Melbourne transport

Some things never change II

Where is that damn train?

Flinders Street Station, 1920s (or maybe 30s?)
Flinders Street Station
(From the Public Record Office Victoria)

Flinders Street Station, 2007
Flinders Street Station 2007

Yeah the angles don’t match, but I reckon it’s not bad given that I took the new picture last year, before seeing the older one.

AND it’s exactly the same platforms in shot. AND in both there’s a train on platform 9.

(As far as I can tell, the old picture, being from before 1955, is out of copyright. Anybody in the know — and a few who have that knowledge lurk here, I know it — care to confirm or deny that, before I get into trouble?)

Update: Re-published in The Age

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

14 replies on “Some things never change II”

Although the loop was not built until the 1970s, there were calls for an underground railway of some sort for years before. That image shows the main drivers for the those calls – overcrowding at your choice of 1 of 2 whole stations to board for your journey home. This was made even worse by the class system on suburban trains, which was not abolished until around 1958 and passengers pushed through to find a second class compartment on the Swing door or Tait trains.

I’d be interested to see the St Kilda or Port Melbourne trains on platform 11 in one of these old images.

Where is the train? “Connex apologises for any inconvenience caused.” Oh what a familiar catch phrase you hear when waiting on the platform.Crowded trains, fewer services, get rid of connex.

I’ve come to the rather cynical conclusion of late that the reason Connex never offers explanations for service disruptions is that a) there are no reasons or b) the reasons are so puerile, an eight-year old could disprove and rebuke them.

Andrew S: Interestingly, one of the big motivators for building the loop was to help with pedestrian flows, not train flows.

PlatiNumEuro: Connex isn’t the problem. To a large extent they’re playing with the cards they’ve been given. Lack of willpower and leadership from the government is the problem.

Jayne: I’ll check it out with People Who Know, but it appears at first glance that the copyright text is a default template, as the Copyright web site is pretty clear that for a photograph that old, copyright has expired.

OK, as a PROV employee, let me chime in here – PROV owns copyright to our website, not to all material provided via our system which is a) a public record and b) out of the copyright period. We do administer Crown Copyright on records where it applies. The rule isn’t quite as simple as what you state – it’s not just 50 years anymore – but that notwithstanding, I’d say you’re pretty safe. (Bearing in mind that I am not a lawyer, of course …)

Re comment 7 – I was talking passenger volumes actually – the crowded platform images speak volumes.

However reagrding train movements there would have been peak hour problems too – there are more lines east of Flinders Street than west so running through the city alone was never going to get trains through effectively peak hour pre loop days – reversing of trains from the east would have been inevitable. Today however supplementing loop trains with straight through ones would help capacity beyond that of the four tunnels.

Great comparison. Still doesn’t look as crowded though, but I guess that’s not considering all the people waiting at the other loop stations.

…and there is still a hat store in Flinders Street just next to the clocks.

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