From this comment I can only assume that you work for Metro. They have systematically removed from the network anyone who had anything to do with managing VR, V/Line, Connex, Bayside, Hillside or etc. They have brought in managers from overseas and interstate. This is reflected in some of their ridiculous decisions. They have also chosen people who can be pressured or manipulated and will not question their hare-brained ideas. As a result the only people who know what has been tried and failed are the older drivers/signallers/fitters etc, and they do not listen to them. They are therefore making mistakes which have already been made. What is the quote? Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it...
Having the franchise in place is almost certainly much more expensive but it serves the purpose of putting some distance between the State Government and the running of the railways; it doesn't really matter how knowledgeable or competent they actually are.
In the old days of VicRail, negotiations over pay deals were prolonged and dragged out into the media because train drivers were essentially public servants with a strong and militant union. Now-days the private companies employing and managing those same staff manage to keep those issues away from the government (and the media) and keep the union in check and at arm's length away from the government; a process that began under Cain/Kirner with the merging of public transport agencies into a corporate identity known as 'The Met'.
The second and possibly more important reason for having the franchise system in place is to give politicians the appearance of caring. When Connex were failing miserably in the summer of 2008/9 Brumby and his ministers kept coming out in public and saying how it wasn't good enough and that they were profusely sorry because Connex weren't up to the task of running their
network -nobody ever took responsibility for the fact that it was actually the government's ageing, antiquated network. The train system completely collapsed a few times in January '09 - I recall vividly being at Flinders Street one boiling hot weekday afternoon trying to get home from work and there were no trains running and no staff to be found anywhere either, it was very eerie walking around in the heat with other hapless passengers looking at the blank screens and trying to work out what the hell was going on.
As it turns out the only thing Brumby did was (predictably) sack Connex six months later and replace them with Metro. It gave the appearance of the government trying to improve the system by sacking the franchise operator while simultaneously trying to sheet home all the responsibility away from the people who actually own and maintain the system (DoT and the Brumby government).
Our 'new' operator, Metro, are actually much better at playing the 'franchise' game than Connex were - one of the first things they got through when they starting running the train network was a means to recalculate what constituted an 'on-time' train so that the definition became much more liberal; they also got the network timetables slowed down a bit which helped them reach their targets with less effort (apparently this has also worked wonders for on-time running in NSW!).
Love them or loathe them, these corporate rent-seekers are adored by our politicians and are here to stay.