• (AUS) Out and about in Melbourne.

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by Pakenhamtrain
G'day all.
With most restrictions finally lifted I wasn't trapped to just 25km and have been out and about regularly capturing some of the regular and some of the soon to be gone from our rail network.
First up we begin from 14/11.
A 6 car Siemens lead by 828M on the down with a Pakenham train between Richmond and South Yarra. Beyond planned trackwork it's unusual to see a Pakenham train use the Caulfield Through tracks. Normally they use the Caulfield Local to the right.
Not long after on the Caulfield local is Vlocity VL41 on the down with a Traralgon train between Richmond and South Yarra. VL41 is one of few still in it's original livery.
On the down Sandringham line a 6 car Alstom refurb Comeng lead by 565M is between Richmond and South Yarra with a Sandringham train. 565M-1131T-561M-M-T-M is another of the disk braked units that have been through the CCTV and digital display upgrade as evidenced by the large headboard in the offside window.
EDI refurb Comeng 327M is on the up local powering out of South Yarra with a City Loop train while t18M-1059T-417M-357M-1029T-358M slows for it's stop at South Yarra.
Alstom Refurb 643M takes up the rear. Mixed tread/disk sets like this will become extinct once the disk braked units recive the CCTV/digital display upgrade.
On the down local crossing the Yarra River is 344M-1044T-390M-580M-1140T-579M with a Pakenham train. 344M is one of a few EDI refurb cars that have had thier dot matrix headboard replaced with an LED display.
HCMT unit 18 comes out of South Yarra with a Reliability Growth Running train to Werribee. For all but the first unit in service 2000km worth of fault free RGR has to occur. The first unit in service requires 2500km.
Now we cross to the other side of the city at North Williamstown where we see 3 car Siemens 786M-2543M-785M on the down with a WIlliamstown train. With the new timetable on the 31st of January the 3 car weekend Williamstown-Newport shuttle will become a thing of the past. All trains from Williamstown will be extended from Newport to run into the city and run as 6 car trains like on weekdays.
At the Champion Road crossing at Newport Pacific National standard gauge locos G523 and 8210 with light engine move D770V. Between Newport and Geelong the broad gauge and standard gauge lines parallel each other. This bit of track is part of the western SG that takes trains to Adelaide and beyond.
PN doesn't seem to be in too much of a rush to repaint thier locomotives. G523 is still wearing it's Freight Australia livery while 8210 is wearing it's Freightcorp livery.
Now we move onto 21/11
Arriving on the up into Southern Cross from Wendouree is VLocity VL25 and VL01.
Vlocities VL66 and VL09 depart Southern Cross with a Waurn Ponds train.
Moving out to Footscray we see Qube's QBX002 and 8044 come out of the Bunbury Street tunnel and stop at signal DYN160 on a light engine move to Victoria Dock to run the 7MC7 cement.
Arriving into Footscray to pick up passengers is N456 with N set FN13. Of note behind the locomotive is a PH van. PH vans are power vans used when the HEP on the locomotive isn't working.
With thier day done SSR's T386-T385 have uncoupled from the consist and wait for the Ps shunt the train into another siding at Tottenham Yard.
Moving to the northern suburbs Siemens 714M trails a Cragieburn train at Kensington.
Still earning thier keep some 60 plus years of service S302 and B75 are stabled at B siding of the Kensington flower mill awaiting thier next run to collect grain.
S302 is still wearing it's El Zorro livery while B75 is wearing the livery of SSR subsidiary Consolidated Rail Leasing.
Departing what can only be described as Melbourne's most dreary station EDI refurb Comeng 448M is on the rear of a Upfield train at Macaulay. In the late 90s Citylink was built on top of the station.
Moving on to the 5/12.
In one of those right place right time moments is HCMT unit 11 departing Narre Warren on the up after doing a simulated stop as part of the Simulated Passenger Service part of testing. Like the RGR part of testing 2000km has to be completed fault free. SPS as the name suggests is set the train up as if it's running a normal service including station stops.
The first one is expected to enter service with the new timetable but it has been rumored one will run in a couple of weeks as a propaganda exercise.
With borders finally re opening interstate trains are starting to resume. N464 and N set SN16 are at Southern Cross awaiting departure on the 1205 to Albury.
On the back is power van PCJ492. Unlike the broad gauge power vans where they are used as required, the PCJ and PZ power vans are always attached to an SN set HEP working or not.
The railmotor yard this week is much more crowded with a couple of Vlocities and Sprinters. Of note is one of the new Vlocity units on the right.
Over in the Bank sidings are a bunch of N class locomotives, a Vlocity and a Sprinter awaiting thier next turn of duty.
Finding freight trains can be a bit of a challenge but there are a couple that run to regular schedules. Here G536-G527 clatter over Richmond Junction with the 9553 down Long Island steel. This train takes steel unloaded off a standard gauge train in Dynon to the Bluescope Steel plant at Long Island in Hastings.
With the steelie out of the way Siemens 786M gets back on the move with a Frankston train. In the background is an X'trapolis heading to Flinders Street.
With the part of the city skyline behind Alstom refurb Comeng 617M leads a Sandringham train.
On any other weekend X'trapolis 257M would leading it's Belgrave train coming off off those points from the left but due to works on the viaduct between Flinders Street and Southern Cross all Burnley Group trains were running direct to and from Flinders Street.

