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Thursday 25 May 2017

Dear customers,

metroMATE

Adelaide Metro’s public transport app metroMATE has reached two new milestones – version 1.2 has been released and it is now available for Android devices.

The app provides easily accessible real-time and personalised information for passengers to choose the best way to reach a destination using Adelaide Metro services.

One of the new features included as a result of user feedback is to easily find nearby train, bus or tram stops with one click of a button.

Since its launch in December, more than 22,000 people have downloaded the app. It’s available at http://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/metro-mate

Level crossing upgrades

Last week saw the release of the Railway Crossing Safety Strategy (http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/RR), which will include the closure of five metropolitan railway pedestrian crossings and the upgrade of nine rural road level crossings as part of a $12 million investment.

Automatic gates will also be installed at pedestrian crossings in Christie Downs, Brighton and Hove to significantly improve safety, as part of a 4-year strategy to improve safety across the rail network.

Not only protecting pedestrians and motorists, these closures and upgrades will help to ensure the reliability of trains and will help to reduce journey times.

Digital notifications

Those living along or close to the rail or tram corridor can now register to receive digital notification of planned or unexpected work.

Once registered, residents and businesses will receive notification, sent via SMS or email, to advise when maintenance works are planned in their area.

The service is designed for those living near train or tram corridors and who may be impacted by night maintenance and emergency works.

Residents who do not have a mobile phone or email can request family members, neighbours or friends to receive the notifications on their behalf.

To sign up for digital notifications or view the rail maintenance calendar, visit: www.dpti.sa.gov.au/worksnotifications

Gawler electrification

The tender process for the electrification of the Gawler line to Salisbury has started, with construction works expected to start in early 2018.

This project will be a big step in improving our most popular train line. Upgrades will also include signalling upgrades and public safety improvements such as pedestrian level crossing enhancements and corridor fencing.

Communications

I’m always keen to hear your feedback including any suggestions around safety. Please email me at DPTI.RailCommissioner@sa.gov.au.

Michael Deegan

Rail Commissioner

Rail Commissioner Policies

Railway Crossing Policy

Rail Commissioner Archive

8 November 2016

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Dear customers,

National Safe Work Australia Month

Our department supports National Safe Work Australia Month – an annual event which puts workplace health and safety in the spotlight. It encourages us to start a conversation and consider how we can work to reduce injury, death and disease and improve safety in our department to reach our target of zero injuries and harm minimisation.

This year the department’s program focuses on sun smart initiatives, drug and alcohol awareness, hydration, fatigue management and mental and physical health.

Children’s Week

Adelaide Metro celebrated Children’s Week by inviting creative kids across the State to showcase their artistic flair by sending in artwork of our buses, trams, and trains.

Adelaide Metro will now select various pieces of artwork to produce posters which will be proudly displayed across our fleet of buses, trams, and trains. Keep an eye out for our winning artwork displays during November!

Children’s Week is a national celebration of children’s rights, talents, and achievements. For more information visit www.childrensweek.org.au.

Severe Storm and State Blackout

As you know, the severe storm and resulting blackout across the State last month brought with it some trying and unexpected events – I was extremely proud of the commitment to safety and service our staff showed during this very trying time.

While ultimately we had to suspend services on all lines for the safety of staff and commuters, all staff did a fantastic job communicating with members of the public and running operations for as long as we possibly could to help as many people get home safely as possible.

Rail Care

Our Rail Care program has reached Woodville, West Croydon and Croydon stations with blackboards being hung complete with chalk. This is a joint project between Rail Care and two locals, Tracey Davis and Eugene Suleau, working with a Charles Sturt Council Placemaking Grant. To learn more about Rail Care and how you can get involved, visit www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/railcare.

Pathology

If you or your family members need access to pathology services, there is a new outlet at the top of the Adelaide Railway Station escalator into Roma Mitchell House.

Communications

I’m always keen to hear your feedback including any suggestions around safety. Please email me at DPTI.RailCommissioner@sa.gov.au.

Michael Deegan
Rail Commissioner

26 September 2016

Monday 26 September 2016

Dear customers,

Rail Safety Week

Trains can travel at up to 110km/h, weigh over 100 tonnes and require a kilometre or more to stop – that’s six times the length of Adelaide Oval. Sadly, between 2011 and 2015, four people were killed and six people seriously injured at railway crossings and 660 near-misses were reported by rail operators.

Rail Safety Week was a timely reminder of some simple measures you can take that could save your life:

  • If a train is coming, wait for it to pass, and then stop, look, listen and think again before crossing – a second train may be coming.
  • If you’re driving, always make sure there is sufficient space for your vehicle to cross safely to the other side without stopping.

Please continue to spread this important safety message amongst your family, friends and work colleagues.

Level Crossing Safety Strategy

There are over 710 railway crossings on public roads in metropolitan and rural South Australia and more than 360 pedestrian crossings on Adelaide’s passenger rail network. The State Government is currently reviewing all level and pedestrian crossings in South Australia to improve safety on the rail network.

Our Draft Railway Crossing Safety Strategy was released recently and outlined various safety issues at railway crossings in South Australia and proposes a range of strategies and improvements to address them. The survey results are currently being reviewed and I look forward to updating you on this soon.

Extreme Weather

This year seems to have been a long winter, with flooding, strong winds and storms. Some rail service disruptions have recently occurred due to the recent severe weather and I thank you for your patience.

Canstar Blue Survey

Adelaide Metro’s train network has received its highest rating in a national survey of customer satisfaction. Adelaide Metro scored four out of five stars for all eight categories – the second highest rating of the five city train networks in the Canstar Blue survey.

Communications

I’m always keen to hear your feedback including any suggestions around safety. Please email me at DPTI.RailCommissioner@sa.gov.au.

Michael Deegan
Rail Commissioner

Monday 25 July 2016

Monday 25 July 2016

Dear customers,

Safety

Safety is of the utmost importance in a rail environment. We continue to support our staff in updating and refreshing their required safety qualifications and are looking into other opportunities to further expand their development in this important area.

