Photos from ten years ago transport

Old photos from June 2009

Here (just a few hours late) is another in my series of ten year old photos: this time, it’s June 2009.

Already the subject of a blog post, was this confusing ad on the side of a bus. Does it mean it’s flexible or not?

Advert on bus

Don’t you wish you were not packed into a train on your commute, but instead on your own private train somewhere? I used this photo in a blog about Connex (Veolia, then running the suburban trains) and Transdev (then running Yarra Trams) being replaced by consortiums run by MTR and Keolis – which was announced in June 2009.

Just another crowded train

There was a campaign on trams around keeping trams and other traffic moving.

June 2009: Public transport roads campaign

…There was also a campaign around rail safety.

June 2009: Rail safety campaign on a tram

As of June 2019, there’s a new bus route 627 that’s just started – here’s a pic of the previous route to have that number – which was very confusing. Since split into the 625 and 626, which helps legibility.

June 2009: The old route 627 - confusing!

Meanwhile over on the trains, ads for the government’s transport plan had started to appear.

June 2009: Government advertising starts to creep into trains

…and Myki machines had started to appear in railway stations. They would finally be switched on at the end of 2009.

June 2009: Myki machines start to appear in stations
Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from May 2009

It’s the end of May, so it’s time for a batch of photos from ten years ago.

I quite liked this ad for iiNet in Flinders Street Station:

iiNet advertising, Flinders Street Station
iiNet advertising, May 2009

I was snapping photos for Tony’s web site “Our Fading Past” (currently offline, but the Google Map is up), highlighting old signs around Melbourne. This classic is in Ripponlea on the side of a heritage-listed pharmacy.

Old Kodak advertising on side of chemist in Ripponlea, May 2009

On the 70s-era Z-class trams, you can still find these things. Originally these trams had front-door boarding, so you could have your ticket checked by a conductor. The rear doors were used to alight, and these little screens would light up to indicate you could press the button to open the doors. I think these days most of them are wired up to the Next Stop buttons.

Z-class tram, Open Doors indicator, May 2009

Also arriving on trams: new Myki readers. Myki became active on Melbourne trains at the end of 2009, and on trams in mid-2010, with the touch-off requirement removed to make it work with the slow readers.

Then new Myki reader on a tram, May 2009

Excitement! New screens arrive at Richmond! Evidently some teething problems initially.

New screens at Richmond station, May 2009

At this time, there were still plenty of CRTs around the network. These were at Parliament station.

Parliament station, May 2009

A visit to the Dandenongs…

In the Dandenongs, May 2009

…wouldn’t be complete without a photo of one of greater Melbourne’s worst bus stops for accessibility.

Bus stop in the Dandenongs, May 2009

A foggy morning at Glenhuntly station

Glenhuntly station, May 2009

…and here’s a view at the other end of the day from Richmond. Note the lack of platform cover, and the Hitachi train.

Richmond station, May 2009
Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter transport

Old photos from April 2009

Another in my series of old ten year old photos.

This turned out to be a bit of a bumper crop – a few months before I’d got the Nokia N95 phone, my first with a decent camera, so perhaps no surprise the number of photos was increasing.

Melbourne’s first wind-powered tram had launched in 2008. Note the “Gone With The Wind” reference, and the pre-platform “safety zone” Elizabeth Street (at Bourke Street) tram stop.

Elizabeth Street tram, April 2009

Bentleigh – directional signage for bus drivers. This one for rail replacement buses inbound into the City.

Connex bus sign, April 2009

A trip down to Geelong one Saturday…

Geelong station, April 2009

…to visit the special Myki Shop in Ryrie Street, so I could try it for the first time.

Myki shop in Geelong, April 2009

I got to try out a Myki card, which you can read about here. I also came home with these amusing Myki wristbands, I guess to get The Kids on-side with the concept. Note the “scan on, scan off” messaging which later became “touch on, touch off” when they realised just how slow the first generation readers are.

Myki wrist bands, April 2009

Spotted in Footscray: a special bus stop for Regional Fast Rail project rail replacement coaches. RFR had finished about five years earlier.

