Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eagle Eye

I was walking past Sanity today and happened to see this DVD out the front as one of the new releases. This means it must have been out at the cinema 3 to 6 months ago. I didn't go and see it, but I know I've seen the movie, I'm sure I've seen it. it wasn't on a plane or in a hotel either I can't explain it...

No I just remembered, it was amongst those DVDs of questionable source that I borrowed off someone a few months ago.

From memory it was an OK film, typical Hollywood DVD fodder. OK for boring nights at home with nothing else to do. A good (ie stereotypical) techno-thriller with lots of explosions and stuff.


Outside where I am sitting at the moment it is a pleasant 30 degrees, inside the house it is in the mid 30s after being shut up all day. Everything is open to try and get it down a bit, but it's still hot. There was a nice pleasant breeze before but that seems to have died down.

Earlier this evening I was at Westfield Doncaster, where I noticed a large number of people carting around fans, portable air conditioners and evaporative coolers.

I am not looking forward to another 43 degree day tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Building Bridges Completed

I took this video on the way to work this morning. The train I was on was a bit of a groaner, a good sound effect for the video. With the realignment, all the existing single track between Westgarth and the bridge was replaced. The train I am travelling on is on the new track and bridge. Very smooth, I must say.

The fact that on both of my trips through this section today we crossed another train going in the opposite direction tells me that the nay sayers are wrong. What were/are the nay sayers saying? That this would move the problem to Clifton Hill. However, being a flat junction there will always be delays at Clifton Hill, it's a fact of life, but I think it will be better than before. No more sitting at Westgarth for 5 minutes in the morning, and Epping trains will hopefully flow more freely as a result. We shall see how it goes over the next few weeks as normal loads resume.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Building Bridges Pt 2

Back in December I made a post about the Clifton Hill rail project and the progress to that date. Since then it has come along in leaps and bounds, and in fact if I didn't know better I would say that after this weekend it will be open to trains.

Throughout December finishing touches were made on the bridge, while so far in January all the new track, electrical overhead and signals have been put in place. Two weekends ago a new set of points was installed at Clifton Hill, which allow city bound trains from Westgarth to enter the platform from the new section of track. This weekend it appears that all is left to do is to re-align and connect everything up at the Westgarth end. As a regular traveller on this line I am very impressed with the lack of disruption to regular train services, the only bustitutions occuring over a few late nights and weekends.

As an interested observer of the development of public transport I am amazed at the apparent planning that went into this operation. My opinion is that big projects in this country are always half baked and never realise their full potential. This and the previous Middleboroough Road grade separation of 2007 have somewhat changed this, and give me hope that future improvements to the Victorian rail network (often much needed after years of no funding and little care or maintenance) will be done as professionally. I only hope that our transport planning beaurocrats are able to get more funding to remove the stupid bottlenecks like Clifton Hill as well as implimenting sensible extensions (ie not so much the Eddington tunnels or Tarneit lines).

One thing I will say is that the governments targets for completion (ie the end of 2009 as stated on signs and projects website) are complete rubbish. I beleive they artificially extend the time required so they can make make it look like the project is completed early, when in fact it is on time or only a little early. Judging by the pace of work on this job there was never any question that it would open within the first half of 2009. Then there is the fact that the figure includes landscaping of the public parks and crown land which have been occupied during the construction, which will probably go on for a few months after trains are running.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The River

Just a few photos I took on new years eve before the fireworks.

Setting Up the fireworks.

Tranquil River (the calm before the storm)

The Silo

Party boats (the storm)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Order visit Bizarro Land

About the last place you'd expect this band to perform is on a beach (I mean look how pale Gillian the keyboardist is, she's white as a sheet), let alone with The Hoff walking around in the background...

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year

Well 2008 was a bit of a nothing year. It was for me anyway, not sure about anybody else. Hopefully 2009 works out a bit better.

I saw in the new year from the comfort of a lounge room in suburbia (I think that's a song lyric), as I just didn't feel up to the big new years thing. In fact I think I've said this before, I sort of hate new years eve.

However earlier in the night I watched the fireworks from the banks of the river. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to watch from Morrel Bridge near the botanic gardens. Bad idea, it seems we overestimated the height of the fireworks. Others around me obviously thought the same. So down the river we went.

Happy New Year