Photos from ten years ago: February 2009

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is February 2009.

Do you remember the days when paper tickets were the only way to travel on V/Line trains? Every Monday morning passengers would forget their ticket had expired over the weekend, so would need to queue up at staffed stations to by a new one.

South Geelong on a Monday morning - 'round and 'round the booking office goes the ticket line

At least that is one thing that Myki has fixed!

On the tram front, I snapped a yellow ‘Bumblebee’ trams at the corner of Bourke and Spencer Street.

C2.5111 'Bumblebee 5' on route 96 turns from Bourke into Spencer Street

They now wear the same PTV livery as the rest of the fleet.

Over a Royal Park I photographed a pair of non-air conditioned high floor Z3 class trams running on route 55, passing a recently completed platform stop.

Z3.209 waits for Z3.137 up ahead at Royal Park

In 2017 it was merged with route 8 to form route 58, with low floor and air conditioned trams now making an occasional appearance. I wonder how many more decades it will take until the Melbourne tram network is fully accessible?

Construction is always a theme, and this month at Footscray station work had started clearing space for the new station footbridge.

Main access from the station to the north

Shops along the north side demolished

Completed in 2010, in 2013 the northern end was demolished as part of the Regional Rail Link project to make room for two additional platforms, which despite the money spent delivered a worse experience for interchange passengers.

Closer to the city at Southern Cross Station ‘Media House’ – the new head office for The Age – was spanning the suburban tracks on the south side of Collins Street.

Southern side of the building

And the new ‘Yardmasters’ office was emerging from between the sidings at north end.

Work continues on new train crew offices

Down at Flinders Street Station signal box ‘A’ was being rebuilt.

Flinders Street A box being rebuilt

Destroyed by fire in 2002, today it is the ‘Signal’ youth arts centre.

But it wasn’t all new things being built – down at Winchelsea station on the Warrnambool line the crossing loop was being decomissioned.

Last minutes for the down home signal

And getting lowered to the ground

Originally a location that permitted opposing freight and passengers trains to pass each other, it took until 2013 for a replacement loop to be opened at Warncoort, around 30 kilometres away.

February 2009 saw me take a mystery tour of Melbourne by train with Steamrail Victoria, heading east to Ashburton and north to Broadmeadows.

We passed over the suburban lines at Tottenham, since expanded to four tracks as part of the Regional Rail Link project.

Crossing over the suburban lines to Sunshine

And had a dinner break in the platform at Caulfield.

Dinner break at Caulfield

Before venturing to the end of the line at Stony Point for a nightcap.

Photo line at Stony Point

At the Newport Workshops in Melbourne’s west I spotted a few interesting trains.

Such as the Harris ‘greaser’ train beside a V/Line liveried L class.

Harris greaser train beside a V/Line liveried L class

A sleeping carriage once used on The Vinelander beside a bar carriage once hired out by V/Line for special events.

Club Car Victoria and a SJ sleeper for the Vinelander stored outside East Block

And a 100 year old ‘Swingdoor’ suburban electric train.

Elecrail Swingdoor 107M with 137M

All of the above still exists today, except for the ‘Swingdoor’ train that was destroyed by fire after an arson attack in 2015.

February 2009 saw the reintroduction of motorail services on The Overland.

NR8 leads the Overland with the first westbound Motorail through North Shore

Driving down the ramp...

Withdrawn again in 2015, the train itself is now on borrowed time, with funding only confirmed until the end of 2019.

Down at Geelong I found the ‘AK cars’ inspection train parked for the night outside Geelong, after ensuring that the tracks of the Melbourne-Adelaide railway were up to scratch.

AK cars stabled at Gheringhap for the night before heading westbound

An eerie glow from underneath

But even stranger was CityRail Endeavour railcar LE 2853 – normally seen ferrying commuters on the outskirts of Sydney, I found it in the middle of a freight train at North Melbourne station.

CityRail Endeavour railcar LE 2853

Down in Melbourne to be refurbished by Bombardier in Dandenong, which is only served by broad gauge trains, unlike the standard gauge used by CityRail trains.

As a result the train had to be lifted by cranes at the South Dynon railway workshops, transferred onto temporary broad gauge bogies, and then hauled by diesel locomotives as part of a larger train due to the lack of functioning brakes. Simples!

And we end at Geelong, where I spotted a double rainbow over the tracks.

Twin rainbows over the empty log wagons at North Shore


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

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3 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: February 2009”

  1. Tom the first and best says:

    The Colac and Winchelsea passing loops probably would not have been removed if there were Colac trains, as well as Warnambool trains, providing greater frequency to the part of the line with\in commuting distance of Melbourne.

    Using Caulfield platform 1 as a dinner stopover would never be allowed today as both increased train frequencies and increased line separation mean that all 4 Caulfield platforms are used all day now, rather than the old central island platform only operation (a hangover from manual ticket checking cost minimisation) that was still used then.

    These days, a dinner stoppover would have to be at a platform 3 on the third track between Glenhuntly and Moorabbin.

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