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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from May and June 2014

So busy recently that I didn’t get around to posting my usual ten year old photos last month, so here’s May and June 2014 combined into one post.

The then-newish tram platform stops in Northcote on route 86. Quite narrow, I guess by necessity, but hopefully they do the job.

Then new tram platform stops in Northcote, 2014

Punt Road traffic. Always bad, especially at peak hours.

Punt Road traffic (2014)

The angel wings at the building next to McKinnon station. They’re still there, perhaps a little faded these days.

Daniel at the McKinnon station angel wings (2014)

You know it’s all gone badly wrong when they put up apologetic posters. And it had gone badly wrong – the major train delays on 29/4/2014 were known as Trainageddon.

Metro notice apologising for major disruptions, 1/5/2014

People may have forgotten, but for years the Siemens trains were in a terrible state inside. The walls and seats were often filthy. Eventually a new cleaning/maintenance contract came into effect and like magic, the problem was gone. I’d like to think a fair amount of advocacy on the issue helped that happen.

Siemens train interior, 9/5/2014

The old Flinders Street clock moved at Southern Cross, where it still stands. Back then the video screens showed railway history. These days they show a lot of ads.

Southern Cross station clock on "opening" day, 14/5/2014

It’s a rhino tram, but not as you know it.

Rhino tram, May 2014

Here’s the modern day 2024 version:

Rhino tram, 2024

Back to 2014. The Bayside Rail Upgrade program was on, bringing in a bunch of upgrades (many of which got torn down when lines got rebuilt for level crossing removals a few years later). Back then the bus replacements ran along the side streets, taking ages. In this example they didn’t even bother allocating a proper bus stop free of cars.

Rail replacement bus stop in the traffic, Glen Huntly, 24/5/2014

I don’t remember what the exact occasion was, but on this day I found an RTBU protest outside the then HQ of Yarra Trams.

RTBU rally outside then Yarra Trams HQ, 26/5/2014

The 2014 election was only a few months away, and both the Coalition government and the Labor opposition were campaigning hard for the support of train users.

Labor and Liberal campaign material for the 2014 election

At Malvern, the PSO booth (aka Baillieu Box) was under construction. Unlike some, this wasn’t demolished later for level crossing removals.

PSO facilities under construction at Malvern station, June 2014

Thoughtful and on-topic advertising for the Wheeler Centre.

An ad for the Wheeler Centre inside a train: "People never talk to each other on trains" (June 2014)

Finally, a little tale. We used to have relatives in the country, a long way from any towns, and the last bit of the trip was a 15-ish minute drive along a mix of narrow sealed and unsealed roads.

So the last thing I expected to encounter one day was a traffic light in the middle of nowhere.

Traffic light on a country road, May 2014

It was to facilitate safe conditions for road workers up ahead. They were as surprised to see any traffic as we were to see them.

It made for a good tale to our farm-dwelling rellies over lunch.

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.

3 replies on “Old photos from May and June 2014”

It’s interesting to look back. It is years since I’ve seen the interior of a train graffitied. How much I complain! Yet, the train system is so much better than it was in 2014. To travel at 75 km/h between South Yarra and Malvern in a beautiful train is absolute magic. Metro Trains now have an extended contract, deservedly so. It seems Keolis Downer will lose the Yarra Trams contract, deservedly so, but be careful what you wish for.

I found the previous operator of the trams to be pretty good (I am not sure if this is correct, but the previous operator of the trams only had to compensate passengers ONCE in ten years), and ironically, one of the companies that were involved in the previous tram operator was…Transdev, who became infamous in Melbourne for the buses. But with the trams, they were pretty good.

I think Metro in recent years had been pretty much a growing the beard moment for the trains, and the state of the trains at the moment is a reminder of this (apart from recent delays on the Sunbury line, which as a Sunbury line commuter I have been concerned about recently). But with Metro, it is only until the Metro Tunnel opens in late 2024/early 2025 (I was at Arden at the open day a few years ago, and they said that it could open in 2024), so hopefully Metro can improve on their recent good run.

The cleanliness of trains has improved considerably over the last few years. Overall the passenger infrastructure and rolling stock are of a good standard. It’s the timetabling which needs improvement (both regular and special event).

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