Friday, August 2, 2019


There isn't a lot you can say about Lilyfield light rail station.  And now that I've said that there's even less.  The station itself is rather like a gloomy, ill lit cave without the appeal of being in a gloomy, ill lit cave.  The station appears to have been gouged out of the earth as it is much lower than street level.  This is actually the home of the light rail.  It used to be a goods marshalling yard which provided the builders with a lot of space, left over track and derelict buildings they could replace or repurpose.  Now this is where the light rail wranglers corral the carriages together and put them in their stable at night.

The whole works is in a semi artificial valley stretching across the base of a peninsula which juts out into the Parramatta river.  Between the light rail and the City West motorway which parallels it at this point the peninsula suburbs of Lilyfield, Balmain, Rozelle and Birchgrove are pretty much cut off from the rest of Sydney, so far there nobody seems concerned about this.  Lilyfield isn't so much cut off as cut apart with the tattered remnants clinging to both sides of the infrastructure designed to get people from somewhere else to a different somewhere else.

Ascending Orpheus like from the light rail underworld deposits you on a busy street that intersects with a busier motorway.  But if you turn right instead of left you wind up in the back areas of Lilyfield.  Surrounding the marshalling yard are fences with signs telling you essentially how great the light rail is.  One point of pride is that the light rail stations are "convenient".  The signs are a little vaguer on what the stations might be convenient to.  Possibly they're convenient to the light rail which would make a certain amount of logical sense.  Having them a mile away from the light rail would be an infrastructure screw up that even New South Wales would struggle to achieve.  Even as I type that last sentence I can hear the planning minister telling someone to "Hold my beer".

There are also banners touting the fact that they're building an awesome light rail.  Well certainly another light rail line is being built although its overall awesomeness factor has yet to be determined.  What is certain is that it doesn't actually connect with this light rail line so putting promotional banners at Lilyfield light rail station is rather like advertising the sights of Brisbane.  Not uninteresting but largely irrelevant given your current location.

If staring down at marshalling yards and train sheds isn't enough excitement for you then you can always turn left at the lift, cross the motorway and wind up in that part of Lilyfield that was severed from the remainder when the motorway went through.  The principal attraction here is an IGA supermarket which boldly proclaims in its signage that it is "How the locals like it".  No independent corroborating evidence from locals is provided to back up this unlikely claim.  A more accurate tag would probably be "What the locals have learnt to put up with" but I do agree that this isn't likely to gain acceptance as a promotional tool.

Once you have exhausted the entertainment value of the IGA (if that takes more than seven seconds you need a hobby, may I suggest thrill killing) then you're a little stuck for things to do.  Unless you're one of those people who takes a morbid fascination in staring at the homes of others the only truly productive thing you can do is walk back to the light rail station and catch a train somewhere else.

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