EDI refurb Comeng 346M trails a Sandringham train at Parhan.
With a delay in the Northern group tunnel in the City Loop Metrol made the deicion to run trains direct to/from Flinders Street. As a result some trains like this Werribee train trailed by EDI refurb 318M ended up using Platform 14 at Southern Cross. A move that will become the norm on weekends with the Jan 31 timetable taking Werribee trains out of the loop and through running them with Fraknston trains like on a weekday.
  by NaugyRR
Thanks for the awesome photo essay! It's always fascinating to see the huge variety of equipment Australia has to offer and you capture that diversity quite well. Can't wait for the next round!
  by RRspatch
Thanks for the pictures from down under. While I do follow the Aussie rail scene discussion at Railpage Australia there generally isn't a lot of pictures posted to the forums.
  by Pakenhamtrain
Here's a bit of Part II of being out and about. All taken on the 23rd dec.

We begin on the Cragieburn line where EDI refurb Comeng 473M is on the rear of a City Loop train at Pascoe Vale.

Coming off hire from QUBE bound for home at the Seymour Rail Heritage Centre(SRHC) is preserved locomotives X31 and S303 wearing the classic Victorian Railways blue and gold livery. It's not an uncommon sight to see mainline heritage groups hire out thier locomotives to operators. It's a means to make a dollar or two for the group and given covid smashed mainline heritage trains in 2020 it's welcome money.

The holsters cab end of S303. Only used for shunting and moving around short distances.

A 6 car Siemens clatters over the pointwork of Richmond Junction with a down Cranbourne.

Alstom refurb Comeng 647M leads an up Sandringham service over Richmond Junction. In the background preparations are underway for the Australian Open tennis.

A 6 car Alstom refurb with DTI mods crosses over to the down Caulfield through line with a down Frankston.

A 6 car EDI refurb Comeng nears the end of it's journey on an up Pakenham or Cranbourne train. A scene like this on a weekday is now rare with the timetable change keeping the Caulfield Loop in one direction. Only the Northern and Burnley Loops still change direction in the middle of a weekday.

X'trapolis 982M leads an up Frankston train.

Another one of the more reliable freight trains is the 9475/9476 Maryvale Paper Train operated by QUBE. Taking paper from the mill near Morwell to the docks in the city. Here 9476 is being lead by regular VL class locomotives VL356 and VL360.
356 and 360 are leased locomotives from Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia (CFCLA) and wear thier striking sliver blue and yellow livery.
CFCLA tend to name thier locomotives after Australian racehorses. 356 is named Gatum Gatum and 360 Gurner’s Lane.

With Victoria using the american style speed signalling there often isn't a means to tell trains which direction they're actually going. In some cases theatre indicators, feathers or illuminated arrows are used. In this case however MYD987 has a couple of arrows slapped on the target board. Cheap yet effective.
In this case a normal speed aspect indicates a right hand move along the regional rail link.
A medium speed aspect indicates a left move towards Dynon.
Below the main signal heads is an illuminated V. This along with the S next to are used in dual gauge areas. The V indicated the signal is cleared for a broad gauge train. If the S was illuminated it would indicate the signal is cleared for a standard gauge train.

