for me, toowong station was formerly associated with early morning starts and stressful bio med lectures and pracs in second and third year, that i somehow managed to pass (i still honestly dont know how considering i am such a terrible biom student!) i enjoyed the subject, i learned a lot in it in it, the lecturers are seriously excellent at what they do, but do you think that that would translate into a descent exam score?! nope. it is a bit like this blog really. i like trains, and enjoy writing about trains and stations, but that isnt any more likely to get me a job working with them just because i am the train blogger!
so yes, i am writing about toowong because it is strategically located near the university of queensland on the ipswich and springfield lines. this is ever so convenient for me considering that on most occasions, my train journeys these days begin at dinmore. writing about this station gives me the advantage of studying, while also working on my blog. often my friends and i will meet at the st lucia campus for study sessions in the rooms in the biological sciences library. i always find i gain craploads out of these sessions, where we sit as a group going through lecture content and going through past exams and discussing the answers as a group. in a way, i believe that if it werent for these sessions, my grade point average would be significantly worse than it is.
toowong station, as i have said, is on the ipswich and springfield lines. since two lines go through this station, i have had to denote it grey like i did for corinda. when heading inbound to the city from toowong station, the next station is auchenflower. when heading outbound from toowong, the next station is taringa. i have yet to visit either auchenflower or taringa stations officially yet, though naturally i have been through them both many times as karen and i ride the train inbound to central together most mornings. i didnt get to collect toowong station until october 2012 when we moved to emerald hill from where we were living near garden city. this meant that my journey too and from class at pace involved catching the train to roma street and changing trains for anything going southbound through park road. this meant a cleveland, gold coast or beenleigh train would be appropriate, but the beenleigh was always the one to aim for since the beenleigh train stops at dutton park. in second and third year pharmacy there are five subject: 4 of them at pace, and a fifth, bio medical science, at st lucia. so it was the days where we had biom that i could catch the train to toowong and then get a bus to the campus. of a morning on the ipswich line, the trains stop all stations from ipswich to darra, then change to run express from darra to milton stopping only at indooroopilly. currently the first express service departs ipswich at 6:15am, getting to darra half an hour later. for anyone interested, the final express train of the morning departs ipswich at 7:39 in the morning. this means that to get to toowong, i needed to change trains at indooroopilly for an all stations service. my many interesting experiences at attempting to do this are best saved for when i write about indooroopilly station, but let me just say that it is rare to be able to disembark the express train, and change platforms in time to catch the next all stations service. most likely you will miss the train and have to wait for the next all stations service. thankfully though, i am in fourth year now, so my tedious train changeovers at indooroopilly are now (thankfully) behind me!
virtually each time i visit the toowong station has been when i am going to the university of queensland st lucia campus for biom class, though occasionally it has been to catch up with a friend, or for the valuable study sessions we have in the library. there have also been the frequent occasions when group assignments have necessitated late nights in the library and diets of junk food that have amazingly so far failed to provide a diagnosis of diabetes. i am sure the diagnosis is coming. you know it is bad when your doctor says of your blood tests, and i quote: well, you dont have diabetes yet. yes, that is highly encouraging! late library nights have meant late train rides home, and it was not uncommon to see me lurking around toowong station late at night in the last month. i admit that i sometimes caught a springfield train late at night from toowong to darra to be just that little bit closer to home, and so would be waiting at darra around 10pm for an ipswich train. when i write about darra, it will come as no surprise that many of the photos i have from that station were taken nocturnally. (some advice to future fourth year pharmacy students: the business assignment judith will give you is not to be underestimated in its ability to mess with your mind. no matter when you start it, you cant begin it soon enough. each section will bring its own challenges. friendships will be tested, waste lines will increase, word limits will frustrate the crap out of you, late nights of editing are inevitable and most importantly; if you are going to eat pizza in the biological sciences library, keep it hidden from the security guards otherwise you may be asked to throw it out...)
this is my very first photo i took at toowong station. this shot was taken back in third year, not long after i started writing the blog. (the awful photography proves it is an old photo!) i was at toowong station after finishing an afternoon biom class, where i had caught bus from saint lucia campus to the station so i could get the train home. there are regular bus services which connect toowong with the university. (i have caught the 412 and 411 many times between these two destinations.) while i was waiting on platform 1 for the ipswich train, this caboolture train arrived on platform 2. i was quick enough to get my camera out in time to capture its arrival on the platform. such a shame the train looks blurry, but lets put the blurriness of the train down to the velocity of the train. besides, the toowong station sign is nice and clear. i seriously think all the stations should have the same font style, and i certainly favour the bold over the italics because it is clearer. i can actually read this station sign without my glasses, and with my eyesight, that is saying something! the station signs at toowong are like the signs at springfield central, where they are not free standing, but are mounted to the ceiling of the station or fixed to the walls. toowong is not the only station i have visited that has this feature: central and roma street adopt the same concept for displaying station signage.
how cool is this! this gorgeous mosaic is on platform 1 at toowong station. i took this photo one morning while i was waiting for my ipswich train back to dinmore, after finishing class back in third year. i was wearing my liverpool jersey that day, and some english tourists stopped to talk to me, probably thinking i too was english. i can do a semi descent british accent if i try, but i wasnt game in case they worked out i as an imposter. liverpool fan, yes; british citizen, no. they too thought this was a gorgeous mosaic. i told them the ones at park road are particularly good, though i doubt they would have been to park road station just to see the mosaics! if you havent been to park road though, and you like this one, i highly recommend having a look at them, because it may be a while before i get to blog about park road. then again, if you are one of my international readers, you will just have to wait for me to get enough photos to make a blog about the park road station. (its funny, i visit park road so often, yet have so few photos!) anyway, this is a blog about toowong, and there is a mural that runs beside platform 1 which has similar images on it to the many mosaics at the station. the mural depicts an image very similar to this particular mosaic, at either end of platform 1. naturally, i have a few photos of the mural coming up later on down the page. toowong village is a gorgeous glass building which sits on top of the toowong station, which gives toowong the feeling of being underground. i remember the first time i went through toowong i felt like i was in england on the tube. it gives that feeling, even if only for a fleeting moment.
anyone who has been a regular reader of this blog will know what im about to say, so it probably doesnt really need to be said, but i will say it anyway: the toowong station sign has a beautiful bold font. i love that the text stands out nice and proud against the background of the sign. i dont know if queensland rail would ever consider another overhaul of their station signage policy, but if they do, i really hope they can change all of the station signs to have a large bold font like this one above. i actually made a suggestion that when the station upgrade at dinmore is completed, that they give our station a bold font station sign. while i have yet to write about them, the station at south brisbane and richlands have got some of the best station signs i have seen so far on the network. the signs at toowong station arent too bad either. this toowong sign is on platform 1 not far from the mosaic from the photo above. the station sign is mounted on the wall of the fire escape.
this is the entrance to toowong station, well, part of it anyway, because there were a few humans around when i was trying to get my photos on this particular visit. this is the view of the station when you enter from the entrance near sizzlers restaurant. the station itself, as i have said, it located under the toowong village tower, which is an office precinct and shopping center. usually when i am getting to toowong (if not arriving by train) i would walk across the intersection of high street and benson street, and follow the path up to the station. a word of advice, dont run on that path if it is wet, unless you have exceptionally good balance. i mean exceptional, because even i have lost my balance a few times. i am notorious for not liking to touch public surfaces and will stand up on the train without holding on to anything, simply to avoid the cacophony of germs which linger on the hand rails. i can actually stand up and read without holding anything, so if you ever see a short person doing that, it is most likely me. (sometimes being small with very big feet has its advantages!) still, if you cant stand on the train without holding on to anything, then dont try running on these tiles near toowong station. yes they look nice, and appear so innocent, but i swear they can be hazardous when they are wet. you cant say you didnt know! anyway, this is the view of the station from the tiles that are (to quote bon jovi) slippery when wet. it is out of picture, but the entrance to the shopping center is to the left of the photo to get there you go past a really funky shop called zombster, which my friend peter (from redbank) really enjoys. it was he who first put me on to this store when it was near indooroopilly station, way back in our first year of uni. the screens near the bottom of the photo show commuters when the next services in and out of toowong are due to depart, and from which platform. southbound trains are the ipswich and springfield services, and generally speaking, the northbound services will be either a bowen hills or caboolture service.
this is the view looking along platform 1 at toowong station, in the direction of auchenflower. i got this photo from about halfway along the platform, or maybe slightly closer to the auchenflower end than halfway. to the right of the photo, you can make out the mural which runs along the wall. i have better shots of it coming up, dont worry! i was mostly trying to show the platform in this photo, not the mural. to the top left of the shot, you can make out part of the screen which shows the trains arriving next on the platform. look closely. you can tell i got this photo back in third year of uni, because there is an ipswich train followed by a richlands train. the springfield line hadnt been completed at the time i got the photo. once the springfield line was completed in december 2013, the richlands station ceased to be the terminus of the line, and the colour was changed from green to light blue. my springfield central blog shows the terminus of the springfield line.
