In June 2014, NSW Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian announced that the Government will invest $11.4 million in a Rail Operations Centre (ROC) which is set to become operational in 2017. The project is funded as a new initiative in the 2014-15 NSW Budget.
Intermedium estimates that approximately 90% of the funding will be for ICT related activity and 10% for physical relocation/ co-location activity. The funding is also likely to cover the TfNSW personnel allocated to the project, such as a TfNSW project manager and Project Management Office personnel.
Following the Minister’s announcement, Sydney Trains Chief Executive, Howard Collins said, "At the moment communication between the train network control centre, frontline staff and customers has to go through a number of channels, and the new ROC will help to modernise the network to ensure we improve the daily journeys of our customers."
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has issued a Request for Tender (RFT) for “one or more highly competent technology Service Providers to design, test, implement and maintain various IT systems to enable the Rail Operations Centre (ROC) to deliver significant benefits for Sydney Trains and NSW Trains customers.”
The ROC will bring together functions performed at a number of different sites across Sydney. The ROC RFT seeks:
- A Dynamic Train Timetable System (DTTS);
- An Incident Management System (IMS);
- A Customer Information Management System (CIMS); and
- A system integration specialist.
The DTTS aims to “generate a train timetable in real-time taking account of all current and projected changes to the Daily Working timetable.”
Real-time data is a current key focus for TfNSW. Its 2012-13 Annual Report stated that it had a goal to “Improve customer experience with public transport services” with “accurate real time traveller information.” Following through relatively quickly on that goal, as of December 2013, customers were able to check the location of their train through a real-time train app.
The IMS will record information on incidents and assist with managing the response to such incidents. The CIMS “captures and consolidates customer information from backend systems and transforms information content into appropriate output streams,” according to a power point presentation by the Director of Operations at TfNSW, Tony Eid.
TfNSW is now clearly well into the implementation phase for the key platforms and systems it requires following the machinery of Government and legislative changes required to form it in 2011 out of a range of transport agencies . In January 2014, TfNSW signed a $70.4 million systems integration contract with Deloitte for the consolidation of its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
A $13.2 million contract was also signed with Ernst and Young for business transformation and change management services and BackOffice Associates has been awarded a three year $12.8 million contract to migrate data from the array of existing systems into the consolidated ERP platform.
TfNSW is also in the final stages of the procurement process for its Next Generation Infrastructure Services (NGIS) project. The project aims to replace major IT sourcing contracts including end-user computing, managed network services and data centre infrastructure. TfNSW originally indicated that it hoped to have contracts finalised between December 2013 and March 2014 for all towers except for Managed Network Services which will be handed down at a later date.
Industry rumours have suggested for the last two months that the bidding is down to two final suppliers, from the original 25 who responded to the Expressions of Interest (EOI). It is understood that a restricted Request For Proposal (RFP) was issued to seven respondents, and that TfNSW took the final number of respondents down to two at the shortlisting stage.