Monday, 24 November 2014


after sitting our final ever written exam for the degree, my friends and i did our customary post mortem where everyone asks each other what they put for certain questions. popular topics of discussion were which antipsychotic was least appropriate for a patient with parkinsons disease; which of the 5 options listed was unlikely to be a side effect from taking an iron supplement; do ace inhibitors or calcium channel blockers cause peripheral oedema; what is the correct way to reduce sertraline; and a lot of discussion over how we all handled the 3 integrated patient cases that comprised the written component of the exam. it was a 2 hour exam with 20 multi choice questions and the 3 short answer questions. at least, they were meant to be short answer but in the case of nicole from helensvale and i, we really sunk our teeth into it and wrote so much that we both had to ask for a second writing book. ironically, we both wrote 11 pages, though i think she crammed far more into her 11 pages than i did because my writing is so much bigger, and by her own admission, her writing resembles chook scratch. when we discussed the answers we had put down, i missed a few things that she had included. they were minor, but minor enough to be annoying. between us though we were all fairly confident we had passed, meaning we had just one exam left for the degree: the dreaded objective structured clinical examination (osce) oral exam. yuck. i hate speaking at the best of times, and wont even answer the phone if i m at home; so to do an oral is particularly hard for me. oral exams are even worse than oral presentations. as i have said before, there is nowhere to hide in an oral. if you dont know something, the examiner will know because you cant go back and fix it up with an eraser when you decide to change your answer.

since the written exam was a lovely 8am exam, it meant an early start for the entire cohort. for me it wasnt overly different to our standard morning routine of awake at 4am to leave at 5am for a 5:37am train departing dinmore for bowen hills. instead of riding to central with karen, i disembarked at toowong and caught a bus to the university campus. this was to be the final time i would collect toowong for an exam for this degree, though at the time there wasnt much sentiment; it was replaced by stress and anxiety of the highest order. i met up with nicole who was stressing in the biological sciences library. we did our death march together from the library to the main exam hall and afterwards a few of us went for pizza at the pizza cafe nearby to celebrate surviving our last written exam, and the last exam we would be sitting at st lucia together. the oral exam is of course at pace at dutton park.

since the rest of the day was free, most people decided to go and do their own thing. i am sure very few would have gone home to begin studying for the oral which was scheduled for 10 days after the written. we had plenty of time! after pizzas, we went our separate ways, and i headed to the city to let karen know how i had gone. i was in a far better state after this exam than the corresponding exam last semester where most of the cohort walked out in stunned silence believing to have failed. in third year, nicole had topped this particular subject in both first and second semester; yet last semester when we were sitting the exam i happened to look over at her at one point and see her in tears. that didnt exactly instill much confidence since she had the best record out of the entire 300 of us going in to that exam. (somehow we both managed a good mark in that subject!) thankfully this time around there were no tears from anyone. i dont know where she ended up sitting, but when we caught up afterwards i could at least see she hadnt cried during this one! we had both written a similar number of pages for the short answer section as well, which was encouraging.

when i got to karens store, i got to talk to her and one of her staff members about the exam, before i decided to get something else to eat and go and ride the trains for a few hours to celebrate. so long as i was back at the store by 5pm, she didnt mind what i did. so understanding! and so while other students went out celebrating by going shopping, or going home to sleep, i celebrate by catching a shorncliffe train from central to shorncliffe so i could get a few photos of the station. i had been there before i had started the blog, but had no pictorial evidence of the journey. after getting a few shots at shorncliffe, i caught a manly train back inbound as far as eagle junction because i was keen to celebrate by collecting a new station on my go card (and shorncliffe wasnt new). i am severely running out of time to collect all the stations before my card expires, and to date i had only fully completed one line on the network, that being the rosewood line. my goal for the day (after surviving the exam) was to collect the last remaining station on the doomben line, which was of course ascot.

ascot railway station is the second last station on the doomben line. it is preceded by hendra and followed only by doomben. in the past there were stations which followed doomben itself as far as pinkenba, though the stations past doomben have all been decommissioned. i think that is sad, and i will try to visit what is left of them like i have visited what is left of nyanda and tennyson. if i manage to get to them, i will create a special entry for disused stations.  

i didnt have very long to wait at eagle junction for a doomben train to arrive, which was a good thing because of the curfew karen had set me. i figured i had enough time to get some photos while the doomben train headed towards its last stop then turned around and became an inbound service. i was lucky enough to get a good number of photos which seemed to turn out ok. thankfully there werent too many people around ascot station at the time, and i was able to carry out my duty relatively uninterrupted. sometimes trainspotting can be difficult because i try to be as discrete as possible otherwise the other humans will wonder what i am doing. perhaps i should make a tshirt with my logo on it, and on the back have something about being the official trainspotter of the queensland rail network?

ascot railway station is located right near the famous brisbane horse racing tracks. the entire area of hendra, ascot, doomben and eagle farm are all very synonymous with horses and horse racing. take the hendra virus for example. there was actually a question in one of our third year exams in the second semester last year which related to the hendra virus. it would have been nice had i already collected hendra at that point, but i hadnt. i had also hoped to collect auchenflower that semester too because of the outbreak of legionnaires disease at the wesley hospital that happened while we were studying microbiology. ascot railway station itself is directly opposite the eagle farm racecourse. when i was little i wanted to be a jockey. i think i could have been too since i was never tall and only put on weight when i started my degree. i was 48kg in year 12 (i wont say what i weigh now out of embarrassment! save to say i am too heavy now to be a jockey!) 

my very first photo at ascot station. i disembarked the doomben train at ascot station and got this photo looking in the doomben direction. i didnt have a very long stay at the station, so i literally hit the ground running with my photography for this station. ascot railway station is technically a single platform station which is on the right hand side of the train heading outbound from the city towards doomben. i say technically, because there is a disused platform on the opposite side which has a beautiful old railway station building, however this platform is all fenced off and was virtually impenetrable on the day i visited. had i been afforded more time, i probably would have found my way into it, as jumping the odd fence is not beyond me (i think my photos of air force one in the karrabin blog show that despite my bad knees i am still able to climb things!)

