M-Train

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Industry Railway operator
Predecessor Public Transport Corporation
Successor Connex Melbourne
Founded 1 October 1997
Defunct 18 April 2004
Headquarters Melbourne
Area served
Melbourne
Parent National Express
Website www.mtrain.com.au

M>Train was a train operator in Melbourne, Australia. Formed in October 1997 as Hillside Trains, a business unit of the Public Transport Corporation, it was privatised in August 1999 becoming a subsidiary of National Express.

In December 2002 National Express handed the franchise in, with the State Government taking over until negotiations were concluded for Connex Melbourne to take over in April 2004.

History[edit]

On 1 October 1997 in preparation for privatisation, the Public Transport Corporation's suburban rail operations were split into two business units, Bayside Trains and Hillside Trains. The former took over operation of the Frankston, Cranbourne, Pakenham, Sandringham, Williamstown, Werribee, Sydenham (now Sunbury), Broadmeadows (now Craigieburn) and Upfield line services.[1][2]

Bayside Trains initially operated service on the Orbost line as far as Warragul under contract to V/Line until electric services ceased beyond Pakenham.[3] On 1 July 1998, operation of the Stony Point line was transferred from V/Line.[4]

National Express successfully bid to take over the Bayside Trains services from 29 August 1999 beating competition from Connex, GB Railways and a Singapore MRT led consortium.[5][6] National Express were also awarded the Swanston Trams franchise and V/Line concession.[7][8][9]

In October 2001 National Express rebranded Bayside Trains as M>Train.[10][11][12]

In December 2002 National Express handed in its Victorian rail and tram franchises having been unable to renegotiate financial terms with the State Government who took over operations.[13][14][15][16]

KPMG were appointed to operate the business on behalf of the State Government.[17][18] In May 2003 the State Government announced it would establish a single company to operate both networks, and was negotiating with Connex Melbourne (who operated the other half of the network) to operate this entity. In February 2004 an agreement was reached, and the networks were reunited on 18 April 2004.[19]

Operations[edit]

Siemens Nexas in a trial M>Train livery

M>Train operated the suburban rail services in the western, north-western, south-eastern, and southern suburbs running though North Melbourne and South Yarra stations. These were the Werribee, Williamstown, Sydenham (now Sunbury), Broadmeadows (now Craigieburn), Upfield, Pakenham, Cranbourne, Frankston, Sandringham and Stony Point lines, in addition to maintaining the three underground City Loop stations.

When the Public Transport Corporation fleet was split, Bayside Trains were allocated 58 three-car Hitachi and 97 three-car Comeng sets.[3] A class locomotives and MTH carriages were hired from V/Line for services on the unelectrified Stony Point line.

To replace the Hitachis, 62 three-car Siemens Nexas were ordered.[20][21]

Until November 2003 M>Train also issued its own annual railway tickets, running in parallel and sold at a discount to those Metcard system, but only permitting travel on their half of the network.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Melbourne's Rail Network to be Split" Railway Digest November 1997 page 12
  2. ^ "City in Brief" Railway Gazette International December 1997 page 835
  3. ^ a b "Melbourne EMU Fleet" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin issue 737 March 1999 page 116
  4. ^ "Victorian Rail Transport Business Formerly Established" Railway Digest September 1998 page 15
  5. ^ "All change for private trains and trams" Railway Digest August 1999 page 23
  6. ^ "NEG conquers Oz" Rail Magazine issue 363 11 August 1999 page 11
  7. ^ National Express Group Awarded Three Franchises National Express June 1999
  8. ^ National Express takes root in Melbourne Railway Gazette International 1 October 2000
  9. ^ "ARHS Railway Museum: Victoria 1950 - now". ARHS Railway Museum. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  10. ^ "National Express - Review of Operations - Australia". www.investis.com. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  11. ^ "Moving Melbourne - A New Brand Coming for Melbourne's Tramsport" Transit Australia January 2001 page 18
  12. ^ "Metros" Railway Gazette International July 2001 page 441
  13. ^ National Express walks out of Australian rail service The Daily Telegraph (London) 17 December 2002
  14. ^ "Privatisation takes a tumble in Victoria" Railway Gazette International February 2003 page 61
  15. ^ Nat Express pull back Down Under The Daily Telegraph (London) 3 September 2004
  16. ^ Richard Web (14 March 2004). "The long goodbye". The Age. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  17. ^ Receivers take over train, tram group The Age 24 December 2002
  18. ^ Victorian passenger services get new managers Rail Express 28 January 2003
  19. ^ Selma Milovanovic, Rachel Wells (17 April 2004). "Down Frankston way it's a popular line". The Age. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  20. ^ "Victorian rolling stock contracts announced" Railway Digest May 2000 page 20
  21. ^ "M>Train Electric Sets Unveiled" Railway Digest March 2001 page 10
  22. ^ "Related AFC tickets - M>Train Yearly Ticket". www.robx1.net. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to M-Train at Wikimedia Commons
Preceded by
Public Transport Corporation
Railways in Melbourne
Caufield & Northern groups

1999-2002
Succeeded by
State Government
then Connex Melbourne