this photo really needs no introduction, as it is pretty self explanatory. this sign shows that platform 1 is to the right, and platform 2 to the left. toowong station has two island platforms, where platforms 1 and 2 are on the benson street side of the station, and platforms 3 and 4 sit behind 1 and 2 if you are looking at the station from the road. you cant really see the station from the road though, having said that, because it is essentially underground. looking at this photo, platforms 3 and 4 are to the left of the shot, obviously out of picture. benson street runs beside platform 1 of the station, to the right of the photo. this shot shows beautifully that the station is totally undercover. the windows in the bottom right of the shot allow light to filter through to the station from outside, and can be seen from benson street. while waiting on platform 1 for a train, you can easily hear and often see the passing traffic outside the toowong station. this overhead sign is located near the staircase on platforms 1 and 2 which links the station with the shops above.
i am totally loving the bold font. toowong station is rocking the font beautifully in this shot, and really looks to own its name, unlike poor dinmore with its tiny italicised font which is barely visible and seems to meekly whisper, yes i am dinmore station, i dont have much to offer you. toowong shouts out proudly, yo! i am toowong; you should really stop here, i am worth it. the bold font seriously makes all the difference i think. this station sign is mounted to the wall of the staircase which links platforms 1 and 2 with the shops above. the only way out of toowong station, is technically by going up the stairs or the lift on the platforms. i am yet to get to use the emergency exits, and hope i never have to! so yes, if you are disembarking at toowong for the first time, you will need to go up before you can exit the station.
this photo very nearly missed the final cut of photos i was going to include in my toowong blog, but i gave it a lifeline for posterity reasons. i got this photo in 2013 one morning after an 8am biomedical science lecture. lectures went for an hour, so i was always able to make it back to toowong station by bus fairly quickly, even with allowing time for a chat with friends afterwards. i always tried hard not to talk too much in these lectures, because it was always a challenging subject for me. (i always passed first time though, something i am incredibly proud of, as i never did biology in high school.) this shot was taken on platform 1 while i was waiting for an ipswich train back to dinmore. you can see that the next train to depart the toowong station heading south, is a richlands train. richlands was the terminating station on the springfield line before the additional stations of springfield and springfield central were opened. i often caught richlands trains with one of my friends, because he often drove to darra and parked there so that he could get either a richlands or ipswich train back home. he didnt turn up to many early lectures though, so it would have been unlikely that he would have been with me on the day i got this photo. i once caught a richlands train with him to richlands when he had parked there because it is actually closer to his home than darra, because he wanted to show off the richlands station to me (this was before i started the blog.) he swore that richlands was an amazing station, and that it looked incredible at night. i tend to agree now, after dropping him home a few times, and passing the station late at night, it is indeed an impressive station. (i should make another journey to springfield central at night to see how impressive it is and compare the two.) richlands however, is no longer a terminus, and so that renders the above photo obsolete. at darra, the line splits to continue on towards ispwich, where the next station is wacol, or to continue to springfield central, where the next station is of course, richands. me being me; i would have most likely skipped the richlands train that was 4 minutes away, and spent the time taking photos of the toowong station while i waited the 19 minutes for my ipswich train.
taken while i was waiting for the ipswich train home after class, i was on platform 1 waiting for the train and got this shot looking across platform 2 at platforms 3 and 4. the platforms at toowong station are island platforms, where the tracks run either side of a wide platform like an island. toowong has two island platforms, making a total of 4 individual platforms for trains to stop at the station. often platforms 3 and 4 are closed off when i have been at the station, as no trains were due to be stopping on those platforms for several hours. i have caught many trains from toowong; most of them south on platform 1, however i have caught several inbound on platforms 2 and 4. i think it is platform 3 which i have used the least at this station. platform 2 is in the foreground of the shot, with the track visible through the middle running in front of platform 3. sadly some idiot has put graffiti on platform 3, however you will be pleased to know it has since been removed. the green wall behind platform 4 i find rather dull. i dont know why there hasnt been a nice mural painted onto it like the wall behind platform 1. often there will be patches of graffiti on this green wall, which is like a blank canvas asking to be defaced. if there was already a work of art on this wall, i think vandals would be less likely to destroy it. thats just my opinion of course, but it would be nice to see something more exciting than green paint along that wall at some point in the future.
this is the view from platform 2, looking in the direction of auchenflower station, which is the next station inbound from toowong. you can see platform 3 on the left of the shot, and the tracks which run in front of platforms 2 and 3. platform 1 is out of picture to the right, and platform 4 out of picture to the left of the shot. this photo sort of gives the impression that there is light at the end of the tunnel. i am not sure if that metaphor applies to my degree, because at the moment, even though we are so close, it still seems so incredibly far away. at the moment, the light is not shining quite as brightly as it is in this shot of toowong station!
i took this shot from platform 2 looking across at platform 3 and 4 at toowong. you can see that platforms 3 and 4 are an island platform from this shot. the toowong station sign managed to sneak into the top of the photo as well for good measure. on the top left you can see the screens showing that no trains are expected through these platforms for the next 4 hours. this happens often, mostly in the middle of the day, as platforms 3 and 4 are mostly open during peak travel periods. this makes it a lot harder for me to get photos from these platforms because i am not at toowong very often during peak travel periods. there is also the fact that when they are open it is usually pretty busy on the platform, making photos without humans incredibly difficult to obtain! this shot was taken at the auchenflower end of platform 2. looking at this photo, auchenflower is the next station inbound to the right and taringa the next station outbound to the left.
here i have captured a richlands train as it pulled up on platform 1 of toowong station. taken in 2013, when richlands was still a terminating station, the train looks fairly clean as it waits on the platform. i guess from this shot you can get a pretty good indication of just how short i am because of the way the train occupies the majority of the photo. doctors have been telling me there is still room for me to grow since i was 11, but i have yet to grow an inch since i was that old. i somehow dont think i am going to get any taller!
you could say i was trying to be tricky with this photo, but im not really that clever. this was a total fluke that the toowong station sign did a beautiful reflection in the window of the richlands train as it waited on platform 1. i accidentally zoomed in too far, but it worked out pretty good i reckon. what do you think? such a shame that vandals like to carve their graffiti into the windows of the trains. it makes it almost impossible to get a photo from a moving train, and costs queensland rail lots of money to replace. i presume this cost is passed on to commuters in some way in the form of fare increases. honestly, grow up and get a life guys, destroying the windows of trains isnt really an achievement to be proud of.
here is another accidental photo bomb from the toowong station sign as this caboolture train arrives on platform 2. i usually wait at the auchenflower end of the station for some reason, and you would think that by the time a train arriving at toowong was at this end of the station it would be going slow enough to photograph. apparently not. you can just make out that it is a caboolture train but no matter how hard i tried, whenever i was at toowong station in 2013 i wasnt able to get a descent approaching shot of a train where its destination appeared clear in my photos.
this is the approach into toowong station from the taringa end. it gives a great view of how the toowong station appears to be underground. the track in the foreground heads outbound for both ipswich and springfield. the one behind it is inbound, and is usually a bowen hills or caboolture service. platforms 1 and 2 are the island platform that sit between these two tracks. in the background are the tracks which run either side of platforms 3 and 4. usually these tracks dont get a lot of use during the day, but come to the fore during peak times. of a morning for example, when we board at dinmore, our train will run express from darra to milton stopping only at indooroopilly and the bowen hills train coming inbound from springfield central will stop at all stations. our express service runs through toowong on platform 4, while the bowen hills train comes through platform 2. on many occasions i have had to change trains at indooroopilly for the bowen hills all stations so that i can disembark at toowong of a morning for classes or an exam. it is a little frustrating when the trains dont sync up, but i will go into that a little bit more when i blog about indooroopilly. i got this photo from just near the bus stop in benson street where the 412 drops us off when we students are needing to go to toowong. the view is much better when you are physically there, as this photo doesnt really do it justice, despite my best efforts.
i guess this is further proof that the above photo from benson street doesnt do this view justice. i really like this photo of the view of the tracks as they approach toowong station from taringa. again, the foreground track heads outbound to ipswich and springfield central; while the track beside it head inbound, usually to bowen hills or caboolture. the third track also heads outbound, and is mainly used during peak times, just like the fourth track which is mostly used during peak times by trains heading inbound; like our express train of a morning. it would have been so cool if i could have got a shot like this with a train heading in to the station. i think that is the only way this shot could have been improved, as it is near on perfect.
