– Is this the NBN’s grandmother?

Click to go to video

Here’s a possible pointer to the glorious future the NBN will bring to country Australia.

Made in 1992, this Telecom Australia (former name of Telstra) promotional video touts the huge benefits broadband will create for business in Australia. Seems to get it right on most things despite the lousy acting, lousy script, lousy props and big glasses. My memory’s hazy about what you could do and couldn’t do in those days but I do recall at a meeting in 1991 seeing a portable projector attached to a laptop for the first time (worked liked an epidiascope IIRC).

So far as the period is concerned, I notice the boss doesn’t say please, blokes can’t touch type, the Japanese take laser copies and workers seem to be a trifle more physically familiar with their colleagues than would probably be acceptable today. Oh, and billion dollar investments were won on a night’s work, a few nods and some pretty pictures. My favourite bit is the map of the Red Water Creek plant that’s being printed in part 3 — do you recognize it? The biggest advances since 1992 have probably been made in the quality of corporate videos!

Note there are three parts to the video but they’re pretty short. BTW the video’s at Paleofuture, which is certainly one of the most interesting sites I’ve seen in a while.


Melbourne ‘fantasy rail map’

Map by cwer

As it’s the holidays I thought I’d show this 2009 map I stumbled across at Railpage. This is an example of the growing genre of ‘fantasy maps’, fed no doubt by easy access to GIS. It’s one person’s vision of what Melbourne’s rail system could look like at some point in the future at an unspecified financial and political cost. What distinguishes this one from the flotsam is the way the author has used the same graphic style as the current Metlink map, which you can see here.

It doesn’t have the new line to Avalon Airport the Government has committed itself to, perhaps because no one ever conceived in 2009 that it could ever be a priority. But it does have the now well known new lines to Melbourne Airport, Rowville and Doncaster, the latter extended to Donvale in the east, and via Fitzroy in the west to connect to the Melbourne Metro link from the west at Parkville. The Metro carries on via Swanston St to the Domain and St Kilda and connects to the Sandringham line at Ripponlea and the Dandenong line at Caulfield.

The map shows the Regional Rail Link as well as a branch line to Aurora and extensions of existing lines to Whittlesea, Yarra Glen and Clyde. The Glen Waverley line is extended via Knox to connect to the Belgrave line. The Alamein line is extended to connect with the Glen Waverley line and onto the Dandenong line via Chadstone. The Upfield line connects to the Craigieburn line at Roxburgh Park. All lines appear to be fully electrified and the number of tracks is increased to expand capacity on a number of existing lines.

The curmudgeons at Railpage have picked up on a few oddities (Rushall a Premium Station!?), but what I find amusing is that Doncaster is shown in Zone 2!  I’m not expecting to see that in any of the PR material associated with the Government’s feasiblity study. Also, a traveller can get as far as Airport West on a Zone 1 ticket, but the Airport is Zone 2. And to go from the Airport to Keilor West is a Zone 1-2!

These are mere details in a ‘fantasy map’ but they illustrate some of the anomalies with Melbourne’s zonal fare system that I discussed last week.