Passing of a Staff Member

Adelaide Metro remembers the life of Mr Rob Dale, a well-respected train driver who provided 31 years of service to the SA public sector. He sadly passed away at the young age of 49. Adelaide Metro is committed to the well-being of its staff and supported a large number of train drivers to attend the funeral service and remember the life of their much-loved colleague.

Infrastructure Maintenance

As part of rail infrastructure maintenance work during the 2015-16 financial year, a number of station safety upgrades have been undertaken, including the replacement of adhesive Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI) at a number of stations for people with vision impairment, vegetation control for bushfire prevention along the Belair line between Eden Hills and Belair, and an important focus on lighting improvement which has resulted in 18 stations fully upgraded to LED lighting.

AdeLINK

The first stage of AdeLINK is fast approaching with plans in motion for the city tramline to be extended along North Terrace to the East End. In a jointly funded project with Adelaide City Council, this expansion forms Stage One of EastLINK (with future stages planned through Kent Town to the eastern suburbs) and Stage One of CityLINK (a loop around the city). Early works are expected to start in the last quarter of this year, pending necessary approvals.

Rail Care

Congratulations to our Rail Care volunteers who won The Andamooka Community Project award. Rail Care supports volunteers in partnership with artists, community groups and councils to transform train stations and tram stops through public art and greening projects. Some volunteers started with the Adopt-a-Station program back in 1991. Many stations have already been transformed including Blackwood, Outer Harbor and West Croydon, with plans underway for several others.

Communications

I’m always keen to hear your feedback including any suggestions around safety. Please email me at DPTI.RailCommissioner@sa.gov.au.

Michael Deegan
Rail Commissioner

Thursday 16 July 2016

Thursday 16 June 2016

Dear customers,

Our core aim is getting you to your destination safely and on-time. When this does not happen it is a frustration not just for our customers, but our staff who work tirelessly to provide these services. Recently, our train network suffered signalling outages that resulted in delays for passengers, including hundreds of footy fans. My sincere apologies to all of those who were affected. We are investigating the computer software error in a bid to avoid a repeat and we continue to perform extensive upgrades on our signalling and communications systems to make our network safer and more reliable.

The signalling issue was separate to the power outage that hit the Seaford line in late April. Interestingly, figures show that on average, Seaford has been our top performing line over the past two years for on-time running. While this took a dip during the Lonsdale sub-station incident, by and large, the services are operating at an extremely high standard. We know there is always room for improvement and we are looking at measures to increase performance across all lines, including raising the safe operating speed of trains. There has already been much work done to enhance the standard of tracks across the network, making for a quicker and smoother ride.

Safety

My department is constantly exploring ways to boost safety across our rail operations. We have been undertaking a whole host of improvements at train stations and tram stops, including significant upgrades to lighting. Our people work hard to maintain key assets like lifts and car parks, as well as repairing damage caused by vandalism. We are also trying to further strengthen communications between our staff, our security provider and SA Police. It is heartening to hear many customers are reporting they feel safer on our services and we will continue to ensure that’s the case. The department is also reviewing the role and responsibilities of our rail Passenger Service Assistants, who play a huge part in keeping people safe.

Customers
 
Our rail staff have been thanked for their efforts in giving thousands of visitors a warm and efficient welcome to Adelaide this cruise ship season. We strive to support this valuable industry, which delivers vast economic benefits for the state.

Rail Care

Well done to our Rail Care members who were recently honoured at the South Australian Volunteers Awards. From graffiti removal, to renovating train stations, to painting murals across the network, Rail Care participants perform such valuable work for our communities. Volunteers are the glue that holds our society together and we salute you.

Communications

I always welcome any feedback; please email me at DPTI.RailCommissioner@sa.gov.au

Michael Deegan
Rail Commissioner

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Dear customers,

Safety

My staff have been undertaking safety walks at our rail stations and infrastructure, including Adelaide Railway Station to identify and address any issues.

Seaford Line

On Thursday 28 April early in the morning a fault at the Lonsdale sub-station resulted in a loss of power across the electrified Seaford Rail line. For safety reasons we were unable to restore power until the following day which caused significant service impacts. My apologies to those affected and at the same time thank you to all my staff who worked tirelessly to manage this outage. We’ve received some wonderful feedback from our customers about how our people went above and beyond to provide information and assist wherever they could.

Infrastructure Maintenance

You would have noticed the improved ride on the Gawler Line with work to improve the durability and restore the surface profile completed on over 20 km of tracks. Work is now progressing on the Seaford Line. Maintaining our track and infrastructure is an important way of ensuring the optimum performance of our services, and we have made some recent investments to assist our maintenance workers in looking after these valuable assets.

Performance

We are looking at a number of initiatives to improve the reliability and performance of our rail network, including raising the safe speed of trains, and addressing issues that might result in delays to trains leaving the Adelaide Station. Our goal is to deliver a reliable rail service that our customers can be proud of.

Station Works

Following the installation of hazard indicators for vision impaired people at Emerson Station, work is now underway at Clarence Park, with Hove and Glenalta stations to follow. Work is also progressing on station lighting upgrades, with old lamps being replaced with new LEDs.

Tram Response

Three tram passengers responded with composure when another passenger suffered a medical emergency on a tram in Victoria Square earlier this month. They provided care until paramedics arrived. A terrific example of looking after the welfare of those around us.

Communications

I’m always keen to hear your feedback including any suggestions around safety. Please email me at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au.

Michael Deegan
Rail Commissioner

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Dear customers,

Safety

It is critical that our rail network and infrastructure is safe for everyone who uses it as well as for the many staff who work to keep it running.

We recently performed a safety walk through of Adelaide Railway Station to ensure this busy transport hub meets the standards our customers deserve. We all have a role to play in safety so ask all customers to please be vigilant around public transport and report any safety concerns immediately to a staff member.

The fire incident at the Casino kitchen last Sunday did highlight however that we can do better in terms of response to such emergencies and I have asked our teams to progress this.

I want to acknowledge the efforts of Moragh Kennedy and her team during the Incident on Sunday and the actions of my rail staff in other recent emergencies. Their swift actions recently saved the life of a member of the public during a medical episode. Sincere thanks.