Nearing it's final destination is N468 and H sets LH32 and an SH set with the up Shepperton.
The H sets are commuter carriages converted from former Harris EMUs mainly used on short distance commuter runs but can end up on long distance trains like Shepperton and Warnambool if there isn't a N set available.
Of note LH32 set made up of the prototype 75ft cars built in 1970 hence the LH set code. These cars were prototypes for the next EMU order. In the 80s they were converted into the H type cars.
The 3 cars behind are the standard 63ft length car hence the SH code.

VLocity VL38 nears the end of its journey as it heads down the hill towards Southern Cross.

Powering up the hill towards the North Melbourne Flyover is N471 and N set VN17 with an empty car move.

While the set is numbered VN17 it is actually a 4 car set. V in both N set and H set codes indicate a 5 car set(V being the roman numeral for 5). The BTN car is currently removed from the set.

VLocity VL49 nears the end of its trip as it negotiates the North Melbourne Flyover. The flyover did earn a bit of a reputation of dangerously wearing out the wheels of the Vlocity fleet before they put lubricators on it.

While most trains heading north out of Southern Cross use ether the flyover or the regional rail link tracks to the far right, Seymour trains for the most part share with the sparks. Most of these trains are made up of Sprinter railcars running as 2 car trains.

The 1610 Southern Cross to Baccus Marsh was for many years the domain of streamliner A66. With A66 being retired it became the domain of the N class. Here N469 leads H set SSH26. SSH in this case indicates 6 car short length(63ft cars) H cars.
  by Pakenhamtrain
I figured I'd give everyone another installment of being out and about.
All of them taken on the 19th of June.

We begin at Narre Warren where we have EDI refurb Comeng 334M-1017T-314M-M-T-M on a down Pakenham train.
314M-1017T-334M is a bit of a kit bashed set made up of cars from two separate units due to a collision with the buffers on 10 road in the Newport sidings.
Originally the two units were 313M-1007T-314M and 333M-1017T-334M.
313M-314M was withdrawn from service a couple years back due to it being an odd bod with non standard traction equipment.
333M had a collision with the buffer and with the need for trains the decision was to modify 314M back to original spec and replace 333M in the unit.

We head to the other side of the city with an interior view of EDI refurb 342M

Take any Williamstown train you will pass the historic Newport Workshops and the more modern replacement. Currently right down the back is where the HCMT fleet is being assembled. Nearing completion is HCMT unit 30.

On the other side is HCMT unit 10. Transfered back to get some remedial work done.

At North Williamstown EDI refurb Comeng 342M trails a down Williamstown.

On the up is Siemens 843M trailing an up Williamstown. The headboard might say Frankston Via City but due to work Williamstown trains were running at a shuttle to Newport with passengers having to change trains.

It's a scene that will be changing by the end of the year with work underway to remove the Ferguson Street level crossing at the down end. From the 2nd of August until late December the station will close to allow work to dig out the trench that will run under the road. Between the 20th of August to the 12th of November the train line will be closed.

Next door to the station is the holding area for the HCMT fleet. Currently filled with cars from Unit 3 and 31.

On the up at South Kensington EDI refurb 516M with an up Werribee.

Hiding away in North Dynon is former Queensland Rail/Aurizon 2250 Class locomotives 2253 and 2254.
These locos have been on an adventure since being sold to by Aurizon to Transnet and shipped to South Africa. They have since been further sold to Watco Australia and shipped all the way back.
The big freight companies here don't like selling thier locomotives to other Australian companies and will happily send them half way around the world or scrap them.

Siemens 767M on the back of a down Upfield at Maculay.

On the up is Alstom refurbished Comeng 576M with an up Upfield.

Having just arrived from Warnambool N453 has uncoupled from it's consist and is about to run around at Southern Cross.

X'trapolis 43M trails an up Burnley group train at Richmond Junction.

Passing by the famous MCG is an X'trapolis on a down Belgrave train.

An X'trapolis on an up Glen Waverley.

An X'trapolis on a down Belgrave. Due to work in the city loop Burnley group trains were running direct to and from Flinders Street.

An Alstom refurbished Comeng on a down Pakenham.

Right on dusk is an X'trapolis on a down Glen Waverley.

An EDI refurbished Comeng on a down Sandringham.

An X'trapolis on an up Glen Waverley.

