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A broken escalator at the already chaotic Southern Cross station has been responsible for train diversions and massive elevator queues for days – and it could continue for days more.
The fresh commuter frustration began when a major component broke on the platform 9-10 escalator at the Collins Street end – one of the station's busiest.
The broken escalator at Southern Cross StationCREDIT:ZACH HOPE
Metro Trains Melbourne has been forced to divert some lines to Flinders Street Station while repairs are under way.
It also means commuters seeking to use those platforms – thousands over the course of a day – have to wait for an elevator which only holds a small number of people.
It is understood the broken escalator cannot be used as a staircase because the volume of people could force it to slide backwards and cause people to fall.
Operators hope to have the escalator back up and running as early as Friday, but repairs could realistically run into next week.
It is not known exactly how the escalator broke, but the station is heaving with commuters – about 280,000 a day – and is clogged almost to a standstill at peak times.
By 2031, the operators expect an extra 100,000 passengers a day.
The Age reported this month that Civic Nexus, the company with a 30-year lease on the station until 2036, is now in separate discussions with the Andrews government about urgent improvements to the station, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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