I quite liked this ad for iiNet in Flinders Street Station:
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.
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.
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.
Bentleigh – directional signage for bus drivers. This one for rail replacement buses inbound into the City.
A trip down to Geelong one Saturday…
…to visit the special Myki Shop in Ryrie Street, so I could try it for the first time.
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.
Spotted in Footscray: a special bus stop for Regional Fast Rail project rail replacement coaches. RFR had finished about five years earlier.
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.
Federation Square. Note the pre-renovation mustard colour of Flinders Street Station.
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.
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.
The old Bentleigh station in the autumn fog.
Also at Bentleigh station, where walkway crowding was becoming an issue, authorities made an effort to discourage bike parking.
I got Connex’s Lanie Harris to introduce the new layout.
The students are revolting! I don’t recall how big this protest was.
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.
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.)
At the time I regularly used Glenhuntly Station some days, after dropping the kids at school. Here’s the outbound platform one morning…
…and the level crossing in the afternoon.
Easter was approaching. In Centre Road we see a rather cruel way to treat the Easter bunny.
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.
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.
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.
I must have been up early this morning. Hot air balloons over the City.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
This photo shows a morning of severe train delays. As the signs show, the train was an hour late reaching South Yarra.
The view on Centre Road at Bentleigh – with the level crossing.
Speaking to channel 7 on platform 3 at the old Bentleigh station.
Flinders Street Station with its then mustardy paint job.
Getting some work done while waiting for the train. Super grainy photo from phone camera.
Amazing amounts of litter on the tracks at Glenhuntly. I’m sure it’s not normally this messy nowadays.
I took this photo because the “Mind the gap” signage was new. This was at Footscray.
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.
February 2009 was also the month I got this new USB drive.
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.
Back then, Brickvention was not the huge massive crowded event it is these days. (More pics and video)
On the way home from the Enterprize, at Newport station. Even back then it was busy on a Sunday afternoon.
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.
Chess in Swanston Street.
Trams (and not much else) in Docklands.
Remember the Hitachi trains? Here’s one arriving at Richmond.
…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.
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.
A Connex-liveried Siemens train arrives at Malvern
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A-class trams at the Town Hall superstop
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.
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.
Above you can see the flatscreens were working for V/Line… not so for suburban services, which were using temporary CRTs on the concourse.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This view over the Showgrounds also shows the city skyline in the background. Rather fewer skyscrapers than now.
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.