Photos from ten years ago: August 2012

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

Trains

We start the month at Footscray station, back when there were only four tracks – not six.

N472 leads an all red consist with carriage set FN18 out of Footscray on the up

The reason for my visit – DERMPAV were due to pass through with their 1920s railcar RM58.

RM58 passes through Footscray bound for Southern Cross

I also made a trip out to Eltham to capture Steamrail Victoria running steam trains for the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival.

Up train from Flinders Street crosses the Eltham trestle bridge

In what was the last final days of the 100 year old manual signalling system in place between Greensborough and Hurstbridge.

Down shuttle handing back the staff to the signaller at Diamond Creek

Something old but not quite as old was the 1990s ‘Concession travel is only for concession card holders’ billboard at Melbourne Central station.

'Concession travel is only for concession card holders' poster still hanging around at Melbourne Central

But something new for 2012 but seems incredibly dated today is this massive billboard covered in late-2000s internet memes, promoting the then-new free Wi-Fi service at Flinders Street Station.

Massive poster promoting free Wi-Fi now available at Flinders Street Station

With mobile data so cheap, does anyone even use free wi-fi connection today?

And something gone completely is mX staff having out their free newspaper.

Handing out copies of mX to afternoon commuters at Footscray station

The last issues was mX was published in 2015.

Meanwhile at Southern Cross the advertising that covered the station was a little different – a travel agency placing infrared heat lamps above their sign promoting summer holidays.

Infrared heat lamps above an advertising sign - 'That place warmer than here'

And the Red Rooster advertising screen beside the next train displays was also displaying a live countdown of the next trains to depart.

The two next train displays still in sync

This was a time before live departure information available to the public, with even the official PTV app relying on timetable data, so seeing realtime information on an advertising screen was quite incredulous.

Finally, I paid a visit to the construction site of the future Williams Landing station.

Station ramps and concourse taking shape beside the freeway

And the extension of Palmers Road north from the Princes Freeway towards Truganina.

Future alignment of Palmers Road leading into Williams Landing

Palmers Road opened first, followed by Williams Landing station in 2013, but the road has already – upgraded from two to six lanes as part of the Western Roads Upgrade project in early 2021.

Trams

I was passing through Moonee Ponds Junction, a decade ago just some bus shelters sitting in the middle of a sea of asphalt.

Tram stop for route 59 at Moonee Ponds Junction looking south towards the route 82 terminus

The route 82 terminus located across multiple lanes of traffic and three pedestrian crossings from the bus interchange and route 59 tram stop.

Z3.209 arrives at Moonee Ponds Junction with a route 57 service, having arrived from Essendon Depot

The tram was was eventually rebuilt in 2016, with route 59 and 82 trams sharing a new accessible platform stop, next to the bus interchange.

Around the Melbourne CBD

Who remembers the Melbourne Bike Share service – a source of free helmets for cyclists all over Melbourne.

Plenty of non-Melbourne Bike Share users love the subsidised helmets

Their bikes were blue, but they had a handful of one-off coloured bikes in the fleet.

Spotty Melbourne Bike Share bicycle

The service was eventually shut down in November 2019, overtaken by a wave of venture capital-backed ‘dockless’ bike share services, and now e-scooters and e-bikes.

Something else on the way out back in 2012 was the original 1960s Royal Children’s Hospital building.

"Royal Children's Hospital" sign still in place on the 1960s cream brick

Demolished following completion of the new hospital next door.

Nothing left of the former Royal Children's Hospital nurses block

The land returned to Royal Park, as compensation for the land used to build the new hospital.

But something I didn’t expect to see disappear was the cupcake fad.

His and Hers

Somehow the internet hasn’t killed seedy adult cinemas, but you’d be hard pressed to find a specialist cupcake store these days – burgers are now the big food fad.

And finally, something that you’d think would be gone but keeps sticking around is Telstra payphones.

Telstra payphones moved so the advertising panels face traffic

Back in 2012 Telstra was moving them for maximum advertising exposure, but in recent years they’ve gone even further, turning them into massive digital advertising screens.

And a trip out east

For something different, I went on a road trip out to Gippsland, making a pit stop at the Longford Gas Plant, receiving point for oil and gas output from Bass Strait.

Esso gas plants two and three at Longford

And home of the helicopters used to resupply the 23 offshore platforms drilling for oil and gas.

Longford Helipad and a pair of Sikorsky S-76C helicopters

I also stumbled upon the Bairnsdale Power Station as I drove further west – one of a number of gas fired power stations in Victoria.

Pair of gas turbines at the Bairnsdale Power Station

So what was my destination? Australia’s highest airport, Mount Hotham Airport!

Terminal building at Mount Hotham Airport

I waited around for hours in the snow.

Yours truly snapping a photo at Mount Hotham Airport

Until it finally arrived.

Approaching Mount Hotham: Qantas Dash-8 200 VH-TQG

One of a handful of QantasLink flights that served the skifield.

Touchdown at Mount Hotham: Qantas Dash-8 200 VH-TQG

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: August 2012”

  1. Jake says:

    Back then, there were a questionably high number of train bottlenecks between V/Line and Metro services, particularly on Werribee and Sydenham Lines before the Regional Rail Link was constructed.

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