An Exchange of Ideas with Rail Industry

16 Nov 2023, Anna Brain
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, Anna Brain
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, Anna Brain
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, Anna Brain
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, Anna Brain
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, Anna Brain
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.