Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tarneit and Toorak by public transport

It's been ages since I have been on a train. Last week I had a day to myself and R was elsewhere. What should I do? I will visit the newish Tarneit Railway Station. Its service is provided by VLine, our country and regional service operator. So, it will be a nice VLocity train. Diesel electric, I think. I also think that means the motors power electric generators to move the train. They are really comfortable trains, made here in Victoria. As a rare user, the only criticism could be that there is some decent motor noise intrusion. But I quite like hearing the roar of the motors.

Tarneit is a newish and fastly growing suburb to the west of Melbourne city. The station has won awards and I must say, it is a good station, but situated far from shops on the barren windswept western plains. When I say it is a good station, it is very functional, but attractive? Not in my opinion. As well, it is surrounded by formal carparks and informal carparks. There were hundreds of parked cars, along with what looked to be a well set up bus interchange.

A wide leg spreader sat next to me on the return journey, with his leg touching mine. He was a rather attractive young Sikh gentleman, so I just left my leg touching his for at least half the 20 minute journey before my back told me to move position.

I had not finished with public transport nerdiness yet. From town I caught the 605 bus. It used to travel from the city along the river and then south to Gardenvale. When the route 8 tram was rerouted and became route 58, the route of the 605 was altered to give a direct service to the Botanic Gardens and for posh private boys' and girls' schools. The 605 runs through our most expensive suburb, Toorak, and it was interesting to see that some businessmen and ladies who lunch use the service. I left the bus in Toorak Village and caught the tram home.

Branson's Virgin has gyms? I must visit a gym one day, just for a look.


The former administration building of Victorian Railways, now a hotel and smart apartments.


North Melbourne Station, a very busy interchange. Err, yes, well, no one to be seen on the platforms. That means it is efficient and people don't wait very long.


The train stopped on the North Melbourne flyover, where it goes over the top of suburban train lines. The two rusty inner rails are something to do with preventing a tragedy on a bridge if the train derails. One day I will look up how that works. At the bottom of the photo are two rails, side by side. That is because with infinite wisdom, different states of Australia before we became a whole nation used different railway gauges. New South Wales went for standard gauge, Victoria broad gauge and South Australia, a mix of both. It wasn't until the 1960s that you did not have to change trains or the trains change undercarriages if you travelled from Melbourne to Sydney. It has been sorted out in a piecemeal fashion over the years, but Sydney's suburban system still uses standard gauge and Adelaide and Melbourne, broad gauge.


Flat, windy and inhospitable at Tarneit Station.






Melbourne's big wheel from the train on the way home. It gives great views of railway shunting yards and some port container handling facilties but not much else.


From the 605 bus; trams used to run along Domain Road, but no more and it is unlikely they ever will again. A rather odd temporary traffic island has been installed, to what purpose, I have no idea. If the traffic was any calmer there, it would be stationary.

10 comments:

  1. You are so right about Tarneit Station. Flat, windy and I imagine very uncomfortable in any weather extreme.

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    1. EC, at times London can feel quite cramped but I prefer that feeling to overly wide spaces.

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  2. Sounds like an enjoyable time. I'm almost never on a train, though I think a train vacay would be fun.

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    1. Sandra, make it happen. You have some great train trips in the US.

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  3. Have only ridden on a tram once or twice when very young. Husband drove the car with van on last year along Toorak :)

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    1. Margaret, oh, no. You drove along Toorak Road in a car towing a caravan! It is a hideous road. Ask me for advice in the future.

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  4. Everywhere looks remarkably quiet. One of my neighbours is going to London next week; I had to tell her to expect HUGE crowds. She will never have experienced anything like it.

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    1. Cro, as our friend Victor has pointed out in the past, I have a remarkable ability to take photos of busy places without people in them. London crowds are not a problem for us, but gosh, London is so noisy. How are cars, taxis and buses so quite inside and so noisy outside.

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  5. Our city is in the process of ripping up North Terrace to put in a tram line extension, so most bus services that come in from the east and north-east suburbs are held up with the rest of the traffic which is really annoying if I'm wanting to get home and put my feet up.
    Your new station does look very nice and perhaps in years to come shops or businesses will spring up around it so it doesn't look so abandoned.

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    1. River, yep. I am keeping up with the new tram line construction. It is the same here. Buses are held up by construction of our Metro Rail, but not really our trams. Abandoned is a good word to describe Tarneit.

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