Photos from ten years ago: January 2013

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is January 2013.

Farewell to Metcard

The Metcard ticketing system in Melbourne was switched off on 29 December 2012.

Metcard validator onboard a tram, displaying a 'CLOSED' message and a green light

Myki having taken over.

Myki themed advertisement from Forty Winks

But the machines still advertised descoped features, like short term tickets.

Blurb on a Myki machine about the since-cancelled short term tickets

And printed out credit card receipts that included the full name of the card holder, nine digits of their credit card and the card’s expiry date.

Myki EFT receipt from a CVM running the revised software

January 2013 saw that vulnerability fixed, but the “print a receipt even if I don’t want one” bug wasn’t addressed until June 2019.

Trams go ding ding

A decade ago passengers at the Toorak Road terminus of route 58 had to play frogger between four lanes of traffic.

B2.2101 arrives at the Toorak Road terminus of route 8

It took until 2015 for VicRoads to cave in and allow Yarra Trams to build a safer tram stop, at a cost of $3.8 million.

Meanwhile at Domain Interchange intending tram passengers just had a few shelters in the middle of St Kilda Road.

Northbound trams arrive at Domain Interchange

It was replaced in 2013 by a four track, four platform tram stop, which was itself demolished in 2018 to make way for the new Anzac station as part of the Metro Tunnel project.

Trams heading along Queens Bridge also used to get stuck behind queued cars.

Z3.145 on route 55 blocked by southbound traffic on Queens Bridge

This was eventually fixed in 2015, when the shared bus and tram lane along Queensbridge Street was extended the short distance over the bridge to Flinders Street.

Route 75 trams used to travel from Flinders Street along Spencer Street to the Remand Centre.

A2.272 heads south on Spencer Street at Bourke with a route 75 service

A few months later the southbound tram stop at Spencer and Bourke Street was closed due to a “increased safety risk to passengers and pedestrians“, and in 2014 the city terminus for route 75 was moved to Docklands.

W class trams on the free City Circle service used to be painted maroon, to distinguish them from the green W class trams used on regular tram services.

SW6.856 heads west past the closed porno bookshop on Flinders Street

A distinction no longer needed – W class trams were withdrawn from route 30 and 78 in December 2014, and the introduction of the Free Tram Zone in 2015 meant every trams in the CBD was free. The remaining W class trams are now painted green, following the W8 class tram modernisation project.

On my lunch break I often saw the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant making it’s way around the Melbourne CBD.

SW6.935 / #6 heads east on Flinders Lane

But they no longer run – withdrawn by Yarra Trams in 2018 due to concerns they didn’t meet modern crash safety standards.

But the one thing that hasn’t changed – trams covered with advertising for the Australian Open.

A2.281 advertising the 2013 Australian Open heads west on Flinders Street

The 2023 iteration of this tradition is already on the tracks.

Old clunkers on the bus network

A decade ago high floor buses still popped up on bus routes across Melbourne.

Sita high floor bus #28 rego 2328AO picks up route 404 passengers at Footscray station

Thankfully that is a thing of the past, but on the tram network not so much – we have squandered multiple opportunities to acquire low floor trams, with the 2032 deadline for an accessible network unlikely to be achieved.

Closed for the weekend?

Closing a railway station on the weekend sounds stupid, but we used to do that at Flagstaff station.

Flagstaff Gardens entrance to Flagstaff station closed for the weekend

A situation not fixed until 2015.

Reworking Footscray for Regional Rail Link

2013 saw work on Regional Rail Link kick off at Footscray station.

Cleared land at the down end of the Sunshine-bound tracks

Land cleared ready for the extra two platforms to be built at the station.

Demolition crews in place to demolished the existing footbridge

But they were also demolishing a footbridge only completed two year earlier.

Demolishing the northern end of the footbridge, it was too short to span the future suburban tracks

Thanks to the bridge being too short to span the additional tracks.

Demolishing the northern end of the two year old footbridge

Fail to plan, plan to fail.

