News

 

Showing stories from January 2008

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Mildura Rail Freight Crisis Talks

Posted Tuesday, 1 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Wakefields transport director Ken Wakefield put a range of options before the Victorian Government on Christmas Eve to try to solve the regions looming transport crisis.

Mr. Wakefield said the meeting was called after the owner of Patrick Portlink and PN Grain, Asciano, had told him their grain and freight rail services in the region would end from February 5

"Our meeting with the government, including Premier Brumby's chief of staff, was to make parliamentarians and senior bureaucrats more aware of the impact of the withdrawl," Mr. Wakefield said.

Peak-hour bike ban plan for trains sparks outcry

Posted Tuesday, 1 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

EXCLUSIVE: BIKES will be banned on all trains at peak hour from tomorrow, sparking an outcry from cyclists and public transport groups.

The new rule, hidden in a State Government document, has been posted on the Metlink website.

The Government has not announced the rule despite its publication in the Victorian Fares and Ticketing Manual.

High-speed rail necessary

Posted Thursday, 3 January, 2008 by gerrym in International Rail News

High-speed rail is the answer to more and more airport congestion and delays.

Man injured in Puffing Billy crash

Posted Thursday, 3 January, 2008 by gerrym in Victorian Rail News

A man has suffered serious injuries after crashing his car into a train bridge in Upper Ferntree Gully, east of Melbourne.

The crash happened just before 1:00PM AEDT damaging a bridge that forms part of the Puffing Billy Steam Train route.

Brumby should stop transport smartcard deal, says Baillieu

Posted Thursday, 3 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIAN Premier John Brumby should scrap the state's proposed new public transport ticketing system rather than pay its developers more money, state Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said today.

Mr Baillieu was commenting after the Herald Sun report today that US-based consortium Kamco, which won a $500 million contract to deliver the Myki train and tram ticketing system, wanted more government money to deliver the behind-schedule project.
He called on Mr Brumby to decide today on the project's future.

"The ticketing fiasco in Victoria continues and John Brumby now has to make up his mind; is he going to hold the winning tenderer to its contract or is he going to walk away? And John Brumby should be holding tenderers to their contracts," Mr Baillieu said in Melbourne..

Greiner asked to mediate in Newcastle port dispute

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE NSW Government and Hunter Valley coal producers hope the former Liberal NSW premier Nick Greiner will be able to mediate between miners disagreeing about the best way to allocate capacity at the overstretched Newcastle Port.

The Minister for Ports and Waterways, Joe Tripodi, yesterday appointed Mr Greiner to develop a new system for accessing the port amid lengthy ship queues ahead of planned expansions.

Collision closes Broadmeadows line

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Trains on the Broadmeadows line have been cancelled after a train collided with a van in Pascoe Vale in Melbourne's north.

A Victoria Police spokesman said a city-bound train struck the van, which was being towed across a level crossing by a car, when the tow ropes snapped and the van got stuck about 3.20pm.

India restores rail service to Pakistan: official

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

NEW DELHI (AFP) — India decided to restore a train service to Pakistan two days after suspending it over security concerns in the wake of violence over Benazir Bhutto's killing, the railways ministry said.

"The situation has improved. So, the government has allowed the services to be resumed," said Anil Saxena, a spokesman for the railways ministry.
The "Samjhauta (friendship) Express" that runs between New Delhi and the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore will leave the Indian capital late Sunday for the border town of Attari from where it would cross the border.

Talks begin on rail extension

Posted Monday, 7 January, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A meeting will be held early this year to discuss a proposal that would involve the State and Federal governments working together to extend electrification of the rail line beyond Lithgow to Bathurst.

Bathurst Mayor Warren Stocks, Member for Bathurst Gerard Martin and Member for Macquarie Bob Debus have agreed to the new year meeting in the latest development in the campaign to extend the electric service.

City tram track to grow

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

PREMIER Mike Rann is vowing to keep extending Adelaide's tram system through the city and beyond, saying he is not prepared to preside over Adelaide's "gentle decline".

In a direct rebuff to opponents of the controversial extension, Mr Rann declared he would not be deterred by people who did not want change in Adelaide.

He said he planned for a city loop to initially be constructed in stages and further extensions would follow.

Grain rises 50pc

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A DRAMATIC turnaround in the fortunes of the grain industry is forecast this year with hopes high for a record grain crop and a dramatic boost to the state economy.

It follows the devastation of two drought-ravaged grain crops in a row.

A repeat of the record 9.6 million tonnes grain crop of 2001 with current prices would be worth an unprecedented $3 billion-plus.