again, no matter how hard i try, i cant get the trains destination to photograph clearly, but at least you can see this is a caboolture train! this caboolture has just departed toowong on platform 2, bound for auchenflower. i got this photo at the auchenflower end of platform 2, which for some reason is the end i usually wait at when i am at this station. it doesnt make disembarking at dinmore any easier, but just seems to be a habit i have got myself into. probably because less people wait at the ends of the platforms, and i dont really like being in crowds, so that may have something to do with it.
i have hardly moved since the last photo, simply turned around to face platform 1 and capture my ipswich train as it arrives at toowong. check out that awesome mural! i tried super hard to get the train and mural next to each other. i was probably a touch premature in clicking the button, but not a bad effort for a first attempt. i said before under the photo of the mosaic on platform 1 that there was a mural with a similar image running behind platform 1. here is the first one of many photos of it!
yay, finally a photo from platform 3 at toowong station! i got this shot from the auchenflower end of the platform, looking over at platforms 1 and 2. platform 2 is shown perfectly here, with the track in front of it. notice the sign on the end of the platform: next station auchenflower. there is another one at the taringa end pointing towards ipswich. the mural is just visible on the right of the photo. this mural runs the length of the platform along the benson street wall behind the track on platform 1. the lighting it really nice in this photo. such a shame i couldnt capture this sort of light in all of my toowong photos!
this is another shot from platform 3, and probably goes close to being one of the most descriptive photos of the toowong station. taken from the auchenflower end of platform 3, looking along the platform in the direction of taringa station. i think this photo is a perfect metaphor for how i am feeling in fourth year of uni: the light is at the end of the tunnel. it is shining, it isnt that far away, but it feels so much further away than it really is. i wonder if other student feel this way in their final year of study? so near yet so far. it is even more poignant that this a photo of toowong station: the station i collect for every written exam! the mural is visible along platform 1 in this photo, which adds a nice fun element to this station. it is a shame there isnt a mural running along the wall behind platform 4.
my first photo from platform 4, and it shows the view from the auchenflower end of the toowong station, looking back along the platform in the taringa direction. you can see the track running along in front of platform 4. platforms 3 and 4 are an island platform with a track running either side of the single platform, thus making 2 platforms. poor platform 4, when compared to platform 1, it just cant compete. look at that green and pink wall of nothingness. well, almost nothingness: sadly there is a small amount of graffiti on the extreme right of the photo. i probably didnt try hard enough to ensure it didnt appear in the photo. my apologies. but seriously, the wall is like a blank canvas waiting to be defaced. it is screaming out to the vandals: yo dudes, come and spray paint me. the sooner some nice artwork appears on this wall, the better. i like the mural alongside platform 1, why cant something like this appear alongside platform 4? look at norman park and how amazing it looks with its beautiful mural. i still think norman park is the most beautiful station i have visited so far. wacol has some lovely artworks and a particularly psychedelic piece on one of its shelters, and banyo had some lovely peacock images. i dont see why something cant be done here along this wall at toowong. it would be a lot more aesthetic for commuters waiting at the station, and i truly believe it would deter the vandals. they are looking for a blank canvas to leave their mark. this wall is an open invitation to them. by painting some nice murals along here, it would reduce the likelihood of graffiti appearing on this wall, and thus save a lot of time, effort, paint and money to remove it. perhaps liaising with local artists from toowong itself, or school children? the positive partnerships artwork at glasshouse mountains is pretty cool, so i am sure it could work here at toowong as well. maybe have a competition, or even invite some graffiti artists to submit some work that they have produced that would fit a brief for the station. there is so much potential here. a lot of graffiti artists are incredibly talented, dont get me wrong, but there are also a lot who just like to leave their mark for the hell of it. i seriously think a community art project is crying out to be put along this wall. i guess time will tell if it ever happens. if it does, i can revisit toowong station to photograph it for this blog. if anyone from queensland rail does actually read my blog, please consider this suggestion!!
again, taken on platform 4 towards the auchenflower end of toowong station, and you can see exactly what i was ranting about in my above caption. the graffiti on this wall really has no aesthetic appeal whatsoever. i could probably do better and i failed art in high school (i am not actually kidding. if i told you i failed english as well, you would most likely believe that, but at least i was descent at math and sciences!) but seriously, i think if you are going to risk your life doing graffiti at a train station, at least make it aesthetic, make it worth while. a friend of mine (who was probably one of my best friends when i was growing up) had her fiancee killed when he was spraying graffiti at a train station in sydney. he was putting up a work of art for her to see each morning when she was at the station. i think that is incredibly tragic, and i wouldnt condone such an act, as it is incredibly dangerous. the point i am making, is that if you want to graffiti, make it worthwhile. i seriously think that when there are track closures and maintenance work is being performed on the tracks of a weekend, there should be an opportunity for some local artists to do their best impression of either the name toowong, an image of the suburb, or a image of a train for example. why not allow them to spray safely in a controlled environment, where they can show off their skill, make a nice permanent mural, have their picture in the paper and all that jazz? wouldnt that be better than having young people risking their lives to leave their mark on a blank wall?
back on platform 2, looking across at platform 3 from about half way along the platform. i got this photo back in 2013 not long after starting the blog. you can tell it is 2013, because the screen on platform 2 on the right of the photo near the middle shows the bowen hills train with a blue background. the colour for trains stopping at bowen hills was changed to grey with the opening of the springfield line in december 2013. this is why i changed all my blogs to be consistent with the new colour scheme (trust me it was very hard for someone with such extreme obsessive compulsive disorder! changing the cleveland line to blue was particularly hard.) i like this photo and photos like it that attempt to show off a fair bit of the station, and highlight that it is under cover. the light at the end of the tunnel is shining brightly, i wish it was shining that bright for the end of my degree! you can see that platforms 3 and 4 are closed in this photo, as the screens on these platforms show that a train is not due to depart from these platforms for another 4 hours. when the platforms are closed, the staircases are barricaded on the level above the platforms. i can only presume this is to avoid confusion. this is probably one of the best photos i have of toowong station. its a pretty descent representation of the station, dont you think?
the light at the end of the tunnel, taken from platform 3 looking in the direction of auchenflower station. maybe after our month long placement i will feel that the light at the end of the tunnel of this degree is significantly closer than i feel it is at the moment. (seriously, i am not joking. we have to do placement for a month. we had to do that in first term as well, when i was writing ebbw vale.) i will revisit this photo after placement and see how i feel about it then, but at the time of typing this, i feel like the light is indeed mocking me saying how close it is, when in reality it feels a long way off. at least i do know that, like toowong station, there is indeed light shining at the end of the tunnel, no matter how long it feels. i suppose you can say that about life as well. the light is always going to shine at the end, even if it feels like a light shining from infinity, it is still there, and it will still shine.
the lighting in this photo is phenomenal, i love it. this is probably one of my better photos of the station, not because it is all that descriptive, but the lighting is simply awesome. taken from platform 3, towards the auchenflower end of the station, looking across at platforms 1 and 2. platform 3 has crept into the bottom left of the photo to say hello, and there is a great view of platform 2 and the track in front of it. it is a shame the track appears so dark in the photo, but that is one of the things about toowong that make it unique. this little idiosyncrasy makes toowong a challenge to photograph, and i simply must apologise for the lateness of this blog, the fact the station was difficult to get descent human free photos of was one thing, but the fact i had exams to study for was another thing that made this blog significantly harder to get out in time than i had anticipated. but look at the light that comes in from the window behind platform 1. that makes the delay worth it, dont you think? the station sign looks particularly sexy in this photo.
this shot is incredibly similar to a shot several above that i got from platform 4 in 2013, and amazingly this one was taken from almost the same position on the platform. have a close look at them both. it is seriously almost like spot the difference. there are two significant differences though, which i am happy to point out. the first is that, hooray, this shot has no graffiti spoiling it on the blank green wall. i swear this green is like the colour they now put cigarettes in. (i seriously dont understand why they dont just ban them outright. it would save our healthcare system craploads of money in the long term. people who want to smoke should be made aware of the date that cigarettes would not longer be available. lets say december 31 hypothetically. then they can have up until then to plan their quit plans. i dont understand how people can smoke, knowing that they are willingly giving themselves cancer. if they want cancer, i am sure anyone sitting in an oncology ward would be happy to donate it to them. sorry, but cigarettes seriously make me angry! did you know that when you look at a cadaver who was a non smoker who lived or worked in the city, their lungs are black as soot? a smokers lungs are significantly worse, i can assure you. before the smokers who read my blog get angry, just remember that i get to look at cadavers as part of my degree.) wow, that was a little bit of a tangent wasnt it. the other significant difference between this photo and the one above is that you can tell immediately it is more recent because of the colour coding on the platform screen. look at the bowen hills train. the colour matches the blog (see, i am smarter than i look) while the photo previously has bowen hills in the teal colour i used for my exhibition blog. considering the two photos were taken about a year apart, the similarity is uncanny.
