Saturday, 30 November 2013

cannon hill

in late september for uni we had to do a week of placement at a pharmacy of our choice. a few of my friends took the opportunity to visit a rural pharmacy since this term was centered around rural awareness and it was a great opportunity for students to get a taste for working in a rural environment. having worked in a rural pharmacy since 2002, i thought it would be a good opportunity to continue to do placement at the same store where i had done all of my previous placements - where i work! (no i am not being lazy! i just dont cope at all well with change!)

if you have been reading all of my blogs so far, you will know that i live at emerald hill and that i work at carindale. the two suburbs are no where near one another and in actual fact it is almost exactly 50km from home to work, making a 100km round trip for each shift. naturally i had no intention of driving in to work for each of these 5 days! (actually, it was going to be 10 days, as placement was monday to friday, and i work weekends normally, so i had to do saturday, sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday, sunday (which is 9 days, but they were going to be short on the monday so it became 10 days straight). i was more than happy to drive for my regular shifts, though for placement i decided i would do something far more fun - catch the train! so my mornings became an interesting mix of driving, train, walking and bus. karens mornings were unaffected in terms of transport, we just had to be awake earlier to make it to dinmore in time for a 6:30 train. we both rode the train to central, where karen would collect central station for the morning as she left for work, and i would collect central station on my way to the buses at king george square to get a 222 to carindale. jackie from bowen hills doesnt drive and she catches a train from bowen hills to central each morning before catching a bus to carindale, so she had informed me of a few buses i could catch to get to work for placement. i am not normally too good on a bus, so it was going to be an interesting week! my initial plan was to catch the bus back to the city and then a train from central back to dinmore with karen where emmy would be waiting for us and we would be home at our regular time. cheryl from work had other plans: she could drop me to cannon hill station on her way home! what a terrific idea, i got to collect a new station and i also got to catch 2 trains. win win as far as i was concerned! cheryl lives at manly and thus, manly is her primary station and she has been at me for weeks to come to her home and help her with her computer, which i promise i will do after exam block has concluded for this term. i am looking forward to visiting: i get to see a friend from work, get to play around with a computer and of course, get to collect another new station: manly!

so each afternoon after i had concluded placement at 5:30pm the plan was that cheryl would drop me to cannon hill station, and i would catch the train to central, meet up with karen, change trains and go back to dinmore. the only problem with this plan was that there was a training at work on the monday night (day 3 of work, or day 1 of placement). while placement is voluntary, it is also compulsory and has about 7  assessment pieces associated with it, and is pretty involved. because i am an employee as well as a placement student, i was expected to be at the training, so i had decided that on monday i would drive to work and karen could catch a cleveland to norman park and i would pick her up on the way through. that ruined the cannon hill plans for monday, but cheryl and i were still on for cannon hill for the rest of the week. i was looking forward to placement, not just because of what i would be learning, but because i had a chance to collect a new station! sometimes in life it is the small things that keep up motivated!

my first time to cannon hill was on the tuesday after placement when cheryl kindly dropped me at the station on her way home. cannon hill station is on the cleveland line and is located between morningside inbound to central and murrarie outbound to cleveland, and thus is only two stations along from my old primary station of norman park. i thought that i would probably have to wait a while for an inbound train, so i was really kicking myself that i hadnt thought to bring my camera to get a few photos as there was still enough light in the sky to get a few snaps of cannon hill station. i got to see for myself the crossing where a person was hit by a train for trying to cross the tracks as a train was approaching. it had been on the news and is even on youtube now. as far as i know the person was ok after it all, but it really defies belief that anyone would try to cross the tracks when there is a train approaching. i feel for the driver of the train more than i feel for the human crossing the tracks illegally. the station is equipped with boom gates over the road and pedestrian gates as well similar to wulkuraka and coorparoo, and these beep when a train is approaching, so really there are no excuses. 

the cannon hill station has two platforms, one inbound and one outbound, and a footbridge connecting them, as well as a footbridge which links these platforms to the northern carpark by crossing over the diesel tracks, similar to how the bridges are arranged at buranda. alas, i didnt get to see any diesels the first time i was waiting at cannon hill, but on my second visit i was greeted with a lovely surprise on the diesel tracks!

