THE West Australian Government has been told it would be "very unwise" to agree to demands from Leighton Holdings for the appointment of a mediator to settle a dispute on cost overruns on the $1.7 billion Perth-Mandurah rail link.
CARS will be driven out of the city in favour of public transport and bicycles under a radical new council strategy that abandons plans for a multibillion-dollar cross-city tunnel and suggests slashing speed limits in the CBD.
Queensland wines will again tempt the palates of passengers on-board Queensland Rail's iconic rail service The Sunlander with today's announcement of the 2006 Traveltrain Holidays/South Bank Queensland Wine Selection.
The West Australian government believes Leighton Holdings is 'just trying it on' with its claim for $191 million worth of cost overruns for the construction of the $1.5 billion Perth to Mandurah rail link.
Member for Bathurst Gerard Martin and members of the Mudgee-Lithgow rail link committee are scheduled to meet with Transport Minister John Watkins next Wednesday to discuss the 20km speed limit restriction on the Gulgong to Kandos line as well as the need for repairs to a damaged section between Lue and Mudgee.
Today, Friday 3rd February 2006, the new VLocity railcars were launched into revenue service on the recently completed Geelong line as part of the Regional Fast Rail project.
The first down train from Southern Cross, departed Platform 4 at 1040 (a special express train – numbered 8291), arriving into Geelong 50 minutes later, and on time at 1130 into Platform 3. Consisting of VLocity Units VL23, VL20 &VL07, this train conveyed around a dozen or so invited guests to the launch ceremony. Because of the small amount of invited guests aboard, only VL20 had conveyed passengers.
IT STARTED as a $20 million pipe dream to link Geelong and Melbourne by high speed rail.
Nearly seven years and hundreds of millions of dollars later, the first train smoothly pulled out of Geelong station yesterday and headed for Melbourne.
Waving a colourful V/Line flag, Premier Steve Bracks grinned from ear to ear as the train, driven by Councillor John Mitchell, began its sleek exit from the platform.
The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) today announced the rail network’s first fare increase in over five years. An average 10 per cent increase in train fares (excluding day and monthly passes which stay the same) will commence on Monday 13 February 2006.
CONSULTANCY reports have added to the calls for the Wodonga rail bypass to happen sooner rather than later.
VICTORIA'S farmers have urged the State Government to spend money in this year's budget on upgrading the rail and irrigation networks and contributing funds to channel deepening.
STRIKES can be a legitimate form of industrial protest – the ultimate avenue available when negotiation, conciliation and all else fail. Yesterday's disgraceful effort by the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Employees and the Rail Tram and Bus Union did not fall into this category, or even come close to it.
Reducing traffic greenhouse emissions and linking rail, bus and tram travel with cycling and walking are among key projects slated for a new $4.3 million transport research centre at the University of Melbourne.
Two police officers had to abandon their patrol car when it became stuck on railway tracks at Lochinvar in the path of an oncoming coal train on Saturday morning.
A Chinese researcher says global warming could threaten the world's highest railway, the new Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Wu Ziwang, a frozen soil specialist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the Xinhua news agency his research over three decades revealed large areas of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau showed signs of shrinking, as they were frozen less of the time.
TOLL Holdings is coming under extreme and increasing pressure to do something about the debilitating impasse it has reached with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the destructive relationship it has with its joint venture partner and takeover target, Patrick Corp.
Just over a month ago, with the market convinced Toll was ab
LEADING Victorian businesses and road users have called on the Government to back a new $2 billion super tunnel plan to ease traffic on the West Gate Bridge. But a transport expert has described the tunnel plans as delusional fantasies.
THE Toll Holdings camp is coming under extreme and increasing pressure to do something about the debilitating impasse it has reached with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the destructive relationship it has with its joint venture partner and takeover target, Patrick Corp.
Minister for Transport, John Watkins, announced yesterday that work had begun on the $98 million Rail Clearways project at Hornsby Station.
Mr Watkins said the project included the construction of a new Platform 5 and train stabling facilities.
“The Hornsby Station project will help to reduce delays on the Newcastle and Central Coast Line and improve service reliability,” Mr Watkins said.
“It will allow intercity and freight trains to pass quickly through the station without causing disruption to suburban services,” he said.
