Track gangs and passing trains

It might surprise you, but plenty of work happens on Melbourne’s railway network while trains are still running.

Metro Trains track gang at work at Richmond Junction

Work crews stepping off the tracks when trains approach.

Alstom Comeng train 572M passes metro staff inspecting the tracks at Franklin Street

And then get back to work inspecting the tracks once they’ve passed.

Maintenance staff get back to work after a down train departs Sunshine

But trains have continued running through bigger projects – like the 2009 rebuilding of Laverton station.

VLocity VL30 and classmate runs through the worksite at Laverton

Where an entire track was ripped up.

VLocity VL30 and two classmates run through the worksite at Laverton

Or the rebuilding of a level crossing in Geelong.

Ballast regulator 5th run: regulating with brushes

With V/Line trains crawling along to one side.

VLocity train passes a ballast tamper on the other track at North Shore

And freight trains on the other.

Trackwork continues as a freight train passes on the other track

Or Regional Rail Rail works at South Kensington.

Up VLocity gets the red flag on the approach to the worksite at South Kensington

Each train being stopped by a red flag, allowing the track to be cleared, before a green flag was given to proceed.

Down train passes the active worksite at South Kensington

But the craziest example I’ve seen was back in 2009 outside Geelong.

Freshly resleepered track at Bell Post Hill

The complete trackbed had been dug up and relaid, but no ballast had been laid.

Rail joint on the resleepered track

But a steam train headed towards Ballarat was still allowed over the track.

The kettle on a light simmer along the unballasted track

But with the track gang keeping a very close eye on it’s progress.

Workers go to check up on the unballasted track after T413 passes

A similarly crazy movement occurred in 2007, when suburban trains stranded by the Middleborough Road Project were rescued by diesel locomotives travelling on a hastily constructed track through the work site.

Footnote

This video has done the rounds over the years – 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours.

Modern rooming houses in Melbourne

When I think of “rooming houses” in Melbourne I picture massive run down Victoria-era houses, with lean-tos tacked onto the sides and verandas filled in to create more bedrooms. But it turns out new rooming houses are actually being built around Melbourne, and look almost indistinguishable from the townhouses next door.

Development in the south-eastern suburb of Clayton has been intensifying, thanks to the thousands of students studying at the nearby Monash University campus.

Looks like a normal pair of townhouses, doesn’t it?

But the real estate agent’s blurb suggests otherwise.

Great investment opportunity is now available for astute investor, who is looking for secure and huge rental cash flow (8 bedroom, 8 bathroom, 2 living area), also come with land size of 360sqm approx which is perfect for student accommodation/doctors or nurses who are working nearby or Airbnb. This north facing spacious double storey residence situated within walking distance to Monash University, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton Train Station, local schools & parklands, bus stops, Clayton shopping district, Clayton Community Centre and only minutes away from Chadstone Shopping Centre.

As you walk into this fabulous architecturally designed home (Class 1B – Boarding house) with high ceilings(2.7 meters on ground floor), the flowing floor plan will lead you to the elegant open living room, plus huge modern open kitchen(with 8 bar fridge space, and 8 separate cupboards for each room) and dining area, 4 spacious bedrooms with built-in-robes, 3 rooms come with ensuite, plus disable bathroom. 4 more bedrooms with BIR (3 of rooms with ensuite) plus retreat area upstairs. Spacious outdoor area is perfect for entertainment with friends.

Just count them all – 8 bedroom and 8 bathrooms!

This example from Clayton has two “townhouses” on the block.

Which contain a total of 17 bedrooms.

High returning properties at $186,600 pa approx.

Unit 1: rent @ $100,560
Unit 2: rent @ $86,040

Located in the proposed growth zone RGZ3 these modern rooming house registered townhouses are perfect for an investor seeking an amazing cash flow near one of Australia’s largest educational institution Monash University.

Townhouse 1- Offers 9 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, entry hall, large kitchen and meals area with gas cook top leading to rear courtyard and lock up garage.

Townhouse 2- Offers 8 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, entry hall with floating floors, modern kitchen with a huge meals area, separate laundry, courtyard and lock up garage.

Though this time around, some residents will have to share bathrooms.

I found a similar looking “townhouse” over in Oakleigh East.

“Only” eight bedrooms and five bathrooms this time around.

The same applies at this block of six townhouses, that provide 29 bedrooms across the development.

This 6 year old block of 6 subdivided townhouses (29 bedrooms) stands alone!