after cheryl dropped me off, while i was waiting for my inbound train i saw a thorneside train heading outbound to thorneside, which is also on the cleveland line, and this is the first time i had ever seen a train which was terminating at thorneside. i had seen a few trains that terminated at manly, but terminating at thorneside was much less common. not long after the thorneside train left cannon hill, a ferny grove train arrived for me to board. i hadnt expected it to be a ferny grove train, as they usually come from beenleigh, but had expected it to terminate at either shorncliffe, doomben or bowen hills. when the ferny grove arrived, i did a quick mental calculation, thinking that i should be ok to meet karen on platform 5 of central to catch our ipswich back to dinmore, using the standard formula that norman park is about 15 minutes from central and i was slightly further out than norman park. well, the ferny grove didnt exactly go the fastest on its way to central and with each station from park road i was beginning to get more and more anxious that i would miss the ipswich train and have to wait another half hour at central for the next one. i seriously considered getting off the train at roma street, however i could see that the station television screens had two green bars on them and the one closest to the top had a longer white blur in it than the one further down, meaning that the richlands was due before the ipswich - i would be ok to continue to central after all! just before roma street it was announced that the ferny grove would no longer be a ferny grove but was changing to a shorncliffe, and i found that news unsurprising. 

when the shorncliffe arrived at central, i ran up the steps and over to platform 5 where i found karen, and we didnt have to wait long for the ipswich train. it was cutting it a bit fine for my liking, but we made it and that was all that mattered. i got to do this for the rest of the week, though friday, my last day of catching a train from cannon hill, had to the the busiest day we had at the store, and that meant that the staff didnt get much time to go to the loo. as a result, cheryl and had to use the facilities before we left, and i decided i would get changed out of my placement shirt since i had the time. that small stop was all that was required to delay us enough that i ended up missing the train and had to wait half an our for the next one. i wasnt too upset about waiting, i had my camera with me, but the only problem was that the sun wasnt playing nice and i didnt have enough light left in the day to get some descent photos of cannon hill station in that half hour which was a touch depressing. these first few photos are the ones i managed to get on my first visit to cannon hill station.

this was the first photo i got at cannon hill station, from platform 2 looking over at platform 1. the cleveland bound trains arrive on platform 1, the city bound trains arrive on platform 2. as you can see from the sky in the photo, it was already beginning to get dark, and with limited light left in the day, i didnt have a lot of time to take photos during this visit. the car park shown in this photo is a little smaller than the one servicing platform 2, which i walked through after cheryl dropped me to the station after placement. the crossing which is featured on youtube is to the right of this photo.

looking west along platform 2 towards the morningside end of the station from the murarrie end of the station. i had arrived at the station just after the inbound train had left, so had to wait for the next train to the city - giving me the opportunity to take a few photos before more commuters arrived on the platform. the footbridges link the platforms, with the one of the left linking platforms 1 and 2, and the one on the right linking platform 1 with the car park on the northern side of the station. the diesel track running alongside platform 1 passes under the footbridge on the right. this track follows the cleveland line until just after lindum station, where it diverges for the port of brisbane. i would love to see the port one day.

the infamous cannon hill crossing: made famous on youtube after a pedestrian was lucky to survive crossing in front of cleveland bound train after waiting for a city bound train. the crossing is at the murarrie end of the station along barrack road, which seemed like it was a rather busy road in the time i was waiting at the station, as a descent amount of traffic flowed past the station. there are boom gates to prevent cars crossing when a train is approaching, and automatic gates to prevent humans crossing. an alarm also sounds before both kinds of gates are deployed, as a warning to finish crossing and not to attempt crossing the tracks. really - there is no excuse for not knowing a train is approaching. this shot was taken from platform 2 at the murarrie end of the station.

here is a slightly zoomed in shot of the cannon hill crossing, again from platform 2, this time i aimed to capture the sign for train drivers, as well as the pedestrian gates. in this shot, a train is approaching the station, because the booms are already lowered and the lights are flashing. the pedestrian gates also have a red light on to tell the humans not to cross the tracks.

here it is! the train that was approaching was this thorneside train which is arriving on platform 1. i can remember when i first moved to brisbane and waited on platform 1 of park road after class and saw upcoming trains for manly and thorneside, i had no idea where these stations were, and patiently waited for a packed cleveland train. if only i had known i could have caught these trains to norman park!

