Photos from ten years ago: January 2013

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is January 2013.

Farewell to Metcard

The Metcard ticketing system in Melbourne was switched off on 29 December 2012.

Metcard validator onboard a tram, displaying a 'CLOSED' message and a green light

Myki having taken over.

Myki themed advertisement from Forty Winks

But the machines still advertised descoped features, like short term tickets.

Blurb on a Myki machine about the since-cancelled short term tickets

And printed out credit card receipts that included the full name of the card holder, nine digits of their credit card and the card’s expiry date.

Myki EFT receipt from a CVM running the revised software

January 2013 saw that vulnerability fixed, but the “print a receipt even if I don’t want one” bug wasn’t addressed until June 2019.

Trams go ding ding

A decade ago passengers at the Toorak Road terminus of route 58 had to play frogger between four lanes of traffic.

B2.2101 arrives at the Toorak Road terminus of route 8

It took until 2015 for VicRoads to cave in and allow Yarra Trams to build a safer tram stop, at a cost of $3.8 million.

Meanwhile at Domain Interchange intending tram passengers just had a few shelters in the middle of St Kilda Road.

Northbound trams arrive at Domain Interchange

It was replaced in 2013 by a four track, four platform tram stop, which was itself demolished in 2018 to make way for the new Anzac station as part of the Metro Tunnel project.

Trams heading along Queens Bridge also used to get stuck behind queued cars.

Z3.145 on route 55 blocked by southbound traffic on Queens Bridge

This was eventually fixed in 2015, when the shared bus and tram lane along Queensbridge Street was extended the short distance over the bridge to Flinders Street.

Route 75 trams used to travel from Flinders Street along Spencer Street to the Remand Centre.

A2.272 heads south on Spencer Street at Bourke with a route 75 service

A few months later the southbound tram stop at Spencer and Bourke Street was closed due to a “increased safety risk to passengers and pedestrians“, and in 2014 the city terminus for route 75 was moved to Docklands.

W class trams on the free City Circle service used to be painted maroon, to distinguish them from the green W class trams used on regular tram services.

SW6.856 heads west past the closed porno bookshop on Flinders Street

A distinction no longer needed – W class trams were withdrawn from route 30 and 78 in December 2014, and the introduction of the Free Tram Zone in 2015 meant every trams in the CBD was free. The remaining W class trams are now painted green, following the W8 class tram modernisation project.

On my lunch break I often saw the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant making it’s way around the Melbourne CBD.

SW6.935 / #6 heads east on Flinders Lane

But they no longer run – withdrawn by Yarra Trams in 2018 due to concerns they didn’t meet modern crash safety standards.

But the one thing that hasn’t changed – trams covered with advertising for the Australian Open.

A2.281 advertising the 2013 Australian Open heads west on Flinders Street

The 2023 iteration of this tradition is already on the tracks.

Old clunkers on the bus network

A decade ago high floor buses still popped up on bus routes across Melbourne.

Sita high floor bus #28 rego 2328AO picks up route 404 passengers at Footscray station

Thankfully that is a thing of the past, but on the tram network not so much – we have squandered multiple opportunities to acquire low floor trams, with the 2032 deadline for an accessible network unlikely to be achieved.

Closed for the weekend?

Closing a railway station on the weekend sounds stupid, but we used to do that at Flagstaff station.

Flagstaff Gardens entrance to Flagstaff station closed for the weekend

A situation not fixed until 2015.

Reworking Footscray for Regional Rail Link

2013 saw work on Regional Rail Link kick off at Footscray station.

Cleared land at the down end of the Sunshine-bound tracks

Land cleared ready for the extra two platforms to be built at the station.

Demolition crews in place to demolished the existing footbridge

But they were also demolishing a footbridge only completed two year earlier.

Demolishing the northern end of the footbridge, it was too short to span the future suburban tracks

Thanks to the bridge being too short to span the additional tracks.

Demolishing the northern end of the two year old footbridge

Fail to plan, plan to fail.

Trucks versus low bridges

In January 2013 an over height truck took out the tramway overhead at the intersection of King and Collins Street, stranding trams throughout the Melbourne CBD.

Mechanics having to push trams by hand.

Mechanic pushes A2.288 clear of the tram stop at Collins and Elizabeth Street

So they could get their recovery truck into position, and push the trams to a section of track still with power.

Recovery truck R10 pushes tram A2.288

The Craigieburn line couldn’t get a break either, with a truck striking the low bridge on Racecourse Road at Newmarket station, and cooking itself on the live tramway overhead.

Scorch marks on the bridge protection beam over route 57 on Racecourse Road

Some things never change.

Footnote – something a little different

January 2013 was also the tail end of my month long rail trip across Europe.

Almost home to Melbourne

Where I travelled 8,898 kilometres six countries, ten cities, three rail gauges and 15 rail operators.

One month: 8,898 kilometres of rail travel!

Along the way I also transited via Qatar.

Qatar Airways jet taking off from runway 33 at Doha

And missed my connection back to Australia, giving me an unplanned 24 hour stopover in Doha.

Doha skyline stretches across the bay

The end result – my spin off blog Euro Gunzel – An Australian railfan in Europe.


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: January 2013”

  1. Steve Gelsi says:

    There used to be an ad for the SEC back in the day where commuters were pushing the tram – ‘where would you be without the SEC?’ – as well as football going on with miners hats. Can’t find it on YouTube but there is a complementary ad that hasn’t aged well with references to large brown coal supplies!

  2. Liam says:

    Myki itself appears to have closed state-wide. Readers are displaying “Out of Order”, with a red ring around the display. This has been the case for the last hour and is now reported elsewhere.

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