Suicide at Glenferrie station?

Passengers on Lilydale, Belgrave and Alamein train lines had to find a different way home last night.

Announcements at Flinders St Station described an “accident” at Glenferrie station. The Connex web site described an “incident”. Parliament station advised a “girl” being “struck by a train”.

The two Melbourne newspapers (online versions) have no articles I can find with the words “glenferrie”, “lilydale”, “station” or “passenger”.

So we guess that someone committed suicide at Glenferrie station.

Either it is not reported because the reporting may encourage copy-cats, or it is not reported because suicides on train lines aren’t newsworthy. Maybe both…

Update: Read comments section for further information from people who were closer to the incident.

Update 2: More information at http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1006685.htm

Update 3: Not entirely comfortable with this. I blogged because there was nothing in mainstream press. I must have been up in the google searches so people have posted some comments here which I think are appropriate and suitable – to my standards anyway. Please let me know if you think any part of this blog distasteful or unsuitable.

Update 4: There’s a thread here speculating on the deceased, and possible motivations, if you are interested.

15 Responses to “Suicide at Glenferrie station?”

  1. 1 ben
    February 13, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Yeah i had the same problem yesterday as thousands of people did. I would assume it to be a suicide too because what esle could happen at Glenferrie stationwhere it is out of the way from traffic accidents etc..

    This is a tragic incident but What disappointed me is Connex’s inability to organize/inform people of the best routes for their respective destinations. I was advised to take a Camberwell /Box hill tram from the city. Taking me about 3 hrs to get home including my 20minute drive from the station. On my way to work today the train driver announced passengers for suburbs could have taken Glen Waverly train then get a connecting bus resulting in a quicker less congested tram system. Why were we not told of this last night???

  2. 2 Anna Lawton
    February 13, 2008 at 10:45 am

    I find it bemusing and insulting that suicides are reported as “incidents”. It makes me mad, as though we as a society are not able to handle the truth of the matter or that is it as Craig said, not newsworthy enough. Tell that to the person’s family who would have received the devastating news last night. Tell that to the train driver who now has to live with the fact he was so powerless to stop it.

  3. 3 Dave
    February 13, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I was on the train that hit the suicide victim. The driver was amazing under the circumstances. You could tell he was shaken as he made a number of announcements regarding what had happened and about getting us off the train and back to Glenferrie station.

    The emergency crews were also great, keeping passengers informed as to what was going to happen.

    Connex staff were shocking. At Glenferrie station they didn’t give any direction for passengers who were not familiar with the area. We each had to queue up at the window to ask what was happening.

    How hard could it be to have a member of staff directing people as they came off the platform?

    I rang Connex Customer Service to find out how to progress my journey. They had a recorded message telling customers to take Tram 109 to Box Hill. In hindsight I realise this was information for people still in the city – not for those stuck at Glenferrie.

    The Customer Service member of staff told me to go to Camberwell station. I asked how to do that as I wasn’t familiar with the Glenferrie area. The Connex guy asked me if I had a Melways!! I responded saying that I don’t normally carry a Melways with me on my way to and from work on the train!

    So I got home 3 hours later….but at least I got home.

    Craig: Thanks very much for on-the-spot details, Dave

  4. 4 Claire
    February 13, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    who was the suicide victim?

    Craig – I heard parliament staff announce it was a girl, but if anyone has further information (no names etc.) let us know.

  5. 5 Phil
    February 13, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Swinburne announced the following message via email:

    Subject: Incident Glenferrie Railway Station

    This email is authorised by Toni Kilsby Director Student Operations

    Dear students,

    Late yesterday afternoon a person died at Glenferrie station. It is
    likely that some students from Swinburne witnessed this and may be distressed. I would like to remind all students that free, confidential counselling and support is available through Swinburne’s Student Services on XXXXXXXX. Swinburne’s Chaplaincy Service is also available to students and can be contacted on XXXXXXXXX.

    Update: I had the numbers originally but want to avoid any mischief. If you need the numbers I can provide.

  6. 6 Belinda
    February 13, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    There were no announcements at Melbourne central, just a whole lot of people and “Train not taking passengers” I took a Dandenong train to Richmond, where it was impossible to get on a Glen Waverley train to Burnley as it was so packed. Same for both 70 and 75 tram routes, so I ended up walking the 4km home from Richmond. At least there were announcements at Richmond, but it was a terribly badly managed situation.

    I have written to Connex asking why there weren’t trains running to Burnley if that’s where the buses were running from. – no point in a bus if you can’t get there.

    I’m annoyed that suicides generally aren’t reported, it’s nice to know why you’ve had to walk home. (as sad as the situation is). Like you I searched everywhere yesterday for something about it and there was nothing.

    I wonder how long it took for them to start running trains again? It might have been about 6:15 when I left Richmond.

  7. 7 574M
    February 14, 2008 at 11:10 am

    You said this:

    Either it is not reported because the reporting may encourage copy-cats, or it is not reported because suicides on train lines aren’t newsworthy. Maybe both…

    Look up the Code of Practice for the ABC, for The Age, for Fairfax Media, any media reporting organisation. There is a common code of practice not to report suicides. There are two reasons for this, to deny those engaging in self harm the notoriety they seek and thus harm their families further, and to prevent copy-cat activity.

    In fact, suicide is now an out-word. The new term to describe this is self-harm.

    * ABC -> http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/codeprac04.htm (Section 4.6: “4.6 If reported at all, suicides will be reported in moderate terms and will usually avoid details of method.”)
    * Fairfax –http://www.theage.com.au/ethicsconduct.html (Section 18: “18. The Age will not publish individual cases of suicide, unless issues of public safety or the wider public interest justify it. Care should be taken when reporting methods of suicide and, wherever possible, public information on where to gain help must accompany such reports.” )
    Interestingly, the main search term people used before clicking on a link to my blog contained the word “suicide”. No-one it seems used “self-harm”. This is according to my blogstats.