the thorneside train on platform 1 of cannon hill station. thorneside station is 5 stations from the end of the cleveland line, and with the upcoming timetable changes, will no longer be a terminating station. this shot is essentially the same as my second photo of cannon hill, but with the addition of the thorneside train. the sky looks surprisingly bright in this photo considering how late it was.

with the upcoming timetable changes to the cleveland line, cannon hill will play a more prominent role as a terminating station, meaning there will actually be cannon hill trains! i got this shot of the sign after the thorneside train had departed the station, bound for murarrie.

woosh! the train arriving on platform 2 is the brisbane city and ferny grove train stopping all stations. it was announced as a ferny grove, but by the time we got to roma street, it had been changed to a shorncliffe terminating train. this train worked out well, i managed to get to central in time to catch the outbound ipswich with karen to get back to dinmore. if i have any shifts in the holidays, i will definitely be considering catching the train to central and catching a bus from there and then finding my way to a train station somewhere along the cleveland line to get back to central and get an ipswich train home. i am so glad that i was able to visit cannon hill station as part of my placement, and i even included it in my placement report, which is a piece of reflective writing about what we did and what we learned during our time at placement. i wonder how i did in that assessment piece?

i came back to cannon hill in the university holidays to get a few more photos, since i had so few from my initial visit thanks to cheryl. i caught a cleveland train from central after having a cup of tea with karen on this particular morning, and disembarked at cannon hill to get the following photos. this is a shot of the cleveland train on platform 1 looking back towards the morningside end of the station.

the cleveland departs cannon hill station, bound for murarrie. i got this shot on platform 1 from the morningside end of the platform, looking towards the murarrie end.

the station sign for cannon hill, this time in real daylight! this sign is on platform 1 of the station. the diesel tracks are visible behind the sign between platform 1 and the northern car park.

this lovely shot of cannon hill station is from platform 1 looking along the platform towards the morningside station, and captures platform 2 on the left of the photo, as well as a station sign on platform 2. not bad for someone who didnt do any photography in media in year 8; i think the framing of the tracks looks pretty good in this shot. almost worthy of wikipaedia i think. 

this is a shot of platform 2 looking across from platform 1 at a cannon hill station sign on the platform. the station signs have speakers built into either end of them so that announcements can be heard by passengers waiting all along the platform.

this cannon hill station sign is on platform 1, and i got this shot to include the diesel tracks and the footbridge which links the northern car park with the station.

i turned around from the previous shot and got another shot of the station looking back towards morningside station. no i am not actually over the yellow line, i simply held my arm out over the tracks and got the photo. there is a cannon hill sign just visible on platform 2.

i climbed up the staircase on platform 1 and looked towards morningside station to get this aerial view of cannon hill station. the diesel tracks are to the right and platform 1 is at the bottom of the stairs. the blue and white paint on platform 1 denotes the recommended passenger waiting area.

this shot is from the staircase, turned to look towards murarrie from cannon hill station. platform 1 is towards the left and platform 2 on the right. the diesel track isnt really visible here, but runs to the left of the photo behind the station. the cannon hill crossing which has been on the news is pictured in this shot.

how awesome is this! it is like the diesels follow me i swear! i was here at cannon hill for probably 10 minutes maximum when i got the thrill of capturing this diesel chugging its way past the station from murarrie. i got this shot from the top of the footbridge between platform 1 and the staircase down to the northern car park. being so short i had to hold my camera up and hope for the best on these photos! thankfully most of them actually turned out ok. you can see the diesel has just passed through the crossing.

following the diesel along cannon hill station, it makes its way past the footbridge as it travels towards morningside station.

i waited until more of the carriages had rolled past the footbridge so i could capture a few more of them in the shot as the diesel leaves cannon hill station and continues along beside the cleveland line towards morningside.

almost out of sight, the diesel has long gone but the carriages are still traveling past cannon hill and very visible from my vantage point on top of the footbridge.

before they all pass the station i manages to get this zoomed in shot of the carriages the diesel was pulling through cannon hill station. sadly the cannon hill station sign isnt legible from this shot, but it was a descent effort for a shot taken when my hand was elevated above my head and pointed in the general direction of the carriages.

