Photos from last week

The hi fi box was a big hit with my niece (and nephew)
The box is a hit with my neice

Having obtained a government-provided “boarding pass” (they were handed out with some MXs — I missed out but managed to get one via Kev, who saved it for me), I went searching for the airport rail link. Strangely enough it wasn’t listed on the network status board.
Searching for the Airport rail link

A while back I bought some shirts from that Charles Tyrwhitt mob who advertise a lot. Pretty nice shirts, and I’ll probably buy more from them. One thing’s for sure though, they WILL send you promotional catalogues and emails afterwards. You won’t feel neglected.
Charles Tyrwhitt promotional mail

The channel 7 news the night following the Endeavour Hills stabbing. You know things are serious when they’re doing five live crosses for one story.
Live crosses following Endeavour Hills stabbing

Just a bunch of trams rolling down the road? Not quite — if you look closely, they’re going the wrong way, heading north along the southbound track. They were headed by a Yarra Trams car with flashing lights. There was an underground fire at the corner of William Street and Flinders Lane, and Yarra Trams decided to move the trams backwards rather than have them stuck for an indefinite period. For reasons that escape me, this is known in tram circles as running “bang road”, and is rare enough that Marcus Wong shot video of it.
Trams running backwards up William Street

For some months now this signage at Bentleigh station (and others with more than 2 platforms) has been incomplete. Despite repeated queries over several months via Twitter, it hasn’t been fixed. (I’ve been querying Metro, though they apparently need to chat to PTV to get it resolved.)
Incomplete signage, Bentleigh station

Here’s how packed some CBD trams can get — really testing the new E-class trams’ theoretical capacity. Now, how packed will it be from January when free CBD tram rides are introduced? Packed enough, I suspect, that I told a PTV survey person several weeks ago that, in all honesty, the change is likely to reduce my use of CBD trams — remembering that I have a Yearly Myki, so if I opt-out due to increased crowding, my paid rides will have been replaced by freeloaders.
Packed CBD tram

Spotted in Bourke Street one lunchtime.
'Lies' #EWLink

Seddon and Yarraville both have campaigns against paid parking on at the moment. I’ve gotta say, having had the need to drive to both recently, and having spent ages (particularly in Yarraville) looking for parking, I think I’d prefer having a price signal to discourage people from staying longer than necessary and/or to go without their cars (both centres are quite well served by public transport).
No Paid Parking campaign, Seddon

Lois Lane in Yarraville. No sign of Superman. Or Clark Kent, for that matter.
Lois Lane, Yarraville

On the western suburbs train lines, there’s only a service every 40 minutes on Sunday mornings. This is the result: the 10am train from Footscray to the city, packed to the gills. The Show is on, but even after North Melbourne, plenty of people stayed on board going into the CBD. Not every square centimetre of floorspace was occupied, but it’s not good enough when the rail system has plenty of spare capacity, and should be trying to attract extra trips. High time extra trains ran on Sunday mornings.
Werribee line, Sunday morning. Trains 40 minutes apart.

Both South Yarra and Footscray have six platforms. Sadly only one of them has live information on the concourse for all six platforms.
South Yarra station concourse
Footscray station concourse

In the past few days rubbish bins have been removed at Melbourne’s major railway stations. Apparently the transparent design wasn’t considered secure enough. Here’s what they looked like. (I snapped this pic last week to email in to Crikey, whose people had apparently never seen/noticed them. Crikey didn’t use it, but The Age did.)
Transparent rubbish bins, Flagstaff station

Old photos from September 2004

Another in my series of posts of ten year old photos: some snaps from September 2004… I don’t seem to have many of interest this month, but oh well.

Collins Street and Elizabeth Street, a snap not used in this blog post. Trams were turning around here for a special event up ahead for Olympians returning from the 2004 Games in Athens. In some ways it hasn’t changed much, but there’s a big tram superstop at this spot now; no more narrow “safety-zone”.
Collins and Elizabeth Streets, September 2004

Riding my bike in the backyard, for this blog post. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden the bike — not helped by the lack of bike lanes around here. And I still have that ugly stripy t-shirt. I think that might date back to the 80s — perhaps one of the last Australian-made t-shirts ever manufactured, and it’s as tough as nails; it just won’t die.
On my bicycle, September 2004

My then-local station Murrumbeena. The train shown is gradually losing its “Moving Melbourne” M>Train colours. The signal looks rusty and ancient… if it hasn’t yet been replaced, no doubt it will as part of the Dandenong rail upgrade.
Train at Murrumbeena, September 2004

Steamrail K190 at Caulfield on 12/9/2004, marking 150 years of railways in Victoria. We then boarded the train, and I didn’t remember where it went, but apparently it was through the city to Sunshine and back (lots more photos there).
Steamrail train at Caulfield 12/9/2004

…I also shot this very brief video:

Some pics from the past week

Lego MCG at Myer toy department, Emporium
Lego MCG

Lego MCG

If you try to steal this tram seat, it could get messy.
Tram seat

Flowerpots. Many flowerpots. At Gazi, the modern Greek restaurant in the old Herald Sun building.
Flower pots

Lots of these ads around the place at the moment. What is it? Some kind of big survey thing run by advertising company J C Decaux. If you’re wondering, the Morse code says “Are you in”.
Pigeon project

Sacrilege. But thought-provoking.
Do not spit

Oh. Good morning.
Horse

Apparently there’s a train to the airport in three minutes, if only I can find platform 11.
Airport train

Spotted in Collingwood. Must go back when I have more time.
Forgotten Worlds, Johnston St. Need to come back here when I have more time.

