The Challenge

The Melbourne Train Authority (MTA) in Melbourne, Australia, has been serving city residents for 39 years. The MTA was experiencing a high volume of damage to the city’s metro trains, including damaged and smashed windshields and drivers cab side windows due to thrown objects, and graffitied windows on the Authority’s Comeng, XTrapolis and Siemens trains. As part of its recent initiative to protect drivers, and reduce costs and downtime when removing trains for service and repairs, and to prevent future damages, the MTA searched for a solution.


The Solution

After testing window film on a small selection of windshields and finding that it withheld under normal wear-and-tear in addition to the MTA’s rigorous cleaning process, they chose ClearPlex® Windshield Protection Film by Madico, a manufacturer of innovative window film, coating, metallizing and laminate solutions. According to the MTA, glass tests were completed in line with the American Code of Federal Regulations 49 CFR 223 standard for an FRA Type II glazing material used on a side facing location. “FRA Type II testing was chosen as it was a recognized test procedure which could be used to provide a practical comparative test which shows the relative improvement in protection provided to the driver from the application of the safety films. It is important to note the aim of the testing was not to demonstrate compliance to the requirements of FRA Type II glazing. The FRA Type II test includes two types of tests – a Ballistics test and a Large Object test.”

Shortly after testing, the Melbourne Train Authority began installing ClearPlex on its fleet of vehicles. The MTA found a significant decrease in damages, and the replacement of dirty or scratched window film quick, easy and cost-efficient. Upon inspection of the glass after the ClearPlex removal, none of the windshields were marked or affected, and the trains returned to service immediately.


The Results

ClearPlex® windshield protection film protects over 1,000 metro trains a year, and saves the Melbourne Train Authority $1,500,000 (AUS) annually. The lifespan of a windshield coated with window film is double the life of an untreated windshield. Prior to installing ClearPlex, the cost to replace a windshield was $3,500 (AUS), but after installing ClearPlex the cost of replacing the window film dropped to $400 (AUS). The train authority also sees savings in the amount of downtime required for repairs or replacements, since replacing window film requires much less time and labor than replacing a windshield. Additionally, this solution has a long-measured success, as the Melbourne Train Authority began installing ClearPlex on its trains in 2010, and continue to install and see the benefits of window film today in 2022.

“We have noticed the ClearPlex film seems to wear in a similar way to the glass it is protecting and therefore any normal wear and tear such as wiper marks, sandblasting and impact/debris marks we find on the film, that would have been normal wear and tear on the glass, is renewed by removing the film, leaving an ‘as new’ windscreen,” the MTA’s Reliability Officer said.