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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from September 2010

Is it the end of the month already? Here’s another of my monthly posts of photos from ten years ago… and this time they’re pretty much all transport-related.

As usual, click the photos to see them larger in Flickr.

The top of Swanston Street – the Barak Building is yet to be constructed, and the RMIT Design Hub is under construction. Nowadays this section of the street is mostly closed to traffic, with tram platform stops.

Swanston Street near RMIT, September 2010

Hitachi trains were still in service. They were finally phased out in 2014.

Hitachi train, September 2010

Signage to show the XPT to Sydney would be replaced by buses. It looks a bit garish to me, but at least it grabs your attention. (As of September 2020, the XPT hasn’t run Victoria since late July due to the NSW border closure thanks to COVID-19.)

The XPT is bustituted - Southern Cross Station, September 2010

Also at Southern Cross Station, the Myki Discovery Centre – this building-inside-a-building is now a PTV Hub.

Myki discovery centre, Southern Cross Station, September 2010

Myki hadn’t taken over on V/Line yet – this wouldn’t happen until 2013 – but Myki readers had been fitted at the main entrance to the platforms at Southern Cross in readiness (and for people making trips on V/Line within metropolitan Melbourne). The readers would later be replaced with fare gates.

Myki readers at the V/Line platforms, Southern Cross Station, September 2010

As you may be able to see from this shot from above, Metcard readers remained at each platform, until Metcard was phased-out at the end of 2012.

Southern Cross station, September 2010

V/Line trains had got increasingly busy after the Regional Fast Rail upgrades in the early 2000s sparked patronage growth. Even outside peak times, some trains arrived with large numbers of passengers. This photo was taken at 2:26pm on a weekday.

Passengers alight a train at Southern Cross station, September 2010

In recent times, only two railway stations on the metropolitan rail network have been regularly closed even while trains were running. Both, amazingly, are in central Melbourne. Southern Cross still closed overnight at weekends, including on Sunday mornings until around 6:20am. Flagstaff was closed on weekends until 1st January 2016 (though in the 80s and 90s it had been open on Saturdays).

Flagstaff station - closed on Sundays, September 2010

Caulfield station’s “Metro Cafe” under construction. This was, in principle, a good idea – to encourage retail development around railway stations. I seem to recall that MTM came into Melbourne proposing a few sites for this type of development, but this was the only one that actually happened.

Caulfield station, Metro cafe under construction, September 2010

Since demolished to make space for underpass upgrades linked to the Metro tunnel, the Red Engine Cafe was found on most platforms at Flinders Street – a good place to find an emergency bucket of chips, potato cake or other snack while waiting for a train. Only one remains at the station, on platform 1, with most other food options now on the concourse.

Red Engine Cafe at Flinders Street station, September 2010

In the lead up to the November 2010 State Election, the Metropolitan Transport Forum held one of its public meetings – this one was at Glen Eira Town Hall. Rob Hudson (then Labor member for Bentleigh, subsequently lost his seat) is speaking. I’m not sure who is seated next to him, but it looks like the others on stage are David Davis (now the Liberal transport spokesperson), Brett Hedger (then Greens candidate for Bentleigh) and Graham Currie (Monash University) moderating.

MTF forum at Glen Eira Town Hall, September 2010

Richmond station – before the all-over rain coverage – in the lead up to the Grand Final, given the signage advising to use the sports precinct exit to attend Collingwood training. (This photo was from 22nd September, before the first match on the 25th, which resulted in a draw – triggering a second match on 2nd October).

Richmond station, September 2010

On board a B-class tram. Both Myki and Metcard readers are in use. There are still plenty of these trams in service – they’ll probably be the last of the high floor trams to go, perhaps in about ten years, given the DDA deadline isn’t until 2032.

On board a B-class tram, September 2010

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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from August 2010

It’s the end of the month again, so time to post more ten year old photos.

I evidently went for a walk across the Latrobe Street bridge north of Southern Cross station, snapping these photos of V/Line stabling and facilities.

V/Line stabling at Southern Cross station, August 2010
V/Line stabling at Southern Cross station, August 2010
V/Line facilities at Southern Cross station, August 2010

As noted last month, Metro was using platform staff with despatch paddles on some CBD platforms. This notice was at Flagstaff – platform 3, which has the heaviest PM peak loads at trains leave the City heading for the Sunbury, Craigieburn and Upfield lines.

Despatch paddle in use at Flagstaff station, August 2010

Looking back, I can’t help feeling that there was way too much visual clutter on the Myki vending machines back then. Things did improve over time.

