News | Metro Trains

Kids across Melbourne colour their safety messages

18 May 2020, James Ireland
More than 500 kids from across Melbourne entered Metro’s poster competition. The competition gave kids the chance to win prizes by designing a poster to highlight safety on the train network. These could include messages like, “Stay behind the yellow line”, “Walk your bike across the tracks”, or “Take off your headphones at level crossings”. This is part on the ongoing education campaign run by Metro’s Community Education Unit, which goes to schools to teach kids about being safe around trains. This year the prizes include a Playstation 4, an iPad and a Nintendo Switch. Entries closed on 17 May and the winners will be announced in June.

Keeping Melbourne moving during COVID-19

8 May 2020, Andrew Nelson
Whether it’s getting people to work, supermarkets or medical appointments – Metro continues to provide an essential service for Melbourne in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Without Metro services, it would be difficult for people in the health sector and other industries to carry out their important work. Michelle manages a dental practice and still relies on Metro to get to work each day so she can continue to deliver care to her patients. “We continue to see emergency patients who are in pain and need urgent medical attention – and many of those people still rely on trains to attend their appointments,” Michelle said. Katie works for a natural medicine company experiencing a significant increase in demand for her products from pharmacies and supermarkets. Without Metro, Katie couldn’t travel to and from work each day.

Following the train of thought on Rail R U OK? Day

30 Apr 2020, Andrew Nelson
Rail employees from across Australia and New Zealand have banded together to ask a simple question – “Are you OK?” Today is the sixth annual Rail R U OK? Day with the number of people participating growing to more than 70,000 since the event started in 2015. Metro Trains proudly partners with suicide and harm prevention charities R U OK? and the TrackSAFE Foundation to create a stronger, safer and more supportive rail industry. The day holds personal significance to Metro driver Stephen King, who’s been driving trains in Melbourne for nearly 40 years. “For me, Rail R U OK? Day means a lot – not just for the railways, but the general public as a whole,” Stephen said. “To be able to just ask and check in on somebody to see how they’re going can make all the difference.”

Flinders Street bathed in blue to remember fallen police

24 Apr 2020, Andrew Nelson
Last night Flinders Street Station was lit in blue to honour the four Victoria Police officers who tragically lost their lives on the job. Every day Metro Trains Melbourne is grateful and proud to work alongside police. Their dedication to keeping people safe makes Victoria a better place for us all to call home. And during this time of great sadness, we stand with all police officers, their families and friends. To send a message in honour of the fallen officers, you can visit this Facebook page here