A Comeng on a down Cranbourne.

On a left is a down Pakenham train and the right is a down Glen Waverley train.
  by Pakenhamtrain
It's been a few months but here's another installment. All taken 23/10/21

On board HCMT unit 11 car 9911. 10 months of service in its been holding up well
HCMT unit 11 departs Murrumbeena with a train for Caulfield. Trackwork over the weekend sees Frankston/Pakenham/Cranbourne trains terminate short at Caulfield with buses to the city.
We've seen previous "signs of the times" with covid stickers on trains but in the last month or so another one has appeared on our trains. QR codes to assist in contact tracing for Covid-19. Every single carriage now has several of these in them. In this case this code is for X'trapolis 66M.
In my observation passengers are not using them. I guess with no enforcement like you would get at a bar or a shop people won't bother.
In Comeng 403M you can see where they've added them in.
On board EDI refurbished Comeng 403M as the train departs Flinders Street.
403M is on the rear of a down Watergardens train at Middle Footscray.
Along with trains stations have QR codes as well.
Alstom Refurb 322M trails a Not in service train through Middle Footscray.
Since the last post it has been the beginning of the end for the Comeng fleet. With enough HCMTs now running in service the Comeng fleet has started to be retired from service. Starting with some of the odd bod and early units one train a week has been withdrawn for the last few weeks.

T395 leads Comeng Units 317M-1009T-318M-312M-1006T-311M to Tottenham Yard for storage and eventual scrapping.
Both united served Melbourne for 39 years having entered service in 1982.
Due to the route the train has to take from Newport to Tottenham the move has to be top and tailed. SSRs T386 tails the move.
X'Trapolis 893M leads a train round the bend through the Jolimont Rail yards with a Flinders Street train.
EDI refurbished Comeng 507M trails a Down Upfield train at Coburg.
Underneath the elevated rail on the Upfield line lives the former station building for Coburg.
Later in the day we see HCMT unit 11 again heading to Caulfield on the viaduct between Murrumbeena and Carnegie.
With HCMT's entering service at a rapid rate sights like Comeng trains on the Pakenham/Cranbourne line will become consigned to the history books.
  by Pakenhamtrain
I've been out and about again over the last couple of weeks.

Beginning with 6/11.
V/Line's N454 stands with an FN set on platform 3A at Southern Cross with the 1300 down Warnambool.

On platform 2A is VLocity VL55 with the 1314 down Wendouree.

On the bypass line at Southern Cross is QUBE logistics broad guage cement train. Numbered 9571/9572 this train conveys tanktainers of Cement from Dynon to the Kimberley Clark siding in Dandenong South.
Today G512 and hired out heritage locomotive X31 are on 9572 with an unusual Saturday running of the train.

A couple minutes later N459 with a VN set and power van depart Southern Cross with a down Shepperton.

Not far behind on the up is an X'Trapolis led by 122M on a Werribee via City train.

A Siemens on the down with a Frankston train.

HCMT unit 9 on the down with a Pakenham train.

We head to the other city of the city out to Newport. A 6 car all EDI refurb Comeng round the curve towards Altona Junction where it will diverge to the Altona branch with a down Werribee.

On the up with high beams ablaze is an X'trapolis lead by 118M.

About 10 minutes later Steamrail's K183 nears the end of a days test running to Geelong and return.

On the 13 of October 2002 K183 was on a private charter when it collided with a B double truck at a level crossing at Benalla which tragically resulted in the deaths of the driver, fireman and a visitor on the footplate.

Last year Steamrail did an assessment of the locomotive and it was decided to restore it back to running order.

A HCMT stands at Narre Warren. Normally the train would have departed but due to a police request up the line the train was held at Narre Warren.

Moving on to 13/11:

Stabled a chocked at Appleton Dock is Pacific National's G522.