ok so my aim was a bit off here (give me a break i am 5'2"!!), but i decided to include this one despite the railing in the foreground because it shows traffic going through the cannon hill crossing which was featured on the news. this shot was taken from the top of the footbridge, again using point and aim camera from high above your head method.

this time i had a slightly better aim, but there is an absence of traffic passing through the crossing. platform 2 is on the right of the photo, and platform 1 ends just before the center of the image. this is of course looking at cannon hill in the direction of the murarrie station.

the view from the top of the staircase, this is the diesel track that the diesel had just travelled along. this is looking towards morningside station.

i got this shot halfway down the staircase at cannon hill on the northern side, looking towards murarrie station. you can see the crossing where the diesel track cuts through the road. platform 1 is visible to the right.

this is the diesel track from the bottom of the staircase. the shelter on platform 1 is just behind the track. there is a chicken wire fence separating the car park from the diesel track, i almost succeeded in missing the wire in this shot!

i crept around under the staircase to get this shot of the crossing. no i am not on the tracks! the diesel track is in the center of the image, and the cleveland line visible towards the middle and right. the white fence of platform 1 is also visible on the right of the image. i quite like the way this shot turned out.

on the northern car park at the bottom of the stairs is this little map of the cannon hill station. i got the previous photo by walking up the path visible behind the sign next to the stairs; one of the advantages of being small!

how could i not include an image of the staircase? this is the one on the northern car park and the footbridge visible at the top of the shot provides passage over the diesel track. as you can see it is fully enclosed, and hence my previous efforts of getting a photo of the passing diesel involved the stretching high above my head method.

back up on top of the footbridge, this time looking down towards the morningside end of the station. i love how far into the distance you can see in this shot. the diesel has long since gone by now.

i turned around to get this shot of the cannon hill station from the footbridge, looking towards murarrie. the level crossing is in view towards the top of the image. platform 1 is on the left and platform 2 is on the right. the diesel track is visible on the extreme left.

looking across at the southern car park at cannon hill station from the footbridge. this is the car park i walked by on my first visit to the cannon hill station after cheryl dropped me off after placement.

standing on the footbridge, looking towards morningside, i thought i should get another shot of the station from an elevated position, this time mainly focusing on platform 2.

this shot from the footbridge focuses on platform 2 at the murarrie end of the cannon hill station. the level crossing is in view on the upper right of the image.

while i am not entirely certain what this little thing is, this gorgeous relic is on display on platform 2 of cannon hill station, near the station office which is located near the level crossing. i couldnt resist getting a photo of it for this blog!

** a big thankyou to the reader of my blog who had informed me that this is a picture of a preserved fairmont station car. it really is cool. i love historical artifacts.  

this is the cannon hill station office, located on platform 2 at the murarrie end of the station.

the level crossing, cannon hill station. this shot is taken from platform 2 in front of the station office. the next station on the cleveland line is murarrie.

on the wall of the station office is the cleveland line timetable. alas, it brings great pain to my heart that the cleveland line will not longer be purple, but in coming weeks will change to blue to join the shorncliffe. by the time you next visit cannon hill station, the cleveland timetable will have changed, making cannon hill a more prominent station, and the purple will have been replaced by the blue of the shorncliffe line. i dont think people with obsessive copulsive disorder who dislike change and really dont like blue were consulted before this change was made. sadly though, the change has been made and i will have to adapt. i am still not sure how to adjust my blog though to accomodate this change... to me the cleveland line will always be purple.

i had to get a few shots of the cannon hill crossing in daylight, and here they are! this is the approach from the southern car park at the murarrie end of the station, going from platform 2 to platform 1.

looking towards murarrie along the tracks of the level crossing. i tried to styalize this shot on my previous effort at wulkuraka. i really liked the way the wulkuraka photos turned out and i think i will try to replicate them at all stations with a level crossing.

another shot from the crossing this time looking back at cannon hill station towards morningside from the crossing itself, again in the style of my wulkuraka photos.

i cant get a photo of the tracks from the crossing without including the diesel track as well! i love the diesels, and hopefully some day i will get to ride in one. platform 1 of cannon hill station is on the left of the image and the northern car park on the right.