These low maintenance homes have relevant ‘Class 1B Rooming House’ permits and have been modified to suit the strict regulations. The real kicker for investors who may consider purchasing the entire block is the returns with a combined total income of approximately $283,000 per annum making this entire development a business in itself. They are being sold with all associated furniture, bedding and appliances that a student needs to get started.

All townhouses feature a kitchen with stainless steel appliances and stone benchtops, tiled meals area plus a laundry, single garage, ducted heating, a private courtyard and coin operated communal laundry facility onsite.

The 4 street front townhouses are of similar design boasting 4 bedrooms including 2 upstairs rooms with walk in wardrobes and ensuite as well as a bathroom and toilet downstairs. The 2 rear townhouses are larger and feature 5 and 6 bedrooms plus an ensuite, and 2 bathrooms. (Unit 5 boasts a double garage)

Finally, I found this bizarre looking “house” fronting onto Dandenong Road, Clayton.

Once an ordinary quadruple fronted 1950s brick veneer house, a massive flat roofed cement sheet clad box has been plopped onto the top.

Giving a total of 12 studio apartments – seven in the upstairs addition.

And five in the converted house downstairs.

Creating quite a money earner.

The home has been converted to 12 studio apartments of which most have already been renovated and several are also already leased with potential rental return of over $120,000-00 per annum once fully leased.

PLUS the potential to further develop the rear backyard – facing Parker Street into more accommodation/ Town houses with own street frontage.

OR take advantage of the corner allotment as well as this excellent location and re develop the entire site into apartments. Proposed GRZ6 zoning.

What about classic rooming houses?

The ‘old fashioned’ style of rooming house I picture in my head is like this one at 57 Ballarat Road, Footscray – where shared bathrooms and kitchens are the norm.


Google Street View

But they are a dying breed, as gentrification sweeps through the Melbourne suburbs. I found this writeup on an old rooming house in Elwood at realestate.com.au:

It’s not every day a property with 17 bedrooms hits the market.

Among a large common area, two shared kitchens, three shared bathrooms and a laundry, the whopping 17 bedroom property contains a mix of self-contained apartments, along with old and new boarding rooms.

Professionals Whiting & Co director Dannie Corr said the registered accommodation house, or rooming house, was extremely uncommon.

“You don’t ever see them in gentrified areas,” Mr Corr said.

“All the ones we have sold over the past 20 to 30 years have been converted into private accommodation.”

Mr Corr explained the properties were particularly popular after World War II, in order to provide housing for those migrating from Europe.

“This once was an Edwardian home, and would have been converted in the late 50s or early 60s” he said.

“There are five self-contained rooms that include a kitchenette and bathroom at the front of the home, while the remainder make use of the shared facilities.”

But decaying rooming houses still exist, the last resort for people with nowhere else to go.

Now Barry’s home is a tiny room – one of 14 – at the rear of a dilapidated weatherboard rooming house in Melbourne’s north. His possessions are stacked so high it’s difficult to get through the door. The roof leaks over his bed and the lock is broken.

The house’s volatile and intimidating landlord has made Barry’s life a misery – including throwing his possessions into a skip and assaulting him – and for all of this, Barry pays $200 a week in rent.

Ahead of the Victorian state budget on Monday, the Council to Homeless Persons is calling on the government to increase funding and hire more rooming house outreach workers, arguing they can save the lives of residents and improve their health.

Three years ago the government introduced minimum standards in rooming houses, including that operators must apply for a licence and follow standards of hygiene, safety and security.

But the reality is that many remain decrepit and hazardous environments that damage the physical and mental health of the residents.

Will today’ cheaply built townhouses cum rooming houses decay to a similar state, endangering residents while landlords profit? Only time will tell.

And a techbro related footnote

Not content with reeling in millions of dollars in venture capital to reinventing taxis and buses, the techbros of Silicon Valley also also reinventing the rooming house – from The Atlantic:

Commonspace, as he’s calling it, will feature 21 microunits, which each pack a tiny kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living space into 300-square-feet. The microunits surround shared common areas including a chef’s kitchen, a game room, and a TV room.

Worried about the complicated social dynamics of so many Millennials in one living unit? Fear not, Evans and partner John Talarico are hiring a “social engineer” who will facilitate group events and maintain harmony among roommates.

Whatever will they come up with next?

So you’ve dropped something onto the tracks

So you’ve dropped something onto the railway tracks – your hat perhaps?