V/Line bus stop sign at Footscray, April 2009

An excursion to the in-laws farm. Like many farm practices, burning off a field was a bit of an eye-opener for this city boy.

Burning off at the farm, April 2009

Federation Square. Note the pre-renovation mustard colour of Flinders Street Station.

Federation Square, April 2009

Flinders Street from another angle, showing the red Tourist Shuttle (not a shuttle) bus that was funded by the inner-city parking levy. When the bus was free, it could be quite crowded, but was virtually unused once they introduced a $5 fare.

Tourist shuttle bus, Flinders Street, April 2009

The Parkiteer cage at Brighton Beach Station was getting plenty of use, as was the fence outside. Prior to 2015, a lot of people from further out would use zone boundary stations like Brighton Beach to avoid paying a Zone 1+2 fare which was about 55% higher than just Zone 1.

Parkiteer bike cage, Brighton Beach, April 2009

The old Bentleigh station in the autumn fog.

Bentleigh station, April 2009

Also at Bentleigh station, where walkway crowding was becoming an issue, authorities made an effort to discourage bike parking.

Bentleigh station - don't park your bike here

Connex introduced its trial layout Comeng train, with a mini-launch for stakeholders one lunchtime. It had fewer seats; similar to later changes made across the fleet by Metro in 2015-16.

2009 Connex demonstration train layout
2009 Connex demonstration train layout

I got Connex’s Lanie Harris to introduce the new layout.

The students are revolting! I don’t recall how big this protest was.

2009 fare protest poster

One of the contenders for the prize of most confusing bus route was the 627. It has since been split into two separate routes, and is much easier to understand. This was one of few recommendations of the 2010 bus reviews that actually got implemented.

The old route 627 - confusing

Finally, this moron in Bourke Street.

Moron in Bourke Street
Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from March 2009

Here’s another one of my regular posts of ten year old photos.

That month I upgraded to a Nokia N95 phone, which took far better photos than its predecessor, the Nokia 6230i.

Swanston Street opposite the City Square – the old pre-platform tram stops. I’d actually been trying to take a photo of my London Oyster card with the trams in the background. The camera consistently failed to get the Oyster card in focus, but the crowds packing onto the trams are probably more interesting to look at now. (Remember, this was before the Free Tram Zone was instituted.)

Swanston Street tram stop, 2009

At the time I regularly used Glenhuntly Station some days, after dropping the kids at school. Here’s the outbound platform one morning…

Glenhuntly station, March 2009

…and the level crossing in the afternoon.

Glenhuntly station level crossing, 2009

Easter was approaching. In Centre Road we see a rather cruel way to treat the Easter bunny.

Centre Road, Bentleigh, March 2009

Supermarket trolley as art? As in the photo above, the level crossing (now gone) is in the background. It also appears at the time that Telstra didn’t take great care to keep their payphones clean. This is also adjacent to the old electorate office of then state member for Bentleigh, Rob Hudson.

Shopping trolley art? Centre Road, Bentleigh, March 2009

A trip to the Yarra Trams control centre, then in Eastern Road, South Melbourne. I’m not sure these days that they’d let me take a photo.

Yarra Trams control room, March 2009

Footscray station, before 2009-2010 pedestrian bridge upgrade, and before the Regional Rail Link added two extra tracks (and resulted in the upgraded bridge being partly demolished so it could be extended). These photos were taken for an April Fools Day gag.

Footscray station, March 2009
Footscray station, March 2009

I must have been up early this morning. Hot air balloons over the City.

Balloons over Melbourne, March 2009

I went to the Grand Prix. I have little interest in Formula 1 cars – I went to see The Who perform after the race. Here we have trams to the GP departing from outside Southern Cross Station.

Grand Prix trams, March 2009

I wandered around the GP circuit waiting for the concert to start. I’d have to admit the cars are impressive from an ear-splittingly-loud and very fast perspective.

Melbourne Grand Prix, March 2009

The Who was excellent.