  8. 8 M att
    February 14, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Anna Lawton; they are reported as “incidents” and not suicides because they want to discourage copycats. They don’t want a rush of people doing the same thing. 1 is 1 too many as it is.

    As for the Family and Train driver.. do you really think it would be a positive thing for them to have such a tragedy replayed in the news and in the papers? Unlikely.

  9. February 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I arrived soon after the incident. I got there as the cops went up onto the platform I think. I asked one woman and she was totally cruel and sarcastic about it, “You can take a lucky guess.”.

    This is so confusing. No one knows anything for sure. No one at the station would tell us. But you could see something under the end of the train. It was horrible.

    I called my friend to find out how to get home, but ended up catching two trams and a train. Both totally PACKED beyond belief, with another friend from the TAFE.

    I don’t believe that suicides should be reported in the news, but i do think that it’s only fair that some form of news be published stating that there was an incident, or accident, at Glenferrie station, at this time, on this day, and that’s why the trains were held up.
    Otherwise rumours just keep spreading.

    The buses to replace the trains were going to take an HOUR just to get to Glenferrie.
    That is so not good organisation.

    There should definately be something in the news, or at least an email for swinburne students about it. I mean there was over a hundred people on the platform when I got there.

    Rumours were originally that it was a dog, then a student who’d committed suicide, then right before my friend and I got on the tram we heard it was a ten year old boy playing on the tracks. which is virtually impossible. Anyone that knows Glenferrie station will understand.

    Platform 2 of Glenferrie station is now totally creepy for me.
    I so don’t wanna catch a train through there again.

    Craig: editted out some comments about Connex

  10. 10 Jen
    February 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    I am a Deaf person. I just had a job interview and was feeling great. I arrived at Richmond station and got off to change trains to go on the Alamein line. While I stood there, I watched the TVs which announced which stations were next. One for Belgrave was announced, but changed to Glen Waverly. I waited half an hour before giving up and deciding to catch a tram. When I got out, the street was packed with people, and there was a tram full of people and it wasn’t moving. I went up to the station-master to ask what was going on. They told me to catch a train. When I told them there were no trains (this was all in writing, by the way), they said to catch a tram, when I explained the trams weren’t moving at the time they said ‘You just have to wait.’

    I was really upset with how they handled the situation and the fact that they weren’t helpful in the least. I ended up walking 7.5km home. At no time was it explained that trains were cancelled, or what was going on. Neither did they say anything about replacement buses or trams.

  11. 11 Anonymous
    February 15, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    For future reference, it was not a girl or a child, it was an adult male, my friend said he saw him crying on the platform before hand and had left to get something from a shop and when he got back to the station the incident had already happened.
    I was having coffee right next to the station as it happened and I was unaware of anything until I got home.

  12. February 15, 2008 at 8:11 pm


    I think I know the individual who committed suicide. I have been looking everywhere for more information on his passing, and it looks like I found it here on this blog finally. I saw in the comments a request for more info, so I hope you don’t mind if I share a bit with you.

    He was a young male student at Swinburne. He had some apparent mental issues, but he was harmless, creative, intelligent, and had great passion and energy for his interests. He was a believer and follower (likely the only one) of a crackpot theory called “Timecube,” until recently.

    He suffered a rejection recently and it was apparently was too much for him, and as a result he quit following Timecube. He seemed to have dipped into Christianity for a couple weeks (BIG mistake if you ask me) and then disappeared from the Internet altogether around February 9th.

    Then on the 14th of February I heard through the grapevine that he had taken his own life, but no other details. This didn’t seem like something he would do, and at first I didn’t believe it. I thought he had faked his own death. After much searching and calling I finally found some details… a friend of his from Melbourne told me that he stepped in front of a train. With that information I eventually found this blog post that I am now commenting on.

    I am devastated that this happened. I live in the United States and only knew him through the Internet, but I know enough to say for certain that this young man was bright, motivated, and full of life. He had passion for his interests. Although he was depressed over the falling out with “Timecube”, he hadn’t expressed anything that indicated a wish to die; that’s why I didn’t believe it when I first heard it… it just didn’t sound like something he would do. But unless two Swinburne students stepped in front of two trains on the same day, this must be him.

    He had a large body of work that he had published online, which I am now trying to preserve and archive as a remembrance or memorial of sorts. Although he had trouble fitting in among his peers, he is nevertheless known worldwide. He will be missed by many people across the globe, from Europe to America and of course Australia.

    I hope this helps you understand a bit more about why this happened. I am still trying to make sense of it all myself. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    Craig: I made some edits to this but tried to preserve the content as best as possible.

  13. 13 Aaron
    February 16, 2008 at 10:47 am

    So is my previous comment going to be approved? If it has any parts of too much personal info, you can edit it out. But I wanted at least the backstory to be available so that others could know what happened and why. This person has an important and spectacular story.

  14. February 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm


    The edits are perfectly fine. You did preserve the content very well. Thank you for blogging about this as otherwise I might not have found out much of what had happened to my friend and how he ended his life.

  15. 15 nameless-swinburne-student
    February 23, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Holy shit,
    It was the timecube guy? And also, it was a male?
    I spoke to a few of the passengers while I was there and they said it was a teenaged girl?
    I don’t know, conflicting opinions.
    But yes, respect must go out to timecube guy, he was a unique, misunderstood individual with obvious mental issues that a lot of people kind of indicated and never addressed.

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