Trucks versus low bridges

In January 2013 an over height truck took out the tramway overhead at the intersection of King and Collins Street, stranding trams throughout the Melbourne CBD.

Mechanics having to push trams by hand.

Mechanic pushes A2.288 clear of the tram stop at Collins and Elizabeth Street

So they could get their recovery truck into position, and push the trams to a section of track still with power.

Recovery truck R10 pushes tram A2.288

The Craigieburn line couldn’t get a break either, with a truck striking the low bridge on Racecourse Road at Newmarket station, and cooking itself on the live tramway overhead.

Scorch marks on the bridge protection beam over route 57 on Racecourse Road

Some things never change.

Footnote – something a little different

January 2013 was also the tail end of my month long rail trip across Europe.

Almost home to Melbourne

Where I travelled 8,898 kilometres six countries, ten cities, three rail gauges and 15 rail operators.

One month: 8,898 kilometres of rail travel!

Along the way I also transited via Qatar.

Qatar Airways jet taking off from runway 33 at Doha

And missed my connection back to Australia, giving me an unplanned 24 hour stopover in Doha.

Doha skyline stretches across the bay

The end result – my spin off blog Euro Gunzel – An Australian railfan in Europe.

Footnote

Here you can find the rest of my ‘photos from ten years ago‘ series.

Melbourne trains in music videos

Here’s a quick one – Melbourne trains as featured in music videos.

Gerling – ‘Dust Me Selecta’ (2001)

A guy goes running down the stairs at Flagstaff station and boards a Hitachi train, where he finds a set of magical headphones that turn the train into a nightclub.

The Living End – ‘All Torn Down’ (1998)

The band rock out in front of 1990s Melbourne scenes like the wasteland that is Melbourne Dockland, and the railway yards that became Federation Square.

Phrase ft. Mystro – ‘Here Now’ (2005)

Rapping onboard Hitachi carriages 13M and 1938T at the Brooklyn tip before they got turned into scrap metal.

And a bonus one: Shannon Noll – What About Me (2004)

Another music video from the same time period, this time it features an 81 class diesel locomotive leading a grain train in country New South Wales.

Fun fact

The interior shots of Gerling’s ‘Dust Me Selecta’ music video were actually filmed onboard a Harris train at the Newport Railway Museum.

My accidental 24 hour stopover in Qatar

A decade ago I headed overseas and spent a month exploring Europe by train, but the one part of the trip I didn’t count on was an unplanned 24 hour stopover in Doha, capital city of Qatar.

Doha skyline stretches across the bay

How I got there

I left out of a snow covered Moscow bound for Australia with Qatar Airways.

Waiting at the gate, Qatar Airways A321-231 rego A7-AIA

My connection at their Doha hub was tight, but with one flight a day to Melbourne, I didn’t have much choice.

Which way to Mecca?

After a few hours, we descended for our final approach to Doha.

Nighttime city lights of Doha

The city skyline coming into view.

Skyscrapers almost in my grasp below

And then onto the ground.

Row of Qatar Airways jets on the eastern apron at Doha

Transferring at Doha’s old international airport was a pain – no jetbridges, only buses.

Transfer buses ready to pick up passengers from Qatar Airways A320 rego A7-ADC

But I eventually made it into the terminal.

Duty free shop in the departure terminal at Doha

But rather stupidly I confused my gate number and flight number – so I ended up at the wrong end of the airport!

Directional signage to the 44 boarding gates at Doha International Airport

By the time I reached the correct gate, my onward flight to Melbourne has already closed – so I was sent to the transfer counter. There I was given a booking on the next day’s flight to Melbourne, a 1 day visa to enter Qatar, a hotel voucher, and directions to the shuttle bus.

An hour later, I eventually emerged from immigration with just my camera and the clothes on my back.

Arrivals hall of Doha International Airport

After a trip on the shuttle bus, I checked into my hotel, had a 2AM supper, then off to bed.

Trying to beat the desert heat

Given I was only in Qatar for 24 hours, I wanted to make the most of my time there – so I set an alarm for 9AM to see the sights before the desert heat hit.