now this is worth photographing! the ipswich train approaches toowong from auchenflower. the fact the train is a wifi enabled suburban multiple unit is a rare occurrence indeed on the ipswich line. for some reason, this model of train is very seldom on the ipswich or caboolture line. i have a theory that these trains dont get deployed on the ipswich line very often because these are newer and more expensive trains, and the ipswich line passes through a number of suburbs where a lot of young people are prone to destructive behaviour. it is difficult to put delicately, and delicate english doesnt come naturally when you have aspergers; so i will just say it the way a lot of other people would be thinking but too afraid to say. suburbs like goodna and redbank are known for having a lot of dodgy characters, many of whom hang out at their respective train stations. my theory is that queensland rail wants to protect these trains from some of the people in those suburbs. karen and i have seen some incredibly dodgy things at these suburbs while we have been on the train. for example, the swearing people who happily use a colourful array of vocabulary from across the entire spectrum of vulgar language, and have no shame shouting it loudly in quiet carriages. if you spend some time of a friday night at redbank while waiting for the train, there is a high probability you will be asked if you have drugs, asked for money, and you may even see young children smoking at the station. it is incredibly eye opening. i wouldnt recommend going on your own! (particularly young women.) i can also guarantee you will receive a descent education in the latest vulguar slang from primary school children. swearing is one thing, but destructive behaviour is another. karen once saw a young girl flicking a lighter while she was on the train. she boarded at redbank, and swore at karen when she asked her not to continue with this activity. many times we have seen people board at redbank, then disembark at goodna (or the other way around) and we know full well that they havent paid for their fare. another, more worrying trait, is the destructive behaviour whereby vandals ride the trains late at night (sans paying for their journey) and deface the windows of the train, or leave their graffiti on the back of the seats. of course, i am generalising: not all commuters from these suburbs are like this. it is like saying everyone from kingston or woodridge on the beenleigh line likely to vandalise the train. there are a lot of descent people from these suburbs on the beenleigh line. it is the minority of idiots who ruin the reputation for the majority. so yes, that is my theory as to why we seldom get the luxury of a wifi enabled train on our line. just look how cute that train looks as it rolls into toowong station though. i got this shot from the auchenflower end of platform 3.
i dont think you can tell my excitement as i got this photo, or the previous or following photos either for that matter, but i assure you that when you travel on the ipswich line and you are greeted with a suburban multiple unit approaching your platform with ipswich across the top, your heart races just that little bit faster. in my case, having a heart murmur and seeing a wifi train approach is enough to ensure i can actually feel the murmur. i have been told that if i can ever feel it, i should go to a hospital. i dont have the heart (haha, pun not intended) to tell my doctor that i can feel it every time the footy gets close in the fourth quarter (happens a lot with essendon lately!!) and i can also feel it whenever i am about to give an oral presentation for uni. ask anyone who was unfortunate enough to have to listen to my fourth year research presentation. i am certain they could hear it murmuring through the microphone. i honestly dont know how i passed that assessment piece. unfortunately, i dont think using the line of: sorry i can feel my heart murmur and i really should go to hospital when i can feel it; is going to get me out of any presentations. i wish i could though, i seriously have a pathological dislike of giving oral presentations, and in pharmacy, we constantly get bombarded with oral assessments. i totally understand it is a requirement, and i know if i was running the courses, i would be putting the students through the same thing, but seriously, when you get as nervous as i do, oral exams are simply torture. i am not sure if i have blogged about the day we had an oral exam, and karen unwisely chose a seat in the quiet carriage for us to sit on this particular morning. i think by the time the train got to darra, i had alarmed the entire carriage, and was in such a state that karen actually said to me that perhaps i should pull of our pharmacy because i get so incredibly nervous before every oral exam. i dont know if the rest of the commuters felt sorry for me or were sick of me (im aspergers, i cant tell.) needless to say, my heart was racing as the ipswich train approached platform 3 at toowong on this afternoon. it is particularly rewarding to have a wifi train when you remember to pack your ipad, and you can actually use it on the train.
yeah, no matter how hard i try, the trains as they arrive at toowong appear blurry. i really should have given up by now on trying to get a nice clear shot of a train arriving on the platform, but giving up isnt something that comes naturally to me. failure doesnt come naturally to me either, so if you keep scrolling, you will see many more attempts from various platforms. still, this is a suburban multiple unit, and i think you will find that these three photos are the only three that depict a suburban multiple unit passing through toowong station. proof perhaps to reinforce my earlier arguments about the distinct lack of wifi trains on the ipswich line. not that i am actually complaining: i totally get it, and if i were in charge of the rolling stock, i would probably schedule things the same myself. it is just amusing to think that i had been photographing toowong station for more than a year, and only on one occasion was i able to capture this particular model of train.
another day at toowong, this time i have started the photography from the level above the platforms. i dont really know the correct term for such a level. is it the concourse? no idea, i am not an architect. the station office is on this level, and is situated to the right of this photo. i got this shot from near the staircase which leads down to platforms 3 and 4. look how nicely tiled toowong station is. i think the tiles give the station a lovely clean finish, sort of like a new bathroom. hopefully when dinmore is redeveloped, it will have some form of aesthetic finish to it. i doubt very much that dinmore will have tiles, because it is dinmore, but something that makes the station look fresh, clean and new would be a huge improvement on its scarred appearance i have featured in my dinmore blog. this shot looks across the concourse (lets just run with it) in the direction of benson street. the staircase down to the taringa end of platforms 1 and 2 is visible near the doors. the toowong station also has some vending machines which are out of picture here. i remember when i was in high school i was so excited when we got our first vending machine. its funny, because i have hardly ever used one since high school. i dont even know if schools are still allowed to have them these days, with so many australians being overweight and obese. for us though, it was exciting back in the day! one thing about this photo i would like to draw your attention to, which you probably noticed already, is the advertisement with the picture of the woman. they split her vertically into two: a smoker and non smoker. i wont say anything more, because i think i covered it pretty well in an earlier photo caption about platform 4. needless to say, i deliberately waited for the rolling advertisement board to show this ad. yeah, not subtle at all am i.
i got this photo of the staircase that leads from the concourse down to platforms 3 and 4. i dont really know what possessed me to get it at the time, but i am actually glad i did, because the staircase pictured is significantly narrower than the staircase which leads to platforms 1 and 2. i am putting it down to the fact that platforms 1 and 2 get more foot traffic, but i could be mistaken, it may simply have been designed this way because platforms 3 and 4 arent as wide as platforms 1 and 2. i havent exactly measured them though; it is weird enough that i take photos of train stations, if i start measuring the width of platforms, i will run the risk of being locked up. one more comment on the staircase though: the steps themselves lack depth. i dont really know how else to word it (english fail) but when you have insanely big feet, steps this short make it impossible to get your entire foot on them. we had a staircase like this in high school, and i was notorious for falling both up it and down it. granted it was carpeted and when wet, was very much like the tiles here at toowong station which i feature prominently in some upcoming photos. i could have written a physics assignment on the coefficient of friction of that staircase in both dry and wet conditions, however we never had any assignments that i could have written such a piece and met the assessment criteria. i think it would have been amusing though. so, my word of warning to any other big footed individuals, your feet will not fit on these steps fully, so just go with it, and hope that you have better coordination of your legs than i do, otherwise you will (like me) most likely fall up them. i also might mention that on many occasions i have fallen up the steps at central on platforms 5 and 6. it really is amazing i still have all of my teeth.
here is another beautiful photo of toowong station, taken from halfway along platform 3, looking across at platforms 1 and 2. i managed to capture two platform 2 station signs in this photo, as well as a fraction of platform 3 itself. it is a descent shot of platform 2, looking right along the platform. you can see part of the mural that runs behind platform 1, and the screen on platform 1 shows both ipswich and springfield trains are due to be arriving soon.
i think this shot is pretty self explanatory: taken on platform 4 looking at a fire escape door which clearly shows some platform signs indicating platform 3 is on the left and platform 4 is on the right. it is great to see fire extinguishers on open display on this platform. fire safety is one thing i am really pedantic about. i cant think of many ways which are worse to die than to be in a fire. i hate being in large high rise hotels where they expect you to use lifts (coffins that move vertically). i am one of those annoying people who always prefer to use the stairs and will ask to be allowed up the fire escape simply to avoid using a lift. the advantage of this habit is that if there is a fire, i at least know where i am going, which i think gives me an advantage for survival. these extinguishers are towards the auchenflower end of the toowong station. a station sign has managed to sneak into the photo on platform 2 as well.
taken on platform 1, at the taringa end of the toowong station, i deliberately boarded this springfield train at central with intention of disembarking at the taringa end of toowong because i hadnt really spent much time at this end of the station. i got this shot as the springfield train was departing the station, bound for taringa. the mural runs along the wall which is behind the train and thus obscured from the photo. it isnt the easiest to read, but a toowong station sign manages to be visible on the upper right of the shot. the light is shining at the end of the tunnel.
