Photos from ten years ago: December 2011

Another month, another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is December 2011.

Christmas in the CBD

Christmas decorations were everywhere.

A2.266 on route 11 leads a classmate westbound on Collins Street

Crowds aplenty to see the Myer Christmas Windows.

Myer Christmas Windows on the Bourke Street Mall

With the massive ‘Merry Christmas’ sign at Flinders Street Station finally finished!

The massive 'Merry Christmas' sign at Flinders Street Station finally finished!

And Yarra Trams even rolled out a Christmas themed variant of their “Beware the Rhino” campaign.

Christmas themed variant of the

A big hole in the ground

Around the corner at thr former Myer Lonsdale Street store was massive hole in the ground.

Construction work starts on the new 'Emporium' shopping centre

Work continuing to clear the site for the new Emporium Melbourne shopping centre.

Stopped work at Myer for the Christmas break

Which exposed the ‘S’ in the ‘MYERS’ name on the Lonsdale Street façade.

Reverse view of the 'MYERS' sign

And the ‘secret’ tunnels that connected the Myer store to neighbouring buildings.

Constructing a subway beneath Little Bourke Street

Flying into Melbourne

I returned from my trip to Adelaide (which is a story still to come).

Looking over the West Gate Bridge and Yarra River towards Port Melbourne

Passing over Truganina.

Brand new housing estates in the western Melbourne suburb of Truganina

Melbourne Airport’s terminals are still stuck in the 1970s.

Arrival into Melbourne

But at least the Ansett Australia carpet was only 10 years out of date.

Luggage carousels at Melbourne Airport

But one thing that has since since 2011 is the wall of yellow taxis.

Queue of taxis at Melbourne Airport

The requirement for taxis to be painted yellow was dropped in 2013, and taxis themselves have been in decline since the 2012 launch of Uber in Australia.

Down the docks

I went for a squiz at the container ships down at Swanston Dock.

'MSC London' berthed at Swanson Dock East

And the Bass Strait ro-ro ships at Webb Dock.

Melbourne skyline from Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne

Both locations are no longer accessible to the public – covered by expanded terminals at the Port of Melbourne.

Williams Landing

I seem to keep on coming back to Williams Landing.

The new suburb at Williams Landing, slowly covering the former airfield at RAAF Williams

In December 2011 the southern end of the former RAAF runway was still there.

Looking north along the former RAAF runway

But work was underway to clear the site for the new Williams Landing railway station.

Looking down the line, LX over the standard gauge to access the site. Note the new stanchion bases in the dirt, the down line will be slewed for an island platform

Abandoned hospitals

A decade ago Melbourne was full of abandoned hospitals.

Former Royal Women's Hospital on Swanston Street, Melbourne

The old Royal Women’s Hospital in Carlton was locked up.

South facade of the "3AW Community Service Board Block" of the former Royal Women's Hospital

Empty inside.

Abandoned foyer of the former Royal Women's Hospital

Replaced by the current hospital a short distance away on Grattan Street.

Main entrance to the former Royal Women's Hospital

The old Royal Children’s Hospital was also closed.

'South East Building' of the former Royal Children's Hospital

Replaced by the new Royal Children’s Hospital next door.

'Main Building' of the former Royal Children's Hospital

And the only signs of life being a table surrounded by random chairs.

Empty foyer of the former Royal Children's Hospital

Ding ding

I photographed a Z3 tram headed along route 55 on Flemington Road.

Z3.150 northbound on route 55 on Flemington Road at Gatehouse Street

Route 55 merged with route 8 to become route 58 in 2017, and low floor E class took over from high floor trams just a few weeks ago.

And finally – trains

At Southern Cross Station new shops were being added wherever they’d fit.

Work on the new Loco Bar balcony at the Collins Street end

The ‘mX’ newspaper was still being handed out.

Docklands workers dodge the new shops at the upper level Collins Street entrance

V/Line was still running 7-car trains on express services to Geelong.

It's only 6pm and the first empty cars run is departing Geelong - a 7-car consist passes through North Shore on the up

Signs of the past

I headed past the Newport Workshops, and found a Hitachi train stabled in the sidings.

Siemens 725M stabled beside Hitachi 282M at Newport Workshops

But when I revisited a few days later, they’d multiplied!

Trio of Hitachis trains stored at Newport Workshops - 273M, 279M and 282M

Down at Fyansford the old silos at the cement works were still in place, but the railway had been lifted.