Infrastructure Maintenance

Work on the network is progressing well, with recent work taking place on the Gawler up track and Seaford to follow.

Station Improvements

Work is underway at Clarence Park, Emerson, Hove, Noarlunga Centre, Glenalta and Pinera stations to improve the platform surfaces and the tactile ground surface indicators which will provide better safety markings for customers with vision impairment.

Automatic Train Protection

Most of our services on the Seaford Line are now operated by Automatic Train Protection (ATP) enabled trains, which is a major step toward improving the overall safety of the network. Thanks to everyone involved in the delivery of this fantastic initiative.

Footy Express

The footy season is well and truly here, with the recent showdown at the Oval drawing well over 50,000 fans. A reminder that your ticket to any AFL game at Adelaide Oval is also your ticket to free travel on Footy Express bus, train and tram services operated by Adelaide Metro in partnership with the Motor Accident Commission (MAC).

Communications

I’m always keen to hear your feedback including any suggestions around safety. As always, please keep sending your views to me at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au

Minutes of the Rail Commissioner Meeting ratified at the last Rail Commissioner Meeting are included below.

Michael Deegan

Rail Commissioner

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Dear customers,

Some beautiful weather in Adelaide over the last few months has allowed my staff to undertake major works on some of our main rail corridors.

Our rail infrastructure coped amazingly well during some spells of extreme heat, with no services lost to heat related issues.

Safety

The safety of our customers and staff on our public transport network is of paramount importance and my Department works closely with the South Australian Police Force (SAPOL) to maintain safety on our network.

SAPOL is quick to respond to any matters of concern on our public transport network, including occasions where our own staff are subject to physical violence which is totally unacceptable in a work environment.

We had a recent near miss incident at Oaklands station where a member of the public pushed open a gate at the pedestrian maze and attempted to cross the tracks when the ‘train approaching’ alarm was sounding. Our driver had to apply full brakes and sound the horn to warn the person of the oncoming train. Please be vigilant and remember that trains cannot stop quickly. Barrier gates, signs and alarms are there for a reason – to save lives.

New Improved Timetables

You will have noticed changes to bus and tram timetables with more frequent tram services, and improvements, extensions and better coverage for many bus services across the Adelaide Metro network. Please click here for the latest timetables introduced in January 2016.

Seaford and Belair Line Upgrades

Over the January period the volume of traffic on our rail network is lighter than at any other time of the year which enabled us to undertake major works on both the Belair and Seaford Lines. I would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding while these works were carried out.

I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of our staff in both these areas. Contractor Laing O’Rourke was able to complete work on the catenary wire replacement on the Seaford Line five days earlier than expected.

All costs associated with the Seaford catenary wire replacement were met by Lang O’Rourke, based on the work undertaken previously.

Improved on time running and reliability

My Department is always looking at ways to improve timetabling and services. We have been looking closely at how our electric and diesel train fleet can best be deployed to ensure services are available where need is greatest.

Major Events
 
Our public transport services were geared up for some major cricket events between the Adelaide Strikers preliminary round games and home final plus the Australia T20 game against India. All these games attracted big crowds and I’m proud to say that we did a great job moving thousands of people safely using our trains, trams and buses.

Communications

I’m always keen to hear your feedback including comments on the most recent timetable changes.  As always, please keep sending your views to me at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au

Minutes of the Rail Commissioner Meeting ratified at the last Rail Commissioner Meeting are included below.

Michael Deegan

Rail Commissioner

18 December 2015

Friday 18 December 2015

Dear customers,

We carry out a great deal of maintenance work to our rail infrastructure to protect the safety of our customers. The deterioration of signalling and cabling over time is something we take very seriously, and the rectification of this wiring is ongoing as opportunities to undertake maintenance occur. This work has also enabled all parts of our business to reflect on both safety and operational improvements which can be achieved from new signalling and wiring not only from technicians, but also train controllers and those on the front line - the drivers.

We are always keen to hear any suggestions which will improve our safety or service. One of our tram drivers recently noticed a simple measure used on trams interstate with stickers warning people to hold-on.  Collaboration between our rail, safety and communications areas will see similar stickers installed on all Adelaide Metro trams by Christmas. This is a great example of how we are looking out for the safety of our customers.

Image of Tram Customer Safety

Temporary line closures for essential works

The Belair and Seaford railway lines will temporarily close this holiday season to allow for essential maintenance upgrades. The closures are being timed to coincide with quieter periods on the rail network and substitute buses will replace all services. Stay updated by visiting the Adelaide Metro website.

Improved on time running and reliability

We are working on updates to timetables across our rail, tram and bus networks to improve on time running and reliability. This is expected to be released in the New Year, and we will be running an extensive awareness campaign to advise of the changes when finalised. Keep an eye on the Adelaide Metro website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Last electric train delivered

The last of our new electric trains was delivered in October and has recently gone into service. A total of 66 rail cars making up 22 train units will be operational, giving us greater flexibility in the services we provide as well as better comfort for customers. Stay tuned for updates on these services.

 AC /DC Concert

They came, they rocked, and with a little help from us their fans got home safe and sound. Well done to our public transport operations staff for putting on extra trains for AC/DC concert goers, and for their excellent efforts to get the crowds through the gates and back again.

Adelaide Day Night Test Match

A proud first for Adelaide – the first city to host a day night test match in the history of test cricket. The match was an overwhelming success and showcased our great city and magnificent Oval to the whole of Australia. A big part of that success is the ability to move big crowds who attended on each of the three days of the test. Thanks again to staff who worked late on these nights to ensure the safe travel of all customers.

Cruise Liners at Outer Harbour

It’s amazing to think that over 40,000 people visit Adelaide every year from cruise ships docked at Outer Harbor. I met some of our newest visitors recently at Adelaide Rail Station and I’m delighted to report that they were full of praise for the way they had been able to travel into the city with ease and in comfort.

This was a true collaborative effort, with our rail operations area coordinating extra services for disembarking cruise ship passengers, ticketing staff ensuring passengers could easily purchase a daytrip, frontline services staff on hand to provide assistance, and our assets area maintaining attractive amenities. We also encouraged returning passengers to recycle their Metro cards.

