Photos from ten years ago: August 2006

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – August 2006 was a month filled with trains.

First off, here we see a failed V/Line service being assisted by a freight locomotive.

On the morning of August 2 the locomotive due to lead the Melbourne-bound V/Line service out of Warrnambool developed a fault, so some quick thinking saw the otherwise idle locomotive from the Warrnambool container freight service attached to the front of the train and rescue the stranded train.

Freight Australia liveried A81 leads a failed N452 on the up Warnambool service at Newport

On arrival at Southern Cross Station the failed V/Line locomotive was replaced by a working unit to take the train back to Warrnambool, along with a freshly refuelled freight locomotive to replace the unit ‘borrowed’ that morning.

A79 and N453 ready to depart on the down Warrnambool service from Southern Cross
A79 and N453 ready to depart on the down Warrnambool service from Southern Cross

Another odd sight in August was a special charter train operated by V/Line for the members-only Kelvin Club.

N452 departs Southern Cross Station with Kelvin Club charter to Bendigo

The train included heritage dining car ‘Avoca’ for a sit down lunch, and Club Car ‘Victoria’ so club members could prop up the bar afterwards.

N452 departs Southern Cross Station with Kelvin Club charter to Bendigo

Dining car ‘Avoca’ was in the custody of Seymour Railway Heritage Centre, so V/Line attached it to the rear of a normal passenger service to get the carriage back home following the charter.

A66 bound for Seymour with a H set, with dining car 'Avoca' on the rear

Over on the suburban network, 3-car ‘half length’ trains were still a common sight a decade ago – such as this citybound Watergardens service passing through South Kensington.

3-car Siemens train 722M leads an up Watergardens service at South Kensington

A less common sight were Hitachi trains – but six sets were still in regular service, wearing the green and gold ‘The Met’ livery that dated back to the 1990s. This set was departing the train wash at North Melbourne, with the Docklands skyline in the background still on the rise.

Hitachi train departs the train wash at Melbourne Yard

Retirement of the rest of the Hitachi fleet had commenced back in 2003, with the carriages being sold to new owners for reuse. An exception was four 3-car Hitachi trains that were transferred to the Bendigo North Workshops in 2004 and placed into open storage pending possible reuse.

Left unsecured, vandals soon stripped the trains of parts, smashed the windows and covered the bodies with graffiti. There the trains remained until August 2006, when it was decided to drag the now useless body shells back to Melbourne, where there were stored at Newport Workshops pending sale to private owners.

Damaged Hitachis arrived back at Newport

Newport Workshops was also a dumping ground for other damaged suburban trains, such as Comeng carriage 500M.

Burnt out 500M stored at Newport Workshops

Burnt out in 2002 by vandals on the Sandringham line, the remains were stored at Newport until there were eventually scrapped.

Burnt out 500M stored at Newport Workshops


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

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2 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: August 2006”

  1. Tim says:

    Don’t know why they don’t build more diesel locomotives. They seem to be the only thing that keeps running whenever other trains break down. Also the movie Train to Busan it ends up being a diesel engine they escape in after the high speed train gets stuck in the yards.

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