Old photos from May 2007

Another in my series of ten year old photos.

If you drive out of the car park at Southland, down the ramp from the 2nd level, near the railway line, you may have noticed that there’s a sign there saying to “Give way to pedestrains“. Evidently it’s been that way for at least ten years. Late in 2017 it’ll finally make sense: “pedestrains” are obviously pedestrians walking to the railway station about to open at last.
Southland shopping centre sign typo

Ah, back in the days when Connex ran the rails.
Age headline: Connex fined

This was at Skateworld in Mordialloc. Evidently it had been taken off a train – I’m guessing it’s old Comeng seating, though the seat cushions had been changed.
Ex-train seat at Skateworld in Mordialloc

“Worst fares in Australia”! This was a splash resulting from a PTUA study comparing fares around Australia for different distances into the CBD, which showed that in most (but not all) cases, Melbourne’s were highest. With the 2015 cut for long-distance fares, it’s changed a bit since then.
Age headline: Worst fares in Australia

Here’s the graph for single fares — the thick blue line is Melbourne:
Single fare comparison 2007

And another was done that included a handful of world cities — adjusted for Australian dollars:
International fare comparison 2007

Finally, this was before the wholesale disposal of CRT televisions started. I think the message here is: don’t buy a “Konka” television.
Konka TV dumped

Old photos from April 2007

Another in my series of ten year old photos.

The old Olympic Doughnuts caravan, well before the shops along Irving Street were demolished to make way for additional station platforms.
Olympic Doughnuts, Footscray, April 2007

Footscray station snapped from the old (uncovered, ancient) overpass. This is platform 1, which has now become platform 3.
Footscray Station, April 2007

Despite The Met having been long since gone, this sign still survived as a guide to which buses departed Footscray from where. In summary: they’re all over there.
"The Met" bus routes sign, Footscray Station, April 2007

Footscray bus interchange. It’s still pretty much the length of Paisley Street (a not-very-handy 3-5 minute walk from the station, whose major renovation a few years ago didn’t touch the bus stops). The biggest difference is that these days most of the buses are decorated in PTV orange.
Footscray bus interchange, April 2007

The PTUA Office is rarely staffed nowadays, but is still in Ross House in Flinders Lane. From time to time, space became available in the window, and we’d decorate it with our propaganda. I don’t know how many members we ever got from it, but I guess you’ve gotta try. (Want to support PTUA? Join Now.)
PTUA display at Ross House, April 2007

V/Line Sprinter trains at Southern Cross Station.
Southern Cross Station, April 2007

It might be hard to believe, but the old tram stop at Spencer and Bourke Streets was even worse than the one that’s there now. The exit was constricted (though only with barriers on one side, so at least people could spread out if there was no tram present). But no platform, virtually no shelter, and not enough capacity for more than one tram.
Spencer and Bourke Streets, April 2007

Bourke Street Mall during the Comedy Festival. I see there’s an Armaguard van parked there. Nothing changes.
Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne, April 2007

Free Hugs in Swanston Street. Does that still happen anymore? Note the “3 Mobile” shop sign — they merged with Vodafone in 2009. There’s also a tram Passenger Information Display — at the time, this was still the northbound tram stop.
Free hugs in Swanston Street, Melbourne, April 2007

This scene hasn’t changed: pedestrians crossing at Flinders Lane against the traffic, despite the oncoming cars. (Snapped for this blog post.)
Flinders Lane, Melbourne, April 2007

A walk along the river. Perhaps the skyline has changed a bit.
Melbourne, April 2007

Ormond: the Stacks Of Slax shop made famous by The Late Show was finally closing down. Nowadays the left hand side has been painted over, so all that’s left is “Of Slax.”
Stacks Of Slax, Ormond, April 2007

“Evict Connex!” said the protest banners. I don’t think it worked, as Connex got their contract renewed in August 2007 until November-2009. After that though, they got replaced by Metro Trains Melbourne.
Anti-Connex Trains protest, 12 April 2007

Yes, even back in 2007 I was narked off by motorists blocking pedestrian crossings.
Blocking the pedestrian crossing, April 2007

Finally, the fare gates in the Campbell Arcade underneath Flinders Street Station seemed to be left open a lot of the time. The year before, I’d documented it and turned it into a PTUA call for them to staff the gates properly, and a Herald Sun article based on that. Connex hadn’t listened, and continued to prefer to give fare evaders an easy time. Also notably, the number of gates hasn’t been increased despite crowding at peak times.
Flinders Street Station - Campbell Arcade, April 2007

Old photos from March 2007

Another in my series of ten year old photos: March 2007.

Smartbus advertising at Caulfield station. It was nice to see them promoting the frequent service, but there was only one problem: it wasn’t true. The Smartbus serving Caulfield (route 900) has never been better than every 15 minutes in peak. (And really, the frequency/radio thing is a bit lame.)
Smartbus advertising (March 2007)

The Town Hall tram stop in Collins Street. Yes, even back then, the entrance ramp was a bottleneck at busy times. Note the canvas roller for the destination displays – these days they’re all LEDs.
Collins Street/Town Hall tram stop (March 2007)
Collins Street/Town Hall tram stop (March 2007)

Train bingo at Richmond – tracks to/from platforms 2, 3, 4 and 5 have trains. Back then, Richmond’s platforms and ramps were largely uncovered. More shelter was added in 2015.
Trains at Richmond (March 2007)

Delays on platform 5 at Flinders Street. As I recall, it was a stinking hot day.
Delays on platform 5 at Flinders St (May 2007)