i couldnt resist getting a shot of platforms 3 and 4 from the taringa end of platform 2 at toowong station after the ipswich train had left the station. the track in front of platform 3 comes out nicely in this photo. shame about the lighting in this shot, i hate getting all that interference. at least the station sign is visible. the taringa end is to the left and the auchenflower end is to the right.
i got this shot at the extreme taringa end of platform 1. you can see how platforms 1 and 2 are an island platform in this photo, as the tracks run either side of the platform. i like that toowong station have these signs at either end of the platforms, with this one pointing south stating that the next station is taringa. the ipswich train has just left toowong, and headed into the light. i like the lighting on the sign in this photo.
i got this shot from virtually the same position as the last, only this time i crept a little further across the platform to platform 2 and am looking in the taringa direction. you can see the tracks for platforms 2 and 3 really well in this shot. if only the light at the end of the tunnel was as close for my degree as it is in this photo! it will be so nice to graduate, hopefully at the end of this year. note that there is a fire extinguisher on platform 2 near the left of the photo. fire safety, is bloody important. i am not sure why, but fire has always been something i was afraid of. even in science in high school (before science diverged to chemistry, physics and biology). i was always reluctant to start the bunsen burner. perhaps it had something to do with what happens when you intentionally burn paper towels? no, that was not my idea, i promise.
i took this photo at the extreme taringa end of platform 2 at toowong station, looking in the taringa direction, out into the light. you can see all 4 tracks as they approach the station. going from left to right, the tracks run in front of platforms 1 to 4. the track in front of platform 2 runs through the middle of the shot at the bottom, with track 3 beside it to the right. once exams are over and results are released, and i have only one semester to go, i am hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel will feel this close. this shot would have been awesome if there was a train on track 2 or 3.
i simply turned around to get a photo of platforms 3 and 4 from the same position as the above photo, and this was the result. (toowong station sign included!) shame about the lighting at the upper right of the photo, but i seemed to get that kind of interference a lot at this station. karen always claims that those pale circles on photos are a portal where a spirit has been. i am a scientist, so i always look for evidence before agreeing to a theory, and be able to explain things mathematically. while she has no exact proof of this spirit circle theory, some of the photos she has taken in various locations around the world are dotted with many of those tiny spirit circles where, mathematically speaking, they are exact circles. there is one photo in particular that she took at night of a support holding up the sydney harbour bridge. we were on a ghost tour, so the spirits were out in force. the guide said that there was a man who fell into one of the pylons and his body is still in there. everyone was madly snapping away, but it was karen who got the photo of the pylon with a brilliant spirit circle. i was with her and i can assure you no one was shining a torch at the support when the photos were taken. karen has always been a spiritual person, and had captured many of these things in her photos before. i am not sure if the story about the worker in the pylon is true or not, but if you look at her photo, it certainly makes you wonder. ever since she took that photo, i have had to give her theory of spirit circles and portals to other worlds a lot more consideration.
back to platform 1 and the mural alongside the tracks. this image is at the taringa end of the platform, and is also reproduced at the auchenflower end. i like how it is done as a mosaic, and how the mosaic itself on the platform reflects the mural. platform 4 is crying out for something like this to be painted alongside it. it would make that entire blank and boring wall a feature wall that would be nice to look at while waiting for the train. it looks like one of karens spirits has decided to photo bomb the right hand side of my picture. perhaps there is some truth to the spirit circles and spirit portal thing? toowong is a pretty old station, it opened in 1875, which was a very long time ago. i can only presume that if the station is that old, there is a fair chance at least one person may have died at the station in that time, so while that isnt a form of evidence, it certainly seems a likely cause for these spirit circles.
those damn spirits are photo bombing my shot again, this time i am still on platform 2, but looking across at platform 3 from further towards the middle of the platform. the toowong station sign is on the side of the staircase which leads to the upper level concourse. it is great to see so many fire extinguishers on display. i cant say i had really noticed them at the other stations i have visited, whereas here at toowong they seem to be everywhere. toowong seems to really take fire safety seriously, which is fantastic because fire is incredibly destructive. i would hate to have a house fire. i cant think of too many things worse than having all of your possessions burned to ash and soot. all your family heirlooms and photographs, things you had worked hard for and saved up for. for me, it would be utterly tragic to lose my books and my computers. i have several hard drives on my main computer with a lot of pharmacy stuff on them (both university pharmacy stuff and work pharmacy stuff in separate drives because there is just so much stuff!) and i have a rather large book collection as well which would be impossible to replace. a lot of the books i have are now out of print. i couldnt think of anything worse than losing my most valued possessions in a fire. i think after writing toowong i may have to investigate getting some fire extinguishers for the house. it has inspired me to be even more fire safe and fire conscious. surely thats got to be a good thing.
on platforms 1 and 2, this staircase links the platforms with the concourse above. it is necessary to exit the station by going up the stairs (unless you really like lifts. there are lifts, but i havent used them. i am not at all a fan of elevators, they are like moving coffins.) this staircase is towards the middle of the platform. looking at it from this direction, platform 1 is on the left and platform 2 is on the right. the taringa end is in front of me and the auchenflower end is behind me. essentially after coming down the stairs i just keep walking along the platform and stop at the auchenflower end because there are usually fewer people right at the end of the platform, and i really dont like being around other people very much. look how well presented this staircase is. the tiles give it a clean finish, which would be helpful if people spill drinks on it or if they vomit or unnecessarily leave any other forms of bodily fluids on the steps they can easily be hosed off. the patterns are pretty good too. it isnt quite as cool as a tetris, but it is on the right track to be tetris like. anything that reminds me of tetris has to be cool. it was one of my favourite childhood computer games. tetris and chips challenge all the way. best games ever! here at toowong, like many other stations i have seen, they have small signs which are visible on the walls, to encourage people to hold the hand rails when using the steps. i am not a fan of public surfaces of questionable hygiene, so i have never used hand rails or bannisters in my life. actually no, that isnt entirely true. when i was in high school i used to slide down some of them on my bum because it was faster than using the steps, and occasionally i got into trouble for it if spotted by a teacher. as for using hand rails for anything other than sliding down on my bum; no, i havent done that and i wont. i hate germs and these things, no matter what you clean them with, or how often, will always have some form of pathogen lurking on them. naturally, my aversion to germs and microbes made me do rather well in the infection subjects in third year pharmacy, where i received my best marks to date. my advice is: if using hand rails or bannisters in any public place, sanitise hands after doing so, and certainly before touching any part of your face.
further along platform 1 in the auchenflower direction, the mural is running alongside the platform to the right of the photo, not exactly visible, but it is there i promise. this area here is probably the most popular waiting area at the station, and to get this photo without other humans ruining it was indeed a challenge, but after waiting for an inbound caboolture and an outbound ipswich train to clear, i was able to get a relatively empty platform to explore. the next train due on platform 1 is a springfield train, and the next train due on platform 2 is a bowen hills train. to the left there is a vending machine which dispenses beverages. i have always found these machines expensive, and i am a well known scumbag, so i wont purchase something unless i am incredibly desperate. i was always one of those kids who would sneak into the cinemas with contraband confectionery purchased at woolworths or coles where it was five times cheaper, and then have a party with it once i got inside the movie. once i even managed to sneak kentucky fried chicken in past an attendant when going to the movies with friends. actually i have always been pretty naughty like that. i think my best effort yet was getting into the gabba with a kfc chicken meal and a slurpee from the 711 near the stadium. it was for a cricket match, and i went on my own because not may of my friends are that interested in cricket. considering i saw them refuse a guy trying to bring in pizzas, i think i did pretty well.
i got this shot on platform 2, looking across at platforms 3 and 4. this was taken towards the auchenflower end of the toowong station. you can see that platform 3 is closed, as no trains are due to be passing through there for the next 4 hours from when i took the photo. platform 4 has a petrie train arriving some time soon though by the look of that screen. i havent been to petrie yet, but petrie station is going to be a bit like darra, in that darra is the station where the line splits off to form the ipswich and springfield lines. petrie has always had the caboolture line, and will soon be the turning point for the moreton bay rail link which will go out to kippa ring. it looks like the spirits are back again to make their presence felt in this photo.
this is a clearer version of the previous photo, sans spirits. you can see the screens a little clearer in this photo. the station sign is nice and clear too. that bold font really does wonders for the station. i really do hope that when dinmore gets its upgrade, they do change the font for us. it will be interesting to see if that actually happens.
the bowen hills train has arrived on platform 2. of course i am not going to catch it, i am only here for the photographs. the next stop for this train is auchenflower. as you can see, i got this shot at the auchenflower end of the platform.
the bowen hills train departs platform 2 at toowong, bound for auchenflower. i dont know what it is about getting photos of trains in motion here at toowong, but they all appear blurry. it is a little frustrating.
