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Commission of Inquiry New Generation Rollingstock Trains

Started by ozbob, July 24, 2018, 16:42:22 PM

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QR tried to get a new Accessibility Strategy past me the other day with not a mention of DSAPT compliance timelines in the station upgrades section. Needless to say that didn't fly. Not a lesson was learnt that day from their side of the table. 

Quote from: SurfRail on December 10, 2018, 16:47:42 PM
The next job is to absolutely HAMMER them about station upgrades.  God only knows just how compliant some of them actually are.

And it is hardly limited to the rail network.  We are still buying buses with steps in the side door.  WHY?
Geoff Trappett OAM
Phone: 0411812854
Twitter: @inclusionmoves
LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/geofftrappettoam
Website: www.inclusionmoves.com.au
Much of our work is pro bono: https://www.paypal.me/InclusionMoves


STB we should talk


Quote from: STB on December 10, 2018, 17:58:21 PM
Unfortunately this sort of abelist attitude by bureaucrats can be found in Government in a lot of places.  My day job deals with advocacy and policy and I've been dealing with the NDIS for the past 18 months slowly consulting on policy for them, which unfortunately they keep screwing up and making ableist decisions despite disabled people pointing out flaws in the policy, yet they keep it in or incorrectly write what hey were consulted on.  Including refusing to train the staff and management properly.

IMHO need more disabled people working in Government and have a dedicated Disabilities Minister to oversee the public service and all the nuts and bolts that goes with what disabled people interact with (which is pretty much everything the Government is required to provide).
Geoff Trappett OAM
Phone: 0411812854
Twitter: @inclusionmoves
LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/geofftrappettoam
Website: www.inclusionmoves.com.au
Much of our work is pro bono: https://www.paypal.me/InclusionMoves


Quote from: achiruel on December 10, 2018, 19:06:05 PM
QR and DTMR both clearly have toxic cultures. Scales for a start has to go. He oversaw an awful lot of problems both within the Department and at TransLink and did essentially nothing to fix them. Not to mention his issues at Merseyside.

Time to bring in someone who isn't completely incompetent. Strong recommend getting someone from outside the DTMR/QR/TransLink schmozzle. Go headhunting at WA Vic or TfV/PTV.

Mid-level executives who failed to bring information to the attention of the D-G/Minister should be held to account as well. Terminated most likely, because they clearly can't do their jobs properly.

I'd personally bring back Luke Franzmann, the 'father' of TL who was in charge from the start in 2003/04.  I found him to be pretty good and generated a good culture within TL when he was leading it.  Lots of change in the public transport network occurred under his rein, and the staff I found felt quite energized to work with the community in getting those changes to work with the community.

Things kinda fell apart and felt different when he left.


QuoteRemember, this is not just about fixing trains.  It is also about fixing culture and administrative structure within government.

Queensland Government has a history of "half baking" things with the reason cited as costs. They really need to do the work PROPERLY.

Remember when the Springfield line was just going to be built as a single track? Seriously?

And we are still having platforms sort-of half raised, even when the station is getting a major renovation!

I think part of the problem has been the very short terms of government, which has changed. On the other hand, it can be argued that Red

Team have been in power for the majority of the last 20+ years, something needs to be done so projects are done right.

Another issue is having to deal with multi-layered government politics, such as when BCC wants to cause mischief with State Government and

Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.


All this expenditure is more of a reason to move to Driver Only operations, if more money is going to be spent on Disability compliance for the trains.. Either other projects will need to be cut, an insurance claim claimed, Federal assistance, increased taxes and an increase of fares, or efficiency in the operations model, by eliminating guards over a period of time. (Driver Only Operation)


Brisbanetimes --> What you need to know about the inquiry into Queensland's new trains

QuoteA lack of consultation, animosity between Queensland Rail and Transport and Main Roads and a reluctance to share bad news contributed to the roll-out of new trains that were disability non-compliant.

An independent inquiry into the procurement of the $4.4 billion New Generation Rollingstock, led by retired judge Michael Forde, found the design of the trains was flawed from "day one".