While the tram shuttles back into the City were very good, those heading outwards were less impressive (this is St Kilda Junction), and the rest of the network was running its standard poor Sunday night frequencies, so I had to wait ages for a train home. The next day I got this point into Hansard.

Melbourne trams after the Grand Prix, March 2009
Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from February 2009

Another in my series of photos from ten years ago.

Black Saturday, 7th February 2009. There were dire warnings earlier in the week about the fire risk, though I’m not sure everyone believed them.

It was a stinking hot day. The car thermometer at one stage measured 47.5 degrees – here it is showing 47.

Car thermometer 7/2/2009

That night we had dinner with friends at their house in Chirnside Park. This photo is timestamped 6:56pm: We could see smoke rising in the distance – but at the time, had little idea of what was happening. (My blog post at the time noted some truly remarkable and horrific photos on the Boston Globe’s web site.)

Smoke from Black Saturday fires, seen from outer-eastern Melbourne 7/2/2009

The previous week: first day of school.

First day of school 2/2/2009

On 3rd February 2009 I spoke to a rally outside state Parliament House – I seem to recall it was mostly about water issues, but managed to tie in transport – train operator Connex’s parent company Veolia, which was involved in one of the short-listed consortia bidding to build and run the desalination plant. (They didn’t win it.)

Protest rally at Parliament 3/2/2009
Daniel at protest rally at Parliament 3/2/2009
Photo: Rob Meredith

This photo shows a morning of severe train delays. As the signs show, the train was an hour late reaching South Yarra.

Running late

The view on Centre Road at Bentleigh – with the level crossing.

Bentleigh level crossing 16/2/2009

Speaking to channel 7 on platform 3 at the old Bentleigh station.

Channel 7 news, Bentleigh station 2/2/2009

Flinders Street Station with its then mustardy paint job.

Flinders Street Station 21/2/2009

Getting some work done while waiting for the train. Super grainy photo from phone camera.

Waiting for the 6:40

Amazing amounts of litter on the tracks at Glenhuntly. I’m sure it’s not normally this messy nowadays.

Litter on the tracks at Glenhuntly 13/2/2009

Ad for the American version of Life On Mars at Richmond station. (I loved the UK version, can’t say I’ve watched this one.)

Richmond Station: ads for Life On Mars (US) 24/2/2009

I took this photo because the “Mind the gap” signage was new. This was at Footscray.

Mind the gap

Every February there’s a big publicity campaign for the Grand Prix in March. In 2009, the after-race concert included The Who – which I ended up attending. Also note the Punt Road traffic in the background, with two nortbound 246 buses in a row.

Grand Prix / The Who banners at Swan St/Punt Rd, 27/2/2009

February 2009 was also the month I got this new USB drive.

By the way, load shedding was in the news the other week. I see from my old blog posts that it happened back in February 2009 as well. So anybody who claims it didn’t used to happen back when there was little green energy is completely wrong.

Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from January 2009

Social media has been swept with the #10YearChallenge – people posting photos from ten years ago. I’ve been doing this for a while now, though this tends to be of spots around Melbourne, rather than personal photos.

I suspect the challenge for some is even finding the photos.

Anyway, here’s January 2009…

Flinders Street Station tower, snapped from across the road at Victoria University, which was the venue for Lego Brickvention that year.

Tower of Flinders Street Station, January 2009

Back then, Brickvention was not the huge massive crowded event it is these days. (More pics and video)

Lego city at Brickvention 2009

View of Melbourne from the deck of the replica Enterprize sailing ship, from a short sail we did from Williamstown.

Melbourne from a sailing ship

On the way home from the Enterprize, at Newport station. Even back then it was busy on a Sunday afternoon.

Train at Newport, January 2009

Remember when there were milk crate men everywhere? This is near South Kensington. My little camera couldn’t handle the speed of a photo from a moving train.

Milk crate man, near South Kensington, January 2009

Chess in Swanston Street.

Chess in Swanston Street, January 2009

Trams (and not much else) in Docklands.