Outside my hotel, construction work was happening everywhere.

Directing a cement mixer

Guest workers doing all of the dirty jobs.

Guest workers do all of the building jobs in Qatar

My first stop – the Souq Waqif marketplace.

Qatar flags line the main street

Then down to the Dhow Harbour.

Doha skyline stretches across the bay

I went for a walk along the waterfront.

Western and Qatari fashion by the water

Watched the boats on the water.

Timber boats moored in the harbour

And looked over to the tall skyline behind.

Eclectic collection of skyscrapers in Doha

Past the Museum of Islamic Art.

Walking up to the Museum of Islamic Art

Planes on final approach to the nearby airport.

Museum of Islamic Art and air traffic for the neighbouring airport

Then back via the Qatar Ministry of Finance and the Islamic Cultural Centre.

Qatar Ministry of Finance and the Islamic Cultural Centre

On the roads

A decade ago the Doha Metro didn’t exist yes, so buses were the only form of public transport.

Urban bus in Doha, operated by Mowasalat

Along with taxis, like this Toyota Camry.

Toyota Camry as a taxi in Doha, operated for Mowasalat by 'Karwa'

I also saw quite a few Australian-built cars on the road, like this Holden Commodore, exported to the Middle East as a Chevrolet.

Australian-built Holden Commodore, exported to the Middle East as a Chevrolet

And a slightly older Holden Statesman, also branded as a Chevrolet.

Australian-built Holden Commodore, exported to the Middle East as a Chevrolet

Along with this beat up looking Australian-built Mitsubishi Magna.

Right hand drive version of the Australian-built Mitsubishi Magna

Time to retreat

It was now getting hot and the shops were starting to close.

Closed for the hottest part of the day

So I headed back to my hotel to take a nap.

Satellite dishes covered the rooftops all around.

Looking out over the inner city streets of Doha

But the workers were still stuck out in the heat.

Forest of tower cranes, looking north-east over the site

Pouring concrete in the burning sun.

Hundreds of workers built the formwork for another concrete pour

A final tour

After the sun went down, I went out for another walk.

The sun fades over the souq

Traders at the Souq having opened again.

Main street by night

Then I followed the back streets back to my hotel.

Radio and electronics stalls

Where I found shops selling cheap clothes.

Clothes and luggage on display

Hardware and electrical equipment.

More electrical and hardware shops

Power tools.

Row of hardware shops

Building supplies.

More shops selling electrical fixtures

And light fittings.

Shopfronts in the electrical fitting district

And time to leave

This time I didn’t want to miss my connection, so I headed back to airport leaving plenty of time to spare.

Six boarding gates on the lower level of Doha International Airport

I skipped the duty free store.

Cartons of cigarettes for sale in the airport duty free shop

And found the correct gate.

Gate 9 at Doha International Airport - the escalator to the downstairs bus bay is behind

Headed through security.

Gates 15 and 16 at Doha International Airport: dedicated to flights for the USA and Australia because of their additional security requirements

Then down to the gate lounge to wait for the bus out to my plane.

Waiting to board buses out to the plane at Doha

The tarmac was busy as ever.

Action out on the north-eastern apron, viewed from the departures terminal

But I made it onto my plane.

Cabin lighting onboard a Qatar Airways 777-200LR

Ready for the 13 hour flight back to Australia. 😫

Ready to take off from Doha

Quite the adventure, given the alternative mightn’t been to spend 24 hours trying to sleep at an airport.

Inspecting the West Gate Bridge

The West Gate Bridge is a key part of Melbourne’s transport infrastructure, connecting the east and west sides of the city since it was opened to traffic in 1978. But how does VicRoads ensure the bridge stays in good condition?

West Gate Bridge at sunset

Some history

The 2.5km long West Gate Bridge consists of two concrete box girder approach viaducts, 871m and 670m long, and an central 848m cable stayed steel box girder span over the Yarra River. The pier height varies, with a maximum height is 48m.

