Photos from ten years ago: May 2006

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time May 2006.

The everyday scene between Burnley and East Richmond isn’t much different to today.

Graffiti along the concrete cutting walls between Burnley and East Richmond

The change to Metro Trains Melbourne running the rail network haven’t been much better for cleanliness, as Melbourne’s graffiti covered cutting walls attest.

Over at Southern Cross the station itself was virtually complete.

Crowds of passengers at Southern Cross

Unfortunately the wide open spaces of the Collins Street concourse have been lost in the years since, with ticket gates and tacky shops taking over the station.

However at the shopping centre end of the complex work was still ongoing, when I came across a set of escalators being installed at the Little Bourke Street entrance to the complex.

Placing escalators for the DFO shopping centre, across from Little Bourke Street

V/Line trains were much quieter a decade ago – this two carriage VLocity train sufficed for an off-peak Geelong bound service on a Friday afternoon.

VL15 on a down Geelong service at Footscray

The initial order of VLocity trains consisted of 38 two carriage trains, but in the decade since the fleet has been expanded to 59 trains, each set having been expanded to three carriage long.

Short V/Line trains also served Bendigo and Ballarat passengers, as this single VLocity train passing through Middle Footscray shows.

VL02 heads for the city at West Footscray

The scene at Middle Footscray has changed massively in the past decade – in 2011 a vast swathe of houses along the railway line were compulsorily acquired to make way for the Regional Rail Link project.

A more alarming V/Line movement was this collision between two empty trains.

You can see BCH122 on an angle here

The shunting mishap occurred when an empty train being moved around the carriage yards at Southern Cross Station was pushed towards a second empty train, resulting in a few scrapes and dings along the sides of the two trains when they met.

You can see the damage to the side of BCH121

Still on the subject of V/Line, in March 2006 I photographed a pair of VLocity trains crossing over the infamous North Melbourne flyover – cause of the excessive wheel wear issues that afflicted the V/Line fleet in 2016.

VL18 leading VL15, waiting on the flyover to head back to Southern Cross

A decade ago the flyover saw little use, with only empty V/Line trains using it, along with interstate rail services to Sydney and Adelaide.

From the same location I also photographed a freight train carrying cement from the Blue Circle Southern works at Waurn Ponds, outside Geelong, to their distribution facility at Lyndhurst, south of Dandenong.

VL14 waiting on the flyover, NR liveried C class shunting in the background, and a PN blue hopper in the cement train consist below

This rail service to Lyndhurst was discontinued in April 2009 when the traffic moved to road transport, with the carriage of cement by rail being abandoned altogether in December 2015.

Another photo from North Melbourne was this collection of V/Line locomotives, all wearing the older ‘blood and bone’ livery.

A70, P14 and N462 on the flyover at North Melbourne

Represented is an N class that forms the core of the V/Line long distance network, a P class that is only used to haul short distance commuter services, and an A class locomotive that used to fill in on peak hour runs, until they were almost retired in April 2013 thanks to the addition of more VLocity railcars to the V/Line fleet.

And another item of railfan interest at North Melbourne was this motley collection of trains, ready to convey railway sleepers and ballast to a work site.

W241 and W244 push-pull an empty sleeper train; A79, T364 and Y168 on a loaded ballast at Melbourne Yard

The dinky little units to the left belong to W class of diesel hydraulic locomotives – they entered service way back in 1960 only to be withdrawn from service in the 1980s, but W241 and W244 somehow managed to hang on for another two decades.

And we finish up with this odd looking colour scheme on freight locomotive NR30 passing through West Footscray.

Indigenous liveried NR30 on a steel train at West Footscray

In 1997 the National Rail Corporation introduced their new fleet of NR class locomotives, and decided to commission Indigenous artist Bessie Liddle to decorate two of the units – the end result was NR30 named ‘Warmi’ and NR52 named ‘Kungara Mankurpa’.

As you can see, a decade in the Australian sun didn’t treat the artwork well, with the locomotives being repainted into a standard livery by 2008/09.


The full ‘photos from ten years ago‘ series.

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3 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: May 2006”

  1. Andrew says:

    The tracks on the flyover don’t appear to be dual gauge. I know I have probably missed something, but how did the standard gauge trains from Sydney use the flyover?

    • Marcus Wong says:

      When built as part of the 1960s standard gauge line to Sydney, the flyover had a bidirectional broad gauge track on the south side, and a bidirectional standard gauge track to the north.

      Following the rebuild as part of the Regional Rail Link project, both tracks are dual gauge, but each can only be used in one direction.

      • Andrew says:

        Thank you. I knew there would be an explanation. I am not sure why when I was recently on the North Melbourne viewing platform that I did not notice the dual gauge.

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