Metcard - Some Personal Observations

Page last modified/checked: Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Unfortunately, a lot of the information contained in these pages is pure guesswork. Whilst Rod and myself have tried to present information that is as accurate as possible, some errors and inaccuracies are bound to creep in. Accordingly I apologize for the numerous "unknowns", question marks, and lack of detail that some pages may contain. The following section can be called "sightings", and is put here as a record to help complete the unofficial Metcard story.

Stations/Platforms with no ticket issuing machines
  • Broadmeadows Up platform has a single validator only
  • Diamond Creek Up platform has no machines or validators
  • Essendon Up Platform has no machines or validators
  • Keilor Plains Down platform has no machines or validators
  • Diggers Rest Down platform has a single validator only
  • There are no validators or machines at the Showgrounds or Flemington Racecourse Platforms
  • Malvern, Armadale, Toorak and Hawksburn up and down (local) platforms have validators only

Stations staffed part-time but no BOM provided

  • Diggers Rest Up
  • Showgrounds, attended as required
  • Flemington Racecourse, attended as required
  • Jolimont Down, attended as required
  • Richmond (up end), MCG entrance/exit, attended as required

Stations staffed for safeworking purposes but no BOM provided

  • Diamond Creek

Unexpected placing of machines

  • Belgrave has an MVM 1 and validator at the Puffing Billy gate
  • Brighton Beach Up has an MVM 1 and validator installed at the footbridge at the up end
  • Jolimont Down has a customer service centre but no BOM
  • Werribee Down Platform has an MVM 1 and validator installed
  • Williamstown has an MVM 1 and BOM only, no MVM 2 installed
  • Similarly Gowrie (since 1/2002) and St Albans Down (since 1/2002)
  • Mitcham (down platform only) is fitted with electronic barriers
  • The barriers at Mitcham were removed during October 2005 and apparently sent to Switzerland !!

Up platforms with an MVM 1 only (where an MVM 2 could be expected)

  • Aircraft (Island platform)
  • Ardeer (Island platform)
  • Deer Park (Island platform)
  • Flemington Bridge Up
  • Macaulay Up
  • Melton Up
  • Middle Footscray (Island platform)
  • Officer Up
  • Rockbank Up
  • Rushall Up
  • South Kensington (located in subway)

Stations with two MVM 1 machines only (Machine installed on up and down platform):

  • Rockbank
  • Macaulay
  • Flemington Bridge
  • Rushall
  • Officer

Stations with multiple BOM's:

  • Flinders Street
  • Spencer Street
  • Melbourne Central
  • Parliament
  • Ringwood (Up and Down platforms)

Low numbered running issues (Less than 5000 tickets issued)

  • General Motors: Issued ticket number 00000438 on 1st October 1999 (up to 00000754 by 8th February 2001)
  • Werribee Down: Issued ticket number 00000916 on 9th October 1999
  • Rockbank Down: Issued ticket number 00001149 on 13th September 1999
  • Seddon Down: Issued ticket number 00001359 on 18th October 1999
  • Fawkner Down: Issued ticket number 00001359 on 18th October 1999
  • Williamstown Beach Down: Issued ticket number 00001919 on 9th October 1999
  • Melton Up: Issued ticket number 00002116 on 14th September 1999
  • Patterson Down: Issued ticket number 00003094 on 22nd October 1999
  • Darebin Down: Issued ticket number 00003518 on 18th October 1999
  • North Williamstown Down: Issued ticket number 00003586 on 9th October 1999
  • Heyington Down: Issued ticket number 00003654 on 22nd September 1999
  • Officer Up: Issued ticket number 00003912 on 15th February 2000
  • Brighton Beach Down: Issued ticket number 00004017 19th October 1999

Speaking of numbering, the original issues had 5 digit numerals eg: 00561.
By February 1997, this had changed to 8 digit numerals eg 00001035 on some machines. All machines now display the eight digit format.

Some machines have displayed strange counting techniques eg:- Alamein 018 1010

  • On the 14th October 1996: up to ticket number 01584
  • On the 14th November 1996: up to ticket number 79545
  • On the 3rd February 1997: up (back?) to ticket number 62338
  • On the 28th February 1997: up to ticket number 00065152
  • On the 7th March 1997: up to ticket number 65937
  • On the 28th January 1998: up to ticket number 01500284 (!)
  • On the 26th March 1998: up to ticket number 02078884 (!)

10/2000: I received an e-mail informing me that the machines, when first installed, all started at number 1. When a "card" was changed over, the machine generated a new starting number using a built-in algorithm. This is how some relatively low-use machines have numbers in the 3,000,000 range, and probably explains the numbering jump from 65937 to 0207884 as shown above.

1/2002: One thing to note (somewhere!) is that when a new design appears, it seems to be on issue from most machines in the system for a short time (usually a couple of days) before reverting to the current "generic" design, or whatever was being issued previously. It then seems that when that design has run out, the "new" design is again utilized, generally appearing some two to three weeks after its initial appearance.

It also appears that the Magnadata J-e and J-f series are "reserved" for bus usage, as every example seen has an 089 or 090 issuing machine number. As well, they normally appear some 3-4 weeks after the initial sighting of the rail issued design.

Well that's about it. We hope you have gained something from your visit. As always, any information, updates, corrections, scans, etc, are most welcome at robx - at - (replace the - at - with @)