Australia’s first electric piling rig at Kananook

31 Jan 2024, James Ireland
Australia’s first electric piling rig is helping with works on the Kananook Train Maintenance Facility, contributing to the sustainable operation and development of Melbourne’s rail network. The Liebherr LB30 Unplugged is estimated to save a massive 15 tonnes of CO2 at this site. The eco-friendly rig is powered by the Kananook Substation where it is charged overnight for use during the day. The rig is set to finish off all 162 piles at Kananook this week. Each pile, which will help stabilise the ground under the project, is an impressive 18m deep and 900mm in diameter.

Sarah Kelley appointed General Manager of Operations

29 Jan 2024, James Ireland
Sarah Kelley has been appointed General Manager of Operations at Metro Trains Melbourne, commencing her role at the start of January. Sarah joins Metro as an effective and experienced transport leader with a diverse, global career spanning over 25 years in rail and light rail management. Starting her career in rail as a stewardess for Intercity Railway in the United Kingdom, Sarah has worked in varied customer service and operational functions, including depots, stations, infrastructure maintenance and operations control. She brings a wealth of knowledge in day-of service running and performance, and has a strong background in safety compliance, incident management, network asset integration and delivering on strategic partnerships. Over the past 15 years, Sarah has held numerous operations leadership roles working across the United Kingdom’s expansive and complex rail networks where she has left an indelible mark. From 2017 to 2020, Sarah was Head of Strategic Command for Arriva London, responsible for the smooth running of the Transport for London overground rail network, transporting more than 180 million passengers across nine lines every year. She was then promoted to Regional Director (South and West) for CrossCountry Rail, who run long-distance rail services across England, Scotland and Wales, before moving to Australia in early 2022. Sarah’s most recent role was as the General Manager at TorrensConnect, the tram and bus operator in Adelaide, Australia. Here, Sarah oversaw the management of the business and franchise, consolidating the experiences she had gained over the years in customer service, rolling stock, infrastructure and operations. As newly appointed General Manager of Operations at Metro, Sarah will focus her time out on the network to meet her team members and understand Melbourne’s unique metropolitan network and operational landscape. “I have spent my first month getting a better understanding of Metro and the projects that are coming to help shape our operational strategy for the next couple of years.” Sarah is known for fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment in her teams of hundreds of employees. “I try to create an environment where everyone is welcome to be themselves and they are given the space to be heard.” “It would be easy to have only like-minded people in your team, but the challenge is to create a diverse environment where different approaches and opinions are celebrated and embraced,” explained Sarah. Sarah is an experienced, collaborative and people-focused leader, and we are proud to welcome her aboard.

Bridge strike tech captures moment of impact

25 Jan 2024, James Ireland
New CCTV cameras and sensors installed at three hot-spot locations have captured the moment when overheight trucks have hit rail bridges, causing chaos for traffic and rail passengers. When a rail bridge is struck, it can result in damage to rail infrastructure and significant disruption for thousands of passengers. Trains have to be slowed, stopped or the train line may have to be suspended to allow for the bridge to be inspected and deemed safe. For the first time, CCTV and impact sensors can reveal the full details of an incident, providing immediate notification and remote assessment of any damage caused. Metro’s bridge inspector can now immediately evaluate the incident, and decide if further investigation is required, meaning less delays for passengers. The new technology has been installed at Racecourse Road in Newmarket, Huntingdale Road in Jordanville and Warrigal Road in Holmesglen.

Joey Teangi’s rescue tale

18 Jan 2024, James Ireland
Teangi – an Indigenous word that means earthy – is the perfect name for this wallaby joey, rescued by Metro and Wildlife Victoria. The joey was in grave danger, being attacked by bull ants and with a fox prowling nearby. Steve Roze, a safeworking coordinator, was inspecting track between Diggers Rest and Sunbury when his team noticed Teangi moving in the pouch of his mother, who had sadly passed away. Wildlife Victoria were called, but access to the spot was difficult following recent heavy rain. Volunteer Lindy was able to safely reach the joey with assistance from Steve and Michael Melhelm, a GTE Rail contractor. She wrapped him in a blanket and took him to an experienced wallaby carer. “I’m glad it was a good outcome for the little tacker,” Steve says. Lindy took Teangi to Annie, an active wildlife carer in her 80s, who will look after the joey until he can be released.

Celebrating International Day of People with a Disability

1 Dec 2023, James Ireland
Our network is for everyone, and we recognise the importance of listening to and working with people with disability. Our Accessibility Reference Group, made up of nine passengers with lived experience of disability, plays a key role in meeting our accessibility and inclusion goals. We talk to our members openly about initiatives impacting the network, including train and station design, and staff procedures. In the lead up to International Day of People with Disability (3 December), we celebrated the contribution of our Accessibility Reference Group, along with the work of Accessibility Reference Groups at V/Line, Yarra Trams and Kinetic.

Next Stop: Story Time

29 Nov 2023, James Ireland
Train travel is set to become a more unique and interesting experience for passengers and tourists. Metro Trains Melbourne has partnered with Storytowns Podcast Tours and the Department of Transport and Planning to capture untold stories of our city with a series of podcasts. There are currently 47 podcasts available focusing on the Belgrave, Lilydale, Upfield, Williamstown, Sandringham and Pakenham lines – from the maritime history of Williamstown, Pentridge Prison in Coburg, even the Greek origins of Oakleigh. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty says the podcasts are an innovative way to engage with commuters.

Your shiny new office within the Metro Tunnel awaits

17 Nov 2023, James Ireland
In our biggest recruitment drive ever, Metro is looking for more than 100 new staff to work in the five new Metro Tunnel stations.  Applications open on 22 November, with Station Master, Senior Station Officers and station assistance roles available at Arden, Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac stations.  The recruitment drive was announced on Thursday by Premier Jacinta Allan, Minister for Public and Active Transport Gabrielle Williams and special guest Geoff Jacks.  Geoff has been with Metro for 51 years, and has worked at 240 train stations, including many that no longer exist.   He was there in 1981 when the City Loop opened and has seen many city shaping projects being completed across his five-decade career.  Station staff play a key role in helping thousands of passengers get where they need to go every day quickly and safely.   As the search for staff begins, work is continuing at pace on the Metro Tunnel – creating room for more passengers, taking cars off our roads and cutting travel times to Parkville and St Kilda Road by up to 50 minutes a day.  The Metro Tunnel will create a new end-to-end rail line from Sunbury in the north-west to Cranbourne and Pakenham in the south-east – through a new tunnel under the city, freeing up space in the City Loop.  If a career in the railways sounds like your sort of thing, dust off your CV and find out more about working in a Metro Tunnel station by visiting bigbuild.vic.gov.au/metrotunnel. 

An Exchange of Ideas with Rail Industry

16 Nov 2023, James Ireland
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, James Ireland
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, James Ireland
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, James Ireland
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, James Ireland
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, James Ireland
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.