Photos from ten years ago: October 2009

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

In with the new

Every month seems to involve new rail infrastructure, and this is no different.

At Laverton station on the Werribee line, a crane was hard at work lifting the new footbridge spans into place.

A bit further

Cranes were also working at Coolaroo.

The lift wells have yet to be completed, the same with the stairs

Where a new two platform station was being built on the Craigieburn line, between Broadmeadows and Roxburgh Park stations.

New platforms being concreted at Coolaroo

While the long awaited new footbridge at Footscray station was slowly being extended across the tracks.

Work starts on the eastern stairwells to the bridge

Just in time to be partially demolished in 2013 to make way for Regional Rail Link.

The first of the new X’Trapolis trains had arrived into Melbourne, and were running around minus any branding.

X'Trapolis 3M is named 'Richard Orme'

The result of a 2007 contest between existing suppliers of Melbourne trains, Siemens and Alstom, the trains were a much needed response to cater for an explosion in rail patronage. The past decade has seen X’Trapolis trains now forming the core of the Melbourne train fleet, but have been ordered in numbers just big enough to keep the Alstom factory at Ballarat in business, putting it’s future in doubt.

In 2009 the rollout of Myki equipment on the V/Line platforms at Southern Cross Station kicked off.

Lineup of myki FPDs at the Collins Street end of Southern Cross

With temporary fencing funnelling passengers through the future ticket gates.

Passengers stream off the train and squeeze through the narrow gap for the future Myki ticket barriers

But it took June 2013 (four more years!) until Myki was first accepted on V/Line commuter services, with paper tickets not killed off until February 2014.

Scenes that no longer exist

Non-air conditioned Hitachi trains were still in service.

The shunter was using the guard's bell to communicate with the driver

The last one running in December 2013.

Furlong Road at Ginifer station still had a level crossing.

Concrete resleepering on the Sydenham line, at Ginifer looking down

It wasn’t grade separated until 2017.

V/Line was still running two car VLocity trains, like this one passing through Middle Footscray.

VLocity VL07 at Middle Footscray - that stupid signal gantry blocks everything, and it isn't even level

The houses in the background were demolished in 2011 to make way for the Regional Rail Link project, and in June 2016 the last VLocity train was extended to three cars.

Here a V/Line train pulling into Melbourne Yard, with the Docklands skyline in the background.

P18 leads a push-pull train into Melbourne Yard to stable for the day

In 2014 the area was rebuilt as part of the Regional Rail Link project, but without any platforms at North Melbourne, while the V/Line train itself was retired in August 2017.

I went past the freight yard at North Dynon freight yard.

P11 leads a push-pull H set on the down, brand new QRN 6001 in the foreground at North Dynon

Aurizon withdrew from the operation of interstate intermodal services in 2017, V/Line trains now pass by on their own Regional Rail Link tracks, and Sunbury trains will soon move into the Metro Tunnel portal now being constructed.

Plus further afield, I photographed a V/Line train from Warrnambool passes the new housing developments of Grovedale and Waurn Ponds.

Passing the new housing developments of Grovedale and Waurn Ponds

The surrounding paddocks were rezoned as the Armstrong Creek Growth Area in 2010, with Waurn Ponds station opened on the site in 2014, but it took until this year for the first bus route through Armstrong Creek to commence operation.

I also followed a freight train bound for Mildura, passing through the abandoned station at Creswick.

Running through the remains of the station at Creswick

And Clunes.

Clunes station all abandoned

Both stations closed to passengers in 1993, but now see passenger trains again – Creswick from a new platform opened in 2010 following the restoration of passenger services to Maryborough, and Clunes from a platform restored in 2011.

And away from the railway tracks

Remember when the Western Ring Road had a grass median strip?

Northbound on the Western Ring Road at Sunshine Avenue

Opened back in the 1990s, it was widened in stages from 2009, with the final section completed in 2018. How long until the next ‘upgrade’?

Birrarung Marr used to be the home of a ferris wheel.

Ferris wheel setup at Birrarung Marr

Billed as the “largest travelling ferris wheel in the southern hemisphere“, patronage plummeted following the opening of the Melbourne Star observation wheel in the back blocks of Docklands, with it being relocated to Geelong.

And goodbye to the art deco Lonsdale House.

Goodbye Lonsdale House

Reconstructed in 1934 from two different sized Victorian-era buildings, it was demolished in 2009 as part of the Emporium shopping centre development – to make room for a loading dock.

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: October 2009”

  1. Philip says:

    I miss the Hitachi trains. They were so quiet and comfortable; no forced-air ventilation, and properly padded seats designed for sitting on. The lack of air conditioning wasn’t as much of a drama as it sounds. The windows let in plenty of air and in certain conditions it was better than being in an air conditioned XTrapolis. These current trains are intolerable near the doorways in summer because that’s where the hot air is sucked back into the air conditioners to be cooled again – you have to be between doors to get any cool air. At least in the Hitachis everyone could feel the breeze.

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