Slow English

Podcasts about Australia for intermediate learners of English

Podcast 6 – Melbourne’s Train System


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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 east. 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 I would like to hear any suggestions you may have. Goodbye until next time.


Podcast 6 Quiz - Did you understand the podcast?

You can take the quiz as many times as you like.


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


  1. Hi Rob. Thanks for your nice podcast. My husband and I will travel to Australia for immigration. So I have started to improve my English with English podcast, that’s why your podcast is very useful for me and I really enjoy listening to them.
    Best regards

    • Hi Ati,
      Many thanks for your comment. I can imagine that you and your husband are looking forward to coming to Australia. It will be an exciting and interesting time for you both.
      Beat wishes for the future.

  2. Hi Rob. Thanks for your nice podcast. My family and I will travel to Melbourne for immigration. So I have started to improve my English that your podcast is very useful for me.
    All the best

    • Hi Nejatpoor,
      Many thanks for your comment. I am glad that my podcast is useful to you.
      I am sure you will be excited to begin your adventure to immigrate to Australia. Melbourne is a wonderful place to start a new life.
      All the best for the future.
      Best regards,

  3. Hi Rob, I think Lily Dale locates in North East of Melbourne.

    • Hi Daoquoc Trieu,

      Thanks for your comment. You are correct. I made a mistake there. I will correct my website transcript.

      Have a great day.

  4. Hi Rob!

    When I listened to this podcast of MYKI card I lost my MYKI card! Haha. But my friend give me a new one.

    Have a nice day Rob!

  5. Hi, Rob. This is Nan, who is one of your fans. The reason that I like this podcast series is because when I felt tired, I was still able to focus on what you say in its content and the meaning of your words spoken out of your mouth can be absorbed in my mind, which affect my English and I got the sufficient marks in PTE exam eventually. Thanks very much. This is the best way to improve foreigners’ English when I noticed that some of them are likely to keep speaking as quick as they want without considering how much other people get the points of what they really mean.

    • Hi Nan,

      Many thanks for your kind message. I am very pleased that my podcast has been useful to you. Good luck with your English studies.

      Have a great day.

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