Learn English while learning about daily life in Australia, with Rob McCormack
Podcast Number 6 – Melbourne’s Train System
Melbourne is a large city with a population of around 4.2 million people. Melbourne is also spread over an area of about 2000 square kilometres. Like all big cities, people need to travel in Melbourne. Many people work in the city centre and each day they need to get to and from work. Still more people like to shop and visit the city centre. About 800,000 people use the city centre each day.
Melbourne has a train system (Metro Melbourne), a bus system and also, for the inner city, a tram system. As well, many people still use their cars to get into the city every day. In this podcast, I will talk about the train system for our city.
Metro Melbourne – trains in Melbourne
The train system, called Metro Melbourne, has 16 lines linking the centre of the city to most of the major suburbs of Melbourne. The lines are named after the final destination for each line. For example, the line closest to me is the Lilydale Line. Lilydale is a nice village on the edge of Melbourne’s north west. I often ride through Lilydale on my motorcycle rides into the hills around Melbourne. So this line is called the Lilydale line.
The Metro Melbourne system is mostly above the ground. Only the small section which runs around the city centre is underground, passing through 3 underground stations. The main city stations are Southern Cross Station and Flinders Street Station and these are above ground. Flinders Street Station is an older style building and very interesting.
Southern Cross Station is a new building and very modern. Each train station has Protective Services Officers. They are special police who only work on the Metro Melbourne train system. They ensure that Metro Melbourne travellers are safe. Melbourne’s train system is a generally safe system and people can use it safely right up until the last train.
The last train from the city leaves at around midnight for most lines. On week ends, a bus service (Night Rider) runs after the last train to most suburbs. But I am always in bed by that time.
To ride on Melbourne’s trains, you must have a special card called a ‘Myki’.
There is no other way to pay for your travel on a Melbourne train. First you need to buy a Myki card (for $6) and you must ‘load’ some money onto it. You can buy a Myki card at any train station, at many shops (e.g. 7-Eleven) and from Myki self service machines at train stations.
When you buy a Myki card, you can also ‘load’ some money onto it at the same time. It’s really quite easy. Every time you travel, you must ‘touch on’ at the Myki reader machine at the entrance to the station where you begin your journey. When you get off at the end of your journey, you must ‘touch off’ with your card at the Myki reader machine at that station. The Myki system subtracts your fare from the amount you loaded onto your Myki. I put $30 on my Myki when I first bought it. It costs about $5.50 to go from my nearest station into the City. That’s about 25 kilometres. So it’s not too expensive.
Of course, at peak travel times around 5pm to 6pm in the evening and from 7.30am to 9am in the morning, Melbourne’s trains are usually full. But even at these times, I can always find a space to stand comfortably, or sometimes even get a seat. At other times, there will always be a seat for you.
I hope that has given you some basic information about Melbourne’s train system. When you come to Melbourne, you should try it.
If you have a question or a comment to make, please leave it by clicking the comments link at the top of this story. You can leave your comment in English or in any language and I will translate it. Or, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to hear any suggestions you may have. Goodbye until next time.
Podcast 6 Quiz - Did you understand the podcast?
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If you got all the questions right, well done! If you got some questions wrong, don’t worry. It’s normal for language learners to take time to develop their understanding.
Question 1 of 10
True or False? – About 800,000 people need to go to the city centre in Melbourne each day in order to work, to shop or just to visit the city centre.Correct
Question 2 of 10
True or False? – There are 16 train lines in Melbourne and they are named after famous people.Correct
Question 3 of 10
True or False? – Rob lives in the nice village of Lilydale on the outskirts of Melbourne.Correct
Question 4 of 10
True or False? – The Melbourne Metro Train system is an underground system.Correct
Question 5 of 10
True or False? – Rob thinks that the new Spencer Street station is very interesting.Correct
Question 6 of 10
True of False? – Protective Services Officers are at every railway station and help to keep people safe.Correct
Question 7 of 10
True or False? – The Melbourne Metro trains run all through the night.Correct
Question 8 of 10
True or False? – You can use a Myki card or you can pay cash on the Melbourne Metro Train system.Correct
Question 9 of 10
True or False? – Rob thinks that it is expensive to travel on the Melbourne Metro Rail system.Correct
Question 10 of 10
True or False? – At peak times in Melbourne, you can often still get a seat on a Melbourne Metro Train.Correct
amount = how much you have, for example, an amount of money
basic information = the facts that are the most important
bought = when you have used money to buy something
building = a place where people can live or work, with 4 walls and a roof
comfortably = when you feel okay and have room to move
Entrance = the place where you go inside. Often a gate or a door.
expensive = when something costs a lot
fare = the cost of travelling on the train
final destination = the last place the train goes to
generally = nearly all of the time
inner = the middle of a city
interesting = you want to look at it
lines = the different paths where the railway line goes
linking = when one thing is connected or joined to another
load = to put money into
midnight = at 12.00pm
million = a large number. It is 1,000,000.
modern = when something is new
motorcycle = a vehicle with 2 wheels and a motor used for travelling
peak travel times = when there are lots of people travelling to and from work.
population = the number of people that live in a place
section = a part of something
self service machines = machines which you use by yourself. You serve yourself.
special card = a small square piece of plastic
spread = when a city covers a large area
stations = where the train stops and people get on and off
style = how something looks
subtracts = when something is taken away
system = all the parts together form a system
travel = to go from one place to another
underground = under the ground
usually = when something happens most of the time
village = a small town