Melbourne’s Sky Rail project

Sky Rail construction over Clayton Road

Metro train crosses Clayton Road below Sky Rail construction

One of the biggest and unique construction projects in Melbourne at the moment is Sky Rail.

Throughout Melbourne, the government is removing railway level crossings that cause traffic bottlenecks along major roads.  In many cases the construction solution has been a stand alone bridge or tunnel to replace each level crossing.

Space constraints along the Cranbourne-Pakenham line have required an innovative construction solution.  Sky Rail will be a continuous overhead railway line between Caulfield and Dandenong that will replace nine level crossings and five train stations.

Sky Rail construction at Clayton

Sky Rail construction beside the existing railway line at Clayton

There has been a lot of community resistance to the Sky Rail project, due to the privacy concerns of train passengers looking down into residential back yards.  Opponents to invasive railway bridges campaigned for a tunnel instead, however the government claimed Sky Rail to be the only viable option and construction is now well under way.

I’m not here to take sides in any Sky Rail debate, but I will admire the engineering required to construct the project and photograph the work to share here.

I recently visited the railway corridor between Clayton and Centre Roads in Clayton.  It was a wet and gloomy day, but interesting to see the progress of this major Melbourne infrastructure project.

Sky Rail construction at Centre Road Clayton

Metro train crosses Centre Road below Sky Rail construction

Traffic waits for a Metro train to cross Clayton Road

Check out the Gallery for more photos… gallery.vic.pics/Melbourne/Suburbs/Clayton/SkyRail-October-2017

I’m looking forward to getting back here again to photograph the sites once construction is complete and the area underneath Sky Rail is opened up to the community.

Last Steam Train at Wycheproof

Yes, it’s been some time since the last post here at Vic Pics, but we are still here!

Now that the footy seasons have finished, there’s more weekend time to get out and about photographing Victoria.  Let’s kick off with something historic…

Wycheproof is a unique town, because the railway line runs along the medium strip of the main street.  You may recall I wrote about the Wycheproof railway in January, and that the line is used mostly during harvest season for grain trains.

To better utilise regional railways, the authorities have decided this line will be changed from Broad Gauge to Standard Gauge.  Once the track change has been completed, Broad Guage rolling stock and historic tourist steam locomotives wont be able to visit the area.

Last weekend Steamrail Victoria sent the last ever Broad Gauge steam train to Wycheproof.  This historic train visit was met by a big turn out of locals and tourists to see the recently restored A2-986 steam locomotive rumble down the main street.

Check out this Gallery for more photos…
gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Wycheproof/The-last-steam-train-to-Wycheproof

Steam train to Warragul and Traralgon

Last weekend Steamrail Victoria operated a steam train tour to Warragul and Traralgon.  Locomotive, A2-986 has spent the last 30 odd years being restored to operational condition.  The train was treated to a “welcome back” ceremony at Warragul, before continuing on to Traralgon, where there is still an operational turntable, to turn around and head back to Melbourne.

Below are a few of my favourite photos from Saturday.  Check out the Warragul and Traralgon galleries for more pics.

Beulah

Driving north along the Henty Highway it was the Beulah Railway Station that first caught my eye in the small Mallee town.  I wasn’t going to stop, but the old station was looking photogenic in the early afternoon sun.  After turning around and finding my way to the tracks, I realised something was wrong.  Completely surrounding the building was a yellow warning ribbon with the repeated message “CAUTION ASBESTOS”.

Beulah Station is overgrown with long grass, and there are weeds growing from the platform beside a deserted shopping cart.  The type of trolley often used by the elderly to take their groceries home, the shopping cart is just sitting in the middle of the platform, waiting for a train that will never come.

Deserted shopping cart on the platform of the closed Beulah Railway Station

Deserted shopping cart on the platform of the closed Beulah Railway Station

CLOSED: Beulah Railway Station

CLOSED: Beulah Railway Station 

Take a seat, breathe in the country air (and Asbestos)

Take a seat, breathe in the country air (and Asbestos)

Heading into town, it’s sad to see the closed shops of Beulah, but the old Town Hall and Post Office have been well maintained and look grerat!

Beulah Memorial Hall and Library

Beulah Memorial Hall and Library

The old Beulah Post Office

The old Beulah Post Office

Browse more photos from Beulah in the galleries at gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Beulah.

Wycheproof railway runs along the middle of the main street

Traffic management is a little unusual in Wycheproof, in central-west Victoria.  The railway line runs along the middle of the main street, known as Broadway to the locals, but it’s also the Calder Highway, the main route between Melbourne and Mildura.

The railway crosses half the highway at the southern end of Wycheproof. It passes through many cross-over roads through the town.  At the northern end of town it crosses the other half of the highway.  Despite all of these crossings, there are no boom-gates, no warning lights or bells.

You might say those tracks must be old and that there is no way so many unprotected railway crossings in the middle of a large town would be allowed in 2017.  However, locals tell me there are still regular trains passing through the town, especially during the wheat harvest season (December-January).  It’s actually very safe, as the trains are highly visible, very loud, and are restricted to very slow speed as they pass though Wycheproof.  Apparently, there has not been a single train related accident in Wycheproof for over 100 years.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Regional/Wycheproof/Wycheproof-township/i-rTWjNLz/2/X3/20170106-194010-YEO62939-LR-X3.jpg
Wycheproof railway runs along the middle of the main street

Browse my Wycheproof galleries here – gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Wycheproof 

Maryborough Railway Station

Main entrance to historic Maryborough Railway Station in central Victoria, Australia

Maryborough Railway Station

Maryborough Railway Station seems out of place in this little country town.  It’s a grand old station built in 1890, possibly by mistake!  A local resident told us the plans and materials were sent to Maryborough in error, but erected anyway.  Another story I’ve heard that was that this design was rejected for a city railway station in Melbourne, so the construction was redirected to regional Maryborough.  It’s reported that the American author Mark Twain visited Maryborough in 1895 and described it as “A railway station with a town attached”.

Unlike many old regional railway stations, Maryborough still services freight and passenger trains.  The station was closed in 1993, but reopened in 2010 following a major restoration.  These days the station is also home to a restaurant which offers outdoor dining on the platform.  At night the station is bathed in light (like many other public buildings in the town) for an awesome appearance.

Check out our gallery of photos from Maryborough Railway Station at this link – gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Maryborough/Railway-Station

The platform at Maryborough Railway Station.

The platform at Maryborough Railway Station.

A locomotive and rolling stock seen from Maryborough Railway Station platform.

A locomotive and rolling stock seen from Maryborough platform.

Vline passenger train departs Maryborough Railway Station at dusk.

Vline passenger train departs Maryborough Station at dusk.

Outdoor dining on a warm night at Maryborough Railway Station.

Outdoor dining on a warm night at Maryborough Railway Station.

Bathed in light, after dark at Maryborough Railway Station.

Bathed in light, after dark at Maryborough Railway Station.