Christmas Pageant

Another big event for November was the arrival of Santa in at the Adelaide Christmas Pageant. Everything went off well with many of thousands converging in the city. Our services managed very well, especially given the added challenge of a cruise ship on the same day placing additional demands on services.

Services over Christmas / New Year

Bus, train and tram services will be reduced across the network in the lead up to the New Year in line with the usual decrease in demand at this time. Special services will still continue to run on New Years Eve, and full details will be available on the Adelaide Metro website.

Level crossings

Significant work continues on our level crossing strategy to identify how we can make our level crossings safer for all and reduce the risk of accidents. In many cases this involves ongoing discussion with the relevant local councils.

Communications

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with you feedback on any issue, and I’m especially keen to get your feedback on how timetables can be improved as we look to update them early in the New Year.

Minutes of the Rail Commissioner Meeting ratified at the last Rail Commissioner Meeting are included below.  As always, please keep sending your views to me at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au

Michael Deegan

Rail Commissioner

12 November 2015

Wednesday 12 November 2015

Dear customers,

It’s been a very busy time on the rail network over the last month with the end of the football season allowing us to progress improvements on our rail infrastructure, especially on the Outer Harbor Line.

Improved on time running and reliability

An area we get a lot of feedback on is improving reliability and on time running.  We keep a close eye on our weekly on time running statistics, especially on our key train lines of Seaford, Belair, Gawler and Outer Harbor.

Please check our website for on time running updates. We have a number of initiatives which contribute to the smooth running of our rail lines including train routing and allocation, ongoing mentoring by senior train drivers, signalling software changes and effective management of maintenance activities to minimise the number of temporary speed restrictions.

On time running and reliability is essentially a partnership between us and our customers. A way we can all help to improve on time reliability is to close train doors on time. We have given our drivers clear instructions to close doors on time and assistance from our customers would really help us to meet schedules. It would assist greatly if customers could arrive just a few minutes prior to their train departure time. This is a particular issue on the Belair line where we must meet timetables or delays blow out quickly.

Outer Harbor Line improvements

On the last weekend of October improvements were undertaken on the Outer Harbor line which included re-sleepering Port River Bridge (pictured below), overhauling the Port Junction switches, asphalt works on crossings as well as new station lighting at West Croydon, amenity upgrades at Outer Harbor Station and graffiti removal along the corridor.

Image of Outer Habor Line Improvements

I would like to especially thank all our staff and volunteers who helped clean up along the corridor. A massive haul of 20 large bags of rubbish were collected with approximately three tonnes of rubbish.

As a result of these improvements we have achieved both a smoother and faster ride for our customers. I have had lots of positive feedback.

Adelaide Convention Centre

Safety is my primary focus and this is reflected in the management of the Adelaide Convention Centre works. Significant steel work continues around the site and the impact on public and platform usage is clearly outlined on the new TV screens around the Adelaide Railway Station.

Please bear with us as we manage our passenger services around the work for the Convention Centre. We are replacing the bearings that support the structure above the station, and these works in the station will be completed by early 2016.

TV Screens at Adelaide Railway Station

You might’ve noticed four big colour screens at Adelaide Railway Station. These screens will display paid advertising initially, and there will also be opportunities down the track for public service announcements. The screens could also be used to display important information in the event of an emergency at the station. Again, lots of feedback on these screens, and personally I think they are a big improvement to the station amenity.

Asphalt resurfacing

On the October Long Weekend we carried out asphalt resurfacing of Park Terrace level crossing in response to some feedback about ride quality for motorists. This will provide a smoother ride for road users and a reduction in traffic noise as vehicles cross the tracks.

Image of Asphalt Resurfacing

Level crossings

My Department has been investigating the incident history at level crossings across the State and some interesting trends have been revealed. In the metropolitan area, the Tapleys Hill Road in Seaton, Cormack Road in Wingfield and South Road/Emerson crossings have had a significant number of incidents while outside the metropolitan area a concerning amount of poor driver behaviour has taken place at Mannum Road in Murray Bridge on the Adelaide-Melbourne line.

While my Department is investigating the causes and potential treatments at these locations, we are also working with SAPOL to help them identify sites for their safety campaigns, an example of which can be seen here.

I want to acknowledge my staff for their ongoing work in safety strategy in the rail and level crossing area.

Incidents involving heavy vehicles at crossings are also a concern and my Department is working with the trucking industry to remind drivers of the need to take care at level crossings.

Extra services

It was fantastic to see so many people taking advantage of the extra services that we provided for the Mini Maker fair on the first Sunday of this month.

Amenity

Further work is continuing on improving the amenity of our stations including work on graffiti removal, vegetation improvement and lighting. The photo below taken at Outer Harbor shows how art can make a station come alive. The art has been installed on what were originally concrete walls, and the artist is from Cool Crush which is a well known Street Art Shop on Unley Road.

Image of Amenities

Communications

I’m always keen to hear your feedback on any issue, and this month I would like to make a special request for feedback about our tram service. Our trams provide an excellent service to the community and feedback about how we could make the service even better would be valuable.  As always, please keep sending your views to me at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au.

Michael Deegan

Rail Commissioner

19 October 2015

Monday 19 October 2015

Dear customers,

We’ve had some big community and sporting events in Adelaide since I last spoke to you, with some challenges and also big wins for our rail system.

Improved on time running and reliability

We’re seeing steady progress with our on time running, with improvements to many of our lines. Considerable work has been undertaken to remove speed restrictions where possible which have been a barrier to smooth running. Stable performance on the network will in help us in developing new timetables to improve travel times and reliability, and these are expected to be released in the New Year so watch this space.

You can help us to improving reliability further with a few simple steps such as being at your station platform a few minutes prior to the arrival of the train and having your metro card or ticket read to validate as you board.

The AFL Season Wrap!

Footy fans gave us a big thumbs up with services across the AFL season well patronised on both train and tram. In the majority of cases post game crowds were able to leave the city within 45 minutes of the final siren – a fantastic result.

