Photos from ten years ago: November 2009

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

New infrastructure

Work on the new platform at Laverton was well underway, with tracks laid but not connected.

Temporary ramp at the up end of the platform for construction access

At Footscray station the new footbridge was starting to look real.

New steps at the northern end of the bridge

But the rickety old timber bridge was still in place.

New and old footbridges over the Newport bound tracks

While at North Melbourne the new concourse had finally opened, with both Metcard and myki ticket readers provided.

Booking office and ticket barriers

Allowing the old northern exit to be closed off.

The old station entry, now closed for good

With Connex staff on hand to direct any confused passengers.

Former main entry and kiosk now closed for good

The extension of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre had also wrapped up.

Northern face of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

The new Seafarers Bridge was open to pedestrians.

Looking across the Seafarers Bridge

And the wharf sheds at the Duke’s and Orr’s dry dock were being restored for use as a bar.

Restoring the wharf sheds at the Duke's and Orr's dry dock

Changes around Geelong

I visited the Barrabool Hills, where the Geelong Ring Road climbs away from the Barwon River.

Barwon River and Geelong Ring Road

Back then it was empty paddocks.

Creeping suburbia

But now it’s full of houses, occupied by people who commute to Melbourne.

I also went past the Ford casting plant at North Shore, where engine blocks for Ford cars were produced.

A whole different backdrop a few seconds later...

The plant closed in 2016 following Ford’s withdrawal from Australian manufacturing, and is currently being demolished.

And scenes that are gone

Remember when trams stopped at each intersection along Swanston Street, and you needed to climb up from road level?

Z1.114 on route 64 leads a few more trams north up Swanston Street

Design work for platform stops at City Square, Bourke Street and the State Library commenced in 2010, with the new stops completed in 2012.

Southern Cross Station used to be a lot emptier.

The colour of the sky keeps changing

As was the Docklands skyline to the west.

Bourke Street bridge rather empty

The station is now filled with shops, while I’ve lost track of all the buildings built in Docklands.

Over at ‘E’ Gate I found a much more industrial scene, where loaded steel wagons were being shunted.

Trailerail liveried NR53 shunts standard gauge wagons at the Melbourne Steel Terminal

Followed by a steel train bound for Hastings.

BL29 leads BL34 off the reversing loop bound for Long Island

But now the entire area is an empty paddock: the yard closed in 2015 to make room for the ‘E’ Gate development, but will instead be covered with flyovers for the West Gate ‘Tunnel’ project.

I also headed out to West Footscray station.

Alstom Comeng picks up passengers at West Footscray

This entire scene is now gone following the Regional Rail Link project, with the current West Footscray station opened in 2013.

The view in the other direction is also gone.

Siemens train departs Middle Footscray under a hazy sky

Every single house on the north side of Buckley Street was compulsorily acquired to make room for the additional tracks, and the footbridge I was standing on demolished and not replaced.

And around the corner was the Rising Sun Hotel.

Mural on the Rising Sun Hotel, Footscray

Back then it was abandoned, but it has since been reborn – the pub was converted to apartments in 2012, with the mural peeking out from behind.

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