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Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from January 2005

Continuing my series of old photos from ten years ago

At the house in Carnegie, we had an old slide (which eventually got left there for whoever moved in after us) and a trampoline (which came with us, but in the end when we’d tired of it, got given to relatives who would use it more). Here I am mid-bounce, with my ancient Reg Mombassa Mambo for Greenpeace anti-car t-shirt.
Bouncing on the trampoline

Back when I did the all dishes by hand. Nowadays most of these would go in the dish washer. I love having a dish washer. The dish rack lasted me about ten years, but rust started to get to it, so it got replaced last year by a slightly smaller one that fits better in the space I have.
Dishes

The train home from Warragul arrives. We’d gone down there for just a quick joy ride.
Warragul station

Asleep on the train home from Warragul. Well, probably pretending to sleep, getting one of the kids to snap the photo.
Asleep on the train home from Warragul

The Town Hall (Collins Street at Swanston Street) tram superstop opened in 2001. By 2003 route 109 had been extended to Box Hill. But by January 2005, the signs at the premier stop along the route still said Mont Albert. I think from memory I did send this photo around and eventually it got fixed. This type of thing eventually helped inspire the PTUA’s Problem Of The Day series in 2012-2013, highlighting mostly smallish public transport problems via photos.
Incorrect signage, Town Hall tram stop

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Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Photos from December 2004

The Trugo mural in Yarraville. I added this photo to the Wikipedia article on Trugo, which is a sport believed to have been invented by railway workers in the 1920s. this image from Google Streetview, by 2009 the mural had deteriorated a bit. When I went past recently, they seemed to have patched it up, which is good. I thought I had a snap of it, but I can’t find it.
Trugo mural, Yarraville, December 2004

From time to time in the house in Carnegie that I lived in, this mysterious residue would appear, often around windows. I never figured out what it was, but I note with some alarm that occasionally something similar appears on one of the window ledges in my current house. It can’t be good, right? I’m not panicking though — I’ve got a guy coming in a few weeks to do some repair work; I’m sure he’ll sort it out.
Mysterious things in the old house

This looks to have been an attempt by Isaac to write Christmas cards to all of his classmates. I gather some school kids still do this.
Christmas cards

From a walk around Altona Beach with M and the dog. There were lots of flies… evidently I wasn’t having a good time with so many of them buzzing around.
Daniel under attack from flies

Another snap of Southern Cross Station under construction. This photo would have been taken from the south-east corner, at Collins/Spencer Streets.
Southern Cross Station under construction, December 2004

Finally, a photo which isn’t from 2004.

This is just a few weeks old, and is to wish everybody reading a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year… and an extra special thought to those who have lost someone dear to them recently.
Elizabeth Street, Christmas 2014

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Photos Toxic Custard newsletter transport

Photos from last week

The hi fi box was a big hit with my niece (and nephew)
The box is a hit with my neice

Having obtained a government-provided “boarding pass” (they were handed out with some MXs — I missed out but managed to get one via Kev, who saved it for me), I went searching for the airport rail link. Strangely enough it wasn’t listed on the network status board.
Searching for the Airport rail link

A while back I bought some shirts from that Charles Tyrwhitt mob who advertise a lot. Pretty nice shirts, and I’ll probably buy more from them. One thing’s for sure though, they WILL send you promotional catalogues and emails afterwards. You won’t feel neglected.
Charles Tyrwhitt promotional mail

The channel 7 news the night following the Endeavour Hills stabbing. You know things are serious when they’re doing five live crosses for one story.
Live crosses following Endeavour Hills stabbing

Just a bunch of trams rolling down the road? Not quite — if you look closely, they’re going the wrong way, heading north along the southbound track. They were headed by a Yarra Trams car with flashing lights. There was an underground fire at the corner of William Street and Flinders Lane, and Yarra Trams decided to move the trams backwards rather than have them stuck for an indefinite period. For reasons that escape me, this is known in tram circles as running “bang road”, and is rare enough that Marcus Wong shot video of it.
Trams running backwards up William Street

For some months now this signage at Bentleigh station (and others with more than 2 platforms) has been incomplete. Despite repeated queries over several months via Twitter, it hasn’t been fixed. (I’ve been querying Metro, though they apparently need to chat to PTV to get it resolved.)
Incomplete signage, Bentleigh station

