transport

State Budget 2016

Wednesday's State Budget has a lot of good rail projects funded. It seems the State Government is serious about upgrading the rail network to cope for the future. Going through the press release and also the Budget Papers (Budget Paper 3 "Service Delivery" has always been my favourite; it has all the juicy stuff in transport), I've tried to summarise the new spending below... hopefully I haven'

Toxic Custard newsletter, Travel

A day in Maldon

A day (and night) in the countryside began by heading out of Melbourne in the car. I learnt a lesson on the way, somewhere near Sunshine: if you're going to try and overtake (well, "undertake") a truck on the left from a standing start, be at the front of the queue at the lights AND have plenty of space. The lane ended sooner than I thought, and the cars in front took off slowly. Thankfully the

Toxic Custard newsletter, Travel

A week in Singapore

In a couple of months I'm going to Singapore for a week, for my cousin's wedding. Any recommendations? Things to see and do? (The wedding itself is on Sentosa Island, at one of the resorts.) It's been ages since I've been overseas. What's the best way to organise mobile/data coverage? What's the shopping like? Is it like some Asian cities where you can find good cheap suits? Hmm, what

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from April 2006

Another in my series of old photos from ten years ago... One night while driving across town I decided to snap some pictures around the docks. It was only after I stopped the car and took a few photos that I realised how dodgy it probably looked. A panoramic view along Spencer Street, outside Southern Cross Station. Note the lack of Media House on the left. And the whole area seems

transport

The new improved Preston tram depot

Back in September 2010, the then-Brumby government announced an $807 million investment in new trams and infrastructure: Dandenong based company Bombardier will design, construct and maintain 50 new low floor trams for Melbourne as part of an $807.6 million investment by the Brumby Labor Government including a new tram maintenance and storage depot at Preston. This was an upgrade to the exis

Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter, TV, Video games

The Old Bill

I used to love The Bill, way back when it was a cop show with a sense of realism, rather than a full-on soapie. The episodes I enjoyed the most, season 4 (from 1988) are currently airing on the ABC, in the middle of the day (around 3pm, and again the next morning around 5am). I've got my PVR recording them and I'm checking to see if any memorable episodes pop-up that I want to watch again. B

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Bourke/Spencer tram stop not fit for purpose

If ever you want to see what the priorities really are, look at the resources they're given. At this tram stop -- Bourke/Spencer Street westbound -- the few in cars have clearly been prioritised over the many in trams. While passengers are squashed into a narrow pathway, motor vehicles (if any turn up) are given two spacious lanes. Who on earth designed this tram stop? And who approved

music, Toxic Custard newsletter

Multi-room music (and Star Wars)

Star Wars episode seven is officially out today on DVD and Blu-ray, but I managed to buy it yesterday -- some shops with a name starting with Big and ending in W jumped the gun, as did some with the initials J and B, apparently, though the large W establishment is selling it for $23 (on Blu-ray), which seemed like a pretty good price. It had been available on iTunes and other digital servic

Film, Toxic Custard newsletter, TV

Video shops are dead – but streaming video ain’t perfect

Let's see if I can go a whole week without writing a blog post about level crossings. Video shops are dead. For a while there was one (or more) in every suburb. Where I live now in Bentleigh there were at least two. Even Glenhuntly, where I lived in the late-90s, had two. They were close enough that mostly, I could walk to them. M's house in Footscray was the exception -- the video shops aro

driving, Morons on the road, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

The Montague Street bridge strikes again

It used to be that the fashionable bridge for high vehicles to crash into was the Spencer/Flinders Street rail overpass -- eleven hits in five years. But it's been usurped by the Montague Street tram bridge. At lunchtime on Tuesday I went down to have a look. Certainly no shortage of warnings signs. In this view alone I count four, plus the stripy guard barrier in front of the bridge: