Friday, 28 March 2014

ebbw vale

this is the first time i have written about a station which directly follows one i have already written about. i must apologise to all the stations on the shorncliffe line, since each of those stations was probably thinking that they would be in with a good chance to be the next station to feature in trainspotting. sorry shorncliffe stations! the reason i havent been able to visit a shorncliffe station for this entry, is because we have had to do a month long placement for fourth year of pharmacy. this equates to four weeks full time work of monday to friday at a location we chose. this placement is unpaid as it is a part of our degree. the slightly irritating thing about that is, i need to work weekends so that i can afford rent, petrol, money for my go card, and my inner health probiotics. this then translates to a period of working 32 days in a row from feburary 27 to march 30. this sadly left no time for exploring new stations, and so i had to resort to writing about a station i had already visited a few times and had some photos of. hence, this time i am writing about ebbw vale station! i would like to add that during placement i was fortunate enough to have cheryl (of the cannon hill blog fame) drop me at both cannon hill and morningside stations after work, to help me get to the city to catch my ipswich back to dinmore. thanks so much chezza!

we use the ebbw vale station occasionally as a good back up when dinmore isnt an option. we would probably use norman park more frequently than ebbw vale, despite the fact that ebbw vale is so much closer to home. ebbw vale station is actually closer than dinmore, but since we can access dinmore directly via the highway, it is significantly faster to drive to dinmore than ebbw vale. when heading inbound to central on the ipswich line, ebbw vale station is actually the station which precedes dinmore. when following the ipswich line outbound towards ipswich, ebbw vale is followed by bundamba, which karen has visited once but i am still yet to collect bundamba station. we mostly use ebbw vale station when karen drives, since her car, beccy, is not as reliable on the highway as emmy. it is far more common to see beccy parked at ebbw vale than emmy, though occasionally on a thursday if i have uni starting late and i know i wont get a park at dinmore, i will take the tedious drive through ipswich city to ebbw vale station and park her there. out of the three stations in ipswich we have used since moving to emerald hill (ipswich, dinmore, ebbw vale); ebbw vale takes the longest to drive to and from, but we have never had a problem with parking there, despite the small size of the car park.

according to wiki, ebbw vale gets is name from old welsh, which i guess is pretty obvious from the spelling! apparently, in wales there was a coal mine at a town called ebbw vale, and so the ipswich suburb of ebbw vale was named after a coal mine which once operated in the area. i guess it is a throw back to the ebbw vale in wales: both places had coal mines, so why not name one after the other!

one of the things we like about ebbw vale station is its proximity to a small business on the opposite side of brisbane road called the old miners diner. karen enjoys their meals, and i feel it is only fair to give them a plug even if the only thing i have ever purchased from them was a rainbow paddlepop which i had one day while at the ebbw vale station waiting for the city and caboolture train to central. i guess the name of the diner makes sense after reading the history behind the area with the coal mine in both ebbw vales! since it is family owned this appeals to karen because she loves to support small businesses. 

the ebbw vale station is a very beautiful old style railway station, with the old wooden station signs adding incredible character to the station. it is not without character though even if you dont see the sign straight away. i can remember when we first moved to ipswich and we were driving somewhere, we heard a news report on the radio that the ebbw vale station had received vandalism to its car park overnight. we had no idea how anyone could actually vandalise a car park, but apparently they can, and did, at this station. we remember saying that ebbw vale may perhaps be a station we would avoid since we heard that report. we have since used ebbw vale many times, particularly karen, as she sometimes has a later start to her shifts, so she drives beccy to ebbw vale on those days, when she knows the car park at dinmore would be full. nothing has ever happened to beccy (or emmy for that matter) in the car park, so i can say we have never had any kind of incidents at this station at all. it is a station we both enjoy visiting.

i have very clear memories of this station on one of the many times i began a journey to dutton park from ebbw vale station for lectures at pace. if you catch the caboolture train inbound from any of the stations on the ipswich line and plan to change trains at roma street for a beenleigh train, you will know what i mean when i say that they rarely sync up in a way that makes this possible, not matter how fast you run. the beenleigh train is notorious for departing roma street just as the caboolture is arriving, or just as infuriating: when you are on the caboolture and pulling in to roma street, the beenleigh is sitting there on platform 4 simply waiting for you to dash down the steps from platform 9 and up the other side to platform 4, where it then decides that now is a good time to depart, leaving you stranded on the staircase as it leaves. the number of times this has happened to me are countless, however one incident does stand out. i had boarded at ebbw vale, disembarked at roma street for the beenleigh which was already waiting, taunting me on the platform and daring me to catch it if  could. i was running as fast as someone 5'2" can run with a heavy backpack up a staircase, and just as i got to the top, the whistle blew for the beenleigh to depart. too busy watching the train, and not my feet, i tripped up the last few steps, and went flying onto the platform. my glasses flew off and i must have looked like harry potter in the prisoner of azkaban when he loses his glasses at the womping willow. i must add that a kind guard did help me up and made sure i got that beenleigh train to dutton park for lectures. oh what fun i have with trains! just a shame it was one of the only days i wasnt carrying a ventolin puffer with me!