Predicting pre-game travel patterns is challenging in terms of allocating our fleet and staff numbers, but we are learning as we go and making improvements where we can. Each year we get more information but this can vary significantly depending on who is playing, what time the game is on and of course the weather.

Show time

Terrific to see so many people using public transport during the Adelaide show. Many of you commented on the ease and convenience of getting to and from the show and we are proud to be able to offer this service each year.

Outer Harbor Line

We are always looking at ways to improve the operations of our train network. This month work will take place on the Outer Harbor line and details associated with the closure will be available on the Adelaide Metro website as well as our Social Media channels. Particular thanks to our workforce who are doing a great job

Level crossings

Our Level Crossing Policy was recently posted online. Please have a read through and let me know what you think.

Amenity

Work continues on improving the amenity of stations. Part of our overhaul is the celebration of West Croydon Station’s 100th birthday in November, and please has a look at the recent work at Glanville and Kilkenny Stations. It is fantastic to see volunteers working at many stations across our rail network, ranging from individuals and couples at Outer Harbor, Mitcham and Dudley Park through to larger groups at Belair, Oaklands Park and Gawler Central. There are also new volunteers ready to go at West Croydon, Kilkenny, Torrens Park and Ascot Park.

Communications

I’m always happy to receive your feedback. Whatever the issue, please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think.

Michael Deegan

Commissioner for Railways

11 September 2015

Friday 11 September 2015

Dear customers,

Fresh back from leave, including some exciting train travel in South America, time for an update for our Adelaide rail system.

Improved on time running and reliability

We continue to see improvements in our on time running and train reliability. The consistency of performance is important and we are doing everything we can to provide and maintain a good service. We have many terrific people in rail dedicated to this outcome.  I propose to start soon the recording of our on time performance within five minutes (not the current six) and reduce that benchmark as we progress.  For Footy Express performance I also propose to improve our reporting – the numbers moved in a short time are generally pretty impressive.

What can you do help improve on time performance?

There are some simple things we can all do that could make a big difference, such as assisting people carrying shopping bags, in wheelchairs or with walking sticks where appropriate. Rail staff will be grateful for advice about any issues, particularly where there may be people unwell. If you see vandalism call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Adelaide Metro InfoLine on 1300 311 108 and help us identify those responsible.

Show time

Have a look at our website for information about getting to and from the Adelaide show with Adelaide Metro. Why not make it a family occasion? Kids and seniors can travel for free.

Timetables

I am looking at new timetables for more express services in peak hour and the better use of our fleet. Timetabling is a complex process and the heart of any rail system so please bear with me.

Level crossings

We are now close to bringing our suggestions for level crossings to you and road users for comment.

Amenity

I’m committed to improving the amenity of our stations and rail corridor.  You may have noticed some changes already such as the help of Job-Active participants to prune all the roses at Glanville Station (pictured). In just a few weeks the first roses will come into bud and before Christmas a good display should welcome train commuters and drivers along Causeway Road. My staff are also engaging with Councils about better footpaths and lighting.

Glanville-feature

Shopping trolleys

We’ve seen a spate of incidents involving shopping trolleys being left on stations or on the rail lines. If you see a shopping trolley on a platform, please help us and move it safely out of the way

Train horns.

This has been an issue on the Seaford line and some locals are reporting improvements. The trial of the horns to the bottom of the train (rather than the top) sounds like it is working and maintaining safety needs at the same time. We have also reviewed whistle board locations.

The national group on rail safety has not supported our proposed changes to locations where horns are sounded.  As you may know we work under national rail law. We will continue to work on this issue.

Communications

I continue to get great feedback on a range of issues from customers.  Please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think.

Michael Deegan

Commissioner for Railways

10 August 2015

Monday 10th August 2015

Dear Customers,

National Rail Safety Week

If not approached or traversed with the required caution, rail corridors can be extremely dangerous places. Trains and trams can’t manoeuvre or stop quickly so the consequence of getting in their path can be dire. Each year a Rail Safety Week is held to remind everyone of these risks and the safe behaviour needed. For the tenth anniversary, from August 10 -16, South Australians are being urged to take responsibility for rail safety.

Recent research has shown some people are still taking dangerous risks at and around level crossings. Behaviour by pedestrians includes not using the fenced maze walkways, taking short cuts across tracks and using a mobile phone while approaching or crossing train or tram tracks. Similarly risky behaviours from vehicle drivers include not slowing down when approaching rail crossings, eating, changing a CD or using an MP3 player while approaching or driving through a level crossing and not waiting for the lights or boom gates to completely open before proceeding.

Please take the Rail Safety Quiz to check your knowledge of the rules at railway level crossings and make sure you know how to behave responsibly around trains and trams. Take the opportunity to talk to your children about it too.

Signal and communication cable replacement project

In the 2015/16 budget the State Government made available $12m over two years to replace some signal and communication cabling along the rail network. The rail team is currently assessing how to best utilise this funding and expects to release a package of work to the market in August/September.

Paul Gelston

Acting Rail Commissioner

3 July 2015

Friday 3rd July 2015

Dear Customers,

SAFETY

Safety on the rail network for both staff and customers is a fundamental requirement and drives many decisions on our network.

This includes assessing the impact of infrastructure developments along the rail corridor, such as the redevelopment of the Adelaide Convention Centre. As mentioned in a previous note, part of this project involves engineering works above the Adelaide Railway Station.

As part of this work the platform your train departs from may temporarily change.

Please check the video monitors for your platform or ask a member of staff. This is expected to continue until mid 2016. The Adelaide Metro website has more information. Thanks again for your patience. 

SEAFORD LINE SPEED PROFILE UPDATE

Staff have been reviewing options to improve speed along the Seaford line, including removing temporary speed restrictions and reviewing recommended speeds along segments of track.

A number of changes introduced on the weekend of 13/14 June have reduced the travel time for the trip from the city to Seaford by 2.5 minutes. Thank you to those (including our drivers) who responded positively to these improvements as well as general track improvements that have been made. Your suggestions have been extremely valuable.

