Photos from ten years ago: April 2009

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

Train pain

We start down at South Kensington station, where I found a train stopped in the platform.

Stopped in the platform at South Kensington

The reason it was stopped – the train had become tangled up in the overhead wires, destroying all four pantographs and pulling down a fair chunk of overhead!

2nd pantograph flipped and broken

Second pantograph flipped and cracked

Leaving passengers to climb down from the train and walk along the tracks.

Passengers leave the train

Passengers leave the train

Thankfully suburban trains taking down the overhead wires is a infrequent occurrence, specially since the introduction of Infrastructure Evaluation Vehicle IEV102 in 2012 to regularly inspect the overhead for faults.

Overcrowded V/Line trains to Geelong are nothing new – back in 2009 they were trying to spread the load on the most popular express services by promoting the slower stopping all stations trains.

'Take commuting sitting down' flyer promoting little used peak hour Geelong trains

Today this uneven loading issue has been replaced by ‘normal’ overcrowding – the June 2015 timetable change saw Geelong trains sent via new Regional Rail Link tracks, with extra stops added to each of the former ‘super’ express services.

New and old infrastructure

Over at Southern Cross Station, things didn’t look very different to today.

Commuter rush at Southern Cross

But the scene outside was quite different – both the Yardmasters Building and 717 Bourke Street were under construction.

Framework for the top floor of the crew offices done

As was the new offices for The Age.

Western face still incomplete below deck level

At nearby North Melbourne station, work on the new northern concourse was nearing completion.

Two out of three concourse roof units in place

While over on Footscray Road the level crossing leading into the Port of Melbourne had been removed – replaced by a new road overpass.

Removed track under CityLink on the old route into the Port of Melbourne

Back in 2009 a far more spartan station could be found at Sunshine.

Sprinter 7006 leads a classmate at Sunshine

The current four platform station having been built as part of the Regional Rail Link project in 2014.

An even gloomier station could be found at Deer Park – where the platforms were still gravel!

Gravel platform at Deer Park

Only 18 kilometres from the CBD, but for a long time the station was in the middle of nowhere – housing developments only reaching the southern side in 2009.

Signals 1/22 and 1/10 for up trains approaching Deer Park

The station was eventually upgraded in 2010, but signalling changes completed in 2014 as part of the Regional Rail Link project made it harder to reroute services around failed trains.

But the most decrepit looking piece of infrastructure I found was the Maribyrnong River goods line.

Looking north from Bunbury Street towards the main line

Branching from the suburban tracks near Footscray, the railway ran along the western bank of the Maribyrnong River to a series of freight terminals.

Looking south from Bunbury Street down the line past the freight line

The line was taken out of use in 2008 due to track condition, with the bulk of the line ripped up to make way for Regional Rail Link in 2011, and the West Gate Tunnel project in 2018.

Road trip!

I made the trip up to Echuca for their 2009 Easter Spectacular.

PS Hero passes under the bridge at Echuca

It featured a sunset paddle steamer parade.

PS Emmylou heads down the Murray River at Echuca


Fireworks mark the end of the Port of Echuca Easter Spectacular

And plenty of flares.

Paddlesteamer sets off flares for the Port of Echuca Easter Spectacular

I also made a side trip to nearby Torrumbarry, where a retired Hitachi train could be found on private property.

Hitachi trailer 1921T, along with 4M and 133M

Faded 'Hillside Trains' decal on the cab of Hitachi 97M

Alongside an ex-V/Line diesel locomotive.

T375 on a short piece of track with the exhaust stack covered

And a retired army tank!

Tank and the Hitachis lurk in the background

As far as I can tell, they are still there today.


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: April 2009”

  1. Andrew says:

    Who would have thought that ten years later The Age would be moving to the Channel 9 building at 717 Bourke Street.

  2. James Bos says:

    Really fascinating to see the photos around Maribyrnong river (towards Footscray/Hopkins St) from 10 years ago – It is a lot nicer now. The council recently completed the installation of a a Rock Climbing wall underneath the Hopkins St bridge. I had been running past it for nearly a year whilst construction and thinking to myself “who the hell is going to use this?!”, apparently lots of people since it’s constantly busy!


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