Here’s how packed some CBD trams can get — really testing the new E-class trams’ theoretical capacity. Now, how packed will it be from January when free CBD tram rides are introduced? Packed enough, I suspect, that I told a PTV survey person several weeks ago that, in all honesty, the change is likely to reduce my use of CBD trams — remembering that I have a Yearly Myki, so if I opt-out due to increased crowding, my paid rides will have been replaced by freeloaders.
Packed CBD tram

Spotted in Bourke Street one lunchtime.
'Lies' #EWLink

Seddon and Yarraville both have campaigns against paid parking on at the moment. I’ve gotta say, having had the need to drive to both recently, and having spent ages (particularly in Yarraville) looking for parking, I think I’d prefer having a price signal to discourage people from staying longer than necessary and/or to go without their cars (both centres are quite well served by public transport).
No Paid Parking campaign, Seddon

Lois Lane in Yarraville. No sign of Superman. Or Clark Kent, for that matter.
Lois Lane, Yarraville

On the western suburbs train lines, there’s only a service every 40 minutes on Sunday mornings. This is the result: the 10am train from Footscray to the city, packed to the gills. The Show is on, but even after North Melbourne, plenty of people stayed on board going into the CBD. Not every square centimetre of floorspace was occupied, but it’s not good enough when the rail system has plenty of spare capacity, and should be trying to attract extra trips. High time extra trains ran on Sunday mornings.
Werribee line, Sunday morning. Trains 40 minutes apart.

Both South Yarra and Footscray have six platforms. Sadly only one of them has live information on the concourse for all six platforms.
South Yarra station concourse
Footscray station concourse

In the past few days rubbish bins have been removed at Melbourne’s major railway stations. Apparently the transparent design wasn’t considered secure enough. Here’s what they looked like. (I snapped this pic last week to email in to Crikey, whose people had apparently never seen/noticed them. Crikey didn’t use it, but The Age did.)
Transparent rubbish bins, Flagstaff station

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Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from September 2004

Another in my series of posts of ten year old photos: some snaps from September 2004… I don’t seem to have many of interest this month, but oh well.

Collins Street and Elizabeth Street, a snap not used in this blog post. Trams were turning around here for a special event up ahead for Olympians returning from the 2004 Games in Athens. In some ways it hasn’t changed much, but there’s a big tram superstop at this spot now; no more narrow “safety-zone”.
Collins and Elizabeth Streets, September 2004

Riding my bike in the backyard, for this blog post. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden the bike — not helped by the lack of bike lanes around here. And I still have that ugly stripy t-shirt. I think that might date back to the 80s — perhaps one of the last Australian-made t-shirts ever manufactured, and it’s as tough as nails; it just won’t die.
On my bicycle, September 2004

My then-local station Murrumbeena. The train shown is gradually losing its “Moving Melbourne” M>Train colours. The signal looks rusty and ancient… if it hasn’t yet been replaced, no doubt it will as part of the Dandenong rail upgrade.
Train at Murrumbeena, September 2004

Steamrail K190 at Caulfield on 12/9/2004, marking 150 years of railways in Victoria. We then boarded the train, and I didn’t remember where it went, but apparently it was through the city to Sunshine and back (lots more photos there).
Steamrail train at Caulfield 12/9/2004

…I also shot this very brief video:

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Photos Toxic Custard newsletter

Some pics from the past week

Lego MCG at Myer toy department, Emporium
Lego MCG

Lego MCG

If you try to steal this tram seat, it could get messy.
Tram seat

Flowerpots. Many flowerpots. At Gazi, the modern Greek restaurant in the old Herald Sun building.
Flower pots

Lots of these ads around the place at the moment. What is it? Some kind of big survey thing run by advertising company J C Decaux. If you’re wondering, the Morse code says “Are you in”.
Pigeon project

Sacrilege. But thought-provoking.
Do not spit

Oh. Good morning.
Horse

Apparently there’s a train to the airport in three minutes, if only I can find platform 11.
Airport train

Spotted in Collingwood. Must go back when I have more time.
Forgotten Worlds, Johnston St. Need to come back here when I have more time.