the bowen hills continues on its way to auchenflower. the next train to come through platform 2 will be a caboolture train. this shot, while a touch blurry, shows platforms 3 and 4 really well. it would have been good to get a shot of a train on platform 2 taken from platform 3. a shot like that would show the train a lot better than getting the shot from the same platform.
this photo managed to have some spiritual interference, near platform 3, but at least it attempts to show off the station really well. i was trying for a shot of toowong that would have been worthy of wikipaedia. sadly i dont think this one will be, but perhaps the next few are at least close to being in that league. this shot was taken on platform 2, looking along the platform towards taringa. platform 3 is on the right.
getting closer to a wiki worthy shot. this is certainly one of the best shots i have of toowong station. the light at the end of the tunnel is shining brightly, perhaps a little too brightly for the photo to be worthy of wikipaedia, but it fills my heart with hope as i eagerly await my results from the june exam block. i got this shot on platform 2, looking in the direction of taringa. platform 3 is on the right of the photo. the tracks for platforms 2 and 3 are both visible in this photo. this picture is growing on me the more i look at it, but i think the next one is probably just slightly better. at least this one has no spirits in it!
so one spirit circle crashed the party near the screens on platforms 3 and 4, but other than that, i think this is shot of the day. i think it is certainly worthy of wikipaedia at the very least. look how clean the platform looks. no humans in the way, not rubbish or other general crap on the platform, the track shining brightly, the screen on platform 2 showing the upcoming services, and the screens on platform 3 and 4 displaying upcoming services too. it looks like platform 3 in particular is beginning to wake from its slumber. i couldnt have timed it more deliberately if i had tried, so i admit it was a total fluke to get a shot where the screen on platform 3 is changing over from being closed to active. i do like how the light at the end of the tunnel doesnt dominate the shot like the previous two. this is a more accurate representation of the station and of how i feel with my degree. the light is there, and it is close, but it feels so far away. i think toowong station has been the perfect metaphor for my degree, and the fact i have spent so much time at the station throughout the degree only adds to that effect. the scary thing is that the next time i am actually at this station will most likely be for my final lot of exams for the end of fourth year. that in itself is an intensely terrifying thought. i have no idea how i am going to get this blog finished by the time i graduate. i cant see it happening at all actually. perhaps i may at least get to visit every station before i graduate and i will get the blogs about the stations written much later on. i really should have started the blog in my first year of study!
this is the view from the concourse looking towards the staircases which lead down to platforms 3 and 4. they are still barricaded off because the trains are not due through here any time soon. these platforms are quite often barricaded off. i have often wondered if i would get into trouble if i went past the barricade so i could get photos of a human free platform. i dont exactly want to get myself into trouble with the very organisation i am blogging about though, as that would be insanely unwise. the staircase to the left will take you to the taringa end of the station, the staircase to the right will take you to the auchenflower end. the entrance to the station is to the left of this shot, out of picture.
after exiting the station, you can walk along these tiles which i mentioned earlier as being slippery when wet. if you follow this path up and over the footbridge which crosses the road, you will end up very close to the bus station which will take you to the university st lucia campus. i dont get to go this way very often, because we have most of our classes at pace so i usually use dutton park, not toowong. in first year pharmacy students have most of their classes at st lucia, so toowong would have been useful had we been living on the ipswich line, though back then we were still on the cleveland line. in second and third year, pharmacy students have only one subject per term at saint lucia, meaning that at most you may be there once a week. that meant a weekly train ride to indooroopilly to change trains for an all stations to toowong. in fourth year we only have classes at pace, so i dont use toowong for anything other than exams, study sessions with friends, late night assignment editing on the night the assessment is due and of course catching up with friends. oh, and how can i forget, i also regularly visit the pitch drop experiment because it is so incredibly cool!
i had really hoped that someone would have repaired the sign in the middle of this photo before i got around to blogging about toowong station, because i really dont like including a photo with a damaged sign. this really doesnt sit well with my ocd. i wanted to include it because it is descriptive as it shows that from this path the station is to the right. this footpath is totally tiled in those small square tiles which have a low coefficient of friction when wet. if you dont feel like going over the bridge, there is another way, though it is more useful if you are heading to the train station itself after a day of uni than if you are trying to get to uni for a day of class. i will explain momentarily.
this is the view along the subway tunnel from the toowong station side looking towards the royal exchange hotel end. the royal exchange is a hotel which is virtually directly across high street from the toowong station. the buses to toowong will drop people off at a bus stop just before the intersection with high street. the toowong station is on the corner of high street and benson street, so essentially crossing high street is all the separates the bus stop from the station, though crossing high street is easier said than done. i will always suggest taking the subway over waiting for the lights. the entrance to the subway is pretty close to the entrance to the royal exchange hotel, so is not very far at all from the intersection. it makes sense to use it!
this is the view along the subway from the roayl exchange hotel end looking towards the toowong station end. aside from a little bit of graffiti, this subway is actually pretty good. for example, there isnt a very strong smell of urine in here unlike a lot of the passageways in the inner city. that has to be a huge plus. but for me the biggest selling point is that it will make your journey from bus stop to toowong station just that little bit faster; and that can be the difference between making your train and having to wait for the next one. if that train happens to be an ipswich, that is an extra half hour of waiting, so i hope you have your book with you!
the entrance to the subway to the toowong station, as seen from high street right near the royal exchange hotel. seriously people, this is the fastest way to the station, why waste time waiting for the lights at high street, when you can already be at the station before the lights change if you take the subway. do it! it is fun! the tracks are behind the mesh fence o the left of the shot, this road is above the tracks, since remember the station is virtually underground. the bus stop is to the left, out of picture.
this is the view of the ipswich and springfield lines as they exit toowong station. toowong station is to the right of this photo, which i took from the bus stop after disembarking the bus after class. the bus stops just before the intersection of benson street with high street. this shot looks along the tracks in the direction of taringa station. it would have been so cool to get a shot of a train on the tracks from here, it would have made this photo even more awesome.
no, i am not in the rail corridor, i am not that stupid. i walked from the bus stop along the fence of the rail corridor to get this shot so i could capture the bend. i am insanely short, so i had to really reach up to get this shot without the fence getting in the way. this shot is in the direction of taringa station. toowong is to the right, it is out of picture.
taken from exactly the same position as the previous shot, this time looking in the direction of the toowong station. yep, thats toowong under the road and the shops. that black hole waiting to swallow the train is the toowong station. i wanted to include this shot so you could see what i meant about it being an essentially underground station. the lovely blue glass tower in the middle of the shot is the toowong village tower. i really would have loved to have taken a photo of the tracks from the higher balcony and been able to include it in this blog. perhaps in the future i will get that opportunity and be able to add such a photo to the end of this blog?
the disadvantage of being shot is showcased beautifully in this shot. the stretch, aim, shoot method would have been fine if i wasnt so short as to stretch so much that i lose control of my aim, and manage to capture a pole right through the back of the train. such a shame, because it looked like this was going to be really clear photo, the destination of caboolture was actually really legible and the train looks really good as it rolls in to toowong. such a shame about the pole. i was very close to dumping this photo from the blog, but figured my readers would get a laugh at my expense, so why not include it?
i think this is probably one of my best photos of toowong station that wasnt actually taken at the station itself. taken from the same position from along the rail corridor as the previous five shots, this time the caboolture train has arrived on platform 2 of toowong station. see, the station is underground! the toowong village tower is visible in the top left corner. that building is beautiful to look at, and is a real landmark for the area. i dont know why they dont paint an image of it as part of a mural along platform 4, which is on the left side of the station from this angle. platform 1 is to the right of the train. you can see the intersection with high street and benson street, which is patrolled by the traffic signals. high street travels directly over the train as it sits in the image. the station is underground because of the road as well as the shops. if you look at the anz bank sign, then lower your eyes and move to the left slightly, you will see the sign to the subway. alternatively, the plant that is growing against the royal exchange hotel is just to the left of it. i am still yet to go the the sizzler restaurant here, i had always enjoyed that restaurant until recently. when we were children, we would love going there with our grandparents. our favourite was the desert bar (what kid doesnt love the sizzler desert bar?!) the thing we loved most was to get a desert bowl and dig it into the sprinkles and then pull it out, essentially filling it with sprinkles, then smothering it in vanilla ice cream, then covering that mess in yet more sprinkles. we had a personal rule of never wearing jeans to sizzlers because we would eat so much that our jeans would hurt our bellies. looking back on that now, it is any wonder our poor mother coped. can you imagine an attention deficit disorder child and their older sibling (with adhd) after filling up on such a delicacy? yep, any wonder we spent so much time with our grandparents. i remember apologising to my poor mother many years ago for my behaviour as a child. sadly my most recent visit to sizzler was very underwhelming. the tomato soup i love so much has apparently been removed from the menu (unbelievable. it is tomato soup! it is delicious, i have been eating and enjoying it there for close to a decade now!) and as if that wasnt bad enough, the desert bar has been reformatted in a less than convenient dispenser system whereby you have to turn a dial to dispense a paltry amount of sprinkles from a large vessel which sits there taunting you because you cant dig in to it. i dont think i will be going back there again. i have a pathological hatred of change, but change for the sake of it is just ridiculous. you cant tell me that people would have complained about the tomato soup! it was beautiful and thick, and two bowls would be enough to fill me. and as for the expensive and redundantly inefficient desert dispenser system, it is a gross overkill, and ruined the whole desert experience. enough said.
