Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Today I went to the beach.

The T-shirt is right, life's a beach. Today after doing a few errands in the city I decided to go for a train ride somewhere. Being a nice day the beach sounded like a good idea. So I made my way to Flinders Street and got the first train to Brighton Beach.

This is the train I went on. Brighton Beach was originally the end of the line, but it was later extended to Sandringham another two stations on (I don't think there are any more stations after that though :-p ).

After getting off the train I crossed the road with the aid of an insane number of traffic lights (lets just say there's an intersection and they make you go the long way to get across) and arrived at the beach. Off with the shoes and down to the water, it's like a scene from Baywatch, except for the lack of the Hoff and Pamela Anderson. The tall things that look like buildings on the other side of the bay aren't buildings at all, they are actually the oil refineries at Altona.

Don't let the sunshine fool you, the water is freezing. The sand on this beach is really coarse with lots of little bits of shell. It's sort of like brown sugar, which would make the sand at somewhere like Bondi Beach in Sydney white sugar.

Time to dry the feet, brush off all the sand and put the shoes back on. This view is looking towards Sandringham. All the white things just bellow the horizon are the yachts at the Sandringham Yacht club.

This is the tunnel that used to link the beach to the railway station, it would have made it much easier for me to cross the very busy Beach Rd. There is an information sign next to it the tells of it's significance and that in days gone by it used to have a tramway to haul coal from the jetty that once protruded into the bay at this point to the station to fuel the trains. Apparently it is the only relic of the privately owned Hobsons Bay Railway Company.

This is a photo of an old photo on the sign next to the tunnel, it shows the general layout of the area some time in the middle of the 20th century. You will also notice the tram in the photo. Brighton Beach was once the terminus of the Victorian Railways operated street railway (aka tramway) that ran from St Kilda station to this point. The train at the platform is either a sliding door tait train or a swingdoor train, both more commonly known as red rattlers, it's a bit hard to tell.

The main station building of Brighton Beach is wedged between the original platform and the platforms built for the extension to Sandringham, forming a sort of "Y" shapped platform. (To get a better idea of the layout take a look here )

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