i am going to go out on a limb here for a very early nomination for shot of the blog with this one. i think it satisfies virtually all of the criteria for shot of the blog nominations: train, station sign, platform, footbridge, descriptive and aesthetic photo. i think this one has the lot. check out the ascot railway station sign: lovely bold font. naturally that gets the darth seal of approval! the doomben train was due for departure, though the doors were still open when i took the photo. it wasnt long after i got this shot, then the train was ready to make its way to the last station on the line: doomben itself.

i went up the staircase to get a shot of the doomben train as it began its departure from ascot station. climbing up this staircase and looking back at the station gives a wonderful view of the railway station. you can see the platform to the left of the train, running virtually down the middle of the photo. i suppose we can call it platform 1, because like ormiston in the previous blog, ascot has a single functional platform. unlike ormiston though, ascot does have a second platform constructed, which is fenced off, though visible to the right of the photo (the wooden fence just above the train). there is a beautiful old station building inside that fence. this building was built in 1882 and heritage listed in 2004. hopefully i get to make a return journey to ascot some day and see the building properly and maybe even be lucky enough to see inside the fence. lyn from the yeronga and clayfield blogs assures me that the heritage listed ascot station building is very beautiful. i have a feeling, that with only my second photo of this station, i may already have a second nomination for the best photo in this blog: ascot is a very aesthetic station, similar to yeronga and karrabin, it is a very easy station to photograph.   

again i got this photo from the staircase, looking down at the doomben train as it departs ascot, bound for doomben. this time i am looking in the doomben direction away from ascot station. check of the old semaphore signal on the right of the photo, how cool is that! i love that it is still operational. i really love old things, like artifacts and antiques. i always enjoy browsing antique stores because you never know what you are likely to see. most of the time i browse such stores i am left wishing i had more money so i could buy some lovely old relics. i have a collection of old pharmaceutical bottles which once stored important medicinal compounds. i am always on the lookout to add to this collection. when i got this photo from here on the ascot station staircase, there were two young women atop the footbridge doing some form of exercise. now, i love trains probably more than most people, but not even i had considered doing my situps on a railway station footbridge. i think they were are stunned to see me as i was to see them. i assured them i meant no hard and was only there to photograph the trains and station. they kept going about their exercise briefly before moving on. you often see some strange things on the train and at railway stations, but that one was a first for me. i wonder if this is a regular event for them, exercising at ascot railway station? i dont think i will be starting any such exercise clubs at dinmore any time soon!

the doomben train departs ascot station, bound for doomben. the doomben line only consists of four railway stations: clayfield, hendra, ascot and doomben. in the past the line also had stations at eagle farm, bunour, meeandah and pinkenba. sadly all of those stations are now abandoned and no longer in use, with the 303 bus service replacing trains to these stations. it is doubtful that they will ever be reestablished as railway stations again, though anything is possible. it would be nice if it did happen though, because we should be aiming to get more and more people to use public transport instead of driving. hopefully some day these stations are reinstated into the network. in the mean time, it gives me an opportunity to explore a few more abandoned stations. the eagle farm racecourse is located to the left of the photo, where you can see some of the car parking available at the racecourse. i still love horses to this day, and would love to have some involvement with them again at some point in the future. initially, the station was called racecourse, but in 1897 the stations name was officially changed to ascot.  

the doomben train has left ascot station, and is now making its way to the last stop on the line, at doomben. i think this is a great shot of the train as it departs ascot station. perhaps i was a touch too premature with taking it since i havent got all of emu 72 in the photo, but it is a pretty good effort for someone who had never done a photography course in their life. i love that old semaphore signal, if i ever manage to see one at an antique store, i am sure i will end up buying it. i love old railway and shipping relics. at ascot station the single track of the doomben line branches into two for the two side platforms, though only one is currently used. the line then merges again into a single line for the journey to doomben and the end of the line.

under the bridge, looking along the doomben line as the doomben train departs ascot station, i had left the exercising girls in peace so i could get this photo from the platform. you can see the end of the platform only a few yards in front of where i got the photo. the footbridge really is at the extreme doomben end of the ascot platform. the old semaphore signal also makes an appearance near the center of the photo. eagle farm racecourse is to the left of the photo. i havent been there yet, perhaps some day i will get to attend some races at this historic ground.

taken from the very extreme doomben end of the ascot platform, looking along the doomben line in the direction the train has just taken. the semaphore signal is to the right looking rather historic in its pose beside the tracks of the doomben line. another old semaphore signal post is on the left of the photo, in the horizontal position indicating to stop. ascot railway station is the only station on the translink network to still retain these old signals, making it a very unique feature of the ascot station, and history and rail buffs alike. also to the left of the picture, the track which runs along the disused platform at ascot station can be seen, and it joins up the the main doomben line just left of the photo center. eagle farm racecourse is to the left. 

the corresponding 180 degree (pi radians) photo to the previous shot. this is sort of a darth tradition by now, and i am sure you all know how predictable i can be in my photography. i dont mind in the slightest if i am predictable, i am simply obsessive compulsive. i do think this is a rather lovely photo of ascot station in the afternoon sunlight of post exam glory. such a shame the heritage listed building is fenced off on the right of the photo, and that the platform it sits on is no longer used. i guess it has something to do with the heritage status of the building and protection from vandalism. still, if you want people to enjoy the building and want it protected from idiots, why not have a full time station master? a station master could be there during the day and at night there could be security patrols. i would love to have a job like that; if i saw anyone defacing a railway station, or railway property, i dont think i would be the one coming off second best despite my small stature. it is funny, if ever karen hears a noise outside at night, she comes running to me to go out and check on what it is. never mind the fact i am just over 5 feet tall! if anyone was outside prowling and they saw me coming to defend my property they would probably laugh. in this photo, the doomben line runs along the middle of the photo, with me standing on platform 1 to get the photo and the disused platform 2 on the right of the picture. i hope that at some point in my lifetime, i get to see this building in all its glory.

