Tuesday, 30 July 2013

norman park

the norman park station had been our home base station for the first three years of my degree. living at upper mount gravatt, there are no trains that service this suburb, though there are plenty of buses. since i like trains though, we decided that the train to uni would be the best option. my aunty marie lives rather close to the norman park station, and so we initially decided we could drive to maries house, and park there and walk to the train. this was our routine throughout most of 2010 when i was studying biomedical science for a year at uq. when i changed degrees for 2011 into pharmacy, we decided that since classes started earlier, we were better off parking at the norman park station itself. karen particularly enjoyed the train that went though norman park at 8:30 because she could always get a seat and it was mostly empty so it was always quite and relaxing for her.

the norman park station is one of the most beautiful stations on the network in my opinion. maybe i am biased because it was my primary train station for so long, or maybe because it is the station i have had the longest rapport with - whatever the reason, i still think it is a beautiful station and any other station that wishes to challenge for the most beautiful station title will have its work cut out to impress me. the artwork all around the station is truly nice to look at while waiting for a train to the city or to cleveland. this station is on the cleveland line, between coorparoo inbound and morningside outbound.

while norman park is no where near where we live now at emerald hill, it still serves us well. we visit this station every so often, whether we are planning on visiting marie to drop off some dvds or books for her, or we have some shopping to do on that side of town, or i have placement at carindale - there can be many reasons for us driving from emerald hill, all the way to norman park station. when we first moved to emerald hill and were catching the ipswich train, we both commented how it felt like we were on the wrong train, and we were laughing as the names of the "new" stations were announced to us for the first few times. we really did feel like we were on the wrong train, and that we had been spoilt by having norman park so close to us at upper mount gravatt. even now after having been on the ipswich line since october, the cleveland line still feels like home on the odd occasion we get to take it "home" to norman park. incidentally, norman park is the home of australias former and now current prime minister, kevin rudd. aunty marie once told us years ago before he was elected prime minister, that one day she was walking home from the train and had just started to cross the road, when a car came flying around a corner and almost ran her down. the driver stopped and wound down their window "sorry marie" said mr rudd. maries response was "oh, mr rudd!" and shook her head. they both laughed. krevin rudd had given marie many awards for her work in the green reserve, so her knew who she was. the story always used to make us laugh, especially when marie tells it.

it is quite amusing when we drive to norman park from emerald hill - because we get to follow three train lines! we follow the ipswich line inbound along the highway, then we follow the beenleigh line inbound near rocklea, where we actually go past the moorooka station. following ipswich road inbound, just after the princess alexandra hospital where we turn right, the cleveland line goes over the road as it goes from park road to buranda, so there we have it, we travel along three train lines! sometimes we are lucky enough to see a gold coast train cruising through moorooka when we are stopped at the lights since this is an express train and it doesnt stop at the moorooka station. i still havent caught a beenleigh train any further than dutton park, but i will be working on that in coming weeks.

i have a number of photos of the norman park station that i would love to share, with many shots of trains and the beautiful artwork. i am terrible at art, i cannot draw to save myself, so i really appreciate the effort the local artists have gone to at painting this station. all the images are of native wildlife, and i think they are pretty lifelike. well, most of them are anyway! i think these shots so a small way towards justifying my view that norman park is the most beautiful station on the network.

as you come to the norman park station off the street, there is a ramp leading to the station platform 2, which is handy for people with prams or wheelchairs or scooters. the artwork along the ramp is just gorgeous. the first level is "underwater" and shows all sorts of marine creatures from fish, to tadpoles. 

the second level is "land" and shows ibis and cockatoos in trees. i always love looking at the art work.

the third level is "sky" and shows all sorts of flying creatures such as bats and birds of species i am unsure, but will ask marie and she will tell me (and be disgusted with me that i dont know). a cleveland train pulled up at the station just as i was about to take this photo, you can just see it at the top of the shot.

the norman park station has a wooden footbridge that goes over the train lines from platforms 1 and 2. there is also a subway going under the platforms as well for people who cannot use the stairs. this shot of a cleveland train leaving norman park was taken from the top of the footbridge. the train was just leaving as i got to the station so i ran up the stairs to make sure i got a shot of it.

after capturing my shot of the train, i had to get a photo of the station sign. this sign is at the top of the ramp with the artwork on platform 2. i am not sure why the name for norman park is in italics and an unbolded font. i have noticed a number of stations have their names this way, notably central, roma street, south bank and dinmore of the ones i use the most. i am determined to find out why by the end of the train project.

looking across the inbound platform 2 to the outbound cleveland platform 1. you can see the artwork behind the station is visible. this artwork on the fence stretches the length of the station. of course, i managed to get a shot of a station sign as well, just for good measure.

the cleveland line shares something in common with the ipswich and beenleigh lines - and that is the transport of cargo that goes out to the port of brisbane. this track in the foreground is not for the commuter trains, but for the transport of cargo, be it grain, coal or other products (i dont know what we export as a country!) here you can see a closer shot of the artwork on the fence. this shot was taken from platform 1.

