Photos from ten years ago: June 2012

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is June 2012.

Down by the tracks

We start this month down at the west end of the Melbourne CBD, where the apartment blocks of Docklands towered over wasteland of railway sidings.

Metro Trains' T373, T369 and T377 stabled at the Wagon Storage Yard with the CFSX generator wagon

In 2015 the rail freight terminal was relocated to make way for the ‘E-Gate’ urban renewal project, but it was not to be – Transurban came along with their unsolicited West Gate ‘Tunnel’ idea, and now the land is being covered with a tangle of elevated roads forming the Wurundjeri Way extension.

Next stop, over to Murrumbeena and Hughesdale.

Looking down the line at Murrumbeena station

The tracks used to be down at ground level, surrounded by trees.

Alstom Comeng on the down at Hughesdale

But the entire section is now parkland, the railway line being elevated onto the ‘skyrail’ viaduct in 2018 to remove multiple level crossings.

Next stop, Coburg station.

Coburg station, looking up the line at the original station building on platform 1

That station building is still there today, but the tracks are not – a new elevated station was built on the site in 2020, removing the Bell Street level crossing.

And finally, the complex mess of cars, trams and trains crossing Burke Road at Gardiner station..

EDI Comeng 534M passes through the tram square at Gardiner on a down Glen Waverley service

The railway lines was placed beneath the road in 2016, removing the 30 km/h speed restriction for trams and trains.

Metcard vs Myki

The rollout of Myki to trams in Melbourne was underway, with the “you don’t need to touch off on trams” message struggling to get out.

'Use any reader to touch on / Only touch off if your trip is Zone 2 only' message at a tram stop

Diehard Metcard users still pumping coins into the ticket machines onboard trams.

Diehard Metcard users pumping coins into the vending machines onboard trams

Railway stations also still had their 1990s-era ‘Booking Office Machines’ used to issue Metcards.

Booking Office Machine (BOM) used to issue Metcards by station staff

And crowded Myki gates at railway stations was still an issue.

Lets follow the clock when closing the barriers, not the crowds

Overflow gates having been installed in an attempt to handle crowds, but often went unused.

Who cares if the crowds are still there: management wants the barriers closed!

Ding ding

In recent years many Melbourne CBD tram stops have closed – the one at the corner of William and Lonsdale Street is one of them.

Z3.180 northbound on William at Lonsdale with a Queen Vic Market shortworking

A decade ago, the work on the platform stops along Swanston Street was still getting dragged along.

Work continues on the Swanston and Collins Street platform stop, they are *still* digging stuff?

The corner of Swanston and Collins Street a construction site for months.

Progress in slow motion at the Swanston and Collins Street platform stop

As was the tram stop at Swanston and Bourke Street.

Hmmm, a few months after work started and this is starting to look like a tram stop

It took until July 2012 for them to finally open to passengers.

Also this month the ‘H’ crossing at the intersection of Victoria and Peel Streets was being renewed.

Replacing the H crossing at Victoria and Peel Streets

Fresh tram track being installed where routes 58 and 57 intersect, during a weekend shutdown of the complete intersection.

Still connecting up new H crossing at Victoria and Peel Street to the rest of the track

On the buses

A decade ago Melbourne’s bus operators still had their fleets painted in their own corporate livery – Ventura in two-tone blue with yellow highlights.

Ventura #892 5968AO on a route 742 service at Glen Waverley station

Driver Bus Lines had white with blue and teal stripes.

Driver Bus Lines #23 7532AO on a route 623 service at Glen Waverley station

And Grenda had red and yellow stripes.

Grenda #253 6874AO on a route 850 service at Glen Waverley station

Ventura still operates bus services in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, but the routes once operated by Driver Bus Lines were acquired by CDC Melbourne in 2013, and the Grenda brand has now been absorbed into the Ventura Group.

Construction

Work on Regional Rail Link was quite disruptive through Footscray, as the rail corridor was expanded to fit two new tracks.

'Business are still open while the road is closed' banners

The first section of the new Nicholson Street bridge in place.

First part of the new Nicholson Street bridge in place

Ballarat and Bendigo trains started using the new tracks from July 2014, with Geelong trains following from June 2015

Also in the west the expansion of Highpoint Shopping Centre was underway, tower cranes at work on a $300 million extension featuring a David Jones store.

Construction work at Highpoint viewed from Ascot Vale to the east

Which wasn’t a successful move for the high end department store – in 2021 they shrunk the store to a single floor, to make way for Kmart!

While over in Ascot Vale, the abandoned Racecourse Hotel had been set on fire.

Fire damage to the abandoned Racecourse Hotel

After laying empty for many years.

Hotel all burnt out, but the trashed motel rooms survived

The site was cleared soon after, and after many years of planning objections, the 22 storey ‘Only Flemington‘ apartment tower was eventually built on the site.

And everything else

While passing through West Footscray I found the infamous Sims Supermarket – known for their ‘The Price Crusher’ slogan.

Sims Supermarket: 'The Price Crusher'

The small supermarket chain went into administration in 2017, and the store is now an IGA.

On the subject of supermarkets, I found two Coles stores across the street from each other in Coburg.

Two Coles supermarkets next door to each other in Coburg, Victoria

One of the stores has always been as a Coles, while the other was a rebranded Bi-Lo store, trading beside each other until one was closed in 2021 and turned into artist studios.

I also found a Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car on trial

The custom registration plates indicating it was part of the Victorian Government’s five year ‘Electric Vehicle Trial‘ launched in October 2010.

Special registration plate - "005 EVT"

While a mid-term report was published in 2013, the final report of the trial has not been published.

I also went past the Port of Melbourne to photograph some container ships.

Container ship 'JPO Scorpius' at Swanson Dock West

A location now inaccessible following the expansion of the Swanson Dock container terminal.

And finally, I went for a walk over the surprisingly leafy looking Western Ring Road.

Looking west over the Western Ring Road at Industrial Avenue, Thomastown

At the Craigieburn Bypass interchange.

Looking east over the Western Ring Road at Industrial Avenue, Thomastown

But a decade on, the same scene is covered in concrete – the recently completed M80 Upgrade added additional lanes between Sydney Road and Edgars Road at a cost of $518 million.

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: June 2012”

  1. Steve says:

    I still call it Sims!

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