Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from April 2008

It's the last day of April, so here's my monthly post of photos from ten years ago. Early April 2008 seems to have been busy. I had this opinion piece published on the ABC web site, in relation to the then-just published Eddington "East West Link Needs Assessment": An unhealthy dose of bitumen for Melbourne (I'll fess up: some of the writing style doesn't look like mine, so I'm betting my

The week in transport

Pre-budget week

There's been a flurry of pre-budget announcements in the world of PT. Hurstbridge line works extended by a week as they grapple with signalling issues on the rebuilt section of track. Apparently it's down to compatibility issues between new signalling equipment and old. This was announced on Tuesday afternoon. Amazingly, almost 24 hours later, PTV's generally excellent weekly disruptions ema


The bus to F/Staff Stat via Royal Bot Gdns

There are undoubted challenges to writing information that has to fit into a limited space. Here's one I noticed recently where perhaps they haven't got the balance quite right. Bus route 605 was recently changed at its City end, to run via the Botanic Gardens, Southbank and Queen Street to Flagstaff Station, instead of the old route via Flinders, Queen, Lonsdale and Exhibition Streets.

driving, Toxic Custard newsletter

Car sizes, and safety: New vs used

I mentioned last year I was thinking about upgrading my car, which is frequently unused during the week, but still needed on occasions. Car share hasn't reached our area yet. Buying cars is not something I do lightly. In 18 years of driving, I've only owned two vehicles: a 1993 Magna (owned 2000-2008), and a 2000 Astra (owned 2008-). Like any shopping, for something big or small, I agonise o


Skyrail part 2: Clayton station open

The new Clayton station opened this morning, and I went down to take a look. The design is very similar to Noble Park, which opened in February. A ramp just west of the station (and Clayton Road) brings the trains up onto the elevated section. From there, the track is entirely elevated as far as Centre Road, where it then drops back down to ground level before reaching Westall station.

Health, Toxic Custard newsletter


Everybody gets floaters to some extent, apparently. Little artefacts, interference in your eyesight. Floating blobs. In the last couple of months I've been getting more of them than before, particularly in bright light. Official advice says this is common in people as they get older, and is likely to be either the vitreous humour slightly pulling away from the retina (not so bad) or retin


Caulfield to Rowville tram – the need for speed

Well, this is a bit out of the blue. Since at least 1969 they've been talking about a (heavy) rail line from Huntingdale via Monash Uni to Rowville. Today it turns out the State Government is proposing a tram line instead. Age: New tram line planned to run from Caulfield to Rowville via Chadstone State Government: New Tram To Connect Cityโ€™s South-East Would it work? It's been long


Trains: has there been progress in ten years?

Sometimes it's easy to be cynical. Progress in public transport can be slow. But there is some progress. I found this from May 2007 -- it was an email from me to a local politician who had asked about public transport issues in the southern suburbs of Melbourne. I'll intersperse my original points with some comments about progress in the past ten years. This focuses mostly on the Franksto

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Southern Cross renamed back to Spencer Street

I wrote years ago that it was stupid to throw away 145 years of brand recognition when they renamed Spencer Street station to Southern Cross. Good news - it turns out they've just named it back! This is a great idea. The name "Southern Cross" is meaningless. "Spencer Street" is meaningful, it tells you where the station is located. Perhaps they've been planning this for a while.