Photos from ten years ago: July 2009

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

Remember Connex and Metcards? Here we see the ticket gates at Glenferrie station.

Metcard barriers at Glenferrie station

Down at North Melbourne station the new concourse at the city end was almost complete. This massive steel deck was required to protect the gas mains underneath from the heavy crane used to remove the last bits of formwork.

Steel deck was to protect gas mains underneath from the heavy crane

Down the line at Footscray station, rail replacement buses were running, thanks to a damaged section of overhead wiring on the track towards Newport – all thanks to a scrote who threw a chair over the edge of the station footbridge.

Damaged bit of overhead is between the two tracks, the contact wire is missing

Note the lack of low floor buses – you can blame Sita Buslines for that.

Sita high floor buses run a Connex rail replacement service at Footscray

The footbridge in question was still the rickety timber and tin structure dating back to the 1900s.

Footbridge crossing platforms 3/4 from the down end

But the bridge’s days were numbered.

Construction equipment in place

With construction on the $14.7 million dollar replacement about to start.

Ramp to the street still there but penned in

Another upgrade was the introduction of ‘Parkiteer‘ bike cages around the network.

'Parkiteer' bike cage at the up end of the east car park

Launched in February 2008, initially $1 million in funding was allocated for the installation of up to 20 bike cages.

But $1 million is a drop in the ocean in the money spent on railway station car parks.

New car park at the down end levelled out

In 2009 the massive car park at Laverton station was undergoing yet another expansion – stretching halfway to Aircraft station.

By 2014 the car park was rated the ‘worst in Melbourne for finding a space‘, with local residents getting sick and tired of motorists from elsewhere clogging their suburb, but the 2018 State Election saw the promise of still more parking spaces made by the Andrews Government.

July 2009 also saw me take a wander around the back blocks of Docklands.

Another view of the double compound trackwork at the western end of the wharf

There were plenty of abandoned railway tracks running around the wharves – this is now the corner of Collins and Bourke Street.

Landside track just before rejoining the wharfside tracks

While the other end was shed 21 – since demolished, erasing the last trace of Victoria Dock.

Offices at the derelict shed 21

Closer to North Melbourne station was the former ‘Hump’ at Melbourne Yard.

Looking south towards the former balloons from the hump crest

Opened in 1968, the yard was used to sort freight wagons. Each wagon would be pushed to the top of the ‘hump’ and then released, being allowed to roll into a destination track.

'Queen' points in the lead to 'C' and 'D' balloons

The entire yard was controlled by a primitive computer, with remote controlled brakes and points ensuring that each wagon ended up on the correct train.

Secondary retarders in the lead to 'B' balloon

But by the time of my visit the yard was long closed – the last train passed over the top in 1987.

VLocity VL05 passes the former Hump crest bound for Southern Cross, as N459 waits on the loco track in the background

The bulk of the yard was demolished in 1997 to make way for the Docklands Stadium, but the ‘hump’ crest lasted until 2010, when it was demolished to make room for the new Regional Rail Link tracks.

I also swung past the Melbourne Steel Terminal, used to tranship freight for the BlueScope Steel plant on the Stony Point line at Hastings.

XR551 and a BL class at the Melbourne Steel Terminal, with another BL class in the background, and 8114 shunting some standard gauge wagons

Located in the middle of the ‘E’ Gate urban renewal precinct, the freight terminal was closed in 2015 and cleared of tracks soon after.

But all of those plans have come to naught – the land has been handed over to Transurban for city access ramps connecting to the West Gate ‘Tunnel’.

And finally, we end down on the outskirts of Geelong, where the railway towards Warrnambool passed through anonymous empty paddocks.

N472 leads the up Warrnambool through the rain at Grovedale

But in 2013 this spot was chosen as the site of the new ‘Grovedale’ station, which opened to passengers as ‘Waurn Ponds’ on October 2014.


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: July 2009”

  1. Andy says:

    Thank you Marcus, I always thoroughly enjoy receiving your emails, especially the ten years ago series.

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