Bookies suspend betting on Australia-India Test series

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 by bevans in Letters to the Editor

CRICKET'S turmoil has led top bookies to halt betting on the Australia-India Test series, as officials confirm beseiged umpire Steve Bucknor will stay on.

Bets are not being accepted by some agencies after the Indians' threat to pull out of the series after a controversial second Test in Sydney.

Melbourne bookie Simon Beasley told the Herald Sun he needed to know more before he could continue taking money.

"We've got it on hold at the moment until we know what's happening," Mr Beasley said.

Controversial bike ban to stay

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

ACTING Premier Rob Hulls has defended the controversial move to ban bikes on V-Line trains during peak periods.

"The decision that was made in relation to bikes on peak services is all about passenger comfort and ensuring that people can travel on trains in comfort during peak hours," Mr Hulls said.

"There has been no decision made about rescinding that decision.

Freight operator stands by grain transport decision

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 by gerrym in Victorian Rail News

Victoria's grain freight operator is defending its decision to move out of the business.

Pacific National's parent company, Asciano, says it is closing or selling its Victorian grain freight service and its Portlink rural container business.

The State Opposition and farmers are blaming decades of under-investment in rail.

Asciano managing director Marks Rowsthorn says the company can no longer contain its losses in the grain freight business Pacific National.

"Unfortunately for all those involved the crop has not eventuated, it's got progressively worse. We have to downsize this business. This current situation cannot be tolerated," he said.

Signal faults causing regional train delays

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Victorian country rail operator V/Line says signal faults on the metropolitan rail network are affecting other train lines, as well as Gippsland.

Fremantle opposes lead-shipment plan

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

The City of Fremantle has put in an extensive submission opposing a plan by Magellan Metals to transport lead through its port.

The public has been given until today to comment on the proposal after the Environmental Protection Authority gave approval, in-principle, for the company to go ahead.

Vic Gov to hold crisis talks over rail freight network

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Victorian Rail News

Freight operators say the future of Victoria's freight management system will hinge on talks with the State Government later this week.

The operator of Victoria's rail freight network Pacific National says it will stop its services because of ongoing losses on February 5 and the business will be closed or sold.

Adelaide train stoppage averted

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A stop work meeting has been cancelled, meaning that Adelaide train services will operate normally from the Gawler depot tomorrow.

Drivers had planned a four-hour stop work meeting to discuss pay and conditions.

Extended Tram services for the growing Melbourne Docklands Precinct

Posted Wednesday, 9 January, 2008 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Changes to city tram routes will mean better services for people heading to Melbourne’s rapidly growing Docklands precinct, Minister for Public Transport, Lynne Kosky, announced today.

Ms Kosky said from mid next year, Bourke Street tram route 86 (Bundoora RMIT-Docklands) would be extended to the north-west of Docklands (Waterfront City), creating a direct transport link between Southern Cross Station and Docklands Drive.

Rail negotiations continue with Pacific National

Posted Wednesday, 9 January, 2008 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

he State Government has petitioned Pacific National to continue its Tasmanian rail freight operation.

The Government has released a statement about petitioning Pacific National to keep its Tasmanian operations, but Infrastructure Minister Jim Cox was not available for an interview.

Libs slam grain, freight haulage closure

Posted Wednesday, 9 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

GIANT freight company Pacific National pocketed $142 million in tax-payer funds eight months before announcing it would abandon Victoria's grain and container haulage business.

The Government paid Pacific National more than $133.8 million to buy out its lease of the rail network last year, after then premier Steve Bracks pledged before the election to take the rail lines back into government hands.

Driver Of Kerang Train crash is layed with more charges

Posted Wednesday, 9 January, 2008 by hurstville1 in Victorian Rail News

Police have brought more charges against the truck driver involved in last year's fatal train crash at Kerang, in Victoria's north-west.

Vic freight operator delays closure

Posted Thursday, 10 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Rail Freight company Asciano has deferred plans to close its freight operations in regional Victoria.

Asciano owns Victoria's only rail and container freight services.

Victorian employers call for more transport infrastructure

Posted Thursday, 10 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victoria's leading lobby group says insufficient public transport and clogged roads are setting back the state's economy.

The Victorian Employer's Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the State Government to increase investment transport infrastructure.

Sydney Buses haulted after bottle attack

Posted Thursday, 10 January, 2008 by bevans in Other Transport News

BUS services through a western Sydney suburb have been suspended indefinitely after a driver narrowly escaped serious injury when a bottle was thrown at his vehicle.

Westbus driver Shane Fox was driving along Discovery Avenue at Willmot when his bus was targeted about 6.30am today. A bottle was thrown at the bus, shattering the windscreen.

