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Metro celebrates long-serving team members

26 Feb 2024, Ruby MacKinnon
Metro has celebrated long-serving employees and their combined 11,000 years of Melbourne rail expertise at the annual Milestones dinner on Friday 23 February. This year, 529 Metro staff were recognised for working on Melbourne’s rail network for 15 years or more. We were joined by dignitaries the Minister for Public and Active Transport Gabrielle Williams, and other important stakeholders and shareholders. This year, seven Metro staff clocked up between 51 and 55 years – Metro’s current longest-serving railway members. Ian Cook, Michael Vinay and Eugene Accornero have spent their careers in the railways, starting in the late 60s and early 70s. When they started their railway careers, the network looked very different to what it does today – well before the Melbourne Underground Rail Loop (City Loop) was built, level crossings were removed, and works on the new Metro Tunnel kicked off. Having worked in completely different areas of the business for their whole rail careers – in Engineering, Signals and Stations – they had the unique opportunity to celebrate together at Metro’s Milestone celebration dinner. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said, “I feel privileged to be able to celebrate the outstanding contributions of so many incredible people who have committed their working lives to the railways.” “Public transport provides great careers for our people and their wonderful contributions have kept our city moving every day. We thank Ian, Michael, Eugene, and all other staff who have played a massive role in moving Melbourne.

Supporting Train Drivers Through Trauma

2 Feb 2024, James Ireland
Traumatic incidents on the rail network can have a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of drivers and the wider staff.   Metro’s Trauma Recovery Guidebook: Volume Two provides layers of support, preparing and supporting drivers in responding to traumatic incidents that occur on network, such as encountering trespassers.   Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says ensuring the mental and emotional health of our team is just as critical as their physical safety. “Our train drivers play a pivotal role in ensuring the seamless operation of our network. And in an ideal world, there would be no need for this guidebook,” Raymond says. “The reality is that our train drivers often face traumatic events such as encountering trespassers on the network, which can have a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of our team members.” 

Australia’s first electric piling rig at Kananook

31 Jan 2024, James Ireland
Australia’s first electric piling rig is helping with works on the Kananook Train Maintenance Facility, contributing to the sustainable operation and development of Melbourne’s rail network. The Liebherr LB30 Unplugged is estimated to save a massive 15 tonnes of CO2 at this site. The eco-friendly rig is powered by the Kananook Substation where it is charged overnight for use during the day. The rig is set to finish off all 162 piles at Kananook this week. Each pile, which will help stabilise the ground under the project, is an impressive 18m deep and 900mm in diameter.

Sarah Kelley appointed General Manager of Operations

29 Jan 2024, James Ireland
Sarah Kelley has been appointed General Manager of Operations at Metro Trains Melbourne, commencing her role at the start of January. Sarah joins Metro as an effective and experienced transport leader with a diverse, global career spanning over 25 years in rail and light rail management. Starting her career in rail as a stewardess for Intercity Railway in the United Kingdom, Sarah has worked in varied customer service and operational functions, including depots, stations, infrastructure maintenance and operations control. She brings a wealth of knowledge in day-of service running and performance, and has a strong background in safety compliance, incident management, network asset integration and delivering on strategic partnerships. Over the past 15 years, Sarah has held numerous operations leadership roles working across the United Kingdom’s expansive and complex rail networks where she has left an indelible mark. From 2017 to 2020, Sarah was Head of Strategic Command for Arriva London, responsible for the smooth running of the Transport for London overground rail network, transporting more than 180 million passengers across nine lines every year. She was then promoted to Regional Director (South and West) for CrossCountry Rail, who run long-distance rail services across England, Scotland and Wales, before moving to Australia in early 2022. Sarah’s most recent role was as the General Manager at TorrensConnect, the tram and bus operator in Adelaide, Australia. Here, Sarah oversaw the management of the business and franchise, consolidating the experiences she had gained over the years in customer service, rolling stock, infrastructure and operations. As newly appointed General Manager of Operations at Metro, Sarah will focus her time out on the network to meet her team members and understand Melbourne’s unique metropolitan network and operational landscape. “I have spent my first month getting a better understanding of Metro and the projects that are coming to help shape our operational strategy for the next couple of years.” Sarah is known for fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment in her teams of hundreds of employees. “I try to create an environment where everyone is welcome to be themselves and they are given the space to be heard.” “It would be easy to have only like-minded people in your team, but the challenge is to create a diverse environment where different approaches and opinions are celebrated and embraced,” explained Sarah. Sarah is an experienced, collaborative and people-focused leader, and we are proud to welcome her aboard.

Bridge strike tech captures moment of impact

25 Jan 2024, James Ireland
New CCTV cameras and sensors installed at three hot-spot locations have captured the moment when overheight trucks have hit rail bridges, causing chaos for traffic and rail passengers. When a rail bridge is struck, it can result in damage to rail infrastructure and significant disruption for thousands of passengers. Trains have to be slowed, stopped or the train line may have to be suspended to allow for the bridge to be inspected and deemed safe. For the first time, CCTV and impact sensors can reveal the full details of an incident, providing immediate notification and remote assessment of any damage caused. Metro’s bridge inspector can now immediately evaluate the incident, and decide if further investigation is required, meaning less delays for passengers. The new technology has been installed at Racecourse Road in Newmarket, Huntingdale Road in Jordanville and Warrigal Road in Holmesglen.

Joey Teangi’s rescue tale

18 Jan 2024, James Ireland
Teangi – an Indigenous word that means earthy – is the perfect name for this wallaby joey, rescued by Metro and Wildlife Victoria. The joey was in grave danger, being attacked by bull ants and with a fox prowling nearby. Steve Roze, a safeworking coordinator, was inspecting track between Diggers Rest and Sunbury when his team noticed Teangi moving in the pouch of his mother, who had sadly passed away. Wildlife Victoria were called, but access to the spot was difficult following recent heavy rain. Volunteer Lindy was able to safely reach the joey with assistance from Steve and Michael Melhelm, a GTE Rail contractor. She wrapped him in a blanket and took him to an experienced wallaby carer. “I’m glad it was a good outcome for the little tacker,” Steve says. Lindy took Teangi to Annie, an active wildlife carer in her 80s, who will look after the joey until he can be released.

Celebrating International Day of People with a Disability

1 Dec 2023, James Ireland
Our network is for everyone, and we recognise the importance of listening to and working with people with disability. Our Accessibility Reference Group, made up of nine passengers with lived experience of disability, plays a key role in meeting our accessibility and inclusion goals. We talk to our members openly about initiatives impacting the network, including train and station design, and staff procedures. In the lead up to International Day of People with Disability (3 December), we celebrated the contribution of our Accessibility Reference Group, along with the work of Accessibility Reference Groups at V/Line, Yarra Trams and Kinetic.

Next Stop: Story Time

29 Nov 2023, James Ireland
Train travel is set to become a more unique and interesting experience for passengers and tourists. Metro Trains Melbourne has partnered with Storytowns Podcast Tours and the Department of Transport and Planning to capture untold stories of our city with a series of podcasts. There are currently 47 podcasts available focusing on the Belgrave, Lilydale, Upfield, Williamstown, Sandringham and Pakenham lines – from the maritime history of Williamstown, Pentridge Prison in Coburg, even the Greek origins of Oakleigh. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says the podcasts are an innovative way to engage with commuters.

Your shiny new office within the Metro Tunnel awaits

17 Nov 2023, James Ireland
In our biggest recruitment drive ever, Metro is looking for more than 100 new staff to work in the five new Metro Tunnel stations.  Applications open on 22 November, with Station Master, Senior Station Officers and station assistance roles available at Arden, Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac stations.  The recruitment drive was announced on Thursday by Premier Jacinta Allan, Minister for Public and Active Transport Gabrielle Williams and special guest Geoff Jacks.  Geoff has been with Metro for 51 years, and has worked at 240 train stations, including many that no longer exist.   He was there in 1981 when the City Loop opened and has seen many city shaping projects being completed across his five-decade career.  Station staff play a key role in helping thousands of passengers get where they need to go every day quickly and safely.   As the search for staff begins, work is continuing at pace on the Metro Tunnel – creating room for more passengers, taking cars off our roads and cutting travel times to Parkville and St Kilda Road by up to 50 minutes a day.  The Metro Tunnel will create a new end-to-end rail line from Sunbury in the north-west to Cranbourne and Pakenham in the south-east – through a new tunnel under the city, freeing up space in the City Loop.  If a career in the railways sounds like your sort of thing, dust off your CV and find out more about working in a Metro Tunnel station by visiting bigbuild.vic.gov.au/metrotunnel. 

An Exchange of Ideas with Rail Industry

16 Nov 2023, James Ireland
Metro was privileged to demonstrate how We Move Melbourne at AusRAIL PLUS 2023. Over 200 organisations exhibited at Asia Pacific’s largest rail industry event, including MTR. CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said it was an excellent showcase for all contributors.  “It was an interesting and informative few days, not only to see what is happening across our industry, but also to see how well our Metro people and activities stack up against our peers. “I couldn’t be prouder of our efforts and achievements,” he said. 

Metro Marks Remembrance Day

10 Nov 2023, James Ireland
At 11am on Remembrance Day, Saturday 11 November all Metro stations will pause in a minute of silence. We encourage passengers and staff to join us in remembering the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who gave their lives to serve Australia and its allies, and those who continue to serve today. Leading Station Assistant and ex-Armed Forces, Ian, says Remembrance Day is particularly significant coming from a military family. Along with his wife, he served in the Signal Corps in the Australian Army, while his father served in the Australian Navy and brothers served in the Army Reserve.

Global gongs for Metro at MTM Grand Awards

6 Nov 2023, James Ireland
Metro Trains Melbourne is proud to have been recognised at the MTR Grand Awards ceremony held last week in Hong Kong. From three Metro finalists, we won an MTR Grand Team Award and two Certificates of Merit for Outstanding Contribution. Metro Trains Chief Executive Raymond O’Flaherty said the result is a great achievement with teams competing against high performers across MTR globally. “These awards are highly competitive and I’m incredibly proud of the hard work done by the winning teams that have been recognised,” he said.

No Two Days the Same for Graduates

30 Oct 2023, James Ireland
Meet the graduates transforming Metro’s network.    Our rail network is undergoing a significant transformation and two graduates in our Rolling Stock and Infrastructure teams are playing a key role in shaping and future-proofing the network for generations to come.     Second year Mechanical Engineering Graduate Richard Cai is currently on his fourth rotation in the Infrastructure – Track Maintenance team at Batman Depot.    Richard says that the program allows graduates to express their creativity whilst continuing to build upon their skills throughout each rotation as they are being exposed to various aspects of the business.   “It is amazing to experience and be able to contribute to various projects that will optimise the rail network,” he says. 

Metro recognised for Biodiversity on the Rails

24 Oct 2023, James Ireland
Metro’s commitment to maintaining and improving areas of ecological significance has recently been recognised by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council, with Metro’s Biodiversity Management Program listed as a finalist in the award for Excellence in Environmental. Although not apparent, rail reserves are often found as uninterrupted pathways of natural vegetation, untouched by industrial and agricultural influence. They are like time capsules- representative of the local indigenous vegetation prior to land clearing. These corridors provide an important habitat for threatened and endangered animals and link up other areas of habitat such as road and nature reserves, and waterway easements.

A safe space for queer women to connect

13 Oct 2023, James Ireland
National Coming Out Day (11 October), was the ideal time for Head of Technology Transformation, Erin McKenna and Authorised Officer, Tania Kukielka to present at a networking event for queer women in the transport and construction industries.   Bent Transport – the Department of Transport and Planning’s industry-wide LGBTIQ+ Pride working group – and the National Association of Women in Construction co-hosted the event. Erin and Tania shared about their experiences, participated in a Q&A panel, then joined in on the main event – networking.  

All aboard the Melbourne Royal Show Metro Train Driving Academy

19 Sep 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
Metro is captivating young hearts and inspiring a new generation of rail enthusiasts with free rail-focused activities at this year’s Melbourne Royal Show. As the official transport partner for the Show, Metro has set up the ultimate experience for kids to experience driving a train in the 9 News Lifestyle and Local Heroes Pavilion, and will run a free miniature railway for kids and their families. Children will have the opportunity to drive a train and can ‘graduate’ from the Melbourne Royal Show Metro Train Driver Kids Academy where they will receive a special graduation certificate. Metro staff from across different areas of the organisation will also be available at the stand and miniature railway for the duration of the show to answer questions about rail safety and careers. Metro is also the VIP partner of the Melbourne Royal Show’s ‘After Dark’ series, where attendees can enjoy all the fun of the show until 10:30pm each night and see some of Australia’s biggest recording artists on the Entertainment Stage. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said that whether people were planning to attend the show during the day for the great family fun and farm experiences or after dark with friends for the spectacular entertainment and live music, the super easy and convenient way to travel and from the show is by train. Over the 11 days of the Show from Thursday, 21 September to Sunday, 1 October, it’s expected that approximately 600,000 people will flock to the Showgrounds and about half will use the train to get to and from the venue. To ensure children and their families can get to the Melbourne Royal Show fuss-free, Metro will run 1,362 extra train services to and from the Showgrounds. Metro will have services running every 10 minutes in and out of the Showgrounds during morning peak times, with trains departing from Flinders Street, Southern Cross and North Melbourne stations. A train takes just 10 minutes from Southern Cross Station to Showgrounds Station, which is a short walk from the entrance.

Metro Trains recognised at the 2023 Australasian Rail Industry Awards

14 Sep 2023, James Ireland
Metro Trains has won four of the Australasian Rail Industry (ARI) Awards for excellence in safety, customer service, passenger operations and innovation. Almost 800 people gathered in Melbourne on Wednesday night to congratulate the 16 winners, with Metro receiving the Safety Excellence Award, Customer Service Excellence Award, Rail Innovation of the Year Award and the Passenger Operations Excellence Award. Metro’s CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said that it was a very proud moment for the business, demonstrating the determination and dedication of the Metro team. “To be finalists in nine categories and to take home four award wins is a testament to the level of excellence that we strive for every day and demonstrates our determination to be recognised as a leading global public transport organisation.”  Metro won the Passenger Operations Excellence Award for its highly successful management of the return to major events after the COVID-19 pandemic. Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Chief Executive Officer and ARI Awards judging chair Caroline Wilkie said, “Metro Trains Melbourne delivered a comprehensive, well-executed strategy enabling it to deliver a great customer experience for the six million passengers attending 216 big-ticket events in the past year alone.” Metro also received the Customer Service Excellence Award for its successful management of station closures during safety upgrades on the Melbourne Underground Rail and the Rail Innovation of the Year Award for its new rostering app, Go. “Metro Trains Melbourne successfully tackled a very challenging time of disruptions with a creative communications strategy using digital solutions and a strong customer focus, with most passengers reporting they found getting around the CBD easy. “To receive just five complaints from 1,100,000 passengers impacted during the 14-day City Loop stations closure is a testament to the success of the campaign. “MTM’s digital rostering solution, the mobile app, Go, has not only cut errors and inefficiencies but has made the day-to-day life of train drivers a lot easier. In the first three months of operation, it eliminated 61,600 phone calls by drivers to sign-on, who instead used the app,” Ms Wilkie said. The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) praised Metro’s New Ways of Working Project Team, which won the Safety Excellence Award, for its innovative approach to reducing incidents. RISSB GM Products & Innovation Sudha Niles said, “Metro Trains Melbourne has demonstrated outstanding commitment to proactively improving rail safety through improved processes and implementing new technology.” The 2023 awards featured 16 categories recognising individuals, organisations and rail projects in the areas of diversity and inclusion, sustainability, passenger, infrastructure, innovation, supply, customer experience, freight, signalling and systems engineering and safety. The Awards are supported by the Australasian Railway Association, Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, Railway Technical Society of Australia, Rail Track Association Australia, the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board and the Permanent Way Institution (NSW). Below are the details of Metro’s awards at the Australasian Rail Industry Awards: Safety Excellence Award – New Ways of Working Project Team, Metro Trains: Metro’s Infrastructure Team is responsible for maintaining more than 1000 kilometres of track and having infrastructure teams and contractors working in the rail corridor is a critical risk. The New Ways of Working Project Team introduced new procedures, harnessed technology for training and achieved a substantial reduction in incidents. Their innovative approach and measurable results make them a deserving winner.   Customer Service Excellence Award – SPA MURL City Loop closure Metro Trains: In January 2023, safety upgrades on the Melbourne Underground Rail led to the closure of three major CBD stations. Metro led a creative communication strategy to prepare and inform passengers impacted by the closures. Digital screens and signage were used to share important information, while customer service staff were available to help passengers. A strong focus on collaboration between agencies ensured positive outcomes were achieved, with research finding most passengers found navigating the CBD easy despite the disruptions.   Rail Innovation of the Year Award (Sponsored by Project i-TRACE, powered by GS1 Australia) – Mobile app, Go, Metro Trains: Metro created a mobile app, Go, to overcome operational challenges with manual train driver sign-on processes that involved phone calls and paper-based records, which led to errors, cancellations and inefficiencies. The new app streamlined sign-on procedures, replacing phone calls with digital sign-on and integrated driver rostering, allowing real-time updates and allowance claims. In the first three months, it eliminated 61,600 phone calls, improving efficiency and accuracy. Other MetroGO apps like InForm, PaperLite, and GO further digitised processes.   Passenger Operations Excellence Award – Metro Trains: Six million passengers used Metro services to access 216 major events in the past year alone. Metro managed this significant return to the rail network post pandemic through proactive communication, improved staff training and increased services. These efforts contributed to the successful transportation of millions to record-breaking events, demonstrating commitment to exceptional customer service and safety.

Metro’s new vision provides a roadmap for the future

1 Sep 2023, James Ireland
Metro Trains has released its new company vision and purpose. Under the banner of “We Move Melbourne” Metro’s new refined purpose provides a clear and simple drive to show that running a railway is about more than moving passengers from A to B, it’s about supporting passengers and to reflect the community it serves. Along with its new purpose, Metro’s new vision statement “Shaping our future to be a world-class railway for Melbourne” ensures Metro is focussed on a long-term sustainable railway and that it works productively with the Victorian Government to ensure a positive legacy for future generations. Metro Trains’ CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “Every day colleagues work hard to make our railway the best it can be, and now is the time to refresh our purpose and vision and to reflect on what we are working towards. “As the rail operator, we play an integral part in the lives of millions of Melburnians, and it’s essential that we not only move them around the city, but we work towards moving the city forward. “Through our partnership with the Victorian Government we’re ensuring that future generations of Melburnians can benefit from our hard work by giving them a world-class train network.” Metro’s new purpose provides an opportunity for all employees to feel a renewed energy as their work to support passengers is acknowledged as being at the core of the company’s work. It encourages employees to act as One Team and to innovate to create and maintain a world-class train network. Metro operates 1000km of track and 221 stations across Melbourne. More than 7000 employees deliver more than 60,000 train services every month.

Metro and Yarra Trams celebrate every colour of the rainbow for Wear It Purple Day

28 Aug 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
On Friday 25 August, LGBTQIA+ youth and allies united in record numbers across Australia to celebrate ‘Wear It Purple Day.’ By wearing purple, Australians demonstrated to rainbow young people that they are seen, supported and respected, recognising all have the right to be proud of who they are and who they are becoming. This year, Metro Trains and Keolis Downer (the operator of Yarra Trams) partnered up to celebrate with a group of young LGBTQIA+ high school students interested in the rail industry. Students had the opportunity to visit the Metro Academy in South Kensington where they learnt about the industry and what a career in rail would look like and had a go in the X’Trapolis training simulator. Authorised Officer Tania Kukielka had worked in many different industries before starting at Metro almost three years ago. Her wife, who is a Protective Services Officer, recommended she apply. Tania wanted to join the Authorised Officers team because she enjoyed being in customer service roles and helping people. Tania said that Metro made her feel really welcome when she joined, and that her boss and colleagues had been hugely supportive of her. The rail industry in Melbourne has been experiencing a huge culture shift in recent years, with a much more diverse and inclusive workforce joining Metro’s and Keolis Downer’s ranks. In 2009, there were just 26 women driving trains for Metro, and now there are more than 550 that are either Metro qualified or in the process of training to be qualified. Yarra Trams has more than tripled the number of female tram drivers over the last ten years, partly driven by the introduction of part-time driving roles in 2020, an industry-first. As WORK180 accredited organisations, both Metro Trains and Yarra Trams are committed to raising workplace standards for women and gender-diverse people across the network. WORK180 is a global jobs network that provides women and gender-diverse people with an easy way of identifying workplaces they can trust, reaching more than 9 million people worldwide. Tania said that it’s important that people can see themselves in the roles that we do in public transport and the community is reflected back at them and celebrated. Tania said that she feels proud to work for a company that is working hard to achieve this. Growing up in a conservative family, Tania wasn’t able to learn about her identity until much later in life. She is thrilled to see LGBTIQA+ people celebrated through Wear it Purple Day to show young people that they are not alone, and that they are amazing just as they are.Tania said that LGBTIQA+ people will be welcomed with open arms to the industry, and she is so excited to see the culture of the industry continue to shift for the better. To celebrate diversity and inclusion on the public transport system, Keolis Downer has rolled out the #AllAboard Pride Tram, which serves as a highlight in the annual Midsumma Pride March through St Kilda where it is cheered on by thousands of onlookers. The current tram was designed and voted on by Melbourne’s Rainbow Communities.

First trains enter the Metro Tunnel

26 Jul 2023, James Ireland
In its biggest milestone yet, the first test trains have entered the Metro Tunnel. Early on Tuesday morning, two test trains – one in each of the twin nine-kilometre tunnels – were driven through the eastern entrance of the Metro Tunnel at South Yarra, stopping at Anzac Station. Metro train driver Sheena Begbie was in one of those first trains. She says, “It was quite surreal seeing everything come together and all the infrastructure in place.

Metro finalist in upcoming Australasian Rail Industry Awards

20 Jul 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has released it’s list of finalists for the upcoming Australasian Rail Industry Awards and we’re incredibly proud to see Metro Trains Melbourne represented by 14 finalists across 9 categories! Young Rail Professional Award – supported by Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA) Stephen Chambers, Metro Trains Melbourne Safety Excellence Award – supported by the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) Metro Trains Melbourne “New Ways of Working” for the Safety Customer Service Excellence Award – supported by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Metro Trains Melbourne – SPA MURL City Loop Closure Employee Engagement Excellence Award –  sponsored by Rio Tinto. Supported by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Metro Trains Melbourne – APIP: Every Second Counts Metro Trains Melbourne – My Metro My Say Metro Trains Melbourne – Supporting our People during the Comeng Retirement Rail Innovation of the Year Award – sponsored by Project i-TRACE, powered by GS1 Australia. Supported by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Metro Trains Melbourne – Bridge Strike Detection System Metro Trains Melbourne – MetroGO – Improving Metro’s day of operations through digitisation Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Award – sponsored by Training Ahead. Supported by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Metro Trains Melbourne – MTM Graduate Engineering Program Passenger Operations Excellence Award – supported by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Metro Trains Melbourne – Adam Deverell Metro Trains Melbourne – Gokul Rajamani Infrastructure Excellence Project Award – supported by the Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA) Metro Trains – Sunbury Corridor Substation Project (SCSP) Recognising R U OK? Conversations (TrackSAFE Foundation) – supported by TrackSAFE Foundation Metro Trains Melbourne – Rail RUOK? 2023 Metro Trains Melbourne – Train Services Peer Support Program These are both individual and team categories which stretch from innovation, to employee engagement to safety and inclusion and more. At Metro Trains Melbourne we are dedicated to being at the leading edge in everything that we do, and we are thrilled to be represented in a wide range of categories. Congratulations to all the finalists and to everyone’s efforts who have driven towards this fantastic recognition. More information is available at the ARA site. Winners will be announced on September 13.