Trams in Docklands, January 2009

Remember the Hitachi trains? Here’s one arriving at Richmond.

Hitachi train at Richmond, January 2009

…and inside. I assume it was a warm day, as all the windows are open. This only did so much, of course… on a very hot day, hot air blowing through the carriage helped a bit, but wasn’t actually all that pleasant. These days the entire train fleet is air-conditioned, but the tram fleet isn’t there yet.

Hitachi train, January 2009

At Southbank, looking southwest at the Sandridge rail bridge. I can’t see the sculptures, but presumably they are there in the background, as apparently they have been present since 2006.

Sandridge Bridge looking towards Southbank, January 2009

A Connex-liveried Siemens train arrives at Malvern

Connex Siemens train approaches Malvern station, January 2009

One of the benefits of public transport is you can use the time to play with your phone. Back in 2009, the phone companies seemed to think this involved – wait for it – making telephone calls.

Advertising for Telstra, Malvern station, January 2009
Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from December 2008

My regular post of ten year old photos

The smiley in the sky (first posted here)
Smiley in the sky

Tram of the beast (First posted here)
Tram of the Beast

The next station is Connex
The next station is Connex

Back when the trams were battleship grey, and they used obscure route numbers like 47.
Tram in Collins Street, December 2008

In December 2008 a brand new bike parking cage was under construction at Bentleigh. It would be demolished just 7 years later as part of the rebuilding of the station.
New Parkiteer cage under construction at Bentleigh, December 2008. (Demolished: 2016)

Selfie on a train
Selfie on train, December 2008

I’m not even sure why I snapped this photo: view of the city from above the Bunbury Street tunnel in Footscray. It certainly wasn’t high resolution by 2018 standards, but you can view it larger here.
Bunbury Street tunnel, looking towards the City, December 2008

Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from November 2008

Continuing my series of ten year old photos

The coal industry trying to pretend they’re good guys. I don’t know if they even pretend these days… note yesterday Adani announced it would press ahead with its new coal mine, in the middle of a state bushfire crisis — nice touch.
"New gen coal" ad November 2008

Warrnambool holiday! This was fun. Should go back sometime.
Central Warrnambool

Unprotected level crossing somewhere near Warrnambool. With little traffic, and about half-a-dozen trains per day, probably not going to be removed anytime soon.
Railway crossing

I remember we hired a car from a place in the ‘Bool where the bloke said “No worries” about every 20 seconds, so we could drive part of the Great Ocean Road. Here it is. Straya.

Plenty of tourists at the Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles and many tourists

Back in Melbourne, a train ride to “Unknown Line ID”
Train going to "Unknown Line ID" November 2008

Motorcycles parking all over the pavement are not a new problem, but as the CBD gets busier, they’re a growing issue. This is a photo snapped for a blog post about them back in 2008.
Motorcycles on the footpath, November 2008

The election of Barak Obama. I was watching on a CRT, obviously… and blogged a whinge about the ABC cropping the CNN ticker of useful information.
McCain/Obama election November 2008

A big Connex advertisement in Newmarket. This was the month they moved Werribee trains out of the Loop on weekdays, and started running the Clifton Hill loop clockwise all day. Not everyone liked it, but both changes have helped enable more trains to run.
Connex Melbourne "We're moving more people every day" November 2008

Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from October 2008

My monthly post of ten year old photos

My day job had me working in Collins Street, and occasionally we’d get to go to the upper levels and check out the view. That’s Manchester Lane at the bottom left, and near the top left you can just see the Shrine. Newspaper House dates from a 1933 revamp of an 1884 building, and at the time was owned by Herald and Weekly Times. The renovation also added the lovely mosaic on the first floor.
Collins Street, October 2008

Looking down at Swanston Street you could see the Burke And Wills statue, well before it got moved to make way for the metro tunnel works now underway.
Bourke and Wills, October 2008

A-class trams at the Town Hall superstop
Trams, Collins Street, October 2008

How many people would know that a 108 goes most of the way of a 109? Not many I suspect, which is why the mystery route numbers were always a bad idea.
Tram 108 to Montague, October 2008