The trains had disability access issues, including the toilets and pathways being too small for wheelchairs, but they were rolled out in December 2017 as the NGR were needed for the Commonwealth Games timetable, despite a pending application for an exemption to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Among the people interviewed during the inquiry were current Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy, former QR chief executive Helen Gluer, former LNP transport minister Scott Emerson, former LNP treasurer Tim Nicholls, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.

Here is what you need to know:

The procurement process

Procurement for the NGR was unnecessarily prolonged and marred by delays, disruptions and failures to adhere to policies, guidelines and frameworks, the inquiry's report said.

The procurement process took five years - four years longer than it should have - after starting in 2008.

There was a project "pause" for six months in 2012, before which the NGR project was characterised by a "lack of rigour, continual slippages and missed milestones", which was during the Bligh Labor government.

The model was changed to a public-private partnership under the Newman LNP government, with the change coming so late in the process it created disruptions and difficulties for the two shortlisted proponents.

Changing the project lead from Queensland Rail to Projects Queensland, acting on behalf of Transport and Main Roads, in 2012 was disruptive and created animosity between the two agencies.

The disruption, break in continuity and resulting animosity may have contributed to non-compliance with disability access as a result of information not being transferred and not shared across agencies later in the project.

Decisions to allow non-compliant trains were made on the basis of incomplete information as those issues were not escalated to senior decision-makers.

How did this happen?

A cost-saving decision to require only one toilet on each train at the leading end of accessible car B made it impossible for the trains to be fully disability compliant.

The decision was endorsed by the transport executive committee and former transport minister, Mr Emerson.

But the report said the decision was endorsed on the basis of incomplete information, as non-compliance issues were not escalated to senior decision makers.

"CBRC and the former minister for transport and main roads, who made decisions regarding the procurement of the NGR trains ... cannot fairly be blamed for the decisions," the report said.

The narrow gauge of the Citytrain network made disability compliance challenging but it was possible to design a technically compliant train.

The procurement process asked for non-compliant trains and the contract was awarded to Bombardier on the basis of non-compliant designs.

That means Bombardier was not to blame as they built the trains to the contract's specifications.

The subsequent design process did not effectively manage or resolve non-compliance.

A decision to remove QR as the project lead created a degree of resentment and animosity, resulting in a competitive relationship during the delivery phase.

"The tense relationship hindered the effective management and resolution of compliance issues," the report said.

There was a persistent failure to inform project governing bodies and senior executives of the issues regarding non-compliance with the disablity legislation.

The procurement and delivery of the NGR trains spanned from the Bligh Labor government, the Newman LNP government and Palaszczuk Labor government.

However, Mr Forde said people working in middle to lower management did not escalate problems higher up the chain and "were perhaps afraid of giving bad news at different stages".

Mr Forde said there also seemed to be an attitude of "it might be fixed down the track".

Consultation was inadequate

No specific consultation was held with the disability sector about the NGR during the procurement phase.

The report argued if the NGR project had undertaken genuine consultation before or early in the procurement process, it would have led to a highlighting of key accessibility requirements.

"It would certainly have been more cost effective than rectification of the trains," the report reads.
Where to from here?

The inquiry made 24 recommendations, all of which were accepted by the Queensland government.

Work to fix the disability access issues will be carried out by Downer EDI at its Maryborough facility, with a full completion date expected in early 2024, at a cost of $335.7 million.

The modifications will include installing larger toilet modules in the middle carriages across the entire 75-train fleet to allow passengers who use mobility devices to access the toilet from both accessible carriages.

The number of priority seats will be doubled from 24 to 48 per six car train, and there will be revised seating layouts.

The Human Rights Commission earlier this year rejected a human rights exemption application by the state government over the trains' non-compliance with disability access laws.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Sent to all outlets:

11th December 2018

Queensland: Commission Of Inquiry New Generation Rollingstock trains - what it really shows

Good Morning,

Well done Commissioner Forde and the COI staff team.  The inquiry is a comprehensive report into the matters leading to the botched NGR train outcomes.  The findings are disturbing to say the least.  Egos and incompetence before community have been laid bare.

