Photos from ten years ago: August 2009

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

Lots of construction

On the Craigieburn line, a new $38 million railway station was taking shape at Coolaroo.

Lift wells and supports for the footbridge at Coolaroo

While at Craigieburn the second platform was being prepared for the use of suburban trains.

Work on electrifying the up line at Craigieburn

Both projects were originally intended to be part of the Craigieburn Rail Project completed in 2007, but descoped to a lack of funds.

Down on the Werribee line the $92.6 project to add a third platform to Laverton station was well underway.

Most of the piers for the new platform in place

The old ramp was ready to be demolished.

Existing ramp to the footbridge

To be replaced by a steep set of stairs, and unreliable lifts that are too small to take an ambulance stretcher.

Base of the footbridge above the island platform

Work was also well underway on the new footbridge at Footscray station, with the site cleared.

Cleared area beside platform 4

And the first bridge span waiting to be lifted into place.

First part of the new footbridge waiting to be lifted into place

And a short distance away at Sunshine a different rail bridge was under construction.

Span over the suburban tracks not yet in place

Three spans already in place, work on relocating power lines

Costing $15 million, the 8 span 220 metres long ‘Brooklyn Sunshine Triangle Bridge‘ enabled freight services from the north and west of Victoria to pass through Melbourne, removing the need for trains to stop at Tottenham Yard and reverse direction.

Regional Rail Link kicks off

August 27 saw the media circus roll into Southern Cross Station, as state and federal politicians turned the first sod for the Regional Rail Link project.

A few media, and a lot of minders

The crowd of minders having arrived an hour earlier, including a construction worker charged with making sure the pile driver was spotless.

Making the pile driver sparking clean

The politicians and media scrum had to make their way through the old Spencer Street subway.

Headed into the subway

Where they emerged at the future platform 15/16.

Pollies emerge from the subway

Victorian Premier John Brumby, Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Victorian Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky were there.

Brumby arrives to the TV cameras

Where they slowly raised and lowered a pile driver head.

Pile driver on the way down, very slowly

I also headed out to Wyndham Vale, where a long empty strip of land marked the site of the future station.

Looking south towards Greens Road and Geelong

Dennis Family Homes, developer of the Manor Lakes estate, couldn’t believe their luck – their advertised ‘transport link’ was actually happening.

Initially planned for the 'Middle Ring Road' (Melway 2007) it will now be for a railway

The new line opened to passengers in June 2015.

Around Melbourne and Geelong

At first glance Southern Cross Station didn’t look that different, with promotional stands blocking the main entrance.

Honda advertising stand in the station concourse

But from up top the view was different – one could enjoy a drink in the bar, as late evening commuters trickle in.

Some enjoy a drink in the bar, as late evening commuters trickle in

The bar and food count on level 1 of the Collins Street concourse closed in 2011, replaced by a Woolworths supermarket.

Out in the boondocks of Campbellfield I crossed over the Western Ring Road onboard an Upfield line train.

Western Ring Road Greensborough bound at Sydney Road

The freeway has gone from six to eight lanes, upgraded by the ‘Tulla Sydney Alliance’ in May 2013 but the railway line is still single track, despite the removal of the nearby Camp Road level crossing in 2018.

While on the western edge of Geelong I drove out to the newly developed ‘Highview Estate’ in Highton, where houses were taking over the Barrabool Hills.

Sunset over spreading suburbia

Today the fields are covered with houses, with many of the residents probably driving to Melbourne for work via the recently completed Geelong Ring Road.

And a few trains

August 2009 saw me take a ride around suburban Melbourne with Steamrail Victoria, with our seam train visiting Cranbourne, Upfield, Craigieburn and Williamstown.

D3 waiting to lead the train out of Cranbourne

I also followed a Connex Melbourne train through the open countryside of the Ballarat line.

Arriving into Bank Box

The train was bound for the Alstom Ballarat workshops for upgrades to the passenger information and CCTV systems.

893M leads through Lydiard Street

Also in Ballarat I found two accident damaged Comeng suburban trains.

Comeng cars 1109T and 533M still stored

Both have since been scrapped – carriage 1109T having been damaged in the 2002 Epping collision while carriage 553M was destroyed by fire in 2002.

And to finish – we see the Maryvale paper train waiting at North Dynon, before another trip east.

Loaded container wagons at North Dynon for the Maryvale train

And another load of grain headed west from Geelong, with a rainbow overhead.

Last WGBY wagon departs Gheringhap, with a rainbow overhead


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

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