The next challenge is improving the Seaford to city track and our other lines.

SWITCHING ISSUE

On Tuesday night there were issues with the switches on the Seaford and Tonsley lines in the Adelaide Railway Station.

Although electrical fitters were immediately sent to fix the issue, there were some delays for customers in terms of service and communication. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

While there have been some significant improvements made to our signalling system due to better maintenance processes, we’ll continue to work to improve the reliability of the network.

In addition, the speed and reliability of our communication with customers must be better. We’re improving our internal processes so that accurate information is conveyed as quickly as possible.

FARE EVASION

Lots of people ask me what we do about fare evasion. The South Australia Police (SAPOL) and Rail Operations often undertake joint activities across the rail network to increase safety for customers and reduce fare evasion.

The activities are based on complaints from passengers, service audits and reports and intelligence from rail staff and SAPOL. The types of activities undertaken include:

  • roving activities on selected lines
  • ticket inspections at targeted stations
  • the presence of plain clothes officers.

As an indication of activities undertaken, I have included a snapshot of the offences detected over the last year in the following diagram:

Image of Rail Offences Graph

Total number of offences detected during all forms of network activities

INDUSTRIAL ACTION

Negotiations continue with tram and train drivers. In the event of any further industrial action, Adelaide Metro will make every endeavour to minimise inconvenience for passengers.

Please note, passengers are reminded that a Metrocard/ticket validation is required when boarding any Adelaide Metro service.

It is an offence to travel without a valid ticket. I understand that issues may arise due to current work bans and staff will exercise leniency in such circumstances, however if passengers have the opportunity to validate, they are expected to do so. Visit the Adelaide Metro website for further announcements.

If you have feedback on how we can improve our service, please email me directly at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au.

Michael Deegan

Commissioner for Railways

25 June 2015

Rail Commissioner Archive

Thursday 25 June 2015

Dear customers,

Following is an update on rail operations, important safety information and some feedback we’ve received from passengers. We’ve experienced some issues with the catenary wire that was rolled out along the Seaford line.

The catenary wire supports the cable that supplies electricity to the trains. Investigations have identified the issue within a section of the line between Hallett Cove Beach and Seaford.

As a result the wire manufacturer and contractor will be covering the cost to rectify.

Train horns

Recently we organised for one of the community leaders involved in the Seaford train horn issue to climb aboard with a driver to see the issues from the cabin. Fair to say we both agree the number of crossings is a significant issue. The person wrote: “one thing we could all agree on was that the line would be better, for many reasons, with no crossings. I hope you can achieve that. Or at least close some of the many that are unneeded.” Our level crossing working group is currently assessing crossings for better safety outcomes.

Industrial action

Industrial action is expected  to impact the running of tram services on Friday, 26 June and train services on Monday, 29 June 2015. The department will make every endeavour to minimise inconvenience for passengers, including offering substitute buses. Customers, and particularly students who may be sitting exams during this time, are advised to plan ahead and seek alternative methods of transport. Visit the Adelaide Metro website for further details.

Safety in rail corridors

Rail corridors are dangerous places. We are seeing too many incidents where people are getting too close to moving trains and trams. Drivers can’t manoeuvre around people or stop quickly. They get incredibly nervous when people get close to the tracks and any incident, even near misses, can be very traumatic for them. Please keep well away from the tracks and be patient at level crossings. And please talk to your children too about staying safe around these areas.

‘Take your time, don’t risk your life!’ at level crossings

The seventh annual International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) was held recently . Sadly, in Australia each year there are around 150 collisions at level crossings between pedestrians or vehicles that result in death or serious injury. Please take heed of the day’s message: ‘Take your time, don’t risk your life!’ - take your time when approaching a level crossing and obey the warning signs and signals. For more information visit the ILCAD website.

National Rail Safety Regulator

Each month a Rail Commissioner Steering Committee meeting is held with senior executives from rail operations. The meeting reviews the performance and safety of the rail network.I was delighted that Ms Sue McCarrey, the National Rail Safety Regulator, accepted an invitation to attend our last meeting. Ms McCarrey was very clear, as I am, safety is the number one priority on the network. We discussed key risks, with level crossings leading the pack.

Recognition of staff

We’re continually working to improve the level of service we provide customers. It’s encouraging to receive feedback from passengers who have appreciated staff who have done their best to assist. For example:

  • Staff member Troy received a thank you from a customer from Horsham, Victoria, who lost her keys on a Seaford train. She left her address with staff at the Adelaide Railway Station and Troy posted them back to her after they were handed in.
  • A customer who made a booking for 200 school children and adults rang to thank Sally as she “was fabulous, patient and presented to her different options with her group booking.”
  • A customer emailed to thank train driver, Susan, for the “down to earth” manner in which she apologised for a slight delay and explained the mechanical issues that caused it:  “Great work whoever you are, you showed your passengers a bit of your personality.”

Your feedback helps us improve our service and measure our performance. Please keep it coming. You can contact Adelaide Metro here or email me directly at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au.

Michael Deegan

Commissioner for Railways

Rail Commissioner Archive

29 May 2015

Friday 29 May 2015

Dear customers, 
 
Following is an update on improvements we’re making to rail services on our network and responses to customer feedback I’ve received.

Station management

Adelaide Railway Station is central to our network and sits in the middle of an increasingly complex precinct of commercial properties and construction sites. A designated Station Manager is being appointed to act as a central point of contact for all station matters and to ensure the safety of customers and efficient train services.

Please note, you can continue to ask questions and report immediate issues to Adelaide Metro staff at the station.

Adelaide Railway Station works

On 22 May, stage two of the Adelaide Convention Centre redevelopment began, above the Adelaide Railway Station. The works mean the platform your train departs from may temporarily change until early 2016. Please check the video monitors for your platform or ask a member of staff.Thanks again for your patience. More details about Adelaide Railway Station works.

Improvements to Metrocard machines

Some Metrocard machines on trains have been dropping out of service because of black spots across the network. A trial of external antennas is nearly complete with plans to have these installed on trains to fix the problem and ensure these black spots are significantly reduced.