Work hours change to ease public transport pressure

Posted Thursday, 10 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

OUTRAGED commuters have rejected a State Government push to get thousands of CBD office staff to change their working hours to ease the peak train crush.

Scores of Online readers have swamped the website to vent their fury over the proposal, revealed in today's Herald Sun.

Sir Edmund Hillary, a Pioneering Conquerer of Everest, Dies at 88

Posted Friday, 11 January, 2008 by bevans in Press Releases

Sir Edmund Hillary, the lanky New Zealand mountaineer and explorer who with Tenzing Norgay, his Sherpa guide, won worldwide acclaim in 1953 by becoming the first to scale the 29,035-foot summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, has died, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced Friday in Wellington.

He was 88.

In the annals of great heroic exploits, the conquest of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund and Mr. Torgay ranks with the first trek to the South Pole by Roald Amundsen in 1911 and the first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight by Charles A. Lindbergh in 1927.

Fed-up commuters cost system $50 million

Posted Friday, 11 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PASSENGERS fed up with Melbourne's overcrowded trains are refusing to pay for tickets, sparking a rise in fare evasion that will cost more than $50 million this year.

And a boom in concession card fraud has also been identified in a secret government report.

Hundreds of thousands of passengers took 41 million free trips last year, using unmanned stations, buying discounted concession tickets they were not entitled to, or flooding through gates opened by staff to ease over-crowding at stations.

Train Stops on Sleeper

Posted Sunday, 13 January, 2008 by JACKO in South Australian Rail News

A Victorian Man who fell asleep on a South Australian Railway Line yesterday woke to find a train above him.
The Man 20, fell asleep between tracks at Port Augusta, forcing a train driver to pull the emergency brake about 3:40AM.

Chinese police break up high-speed train protest

Posted Monday, 14 January, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

Police in the Chinese city of Shanghai have broken up a second day of protests against a planned extension to a high-speed train service.

Shanghai's police dragged and shoved dozens of protesters who had come to complain about a planned extension to the city's high-speed maglev train line.

Bomb hits Yangon rail station, woman wounded

Posted Monday, 14 January, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

YANGON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - A bomb exploded in the women's toilet at the main railway station in Yangon on Sunday, two days after a similar attack killed at least one person near military-ruled Myanmar's new capital, officials said.

They said one woman was wounded but declined to give further details of the blast in Yangon, the country's biggest city and scene of major biggest anti-junta demonstrations last year.

Saudi plans to build five monorails to link holy cities

Posted Monday, 14 January, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

JEDDAH — In its continuous efforts to ease the transport of nearly three million faithful who come for Haj every year from different parts of the world, and the number ever increasing, Saudi Arabia planned a SR20 billion project to build five monorails linking the Holy City of Makkah with Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah in order to facilitate travel between the holy sites.

According to Dr Habeeb Zain Al Abidine, deputy minister of municipal and rural affairs, each monorail is estimated to cost SR4 billion. “It (the project) will solve many problems facing the transportation of pilgrims between the holy sites as a result of overcrowding,” he added. He said at present many pilgrims travelling in buses reach Arafat and Muzdalifah very late because of traffic congestion. “Monorails would reduce pressure on roads in the holy sites,” he said.

Gippsland Line - Service changes - Until further notice

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

There are ongoing changes to V/Line’s Gippsland service arrangements, due to a faulty signal on the metropolitan rail system.

The timetables below are in place until further notice.

Amtrak strike could cripple commuter rail service

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

South Station, Boston’s largest train station and the main hub for commuters coming into Boston from suburbs south and west of Boston, would be shut down. There would be no service between Boston and Providence, R.I., because that line, which carries about 17,000 riders a day, is dispatched by Amtrak employees. The MBTA says any contingency plan could accommodate only about 25 percent of the 47,000 passengers a day who use South Station.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 12/1/2008

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 103 sightings for this week, making a total of 129* sightings for this year to date. On day 12 last year we had seen 166 sightings.

Man Loses Legs In Accident

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2008 by witsend in South Australian Rail News

A MAN has lost both legs in a horrific train accident in the Hills.

The man is believed to have been walking over the crossing at Jeffrey St, Nairne, about 5.15pm yesterday when he was hit by the 1.2km, 14 tonne train.

Tibet railway firm seeks listing

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

China Railway Construction, which built the rail link to Tibet, plans to list shares on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock markets, state media have said.