Tug heading out to sea under the West Gate Bridge

Except for the portion over the river, practically the full length of the bridge is above vacant land and can be accessed from below by means of elevated work platforms.


Ace Tower Hire photo

But for the portion of the bridge over the river, four permanent maintenance platforms were provided beneath the steel spans.

Bridge inspection gantry parked at the western end of the steel span, one of four such gantries on the West Gate Bridge

Operated from two runway beams, three of the platforms dated back to the construction of the bridge in the 1970s, with a fourth installed in 1995, these gave access for routine inspections, as well as minor works such as washing and patch painting.

Of the the maintenance gantries under the main cable stayed span

Upgrade time

In 2006 the State Government announced that they would upgrade the West Gate Bridge to carry an additional lane of traffic, taking it to five in each direction.

Outbound on the West Gate Bridge at Port Melbourne

Scaffolding was setup underneath the bridge to allow the necessary strengthening works to take place.

More scaffolding

Including suspended platforms.

West Gate Bridge suicide barriers not quite finished

And an elevated lunch room!

Work continuing on the West Gate Bridge upgrade project

The most noticeable change being the outriggers added to the steel span to support the load from the additional traffic lane.

Strengthening works on the steel box girder of the West Gate Bridge

But this presented a problem – it would block the passage of the existing maintenance platforms.

Two options were considered – a replacement system of maintenance platforms, or the acquisition of a mobile bridge inspection platform that would be deployed as needed.

The solution – an upside down crane

This weird looking thing is a MBI 200 under-bridge access unit, custom designed by Moog GmbH in Germany specifically for the Westgate Bridge.


Victorian Government photo

The State Government boasting in a September 2012 media release.

Australia’s largest Mobile Bridge Inspection Platform will improve access for maintenance inspections on Victoria’s most iconic bridge, Minister for Roads Terry Mulder said today.

Roads Minister Terry Mulder announces a mobile bridge inspection platform will replace permanent hanging inspection platforms for the West Gate Bridge, providing more efficient and cost effective maintenance.

Mr Mulder said the mobile bridge inspection platform would replace permanent ‘hanging’ inspection platforms for the West Gate Bridge, providing more efficient and cost effective maintenance.

“Mobile bridge inspection platforms are becoming more and more common on large bridges around the world as sustainable and cost effective maintenance tools,” Mr Mulder said.

“I’m very pleased to launch this innovation in Victoria, which will provide a great cost saving, as we do away with expensive and heavy permanent inspection platforms that span nearly one kilometre.

“It also improves access to all areas under the West Gate Bridge with an expanding platform that can extend for 20 metres under the bridge deck.

‘This will make it is easier for maintenance inspectors to see more of the underside of the bridge and because it is mobile, they can manoeuvre it to exactly where they want to be,” Mr Mulder said.

In what can only be described as an ‘upside down crane’, the unit includes a 17 metre boom arm that extends over the bridge barriers and lowers the inspection platform in place.

In order to stabilise such a large operation, the base truck, at 12 metre in length, has six axles when in operation and weighs 37 tonnes.

“The Mobile Bridge Inspection Platform has come to Australia all the way from Germany and is a great example of Victoria delivering innovative solutions to manage key infrastructure well into the future.”

When in operation, the unit will require two lanes to be closed on the West Gate Bridge to complete an inspection. These will be conducted during off peak periods and at night to reduce delays to traffic.

The bridge inspection unit completed initial testing completed on the yet to open Nagambie Bypass.


Moog GmbH photo

Showing off the capability of the machine.


Moog GmbH photo

And looking like a transformer in the process.

The inaugural use on the West Gate Bridge was scheduled for Saturday 22 September between 6:00am and midday.


Moog GmbH photo

Two lanes of traffic being closed, while the machine was in use.


Moog GmbH photo

But following the successful commissioning of the unit, it is usually deployed in the dark of night, to minimise the amount of disruption to traffic.

