Metro Trains recognised at the 2023 Australasian Rail Industry Awards

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.
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