Myki machine, August 2010

Remember the bad old days at Clayton, when Clayton Road used to clog up, delaying your bus because so many trains were rolling through the level crossing?

Buses in traffic near Clayton station, August 2010

Here’s the old railway station at Clayton. Since then the crossing has been removed and the station replaced by skyrail.

Clayton station, August 2010

Is this photo transport-related? Yes, in a way. I was at the footy as a guest of Metro, doing a bit of networking with their people – and the other guests, many of whom were journalists. Collingwood beat Essendon.

At the footy, August 2010

After the game, joining the queues of people entering Richmond station. Since then they’ve opened up the Swan Street entrance on the other side, and now encourage people for some lines to use the bridge across the tracks to get there. A longer walk, but less waiting.

Crowd leaving MCG into Richmond station, August 2010

Welcome to Melbourne. The Skybus queue and ticket booth at the Airport – snapped while I was there picking up my Uncle, who had flown in for my Dad’s funeral.

Skybus ticket booth at Melbourne Airport, August 2010

Bustitution at Footscray station during rail works.

Footscray station bustitution, August 2010

The view from the Footscray station overpass towards the City. The overpass had opened in April 2010, but would be partially rebuilt for the Regional Rail Link project.

View of City from Footscray, August 2010

Me at 40. (Yes, it was my 50th birthday last week. What a strange time to celebrate a landmark birthday.)

Daniel at 40
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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from July 2010

It’s the end of the month, so time for another in my long-running series of old photos from ten years ago.

The afternoon sun hits a Comeng train at the old Bentleigh station. This was about 8 months after Metro had taken over from Connex. Note the old colours on the train, with logos covered up by temporary stickers.

Bentleigh station (July 2010)

Andrew Lezala, then CEO of MTM (Metro Trains), addresses an audience of PTUA members. Like most guest speakers at PTUA member meetings, I recall he spoke quite candidly, and was very happy to take questions.

Andrew Lezala from Metro addresses a PTUA meeting (July 2010)

One thing that Metro was trying at the time was despatch paddles on the platforms of the busiest stations. As Marcus Wong notes from his equivalent post of photos from July 2010, these were gone by 2012.
Also note the people reading real books and newspapers while waiting for trains – a rarity nowadays.

Despatch paddle in use, Parliament station, July 2010

A W-class tram on route 30 heads towards St Vincent’s Plaza (away from what had been renamed from Telstra Dome to Etihad Stadium a year earlier). W-class trams no longer run in regular service apart from on the City Circle. Route 30 has recently been phased out (perhaps permanently) in favour of Route 12 running along this section of La Trobe Street.

W-class tram in La Trobe Street (July 2010)

At the time, both Metcard and Myki readers were fitted inside buses and trams. In the W-class trams, this meant a curious mix of 1950s(ish), 1990s and 2000s technology.

Myki and Metcard readers, W-class tram

Meanwhile, tacked onto the bottom of train timetable posters was this text about where you could (and couldn’t) use Myki during the rollout. They would become valid on trams and buses late in July 2010.

Myki smallprint (July 2010)

Southern Cross Station: new platforms 15 and 16 under construction as part of the Regional Rail Link project which would eventually open in 2015. Fortunately, provision for the extra platforms had been included in the design for the station a few years earlier, though platform 16 is outside the glass wall.

Southern Cross Station platforms 15+16 under construction, July 2010

I don’t recall why I snapped this. Queen Victoria Market one cold winter’s day.

Queen Victoria Market (July 2010)

A crew from ABC Stateline get their photos taken outside Media House, then headquarters of The Age. I’m not sure what the occasion was.
Stateline was phased out less than a year later, in March 2011. Host Josephine Cafagna, in the photo, then became a media adviser for Premier Ted Baillieu.

Stateline crew outside Media House

Then state opposition transport spokesperson Terry Mulder at Parliament talking to media about problems with Myki.

Terry Mulder comments on Myki

After some major disruptions earlier that week, the State Government made public transport free on 30th July. I blogged about it here. (Me? I’d always prefer the emphasis was on fixing problems rather than providing free rides.)

Fare Free Friday

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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from June 2010

Continuing my series of posts of ten year old photos

Swanston Street has been closed to traffic since the 1990s… not that you’d know it from the number of cars that drive down there sometimes. At least the big tram stops in place nowadays discourage some of them. (Also note the foreground vehicle blocking the intersection.)

