Jump to content

(AUS) State Government declares war on Metro, invoking emergency powers

Recommended Posts

From the Herald Sun:

State Government declares war on Metro, invoking emergency powers

Ashley Gardiner From: Herald Sun July 10, 2010 12:00AM


THE State Government has declared war on struggling rail operator Metro, invoking emergency powers to force it to lift its game.


Millions of dollars owed to the operator will be held back while Metro scrambles to get trains running on time.


Metro has failed to meet timetable targets for all seven months it has operated in Melbourne. In June, about 17 per cent of trains ran late, well over the 12 per cent target.


The operator was humiliated again this week when passengers had to get off a train and walk because of a faulty train between Flinders St and Southern Cross.


The State Government will withhold $4 million it owes to Metro for running the system from its $474 million annual fee. This is on top of the maximum $1 million a month Metro is being fined for failing to run trains on time.


Transport officials believe it is unlikely that Metro will hit its timetable targets by the end of September, which could have major implications for the November state election.


Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula said the crackdown was the result of continued poor performance results.


"We are sending a strong message to Metro: the community expects and deserves better performance from their train system," Mr Pakula told the Herald Sun.


"It's not unreasonable for passengers to expect that they will reach their destination on time."


Metro's performance has been crippled by issues including speed restrictions imposed on the troubled Siemens trains.


Sand-release equipment will be installed to stop trains from sliding, which can occur under braking through lack of adhesion between wheels and track.


Metro believes the current timetable is flawed and contributing to the lateness of trains.


The operator also wants to cut the time it takes for passengers to get on and off crowded trains.


Metro chief executive Andrew Lezala was in Hong Kong on Friday in crisis talks with officials from parent company MTR. Mr Lezala said he was disappointed by the Government's move.


"After analysing the network's performance over the past seven months, we know where our attention needs to be," Mr Lezala said.


"We'll be spending the next 12 months focusing on getting this right, and we're confident our customers will soon see a consistent pattern of improvement."


Metro wants to adopt many of the practices used in Hong Kong, renowned for one of the world's best railway systems.


MTR deputy operations director Jacob Kam said eliminating delays caused by train faults took time.


"It takes three to five years to introduce on a (train) fleet that has already been properly maintained," he said. In Hong Kong, all trains were completely overhauled every four years.


They are essentially dismantled and rebuilt.


Among the other ideas to be adopted from Hong Kong will be a training college for staff, possibly at Flinders St station.


The big difference is that all aspects of MTR's railway, including trains, tracks and signals, are kept in peak condition.


Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said the current problems were the largely the fault of the Government.


"The Government is obviously keen to act the tough guy as the election looms, but the real cause of delays is their lack of forward planning and investment over the last decade," Mr Bowen said.


"Metro has inherited problems with tracks, unreliable trains, problematic Siemens brakes, and chronic crowding and delays due to a shortage of trains.


"All of these are the Government's responsibility to fix."


Ashley Gardiner travelled to Hong Kong as a guest of Metro





The PTUA is 100% right on this one.

The Siemens trains are the biggest lemons on the system and a big cause of late running. I'd love to know how they were signed off to run.....

There were rumours floating about that Metro were going to tell the government where to go after the election......

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.