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SideTracked - Southern Cross Multi Multi-cache

Hidden : 04/28/2022
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

This cache belongs to the SideTracked series. It is not designed to take you to a magical place with a breath-taking view. It's a distraction for the weary traveller, but anyone else can go and find it too. More Information can be found at the SideTracked Website.

Southern Cross Station (2005)

Spencer Street Station (1965)

Spencer Street Station (1950)

Spencer Street Station (1859)

This cache was nominated in the 2022 Victorian Cache of the Year Awards (Best Multi Cache & Best Overall Cache)

Estimated time to complete: 30min
Estimated distance to travel: 300m

Southern Cross Railway Station is the most important rail terminal in Victoria and has been redeveloped into a world-class public transport interchange. This multi-cache highlights some of the little known features of Southern Cross Station (originally known as Spencer Street Station). You do not need a ticket to access any of the locations, and the final cache location is nearby but outside of railway property.

Architects' Statement
"The design focus of Southern Cross station is the dune-like roof that covers an entire city block: it works as a visual bridge between the city centre and the new docklands and also unites all the disparate elements of the interchange, providing a cool, shaded space on a civic scale.”

“The individual roof moguls act as air reservoirs that collect hot air together with the train’s diesel fumes. The hot air and fumes are drawn through the roof, via louvres at the apex of each mogul, by the prevailing winds. These north-west and south-west winds define the valleys that cut across the roof form, ensuring natural ventilation year round.”

“This solution is a contemporary reinterpretation of the historic shed roofs of nineteenth century Europe. The roof intrinsically expresses its own function and its rhythmical beauty is almost incidental."

Listed Coordinates: An Iconic Meeting Point
The listed coordinates will bring you to a Melbourne station landmark with a fascinating history. It should help you keep on time. Find the large glass information panel and focus on the timeline of 8 brown panels at the bottom:

  • When did this landmark move to an area called the Cobblestones? = 191A
  • When was it moved just 30 paces and thereby gained its iconic status? = 19D9
  • When was it dismantled and moved into private hands? = 19B7
  • When was it installed in its current location? = 201G

WP1: Secret Tunnels
WP1 is located at ground level 140m NW of the listed coordinates adjacent to a white platform sign and the gated entrance to a secret tunnel. The tunnel is part of the subway system used in the old Spencer Street station and now used for utilities. If you wait long enough you may see an electric buggy emerge, transporting passengers with mobility issues to their train. Tunnels at the Southern end of the station also linked to an underground pistol range where security staff practised their shooting!

  • This subway entrance has 1C vertical bars inside the frame of the gate

WP2: Help on the Journey
WP2 is located at ground level 65m NW of WP1. You have found the origin of those electric buggies and a wonderful space for the weary traveller. Directly opposite the glass sliding doors is an illuminated advertising billboard.

  • Find the number on the top right side of the billboard F518

Final Location
You are looking for a lockbox in the entrance to a nearby building located away from railway property. Nearby is a key part of the station's history (the geochecker has more information).

The lockbox is labelled with the code GC9RWGX. You will need need to press clear, then the combination buttons, and then the release lever to open the box. You will also need to press clear and re-enter the combination to close the box.

  • Coordinates: S 037° 49.ABC' E 144° 57.DFG'
  • Combination: ACDG

Checksum = A+B+C+D+F+G = 24

WP3: Bonus Hidden Mural (extra 15min)
This is not a required part of this cache, but if you have some spare time you can visit WP3 and return in a leisurely 15min. The massive mural "Cavalcade of Transport" measures 7m high and 38m long and took pride of place above Platform 1 at Spencer Street station. It was painted by Melbourne born artist Harold Freedman and records 100 years of transport progress from 1835 to 1935. The mural shows horses and carts, steam trains, vintage cars, early trams, and trucks of all types, in meticulous detail. It was moved into storage when the station was rebuilt and then was on display at the rear of the Spencer Street outlet store with its own viewing platform. With the expansion of the shopping offerings the mural is now embedded within the furthest shops and hidden from view unless you know to look for it.

Note that trading hours limit access to the mural to 10:00am-6:00pm daily (and until 7:00pm on Thursdays and Fridays)

***CONGRATULATIONS to ladioactive on the FTF***

“Gone but not forgotten”
In memory of another cache that was once also here:
GC6HKWC Southern Crustacean
May 12, 2016 - May 26, 2019

Additional Hints (No hints available.)