Traffic in Swanston Street (June 2010)

The then Bentleigh station in the fog.

Bentleigh station in the fog (June 2010)

The old CRT screens in the City Loop stations got updated some years ago, as did the confusing mix of stopping patterns on the Dandenong line – a timetable revamps since then have meant they’re mostly standardised now.

Express Dandenong to Merinda Park?

Metro (MTM) had been operating for a bit over six months, and experimented with dispatch paddles.

Parliament station - dispatch paddle in use

…The paddles didn’t last too long – though to my mind they were more successful than this week’s experiment of one way pedestrian flows at Melbourne Central Station.

Back to 2010. A remnant of the past at Caulfield station. I think this might still be there on platform 1.

Caulfield station gate

Slightly bizarre advertising at Southern Cross Station for dairy products, featuring… (fake) grass on the platforms.

Advertising for dairy products at Southern Cross Station (June 2010)
Advertising for dairy products at Southern Cross Station (June 2010)

Before we even knew about physical distancing… no chance of it on this citybound train at Caulfield.

Crowded train at Caulfield (June 2010)

On the same morning at Richmond – packed trains and the government advertising that they were buying more.

Government advertising and a crowded train (June 2010)

The public transport system was awash with this type of advertising during 2010. (The State Election was due in November, but I’m sure that had nothing to do with it.)

Government advertising at Caulfield station (June 2010)

Also in June 2010: the requirement to touch-off Myki on trams was removed.

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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from May 2010

Here’s one of my regular posts of photos from ten years ago.

Back when nobody had heard of social distancing, on State Budget day 2010, we all crowded around to do the post-budget media scrum, where stakeholders queue up to give comments for the cameras and microphones. That year included the E-class trams, and new outer-suburban railway stations. Hmmm my summary also notes funding for more Premium Stations – I assume those got rolled-back by the Baillieu government.

The back of State Parliament

There was a push at the time for Clearway hours to be extended. The Bridge Road traders weren’t happy about this, though I’m not sure why they protested opposite Flagstaff Station. Perhaps it was linked to the adjacent Federal Court. That’s future Liberal member for Prahran (2010-2014) Clem Newton-Brown on the right.

Bridge Road traders protest against Clearways - May 2010

A Metro poster for timetable changes which took effect in June 2010, and cleaned up a mess of stopping patterns, making better use of track capacity.

Metro promotional poster, May 2010

Some people didn’t like that the changes removed two express trains from Bentleigh, though in the longterm it doesn’t seem to have harmed patronage.

Bentleigh timetable rebellion

The Melbourne Bike Share scheme started in May 2010. It lasted not quite 10 years, shutting down in late 2019.

Melbourne Bike Share station, St Paul's

Brake problems were still an issue with the Siemens train fleet. Part of the response, until they finally got it sorted out some years later, was speed restrictions approaching level crossings.

Siemens speed limit

Little Bourke Street – note the Myer building renovations in the background. As part of Myer vacating Lonsdale Street, they demolished the art deco Lonsdale House to build Emporium.

Little Bourke Street, May 2010 - Emporium under construction

Footscray station’s then new overpass – before they realised it didn’t have space for the two additional Regional Rail Link tracks, so partly demolished and rebuilt it.

Footscray station bridge (before modification for RRL) - May 2010

Footscray railway station footbridge in May 2010

The “Transit Lounge” at the bus interchange at Chadstone. They didn’t go out of their way to make it inviting, did they. Not the most pleasant place to wait for a bus, but out of the weather at least. It’s since been replaced by the new bus interchange opened in 2015.

Chadstone "Transit lounge" - May 2010
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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from April 2010

Another of my monthly posts of old photos from ten years ago.

Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generations, on a building in Little Bourke Street…

Little Bourke St, near Spencer St

…alongside Canadian PM Stephen Harper’s similar apology. (Both since removed)

Little Bourke St, near Spencer St

A rather more pedestrian view nearby: a few months before the Lonsdale Street bus routes got a shake-up with the introduction of Smartbus services, an outbound bus waits for departure adjacent to the remains of the former Age building.

Lonsdale Street bus terminus, April 2010

Also nearby: Skybus boarding at Southern Cross Station. Since then they’ve ditched the bendy buses (at least for their main City to Airport route) in favour of double deckers to increase capacity.

Skybus, April 2010

The view over Docklands, featuring Etihad Stadium (now Marvel Stadium), the Wheel after it had been pulled apart but before they rebuilt it, and not as many buildings as today.