Photos from August 2004

Continuing my series of ten year old photos… This month there’s a few domestic pics thrown into the mix.

This is the view out onto St Kilda Road from the National Gallery of Victoria, one rainy afternoon. Quite arty, isn’t it. The photo I mean, not just the gallery.
View out of the National Gallery of Victoria, August 2004

The pedestrian bridge over the Yarra, back when there weren’t gazillions of padlocks on the wires. Looks like the Eureka Tower was still under construction. (Wikipedia reckons it was built between 2002 and 2006.)
Yarra pedestrian bridge, August 2004

The entrance to the Degraves Street subway aka the Campbell Arcade to Flinders Street station. Most of the shops in the subway have got a bit more hipster since then. The background has changed a bit — no giant tram Superstop back then.
Flinders Street, subway to station, August 2004

Flinders Street station clock tower opposite Elizabeth Street. Hasn’t changed much.
Flinders Street Station tower, August 2004

Richmond station: a Siemens train, then in very plain colours, arrives. I think they were still coming into service at this point, and Connex had only just taken over M>Train’s routes, so liveries and so on were probably in limbo.

Glenhuntly station’s resident pigeon feeder in action. He used to bring an enormous amount of bird food, which of course led to an enormous amount of bird poo on the platform. Some years later, one of the station hosts subsequently told me he’d passed away. A smiley-faced former M>Train is heading to Frankston.
Glenhuntly station, August 2004

Moving to domestic matters, the rental house we had in Carnegie from 2003-2005 had a big backyard. Here it is one winter’s morning, with frost on the grass. The trampoline’s been put on its side to reduce the moisture getting onto it. In the two years we lived there, I never touched the vegie patch. Being a big block, close to Carnegie’s shops and railway station, the site is ripe for redevelopment — a quick Google shows it sold for $805,000 in May 2013.
The back garden, August 2004

This was the garden shed/car port at Carnegie. When I moved out, the agent optimistically described it as a lock-up garage — it didn’t lock. It was pretty ramshackle. I never kept the car in it, myself — at the time I had the Magna, which would have been uncomfortably tight. Most of the crap in it wasn’t mine, though I did own the discarded red noticeboard and the TV antenna which I’d bought for the previous flat.
My shed, August 2004

Lunch for myself and the kids, ready to go. The small boxes must have been Play Lunch. Hmm, chocolate muesli bars, not a particularly healthy choice, and I guess I’m to blame for that.
Packed lunch, August 2004

Here’s an interesting find. Taken at work (well, at a client site) by then-colleague Linda, we were just about to have cake for my birthday. At the time I had a lot less grey hair, wore a tie (stopped in 2011), and obviously wore the phone (a Nokia 6100) and its (wired) hands-free kit, along with an ID card and key hanging from my belt. I think that’s another colleague’s desk/computer in the background, but mine would have been similar (less tidy, probably). Another colleague, Gary, is evidently keen to get into the cake, and on the far right is John, who passed-away in 2007.
Daniel at work, August 2004

Update Sunday 17/8/2014: Since Michelle wanted to see the cake, here it is:
Daniel's birthday cake, 2004

Some photos from July 2004

Another in my series of old photos from ten years ago

In 2004 the situation with crowded trains hadn’t really hit as a big political problem, which is why it took until 2006 for the government to decide not to scrap all the Hitachi trains after all, but expand the fleet. It was certainly occurring at that point however, and I snapped this photo one morning at Richmond. I was particularly pleased with it — it conveys the sense of frustration from passengers really well.
Crowded train, Richmond, July 2004
[Another pic from that same morning]

At Southbank there used to be a regular display from a group called Chalk Circle… one day I found that had this image of The Goodies.
The Goodies, chalk art at Melbourne Southbank, July 2004
[Original blog post]

They’re a common hazard now, but chuggers were around even back then:
Chuggers at Southbank, July 2004

The view looking west along the Yarra. Despite it being almost 20 years since trains ran over the Sandridge bridge, it still looked like a rail bridge. It’s only in recent years that it’s been fully renovated and made available to the public again.
Looking west along the Yarra, July 2004

Jeremy using the computer at home (see another view here). Note the floppy drive. In the foreground is a Harry Potter DVD — I’d ordered it from Amazon UK because in Australia at the time you couldn’t buy the widescreen version.
Jeremy using the computer, July 2004

By way of a bulk sale of their Summertown CD, my mate Tony organised a private concert in his house of Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier. [Original blog post]
Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier, July 2004