Meeks asked me a while ago to look for a particular picture of flooded Melbourne suburbs, I have been searching through the articles but so far have had no luck finding a picture like the one she described.
I have found lots of other pictures of a wet Melbourne that have entertained me though, so here is one she might like that will tide her over until I find another.
Funnily enough, this slightly interesting photo of an old train is a record of something dear to the heart of many Melbournians.
If this photo was in colour the train would be bright red, an instantly recognisable Red Rattler. Red Rattlers were bought into use on the train lines around Melbourne from 1910, when they were hauled by steam locomotives, before being converted to the electric system from 1919.
I remember going on these trains throughout my childhood and can still picture the old fittings, the door handles, the brass luggage racks and the scuffed leather seats. Actually, just writing about them I can almost smell that distinctive smell too.
They weren’t called red rattlers for nothing either, I expect that many a commuter was rocked to sleep, or driven mad, by the noisy rock and rattle of their daily trip. On hot days the sliding doors were held open by rebellious travellers as the trains lurched down the tracks.
They were phased out from the start of the eighties, replaced by the horrible silver cylinders of modern trains. Yuck. I still love those old red rattlers and the slightly newer blue trains that ran alongside them for a time. The noise, and the smell, was irresistible. I still look at those new trains as boring tin cans! 🙂