View over Docklands, April 2010

Myki had launched on trains in December 2009. It would launch on buses and buses trams a few months after this photo, in July 2010.

Myki is now on trains, coming soon to buses (April 2010)

Back then some of the Myki readers were not spectacularly reliable. They’ve thankfully improved a bit over the years.

Myki reader starting up (April 2010)

The 703 bus boarding at Bentleigh station in evening peak hour. Lots of people use buses to get to railway stations, yet ten years on, the weekday service on this route hasn’t changed. Still very poor after 7pm, which undermines its usefulness even for city commuters. In the last Federal election, there was a Coalition pledge to upgrade the car park instead, with no explanation as to where extra spaces would actually go.

Queueing for the 703 SmartBus at Bentleigh Station

A bunch of Metcards. I was trying to calculate just how many cards were produced over the system’s lifespan. I suspect it was billions. (I once had an inspector say, with a little too much obsequiousness, “Thank you” after spotting the Yearly.)

Metcards

I like the sentiments, but… this isn’t a tram stop.

Misplaced tram stop ad on a bus stop
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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from March 2010

Let’s momentarily distract ourselves from the perils of March 2020 with some photos from ten years ago.

Parliament station, back when the old Passenger Information Displays were CRTs with a blue background.

Parliament station, March 2010

They converted the Flinders Street Lane/Spring Street crossing from a zebra to signalised – thus downgrading the experience for pedestrians.

Flinders Lane crossing converted from zebra to signalised, March 2010

There was crowding on CBD trams before the Free Tram Zone, but the worst of it was mostly on the City Circle, seen here in Latrobe Street.

Crowded City Circle tram, March 2010

Being a fan of the old Max Headroom TV show (the sci-fi telemovie and series more than the music video show), I was delighted to find this down an obscure alleyway in Melbourne’s CBD.

Max Headroom, March 2010

Delayed trains, crowded platforms, on the old then-ground level station at Bentleigh – before the level crossing removal. Who needs seating when you’ve got bike hoops?

Late train, crowded platform, Bentleigh March 2010

The old station had very narrow platforms at the citybound end. It made boarding with a wheelchair trickier than it should have been.

Wheelchair boarding from a narrow platform at Bentleigh, March 2010

Also at Bentleigh: a bus kneels to assist a mobility impaired passenger to board. This and low-floor designs mean most buses now are wheelchair accessible.

Kneeling bus at Bentleigh, March 2010

On 6th of March a torrential storm hit Melbourne, causing all kinds of chaos. This is Glenhuntly.

Glen Huntly in the storm

In those heady days of 2010, train crowding was a real issue, and the delivery of brand new trains into service actually got the media in attendance.

Media covering a new train delivery, March 2010

Me in a quiet train moving slowly through the City Loop, trying to snap the signs in the tunnel telling you how far it is to the nearest emergency exit. The distances are odd because they were converted from imperial to metric.

In the City Loop, March 2010

Not something we’re seeing a lot of at the moment: a crowded train.

Crowded train, March 2010

For those of you reading this in 2020, stay well, stay safe.

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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from February 2010

Here’s another in my series of photos from ten years ago.

Lonsdale House was a lovely art deco building, pictured here just before demolition. At the time it was thought an Apple Store might be built in its place – it ended up being the Top Man/Top Shop section of the Emporium shopping centre.

Lonsdale House, shortly before demolition

At Southern Cross, V/Line was getting ready for Myki. It had started on trains in Zones 1 and 2 in December 2009 (including V/Line within those zones) but wouldn’t be enabled to other V/Line zones until 2013. The rollout beyond the commuter zones was cancelled in 2011, along with short term tickets and tram ticket machines.

V/Line getting ready for Myki, Southern Cross, February 2010

At Flinders Street they had posters trying to explain to people how to use the Myki readers.

Myki poster, February 2010

The fare gates were the 1990s era Metcard gates with Myki readers retrofitted, so they could use both tickets during the transition. Here you can also see Metcard vending machines, but Myki machines were also dotted around the place.

Metcard machine and Metcard/Myki gates at Flinders Street station, February 2010

Myki wasn’t yet running officially on trams, but they were preparing. Even W-class trams had readers fitted – these days the only Ws still in service are on the free City Circle. Back in 2010, Ws still ran on routes 78 and 30 – the latter route is now completely within the Free Tram Zone – except for a single stop.

Myki equipment on W-class tram, February 2010

A pair of W-class trams on Latrobe Street. Often there was space on the paid 30 while the free 35/City Circle was packed.

W-class trams in Latrobe Street, February 2010

A Comeng train at Flinders Street, sporting temporary Metro stickers to cover up the Connex logos.

Comeng train at Flinders Street showing temporary Metro stickers, February 2010

Looking south from a Latrobe Street/Little Lonsdale Street building, over the City skyline. I’m not sure this view has changed a huge amount, as many of the newer buildings are further west (to the right of shot).

City skyline looking south from Little Lonsdale St, February 2010

Skybus has recently taken over a lot of suburban airport bus routes – probably a strategy to diversify before airport rail eventually arrives. Before Skybus dubbed it the Peninsula Express, it was the Frankston And Peninsula Airport Shuttle (FAPAS for short).

Pre-Skybus FAPAS Airport Bus stop, Moorabbin, February 2010

For a few years PTUA ran a stall at the annual Sustainable Living Festival. Here it is in 2010, sharing space with the Metropolitan Transport Forum and Victoria Walks. Note the fake bus stop sign.

PTUA at Sustainable Living Festival, February 2010
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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from January 2010

Continuing my long-running series of old photos from ten years ago

In January 2010 we took a short break in Inverloch, south Gippsland.

The South Gippsland Tourist Railway no longer runs – it suspended operations in December 2015 apparently due to a lack of funds. Here are some snaps from when we visited.

Korumburra
South Gippsland Tourist Railway: timetable January 2010
South Gippsland Tourist Railway: diesel rail car at station, January 2010
South Gippsland Tourist Railway

Back in 2010, Bentleigh station still had its level crossing. Metro had been running the trains for only a couple of months, but the Connex signage from the station sign was already gone. Note the generic branding on the train.

Bentleigh level crossing, January 2010

Some other branding was still in transition. This Connex-era poster had Metro stickers on it to cover up the old web address and logo.

Frankston line platform information, January 2010

Flinders Street station (in its current incarnation) was celebrating its 100th birthday, and in the display cabinets in the Degraves Street Subway (often used to exhibit art), was a display – including a familiar logo.

Flinders St station history display
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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from December 2009

And so we say farewell to 2019.

I think I’d rather say Good Riddance. We lost my uncle in June. But he wasn’t the only one. Too many leaves have fallen from the tree this year.

As the Queen remarked of 1992, this is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure.

But given it’s the end of the month, here’s another in my posts of photos from ten years ago: December 2009.

Metro (MTM) had just taken over from Connex, and in line with their contract, started covering all the Connex logos with their own.

Siemens train, temp Metro signage

In some cases though they just covered up the Connex logos with black tape…

Flagstaff station entrance, with Connex logo covered up (December 2009)

…or blue tape. “[Censored] for Cancer”.

[Censored] For Cancer

(See Peter Parker’s post where he shows the banners at Flinders Street station mid-changeover.)

Metro also put out their own advertising. By train probably is just about the quickest way from Ascot Vale to Broadmeadows (18 minutes back then; 19 now) – but probably one of the slowest if you just missed a train on a Sunday morning (add a 40 minute wait).

Metro: the quickest way from Ascot Vale to Broadmeadows (December 2009)

One quirk of the changeover from Connex to Metro was that when it was announced Connex had missed their final performance targets, passengers had to apply to Metro for the compensation.

Connex compo (December 2009)

Meanwhile the Brumby state government was busy promoting their transport plan, in particular the investments they were making in the rail network.

Big billboards - it's part of the plan

There was also a lot of prominent advertising for Myki – even though it hadn’t been launched in Melbourne yet. (This photo was snapped on the 17th of December 2009; Myki launched on the 29th.)

Myki advertising (December 2009)

At railway stations, Myki vending machines were being installed alongside Metcard machines.

Metcard and Myki machines (December 2009)

In the days before the Free Tram Zone, the City Circle was regularly packed. Nowadays, almost every tram in the CBD is packed.

Packed City Circle tram (December 2009)

The view over the west end of the City, towards Docklands. You can see the wheel under construction – not sure if this was the first one being disassembled, or the revised version being built.

Melbourne Docklands (December 2009)

A prominent reminder to motorists to give way to buses pulling out from the kerb. One the left you can see signs for Myer’s Lonsdale Street store, since replaced by Emporium. And that lady perhaps isn’t having a great day.

Bus promoting give way law (December 2009)

Happy new year everybody. Hope you’ve had a good one.

Good Riddance to 2019, and roll on 2020!