Two outer lanes closed and 40 km/h speed restriction while the MOOG MBI 200 bridge inspection vehicle is deployed to inspect the underside of the bridge deck

Footnote: more details

Some facts and figures

– 12 metres long
– 2.5 metres wide
– 4.4 metres tall
– 37 tonne mass
– 800 kilogram maximum payload
– 20 metre long access platform
– 17 metre long boom arm
– 6 effective axles when in operation

The under-bridge access unit is mounted atop a Scania 8×4 chassis, with two auxiliary axles able to be lowered to provide additional stability to the vehicle while in use, removing the need for outriggers. Movement of the vehicle while deployed is via 200mm diameter hydraulic driven rollers bearing on the top of the one set of tyres, providing accurate creep control.


VicRoads diagram

Along the boom modular aluminium access scaffold are provided to give access to the underside of the bridge. Additional equipment includes a 12Kva generator providing 415 and 240 volts to power tools, LED lighting, air compressor, water tank and pump, and a hydraulically operated telescopic lift.


VicRoads diagram

Footnote: and other bridges

The West Gate Tunnel project recently used an under-bridge access unit to inspect Shepherd Bridge in Footscray.


West Gate Tunnel Project photo

But they used a ABC 150/LST unit built by Barin Italy, supplied by Ace Tower Group.

Further reading

Road trip to New South Wales

Back in October 2022 I took two weeks off work for a road trip up to New South Wales and back, and took so many photos I needed a whole other holiday to go through them all! Here are the results.

Rainbow over Byrnes Road, Bomen

Heading up to Albury

I followed the Hume Highway up at Albury, and stopped in at Seymour, where I found the Travellers Aid ‘Connection Assistance’ service transporting passengers through the railway station underpass.

Travellers Aid volunteers transport passengers between the coach stop and the platform at Seymour station

And saw the northbound Melbourne-Sydney train speed past me.

Northbound XPT led by XP2008 and XP2015 passes the former junction at Mangalore

At Violet Town I visited the Southern Aurora Memorial Garden, which commemorates the crash of the Southern Aurora passenger train in February 1969.

Entrance to the Southern Aurora Memorial Garden at Violet Town

Closer to Albury, the near new VLocity trains were actually running a service that day.

VLocity VS97 leads VS94 out of Wodonga towards the SCT terminal at Barnawartha

And on the other side of town, I found V/Line’s retired fleet of carriages stored in some sidings, covered in graffiti.

ACN48 at the south end of nine retired standard gauge N type carriages in storage at Ettamogah pending allocation to rail heritage groups

Taking the back roads

Along the way I found country pubs.

Railway Hotel at Mangalore on the old Hume Highway

Overgrown cemeteries.

Overgrown graves at the Chiltern Old Cemetery

Quiet railway stations.

Looking up the line at Bungendore station

And abandoned ones.

Main double storey station building on the down platform at Bowning

Repeater huts for the Sydney–Melbourne co-axial cable

PMG repeater hut beside the Barton Highway at Wallaroo, NSW

The Headlie Taylor Header Museum.

Headlie Taylor header and blacksmith shop museum on the main street

The Rock Regional Observatory

The Rock Regional Observatory

And field after field of canola.

Canola fields outside Harefield

Junee, a railway town

I stopped in at the railway town of Junee.

Railcars 631/731 stabled alongside CF4404 and CF4412 at Junee

Going for a wander around the Junee Roundhouse Railway Museum.

Steam locomotive 2413 on display in the roundhouse

And took a drive out to the Bethungra Spiral.

QL008 leads QL001 and QL004 on a northbound steel train into the first Bethungra Spiral tunnel

Where northbound trains loop around the hill via a tunnel.

Northbound steel train heads into the second Bethungra Spiral tunnel

And then cross back over themselves, as they climb the grade towards Sydney.

QL008 leads QL001 and QL004 lead a northbound steel train on the upper level of the Bethungra Spiral

Random industries along the way

At Benalla I found the largest precast concrete facility in the Southern Hemisphere.

Precast concrete yard for the West Gate Tunnel project at Benalla

Churning out concrete tunnel lining segments for the West Gate Tunnel project.

