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Metro Trains Melbourne scoops ARI awards

metro ARI

 

Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) has won four Australasian Rail Industry (ARI) Awards for excellence in safety, customer service, passenger operations and innovation.

Almost 800 people gathered in Melbourne on Wednesday night to congratulate the 16 winners, with MTM winning the categories for safety excellence, customer service excellence, rail innovation of the year and passenger operations excellence.

Victoria also picked up the infrastructure excellence project Award, which was won by the North Western Program Alliance for its work on the Preston Level Removal Crossing Project in Melbourne.

Australasian Railway Association (ARA) chief executive officer and ARI Awards judging chair Caroline Wilkie congratulated MTM and the Alliance for the outstanding achievements.

MTM won the passenger operations excellence award for its highly successful management of the return to major events after the COVID pandemic.

“Metro Trains Melbourne delivered a comprehensive, well-executed strategy enabling it to deliver a great customer experience for the six million passengers attending 216 big-ticket events in the past year alone,” Wilkie said.

The customer service excellence accolade was awarded for MTM’s successful management of station closures during safety upgrades on the Melbourne Underground Rail, and the innovation of the year award for its new rostering app, Go.

“Metro Trains Melbourne successfully tackled a very challenging time of disruptions with a creative communications strategy using digital solutions and a strong customer focus, with most passengers reporting they found getting around the CBD easy. To receive just five complaints from 1,100,000 passengers impacted during the 14-day City Loop stations closure is a testament to the success of the campaign,” Wilkie said.

“MTM’s digital rostering solution, the mobile app, Go, has not only cut errors and inefficiencies but has made the day-to-day life of train drivers a lot easier. In the first three months of operation, it eliminated 61,600 phone calls by drivers to sign-on, who instead used the app.”

The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) praised MTM’s New Ways of Working Project Team, which won the safety excellence award, for its innovative approach to reducing incidents.

RISSB products and innovation general manager Sudha Niles said MTM had demonstrated outstanding commitment to proactively improving rail safety through improved processes and implementing new technology.

Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA) national executive chair Roy Unny congratulated North Western Program Alliance, saying the significant project featured innovative and sustainable build strategies that put commuters at the heart of decision-making and created vast, open public spaces.

 

The award-winning Preston Level Removal Crossing Project.

 

The 2023 awards featured 16 categories recognising individuals, organisations and rail projects in the areas of diversity and inclusion, sustainability, passenger, infrastructure, innovation, supply, customer experience, freight, signalling and systems engineering and safety.

The awards are supported by the ARA, Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, Railway Technical Society of Australia, Rail Track Association Australia, the RISSB and the Permanent Way Institution (NSW).

THE VICTORIAN WINNERS

  • Safety Excellence Award – New Ways of Working Project Team, MTM: MTM’s Infrastructure Team is responsible for maintaining more than 1000 kilometres of track and having infrastructure teams and contractors working in the rail corridor is a critical risk. The New Ways of Working Project Team introduced new procedures, harnessed technology for training and achieved a substantial reduction in incidents. Their innovative approach and measurable results make them a deserving winner.
  • Customer Service Excellence Award – SPA MURL City Loop closure MTM: In January 2023, safety upgrades on the Melbourne Underground Rail led to the closure of three major CBD stations. MTM led a creative communication strategy to prepare and inform passengers impacted by the closures. Digital screens and signage were used to share important information, while customer service staff and Wheelchair Accessible Taxis were available to help passengers. A strong focus on collaboration between agencies ensured positive outcomes were achieved, with research finding most passengers found navigating the CBD easy despite the disruptions.
  • Rail Innovation of the Year Award (Sponsored by Project i-TRACE, powered by GS1 Australia) – Mobile app, Go, MTM: MTM created a mobile app, Go, to overcome operational challenges with manual train driver sign-on processes that involved phone calls and paper-based records, which led to errors, cancellations and inefficiencies. The new app streamlined sign-on procedures, replacing phone calls with digital sign-on and integrated driver rostering, allowing real-time updates and allowance claims. In the first three months, it eliminated 61,600 phone calls, improving efficiency and accuracy. Other MetroGO apps like InForm, PaperLite, and GO further digitised processes.
  • Passenger Operations Excellence Award – MTM: Six million passengers used MTM services to access 216 major events in the past year alone. MTM managed this significant return to the rail network post pandemic through proactive communication, improved staff training and increased services. These efforts contributed to the successful transportation of millions to record-breaking events, demonstrating commitment to exceptional customer service and safety.
  • Infrastructure Excellence Project Award – Preston Level Removal Crossing Project, North Western Program Alliance: This $564 million project involved removing four level crossings and constructing 2km of elevated rail and two new stations in Melbourne’s inner North. The project, which was on time and under budget, used an innovative single line running build strategy to minimise rail occupation and limit the impact on commuters, train services and operations. The elevated rail solution unlocked 60,000m2 of new public space (equivalent to three MCGs). Preston and Bell stations incorporate several sustainability solutions, including a radiant heat curing method that resulted in a 45 per cent reduction in curing time and reduced carbon footprint.

 

MTM created a mobile app, Go, to overcome operational challenges with manual train driver sign-on processes that involved phone calls and paper-based records.