the afternoon sun bathes down on me at ascot station, as i celebrate finishing my final ever written exam by visiting the last station i needed to collect on the doomben line to make this the second line i had collected every station, (the first was of course the rosewood line.) perhaps i could have put more emphasis into my ormiston entry about the collection of thomas street marking the final station i had to collect for the rosewood line? it matters little, because the entry was about ormiston, not thomas street or the rosewood line; just as this entry is about ascot, not doomben. i think this would have to be a new record, in that i have written 3 sentences already, and not even mentioned the bold font of the ascot station sign in the picture. i must be getting soft in my old age, or perhaps i am just really excited that i have finally finished the last written exam of the degree; providing i have passed that is! with one exam left before graduation, the light at the end of the tunnel is indeed beginning to shine brightly. the scary thing is, that by the time i publish my next blog, i will more than likely have graduated from pharmacy. who would have ever thought that was possible? certainly none of my high school teachers!

another candidate for shot of the blog? yeah, i think so, even if it doesnt have a train in it, it is still a definite contender because it has virtually all other criteria. as i said earlier, ascot is a very photogenic railway station, and on just my first visit, within a few minutes of setting my size 11s on the platform i had taken a number of photos which are already challenging for the best image of this blog post. i like that this image, taken at the doomben end of ascot station, includes the footbridge, the semaphore signal and an ascot station sign. the attempted artistic angling, while obviously not professionally done, was executed fairly well for someone with no photographic skill whatsoever. this is certainly one of the better images i have included so far for ascot, and it has a certain amount of charm to it. the ascot railway station is indeed very easy to fall in love with.

ok, so if the previous photo was an entry into shot of the blog contention, this one most definitely has to be, because it is a more complete version of the previous photo. the same charm comes through in this photo, showing just how aesthetic ascot railway station is. lyn from clayfield wasnt lying when she said ascot was a beautiful station, and that is coming from a woman who rarely if ever catches a train. there is just something about ascot station that makes it incredibly easy to photograph, and while i have no idea what that something is, i think i have captured it pretty well in these photos so far, because the beautiful little station just keeps throwing up beautiful image after beautiful image. ascot railway station even rates a mention on the must do brisbane website! perhaps i should do a real photography course and then i could become an official railway photographer, instead of being the unofficial one who sneaks around and snaps images as quickly as i can when there is no one else around! whatever ends up happening with my photography career, one thing is for sure, choosing shot of the blog for ascot is going to be bloody tough! the shade from the tree over the staircase on the footbridge just gives an awesome effect to the image, and i (obviously) love the bold font of the railways station sign, and naturally had to include it. the eagle farm racecourse is in the background behind the footbridge. the station at ascot was initially build to encourage the masses to come and attend racing events at eagle farm racecourse.

looking along platform 1 of ascot railway station in the direction of hendra station. i took this picture near the footbridge at the doomben end of platform 1. the station office on platform 1 has an old station sign on it, similar to the one at ebbw vale. i still dont know what my fascination with railway station signs is, but when i see old ones like this, they just look so historic and show so much character. ascot railway station is pretty old, the station was opened in september 1882 (that is 6 years before my favourite mathematician was born!) platform 2 on the right of the picture is sadly no longer used. the heritage listed building on platform 2 is essentially fenced off from the public now which is a shame, though it is still partially visible from the footbridge and staircase.

i wasnt going to include this one simply because the framing is pretty poor, but i have included far worse in other blogs, so why not include this one just for fun? i think it is still relatively descriptive of the ascot railway station, despite the poor framing of the station sign blocking the fixed ascot sign on the station office. this shot was taken on platform 1, not far from the station office, towards the doomben end of the platform. the sun was still warm shining down on me as i celebrated the end of written exams for my degree. i couldnt think of a better way to celebrate actually, than by visiting a new railway station, and in this case, completing the doomben line by collecting ascot station. 

the ascot railway station office on platform 1. the office is located pretty much in the middle of the platform. the footbridge is behind me as i take the photo, at the doomben end of the platform. this lovely old building is not heritage listed, the heritage listed building is on platform 2 and is fenced off. this building still offers a lot of character to the ascot station, it was built in february 1914 (2 years after titanic sank) and according to the heritage listing i found on the railway station, this building is the earliest surviving precast concrete railway station still in operation. yeah, ascot station is pretty darn cool. today, the ascot station office building pictured (which is now 100 years old) has a telephone facility (visible) and go card terminals near its entrance. a water fountain is also visible near the yellow painted pylons.

it may not be quite royal ascot, but it is pretty close; the century old ascot station building on platform 1 proudly looks out over the platform with its fixed station signage in traditional heritage colours. there is something special about railway station buildings that have these signs, im not sure whether it is the traditional feel that they have, or if it is because they tend to be on older buildings. whatever it is, i am glad there are still a few around on the brisbane network. i feel incredibly privileged to have the chance to visit so many railway stations, each with their own stories to tell. ascot, being such a grand old station certainly has a lot of stories to tell. 

maybe not quite in shot of the blog territory with this one, but kinda close. this poorly framed effort was meant to show the ascot station sign, the platform 1 sign and the footbridge at the doomben end of the platform. the semaphore signal is visible underneath the footbridge. ascot station is the only station in brisbane which still employs these signals, making it incredibly rare and historic.

the doomben line runs through the bottom of this photo of ascot railway station, though the hero of the shot is meant to be the heritage listed station building on platform 2. the historic building, which was built in 1882 when the station opened, now resides behind the fence which runs the length of the building on platform 2. it is a shame you cant see just how old the building is from the photo. it just looks like any regular railway station building, but this is so much more. not many stations on the network can boast a heritage listed building from 1882 (not to mention 2 semaphore signals!) but then again, there is only one ascot! the footbridge is at the extreme doomben end of the platforms.