Metro’s assistance program ensuring staff wellbeing on the railways

6 Jul 2023, James Ireland
Staff health and wellbeing is a key feature of Metro Trains’ Zero Harm principle. Through its partnership with Assure, Metro’s Employee Assistance Program provides first-class mental health and wellbeing services to all 7000 staff members and their immediate family. Metro’s EAP Assure, coaching, counselling and wellbeing support delivering services that covers many aspects of life. Metro Trains Head of Health and Wellbeing Jacquie Lyons says, “The best asset of any railway is its people and at Metro, we want our team members to feel supported to be their best.  And that means recognising that we all encounter challenges and obstacles we need help with. “Our Health and Wellbeing program puts our people at the centre, with a whole range of services to help us be our best, so that we can provide the best possible service to Melbourne’s travelling public.” To make sure Metro staff have access to the help they need at any time without any delay, a new app has been launched. Assure’s Wellbeing Gateway is a digital wellbeing platform that provides 24/7 access to chat with a health professional or the ability to book an appointment. Assure’s Head of Customer Care Gerard Beven says,  “We are proud of our partnership with Metro Trains that has been in place since 2014. “Employees across Metro Trains have may experience serious and severe events, or like many of us, they may need some support to manage challenges in our day to day lives. “ “We’re happy to be there for Metro Trains team members and their families to support them in maintaining their wellbeing in work and in life.” Metro also has a peer support program where staff receive mental health first aid training to help their colleagues through traumatic events. This program allows colleagues to support each other through difficult times. By having help from someone in the same profession it allows for a complete understanding of the challenges they face. A new video has been produced featuring some of Metro’s staff including train driver Carole Nugent, and High Voltage Planner Kym Arbid, who share their experiences with both using the EAP services and providing peer support to their colleagues.

Metro launches Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program

29 Jun 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
Everyone deserves to feel empowered and supported on Melbourne’s public transport network. That’s why Metro Trains is proud to be part of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network to support passengers with an invisible disability, and make the invisible, visible. The Sunflower is a globally recognised symbol for invisible disabilities, which can include autism, low vision and blindness, chronic pain conditions, musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, acquired brain injury, deafness, mental health conditions and dementia. Some people with invisible disabilities choose to wear the sunflower lanyard to discreetly identify that they may need a little more time, support, or assistance. Train Driver Evan Whyatt was diagnosed with AuADHD (autism and ADHD) two years ago and often wears his sunflower lanyard when he is out and about on the network. Evan said that travelling on public transport can be stressful for some people – there can be sensory, interactive, and other challenges to overcome for someone with an invisible disability. Evan said that he was hugely supportive of Metro joining the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network. He says that wearing his lanyard feels like having a “shield” when travelling on public transport. Metro has recently trained customer service staff to recognise the sunflower symbol and support passengers that may need assistance. Passengers can look out for staff wearing a Sunflower supporter badge, which shows they have completed training. Evan said that the best way you can assist someone wearing a lanyard is to check if they need assistance and are comfortable to interact with you, as sometimes the interaction itself can be a source of anxiety. Evan said that listening to what the person is saying, reading the signals they are giving you and being compassionate throughout the interaction are all important. Metro is distributing free sunflower lanyards, pin badges and wristbands to people that would like them at 12 key stations across the network from Monday 26 June. Metro’s Chief Operating Officer Aline Frantzen said “At Metro, we are dedicated to helping all passengers, including those with an invisible disability, to ensure everyone feels safe and included on our network.” Sandee Facy, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower ANZ Director of Business Development Sandee Facy said “We are thrilled to work with Metro to bring the Sunflower to train travellers across Melbourne and ensure that public transport is accessible and inclusive for all.”

Metro signs Memorandum of Cooperation

21 Jun 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
Metro has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, committing to work with other rail operators and stakeholders to harmonise rail operations across Australia.  The memorandum was put forward by the National Transport Commission and supported by the Australasian Railway Association, following agreement from state and territory ministers at National Cabinet. Different rules, standards, systems, gauges and rolling stock limit rail’s capacity to support Australia’s productivity.  The memorandum commits rail operators, governments, and the industry to a long-term vision for passengers and freight to move seamlessly and safely between major cities and regions. CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says it’s an initiative Metro is proud to support: “The signing of this memorandum demonstrates Metro’s ongoing commitment to work with our stakeholders towards a common goal of keeping Melbourne moving.” Executive Director, Network Assets and Assurance Paul O’Halloran says Metro has an important role to play: “As operators and maintainers of state assets we’re acutely aware of the challenges and complexities of maintaining various assets across our networks, interoperability provides benefits for the entire industry.” Metro’s commitment to this goal is led by our Chief Engineer, Phil Ellingworth, who is a member of the National Transport Commission Interoperability Advisory Group: “The memorandum is an important foundation stone to build cooperation and momentum across the industry.” Over time, interoperability can deliver the following benefits: Seamless experience for our passengers and freight operations Improved value and consistency in rail procurement Making it easier to share innovation Removing barriers that prevent work crews operating across networks Removing barriers to mobility of team members and increased training costs Harmonising train control systems Metro will continue to advance these goals through participation in the National Transport Commission’s Interoperability Advisory Group.

Not all disability is visible: Metro Trains and the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program

9 Jun 2023, Tom Mclaughlin
To support passengers with invisible disability, Metro Trains has become a member of the international Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program. What is the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower? The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a simple way to make an invisible disability visible. Passengers can wear a Sunflower product like a lanyard, wristband or badge. This shows us that they might need assistance, or just a little more time. What is an invisible disability? ‘Invisible disabilities’ is a way of describing disabilities that might not be obvious to other people. Some examples include autism, low vision and blindness, chronic pain conditions, musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, acquired brain injury, deafness, mental health conditions and dementia.

Metro’s Woman of the Year finalist

30 May 2023, James Ireland
One of Metro Trains’ rising stars, Caddie Green has been nominated for the 2023 Women in Industry Awards, Excellence in Transport and Woman of the Year awards. After getting her start in rail as an Administrator and Personal assistant, Ms Green moved into signalling as a Project Coordinator and is now an Assistant Project Manager. She currently works on projects that are upgrading signals and their systems across Melbourne’s train network.

Metro launches new escalator safety campaign

29 May 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
Figures released by Metro Trains show that there was an average of 20 slips, trips and falls on escalators per month across Melbourne’s rail network in 2022. There were 225 incidents in total in 2022. So far in 2023 there have been 54 incidents. Metro said that of the incidents that occur, 45% of passengers need first aid treatment and nearly 20% of passengers need further assistance from emergency services. On some occasions, more than one passenger was injured during an incident. Metro said incidents are often the result of people rushing, not practising escalator, stair or platform etiquette, and carrying bikes, scooters or trolleys on escalators and stairs instead of using elevators. Busier platforms as a result of an increase in patronage and major events across Melbourne is leading to a bigger risk of safety incidents on escalators, stairs and platforms, making it even more important for passengers to stay alert. This risk grows even bigger as we enter the colder months. A new campaign from Metro is highlighting the risks of using escalators and stairs and is calling on passengers to take simple steps to keep themselves and others safe. Metro said that the vast majority of incidents that occur on the network are entirely preventable and are reliant on passengers: paying attention to others and their environment, taking their time (don’t rush), holding onto the handrail. In the new campaign, Metro uses stark x-ray images showing some of the serious injuries that can occur to highlight the dangers of escalators and to encourage passengers to practice safe behaviours while travelling on the network. Metro’s escalator safety campaign launched at the end of May.

Metro installs new bridge strike technology

12 May 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
New technology is helping to detect when trucks hit a rail bridge as soon it happens, limiting potential delays for thousands of train passengers. When a rail bridge is hit, not only can it cause damage to rail infrastructure, but it can also delay thousands of passengers with trains often stopped or train lines suspended until the bridge is inspected and deemed safe. Since 2021, there have been more than 100 bridge strikes on the Metro network – about 1 every week. Last year, Metro Trains recorded 50 collisions with metropolitan train bridges. So far in 2023, there have been 7 bridge strikes. Napier Street, Footscray is the network’s number one hotspot, clocking up 80 strikes over the past 10 years. Notification of bridge strikes have traditionally been reliant on an incident report being filed by the person who caused the incident, a member of the public or emergency services.

Next stop: Story time!

12 May 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
Did you know that the clocks at Flinders Street Station used to be manually changed 900 times a day? More than 400,000 passengers pass through Australia’s oldest station every day but most are unaware of its rich and interesting history. Train travel is set to become a more unique and interesting experience for passengers with Metro Trains Melbourne partnering with Storytowns Podcast Tours and the Department of Transport and Planning to capture untold stories of our city with a series of podcasts. Podcasts play automatically as you approach a town, landmark or point of interest, and soon whilst you’re travelling across Melbourne’s one thousand kilometres of train lines. This use of geo-located podcasts along the city’s train lines is an Australian-first. Melbourne residents are invited to share their local stories which may feature in the podcasts. It’s an exciting opportunity to bring the unique character and history of Melbourne’s suburbs to life through the voices of local people. The series of podcasts will cover a variety of themes, including local food, culture, street art, travel tips, fun facts, and interesting stories about each suburb’s history, culture and train stations. Initially, the podcasts will focus on the Belgrave, Lilydale, Upfield, Williamstown, Sandringham and Pakenham lines. After hitchhiking around the world, founder of Storytowns, Jarrod Pickford wanted to connect travellers to communities. Storytowns began in regional Victoria and has now produced hundreds of free geo-located podcasts throughout Australia. “We believe that every suburb has a story to tell, and we’re excited to bring Melbourne’s unique character and history to life through the voices of its people,” Jarrod said. Metro Trains CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said that this will provide passengers with a new and unique way to experience Melbourne. “These podcasts will enhance the journey and provide passengers with fascinating insights into the places they travel through,” he said. Melbourne locals can contribute their stories via the Storytowns website – www.storytowns.app  or social media platforms by 1 June. Podcasts will be available from July. The Storytowns app is available for download on both iOS and Android devices. Users can access the podcasts for free and start their journey right away.

Metro wins international Gold Quill award

1 May 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
Metro Trains Melbourne’s Communications team has been recognised by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) with a 2023 Gold Quill Award for our work in delivering outstanding employee engagement. The Gold Quill Awards honour the dedication, innovation and passion of communicators on a global scale, with a focus on achieving solid business outcomes. Organisations around the world are celebrated for a range of achievements in a number of categories – ranging from employee engagement to change and crisis communication, to safety communication, media relations and government relations. Metro won the Gold Quill Award of Merit for the ‘Every Second Counts’ employee engagement campaign, which was developed to support the delivery of Metro’s key operational initiative – the Annual Performance Improvement Plan (APIP). Congratulations to everyone involved in the projects and initiatives that were recognised as finalists and winners at this year’s Gold Quill awards.

The weird and wonderful world of Metro’s lost property

8 Apr 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
If you have ever left something on a train, there is a good chance it has ended up in Metro’s lost property department.  George Panoussis, Station Master Flinders Street says there’s almost 1,500 items lost on Metro’s trains each month.   Usually it’s things like mobile phones, wallets and purses, but sometimes the items that are handed in are a bit more interesting.  In June last year, staff at Flinders Street Station were handed a wheelie bag with an unusual occupant – a ceramic bust of Michael Jackson.  George said it really baffled the staff when it came rolling in.   “We get some weird and wonderful items through these doors, but this one’s got to take the cake,” he said.   To this day the ‘King of Pop’ remains unclaimed in his wheelie bag and has become a permanent feature of the lost property office at Flinders Street.  Over the years, the storeroom on Platform 1 has been home to tens of thousands of items, including mannequins, musical instruments, and even sets of golf clubs.  The team are currently holding over 1,000 items in the office, including 62 mobile phones, 89 wallets and 40 cardholders.  Along with MJ, a large speaker system, a cheeseboard with knife set and a large photograph of a family matriarch from a recent reunion are among the more unusual occupants.  Metro holds items for 60 days, giving owners time to reclaim them, but if they are still there after that timeframe and have some potential value, they get donated to charities including the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.  Before the pandemic, there were about 2,000 items lost every month, and they all went through the Flinders Street Station lost property office.   In mid-2020 Metro changed the way it’s handled to make it easier for passengers, with all lost items now held at staffed stations nearest to where the item was found.   “There’s no better feeling than handing something precious over to someone and seeing how grateful they are,” George said.  “If you do happen to leave something on a train, make a note of where the train was heading to, and alert Metro staff immediately.”

Metro opens it’s doors to train enthusiasts young and old

6 Apr 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
On Saturday 1 April, Metro Academy opened its doors to the public for Metro’s first ever Community Day, allowing train enthusiasts of all ages to come and experience a taste of life on the railways. Activities included taking to the tracks in Metro’s state-of-the-art train simulators, learning about the history of Melbourne’s rail network and the city-shaping projects happening across Melbourne, and meeting some of the incredible team behind our rail network. Metro’s Careers team were on hand to meet aspiring team members and give them a behind-the-scenes insight into our diverse and rewarding roles at Metro Trains. Aspiring applicants got a glimpse of our training activities firsthand, and the opportunity to speak to operational team members about what it takes to run a network serving over five million people. Metro Trains CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said, “Metro Community Day is about opening our doors to the community and allowing them to experience life on the railways through a variety of interactive activities. It was wonderful to see so many people there engaging with our staff and sharing their mutual enthusiasm for trains.” Tickets to the event were free, but visitors raised much needed funds for event charity partner, the St Vincent de Paul Society to assist the Vinnies Soup Van service, which provides meals and a friendly face to those experiencing food insecurity across Victoria.

Even more eyes on the Metro network

5 Apr 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
More eyes are monitoring the Metro Trains network than ever before with the installation of more than 100 new CCTV cameras.  142 cameras have been installed near Macaulay, Ringwood, Hurstbridge, Dandenong and Lilydale stations. This will bring the number of CCTV cameras on the network to more than 9,250, with an additional 3,000 cameras on trains.  The cameras help deliver real-time information and intelligence to the train control centre where Metro Trains works alongside police to improve responses to serious network disruptions and incidents.  They are also a deterrent to offenders and help assist authorities in identifying and apprehending individuals.   Last year there were more than 5,000 incidents related to trespassing, graffiti, vandalism, intoxication and other disorderly conduct, which can have a significant impact to train services.     At busy times of the day, one incident can cause disruption to up to 50,000 passengers on the network.  Metro Trains’ extensive CCTV capabilities ensures trespassers can be pinpointed to their exact location, which means action can be quickly taken to stop trains and ensure their safety.  Metro Trains works closely with Victoria Police every day to prevent crime so passengers can expect a safe and reliable service with additional measures implemented for major events.  Anyone who sees illegal behaviour is asked to contact 000 or CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000. 

Celebrating 10 years of Metro’s engineering graduate program

28 Mar 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
Metro Trains Melbourne is investing in the future of the young and diverse workforce that has been ushered into the Victorian rail industry, thanks to the huge pipeline of major rail projects. This month Metro celebrates 10 years of its Engineering Graduate Program, which had been established in 2013 to support young people entering and staying in the industry. Jennifer Nguyen was in the first cohort of graduates to complete the program. A decade later, she’s still working at Metro as part of the Metro Tunnel Project team as a senior assurance engineer.

Celebrating International Women’s Day with Metro’s leaders

8 Mar 2023, James Ireland
At Metro, it’s essential to reflect the community that it serves. This means committing to a more diverse and inclusive workplace.    In the past 10 years, Metro has more than doubled the number of female employees, achieving its goal of women making up 30 per cent of employees by the end of the 2021/22 financial year.   Traditionally the rail industry has been a male-dominated one, but that’s changing, and it’s changing fast.   Last year, a major milestone was reached, the number of women in train driving roles reached 500, and has now risen to 541. In 2009, when Metro began operating the trains in Melbourne, there were only 26 female drivers.   During the pandemic the ability to work from home and not always stick to the standard office hours became a reality, and it’s a lesson that has carried on.   A major push for Metro is to bring more women into leadership roles, not just by progression through the organisation but by recruiting women from other industries who can bring their experience and knowledge into the exciting and fast-paced world of rail.   Three of Metro’s female leaders give their perspectives on the rail industry, how it’s changed and what can be offered to women looking for a new career.

Community grants up for grabs

7 Mar 2023, James Ireland
Metro’s Back on Track Community Grants support not-for-profit organisations across Melbourne doing important work to help improve people’s mental health. Applications are now open for one of three funding categories – $5,000, $10,000 or $20,000. With a total grant pool of $100,000 projects or initiatives must fall into one of the following focus areas: Wellness – preventative care to reduce the risk of poor mental impacts. Education – activities that inform and promote awareness of good mental health. Support services – assistance like counselling, psychiatric support or crisis care that directly supports people experiencing mental health challenges. It could be a local sporting club, a school, a community centre or local health service – any not-for-profit, helping to improve people’s mental health. Metro Trains CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “We know mental health continues to be an ongoing challenge for our community which is why Metro’s community grants program is supporting not-for-profit organisations implement some important initiatives. “It’s wonderful to see the difference that these grants can make to communities right across Melbourne.” Last year, Metro’s grants program helped community organisations including cohealth, Radio Lollipop at Monash Children’s Hospital and the Les Twentyman Foundation to implement important mental health initiatives. Radio Lollipop’s Gregory Hall says, “The community grant that Radio Lollipop were fortunate enough to receive will go towards welcome packs for all the children coming into the hospital. We hope it helps to make their stay that little bit less scary.” Over the past four years, Metro’s community grants program has provided $360,000 to community organisations. Applications open on 7 March and close on 11 April 2023. To apply, go to www.metrotrains.com.au/community-grants Successful applicants will be announced in June.

Metro continues partnership with Melbourne Storm

6 Mar 2023, James Ireland
Metro Trains and Melbourne Storm are continuing the partnership encouraging more fans to use public transport getting to AAMI Park for the 2023 NRL season. Metro Trains’ CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “We’re proud to be continuing the partnership between Metro and Melbourne Storm, bringing fans and players together for world class Rugby League. “We run extra services at every Storm game and just like the great team, we’re quick, we’re reliable and we’re here for the fans.” Throughout the year pop-up activations at train stations and at Storm matches will give people the chance to win prizes ahead of home games. Melbourne Storm CEO Justin Rodski says, “We’re delighted to have Metro Trains on board with Storm for a second season in 2023, our 25th anniversary season. “Statistics show that the majority of our members and fans make their way to our home games at AAMI Park via the Metro Trains system. “In the lead-up to kick off, the nearby Metro stations of Richmond and Flinders Street are a sea of Storm purple and we’re keen to continue to grow those numbers through this partnership.” Melbourne Storm’s first home game for 2023, the club’s 25th anniversary season, will be against the Canterbury Bulldogs at AAMI Park on Saturday night, March 11. It’s one of 11 home matches this season.

Metro Community Day

17 Feb 2023, Tom Mclaughlin
Tickets are sold-out for Metro’s Community Day due to high demand. We welcome you to join the waitlist, in the event more tickets become available, by clicking the Registration button below. Experience life on the railway at Metro Train’s first Community Day event on Saturday 1 April 2023. Held at the Metro Academy in South Kensington, Metro Community Day will feature experiences to delight train enthusiasts of all ages. Activities will include taking to the tracks in Metro’s state-of-the-art train simulators, learning about the history of Melbourne’s rail network and the city-shaping projects happening across Melbourne, and meeting some of the incredible team behind our rail network. Interested in a rewarding career in the rail industry? The Community Day event provides the perfect opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes insight into the diverse roles at Metro Trains, see our training activities firsthand, speak to staff about their experience in the industry, and network with our Careers team to learn more about where a career at Metro Trains can take you.

Metro not kidding around with summer readiness

15 Jan 2023, Ruby MacKinnon
You may not associate goats with summer, but a special herd of goats is crucial to preparing Metro Trains Melbourne’s train network for hot weather. The goats, nicknamed the ‘Puffing Billy Goats,’ have returned to the rail network for the next few months at Upper Ferntree Gully, Belgrave and Heathmont stations, helping to clear weeds in rocky areas that are difficult for machines to access. Metro’s Puffling Billy Goats program has expanded since it was introduced in 2019, with more goats being added to new locations across the network. High rainfall has seen an acceleration in the growth of vegetation along the train line that must be cleared to minimise the threat of bushfires in time for summer. The La Niña being experienced on the east coast of Australia is expected to clear by the end of the month, with scorching hot weather set to return. While the goats re-joined the team last week to the fight against overgrowth on the rail network ahead of summer, Metro’s Vegetation Management team have already been hard at work. The team have been focusing on grass cutting and slashing, tree pruning and station garden maintenance, which takes place every day and on most nights so Metro can stay on top of almost 1,000 kilometres of plant growth. Other summer-ready activities recently completed by the Metro team to keep the network cool include painting the outside of signal boxes with heat-reflective paint, and proactive investigations and maintenance at critical locations on the network.   Metro has a team of over 1,000 Infrastructure maintenance specialists who are constantly monitoring and managing the rail infrastructure, including tracks, overheads, signals and communications.   The Infrastructure team uses remote condition monitoring, as well as on-site inspections, to help prioritise areas needed for work ahead of the hotter months. They also ensure the rails are stressed to avoid buckling, and the overhead lines are tensioned to prevent them from sagging in hot weather. Passengers may also notice an unusual looking bright yellow train cruising the network. EV120, affectionately called ‘Evie’, is a custom-built specialised maintenance vehicle that roams the entire rail network analysing the track and overheads, providing Metro Trains with valuable data to make sure any issues are identified quickly. Evie is out on the network every day and has already covered 23,000 kilometres since last December. She even visits parts of the V/Line network! With a great team and innovative technology, the rail network can stay cool, even in summer.

Metro appoints new Chief Operating Officer

10 Jan 2023, James Ireland
Aline Frantzen has been appointed to Chief Operating Officer at Metro Trains Melbourne and will start in the role in April 2023. Aline is an impressive transport leader, holding various global executive roles over the past 10 years.  She brings with her a wealth of knowledge in operational and customer experience including timetabling and day-of service running, while also having a strong background in asset management, long-term strategic network planning and integrating new projects (including rolling stock) into operation.

Flinders Street Station gearing up for bumper New Years Eve

29 Dec 2022, Ruby MacKinnon
Metro Trains has spent six months preparing for the biggest New Year’s Eve in years, with more services, additional staff and free travel to help Melburnians bring in the New Year. Up to 300,000 people are expected to attend the New Year’s Eve festivities in and around the city this Saturday night, with many using public transport to get there. Flinders Street Station Master George Panoussis has been in the role for 15 years and at Metro Trains for 33 years. He says his love for the job comes from the atmosphere that people bring to events like this, and the fact that no two days are the same. “It’s also great seeing celebrities like footballers, radio and TV personalities and politicians catch the train – public transport really is for everyone!” This will be George’s 10th year managing the New Year’s Eve celebrations at Flinders Street. He says the team is really excited to welcome people back to the city to enjoy a big New Year’s Eve. Metro has been planning for New Year’s Eve since July in preparation for large crowds and to make sure everything runs smoothly. In the lead up to the big day, George and his team have been practicing loading trains, making safety and weather announcements and reviewing safety procedures and crowd management plans. “There is a lot of work involved to ensure public transport runs as smoothly as possible on the night.” “The team feel really relaxed on the day as there has been so much preparation that goes into the event beforehand. We’ve done this so many times before, but this year will be a return to Melbourne coming alive and celebrating with large crowds,” George said. This year there will be 145 extra station staff supporting on the night at Flinders Street Station alone, with many more rostered on at other stations around the city. Metro’s Security Operations team will be closely monitoring CCTV from a remote CCTV van, flying security drones and deploying additional security personnel in the city to help bolster these efforts. Metro Trains CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says Metro’s crews have been busy preparing for the biggest crowds we have experienced on the public transport network over the past couple of years, with more than 300 extra services to get people to and from the festivities safely on the night. “We can’t wait to welcome passengers back to the city for New Year’s Eve celebrations after three years,” he said. Services will continue across the metropolitan train network all night on New Year’s Eve, ensuring everyone can get back home safely. A normal Saturday public transport timetable will be in place between 6pm and midnight, with additional services after midnight. Passengers will be able to travel for free on all metropolitan and regional train, tram and bus services from 6pm on New Year’s Eve until 6am on New Year’s Day. To plan your journey on public transport, visit ptv.vic.gov.au or call 1800 800 007.