the level crossing at cannon hill station, looking towards murarrie from near the diesel tracks on the northern side of the station. i like this shot because it captures the bend of the tracks as the line round into cannon hill.

here is another shot, this time focused more on the level crossing itself with the diesel tracks prominent in the foreground. murarrie station is to the left on the cleveland line, and morningside station to the right after cannon hill on the shorncliffe line.

this is the back of the station office from the southern car park where i walked past after cheryl dropped me to cannon hill for the first time after my placement. the staircase and footbridge are visible on the left near the tree.

this cannon hill station sign is on platform 2, i thought i may as well get another station sign shot as i was walking past on my way to the end of the inbound platform.

i went to the morningside end of platform 2 for this shot of the tracks leading away from the station.  i think it looks pretty cool. the city and shorncliffe train had been announced so i had to try to get my last few photos before the train came. as i was taking them i thought that i may stay on the shorncliffe all the way to the end of the line to get some photos of shorncliffe station, since i had already been to shorncliffe, but had no pictorial evidence for my blog.

at the morningside end of platform 2 looking back at cannon hill station in full one last time.

i walked a bit further down the platform to be able to get another shot of the staircases and footbridge from the morningside end of the cannon hill station. the shorncliffe train was about to arrive.

the shorncliffe train arrives on platform 2 of cannon hill station. i think i did well to capture the train as it arrived while keeping in essentially the same shot as the previous image. i planned to ride the shorncliffe until the end of the line to get some photos of shorncliffe station.

as the train sped past me while i was waiting on the platform i got another shot of the side of the train, after all the blog is called trainspotting!

the shorncliffe train as i was about to board it at cannon hill. as i said i was planning on riding the train to shorncliffe to get some photos of that station for my blog, however i had a change of mind as we arrived at park road. while we were stopped at park road, i noticed a train speed through platform 4 of park road, with ipswich listed as its terminating station. there were only two possible explanations for this: the train was mislabelled (unlikely) or something had happened on the ipswich line for the trains to be diverted through park road. if they were being diverted through park road, that meant they would follow the beenleigh line to yeerongpilly where they would then go through tennyson to corinda. there used to be a service which would do this regularly of an afternoon, though sadly i never got to catch this train as i was still living on the cleveland line at the time the service was discontinued. keen to venture through tennyson for the first time, i figured that if this was indeed the case with the ipswich line, i would have a change of plans and leave shorncliffe for another day. at roma street i wasnt able to see the screens well enough so stayed on the shorncliffe until central, where i could see straight away something was up as the train arrived on platform 6 at central as opposed to its usual platform 3 or 4 for a shorncliffe train. i simply crossed the platform and saw an ipswich train wasnt far away and that it was running express from roma street to corinda; due to a truck hitting a bridge at milton; which meant i could go via tennyson! yay! i finally got my chance to see tennyson, and also a chance to collect corinda station as well. it was going to be a fun afternoon!

sadly i have a not so pleasant post script to this entry. on january 3rd 2014, the 94th year since my favorite mathematician died at the age of 31; a 31 year old woman was killed at this station when she attempted to cross the tracks to board an inbound train which was waiting on platform 2. she was hit by an express train heading outbound towards cleveland and killed instantly.

trains are mighty and powerful machines. it is basic physics, momentum = mass x velocity. a train, even traveling at 50km/h has so much momentum, and cannot stop for you if you are on the tracks. they also cannot swerve to get out of your way; they are on tracks! they are fast, they are quiet and they will kill you if you are in their way. if you cross the tracks, it is literally your funeral. i am saddened to hear of this tragic end to the young womans life, but i also feel for the driver of the train who did nothing wrong and yet now has to live with the image in their mind of seeing this womans life end before their eyes. 

there is a reason train tracks have boom gates, pedestrian gates, sirens and lights. please stay behind the line. life is too short, please dont risk cutting it shorter by trying to cross the tracks.

1 comment:

  1. The "little yellow thing" is a preserved Fairmont section car. There is a gangers' depot adjacent to Cannon Hill Station.

    Just east of Cannon Hill was the junction for line to the Cannon Hill Saleyards, the (now demolished) Mobil fuel storage "farm" and the old RAN fuel oil tanks (also demolished).