V/Line Rail Intercity Tender Support

Prepared Firefly Express’s complete operating bids for several regions in Victoria

Client: Firefly Express

Project Description


Firefly Express operate a range of interstate (Victoria, NSW and South Australia) and regional services. The regional services in Victoria operate under contract to V/Line, acting as an extension to the rail network or, in some cases, supplementing it.

Phillip Boyle & Associates prepared Firefly Express’s complete operating bids for several regions in Victoria. We also provided support and expertise throughout the implementation process, from preparing the operating plan and rollout for day 1 to providing a service revision and new operating plans over a year after implementation.


Firefly Express secured the Western Highway corridor services (between the regional centres of Nhill, Horsham, Murtoa, Ararat and Ballarat) and now successfully operate this corridor. Firefly Express’s performance has fully met the service targets identified by Phillip Boyle & Associates during the tender phase.

Scope of Works

Key Tasks

Phillip Boyle & Associates was actively involved in bid preparation and service implementation: Tasks included:

  • Providing operational plans, schedules and timetables
  • Preparing a detailed estimate of operating costs and assisting with pricing
  • Researching and planning innovative alternative operating strategies
  • Assisting with implementation, including developing vehicle runs, driver shifts and operational reports
  • Providing follow-up service revisions and new operating plans once services had commenced.

Key Challenges

The incumbent operator was well-resourced and established, so Firefly Express’s bid had to be competitive and innovative to succeed. The operating plans we developed had to take into account the unique nature of the low-frequency intercity coach services and the different operational requirements for these services.