Photos from ten years ago: July 2012

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

Looking down the Yarra River from the Cremorne Railway Bridge

Off to Sydney

We start this month at Melbourne Airport, where the terminal was in disarray on July 18. But staff shortages weren’t to blame this time – but a power outage.

Channel 10 news crew film the empty departure board in the international terminal

Leaving the split-flap display board in the international terminal stuck mid-message on ‘Ouckau8hko Jcahao’.

Next flight to 'Ouckau8hko Jcahao'?

Out airside Virgin Australia was midway through it’s rebranding from Virgin Blue.

Trio of Virgin Australia 737s - VH-VUX, VH-YVA and VH-VUC

And Tiger Airways was still flying.

Tiger Airways A320 VH-VND parked at the 'gate'

An hour later, my flight was on the final approach to Sydney Airport.

Looking down Sydney's runway 07/25

Down on the tarmac, I snapped a since-retired Qantas 747-400ER taking off.

Qantas 747-400ER VH-OEJ takes off from runway 34L

Then made my way to the airport station to catch a train.

Set S79 arrives into Domestic station with a down service

I did the cliche stuff like checking out the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Cliche shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

As well as checking out stuff like the decommissioned toll gates.

Closed toll booths at the southern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Headed to the top of the Sydney Tower to photograph the trains down below.

Tangara crosses the Woolloomooloo viaduct

Down to the tangle of tracks that are the Flying Junctions outside Central.

S92  climbs the Flying Junctions bound for Central

I stumbled upon the “Pre Production Trial Vehicle” for Sydney’s new fleet of Waratah trains.

Four-car Waratah PPTV (Pre Production Trial Vehicle) stabled at the Auburn Maintenance Facility

And stared in wonder at the realtime train data provided to platform staff at Central Station.

Multiple sources of information for platform staff at Central Station

Riding the Sydney Monorail

The real reason for my trip was to ride the Sydney Monorail before it’s upcoming closure.

Set 5 at Darling Harbour, with the Sydney skyline as a backdrop

I went past all of the hackspots.

Set 5 crosses the Pyrmont Bridge, advertising IGA supermarkets

Wandering around Darling Harbour.

Monorail departs Darling Park station, with Darling Harbour below

Down to the monorail depot hidden away in the back blocks.

Looking south over the Monorail depot, with the Light Rail depot below

Along the way I found forgotten signage from the TNT Harbourlink era.

Signage from the TNT Harbourlink era at Darling Park station

And a complicated looking joint in the monorail beam across Pyrmont Bridge.

Complicated looking joint in the monorail beam across Pyrmont Bridge

Used to allow the monorail beam to pivot out of the way of tall ships.

Pivot point for the monorail beam in the middle of the Pyrmont Bridge

Ding ding

In 2012 the Sydney Light Rail was still using the fleet of 1990s Variotrams.

Variotram 2102 still in the original 'Sydney Light Rail' livery

But I also made my way out to the Sydney Tramway Museum to ride their museum fleet.

R1 2001 at the Railway Square tram shelter

And I found a Melbourne W class sitting in their display shed.

W2 249 stabled in the display shed

And back to Melbourne

My welcome back to Melbourne – going for a cruise down the Yarra River towards the West Gate Bridge.

West Gate Bridge spans the Yarra River

And back up under the Bolte Bridge.

Looking back to the Bolte Bridge and the Melbourne CBD

Far less entertaining was getting kicked off my train home thanks to a door fault.

Siemens train stopped at Newmarket, the passengers turfed off due to a faulty offside door on 794M

The entire train load of passengers turfed off at Newmarket station.

 Packed platform at Newmarket, after the previous train had to dump an entire peak load due to a faulty door

Left hoping that we’d be able to catch the next train to come along.

Packed platform at Newmarket, after the previous train had to dump an entire peak load due to a faulty door

The rollout of Myki was still crawling along, with new ticket gates installed at the south end of Parliament station.

Installing real Myki barriers at the south end of Parliament station

But at least the new Swanston Street platform stops were finally finished!

New Swanston Street platform stop at Bourke Street

Leading to the closure of the tram stop at Swanston and Lonsdale Streets.