Someone lost their hat on the tracks at North Melbourne

Umbrella?

Broken umbrella discarded on the railway tracks

Footy scarf?

Some Melbourne fan dropped their footy scarf onto the tracks at North Melbourne

Bottle of Passion Pop?

Bottle of Passion Pop on the tracks

‘Caution wet floor’ sign?

'Caution wet floor' sign on the tracks at Flinders Street Station

‘P’ trap?

Someone lost their 'P' trap on the tracks at Seddon station

Collection of Formplex weatherboard samples?

Pile of Formplex weatherboard samples discarded on the tracks

Well – don’t run across the tracks.

Chase down station staff.

V/Line staff at Footscray also looking onto the tracks for a missing item

They’ve got a long grabby arm.

Metro staff at Footscray looking onto the tracks for a missing item

Ready to fish it back up.

Metro Trains staff retrieve a mobile phone from the tracks with a long pickup claw

Footnote

I remember a few years ago a railfan attaching their GoPro camera to the side of a steam train doing the rounds of suburban Melbourne, only for it to fall off and land on the tracks. Presumably they found the camera, because they were able to share the footage. 😛

A2 986 passes through Hawksburn station with an up shuttle from Caulfield

Another unlucky railfan had a similar experience on a tram tour around Melbourne – holding their mobile phone out the window recording video along the St Kilda light rail the tram brushed past a lineside tree, knocking it out of their grasp and down onto the ballast below.

Photostop at South Melbourne loop on route 12

Moral of the story – use a camera strap!

The ghost of Rosedale Estate in Melbourne’s west

This is the tale of Rosedale Estate in Chartwell, a failed subdivision on the western plains of Melbourne, midway between Werribee and Rockbank.


Google Maps

Early years

The neat grid of streets stand out against the flat grasslands, 7 km south of Rockbank and 10 km north of Werribee.


Land Victoria

All with British names:

  • Downing Street,
  • Mayfair Avenue,
  • Eaton Court,
  • Oxford Street,
  • Shelly Court,
  • Wandsworth Street,
  • McMillan Parade,
  • Finchley Court,
  • The Mall,
  • Sheridan Close,
  • Stratford Road

Volume 2 – The Environmental Thematic History from the Shire of Melton Heritage Study by David Moloney explains how the estate came to be:

Rosedale Estate, Chartwell (commonly known as the ‘Chartwell Estate’) was a 1957 subdivision of 491 township sized allotments situated on the eastern corner of Boundary Road and Downing Street (Crown Allotment 5, Section 4, Parish of Pywheitjorrk).

The English mansion Chartwell, best known for its twentieth century ownership by Sir Winston Churchill, overlooks the ‘The Weald of Kent’: a rolling green woodland. If the name Chartwell was meant to inspire images of such British landscapes, the Melton South Chartwell – isolated, flat, dry, and totally devoid of trees – was a grand fraud. The Estate’s street names – The Mall, Oxford Street, Downing Street, Mayfair Avenue, Eaton Court, Wandsworth Street, Stratford Street, Macmillan Parade, and Finchley Court – seem to be intended to inspire rich images of England. Most are famous English streets or places; others, including Macmillan Parade (probably named after Harold Macmillan, the English Prime Minister who assumed office in 1957), had more contemporary associations.

The original subdividers, an English couple, went bankrupt before selling the entire estate, which was then taken over by a real estate company. The estate was marketed to new English migrants in western suburbs migrant hostels, many of whom purchased their allotment ‘site unseen’ on the basis of the estate’s proximity to Melbourne, and affordability.

An example of these advertisements is this from 1964.


The Age, 3 November 1964

With land still on sale a decade later.


The Age, 8 December 1973

The land being zoned residential as late as 1985.


1985 Planning Scheme

Development pains

The 491 lot estate could have housed 1500 people, but the land wasn’t suitable for development:

The original approval of the estate in 1957 had apparently been an oversight on the part of a Council which at that time had little experience with legal processes for residential subdivision. The estate did not have water and, more significantly, sewerage; the high rock bedrock of the district would not accommodate 491 septic tanks.

Following the introduction of the Melbourne Metropolitan Interim Development Order (Extension Area No. 1) in 1971, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works refused 18 applications for detached houses in the Rosedale Estate, with the Town Planning Appeals Tribunal hearing three appeals.

