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Metro Trains Melbourne commonly referred to as Metro, is a Hong Kong based consortium led by MTR Corporation that was selected by the State Government of Victoria in June 2009 as the new franchise operator of the suburban railway network of Melbournemarker, Australia. Taking over from previous operator Connex Melbourne, the eight-year contract started on November 30 2009 , with the option of being extended for a further seven years. Metro Trains Melbourne operates 16 every day train lines (and 1 special events train line), a fleet of approximately 323 trains, and provides over 12,000 weekly services, which carries about 680,000 passengers each weekday.

Operations

Fleet

The Metro Trains Melbourne fleet consists of:

The majority of rollingstock is owned by the Victorian Government business enterprise VicTrack. However, Metro Trains Melbourne is ultimately responsible for maintaining the train fleet.

As part of the 2008 Victorian Transport Plan, 38 new 6-car X'Trapolis EMUs have been ordered, with the first of 19 trains that are being built by Alstom in Italy arriving at the Newport Workshops on Monday, 24 August 2009 at around 10.00pm.. The trains will be assembled at United Group's Ballarat plant, under a state government requirement for a minimum of 40% local content. The new trains will only be used in revenue service on lines already cleared for their operation, with the displaced trains on these lines being cascaded to those which miss out. The first two sets (1M-1301T-2M and 3M-1302T-4M) have been delivered and are currently undergoing testing with a modified seating layout (2-2 instead of 3-2) and are expected to enter service after Metro Trains Melbourne take over the system, in late 2009. As part of the plan, the Victorian Government will also be purchasing next generation trains, with 30 per cent more room.

Lines and Stations

Metro Trains Melbourne operates 16 train lines (Alamein, Belgrave, Craigieburn, Cranbourne, Epping, Frankston, Glen Waverley, Hurstbridge, Lilydale, Pakenham, Sandringham, Stony Point, Sydenham, Upfield, Werribee and Williamstown) and 1 special events train line (Flemington Racecoursemarker) as well as the Melbourne City Loop. They are responsible for the day-to-day operations of 200 stations, the stations on the metropolitan network include: terminus stations, premium stations which are manned by staff the entire day who provide extra assistance and information to commuters and host stations which are manned only during peak hours.

Ticketing

Metcard
Metro Trains Melbourne utilizes the Metcard ticketing system, which will eventually be replaced by the myki automated smartcard ticketing system. Metcards are a time and zone based ticket, with validity periods ranging from 2 hours to yearly, and two zones covering the Melbournemarker metropolitan area.

Transition

Metro Trains Melbourne took over the rail network from French-owned Connex Trains on 30 November 2009, at 3.01am. Some sections of the media criticised it during its first few days of operation, for train cancellations, including a power failure on the Glen Waverley line (due to a damaged pantograph - the mechanical linkage between the train and overhead power lines).

References

  1. Premier's Website: Metro Trains Melbourne to operate city's rail network, accessed: 2009-06-26
  2. Railway Gazette: Melbourne tram and train operators selected, accessed: 2009-06-29 (Railway Gazette International)
  3. http://www.metrotrainsmelbourne.com.au/
  4. The Age: New train, tram operators for Melbourne, accessed: 2009-06-29
  5. Herald Sun: Melbourne's train system name changes from Connex to Metro, accessed: 2009-09-02
  6. Department of Transport: Who's who in Victoria's public transport network, accessed: 2009-10-31
  7. Connex Melbourne: First of 38 new trains arrive, accessed: 2009-09-04
  8. Herald Sun: First of new trains arrives in Melbourne, accessed: 2009-08-25
  9. VICSIG: Suburban Trains - X'Trapolis, accessed: 2009-08-12
  10. ABC: Limited run for new Melbourne trains, accessed: 2009-07-28
  11. The Victorian Transport Plan: New Trains and Trams, accessed: 2009-10-31


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