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Showing stories from December 2007

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Gheringhap Sightings w/e 1/12/2007.

Posted Tuesday, 4 December, 2007 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 97 sightings for this week, which is the same number of sighting as last week, making a total of 4954 sightings for this year to date. On day 335 last year we had seen 5562 sightings.
On the B/G we have seen no trains again for the week.

Arrest warrant issued for Ghan crash truckie

Posted Tuesday, 4 December, 2007 by E1109 in Northern Territory Rail News

November 30, 2007 06:38pm
Article from: AAP

THE driver of a truck which collided with the Ghan, derailing the train and closing the Adelaide to Darwin rail line, was today found guilty of causing danger in his absence.

SA: Faulty Train Doors Shock

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2007 by witsend in South Australian Rail News

ADELAIDE'S train doors have been malfunctioning on average more than 10 times a week for the past decade, TransAdelaide figures reveal.

Drought burns grains carrier

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2007 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

DROUGHT has claimed another victim with Victoria's largest rail freight operator dropping out of the market, threatening the future of the state's 4000 kilometre regional rail network.

Lower harvest yields and crumbling infrastructure has seen Asciano lose up to $3 million a month across its Victorian, and NSW grain operations.

The Victorian Farmers Federation expressed its dismay at the decision, which could ultimately see more trucks carting the state's harvest crops and produce.

Koreas start cross border rail service

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

The first freight train providing regular service across the border between the two Koreas in more than a half century has started.

The 12 wagon train carrying construction materials will cross the heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone dividing the peninsula on its journey to the North Korean border city of Kaesong, where the two Koreas operate a joint industrial zone.

It is due to cross back later the same day.

The service is one of the tangible results of an October summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun that outlined a series of joint projects.

Rail Freight Under Threat

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2007 by kipioneer in Rail News

ABC Rural

Train derails in Brisbane's north

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2007 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A freight train has derailed in Brisbane's north and could block the line for up to 24 hours, Queensland Rail (QR) says.

The 10 wagon QR National freight train came off the tracks at the northern end of Petrie Station at 10.05am (AEST), a QR spokeswoman said.

The derailment meant no trains could move south of Caboolture or north of Zillmere.

Buses were being arranged for passengers while the derailment was cleared, which could take up to 24 hours, she said.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 8/12/2007.

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2007 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 96 sightings for this week, which is one sighting less than last week, making a total of 5050 sightings for this year to date. On day 342 last year we had seen 5680 sightings.
On the B/G we have seen no trains again for the week.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 15/12/2007.

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2007 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 110 sightings for this week, which is 14 sighting more than last week, making a total of 5160 sightings for this year to date. On day 349 last year we had seen 5787 sightings.

On the B/G we have seen no trains again for the week. We have not seen a B/G train since 24th September. But I did witness EM100 on the up B/G on Saturday.

SA: Railcar was on collision course with Indian Pacific after SPAD

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2007 by witsend in South Australian Rail News

HUMAN error was partly to blame for an Adelaide passenger train passing through a stop signal last year, putting it on a collision course with the Indian Pacific.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau today issued its findings after an investigation into the incident.

Rail workers fined $10,000 for striking

Posted Friday, 21 December, 2007 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

More than 90 Perth construction workers have been fined up to $10,000 for taking part in an illegal strike and the federal government can do nothing about it, ACTU secretary Sharan Burrow says.

Against the advice of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), 400 workers walked off the Perth to Mandurah rail project between February 24 and March 3 last year, in protest at the sacking of shop steward Peter Ballard.

Under the Howard government's controversial Work Choices laws, strikes are banned and although the new Labor government plans to turn those laws around, they now stand.

Iemma says he won't sack RailCorp chief

Posted Friday, 21 December, 2007 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NSW Premier Morris Iemma will not sack RailCorp chief Vince Graham, despite a report revealing senior executives of the corporation were warned four years ago of corruption.

An internal report dated January 2004, obtained by Fairfax newspapers, shows Mr Graham and other executives were told the system of contract allocation needed an overhaul because it was prone to abuse.

However, recommendations of the report were shelved, allowing alleged corruption to continue.

CityLink may demand millions over east-west road

Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2007 by bevans in Other Transport News

CITYLINK operator Transurban will consider a multimillion-dollar compensation claim against the Brumby Government if the Government proceeds with a new toll tunnel linking Melbourne's east and west.

The move is one of many obstacles to a project that seems to have the backing of Premier John Brumby, say senior government and industry sources, and of Sir Rod Eddington, who is examining the idea.

Signal failure causes headaches

Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2007 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A SIGNAL failure at Southern Cross Station has sparked an urgent check of almost 300 signal boxes across Victoria and led to speed restrictions for trains on several lines, amid concerns that a malfunctioning box could lead to a serious accident.

Trains on the Werribee, Sandringham and Pakenham lines, as well as the Gippsland and Geelong V/Line routes, have been instructed to slow down and watch out for incorrect signals. Connex and V/Line are also taking the extra precaution of adding train controllers at some crucial signal points throughout the network.