The Final Report > https://www.traininquiryngr.qld.gov.au/assets/custom/docs/coi-final-report-2018.pdf  PDF 3 MB

Government Response > https://www.traininquiryngr.qld.gov.au/assets/custom/docs/government-response-to-final-report.pdf PDF 129 KB

Does anyone really think though that without proper structural and organisational reform anything is really going to change?  We don't.

The key issue is the current organisation, administration and delivery of public transport in Queensland.  The present structures have delivered failure - rail fail, botched new trains - NGRs, bus network reform fail, fare fail, greater Brisbane now the nation's worst for public transport access, half hearted DDA compliance.  The structure needs reform.

There needs to be a stand alone public transport authority (a model such as the Public Transport Authority of WA is a good one) with the resources and the will to properly champion public transport and turnaround the failure.  The present structure of Transport and Main Roads and TransLink will not clearly.  They will just continue to propagate failure.  The Government did task the Citytrain Response Unit to make recommendations with respect to an Integrated Public Transport Model.  They completed the review December 2017 and passed to Government for consideration ( https://www.cru.qld.gov.au/Reports ). Nothing has been heard since.

Do nothing is not an option, it is time to bite the bullet of structural reform and put this era of failure behind us.

Best wishes,

Robert Dow
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org

Quote from: ozbob on December 10, 2018, 05:44:07 AM

Media release 10 December 2018

Queensland: Commission Of Inquiry New Generation Rollingstock

RAIL Back On Track (https://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport passengers looks forward to the public release of the findings of the Commission of inquiry into the New Generation Rollingstock (COI NGR) Trains.

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"RAIL Back On Track became increasingly concerned with the NGR project from around July 2012.  Following the raising of concerns with accessibility issues with the NGR trains in 2015 we monitored the project very closely.  In March 2017 we subsequently made an application to the Queensland Auditor General (QAG) to audit the project such were our serious concerns.  This was declined by the QAG several months later. We constantly made repeated calls for an inquiry into the project.  These calls were essentially ignored by the Government.

"So on the 14th May 2018 we launched our own NGR Public Inquiry (1).  This in turn led to the Queensland State Government to establish the proper Commission of inquiry into the New Generation Rollingstock Trains (2, 3). We then suspended our own NGR Public Inquiry."

"RAIL Back On Track made several submissions to the AHRC, and a submission to the COI NGR.  Robert Dow Administration RAIL Back On Track was interviewed in person by the Commissioner as part of the COI proceedings."

"Our purpose in seeking an inquiry has been that unless there was a proper inquiry into the NGR project the failings will not be properly identified and the mistakes can and probably will occur again. This is very important as we have determined the State will need another 50 six car train sets (this is additional to the present order of 75 six car NGR trains) to meet the service requirements when Cross River Rail is completed in 2024."

"We also hope that the  full details of the DDA compliance rectification program for the NGR trains, including timelines and costs will be publicly released today."


1. 14 May 2018: Queensland: New Generation Rollingstock Public Inquiry commenced

2. 23 July 2018: Statement: New Generation Rollingstock inquiry

3. Commission of inquiry into New Generation Rollingstock Trains


Robert Dow
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Written prior to the release of the COI NGR documentation.


Letter to the Editor Queensland Times 11th December 2018 page 17

Failings on railway cannot be repeated

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The government probably thinks an end has been reached and there has been sufficient blood-letting by calling an inquiry and agreeing to accept all 24 recommendations of the Forde inquiry.  It would be mistaken.

The pressure/momentum must be maintained to have the structures of public transport administration changed in Queensland.

The cure for the botched NGR trains is a big pill costing $355m.  The underlying contagion remains coursing through the corridors of QR, TMR and TransLink.  Radical surgery is required, unless the same set of circumstances arises.  A lesson in DDA legislation for staff and a new disability transport services manual won't cut it.