it is good to see a bold font ascot station sign smiling from across at platform 2. ascot railway station is incredibly photogenic, even when shooting the disused platform 2, ascot still does it with style. i would love the opportunity to get over onto platform 2 to get some photos, but since it is closed, even if i did manage to get on the platform, i wouldnt be able to publish the images unless i had permission to be there to take them in the first place. i do wonder if i ever applied for permission to photograph abandoned and disused railway stations and platforms, whether i would actually be granted permission or not? im thinking not, but unless i try, i will never know. considering that platform 2 at ascot has been closed for some time and the plants have begun to take over, the platform still retains a certain elegance that is lacking and disused stations i have visited such as tennyson and nyanda. you can almost imagine the station at the turn of the 20th century with the women in their fancy clothes and the men in the suits and top hats heading to the races for an expensive fee that would be less than 5 cents in todays money. just from looking at the image it isnt hard to imagine ascot having such an upmarket past. just like a lot of the wealthy elite who may have once used the station, the ascot railway station has retained its dignity and elegance well into the 21st century.

looking along platform 1 at ascot in the direction of hendra, this is a similar shot to the last, but i wanted to include more of platform 1 as well as platform 2. the doomben line runs along platform 1 through the middle of the photo. the plants have certainly begun to take over what is left of platform 2 (the first platform constructed at ascot) but despite the botanical invasion, the station still retains its dignity and its beauty. it would be a brave person who would say that ascot railway station is in a state of disrepair. perhaps more could be done to reserve the function of platform 2, though perhaps this wont be done simply because it is now a heritage listed site, which essentially means the platform and the station building from the 1880s is a protected species. if you zoom in far enough near the station sign on platform 2, you will see another semaphore signal at the hendra end of the ascot station. 

i got this photo from near the ascot station exit on mcgill avenue, looking back at platforms 1 and 2 to show the ascot station sign and also the elegant station building behind the fence on platform 2. if only that darn fence wasnt there! even through the fence though you can get a feel for how grand this circa 1882 railway building really is. it would have been spectacular to see it in its day when all the people of brisbane dressed up in their finery to attend the races. the footbridge linking the two platforms is to the right of the photo, just out of picture. the doomben end is also to the right, and the hendra end is to the left. you could probably call this shot a triple threat because i have managed to capture the station sign on platform 2 as well as the one on platform 1; and at the end of the heritage listed building there happens to be an old station sign attached, visible just above the ascot sign on platform 2. thats three ascot signs in one photo, that has to be worth something!

i got this photo in mcgill avenue as well, as i wanted to show off a bit more of the atmosphere of the ascot railway station, and figured that this tree was fair game since it looked like it would add a bit to the shot. i think it does, though perhaps you disagree? this shot was taken at the doomben end of ascot railway station, as the footbridge takes pride of place in the background behind said tree. i know this is just a photo of a tree and a railway staircase and overbridge (and a semaphore signal too), but i think there is something about the photo that shows what an upmarket area ascot is. the whole area just has an air of upmarketness about it, and makes a kid from emerald hill who uses dinmore as their main railway station feel a touch out of place! i am not entirely sure, but i think this tree may be a jacaranda. the only reason i am not sure is because i cant see any evidence of purple flowers, and this photo was taken during exam block (directly after an exam in fact!) at my high school it was a well known fact that as soon as you saw jacaranda flowers forming, exams werent far away and if you hadnt started revising, you were pretty much doomed. needless to say i had been revising heavily for weeks leading in to the exam i had the morning this photo was taken, and i left nothing in the tank. hopefully the results come out in my favour!

this station office at ascot just casually sits on platform 1, defying the fact is is now 100 years old and has outlived many of the humans who have visited it over the last century. this building will probably still be here in its elegant state long after i am gone and forgotten from this world. look at it in all its grandeur. i have never been good at english, and it is easy to run out of adjectives when describing something old, beautiful and historic like this ascot railway station office. apart from the green bicycle storage units at the front, the building looks virtually untouched since its erection in 1914. to put some perspective into it for those who are not all the up with history: world war 1 began in 1914. the titanic had been at the bottom of the atlantic for only 2 years when this building opened, einsteins theory of general relativity was still two years away from being published, and decimal currency was 52 years away (came in on the 14th of feburary in 1966, and no i didnt have to look that up, my mother often used to sing a rhyme about it). if this photo were in black and white or sepia you could almost picture an old steam train pulling up at the ascot station to drop off the racegoers. it really felt like i had gone back in time when i was here at ascot station.

there is definitely something about ascot. taken from mcgill avenue again looking towards the doomben end of ascot railway station, i wanted to capture the staircase and footbridge as well as the station sign and any aesthetic trees i could. the eagle farm racecourse is in the background behind the railway station itself. the wooden fence surrounding the 1882 ascot station building is visible towards the left of the picture near the staircase as it descends to the disused platform 2. on the extreme right hand side of the photo the semaphore signal managed to creep unintentionally into the photo just underneath the (jacaranda?) tree. it certainly looks jacaranda like, but the lack of purple flowers has me worried. the 1914 station building is to the left of the photo, out of picture as i angled to get this shot.
built in 1914, the ascot railway station office building sits elegantly on mcgill avenue in the beautiful and expensive suburb of ascot. i tried hard to not include a woman in this photo, as a young lady was walking along nearby while i was trainspotting and she topped somewhere behind the small building on the right of the photo to light a cigarette. i took my opportunity to get the photo i desired of the century old ascot station office. it looks as grand now as it probably did back in the day. perhaps the roof could do with a touch of work, but really, for a building this old, it looks fantastic. near the center of the photo you can see part of the racecourse tower which i presume is used for race callers to get up high to spot the horses as they run the length of the track. i wonder what the view of the railway station if like from that vantage point? i highly doubt i will ever get the chance to find out, but it would be interesting to know. the doomben end of the station is to the right and the hendra end is to the left. the entire doomben railway line, with the exception of clayfield, can all be directly associated with horses and racing. this building has always been known as part of ascot station, it is the building on platform 2 which was once called racecourse, but was renamed in 1897 to ascot. to give some perspective, the afl was once known as the vfl; and the vfl formed in 1897, so the ascot station name is as old as our modern football competition. (just as a disclaimer, before it was the vfl, it was the vfa, which started in 1877). in case it inst obvious, i am a bit of a history buff, so this historic railway station is right up my alley!