Closed tram stop at Swanston and Lonsdale Streets

Some passengers oblivious to the ‘tram stop closed’ signs.

Passenger at Lonsdale Street oblivious to the 'tram stop closed' sign

Some things that have changed

Before Regional Rail Link opened in 2015 V/Line and Metro trains shared the tracks through Footscray.

VLocity 3VL35 arrives into Footscray station, with the goods lines down below

It seems hard to believe today, but until 2016 Flagstaff station was closed all day Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.

Flagstaff Gardens entrance to Flagstaff Station

And until 2015 free copies of the mX newspaper were being handed out to evening commuters.

Handing out copies of mX to evening commuters

And some that are odd

On a visit to the Port of Melbourne, I found six X’Trapolis carriages sitting on the wharf, fresh off the boat at Appleton Dock.

Another six X'Trapolis body shells wharfside, fresh off the boat at Appleton Dock

We also had the strange situation of a ‘Sydenham’ train line that terminated at Watergardens station – a designation that ended following the extension of electric train to Sunbury.

Siemens arrives into North Melbourne with a Sydenham service

Box Hill is an odd station – still using ancient CRT screens for the next train displays.

Old style non flat screen CRT displays at Box Hill station

A McDonald’s counter facing into the paid area of the station.

McDonald's service counter facing into the paid area of the concourse at Box Hill Station

And a complete trackless platform – unused since the 1980s.

Looking over to the ramp that provides access to Box Hill's trackless platform 1

I also found a trackless platform at Southern Cross – completed as part of the Regional Rail Link project, but yet to have track installed.

VLocity 3VL50 on arrival at Southern Cross platform 14 with an up Traralgon service

But the most harebrained thing I found was some antennas fitted to a Comeng train.

Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) antennas fitted to Comeng 602M and 641M

The antennas were part of a $5.5 million three-year project, testing whether wireless communication between trains and road vehicles would reduce the number of level crossing collisions.

Looking back, spending millions to install radio transmitters on each and every train, along with dedicated receivers in each and every road vehicle, just to give idiot motorists another warning to ignore, sounds like a stupid idea – especially since we’ve physically removed 65+ conflict points between road and rail in the past 10 years.

And a NBN footnote

I also ended up at the NBN Co. Discovery Centre in Melbourne.

Comms racks at the NBN Co. 'National Test Facility' in Melbourne

Showing off fibre in pits.

Mockup of a NBN FTTP underground pit at the NBN Co. Discovery Centre in Melbourne

Curbside fibre distribution hubs.

NBN fibre distribution hub at the NBN Co. Discovery Centre in Melbourne

And junction boxes for multiple unit dwellings (MDUs).

Mockup of the NBN multiple unit dwelling (MDU) equipment at the NBN Co. Discovery Centre in Melbourne

All were part of the Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) network that was planned to cover Australia, but later abandoned for the half-baked “Multi Technology Mix” of Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) and legacy Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) networks.

Footnote

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

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9 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: July 2012”

  1. Jake says:

    These antennas which used to be at the side of an Alstom Comeng might have been relocated on the top of the roof (if that was correct).

    PS. Between photos 26 & 27, there was a typo that says ‘entertainubg’ – that word was supposed to be ‘entertaining’.

  2. Steve says:

    I always found it interesting that Sydenham line trains terminated at Watergardens and never actually made it to Sydenham! Thankfully the line was extended to Sunbury and that oddity was fixed!

    • Marcus Wong says:

      Admittedly I never realised it was a thing until somebody else pointed it out to me, after which I realised I had photos showing it.

      • Ross says:

        Didn’t they rename Sydenham station after Watergardens shopping centre?

        • Marcus Wong says:

          The station was renamed for the shopping centre in 2002 when the line was electrified and current station opened, replacing the old station beside the Melton Highway level crossing (since grade separated).

  3. Ross says:

    D’ya reckon anyone’s regretting scraping those Variotrams now?

    • Marcus Wong says:

      There were seven Variotrams replaced by 12 CAF Urbos 3 to run the longer line – so they would’ve been some use, even compared to the fleet of 60 Alstom Citadis 305 LRVs on the L2 and L3 light rail lines.

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