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

Old photos from June 2004

Yep, it’s June, so time again for another batch of my old photos from ten years ago.

It seems that for some reason I didn’t take very many photos in June 2004.

A Hitachi train pulls out of Richmond station. Note the markings of the then five-years defunct PTC on the shelter glass. Other than that, it hasn’t changed much.
Hitachi train pulls into Richmond station, June 2004

Up until that point, red (emergency) and green (next train) buttons hadn’t been provided at Richmond, despite having been deployed at most stations almost ten years earlier. Around then, they decided to install them.
Richmond station green/red buttons not yet commissioned, June 2004

For a day or two, they were filming an advertisement at the kids’ school — we think it was for the Cancer Council, on being sun smart. For some reason, they felt the old main school building’s red bricks weren’t good enough, so brought along their own brick wall. I’ve had a quick look; haven’t yet found the ad online anywhere.
Filming in the school yard, June 2004

Back when you could get SMS alerts for train cancellations — they ran from 2001 to 2013 — here’s one from then operator Connex, on my old Nokia phone of the time.
Connex train SMS alert, June 2004

Finally, this is what my desk at home looked like in 2004 — the photo was taken for this post, which has pop-up captions. The computer (a Gateway, from when they still traded in Australia) I’d got back in 2000. Almost everything beige/grey in the photo has been traded for black — including the desk.
My desk at home, June 2004

Photos from May 2004

Another in my series of photos from ten years ago.

The Nylex sign worked for years, inspiring Paul Kelly’s song Leaps And Bounds. I caught it at 11 degrees (and in the month of May, too), as in the lyrics of that song. In 2005-06 they tried to get it working with an upgrade, but seem to have given up now.
Eleven degrees

I took the kids down to Port Melbourne one day to see the Rainbow Warrior (the second one), Greenpeace’s ship which was visiting. I don’t think we actually had a look on board — from memory it was quite busy, and we hadn’t booked. But it was good fun to look around the pier.
Rainbow Warrior, Port Melbourne, May 2004

2004 was the year we got the XBox. One of the initial games I got for it was Midway Arcade Treasures, which included my old favourite Gauntlet. I’d have to say that arcade games aren’t well-suited to modern console controllers, which are no good for mashing the buttons (high-speed repeatedly presses) — particularly a problem in games like Joust, which was also included. For a while the kids enjoyed playing Gauntlet with me.
Playing Gauntlet on the XBox, May 2004

People who haven’t had kids in the last decade or two might not know about indoor playgrounds. I might be wrong, but they seemed to take off in the late-90s, and by 2004 there were lots of them. This is one in Moorabbin. Like all of them, they’re quite fun (even for the adults, sometimes) if not too busy, but when they get crowded, they’re just a feral cacophony of noise. If they’re not too crowded, sometimes adults can enjoy the facilities — in this picture you can also see my stepfather Peter and his daughter Emma sliding down.
Indoor playground, May 2004

I think Tony had let me know this was there — the then Tattersalls office on Dandenong Road had a giant electronic billboard, but on this day it was obviously faulty. In the background is one for the trainspotters: a Comeng train in the M>Train colours (matching the M>Tram scheme seen last month).
Tattersalls head office, faulty electronic billboard, May 2004

Some of my photos from April 2004 – You won’t BELIEVE how similar everything was #clickbait

Continuing my series of posting ten-year-old photos, I was struck by the fact that many of the photos from April 2004 show some things have changed very little.

Traffic in Collins Street, creeping into the tram lanes. Just recently more visible dividers have been added… I suspect they help, but don’t completely prevent cars on the tracks.
Tram in traffic, Collins Street approaching Spring Street (March 2004)

Spirit of Tasmania, seen from South Melbourne Beach. Looking closely, it might be Spirit of Tasmania II. According to Wikipedia, it seems both I and II were built in 1998, and originally served connecting Greece with Italy, though it seems II was involved in a fatal accident in 1999, some years before being brought to Australia.
Spirit of Tasmania, from South Melbourne Beach (March 2004)

Who remembers the M>Tram livery? A little garish perhaps, but in some ways not so different to the new PTV livery. And I did like the “Moving Melbourne” slogan.
Tram at terminus of Route 1 South Melbourne, in M>Tram colours (March 2004)

Flinders Street Station, as seen from Southbank. Thanks to height limits around Swanston Street, I’m not even sure the skyline from this angle has changed very much.
Flinders Street Station, from Southbank (March 2004)

Interior of a Hitachi train — odds on it’s one of those scrapped in the mid-2000s, as only about 7 are still around (and not in service at present). Obviously this wasn’t a busy service — the timestamp says it was 9:14am on Wednesday 14th April 2004.
Hitachi train interior (March 2004)

Being interviewed for ABC TV News on 18th April — this was the day Connex took over the entire metropolitan rail network.
Daniel being interviewed for ABC TV News, 18/4/2004

…unfortunately the Connex banner at Caulfield decided to rebel against its new overlords.
"Welcome to nnex" - Connex takes over from M>Train, 18/4/2004

Traffic in Collins Street near Swanston Street. Yep, not changed much. If you want to move quickly in this area, don’t bring a motor vehicle.
Traffic in Collins St, near Swanston St (March 2004)

Photos from March 2004

Continuing my series of ten year old photos

The serene setting of Caulfield South Primary School, where my kids went. Like many schools of that era, the original main building is lovely, and conceals the portable classrooms out the back.
Caulfield South Primary School (March 2004)

The old Elizabeth Street tram stop on Collins Street, westbound. It’s not hard to see why they’ve rebuilt these stops into platform stops, for safety and to speed up loading, as well as providing accessible stops — though some of the old safety zones still exist, particularly on William Street and Latrobe Street.
Collins Street at Elizabeth Street, tram stop (March 2004)

Still one of my best photos of Punt Road traffic, taken from Richmond Station above. Also a reminder that they often call for road expansion to help freight move more efficiently, but the bulk of traffic on the road is single-person cars.
Punt Road traffic (March 2004)

Trams queued at the Swanston Street superstop outside Flinders Street Station. Despite it being almost five years since privatisation, there were still quite a few trams in The Met green livery, though at the front of the queue is one in the M>Tram colours… M>Tram by this point had actually pulled out, and in April would be taken over by Yarra Trams.
Trams queued in Swanston Street at Flinders Street (March 2004)

A monolith of art deco in the foreground, while in the background is Michael Schumacher on the big Bourke/Swanston billboard, advertising the Grand Prix or mobile phones or something. Further back a building is under construction — it might be the BHP Billiton headquarters on Lonsdale Street? I think this photo was taken out the back of a Collins Street building where I worked at the time.
Melbourne city skyline (March 2004)

My old “bathtub on wheels” Magna in the driveway in Carnegie, the day the out-of-control bush at the front of my house decided to pull down the telephone cable. At least, I think it was the telephone… hopefully not the power.
Cable pulled down by bush (March 2004)

Melbourne city skyline, this time seen from the river. A few buildings going up in the background.
Melbourne city skyline from the river (March 2004)

I posted about this at the time, but down at Southbank for a while was this chalk art of Doctor Who, including portraits of the first eight Doctors. The new series had just been announced, and I think a few weeks later they added Christropher Eccleston to the work.
Doctor Who pavement art, Southbank (March 2004)