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Flinders Street Station Coin

The 2015 Cook Islands $10 Flinders Street Station 2 Oz Antique Silver Coin, the first in a new coin series called Australia’s Historic Landmarks, is set to be released in mid-July this year (2015). This Flinders Street Station Coin will be the second coin issued under the Melbourne Mint name in almost 50 years. The first coin released was the 2015 Ned Kelly Silver Proof Coin, which we reported on earlier this year.

Collectors can expect a coin earmarked by high quality, especially considering that Melbourne Mint Pty Ltd has worked with Coin Invest Trust based in Liechtenstein to make the limited edition Flinders Street Station Coin a reality.

Obverse

The obverse of each Flinders Street Station Coin features an effigy or side portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II within a decorative border. It also includes the following inscriptions: The ruling monarch “ELIZABETH II”, the country of issue “COOK ISLANDS”, the denomination of “10 DOLLARS” and the initials of the artist, namely IRB (Ian Rank-Broadley).

Flinders Street Station Coin Obverse

Flinders Street Station Coin – Obverse

Reverse

The reverse features the Flinders Street Train Station, based in Melbourne, Australia.

The reverse design of each 2015 Cook Islands $10 Flinders Street Station 2 Oz Antique Silver Coin also includes the following inscriptions: “FLINDERS STREET STATION”, the year of issue “2015” and the Melbourne Mintmark, namely “M”.  

Flinders Street Station Coin Reverse

Flinders Street Station Coin – Reverse

Flinders Street Train Station

For those not familiar with the Flinders Street Train Station, it is a historic landmark located on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets in Melbourne, Australia.

The Flinders Street Train Station opened on September 12th, 1854, and was known as the Melbourne Terminus at that stage of history. This terminus only consisted of a collection of weatherboard train sheds at that stage and had a single platform, 30 meters long, which was located next to the Fish Market building on the South-West corners of the above-mentioned streets. It was the first city railway station in Australia and its opening was earmarked by the first steam train trip in Australian history.

It was only in 1877 that an additional platform was built as well as no less than two overhead bridges for easier passenger access. This was followed by the building of a telegraph station and additional timber and corrugated iron buildings in 1879. This led to the opening of the first signal boxes in 1883. This while the 1890s saw the construction of a third island platform.

Flinders Street Station 1895

Flinders Street Station 1895 – Source of Image: Library of Congress

Railway traffic increased to such an extent that the Australian authorities decided in 1882 to build a new central passenger station. This was to replace the ad-hoc construction, which as mentioned above, in the beginning only consisted of a collection of weatherboard train sheds and a single platform. The initial stages of the new construction kicked off in 1899 with a design competition which was won by railway employees James Fawcett and HPC Ashworth. No less than 17 entries were received, but the design of Fawcett and Ashworth, named Green Light, towered above the others with the design of a French Renaissance style building, including a large dome and tall clock tower. They received no less than £500 in first prize money.

Work on the new central passenger station started in 1900 in the form of the rearrangement of the station tracks. This while the final touches were applied in terms of the design of the building. The Green Light design won, but was not implemented as is, especially if one considers that the arched roofs running North-South didn’t survive. This while work on the central pedestrian subway kicked off in 1901 and the foundations of the main building was only completed in 1903.

Old Flinders Street Station

Old Flinders Street Station

“The plans were extensively modified by Railway Commissioners in mid construction in 1904. The changes included replacing the proposed train shed with individual platform roofs and it was decided not to include a concourse roof. To increase office space a fourth storey was added to the main building, which resulted in the arches above each entrance on Flinders Street being lowered, decreasing their dominance” (Wikipedia).

Work on the station building itself, beyond the foundation that was laid in 1904, started in 1905. The £93,000 contract was awarded to Ballarat builder, Peter Rodger. However, due to cost constraints, many alterations were made to the original plans during construction. E.g. in terms of details on the main building red brick with cement were used instead of stone as originally planned. However, no penny was spared when grey granite from Harcourt was used in terms of details on the Flinders Street side at ground level. This was done “in view of the importance of this great public work” (Wikipedia).