Breaking down barriers to accessing public transport

8 Dec 2022, Ruby MacKinnon
Wednesday was a great day for a friendly St Albans community catch up to swap tips for travelling on public transport. In the lead up to International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) on Saturday 3 December, Metro Trains authorised officers and Victoria Police transit officers caught up with clients of Scope Community Group in St Albans for a coffee and train trip into the city. The aim of the catch up was to help Scope clients feel more comfortable travelling on the public transport network and to help them build confidence.

Transforming Melbourne, from the inside out

7 Nov 2022, Ruby MacKinnon
Similar record patronage declines were seen in London and New York. Patronage on The Tube dropped by 95 per cent during the worst of London’s lockdowns in 2020. In New York, a similar fate – subway ridership fell a staggering 96 per cent in 2020 – the lowest number in a century. But now there is a feeling of a return to normality. Melbourne is coming back to life, and we see emerging trends in our passenger numbers – particularly on weekends, where our patronage levels are almost on par with pre-COVID levels. We still have a way to go on weekdays (we are sitting at around 60 per cent of pre-COVID patronage) as hybrid working is now a feature of our lives. But it is very welcoming to see more of our passengers getting back on our trains and reconnecting with their city.

14-year-old student photographs all 222 of Metro’s train stations

26 Oct 2022, Ruby MacKinnon
If there’s anyone that’s a Metro Trains stations expert, it’s 14-year-old secondary school student Caspar. This year, Caspar travelled on every part of the metropolitan rail network, photographing all 222 of Metro’s train stations and turning them into a 168-page photobook. Caspar first got the idea for the project in 2019 when he was just 11-years-old. He decided to complete the project as part of a school assignment this year. An inner-north local, Caspar was inspired to start the project as he was interested in documenting the different station designs and wanted to visit all parts of Melbourne’s metropolitan rail network.

Metro working year-round to keep the network running smoothly

4 Oct 2022, Ruby MacKinnon
While many Melburnians are asleep, Metro’s maintenance and renewals teams are hard at work. Melbourne’s metropolitan rail network has been transporting passengers and freight since 1856, and now with more than 65,000 passenger services every month, it’s a 24-hour job to keep it running smoothly. Over the last year, the team replaced nearly six thousand metres of rail, more than four thousand metres of overhead wiring and six and a half thousand metres of new sleepers – the equivalent of 55 Eureka towers! Metro spends around $12 million each week on infrastructure, trains and technology maintenance and renewal works across the metropolitan rail network. With 1,000 kilometres of track and 226 stations to maintain, the team play a critical role in ensuring Melbourne’s rail network is always operating safely and efficiently.

Metro helping people get back on track

26 Sep 2022, Ruby MacKinnon
The last couple of years have been tough on everyone in Melbourne. Metro’s ‘Back on Track’ Community Grants Program is supporting not-for-profit organisations doing important work to help improve people’s mental health right across the community. This year, the grants program focused on funding projects around mental health wellness, education, and support services. Wellness – preventative care to reduce the risk of poor mental health. Education – activities that inform and promote awareness of good mental health Support services – assistance like counselling, psychiatric support or crisis care that directly supports people experiencing mental health challenges. Metro’s CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “The last few years have been incredibly hard for Melburnians, and we want to do everything we can to give back to the community we serve. “We hope that our contributions can support these fantastic organisations in delivering their important mental health programs and making a difference in people’s lives.” This year, Metro will support a range of organisations right across Melbourne to deliver their important mental health projects, including hospitals and healthcare providers, crisis and homelessness charities and support groups, schools, community and youth groups. Some of the work the grants will fund include the Les Twentyman Foundation’s ‘The Confident Traveller Program’, which encourages young people to feel confident in planning and executing travel by public transport. As well as the cohealth grant which will allow it to run a series of mental health education sessions for Horn of African communities (Somali, Harari, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Tigrinian) to inform, educate and promote awareness of good mental health and access to support services. A full list of the organisations being supported is below: Cohealth Les Twentyman Foundation The Man Cave Conscious Creative (HoMie) Melbourne Homeless Collective Radio Lollipop Longbeach Place Rossbourne Metro’s grants program has provided $260,000 to community organisations over the past three years.

Metro recognised at Australasian Rail Industry Awards

15 Sep 2022, James Ireland
Metro Trains Melbourne has been recognised for several projects and initiatives at the annual Australasian Rail Industry awards. At the rail industry’s night of nights – organisations across Australasia were recognised and celebrated for a range of achievements in a number of categories – including safety, diversity, excellence and innovation for those working in the rail industry.  ​​​​​​​ Metro won two categories and was highly commended in another category. Metro’s Train Driver Trauma Recovery Guidebook won the Wellbeing In Rail Award. The guidebook was developed to support rail industry workers involved at the scene of an incident on the rail network, and outlines what the driver can expect from the point of an incident to their return to work, and includes information on support services available to them.

A smile a day keeps the doctor away

7 Sep 2022, Ruby MacKinnon
Well-known at Yarraville Station for his big smile, Happy Friday’s and ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ theme music, Steven Gauci is taking on his role as Metro Trains Leading Station Assistant to a new level. In his six years with Metro, Steven has grown a love for making daily train announcements and helping passengers get where they need to go. Leading Station Assistants look after the station and conduct cleanliness checks, help commuting passengers board the train safely, answer questions about train directions, help with ticketing issues and make announcements. Getting train passengers from A – B safely is Steven’s main goal, but it slowly developed into more during the global pandemic. When passengers were slim and fair between and some were hesitant about catching the train, Steven wanted to do something about it. Thinking what he could do for passengers, Steven began handing out small yellow smiley face badges to his passengers while playing the tune “Don’t Worry Be Happy”. What was supposed to be a small gesture, Steven couldn’t believe what happened next.  Passengers not only continued to wear their badges, it started a conversation and people opened up, sharing their pandemic stories, all the while putting a smile on their faces as they went to work, school or appointments. While Steven believes the badges were a way for him to thank his passengers, they say it’s helped them get through a rough time. Steven makes it his daily task to greet each passenger with a big smile and start everyone’s day off in a great way. “When I originally handed out the badges, I was just happy that I made one person smile but it has been absolutely infectious, and I hope it keeps growing. Putting smiles on people’s faces each day – that’s the aim.”

Rail Safety Week – Stand back, and look up

8 Aug 2022, Ruby MacKinnon
Passengers are being urged to avoid risk-taking behaviour around trains, trams and level crossings, with thousands of dangerous incidents occurring across the network each year. New survey data released ahead of Rail Safety Week reveals some of the most common risky behaviours on public transport include standing too close to moving trains, walking across a level crossing while using a phone and walking through a level crossing when lights are flashing. Pedestrians accounted for eight of the top 10 most frequent risky behaviours in the survey, but two of most common risks involved motorists dangerously overtaking trams. Distractions like mobile phones continue to be a significant issue as well as passengers rushing to catch services. More than 380 slips, trips and falls were recorded on Melbourne’s train network in the past 12 months alone, with more than half of those resulting in injuries. Metro’s CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said that people who don’t pay attention can end up on train tracks, which is incredibly dangerous and can cause significant trauma for Metro staff and the community, as well as unnecessary disruption for passengers. “There is a yellow line on station platforms for a reason, it’s so you know where it’s safe to stand. We’re there to get you where you need to go, but we all need to be aware of our surroundings to make sure we can travel safely.” Trespassing remains a common safety risk with more than 2800 incidents recorded across Melbourne’s train network last year – or almost eight per day. Trespassers also cause significant disruptions on the network. One trespasser can delay thousands of passengers while operators check the line to ensure it is safe to resume services – with a trespasser in the City Loop delaying up to 50,000 people. Over the past five years there has been a significant decrease in the number of trespassers at level crossings. In 2018, there were 218 near misses with pedestrians at level crossings. Last year this number dropped significantly to 120.

Metro tracks ahead with 500 female train drivers

31 Jul 2022, James Ireland
Metro has become the first rail operator in Australia to employ 500 female train drivers. Women now make up 37 percent of the nearly 1400 qualified and trainee train drivers, the biggest pool in Metro Trains’ history. In 2009, there were just 26 women driving trains for Metro. A recent Metro Trains’ recruitment drive was made up of 84 per cent women. Metro Trains’ CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “Train driving is an important job opportunity offering flexibility and career progression and I urge anyone interested in finding out more to do so. “We want our team to reflect the community that we serve. This means committing to a more diverse and inclusive workplace.” Women are traditionally under-represented in the transport and transport construction industry. The Labor Government has committed $6.25 million to its’ Women in Transport Program, which aims to increase the number of women working across transport by 30 per cent by the end of 2024, the number of women in senior roles in the public sector to 50 per cent and the private transport sector to 30 per cent. The program includes 21 initiatives to attract and retain women in the transport sector, including training programs for women heavy vehicle drivers, diesel mechanics scholarships, a leadership development scholarship program and an engineering pathway program for female refugee and asylum seekers. The strategy involves public and private entities – the Department of Transpot (DoT), Major Transport infrastructure Authority (MTIA) and major transport project organisers, VicTrack, MTM, Yarra Tram, V/Line and bus operators. Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll says, “This is an important milestone for Metro Trains – and it’s great to see more women making their mark in a traditionally male-dominated industry. “We’ve worked really hard to get more women within our transport family – we’ve still got more to do, but it’s great to see Metro’s numbers climbing.” Metro have been endorsed by global jobs network Work180 as an employer of choice for women. It screens employers against a set of criteria that demonstrates that the organisation is committed to diversity, equality and inclusion. Metro welcome applications from anyone who is excited about train driving and is determined to ensure people in Melbourne passengers travel safely. Being a train driver offers flexibility, career development and a supportive team culture.  

‘Stop It’ – New app to stop unwanted sexual behaviour in its tracks

8 Jul 2022, Ruby MacKinnon
Unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport will be easier to report through a new Victoria Police service.  The service, called STOPIT, allows people subjected to such behaviour or who witness it to discreetly text police using their mobile phone.  They then receive a link to provide information to a dedicated team of transit police about what’s happened.  It’s the first time a police force in Australia has deployed such technology.  A similar service has operated in the UK for several years and credited with empowering victims and bystanders to come forward.  Victoria Police has been developing STOPIT since 2019 to help combat sexual offending on public transport and give commuters greater confidence when they travel.  People using the service will be able to notify police about six types of behaviours comprising unwanted sexual behaviour, suspicious behaviour, threatening and offensive behaviour, obscene and racist language, drug and alcohol-related incidents and graffiti and property damage.  They are directed to a digital form and asked to submit details of the incident including the time, date, location and public transport carriage number.   A photo may also be submitted if it is safe to capture one.  Information from notifications will be used to help police identify and hold perpetrators to account.  It will also be used to help Victoria Police determine where to deploy members and tackle recidivist offending.  Anyone requiring an immediate police response in an emergency is still advised to phone Triple Zero (000).  STOPIT is not monitored live and should not be used if an urgent response is required.   Research completed for Victoria Police has shown people who are subjected to unwanted sexual behaviour or witness it often don’t report it at the time out of safety concerns or because they don’t know how to make a complaint.  There can also be confusion about whether unwelcome behaviour is a criminal offence, but Victoria Police stresses it wants to hear about any behaviour which makes a person feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened.   Victoria Police has worked with the Department of Transport, public transport operators, the Public Transport Users Association and women’s advocacy groups in the development of STOPIT.  To initiate the service, commuters can text ‘STOPIT’ to 0499 455 455.  Victoria Police encourages people to save the number to their mobile phone.  STOPIT is now available on trains and will be extended to trams and buses in late August.  The service is available in 13 languages. 

World Refugee Day: Sheyda’s story

20 Jun 2022, James Ireland
In honour of World Refugee Day, Sheyda Shokouhi, Rail Safety Training Officer Metro Academy, volunteered to share her incredible story of resilience. The last thing 7-year-old me expected to be doing on a summer morning in 1998 was fleeing from the Iranian Government. Although myself and the rest of my family were lucky enough to cross the border legally, by catching a 40-hour bus trip to Ankara Turkey, my father was not so lucky. He had to pay smugglers to get him out of Iran safely, which took almost three months and left us in the dark about his safety.

Flying high to improve safety on the train network

17 Jun 2022, James Ireland
Two new drones are taking to the skies to combat trespassing on Melbourne’s train network. Trespassing on or near train tracks can cause significant trauma for staff, passengers and the community, as well as cause major disruptions for passengers. When unauthorised persons enter the rail corridor or other restricted areas on the network, Metro cannot operate trains until it is deemed safe to do so. To reduce the impact of trespassing, Metro is trialling a new drone program as a rapid response to trespassers in the rail corridor. Metro’s Head of Security Operations Jim Dimitrioski says, “Paired with our current trespassing initiatives and strong partnership with Victoria Police, the drone program will contribute to lowering the number of trespasser incidents on our network and ensuring the safety of our people and passengers and reliability of services.” The program consists of two drones and four qualified drone pilots who have gained their Remotely Piloted Aircraft Licenses. These drones can be used for proactive patrolling during special events and also for on-hand incident management. Drones can fly over the train tracks, send updates and live footage back to the team on the ground, reducing the time it takes to clear incidents. Minster for Public Transport Ben Carroll says, “Trespassing is incredibly dangerous and the safety of our community requires everyone to be aware and alert around trains. “It is great to see that Metro are continuing to work hard to reduce trespassing on the rail network and minimise disruption to our passengers so they can get to where they need to go safely.” The drone capability will give access to the exact locations of trespassers, ensuring crews can attend quickly. The drones will provide real-time updates to Metro’s Control Centre and Victoria Police during an incident. The program is in its early stages and is currently operating in Melbourne’s western suburbs on the Werribee Line with plans to increase the use of the drones to other parts of the network and even conduct infrastructure inspections. A single trespasser at one of Melbourne’s busiest central stations can potentially disrupt as many as 50,000 train passengers. To reduce trespasser incidents, Metro also has more than 12,500 CCTV cameras across the network and initiatives including anti-trespass ground panels and thermal imaging cameras.

Delivering a stronger and safer rail bridge for years to come

9 Jun 2022, James Ireland
Restoration work on the historic rail bridge connecting Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross Station has been completed to ensure the bridge is safe and strong for the next 75 years. For more than 100 years, the bridge – known as the Viaduct – has been a key connection in Melbourne’s transport network, with hundreds of train services running over six sets of tracks every day. The $17 million project to improve the bridge included repairing and replacing bridge supports from Elizabeth Street to the Melbourne Aquarium, strengthening the bridge’s steel beams as well as sandblasting and repainting the bridge. Metro Trains CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “Careful planning by multiple specialist teams was required to complete these essential works on one of the most iconic parts of Melbourne’s public transport infrastructure.” More than 35,000 working hours were required to deliver the complex project during the past three years, with careful planning required to complete the complex work without significant disruption to the metropolitan train network. The project involved over 300 specialists, from engineers to safety experts, to deliver a comprehensive maintenance and renewal program on the Viaduct. Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll says, “The Flinders Street Viaduct refurbishment has allowed us to maintain a historic piece of Melbourne infrastructure, while continuing to move passengers safely and reliably into the future.” “The massive package of works carried out over the last three years will ensure this vital link can continue to safely run the hundreds of trains that use it each day.” As one of the busiest parts of the metropolitan train network, careful planning was essential to deliver the work and minimise disruptions. Metro Trains crews worked within 50-hour windows over multiple weekends to set up and dismantle special containment structures to safely carry out work – keeping locals safe and minimising noise throughout delivery. Watch the video of the works below.

Get on the train to come to the game!!

24 May 2022, James Ireland
Metro Trains and Melbourne Storm have joined forces to encourage more fans to use public transport getting to AAMI Park for the remainder of the 2022 NRL season. Metro Trains CEO Raymond O’Flaherty and Storm CEO Justin Rodski announced the partnership at Richmond Station today revealing exciting opportunities for fans to be involved in the new partnership. Pop-up activations at train stations across the Metro Train network will give people the chance to win free double passes to matches, along with a signed jersey and other free giveaways before they make their daily commute.

POLITICAL PARTY FLYERS AND POSTERS ON METRO PROPERTY

10 May 2022, Media Release
Metro is reminding all campaigners that political advertising is prohibited within Metro’s property boundary and political parties or individuals should not allow any political candidate, party, group or person to hand out political notices or affix posters to station premises. Political notices includes flyers, stickers, handbills, brochures, t-shirts, balloons – anything containing a political message. Metro’s property boundary will generally include all station platforms, buildings, carparks including internal roadways/footpaths/bridges/stairs/lifts and access ways with station carparks. Political posters are not allowed to be installed on any building, structure or facility located in any section of Metro’s property, including the fence line. All political posters will be immediately removed from the fence line or property and disposed of appropriately. Any person handing out flyers within Metro’s station property boundary will be politely asked to move to the footpath outside the boundary. If you have questions or want to report political material at stations, contact PTV on 1800 800 007 – 6am to midnight daily (all night on Fridays & Saturdays). The relevant section of the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) (Conduct on Public Transport) Regulations 2015 (Vic) is: Section 30 (2): (2) A person in or on a public transport vehicle or public transport premises must not, without appropriate written authorisation: a) distribute handbills; or b) solicit money or goods from any person; or c) busk. It is an offence under the Summary Offences Act 1966 (Vic) to post a document on a building or structure without the consent of the occupier or owner of the premises concerned. Section 10(1) states: Any person who posts any placard bill sticker or other document on or writes or paints on or otherwise defaces any road bridge or footpath or any house building hoarding wall fence gate tree tree-guard post pillar hydrant fire-alarm petrol pump or other structure whatsoever without the consent of the occupier or owner of the premises concerned or of any person or body having authority to give such consent shall be guilty of an offence. Penalty: 15 penalty units or imprisonment for three months. The MTM Franchise Agreement: Train Passenger Experience Module states in relation to advertising material in Stations or on any Franchise Assets: Clause 18 Advertising (b) Any Advertising: (i) must comply with all applicable Law; (ii) must comply with voluntary codes of conduct established by the advertising industry; (iv) must not: Depict any subject matter that is Offensive; Condone or provoke anti-social behaviour; Promote or relate to alcohol or gambling; Use sexualised images or gender objectification; Portray images or events that may cause distress to children; Be used to promote a political party, parties or a political cause; Use Offensive language; Demean any person or group on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, age, sexual preference, religion or mental or physical disability; or Disparage or diminish the reputation of public transport or the public transport system in Victoria or be otherwise inconsistent with the marketing component of the Network Services Coordination Plan;. (v) must not resemble, be capable of confusion with, or obstruct directional or informational signs or otherwise compromise wayfinding in any way  

Metro’s Chief Operating Officer takes home prestigious award

29 Apr 2022, James Ireland
Metro Trains Melbourne’s Chief Operating Officer, Catherine Baxter, has won the Women in Industry Award for Excellence in Transport. Catherine received the honour at a special awards ceremony in Melbourne which included finalists from across the mining, engineering, transport, logistics and infrastructure sectors. The Excellence in Transport award recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond to improve and positively impact the Australian transport industry. “I’m enormously grateful to win this award. It’s especially important to me because these awards are decided by my peers. It’s judged for women in industry, by women in industry,” Catherine said. Catherine has been working in the rail industry for more than three decades. When she first joined Queensland Rail in the 1980s, it was a male dominated industry. Despite this, she pushed forward, making a name for herself quickly, and leading the charge to bring more women on-board. “It’s essential that women not only join the rail industry, but rise through the ranks. I take this role very seriously and if I can inspire other women to join the rewarding world of rail, then I know I’m doing my part to set us up for a bright future.” Now, having brought her talents to Melbourne, she oversees the safe running of Metro’s network, and the delivery of nationally recognised rail safety training. “I’m very proud that every day Metro continues to better reflect the values of the community we serve. That means ensuring women are working at all levels, in all types of roles. I can assure you that we’re not just ticking boxes. “Bringing more women into Metro improves both our business and the city of Melbourne. Hiring new people from diverse parts of the Victorian community, who previously didn’t have a seat at the table, means more women have an opportunity to develop a career in our industry than ever before.”

Metro launches state-of-the-art passenger movement trial

29 Apr 2022, James Ireland
Metro Trains is running a state-of-the-art trial to improve crowd management and reduce illegal trespassing to create a better experience for passengers returning to the rail network. As part of the trial, Metro has installed new camera and laser technology at multiple locations, including Melbourne Central and Richmond stations, and at level crossings at Dendy Street, Brighton and Anderson Street, Yarraville. The laser and camera equipment monitors station platforms and detects when people cross the yellow line or enter the rail pit, putting themselves in danger. At level crossings, the system engages when trains are approaching and detects when people ignore gates, signals, and bells, and attempt to illegally enter the rail corridor. Metro Trains CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “This trial uses state-of-the-art technology to help us better understand how people move around our network, so we can improve crowd management and drive down illegal and disruptive trespassing.” The new equipment being trialled will not be used to identify individuals and will only collect information which aims to improve safety at stations and level crossings. The trial locations provide a variety of rail safety environments and are known for their heavy foot traffic. Through the rapid identification of safety incidents and crowd management issues, Metro security and station staff will be able to quickly respond and take appropriate action. This trial aims to improve response times and adds to a suite of existing initiatives to drive down illegal trespassing and improve crowd management. Illegal trespassing is dangerous, disruptive and poses a significant and ongoing challenge for the safe running of the rail network. In 2021, there were more than 3,000 incidents of trespassing – that’s around 250 incidents every month. With the return of major events in Melbourne, Metro’s management of platform crowding will prove critical to reduce dwell times and ensure the smooth running of the network. The passenger movement trial is being led by Metro’s Innovation team and runs from February to April 2022. The trial is being funded by Metro and the Department of Transport’s Victorian Rail Crossing Safety Steering Committee.

Changing the tide on diversity in Victoria’s rail construction industry

25 Mar 2022, James Ireland
It’s no secret that the rail construction industry needs more women in its ranks. As a senior leader, Metro Trains’ Lisa Hogben wants to break down barriers for women and people of colour. In February she took a position as Package Director for the Melbourne Airport Rail project, building a diverse team with an equal representation of women and men. In a few short months, Lisa created and nurtured an inclusive workplace culture where women and people of colour not only have a seat at the table – they are helping shape the future of our rail network. When it comes to hiring a diverse team made up of the best people for the job, Lisa leads by example. Having spent the majority of her career in the rail construction industry in the UK, Lisa was lured to Australia by the prospect of working for an organisation that celebrated and empowered women and diversity. And of course, she was excited at the prospect of a little more sunshine.

Celebrating 50 years in the railways

28 Feb 2022, James Ireland
Half a century in rail has left Metro Trains veteran Peter Walhouse with stories and cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Peter – a Station Officer at Sandringham – recently celebrated 50 years on Melbourne’s railways. It’s a career that started back in 1972, straight after Peter finished high school. He went on to work in a variety of interesting railway roles on the Frankston and Sandringham Lines – including a station officer, signaller and gate keeper. When he first started out, Peter recalls his time manually swinging gates closed at level crossings and climbing up signalling posts to fill them with kerosene – ensuring the safe running of the network.

