The $988m Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) project, which is being jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments was originally scheduled to open in mid-2016. The project has been indefinitely delayed amid safety concerns.
Minister for Transport, Stirling Hinchliffe sought separate written briefs on the project - one from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, and one from Queensland Rail after the scheduled date for works and testing was postponed.
Queensland Rail's brief concludes that the signalling system currently installed for MBRL does not meet the operational and safety standards found across the rest of the network.
Moreton Bay Rail Link. Source: The Australian
Testing has found that safety issues include lack of sufficient stopping distance and that trains on the line could effectively run a "red light". Not only are these safety issues critical to the safety and integrity of the sytem, they cause increased confusion for train controllers and majorly impact the on-time running of the whole network.
Since 2012, the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads has been delivery the project. Mr Hinchliffe has now handed the project over to Queensland Rail with instructions "to work to the timeline of safety".
Mr Hinchliffe has also ordered an independent audit to investigate how the signalling system was seleced and the associated costs.
No comment has been made on how long the audit would take, or when the railway line is expected to open.
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