Maintaining railway assets across metropolitan Melbourne

Overview

We plan to determine whether railways in metropolitan Melbourne are maintained to deliver safe, reliable and punctual train services for commuters.

Why this is important

Melbourne operates a fleet of 226 six‐carriage trains over 998 kilometres of track on 15 regular service train lines and one special‐events train line. The need for well‐maintained rail infrastructure to make sure services remain safe and reliable increases as public transport patronage increases. DoT leases these rail assets to the train franchisee, Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM), and pays MTM to maintain and renew the assets.

Our 2016 report, Managing the Performance of Rail Franchisees, found that Public Transport Victoria—now part of DoT—had significant gaps in its asset management. It did not know whether the rail franchisee maintained and renewed rail assets in a way that would keep them in optimal working order throughout their life and deliver value for money.

DoT’s 2021 asset condition assessment found that signalling assets had the highest failure rate among railway infrastructure types. It also found that many signalling assets were degrading and others did not have any condition data available. In 2021, signals and track infrastructure had the highest number of incidents.

What we plan to examine

This reasonable assurance performance audit, will assess how MTM prioritises and maintains the railways, including how it relates to planning for asset renewal, and how DoT and VicTrack oversee MTM’s maintenance activities.

We propose to scope DoT, VicTrack, MTM and V/Line into this engagement.

Timeframe

2022‒23

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