A-double semi trailer departs the Benalla precast facility with four concrete tunnel lining segments for the West Gate Tunnel

At Ettamogah I went past the former Norske Skog paper mill.

Visy paper mill at Ettamogah

At the Wodonga Logistics Precinct the state government had just paid $5.5 million for a new natural gas connection.

Gas Gate to deliver high pressure natural gas to industry at the Wodonga Logistics Precinct

And in the paddocks outside Uranquinty I found a gas fired power station.

Two out of the four gas turbines at Uranquinty Power Station

Outside Wagga Wagga was industry galore – the Austrak plant was churning out concrete railway sleepers.

Stockpile of concrete sleepers at the Austrak plant

Enirgi Power Storage had a lead acid battery recycling facility.

Rainbow over the Enirgi Power Storage lead acid battery recycling facility at Bomen

And Southern Oil Refining had a lube oil recycling plant.

Southern Oil Refining lube oil recycling plant at Bomen

At Berrima I found the Boral cement works.

Looking over to the Boral cement works at Berrima from the road to Moss Vale

Maldon had the Allied Mills flour mill.

Allied Mills flour mill at Maldon, beside the Main South line

Outside Marulan I had to stop for an off-road dump truck crossing my path.

Haul truck crosses the access road to Marulan South, after dumping overburden from the Peppertree Quarry

And finally, on the Hum Highway I breezed by the Marulan heavy vehicle inspection station.

Approaching the northbound truck inspection station on the Hume Highway at Marulan

Photographing freight trains

Of course I’m not going to drive all the way up to New South Wales and not photograph freight trains!

Yet I managed to find the same steel train that goes past my house every day.

Coil steel loading on a southbound steel train passes the Bethungra Spiral

Grain trains were the big thing this time of the year.

QL004 leads QL012 and QL006 on a southbound steel train past stabled grain wagons at Cootamundra

Trains run by multiple operators.

CLF1 leads S303, T357 and C501 towards Cootamundra West with a loaded grain for Melbourne

Moving the harvest in conventional hopper wagons.

8167, 8130 and 8163 lead a southbound loaded grain slowly up the grade into Demondrille

As well as specialised containers.

1107 leads RL309 on a down Qube containerised grain through Marulan

Something different was a train transporting containerised ore to Port Kembla.

8166 leads 8132 towards Cootamundra West on an up containerised ore train from Goonumbla to Port Kembla

Port rail shuttles at Port Botany.

Linx liveried G534 with GL107 at the Patrick 'Sydney AutoStrad' terminal at Port Botany

Triple headed intrastate container trains to regional terminals.

FIE002 leads FIE001 and FIE002 on the down Fletcher train out of Botany Yard

And the garbage train which transports Sydney’s waste to a giant landfill outside Canberra.

8209 leads 8150 towards Picton with an up Cripps Creek garbage train

Rail in, rail out

At the Berrima cement works I found the whole supply chain moving by rail.

Boral cement works at Berrima

Lime from Marulan South.
8159 and 8123 load their train at the Marulan South lime works

And aggregate from the Lynwood quarry.

TT102 stabled with TT104 on a push-pull aggregate train at the Lynwood quarry

And finished cement despatched by rail.

8133 leads 8129 and 8175 on an up cement train from Berrima to Clyde at Mittagong

Along with clinker for further processing.

8255 outside Picton leads a rake of NPEF covered clinker hoppers from Berrima to Maldon

Coal, coal, coal

Coal is big business up in New South Wales.

New and old coal loaders at the South32 operated Dendrobium Mine

And I saw train hauling it everywhere.

8202 arrives back at BlueScope Port Kembla with a loaded coal train from the Dendrobium mine on the Kemira Valley line

Snaking through suburban railway stations.

QHAH hoppers make up the coal train snaking through Coniston station bound for Inner Harbour

And through the hills.

6005 leads an up empty Aurizon push-pull coal train through Coalcliff, headed from Inner Harbour to Metropolitan Colliery

Bound for the export terminal at Port Kembla.