Around the corner at the Westgate sidings in Victoria Dock is Qube's RL309 and 1101 with the standard gauge cement to Sydney.
In an earlier photo we saw the broad gauge version. The tanktainers from that train get transfered onto this train.
V/Line's N460 is parked in the very much not used motorail dock at Southern Cross. N460 is one of four N class locomotives on standard gauge to run services to and from Albury.
Sprinter 7008 sits in the railmotor yard with a couple of its classmates. Application of the PTV livery to the Sprinter fleet has accelerated after the completion of the VLocity Fleet.
Sitting stored in 25 road of the Bank sidings at Southern Cross are luggage vans D332 and D339. The vans haven't been used in some time after it was found the doors were striking the platforms on the rebuilt stations as part of the level crossing removals.
The T in the carriage code indicated the van is through wired for the head end power.
D332 stared out life as BP10 in 1959 and D339 as 25BB in 1958.
A few roads over is power van PH454. Power vans like this are used when the head end power on the locomotive isn't working. Unlike the D vans the doors on the PH vans have been replaced to prevent platform strikes.
PH454 was converted from luggage van DN404 in 2009. The van started out life as 12BP in 1959.
Alstom refurbished Comeng 461M leads a Sandringham train at Richmond Junction. With the Comeng withdrawals it seems Alstom refurbished tread braked units like this one are on borrowed time.
In the opposite direction 459M trails a Flinders Street train.
629M leads a Pakenham train. Unlike the tread braked units. The disk braked units have a few more years left.
Due to delays after a police request this up Cranbourne train has been altered to run direct to Flinders Street with 670M trailing.
On the Burnley group side of things X'trapolis 199M trails a Flinders Street train.
X'trapolis 42M clatters over the point work with a Mordialloc train. Due to level crossing removal works Frankston trains are terminating at Mordialloc.
Another City Loop train altered to run direct with EDI refurb Comeng 343M trailing.
Siemens 708M trails a Flinders Street train.
X'trapolis 883M trails a Mordialloc train.
X'trapolis 36M trails a Mernda train at Jolimont.
The interior of EDI refurb Comeng 520M. It's a rather empty train because it's running a Showgrounds service for RMIT exams. These trains were departing from Southern Cross platform 8.
HCMT unit 30 departs Flinders Street with a Cranbourne train.
  by Pakenhamtrain
Time for another installment and the final one for 2021.

Beginning with 14/11

Another train making a long awaited return to the mainline are Elecrail's red rattler set. Tait cars 381M-208T-230D-317M pass through Narre Warren on a test run to Pakenham.
Showing Melbourne's famous 4 seasons in one day in the rain is Siemens 777M at Richmond Junction
An X'trapolis passes by the MCG
The rain having somewhat cleared 607M leads a Mordialloc train
In typical Melbourne fashion the rain returns. HCMT unit 25 with a Pakenham train.
Returning to Flinders Street is the red rattler. After arriving at Flinders Street it would run up to Hurstbridge.
Attempting to steal the limelight is X'trapolis 183M with a Mordialloc train.
HCMT unit 24 on a Pakenham train.
Melbourne's 4 seasons in one day is on full display here. It was only taken a few hours later and the sun is out with HCMT unit 24 departing South Yarra on a Pakenham train.

Onto the 20/11

While the lockdown was going on the work on level crossing removals still continued. Here an X'trapolis stands at the rebuilt Lilydale station.
The new PTV station signs.
The large LCD next train displays. These large displays show the next service and what where it stops at. These seem to be the new standard now on rebuilt stations.
On the concourse there is signage directing passengers to the exits and the bus bays.
An overview of the concourse area.
Back towards the city X'trapolis 165M is on the flyover near East Camberwell with an Alemain shuttle. On weekends and off peak Alemain trains run as a 3 car shuttle between Camberwell and Alemain. The Alemain line is the last remaining bit of the outer circle railway that ran between Fairfield and Oakleigh.
The end of the lockdown saw the return of mainline steam. Steamrail's K190 leads a Ringwood-Camberwell sidings shuttle at East Camberwell.
Arriving on the down on the middle line is X'trapolis 69M. 69M has been fitted with trial LED headlights.
213M on the rear.
K153 trails the shuttle
At the Kensington flower mill SSRs T363 is just about finished unloading the grain from it's consist.
At the other end S317 sits in wait.
On the same day 707 operations R707 ran thier Picnic Express train with R707 and Y127. Here R707 arrives at Southern Cross.
In a surprise to many 707 operations painted Y127 in the 1980's V/Line orange and grey livery making it the first locomotive to wear the livery in preservation. Here it stands next to N455 in the current V/Line livery.