The firm will issue 2.8 billion shares in Shanghai and at least 1.8 billion in Hong Kong, according to China's official Xinhua news agency.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 19/1/2008

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 106 sightings for this week which is three sightings more than last week, making a total of 235* sightings for this year to date. On day 19 last year we had seen 278 sightings.

On the B/G we have seen a total of two El Zorro grain trains for the week. Both trains were seen in the early hours of Saturday morning, when S302(V/L)+S311(CF)+T376(SSR)+T413(VR)+T357(VR)

Gippsland trains to return to normal from 29 January

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Gippsland trains will return to full operation from next Tuesday 29 January, with V/Line trains operating to and from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station.

V/Line trains have been unable to operate on the metropolitan Pakenham train line since 21 December, following the discovery of a problem with the type of signals used in that section of the line.

VLocity cars withdrawn from Bendigo line

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2008 by The Vinelander in Letters to the Editor

This morning, 21/1/2008, due to some VLocity services not activating level crossing protection, all VLocity cars have been replaced by Sprinters on the Bendigo line until further notice.

Ganguly fans block rail tracks

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

Train services in two sections of Eastern Railway were affected on Monday as irate supporters of Sourav Ganguly put up a blockade at Barasat in North 24 Parganas protesting against the left-hander's exclusion from the ODI squad for the upcoming triangular tournament in Australia.

Pilbara iron ore rail line battle

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2008 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

ASPIRING iron ore heavyweight, Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest's Fortescue Metals, has finally submitted an application to the National Competition Council seeking access to Rio Tinto's Robe River rail network.

Bay dredging stupid, says Fox

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Trucking magnate Lindsay Fox has called the imminent dredging of Victoria's Port Phillip Bay "stupid".

Mr Fox said the plan to deepen the bay's shipping channel to allow bigger loads into the Port of Melbourne was only a short-term solution.

Sydney T Card Dropped

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2008 by airvan in New South Wales Rail News

ERG has received a notice terminating the Sydney Integrated Ticketing System Project agreement from
its customer, the Public Transport Ticketing Corporation, with immediate effect.

ABC Radio railway programme

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by Guv in Press Releases

ABC Media Release

Train ploughs into workers - 18 dead

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by E1109 in International Rail News

From correspondents in Beijing
January 25, 2008 02:54pm
Article from: Reuters

A HIGH-speed train ran through a group of maintenance workers in China, killing 18 and injuring nine, the Railway Ministry said today.

Woman dragged by train

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by crivens in Victorian Rail News

A woman was dragged several metres down a railway platform this afternoon after her handbag became caught in the electronic doors.

Rail union happy with TransAdelaide offer

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by TA 2000 in South Australian Rail News

A pay and conditions dispute between train drivers and TransAdelaide has been resolved.

FRANCE: Freight train kills four after car chase

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by E1109 in International Rail News

By Joris Fioriti in Neufchateau
January 25, 2008 09:32pm
Article from: Agence France-Presse

A FREIGHT train killed three French gendarmes who were rescuing a man they had just been chasing in a car.

UKRAINE: Train runs over, kills six

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by E1109 in International Rail News

A TRAIN ran over and killed six young people in Ukraine as they were crossing the rail tracks on their way home from a nightclub, the emergencies ministry said.

CHINA: 600,000 commuters stranded at station

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by E1109 in International Rail News

MORE than half a million passengers could be left stranded at a railway station in south China today ahead of the biggest holiday of the year after snow cut power to more than 136 trains.

Tax breaks fuel car use, cause pollution

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by luznug in Other Transport News

Tax benefits on company cars is encouraging environmentally-damaging car use, an environmental group says.

Treasury tax expenditure figures have projected that by 2009-10 more than $2 billion per year will be spent subsidising the use of company cars.

This is nearly twice as much as was previously predicted, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) said.

China train runs down and kills 18 workers

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by crivens in International Rail News

BEIJING (Reuters) - A high-speed Chinese train ran through a group of maintenance workers, killing 18 and injuring nine, the Railway Ministry said on Friday.

Man pushed onto train tracks after argument

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by E1109 in New South Wales Rail News

A TEENAGER has been charged after allegedly pushing a man onto railway tracks in Sydney's west following an argument.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 26/1/2008

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 108 sightings for this week which is two sightings more than last week, making a total of 343* sightings for this year to date. On day 26 last year we had seen 383 sightings.

On the B/G we have seen a total of two El Zorro grain trains for the week.

Anger grows over dumped rail extension

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 by luznug in Victorian Rail News

PLANS for a rail line to the State Government's new flagship "sustainable" community in Melbourne's north were shelved despite a predicted cost for the project of less than $100 million — under a third the price cited by transport chiefs.

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