Photos from ten years ago: May 2007

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is May 2007.

We start down at Geelong at the future site of the TAC head office on Brougham Street.

Lower level basement walls removed

Once the site of the the largest reinforced concrete roof in the world, the heritage listed ‘Bow Truss Building‘ was demolished in 1990, only to lay empty as a car park for two decades. it was selected as the site of the new TAC head office in 2006, work starting in 2007, with the new building opening in 2009.

Another construction project during the same period was the redevelopment of North Melbourne railway station.

Looking east across the platforms before work begins

Announced in 2006, the project added lifts and escalators to the city end of the station, making it easier for passengers to change platforms, as well as replacing the poky entrance at the northern end of the station with the current entrance at the city end.

North Melbourne station

Early works in 2007 include removing advertising panels from the platforms.

Removed advertising at North Melbourne station

As well as the establishment of a work site at the city end of the platforms.

Track removed from Melbourne Yard for work site

Work on the new station was completed in 2009. The years that followed have seen a plague of escalator breakdowns, as well as the bypassing of the station by most V/Line services.

Another piece of changed rail infrastructure I visited was Number 2 Goods Shed, located west of Southern Cross Station.

Recessed tracks in the middle of No. 2 goods shed

Built in 1889-90 to handle rail freight, the shed fell out of use in the 1990s after the removal of rail infrastructure as part of the Melbourne Docklands redevelopment. Restoration work commenced in 2008, with the goods shed now adapted into offices.

Something else that no longer exists is special trains for the Warrnambool Cup. V/Line built up the morning train to Warrnambool from five to seven carriages to cater for the extra patronage.

N455 with a down Warrnambool, built up to 7 cars for the Warrnabool Cup, at Grovedale

They also ran a special Warrnambool Cup train, with club car ‘Victoria’ attached so the punters could relax over a few drinks.

N473 on a down Warrnambool Cup special with club car 'Victoria' and power van PCO2 in the consist, at Grovedale

V/Line’s special race trains ended a few years laterthe end of alcohol onboard trains from December 2008 probably having something to do with it. The replacement – the ‘Grand Annual Race Coach’.

Not quite lost, but a shadow of its former self is the Melbourne-Adelaide ‘The Overland’ train. After circling the drain for years, 2007 saw the last run of the aging 1970s sleeper carriage stock.

Last run of the unrefurbished Overland, westbound at Moorabool

In their place was a refurbished fleet of sitting carriages, allowing the train to be rebooted as a thrice weekly daylight service.

Refurbished Overland set at Southern Cross

Despite challenges receiving funding from the Victorian and South Australian state governments, The Overland still runs twice weekly.

Another train I found this month was track evaluation vehicle EM100.

EM100 running through Spencer Street

Designed to inspect the track for flaws, the vehicle is still in serivce today, just with a shiny new Metro Trains Melbourne paintjob.

And we end with a railfan favourite – the Hitachi trains.

Hitachi 23M being worked on beside the Williamstown line

I spotted Hitachi 23M being worked on at the Newport Workshops, after Connex started refurbishing the remaining seven Hitachi trains in their fleet. The trains were farewelled in 2014, making their last move under their own power in 2015.

Footnote

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

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