Before the days of Myki, queuing for a V/Line ticket at Southern Cross station. You have to wonder how many people actually missed the train and had to wait an hour or more for the next one because of the queue.
Queues for V/Line tickets, Southern Cross Station, October 2008

Above you can see the flatscreens were working for V/Line… not so for suburban services, which were using temporary CRTs on the concourse.
Southern Cross Station - temporary screens, October 2008

Myki had yet to start properly — that would be in December 2008 in Geelong — but it already a spot had been reserved at SoCross for an information booth.
Myki booth at Southern Cross Station, October 2008

The disrespect that some traffic engineers have for public transport is evident in this photo — they had allowed off-peak parking in front of the bus shelters for one of the busiest bus stops in Melbourne. Checking Google Streetview, not fixed as of November 2017, but at least now it’s a loading zone, not general parking, except on Sundays.
Lonsdale Street bus stop, October 2008

I think this was an RTBU campaign to get more railway stations to have staff. What happened instead was the rollout of Protective Service Officers, mostly after 6pm.
RTBU campaign for station staff, October 2008

On a trip to the country, I found this wind turbine. I’m betting critics of the newer type don’t feel the same wrath at these more traditional models.
Windmill in the country

A protest at Flinders Street Station in favour of more sustainable transport. Note the “no tunnels” signs; this was in the wake of the Eddington Report, which is where the East West Link gained prominence, and was in the lead-up to the Victorian Transport Plan, which was the Brumby Government’s response.
Transport protest, 26/10/2008

Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from September 2008

How can it be October already?

It’s still September in some timezones, so here’s my regular post of photos from ten years ago, covering September 2008.


At Richmond station, I was probably trying to take a photo to help publicise the PTUA’s discount yearly tickets – but couldn’t get the ticket itself quite into focus on the old camera.
Richmond station, September 2008

Also at Richmond, one of those days when the glorious sunshine meant it didn’t matter half the platforms had no weather cover. Since then the platform shelters have been extended all the way along.
Richmond station, September 2008

As early as 2008, there were protests against the proposed road tunnel under Royal Park – what became the East West Link. This photo taken on my old mobile phone of the time, outside Docklands stadium where a corporate do. The tunnel had been proposed in the Eddington Study, released a few months earlier.
Protest against what would become East West Link, September 2008

A rather better photo taken by Cory Baudman, who clearly had a much better camera. I’m ranting into the microphone, but holding the loudspeaker is the late Julianne Bell from Protectors of Public Lands. I can also see Greens Upper House member Colleen Hartland in the crowd. (More photos)

Two people showing things you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) do while driving. Note the clean wall of the Siemens trains – I guess this was before the period when they were regularly covered with tags.
Two things you can't do while driving, September 2008

As blogged at the time, some genius remodelled the street in 2008 such that the taxi rank was split into two, forcing taxis out into traffic to move up the queue. It was fixed sometime later.
Bentleigh station taxi rank, September 2008

Also in this month, my old car (a 1993 Magna) got taken away for scrap. Allegedly the engine was destined for the Sudan to work a pump in a village somewhere. Cool.
The old car gets taken away, September 2008

I believe it was also ten years since the last time I went to the Melbourne Show. Here are some of the pop culture show bags on sale at the time.
Melbourne Show, September 2008

This view over the Showgrounds also shows the city skyline in the background. Rather fewer skyscrapers than now.
Melbourne Show, September 2008

Younger son Jeremy riding the train home from the Show with one of his new acquisitions. That day also prompted a blog post about the lax attitude of Connex towards ticket checks.
Coming home from the Melbourne Show, September 2008

At Flinders Street station, then train operator Connex installed the first information centre. On the opening day I was there talking to a senior Connex manager (from memory it was then-CEO Bruce Hughes) when some footy fans asked us how to get to AFL Park (in Waverley). Thankfully we gave them the right directions. The centre itself got rebranded when Metro took over in 2009.
Connex information centre at Flinders Street Station, September 2008