Train temperature

We have had reports of overheating on the new electric trains. A fleet check has confirmed the air conditioning systems are working correctly and that they are set to 22 degrees. However, please note when many passengers board a train at once the temperature rises and will take time to reduce back to the median temperature. 
 
What else should we be doing? I welcome your feedback 

Please keep sending your views to me at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au.
 
Michael Deegan

Commissioner for Railways

14 May 2015

Thursday 14 May 2015

Dear customers

We’re continuing to progress a number of initiatives to improve our service. Following is an update on what’s happening, how you can help and an apology an explanation for a break in service earlier in the week. 

Safety

It’s the most basic rule of rail safety but the most important – keep off the tracks.

Not only is it extremely dangerous, but our drivers get very nervous when they see someone in the corridor while driving these powerful machines that take many metres to stop.

Passenger safety is our number one priority. Our Passenger Service Assistants will continue to be a presence on our network, both on trains and at stations, and we’re working with SAPOL to crack down on unacceptable behaviour.

Monday’s delay

Unfortunately all trains were delayed for about an hour during the afternoon of Monday 11 May. 

It appears a communications cable was disconnected during works near our Operations Control Centre.

Apologies for the inconvenience caused and we’re looking into our procedures to ensure faults can be identified and fixed faster in the future. 

Adelaide Railway Station works

The platform your train departs from may change temporarily because of works to redevelop the Adelaide Convention Centre until early 2016. Please check the video monitors when you arrive for your platform or ask a member of staff.

Have you tried Metrocard?

Our ticketing system, Metrocard, continues to grow in popularity. It’s easier to pay a fare with a Metrocard and cheaper than buying single tickets

When you’re catching a train or tram, just swipe the card when you board. Please note, you’ll also need to swipe at the gates to enter or exit the Adelaide Railway Station.

Metrocards can be purchased at InfoCentres, agents and vending machines and you can register it so if you lose your card you don’t lose your credits. 

How we're organised

Here’s how we've organised our rail group so that each part of our service receives the attention it needs to improve the customers experience. 

Network control: 

Monitors approximately 1000 train and tram movements per day to ensure the safe and efficient travel of around one million passengers each week. Is the central point in the management of all network incidents and access and ensures adherence to National Rail Safety Regulatory requirements.

Tram operations: carry approximately 30,000 people per weekday and more than 2.5 million people each year on the city’s fleet of trams over the 15 km of track from Glenelg to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Train operations: carry in excess of 48,000 people per weekday on 532 scheduled services over six metropolitan lines with a fleet of over 90 railcars and more than 350 staff working as train drivers, train controllers, incident managers and rail safety, compliance and administrative officers.

Rail engineering and rolling stock: ensures we build and maintain the most reliable, safe and efficient network possible, including over 160 railcars, track and signalling.

Rail asset management: ensures we receive maximum value from our assets by looking at the cost, condition, performance, safety and service of all rail assets over their lifecycle.

Rail maintenance: 

maintains over 250km of rail and tram corridors, including tracks, stations and surrounds, so services can operate reliably and safely. 

What we’re doing to improve while you’re sleeping: 

We’re working to better the condition of our track so our on-time running performance improves. 

Over the last eight weeks we've expedited works on a number of locations on the Seaford line (approx 52 track kms).

So services weren't interrupted, this work was conducted at night - last week I had the pleasure of joining operations controller Jenny on a cold and rainy night as she worked with our engineers and staff to give them as much safe track time as possible between services.

Rail maintenance crews work overnight
Rail maintenance crews work overnight

Senior management: 

We won’t be able to improve what we offer unless we experience the service our customers receive.I've asked our senior managers to regularly use public transport, if they’re not already doing so, and to report back on any problems encountered and improvements needed.

Belair line: 

Our automatic route setting function on this line has been updated during the week.This appears to have resolved some issues causing delays on the Belair line and we should start to see better reliability. 
More work is underway.

Seaford line: 

We’re working to identify how we can best improve or alter the infrastructure along the line to increase train speed.

Train horns: 

A vexed issue for many living in the area. There is considerable focus on this issue, reviewing our train rules and standards against what happens in Britain, Canada and other Australian states.We understand the need for action and we are working as quickly as possible.

Trams: 

Again more work here is underway to improve services.

What else should we be doing?

Your feedback

As always, please keep sending your views to me at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au.

Michael Deegan

Commissioner for Railways

24 April 2015

Friday 24 April 2015

Dear customers

I am pleased to report progress in a number of areas and a few issues with which I need assistance from you. 

Rail maintenance

You will continue to see progress with ride quality as further night works are planned between now and mid May.  Local residents have been alerted. Services won’t be affected.

Continuous improvement program

This month sees the start of a continuous improvement program across all elements of our rail system.  I aim as a first step to get all my rail staff involved in these discussions and open up the process to the community. 

On time running, timetables, express services, vegetation, graffiti, safety etc. will be part of this dialogue.  While it won’t happen overnight there is clearly strong interest from the government and the community in maximising the return on the investment to the community who has made that investment. 

The line I am giving to my staff is simple “count every second, as every second counts”.  The particular focus here is to improve safety, on time running and reliability.

Train maintenance

I met with our train maintenance supplier Bombardier to seek their engagement in the continuous improvement approach on train maintenance.  Unfortunately it was the same day we had a train problem on the Seaford line causing delay.  Bombardier explained the technical issue that was related to the problem and they were perplexed as that issue had not occurred anywhere else in their trains.  They have both a solution in place and a genuine interest in working with us on improvements.

Train horns

In the same vein we have relocated train horns on a electric set and made some in cabin modifications as a trial to reduce noise impacts on the community and still provide a safety response to people crossing the track at the wrong time.    The intention is to roll out these horn modifications to the remaining electric rolling stock if the trial proves successful in reducing noise for residents. 

In the last weeks we have had numerous near misses on your train system – in one case a car drove through a level crossing and hit the train and in three other cases pedestrians have been saved by the expertise of my train drivers, including one full application of brakes.  Please alert your family, friends and neighbours to the dangers inherent here.  My drivers face these risks every day and these near misses cause a lot of distress.  I am aiming to get this balance between safety and community amenity right.

