Photos from ten years ago: August 2008

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is August 2008, and it’s so big I’ve split it into three parts.

Chasing trains

I drove out to Moorabool, west of Geelong to photograph a freight train. As soon as I stepped out of the car and locked the door I realised I’d left my keys inside – but thankfully I still had my camera, so I didn’t miss the shot.

NR1 leads AN11 on a westbound steel train at Moorabool

A blast from the past was this train operated by 707 Operations bound for Geelong.

R707 with T413 on the down at Little River

Steam locomotive R707 and diesel T413 hauled the train to Marshall and back, with a spin on the turntable at Geelong putting the steam engine facing the right way before the return leg to Melbourne.

N461 looks on as R707 gets turned at Geelong Loco

Another unusual train headed through Geelong was a Hitachi suburban set usually used in Melbourne, being hauled by Seymour Rail Heritage Centre’s freshly restored diesel locomotive T378 for refurbishment work at the Ballarat Workshops.

Departing Bannockburn

This Hitachi train was back in service by August 2009 but was put into storage a few years later, eventually being retired in 2015, and transferred to Bendigo for scrapping in May 2018.

Back in 2008 small rail freight operator El Zorro was running the container train to Warrnambool. If they left the Port of Melbourne too late they would lose their ‘slot’ on the single track beyond Geelong, and would get dumped in the siding at Lara station until a path was available.

All Steamrail locos with T395 leads S313 on the down El Zorro Warrnambool train in the loop at Lara

I was commuting from Geelong to Melbourne multiple days a week, so I’d keep my eye out at Lara for it – jumping off the train for a photo, then catching the next service on to Melbourne.

T395 and S313 in the loop at Lara as the up Warrnambool pass arrives

At Flinders Street Station one morning I stumbled upon this odd looking train.

EM100 changing ends at Flinders Street

It is track evaluation vehicle ‘EM100’ and traverses the network on a regular basis, with an array of sensors looking for track faults. It is still in service today, just renumbered ‘IEV100’ and with a snazzy looking Metro Trains Melbourne livery on it.

But somewhere way off my usual beat was the Montague Street bridge in South Melbourne.

Bridges that once carried the two tracks into the Montague Goods Sheds

Unlike today the bridge was quite anonymous, the feature catching my eye being that only two of the four bridges had tracks across them. Originally built to serve the Montague shipping shed, by late 2009 the tram tracks at Southbank Depot had been extended west over the bridge to stable the newly arrived ‘Bumblebee’ trams.

Railway upgrades

Work was continuing on the new concourse at North Melbourne station, as seen in previous posts in this series.

Cranes at work

While another structure being built over active railway lines was the ‘Media House’ development for The Age, located on the southern side of Collins Street, opposite Southern Cross Station.

Removing the tower crane now the rail decking is done

A massive crane was required to place the steel beams and concrete deck over the railway line.

Work continues on the eastern side

Which permitted more conventional methods of construction to be used for the office building on top.

A short distance away the Dynon Port Rail Link was also well underway, removing a bottleneck that blocked road traffic every time a train entered the Port of Melbourne.

Work on the Dynon Port Rail Link, looking east from the in-use Appleton Dock Road ramp

The network of flyovers replaced a single track level crossing on Footscray Road, allowing more trains to access the port.

Dynon Port Rail Link works from Enterprize Road, old Swanson Dock line in foreground, new Appleton Dock lines behind, then the new Enterprize Road ramp

As well as eliminating a seven track wide crossing inside the port itself.

Appleton Dock sidings from CityLink, the Enterprize Road level crossing cutting across them all

Another project aimed at improving rail freight was the Corio Independent Goods Line at the Port of Geelong.

New SG tracks

Work started in 2008 with the first train running in October the same year, but in the decade since is better described as a white elephant, with no new rail traffic being attracted to the port.

And the other bits

Down in Geelong work on the Geelong Ring Road was progressing, with the Lewis Bandt Bridge over the Moorabool River pretty much complete.

Sun hits the Lewis Bandt Bridge

While a short distance south work on the bridge over the Barwon River had started.

So that's where the Barwon River windmill is!

Another road project underway was the Monash-CityLink-West Gate Upgrade. No – not the current ‘upgrade’ adding a new lane to the M1 freeway, but the project a decade ago that added a new to the M1 freeway.

For Engineering Week I ended up atop the freeway viaduct through South Melbourne.

Inspecting the West Gate Freeway viaduct at Kings Way

Seeing how the new bridge spans were being tied into the existing viaduct.

Formwork underway for the new concrete tie-in

Allowing an extra road lane to be squeezed in.

Part of the widening of the West Gate Freeway viaduct

Over in Docklands things looked quite different, with Southern Cross Station still clearly visible from the top level of what was then called Telstra Dome.

Southern Cross from Telstra Dome

But plenty of construction was taking place, with heritage listed No. 2 Goods Shed being converted into offices.

Northern end of No. 2 goods shed, being converted into offices

Chopped in half in the early 2000s to make way for the extension of Collins Street into the new Docklands development, work was underway to plug up the gaps at either end, then restore the remaining structure.

No. 2 shed looking north from the Collins Street overpass, being converted into offices

But the best view of all was from up inside the roof of what was then called Telstra Dome.

Looking back towards the city from beneath the western section of the movable roof

My tour went for a walk through the roof trusses.

Looking down on the seats from the southern section of the overhead catwalk

Looking down on the grow lights on the playing surface.

Looking down on the seats from the overhead catwalk

And the rows of seats down below.

Looking down on the seats from the overhead catwalk


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

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4 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: August 2008”

  1. Kevin says:

    Well, what did you do about your keys??!

  2. Heihachi_73 says:

    RIP the Silver Bullet (specifically 296M aka 225M). No-one would have ever predicted this set getting the torch ten years ago.

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