majestic isnt it. the 1914 ascot railway station building as seen from mcgill avenue, doing my best to avoid getting the smoking woman in the photo. you can almost picture women in their fine dresses and men in their top hats flocking here to the races on steam trains at the turn of the century. you know, the sort of people who would look like they had just stepped off the titanic; elegant and refined women dripping in expensive jewellery. i am certainly a far cry from that; and just thinking about the well dressed and wealthy elite who would have stood here in the past hundred odd years makes me feel pretty lucky to be standing in a similar position to document the station in my own unique style. i only but hope i can do justice to ascot station, since it has stood the test of time and still retains a certain degree of majesty today. if you havent been to ascot station, i probably wont be able to convince you to go, since you have to want to go, but you really should make the visit. the train doesnt take long to return to ascot from doomben, its less than 20 minutes, and in that time you can get up close to one of the most spectacular railway stations on the network.

it really is a shame that idiots can be so disrespectful of history, and could even consider spraying graffiti on the walls of this shelter on platform 1. thankfully the offending material has been removed (albeit not overly well). the hundred year old building on platform 1 which is essentially the ascot station office has this sheltered area near the entrance from the mcgill avenue side (the small staircases visible in the previous shot lead to this waiting area). on the right of the photo a rubbish bin makes an appearance and to its right, out of picture, the staircases lead down to the mcgill avenue exit from the station. this photo works in pretty good harmony with the previous one, since the shot above the the outside of the building and this is the inside. the platform is to the left of the picture, as is the doomben line itself.

this is probably one of the most descriptive photos i have of ascot railway station, in terms of the layout of the century old station office on platform 1. the platform and doomben line are on the right of the photo; i particularly love the gardens on the platform itself. there are a few stations on the network with small gardens on their platforms, but despite how good they all look, i do think ascot trumps them all with its sheer style. the station oozes class and elegant sophistication from years gone by. i think i fell in love with it immediately, and i am still in love with it now. to the left of the shot, i have the compliment to the previous photo and even the one before that, where you can see the entrance/exit to mcgill avenue lies between the very stylish rubbish bins and the telephone box. there is a go card reader just near the exit also, which is particularly useful if you need to leave ascot station to head along mcgill avenue, or if you are arriving at the station via the small staircases out the front of the building.

probably not the most exciting image of the blog, but i wanted to show the intricate wiring around the tracks here at ascot, as well as the old wooden sleepers. while i cant guarantee these sleepers are 100 years old (i highly doubt they are) having wooden sleepers at ascot railway station just adds to the overall old feel of the station. the cement sleepers being rolled out at stations and sections of track between them across the network are possibly going to last longer and have more structural integrity than the wooden sleepers, but this is ascot, it is old; having cement sleepers just wouldnt be proper. check out all the wiring and old apparatus attached to the wires. i dont think i would be walking on the tracks, particularly at night, because these would make a fantastic tripwire, and would be dangerous in the event of tripping and hitting ones head on the tracks of the doomben line. please dont cross the tracks people, it is foolish and incredibly dangerous. it looks as though the track alongside platform 2 hasnt had much use over the years. it is doubtful it will any time soon with the closure of the historic ascot building, and thus the closure of the platform. the sleepers underneath that section of track certainly look pretty old!

i could have framed this a touch better, but this is a shot of the disused platform 2 at ascot station, towards the hendra end of the platform. check out all the wiring at the bottom left of the photo, such a shame i frame it so poorly, but i was more interested in capturing the ascot station sign. the section of track in front of the platform hasnt had much use over recent times by the look of the tracks. it is nice to see that despite the platform being no longer in use, it has still managed to retain a certain amount of grace and is relatively intact. i have visited a number of disused railway stations in my travels around the network, and not many of them have managed to retain their functionality despite their lack of use (poor tennyson comes to mind). ascot appears different, it is almost as if it has refused to allow itself to fall into a state of disrepair. i picture it as a wealthy old lady who always did herself up whenever she left the house, even if it was just to go to the shops. platform 2 at ascot still has itself done up even if it doesnt get to have any visitors these days.  

this is probably one of my favourite photos of the blog, despite being not overly descriptive of the ascot station, it has a certain wow factor to it. call me out on it, but i really think the three red flowers in the bottom left of the shot actually make this photo more spectacular than it would be without them there; as they seem to add to the effect of the ascot station being really upmarket. i dont quite know what it is about them, but more so than the ascot station sign, i seem drawn to the flowers (perhaps i am going soft in my old age?!) i have no idea what species those flowers are, or any of the plants pictured in the image to be honest, but the plants really add to the photo, and they also create a real atmosphere at the railway station. this photo was taken at the hendra end of platform 1.

also taken at the hendra end of platform 1, i did my best to capture the ascot station sign from the above photo in a semi artistic manner while also trying to get the doomben line and the gardens along the platform into the same shot. on the left of the photo is platform 2, which does appear slightly more neglected than platform 1. it still has a certain degree of charm and is refusing to left itself go. its a shame this image came out so dark, but the position of the earth on its rotation was against me in creating extra shadows from the garden. it still creates a real atmosphere though, almost reminiscent of what it would be like to be heading to twilight races early to get a good seat. the footbridge between the two platforms at the doomben end of the platform is visible near the center of the shot, and the beautiful old semaphore signals in their differing positions are also clearly visible. zoom in a touch and they really come to life.

boom, you knew it was coming didnt you. taken from the hendra end of platform 1, looking towards hendra, this is the doomben line as it leaves ascot station heading inbound. poor platform 2 looks a touch disheveled in this image to the right, but considering it hasnt really received much use in the past decade it is expected that it wouldnt be looking its best. the racecourse itself is partially visible behind the platform. im loving the trees on platform 2; despite being in a more advanced state of decline than the doomben end of the platform, the hendra end of platform 2 still has a certain appeal to it. perhaps it has something to do with yet another semaphore towards the end of the platform? whatever it is, i really wanted to include this shot, not just for completeness, but because it really does provide a bit more of the atmosphere of ascot railway station.

ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, i think we have another candidate for shot of the blog. i crept a bit further towards doomben, but am still very much at the hendra end of platform 1. i did my best to allow more sunlight on this photo, and i think the effect is achieved by creating a better image than the one two photos above. i think the gardens alongside platform 1 really give a racecourse feel to the ascot station. platform 2 has fared a little better in this image than the one before, looking a touch more graceful in its disused state. platform 1 though is the star of the show, looking elegant and very upmarket. this shot could only have been improved upon with the presence of a train. sadly the cleveland train was still a few minutes away when i got the photo, and i still had some exploring to do.

royal ascot? it could very well be. to the people to brisbane it may as well be, because ascot really is a grand old railway station. walking back towards the doomben end of platform 1 from the hendra end, i stopped to get this photo simply because the lighting was perfect for it, even if the framing leaves a bit to be desired now that i see it. the gardens look particularly nice, and i think they would have been spectacular back in their heyday. the doomben line is still visible to the left of the photo, and the footbridge and semaphores are also visible with a little bit of a zoom.

focusing on platform 2, because it was once the primary platform at ascot station, i wanted to show the station sign sitting proudly against the plants which now dominate platform 2. just to the right of the station sign, through the gap between the plants you can see the racecourse through the fence. the old doomben line is visible in front of platform 2. in 1882 ascot was the terminus station on this line (this was before it was actually named ascot, i guess it is like how the ekka station is simply called exhibition) the railway line was eventually extended as far as pinkenba. sadly the stations past doomben have all been replaced with the 303 bus service (there really isnt much left of any of them, which is even sadder, they are mostly just a platform now). despite being a touch on the overgrown side, i still think the plants/garden on platform 2 are clinging to their former glory, so as to not disappoint the regular commuters.

i honestly dont know what possessed me to take this photo. perhaps i wanted to show once and for all just how short i actually am? i still dont know, but i try to include as many photos as possible, no matter how dodgy or bizarre (as in this case). this ascot station sign is on platform 1, and is considerably taller than i am. it is hard to believe i once played in the back line in an afl team, spoiling opposition forwards. naturally, i often got the shortest forward from the opposing team!

another contender for shot of the blog? perhaps. it certainly would be if it werent for that darn fence obstructing my photo of the beautiful heritage listed building on platform 2. it is a double ascot too, with the modern day station sign equally matched with the older, more elegant station sign on the building itself. despite being written in all capitals and my absolute hatred of them, i cant dislike this sign. the entire building is simply beautiful. the doomben line (albeit the disused portion) has managed to creep into the bottom of the photo as well. this building was erected in 1882 and at the time of writing is 132 years, 2 months and 22 days old (that was indeed fun to calculate!) i totally understand why it is fenced off, being that old and of important historical significance to the area. i wonder if it will be reopened briefly on september 3 2032 for its 150th anniversary?

from 1882 to 1914, we jump platforms and jump ahead in time, to the century old station building on platform 1. the circular brick gardens at the front of the sheltered area give a really nie touch to an already impressive station. to look at, you can tell the building is old, but to realise it has had its 100th birthday is actually pretty special. the paintwork of cream green and burgundy were popular of the time, and often you will see older buildings or homes painted in these colours. while springfield central was a station i thought was really atmospheric in terms of its sheer size and scale, ascot is a station which creates its own atmosphere. i think ascot would appear more to traditional railway buffs than the likes of springfield central, even if springfield central is an incredibly impressive railway station. this could be one of the better shots of this blog, even if it isnt quite shot of the blog, it still shows how ascot station oozes style.

stepping back in time again to observe yet again the 1882 ascot station building. it really is a shame that the fence blocks from view what would be a very beautiful old building. i can understand it (vandals) but it makes me sad that the majority of the people of brisbane who are not vandals or idiots cant get the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the building on platform 2 for what it is, and treasure and respect it accordingly. as mentioned earlier, this photo has a double ascot, with the old fixed sign and the modern nocturnally illuminated sign complete with audio speakers on either end. the racecourse is visible in the background between the two ascot signs. the doomben line running along the bottom of the image gives it a nice touch i think. perhaps we are still in shot of the blog territory with this one; though it is certainly going to be difficult to judge the best image of this entry. if i thought karrabin was hard, ascot has taken it to a whole new level of difficulty due to its incredible aesthetics.

we have another candidate; ascot station just keeps throwing them up doesnt it! there is something incredibly beautiful about the layout of the station, and you only have to visit it the once to appreciate how beautiful it is. i do think that the more you visit a station like this, the more you will fall in love with it. perhaps the ascot regulars have become a touch desensitized to how beautiful their station is, but as they wait for their doomben train outbound or their cleveland or park road train inbound i am sure they only need to look around while they wait and they could smile quietly to themselves knowing that they are indeed at one of the most beautiful railway stations on the network. i am sure this image needs no further caption, but i may as well write one anyway while i am here: this shot was taken towards the doomben end of platform 1, looking in the direction of doomben. the footbridge linking platform 1 with the out of use platform 2 is at the very doomben end of the platform, and the two semaphore railway signals are able to be seen underneath the bridge. perhaps, like a few other images i have published in this ascot entry, this shot could only have been improved upon if it contained a train.  

perhaps not as good as the previous efforts, this image from platform 1 at ascot still was worthy of inclusion, as it shows slightly more distinctly that the gardens have gardens within them. i particularly like the brick finish to both the primary and elevated gardens, as it adds a real touch of class. i got this image towards the doomben end of platform 1. an ascot station sign was cut off on the right of the image as i focused on the garden. mcgill avenue is also visible to the right, behind the platform fence. the fence, despite the state it is in, also deserves a side mention, because it is different to the standard white metal fences which tend to appear at railway stations across the network. such a fence wouldnt looks right here at ascot. perhaps a white picket fence wouldnt look out of place, then again while we are at it we could add some lovely red and white cavaletti to the gardens just for show as well. where would you stop? ascot is beautiful as it is. 

