Photos from ten years ago: August 2013

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

Regional Rail Link

Work on the Regional Rail Link project was continuing, with the new track connections to the North Melbourne flyover taking shape to separate V/Line and suburban trains.

Work continues on the headshunt beneath the RRL Bypass Tracks towards the flyover

The launching truss was also in place at the new Maribyrnong River bridge.

Launching truss in place across the river

Forming a third pair of tracks between North Melbourne and Footscray.

Looking east towards the river bridge, much of the approach embankment still be created

Including a flyover outside Footscray to swap the position of the V/Line and Werribee line track pairs.

Down Werribee train passes beneath the new RRL viaduct outside Footscray

At Footscray station work continued on the expanded station concourse.

Roof framework for the new Irving Street entrance

With two new platforms being built on the north side of the station, to allow V/Line and suburban trains to be separated.

Putting on the roof of the new station building on the future up suburban platform

The bridge at the west end of the station was also being widened for the extra pair of tracks.

Siemens departs Footscray on the down, passing RRL works at Nicholson Street

As well through the cutting towards Middle Footscray.

VLocity 3VL26 and classmate on the up at Middle Footscray

The first stage of Regional Rail Link between the city and Footscray opened in July 2014, with the project completed in June 2015.

Car parking – cheap at twice the price

At North Williamstown station a $530,000 car park upgrade had just been completed.

$530,000 car park upgrade completed at North Williamstown station

The gravel forecourt being turned into an asphalt car park with 50 spaces.

Marooned children's playground at North Williamstown after the railway car park was upgraded

Another screw up by V/Line

In mid-2013 V/Line discovered cracked bogies beneath their fleet of 1950s-era locomotive hauled carriages, which also happened to be the only wheelchair accessible carriages in their long distance fleet.

BZN265 and classmate in storage at Newport Workshops with cracked bogies

A total of 22 carriages were impacted by the bogie cracks, with 13 returned to service by June 2014 when new bogies were sourced, the last finally fixed by the end of 2016. Fast forward to today, and the carriages are now retired.

Touring Melbourne’s train control centre

I somehow managed to wrangle a tour of ‘Metrol‘ – Melbourne’s train control centre.

Metro branded 'Metrol' sign on the front door

Inside train controllers were busy directing trains across the network.

Overview of the main floor at Metrol

Each controller being responsible for one part of the network.

Northern Area Controller's panel at Metrol

With an array of screens showing the location of trains, and a control panel to set which route they would take.

Western Area Controller's panel at Metrol

And next door was the shiny new Train Control and Monitoring System room – ready to go, but not yet in everyday use.

New Train Control and Monitoring System (TCMS) ready to go, but not yet in everyday use

But there was one low tech system still in use – stringline graphs.

Train graph

Depicting the timetabled services running on each line, the hand drawn annotations show where ad-hoc changes needed to be made following delays and disruptions.

Close up detail of a Melbourne suburban line train graph, with ad-hoc alterations made by a Metrol train controller


On Queens Bridge I found a Melbourne Free Visitor Shuttle bus.

Melbourne Free Visitor Shuttle  bus 1059AO crosses Queens Bridge

A victim of competition from the Free Tram Zone, the City of Melbourne finally killed off the service in August 2017.


A decade ago there were still no platform tram stops on Elizabeth Street.

Z3.229 northbound at Bourke and Elizabeth Street

They were finally built in late-2013.

And the B1 class ‘light rail vehicles’ were still in service.

B1.2002 westbound on route 86 along Bourke Street at Spencer

They were eventually withdrawn in 2016, following a farewell tour.

The clunky old Z1 class trams were also still kicking around.

Z1.86 northbound at Swanston and Bourke Streets

They were also withdrawn in 2016, having also had their own farewell tour.

And finally, the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant was still trunding around the streets of Melbourne.

SW6.935 leads the trio of Colonial Tramcar Restaurant trams to arrive back at Whiteman Street

The service last ran in October 2018, when Yarra Trams banned the fleet of the network citing safety concerns.

Stupid motorists

I found this old man driving down through the tram stop on Swanston Street – did he think his beat up Mercedes Benz was a bike?

Confused old man drives down the Swanston Street bike lane at the Bourke Street stop

While this motorist figured they could actually take their Toorak Tractor off road, and decided that instead of squeezing out of the bike line, driving off the edge would be quicker.

Motorist realises they can't get any further down the Swanston Street bike lane at the Bourke Street stop

And the cost of living

A decade ago you could travel anywhere in Melbourne on a weekend for just $3.50.

PTV advertising for '$3.50 weekend travel' on the front of a tram

But fast forward to today – public transport fares are now $10 a day, which on weekends is discounted to ‘just’ $7.20.


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

Liked it? Take a second to support Marcus Wong on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: August 2013”

  1. Andrew P says:

    B.2001 had multiple farewell tours. The second (and final) tour was on 12 November 2017, not 2016 as you have stated.

  2. Andrew P says:

    Appropriate you have mentioned the old girl today, as she is currently sitting at the New Preston loading ramp, future unknown.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *