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 PTUA colleagues contributed)

Anyway, the photos. Oh… this isn’t good. On 3rd of April, a tram shunting in Collins Street decided to go both ways at once. (I blogged about it at the time, and there are some better quality photos of it on Vicsig.)
Tram derailment, Collins Street 3/4/2008
Tram derailment, Collins Street 3/4/2008

Quirkly Degraves Street underpass/arcade shop Corky St Clair wasn’t very happy with Yarra Trams after works to build the Flinders Street tram superstop. (Nowadays they’re more concerned with the metro tunnel works impacting the arcade.)
Yarra Trams construction works, April 2008

Melbourne Museum put out a multiple choice quiz… in which all the options were wrong.
Train quiz, April 2008

Fancy some trendy cuisine? This is North Richmond, and I associate this photo with getting a lift in a friend’s car, with ABC Radio National playing, and hearing for the first time the excellent song “Grey in LA” by Loudon Wainwright III.
North Richmond cafe, April 2008

Taxi drivers protesting at Flinders and Swanston Streets — back when they were (rightly) concerned about personal safety, rather than Uber.
Taxi drivers protesting 30/4/2008

Old photos from March 2008

Another in my series of ten year old photos; here’s March 2008.

ACMI’s Game On exhibition had some great old games to play. Here’s son#1 Isaac playing Pong.
Playing Pong at ACMI, March 2008

…but it was the 80s-era arcade machines that I really enjoyed the most, re-living my teenage years. (I’m still tempted to buy an old machine.)
Playing video games at ACMI, March 2008

The old post office in Emirates House, off Collins Street. Queue out the door again. Sigh.
Long queue at the post office, March 2008

Speaking of a queue out the door, 4/3/2008 was not a good afternoon for then train operator Connex. This is at South Yarra. Note the bloke with a Harry Potter book.
South Yarra Station, 4/3/2008
South Yarra Station, 4/3/2008

The 401 shuttle from North Melbourne to Melbourne University was announced in October 2007, and started service in this month, in March 2008. It quickly became one of Melbourne’s busiest bus routes, with about a million boardings per year.
Melbourne University 401 shuttle bus, March 2008

North Melbourne station (as of 2018, to be renamed West Melbourne in the next year or so). You can see in the background that construction of the new concourse was just getting started.
North Melbourne Station, March 2008

The outbound bus stops outside QV have been very busy at peak times for many years. This is before current operator Transdev took over from Ventura/National Bus. Note the parking sign – outside peak times, some of the bus stops are re-purposed for private vehicle parking, even those right in front of the bus shelters — surely a slap in the face for waiting bus passengers. Not sure that’s ever been fixed.
QV bus stop, March 2008

How long until the train? Sometimes you just want to sit.
Waiting for the train, March 2008

I think I took this photo because it was at a station that is not in Zone 2, at least not only in Zone 2. From the cream paint, I think it might be the pre-level-crossing removal Ormond station, which is in the zone 1+2 overlap. No GPS record on the phone photos from back then.
This station is in Zone 2? March 2008

Launch of the first wind-powered tram, 28/3/2008. In the crowd I can see the then-CEO of Yarra Trams, Dennis Cliche, and several journos, as well as Gavin Jennings, then State Environment Minister. More recently it was announced that all of Melbourne’s trams will be powered by solar by the end of 2018.
Launch of wind-powered tram 28/3/2008
Launch of wind-powered tram 28/3/2008

Trains bank up at Richmond station, well before it got weather protection right along the platforms.
Richmond station, March 2008

Richmond station from above, snapped from a brother-in-law’s then flat. Nice view, especially if you’re a trainspotter. There were some evening shots as well, but they’re all blurry – the old Nokia 6230i didn’t do at all well in low light.
Richmond Station, 28/3/2008
Richmond Station, 28/3/2008

Old photos from February 2008

Ten years ago I was surviving (somehow) with no hot water, after the water heater packed-up. The solar system I had installed to replace it is, thankfully, still going nicely.

Anyway, it’s the last day of Feb – just time for some old photos from ten years ago – another in my series of rehashed content looking through the archives.

Firstly though, a sound recording – an automated announcement absolutely delighted to be telling you about Craigieburn.

As blogged at the time, a hairdresser on the train one evening spontaneously gave a girl a haircut.
Haircut on the train, February 2008

February back then meant we’d do a PTUA stall at the Sustainable Living Festival. At the back of the tent you can spot a youthful looking Tony Morton, now PTUA President.
PTUA stall at Federation Square, February 2008

The Southbank skyline hasn’t changed that much, but most of the trams have had a new paintjob since then. At the time the “Obey The Yellow” campaign to keep tram lanes clear of cars was in full swing.
Tram at Federation Square, February 2008

A Saturday afternoon brings out lots of people onto the trains. Even by 2008, it was apparent that Melbourne was transitioning to a big city.
Flinders Street platform 5 on a Saturday afternoon, February 2008

Flinders Street platform 4. It’s unusual to see V/Line departures here; normally they’re over the other side of the station. I’m sure there was a good reason.
Flinders Street platform 4, train to Sale, February 2008

Finally, from my backyard. I found this big scary-looking spider one night getting busy with web construction.
Spider in the backyard, February 2008

Old photos from January 2008

Another in my series of ten year old photos.

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.)
Suburban train zone 1 bike ban, January 2008

Banksy had visited Melbourne in 2003 and drawn “Little Diver”. Later in 2008 it was destroyed.
"Little Diver" by Banksy, off Flinders Lane, Melbourne, January 2008

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.
Elizabeth Street tram terminus information booth, January 2008

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?
Puffing Billy, January 2008

Crowded at Belgrave when the train got back
Belgrave Station, Puffing Billy, January 2008

Railway staff at Belgrave
Belgrave Station, Puffing Billy, January 2008

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.
Glenhuntly station, January 2008

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.
Dick Smith Powerhouse stops selling electronics, January 2008

Old photos from December 2007

Here’s another in my series of ten year old photos, this time from December 2007.

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.
Flinders Street Station in the rain, December 2007

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.
Information totem outside Flinders Street Station, December 2007

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.
Bike path between Ormond and McKinnon stations, December 2007

Definitely not resolved yet: speed restrictions at the Glenhuntly level crossing mean that trains, even expresses, have to slow down to a crawl.
Glenhuntly station train speed restriction, December 2007

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.
Petrol prices, December 2007

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.
Spamalot at Her Majesty's Theatre, December 2007

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?)
Crowding on the train to Shepparton, Southern Cross Station, Christmas Day 2007

Things were a little calmer on some of the other platforms.
Southern Cross Station, Christmas Day 2007

A little later on Christmas morning, about 10am, pretty quiet at Melbourne’s busiest street corner.
Outside Flinders Street Station, Christmas Day 2007

…and on the concourse at Flinders Street, which is much the same as it was back then.
Flinders Street Station, Christmas Day 2007

…ditto on the platforms.
Flinders Street Station, Christmas Day 2007