Metro Trains Melbourne’s partnership with Storytowns Podcast Tours and the Department of Transport and Planning is well and truly running, with 47 podcasts currently 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.
MTM chief executive Raymond O’Flaherty said the podcasts were an innovative way to engage with commuters, capturing untold stories of the city.
“We are excited to provide a different and interesting experience for our passengers and tourists as they travel across our network,” he said.
“These podcasts showcase the rich and diverse history of Melbourne and we can’t wait to share these stories with our passengers.”
The use of geo-located podcasts along the city’s train lines is an Australian first, with the podcasts playing automatically as trains approach a landmark or point of interest across Melbourne’s 1000-kilometre metropolitan train network.
The podcast series covers a variety of themes, including local food, culture, street art, travel tips, fun facts, and interesting stories about each suburb’s history, culture and train stations.
More podcasts capturing stories from other train lines are planned in the future.
Storytowns’ founder Jarrod Pickford embarked on global hitchhiking trips in his 20s and 30s. His travels inspired a passion to link travellers with local communities via geo-located audio, infused with local insights.
Since launching in 2019, Storytowns has offered hundreds of free geo-located podcast tours throughout Australia, transforming the way people explore and connect with their surroundings.
Pickford said he relished the opportunity to partner with Metro for this project.
“We believe that every suburb has a story to tell, and we’re excited to bring Melbourne’s unique character and history to life through the voices of its people,” he said.