Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM), a 60% owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based rail operator MTR, has secured a new seven-year franchise from the Government of Victoria to operate and maintain the Melbourne train system in Australia.

MTM has been responsible for operating the 390km Melbourne metropolitan train service since 2009.

The last eight years have seen the operator implement significant service improvements across the network, which serves an estimated 840,000 passenger journeys on weekdays.

MTR CEO Lincoln Leong said: “We are very pleased that a new franchise has been awarded to MTM.

"This is a fitting recognition of the determined efforts and achievements by all colleagues and shareholders of MTM to uplift service performance over the past eight years.

"This is a fitting recognition of the determined efforts and achievements by all colleagues and shareholders of MTM to uplift service performance over the past eight years."

“MTR, our partners, John Holland Group and UGL Rail, and the whole team at MTM look forward to continuing to work in close collaboration with the Victorian Government over the next seven years to meet Melbourne’s growing demand for high-quality railway transport.”

The new contract is scheduled to start from 30 November and includes an extension option of up to three years.

MTM is expected to improve and upgrade rail services in Melbourne as part of the new operations and maintenance agreement.

The operator also plans to add more services during peak hours, as well as ensure cleanliness and maintain the punctuality of the services through proper maintenance of infrastructure and rolling stock.

MTM will also upgrade 500 CCTV cameras across the system and provide better service information to the passengers.

The contract is expected to create roughly 600 new jobs across the franchise, including a total 128 employment opportunities in the first year of development.