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Canberra light rail procurement director Stephen Allday quits Capital Metro Agency

The senior public servant overseeing delivery of Canberra's light rail has quit the $783 million project, just as the government's Capital Metro Agency considers bids from two consortiums.

Capital Metro executive director for procurement and delivery Stephen Allday will leave the agency in mid-November, the latest staff member to quit ahead of contracts being signed by the ACT government in early 2016. 

Mr Allday was not available to be interviewed on Tuesday. Responding to inquiries from The Canberra TImes, a Capital Metro spokeswoman confirmed his resignation to "pursue other work opportunities within the rail industry."

One of four senior staff working under project director Emma Thomas, Mr Allday has provided advice and direction on technology, design, planning and contract management for the city to Gungahlin tram line. 

The former British Rail and Seimens Transportation Systems manager is respected for his expertise in rail technology, rolling stock, communication systems and public-private-partnership delivery models.

He joined Capital Metro in March 2014 and has worked to provide bidding consortiums with technical advice, as well as assisting government agencies working on the contract and financial arrangements for the project. 

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"A change in this role will not affect the progress of the project," the spokeswoman said. 

"Capital Metro has the depth of expertise and knowledge within the project team to continue the tender evaluation process and proceed to construction in 2016 without disruption." 

"Steve brought a wealth of knowledge and energy to Canberra's light rail project as a hands-on leader with 44 years experience in private and public sector operations." 

Mr Allday has previously worked as a state manager of rail projects with management and engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald Australia and New Zealand, as well as with the NSW government's Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation and on London's Metronet Rail project. 

His role included assisting the territory with the development of whole of government capacity in the analysis and implementation of complex procurement arrangements for major infrastructure projects and "stewardship of the various project elements through the requisite planning and related approvals processes".

Mr Allday also advised Capital Metro on strict National Capital Authority requirements for the possible Russel extension which will see trams run without the use of overhead power lines on federal land.

The government received extensive proposal information from the two international consortiums bidding to build and operate the 12 kilometre tram line in September, as well as further bid information about the Russell extension this month. 

Capital Metro has 25 staff, including three working across planning, design and procurement.

The project's contract negotiations are due to take place in the first half of 2016. Construction is expected to begin next year, with tram services to commence in Canberra by 2019 or 2020.