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Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Some photos from July 2004

Another in my series of old photos from ten years ago

In 2004 the situation with crowded trains hadn’t really hit as a big political problem, which is why it took until 2006 for the government to decide not to scrap all the Hitachi trains after all, but expand the fleet. It was certainly occurring at that point however, and I snapped this photo one morning at Richmond. I was particularly pleased with it — it conveys the sense of frustration from passengers really well.
Crowded train, Richmond, July 2004
[Another pic from that same morning]

At Southbank there used to be a regular display from a group called Chalk Circle… one day I found that had this image of The Goodies.
The Goodies, chalk art at Melbourne Southbank, July 2004
[Original blog post]

They’re a common hazard now, but chuggers were around even back then:
Chuggers at Southbank, July 2004

The view looking west along the Yarra. Despite it being almost 20 years since trains ran over the Sandridge bridge, it still looked like a rail bridge. It’s only in recent years that it’s been fully renovated and made available to the public again.
Looking west along the Yarra, July 2004

Jeremy using the computer at home (see another view here). Note the floppy drive. In the foreground is a Harry Potter DVD — I’d ordered it from Amazon UK because in Australia at the time you couldn’t buy the widescreen version.
Jeremy using the computer, July 2004

By way of a bulk sale of their Summertown CD, my mate Tony organised a private concert in his house of Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier. [Original blog post]
Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier, July 2004

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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from June 2004

Yep, it’s June, so time again for another batch of my old photos from ten years ago.

It seems that for some reason I didn’t take very many photos in June 2004.

A Hitachi train pulls out of Richmond station. Note the markings of the then five-years defunct PTC on the shelter glass. Other than that, it hasn’t changed much.
Hitachi train pulls into Richmond station, June 2004

Up until that point, red (emergency) and green (next train) buttons hadn’t been provided at Richmond, despite having been deployed at most stations almost ten years earlier. Around then, they decided to install them.
Richmond station green/red buttons not yet commissioned, June 2004

For a day or two, they were filming an advertisement at the kids’ school — we think it was for the Cancer Council, on being sun smart. For some reason, they felt the old main school building’s red bricks weren’t good enough, so brought along their own brick wall. I’ve had a quick look; haven’t yet found the ad online anywhere.
Filming in the school yard, June 2004

Back when you could get SMS alerts for train cancellations — they ran from 2001 to 2013 — here’s one from then operator Connex, on my old Nokia phone of the time.
Connex train SMS alert, June 2004

Finally, this is what my desk at home looked like in 2004 — the photo was taken for this post, which has pop-up captions. The computer (a Gateway, from when they still traded in Australia) I’d got back in 2000. Almost everything beige/grey in the photo has been traded for black — including the desk.
My desk at home, June 2004

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Photos from ten years ago

Some of my photos from April 2004 – You won’t BELIEVE how similar everything was #clickbait

Continuing my series of posting ten-year-old photos, I was struck by the fact that many of the photos from April 2004 show some things have changed very little.

Traffic in Collins Street, creeping into the tram lanes. Just recently more visible dividers have been added… I suspect they help, but don’t completely prevent cars on the tracks.
Tram in traffic, Collins Street approaching Spring Street (March 2004)

Spirit of Tasmania, seen from South Melbourne Beach. Looking closely, it might be Spirit of Tasmania II. According to Wikipedia, it seems both I and II were built in 1998, and originally served connecting Greece with Italy, though it seems II was involved in a fatal accident in 1999, some years before being brought to Australia.
Spirit of Tasmania, from South Melbourne Beach (March 2004)

Who remembers the M>Tram livery? A little garish perhaps, but in some ways not so different to the new PTV livery. And I did like the “Moving Melbourne” slogan.
Tram at terminus of Route 1 South Melbourne, in M>Tram colours (March 2004)

Flinders Street Station, as seen from Southbank. Thanks to height limits around Swanston Street, I’m not even sure the skyline from this angle has changed very much.
Flinders Street Station, from Southbank (March 2004)

Interior of a Hitachi train — odds on it’s one of those scrapped in the mid-2000s, as only about 7 are still around (and not in service at present). Obviously this wasn’t a busy service — the timestamp says it was 9:14am on Wednesday 14th April 2004.
Hitachi train interior (March 2004)