If the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is able to get away with refusing to initiate court action to prevent Toll Holdings from acquiring Patrick Corp, it would become a law unto itself.
Without CountryLink Patricia Milburn would be lost. Like many others, the Lightning Ridge pensioner, who travels to Dubbo about once a month for doctors visits, is distressed about losing face-to-face customer service, and a new $10 booking fee for pensioners.
FORMER deputy prime minister Tim Fischer yesterday flagged a plan to rejuvenate the city's tourist tram route.
The competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has started court proceedings against transport group Toll Holdings to stop Toll from proceeding with its $4.6 billion takeover bid for stevedore Patrick Corp Ltd.
Australia's biggest stevedore, Patrick Corp Ltd, says the break-up of its joint-venture rail operations with takeover predator Toll Holdings Ltd may help ease competition concerns, as it eyes its own acquisitions in the transport industry.
PATRICK Corp plans to take on hostile takeover suitor Toll Holdings on its own turf - land-based logistics - using a recently discovered loophole that would keep the pair's Pacific National rail joint venture intact.
WITH scores of train passengers left stranded and in tears by the cancelling of XPT CountryLink services, the State Government faces more anger over its management of the railway system.
Construction of the Wilpinjong Coal mine was set to begin this week with construction of mine infrastructure including a coal handling and preparation plant and train loading facility expected to get under way on Monday.
The rail industry has welcomed a review into pricing structures for freight transport, announced at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on Friday.
Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO Bryan Nye says a changed approach to transport policy settings is needed.
Wesfarmers and Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) of the United States, joint venture partners in the Australian Railroad Group (ARG), today announced an agreement to sell ARG to Babcock & Brown Limited and QR (Queensland Rail).
WHEN the ACCC last month gobsmacked Toll Holdings by opposing its takeover bid for Patrick Corp this commentator questioned whether Toll had been listening properly to the competition watchdog - now it appears that it may have been the ACCC that wasn't listening.
IT is hard not to view the long-awaited consummation of Queensland Rail's plan to buy the best bits of Australian Rail Group through anything but the prism of the bristling feud between Toll Holdings and Patrick Corporation.
QUEENSLAND Rail will emerge as one of the top two freight carriers in the country after sealing a deal with investment bank Babcock & Brown to buy Australian Railroad Group from Western Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers and its US partner Genesee & Wyoming for $1.3 billion.
QUEENSLAND Rail has set out to challenge Pacific National's dominance in transcontinental rail freight after joining forces with Babcock & Brown in a $1.3 billion purchase of the West Australian rail system.
VicRoads believes more work needs to be done by railway track owner Pacific National to upgrade the roads around level crossings.
TOLL Holdings has embarked on a high-risk strategy in seeking to resolve the impasse over Pacific National by having the existing Patrick representatives - Chris Corrigan and Allan Davies - thrown off the board of the rail joint venture on the grounds of oppression.
QUEENSLAND could face its second rail strike in two weeks, with the state's rail union due to decide today whether to take further industrial action after talks about a 38-hour working week collapsed.
THE Supreme Court legal actions launched by Paul Little's Toll Holdings and Chris Corrigan's Patrick Corp yesterday over the Toll-Patrick container and bulk rail joint venture, Pacific National, underline the fact that while Little's options for growing Toll will diminish if PN is broken up, Corrigan's growth options could multiply.
THE bloody loss of the battle of Acacia Ridge will cost Pacific National upwards of $16 million and signals the start of the endgame in the war over the national rail freight company.
THERE once was a famous passenger train service between Melbourne and Sydney known as the Spirit of Progress. It epitomised modern travel of that day but has most likely succumbed to the speed and convenience of air travel.
BACK in 1991, the state and federal governments banded together to sort out the interstate rail network. The over-staffed, under-utilised, state-based rail operators had lost a combined $377 million in the 1989-1990 financial year - and that wasn't even one of the bad years.
QUEENSLAND'S second train strike in as many weeks was called off yesterday, but further action is possible after marathon talks failed to break the deadlock.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) says BHP Billiton's search for coal in north-west New South Wales is the strongest indicator yet that the Murrurundi rail tunnel could be viable.
BHP Billiton's search for coal in north-west New South Wales is the strongest indicator yet that the Murrurundi rail tunnel could be viable, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is reported as saying.
