Photos from ten years ago: September 2007

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

We start down at Geelong, where I photographed a SCT Logistics Perth-Melbourne freight service behind a trio of Pacific National locomotives.

Almost into Melbourne

Running from one other side of country to the other, the tank wagon at the front of the train removes the need for refuelling stops along the way. SCT Logistics continue to operate these services today, along with a newer Melbourne-Brisbane service, but now hauled by their own fleet of locomotives.

I also photographed a six car long VLocity train on a Geelong-bound V/Line service.

VL24 and co at North Shore

Made up of three 2-car VLocity sets, such a train is no longer possible – only 3-car long VLocity sets now exist.

A curious advertising campaign was launched by former suburban rail operator Connex Melbourne in September 2007, titled “There is no ‘I’ in Carriage”.

'Martin Merton' book distribution at Glenferrie Station

It featured a book authored by fictitious character Martin Merton, “America‚Äôs number one train etiquette expert”. The campaign was created by Leo Burnett Melbourne.

September 2007 also saw V/Line ramp up their marketing – covertly working on a new livery for their fleet of trains.

I spotted the first example poking out of the shed door at Newport Workshops.

Sprinter 7007 in new V/Line livery at Newport Workshops

With a matching carriage set breaking cover soon after, headed to Geelong and back on a shakedown run before the public launch.

Quick shot at North Geelong on the return

September 12 saw the politicians out in force to launch the new visual identity.

Launch of the new livery

Two trains were in place to show off the new livery – Sprinter 7007 and carriage set FSH25.

7007 and FSH25 at the launch

Around the corner at Southern Cross, I swung past the future site of platforms 15 and 16.

Site of partially completed platforms 15/16 at Southern Cross

The bare concrete and gravel platform was partially constructed, minus tracks and escalators, as part of the redevelopment of the station, intended to form part of a future airport rail link. They sat empty until Regional Rail Link was conceived in 2009, with the decision made to incorporate them into the project to increase platform capacity at the Melbourne end of the V/Line network.

But change for V/Line was a backward step – the reintroduction to service of 60-year-old carriage stock.

N455 with newly formed carriage set SN7 on test at North Shore

Built between 1937 and 1956, the last five ‘BS’ type compartment carriages were retired from V/Line service in 2006 following the delivery of new VLocity trains. However the Kerang rail crash of June 2007 saw a 3-car train taken out of service, leaving V/Line scrambling to fill the gap. The decision was made to reactivate the previously stored carriages, and operate them on a return peak hour run between Melbourne and Geelong each weekday. They continued in this role until August 2010, when they were finally retired for good, thanks to the delivery of yet more VLocity trains.

September 2007 marked the Geelong Football Club’s appearance at the AFL Grand Final. V/Line operated a number of special trains from Geelong to carry Cats fans to the game at the MCG, where they saw Geelong defeat Port Adelaide.

P12+P16 in the siding at South Geelong

V/Line still runs football trains today, but only with VLocity trains – the use of 8 carriage long ‘push pull’ trains ended in 2011.

And finally we end on something V/Line still does today – cancelled trains and platform confusion at Southern Cross Station.

The 11am train gets canned at 11:56
The 11am train gets canned at 11:56

I was intending to catch the 11:00am Geelong train from Southern Cross platform 5. After waiting almost an hour, at 11:56am V/Line finally announced that the 11:00am train would not be running, and for everyone to board the 12:00pm train in the platform alongside.

The only difference today is that V/Line trains to Geelong now run every 20 minutes between peaks on a weekday, and every 40 minutes on a weekend.

Further reading


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

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3 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: September 2007”

  1. Jordan says:

    It’s ironic how it’s crush load on the Ballarat and Geelong lines yet they decide to retire the P class trains which could pull almost half a train more than the vlocity trains. They have a lot of carriages now stored because of the retired rolling stock so it would be hard to argue that it should not be implemented even if it’s just the wyndahm vale and Bacchus marsh services.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      I believe that only the P class locomotives have been retired – the carriages are still in service carrying passengers, still as 6 carriage long trains, but with N class locomotives hauling them instead.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      I believe the reason for their withdrawal was that slow to accelerate trains with a top speed of 100 km/h were getting in the way of everything else – VLocity trains have a top speed of 160 km/h as well as a higher acceleration rate.

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