another fun adventure involving ebbw vale happens to be one of my famous multi station days when i got to visit six stations in the one day. this day started at dinmore, with a train ride to central with karen. while having a cup of tea, she was worried she had left the iron turned on, so i offered to go back home and check. back i went to dinmore on an ipswich train, drove home to check the iron (it was off) and then had to make my way back into town again. when i was at dinmore the second time, the car park was pretty full, so i decided to use ebbw vale to park emmy and head back in (three stations and counting for the day so far) i then had to change trains at roma street for a beenleigh (which of course i missed and had to wait for the next train going through park road. i got a cleveland) while at roma street, i collected the station because i had time to kill while i waited for the cleveland. 4 stations. i then rode the cleveland to park road and collected that station before walking to pace. after class, i got to collect dutton park (station 6) before heading back to central then home to ebbw vale, where emmy was waiting unvandalized for us. while roma street was probably an unnecessary station, it was still a pretty epic journey. i have achieved six stations in one day a few times since, but that was my first six station day.

the ebbw vale station sign on platform 2. i got this shot in the morning of my six station journey when karen was worried she had left the iron on. behind the station there is bushland. this is the first photo i got of ebbw vale station. im loving that nice bold font on the station sign!

i got this shot of ebbw vale station from platform 2 at the dinmore end looking back at the station towards the bundamba end. it is such a quaint and peaceful little station, look how lovely it looks in this shot. i think i am getting better at capturing the essence of stations. platform 2 is the platform to wait on if you are catching the train to the city, which is usually a bowen hills or caboolture train. next stop inbound is dinmore!

i love this photo! this would have to be one of the best shots i have taken so far. compared to my earlier shots i got of wulkuraka and norman park, this shot of the quaint station office at ebbw vale is heaps better. how gorgeous is this station! i have included the station sign on the left, but you can also see on the side of the station office is the old style wooden sign. how amazing to have them both in the same shot. this is taken form platform 2 looking across at platform 1. the track in the foreground is the ipswich and rosewood line. this shot is almost worthy of wikipaedia. 

i got this shot from platform 2 of ebbw vale station, looking along the platform in the direction of bundamba. platform 1 is on the left. the footbridge linking the two platforms is similar to the one at norman park. the car park is behind platform 1, not visible in the photo. look at that sky, such a lovely day to be out catching trains!

sometimes an express train will pass through the stations, such as the one in this shot. this train is traveling through ebbw vale from bundamba on its way to dinmore and further inbound. i got this shot from the footbridge looking along the ipswich line in the direction of bundamba. i think it turned out pretty well. compare this to the one in the norman park blog taken from a similar position. you will know which one i mean, it wasnt my best photography! platform 1 is on the left of the photo, platform 2 is on the right. a small amount of the carpark is visible on the left behind the trees.

turning around on the footbridge to get a shot of the express train as it leaves ebbw vale bound for dinmore. the carpark is much clearer to see now on the right behind platform 1. behind platform 2 there is just bushland. the station office is also mostly visible on platform 1 on the right of the photo.

the only thing that possessed me to include this shot was the old wooden ebbw vale station sign on the side of the station office on platform 1. this isnt even my best photo of the sign, but i thought i may as well include it. the tracks are visible on the left and the car park is visible in the top right. this part of the car park is where we usually park beccy and emmy on the odd occasion when we visit the ebbw vale station. i got this shot from the top of the staircase linking the platforms.

this time without the train, from on top of the footbridge i got another shot of the ipswich line as it leaves ebbw vale in the direction of bundamba. it may not be the most exciting photo i have ever taken but i really like this shot. a friend of mine, kartika, has relatives at bundamba and she said that once she was on the ipswich train and for some reason the train was forced to terminate here at ebbw vale and she was stranded at the station before the one she needed. she said she had to ring her relatives to come and collect her from ebbw vale. thankfully for karen and i, the train has only ever broken down around corinda and not at the station immediately prior to our destination! platform 1 is on the left and platform 2 is on the right of this shot.

