Systems Assurance and Engineering Management

Mount Derrimut Road (MDR) Level Crossing Removal Project

The MDR project includes removal of the level crossing by raising the tracks onto viaduct structures over the existing road.

A new elevated Deer Park station to be built north of the existing tracks within the rail corridor. A new civic forecourt arrangement, a southern carpark extension, and a bus interchange within the precinct are also included. This project is being delivered by the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP), with Western Program Alliance and V/Line as participants.

Our Role in the Project

Key Transport & Strategy members were involved in the development and delivery of the MDR Project, the first project introducing the U-trough structure form on the V/Line lease and the first elevated station on the regional network.

As such, it had to undergo rigorous Engineering, Design, Systems Engineering and Systems Assurance review by V/Line.

Our T&S representatives held a variety of senior positions on the project and were responsible for the leading roles in the development, bid and delivery phases, holding roles such as the V/Line Development Director, TOC bid lead, V/Line Delivery Director & ALT representative.

  • The V/Line Development Director role included managing and coordinating asset management and operational requirements, input into Multicriteria Assessment and options appraisals for the project solution, the concept design development / review, developing V/Line Impact Statements, and proactively managing key stakeholders in consultation sessions (both V/Line internal as well as external agencies). Role also covered Benefits Management and link into the State’s Client Requirements Document (CRD), Network Integrity Assurance Plan (NIAP), as well as integration with the broader network initiatives such as the Western Rail Plan, future operating service plans and asset class strategies.

    The role also involved managing the V/Line safety, design & engineering, risk, systems engineering and systems assurance teams. This covered specific elements of management of integration, systems engineering, requirements management and system safety assurance to satisfy Accredited Rail Transport Operator (ARTO) requirements for approvals, Change Control Board and other steering committees. Our T&S member was also responsible for interface management with all external stakeholders and authorities such as Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), other LXRP packages, the Western Rail Plan, the suite of Regional Rail Revival projects, Department of Transport and Metro Trains. This role involved overseeing the development of key Systems integration activities, the system engineering and system assurance (SESA) management plans, the artefacts of the SESA deliverables through the project lifecycle.

    The role also included being the main lead for the key approvals associated with the system assurance and safety case of constructing the U-trough section in close proximity of the operational railway. This included developing, reviewing and approving a Systems Assurance Report, and underpinning SESA activities such as running Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA), Hazard log development, risk reviews and implementing engineering and other controls sufficiently to manage any residual risks, as well as undertaking a Systems Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) to inform the Assurance Case, all lead by our key T&S rep.
  • The V/Line TOC Bid Lead role on the Alliance involved responsibility for leading all ARTO related activities, such as management of change (MOC), coordination and approvals of the Design Engineering Management Plan (DEMP), reference design and engineering review management with associated standard waivers, asset management plans and integration with the project, operations and maintenance assessments and project solution integration, safety management including Safety in Design, HSE and Rail Safety activities, risk management and incorporation into V/Line Corporate risk register, as well as Capex cost estimates, staffing and schedule plans to feed into the TOC bid.
  • The V/Line Delivery Director role on the Alliance included setting up framework, processes and delivery team, cost control and forecasting, managing the delivery team and resource management / recruitment, as well as procurement and contract management of all V/Line subcontracts on behalf of the alliance. Role was responsible for activities such as Cost Risk Analysis, Schedule Risk Analysis, forecast cost to complete assessments, performance reporting, contract management, claim management, assessment and resolution, variations management and dispute resolution.
    The role also included accreditation, occupation and planning management, Works Readiness and Operational Readiness management, acceptance and handover plans, ARTO training plans, commercial amendments to assets / operations / infrastructure lease including Operating and Maintenance Cost Estimating (OPEX) and asset allocation plans.

Project Challenges & Achievements

The scope had significant complexities, level crossing removal on the busiest and narrowest V/Line corridor required an innovative approach to construction methodology.

As the first U-trough and elevated station installation on the V/Line lease, this presented challenges in terms of introducing novel designs that did not conform with V/Line engineering standards. This meant that the project had to undergo a robust engineering, operations, risk, safety and governance review. Systems and plans were developed in line with both V/Line’s and the States frameworks for Systems Engineering, Assurance, Risk and Quality. V/Line was at the same time undergoing a governance restructure and process transition, in which V/Line introduced a Change Control Board (CCB). This MDR project was the first significant project to go through the first gates of this CCB, with significant underpinning evidence. Our Key T&S reps lead this work for V/Line.

Another layer of complexity was that MDR had to deliver the infrastructure to cater for the introduction of the New Commuter Train (NCT) and Western Rail Plan, which was being delivered subsequent to MDR works. This had to be worked through systematically and aim to design solutions that catered for a range of different scenarios of interfacing requirements. Key T&S members were driving force in developing Network Integration Assurance Plan (NIAP), Interface Control Documents and other interface documents from a V/Line perspective, facilitating the integration of State portfolio objectives.

Our Approach to Teamwork, Cooperation, and Innovation

Our approach is always with teamwork and cooperation in mind. This particular project was a difficult one, as it presented a novel design with innovative solutions, however it did not conform to V/Line engineering standards. It was therefore a challenging task for our T&S reps to mediate and strive for common alignment of the solution.

Our T&S members helped reach this alignment by driving for robust and holistic System Assurance case, justification for engineering standard waivers and use of industry subject matter experts to provide an independent safety review to support governance approvals.

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