It is also time for the Opposition to end its tut-tutting media conferences to reveal a policy or two around transport matters.  What is its restructure solution for the government transport sector?


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Rail Express -->'Marred by distrust': Inquiry orders review into relationship between QR, TMR


The relationship between Queensland Rail and the Department of Transport and Main Roads will be reviewed after an official inquiry alleged distrust and resentment between the sides contributed to errors during the procurement of the state's new trains.

Queensland will enact a range of reforms to ensure compliance with disability standards is "a fundamental and integral part" of procurement projects as a result of the 160-page final report published this week by the New Generation Rollingstock Train Commission of Inquiry.

Retired judge Michael Forde led the inquiry into how the $4.4 billion, 75-train order was signed off despite the trains not fully complying with disability access legislation.

Forde's report finds the trains' manufacturer, Bombardier Transportation, clearly told the state, in its proposal, that the project guidelines could not be met while also complying with disability standards, due to the narrow gauge used in South East Queensland.

"The need for compliance with [disability legislation] was recognised in the performance specifications issued," the report states, "but it was contradicted and confused by other specifications that meant the design could not satisfy the requirements for technical compliance.

"The decision to request a non-compliant train through the procurement process and to then accept a proposal based on a non-compliant design and enter into a project deed on that basis was, in the Commission's view, seriously flawed."

The decision to build the trains in India was not highlighted by Forde's report as contributing to the non-compliance, despite Queensland Labor's Opposition in 2017 alleging the Palaszczuk Government had gone to India for "half-price trains," and that "you get what you pay for".

Forde's report instead focuses on the length and complexity of the procurement process itself.

"This procurement took four years longer than it should have," he told the media on Monday.

"It was the subject of change, not only as to who led the procurement, but also there were changes of government and also changes of the model from a traditional procurement to the public private partnership."

The State Government has accepted all 24 of the report's recommendations.

Among them, the commission has recommended "a comprehensive cultural assessment" be undertaken to foster a collaborative working arrangement between Queensland Rail and the Department of Transport and Main Roads – two of the state bodies deemed to have contributed to errors made.

"It was apparent to the Commission from documents reviewed and interviews conducted that the relationship between TMR and QR has been marred by distrust," the commission's final report states.

According to the report, the distrust stemmed from the decision in 2012 to remove Queensland Rail as the project lead, and replace it first with Projects Queensland, and then with Transport and Main Roads in 2014.

"The decision to remove QR as the project lead created a degree of resentment and animosity that resulted in a competitive rather than collaborative relationship during the delivery phase of the project.

"In the Commission's view, the tense and competitive relationship hindered the effective management and resolution of compliance issues.

"An environment where the prevailing consideration is carefully distinguishing responsibilities and defending positions rather than working together to achieve a common goal is not conducive to positive project outcomes or the prompt and effective management of issues."

Premier ready to move on

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state would follow through on the report's recommendations.

"I am pleased the Inquiry has provided a thorough examination of this process and we are getting on with the job of fixing what went wrong," the premier said.

Transport minister Mark Bailey meanwhile said his department would continue to engage with the disability sector to finalised designs for the $336 million modification program for the NGR trains, being undertaken at Downer's Maryborough workshops.

"The first train to be upgraded to meet all operational and functional requirements is expected to go back into customer service in 2020," Bailey said.

"Subsequent trains will be upgraded quickly with up to eight trains undergoing modifications at a time."

Bombardier welcomes report

Manufacturer Bombardier welcomed the report's findings.

"Bombardier has always maintained that the NGR trains were built to the specifications agreed with the state," the company said.

"As the report details ... Bombardier worked with the state to highlight the complex nature of the project – specifically the challenges of accommodating access pathways and toilets within the narrow-gauge structure."

The company said it hoped the inquiry would help Queenslanders understand the complex factors at play during the procurement.

Earlier this year Bombardier Transportation Australia boss Paul Brown told Rail Express: "Despite the noise, the NGRs are delivering – and will continue to deliver – excellent services around the South East Queensland network. They've been absolutely fantastic."
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Couriermail --> Repair bill for flawed new trains doubles to $336m

QuoteA blunder by the former LNP Government in ordering a new train fleet that flunked disability access laws will cost $336 million to fix – more than twice the price originally thought.

