Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Contracts and Projects, Industry Infrastructure, Operations and Maintenance, Passenger Rail

MTR: driving metro success

MTR metro

This November, MTR celebrates 15 years of operating in Australia and helping clients to deliver great metro outcomes for passengers and communities.

MTR began Australian operations back in 2009 when the consortium it leads, Metro Trains Melbourne, won the Melbourne Trains franchise. 

From that point MTR has continued to share its global metro knowledge on operations and maintenance, building and opening new lines based on its Rail plus Property model throughout Australia and New Zealand.


Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) plays an integral part in the lives of millions of Melbournians, operating 1000km of track and 221 metropolitan stations. More than 7000 employees deliver more than 60,000 train services every month.

MTM chief executive Raymond O’Flaherty said the business was focussed on operating a long-term sustainable railway network that worked productively with the Victorian Government to ensure a positive legacy for future generations.

“We are also proud of the progress we have made on having greater gender diversity across every part of the organisation and encouraging more women into a traditionally male dominated industry,” he said.

“We now have more than 550 female train drivers in our team of 1300 drivers. 

‘Passenger experience has also grown to over 75 per cent and on-time performance has significantly risen since taking over the franchise, from the mid-80 per cent range to over 92 per cent.”

O’Flaherty said the Victorian Government’s Big Build program had been transformational for the metropolitan network. 

“MTM is proud to have partnered with the Victorian Government to realise significant improvement for our passengers who now experience a more modern network with new trains and enhanced timetables. 

“The work is not done yet, with testing now underway on the new Metro Tunnel which will open for passengers in 2025.”


MTR began its Sydney journey when it partnered with Sydney Metro to deliver the first automated metro service in Australia, Sydney Metro Northwest. 

MTR leads the consortium that financed and built the PPP (public-private partnership) project, as well as the Sydney Metro Trains consortium which delivers the operations and maintenance concession.

Metro Trains Sydney (MTS) chief executive Daniel Williams said that turn-up-and-go automated trains were a game-changer for Sydney, and passenger experience scoring reflected this trend.

“MTS achieves over 98 per cent satisfaction which is the highest in Australia for any mode of transport,” he said.

When MTS services were introduced in 2019, they delivered global benchmark performance standards of 99 per cent on-time performance. 

“This level of performance is absolutely world class,” Williams said.  

“MTS is now looking forward to the opening of the Sydney Metro City section next year through Sydney CBD, and then later to the South West. 

“We continue to work closely with Sydney Metro and partners to deliver world class transport to heart of Sydney and look forward to the transformation it will achieve.” 


MTR is currently delivering the new trains and systems package for Sydney Metro City and Southwest. 

MTR project director Dono Tong said        the company was proud to be partnering   with Sydney Metro to deliver the 23 new trains, CBTC, communications and PSD  systems for the project, as well as the overall system integration. 

“We have built a large local team in Australia and are able to use our expertise in integrating different OEMs with existing networks to deliver complex projects,” he said. 

“Globally MTR has opened eight automated metro lines in the past five years and this knowledge is directly fed into achieving successful outcomes.” 


Global expertise is something that MTR prides itself on and it actively participates in a variety of Rail plus Property projects. 

MTR senior manager Gordon Baulch said that MTR regular engages with clients at all stages of a project. 

“Across Australia and New Zealand, MTR are currently providing strategic advice for line openings, Rail plus Property development, operations, maintenance, rolling stock and systems integration. 

“Having direct access into 50,000 global resources is incredibly powerful for our clients and MTR is able to help improve outcomes for passengers and communities.”

What’s next

The future looks bright for MTR in Australia and New Zealand with governments continuing to deliver Rail plus Property projects. 

MTR Australian chief executive Raymond Yuen said that the business was excited      for the future of Rail and Property in the   ANZ region. 

“Helping clients realise their vision is a key outcome for MTR and we achieve this because of our deep knowledge of metro operations, maintenance, line openings and property development,” he said.  “Our global networks continuously share knowledge and learning which we transfer directly into our Australian operations and to our clients.

“MTR is so proud of the improvements we have been able to deliver to passengers and communities in Australia. 

“We look forward to partnering long into the future with our valued clients and enabling their visions.”