Police honour the bravery of our Network Security and Surveillance team

2 Dec 2019, Andrew Nelson
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, Andrew Nelson
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.

Four Preston level crossings to go

18 Nov 2019, Media Release
Early works to remove four dangerous and congested level crossings and build two new stations and a stretch of elevated rail in Preston will start next year. Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed a new two-kilometre rail bridge will remove the level crossings at Bell Street, Cramer Street, Murray Road and Oakover Road. “Another four level crossings are being removed so we can run more trains more often, with work to begin next year,” the Premier said. “This project will deliver new stations, faster services and less congestion on local streets – as well as new, green open space for the community.” Around 82,000 vehicles go through the level crossings each day. Bell Street is the busiest road with 52,000 vehicles each day and the boom gates down for up to 40 per cent of the morning peak. Detailed planning and engineering have determined the best way to remove the crossing – given the constraints on this section of the Mernda line – is to elevate the line and use an innovative U-Trough design. New stations will be built at Bell and Preston, and a section of the track will be straightened to deliver faster and more frequent services into the future. The level crossings will be removed by the end of 2022 and the open space ready for locals to enjoy in 2023.

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.

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, Andrew Nelson
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, Andrew Nelson
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, Andrew Nelson
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, Kate Rasmussen
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, Andrew Nelson
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.
Back to top