Photos from ten years ago: January 2009

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time a three part post on January 2009.

Road trip!

An extended road trip through Western Victoria was on the agenda, starting down the Princes Highway to Warrnambool.

'You still there?'

As I followed the daily freight train down to the container terminal at Warrnambool.

The crew have arrived at Westvic for the up trip

Then return to Melbourne.

X49 goes for a spin, while I can't help but think of the 'Thomas the Tank Engine' theme

I also stopped inspected a long list of abandoned stations along railway west to Adelaide.

Westmere.

Station building and location board

Maroona.

Looking back over the station building

Murtoa.

Orange V/Line signage on the passenger platform

Stawell.

Orange V/Line sign at the down end of the platform, covered with grass

Pura Pura.

Station building and platform remains

Dahlen.

Spiked set of switch locked points at the up end of the loop siding, the frog has also been removed

I did see a few freight trains along the way – like this one at Lubeck.

NR47 leads AN9, NSW coal fields loco 8229, NR73, and NR107 on an eastbound steel train through Lubeck

And container wagons in the yard at Horsham.

QR National container wagons in the yard at Horsham

A few stations had become home to freight wagons stored due to a lack of traffic – grain hoppers at Portland.

Stored grain wagons in the yard at Portland

And louvred vans at Murtoa.

Louvred vans stabled alongside the Hopetoun line

Out west are also a number of closed railway lines, like the route to Mount Gambier.

The out of use Sinclair Block Point at 381 km, provision for a TAILS train detection unit but never fitted

Closed in 1995, the level crossings were still in place but the tracks have been paved over.

Princes Highway level crossing looking west

While at Ararat I found the mothballed Avoca line that ran north to Dunolly.

Baulks on the Avoca line at Grano Street, looking towards the station

After a decade lying idle, it was upgraded as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project and reopened to trains in 2018.

Chasing trains

The log train that once ran between Bairnsdale and Geelong is a common theme in my “photos from ten years ago” series, and this month is no different – this time we see the empty train passing through Corio at sunset.

A78, T374 and H2 power the empty log train out of Corio

The final log train ran in June 2009.

Back in 2009 V/Line trains were still painted red and blue, such as this Warrnambool bound service passing the abandoned station of Pirron Yallock, just west of Colac.

N472 passes through the closed station of Pirron Yallock bound for Warrnambool

This was replaced by a grey and white livery in 2007, and the current PTV livery in 2017.

The other notable train I photographed was a refurbished Hitachi train way off the beaten track.

Crossing the Moorabool River

One would never expect to see a suburban train sitting under the roof at Ballarat station.

Awaiting departure from Ballarat station

or headed along the tracks without any overhead wires.

Passing the former junction at Warrneheip

Originally intended to have been retired following the 2006 Commonwealth Games, six Hitachi trains stayed in serivce with Connex Melbourne thanks to an explosion in patronage on the Melbourne suburban network.

In 2008 rust was found in the floors of the aging trains, which led to the trains being transferred to the Alstom Ballarat workshops for rectification works, which saw them back into service until retired for good in December 2013.

Construction

Work was continuing of the $36 million upgrade of North Melbourne station. The superstructure had been completed.

Concourse structure done, yellow bits are tracks for the roof to be slid into place

And the first section of concourse roof had assembled, ready to be slid into place along temporary tracks to it’s final home.

Concourse roof under construction, will be slid into place once complete

The new concourse was opened to passengers in November 2009.

Construction was also underway on a brand new station on the Craigieburn line at Coolaroo.

Slew of the standard gauge line for Coolaroo station complete

Tracks needed to be relocated to make room for the platforms, with the station eventually opening in June 2010.

Over at Southern Cross Station the ‘Yardmasters’ building was starting to take shape north of platform 5 and 6.

New V/Line crew office underway north of platform 5/6

While the Myki rollout was slowly proceeding, with the discovery centre at Southern Cross closed for renovations.

Myki discovery centre closed for renovations

So that working ticketing equipment could be installed.

New customer service counter at the Myki discovery centre

It took until December 2009 for Myki to be accepted for travel on Melbourne trains, in a last ditch attempt to meet a “working by the end of 2009” pledge.

Finally, January 2009 saw an extended heatwave hit Melbourne crippling Melbourne’s rail network, leading to a parliamentary inquiry and a day of free travel for train passengers.

Signs on ticket machines at Southern Cross  for the free travel day, Friday January 30

Ticket barriers were thrown open.

Barriers open at Southern Cross for the free travel day, Friday January 30

With signage at stations telling passengers there was no need to buy a ticket.

Signage at South Geelong for the free travel day on January 30

Footnote

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

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2 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: January 2009”

  1. Janice Edwards says:

    Nice pictures, nice journey.

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