The Regional Rail Link (RRL) project was, at the time of its approval and delivery, one of the largest and most expensive rail projects ever built in Victoria, with an estimated final cost of $3.65 billion.
Since its official opening in mid‐2015, the RRL has transformed public transport journeys in key growth corridors to the west of Melbourne.
The RRL has untangled regional and metropolitan train lines by providing a dedicated high‐speed corridor for V/Line trains to access the inner‐urban areas of Melbourne. The new capacity and reduction in conflicting train movements has also provided the metropolitan system with room to grow.
The scope, scale and complexity of the RRL project made it an exceptional challenge for the public sector. The challenges included pressure to quickly deliver the project, due to a broader Commonwealth aim to use the project as a key stimulatory initiative to offset any impact of the global financial crisis on the Australian economy.
Taxpayers and parliaments expect transparency about whether such major infrastructure projects are worthwhile and have had a beneficial effect.
In this audit, we assessed whether the RRL project is realising its expected benefits. To achieve this, we examined whether expected benefits and measures of achievement were clearly defined for the project and also whether the RRL has achieved, or is on track to achieve, its expected outcomes and benefits.