It's a week later and Steamrail are running another steam shuttle. This time to Sandringham. Here K153 leads the train through Windsor.
Later in the day we see a rare move. After a truck hit the Napier Street bridge in Footscray Metrol instructed the driver of this Newport train to terminate at South Kensington and return to the city empty cars.
A week later at the Kensington Mill is SSRs P14 and S302.
K153 leads another shuttle departing Flinders Street.
K190 on the rear passing by the MCG
At the entrance of Bunbury Street tunnel sees S317-T363 leads a short grain consist to Tottenham Yard.
Not long later Pacific National's TT113-9323-NRxx prepare to set back into Dynon.
At the Westgate sidings VL360 is on the rear of a push pull consist. I think this was one of the consolidation trains on the Echuca line.
Pulling into Southern Cross is V/Line's A66 with a Dreamscape tours charter train to Kyenton.


Sitting at Appleton dock is SSR grain 1MC7 to Junee with CLP12-GM27-S311-CLF1
Around the corner quite literally is Pacific National's G528.
Later in the evening N456 departs Southern Cross with a VN set in tow.
VLocity 3VL85 arrives at Southern Cross
Departing on the second and final Dreamscape tours train is A66.
And finally the XPT with XP2017 in the lead departs bang on time with ST22 to Sydney.


At East Malvern two X'trapolis trains pass on up and down Glen Waverley trains.
On board a Alstom refurbished Comeng.
This is one of the disk braked units that have received the new CCTV and display mods. Here the display shows what they display when they arrive at at station showing interchange information. In this case Newport. There is an error listing Seaford instead of Seaholme. Seaford is on the Frankston Line, not the Altona branch of the Werribee Line.
At Newport Workshops we see now withdrawn Alstom refurbished tread braked Comeng trains. In some cases the units have been all but stripped to thier car shells. As of the time of writing 338M-1092T-484M have met their demise at Newport.
Another week another level crossing gone. Here two Comeng trains are at the new North Williamstown station. Lowered under Ferguson Street.
Comeng 581M trails a Flinders Street train.
The negative of it is you can't see into Downer's holding yard where the HCMTs are under construction.
Looking in the down direction from platform 1.
With the new displays when leaving stations it changes to a dynamic map showing the next 7 stations. The stations move closer to the dot until it his arrival announcement.
And new Passenger Emergency Intercoms.
X'trapolis 139M leads a Flinders Street train at East Malvern.


Fresh out of a major overhaul is RailFirst Asset Management's G515 sitting at platform 8 at Flinders Street. For some reason it went for a run to Westall.
X'trapolis 118M trails a Williamstown via City train between Toorak and Hawksburn
Alstom refurbished Comeng 614M-1157T-613M-600M-1150T-599M round the bend out of Toorak on a City Loop train
10 minutes later 673M-1171T-642M-629M-1142T-630M with a City Loop train.
A HCMT on a Pakenham train rounds the curve to Toorak.
In the background is the ever expanding skyline of South Yarra and Southbank. In the foreground however is a very quickly vanishing sight. Tread braked Alstom refurb Comeng 323M-1012T-361M.
Six weeks after this photo was taken 323-361 was withdrawn from service after serving Melbourne for 39 years or on the case of 361, 38 years.
EDI refurb Comeng 444M trails a Pakenham train at South Yarra.
HCMT Unit 28 departs South Yarra on a City Loop train.
Fair to say there's a bit of dust on the Cremone Bridge.
Pacific National's NR73-AN7-NR119 head out of Melbourne on the 6MC2 at Middle Footscray.


We are back at the footbridge between Toorak and Hawksburn and for good reason. This Flinders train with EDI refurb Comeng 522M isn't it.
Nor is it 550M on a City Loop train.
It's for this. Pacific National's final Long Island Steel train. Running as 9553 sees G527 and G531 running on the down for the final time. In a few days the contract would be taken over by QUBE.


EDI refurb Comeng 502M passes under the recently built Avation road overpass, replacing the level crossing next to Aircraft station.
Running slightly late is NR31-NR30 on The Great Southern or the 2TA8. The Great Southern is Journey Beyond's seasonal luxury rail holiday trains. It ran over the summer break from Adelaide to Brisbane via Melbourne and return.
Departing Melbourne to help out of 7736V is Pacific National's 8164 and XR558 heads into Bunbury Street tunnel.