From planes to trains: Shane Murphy

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Rail Safety and Accreditation Manager Shane Murphy started his career in aviation before making the switch from planes to trains. Now, he is working to deliver a safe rail line that will serve Victorians for years to come on the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) project.

Shane worked in operations at Qantas for 21 years, where he not only helped keep people safe on and off the tarmac, but he met his wife, Lily.

Shane later became a lead investigator – first at V/Line, then at Metro Trains. His role was to understand how accidents or derailments occurred and what could be done to stop them happening again.

‘Humans are prone to making mistakes and if you consider the hazards associated with rail transport, even small mistakes can have lasting effects,’ he said.

‘All of us can confess to misplacing our keys, misunderstanding an instruction or even using a mobile phone while driving.

‘These mistakes and violations make us human and acknowledging that helps us account for human behaviour when we design railway systems.’

The rail safety journey

Shane is now working on a safety management system to allow construction of SRL East’s twin tunnels to begin, and to achieve accreditation under Rail Safety National Law.

He said rail safety will cover the entire life cycle of the project, from construction through to testing and operation.

By the 2050s, Melbourne is going to be a city of nearly nine million people – the same size London is today.

SRL East from Cheltenham to Box Hill will deliver 6 brand new underground stations at Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill by 2035.

When Shane’s not thinking about rail safety, he’s running after his two teenage girls, catching up with friends and family, and brewing his own beer. He looks forward to the day when his daughters can ride SRL to access jobs, education and health care.

Suburban Rail Loop