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Victoria, 3-10 to 8-10-2004
Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is February 2010.
Back then the tram stops along Swanston Street were at ground level.
The platform stops at Collins, Bourke and La Trobe Street weren’t completed until July 2012.
And the Melbourne CBD skyline was much smaller, as seen in this view from the rail yards of West Melbourne.
This entire area is about to be covered in freeway overpasses as part of the West Gate ‘Tunnel’ project.
The railway yards beside North Melbourne station have also changed, when I photographed the ‘Apex’ quarry train parked for the weekend.
And a grain train headed to Kensington.
Both trains still run today, but under new operators – Qube Logistics and Southern Shorthaul Railroad respectively – while the sidings they use have been completely rebuilt as part of the Regional Rail Link project.
Another scene changed thanks to Regional Rail Link is the approach to Sunshine, where V/Line and suburban trains had to share the tracks.
Today a second track pair runs between Sunshine and the city, speeding the journey for V/Line trains on the Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo lines.
And new trains
The construction of new X’Trapolis trains had just restarted at the Alstom Ballarat workshops.
A decade on we’re still building them, with seven follow on orders signed so far, but no firm commitment has been made as to the future of the facility.
And the older Comeng trains were also in the middle of an air conditioning upgrade program.
Previously known for their propensity to drop dead whenever the temperature hit 36 degrees, the State Government spent $18.7 million retrofitting the units so that they would continue to run at temperatures up to 45 degrees.
The Bombardier plant at Dandenong was also busy, refurbishing Endeavour and Xplorer railcars for New South Wales.
Due to the railways of New South Wales being standard gauge, each railcar needed to be transferred to broad gauge bogies at South Dynon, then dragged to Dandenong behind a diesel locomotive.
Headed out west
Another rail gauge muddle can be found at Maryborough, where the mothballed standard gauge track to Ararat met the broad gauge tracks from Ballarat.
In 2018 the line from Ararat was reopened as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project that converted the Mildura line to standard gauge, but lefts things in worse shape than before: poorly built and slower than the previous route.
On my way back to Ballarat I visited the disused railway station at Creswick, as a grain train passed through.
The newly relaid track was part of the restoration of V/Line services to Maryborough, with Creswick station reopening to passenger on July 2010.
But a station in even worse condition was that at Maldon, on the the Victorian Goldfields Railway.
The 120-year-old building was gutted by fire in October 2009, but has since been rebuilt.
And the unexpected
One afternoon at Kensington I spotted some ‘police’ wandering the tracks at Kensington.
But it was just a television show.
Apparently for the Channel Seven series City Homicide, which screened between 2007 and 2011.
Here you can find the rest of my ‘photos from ten years ago‘ series.
The post Photos from ten years ago: February 2010 appeared first on Waking up in Geelong.
This article first appeared on wongm.com
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