You’re the only safety gear

28 Jan 2022, James Ireland
A new campaign from Metro Trains is reminding passengers to use their ‘safety gears’ and take extra precautions on their journey to keep themselves and others safe. The number of preventable slips, trips and falls on the rail network is increasing as more people return to public transport. Leading with the message ‘You’re the only safety gear’, Metro is calling on passengers to use their instincts and be aware of their surroundings while using escalators, stairs and platforms so they can stay safe while travelling. Unlike a bike, a car or a rollercoaster, passengers aren’t required to strap in or put on a helmet or padded gloves when riding the escalator. Passengers’ hands, stance and wits are the only things keeping them safe, so it’s important that passengers engage their ‘safety gears’ before boarding. Figures released today show that there has been an average of more than 30 slips, trips and falls per month across Melbourne’s rail network since July 2021. There were 22 incidents in October as lockdown restrictions eased across Melbourne. That number jumped to 35 in November as more people returned to train travel. There have been 96 ambulance call outs to stations for slips trips and falls so far this year.  Comparatively, there were 169 ambulance call outs to stations in 2019 to November (there were 182 call outs in total for the year). The number of slips, trips and falls in the 2019 calendar year was 821. These incidents are often the result of people failing to use handrails on escalators and losing their balance, while other incidents are caused by distraction and people rushing for trains. The vast majority of incidents of this nature are entirely preventable and are reliant on passengers taking simple steps to keep themselves and others safe. Busier platforms as a result of an increase in patronage and major events across Melbourne are leading to a bigger risk of safety incidents on platforms, making it even more important for passengers to gear up. Metro Trains CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said that most of the slips, trips and falls seen on a daily basis are entirely preventable. “We need our passengers to play their part to stay safe,” he said. “When you ride the station escalator, use the stairs or hop on the train, you’re the only safety gear.” ‘You’re the only safety gear’ is currently live on the Metro network in Melbourne.

Kananook Signal Control Centre gets the green light

20 Dec 2021, James Ireland
The Kananook Signal Control Centre was commissioned in September, marking an important step forward for our signalling technology on the Frankston and Stony Point lines.  The new centre was completed by the Level Crossing Removal Project as part of a package of works to lower the Frankston Line under local roads and build three new stations at Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach.  Thirty-three kilometres of track between Kananook and Parkdale is now controlled by the new centre. As part of the upgrade, the 34-year-old Mordialloc Signalling Box was decommissioned, and the almost 100-year-old Frankston signalling box was downgraded to be used only for trains travelling between Frankston and Stony Point.   The job of signalling is crucial to the safety and reliability of the network. By being able to inform train drivers of what is happening on the track ahead, Metro’s signallers go a long way to ensuring safety and efficiency for rail workers, passengers, and the community. 

Osama’s EPIC contribution to keep Melbourne moving

16 Nov 2021, James Ireland
When life in his hometown of Basra in southern Iraq became too chaotic, Osama knew it was time for a fresh start. In 2018, the engineer moved to Australia with his wife and young son – leaving behind a home filled with memories. “Basra was wonderful before all the chaos happened in that area, but Australia opened the door for me to start a better life for my family, away from all that chaos.” Osama arrived in Australia with four years’ experience as an engineer. He was the ideal candidate for the Engineering Pathways Industry Cadetship program – also known as EPIC. The EPIC program employs engineers from refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds and helps launch their careers on some of Victoria’s biggest transport infrastructure projects. Osama was given the opportunity to work for Metro Trains on the Level Crossing Removal Project and earn an Australian qualification.

Metro signaller claims prestigious ARA scholarship

14 Oct 2021, James Ireland
A Metro Trains employee has won a prized Australasian Railway Association (ARA) scholarship for thinking big and proposing a new idea for a train monitoring system. Metro Assistant Relief Signaller Jude Manuel was awarded the ARA New Zealand 2021 Next Generation Scholarship for his proposed Wayside Train Monitoring System, which would actively scan and run diagnostics on trains as they travel on the Metro network. The concept builds on similar technology used in Europe, including the railway in Germany. It would offer the opportunity to identify issues before they caused delays, allowing impacted trains to be taken out of service and repaired safely before critical faults occur.

Switching tracks to find hope

5 Oct 2021, James Ireland
Sixteen Metro Trains Melbourne employees have raised more than $50,000 for charity by riding 390 kilometres around Australia – all from the comfort of their own homes. Team Metro – otherwise known as ‘The Pristine 16’ – participated in Lifeline’s Hope Cycle campaign, collectively cycling 6240 kilometres along 15 stages of Australia’s most iconic cycling destinations, including Melbourne’s own Beach Road. The Pristine 16 peddled their hearts out and raised an incredible $31,066, which will pay for nearly 800 lifesaving calls to Lifeline. The team was thrilled to learn that after their mammoth cycling efforts, Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty announced that the company would contribute a further $20,000 to the campaign. This bumped up Metro’s total contribution to more than $50,000! Lifeline’s Hope Cycle campaign raised $172,736 in total, surpassing its goal of $100,000. Metro’s Projects division Team Leader Alan Campbell came third as an individual fundraiser for the event, raising a total of $8,205. Alan has been riding for almost three years and is passionate about supporting Lifeline and raising awareness of mental health and suicide prevention services. “Our rail industry and our community as a whole have had our struggles during this pandemic and I wanted to help in any way I could, more importantly, I wanted people to know that they weren’t alone,” Alan said. Metro Trains Melbourne is an ongoing supporter of Lifeline. To find out more please visit lifeline.org.au.

An EPIC move makes Sandra’s dreams come true

14 Sep 2021, James Ireland
When Sandra Abid made the heart-rending decision to escape Iraq with her family, she left behind her beautiful hometown, many loved ones and cultural treasures. Eight years on, she has now built a new life in Melbourne helping shape one of the city’s biggest transport infrastructure projects as an engineering cadet. Sandra was recruited as part of the Engineering Pathways Industry Cadetship (EPIC) program – something she describes as a dream come true. “I feel so blessed and couldn’t be prouder to join Metro Trains – a remarkable company and team who work with honesty, inclusivity and safety.

Ghada’s engineering an EPIC future

31 Aug 2021, James Ireland
She spent years on the run, living with her family in fear after ISIS occupied her hometown in northern Iraq. Now, life has changed significantly for Ghada Sheto. This year she began her professional journey with Metro Trains Melbourne as part of the Engineering Pathways Industry Cadetship – or EPIC program. Ghada – born and raised in the Assyrian city of Qaraqosh in northern Iraq – is now an engineering cadet working with the Rail Systems Alliance. She emigrated to Australia with her family in 2019 to begin a new life. “I left my country and fled to Lebanon after ISIS occupied my town in 2014,” Ghada said. “I hoped to seek asylum in Australia, and after four years of waiting, I finally arrived with my husband, my mother and my children.” Ghada has a degree in Communication Engineering from the University of Mosul in Iraq. “I am so lucky to work with such wonderful people – everyone offers their support and help with joy,” Ghada said. The EPIC program employs engineers from refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds and helps launch their careers on some of Victoria’s biggest projects. Metro’s Projects division has employed 12 refugee and asylum seeker cadets through the EPIC program – seven of whom are from the 2021 intake. Cadets are provided an Australian engineering qualification and paid employment working on level crossing removals and the Metro Tunnel Project. Ghada said she feels extremely privileged to be part of the program. “I consider myself fortunate first, to arrive in Australia, and second, to be accepted into the EPIC program,” she said “This wonderful program gives heaps of support to refugee and asylum seeker engineers, enabling them to achieve their goals, improve themselves and start their careers in Australia.”

Ihab’s Journey from Iraq to Metro

24 Aug 2021, James Ireland
He fled Iraq with ISIS on his heels, leaving behind chaos, and no access to electricity or water for his family. Now Ihab Qassab has left behind the constant threat of explosions and danger to be one of Metro Trains Melbourne’s EPIC cadets. He couldn’t be happier with his new life. Ihab is a site engineer working for Metropolitan Roads Program Alliance on the Level Crossing Removal project. He and his family fled to Australia in January 2018 with his wife and three kids, after ISIS occupied his hometown of Baghdeda in 2014.

Hayat’s epic pathway to success at Metro

16 Aug 2021, James Ireland
She studied by candlelight while under fire from live artillery shells, amid a civil war in Syria. Now Hayat Mnayrji has found herself in a permanent engineering role at Metro Trains Melbourne – and she couldn’t be prouder. Hayat is a site engineer working for the South Eastern Program Alliance on the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP). She joined Metro through its partnership with the Engineering Pathways Industry Cadetship – also known as the EPIC program. The EPIC program employs engineers from refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds and helps launch their careers on Victoria’s major transport infrastructure projects. Metro’s Projects division has employed a total of 12 refugee and asylum seeker cadets through the EPIC program, including seven this year. With the help of Metro, these 12 cadets are given an Australian engineering qualification and paid employment working with LXRP and other project authorities and alliances. Hayat studied Telecommunications Engineering at Damascus University in Syria – moving from city to city as the Syrian civil war began in 2011. “I studied by candlelight, under artillery shells, not knowing if I would ever have the chance to use the knowledge that I was acquiring,” said Hayat. In 2019, Hayat left her country and her family behind and fled to Australia with her partner, Bassam. “Syrians are social and generous, and they love people and love life. Leaving was not an easy step, but we hoped for a new life and a better future.” Her dream has become a reality. “Metro opened its doors for my passion, and I am so proud to be working for such a supportive company,” said Hayat. “I have enjoyed learning how to operate the stations with OCS equipment and designs, and I am still excited to learn more.” Learn more about the EPIC program here: https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/careers/training-for-the-future/epic-program

Round-the-clock works on the Rushall Curve

6 Aug 2021, James Ireland
Metro’s maintenance and renewal team has spent six days and nights replacing track infrastructure on the sharpest curves on the Metro network in Melbourne’s inner north. Known as the ‘Rushall Curves’, the 400-metre stretch of duplicated track lies between Rushall and Merri stations on the Mernda Line. The curves are subject to stronger centrifugal forces (outward force) than at any other point on Metro’s 1,000-kilometre network. The works were completed in 145 continuous hours over a six-day period. A crew of 30 people replaced more than 700 metres of track, 2,000 tonnes of ballast, 775 sleepers, and removed more than 6,000 cubic metres of spoil. Works on the Rushall Curves form part of Metro’s on-going program of maintenance and renewal, with $12 million spent every week to maintain trains, rail equipment and technology. Metro’s General Manager – Infrastructure Jasper Milligan says the Rushall Curves are a unique part of the network and requires more careful planning. “Safety is the foundation of everything we do. Because of the unique design of this section of track, we required a more intensive level of planning and maintenance. “We used a six-day period to renew this section of track and support a safer, more reliable journey for our passengers. “Mernda Line passengers can rest easy knowing that every service they take is safe thanks to the hard work of our dedicated teams.”

Metro veteran’s 50 years on the rails

2 Aug 2021, James Ireland
For more than 50 years Metro station officer Felix Tabone worked to keep Melbourne moving. Rain, hail or shine, Felix was there for commuters on the Lilydale Line. After starting on the railways as a 17-year-old, Felix spent his entire career working at Melbourne’s Lilydale, Croydon and Mooroolbark stations. On Friday 16 July, 2021, Felix worked his last-ever shift for Metro at his beloved Mooroolbark Station, before hanging up his hat for the final time.

All signs point to a bright future for Metro’s newest recruit

25 Jun 2021, James Ireland
Earlier this year graduate architect Kushagra Jhurani had applied for at least 200 jobs across Australia without any success. He decided to hit the streets and make his resume public – standing opposite Southern Cross Station with a sign saying “Looking 4 a graduate of architecture? HIRE ME”. In April, Metro digital engineering manager Scott Poll was heading to work when he spotted the graduate standing on Spencer Street with his sign. “I thought that’s a young kid with a lot of courage to be able to do that, at one of the busiest intersections in the city. “If he is willing to do that, I know he is going to be willing to be a hard worker.” When he got to the office, Mr Poll thought he should go back and speak to the young man about a possible role, but when he returned, Kushagra had taken his search for work elsewhere. Metro’s team of graduates then got online to begin the desperate search for Kushagra, and eventually found him on LinkedIn. After exchanging messages and a formal interview process, Mr Jhurani was offered a position as a draftsperson with Metro. He commenced work on 24 May. Mr Jhurani says, “I never thought actually this would work. I am in awe to be honest, and I am very grateful to Scott that he took me in.” His advice for other jobseekers trying to break into competitive industries? Put yourself out there. “Not necessarily what I did, but you shouldn’t be scared — you can only give your best shot.”

A more reliable power supply means more reliable trains

24 Jun 2021, James Ireland
Electrical substations are critical pieces of railway infrastructure that help Metro operate trains, signals and communications equipment across the network. At Box Hill, in Melbourne’s east, the substation has undergone significant upgrades to improve the reliability of services. New equipment allows Metro’s electrical engineers to remotely access the substation to operate equipment – rather than having to go to the site in person. This new process significantly improves the speed in which Metro can diagnose and fix power supply issues that may otherwise delay passengers. It’s also creating a safer environment for engineers to carry out maintenance. The upgrades also mean Comeng and X’Trapolis trains can run more reliably than ever for passengers who use the Belgrave, Lilydale and Alamein lines. Metro Trains Senior Project Manager Chris Hughes says, “It probably isn’t one of those projects that many people have heard of, but its benefits for the network are huge. “The integration of any new equipment onto the Metro network simply can’t succeed without the support of multiple teams, and this project is a brilliant example of that.” These upgrades also allowed the power capacity of the substation to be increased from 1.5MW to 2.5MW – providing more capacity to run trains efficiently and reliably. Originally built back in the 1960s, the Box Hill substation equipment was approaching the end of its useable life. The team completed the upgrades during an extended weekend occupation. The remote switching systems are serving as a ‘testing ground’ to be rolled out to other locations, including major project sites across the Metro network.

Metro Trains staff step up to get vaccinated

7 Jun 2021, James Ireland
Expanded eligibility for public transport workers in Victoria has paved the way for some Metro Trains staff to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. CEO Raymond O’Flaherty joined colleagues from Metro’s Infrastructure and Stations teams, who were keen and eligible to get vaccinated at Monash Health’s Sandown Racecourse hub. Mr O’Flaherty urged public transport workers who are eligible to consider the opportunity to get vaccinated now. “We all want to move beyond this pandemic and get back to our normal way of life – and vaccination is our best hope,” Mr O’Flaherty said. In May, health authorities announced expanded eligibility for public transport workers in frontline roles. In keeping with the current public health advice, a group of eight frontline Metro employees got their first vaccinations. Mr O’Flaherty praised the on-going dedication of all public transport workers in Victoria. “Since the start of this pandemic, public transport employees in Victoria have turned up for work day after day. “As the situation evolved, their commitment to keeping essential workers moving on public transport only grew stronger,” he said. As Melbourne deals with the latest public health challenges, Metro continues to run services to a full timetable. “I couldn’t be prouder of the contribution of all public transport employees, and their commitment to keep Melbourne moving. “I am also proud of the fact that we have continued to deliver all of our scheduled train services,” Mr O’Flaherty said.

Endangered plants and animals cared for by Metro Trains

18 May 2021, James Ireland
Did you know that the Melbourne rail network has 30 biodiversity sites that are home to critically endangered plants and animals? These sites are cared for by Metro’s Biodiversity team, which ensures these species will be around for future generations. Known as ‘remnant vegetation’, the site at Diggers Rest is a volcanic plains grassland, which is critically endangered. Only one percent of the original grasslands is left. The 1,200 square-metre site is home to many critically endangered plants such as the spiny rice flower and arching flax lily, as well as animals such as the growling grass frog, striped legless lizard and Southern Brown Bandicoot. Biodiversity Manager Neal Masters says these types of grasslands used to stretch from Melbourne to South Australia. “To end up with small fragments like this, it’s critical we look after them. They are home to such a wide variety of endangered plants – so they are like mini national parks for us.” Hand-weeding to remove introduced species is a technique used to ensure that native plants thrive. Metro works closely with Indigenous Australians to understand how best to conduct contained burns, ensuring the plants can grow in the right way, as well as protecting the area from bushfires. The ABC’s Gardening Australia program visited the Diggers Rest site to see it in full bloom. Watch here.

New digital map technology supports better rail maintenance

14 May 2021, James Ireland
Innovative map technology is giving Metro Trains’ maintenance teams a complete digital picture of the Melbourne rail network to better plan and deliver works. Known as MetroMap, the tool is designed to improve maintenance activities and network performance by providing a single portal for operations and maintenance staff. Geographic Information System Lead Nevin Wilson said the new technology allows users to view station locations, track, signals, overhead structures, and other key rail equipment that is routinely maintained by Metro. “MetroMap is a centralised system which collates multiple sources of information in a single application, so staff can see everything they need in the one place. “It’s a user-friendly portal with information that is easy to understand.” The application gives Metro staff access to a visual representation of 2D and 3D asset data, environmental information, and analytical tools to support infrastructure planning. These capabilities will support improved maintenance and renewal across the network and ensure services continue to run safely and reliably for passengers. Further enhancements to MetroMap are planned including integrating the system into other Metro systems and additional location search capabilities. Production Manager – Infrastructure Patrick Raymond said MetroMap represents a major step change in the way maintenance work is currently planned and delivered. “This really is a ‘one-stop shop’ to support the delivery of Metro’s maintenance and renewal program. “By giving our people a full digital picture of the network, we can better plan our maintenance activities and ensure the network is performing to the highest possible standard.” As part of its contract with the Victorian Government, Metro spends $12 million every week on works to maintain trains, rail equipment and technology.

Reflecting on Rail R U OK? Day

4 May 2021, James Ireland
Rail R U OK? Day is one of the most important events on the rail industry calendar. It’s a day that holds special significance and poignancy for Metro’s team of Multi-Modal Authorised Officers (MMAOs) who gather to reflect on the day and its deeply personal connection. Three years ago, one of their much-loved colleagues died from self-harm. Since the tragedy, the MMAO team has committed to an ongoing discussion and providing support to team members, with the R U OK? conversation a feature of every meeting, every day. Team Leader Rehana Rehman said the conversation involved a “welfare check” at the start of each shift to ensure everyone is fit to be at work, and again at the day’s end.

Giving back: New grants to support local communities

26 Apr 2021, James Ireland
The latest round of Metro Cares Community Grants will provide a combined $33,000 to 22 community projects and organisations from around Melbourne. The grants will back a diverse range of grassroots activities – including in a new category of ‘Welfare and Crisis Support’ – to better recognise mental health and family violence, and support initiatives in these important fields. There’s also support for local sports clubs and community groups, environmental conservation and fire safety education. In addition, Metro will donate $12,000 to Melbourne City Mission’s Frontyard Youth Homelessness Crisis Accommodation Program, providing 126 nights of accommodation and caring for young people in emergency situations. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “I was pleased to see the width and breadth of successful nominations, which include support for local sports clubs and community groups, environmental conservation and fire safety education. “Thank you to everyone who took time to nominate their local community organisation or charity. With this support, we will continue to make a difference for the people of Melbourne.” Applications for the grants are provided by Metro staff who wish to support a community group or charitable organisation that has helped them to connect to their community. The full recipients list: Aberfeldie Brownie Guides Warrandyte Basketball Association 2nd Melton Scout Group Fitzroy City Soccer Club Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin – North West Metropolitan Keysborough Fire Brigade Bessie Creek/Ararat Creek Landcare Group Brunswick South-West Education Primary Friends of Canadian Corridor Zonta International Melbourne East Somers Parade Kindergarten Western Beaches Outrigger Canoe Club Williamstown Cricket Club Fijian Community Association Victoria Toastmasters Eastern Raiders Softball Club Friends of Herring Island Goldfields Paddlers Baw Baw L2P The Big Umbrella Monbulk Care Network Moonee Valley Football Club

Kicking goals: Metro launches partnership with The Fitzroy Stars

13 Apr 2021, James Ireland
Metro has celebrated its new partnership with The Fitzroy Stars Football and Netball Club by joining players and staff for the season-opening round. Last year, Metro committed to a major partnership with the Stars – but like many community sports clubs last year – their season was cancelled because of coronavirus. Now a year in the making, CEO Raymond O’Flaherty and members of Metro’s Reconciliation Action Plan team joined fellow supporters to celebrate the start of the 2021 season.

CCTV upgrades provide a safer train network for Melbourne

12 Apr 2021, James Ireland
Security on the Metro network has been improved thanks to the completion of upgrades to more than 7,000 CCTV cameras and systems across Melbourne. The new system – which has been upgraded over the past six months – provides Metro and Victoria Police with real-time, remote access to footage of safety incidents, including trespassing and vandalism. The upgrades also provide remote access to archived footage from any time in the past 60 days. By speeding up access to CCTV footage on the rail network, Metro and police can better resolve incidents that potentially delay thousands of train passengers. The upgrades will also ensure that new stations being built as part of the Level Crossing Removal Project and Metro Tunnel have the most up-to-date functionality. Metro Project Manager John Agosta says, “While our passengers and the general public may not notice these changes, this upgrade gives us a greater ability to capture and record passenger and trespasser incidents with greater speed and functionality. “It will also provide increased capability and access to historical CCTV footage up to 60 days – doubling the capabilities of the previous system.” The upgrades mean that footage from more than 7,400 cameras across the train network will be kept for longer to support investigations. Trespassing also has ramifications on Metro’s ability to deliver a reliable and punctual service, and this CCTV upgrade is one way to ensure Melburnians can get where they need to go when they need to go there. In March, Metro ran 93.1 per cent of trains on time – above the 92 per cent target – while 98.5 per cent of scheduled services were delivered, meeting the 98.5 per cent target. Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll says, “By having an integrated system, Metro, police and other authorities have faster, more reliable access to security footage. “These upgrades are just another way we’re improving the safety and reliability of our public transport network – minimising disruptions and improving the passenger experience. “As our city continues to grow, we’re investing in the latest technology to get people where they need to go as quickly and as safely as possible.” The transformational upgrades involved the installation of new servers and hard drives weighing more than five tonnes, which have been installed at multiple secure locations on the network. This gives Metro and emergency services centralised access to security footage where and when they need it. Metro has a network of more than 9,000 CCTV cameras – including at stations and inside trains. The operator works closely with Victoria Police and other authorities to ensure rail workers, passengers, assets and infrastructure are protected from crime.

Record graffiti removal on the Metro network

6 Apr 2021, James Ireland
In 2020, Metro removed a staggering 276,375m² of graffiti from Melbourne’s rail network – the equivalent of 14 MCG ovals. A quieter period allowed Metro crews to clean more graffiti from the rail corridor than ever before. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “Graffiti has absolutely no place on the rail network, and thanks to our new removal program, we’re seeing major success in our efforts to keep the network clean. “This is all about improving the experience for passengers, particularly as more Melburnians return to public transport.” Metro deploys cleaners to known graffiti hotspots at least five nights a week to clear unsightly tags from our network. On average, around 26 cleaners are out across the network every day – while Metro spends around $10 million clearing graffiti and vandalism from the network every year. Under a new corridor-based cleaning program, Metro works on every train line, every month. The program has already seen a massive uplift in graffiti removal – from an average of 560m² per month to an average of 23,031m² per month in 2020 – a 4,012 per cent increase. Metro’s dedicated Network Security and Surveillance team works in partnership with Victoria Police to patrol known hotspots to stop vandals in the act. When vandals are prosecuted Metro seeks costs for the clean-up bill through the courts. Anyone who witnesses or has information on a crime, such as vandalism, is urged to call Triple Zero or contact Crime Stoppers immediately.

Contributing to a better Melbourne

12 Mar 2021, James Ireland
Metro Trains has released its latest Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report, outlining key initiatives to support a more sustainable Melbourne. Underpinning the report are programs of work that are contributing to social responsibility, environment sustainability and economic prosperity. Amparo Hassan, the Flinders Street Station staff member who is the face of the report, joined Metro colleagues for a special launch event. The Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report 2019/20 details how Metro adapted to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to operate a full timetable to keep essential workers moving. A comprehensive train and station cleaning program also ensured passengers and employees were kept safe on their journey. Other initiatives outlined in the report include: Investigating and implementing ways to improve energy efficiency, and partnering with the Department of Transport on emissions reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives. A Biodiversity Management Program to protect ecological values at more than 30 sites of ecological significance. Supporting engineering cadets into jobs as part of the Engineering Pathways Cadetship Program. The development of a Social Inclusion and Aboriginal Employment Strategy; and The Metro Cares Community Grants program, supporting local organisations and charities that foster community connection. Metro’s CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “We’re incredibly proud of the innovation drive we’re seeing across our business to ensure we play our part in the sustainability of public transport in Melbourne. “Our teams are doing great work to drive down our water and energy use, adapt to the challenges of climate change, and preserve and protect natural environments that are touched by our rail network. “Metro has an important responsibility and genuine opportunity to contribute to a more liveable, inclusive and sustainable city.” You can access Metro’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2019/20 here.

