Union (fmr SH/MA) opening
  Roderick Smith

On Saturday, I photographed the first up test train, running late (16.32).
The first down was an hour later; I had given up and gone home.
I didn't hear any test trains on Sunday.
On Monday, I got up at 4.30; a test train went down while I was making my first mug of tea.
I had to approach the new station from the south side.  The traffic controller said that test trains had been running since 2.30.
The station was loaded with assorted people in white, blue and orange: most had nothing to do.  The premium office couldn't top up my myki: no change yet.
There was a small cluster of enthusiasts and local residents.  They weren't allowed to inspect: 'Still a work site, not handed over yet'.
The notional first up at 5.08 had been cancelled: intending passengers were diverted to a replacement bus 1 km away.
The second up was held at Laburnum; the first down was held at Camberwell.
The test train was still running.
5.02 up on the up line; 5.12 down on the centre line.
There may have been two other moves: I recall a down on the down line, but didn't photograph it.
The young brigade with tracker phone apps announced that the public trains were now moving.
An announcement was made that the station was now open.
I got what was now the first up, at 5.25, on the up line.  It crossed the first down just before Chatham.  I faced a 20 min wait for the next down.
The test train ran up on the centre line, then down on the down line.
A six car empty ran down on the down line.
At 5.46, the 5.51 vanished from the screen: next train at 6.17.
I wasn't waiting, set out to walk home and the 5.51 came through on the down line, with no hope of reaching it.  I did walk home, now with no point going back to bed.  I have to be fit for a reunion dinner tonight.

The new station is standard LXRA bleak: bare concrete and metal.
It is fitted with barriers, and some officious type wasn't allowing people to visit the new platform unless touching on, despite the fact that travel is free until 7.15.

The new name is an unwanted nightmare, adding insult to injury, and rubbing salt in the wound.  I remember when Fairfield was signed 'Fairfield, formerly Fairfield Park'.


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