Work on the dome itself, as depicted on the 2015 Cook Islands $10 Flinders Street Station 2 Oz Antique Silver Coin, started in 1906. 

By 1907 construction progressed to the point where the station had no less than 11 platforms. The decision was also taken to construct platforms 12 and 13, located East of Swanson Street, in 1909. This while platform 1 was extended eastwards to serve country traffic and the original platform verandas were dismantled and re-erected at Hawthorn station, which served the eastern suburbs.

Work on the dome progressed much slower than expected in May 1908, especially considering that the structure extended over railway tracks and required heavy foundations. Fears surfaced that the expected completion date of April 1909 would be missed, something that led to the termination of Rodger’s contract in August 1908.

Flinders Street Station 1908

Flinders Street Station 1908

A Royal Commission was appointed in May 1910 to investigate reasons for the slow progress and to make a recommendation. They determined in their “finding that Rodger could be held accountable for the slow progress in 1908, but he should be compensated for the difficulties before then” (Wikipedia). This led to the takeover of the project by The Way and Works Branch of the Victorian Railways, which led to the fact that the station was essentially finished by mid-1909. This is despite the fact that the “verandah along Flinders Street and the concourse roof and verandah along Swanston Street were not completed until after the official opening in 1910” (Wikipedia).

The main station building was completed in 1909 and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Interesting enough, the Melburnian idiom “I’ll meet you under the clocks” refers to the row of clocks above the main entrance to the station, which indicate the time-tabled time of departure for trains on each line. This while another idiom, “I’ll meet you on the steps“, refers to the wide staircase underneath the mentioned clocks.

Swanston and Flinders St intersection 1927

Swanston and Flinders St intersection 1927

The completion of the project and the fact that the first electric train operated from Flinders Street to Essendon in 1919, contributed to the fact that Flinders Street Train Station was the world’s busiest passenger station by 1926. It was also the first railway station to be built in an Australian city. This was not the end of redevelopment and refurbishment plans, but there is only so much one can squeeze into one article.

Flinders Street Station 2010

Flinders Street Station 2010 – Source of Image: Adam.J.W.C.

Today the Flinders Street railway station, the busiest station on Melbourne’s metropolitan network, serves the entire metropolitan rail network. Backing onto the city reach of the Yarra River in the heart of the city, the complex covers two whole city blocks and extends from Swanston Street to Queen Street. This while Flinders Street is served by Metro’s suburban services, and V/Line regional services to Gippsland.

Presentation and Packaging

Each Flinders Street Station Coin comes presented within a deluxe timber case with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity (CoA).

Flinders Street Station Coin Packaging

Flinders Street Station Coin – Presentation and Packaging

Specs

  • Coin Weight and Metal: 2 Troy oz of 99.9% pure silver (62.2g)
  • Coin Quality: Antiqued proof
  • Coin Diameter: 50mm
  • Coin Denomination: $10 Cook Islands
  • Year of Issue: 2015
  • Coin Mintage: 999
  • Country of Issue: Cook Islands

Why should you be interested in the Flinders Street Station Coin?

  • First coin in new coin series – Australia’s Historic Landmarks.
  • Extremely limited mintage (999 coins maximum).
  • Antique proof quality.
  • Unique copper insert.
  • Three nines fine silver (99.9% pure silver).
  • Perfect gift – Admirers of historical landmarks, especially of historical landmarks in Australia.
  • More affordable than gold.
  • Presented within deluxe timber case with numbered CoA.
  • Large diameter – 50mm.
  • Free shipping on orders over $500 (AUD) when purchased from Melbourne Mint Pty Ltd.

Drawbacks

None.

Ordering and Pricing

The Flinders Street Station Coin is currently available on pre-order from Melbourne Mint Pty Ltd at a price of A$329 per coin.