Stopping trespassers in their tracks

10 Mar 2021, James Ireland
As more Melburnians return to public transport a joint operation between Metro Trains and Victoria Police is cracking down on illegal, dangerous and disruptive trespassing. The operation throughout March aims to catch trespassers in the act, educate people about safe behaviours on the railway, and keep services running reliably for those who depend on them. Authorised Officers from Metro’s Network Security and Surveillance team and the Victoria Police Transit Division will focus their efforts on key trespassing hotspots in the city’s west, east and north including Werribee to Hoppers Crossing; Yarraville; Bayswater to Boronia; and Craigieburn to Coolaroo.

Journey info a the tip of your fingers

19 Feb 2021, James Ireland
New smartphone technology lets you make informed choices about how and when you travel on Melbourne’s trains. After months of extensive testing and trials, the new online tool called RideSpace provides real-time information for passengers on Metro’s trains – showing how busy, or quiet, the train journey will be before boarding. RideSpace is now available via a dedicated website – and its capacity data will soon be made available in third party journey planning apps to help passengers make informed choices about travelling safely on the network. The tool shows the current and predicted level of busyness for trains, stations and platforms to support public health settings and help passengers decide which service they are comfortable using. RideSpace was launched alongside the new train timetable, which provides 280 more services each week around Melbourne. Until the end of April a 30 per cent fare discount is available for Metro passengers travelling outside of peak periods. The off-peak discount will be automatically applied to myki fares for passengers touching off between 9.30am and 4pm or after 7pm on weekdays.

Train driving brings balance to a busy life

18 Feb 2021, James Ireland
Raising three kids and driving a train is all in a day’s work for Wendy Abraham. After working in finance for 14 years, Ms Abraham wanted an end to long days in the office to give her more work-life balance – so she turned her hand to the controls of Metro’s trains. “A lot of my family time was going to work, and the family-life balance wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be,’’ Ms Abraham said. “I went for it and here I am today – as happy as ever. I love it. The family-life balance I’ve gotten in this job I’ve never had. I do permanent mornings, and although they’re earlier, it works for me.” As Melbourne’s rail network continues to transform, more drivers are needed to get Melburnians where they need to go. The recent introduction of a new train timetable, and state-of-the-art High Capacity Metro Trains, means Metro is hiring up to 50 new part-time drivers. Bringing more women into the rail industry remains a key focus. Today, women make up around about 30 per cent of Metro’s train drivers, and Ms Abraham is encouraging everyone interested in a career change to consider driving trains for Metro. “You just have to have the ability to stay calm, work under time constraints, and most importantly – you’ve got to own an alarm clock!” Metro’s CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “There’s more diversity in our drivers’ ranks than ever before – something we’re incredibly proud of.” “These new part-time train driver positions provide great flexibility and competitive pay – as we look to bring on the best possible talent to keep our city moving.”

Have you ever lost something on a train?

3 Feb 2021, James Ireland
Well, you’re not alone. Every year Metro collects about 24,000 pieces of lost property – all of which are carefully logged to make it as easy as possible to reunite the rightful owner with their precious belongings. Flinders Street Stationmaster George Panoussis says Metro’s new lost property management system is making it easier than ever to reunite owners and their items. Before 2020, lost property from across the entire Metro network was centrally held at Flinders Street Station. Now, lost property is held at the station where the item was originally found. Metro carefully logs every item with a description and the location where it was picked up. This means if you’ve lost something, you can go to any station and speak to staff, who can look it up and tell you where to collect it. Mr Panoussis says the most common item found on trains and at stations are phones, tablets, and people’s lunches. He says there are also some more bizarre items found, including mannequin parts and wigs. Throughout his 32-year career in the rail industry, Mr Panoussis says cash is also a common item of lost property, and the vast majority of it gets handed in to Metro staff. “I think people are very honest, and are willing to hand in lost property items when they are found. “I personally found over $500 in a pensioner’s wallet, and knowing that money is everything to them, they were reunited with it within half an hour.” Metro keeps lost property for 60 days. If items are unclaimed after this time, and could be of potential value, they get donated to charitable organisations including the Salvation Army and the Australian Red Cross.

The biggest timetable change in 40 years

1 Feb 2021, James Ireland
The biggest train timetable change in 40 years is giving Metro passengers more travel options and added flexibility to get into and around Melbourne. The new timetable, which launched on 31 January, adds 280 additional Metro services every week. The last timetable change of this scale happened back in 1981 when the City Loop first opened. Some of the major changes include: · Frankston Line trains will not run through the City Loop until the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025. · Cranbourne/Pakenham Line trains will travel in one direction – anticlockwise from Parliament to Flinders Street – through the Loop all day. A new metropolitan timetable also brings discounted fares for train commuters. There is a 30 per cent discount for passengers who travel outside of peak periods, giving people more confidence to return to public transport, and encouraging travel either side of the busy morning and afternoon peak periods. The off-peak discount will be in place for the next three months, automatically providing 30 per cent off myki fares for passengers touching off between 9.30am and 4pm or after 7pm on weekdays. The new timetable includes new services that provide greater frequency outside of peak periods on most metropolitan train lines to get people where they need to go. The changes are helping people stay safe on public transport while our city recovers from the impacts of COVID-19. Full details of the new timetable can be found here.

Communication makes train travel easier

22 Jan 2021, James Ireland
Getting Melburnians where they need to go safely is Metro’s job each and every day. In 2019, we worked hard to become the largest rail operator in the world to be accredited with the Communication Access Symbol. The accreditation demonstrates Metro’s commitment to making train services accessible to everyone by equipping passenger-facing employees with the skills and strategies to assist people who have communication difficulties. Around 2,500 Metro employees took part in more than 300 training sessions, teaching them how best to give transport advice and assistance to people with additional needs. Metro’s Accessibility and Inclusion manager Laura Edwards says, “Public transport is for everyone – no matter who you are. It’s our responsibility to make sure that everyone in the community has equal access. “By teaching thousands of Metro staff how they can most effectively provide travel advice to people with communication difficulties, we’re taking away a barrier that may have previously prevented them from using our service. I’m very proud of the hard work it took to get here. “It’s been just over a year since we received the accreditation, and I know that it’s helped us to better understand our passengers who face these challenges. It’s also made sure they have a better and easier train journey – and that’s what it’s all about.” All of this was delivered alongside Scope’s Communication Access Trainers who worked tirelessly to deliver training to Metro train drivers, Authorised Officers and station staff. It’s been more than a year since Metro was accredited with the Communication Access Symbol, and to mark the milestone, Scope told us what the symbol and the associated training has meant to them.  

No barriers to success for Metro’s Authorised Officers

18 Jan 2021, James Ireland
Metro has continued to train new Authorised Officers who are now out on the network supporting a safer journey for passengers. Eight women who previously faced barriers to employment have become members of Metro’s Authorised Officer (AO) team. The women from asylum seeker, refugee, and long-term unemployed backgrounds were recruited through Metro’s Socially Responsible Employment program. Husnia, originally from Afghanistan, fled with her family to Pakistan two decades ago. She arrived in Melbourne two years ago and immediately knew she would be happy with her peaceful life in Australia. “After the initial culture shock of coming to Australia, I felt like I was in paradise. The most important thing for my family is that our life is peaceful here. “I love my job as an Authorised Officer, it’s what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It gives me the lifestyle I want and I get to be out on the train network helping people.” The new recruits completed an intensive 10-week training program including classroom, in-field and scenario based learning, with a strong focus on safety and improving the passenger experience on the network. All AOs are trained to assist vulnerable passengers on the network, including those fleeing family violence or experiencing homelessness – adversity that some of the trainees personally faced prior to joining Metro. Between them, the women speak seven different languages – including Dari, Hindi, Punjabi, Somali, Urdu and Amharic. In the past financial year Metro has recruited 45 people who previously faced barriers to employment.

Support for charities helping Melbourne’s Covid-19 response

13 Jan 2021, James Ireland
Charities on the frontline of Melbourne’s COVID-19 response and recovery are getting a $5,000 boost thanks to Metro Trains’ community grants program. These are the five charities chosen to receive the grants. Foodbank Victoria Foodbank Victoria sustainably source food and key grocery items and distribute to vulnerable Victorians across the state. The demand for food relief has significantly increased due to the impacts of COVID-19. This grant will enable Foodbank Victoria to distribute 10,000 meals to those facing economic hardship and food insecurity. Foodbank Victoria CEO Dave McNamara says, “It’s been a pretty grim year for Victorians. From bushfires to COVID-19, so many hardworking families have found themselves in situations they never imagined, struggling to afford even the basics. “Thanks to the generosity of supporters like Metro Trains, we’re able to put food on the tables of families doing it tough and hopefully a smile on their face leading into Christmas as well,” says Mr McNamara. Hands on Health Australia This funding would contribute to delivering mental health support to Melbourne’s Aboriginal community. Covid has led to a greater need for mental health support so Hands on Health Australia (HoHA) have set up online and phone support services, ensuring the community is safe and able to access the vital support they need. HoHa CEO Franca Smarrelli says, “Thank you to Metro Trains for supporting HoHA’s community clinic services which support those in much need of health and wellbeing services.” Launch Housing This funding will help Launch Housing deliver essential homelessness services and housing support to disadvantaged Victorians. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis they assisted more than 3,000 people into emergency accommodation – ensuring access to safe housing. The $5,000 grant provides 16 highly vulnerable people with essentials like emergency medication, social worker support, smartphone access, priority COVID-19 screening, clothing, hygiene packs, and food. General Manager of Campaigns and Engagement Howard Rally says, “The number of people rough sleeping in Melbourne is now known to be five times higher than previously thought. “This donation of $5,000 from Metro Trains will assist us in supporting the most vulnerable Melburnians that were sleeping rough during Covid-19, while we strive to find them long-term secure housing. We’re grateful for their support” Lifeline Since March Lifeline have seen a sustained 25 per cent increase to service delivery of its crisis helpline. The $5000 grant will help it answer an additional 128 potentially lifesaving calls. With a call every 30 seconds, being able to access those extra people could mean all the difference in their darkest hour. Lifeline Australia CEO Colin Seery says, “2020 was a year that saw Australian’s reach out to Lifeline more than at any time in our 57-year history. “After the devastation of prolonged drought, bushfires, floods and then COVID-19 restrictions, it’s been a challenging time for many and the support Lifeline offers Australians has been more important and more needed than ever. “I am incredibly proud of our ability to respond and I’m grateful to supporters like Metro Trains who have helped make our response possible.” Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre Safe Steps is a statewide service for women, young people and children experiencing family violence. When the pandemic hit, a live web chat service was set up so that victim-survivors who had been forced into isolation with perpetrators could still access the help they needed. A $5,000 grant from Metro Trains Melbourne will help provide linen packages for families accessing safe housing. Safe Steps CEO Rita Butera says, “On behalf of Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre, I would like to thank Metro Trains and their staff for choosing to support our work with this grant. This contribution will help us provide essential crisis services to women and children seeking safety from family violence. “Everyone in our community has a role to play in responding to family violence, and every contribution makes a difference in the lives of the people we support.”

New tools to prevent illegal trespassing

15 Dec 2020, James Ireland
Melbourne’s train network is now using world-class thermal imaging cameras to crack down on illegal trespassing on rail tracks and keep Victorian passengers and train staff safe. A new intruder detection system has been installed in key locations on Metro’s train network, including in the City Loop, to quickly identify and track down people risking their lives and disrupting commuters by illegally entering railway tracks. The system uses a combination of optical distance sensors, thermal imaging and artificial intelligence to detect trespassers, at which point an alarm alerts Metro’s network control centre so security teams and Victoria Police can track their location and swiftly respond. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “Trespassing has a major impact on our ability to deliver the reliable services our passengers deserve. “This new intruder detection system helps us stop illegal trespassers in their tracks, and ensure our network can continue to run efficiently for those who depend on it.” Trespassing is incredibly dangerous and disruptive. People walking on or beside the rail line can be seriously injured or die, and are incredibly disruptive to trains, leading to unnecessary disruption to passengers across the network and impacting the mental health of drivers and frontline staff who witness incidents. Last year there was an average of 328 potentially deadly trespasser incidents each month. The introduction of thermal imaging cameras adds to the Government and Metro’s efforts to deter trespassing – with a network of more than 9,000 CCTV cameras at stations and on trains, and a dedicated Network Security and Surveillance team routinely patrolling hotspots and carrying out joint operations with Victoria Police. Metro has also rolled out anti-trespasser ground panels at known trespassing hotspots – including Keilor Plains, Yarraville, Prahran, Narre Warren and Berwick. Anyone caught illegally trespassing on the Metro network faces a fine of up to $330.

Metro’s trains keep Melbourne moving as restrictions ease

10 Dec 2020, James Ireland
As Melbourne opens up again, and more passengers return to the network, Metro is more focused than ever on delivering safe and reliable services for passengers. In November, Metro ran more than 61,000 services, of which 94.7 per cent of trains on time – well above the 92 per cent target – while 98.7 per cent of scheduled services were delivered. To keep passengers safe, Metro and its contractors are continuing to regularly clean high-touch surfaces across the network, as well as nightly deep-cleaning of trains. Across metropolitan train stations, 149 hand sanitising stations have been installed including 17 dispensers at Southern Cross Station alone. On public transport, passengers must continue to wear a fitted face mask covering their nose and mouth for their entire journey. To ensure Melburnians can get where they need to go public transport services are running to the normal timetable including the Night Network.

280 extra Metro services coming in January

2 Dec 2020, James Ireland
An extra 280 Metro services each week will give passengers more options on their journey and provide more space for physical distancing. Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll announced that the new services will be added to the network from 31 January 2021. The new timetable will deliver greater frequency around the peak in metropolitan Melbourne, with more trains running during busy morning and afternoon periods to encourage passengers to stagger their weekday travel. To make it easier for Metro passengers to travel during quieter times and physically distance, off-peak fares will be discounted for three months. From 31 January 2021, anyone using myki money between 9.30am and 4pm, or after 7pm on weekdays, will receive a 30 per cent discount. The new services will increase capacity on the Cranbourne, Pakenham, Frankston, Werribee, Williamstown, Upfield, Craigieburn and Sunbury lines during the busiest times each day to prepare the network for the opening of the Metro Tunnel. Cranbourne and Pakenham line passengers will benefit from 90 new services each week. Trains on both lines will travel in an anti-clockwise direction through the City Loop all day to pave the way for Melbourne’s bigger, more modern trains. Frankston Line trains will no longer run via the City Loop until the Metro Tunnel is open in 2025, with passengers instead travelling directly to Flinders Street and Southern Cross, and then on to Werribee. An additional 45 services will be added to the Frankston Line each week. Werribee and Sandringham line weekend services will also leave the City Loop for more consistent services through the week. Extra weekday services on the Craigieburn, Sunbury and Werribee lines will provide passengers with a train at least every 10 minutes for more than three hours in the morning and afternoon peaks – while Williamstown services will extend to Flinders Street on weekends, so people no longer have to change trains at Newport. Separating some of Melbourne’s busiest rail lines enables more services to run and ensures delays on one line don’t spread across the network. To keep passengers safe,  extensive cleaning of all trains, stations and myki facilities will continue across the network, while hand sanitiser units will remain at key stations. Victorians are reminded to always wear a mask when on public transport, never travel when unwell, practise good hygiene and social distancing where possible.

We’re not kidding around – Metro goats are back on weed patrol

26 Nov 2020, James Ireland
With the Victorian fire season just around the corner, Metro Trains’ most famous weed control team, the ‘Puffing Billy Goats’ are making a comeback. After the successful deployment of goats to the Belgrave Line last year, Metro’s Infrastructure team has been busy recruiting for a new site in Upper Ferntree Gully. The goats will chomp their way through some of the network’s most overgrown shrubbery, reducing fuel loads and ensuring native flora and fauna can thrive. Infrastructure Vegetation Manager Katrina Lewis says the four-legged eating machines are effective at eradicating weeds such as blackberry and watsonia, and can reach parts of the network that are difficult to access for human vegetation crews.

Newport Workshops keep Melbourne moving

24 Nov 2020, James Ireland
The Newport Workshops are an icon of the Victorian rail industry. For more than 130 years, the workshops have been a key manufacturing and maintenance hub. From locomotives to the trains of today – it’s a historic piece of Melbourne. The workshops opened in 1888, and two further expansions to the buildings were constructed in the first half of the 20th century. During World War II the workshops turned their efforts towards military construction including building parts for the DAP Beaufort planes, which was the Australian version of the British Bristol Beaufort. Today, the workshops maintain Metro’s fleet of trains to keep the people of Melbourne moving. In the video below, take a look back at how the workshops have shaped Victorian rail, and how Metro is protecting them for future generations.  

‘Quack’-thinking saves family of ducklings

23 Nov 2020, James Ireland
Metro staff rescued a dozen ducklings that were spotted wandering on the tracks near Cheltenham Station on Saturday afternoon. An eagle-eyed passer-by saw the feathered family and phoned Metro’s customer call centre. Metro’s teams flew into action, stopping trains on the Frankston Line so that station staff and Authorised Officers could safely carry out the fluffy rescue mission. The ducklings are now safe and in the hands of wildlife carers.

Metro grants support Melbourne’s COVID-19 response and recovery

19 Nov 2020, James Ireland
Charities on the frontline of Melbourne’s COVID-19 response and recovery are getting a $5,000 boost thanks to Metro Trains’ community grants program. The grants will help organisations working in the areas of domestic violence support, food relief, homelessness/housing assistance, specialised community support and mental health. Metro has provided a total of $25,000 to support five charities that are doing exceptional work to help Melbourne’s most vulnerable during tough times. As part of the Metro Cares Community Grants program, Metro staff voted for the charities that they wanted to see receive financial support. The five charities each receiving $5,000 are: Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre Foodbank Victoria Launch Housing Hands on Health Australia Lifeline Metro’s rail service is closely linked with the lives of millions of people in the communities we serve. Some members of our community are experiencing great hardship due to the impacts of coronavirus, and these grants are all about providing some much needed support. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said “This has been a tough time for many across our community, including our passengers, and it is important that we continue to support the frontline organisations who are looking after our most vulnerable.” “Each grant will enable these charities to continue their important work and deliver support to people when and where it’s needed.” Metro remains committed to strengthening our communities. The Metro Cares Community Grants program will continue to support grassroots community organisations and charities in 2021.

Sustainability

19 Nov 2020, Ash Herring
Metro Trains, rated Excellent – ISCA Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Operations Rating Metro Trains have become the first rail operator to achieve an ‘Excellent’ rating in May 2020. Metro had made a commitment to measure sustainability performance annually using the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) Infrastructure Sustainability ‘IS’ Operations Rating Scheme. The scheme is a voluntary standard that measures performance and rewards management practices that go beyond compliance to adopting best practice and innovating to achieve sustainability outcomes. Sustainability performance is measured across 15 categories: management systems; procurement and purchasing; climate change adaptation; energy and carbon; water; materials; discharges to air, land and water; land; waste; ecology; community health, wellbeing and safety; heritage; stakeholder participation, urban and landscape design; and innovation.

Energy Efficiency

19 Nov 2020, Ash Herring
Rail transport is one of the most efficient, with energy and greenhouse gas emissions intensity, measured in per person km, one of the most sustainable transport modes. The rail network is also an efficient transport mode in terms of land use as shown in the below analysis by Institute of Sensible Transport 2018 To continue to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, we are working to identify and implement opportunities for an energy efficient network and a lower carbon future. Completed projects include the installation of efficient LED lighting at Metro’s train maintenance depots, in the Comeng train fleet and some stations and train sidings. Fourteen stations in the Melbourne rail network had solar panel systems installed on their rooftops generating renewable energy. Metro are now assessing their performance and will baseline the case for further use of solar energy at other stations. Metro Trains reports on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to The Clean Energy Regulator annually for National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting.

Vegetation & Biodiversity

19 Nov 2020, Ash Herring
Vegetation Management Our vegetation maintenance program manages vegetation clearances and hazards for the safe operation and maintenance of the Melbourne railway network and around station precincts including around Metro managed electric lines across the Melbourne train network. It is critical that Metro train drivers have clear line-of-sight for signals, crossings and the railway track. The management of vegetation is also important for security and fire hazard management, particularly in sections of the network in high or hazardous bushfire risk areas. We undertake maintenance five times a year. The types of works we do include rail reserve grass slashing, weed management, trackside weed spray, pruning of trees and vegetation to maintain clearances and station garden maintenance. We also do emergency works to respond to hazards from for example storm damage. Trees are assessed to determine if they are dead or diseased and if so, are monitored, maintained or removed, as required. They are only removed if they present a risk to safety or operations. Safety is our priority at all times. All vegetation maintenance work is prioritised on a safety critical basis.

Train surfing footage prompts safety warning

13 Nov 2020, James Ireland
New CCTV footage released by Metro Trains shows offenders engaged in dangerous train surfing and coupler riding behaviour 10 News First showed showed this footage on its 12 November broadcast. Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll warned people against risking their lives for a social media post by engaging in dangerous, irresponsible behaviour on trains. “This sort of behaviour could get someone killed. It’s reckless, irresponsible and causes disruption and trauma to all involved.” Metro’s General Manager of Security Operations, Adrian Rowland says, “All too often we’re seeing people illegally enter the rail corridor and put their lives at risk – it’s completely unacceptable behaviour and has severe consequences for the safe running of the network. “Beyond the obvious risk to human life, these incidents also cause lasting trauma to train drivers and rail employees, passengers and others who witness them.”

Trespassing increases as Metro records another month of record-high performance

10 Nov 2020, James Ireland
Metro has seen another month of record-high performance results as the number of trains delayed by illegal trespassing increased. In October, punctuality and reliability results were well above the targets – with 97.1 per cent of trains running on time, and 99.4 per cent of services delivered. Compared with the previous month, the number of train services delayed due to people illegally trespassing on railway tracks doubled to 631. Metro managed a number of serious incidents, including people found walking or smoking beside tracks near Melbourne’s busiest stations – Southern Cross and Flinders Street. Trespassing on the railway is incredibly dangerous and can stop trains in their tracks, causing significant and unnecessary disruption to passengers. As Melbourne reopens and more people return to the rail network, Metro’s commitment to crack down on illegal behaviour remains strong. There are 9,000 CCTV cameras across the network – including at stations and in trains – while anti-trespasser ground panels have been rolled out to key locations. Metro works in close partnership with Victoria Police to clear the rail line during an incident and get services up and running as soon as possible for passengers. Offenders are also being brought to justice thanks to joint operations at level crossings across Melbourne. The Victorian Government has also invested $10 million in new anti-trespasser fencing to deter illegal behaviour on the metropolitan network. Fencing will be installed at known hotspots across the metropolitan and regional rail networks.

