Photos from ten years ago: December 2006

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is December 2006.

With overcrowding on Melbourne;s rail network, then operator Connex had realised their fleet of elderly Hitachi trains were not going anywhere in a hurry, and was forced to trial air conditioning units in the cab to appease the train drivers stuck in the stinking hot all summer long.

Trial driver's only air conditioning unit fitted to the cab of Hitachi 23M

This particular style of unit wasn’t a success, but another unit was, eventually being fitted to the remaining fleet of seven Hitachi trains in late 2007.

Down in Geelong I photographed a boring old V/Line service – formed by a solo 2-car VLocity train.

VL08 at North Shore

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, and the weekday service frequency has tripled from one train per hour to a train every 20 minutes.

At the other end of Geelong I photographed a V/Line service bound for Warrnambool, passing empty paddocks at the back of Grovedale.

N458 on a down Warrnambool service at Grovedale

A decade later this scene has completely changed – the tracks behind me are the site of Waurn Ponds station, opened in 2014, and the open paddocks in the background are part of the cookie cutter suburb of Armstrong Creek.

Footnote

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

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