Photos from ten years ago: February 2010

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is February 2010.

Z1.78 stops for passengers outside Melbourne Town Hall

Changed scenes

Back then the tram stops along Swanston Street were at ground level.

Northbound Z3.177 picks up passengers on the corner of Swanston and Bourke

The platform stops at Collins, Bourke and La Trobe Street weren’t completed until July 2012.

And the Melbourne CBD skyline was much smaller, as seen in this view from the rail yards of West Melbourne.

T413 leads the light engine move after a reversal at West Tower

This entire area is about to be covered in freeway overpasses as part of the West Gate ‘Tunnel’ project.

The railway yards beside North Melbourne station have also changed, when I photographed the ‘Apex’ quarry train parked for the weekend.

X41 and A81 stabled at Melbourne Yard along with the Apex train rake

And a grain train headed to Kensington.

After heading along the Coburg goods lines to below West Tower, the consist sets back into the arrival roads

Both trains still run today, but under new operators – Qube Logistics and Southern Shorthaul Railroad respectively – while the sidings they use have been completely rebuilt as part of the Regional Rail Link project.

Another scene changed thanks to Regional Rail Link is the approach to Sunshine, where V/Line and suburban trains had to share the tracks.

P22, P20 and A81 heads towards Sunshine via the goods lines

Today a second track pair runs between Sunshine and the city, speeding the journey for V/Line trains on the Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo lines.

And new trains

The construction of new X’Trapolis trains had just restarted at the Alstom Ballarat workshops.

Arrival into Ballarat station

A decade on we’re still building them, with seven follow on orders signed so far, but no firm commitment has been made as to the future of the facility.

And the older Comeng trains were also in the middle of an air conditioning upgrade program.

Another view of the upgraded aircon - just a bigger fan strapped on top

Previously known for their propensity to drop dead whenever the temperature hit 36 degrees, the State Government spent $18.7 million retrofitting the units so that they would continue to run at temperatures up to 45 degrees.

The Bombardier plant at Dandenong was also busy, refurbishing Endeavour and Xplorer railcars for New South Wales.

El Zorro Y145 coupled to Endeavour railcar LE 2862 out the back of South Dynon

Due to the railways of New South Wales being standard gauge, each railcar needed to be transferred to broad gauge bogies at South Dynon, then dragged to Dandenong behind a diesel locomotive.

Headed out west

Another rail gauge muddle can be found at Maryborough, where the mothballed standard gauge track to Ararat met the broad gauge tracks from Ballarat.

Baulks on the Avoca line at the home signal into Maryborough

In 2018 the line from Ararat was reopened as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project that converted the Mildura line to standard gauge, but lefts things in worse shape than before: poorly built and slower than the previous route.

On my way back to Ballarat I visited the disused railway station at Creswick, as a grain train passed through.

Station building and goods shed still in place at Creswick

The newly relaid track was part of the restoration of V/Line services to Maryborough, with Creswick station reopening to passenger on July 2010.

But a station in even worse condition was that at Maldon, on the the Victorian Goldfields Railway.

Burnt out station building at Maldon propped up until rebuilding can start

The 120-year-old building was gutted by fire in October 2009, but has since been rebuilt.

And the unexpected

One afternoon at Kensington I spotted some ‘police’ wandering the tracks at Kensington.

Actors playing police interview 'witnesses'

But it was just a television show.

I think the plot involves someone falling / pushed from the bridge

Apparently for the Channel Seven series City Homicide, which screened between 2007 and 2011.

Footnote

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

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