Train upgrades keep performance on track for Metro

9 Oct 2020, James Ireland
Metro is keeping its trains maintained to the highest standard to improve service reliability, with the latest technical upgrades keeping fleets performing at their best. The three-stage, $75 million Comeng Life Extension Project has now overhauled 75 per cent of Comeng train units, with both passenger-facing and engineering improvements. Metro’s CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says, “The Comeng fleet has served the people of Melbourne for almost 40 years, they are brilliant trains and they’ve certainly got more life left in them. “We have very stringent maintenance programs for all our trains, that’s one of the reasons they are still so reliable. It’s also essential that we utilise all the technical advances that are available, and this life extension program makes sure that our passengers have the best possible experience on board.” The first two stages of the Comeng Life Extension Project are complete, while the third is well underway and includes upgrades to the passenger information system, with digital displays inside the carriages tracking the train’s journey in real-time. Siemens trains are also receiving significant upgrades, with new bellows now installed on 20 per cent of the fleet. The bellows provide an “outer wall” that fills the gap between the train and the platform, making it safer for passengers and rail employees. Melbourne trains are also being retrofitted with wireless data recorders to monitor key train systems, improve safety and reliability and maintenance, which means the trains are available to run on the network more often. The On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system gives Metro engineers access to near real time data so they can monitor train performance, identify faults sooner, and maintain trains more efficiently. Metro has recently installed the state-of-the-art technology on 174 three-carriage X’Trapolis train units. These rolling stock upgrade projects have contributed to a more reliable network, with September performance results among the highest ever achieved by Metro. Metro ran 97.6 per cent of trains on time in September, well above the 92 per cent target, while 99.4 per cent of scheduled services were delivered. In September, Metro ran more than 59,000 train services for Melbourne.

An EPIC pathway to success for Metro engineering cadets

29 Sep 2020, James Ireland
Metro Trains’ partnership with the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) has unlocked exciting opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees to kick-start their engineering careers on some of Victoria’s biggest transport projects. Five cadets began their professional journeys with Metro this year as part of the Engineering Pathways Industry Cadetship – or EPIC program. The EPIC program, led by LXRP and supported by employers across Victoria, recruits qualified engineers from refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds. EPIC aims to break down barriers to paid employment in Australia, and opens a talent pipeline for entry-level site engineers on major transport infrastructure projects, including level crossing removal sites across the network. Metro’s Executive Director – Projects Peter Gleeson says the current pipeline of major projects is the perfect environment for engineering cadets to spread their wings. “These five cadets have been doing fantastic work for Metro to help shape the Victorian Government’s Big Build, which is transforming our public transport network,” Mr Gleeson said. The 18-month cadetship gives participants workplace experience and an Australian qualification, building the skills needed to further their careers. The five Metro cadets have received on-the-job training, support and mentoring, while completing an accredited Graduate Certificate in Infrastructure Engineering. “The EPIC program gives people pathways to further their engineering careers – with on-site experience, a recognised qualification, and exposure to some of the biggest transport projects the state has ever seen.” Mr Gleeson said. “There’s never been a better time to be part of the infrastructure transformation across our city, and with a huge demand for engineering skills, these cadets will only go from strength to strength.” Metro and the LXRP are supporting new Australians who are transitioning their international qualifications to match the workforce requirements in Victoria. The program’s success to date can be attributed to the cadets’ commitment to getting the job done, and the support they receive from their mentors and managers.

Metro on track for safer and easier maintenance

24 Sep 2020, Metro Newsroom
Metro Trains Melbourne has developed a new smart app to make track access for maintenance and renewals safer, quicker and easier. With more than 30,000 annual track access requests made by 1,000 safe-working employees and contractors each year, the Work on Track app removes subjective decision-making from the process of setting up track protection. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says the app is a game-changer for quickly determining the safest way to access the Metro network’s 1,000 plus kilometres of track. “The track access process is largely paper-based across the Australian rail industry, so we created a smarter and simpler way to complete the maintenance that our passengers rely on for a reliable journey,” says Mr O’Flaherty. The app generates appropriate track protection options—and, critically, excludes unsuitable options—reducing the risk of human error. It uses a cloud-based geographical information system (GIS) loaded with Metro’s asset data and geographical features. Users are unable to select lower level options—such as lookout-only protection—in complex areas or sections of the network without adequate line of sight, with the app’s smarts factoring in maximum line speed, structures, gradient and curves in the rail corridor. Mr O’Flaherty says there had been a 10 per cent reduction in access requests taken out under lookout only protection “This shows it is already helping us to manage our safety risks. And using the app before our crews arrive onsite allows us to get works started and completed faster while keeping our people, passengers and plant safe.”

“It can be a job for life” – 40 years of rail for Andrew Anthony

18 Sep 2020, Jake Smethurst
Forty years is a long time in the railway and there’s no one better to reflect upon the changes during that time than Caulfield Station Master Andrew Anthony. After waltzing into Southern Cross Station in 1980 – then known as Spencer Street Station – to find a job in the railways, Andrew spent a few years in the electrical department before taking an opportunity to work on the platforms. It’s a choice he’s very glad he made. “I’m happy with it and I’ve stuck with it, so I guess overall it has been pretty good to me – I can’t complain. You always think of what you’ve missed or what you could have jumped at but this is what I’ve stayed with and it’s the best option I took up.” Andrew’s career has taken him across multiple parts of the network, from picturesque Lilydale and Mooroolbark, to leafy Laburnum and Blackburn, and he says a lot has changed since the early days, especially in terms of safety. “We used to actually just walk on the track to go and do some manual work like cleaning up the points. You were basically told, ‘here’s what needs to be done’ and that’s it, you’d go for it, just watch out for the trains,” he says.

Change is no barrier to success for Metro’s longest-serving employees

16 Sep 2020, Jake Smethurst
If there’s one thing we know about the rail industry – it’s that it’s always changing. Melbourne’s rail network is currently experiencing an exciting transformation, with an infrastructure project agenda the likes of which the state has never seen before. From level crossing removals and Metro Tunnel works to the introduction of new high capacity signalling and trains – the railway is looking more different by the day. And for many of Metro’s longest-serving employees, it’s an opportunity to reflect on just how much change they have witnessed. Dozens of Metro people have recently notched up milestones of up to five decades working in the Victorian railways. Today we celebrate one of those who have helped shape a new generation of rail. Terrence Haby – Train Driver

Keeping our network ‘COVID-safe’ for essential workers

10 Sep 2020, James Ireland
As coronavirus restrictions continue to impact Melbourne’s way of life, Metro remains focused on operating a safe rail network for those who depend on it for essential travel. August saw the introduction of new Stage Four restrictions, including a curfew for metropolitan Melbourne from 8pm to 5am. To limit the spread of coronavirus, Metro and other public transport operators reduced train, tram and bus services from 8pm until last service each night. Services are now running every 40-60 minutes with the first and last train on every line still operating to ensure all permitted workers can get to and from work. All Night Network services, which run after midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, are not operating during current Stage Four restrictions. Metro continues to operate on a normal timetable each day between 5am and 8pm to support essential travel. Many essential workers, including doctors, nurses, emergency services workers and supermarket staff, depend on Metro every day. Since March, Metro has been taking important steps to keep passengers who are still using the network safe during their journey. This includes: • an enhanced cleaning program across the network, which includes the nightly sanitation of every train, and regular cleaning of stations and high passenger touchpoints; • the roll-out of hand sanitiser units to the network’s busiest stations; • Metro staff are no longer handling cash payments; • an extra 95 weekly train services added to the network in a move to reduce crowding on peak-time services; and • announcements on trains and at stations to keep passengers informed of the latest restrictions, and tips to stay safe. August was another high-performing month for Metro, with 96.2 per cent of trains running on time. Metro delivered 98.3 per cent of services – a result that was directly impacted by the reduction of evening services due to new Stage Four restrictions. Around 100 trains were delayed by a severe storm event that hit Melbourne on the evening of 27 August. Extreme winds caused trees to be blown across rail lines, with train services suspended between Flinders Street and Caulfield. There were fewer trains delayed by trespassers during the month, with 392 late trains in August compared to 82 in July.

Metro’s pride shines bright on Wear it Purple Day

3 Sep 2020, Jake Smethurst
Flinders Street Station was bathed in purple (and all the colours of the rainbow) last Friday as people from across Metro Trains Melbourne came together to celebrate Wear it Purple Day and show support for LGBTQI+ colleagues, passengers and communities. COVID-19 restrictions meant traditional celebrations near Flinders Street couldn’t take their usual shape, so more than 140 people from across the business tuned in for a virtual morning tea to hear about Metro’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Speaking at the event, Metro’s Diversity & Inclusion Manager Darren Hooper shared a powerful personal experience about being a parent to a transgender child and why it’s so important for companies like Metro to take part in events like Wear it Purple Day.

A simple ‘thank you’ can make all the difference

2 Sep 2020, Jake Smethurst
Whether it’s a wave and a smile, or a simple ‘thank you’, being kind to each other during these challenging times can make all the difference. This week, the Department of Transport launched the ‘thank you’ campaign to highlight the amazing and tireless work of Victoria’s public transport workers to keep the state moving during COVID-19. The campaign encourages people using the public transport network for essential travel to reach out and offer a simple gesture, such as a wave or a smile, to show their appreciation for frontline workers.

Improved safety and access as new Cheltenham Station opens

19 Aug 2020, James Ireland
The new Cheltenham Station is now open after two months of intensive work along the Frankston Line to remove three more level crossings. Cheltenham is the eighth of 12 new stations to be built on the Frankston Line as part of a $3 billion investment from the Victorian Government. Cheltenham Station Master Lester Herft says, “The project did an incredible job involving the community and the station staff from day one. This created a smooth transition when handing the station back to Metro. This is the key to success for all new stations.” “The transformation from what we had in March to what we have today is truly incredible. It’s created a united team involving the station staff, Authorised Officers and Protective Services Officers all under the same roof,” Mr Herft said. “I’ve been blown away with the positive feedback from passengers. I speak to them every day and they tell me how excited they get when catching a train from the new station.” Frankston Line trains have been running in the new rail trenches below Park and Charman roads in Cheltenham, and Balcombe Road in Mentone, since mid-July, and the roads have been open since June. The removal of level crossings has improved safety and eased bottlenecks that caused delays and frustration for the 38,000 vehicles that cross the rail line each day. Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan marked the reopening of the station and praised project teams for adapting to new ways of working. “Despite the challenging conditions the pandemic has created, we’re continuing work on our critical infrastructure projects with strict safety measures to create safer connections for our communities and support local jobs,” Minister Allan said. The new station has two sets of lifts and stairs and a new forecourt and community open space along Charman Road. A multi-level car park is set to be completed next year. Finishing touches to the Cheltenham and Mentone stations, landscaping and a new 3.5 kilometre walking and cycling path between Cheltenham and Mentone will continue until they are completed later this year. The new modern stations in Cheltenham and Mentone are five-star Green Star design rated and include solar panels, water saving and rainwater collection, and will significantly reduce potential greenhouse gas emissions.

More sustainability success for Metro Trains Melbourne

17 Aug 2020, James Ireland
Metro Trains Melbourne has been awarded an ‘excellent’ rating by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA), in what is a major achievement for the rail operator. ISCA’s rating system measures and rewards sustainability performance based on 15 categories, including climate change adaptation, energy and carbon, ecology, procurement and innovation. In 2018, Metro became the first rail operator globally to be recognised with an Operations Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating. This month, ISCA delivered the news that Metro’s IS rating had been elevated to ‘excellent’ following improvements across a number of key sustainability categories.

Talented students promote safe travel on Metro trains

29 Jul 2020, James Ireland
Students at primary schools in Berwick and Oakleigh South have taken out the top prizes in Metro Trains’ annual rail safety poster competition. Metro invited children from Foundation through to Year 6 from schools across Melbourne to participate in the ‘Safe Travel on Metro Trains’ competition. Mia from Year 1 at Oakleigh South Primary School took out first prize for Foundation – Year 2 for her poster depicting social distancing on station platforms. Her prizes include an Apple iPad Mini and a voucher from Angus and Robertson book stores. Vinuthi from Year 3 at Brentwood Park Primary School won first prize for Years 3 – 4 for her poster promoting a range of safe behaviours including walking bikes through level crossings, standing behind the yellow line, and keeping a safe social distance from others. She took home a Nintendo Switch game console and game. Chanithu from Year 5 at Brentwood Park Primary School won top prize for Years 5 – 6 for his poster promoting social distancing and the work of emergency services workers, and calling on people to remove headphones at level crossings. Chanithu’s took home a Playstation 4 Pro console and gaming headset.

Your Questions

1 Jul 2020, Tom Mclaughlin
This is the FAQ page for employee COVID-19 questions. Your manager or supervisor is your first point of contact to raise any concerns or questions you have or to provide any feedback or ideas. Our People Business Partners can also be your contact to point you in the right direction. You can also email these to employee@metrotrains.com.au Remember: Official public health advice will continue to change as the situation develops. The most up-to-date information is made available by the Victorian Government at coronavirus.vic.gov.au    

Support for Metro employees (COVID-19 Reporting, Employee and Technical Support)

1 Jul 2020, Tom Mclaughlin
Whether you’re working on the network or from home, your safety, health and wellbeing remains our top priority. To support you, this page has information about: Your role in our COVID-19 reporting process Supporting your health and wellbeing Understanding our Epidemic & Pandemic People Policy Updating your information in MetroMe Working from home and our COVIDSafe return to corporate offices IT support   COVID-19 Reporting: What you need to know Our process outlines the steps that must be taken when an employee needs to get tested or isolate in line with public health advice. This applies in all instances, regardless of whether you have been working from home and/or attending a workplace. One of Victoria’s COVIDSafe principles is for businesses is to keep good records and be able act quickly if a staff member become unwell or has visited a known public exposure site. Through our updated COVID-19 Reporting process, Metro has made it easier for employees and managers to get information quickly to the relevant Business Partner, for appropriate support where required. Your role and responsibility when an employee needs to get tested, isolate or quarantine for COVID-19: Staff members notify their manager immediately when they need to get tested and/or isolate Managers record all occurrences of when their staff members are tested for COVID-19 or when they need to isolate or quarantine through the COVID-19 Initial Notification Form Managers complete COVID-19 Result Notification Form once the test result is known or the staff member is approved to return to work Employees to complete COVID-19 Contact Tracing Consent Form as a matter of urgency should they be identified by MTM as being present at a tier 2 or 3 site whilst on shift/site. In the rare event of a confirmed COVID-19 case, the manager will additionally email SER-Reporting@metrotrains.com.au and enter into INX.   Authorised worker permits and childcare Authorised Worker Permits were re-issued to all employees on Friday, 17 September For your new permit to be valid, you must download and then sign it in the space provided. Please continue to carry your existing permit – and, where possible, your roster information – until you have downloaded and signed your new permit. In addition to a valid permit, you must continue to carry your Metro ID at all times when travelling to or for work, to show to Victoria Police if requested. Victoria Police may also ask you to produce identification showing your residential address, so please ensure your address is correct in MetroMe as they will compare this ID to the information on your permit. Permits must only be used when your role requires you to leave home for work. If you can work from home you must continue to do so. Authorised workers who require childcare services will be able to provide the re-issued and signed permit to their childcare provider, as required.   Health & Wellbeing Support In this challenging time, it is okay to feel anxious and have concerns This stress can have an effect on how we interact with our colleagues, and those around us. More than ever, it is important that we care for each other, show respect and work as One Team. The Department of Health have advice and resources related to mental health on their COVID-19 website. Here are resources to help you and your teams through this challenging time: Understanding common reactions to major events Understanding anxiety Working from home and dealing with feelings of isolation Strategies for switching off from tech Positive family relationships The team at Beyond Blue have a confidential online anxiety checklist that can help you understand your levels of anxiety. Beyond Blue can also point you towards useful information and contacts to seek support. You can find the Beyond Blue anxiety checklist here. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Our EAP provides access to confidential support in dealing with a variety of work and personal challenges. The service is available to Metro employees and their immediate family members. The types of support services include (but are not limited to): Confidential counselling Financial planning Nutritional advice Wellbeing coaching These free EAP consultations are provided by external independent health professionals, Assure Programs, and are strictly confidential. We have also launched counselling via SMS with Assure. You can access professional counselling delivered in real-time through SMS for any personal or work challenges by contacting 0439 449 876. Have a look at this useful resource to understand natural response to a major event. Find out more about health anxiety here. Check out this short video on what Assure EAP is all about. Access the EAP service by calling 1800 808 374 to organise an appointment or reach out for SMS counselling on 0439 449 876. Manager support The Manager Support Program provides Metro leaders an alternate contact point to discuss and problem solve difficult or complex issues. Managers can confidentially discuss issues such as: How to refer an employee to EAP that you are concerned about How to identify signs of stress and mental health issues in your team How to support team members on extended sick leave or return to work plan Coaching on addressing performance issues or conflicts in the team Staying vitalised as a leader – stress management and self care The Manager Support Program can be accessed by calling 1800 505 015.   Epidemic & Pandemic People Policy The Epidemic and Pandemic People Policy gives our people access to additional paid leave, once they have used their existing personal and/or carers leave balances and annual leave entitlements greater than 20 days This policy provides: Up to 5 working days of paid Early Intervention Special Leave for employees who are unable to work from home, have been directed to self-isolate and are required to undergo a medical assessment or testing. Up to 10 working days of paid Epidemic/Pandemic Special Leave for employees who are unable to work from home, have used their existing personal or carers leave and annual leave entitlements above 20 days, and: Have a confirmed case of the infectious disease (in this case, COVID-19); or Are required to care for an immediate family or household member who has the infectious disease, is required to self-isolate or as a result of school, or care centre closures. The policy is available here, and the procedure is available here. Important update for employees considering interstate travel is here. All leave applications must be submitted in the usual pay system (such as MetroMe or RosterOn). If this is not possible, please complete a Special Leave Application Form. The completed form will need to be submitted to your manager for approval. You can also use this guidance document to help you understand the policy. Some frequently asked questions about the policy are available here. Employees can also access their Annual Leave and Personal Sick Leave during this time.   Updating your contact details in MetroMe In the event that you or one of your close colleagues has a confirmed case of COVID-19, Metro needs to be able to contact you to provide advice To do this, your mobile number must be in MetroMe – our people management system that records and maintains all employee information securely in one place. A current profile photo must also be uploaded. For more detailed instructions, refer to the following Quick Reference Guides: How to Access MetroMe Instructions How to add and update contact details in MetroMe Instructions How to add your mobile phone to MetroMe From your phone or computer, click on this link to access MetroMe or type the full URL into your browser: https://performancemanager10.successfactors.com/sf/start/#Shell-home Enter your company ID: metrotrain Enter your standard username e.g. firstname.lastname followed by your standard password Enter your work email address, followed by your standard password. You will now see your home screen. Click on the ‘My Profile’ square. This will show what personal information you have listed in MetroMe. Take the time to check that all your personal information is correct, including that your mobile number is listed and your Emergency Contact. If you need to add or update your mobile number and/or other contact information: Click on the down arrow in the far right, next to ‘Public Profile’ Click on Contact Information Click on the small pencil icon next to Contact Information Type in your work mobile phone number in the relevant field and in the +614 format with no spaces. You may also wish to add your personal mobile number in the relevant field. Important: your mobile number must be entered in the +614 format with no spaces. For example, if your mobile number is 0412 345 678 then you need to enter +61412345678 into the field. Update all other contact information as required Scroll down and click on Save   Working from Home and our COVID-Safe return to offices Metro’s COVIDSafe return to office locations is on hold for now and employees who can work from home must continue to do so Our approach continues to reflect the latest official health advice and our Zero Harm and Caring values. Communications to relevant teams are ongoing, with advice subject to change in line with the evolving pandemic situation. Employees are encouraged to speak with their one-up leader to address any related questions. All appropriate measures are in place regarding the health and safety of our people. This includes around cleaning and other COVID-Safe processes, consistent with official health advice. The Working From Home Factsheet, available here, outlines how to set up your workspace for your wellbeing along with guidance on key IT systems. If you need to visit a frontline location When it is safe and appropriate to do so, some colleagues will need to visit frontline locations to get their computer on to the Metro network. When you visit a Station, Depot or other relevant frontline location, follow these five steps to help keep all of us safe: wear your Metro ID at all times and have your signed Authorised Worker Permit available follow all local COVID-Safe requirements; this includes the latest public health advice and location-specific requirements introduce yourself to colleague sign-in when you arrive – no matter how short your visit sign-out when you leave.   IT Support Resources are available to help you navigate Metro’s IT systems from home and ensure the integrity of our systems  Microsoft Teams is Metro’s chat-based software with functionality to host voice or video calling. It is also a useful tool for storing and sharing of files with colleagues while working from home. You can use teams in a browser or download it onto your Metro laptop or PC and mobile device. For instructions on how to install Microsoft Teams on various devices and how to familiarise yourself with the platform, click here. VPN is available for Metro employees to allow access to systems and resources from home. If you would like to use the Metro VPN, log a request using the ‘Request for VPN access (Remote Working)’ option in the OCMS Self-Service portal if this is available to you. Otherwise, you can call the OCMS Technology Service Desk (1800 773 475) to arrange access and receive a user guide when your access is enabled. OneDrive is a useful tool for storing personal files while working from home. A guide to using OneDrive is available here. Here are links to some of our commonly used applications and platforms: Metro E-news MetroMe The Platform Learning@Metro Ariba P2P Microsoft Office We all have a responsibility to ensure that Metro’s IT assets such as laptops and computers are accounted for and remain in good condition while our teams work remotely. Make sure your manager knows the ID number of any Metro assets you have taken home. The number is located on a sticker on your asset and starts with ‘MT-’. The OCMS Technology Service Desk team are still operating 24/7 and can help if you are experiencing system issues. You can contact them on 1800 773 475. Please be patient and kind as your colleagues are doing everything they can to help. Zoom should not be used at Metro. There are serious privacy and data security concerns around Zoom, a remote conferencing service. It is important for the protection of your personal information and Metro data that you do not use Zoom. In the event you are invited to an external meeting using Zoom, here is a list of precautionary Do’s and Don’ts: DO’s DON’Ts Update the Zoom mobile app and the Zoom desktop app to the latest version. Choose “Join a Meeting” as guest if you are using Zoom mobile app or “Join from your browser” by clicking the link in your desktop invitation. Generate a new Meeting ID for each meeting. Set a password for the meeting. Send the invitation link and password to the meeting participants only. Lock the meeting after the meeting has started if necessary. Don’t sign in Zoom using personal accounts such as Google or Facebook. Don’t share or present confidential documents and screens in Zoom. Don’t click on links in Chat within Zoom from untrusted parties. Phishing attacks and cyber security In the current environment, we are seeing a rise in scams using the coronavirus as bait to carry out cyberattacks. It is vital we remain vigilant to protect ourselves from these scams. At Metro, we have introduced multi-factor authentication (MFA) to better protect our core systems. See more details about the roll out of MFA including a list of systems it will apply to and a handy set-up guide for employees here. Scams can be very convincing. Scammers are sending emails or messages linked with fake websites to make it appear that they are from an official institution or medical supplier. These scams, known as phishing attacks, are designed to steal personal data, spread malware and conduct money fraud. Good practices to protect your data include: Verifying the destination of embedded links by hovering the mouse pointer over the hyperlink without clicking it. Never click any hyperlinks or open any attachments provided in suspicious emails Beware of emails asking for sensitive data (e.g. account passwords or bank account information); Don’t trust emails simply because the sender’s email addresses are from someone with authority. Seek verification via telephone if in doubt. Use official contact channels or contact details that you already have on file. Check the sender’s email address carefully Do not visit suspicious and unknown web sites from your PC or mobile devices Report suspected scams to OCMS Service Desk (1800 773 475) Do not forward the phishing emails to other colleagues Install anti-malware software and keep it up to date Do not install mobile Apps from unknown sources Use well-known and secure Wi-Fi network only Use trusted websites for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19

Moving Forward

1 Jul 2020, Tom Mclaughlin
Thank You Images of some of our team members from Metro’s Keep Melbourne Moving campaign. #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ The severity and duration of this pandemic has been hard on all colleagues. It is our priority to make sure we are supporting each other and that we get through this together. Thank you for your continued patience, commitment and focus at what is a very challenging time. Together, we are keeping Melbourne moving.