Scooter sales quadruple as locals ape the Romans

Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2007 by bevans in Other Transport News

LYGON Street might be home to Melbourne's "Little Italy", but residents across the city, faced with high petrol prices and parking fees, have embraced one of Rome's enduring features — the scooter.

Scooter sales in Victoria reached 1881 last year — up 400% in three years. Australia-wide, about 15,000 scooters were sold, up more than 300% on 2003 figures.

Siemens loses rail contract

Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2007 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Brumby Government has dumped train company Siemens for the $630 million contract to build 18 new trains for Melbourne's rail system.

Rival company Alstom will provide the six-carriage Xtrapolis trains, which will be introduced into the system from late 2009.

Melbourne's Siemens trains have been plagued by braking problems over the past year.

Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said the new trains would carry 14,500 passengers during peak hour.

Train evacuated after 'bomb threat'

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Police are searching for a man who was allegedly overheard talking about making a bomb threat while travelling on a Sydney train this morning.

A police spokeswoman said the man was overheard having an "inappropriate conversation" on his mobile phone by a passenger on the city-bound train at Strathfield about 9.30am this morning.

Canada: Railway Buys Oil Sands Line

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

The Canadian National Railway Company extended its reach further into Alberta’s oil sands region with a deal to buy and rebuild the struggling Athabasca Northern Railway.

CN Rail will pay 25 million Canadian dollars for Athabasca Northern and pay 135 million Canadian dollars over the next three years to rebuild the 202-mile rail line under a long-term agreement with three major shippers.

Three-month wait for plan of Channel Tunnel Rail Link auction

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

Plans for the break-up and subsequent sale of the £5.7 billion Channel Tunnel Rail Link are likely to be sketched out early in March, according to people familiar with the auction.

The Government intends to run a competition for the business, although the sale is unlikely to be completed before November 2008 at the earliest.

Tom Harris, the Rail Minister, said last month that the Government would divide London & Continental Railways (LCR), the company behind the country’s only high-speed line, into three parts, which would be sold, with the proceeds going to the Treasury.

The receipts are likely to be far lower than the project’s cost and will depend on the state of financial markets and the appetite of infrastructure funds for big acquisitions.

Heathrow to Paris at 186mph

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

AN ambitious plan to build a high-speed rail line north of London via Heathrow – relieving the pressure for a third runway at the airport – is being drawn up by Arup, the influential engineering firm.

Arup has a history of originating big transport projects. In the 1980s it came up with the scheme to route the high-speed line to the Channel Tunnel via Stratford in east London, ending a planning impasse that had threatened its construction.

The Heathrow scheme is in its early stages, and has no official backing from government.

Its first public airing is likely to be tomorrow at a parliamentary reception to launch The Right Line, a book on the history of the high-speed link.

Report attacks Heathrow expansion

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in Other Transport News

DEPLORING the state of Heathrow has become a favourite City sport. At a dinner last Monday night, top deal-makers from an American bank cursed the airport and its queues.

“I’m there at 7am twice a week, and always the security is a nightmare. I hate it,” moaned one.

Heathrow’s snarl-ups have an importance beyond disturbing the digestion of highly paid men in suits. Their effect on the economy, and on the City in particular, is cited by the government as the chief reason why the airport should expand, with the construction of a third runway to the north of the existing pair.

Track Closures Outer Harbor & Grange Train Lines January 2008

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The Outer Harbor and Grange train lines will be closed on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 & Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 January 2008 for track maintenance. Substitute buses will be provided during this time as below:

Woodville Station to Grange Station

From Woodville Station via Woodville Road, right Stanley Street, left Hughes Street, left Beaufort Street, left Woodville Road, right Port Road, left West Lakes Boulevard to Albert Park Station, Clark Terrace to Seaton Park Station, left Tapleys Hill Road, right Trimmer Parade, left Frederick Road, right Sunset Crescent to East Grange Station, right Jetty Street, right Charles Sturt Avenue, left Terminus Street, left Military Road to Grange Station.

Grange to Woodville

From Grange Station, Military Road, left Jetty Street, left Sunset Crescent to East Grange Station, left Frederick Road, right Trimmer Parade, left Tapleys Hill Road, right Clark Terrace where buses will pick up and set down passengers, Seaton Station, West Lakes Boulevard to Albert Park Station, right Port Road, left Woodville Road to Woodville Station

Rail rivals line up Chiltern (UK)

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

TWO European rail giants are vying to take over Chiltern Railways, the train company that runs commuter and long-distance services from London’s Marylebone station.

Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s national rail company, and NedRail, its Dutch equivalent, are the sole remaining bidders for the UK group. A winner is likely to be announced before Christmas.

Chiltern has been put up for sale by funds controlled by Henderson, the fund-management company. Henderson acquired Chiltern last year when it bought Laing, Chiltern’s parent company, for £950m. KPMG is running the auction.

Kalindee Rail intends to chug on dedicated freight corridor (India)

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

MUMBAI: Kalindee Rail Nirman (Engineers) Ltd, a company that is into laying railway tracks and setting up signalling and communication systems, has hinged bets on the proposed dedicated freight corridor planned by the Centre.

The project entails setting up of an eastern and western freight corridors at an estimated cost of Rs 51,000 crore.

