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Train System’s Tech Upgrades to Boost Passenger Experience for Victorians

Australia Comeng Test Train

Major upgrades of Metro Train’s Comeng fleet will give passengers clearer and simpler journey information to get them where they need to go.

According to a recent press release, the upgrades are part of the third stage of the Victorian Government’s AU$ 75 million investment to modernise the workhorse Comeng fleet, which first entered service in 1982.

Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne explained that they have invested a record amount into new rolling stock and also modernising the current fleet to provide the passengers with a better transport experience.

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

About the Initiative

A Comeng test train fitted with upgraded communications equipment is now taking passengers on the Metro network, before a progressive roll-out to 29 trains over the next 12 months.

The upgrades include a range of features such as:

  1. Real-time high definition information
  2. Colour passenger information displays with dynamic route maps
  3. Clearer destination screens on the outside of trains

High definition CCTV cameras will also be installed.

These will provide better clarity and a wider field of view in order to keep passengers safe. It will also support Metro and Victoria Police investigations.

In addition, there will also be improvements to hearing aid links for audio announcements to provide for greater accessibility as well as upgraded speakers that will bring clearer on-board audio announcements.

Stage three of the upgrades would involve upgrading the air compression system, which powers the brakes, doors, pantographs and traction systems.

Furthermore, Metro is also retrofitting thousands of wireless data recorders to the X’Trapolis and Siemens fleets.

Doing so would allow the engineers to monitor the condition of key train systems in real-time and prevent faults before they occur.

The current Comeng life extension project began in 2017, with stages one and two now complete.

The completed upgrades to Comeng are safety upgrades to Comeng’s doors, upgrading the interiors and exteriors of the trains and enclosing the walkways between the carriages.

The CEO of Metro shared that being able to monitor trains in real-time will lead to a safer and better-performing railway, which is great news for passengers.

Using real-time data means a smarter approach to train maintenance and fewer faults impacting passengers.

Global Company to Boost Victoria’s AI Capabilities

In other news, the Victorian Government is continuing to support the growth of the state’s tech sector by attracting the investment of a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI).

Dataminr, listed 5th on Forbes’ 50 Most Promising AI Companies List, will establish its APAC HQ and Operations Centre in Melbourne, creating over 50 new jobs and boosting Victoria’s AI capabilities.

Based in New York, the company uses publicly available data to identify high-impact and emerging risks, such as emergency events and natural disasters.

Drawing on Victoria’s world-renowned tertiary sector, the company is already collaborating with local universities. Victorian universities produce about 37% of Australia’s tech graduates.

Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas explained that through Invest Victoria, they are providing valuable support and facilitation to the big players so that they will choose to invest in Victoria.

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