Government Advice & Resources

1 Jul 2020, Tom Mclaughlin
Latest Government advice on COVID-19 In Victoria, the Department of Health is leading the state’s response for COVID-19 and provides regular updates. For the latest public health advice and updates, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au Note: For a library of organisation-wide communications to Metro employees, click here.   Metro continues to take the advice of health authorities at both a state and federal level. Employees are urged to visit the state approved information sources below for more details of Victoria-specific information, or the federal Department of Health website for advice relevant to Australia as a whole. Victorian Government website at coronavirus.vic.gov.au; including information on exposure sites and vaccine appointments Call the Victorian Department of Health hotline on: 1800 675 398 (a translator can be requested at the time of the call) See information about restrictions in place throughout Victoria, here. Australian Department of Health website at https://www.health.gov.au/ Other official sources of information on social media: Twitter: @VicGovDH Our state and federal leaders are issuing regular media statements on coronavirus, which include the latest social distancing restrictions, health advice and other information. To access the latest media releases from the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, you are encouraged to visit these links: Commonwealth Government media centre: https://www.pm.gov.au/media Victorian Government media centre: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-centre/  

Employee Communications Library

1 Jul 2020, Tom Mclaughlin
Below is a record of key communications to Metro employees organised relating to COVID-19. Note: This library contains organisation-wide messages only. Please speak with your leader for any questions around local communication to your team.   Communications to all employees Click any of the links below to see the message in PDF format. 2021 (19 September 2021) Message from Rob: Victoria’s roadmap to reopening (16 September 2021) Message from Raymond: Changes to Covid-19 restrictions announced (16 September 2021) Message from Rob: More information about surgical masks (15 September 2021) Message from Rob: Important update for all employees (01 September 2021) Message from Rob: Update on pandemic restrictions in Victoria  (23 August 2021) Message from Rob: Childcare permits for authorised workers (21 August 2021) Message from Rob: Circuit-breaker restrictions strengthened in Victoria (16 August 2021) Message from Rob: New restrictions announced for Metropolitan Melbourne (11 August 2021) Message from Rob: Circuit-breaker lockdown extended for Melbourne (06 August 2021) Message from Raymond: Video update (05 August 2021) Message from Rob: Circuit-breaker lockdown announced for Victoria (27 July 2021) Message from Raymond: COVID-Safe settings to be eased in Victoria (19 July 2021) Message from Rob: Update on COVIDSafe restrictions in Victoria (17 July 2021) Message from Rob: Update on COVIDSafe restrictions in Victoria (15 July 2021) Message from Rob: New COVIDSafe settings for Victoria (15 July 2021) Message from Rob: Masks and new COVIDSafe settings in Victoria (07 July 2021) Message from Rob: COVIDSafe settings to be eased further in Melbourne (24 June 2021) Message from Rob: Building resilience and strengthening our mental wellbeing (23 June 2021) Message from Rob: COVIDSafe settings to be eased further in Victoria (18 June 2021) Message from Rob: Checking-in to be COVIDSafe at Metro workplaces (16 June 2021) Message from Rob: COVIDSafe settings to be eased further in Victoria (o9 June 2021) Message from Rob: COVIDSafe settings to be eased in Victoria (o4 June 2o21) Message from Rob: Updated COVIDSafe settings and important updates (02 June 2021) Message from Raymond: An opportunity to Make A Difference (02 June 2o21) Message from Rob: Updated COVIDSafe settings announced for Victoria (31 May 2021) Message from Raymond: Video update (27 May 2021) Message from Raymond: Circuit-breaker lockdown announced for Victoria  (26 May 2021) Message from Raymond: COVID-19 restrictions to be introduced for Greater Melbourne (23 March 2021) Message from Raymond: COVID-Safe settings to be eased in Victoria (16 March 2021) Message from Raymond: One Year One Team One Metro (17 February 2021) Message from Raymond: Victoria’s snap lockdown to end (12 February 2021) Message from Raymond: Snap lockdown (14 January 2021) Message from Rob: COVID-Safe workplace update (12 January 2021) Message from Rob: New domestic travel permit system (8 January 2021) Message from Catherine: COVID-19 DHHS advice (5 January 2021) Message from Catherine: COVID-19 update 2020 (31 December 2020) Message from Catherine: COVID-19 Restrictions Change (7 December 2020) Message from Raymond: Next steps to a COVID-Safe summer (4 December 2020) Message from Raymond: Update on our COVID-Safe return to offices (25 November 2020) Message from Rob: Support for ‘at risk’ groups returning to work (23 November 2020) Message from Raymond: COVID Update (9 November 2020) Message from Raymond: COVID Update (19 October 2020) Message from Raymond: COVID-19 (14 October 2020) Message from Rob: Update on Face Masks (28 September 2020) Message from Raymond: COVID-19 (24 September 2020) Message from Rob: COVID-19 & Seasonal Allergies (14 September 2020) Message from Michele: Important people updates (11 September 2020) Message from Rob: Your new Permitted Worker Permit (9 September 2020) Message from Rob: Permitted Worker Permit Update (7 September 2020) Message from Raymond: Premier’s announcement of Victoria’s roadmap for reopening (21 August 2020) Message from Michele: Working from home update 21 August (20 August 2020) Message from Rob: Working from home COVID-19 reminder (14 August 2020) Message from Raymond: Supporting our people through Stage 4 restrictions (6 August 2020) Update on Childcare for Permitted Workers (5 August 2020) Message from Rob: Access your Permitted Worker Permit in MetroMe (5 August 2020) Message from Rob: Important information about the Permitted Worker Scheme (3 August 2020) Message from Raymond: Stage 4 update (2 August 2020) Message from Raymond: Further restrictions for Melbourne and Regional Victoria (23 July 2020) Information about the wearing of masks at work (21 July 2020) Message from Rob: Wearing of masks at corporate offices (19 July 2020) Message from Rob: Update on masks and face coverings 19 July 2020 (17 July 2020) Message from Rob – COVID-19 Update 17 July 2020 (14 July 2020) Message from Raymond: values and behaviours reminder (13 July 2020) Message from Rob – Update on schools returning to remote learning (10 July 2020) Message from Rob: Update on advice regarding masks (7 July 2020) Message from Raymond: COVID-19 Update 7 July 2020 (2 July 2020) Message from Rob: COVID-19 update (1 July 2020) Message from Raymond: COVID-19 update (30 June 2020) Message from Rob: COVID-19 update (14 May 2020) Message from Rob: COVID-19 update, 15 May livestream invitation (11 May 2020) Message from Raymond: Coronavirus update 11 May 2020 (8 May 2020) Message from Raymond: Coronavirus update 8 May 2020 (7 May 2020) Message from Rob: COVID-19 employee update (3 May 2020) Message from Raymond: Thank you from Premier Daniel Andrews (15 April 2020) Message from Michele: Updated Epidemic and Pandemic People Procedure (15 April 2020) Message from Raymond: Thanks Team (8 April 2020) Message from Catherine: Beware phishing scams  (24 March 2020) Message from Michele: Epidemic and Pandemic Leave Policy (24 March 2020) Message from Michele: Urgent flu vaccination update (13 March 2020) Message from Raymond: Supporting our people through COVID-19 Communications to colleagues returning to corporate offices (06 July 2021) Message from Rob: Update for colleagues returning to corporate offices (26 May 2021) Message from Rob: Update for colleagues returning to corporate offices (07 May 2021) Message from Rob: Our new Flexible Work Options Procedure (05 May 2021) Message from Rob: Keeping COVID-Safe in colder weather (03 May 2021) Message from Rob: Update for colleagues returning to corporate offices (18 March 2021) Message from Rob: Keeping you informed of our workforce bubble changes (17 February 2021) Message from Rob: Our COVID-Safe workforce bubble system resumes tomorrow (03 February 2021) Message from Rob: Our COVID-Safe Office Return continues (27 January 2021) Message from Rob: Update on our COVID-Safe return to offices (21 January 2021) Message from Rob: Update on our COVID-Safe return to offices (04 December 2021) Message from Raymond: Update on our COVID-Safe return to offices (28 October 2020) Message from Rob – Working from home update  (24 September 2020) Message from Raymond: Thank you for continuing to work from home (28 August 2020) Message from Rob: Signing in to frontline locations Other leadership communications (7 April 2020) Message from Anne: Zoom conferencing should not be used (19 March 2020) Message from Anne Howard: Keeping our IT assets safe during remote working

COVID-19: Supporting Our People

1 Jul 2020, Tom Mclaughlin
Our priority continues to be ensuring the safety of our people and our passengers, and to keep Melbourne moving. This website is for Metro employees and includes important information including: Government advice and resources – including the latest public health advice Employee support – Our COVID-19 reporting process, Health, Wellbeing and IT resources, etc. Common questions and answers – including for frontline teams Communications library – A record of our organisation-wide communications regarding COVID-19 Thank you for keeping Melbourne moving Thank you for your ongoing commitment to our values: Caring, Dependable, Making a Difference, Zero Harm and One Team. Metro employees from the Infrastructure and Stations teams standing with CEO Raymond O’Flaherty at the Monash Health Sandown Vaccination Centre –  Tuesday 2 June, 2021. Image courtesy of Monash Health

Vehicle safety remains paramount around train tracks

10 Jun 2020, James Ireland
With more vehicles on Melbourne’s road network as coronavirus restrictions ease, Metro has issued a warning for drivers to be vigilant around level crossings. In the past year, there have been more than 220 safety incidents involving vehicles on the railway – or around 18 incidents a month. The Mernda and Frankston lines recorded the highest number of incidents with 35 each. Metro’s General Manager – Safety Operations Adrian Rowland says “Cars are just devastated if they end up being hit by a trains. “Trains don’t stop on a sixpence – and if you end up in a compromising position on a level crossing, there is nothing a train can do about it and you’re going to come off worse,” Mr Rowland said. The most common incident over the last 12 months was vehicles damaging boom gates or level crossing equipment, which happened 83 times. Mr Rowland says it’s essential that drivers check the other side of a level crossing is clear before they drive across. Those vehicle incidents have led to 700 trains being delayed across the network over the past year, which on top of the danger posed to vehicle drivers and passengers, puts an unnecessary burden on people using trains to get around Melbourne. In May, Metro met both of its performance targets by delivering 99.1 per cent of scheduled services, with 96.1 per cent of trains running on time. Current work from home restrictions mean there are still fewer passengers on the network than usual. Metro continues to operate a normal timetable and is focussing on continuing to provide an essential service for Melbourne. In May, Metro ran more than 65,000 services.

Safer, cleaner trains to keep Melbourne moving during COVID-19

21 May 2020, James Ireland
If there’s one thing Metro’s Rolling Stock team knows well – it’s how to keep Melbourne’s trains looking their cleanest. Mick Rowe and Michelle Mark are on the front line of Metro’s efforts to keep trains safe and clean for passengers and employees during COVID-19. For more than two months, Metro has been delivering an enhanced train cleaning program in response to the pandemic, which includes a requirement for all touch surfaces to be wiped down, and carriages and drivers’ cabins sanitised. With around 200 trains on the network during a typical peak period, it’s an enormous undertaking, and it’s done with safety front of mind. And while most Victorians have followed expert health advice and remained at home, the Rolling Stock team and its cleaning contractors have been in overdrive. Daily meetings ensure that all trains undergo the required cleaning, while nightly compliance checks help maintain the highest possible cleaning and safety standards.

Kids across Melbourne colour their safety messages

18 May 2020, James Ireland
More than 500 kids from across Melbourne entered Metro’s poster competition. The competition gave kids the chance to win prizes by designing a poster to highlight safety on the train network. These could include messages like, “Stay behind the yellow line”, “Walk your bike across the tracks”, or “Take off your headphones at level crossings”. This is part on the ongoing education campaign run by Metro’s Community Education Unit, which goes to schools to teach kids about being safe around trains. This year the prizes include a Playstation 4, an iPad and a Nintendo Switch. Entries closed on 17 May and the winners will be announced in June.

Keeping Melbourne moving during COVID-19

8 May 2020, James Ireland
Whether it’s getting people to work, supermarkets or medical appointments – Metro continues to provide an essential service for Melbourne in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Without Metro services, it would be difficult for people in the health sector and other industries to carry out their important work. Michelle manages a dental practice and still relies on Metro to get to work each day so she can continue to deliver care to her patients. “We continue to see emergency patients who are in pain and need urgent medical attention – and many of those people still rely on trains to attend their appointments,” Michelle said. Katie works for a natural medicine company experiencing a significant increase in demand for her products from pharmacies and supermarkets. Without Metro, Katie couldn’t travel to and from work each day.

Following the train of thought on Rail R U OK? Day

30 Apr 2020, James Ireland
Rail employees from across Australia and New Zealand have banded together to ask a simple question – “Are you OK?” Today is the sixth annual Rail R U OK? Day with the number of people participating growing to more than 70,000 since the event started in 2015. Metro Trains proudly partners with suicide and harm prevention charities R U OK? and the TrackSAFE Foundation to create a stronger, safer and more supportive rail industry. The day holds personal significance to Metro driver Stephen King, who’s been driving trains in Melbourne for nearly 40 years. “For me, Rail R U OK? Day means a lot – not just for the railways, but the general public as a whole,” Stephen said. “To be able to just ask and check in on somebody to see how they’re going can make all the difference.”

Flinders Street bathed in blue to remember fallen police

24 Apr 2020, James Ireland
Last night Flinders Street Station was lit in blue to honour the four Victoria Police officers who tragically lost their lives on the job. Every day Metro Trains Melbourne is grateful and proud to work alongside police. Their dedication to keeping people safe makes Victoria a better place for us all to call home. And during this time of great sadness, we stand with all police officers, their families and friends. To send a message in honour of the fallen officers, you can visit this Facebook page here

Delivering an essential service in challenging times

15 Apr 2020, James Ireland
As Melbourne continues to manage the on-going impacts of COVID-19, public transport remains an essential service. Metro staff are out on the rail network day in, day out, making sure services are running safely and efficiently for the passengers who rely on us. We have a responsibility to provide transport for people in essential roles – including health workers, police and emergency services, supermarket staff and those who care for our most vulnerable. We get these people where they need to go each day. They depend on us. Metro is running to a normal timetable with more than 2,200 services being delivered on an average weekday. In March, 98.8 per cent of scheduled services were delivered, while 92.7 per cent of trains ran on time. It takes an enormous team effort to keep Melbourne moving in these challenging times. Whether it’s delivering our critical works programs, ensuring our trains and cleaned thoroughly and maintained to keep passengers safe, or delivering an exceptional service for customers. Sandringham Line works Metro continues to push ahead with its maintenance and renewal program, with $12 million spent every week to keep trains, equipment and technology performing at their best. From 11pm Friday 27 March to Sunday 5 April, crews carried out works to maintain and renew track, platforms, ramps, signalling, overhead electrical works and other rail equipment at multiple locations along the Sandringham line. During the 10-day program crews completed: major ramp and platform upgrades at Gardenvale Station as well as works to replace sleepers and compact rock under the tracks maintenance to overhead electrical lines reducing the likelihood of power faults that can delay passengers signal upgrades and vegetation works beside the rail line between South Yarra and Elsternwick safety upgrades including resurfacing works to the Black Street pedestrian bridge at Middle Brighton Station and level crossing renewal works at Dendy Street/New Street between Middle Brighton and Brighton Beach, and at South Road near Brighton Beach. Enhanced cleaning measures Increased cleaning measures have been rolled out across the rail network to protect passengers who continue to use our services. All Metro trains undergo nightly sanitation, with touch surfaces wiped down and entire carriages and drivers’ cabins sprayed with disinfectant. Touch surfaces on trains are also wiped down at the end of their journeys during the day. Every night up to 1,371 train carriages are thoroughly cleaned. We are also cleaning touch points at stations including escalator handrails, myki machines, lift buttons and ticket office counters and windows. Cash handling To maintain hygiene at our stations and slow the spread of coronavirus, Metro staff are no longer handling cash. This is for the safety of our people and passengers. The best ways for passengers to pay for their journey is to use myki vending machines, Quick Top Up Enquiry Machines or go online and top up via the PTV website. Keeping our passengers moving Our friendly station staff continue to bring joy to the passengers that depend on our trains every day. Station officers Steve Gauci & Peter Holden are among those working hard to keep people smiling, whether it’s through a song on the platform, or making announcements to help people get where they need to go.

The iconic voice of Flinders Street Station

9 Apr 2020, James Ireland
If you’ve ever been waiting for a train at Flinders Street Station, there’s a strong chance you’ve heard the warm and dulcet tones of Leading Station Assistant Peter Holden. A familiar and reassuring sight for passengers, Peter is out on the platforms every day making announcements, providing safety advice, and keeping people informed on their journey with Metro. After a successful career in sports broadcasting, which included calling VFLW games, Peter turned to the rail network for his next career challenge. He wanted a change of pace and a job that would take him outdoors, so he turned to platform announcing. The role would allow Peter to make the best use of his broadcast skills to deliver important travel announcements for the people of Melbourne. “I spent about 20 years in radio and I was a bit sick of being stuck in a studio staring at computer monitors. I saw that Metro was advertising for people, so I submitted my application, and then a few months later – here I was at Flinders Street.” As people follow expert health advice and stay at home, Peter continues to work hard for the passengers who depend on Metro for essential travel. “In the early morning, from about 4:30am to 7am, there are still quite a lot of people on the trains, particularly from the construction industry,” Peter said. “During the middle of the day there are fewer casual passengers. It’s a little bit eerie, and the iconic sounds of Melbourne are gone.” Metro continues to move workers to essential roles, and families to supermarkets and medical appointments. And even though Melbourne has lost some of its traditional charm, Peter is doing his part to keep our city moving.

Newmarket Station Red Gum and Peppercorn trees to stay

27 Mar 2020, Metro Newsroom
Metro Trains and Moonee Valley City Council have agreed to a number of safety measures to retain the river red gum and peppercorn trees at Newmarket Station. Metro Chief Operating Officer Catherine Baxter said urgent works will commence next week to secure the station’s structure and protect the historic buildings into the future. A bespoke engineering solution has been designed to save the two trees so they continue to provide shelter, amenity and biodiversity for the local community. “The safety of the community and our passengers remains our absolute priority,” Ms Baxter said. “We’ve listened to community feedback and are working closely with Council on plans to protect the heritage station and improve the precinct for years to come. To protect users of the nearby station platforms, pathway, playground and car park, there will be ongoing pruning and monitoring of the river red gum and peppercorn. Temporary fencing to keep the community safe will be removed once initial pruning takes place. Metro and Council will work together to implement additional safety measures based on expert advice as required. Following further detailed arborist and engineering assessments, Council and Metro have agreed that one pittosporum tree, an invasive weed species, on the eastern side of the station must be removed to allow for the urgent works to proceed. The pittosporum will be removed under safety powers in the Rail Management Act. Metro and Council continue to work on landscaping and replanting plans for the Pin Oak Crescent side of the station, and Metro has advised Council that no other trees will be removed without planning permission unless it is determined that a tree poses an immediate safety risk to users of the station precinct. The ageing station platforms and retaining walls will be rebuilt with works to take place over the next six weeks.

More level crossings to go on the Frankston line

26 Mar 2020, James Ireland
Three dangerous level crossings will soon be gone and two new stations built at Cheltenham and Mentone to improve services on the Frankston line. The stations were closed on 20 March to mark the commencement of construction works, with the new stations due to open in the middle of 2020. While these works take place, trains are running express through Cheltenham and Mentone, and shuttle buses are operating between Southland and Parkdale stations. Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said “we’re continuing work on these projects despite the COVID-19 outbreak – providing certainty to local workers and making progress on delivering a better train network for Victorians.” “These level crossings are dangerous and unsafe – we’re getting rid of them, like we promised, as well as delivering new stations for Cheltenham and Mentone, with more open space for the community to enjoy,” Minister Allan said. During a major Frankston line construction blitz, which starts on 24 May and runs for eight weeks, the rail trenches will be dug out and new stations built. Buses will replace trains between Moorabbin and Mordialloc during this time. The new Mentone Station will open when trains resume on the Frankston line in mid-July, and Cheltenham Station will follow in August. Along the Frankston line, the Victorian Government is spending $3 billion to remove 18 level crossings and building 12 new stations.

Enhanced train cleaning measures to keep people safe

24 Mar 2020, James Ireland
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, Metro has stepped up the cleaning of trains to keep passengers and employees safe. On the expert advice of the Department of Health and Human Services, Metro has activated new cleaning protocols. The enhanced cleaning regime, now in effect, means that all Metro trains undergo nightly sanitation, with touch surfaces wiped down and entire carriages and drivers’ cabins sprayed with disinfectant. Cleaning crews were dispatched to maintenance depots at Epping, Newport, Westall, Bayswater and Craigieburn last week to commence the roll out the new program, which will run indefinitely. Metro’s General Manager – Rolling Stock Dave Carlton said the new practices are all about keeping people safe during uncertain times.

Frankston Line – Meet the new Carrum Station

17 Feb 2020, James Ireland
Carrum is now safer for pedestrians, bike riders and drivers, and train passengers can expect more reliable services. Built as part of the Level Crossing Removal Project, the new Carrum Station opened today providing a separated rail line, improved transport connections and an overall better community environment. Today’s exciting opening comes at the end of a two-week construction blitz, with a 108-person crew working around the clock to get the job done.

Metro puts careers on track for Indigenous women

13 Feb 2020, Media Release
Metro team members were recently invited to the annual gala dinner for Career Trackers. CareerTrackers is an organisation that supports internships for Indigenous students, and helps them stay engaged in education while getting access to unique work experience opportunities. Metro provides opportunities for five interns every year, including those from Indigenous, asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds. Our talented candidates Lauren Scott and Kiesha-Marie Jude were recently celebrated at the CareerTrackers gala dinner for getting valuable work experience in Metro’s engineering and safety divisions. Both candidates have been working hard with Lauren settling back into her role, as she completes another year of her engineering degree. Kiesha-Marie is putting her psychology studies to good use in Metro’s Network Safety and Security area. Metro is very proud to be building a future talent pipeline for the rail industry, while giving young people an opportunity to increase their workforce knowledge and experience.

Be safe and ‘Check Yourself Around Trains’

12 Feb 2020, James Ireland
A new Metro campaign is taking aim at risky behaviour around trains to prevent injuries, improve service reliability, and get passengers home safer and sooner. Using a series of creative animations, the Check Yourself Around Trains campaign focuses on preventing unsafe incidents that can injure passengers and cause avoidable delays – such as people holding open train doors and rushing on platforms. The campaign also calls on passengers to be courteous to fellow train users by moving down carriages and removing backpacks. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said “small changes in behaviour around trains can make a huge difference to the experience of all passengers who rely on our network every day.” In the past 12 months, there have been more than 1,000 avoidable slips, trips and falls across the network, many of which have required medical assistance and delayed trains on platforms. A further 176 safety incidents over the same period involved passengers forcing open train doors and risking serious injury to themselves and others.

A familiar voice: Pam puts passengers first

5 Feb 2020, James Ireland
Pam Tasker is a Customer Announcer and familiar voice to regular Metro Trains passengers. She is on the front line delivering announcements to passengers every day from Metro’s network control centre. Originally from Cambridge in England, Pam emigrated to Melbourne in 2007 with her family, and in 2014 she landed a job as a Leading Station Assistant based at Flinders Street Station. After 18 months of servicing passengers and delivering announcements on platforms, Pam was given an exciting opportunity to become an announcer at the Network Control Centre. Pam faced a few challenges as she adjusted to her new role, “The biggest change was that I no longer had face-to-face contact with passengers. That was really hard to adjust to because I can’t see who I’m talking to – whereas, when you’re on the platforms, you’ve got everybody there,” Pam said. “Now I just imagine I have a mic and I’m walking up and down the carriages of the trains – that’s the only way I could adjust.”

