Photos from ten years ago: March 2011

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is March 2011.

Avalon Airshow takes a break for the commercial jets

Up in the air

Who remembers the day of big events and flying? March 2011 saw the Australian International Airshow held at Avalon, with Tiger Airways still flying into the airport.

Tiger Airways over the You Yangs

V/Line ran extra trains to Lara station.

Airshow crowds depart a push-pull set at Lara

Connecting with shuttle buses.

Crowds wait to exit the platform for shuttle buses at Lara

That delivered patrons to Avalon Airport.

Afternoon queues for the buses back to Lara station

New roads

Around Geelong big money was being spent on new roads, with Stage 4A of the Geelong Ring Road taking shape at Waurn Ponds, extending the freeway south towards Colac.

Work on Geelong Ring Road Stage 4A crossing the Waurn Ponds Creek valley

$63 million was also being spent on a new bridge over the Barwon River at Breakwater, replacing the previous flood prone crossing.

Piling for the new bridge underway on the western side of the railway

The project also included a massive new intersection with Fellmongers Road.

Intersection of Breakwater and Fellmongers Road, eastern end of the new bridge

Resulting in the demolition of nine houses.

Houses being demolished on Breakwater Road for the new set of traffic lights

Rail projects

West of Geelong, duplication was underway on the main line west to Adelaide. The second track was completed in 2012, and allows grain trains to access the Port of Geelong without conflicting with through services.

Work on the roadbed a bit more advanced at the Geelong Ring Road

The rail over road bridge at Moorabool Street was upgraded, with the 100 year steel span being replaced by a new one looking much the same.

North side of the new bridge span, with an added maintenance walkway

Out at Marshall station was a much less interesting upgrade – the 1 in 2 replacement of timber sleepers with concrete.

1 in 2 replacement with concrete sleepers during the recent occupation

March 2011 also saw the disused Geelong Racecourse station disconnected from the main line, removing the ability for trains to access the platform.

3VL27 and classmate pass the remains of Geelong Racecourse station, the loop siding recently straight railed

Footscray gained a new traction substation at the corner of Ballarat Road and Droop Street, providing extra power for route 82 trams.

Substation 'Fo' at Ballarat Road and Droop Street, Footscray

The $48.5 million Kororoit Creek Road duplication project reached a milestone – the bridge carrying the westbound carriageway over the Werribee line was complete, allowing the level crossing to be closed, and work to start on the parallel bridge.

Westbound carriageway complete for new

Was Regional Rail Link really a decade ago? 2011 saw the new platforms 15 and 16 at Southern Cross Station almost finished – track being the most noticeable omission!

Seating and other fixtures waiting installation on platform 15/16

Alstom Ballarat was churning out new X’Trapolis trains for the Melbourne suburban network.

Another view of the yard full of body shells

And the massive new train maintenance facility at Craigieburn was taking shape to house a growing fleet of trains.

More work on the Craigieburn maintenance shed from the up end

And scenes that are gone

Who remembers the Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle? Introduced in 2006 by the City of Melbourne as a free service, fares were introduced in 2011 but with competition from the Free Tram Zone, it was discontinued in 2017.

Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle bus #78 6678AO at Swanston and Flinders Street

Something else gone is the stink of horse piss at the arse end of Swanston Street. They were kicked out in 2017, and the strip of seedy fast food restaurants was demolished soon after to make way for the new Town Hall station.

Horse drawn carriage at the arse end of Swanston Street, near Flinders Street

A forgettable building was 199 William Street. After sitting empty for decades the year 2011 saw work start on the redevelopment of the tower into ‘The William’ hotel and apartment complex.

Southern facade of Communications House

I wrote about ‘Mount Mistake’ in Footscray recently – a decade ago the old West Footscray station still existed. The current station opened in 2013.

Siemens arrives into West Footscray on the down

The same can also be said about this level crossing in Sunshine, where Anderson Road passes over the Sunbury line tracks. It was replaced by a road under rail bridge in 2014.

Siemens 829M crosses Anderson Road, Sunshine

And finally, we end on the northern edge of Melbourne at the township of Donnybrook. Back then the only people who went there were gunzels photographing trains passing the semaphore signals and having a feed at the local pub, but today it is new housing estates as far as the eye can see.

Disc signal for the crossover at Donnybrook


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

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