Joint Venture Awarded 7-Year Contract to Operate Melbourne’s Metro Trains


A joint venture led by Hong Kong’s rail service provider, MTR Corp, has extended its right to operate and maintain the metro system in Melbourne, Australia for an extended franchise term of seven years from November.

The joint venture comprises of MTR Corporation (60%), John Holland (20%) and UGL Rail Service (20%) with the new contract beginning on 30 November.

The infrastructure property group's share of revenue is expected to be approximately $2 billion over the initial seven-year term.

The Metro Trains Melbourne franchise contract further bolsters John Holland’s role in the transformation of Melbourne’s transportation system. 

In another joint venture with CPB Contractor, John Holland was selected to deliver Victoria’s West Gate Tunnel Project.

The project involves the widening of the West Gate Freeway from 8 to 12 lanes between the M80 Ring Road and Williamstown Road. The West Gate Tunnel project will include: 

  • Building a 2.8km eastbound tunnel and a 4km westbound tunnel under Yarraville;
  • Constructing a bridge over the Maribyrnong River providing an alternative to the West Gate Bridge;
  • Constructing an elevated road along Footscray Road to the Port of Melbourne; and
  • Major new cycling and pedestrian paths.

The project is set to create up to 6,000 new jobs, including 500 apprenticeships, 150 jobs for former autoworkers and around 400 jobs in Melbourne’s West.

Joe Barr, Chief Executive Officer has said John Holland was proud to be playing a role in shaping the future of Melbourne.

“John Holland is carrying out early works on the Melbourne Metro and has been selected to build the new Metro Tunnels, including over station developments in the heart of the city. We’re also leading major level crossing removal projects, including the delivery of the Mernda Rail Extension,”

“While we get on with the job of delivering these huge transformational projects for the people of Melbourne, we understand the need to keep the city moving safely and reliably today”.

Earlier this year, John Holland won the contract to deliver the $324m early works package for the Melbourne Metro.

The contract included excavating shafts in the centre of Melbourne as part of preparations for the tunnel and 5 new underground stations.

The excavation adjacent to Swanston Street will enable the underground construction of 2 new stations built as part of the $10.9b project.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the shafts will be up to 35m deep – more than 11 storeys below the ground – and involve the excavation of 34 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of soil and rock from beneath the city.

The excavation of the CBD North Station involves two shafts at Franklin and A’Beckett Street, while construction of CBD South will involve the partial demolition of the car park underneath City Square.

Work on the stations shafts is set to begin next year, following the conclusion of Environment Effects Statement (EES) process currently underway and formal planning approval for the project.

Executive General Manager – Rail, Gary Seabury, said there is no business better placed than John Holland to understand commuter’s concerns.

“I can assure Melbournians that we understand the importance of getting them to work, home, school and events safely and on time. Melbourne Trains exceeded all its KPIs in the first eight years of operations, but we’ve heard loud and clear that we need to keep lifting the bar,”

“John Holland, together with our partners, is committed to keep putting passengers first, and the new contract includes global best practice and innovative solutions to the running of Melbourne’s train services.”

This new contract follows an eight-year franchise contract set to expire in November. Options to extend the contract term by up to 3 years as well as any project works other than those already committed and awarded would be in addition to this year’s figures.  

Metro Trains Melbourne passengers make over 233 million trips each year across a vast 850-kilometre network.

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