Delivering an essential service in challenging times

15 Apr 2020, James Ireland
As Melbourne continues to manage the on-going impacts of COVID-19, public transport remains an essential service. Metro staff are out on the rail network day in, day out, making sure services are running safely and efficiently for the passengers who rely on us. We have a responsibility to provide transport for people in essential roles – including health workers, police and emergency services, supermarket staff and those who care for our most vulnerable. We get these people where they need to go each day. They depend on us. Metro is running to a normal timetable with more than 2,200 services being delivered on an average weekday. In March, 98.8 per cent of scheduled services were delivered, while 92.7 per cent of trains ran on time. It takes an enormous team effort to keep Melbourne moving in these challenging times. Whether it’s delivering our critical works programs, ensuring our trains and cleaned thoroughly and maintained to keep passengers safe, or delivering an exceptional service for customers. Sandringham Line works Metro continues to push ahead with its maintenance and renewal program, with $12 million spent every week to keep trains, equipment and technology performing at their best. From 11pm Friday 27 March to Sunday 5 April, crews carried out works to maintain and renew track, platforms, ramps, signalling, overhead electrical works and other rail equipment at multiple locations along the Sandringham line. During the 10-day program crews completed: major ramp and platform upgrades at Gardenvale Station as well as works to replace sleepers and compact rock under the tracks maintenance to overhead electrical lines reducing the likelihood of power faults that can delay passengers signal upgrades and vegetation works beside the rail line between South Yarra and Elsternwick safety upgrades including resurfacing works to the Black Street pedestrian bridge at Middle Brighton Station and level crossing renewal works at Dendy Street/New Street between Middle Brighton and Brighton Beach, and at South Road near Brighton Beach. Enhanced cleaning measures Increased cleaning measures have been rolled out across the rail network to protect passengers who continue to use our services. All Metro trains undergo nightly sanitation, with touch surfaces wiped down and entire carriages and drivers’ cabins sprayed with disinfectant. Touch surfaces on trains are also wiped down at the end of their journeys during the day. Every night up to 1,371 train carriages are thoroughly cleaned. We are also cleaning touch points at stations including escalator handrails, myki machines, lift buttons and ticket office counters and windows. Cash handling To maintain hygiene at our stations and slow the spread of coronavirus, Metro staff are no longer handling cash. This is for the safety of our people and passengers. The best ways for passengers to pay for their journey is to use myki vending machines, Quick Top Up Enquiry Machines or go online and top up via the PTV website. Keeping our passengers moving Our friendly station staff continue to bring joy to the passengers that depend on our trains every day. Station officers Steve Gauci & Peter Holden are among those working hard to keep people smiling, whether it’s through a song on the platform, or making announcements to help people get where they need to go.

The iconic voice of Flinders Street Station

9 Apr 2020, James Ireland
If you’ve ever been waiting for a train at Flinders Street Station, there’s a strong chance you’ve heard the warm and dulcet tones of Leading Station Assistant Peter Holden. A familiar and reassuring sight for passengers, Peter is out on the platforms every day making announcements, providing safety advice, and keeping people informed on their journey with Metro. After a successful career in sports broadcasting, which included calling VFLW games, Peter turned to the rail network for his next career challenge. He wanted a change of pace and a job that would take him outdoors, so he turned to platform announcing. The role would allow Peter to make the best use of his broadcast skills to deliver important travel announcements for the people of Melbourne. “I spent about 20 years in radio and I was a bit sick of being stuck in a studio staring at computer monitors. I saw that Metro was advertising for people, so I submitted my application, and then a few months later – here I was at Flinders Street.” As people follow expert health advice and stay at home, Peter continues to work hard for the passengers who depend on Metro for essential travel. “In the early morning, from about 4:30am to 7am, there are still quite a lot of people on the trains, particularly from the construction industry,” Peter said. “During the middle of the day there are fewer casual passengers. It’s a little bit eerie, and the iconic sounds of Melbourne are gone.” Metro continues to move workers to essential roles, and families to supermarkets and medical appointments. And even though Melbourne has lost some of its traditional charm, Peter is doing his part to keep our city moving.

Newmarket Station Red Gum and Peppercorn trees to stay

27 Mar 2020, Metro Newsroom
Metro Trains and Moonee Valley City Council have agreed to a number of safety measures to retain the river red gum and peppercorn trees at Newmarket Station. Metro Chief Operating Officer Catherine Baxter said urgent works will commence next week to secure the station’s structure and protect the historic buildings into the future. A bespoke engineering solution has been designed to save the two trees so they continue to provide shelter, amenity and biodiversity for the local community. “The safety of the community and our passengers remains our absolute priority,” Ms Baxter said. “We’ve listened to community feedback and are working closely with Council on plans to protect the heritage station and improve the precinct for years to come. To protect users of the nearby station platforms, pathway, playground and car park, there will be ongoing pruning and monitoring of the river red gum and peppercorn. Temporary fencing to keep the community safe will be removed once initial pruning takes place. Metro and Council will work together to implement additional safety measures based on expert advice as required. Following further detailed arborist and engineering assessments, Council and Metro have agreed that one pittosporum tree, an invasive weed species, on the eastern side of the station must be removed to allow for the urgent works to proceed. The pittosporum will be removed under safety powers in the Rail Management Act. Metro and Council continue to work on landscaping and replanting plans for the Pin Oak Crescent side of the station, and Metro has advised Council that no other trees will be removed without planning permission unless it is determined that a tree poses an immediate safety risk to users of the station precinct. The ageing station platforms and retaining walls will be rebuilt with works to take place over the next six weeks.

