In late-2007/early-2008 there was a stoush around the banning of bicycles in zone 1 during peak hours. In February 2008 the ban was reversed. Notice that this sign is ambiguous: are the bikes banned on any train that serves zone 1 during peak, or just banned on the part of the trip within zone 1? (It was the latter.)
Banksy had visited Melbourne in 2003 and drawn “Little Diver”. Later in 2008 it was destroyed.
The Elizabeth Street tram terminus nearby, still with “The Met” markings, some 8 years after privatisation. The Metcard warning about coins only was introduced after a court case where a passenger claimed it wasn’t common knowledge that you couldn’t pay with notes. Of course nowadays you can’t board (outside the Free Tram Zone) without a pre-loaded Myki card.
We had a ride on Puffing Billy — come to think of it, this was the last time I went on it. Maybe time for a return visit?
Crowded at Belgrave when the train got back
Railway staff at Belgrave
More proof (if it’s still needed) that actually it’s possible to carry a fair amount of stuff on public transport if you put your mind to it.
The beginning of the end for Dick Smith Electronics? Their Carnegie “Powerhouse” decided to stop selling electronics — at least, electronic components. This trend continued — by 2016 they’d closed their retail stores and the brand name was sold to online retailer Kogan. Jaycar moved into the space, taking over some old Dick Smith stores.
Rain at Flinders Street Station. This shot captured a particular problem with the drainage which saw water gushing down past the door of this Hitachi train. Hopefully that issue is long since fixed, or at least being resolved in the current renovation.
Ever wondered what’s inside one of those Information totems in Melbourne’s CBD? The answer back then was, not much. Also notable: the Port Phillip Arcade, recently demolished to make way for the Metro tunnel, and the old tram stop, pre-platform superstop.
The bike path alongside the railway line between Ormond and McKinnon. Grade separation in this section has put much of the rail line below street level, though just here is a spot where it comes back up to get over the Murray Road drain. I think I took this photo to illustrate the poor council habit of trimming trees to a height that was fine for walkers, but useless for cyclists. They’ve done far better more recently.
Definitely not resolved yet: speed restrictions at the Glenhuntly level crossing mean that trains, even expresses, have to slow down to a crawl.
This photo was documenting fuel prices of the time. For a while the Peak Oil theory has contended that as oil became harder to find and extract, petrol prices would skyrocket. For whatever reason, that hasn’t happened yet — prices are much the same nowadays. In fact petrol is cheaper in real terms: $1.439 in 2007 dollars was $1.78 in 2016.
Monty Python’s Spamalot at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne. At some stage I took my sons along. It wasn’t entirely suitable for children, but I recall they enjoyed it.
Christmas morning at the newly completed Southern Cross Station. V/Line and other operators were offering free services, but with very limited services. I’m not even sure if they took bookings or just expected everyone to turn up. This is the departure for Shepparton. Free rides are a nice gesture, but when demand is so heavy, it has to be managed. (Perhaps for V/Line a gold coin donation to charity is more appropriate?)
Things were a little calmer on some of the other platforms.
A little later on Christmas morning, about 10am, pretty quiet at Melbourne’s busiest street corner.
…and on the concourse at Flinders Street, which is much the same as it was back then.
Not surprising; I suspect I’m the most amused by these.
Here they are.
First, here’s the classic pic of Flinders Street Station. Basically the same nowadays, but covered in scaffolding for the renovation — back then there was also no tram platform stop adjacent on Flinders Street.
This view looking across from the northern side of Federation Square. Somewhere in amongst all that traffic is a safety zone tram stop!
Me in the City Square. Less grey hair back then, and the Square itself is now rubble, with metro tunnel construction underway.
Also in the City Square, late in October the the Christmas Tree being built.
A relative rarity: a City Circle tram heading up Swanston Street, for reasons unknown. This spot has been remodeled with tram platform stops since then.
Swanston Street: a tandem and a Merc. Well, at least one of them is meant to be there.
My home filing system, whereby everything piles up until I can’t stand it anymore, then I sort through it. Not good. Probably prompted by doing my taxes. I’ve done my taxes for 2017… though I am overdue to do some filing.
Around this time there was a somewhat sarcastic Metlink fare evasion campaign, which pointed out that fare evaders’ trips were subsidised by everybody else, and that fare evaders should therefore offer to buy dinner or mow the lawn of a fare-paying passenger. Someone obviously didn’t like this.
Well before Uber, the Department of Infrastructure would be out and about inspecting taxis.
In ten years, the room where we have the computers (formerly a formal dining room when the previous owner lived here) hasn’t changed a great deal, though the computers themselves have changed (here we have mostly beige; now the screens are wide, and most equipment is black), as have the kids’ haircuts and pyjamas. It looks like Isaac (left) was watching a Doctor Who video on Youtube, and Jeremy was editing a video.
The shops at Centre Road, Bentleigh. Smartbus liveried buses are (and were) rare on route 703, even though it was one of the original Smartbus routes. In fact, the 703 still doesn’t actually run to Smartbus standards.
Being a geek, I always chuckle at publicly displayed tech that goes wrong. This Windows display had stopped…
…on closer examination it seemed to have lost its network connection.
This pic is from a visit to Tony and Rae, for their Grand Final barbecue (which won’t happen this year because Tony, being a Richmond supporter, will be hoping to actually be at the game). At the time they lived next to the Brooklyn freight line, which isn’t electrified, but runs from Newport to Sunshine. Unexpectedly this Hitachi electric train went past, pulled by a diesel loco. Using the carriage number 37M, I’ve found there are other photos of this day on Vicsig.
Craigieburn station, waiting for a train. Ooh, a steam train! No, not actually waiting for that train…
It was the official opening of the electrification from Broadmeadows to Craigieburn, so then Premier John Brumby and then Transport Minister Lynne Kosky rode a train (from Roxburgh Park, one station back) to be there.
There was a press conference…
…and then the Premier was whisked away afterwards by car. Minister Kosky stayed to chat to people.
The media were all over it, interviewing locals, interest groups, and then filming on a train heading back towards the city.
Here’s the ABC’s TV news coverage. Since then, happily, the South Morang line has opened, and is being further extended to Mernda. And yes, I am wearing a Cats scarf, in celebration of their win the day before.