this time looking towards dinmore, i have captured the ebbw vale station sans train looking inbound along the ipswich line. platform 2 is on the left and platform 1 on the right. the station office is in the middle of the platform.

taken from the staircase on the platform 2 side looking along the platform in the direction of bundamba, i just wanted to get a shot of the platforms that wasnt taken from directly above like in the shots previouly featured. this result isnt a bad effort

back on platform 2 looking across at the station office on platform 1. the timetable for the ipswich and rosewood lines is visible on the wall of the station office. the timetables are on display at all of the stations i have visited so far, so i am pretty sure i can say they are on display at all station across the network.

this ebbw vale station sign is on platform 2 towards the bundamba end of the platform. i had plenty of time to kill before the train arrived so thought i would get a few extra photos. this was one of them.

taken from platform 2 of ebbw vale station, looking along the tracks of the ipswich line in the direction of bundamba. the road running alongside the tracks is brisbane road, which is the major road into and out of ipswich. it meets the cunningham and warrego highways near the train station at dinmore, where it turns into the ipwsich motorway.

turning back around to get a shot of ebbw vale station from platform 2 as i look along the platforms across at platform 1. this was taken at the bundamba end of the ebbw vale station. its a pretty good shot, almost in the category of being worthy of featuring on wikipaedia i think. the track in the foreground is the line to the city which usually goes on to caboolture. the line in the background is the ipswich line which extends past ipswich to rosewood.

following from my shot of the toilets at nerang, how could i not include this gem from platform 2 at ebbw vale station? each time i have been at this station the doors have been locked. i have not actually seen this facility in use, and presume it is now a disused relic, but it is there, so i figured why not get a shot of it. this is towards the dinmore end of platform 2.

taken from platform 2 at the dinmore end of the station looking along the ipswich line inbound towards dinmore station. the track on the right of the shot is the ipswich line heading outbound to bundamba as it passes platform 1. the car park is on the right, partially visible in the shot. parking at ebbw vale has never been a problem for us, no matter what time we have got to this station, we have always been able to get a space in this car park.

looking back along platform 2 of ebbw vale station from the dinmore end of the station. the car park is visible on he left, beccy can be found there occasionally. platform 1 is on the right of the shot. it was a beautiful day, look at the sky. the clear sky seems to amplify how gorgeous this station is.

from the staircase on platform 1 looking down at the ebbw vale station office building. the car park is in the background. the old miners diner is across brisbane road which is the road visible in the shot. it is a major road into ipswich.

i got this shot of the old ebbw vale station sign that is on the side of the station office. i am not a fan of capital letters (very obvious) but i think in this case it actually works for the station sign. if you ever visit the railway workshops museum at ipswich there are a lot of old station signs on display. i think it is awesome that this has been preserved at this station on both ends of the station office. i hope when i visit more stations i get to see relics on display like this because i like historical artifacts and these station signs are pretty cool.

the train arriving on platform 1 is the ipswich train, stopping all stations. i got a shot of the ipswich train as it arrived while i was waiting on platform 2 for my city and caboolture train.

most of the trains on the network at two trains connected to each other. each train is a multiple unit of three carriages, with the middle carriage of each train being a designated quiet carriage. this ipswich train is a standard 6 carriage train. i was waiting in the middle of platform 2 and got this shot looking across at platform 1 while the ipswich train was waiting on the platform.

the ipswich train is waiting on platform 1 of ebbw vale station. i got this shot from the middle of platform 2 looking along the platform. the track in the foreground is the track for the trains traveling inbound along the ipswich line.

the ipswich train departs ebbw vale bound for bundamba. the city and caboolture train was due to be arriving shortly on platform 2.

here it is! the caboolture train arrives on platform 2 of ebbw vale to take me to the city. i was the only one waiting at ebbw vale. actually, most times i have been at the station i have been the only one getting on the train there. perhaps it is just the times we use the station, but it seems fairly quiet, unlike dinmore which usually has a number of people waiting for the train when we are there, no matter what time.

i got this shot before i boarded the train. i rode the caboolture train as far as roma street before changing trains for a beenleigh to dutton park. i somehow managed to make the beenleigh in time, which is no mean feat when the caboolture and beenleigh dont seem to sync up well at roma street. thankfully this time there was no tripping up the roma street stairs on this occasion! it seems i cant go a week without tripping up a staircase at one of the major stations i visit. that is the curse of having such short legs and big feet! now that the 32 days in a row of placement and work have finished, i might finally get to visit some more stations. this bog has been a god send to help relax during this never ending shift. i think i need to reward myself with something cool. a trip to traveston perhaps? i guess we will just have to wait and see!

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