Passenger Rail, Rolling stock & Rail Vehicle Design, Technology and IT

Tech upgrades for Comeng fleet

Metro Trains Comeng EMU. Photo: Zed Fitzhume / Creative Commons

Passengers on Melbourne’s Comeng train fleet will get clearer and simpler journey information thanks to the progressive rollout of new information systems planned by the state government.

A Comeng test train fitted with upgraded communications equipment is in revenue service on the Metro Trains network in the Victorian capital, ahead of the planned rollout of the technology on 29 trains over the next 12 months.

Upgrades include real-time high definition information, colour passenger information displays with dynamic route maps and clearer destination screens on the outside of trains. There’s also high definition CCTV cameras being installed, along with better speakers and improved hearing aid links for audio announcements.

The upgrades are part of the third stage of the state’s $75 million investment to modernise the Comeng fleet, which was first commissioned in 1982.

The third stage also includes upgrading air compression systems powering the brakes, doors, pantographs and traction systems across the fleet.

The first and second stages of the program included safety upgrades for the Comengs’ doors, upgrades to interiors and exteriors, and enclosing the walkways between carriages.

“We’ve invested a record amount into new rollingstock and we’re modernising our current fleet to give passengers a better ride,” public transport minister Melissa Horne said.

“By upgrading critical systems, passengers will have clearer, simpler information and more reliable services so they can get home sooner.”

Metro Trains is also retrofitting thousands of wireless data recorders to the X’Trapolis and Siemens fleets for real-time condition monitoring.

“Monitoring trains in real-time will lead to a safer and better performing railway – that’s great news for passengers,” Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said. “Using real-time data means a smarter approach to train maintenance and fewer faults impacting passengers.”