Adelaide Metro – Train Services Franchise

Under Delivery
Adelaide Metro – Train Services Franchise

The Government of South Australia entered into a performance-based franchise contract for the operation of the State's train services in 2020 for an eight-year period, with options to extend to 10 years. Under the model the Government:

  • retains ownership of rail assets
  • sets requirements for levels of services
  • sets fare prices, and
  • retains the revenue.

In April 2023, the newly elected Government announced a termination of the contracts bringing the service back to public operations. The agreement will see train operator Keolis Downer hand back operational functions by January 2025.

The Government will invest around $15 million a year under an alliance model from 2023-2025 to prepare for full operational control of the train fleet, along with $3 million in transitional arrangements for the tram services.

Key Dates

Oct 2019 EOIs Open
Nov 2019 EOIs Close
Dec 2019 RFT Open
Mar 2020 RFT Close
Sep 2020 Contract Award
Jan 2021 Commence Franchise Operations
Apr 2023 Early termination of franchise agreement announced
Jan 2025 Operations/Service Completion - Trains
Jul 2025 Operations/Service Completion - Trams


Procuring Agency: SA Department for Infrastructure and Transport
Shortlist: Adelaide Next (comprising DB Engineering & Consulting, Bombardier Transportation and John Holland), Keolis Downer, and TrainCo (comprising Transdev Australasia and CAF Rail Australia).
Successful Tenderer: Keolis Downer - Trains Torrens Connect - Trams


Jul 2019 Government of SA announced intention to franchise train services.
Oct 2019 Expressions of interest opened.
Dec 2019 Shortlisted consortia announced.
Feb 2020 Invitation to Supply released to shortlisted consortia.
Sep 2020 Keolis Downer was awarded the $2.14 billion contract and will commence operations of Adelaide’s train services from January 2021. The performance-based contract is for an initial eight year term.
Apr 2023 The Government of South Australia announced it has reached an agreement to transfer the Adelaide Metro Services contract back to public operations. The agreement will see train operator Keolis Downer hand back operational functions by January 2025.
Estimated Total Cost
Other Transport
Procurement approach
Service Contract |
South Australia |
Government resources
SA Tender - Expression of Interest