brad Hill also attended the event.

Fifteen lucky people had tours of the Signal Box after successfully applying for ‘golden
tickets’ as part of the event. The celebrations also included speeches and a tasty morning
tea thanks to Frankston CWA.

Mr Edbrooke said: “The Signal Box is at the centre of Frankston – it’s an integral part of our
history and one of the very few operational signal boxes left in Victoria.”

He noted the extensive use of mechanical levers, adding it was one of the oldest pieces of
working infrastructure in Frankston City.

Metro Trains Melbourne Chief Executive Officer, Raymond O’Flaherty, said: “The Frankston
Signal Box plays a critical part in our network operations and continues to stand the test of
time as we bring our network into the future.”

Long-time Frankston resident, Shirley Davies, said she was excited to receive a golden ticket and tour the Signal Box, adding both it and the Frankston Train Station had been a big part of her life.

Local resident Shirley Davies with her ‘golden ticket’.

Mayor Conroy said: “We’ve come a long way – with our expanding arts and culture offering
and the ongoing revitalisation of Frankston thanks to our partnership with the State Government – investors are catching on to our City’s endless potential and visitors are
marvelling at our stunning attractions.”

Frankston Historical Society President Glenda Viner said: “An old photograph of the Frankston Railway Staff in 1926 shows a staff of 20 people, when the population of Frankston was only about 1000, so it was a good employer.”

Ms Viner added: “Mains water was only installed to Frankston in 1922, sewerage was still a
long way off and the newly opened Palais Picture Theatre was playing The Veiled Adventure
and Gentleman Rider.

“The town was just rising after World War One and the railways were a big part of that.
Without the railway, we would have been unable to have one of its main tourist attractions
in the World Wide Scout Jamboree in 1934.

State Member for Frankston, Paul Edbrooke MP, and the Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, inside the Frankston Signal Box.

“The electric rail was able to ‘move’ large amounts of tourists to Frankston. Rail has always
been a large part of Frankston’s history. The Signal Box was the mover and shaker of all rail transport that went through Frankston.”

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