Being interviewed for ABC TV News on 18th April — this was the day Connex took over the entire metropolitan rail network.
Daniel being interviewed for ABC TV News, 18/4/2004

…unfortunately the Connex banner at Caulfield decided to rebel against its new overlords.
"Welcome to nnex" - Connex takes over from M>Train, 18/4/2004

Traffic in Collins Street near Swanston Street. Yep, not changed much. If you want to move quickly in this area, don’t bring a motor vehicle.
Traffic in Collins St, near Swanston St (March 2004)

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Photos from ten years ago

Photos from March 2004

Continuing my series of ten year old photos

The serene setting of Caulfield South Primary School, where my kids went. Like many schools of that era, the original main building is lovely, and conceals the portable classrooms out the back.
Caulfield South Primary School (March 2004)

The old Elizabeth Street tram stop on Collins Street, westbound. It’s not hard to see why they’ve rebuilt these stops into platform stops, for safety and to speed up loading, as well as providing accessible stops — though some of the old safety zones still exist, particularly on William Street and Latrobe Street.
Collins Street at Elizabeth Street, tram stop (March 2004)

Still one of my best photos of Punt Road traffic, taken from Richmond Station above. Also a reminder that they often call for road expansion to help freight move more efficiently, but the bulk of traffic on the road is single-person cars.
Punt Road traffic (March 2004)

Trams queued at the Swanston Street superstop outside Flinders Street Station. Despite it being almost five years since privatisation, there were still quite a few trams in The Met green livery, though at the front of the queue is one in the M>Tram colours… M>Tram by this point had actually pulled out, and in April would be taken over by Yarra Trams.
Trams queued in Swanston Street at Flinders Street (March 2004)

A monolith of art deco in the foreground, while in the background is Michael Schumacher on the big Bourke/Swanston billboard, advertising the Grand Prix or mobile phones or something. Further back a building is under construction — it might be the BHP Billiton headquarters on Lonsdale Street? I think this photo was taken out the back of a Collins Street building where I worked at the time.
Melbourne city skyline (March 2004)

My old “bathtub on wheels” Magna in the driveway in Carnegie, the day the out-of-control bush at the front of my house decided to pull down the telephone cable. At least, I think it was the telephone… hopefully not the power.
Cable pulled down by bush (March 2004)

Melbourne city skyline, this time seen from the river. A few buildings going up in the background.
Melbourne city skyline from the river (March 2004)

I posted about this at the time, but down at Southbank for a while was this chalk art of Doctor Who, including portraits of the first eight Doctors. The new series had just been announced, and I think a few weeks later they added Christropher Eccleston to the work.
Doctor Who pavement art, Southbank (March 2004)

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Photos from ten years ago

Photos from February 2004

For this month, I don’t have very many great photos of interest, but here goes…

We must have been on the way to Marita’s house in Footscray. This is the Footscray Road intersection with Citylink, back when there was a level crossing underneath the tollway, where slow freight trains used to run in and out of the port. Cars, buses and trucks would only occasionally have to stop for the infrequent trains, but when they did, you were often in for a long wait. Eventually they built an overpass further west, relocated the freight line, and removed the level crossing.
Footscray Road westbound, waiting for a freight train (February 2004)
(Hmm, I wonder if building the overpass was seen as essential given Footscray Road’s status as a Westgate alternative route?)

During my time as PTUA President, there were actually very few still photos taken of me. More often it was video for TV. Here is probably the best picture that made it into print, for a Melbourne Times article. It was snapped outside Melbourne Town Hall, in a slight drizzle, back in the days when I wore a tie to work. The article itself, written by Walkley Award-winner Ingrid Svendsen, was a wide-ranging one on the removal of Short Term Tickets, privatisation (and the new contracts) and the then Labor state government’s reluctance to bring the system back into public ownership.
Daniel pictured in the Melbourne Times (February 2004)

For Jeremy’s 6th birthday, my uncle Kevin had sent a The Bill police man action figure as a present. I was Marita’s idea to snap it in various locations, on patrol. One spot, many years before we got PSOs on patrol at railway stations, was by the railway line near Murrumbeena.
The Bill action figure, guarding our railways

Photos of the rest of this guy’s adventures are here.