The Need for Greater Transparency When Assessing the Performance and Prospects of Melbourne’s Rail Franchise Contracts

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - rail, organisation - contracting, organisation - performance, infrastructure - maintainance


Rail operations and maintenance outsourcing, rail franchising, Melbourne rail, risk allocations, risk allocation, public policy


Among policymakers and researchers at an international level, there is great interest in the performance of the Melbourne rail franchise model. This review attempts to examine the Melbourne model in an international context and assess the performance of the system under current contracts. Potential flaws are highlighted including lack of information, concerns over performance and contestability, and the treatment of the potential long-term maintenance backlog under short-term contracts. The authors conclude with an overall stance of there needing to be far greater public information transparency to allow proper scrutiny of the effectiveness of these contracts for the public good.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.