TT116 leads TT118 and TT124 on TM74 coal from Tahmoor through Coniston bound for Inner Harbour

A weekend of heritage trains

The October long weekend in NSW was of rail heritage events – the first being Streamliners 2022 at the Goulburn Roundhouse Railway Museum.

42105, 4201, 4204, S311, GM19, GM10, S303, P22, T357 and T387 displayed around the turntable at Goulburn Roundhouse

With fireworks closing out the event.

Time for the shiny fireworks

The Lachlan Valley Railway was also running train trips from Goulburn to Tarago.

4473 arrives into the platform at Tarago for the return trip to Goulburn

I also visited the Goulburn Crookwell Heritage Railway.

Gangers trolleys ready for the first passengers of the day at the Goulburn Crookwell Heritage Railway

Going for a ride on their gangers trolleys.

Going for a ride on the gangers trolleys along the station yard at Crookwell

Meanwhile Sydney had their annual Transport Heritage Expo.

3801 departs Sydney Central on another Transport Heritage Expo shuttle to Hurstville

Steam trains running trips throughout the weekend.

Garratt 6029 heads a down shuttle bound for Hurstville through Erskineville station

Along with Sydney’s early single-deck electric trains.

Heritage electric set F1 passes through Sydenham station bound for Central

Country railcars.

Rail Motor Society CPH railcars 1, 3 and 7 on the down leg of the goods line tour at St Peters

And heritage double decker buses.

Leyland Titan OPD2/1 double decker buses #2186 and #2087 with Leyland Atlantean PDR1A/1 #1224 at Sydney Central station

Trams in Sydney

I finally got to see the completed CBD and South East Light Rail.

Coupled Citadis trams #37 and #38 on a L3 Circular Quay service pass classmate #02 on L1 to Dulwich Hill at Hay and George Street

Which uses as wire free power supply down to Circular Quay.

Citadis #57 heads along on route L2 Circular Quay

I also paid a visit to the Sydney Tramway Museum.

Sydney P class tram 1497 alongside Melbourne tram Y1.611 at the Sydney Tramway Museum

Where I ended up on a *Melbourne* tram. 😂

Changing over the poles of Melbourne tram Y1.611 on arrival at the Royal National Park terminus

And ferries

I couldn’t go to Sydney without photographing a few ferries, including the new Emerald class.

Emerald-class ferry 'Bungaree' arrives at Circular Quay

And River class.

River-class ferry 'Ruby Langford Ginibi' departs Circular Quay

But I’m a fan of the older First Fleet class.

First Fleet-class ferries 'Borrowdale' and 'Charlotte' waiting off Circular Quay

And the classic double ended Manly ferries.

Manly ferry 'Collaroy' passes the Sydney Opera House

Along the Illawarra

I headed down towards Wollongong despite some horrible weather.

Premier Charters bus m/o 8528 crosses the Sea Cliff Bridge with a route 2 service to Wollongong

Finding trains winding their way down the escarpment.

Oscar set H9 trailing out of the Bald Hill Tunnel with a down Kiama service

Along a curving railway.

Oscar set H21 departs Otford station on the up

Following the coast.

Tangara set T9 heads onto the single track towards Coalcliff Tunnel at Coalcliff station

Until they finally ended up at the tiny stations of the Port Kembla branch line.

Oscar set H23 pauses at Port Kembla North station on the up

Shipping steel at Port Kembla

I couldn’t miss visiting the Bluescope Port Kembla steelworks.

Port Kembla Steelworks beside Tom Thumb Lagoon

Iron ore comes in by ship.

Bulk carrier 'Happiness Frontier' (IMO 9598074) at the iron ore wharf

Finished steel is shunted around the complex for processing.

Watco shunter PB7 brings a rake of loaded coil steel wagons to the Cringila exchange sidings

And then despatched by rail.

CF4408, QL003 and QL011 arrive on 3MW7 steel train at the Cringila exchange sidings

Down the South Coast

I headed down to Kiama, where electric trains terminate.

Oscar set H32 arrives into Kiama to connect with a diesel service to Bomaderry

Passengers switching to a diesel railcar for the last few stops to Bomaderry.