here is another image of the tracks from near the bus stop itself. i took this photo as i was approaching the high street intersection. high street is to the right and the traffic using this road travel over the toowong station, which is to the right of the photo. if you follow the line of graffiti, you will be able to see the entrance to the subway. see, it isnt far at all. it makes sense to use it! i just want to comment on the graffiti once more. how on earth did this artist actually get this graffiti here? to me it looks like a fair degree of climbing, incredible dexterity, patience and a huge disregard for their own safety. if this artist is so keen to leave their mark near the station, i really think it would be a good idea to involve them in the mural i would like to see along platform 4. as someone who used to love climbing things, particularly as a child, i can appreciate the degree of difficulty involved here. as you should know by now, i am very anti graffiti, but i do appreciate the effort some of these artists go to, and a lot of them are indeed talented. if there was a way we could get them to use their talents in another way, it would be better for them for their safety and who knows, they could make money out of it perhaps? (i dont know, maybe have a street art exhibition or something? i failed art in high school. yes, you read that correctly. i was that hopeless, so i am not the one to ask about how you would start such a thing. i am happy to put suggestions out there on the internet and if people read them and act, then isnt that a good thing?)
i got this photo at the base of the ramp to the pedestrian overpass one morning, because i thought it would be prudent to show where the overpass actually went to. this shot was taken on benson street, opposite the station itself. as you can see from the sign, there is a path to the right which links up with this overpass which goes directly over benson street itself. it isnt very high, and if you are afraid of heights like karen, you dont have to fear anything, because it is pretty hard to see over the edge. well, i cant see over them anyway, but that is most likely because i havent grown since i was 11 years old. (i mean seiously, come on body, what are you waiting for!) i have a funny story about this exact position where i took this photo. you know how your mother would always say to wear good underware when you left the house? well, i truly do get the meaning of that now. this is highly embarrassing, but exactly the sort of content that belongs in this blog. one morning, at about 2am, karen wasnt feeling well, so we decided i would take her to the hospital. in the pitch dark, i threw on hoodie jumper and a pair of sneakers over the clothes i had fallen asleep in the night before. i took her to the ipswich hospital, and they assessed her. i was due to be at the uni at 9am that morning for an important engagement, and for some reason i had had the foresight to take my go card and lucky timetable with me that morning when we left the house. we were at the hospital for a while, and i was beginning to be concerned for karen and also for the time. she said it was ok that i left to catch the train, and so i left the hospital about 7am, and drove to the ipswich station. ipswich, which i am yet to blog about, was our previous home station before dinmore. the car park isnt exactly close to the station, and as i was running from the car to the station, i saw a caboolture train departing the ipswich station. unbelievable! it was a wifi enabled suburban multiple unit, just to add salt into the wound. i then had to wait close to half an hour for the next train, which i caught. i had it all planned in my head. i would ride this train to indooroopilly, then change for an all stations to get off at toowong and then the bus to uni. i even strategically sat at the front of the train to make the change of trains at indooroopilly faster. it wasnt until i got to darra that i realised that this train was an all stations, not an express, meaning i had to sit through oxley, corinda, sherwood, graceville, chelmer, indooroopilly, taringa and then toowong on top of what i had already traveled. i was less than happy, and was exhausted. i must have fallen asleep somewhere after darra, and an old lady boarded and sat next to me somewhere along the way. i was panicking that i was going to miss my appointment, and she even offered to ring the uni for me (you were so kind! i really appreciate it, if you are reading this now!) she couldnt get through on the phone, and as the train arrived at toowong, it was 8:45. i had to make it to the bus, then from the bus to the appropriate building. i couldnt control the speed of the train, how long it would take for a bus to arrive, or the speed of the bus, but i could control my own velocity. i ran as fast as my little legs could carry me. i sprinted over this overpass, and down to where this photo was taken. it was as i was here that the bus drove past, and i realised that i had only the one shot to make that bus. i kept running, in the hope it would still be at the bus stop further up the street by the time i got there. i ran as fast as i could. i used to be a cross country runner, not a sprinter. as i was running, the old underware i had on which had very limited elastic function remaining, decided it had had enough friction, and began to fall off my bottom, and even creep out under my shorts. height of embarrassment! i had no choice, but it keep running. i ran, and ran, and i got to the bus, and was trying desperately to look cool as i fixed my underware, save for all of toowong seeing something they would rather not see. needless to say, i made the bus, and sprinted from chancellors place to the building, and made the meeting. i gave myself an asthma attack in the process, and very nearly could have been arrested for flashing, but i made it, and that was the main thing! the moral of the story: you can still make it to university of queensland even if you catch a 7:30am train from ipswich station. the other moral of the story: always wear good underware when you leave the house!
parking at toowong station is not a task i have had to encounter yet. that is probably for the best, because my skills in carparks are as good as my skills at art or english: they are virtually non existent. i have only ever been to the toowong station by train or bus, so to actually find the car park was a new challenge i thought i would explore for my blog. i wonder how many other people are like me and had no clue there was a car par not far from the station. it is actually fairly generous too by the look of it. i found the car park for toowong station on coronation drive, close to being opposite the disused former abc studio that was decommissioned because of the cancer cluster. i remember hearing about this some time ago, and was surprised the building was even still standing. it looks like it wont be for much longer though. the photo in the article shows the toowong car park much better than i can from five feet above the ground. this photo from five feet above the ground outside the cancer cluster shows the entrance to the toowong station commuter car park.
this is a slightly more detailed view of the toowong station commuter car park, although i have never actually attempted to park here, it does appear to have a generous number of spaces available. i always find that parking in these towers is difficult because the spaces are so tight and close together to try to cram as many vehicles in as possible. i have a larger car so she doesnt fit into small spaces well, and when you combine that with the turning circle of a small ship, and throw someone with adhd behind the wheel, it is a recipe for disaster. as a general rule, i will only park in a car park which has drive through car parks. i hate reverse. i dont know if i am the only one out there, but you will be pleased to know i catch the train a hell of a lot more than i drive, because i dont really like driving. i would sooner walk, run or train (or even bus, and i dont exactly like buses, despite how handy they are.) as a general rule, i will park as far away from my destination as feasibly possible to ensure i get a car parking space i can actually get out of. it has never bothered me at shopping centers to park the proverbial mile away, to ensure i get a drive through car park. i cant see the occasion where i will actually be using this car park for myself, but for any of my readers who may have been interested in where it was: here it is!
i got this shot of the high street and benson street intersection from the overpass itself. it was a case of point and click, because i had no idea if i was aiming correctly. i had to hold my arm up above my head since i cannot see over the sides of the overpass due to an extreme lack of height. i had hoped for a better shot of the tracks as they left toowong station, but this was the best i could do, so i figured i would include it anyway! the bus stop is visible just to the left of the green sign. that is the bus stop that a bus from the university to toowong will stop at, and from there it is a short walk across the crossing or under the subway to get to the toowong station which is to the right of picture.
the tiles. dont run on these when they are wet. i promise you will thank me for the advice when you see others sliding along and falling over. dont laugh at them, as they could injure themselves. just recommend them to read my blog. tell them to google trainspotting toowong, and it should come up. these tiles look so innocent and cute, but i promise that with a small amount of precipitation, your coefficient of friction is significantly reduced.