The Palaszczuk Government announced its plan to fix design flaws under the $4.4 billion New Generation Rollingstock project yesterday while delivering the findings of a Commission of Inquiry into how 75 trains were ordered with toilets either too small or inaccessible to disabled commuters.

It will see an extra toilet added to each of the trains and the toilets made bigger.

Commissioner Michael Forde yesterday said a lack of "genuine consultation" with the disability sector before the contract was signed in 2013 and a decision by project managers to agree to a contract that did not comply with disability access legislation were key errors.

Middle managers did not escalate the problems to senior decision makers and had a "general acquiescence" to non-compliance with disability access legislation, planning to "fix it later."

No fault was found with a decision to build the trains in India by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, contrary to a Labor election campaign strategy in 2017 to attack the decision.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad first criticised the State Opposition in March 2017 for ordering "half price trains" from India, saying: "you get what you pay for."

The message was later adopted in Labor's successful re-election campaign when Annastacia Palaszczuk travelled to Maryborough to guarantee the repair work to local firm Downer EDI.

The pledge coincided with a union local jobs campaign and was dubbed the "Save Bruce Strategy" – a reference to local Labor MP Bruce Saunders' battle to retain his marginal seat.

Labor directed the work be subcontracted to Downer by Bombardier under the plan.

The work was not tendered, but the Government said there would be an "open book audit."

It was only revealed months after the election that the plan hinged on a $10 million taxpayer-funded upgrade to the Maryborough plant as it could not handle the longer NGR trains.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey yesterday defended Labor's decision to attack the LNP for sending the work offshore and insisted "the most cost effective way and the quickest way was to go to the workshops in Maryborough in striking distance to Queensland" to fix the trains.

Bombardier had offered in 2017 to fix the trains at its Dandenong facility at an unknown cost.

The trains will be rectified by 2024 – 16 years after the project first started under the Labor-Bligh Government in 2008.
It has hit major delays, with just 37 NGR trains running, compared to plans for all 75 to be in service by the end of this year.
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Question on Notice
No. 6

Asked on Tuesday 4 February 2020




With reference to the 24 recommendations made in the Forde Inquiry handed down in December
Will the Minister outline (a) the status, (b) whether each recommendation is complete or not yet
complete and (c) a timeframe of delivery, (reported separately for each recommendation)?

I thank the Member for Nanango for the question.

As the Forde Inquiry laid out in detail, the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains were ordered
by the Newman Government (in which the Member for Nanango was an Assistant Minister to
then Premier Newman) and, as the report outlines "the Commission was advised that the critical
decision to reduce the number of toilets on the NGR train, as well as the decision to remove the
intermediate guard cab, was driven by the former Director-General of the Department of
Transport and Main Roads, Mr Michael Caltabiano."

This was the critical decision by the Newman Government which rendered the NGR trains
noncompliant with the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
On 23 July 2018, the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier and Minister for Trade
announced an inquiry into the procurement of the NGR trains and their failure to comply with
disability laws.

Commissioner Michael Forde presented his final report on 3 December 2018, making
24 recommendations to address the issues that were identified during the course of the inquiry,
all of which have been accepted for implementation by the Palaszczuk Government.
Commissioner Forde noted that, in 2018, there had been good consultation to understand the
issues and progress rectification work. The modifications and approach taken are consistent with
the relevant recommendations from Commissioner Forde's report.

Implementation of recommendations made in the New Generation Rollingstock Train
Commission of Inquiry are the responsibility of a number of Queensland Government agencies,
including the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Treasury, the Department
of the Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Housing and Public Works and the Citytrain
Response Unit.

As at 5 March 2020, all recommendations have been implemented except for recommendation 8,
which is in progress and due for completion by 30 June 2020. The 23 completed
recommendations were finalised between 31 July 2019 and 28 February 2020.
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