the exercising girls had long since departed after some strange little person taking photos of trains may have scared them away (my apologies if you ladies are reading this, but you can actually see i wasnt lying, i was simply there to take pictures of trains and the ascot railway station) this may appear to simply be a photo of a staircase, and in a way, that is exactly what it is. however this staircase appears to have a surface similar to a tartan track, often seen at sporting venues for their 400m circuits. perhaps the presence of the tartan makes the staircase, and in particular the footbridge a very comfortable place for situps (the girls would be able to answer that, i wasnt going to demonstrate and find out for myself, particularly when the cleveland train was getting close to being due to arrive). my experience with tartan tracks is rather limited; as i used to compete mostly in long distance and cross country events in high school, anywhere from 3km and up was good for me. i do recall doing the 1500m race a few times, and somehow made it to an event where i got to run the race on a tartan track against other more seasoned runners who trained specifically for this distance. i am an incredibly awkward runner at the best of times, as most who have seen me in action will agree. the standard difficulty i get into is that it takes me about one kilometer to find my groove when i am running. the first kilometer is always my slowest and most awkward as my body is still getting used to running and trying to find its rhythm. really i should have been out running a few laps of the circuit before my race to get my body gelled and ready to go. essentially a 1500m race is just far too short a distance for my body to get any real rhythm. i wasnt disgraced, as i didnt finish last, but i certainly didnt earn a place. i dont think i have run a 1500m event since that day, and quite possibly that was the last time i ever set foot on tartan until i ascended this staircase here at ascot railway station. i can only put its presence down to the fact that the tartan fits in with the heritage colours at the station and also provides functionality during the wet weather brisbane often experiences. other than that, it could be comfortable for sit ups on the footbridge over top of the doomben line.

climbing the tartan staircase and looking back along the doomben line towards the hendra end of ascot station, i wanted to try to see the 1882 building on platform 2 from a slightly more elevated position. alas, i think i failed in my mission, because the fence is still too high to really get much of a view of it. you can see the beautiful paintwork though, and see the ascot station sign fixed to the doomben end of the wall sits happily alongside the modern sign on the platform. platform 2 was actually the first platform at ascot (then called racecourse). the said racecourse is clearly visible above the beautiful building. it looks like part of a grandstand rises from behind the tree line. this is part of the eagle farm racecourse. the doomben line runs through the middle of the shot, though only the track on the left which runs alongside platform 1 is in use today. i guess that is obvious from looking at the tracks themselves that run alongside platform 2: they dont look like they have had much use in recent times. 

again from the staircase, this time looking almost directly along the doomben line in the direction of hendra to get a beautiful view of platform 1 at ascot station. this has shot of the blog potential, and had there been a doomben or cleveland train present in the photo, it could very well have been the best photo i had of ascot. sometimes the trains coming inbound from varsity lakes terminate at doomben instead of the airport stations, meaning that it is possible to see a 6 car imu on the doomben line, and even parked here at ascot. the first time i saw such a thing i couldnt help but stare in amazement. this photo comes close, but probably no cigar (figuratively speaking, i detest smoking, if you dont believe me, read my entry on toowong, i think i had a descent rant in that one!) the beautiful 1882 ascot building on platform 2 is on the right of the photo, sadly obstructed from view from the wooden fence.

a familiar shot taken from a familiar position that i have made famous in my previous blog efforts. it just wouldnt be me without a photo from the footbridge where i stand up on tip toe and reach as high as i can to get a photo of the tracks and platforms below. this effort here at ascot looks along the platforms in the direction of hendra with the doomben line running through the middle of the photo below my position on the tartan of the footbridge where the ladies were previously exercising. on the left is platform 1 and its 1914 building which is now the ascot station office and shelter. on the right is the 1882 heritage listed building on platform 2. this building is no longer used, and is thus fenced up to keep the vandals out. platform 2 itself is no longer in service, despite being the original platform at this railway station, way back when it opened in 1882 under the name of racecourse. the racecourse it incidentally to the right of the photo, behind the trees.

this was always going to be the photo to complement the previous effort and you knew it was coming without even having to read my commentary. actually i doubt many people even do read the words in my blog, and thats fine, so long as people are looking at the images and getting a feel for the railway station, then i am happy. if i inspire people to go and visit these stations and see them for themselves, then that is even better. perhaps someone may even start their own blog about the railways stations in brisbane? that would be great, the more people riding the trains and writing about them, the better i think. it goes without really needing to be said that i got this photo on the footbridge, looking in the direction of doomben station. the two semaphores are visible, even if slightly poorly framed. cut me some slack though guys, i take these images by reaching as high as i can and hoping like hell i dont drop my camera. i cant actually see where i am pointing and aiming until i view the image after taking it. ascot is the only railway station on the brisbane network which still employs mechanical signalling; so if you want semaphores, ascot is your station.

i can see where the appeal comes from; tartan track, railway station, railway track beneath you, trains coming and going, beautiful atmosphere, limited interruptions. still, as the train blogger i do think it would be a stretch for even for me to attempt to do some exercises on a railway station footbridge in the afternoon sun. the idea, as appealing as it is, is probably best left to fit young women as opposed to grossly unfit former athletes who, if attempting exercise in public, would be likely to attract people wanting to call them an ambulance. it really is appalling how much one can let themselves go during an intense degree. perhaps the saddest part is that once upon a time i actually had abs. while not a six pack or anything remotely attractive, i did actually have a degree of definition. now i may be on the cusp of a degree, but i am also probably on the cusp of diabetes. nicole and i often discussed the benefits of prophylactic medication for students, and drugs such as metformin and the statin class regularly came up as medications which could be prescribed prophylactically in preparation for combating several years of poor eating, limited sleep and intense stress. perhaps we are on to something? as i mentioned in another blog (perhaps toowong?) i still havent got diabetes, which baffles most medical professionals considering how atrocious the diet of a student can be. brenda from canada once remarked in horror: my god, you eat so much candy. she had a point. i do think one of my most embarrassing moments was sitting on level 4 at pace studying with junk food, when my favourite lecturer who has been mentioned many times before in my blogs (hi jacqui!) walked past and said hello. she remarked that i hadnt moved from my table for quite some time, and asked how study was going. i had to admit that i was revising obesity and cardiovascular diseases whilst eating an almighty array of junk food which would have made most 12 year old children jealous. she couldnt help but laugh. perhaps once the degree is fully completed, i can get myself back into some degree of respectable fitness, albeit without the assistance of situps on the ascot railway station footbridge. i will leave that to the professionals. 

