Saturday, April 27, 2013

I crossed the Yarra

Crossing the Yarra is a meaningful expression to Melburnians. Once the Yarra River was somewhat of a social divide, but much less so now. If you restrict your view to the inner areas, I see it more as the interesting and artistic people live on the north side, and the boring, self indulgent and comfortable middle class on the south side. It is massive generalisation, but it may paint a mental picture for you. Yes, I live on the south side.

I had two errands for the day, one in Prahran, one in North Melbourne. The quickest was to travel between the two was by two trains. I was a reasonably regularly train traveller when we lived in Balaclava and some ten years later, I cannot believe the numbers of people using trains on the Sandringham line in the middle of the day. I did get a seat, but there weren't many spare. Too many people Missy.

At Prahran Station they have made another opening on the outbound platform, rather than everyone using the one through the building opening. Presumably the old exit was too narrow for the numbers now using the station, perhaps slowed down by slow Myki readers.



A bit of a safety message for the kiddies at Flinders Street Station. The train from Prahran was on time, as was the Broady Craigieburn train.


North Melbourne Station has undergone a redevelopment. It seems quite functional, and that is about the best that can be said about it. London's St Pancras, it isn't.


I hung around a bit to watch a couple of trains come and go. North Melbourne is a busy station with both changing passengers and trains. It does not get so many passengers from the surrounding area, but a frequent and well used bus service connecting it to Royal Melbourne Hospital and Melbourne University means many people arrive and leave from the station. I am looking back towards the city.


Here comes a VLocity train on its on its way to the bush, well a large regional town.


Same, same, but different. Which colour scheme do you prefer?


A quiet carriage. How sensible, if people are quiet in the quiet carriage. First class for the same price by another name? It would be nice to not have to mix with the noisy scum who ought to be the non quiet carriage. Perhaps an old retired librarian could be employed to make shush noises and glare at noise offenders over the top of his or her spectacles.


I am not so keen on VLocity trains. You are well aware when travelling that you have throbbing diesel engines under you, or somewhere close by. As Australian trains go, they are quite fast, although I don't know how fast. They are limited to 160 km/h, 100 in the old money.

Pulling into the station was a proper train. I believe it is an N Class locomotive, hauling carriages. Although around thirty years old, the ride in the carriages is whisper quiet and very smooth. Well they were some fifteen years ago when I last travelled on one. The VLocity next to it is long, , maybe seven bits to it, so I would guess it is a Geelong train.


It had been a bad morning on Melbourne's trains with signal failures on the south eastern side of town. Why is the VLocity not departing at its scheduled time? Then came the announcement, All trains will be delayed due to a signal failure at South Kensignton, tailed by one of the most annoying and affected announcements ever, We apologise for any inconvenience caused.  I don't know if it grammatically correct or not but it is ugly use of language which I think Australia may have picked up from Britain. I think South Kensington is an important place for signals but not for passengers, as I am sure only one train a day stops there, and never one I have been on. It is no more than a bus shelter on a platform.

I walked on to Errol Street in North Melbourne. Look at this old building remade and reused. What heresy. They could have had eight storeys of apartments there, housing a couple of hundred people. There are plenty of old buildings in North Melbourne that could be redeveloped to house at least a third that number without resorting to a cheap, maximise developer profit, multi storey development.


This is not graffiti. It is art and a reproduction of the woman on our Red Head match boxes. Pity the cars were in the way.


14 comments:

  1. Chris went to Melbourne last year on business and adored it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So he should John. It is not a bad place at all.

      Delete
  2. I prefer the blue and yellow to the purple train. I love trains when they run on time but cancellations drive me mad. Have just returned from Charing Cross station. Should have got home about 9.45pm. One cancellation then one delayed meant I actually got home at 10.55pm but they were sorry for the inconvenience!
    PS Thanks for your comments. Gave me a laugh when I got home.
    PPS The white thing on the oast house is a cowl which allows the hot air to escape and fresh air to enter.
    PPS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fun60, thanks for the info on oast houses. I will be dead before I learn everything in the world. Comments? What did I say? Better go back and check. We caught the train from Charing Cross to Embankment to catch a train to Paddington. The Tube map can be wrong at times. I think tube trains are very frequent, even at night, so such a delay for you to get home? I don't get it.

      Delete
  3. Hey, I resemble that - boring, self indulgent and comfortably middle class!! I like to think of my generation in the southern suburbs as old hippy, bohemian, public transport-using espresso lovers.

    Last night my mum, who has lived in or near StKilda since she married in 1945, was trying to get Australia's restrictions on gay marriage lifted. She is still bohemian at 88.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hels, people who write in blogs of our age are all like that. You left out Gough lovers.

      I thank your mum for agitating about something I care little about. But it is about the kiddies hey. If they are of the same sex and want to 'marry', they should have the right.

      Delete
  4. Hels, your mum is a gem.

    Andrew, I always enjoy being out and about with you, so thanks for sharing. As a once was a westie I'm in shock at what has happened to the North Melbourne station.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FC, it comes at no surprise to me that you were once a Westie, and now a social climber in the east.....the far down south east.

      Delete
  5. "We apologise for any inconvenience caused"
    I wonder how many bosses would accept that said by people turning up to work late? Especially if the late arriver offered no other reason or excuse. Bosses would tear out their hair!
    I like the redhead matches lady, you don't see much of her anymore. A lot of matches in supermarkets now are cheap generic brands with so little "redhead" they often don't light.
    I like your train photos, the V-liner looks quite smart, a bit like the bullet trains of Japan. The overcrowding on the train you rode on is the same as everywhere, more people, but not enough carriages to carry them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, the crowding on your sole tram was so bad. The basic is there, a tram track. It needs more trams, and needs to speed them up a lot. There is barely any priority for them at city traffic lights in the city.

      I have not looked, but I am sure there is a website devoted to the Bryant and May Redhead woman.

      Delete
  6. I don't travel on the train enough to warrant an opinion Andrew, but I think they're pretty good over here, don't hear many complaints. You can't beat the purple and red colour combination :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, are you colour blind? What purple. It is pink. Perth's successful public transport construction for a cheap price is constantly rammed down out throats.

      Delete
    2. Seriously Andrew PINK! Let's settle on lilac, what do you say?

      Delete
    3. Grace, I am afraid I insist, pink.

      Delete