On the Metro network, every dog has their day

21 Jan 2020, James Ireland
South Yarra Station welcomed an unlikely canine team member for work experience this morning. Perhaps furrier than the typical Metro employee, “Ralph” the dog walked himself to Elsternwick Station around 7:30am. Unbeknownst to his owner, Ralph – the Samoyed-Golden Retriever cross – waited patiently with his fellow peak-hour commuters for the next city-bound service. He was a very good boy, staying behind the yellow line for safety as the train arrived on the platform. After the train stopped, the driver made sure Ralph was in safe hands so the service could depart on time to get passengers where they needed to go. Ralph was helped into the driver’s cab and the train was able to depart safely. As the service arrived at South Yarra, Metro’s Station Officer Priyanthi Fernando was ready and waiting to take Ralph up to the station office and begin the process of reuniting him with his owner. “I ran down to the platform to get him. I wanted to make sure Ralph was safe, and that we didn’t delay our passengers,” Priyanthi said. “It was certainly an unusual situation!”

Real-time monitoring keeps Metro on track this summer

20 Jan 2020, James Ireland
Metro Trains is monitoring the temperature of metropolitan rail lines in real-time to keep passengers and employees safe, and ensure services can run as reliably as possible during Melbourne’s extreme summer weather. Each Metro line is fitted with electronic monitoring sensors to measure track temperature, and these numbers are visible on a live digital map inside the network control centre. Metro’s General Manager – Infrastructure Peter Munro said train controllers used the technology to enhance decision making, improve safety, and minimise overall disruptions to passengers. “Extreme heat can have a significant impact on our ability to run trains safely – that’s why we monitor temperatures in real-time,” Mr Munro said. “Using the information we obtain from our track sensors, we can minimise the disruptions our passengers feel by only restricting the speed of trains where it’s absolutely critical to do so.”

From Metro to the bushfire frontline: Sylvia Coombe is humbled by the spirit of Australians

14 Jan 2020, James Ireland
After fighting the East Gippsland fires, Sylvia Coombe has been left with one enduring emotion – tremendous pride in the spirit of Australians. From Monday to Friday, Sylvia works as a Quality Manager in Metro Trains’ Safety Environment and Risk Division. When she’s not focusing on the safety of her colleagues, she’s a volunteer firefighter based at Keysborough – and one of many Metro employees responding to the fire crisis On 8 January 2020, she was one of five volunteers from her branch that got the call to fight the devastating East Gippsland fires. “When I was out there fighting fires, I was focused on the job at hand. It’s a tough job, but we’re trained to deal with these fires, and when you’re on the frontline, that training really kicks in and you just get it done.” It was only when she left the fire zone to return to Melbourne that she felt the extraordinary impact these fires had on the people of Australia. It had struck many people at their core.

Anti-trespass panels installed as performance improves

19 Dec 2019, James Ireland
New anti-trespasser ground panels are being trialled at five train stations to improve safety and reduce the number of incidents that delay passengers. The innovative panels discourage pedestrians from trespassing illegally at their local station, improving the reliability of services for all passengers. They feature raised pyramids to create an unstable surface – making it difficult for pedestrians to get around them and onto the rail corridor. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said, “trespassing on the railway is incredibly dangerous and can stop trains in their tracks – causing significant and unnecessary disruption to our passengers.” The anti-trespass panels are being installed at five Metro stations: Keilor Plains, Yarraville, Prahran, Narre Warren and Berwick. “These new anti-trespasser panels have proven to be effective on railways around the world, providing both a physical and visual deterrent to illegal behaviour,” Mr O’Flaherty said. Trespassing has a significant impact on Metro’s operational performance, with an average of 300 incidents every month that disrupt services and delay passengers. In November, Metro delivered 98.3 per cent of scheduled services and 91.5 per cent ran on time. Punctuality improved on 12 of Metro’s 16 train lines, with a significant reduction in delays caused by trespasses during the month. Factors impacting performance across the month included: Trespassing, police operations and near misses delaying 706 services Extreme heat and wind delaying 368 services Ill and unruly passengers delaying 331 services External power outages delaying 331 services Graffiti and vandalism delaying 145 services. Metro reliably carried 140,000 race-goers on more than 1,100 extra Melbourne Cup Carnival services including on Oaks Day – the network’s busiest day of the year.

Mernda Line passengers: meet your new Reservoir Station

16 Dec 2019, James Ireland
The new and improved Reservoir Station is now officially open to Mernda Line passengers, with the first trains rolling into platforms this morning. It was an early Christmas present for commuters who now have access to a modern, elevated station – providing better connections to local shopping strips and community precincts. The opening of the new station and rail bridge over High Street marks the end of a two-week construction blitz, during which buses replaced trains on sections of the Mernda Line. In a massive team effort, 250 people worked around-the-clock to complete the kilometre-long bridge, install signalling equipment, finish the station canopy, and undertake the necessary safety tests.

A powerful symbol that Metro is here to help

13 Dec 2019, James Ireland
At Metro Trains Melbourne, our people pride themselves on being able to communicate effectively with passengers to get them where they need to go every day. Metro was today awarded the Communication Access Symbol – recognising that our train drivers, Authorised Officers and station employees are equipped with the skills and resources to support passengers with communication difficulties. The accreditation milestone was celebrated at a special event attended by Metro Chief Operating Officer Catherine Baxter, General Manager – Passenger Tilly Loughborough, Scope trainers and assessors, and other Metro employees.

Police honour the bravery of our Network Security and Surveillance team

2 Dec 2019, James Ireland
The hard work and bravery of Metro’s Network Security and Surveillance (NSS) team has been formally recognised by Victoria Police. Transit Safety Division Detective Inspector, Andrew Gustke, joined GM Safety Operations, Adrian Rowland, Head of Security Operations, David Defrancesco, and NSS Manager, Jim Dimitrioski, at Southern Cross Station for a special plaque presentation. The plaque recognises the NSS team’s excellent work under difficult conditions to apprehend a man for alleged copper theft in the Laverton area. Officers had been patrolling an area between Laverton and Westona stations, where copper thefts had been occurring over a number of days. The area is known for its swampy and inaccessible terrain. Thanks to the persistence and quick actions of the NSS officers on duty, a 52-year-old Altona Meadows man was apprehended and later charged with theft and burglary offences. He is now before the courts.

Inside Metro’s covert Network Security and Surveillance team

21 Nov 2019, James Ireland
The Network Security and Surveillance team (NSS) is a special unit tasked with cracking down on vandals who try to deface trains and rail property, and keeping passengers and Metro workers safe. NSS officers utilise Metro’s 9,000-strong CCTV camera network – which includes cameras at stations and inside trains – as well as state of the art surveillance equipment such as drones and thermal-imaging cameras. Officers work closely with Victoria Police and other authorities in the field to protect the metropolitan network from crime. Many of the NSS team’s deployments occur under the cover of darkness and includes patrolling known hotspots for trespassers, graffiti vandals and other criminal behaviour. From train stabling yards to the Melbourne Underground Rail Loop – the NSS works everywhere. It’s challenging and sometimes dangerous work, with officers donning stab-proof vests and night vision goggles when out in the field.

Arrest after Werribee Line cable theft

14 Nov 2019, James Ireland
Thanks to the quick actions of Metro’s Network Safety and Security team, a man was apprehended and handed over to Victoria Police after a spate of cable thefts. A series of incidents over four mornings in late October led to 18 hours of disruptions on the Werribee Line, significantly impacting passengers who rely on services through the Altona Loop. Metro Chief Operating Officer Catherine Baxter said Metro officers had been patrolling the area between Laverton and Westona stations, which features swampy and inaccessible terrain. “Our Network Security and Surveillance team apprehended a man near the rail corridor early on November 1 – they were then handed over to Victoria Police,” Ms Baxter said. The release of Metro’s October performance on Thursday revealed the impact to the network of the crimes. During the month, Metro delivered 98.5 per cent of all train services, 90.3 per cent of which ran on time. October also saw the conclusion of the Spring Blitz, with more than 500,000 people moved on replacement buses while work progressed on the Metro Tunnel and other critical infrastructure upgrades. “We know the series of cable thefts was disruptive for many of our Werribee line passengers – I’d like to thank them for their patience,” Ms Baxter said. “Cable theft is criminal, dangerous and causes significant disruption for our passengers who rely on our train services to get where they need to go.” Victoria Police confirmed the Transit division charged a 52-year-old man with burglary and theft.

We’re making improvements to the way you get around Melbourne.

14 Nov 2019, Media Release
New timetables come into effect from Sunday 1st December 2019 on the below lines Cranbourne Pakenham Werribee Sunbury Craigieburn  Upfield  Southern Cross Station will also be open earlier, at 6am on Sunday mornings making it easier for people on the Werribee, Sunbury, Craigieburn and Upfield lines to get home after a night out or a shift at work. To view and print your new timetable, select a line below

Metro appoints Michele Mauger as People executive

12 Nov 2019, Media Release
Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty has announced the appointment of experienced human resources leader Michele Mauger as Executive Director, People. Leading Metro’s People function, Ms Mauger will continue to align the rail operator’s people strategy to the organisation’s ongoing transformation to be a world leader in the transport sector. Ms Mauger has more than 25 years of international experience across a range of industries and sectors including mining, professional services, construction and government. Prior to joining Metro, Ms Mauger led globally diverse teams, implemented HR strategies and delivered large-scale business transformation and change programs at mining services provider Theiss, engineering firm Worley Parsons and construction group Grocon. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said that given Ms Mauger’s background and capability, she was a natural fit for Metro, Victoria’s third largest employer. “Michele is a global human resources leader who will bring her significant expertise to support our important people agenda and talent needs, and enhance our organisation by driving engagement, diversity and performance strategies focused on our 6,000 strong workforce,” Mr O’Flaherty said. Ms Mauger commences with Metro on 28 January 2020, reporting directly to Mr O’Flaherty.

All creatures great and small…

11 Nov 2019, Tom Mclaughlin
Metro have recently played a leading role in bringing together bandicoot experts, Victorian agencies and land managers to develop the State’s first guidelines for managing habitat for the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot. Neal Masters, Metro’s Biodiversity Manager worked closely with these stakeholders to distil the key learnings from a forum held at Koo Wee Rup in 2018 to turn the guidelines into reality. The guidelines were recently released for use across Victoria. “It is something we should feel very proud of,” said Neal who played a big part in setting this all in motion when he realised no such guidelines existed when Metro inherited the management of 3km of Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat in 2018. “Victoria has already lost the remarkable Eastern Barred Bandicoot through predation by cats, foxes and habitat loss so we need to act quickly to save the Southern Brown Bandicoot from the same fate. It is fantastic that Metro is playing such a leading role to prevent the extinction of endangered species in Victoria.”

Drones soar to keep racegoers safe this Spring Racing Carnival

6 Nov 2019, James Ireland
Metro is using drone technology and a custom-built CCTV trailer to keep a close eye on trains moving in and out of Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Two new drones will be Metro’s eyes in the sky as more than 1,000 additional services help racegoers get to and from the festivities safely and reliably. The new mobile CCTV trailer, complete with thermal night-time imaging to target vandals and trespassers, is also being used along the Flemington Racecourse line. The trailer includes a six-metre mast, which carries a zoomable camera as well as a thermal imaging camera, providing clear vision at night or in areas with little or no light. Both technologies will help reduce the impact of train and track faults across the network, getting trains and racegoers moving as quickly as possible.

Extra services to get to Spring Racing

1 Nov 2019, Tom Mclaughlin
More than 1,100 extra train and tram services to help move around 300,000 people to and from the Melbourne Cup Carnival. The best way to get to the carnival will be by public transport, with the extra train and tram services providing fast, safe and frequent transport straight to the track. The bulk of extra services will be on Melbourne’s train network with more than 1,000 additional services running across Derby, Melbourne Cup, Oaks and Stakes days. An extra 186 services will be put on for Oaks Day, which will also include regular weekday services. Trains will depart Flinders Street station every six minutes and at the end of each race day, and trains will leave Flemington every four minutes to get people home again. Metro has also been completing maintenance and renewal works along the rail line to Flemington, including replacing old timber sleepers with concrete sleepers, improving drainage, and clearing vegetation and graffiti from the station precinct.

Upfield line works blitz to remove level crossings and build new stations

1 Nov 2019, James Ireland
The Upfield line is set to close for three months to allow for major level crossing removal works. The Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, announced a $542.4 million contract had been awarded to remove four level crossings and build two new stations in Melbourne’s inner north. A project alliance that includes Metro Trains Melbourne will remove level crossings at Bell Street, Munro Street, Reynard Street and Moreland Road and build two new modern stations at Coburg and Moreland.

Puffing Billy Goats chomp through fire hazards

22 Oct 2019, James Ireland
Last week Metro’s Vegetation team welcomed a herd of goats to the team to get on with weed clearing near Belgrave Station. A half-hectare area of bushland at Belgrave Station required a creative weed management solution to safely and effectively clear the area. A team of 10 goats from GrazeAway, known as the Puffing Billy Goats, have been brought in to chew through the area and clear the weeds over the coming months. Thriving weeds in the area were making life difficult for native plants and were becoming a fire hazard with summer just around the corner.

A valuable opportunity to ‘Try Before You Ride’

16 Oct 2019, James Ireland
Passengers with accessibility needs have had an opportunity to test and trial an accessible train during the annual Try Before You Ride event at Box Hill Station. Metro’s General Manager – Passenger Experience Tilly Loughborough joined colleagues from MTR partners in London and Stockholm to see first-hand how Metro is improving accessibility for passengers – including people with a disability, parents and carers with children, and seniors. Organised by the Department of Transport, Try Before You Ride helps people of all abilities feel more confident when using Melbourne’s public transport system. Metro drivers, Authorised Officers and station officers were on hand to help people navigate through a stationary train.

Metro employee immortalised on marriage equality stamp

10 Oct 2019, Tom Mclaughlin
Metro Driver Compliance Manager Paula Van Bruggen and partner Rebecca Davis will forever be immortalized on an Australian $1 stamp. On the day it was confirmed that Australia had voted in favour of marriage equality, Paula and Rebecca joined in as people climbed the steps of the Melbourne State Library to eagerly await the announcement. Two years after the vote, Paula and her partner received a call to ask if they minded if a picture of them was used on a postage stamp to commemorate Australian marriage equality. “We were ecstatic.” Paula said, “There is still a long way to go before we have true equality for all, however I’m proud of how far we’ve come. From a postal vote that fuelled quite a lot of hate, to a postage stamp created out of love.”

Bringing stations to life to support better mental health

3 Oct 2019, James Ireland
Metro is connecting passengers to local mental health services as part of a campaign being rolled out to stations across the network. Each month, Safety and Security team members, Authorised Officers, mental health advisers, local mental health organisations, and Victoria Police are coming together for Stations Alive. The program is focussing on priority stations including Dandenong, Berwick, Clayton, Croydon, Box Hill, Ringwood, Sunshine, Footscray, Flinders Street and Parliament throughout 2019. The stations were identified as key locations for community engagement, following an analysis of known hotspots for self-harm incidents. The campaign is raising awareness of mental health in local communities whilst focusing on positive mental health messaging, and the local, state and national services and resources that are available. Metro General Manager – Safety and Security, Anthony Fewster, said the highly interactive campaign was all about encouraging positive dialogue. “Sometimes a simple conversation is all it takes to help someone through a difficult period in their life. We can also use these activations to point them to the services they need,” Anthony said.

Paving the way for more Cranbourne services

10 Sep 2019, Metro Newsroom
Vital upgrades to the Cranbourne line to remove the remaining level crossings and duplicate the track will start next year. The project will remove the last four level crossings along the line and fully duplicate it to enable trains to run every 10 minutes. These works include building a new Merinda Park Station with two new platforms and better facilities for the 1100 passengers who use it each weekday. Costing more than $1 billion, the Cranbourne Line Upgrade will be delivered in stages to ensure works can be coordinated and completed efficiently. Work is already underway to build a new road bridge over the rail line at Evans Road, with the Greens Road level crossing in Dandenong South the next to go. Located in a commercial and industrial area, the Greens Road level crossing will be removed by building a new rail bridge over the road, with detailed investigations confirming this as the most suitable design. Work will start in 2020 and the crossing will be gone by the end of 2022. Work will also start next year to construct eight km of new track between Dandenong and Cranbourne, removing single-track bottlenecks that prevent the introduction of more services. These duplication works – including the rebuilding of Merinda Park Station – will be completed by 2023. So far 11 level crossings have already been removed on the Cranbourne line, with further technical investigations and community consultation to come for crossings at Webster Street in Dandenong and Camms Road in Cranbourne. These crossings will be removed by 2025 to make the Cranbourne line the first to be completely level crossing-free. About 39,000 vehicles currently travel through the remaining Cranbourne line level crossings each day, and that figure is forecast to grow by about 41 per cent to about 55,000 by 2026. The Cranbourne Line Upgrade, together with the Metro Tunnel, will boost reliability, frequency with room for 121,000 extra peak hour passengers each week and travel times cut by up to 50 minutes a day. It also paves the way for a future extension of the line to Clyde, with planning already under way.

Metro Cares gives communities the chance to make a difference

10 Sep 2019, James Ireland
School gardens, local sports teams, historical societies, kinders, and many more organisations received $45,000 of grants to help them continue to improve their communities. Metro Cares Community Grants awarded 30 organisations grants of $1500. The groups were nominated by Metro staff. “The Community Grants program provides an avenue of support to our employees who invest their time, energy and often their money into creating a more connected community through volunteering. It was wonderful reading through all the applications, we have some truly remarkable team members!” said Ebony Fry, Metro’s Community Investment Coordinator. Through the grant process, the 30 winners were randomly selected from 58 eligible entries by Metro’s Corporate Responsibility Team. The diverse range of grant recipients reflects Metro’s diverse range of staff. Some of the recipients include: Te Reo Maioha Ki Poipiripi, a Maori language school who will get new learning materials. Croydon Gums Kindergarten, who will use the money for an indigenous garden. Richmond Creche and Kindergarten, will buy CCTV cameras. Country Fire Authority Broadford Fire Brigade, will buy fire-fighting equipment such as hose fittings and nozzles. Northcote Library Food Garden Inc, will buy gardening equipment and supplies, and hold educational workshops on topics such as building bee hotels, keeping worm farms, composting methods, and native planting.

Watch: Drivers getting up to speed for new trains

1 Sep 2019, James Ireland
New simulators will allow drivers to get comprehensive training on the High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT) before they head out into the real world. Speaking to Nine News, Metro Trains’ Specialist Training Manager Andre Rudkovsky said HCMTs will be the most advanced trains on the Metro network, which means they require the most advanced driver training technology to support this important project. “Safety is our number one priority, and putting drivers in an immersive simulator allows them to be totally familiar and comfortable with the new controls before they get out on the real network,” Mr Rudkovsky said. Around 1,000 drivers will be trained in HCMT over the coming months – training will get underway using e-learning modules to introduce the train and systems, before progressing to desktop and the full cab simulators and then practical training on an actual HCMT. Two full cab simulators have now been installed – one at South Kensington and the other at the new HCMT depot at Pakenham East.

Oakleigh Station upgrade on the way

23 Aug 2019, Metro Newsroom
Works to improve Oakleigh Station have started as a part of a transformation that will provide better facilities and greater accessibility for the community. The upgrade project will reinvigorate the station precinct while keeping trains running. Once complete, this upgrade will provide a safer and more user-friendly experience for those accessing the station and the Oakleigh shopping precinct. A shallow, dated underpass currently exists as the only pedestrian crossing between north and south sides of the station, with commuters having to access a central island for city-bound services. This upgrade will bring the underpass up to modern standards and redesign access ramps on both sides, providing a more accessible, modern connection for all users. There will be two new lifts installed, better lighting and security cameras, and new canopies to provide better protection from the weather. The redesign will see commuters also benefit from direct access to city-bound services from Haughton Road, which will reduce congestion in the underpass. Oakleigh Station will remain open during construction to ensure that regular train and bus services are maintained for commuters, with some temporary changes to station access and car parking required to facilitate works Metro is working in partnership with the Level Crossing Removal Project, Lendlease, CPB Contractors, WSP and Aurecon will deliver the work. This team has already successfully removed nine level crossings and constructed five new elevated stations between Caulfield and Dandenong. Locals will be enjoying their upgraded Oakleigh station facilities by mid-2020, with some minor works to be completed later in the year.

A huge leap forward for Reservoir

19 Aug 2019, Metro Newsroom
The next major phase of works at the Reservoir level crossing removal site is now underway. The High Street intersection has been closed to traffic at the level crossing and will reopen in late December. During this time construction crews will reconfigure the road and build two, 185-metre-long steel bridge segments over the intersection. On average, 36,000 vehicles travel through the notorious Reservoir level crossing every weekday, where High Street, Cheddar Road and Spring Street intersect. The six boom gates at this intersection can be down for 24 minutes during the two-hour morning peak. In the past decade there were three recorded collisions, one fatality and 26 near misses at the level crossing. This includes a collision between a train and car earlier this year. The Reservoir level crossing removal and new station are scheduled to be complete in 2020. Raising the rail line over the road will offer the opportunity to develop public open space below and beside the rail bridge, including walking and cycling paths, landscaping and a public plaza for the community. Work to improve safety and deliver more trains on the Mernda line, used by 33,000 passengers each weekday, is continuing with another four level crossing removals and new stations at Bell and Preston planned. During the intersection closure, locals will be able to watch the bridge take shape from a range of public viewing areas.

Another prized poster for Rail Safety Week 2019

14 Aug 2019, James Ireland
When it comes to safety on Melbourne’s rail network, a poster can speak a thousand words. In August, Metro’s Community Education Unit held its annual Rail Safety Week poster competition, calling on year 5 and 6 students from across Melbourne to put their creativity to the test, and develop a unique safety message for passengers. Tucker Road Primary School student Trinity Taylor took out the top prize, highlighting the importance of stopping and thinking around trains. The poster includes a train travelling across a level crossing, with the boom arms down, and features the message: “Use your brain, when around trains, think twice, don’t pay the price.” Trinity earned a school visit from Metro’s Community Education Unit and Dumb Ways to Die characters for a special presentation of her prize, which included a Playstation 4 console and showbag. Metro Trains Community Education Officer Kelli Williams said the poster competition was a terrific way to engage young people on the importance of being safe around trains. “We speak to tens of thousands of people every year and visit hundreds of schools to spread a message of safety on the rail network,” Kelli said. “Congratulations to our winner Trinity and all our competition participants. These posters are teaching better behaviours around trains, which is a job for passengers big and small.” Dumb Ways to Die became the most awarded campaign in the history of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity when launched by Metro in 2012. It has since generated more than 120 million personal pledges to be safe around trains from all around the world. “Rail Safety Week is a chance to remind people that careless or reckless behaviour around trains can have dire consequences,” Kelli said. Rail Safety Week (12-18 August 2019) is an annual Australasian Railway Association (ARA) and TrackSAFE Foundation community awareness initiative held across Australia and New Zealand.

Metro drives towards more inclusivity with Indigenous Australians

12 Jul 2019, Tom Mclaughlin
Metro has launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which will lead the way to better understanding and stronger participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This RAP builds on past support for reconciliation at Metro and formalises our commitment to a more considered and deliberate reconciliation effort. Three are three main areas of focus for the RAP: Building relationships between Metro and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, passengers, communities and businesses. Improving employment opportunities, supplier diversity and community programs. Using the assets, and visibility of Metro’s network to foster recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ histories, cultures and achievements. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said: “I am proud to present the first Metro RAP and I am confident it will set us on the right path to connect communities and enrich our city by building genuine relationships and creating opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Improved train journeys for assistance animals

28 Jun 2019, James Ireland
Passengers travelling with assistance animals now have access to special relief areas on the network. The Assistance Animal Relief Areas provide space for assistance dogs to take a break and relieve themselves during their journey on the rail network. There are five relief areas at stations around the networks, Footscray, Parliament, Caulfield, Showgrounds and Flemington Racecourse. With the support of Victorian accessibility groups, including Vision Australia and Guide Dogs Victoria, the facilities were specially designed and implemented for the Metro network. Accessibility Manager Laura Edwards said the relief areas were an important step in making the Metro network more accessible for everyone.
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