Glenhuntly station, then my local for some days of the week. A Comeng train crosses while a Z3-class tram waits. Despite the current level crossing removal program, this hasn’t changed – trams still wait while trains crawl across.
Tram waits for train, Glenhuntly (March 2007)
Tram waits for train, Glenhuntly (March 2007)

Also Glenhuntly; a Comeng train on platform 2, while a Siemens train arrives on platform 1. The earlier Siemens liveries were pretty ugly, but the Connex version was quite pleasing to the eye, I thought.
Trains at Glenhuntly (March 2007)

The Railway Museum at Williamstown, from a visit that month. Who is, or was Bill Bragg? Presumably not related to Billy Bragg the singer. I don’t know – searching Google didn’t find any answers. Anybody know?
Railway Museum, Williamstown (March 2007)

Also at the Railway Museum. I’ve been visiting since I was a kid. In many ways it hasn’t changed much.
Railway Museum, Williamstown (March 2007)

Flinders Street station; delays on platform 8.
Flinders Street Station (March 2007)

In 2008 I used this photo to compare to an old one from the same angle, and The Age subsequently reprinted them.
Sunday Age 12/10/2008

Another angle at Flinders Street, on the same day, in the mirror.
Flinders Street Station (March 2007)

Back at Glenhuntly, what a surprise, someone is queuing where they shouldn’t.
Glenhuntly; car queuing on level crossing (March 2007)

Something you never see anymore: the marker for a wheelchair to board a 3-car train. 3-car trains were the bane of evening and weekend travellers, resulting in horrible crowding at times. Nowadays they’re almost all 6-cars all the time.
3-car train wheelchair boarding point (March 2007)

Old photos from February 2007

Here’s my regular post of ten year old photos… quite a few this month, and mostly transport-related.

This is then-Opposition Leader, later Premier Ted Baillieu being interviewed by the media about widespread train disruptions at the time, caused by the Siemens train brakes problem reaching crisis point. I recall Age reporter Steve Moynihan (seen here facing away from Baillieu, but no doubt listening in) saying his mum was rapt he’d got several front page stories out of it.
Then Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu addresses media

Large numbers of Siemens trains had been taken out of service, and this combined with strong patronage growth at the time meant many of the remaining trains on the network were at crush load during peak hours. This was the scene at Glenhuntly one Monday morning.
Glenhuntly station - train crowding
Glenhuntly station - train crowding

Following the November 2006 election, the government had postponed the usual January fare rise until March, and in line with their election pledge (which was bipartisan), removed zone 3 as well (or to be precise, merged it with zone 2).
Of course, responding to dissatisfaction about crowding with a price cut for some users, which would logically result in more patronage, may not be the most logical action…
At this time, V/Line fares also dropped by 20%, alongside better timetables as the Regional Fast Rail project was completed. Cheaper fares and more trains resulted in V/Line patronage growth in the years following this.
Removal of zone 3 poster, February 2007

Not all Siemens train were out of service. Here one in the Connex livery approaches Huntingdale station.
Connex train approaching Huntingdale, February 2007

…and this one approaches the boom gates at Bentleigh station. This area all changed in 2016 with the level crossing removal.
Connex train approaching Bentleigh, February 2007

South Yarra station. What is the point of having fare gates if they always leave them unstaffed and open?
South Yarra station

Paramedics wait on the station at South Yarra. Note the open space next to the station – another skyscraper has since filled this space.
Paramedics at South Yarra station

Connex met their December target. I don’t think they were so lucky in January and February.
Connex performance results, December 2006

For some years the PTUA ran a stall at the annual Sustainable Living Festival at Federation Square. Often it could be stinking hot in the tents, and eventually we realised the considerable effort was not getting a huge return in new memberships.
PTUA stand at Sustainable Living Festival, February 2007

A Critical Mass bike event in Lonsdale Street. Do they still do these anymore? Unclear.
Critical Mass bike ride, Melbourne, February 2007

At ACMI playing old Commodore 64 games. This looks like Way Of The Exploding Fist.
Playing Commodore 64 games at ACMI, February 2007

…the picture has shown up (with permission) in various spots related to vintage video games.

Finding this photo means not only have I had this couch for ten years, that t-shirt (which I still have as well) is also a decade old.
My new couch, February 2007

An ABC crew came to visit one Saturday. The story was about Connex’s SMS alerts service being hacked. In the end, as I recall, they went to a lot of trouble to light my livingroom just so, and filmed me showing the hack text on my phone, then never used the footage.
About to be interviewed, February 2007

Old photos from January 2007

Continuing my series posting ten year old photos.

Brighton, near Middle Brighton station. Obviously this bus shelter had been re-used, from somewhere on Victoria Parade I’m guessing. It looks like the same bus shelter is still there, but the tram route numbers may have been removed.
Bus stop, January 2007

Recently, motorists failing to keep intersections clear has been bugging me, but from this photo, it’s clearly not a new problem.
Blocking the intersection, January 2007

On the trains, it was common for some services to be removed from the timetable for a few weeks after Christmas. However, in January 2007 the Siemens brake crisis was just ramping up — I think the following photos may have been a result of both of those — numerous trains were cancelled on some lines.

A reasonable request: Don’t shoot the messenger:
Train service reductions, January 2007

The result on-board. The second photo (initially posted by me) went on to be widely used by news media in the years that followed. Some of those people look pretty grumpy — hopefully at the situation rather than me trying to get it publicised and fixed.
Crowded train, January 2007
Crowded train, January 2007

I have no idea whose house this is, or why I took this photo. Possibly for inspiration for my own bathroom renovation (which I’ll get around to eventually, I promise). Maybe one of my friends (who I guess I don’t visit very often) can identify it!
Someone's bathroom, January 2007