further along platform 1 towards the morningside end, the cargo line still visible. this shot is of particular interest because it shows the ducks. of the entire artwork, it think the ducks were the least realisitic, though they are far better than i could do. there is a small amount of graffiti on the mother duck and the duckling behind her bum, which is a shame. now i dont want to offend anyone, but seriously, if you want to graffiti, why do it over some artwork? there are plenty of other places to do it (though not on trains, the trains look nicer without the graffiti as far as i am concerned.) 

this is another shot of the cargo line from platform 1, which shows a lot more of the artwork. alas i didnt have a chance to capture the whole thing in a single shot, it is far too long. this may seem totally random to mot people (though you must be pretty random to still be reading this blog in the first place) but i would really like to go to the port of brisbane. i am interested in the way the trains are unloaded, and what happens from there. how is the cargo loaded onto the ships? i dont know if you are allowed to just drive to the port. i would really like to know. i have been living here in brisbane since the end of 2009 and i am still yet to see the mouth of the brisbane river. (can you even visit the mouth of the river? if someone can tell me, i would appreciate it! because i want to see it!) i dont know anyone else who would be fascinated to see the port, but i am. i have always had a fascination with ships and the large vessels that carry the cargo from this country to wherever (china??) would be awesome to see. 

this was an awesome treat - and i am going to say that queensland rail must have known i was at norman park yesterday when i took these shots because they sent me an empty cargo train to photograph going through my favourite station. i thought this was wicked, so i got a few shots of it from platform 1. i would have loved to be in that diesel! 
look at that! twin diesels pulling empty coal carriages, going through norman park station on the commuter line. it doesnt get much better than that! oh wait, it could - someone from queensland rail please let me ride in a diesel to the port!!! marie had said that quite often the goods trains used the commuter lines through norman park, though i had not seen this until i took these photos!

this shot was from the wooden footbridge of the diesel with empty coal carriages, heading inbound to coorparoo. the diesel will follow the cleveland line to park road where it joins the beenleigh line and goes behind PACE (i can hear a diesel going along there now as i type this! yay!) and then at yerongpilly station the train lines deviated and join the beenleigh to the ipswich line which comes out at corinda. there, it will follow the ipswich back to wherever it came from. between yerongpilly and corinda there is the tennyson station, which is no longer used. this station was only a short platform, long enough for a 3 car train (or single train).   
this shot is looking from the wooden footbridge at the empty coal carriages as the diesel heads from cleveland inbound towards park road. i think a lot of the coal trains would go through to acland coal mine, which means they pass through the gowrie junction - just down from where i used to live. platform 1 is on the left and platform 2 is on the right. it is interesting to see inside the coal carriages, I presume the uprights in the inside of the carriage are for stability as they would carry a significant number of tonnes of coal. 

here looking across at platform 1 at the morningside end of platform 2, you can see more of the artwork. that butterfly and bird on the pink panels are simply stunning in their detail.
what a treat! not long after the diesel went inbound on the commuter tracks with empty coal carriages, another one went outbound on the cargo line with full carriages of coal. this coal would have been going to the port of brisbane and could be in china by now. 
i had to get a shot of the coal train going past the norman park sign with fully loaded coal carriages! this was taken from platform 2 looking at platform 1.

another shot of the coal train, i love the smell of the coal. this carriage has a lot if graffiti on it, which is a shame. again, i had to get the norman park sign in the shot. 

this shot shows some more of the artwork at the station, this painting is in the shelter on platform 2 at the morningside end of the platform.

again platform 2, looking towards the morningside end of the platform. I tried to get the shelter and the sign in the same shot, though because it was relatively early in the morning, the sun sort of ruined the shot.

coal!!! ok, you are probably thinking, why on earth is there a photo of coal? well, the significance of this is two fold. maybe threefold. there are a lot of coal trains that go though this station, and a lot of the other stations i use a lot. as an avid chemist and element collector, i was happy to take this sample with me to add to my collection for carbon; and finnally and most significantly, i found this sample on platform 2. how on earth a lump of coal found its way to platform 2, i am not sure, as the fully loaded trains would use platform 1 or the cargo line behind platform 1, and the empty ones would use platform 2 or the cargo line. I am guessing this little lump must have been still in one of the empty carriages as it went through while I was on platform 1 taking photos and jumped out onto the platform just for me. i'll never know, but it was a mighty cute lump of coal and is now safely in my element collection.

this shot of the norman park station is from the coorparoo end of platform 2 looking at platform 1. the mural behind platform 1 doesn't extend this far.  

the cleveland! this cleveland train arrived on platform 1 while i was waiting for my brisbane city and shorncliffe train. i can remember that the usually the cleveland arrives first, which it did in this case. it may be a while since i had caught a train from here, but i still remember the schedule and timetable! 

farewell cleveland! the cleveland train departs platform 1, and heads on to its next stop - morningside. the station was rather busy in the short time i was there!