In 1976 the subject of development was revisited by Earle and Partners, as part of their Melton-Sunbury Peripheral Towns Study for the Melton-Sunbury Interim Co-ordinating Committee:

We recommend that no public effort be made to improve the services of water or sewerage to Chartwell and that any further building be subject to satisfactory sewerage, drainage and water being provided on the site.

It is expected that this will require a degree of site amalgamation and could result in a total population of 300-400 people.

Existing residents were against further development:

The Board received a letter signed by ten residents on November 16, 1977 stating that they considered that ‘any further development would create unbearable living conditions for those already living on the estate’. The letter noted the problem of roads being ‘impassable for long periods during wet weather’, and the general lack of facilities. The residents were particularly concerned about the lack of sewerage and drainage and believe that a health hazard will result if further development occurs.

But in 1977 the Board’s Planning Committee resolved that the area had been accepted for ultimate development, and that to achieve that it would be necessary to provide water supply and sewerage facilities.

This decision was reverted in 1981, when the Board and the Council commenced a joint study into the future of the estate, with a view to restructuring it and ultimately issuing permits for detached houses on the restructured lots. Provision of a water supply was investigated.

Possible sources of water for a reticulated town supply have been investigated. The first was by connection to the Board’s main at Cowies Hill. Preliminary estimates indicated that such a service would cost in the vicinity of $1,000,000. A second alternative was the provision of a main extending from Rockbank. Cost estimates in respect of this service are likely to be in excess of $500,000.

The alternative to a reticulated water supply would be the provision of water storage tanks to each house. Chartwell has the lowest rainfall in the Melbourne region with an average annual rainfall of 400-500 mm. Assuming a roof area of 150 spare metres the maximum amount of water that could be collected in one year is 75,000 litres (16,500 gallons). Not allowing for leakage and evaporation, this would permit 205 litres to be used per day. For a house occupied by 4 persons this represents 51 litres (11 gallons) per person per day. The State Rivers and Water Supply Commission have advised that each person in a household requires 113 litre (25 gallons) per day minimum. In the metropolitan area the average per capita consumption is 160 litres per day (35 gallons).

It appears then that a severe shortage of water is indicated if reliance were to be placed on roof fed tank supplies. It would not be possible to maintain gardens and the use of water for laundry purposes would be severely restricted. In addition to the inconvenience caused by continual water rationing and the necessity to have water delivered by truck at high cost in times of drought, the lack of means with which to fight fires is an especially serious concern due to the estate’s isolation and restricted access.

A heavier use of the roads would exacerbate this poor condition due to the lack of drainage and the heavy impermeable soils which can cause roads to become impassable in this area.

Sewage being a sticking point.

In the absence of reticulated sewerage for the disposal of sewerage and household sullage, the usual system used is the septic tank. The heavy soils and poor drainage of this area therefore suggest that the disposal of effluent by soil absorption should desirably be carried out on much larger residential sites.

As was the lack of other ‘urban’ facilities.

It also appears that other facilities normally associated with a residential development are lacking in this area. No shops exist at Chartwell, the closest being located at Rockbank. The shopping facilities available at Rockbank are very limited, being only a general store, and residents in the area are required to travel to Melton, Werribee or Sunshine to satisfy most of their shopping needs.

No school exists at Chartwell so children living in the area are taken by bus to schools at Werribee. Whilst the Education Department has reserved a site within the Rosedale Estate for a school, the maximum development potential of the subdivision is well below that required to support a full primary school.

Public open space in the estate has not been developed.

The final decision being:

The Board therefore submitted that development at Chartwell would not be in accordance with the orderly and proper planning of the area or the western sector of Melbourne generally.

It intended that if development were to be permitted at Chartwell, a corresponding pressure and demand for the provision of water, sewerage and drainage services, upgrading of access, provision of educational facilities and other community services to the township would follow. The high capital cost of servicing Chartwell compared with its relatively low development potential under existing policies would be likely to lead to increased pressure for further urban zoning to justify such a large expenditure on them.

The Board therefore submitted that it would be preferable to prevent any development which may dissipate resources from the designated growth centres for the time being.

But despite this, by 1981 14 houses have been erected on 18 lots, of the total 464 residential allotments.

In 1982 one landowner took the Shire of Melton to the Victorian Ombudsman to appeal their rejection of a building permit.

