Photos from ten years ago: March 2014

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is March 2014.

A few things new on the trams

A decade ago route 57 was my local tram route, and one night I heard something different clattering down the road – a brand new E class tram on test.

Headed east on Williamson Road, after leaving the reserved track

So I got in the car and chased it down the line, snaking around the reserved track of Maribyrnong until it reached the route 82 terminus at Footscray.

E.6002 on a test run, sitting in the platform stop at Footscray

A decade ago I was also still commuting to the CBD for work, when I found some brand new yellow plastic kerbing in place along the Collins Street tram tracks.

Yellow plastic kerbing in place along the Collins Street tram tracks

Intended to make life difficult for motorists driving over the tram tracks, they didn’t seem to deter the nuffies who drive taxis in Melbourne.

Another taxi driver on Collins Street undeterred by the new plastic kerbs along the tracks

Continuing to block the tram tracks and make u-turns as they please.

Taxi driver on Collins Street undeterred by the new plastic kerbs along the tracks

A problem not addressed until 2020 when the yellow plastic strips were replaced with hard concrete ones – and reducing vehicle-to-tram collisions by around 30 per cent.

And on the trains

A decade ago a new style of door handle was first trialled on the aging Comeng trains.

New style of door handle on trial on Comeng carriage 1097T

Eventually rolled out to the entire fleet, but in 2024 an even more secure emergency door release system on the cusp of being rolled out – just in time for the Comeng trains to be retired!

More clueless drivers

Occasionally trams need to turn back before their usual terminus, with one of these crossovers being the Maribyrnong River crossover on Maribyrnong Road, Ascot Vale.

Unfortunately this motorist didn’t realise the tram in front wanted to come back the other way – perhaps forgivable, given it’s an infrequent occurrence.

Driver of Z3.194 jumps out to throw the Maribyrnong River crossover on Maribyrnong Road

Meanwhile this driver of a Queensland registered car didn’t know what to do on Swanston Street when the road ran out, so decided to drive along the bike lane instead.

Queensland registered car driving north up the Swanston Street bike lane

But this taxi driver should’ve known better – the tram driver going DING DING DING but the driver still decided to sneak down the tram tracks.

Tram driver goes DING DING DING as the taxi driver guns it down the Swanston Street tram tracks

And this even stupider driver deciding to driving advice from a taxi driver, and follow them.

Confused motorist also decided to follow the taxi through the Swanston and Bourke tram stop

Another ‘professional’ driver was behind the wheel of this delivery van, who also decided to drive down the Swanston Street tram stop.

Van driver heads south through the Swanston and Bourke Street tram stop

But unlike all the other clueless drivers this month, they didn’t get away with it – Victoria Police officers pulled them over afterwards.

Victoria Police officers on bike patrol talk to the van that drove through a Swanston Street tram stop

Over to Moonee Ponds

Here we see the old Moonee Ponds Junction tram stop, with route 82 passengers forced to cross multiple roads to reach the narrow ‘safety zone’ tram stop on the other side of the intersection.

B2.2091 on route 59 passes Z3.137 on route 82 at Moonee Ponds Junction

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

Also nearby I found a route bus operated by Moonee Valley Coaches.

Moonee Valley Coaches #81 rego 2259AO departs Moonee Ponds Junction on a route 506 service

They continued operating two bus routes from Moonee Ponds towards Brunswick until March 2024, when the routes were sold to much larger bus operator Dyson Group.

And Southern Cross Station

March 2014 saw some more retail outlets being added to Southern Cross Station – this time on the Bourke Street Bridge.

Work continues on a retail pod on the Bourke Street Bridge

But the congestion on the streets around the station – zero attention being paid there!

Citybound pedestrians queue back onto Spencer Street due to the narrow footpath on Collins Street

Just Grand Prix merchandise stalls to make matters worse!

Grand Prix season means temporary merchandise stalls blocking access to the station

But this hoarding on the Collins Street concourse had something different hiding behind it.

Something else getting built on the Collins Street concourse

A big hole with a massive cage of reinforcing bar at the bottom.

Massive cage of reinforcing bar being constructed on the Collins Street concourse

So what was it?

I didn’t find out until a few months later.

Footnote

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

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8 Responses to “Photos from ten years ago: March 2014”

  1. jon says:

    And here we are a decade later and route 57 is still operated by Z class…

  2. indigohex3 says:

    Just a reference to the change in bus operators, about a month before Dysons took over routes 503 and 506, the routes that were previously operated by MorelandBus (510 and 512) were taken over by Kinetic Melbourne. And even though Kinetic operates the metropolitian bus franchise (which ends in 2031), the two routes that were acquired by Kinetic are up next year and are NOT part of the metropolitian bus franchise, just like the routes that were previously operated by Moonee Valley.

    Some people believe that this has something to do with the routes being up for renewal next year (note that some are up in 2028, while those operated by MorelandBus and Moonee Valley were up next year). Do you think this has anything to do with it?

    • Marcus Wong says:

      I suspect it’s a case of the small bus operators knowing they have no hope of getting one of the upcoming bus franchises, so were happy to take any money they could get for the current operations.

  3. Andrew Cee says:

    In all my times in Swanston Street, I’ve once seen a motorist being redirected by police. I’ve never seen anyone fined. I’ve never seen any police deal with cars entering blocked intersections at Collins and Elizabeth, Latrobe and William and Collins and King Street and I forget which intersection. These aren’t dangerous matters but they lead to a general disobeyance of traffic laws. Do Not Enter, Tram Only and one that shouldn’t be needed, Do Not Block the Intersection.

    Hard edging tram tracks with a vehicle damaging raised concrete barriers is a no brainer. An anecdote for you; In the late 70s a large German born woman had a brief stint as a South Melbourne Depot tram driver. In one day Ingrid hit three cars in separate incidents in Collins Street because they were obstructing her tram. While exchanging details with them, she soundly abused them for their stupidity.

    I haven’t looked for a while. Is the lovely So Cross clock still spoilt by crass advertising?

    While I am used to it now, I stumbled as I entered an E Class for the first time however many years ago. I was not prepared for the slight floor ramp, nor was I when I left the tram. Maybe something that might interest you to research, why are the E Class doors all peeling their vinyl and look so shabby?

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