More level crossings to go on the Frankston line

26 Mar 2020, Andrew Nelson
Three dangerous level crossings will soon be gone and two new stations built at Cheltenham and Mentone to improve services on the Frankston line. The stations were closed on 20 March to mark the commencement of construction works, with the new stations due to open in the middle of 2020. While these works take place, trains are running express through Cheltenham and Mentone, and shuttle buses are operating between Southland and Parkdale stations. Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said “we’re continuing work on these projects despite the COVID-19 outbreak – providing certainty to local workers and making progress on delivering a better train network for Victorians.” “These level crossings are dangerous and unsafe – we’re getting rid of them, like we promised, as well as delivering new stations for Cheltenham and Mentone, with more open space for the community to enjoy,” Minister Allan said. During a major Frankston line construction blitz, which starts on 24 May and runs for eight weeks, the rail trenches will be dug out and new stations built. Buses will replace trains between Moorabbin and Mordialloc during this time. The new Mentone Station will open when trains resume on the Frankston line in mid-July, and Cheltenham Station will follow in August. Along the Frankston line, the Victorian Government is spending $3 billion to remove 18 level crossings and building 12 new stations.

Enhanced train cleaning measures to keep people safe

24 Mar 2020, Andrew Nelson
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, Metro has stepped up the cleaning of trains to keep passengers and employees safe. On the expert advice of the Department of Health and Human Services, Metro has activated new cleaning protocols. The enhanced cleaning regime, now in effect, means that all Metro trains undergo nightly sanitation, with touch surfaces wiped down and entire carriages and drivers’ cabins sprayed with disinfectant. Cleaning crews were dispatched to maintenance depots at Epping, Newport, Westall, Bayswater and Craigieburn last week to commence the roll out the new program, which will run indefinitely. Metro’s General Manager – Rolling Stock Dave Carlton said the new practices are all about keeping people safe during uncertain times.

A breakthrough moment for Tunnel Boring Machine ‘Joan’

28 Feb 2020, Andrew Nelson
The Metro Tunnel is one step closer to transforming the way we move Melbourne with the first tunnel boring machine (TBM) ‘Joan’ breaking through to the western tunnel entrance at South Kensington. Joan – named after Victoria’s first female Premier Joan Kirner – launched from the Arden Station construction site in August 2019. She has since travelled 1.2 kilometres underground, lining the tunnel wall along the way with 4,200 curved concrete segments. Metro Trains’ Metro Tunnel Project Director Mike Moyes says Metro has played an important role in supporting the tunnelling works, while ensuring trains can continue to operate for Melbourne. “Our ‘One Team’ approach has helped Rail Projects Victoria complete the first section of this city-shaping project,” Mr Moyes said.

Frankston Line – Meet the new Carrum Station

17 Feb 2020, James Ireland
Carrum is now safer for pedestrians, bike riders and drivers, and train passengers can expect more reliable services. Built as part of the Level Crossing Removal Project, the new Carrum Station opened today providing a separated rail line, improved transport connections and an overall better community environment. Today’s exciting opening comes at the end of a two-week construction blitz, with a 108-person crew working around the clock to get the job done.