“My wife and I are owners of a residential block of land at Rosedale Estate Chartwell which is in the Rockbank Riding of the Shire of Melton. We purchased the land ten years ago with the idea of building our own home on that land when next I was posted to the Melbourne area (I am a member of the RAAF). We came back to Melbourne in January of this year eager to build on our land only to find that the Melton Shire Council will not issue building permits and any attempt by us to secure a permit would be opposed by the MMBW. For the past ten years we have paid our rates and it seems we will be expected to carry on paying rates even though we are refused building permits.

If the Melton Shire Council cannot be forced to provide facilities and issue building permits could they be forced to buy the land from us thus enabling us to build elsewhere.”

The council reiterating the history of the estate.

“The Rosedale Estate, at Chartwell, was subdivided about 20 years ago. The Council of the day apparently did not require the subdivider to construct the streets. There seems to have been an arrangement whereby the subdivider was to provide water supply from underground sources, but the water proved to be unsuitable, both as to quality and quantity. Fourteen houses have been erected on the subdivision, and the owners are dependent on rainwater for their supply. Over the years some gravelling and minor maintenance of the streets has been provided to give the residents access to their properties. Electricity and telephone services are available, but the Estate is otherwise unserviced. Several years ago the Council tried to interest the then residents in a “self help” water supply scheme, but found that the majority were unwilling to participate in a scheme which would improve conditions for themselves and allow others to build there.

And the reasons for refusal.

The Council, as a planning authority in its own right, has granted permits for the erection of houses on various lots in the Estate, but similar applications to the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, as the regional planning authority have met with refusals. One or two house permits have been obtained on appeal, but other applicants have not pursued the matter following refusal.

The Council is certainly in sympathy with owners who wish to build on their land, but now feels that the Estate should be treated as an “old and inappropriate” subdivision. A joint study into the future of the Estate has been commenced with the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, in the hope that various parcels of lots can be consolidated into a very much smaller number of larger “rural residential” allotments. The study is only in its initial stages but, when it is sufficiently advanced, all property owners affected will be consulted to ascertain their views and perhaps suggest a range of alternative futures for the area.

To develop the Estate as it stands, to a normal residential standard, would require the expenditure of millions of dollars on the construction of the private streets, drains, sewers, and the provision of water supply. Much of this would be a direct cost to the owners of the properties. It would be many years, if ever, before the development of the Estate had a sufficient priority in the eyes of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission to qualify for Government assistance in the provision of water supply and sewerage.

In his letter, the complainant referred to payment of rates and the possibility of the Council buying his land. The land cannot be exempted from rating, and the Council has no need of the land for any municipal purpose. In the event of a restructuring scheme proceeding, as outlined earlier in this letter, there would presumably be an opportunity of selling the land to whichever authority may have the responsibility for implementing such a scheme or, alternatively of purchasing additional adjoining land to create a larger allotment.

The issue was finally resolved in 1992, following the implementation of the Chartwell Restructure Allotment Plan. The 491 lots were reduced to 62, the bulk being around 0.6 hectares in size, the exception being 14 already occupied by dwellings.


Chartwell Restructure Allotment Plan

In the years since, the number of houses on the estate has risen to 16.

And the future

In 2008 plans for the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road were made public, to connect the Hume Freeway at Kalkallo in the north, to the Princes Freeway south-west of Werribee.

But one problem for the residents of Chartwell – the freeway alignment went straight through the middle of the estate.


VicRoads Public Acquisition Overlay, via Land Victoria

The City of Melton made a submission to the ‘Delivering Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Communities’ study.

The Chartwell Estate on Boundary Road is a small closer settlement of around 15-20 houses. The proposed alignment has a major impact upon this settlement, and would effectively see its complete destruction. This is likely to have significant social implications. Whilst Council appreciates that there are significant engineering constraints associated with the alignment of the OMR, the impact of this outcome should not be underestimated, and Council would urge VicRoads to explore whether there are alignment options which might see the OMR avoid Chartwell.

But the final route of the freeway was still pushed through the estate.


OMR Transport Corridor Design Sheet 4

A note on Public Acquisition Overlays

You might have noticed something a little odd about the Public Acquisition Overlays marked in yellow on this map – PAO3, PAO5 and PAO7.


VicRoads Public Acquisition Overlay, via Land Victoria

Turns out Public Acquisition Overlay numbers are only unique to the planning scheme that they belong to, and not unique across the state. In the case of Chartwell, the estate sits on the border of two:

The top half is the Melton Planning Scheme:

  • PAO3: Outer Metropolitan Ring / E6 Transport Corridor
  • PAO5: Western Grassland Reserves

While the bottom half the Wyndham Planning Scheme:

  • PAO5: Outer Metropolitan Ring / E6 Transport Corridor
  • PAO7: Western Grassland Reserves

Clear as mud?