i wanted to zoom in on the semaphore for any rail buffs out there who werent aware of the significance of the ascot railway station and its mechanical signalling heritage. i have mentioned it before, but why not say it again in case this is the only comment you read for the entire blog: ascot railway station is the only station on the entire translink network (148 stations, and yes i plan to visit them all) which still employs semaphore signals instead of coloured light signals. for those of you who may not be totally up on your signal history, the first signal of this kind was developed in britain (surprise surprise) in the 1840s. now obviously this one isnt that old, but since the current day platform 1 opened in 1914, i am guessing that this signal would be somewhere in the vicinity of 100 years old. 

this is a better shot of the doomben line itself as it leaves ascot railway station, bound for doomben. i got this photo from the top of the staircase, looking along the doomben line. i dont know whether the tracks of the doomben line or the semaphore signal is the hero of this photo, but either way, it does look incredibly beautiful, particularly with the trees lining the rail corridor. naturally, platform 1 and the ascot railway station are 180 degrees behind me as i take this image.

perhaps i am biased, but this photo would have to be close to shot of the blog, simply because of what it is a photo of. platform 2 at ascot railway station contains a rare gem here in the form of the circa 1882 ascot railway station building. when this building was erected this railway station was known as racecourse; its name was later changed in 1897 to ascot. it is a wonder it wasnt named eagle farm, as the eagle farm racecourse is right next door. instead, eagle farm would be the name given to the station immediately following doomben, though it is sadly no longer in use and is simply an abandoned platform today. i dont know what more i can say about this exquisite building, other than that i think i may be in love with it despite not having set foot inside it. despite the many detention sessions of writing out words and their meanings from the dictionary, my vocabulary contains no better phrase than this: its awesome.

i am not a photographer, i am simply a patient trainspotter. sometimes patience is rewarded, and in this case, rewarded well. we have another worthy candidate here for shot of the blog, even if it misses a few of the general crucial elements one would require for a photo to be the best representative of a particular railway station. this shot of the cleveland train as she approaches ascot station coming inbound along the doomben line just has a certain wow factor to it. i dont know if it is the tree line on either side of the rail corridor or the purple blooms of the exam tree (i mean jacaranda) to the right of the train itself. i think this is most certainly one of my best images for this entry. ascot is incredibly photogenic, and i am indeed proud of this effort. it would have been a very worthy photo to finish this entry with, but me being me, i always try to get one more image, in an effort to beat the last.

perhaps i should have quit while i was ahead, as this effort, despite its appeal at first glance really isnt as good as the last one. i am a touch disappointed at my hesitation and the fact that the photo has managed to cut off the bottom of the cleveland train as she arrives at ascot station. i was perched near the top of the staircase to get this image, in attempt to get the perfect angle of the train as she made her way along the tracks. if only i had had the time to zoom out a touch further, this could have been an amazing photo. alas, not to be, but it is still an alright image of emu 72.

the train arriving on platform 1 is the brisbane city and cleveland train, stopping all stations. the cleveland has arrived on platform 1, so i best hurry down the stairs as carefully as my knee will allow, so that i can board the train and get back to the store in time to help karen close up shop. what an amazing way to spend the afternoon of my final written exam. i think i can safely say i would have been the only one from my cohort who would have celebrated with an afternoon of trainspotting. having the cleveland train here on platform 1 at ascot really makes the shot look even more spectacular than the ones several shots above. the funny thing about this shot, is that i was not alone on the platform; a woman was waiting further down the platform near the circa 1914 shelter. i did my best to make sure i got the photo before she got up to board the train. i think i achieved my goal. it would be so much easier if there were no stray humans to invade my images, but then again that is all part of the fun that is the sport of trainspotting.

my final image of ascot railway station, while it may not be as spectacular as some of my earlier work, it does tick the boxes of having a railway station sign as well as a train, so by default it deserved to make the blog. being the final image i was able to take at ascot railway station also holds significance, because i dont know when i will next be back to visit this station. save to say it wont be until after i graduate from my degree. is it scary that the next time i stand on this platform, i could actually be a pharmacist? i think it is a touch scary. still, let us not get ahead of our self. i have one exam left, and all that stands between me and graduation is the dreaded oral exam. the oral exam is had been scheduled 10 days after the written exam. plenty of time to study, mixed in with time to ride trains. oral exams have been my achilles heel in this degree so far, costing me dearly and ruining my chances of getting 7s for a subject i would love to get a 7 in. my first boss once said that i had all the bits, but just never on the same day. i think he was right, i have the ability, but what i lack is the application to put it all into practice; i always seem to miss something, no matter what i am doing. if i could put as much effort into my schoolwork as i do my blog, perhaps i would be getting better marks; true; though this blog has become an extension of myself, and i actually feel it is achieving a higher purpose now. it is with this photo that i bid farewell to ascot railway station, the final station i needed to collect to complete the doomben line. i would board this train, and ride it back to central where i would help karen close her store; then we would board an ipswich train bound for dinmore. i should be studying for my oral exam on the train home, but i still have ten days; thats heaps of time. hopefully the exam gods will be kind this time around and i will not make an ass of myself in the oral exam. only time will tell. time has indeed been kind to ascot railway station, it has stood the test of time, and looks as beautiful today as it did in its heyday. hopefully time will also be kind to me in my oral exam, and i wont run out of it before i finish each station. with six stations in different rooms, the osce exam is a bit like riding the train; stopping at a different station along the journey from the beginning of the exam to the terminus; only this time the terminus is the end of the degree. like ascot station and the doomben line; the end of the line is in sight, and we are a lot closer than we think. all we have to do is ride the train, collect each station and get to the end of the line.


  1. Happy New Year from Jaipur!! :-) Pete & Em

  2. happy new year to you guys as well! :) i hope you are having a great time, and cant wait to catch up with you both when you are back home on the ferny grove line!

  3. Hello, I am interior designer working on one of Queensland Rails new buildings. Was just wondering if you would let us use some of these photographs? Contact me at if you are interested. ASAP is prefferable as I have like no time. Thanks.

  4. no worries mate, go for it! im glad to be of help. i have just sent you an email, hope it all goes well, i know how it feels to be running short of time with stuff, i covered that pretty well in toowong haha. good luck!