Did you discuss the KPIs of trains, in particular the timeliness indicator, where it is the trains not the passengers that have to arrive on time at Flinders St? On a daily basis the passengers get thrown off at Richmond station so that the trains can go straight to FS and miss all the loop stations, therefore arriving 'on time' (shame about all the late passengers).
I remember once going to a job interview during my lunch hour of my then job, catching the train and figuring I'd be back before anyone noticed, then having the train bypass my station along with several others because it was 'running late'. Yeah who cares about dropping off passengers where they think they are going!
Sounds like it's not just private-sector operators finding loopholes in their contracts then (Transperth is still state-owned, isn't it?).
I don't think Barnett got around to selling it.