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.”

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