Your role

As previously indicated I need all the help I can get.  The amount of feedback I have had since starting this note has been absolutely fantastic.  It is exciting to see the passion of my passengers (and their frustrations). 

Please keep sending your views to me at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au.

I will be asking drivers to leave platforms on time, so make sure you have plenty of time when catching your train. Please don’t run and possibly injure yourself.  Please also watch for trip hazards with bags etc. on the floor.  I don’t want you or others hurt

Graffiti

There are a range of people who engage in this stuff including gangs from interstate who come and hit our trains, forcing us to remove your train from service, often at short notice.  In one recent case the train was hit while the driver changed ends. 

Please let me know if you see this activity, if you know the people involved or could provide more detailed intelligence.  Your advice will be passed to the police.

Michael Deegan

Commissioner for Railways

2 April 2015

Thursday 2 April 2015

Dear All,

FEEDBACK

Thanks for the many customers who have provided feedback. On time running, level crossings and communication of disruptions were the main issues.

How we manage passenger loading is being reconsidered as part of our on-time running challenge as well as the signal /stopping patterns of our services.

TRAFFIC AND PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS

A review of each crossing within Adelaide is underway. This is a large and vital review. Train horns are part and parcel of this review. Safety will of course come first.

TRADE WORK

As previously indicated routine track maintenance work is underway. Customers will progressively note improved ride quality as a result of this tweaking.

Our staff were able to get the latest technology from Austria to do this work which improves the rail /wheel interface-hence ride quality improvement.

SERVICE IMPROVEMENT FOCUS

Our Minister has made it clear of his expectation to see better returns on the investments made by Government in Adelaide’s public transport.

My staff are well and truly up to this challenge. I invite you to work with us. Please keep your suggestions coming.

Happy Easter!!

Michael Deegan

Commissioner for Railways

20 March 2015

Friday 20 March 2015

Dear all

Last week I posted my first note as Commissioner for Railways to our customers.I have been overwhelmed by the positive flavour of the responses and the capacity of my staff to better respond to your needs.  

I have endeavoured to ensure that every email gets a response.There have also been some terrific suggestions all of which I have raised at today’s monthly meeting of the Railways Commissioner.

SEAFORD

There will be some routine track work over the next two weeks conducted at night. 

My staff have worked hard to ensure that we have not needed to substitute any service with buses. 

We have endeavoured to advise those living near the track affected of this work and we will do our best to limit the impact (but rail work can be noisy). 

The work should result in an improvement in ride comfort.

The other issue raised on this line includes train horns and pedestrian crossings.  We will come back to the community shortly with some proposed improvements.

TIMETABLES AND EXPRESS SERVICES

When families with 50 years’ experience of catching Adelaide trains write with sensible suggestions, I listen.  Changes here might take a little longer but again a work in progress.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Your safety, and that of our staff, is at the forefront of our operations.   

Our staff work very closely with SA Police across our rail network and we use a variety of different approaches to address various aspects - from high-visibility patrols through to the more discreet plain-clothes approach.   

There are a number of ways we are looking out for you.  One of those is looking at the issue of fare evasion and anti-social behaviour. 

We conduct regular ticket and service inspections, but also have targeted operations and random blitzes.  This is about keeping the system fair for all and protecting the safety and comfort of our passengers.

Thanks again and please keep those suggestions coming.  I can be contacted at DPTI.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au.

Can I also give a plug to my staff? – those on platforms, in the trains, on the track, in the control centre , planning, safety, training – these are the people working to deliver you every day and they take great pride in getting it right. 

They also get upset when we don’t deliver for you.  They are a big part of your community and want to serve you.

Thanks

Michael Deegan

Commissioner for Railways

13 March 2015

Friday 13 March 2015

To our Rail Customers

First, an apology for this week's major disruption. 

A series of events involving a signal box at Dry Creek delayed us getting our trains on track.  It’s simply not good enough and I apologise.

In my short time as Railway Commissioner in South Australia (and CEO of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure) I have started a number of reviews and I would like to engage you as my customers in these discussions.

On time running and safety are both important elements of an operating railway, so too is clear communication between us as operators and you, our customers.  I can be reached at dpti.railcommissioner@sa.gov.au and I would value your direct feedback.

Operation Moving Traffic

I hope to provide a draft report on Adelaide's operating issues in rail, bus and our road system in the next month or so.  The purpose is to understand what works and what doesn't and what improvements can be made in safety and travel time.

Rail audit

My office is conducting an infrastructure audit of our operating environment so we collectively have an updated view of our current and future needs.

Level crossings

The multiplicity of pedestrian and vehicle crossings in Adelaide (and SA more broadly) across our rail network keeps me awake at night.  Again a report on current issues and steps to address is underway. In the last twelve months there have been 138 near misses.  That could be a family member, friend…..  Please be careful. 

Seaford line

Despite a small fortune spent by the government this line is not operating to the standard I expect (nor the standard expected by customers or the government).  Infrastructure people, train drivers and community members have given me some clear advice on what is needed and you will start to see some changes.  I will endeavour to keep interruptions to a minimum but I will need to tweak the track in part.

Train horns

Amongst many other things, Minister Mulligan has asked that I review a particularly difficult and contentious issue with train horns through sections of the Seaford line.  Again feedback here has been helpful including those recording train horn use during agreed curfews.  The work here is looking at our driver training, the horn volume and location and is also linked to the review of track crossings mentioned above.

Transparency

I want this to be an open railway and an open dialogue.  I will publish the minutes of the monthly Commissioner of Railways meetings and update on time running numbers much more frequently so we can both monitor and measure our performance.  I also have an annual calendar of special events and a timetable of trackwork scheduled is underway as part of that work.

Ticketing system, cleanliness, customer engagement etc

There is always lots to do in rail.  It still remains a great way to travel particularly as we strive to a best in class approach.  I will though need all the help I can get and I encourage you to work with me and my staff in that endeavour.

Michael Deegan

Commissioner for Railways

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes Archive