And a note on the Western Grassland Reserve

The Western Grassland Reserve was established in 2009 to protect remnant grasslands, and offset urban sprawl, but only 9% of land has been acquired so far. So what’ll be finished first – freeway or grassland?

Sources

Photos from ten years ago: March 2010

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is March 2010.

Princes Bridge with the Melbourne skyline behind

Build it up

Work on the $48.5 million Kororoit Creek Road duplication project in Altona North had just kicked off.

Government signage for the road duplication project - $48.5 million

Including the replacement of the Werribee line level crossing with a road overbridge.

Overview of the crossing looking east

Work on the project was completed in December 2011.

Gauge conversion of the Melbourne-Albury railway was still ongoing.

Work on the new standard gauge track through Seymour platform 1

Buses replacing V/Line trains north of Seymour.

Coaches before departure from Seymour for the Albury connection

V/Line services eventually returned in 2011, but trains are frequently cancelled – the years since filled with attempts to fix the already deteriorating track.

Toot toot!

I headed up to Maryborough on a special train operated by the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre.

Locos running around State Car 4

Travelling in style.

Consist in the platform at Maryborough

Sitting in the siding alongside was an equally elderly locomotive hauling an El Zorro grain train.

A few El Zorro grain wagons stabled in the yard at Maryborough

El Zorro having had the same train derailed at Tottenham Yard a few days earlier.

Crane extended

Thanks to the deteriorating track that passes for the Victorian freight network.

A few axles in the dirt

El Zorro went into administration in 2013, but the tracks they used are no better today – the Murray Basin Rail project intended to upgrade them ran out of money.

Storms

In March 2010 a massive storm hit Melbourne, with 10-centimetre hailstones hitting Southern Cross Station.

Tearing the plastic ‘bubbles’ in the roof.

A few weeks since the storm hit - no repairs have been done to the roof, and plastic sheet protecting the electricals

Opening the station to the elements.

An even bigger tear in the plastic bubble roof

Flooding the concourse.

Puddles on the concourse from the storm damage

And the escalators.

Puddles on the concourse from the storm damage

Repairs were estimated to cost $5 million, with 43 of the 60 air pillows needing replacement, work commencing in April 2010 and lasting 12 to 14 weeks.

Things that are gone

Remember mX, the free newspaper that littered Melbourne trains and stations each afternoon?

Shifting a stack of mX newspapers into Melbourne Central Station

The rise of smartphones saw readership drop, with the final edition published on 12 June 2015.

Myki was still new and shiny, with promotions across the rail network to get passengers to make the switch from Metcard.

Myki stand on the concourse, outside the Metro information kiosk

Myki eventually took over from Metcard in December 2012.

The transition from Connex to Metro Trains as the operator of Melbourne trains was still ongoing, with trains slowly receiving the new branding.

Comeng, Siemens, Comeng, Siemens, Comeng, Siemens... 8 trains stabled at Melbourne Yard, and all alternating like so!

But a decade later, the Metro livery surprisingly survives.

In 2010 bright yellow ‘bumbleebee’ trams were still making their way around Melbourne.

C2.5123 'Bumblebee 1' westbound in the Bourke Street Mall

But by 2014 the decals were torn and faded, so the trams were repainted into the standard PTV livery.

The next train displays in the City Loop were also coloured by destination.

TV screens and ticket barriers at the Swanston Street end of Melbourne Central

There were replaced by plain looking white on black LCD screens in 2011, but the use of colours was brought back in 2018, but only at Flinders Street Station.

V/Line trains to Geelong used to run via the Werribee line.

N469 leads a down Geelong service express towards Aircraft

Since 2015 they have travelled via the new Melbourne suburbs of Wyndham Vale and Tarneit, follow the completion of Regional Rail Link.

Passing through what were once empty paddocks.

A few minutes down the line at Manor, and the train beat me by a mile!

This farm west of Werribee is now Alwood Estate and King’s Leigh Estate.

I also ended up down in Gippsland at the Energy Brix briquette factory.

Western side of the Energy Brix briquette plant at Morwell

The ageing factory and associated brown coal fired power station closed in 2014, with demolition now underway, despite being heritage listed.

Footnote

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