Engineering, Passenger Rail, Signalling & Communications

Hinchliffe launches review into Moreton Bay signalling

Moreton Bay Queensland Government

The Queensland Government has released the terms of reference for the independent review of the procurement and delivery of the signalling system for the now-delayed Moreton Bay Rail Link north of Brisbane.

State transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe on May 31 announced the billion-dollar passenger rail project would be delayed after Queensland Rail raised serious concerns over the new line’s signalling system and its integration with the larger network.

Hinchliffe announced an independent review and on Friday he was ready to present the terms of reference that would dictate that review.

“Queensland Rail testing had determined the signalling system currently installed does not meet the operational and safety standards found across the rest of the network,” the minister said.

“This review will determine what went wrong and how the signalling system was selected.

“This review will run separately to the work being undertaken by Queensland Rail into the requirements of the signalling systems in order for Moreton Bay Rail Link to open.”

Hinchliffe said the Queensland Government was in the process of finalising the commercial arrangements of the appointment of an expert to lead the review.

He said the full scope of the review will consider:

Governance and Contractual processes for MBRL, including: 

  • Any signalling system related issues, risks and/or opportunities arising from the decision in 2012 to bring the project under the auspices of the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR);
  • A review of the signalling system elements of the tendering and contract process;
  • Whether the role assigned to Queensland Rail through contractual and/or governance documents and processes provided for appropriate involvement of the rail operator in the assurance processes relating to signalling; and
  • Contract milestone payments relating to signalling, and gainshare payments, and the grounds upon which any payments have been made.

Performance and integration of signalling systems during design and construction, including:

  • The nature of assurance activities by the project team, Queensland Rail, or other parties to monitor, test, and review signalling systems and signalling system interface/integration;
  • The nature of interface/integration issues experienced between multiple signalling systems on the one network; and
  • The adequacy of assurance activities, and lessons for future rail contract selection and oversight;
  • The processes by which concerns raised by Queensland Rail or other parties regarding the signalling systems or signalling system integration were managed; and
  • The assurance program being implemented by Queensland Rail in order to have the project commissioned

The minister said the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Rail and other parties will provide relevant documents as requested, subject to commercial or cabinet confidentiality.

He expects the review to be complete by the end of July.

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