No track left at Fyansford, except for that buried under the resurfaced level crossing, and a crossing light

Level crossings removed, and the road resurfaced.

Looking down the line over the Thompson Road level crossing

While at North Geelong, I found the ancient ‘Train Staff’ safeworking system still in use by grain trains.

Signaller at North Geelong C ready to hand over the Train Staff for the Grain Loop

The signaller passing the metal ‘Train Staff’ to the crew of incoming trains, indicating they had permission to enter the single track section.

Signaller holds the Train Staff for the Grain Loop, the second person ready to grab hold of it

It took until 2020 for a modern remote controlled signalling system to be installed – but not without causing a level crossing irregularity during the commissioning process.

Progress on Regional Rail Link

At Footscray station the William Cooper Bridge had finally been finished.

Finished forecourt at the eastern end

Grass and trees cover what was an abandoned wasteland on Irving Street.

Grass and trees cover what was an abandoned wasteland on Irving Street

But with Regional Rail Link adding two more platforms to the station, it had to go.

Shops to the west of Footscray station demolished, only the doughnut caravan left

But thankfully the Olympic Doughnut caravan survived.

Doughnut van still in place, everything else demolished for the upcoming RRL works

Down the line at West Footscray, the old station was unchanged for now.

VLocity 3VL27 passes through West Footscray on the down

But there had been massive changes at Middle Footscray.

VLocity 3VL41 passes Middle Footscray on the down suburban line

The entire row of compulsorily acquired houses had been demolished.

Excavator digging up the now cleared site

To make way for the future railway tracks.

Big blue fence along Buckley Street

Changes had also been made at the opposite end of Regional Rail Link, where the standard gauge tracks had been relocated to make room for the junction at West Werribee.

Power van trails a VLH set at Manor Junction

New tracks to South Morang

December 2011 saw a new station opened at Epping.

Kiosk in the forecourt of the new Epping station

As part of the extension of the railway to South Morang.

Down the line from Epping, a second set of baulks in the distance

The new station at South Morang was almost ready.

Overview of the new station at South Morang from the up end

Which would see the end of the route 571 ‘TrainLink‘ bus service between Epping and South Morang.

East West #192 rego 0930AO crosses over the new South Morang railway station with a route 571 Trainlink service

Level crossing removals

There was no Level Crossing Removal Authority a decade ago, but the Anglesea Road level crossing on the Warrnambool line at Waurn Ponds was being removed.

N460 leads the down Warrnambool out of Geelong at the temporary Anglesea Road level crossing

A new road-over-rail bridge being built as part of the Geelong Ring Road project.

Three span bridge in place over the railway line, looking west

And a new pedestrian underpass was being built on Furner Avenue in North Geelong, replacing a pedestrian crossing as part of an ARTC-led upgrade of the freight railway into the Port of Geelong.

Still going slow, G528 and G539 roll through the gauge splitter at North Geelong C

A bright spark

In Melbourne’s west millions were being spent on road duplication projects – like Kororoit Creek Road.

Looking west over the completed bridge

And railway station car park upgrades – such as this one at Newport.

New car park on the western side of the down end curve

But a new rail freight terminal also opened in December 2011 – the Sadleirs Logistics siding at Spotswood.

Rake of RLSY louvre vans in the recently opened Sadleirs Logistics siding at Spotswood

And something odd

Down in Geelong the local telco Neighbourhood Cable was bought out by the Canberra based and ACT branded TransACT – a rather odd sight.

Benders running buses up in Canberra? Nope, TransACT bought out Geelong-based telco Neighbourhood Cable

But it only lasted a few years – TransACT was then bought out by iiNet.


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

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6 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: December 2011”

  1. Andrew says:

    A very busy time ten years ago. Minor typo, 55 and 8 formed the 58, although I have a vague memory that 55 and 5 was a through service during the Commonwealth Games.

  2. Steve Gelsi says:

    I didn’t mind the taxi yellow – certainly made the taxis stand out.

    Middle Footscray – houses demolished but station exactly the same. I’m reminded of level crossing removal 1920s style every time I drive down Victoria St (but not when it rains, when it becomes the wet weather version of the Napier St bridge). Has there been any station improvement at Middle Footscray since the 1920s? And the cleared land is becoming new housing. West Footscray – new station that needed to be retrofitted with a third platform (hopefully not a white elephant) where the ramp is almost where the old station was. Footscray – newly constructed bridge needed retrofitting to cater for two new tracks.

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