The growth strategy for the future and the ongoing saga over the future of joint-venture rail operator Pacific National will be two of the key issues when Toll Holdings Ltd reports its first half results on Tuesday.
Express trains near last stop
POPULAR express services face the axe unless more money is poured into Melbourne's train system, a secret meeting of transport chiefs was told yesterday.
Connex boss Bruce Hughes yesterday issued the warning behind closed doors to a select group of government and business elite.
Local employees hope a change of ownership of Silverton Tramways will boost on-ground works in Broken Hill. An undisclosed figure was paid, last month, by a specially formed company, run by the South Spur group, to buy over 300 wagons and 70 locomotives from Sydney based company Transcorp.
Stand on top of a mountain at Innsbruck, which I did two weeks ago, and you can see three countries at once: the one you're in, which is Austria; Italy in front; Germany behind.
This can create geographic hybrids such as the Zugspitze, pr
The world record for hauling the longest road train has been broken in southern Queensland.
The new look state Labor Cabinet meets for the first time today at Maitland in the Hunter Valley. Before Cabinet meets, the Premier will visit Newcastle railway station, where he will announce the continuation of rail services and upgrades at Broadmeadow and Glendale.
United Group Rail, the manufacturer of the $58 million Prospector train, has committed to an extensive program of works designed to improve the reliability of the passenger service.
Preliminary Feasibility Study Highlights Economic Viability of Northern Territory Mine
Territory Iron Limited is pleased to announce it has approved the development of its Frances Creek iron ore mine in the Northern Territory. The approval follows a recently completed preliminary feasibility study which highlighted the strong economic viability of the project.
JUST two weeks after shelving plans for a desalination plant in Sydney, the State Government has reversed its plans to close the rail line through the centre of Newcastle, after a strident local campaign.
It appears reliability problems with the troubled Prospector train service could get worse before they get better.
Ballarat's own basketball champion Ray Borner should have an easy time carrying the baton in the Queen's Baton Relay. Borner, a four-time Olympian, will be carrying the baton on one of Lake Wendouree's trams.
The South Australian Democrats say lives will be saved if the Mt Gambier-Wolseley rail line reopens.
The wrangling over Fortescue Metals Group Ltd's access to BHP Billiton Ltd's Mount Newman railway line continued at the 9th Annual Iron Ore & Steel Forecast Conference yesterday.
The price of an off-peak return rail fare is set to rise by 25 per cent from the middle of the year, and peak-hour fares by 3 per cent after the Government announced it would support a CityRail proposal to increase fares.
One way is as a hobby for private enthusiasts who pay for it out of their own pockets, and keep the public at a safe distance. The other is making it a public attraction and running it as a business, managed mainly by paid professionals, with some volunteer help.
The second option was chosen, with spectacular success, by the West Coast Wilderness Railway, traversing country of breathtaking beauty between Strahan and Queenstown in Western Tasmania.
Great Southern Railway, owners and operators of Australia’s two iconic train services - The Legendary Ghan and the mighty Indian Pacific - have launched a new national brand and retail television campaign.
The Property Council is calling for the NSW Government to approve the construction of an Intermodal Logistics Centre at Enfield to provide efficient and cost effective freight movements in Sydney.
Toll Holdings Ltd will present a new set of undertakings to the consumer watchdog in another effort to get approval for its stalled $4.6 billion hostile takeover bid for stevedore Patrick Corp Ltd.
Member for Orange Russell Turner has called on the Minister for Transport John Watkins to change the set up at Orange Railway Station and leave the waiting room and toilets open outside office hours.
Toll Holdings has offered to sell off half of its joint-venture rail business in a series of new undertakings aimed at winning approval from the competition regulator for its hostile $4 billion bid for Patrick.
Toll Holdings has offered to bring in a new investor to rail group Pacific National as part of a last-ditch attempt to gain regulatory approval for its hostile $4.6 billion takeover of Patrick Corp.
Over the past 20 years, more and more traditional public infrastructure has passed into private hands. Although the jury's still out on Telstra and the so-called public-private partnerships on toll roads, in some states at least, are on the nose with many commuters.
There were 117 sightings for this week, which is the same number of sightings we had last week. Making a total of 998 sightings for this year to date. On day 56 last year we had seen 787 sightings.