Metro puts careers on track for Indigenous women

13 Feb 2020, Media Release
Metro team members were recently invited to the annual gala dinner for Career Trackers. CareerTrackers is an organisation that supports internships for Indigenous students, and helps them stay engaged in education while getting access to unique work experience opportunities. Metro provides opportunities for five interns every year, including those from Indigenous, asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds. Our talented candidates Lauren Scott and Kiesha-Marie Jude were recently celebrated at the CareerTrackers gala dinner for getting valuable work experience in Metro’s engineering and safety divisions. Both candidates have been working hard with Lauren settling back into her role, as she completes another year of her engineering degree. Kiesha-Marie is putting her psychology studies to good use in Metro’s Network Safety and Security area. Metro is very proud to be building a future talent pipeline for the rail industry, while giving young people an opportunity to increase their workforce knowledge and experience.

Be safe and ‘Check Yourself Around Trains’

12 Feb 2020, Andrew Nelson
A new Metro campaign is taking aim at risky behaviour around trains to prevent injuries, improve service reliability, and get passengers home safer and sooner. Using a series of creative animations, the Check Yourself Around Trains campaign focuses on preventing unsafe incidents that can injure passengers and cause avoidable delays – such as people holding open train doors and rushing on platforms. The campaign also calls on passengers to be courteous to fellow train users by moving down carriages and removing backpacks. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said “small changes in behaviour around trains can make a huge difference to the experience of all passengers who rely on our network every day.” In the past 12 months, there have been more than 1,000 avoidable slips, trips and falls across the network, many of which have required medical assistance and delayed trains on platforms. A further 176 safety incidents over the same period involved passengers forcing open train doors and risking serious injury to themselves and others.

A familiar voice: Pam puts passengers first

5 Feb 2020, Andrew Nelson
Pam Tasker is a Customer Announcer and familiar voice to regular Metro Trains passengers. She is on the front line delivering announcements to passengers every day from Metro’s network control centre. Originally from Cambridge in England, Pam emigrated to Melbourne in 2007 with her family, and in 2014 she landed a job as a Leading Station Assistant based at Flinders Street Station. After 18 months of servicing passengers and delivering announcements on platforms, Pam was given an exciting opportunity to become an announcer at the Network Control Centre. Pam faced a few challenges as she adjusted to her new role, “The biggest change was that I no longer had face-to-face contact with passengers. That was really hard to adjust to because I can’t see who I’m talking to – whereas, when you’re on the platforms, you’ve got everybody there,” Pam said. “Now I just imagine I have a mic and I’m walking up and down the carriages of the trains – that’s the only way I could adjust.”

On the Metro network, every dog has their day

21 Jan 2020, James Ireland
South Yarra Station welcomed an unlikely canine team member for work experience this morning. Perhaps furrier than the typical Metro employee, “Ralph” the dog walked himself to Elsternwick Station around 7:30am. Unbeknownst to his owner, Ralph – the Samoyed-Golden Retriever cross – waited patiently with his fellow peak-hour commuters for the next city-bound service. He was a very good boy, staying behind the yellow line for safety as the train arrived on the platform. After the train stopped, the driver made sure Ralph was in safe hands so the service could depart on time to get passengers where they needed to go. Ralph was helped into the driver’s cab and the train was able to depart safely. As the service arrived at South Yarra, Metro’s Station Officer Priyanthi Fernando was ready and waiting to take Ralph up to the station office and begin the process of reuniting him with his owner. “I ran down to the platform to get him. I wanted to make sure Ralph was safe, and that we didn’t delay our passengers,” Priyanthi said. “It was certainly an unusual situation!”

Real-time monitoring keeps Metro on track this summer

20 Jan 2020, Andrew Nelson
Metro Trains is monitoring the temperature of metropolitan rail lines in real-time to keep passengers and employees safe, and ensure services can run as reliably as possible during Melbourne’s extreme summer weather. Each Metro line is fitted with electronic monitoring sensors to measure track temperature, and these numbers are visible on a live digital map inside the network control centre. Metro’s General Manager – Infrastructure Peter Munro said train controllers used the technology to enhance decision making, improve safety, and minimise overall disruptions to passengers. “Extreme heat can have a significant impact on our ability to run trains safely – that’s why we monitor temperatures in real-time,” Mr Munro said. “Using the information we obtain from our track sensors, we can minimise the disruptions our passengers feel by only restricting the speed of trains where it’s absolutely critical to do so.”

