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.

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