oh my god, i was standing here for ages at the bottom of this staircase to try to get a photo of it without any humans photo bombing my shot. can i just say that this is a very busy staircase!! and not only is the staircase itself busy, but so is the concourse (that word again) above it because even when the staircase itself was free, i still had to contend with people walking around above it and ruining my photo. i have tried super hard to not include people in my shots, i know i have failed on a few occasions, but i think you have to agree i have been pretty patient for the most part. when the opportunity presents itself i will attempt to return to the scene of photographic crimes and fix up any shots that humans ruined and retake them and replace them in those blogs. i do wonder how on earth i can reproduce that awesome wacol photo though. you know the one i mean. yeah, it was pretty awesome wasnt it! so this is the staircase at toowong station that leads from the concourse (boom) down to the road. notice the toowong station sign above the staircase in all its awesomeness. the blue glass office tower is behind me as i get this photo. funny thing: i actually put myself though a form of torture so far not seen in any of my blogs before this one, in an attempt to get an awesome photo for toowong. i actually got in the elevator of the blue office tower in attempt to get out onto the balcony and get a photo. for those of you who are not regular readers of my blog, it is well known that i despise riding in lifts. they are like vertical moving coffins; no thank you! but since i am the train blogger, and i will go to any extreme for this blog, i thought i should at least attempt this feat. sadly i couldnt see anything from the levels i stopped on. i will attempt again, i promise. i think i might contact the people who operate the tower and ask them for permission, just in case they havent heard of my blog yet. see what this blog is doing to me people, it is bringing me out of my shell, making me push the boundaries and step outside my comfort zone (or to be more accurate: step inside my uncomfort zone). it is rather ironic that a terry white sign is located next to the staircase and was thus unavoidable in the photo. if you have read my banyo entry, you will see the irony that toowong is the next station i have blogged about, and that this photo includes a terry white logo. if any of my old workmates are reading this: i miss you like a fish misses the ocean, and i hope you are all going well :)
here are those tiles again! i swear they are more deadly than they look, i am not sure if many of you have experienced them at their fully capacity to make you slip and slide, but if you have, you will know exactly what i am talking about! this is the view from near the top of the staircase from the previous photo. the staircase is behind me as i took the photo. in front of me is zombster, which i mentioned earlier. my friend peter absolutely loves this store. i dont get to see him much now that i am in pharmacy and he is studying at queensland university of technology. hopefully we can catch up again sometime soon and hang out like we used to. to get to the toowong train station, head right at zombster from this direction, and you will walk straight towards it. you cant miss it!
for completeness, this is the staircase i was talking about above, which leads from the concourse to platforms 1 and 2. this staircase will take you to the taringa end of the platform. the vending machines are behind me to the left, and the station entrance and fare gates behind to the right.
i got this shot randomly as i descended the stairs. i wanted to showcase the tiled effect and how it makes the station look clean and presentable. i like how toowong has a nice tiled finish on its platforms and staircases. hopefully when dinmore is upgraded, we can capture some of that professional look at our station. this could be a staircase at a hospital or shopping center, it looks really clinical and well finished, and gives toowong that classy feel that it is a really professional station that cares about its image.
these things are really handy. i havent ever used a help phone, but i imagine that they would be very helpful, particularly in an emergency situation. the timetable buttons at the bottom are particularly useful. i have seen these at many stations across the network. by pressing the button the machine displays when the next train is due, and it also announces it loud enough so you can hear it as you are walking away. this particular machine is located on platforms 1 and 2.
this mosaic on platform 2 i found particularly interesting and thought it was wort singling out for my blog. to me it looks like two red trains are approaching either side of the platform at the station. there are toowong station signs on the platform, and it even has the yellow safety line. you can even see the tracks and the stones that line the tracks. i think this is really creative. it must be very difficult to capture a three dimensional image from your mind or from a photograph into a two dimensional mosaic of limited attributes. i really appreciate art because i have no artistic talents myself.
this shot is pretty self explanatory, the staircase here on platform 1 and 2 is at the taringa end of the platform and leads up to the upper level of the toowong station. i have mentioned earlier that the toilets are on the upper level, and this sign reinforces that fact.
i looks like mt friendly spirits are back to photo bomb me here on platform 2 as i get a shot from the taringa end of the platform looking along the platform in the direction of platform 3. you can see there are trains due to depart from platforms 3 and 4.
this is basically the same shot as the one above, but i moved further along the platform towards the auchenflower end, to capture more of the train, more of the platform, and of course, the toowong station sign. this is such a dark shot, it is a bit film noir really isnt it. i cant quite work out why these particular shots worked so well when the others didnt. luck i guess, because i only have the one camera. this camera was expensive enough, i dont have the funds to go out and buy more expensive cameras to take better photos of trains! if this blog starts making money for me, then yeah, perhaps i could upgrade, but i think my little camera is doing a descent enough job just as it is.
another film noir stye shot of toowong station from platform 1 and 2. i got this shot as the springfield train begins to depart from the station. the toowong station sign remains in picture. essentially this is the same shot as the one above, the only difference is the position of the train.
still on the end of the platform, this time a little more to the platform 2 side, still looking in the taringa direction. the springfield train has departed the station and is making its way out of shot along the tracks to taringa station. it looks so dark in the tunnel, sometimes i feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is really this close. perhaps once we get our results for the first term of fourth year, and we begin placement for the second term, then it will feel like the light is this close. it is when we are deep into assessment pieces and there appears to be no end to the number of them that it feels like there is no end in sight (it seriously feels like assignments have the ability to reproduce using binary fission sometimes!)
the springfield train is off on its merry way along the tracks towards taringa. out of the darkness and into the light. i am hoping that this a metaphor for our degree, as there have been some incredible challenges along the way, and the fact we are all this close, all of our friendship group together, is a wonderful feeling. like how all the carriages are linked together to make the train, all of us have been linked together to get through the challenge of this degree.
the train arriving on platform 2 is the brisbane city and caboolture train stopping all stations. this would have been a really good shot of the caboolture arriving at toowong if it werent for the emergency exit sign covering the front of the train! you cant win them all! still, the taringa end gives the opportunity to get really good arrival shots as the trains come in to toowong station.
the caboolture train flies in to platform 2 at toowong. i have caught the train to caboolture once before, and have even been further than that when i went to glasshouse mountains on a nambour train. the station i am most eager to collect is traveston, since it have such low patronage, i think it would be really cool to have collected it on my go card. platform 1 is to the left of the shot, out of picture. this shot was taken at the taringa end of platform 2.
empty platform 2. the caboolture train has departed toowong station, bound for auchenflower. it will stop all stations to caboolture. this is a pretty good shot of platform 2, looking along the platform in the auchenflower direction. it is probably one of my better shots of toowong actually. the light isnt really shining at the end of the tunnel though, which is a bit of a worry. i sincerely hope that that isnt a bad omen for exam results which come out in early july!
this is a pretty self explanatory image. taken on platforms 1 and 2, looking towards the taringa end of the platform. the sign says it all: ipswich on platform 1 to the left and the city on platform 2 to the right. the springfield also runs through platform 1, which isnt on the sign, so i figured i should mention it.
there is a mosaic of this image on platform 2, and since i featured it earlier i figured i should do it further justice by featuring it again now. this image is on the mural which runs along behind platform 1 at toowong station. the mural runs the entire length of the platform, and is really good to look at while you are waiting for a train. i love station art, i really think there should be a lot more of it. to me this image looks like two red three carriage trains are pulling into either side of an island platform at toowong station. i am not sure if they are platforms 1 and 2 or 3 and 4, but lets run with platforms 1 and 2 since this mural is behind platform 1 and the mosaic is on platform 2. i took this photo and was irritated by the glare on the right hand side, but further photos along the mural yielded the same result. frustrating. i am on platform 1 towards the taringa end of the platform.
i promised much much earlier that i would have more shots of the mural, and you can see now that i am not a liar. i got these last few photos one day at the end of june, before i was ready to publish my toowong blog entry. it has taken me quite a while to get this blog out, but with exam block and so much study to do, it was incredibly hard. i had to dedicate so much time to study because fourth year if the degree is actually pretty full on. i believe our next term is going to be even worse, and naturally i am not looking forward to that. we have an oral exam, and i have heard many rumors about it being incredibly long. naturally i am freaking out about it and it isnt until october or november, and it is still only june now! can you imagine what i will be like on the morning of the exam itself? yeah! it will not be pretty. i already feel sorry for the commuters who will be sharing our train with us on that particular morning! i was walking along platform 1 as i got this shot, in the auchenflower direction. the glare is still there on the right, so i cant really do much about that, but at least you can see the mural itself. it is pretty. it makes me wish i could actually do art.
another mural shot, slightly further along platform 1 in the auchenflower direction. again, still we have the glare, and again i am sorry about that. it must be something about the light coming in the windows behind platform 1. they let in a nice amount of light, but create a small amount of glare in photos. the track on platform 1 is eagerly awaiting the ipswich train.
here it comes! the train arriving on platform 1 is the ipswich train stopping all stations. i would board this train and catch it back to dinmore. time for a little bit more study perhaps? seriously, writing my blog is so much more exciting than studying. such a shame that my blog wont be able to earn me a living! again i have some spirit circles photo bombing my shot. if these are indeed spirits as karen claims, i hope those souls can find some peace. at least until they do, they can be forever immortalised in this blog for all to see.
the ipswich train, as it has pulled up at toowong station. this is a replica of the shot from the taringa end of platform 2 earlier, where i got the caboolture train to pose nicely for me. the irony is that the second train of the caboolture service was train 55 and this ipswich train is train 33. loving the double numbers! such a shame i dont have train 44 in this blog for completeness! the section of mural to the left of the train is probably my favourite part of the mural, and i got one last photo of it below, before i boarded this train bound for dinmore.