Things my son noticed on public transport

My son isn’t yet three years old, but the amount of things that he notices when we are out and about is amazing – but a recent trip to St Kilda really blew me away.

We started out at Southern Cross Station, where “that escalator is broken!” was his first observation.

Failed escalator at the Collins Street end of Southern Cross Station

Perhaps he’s ready to join the family business of tracking how many times they’ve broken down?

We then climbed onboard a route 96 tram, where he pointed out “The tram is on a railway line. And it’s in the country!” as we left Clarendon Street behind and sped along the light rail line.

Approaching a northbound E class tram on route 96 at Middle Park

Nothing sneaks past him – the route 96 tram to St Kilda was once a railway line, being converted to a light rail line in 1987.

Headed back through the city down Bourke Street, as we passed the courtyard of the RACV Club, he called out “there’s a clock“.

Marshalite rotary traffic signal on display outside the RACV head office at 501 Bourke St, Melbourne

It was actually a Marshalite traffic signal dating back to the 1940s, but I’ll pay that one – the average Melbournian wouldn’t have guessed it either.

And finally, at the corner of Bourke and Swanston Street my little guy pointed out “those traffic lights are weird“.

B2.2091 heads west on route 96 at Bourke and Swanston Street

“How are they weird” I asked. His response – “they have white edges around them“.

Nothing slips past this little guy – this set of Swarco ‘ALUSTAR’ traffic lights is the only example found in Victoria, which I also noticed back when they were installed in 2014.

Like father, like son?

And a footnote on buses

Over on Lonsdale Street one of the handful of articulated buses operated by Transdev Melbourne was passing by, so I pointed it out to him.

Transdev articulated bus #118 BS00TB westbound on route 907 at Lonsdale and William Street

His description: “The bus has a carriage behind, and is joined on like a tram!

Nailed it!

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4 Responses to “Things my son noticed on public transport”

  1. Andrew says:

    Watch out Dad!. Uber gunzel coming through. Fast.

  2. Shaun Clarke says:

    Those Swarco traffic lights aren’t even being maintained as when they’ve needed replacements (presumably), they’ve just put in regular bits.

    Which isn’t uncommon as there are many sites with ATS signals which have a few Tyco aspects in the enclosure, or whole sets which are Tyco.

    Swarco seems to be the new gear that’s going in now. Presumably they got the contract.

    We had ATS, then Tyco and now Swarco.

    Although personally I’m not a fan of the “classic look” of the optics in the new aspects. I believe they use a few high power LED’s and a lens much like the original incandescent ones did instead of an array of LED’s like ATS and Tyco used.

    There also exists an ATS pedestrian crossing two orange aspect signal near Southern Cross Station which has a white target border like NSW/QLD use. Only one I’ve seen. Not sure why we don’t use them.

  3. Andrew says:

    I go past the corner of Swanston and Bourke so often, yet I have never noticed the different traffic lights. Oh to have fresh young eyes and an enquiring mind.

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