Engineering, Passenger Rail, Rail Supply, Rolling stock & Rail Vehicle Design

NGR roll-out halted, Trad slams ‘cheap’ contract

Queensland’s deputy premier and minister for transport Jackie Trad has blamed the former LNP government for being cheap, and halted the delivery of the New Generation Rollingstock amid a raft of reported issues with the trains.

NGR is a $4.4 billion deal for Bombardier to deliver 75 new passenger trains for the Queensland Rail network.

Bombardier is building the trains in India and delivering them to Brisbane by ship.

13 have so far been delivered, and two are currently in transit, per the ABC.

But the roll-out of the new trains ground to a halt this week, with Trad saying Queensland Rail engineers were battling through “issues” with the new trains in testing.

The transport minister blamed the former LNP government for not spending enough on the contract.

“Back in January 2014 [former treasurer] Tim Nicholls and [former transport minister] Scott Emerson … were crowing about the fact that they were getting these trains for half price manufactured in India,” Trad was quoted by the ABC.

“Now everybody knows you get what you pay for.

“There will be no further deliveries until issues identified by Queensland Rail engineers have been addressed.”

Trad reportedly said there were a number of issues around the detailed design of the trains.

“Windscreen visibility, braking systems, air-conditioning, etcetera, etcetera,” Trad was quoted.

“I think it’s time we said no more deliveries until we sort out all the issues and these trains are able to run on Queensland tracks.

“We have paid nothing so far and we don’t pay until these trains run on our tracks.”

Nicholls deflected the blame Trad placed on the former Newman Government, in which he served as treasurer.

“The trains that were being delivered were trains that were actually ordered under the supervision and guidance of [Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk’s] handpicked director-general Dave Stewart,” Nicholls reportedly said.

“He ran the procurement process.

“We’ve also seen Jackie Trad’s current director-general Neil Scales say these trains are fit for purpose.”

Nicholls said the trains did need some adjusting, but said this “is always the case with new gear”.

“They are the right product to deliver for Queensland,” he said.

“It’s because Labor is mucking around, don’t know how to run the public transport system and today we’re simply seeing Jackie Trad trying to muddy the waters to cover up their own incompetence.”