AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Contract battle set to conclude for QLD next gen rolling stock

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> The contract for the delivery of a new generation of rolling stock for south east Queensland’s passenger network has reached the final stages of tender evaluation, with a contract expected to be awarded before Christmas. </span> <p>The New Generation Rolling stock (NGR) project entails the delivery of 75 6-car train sets (450 cars in total), to cater for the increase in passenger services as the Brisbane region grows, and to replace an aging train fleet.</p><p>It was put out to tender by the state government in 2011, and <a href="">was recently narrowed down to two bidders</a> – Bombardier and a consortium including Mitsubishi.</p><p>It was also announced earlier this year that the project would be funded through an ‘availability payment’ PPP, rather than a lump-sum payment from the government.</p><p>Paul Daly, CEO of Queensland based Rail Skills Australasia (RSA), says the state’s decision to make the project a PPP was a good one.</p><p>“The PPP structure is beneficial in this case as the project was stalled as a standard design and construct project,” Daly told Rail Express.</p><p>“The cost of the project was not something the incoming Queensland government could afford as typical fixed price type of contract.”</p><p>Daly says there was nothing wrong with the government’s initial approach in principle, but that it was simply unaffordable as a lump sum project.</p><p>He says the project, now under the PPP scheme, will not only update the Queensland Rail passenger fleet, but will also be a major source of employment in and around one of south east Queensland’s largest regions – Ipswich.</p><p>“The revised model has allowed the project to progress and will provide for many jobs in the Ipswich region throughout the construct and maintain stages.</p><p>“It is a credit to the Queensland Government that they were prepared to look at other options for the delivery of the vehicles rather than write it off or delay it.”</p><p>Daly says he’s confident that the state government will award the contract for NGR within the calendar year.</p><p>“It’s very hard to predict with any authority, but RSA is confident that the Queensland Government will award the contract in the time outlined,” he said.</p><p>Under that timeline, construction of a planned maintenance facility for the new trainsets, in Wulkuraka, would begin early in 2014.</p><p>Queensland minister for transport and main roads, Scott Emerson, declined to comment at this time.</p>