Photos from ten years ago: November 2008

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is November 2008.

Checking the progress of the Geelong Ring Road seems to be an ongoing theme, and it comes up again this month.

Cutting headed up to Barrabool Road

I also paid a visit to what is now the site of Waurn Ponds station, where I photographed a freight train headed back from the Blue Circle cement works.

A85 returns light engine from the Waurn Ponds cement works

This traffic was lost to rail in December 2015, and the area in the background has dramatically changed, with overpasses for Anglesea Road and Baanip Boulevard having been built over the tracks.

Another project underway in 2008 was the new concourse at the city end of North Melbourne station, which was starting to look like a ‘real’ station.

New passenger shelters in place

The escalators were in place.

Escalators in place and roof supports underway

But the roof was still to come.

Up top of the new concourse, lift wells evident

One could argue that given how useless the shelters are, they needn’t have bothered.

A different project that was finished was Southern Cross Station, where I photographed the future platforms 15 and 16.

Future platform 15/16

Stranded minus track, the platform also lacked any access points from the overhead concourse.

Deck to nowhere, for access to future platform 15/16

Originally intended for use by an airport rail link, a year later the platform became the site of the sod turning for the Regional Rail Link project, which commissioned the platforms, which opened to trains in December 2013.

September 2008 saw the decision made to run 7-car long trains to Geelong, which required platform extensions to be built at stations along the way, including North Melbourne.

Work on the extension of platform 5/6 to permit 7 car Vlocity consists

But the work wasn’t able to be completed in time for the first 7-car train, so an extra conductor had to ride each service to ensure that passengers didn’t step out into the ether.

Signage at Marshall for the 7 car train, the South Geelong platform is not finished

These longer trains continued to run until June 2015, when Geelong trains commenced using the new Regional Rail Link tracks and the last remaining 2-car VLocity trains were converted into 3-car units.

Up in Melbourne the new ‘Bumblebee’ trams from France had entered service.

A few minutes later, C2.5113 'Bumblebee 2' on route 96 at Bourke and Swanston

They are still ‘buzzing’ around Melbourne today, but in the standard white and green PTV livery.

While up at Albury the final broad gauge train ran, clearing the way for the conversion of the line to standard gauge.

I am sure everyone on the trip has a photo just like this...

I rode in style onboard the train made up of carriages built in 1937 for the Spirit of Progress.

Dining Car set up for the evening

And we had plenty of train spotters along the way taking photos.

Congestion at the photo line

Photo line on the bridge

V/Line services to Albury eventually returned in June 2011 but never in a dependable way, with a combination of poor track and failing rolling stock turning it a political football.

Footnote

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

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