From Metro to the bushfire frontline: Sylvia Coombe is humbled by the spirit of Australians

14 Jan 2020, James Ireland
After fighting the East Gippsland fires, Sylvia Coombe has been left with one enduring emotion – tremendous pride in the spirit of Australians. From Monday to Friday, Sylvia works as a Quality Manager in Metro Trains’ Safety Environment and Risk Division. When she’s not focusing on the safety of her colleagues, she’s a volunteer firefighter based at Keysborough – and one of many Metro employees responding to the fire crisis On 8 January 2020, she was one of five volunteers from her branch that got the call to fight the devastating East Gippsland fires. “When I was out there fighting fires, I was focused on the job at hand. It’s a tough job, but we’re trained to deal with these fires, and when you’re on the frontline, that training really kicks in and you just get it done.” It was only when she left the fire zone to return to Melbourne that she felt the extraordinary impact these fires had on the people of Australia. It had struck many people at their core.

Anti-trespass panels installed as performance improves

19 Dec 2019, Andrew Nelson
New anti-trespasser ground panels are being trialled at five train stations to improve safety and reduce the number of incidents that delay passengers. The innovative panels discourage pedestrians from trespassing illegally at their local station, improving the reliability of services for all passengers. They feature raised pyramids to create an unstable surface – making it difficult for pedestrians to get around them and onto the rail corridor. Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said, “trespassing on the railway is incredibly dangerous and can stop trains in their tracks – causing significant and unnecessary disruption to our passengers.” The anti-trespass panels are being installed at five Metro stations: Keilor Plains, Yarraville, Prahran, Narre Warren and Berwick. “These new anti-trespasser panels have proven to be effective on railways around the world, providing both a physical and visual deterrent to illegal behaviour,” Mr O’Flaherty said. Trespassing has a significant impact on Metro’s operational performance, with an average of 300 incidents every month that disrupt services and delay passengers. In November, Metro delivered 98.3 per cent of scheduled services and 91.5 per cent ran on time. Punctuality improved on 12 of Metro’s 16 train lines, with a significant reduction in delays caused by trespasses during the month. Factors impacting performance across the month included: Trespassing, police operations and near misses delaying 706 services Extreme heat and wind delaying 368 services Ill and unruly passengers delaying 331 services External power outages delaying 331 services Graffiti and vandalism delaying 145 services. Metro reliably carried 140,000 race-goers on more than 1,100 extra Melbourne Cup Carnival services including on Oaks Day – the network’s busiest day of the year.

Mernda Line passengers: meet your new Reservoir Station

16 Dec 2019, Andrew Nelson
The new and improved Reservoir Station is now officially open to Mernda Line passengers, with the first trains rolling into platforms this morning. It was an early Christmas present for commuters who now have access to a modern, elevated station – providing better connections to local shopping strips and community precincts. The opening of the new station and rail bridge over High Street marks the end of a two-week construction blitz, during which buses replaced trains on sections of the Mernda Line. In a massive team effort, 250 people worked around-the-clock to complete the kilometre-long bridge, install signalling equipment, finish the station canopy, and undertake the necessary safety tests.

A powerful symbol that Metro is here to help

13 Dec 2019, Andrew Nelson
At Metro Trains Melbourne, our people pride themselves on being able to communicate effectively with passengers to get them where they need to go every day. Metro was today awarded the Communication Access Symbol – recognising that our train drivers, Authorised Officers and station employees are equipped with the skills and resources to support passengers with communication difficulties. The accreditation milestone was celebrated at a special event attended by Metro Chief Operating Officer Catherine Baxter, General Manager – Passenger Tilly Loughborough, Scope trainers and assessors, and other Metro employees.

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, Amy Buttigieg
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