Ten years ago: Arise Lord Vader

Here’s another in my series of ten year old photos.

Arise Lord Vader — episode 3 got a lot of promotion. Or, as I joked at the time: Connex was aligned with the Dark Side.
Arise Lord Vader - Flinders Street station, May 2005

The Dungeon: platform 13 at Flinders Street. The screens have been replaced with a flat model, and an escalator was installed to the concourse, but I’m not sure it’s changed that much otherwise.
Platform 13, Flinders Street Station, May 2005

M and I must have been out on a dog walk and found this sign. Edgewater (then under construction, now a thriving infill suburb) is in that abyss somewhere.
Edgewater, May 2005

Also on the dog walk. Evidently the residents of Rippon Street were very proud of their second prize from 16 years earlier. Google Streetview shows the sign was still there in March 2014.
Near Vic Uni Footscray Park, May 2005

It was ten years ago this month that we had the funeral for Tram Stop 7 (on Collins Street and Russell Street) — since merged with the Exhibition Street stop in favour of a mid-block tram stop. I think it was the first time the “one stop per block in the CBD” rule started to be diminished — these days it’s near-impossible to know where the closest stop is to Street X. It got plenty of media interest. Naturally to this day you see trams stop there for the traffic lights, but unable to pick up or drop off passengers. (More pictures)
Funeral for a tram stop, May 2005

My desk back then. Old computer (bought earlier that month), old fat screen, old bulky printer. Copy of Train Simulator on the desk. Blue Linksys router in the background — WiFi antennae up, I don’t even recall if I used WiFi for anything back then.
My desk, May 2005

Truck rollover at Flinders/Spencer. Again.

I was curious to see how many times in the last year that trucks have missed the “Low clearance 4.0” (metres) height warning and crashed into the guard rail for the rail bridge at Spencer and Flinders Streets, before rolling-over and blocking the intersection.

Spencer/Flinders St bridge, Melbourne

(Or look on: Google Streetview)

Answer via Google News archive search: at least four times in the last year, including this morning.

17/12/2009 Truck rollover in Melbourne’s CBD causes traffic chaos

24/2/2010 Tram and traffic delays caused as truck rolls on the corner of Flinders St and Spencer St in Melbourne

21/3/2010 Truck rollover blocks intersection of Spencer and Flinders streets

4/10/2010 Truck rolls over in Melbourne CBD

(One link suggested another one in April 2010, but I haven’t found a news report of it.)

For non-locals, this is one of the busiest intersections in central Melbourne, with many cars, buses and five tram routes passing through. The rail bridge is also a key one, with most metropolitan train services using it. Lucky the guard rail is apparently strong enough to prevent the trucks crashing into the bridge itself.

Let’s assume for a moment it wasn’t steering or brake failure. Do trucks have any kind of reminder in the cab of the height of the load? For semi-trailers I assume this would vary from job to job, whereas some other vehicles (the one in February was a garbage truck) would be a fixed-height.


8/10/2010 — It happened again

19/11/2010 — And again

6/5/2011Truck jammed under notorious rail bridge

1/8/2011Truck trap hits city traffic

5/3/2013 — I’m not sure if it’s been less frequent or less reported, but today it happened again

10/4/2013And again:

5/4/2014And again:

  • Age: Truck slams into Flinders Street rail bridge causing delays
  • Herald Sun: Online blogger Daniel Bowen has kept a tally of the number of run-ins trucks have had with the rail bridge in recent years. He updated his list following the latest crash, saying similar incidents had happened at least 11 times in the last five years.

7/4/2015 — Another occurrence: Truck stuck under Spencer Street bridge causes traffic delaysEmergency services responded to a callout to the intersection of Spencer Street and Flinders Street after the truck wedged itself under the rail bridge shortly after 2pm.

Update 21/5/2015This Age article notes Metro figures saying the worst bridge in Melbourne is at Napier Street, Footscray, with 43 truck strikes since 2010 (no doubt higher because it’s close to the port). It says the Flinders/Spencer Street bridge has had 11 — which matches my count above.

1/2/2016 — I haven’t tracked these thoroughly during last year, but this might be the first for 2016, affecting the South Morang and Hurstbridge lines, not running via the Loop.