"the train arriving on platform 2 is the brisbane city and shorncliffe train, stopping all stations" this is one of my best shots of the train arriving on the platform, as you can see the whole train, the platform and the artwork in the background. 

finally! the shorncliffe train arrives to take me to park road where i change trains and catch the beenleigh to dutton park for uni. well, that was the plan....as we pulled in to park road station there was a train waiting on platform 1, which could have been either a beenleigh, gold coast or cleveland train. clearly it wasn't going to be a cleveland as the cleveland had only recently been through norman park, which narrowed it down to a beenleigh or a gold coast. alas, as i ran up the steps of platform 2 at  park road, i could see it was a beenleigh train. at the top of the stairs were the friendly transit officers who wished to check tickets and go cards of the passengers who had just disembarked the shorncliffe service. by the time i fished my card out of my pocket and had it scanned by their machines, the beenleigh had closed her doors and was slowly pulling away before i could get to the other side of the overpass to descend the stairs to platform 1. bugger. oh well, nothing changes, trying to change trains from cleveland to beenleigh at park road is still almost impossible! thankfully, the dutton park station is only about a 7 or 8 minute walk from park road!

recently we had to drive to the norman park station to catch a city train, which turned out to be a brisbane city and ferny grove train. after uni i had to go to work for a training night, so norman park works out better than catching the train from dinmore and then having to go back to dinmore to get my car to drive all the way to carindale. it is surprisingly frequent that i get to do this, so norman park is most certainly our secondary station. and yes, we got our trusty 8:30 train which we always can be guaranteed a seat. while we were there on this morning, i got a few photos of the newly finished garden at the entrance to platform 2.

i think this garden looks awesome now that is has been finished! this is on the platform 2 side of norman park between the carpark and the station.

here is another photo of the garden from the ramp on platform 2 leading up to the station. previously this was pretty untidy, so it looks wonderful now that it has been cleaned up. this just adds to the overall effect of norman park being the most beautiful station on the network.

while we were waiting for the ferny grove train, i thought i may as well get a few more photos for my blog about norman park. this had been published weeks ago, but after completing dinmore and having so many photos in that entry, i thought a few more for norman park wouldnt hurt! this is a shot from platform 2 at the coorparoo end of the station looking west towards coorparoo. you can see the diesel track is on the right of the photo.

this shot was also taken from platform 2, looking across towards platform 1, at the coorparoo end of the station. here you can see the subway linking the two platforms. the subway is full of beautiful artwork, again, reinforcing my view that by far, norman park is the most beautiful station on the network. wait until you see my upcoming photos of the subway if you dont believe me.

before i put in some photos of the subway, here is a photo to show the tracks leading towards norman park coming from the coorparoo end, this time from platform 1. now for the subway...

the subway is depicted here in this schematic image of norman park station which is on platform 1 at the coorparoo end of the station. 

the ramp leading to the subway. you can see there is art all along it, which is just beautiful to look at when you are walking along there after a train ride. the diesel track is on the right.

this is the left side of the mural as i was walking down the ramp to the subway. look at the detail in that tree and bird. unreal.

and the right side. the diesel tracks run along behind the butterfly, not visible in the shot.

at the end of the ramp, this is the beginning of the most beautiful subway tunnel i have ever walked through.

by going to the right of the above photo, i am heading towards the diesel track, by going underneath platform 1, which is the blue sky at the top of the tunnel.

this is the ramp and artwork for the subway that goes up beside the diesel tracks. they would be to the right of the photo, but i couldnt get them in the shot. i love all the detail that has gone into painting this mural.

this is the right side of the ramp from the previous photo, the diesel tracks run behind this shot.

how cute is that frog! looking at the subway tunnel from platform 1 towards platform 2.

it is a shame about the sun putting a bit of glare on this shot, but it was the best i could do. this is underneath platform 2. i really love norman park, seriously the most beautiful station on the network. i may be a bit biased, but if any station can rival norman park in its beauty, i will look forward to writing about it!

this is seriously beautiful. the amount of work that has gone into this is amazing. i wonder how long it took to paint this? i also wonder if everyone who walks along here is as amazed by it as i am and that they appreciate it as much as i do. it deserves to be admired.

looking along the subway tunnel from platform 2 to platform 1.

i had to get the sign in the photo. this sign is on platform 2, directing commuters to platfrom 1 for the cleveland line.

this is a shot of a diesel approaching norman park on its way from coorparoo. i was walking to my car and i heard it approaching, so quickly got out my camera for this photo. couldnt miss such an opportunity! this is a good place to leave norman park for now.

1 comment:

  1. QR do not operate the goods trains on the Port of Brisbane line.

    Anyway, the diesels aren't all that comfortable to ride in.