Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Inner Circle Part 2 of 3

It was only a short walk and so did not take very long. I walked from Royal Parade to Royal Park Station following the old inner circle railway line which is now a walking and cycling path.

I left the tram in Royal Parade and although I wanted to head west, I had to cross the road to get onto the path to use the tunnel under Royal Parade. Just before entering the tunnel are these brick 'things'. I am not sure what their role was and could not even guess.


The tunnel under Royal Parade was quite unexciting. It would have to be a good bit higher for a train using overhead electrical wires to pass under, so it probably has a ceiling added after the train stopped running.

A substantial staunchion and an old train signal.

Here is a bit closer. How wonderful that it was left there.

Now this looks more like a bridge for trains to travel under as I am about to go under The Avenue.

Maybe some kind of supports for the overhead wiring.

I am still following the route of the disappeared train line but trains don't travel up hills like this. The land was filled in at some point as this is where the train line meets the Upfield train line. The train went straight ahead and did not follow the path.

On the other side of the hill you can see by the width of the staunchions that another train line ran along here. The driver of the approaching train blew his whistle at me. Whether it was a friendly whistle to someone he recognised as being interested in the old train line, or a get off railway property whistle, I am not sure.

Somewhere along here the single inner circle line would have joined the mainline before reaching the visible platforms of Royal Park Station. But did the inner circle join the main line or was it a separate line. I query this only because the outbound platform at Royal Park has a newish shelter and could have been brought closer after the inner circle closed. But I don't think so.

I think these are crested pigeons. I first saw some at my stepmother's in the north of Victoria maybe ten years ago. I had never seen them in Melbourne until quite recently.

Royal Park Station is a lovely building, on the city bound side. It is little more than a pebbledash bus shelter on the other side.

It is of course the station for visitors to the Royal Melbourne Zoo. The lions and tigers were silent.

The local kiddies artwork, I assume. Delightful.



I don't catch trains on a regular basis, but I am somewhat informed about them. Of course I just missed a train back to town. I could have caught the tram, but R and myself did this once when we walked in Royal Park and it took forever. I correctly guessed that the Upfield line ran a twenty minute daytime service.  I waited for the next train and the platform announcement said it was cancelled. Staff was sweeping the platform and even she went and pressed the button to find out next train time information when she heard the announcement. Yes, there was an issue, but not with the inbound train, as the public announcement had informed us, but the outbound one. The announcement was totally wrong. I had seen both the up and down trains and I noted the down train did not turn up. My up train arrived on time, twenty minutes after the last, while people on the opposite platform had to wait up to forty minutes. While I am sure there was a good reason, it is simply not good enough. Twenty minutes to wait for a suburban train is excessive.  Forty minutes is appalling. People of influence simply would not use such a service and use their cars and sit in congested traffic and still get to their destination more quickly.

As I said, I am only a casual off peak user of trains and I have found I have rather a lot to complain about over the years. I don't think I would want to be dependent on them and this is so not what it should be.

The two parts of the first section I walked are here and here, with a map at the latter.

16 comments:

  1. Royal Park - so many memories. Soon, when naptime has his way, the huge, tall gum I planted during my school years will be bulldozed.

    Another interesting tour, thanks Andrew.

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    1. FC, I expect there are many with memories of Royal Park. I just can't believe what Napthaline is going to do.

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  2. The whistle was probably to warn you not to get near the track, if he'd run you down the inquiry and paperwork would just take forever and no one wants that hassle. Plus the messy clean up and "has anyone seen the left leg? I'm sure it flew off in that direction, over by those bushes maybe."
    Nice walk though, interesting things to look at.
    Waiting 20 minutes for a suburban train is common over here, which is why I travel by bus. Also because the trains don't go to the suburbs I'm going to.

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    1. River, I know very well about work paperwork in those situations and I did not go close to the track. 20 minutes is just acceptable for a train, but 40 minutes when a train is cancelled is unacceptable. Buses are a bit more people friendly.

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  3. Australian public transport is disgusting compared with overseas cities. If govts were serious about keeping cars out of cities they would do more to modernise public transport. It should be for everyone not just those who don't have cars.

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    1. It is Diane, although I live in good place for public transport. So many don't. In the seventies and early eighties, a lot of 'suits' used to travel on trams and trains. Now they prefer to sit in traffic jams. Public transport must be good enough to be an option to them.

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    2. I'm betting that's because their cars have airconditioning, while much of public transport doesn't or has malfunctioning aircon. and there's the cough,sneeze factor, with so many these days not covering up coughs and sneezes. Who wouldn't avoid that if they could?

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    3. River, all our trains bar five have air con. About half the trams have aircon and it is pretty rare to see a bus without aircon. Regardless, peak travel can be very uncomfortable in crowded trains.

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  4. Like your new header.

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    1. Thanks, but it could be better. The wonderful Fen is working on it.

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  5. Interesting tour of the disused line. Until governments realise they must subsidise local transport to make it effective then they will never get to grips with pollution and congestion. But what do I know, I only travel on trains!

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    1. Fun60, you are miles ahead of us here with public transport. London's rail is a somewhat inconvenient work in progress all the time. The train time to Edinburgh has been quite reduced. Is it Virgin who runs the Great Western Line, with all the Brunnel bridges? That does seem problematic.

      Our governments won't borrow to improve things, even though interest rates are so low.

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  6. I think our train system is pretty good over here Andrew. There have been a few disruptions with the Perth Link project, but considering what they're doing it's been pretty minimal.Personally I think the train driver fancied you !!


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    1. Grace, we hear good noises about your trains. Interesting on your 730 WA about light rail in the city and which streets will be used.

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  7. Regarding the Inner Circle connection at Royal Park station, it was originally double track, with a connection to each line at the down end of the platforms. This diagram is from 1932:

    http://www.signaldiagramsandphotos.com/mywebpages/vr/Metropolitan/3%2732.htm

    By 1967 the junction had been simplified, with the Inner Circle reduced to just a single track:

    http://www.signaldiagramsandphotos.com/mywebpages/vr/Metropolitan/12%2767.htm

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    1. Perfectly clear now Marcus, thanks. It was very in line with the track at Royal Park, with the Upfield track looking like the secondary track.

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