Kalindee expects to garner contracts worth as much as Rs 8,000-10,000 crore in five years, riding project, which would include full track work, signalling, station building, communications and other turnkey projects.

Talking Transportation: Catenary vs. the Third Rail

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

The Commuter Council’s recent battles with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Metro-North to keep winter service from the existing platforms was prompted by the multimillion dollar catenary replacement program--like trying to change the fan-belt on a moving car. But why fix this flawed system instead of converting to third rail? Here’s the story.

Completion by ARTC of New Train Control System on North Coast Line

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in Press Releases

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC) has completed the NSW section of its new Centralised Train Control (CTC) system from Casino to the Queensland border removing the long delays caused by the pre existing 19th century staff working system on the important North Coast line.

"ARTC's commissioning last night of the latest train control technology is a momentous development for the rail freight industry introducing important efficiencies to increase market share for rail on the important Sydney-Brisbane line " David Marchant Chief Executive of ARTC said today.

The future of train travel

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

E-tickets, on-board DVD rentals, events, and even new encounters - French rail's new iDTGV trains are testing a new way of travel.

Music blares from a speaker in a bustling bar and conversations get louder as customers just out of Paris meetings trickle in, settle down and order drinks.

The barman hands over a beer, spilling a little as the brightly-coloured buffet car on the top deck of a customised high-speed TGV train rolls into its three-hour journey to the Mediterranean port city of Marseille.

Riding High? Amtrak Sees Ridership Rise (USA)

Posted Thursday, 27 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

ABOARD AMTRAK'S LINCOLN SERVICE (AP) -- The Illinois cornfields whizzing past Mark Hardacre's view from the Amtrak cafe car had nothing on the memorable splendor the Australian had already taken in on his trans-America adventure - the Pacific Ocean so vast and blue off California's coast. The emerald green of the Northwest forests. The majesty of the snowcapped Rockies.

Amtrak Introduces New Menus for Overnight Trains

Posted Thursday, 27 December, 2007 by bevans in Press Releases

Steaks, New Appetizers and Dessert Items to be Offered

WASHINGTON – Nearly all of the national network of Amtrak overnight trains offer a new and improved menu in the Dining Cars, effective this month. This includes the return of such items as prepared-to-order steaks, wine by the glass and premium ice cream, as well as improved variety and quality of menu options at each meal.

The new menu was developed by Amtrak Executive Chefs with input from passengers, employees and others. Amtrak rotates its menu options with three different cycles that vary depending on direction of travel and particular route.

East West Rail Freight Record Tumbles

Posted Thursday, 27 December, 2007 by bevans in Press Releases

For the third year in a row, rail freight movements between the Eastern States and Western Australia have reached a record level in the lead up to Christmas.

Rail freight volumes increased by 6.3% from November 2007 over November 2006 on the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) East West rail network.

The total of 3.46 billion gross tonne kilometres (bGTK) for November, 2007 exceeded the previously monthly record of 3.44 bGTK set in October 2006 and represents an increase of 6.3% over the November 2006 figure of 3.25 bGTK.

New York and Amtrak Resolve Empire Corridor High-Speed Rail Project Dispute

Posted Thursday, 27 December, 2007 by bevans in Press Releases

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Astrid C. Glynn and Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Alexander K. Kummant today announced the resolution of their contract disputes and related federal court litigation over a former New York State Department of Transportation program to develop high-speed passenger rail service from New York City to the Capital District using RTL Turboliner trains from Amtrak.

Under the terms of the settlement, Amtrak will pay New York State $20 million. In addition, New York and Amtrak will jointly invest $10 million in infrastructure improvement projects on the Albany–New York City Empire Corridor as approved by the New York State Senate High-Speed Rail Task Force.

Japan rail operator plans to build the fastest train ever (Japan)

Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

A Japanese rail operator said yesterday it plans to introduce the world's fastest train by 2025, a next-generation maglev built at a cost of US$45 billion.

Maglev, or magnetically levitated, trains travel above ground through an electromagnetic pull. The only maglev train now in commercial operation is in Shanghai.

Central Japan Railway Co (JR Central) plans to build a maglev linear-motor train between Tokyo and a to-be-determined area in central Japan at a cost of ¥5.1 trillion (US$44.7 billion), a company spokesman said.

"It will be the fastest train ever -- if it beats the one in Shanghai -- with a velocity of about 500 kilometers per hour, traveling a distance of 290 kilometers," the spokesman said.

More talks on Adelaide rail pay claim

Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2007 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Enterprise bargaining negotiations will resume today between TransAdelaide management and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.

Union members want a 11.5 per cent cent pay rise over two years.

A stop-work meeting last week brought Adelaide's trains to a standstill for four hour and further action was planned for today.

Rail, road movement to Pakistan stopped (India)

Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2007 by bevans in International Rail News

India has, as a precautionary measure, decided to cancel the movement of trains like the Samjhauta and Thar Express and buses to Pakistan citing security fears, particularly after some stations were set on fire in Sind. The Karachi airport also has remained closed throughout Friday.

Road and rail movement between India and Pakistan was last stopped after the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 and relaunched once the bilateral peace process got underway in January 2004.

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