It started with a photo, just a simple photo of Moonee Ponds Junction and two hours later, I was almost late for work.
I used to often get lost when looking at something on the web. Now I am inclined to bookmark a link that looks interesting, and go there later.......weeks later sometimes, usually when I am cleaning up the bookmarks.
But this morning I went way out of control and went from the Moonee Ponds Junction photo to the history of trains to Sydney and Adelaide, to deb balls, to bloggers, to a morning out. Some questions arose. Answer them if you can. Of course I never do proper research and rely very much on my knowledgeable readers.
The Moonee Ponds Junction photo showed a tram and a single tram track through the junction. I can recall driving through there myself a while ago and being very puzzled about the single track and where the Moonee Ponds tram terminated. I remember thinking how does this all work, but of course no time to look when you are in a motor. Thankfully it is less complicated than it would have otherwise been if the Puckle Street tram was still runnning.
I pressed the Google and Street Directory street camera services into action. Ok, I am getting the idea now, but I need to go there and have a proper look. I like Puckle Street, so no doubt I will have a cup of coffee in the street too when I am there.
But wait, I need to buy a new shirt for niece's deb ball (Tradie's brother's daughter) on my day off this week. Poor niece, she has just been dumped by her boyfriend and her she has put on weight since her deb dress was first measured and it won't fit now. I digress. Might there be a place in MP that sells modern shirts for young people cheaply? I found a very nice and appropriate shirt last week elsewhere. I tried on the M size and it was too small. What? I tried on the L size and it was boderline, but I know if it is boderline in the shop, it won't be right. I examined the shirt. It had darts up the back, which pulled its width in where my width went out. Surely the XL will fit. Well it did, but it sat very badly and the sleeves were too long. Ok, give up. I am past wearing fitted shirts. I must drape.
Righto, I am going to Moonee Ponds Junction on my day off for coffee, to see how the trams work at the Junction and look for a shirt and I will have my camera in case any old signs or other photographic opportunities abound.
How do I get there? Tram? Tram? No, far to slow. I have other stuff to do on that day. I will get the train to Moonee Ponds. Now what line is that on? Broadmeadows, correctly now Cragieburn I think. I am scared already. Twenty minute service, fifteen minute trip. Fine.
Ah, while looking at a map. There is the Upfield line and later, past its terminus, it continues on to join the Cragieburn line. I like flexibility within the train system. But question one arises. Why does the Upfield line continue on and rejoin the main line north? Critically, is it a double track and could it be used as alternative for a north bound country train.
Actually, thinking about that line, is that the one the train to Sydney uses? The Cragieburn line? Better check. Yes. Why is there nothing on a Victorian website that tells me about the train to Sydney? Question two arises and please confirm what I found out. The train to Sydney is named the XPT and it is run by New South Wales Country Link service? While the train could perform to the specified standards of a Fast Train, the track does not permit the such speeds. The absurdity of not have a Very Fast Train from Melbourne Sydney goes on and on.
Hmmm, what about the train to Adelaide. Which way does that go? I didn't know. I can now tell you now it goes via Geelong and Ararat and onto Adelaide. It is a run by a private company. I did not know this! Great Southern Railway. Ah, this is the very smart modern railway that we see when we drive to see our friend in the Western District. It in fact goes through his town but does not stop. Nothing else stops there either. But I do recall seeing a bit of railway station there.
Now I am remembering some names. Southern Aurora to Sydney. Vinelander to Mildura. But what was the Adelaide train called? Ah yeah, The Overland. The romantic names have all gone and we are left with XPT for the train to Sydney, there isn't a passenger service to Mildura and Great Southern Railway rather overates the trip. Well, some states have good names for trains, but not Victoria.
Question three arises. Why does the train to Adelaide head south west to Geelong when it needs to head north west to Ballarat to go in the direction of Adelaide? Am I stupid? Have I misread something? Are my map skills so bad? But wait. I am seeing the train go nor north east at one point. No wonder everyone drives or flies to Adelaide.
Now, I best be on the wary of any bearded blokes hanging around Moonee Ponds, especially if they have a sketch pad and a pencil.