News | Metro Trains

Talented students promote safe travel on Metro trains

29 Jul 2020, Andrew Nelson
Students at primary schools in Berwick and Oakleigh South have taken out the top prizes in Metro Trains’ annual rail safety poster competition. Metro invited children from Foundation through to Year 6 from schools across Melbourne to participate in the ‘Safe Travel on Metro Trains’ competition. Mia from Year 1 at Oakleigh South Primary School took out first prize for Foundation – Year 2 for her poster depicting social distancing on station platforms. Her prizes include an Apple iPad Mini and a voucher from Angus and Robertson book stores. Vinuthi from Year 3 at Brentwood Park Primary School won first prize for Years 3 – 4 for her poster promoting a range of safe behaviours including walking bikes through level crossings, standing behind the yellow line, and keeping a safe social distance from others. She took home a Nintendo Switch game console and game. Chanithu from Year 5 at Brentwood Park Primary School won top prize for Years 5 – 6 for his poster promoting social distancing and the work of emergency services workers, and calling on people to remove headphones at level crossings. Chanithu’s took home a Playstation 4 Pro console and gaming headset.

Vehicle safety remains paramount around train tracks

10 Jun 2020, Andrew Nelson
With more vehicles on Melbourne’s road network as coronavirus restrictions ease, Metro has issued a warning for drivers to be vigilant around level crossings. In the past year, there have been more than 220 safety incidents involving vehicles on the railway – or around 18 incidents a month. The Mernda and Frankston lines recorded the highest number of incidents with 35 each. Metro’s General Manager – Safety Operations Adrian Rowland says “Cars are just devastated if they end up being hit by a trains. “Trains don’t stop on a sixpence – and if you end up in a compromising position on a level crossing, there is nothing a train can do about it and you’re going to come off worse,” Mr Rowland said. The most common incident over the last 12 months was vehicles damaging boom gates or level crossing equipment, which happened 83 times. Mr Rowland says it’s essential that drivers check the other side of a level crossing is clear before they drive across. Those vehicle incidents have led to 700 trains being delayed across the network over the past year, which on top of the danger posed to vehicle drivers and passengers, puts an unnecessary burden on people using trains to get around Melbourne. In May, Metro met both of its performance targets by delivering 99.1 per cent of scheduled services, with 96.1 per cent of trains running on time. Current work from home restrictions mean there are still fewer passengers on the network than usual. Metro continues to operate a normal timetable and is focussing on continuing to provide an essential service for Melbourne. In May, Metro ran more than 65,000 services.

Safer, cleaner trains to keep Melbourne moving during COVID-19

21 May 2020, Andrew Nelson
If there’s one thing Metro’s Rolling Stock team knows well – it’s how to keep Melbourne’s trains looking their cleanest. Mick Rowe and Michelle Mark are on the front line of Metro’s efforts to keep trains safe and clean for passengers and employees during COVID-19. For more than two months, Metro has been delivering an enhanced train cleaning program in response to the pandemic, which includes a requirement for all touch surfaces to be wiped down, and carriages and drivers’ cabins sanitised. With around 200 trains on the network during a typical peak period, it’s an enormous undertaking, and it’s done with safety front of mind. And while most Victorians have followed expert health advice and remained at home, the Rolling Stock team and its cleaning contractors have been in overdrive. Daily meetings ensure that all trains undergo the required cleaning, while nightly compliance checks help maintain the highest possible cleaning and safety standards.

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.
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