Endeavour 2851 ready to depart Kiama on another run to Bomaderry

There I found a long grain train headed in the same direction.

8142, 8139, 8210 and 8245 pass through Bombo on a down grain train bound for the Manildra plant at Bomaderry

Bound for the Shoalhaven Starches plant at Bomaderry, which will turn the grain into wheat starch, gluten and ethanol.

Grain train arrives into the Manildra plant at Bomaderry

And up into the hills

I took the back roads from Bomaderry back towards the Southern Highlands, driving over the heritage listed Hampden Bridge – one of the few suspension bridges in Australia.

Cars queued to cross the Hampden Bridge, with three cars headed the other way

Headed up towards Moreton National Park.

Looking out from Mannings lookout down towards Kangaroo Valley

And found Fitzroy Falls.

Looking over to the Fitzroy Falls from the west rim lookout

This scary looking spillway at Pejar Dam.

Uncontrolled spillway at Pejar Dam

And what looked like a canal blasted through solid rock.

Fitzroy Canal hewn through rock beneath Nowra Road at Fitzroy Falls

Which I later discovered was part of the Shoalhaven Scheme – a pumped-storage hydroelectricity facility.

The rain finally clears

After days of rain the sky finally cleared, but the roads were still closed due to flooding.

Narambulla Creek has spilled over the floodway on Carrick Road in Carrick

Looks like I won’t be driving this way!

'Road closed at Wollondilly River - detour via Hume Highway' sign on Mills Road at Towrang

But at least on one spot along my route, a new high level bridge had opened just in time, taking the road clear of the floodwaters.

High level bridge carriages Towrang Road over a flooded Wollondilly River

Off to Canberra

I decided I’d make a detour via Canberra.

Looking across Lake Burley Griffin towards Parliament House

Checking out what passes for the rail service between Sydney and Canberra.

Xplorer 2524 awaiting departure time from Canberra station

I found a V/Line coach leaving Canberra on the long drive to Bairnsdale.

PTV liveried Dysons coach #971 BS02JO on a Bairnsdale service passes ACTION bus #470 on route R5 at City Interchange, Canberra

And the well used first stage of the Canberra Light Rail.

Passengers exit LRV #013 at the Alinga Street terminus

About to be extended south to Woden.

ACT Government 'Building light rail to Woden' signage at Alinga Street

I also made the trip out to the back blocks of Canberra to find their tram depot.

#013 arrives out of service at the Canberra Metro depot

Found one of ACTION’s old orange high floor buses.

ACTION high floor bus #953 between runs at The Valley Avenue, Gungahlin

A bus with a bike loaded on the front rack.

Transport Canberra articulated bus #678 on route R4 at Westfield Belconnen

And dozens of the classic Canberra concrete bus shelters.

Concrete 'bunker' bus shelter on Clancy Street, Evatt

And homeward bound

At Albury I found a familiar face – a VLocity train awaiting awaiting departure time for Melbourne.

VLocity VS96 awaiting departure time from Albury, VS97 stabled alongside

I decided to head over to Shepparton to capture the end of locomotive hauled trains on that line.

N453 and carriage set SSH31 stabled in the platform at Shepparton, N472 in the yard with VN14

Shunter at work coupling the locomotive up to the carriages.

N472 shunts back onto carriage set VN14 in the platform at Shepparton

By the time I got to Murchison East, I was drenched.

N472 with carriage set VN14 departs Murchison East on the up

My next stop – Bendigo.

Bendigo tram #9 stabled outside the depot

My target – Comeng trains awaiting scrapping.

EDI Comeng carriages 517M, 1117T and 439M among those awaiting scrapping at the Bendigo Rail Workshops

But the weather wasn’t on my side, flood waters rising.

Back Creek full of flood water alongside the depot

So I high tailed it home, narrowly beating the waters that flooded central Victorian towns like Colbinabbin.

Rising flood waters on the main street of Colbinabbin

That ended two weeks on the road, followed by two months editing the resulting photos.