Photos from ten years ago: October 2006

Another instalment in my semi-regular photos from ten years ago series – this time I’m running a few days late with my look at October 2006.

We start at Southern Cross, where the rebuilt station was receiving the finishing touches – advertising covering every possible surface.

Booze adverts at Southern Cross

Also at Southern Cross I spotted a V/Line train covered in a floor to ceiling graffiti mural.

Carriage of V/Line set VN18 covered in a floor to roofline graffiti mural

Graffitied V/Line trains are a problem that still exists a decade later, thanks to ineffective security at Albury.

Over at Flinders Street Station I captured V/Line diesel locomotive A66 passing through minus train.

A66 at Flinders Street Station running light engine to Frankston, to operate the Stony Point service

Fresh from being refuelled and service in the city, it was headed down to Frankston to operate the diesel hauled Stony Point rail service.

Meanwhile around Geelong I captured a few V/Line scenes that no longer exist. Here we see a locomotive hauled train terminating at Marshall station, with the locomotive performing a run around‘ of the carriages, so it is at the correct end of the train to take it back to Melbourne.

N466 runs around the train at Marshall

Running around the train is a time consuming operation that requires an extra staff member on the ground to uncouple and couple up the train, so it’s a less common sight on the V/Line network – today trains on the Geelong line are almost all VLocity trains.

Another change can be seen in this V/Line train crossing the Barwon River at Breakwater.

Pair of VLocities crossing the Barwon River at Breakwater

Made up of a pair of 2-car VLocity units, in the years since these trains have been expanded into 3-car long trains, and 6-car trains on the Geelong line are now standard practice.

Another sight no longer seen is this trio of V/Line trains occupying all three platforms at Geelong station.

Rush hour at Geelong - N468 departs for Melbourne, VL13 arrives from South Geelong, while VL34 is about to head to South Geelong

This collection of trains was due to a curiosity introduced into the Geelong line timetable in 2006, where a Melbourne-bound stopping all stations train was overtaken by the ‘flagship’ express train running a few minutes behind it – a movement made possible thanks to the double tracks being equipped with bi-directional signalling.

The timetable changes introduced with the opening of Regional Rail Link in 2015 saw the number of express services on the Geelong line slashed, and today there are no overtaking moves on the V/Line network – not even when trains break down.

And finally, a sight less seen is this long V/Line train I captured near North Geelong at 5:30am on a Saturday morning – three locomotives and eight carriages!

N454 with 2 more N classes and 8 N cars on the 0530 up Geelong on Saturday morning

V/Line services on the Geelong line have a very strong ‘tidal’ flow focused on weekday peaks, with many trains full of commuters heading to Melbourne each morning and bringing them home again each evening. On weekends these trains lay idle, so instead of clogging the platforms at Geelong, they were transferred to Melbourne late on Friday nights, then sent back to Geelong on Sunday evening.

Footnote

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: October 2006”

  1. Alan says:

    > today there are no overtaking moves on the V/Line network – not even when trains break down.

    This is not strictly true – a loco-hauled set failed in Platform 1 at Lara during morning peak earlier in the year, and trains in both directions were routed through Platform 2. But of course it is not possible to do overtaking moves in the RRL section between Little River and Sunshine.

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