News

 

Showing stories from October 2008

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RAILWAY BLUES - Music On The Trains!

Posted Thursday, 2 October, 2008 by rvphotographers in New South Wales Rail News

An inaugural railways music event is to be held at Richmond Vale Railways Museum (near Newcastle NSW) on November 22nd.

LA rail crash driver was texting

Posted Thursday, 2 October, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

A Los Angeles train driver sent a text message on his mobile phone 22 seconds before his train crashed, killing 25 people, investigators say.

Robert Sanchez, who was among the dead, sent 29 messages while on duty on the day of the crash, phone records show.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it is pursuing "many avenues of inquiry" into the accident's cause.

Push to axe south-west rail

Posted Thursday, 2 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE $1.36 billion South West Rail Link guaranteed by the former premier Morris Iemma could be shelved and replaced by a $50 million stabling yard under a cost-cutting proposal being pushed by senior Govern- ment officials.

Mr Iemma and former transport minister John Watkins unveiled the first stage of the link in March, which was to have been completed by 2012. But now, a firm commitment has withered before Treasury briefings on the NSW revenue shortfalls.

Pike River Coal project prompts new rail loop

Posted Thursday, 2 October, 2008 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

The first significant length of new railway track in New Zealand since the 1950s is being laid on the West Coast.

Track is now being built at the access point to the main rail system for Pike River Coal deliveries from the West Coast to the export port at Lyttelton.

The $12 million rail loading facility is alongside the main Trans Alpine rail line near the small community of Ikamatua in the Grey Valley, 54km north east of Greymouth.

The foundations for the 1.7km rail loop have been completed and state rail system operator OnTrack is now laying down the new line.

Senate OKs rail safety bill that includes anticollision measures

Posted Thursday, 2 October, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

A rail safety bill that would mandate that passenger trains and some freight trains be equipped with sophisticated systems by 2015 to prevent collisions was approved by the U.S. Senate on a 74 to 24 vote in Washington D.C. on Wednesday evening. The bill passed the House of Representatives last week and supporters believe the margins in both houses make it veto-proof. The bill also provides more than $12 billion in funding to Amtrak over the next four-plus years. The Bush administration has expressed reservations over that aspect of the bill.

Tram track risk tackled

Posted Thursday, 2 October, 2008 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

CYCLISTS and the high-heeled may be spared the risk they now run of being tripped up by tram tracks.

But cyclists must wait another two months before some buses are banned from Swanston St.

Last night, Melbourne City Council was considering asking the State Government to investigate the installation of rubber barriers between tram tracks and the bitumen, so high heels and bike tyres could not be snagged in the gap.

Wheat growers plea for rail boost

Posted Thursday, 2 October, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland's wheat growers, who are preparing to harvest their best crop in a decade, say there are not enough trains to move it.

AgForce grains president Lyndon Pfeffer says a bumper $2.7 million summer sorghum crop is filling storages across the state.

New services aim to ease Brisbane train burden

Posted Thursday, 2 October, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Government says new services and more carriages will ease the burden on Brisbane's early morning train network.

Extra services from Ipswich and Caboolture will begin in a fortnight and the Transport Minister, John Mickel, has inspected the first of four new trains.

Overpass work to begin by year end

Posted Thursday, 2 October, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The South Australian Government says construction of the South Road tram overpass will begin by the end of this year.

It has released new images showing how the overpass will look when it is completed in 2009.

The $28 million overpass is part of the upgrade of the South Road0Anzac Highway intersection in Adelaide.

Pacific National launches new East West Service

Posted Thursday, 2 October, 2008 by bevans in Press Releases

Today, Pacific National will commence a new East West rail service as part of its premium Express business.

The new Melbourne to Perth Express service has been introduced as a result of demand from customers. This service will compete directly with road on one of Australia’s most critical freight
corridors.

Pacific National Divisional General Manager, Paul Garaty commented, “the need to create more rail capacity for freight customers is a sign of things to come. With fuel prices increasing and the continuing focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rail mode share will only increase in the future”.

The new service will provide freight customers with the ability to have freight depart Melbourne late on Thursday night for arrival into Perth Sunday morning. Pacific National’s capacity to operate its Perth
terminal seven days a week means customers can process this incoming freight ensuring freight delivery for Sunday or early Monday morning.

Fare hikes, staff cuts in rail plan

Posted Friday, 3 October, 2008 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

Sydney train commuters will be hit with an eight per cent fare hike from January 01 if the NSW government adopts a raft of recommendations made by the state's pricing authority.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) Friday released its draft report into CityRail fares, recommending a 7.9 per cent increase from the new year.

It recommends a 12 per cent plus inflation total increase on fares over the next four years, saying CityRail costs have increased 22 per cent since 2001-02 while fares rose just 1.1 per cent.

[ABC] Company collapse 'won't delay rail link'

Posted Friday, 3 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Government says the financial collapse of a company involved in the redevelopment of Chatswood Station in Sydney's north will not affect the completion of the project.

CRI Chatswood is involved in a public-private partnership with the NSW Government for the $360-million project.

Yesterday it went into receivership, but the NSW Government says the completion of the redevelopment will not be affected.

Deal with CSX means boost for SouthCoast rail

Posted Friday, 3 October, 2008 by freightgate in International Rail News

BOSTON — Using a bustling South Station as a backdrop, state officials on Thursday announced the $100 million purchase of CSX Corp. rail lines across the state, including tracks needed to bring commuter trains to Fall River and New Bedford.

Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray, who led the state's negotiations with CSX, called it "a significant step in bringing passenger rail to the SouthCoast."

The state also is buying CSX tracks between Boston and Worcester and two rail yards around Boston. The deal will allow five more commuter trains to be added between Worcester and Boston later this month.

Report pushes for standardised Mildura rail line

Posted Saturday, 4 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A new report seeks to renew pressure on the Victorian Government to standardise the Mildura railway line.

Crews have completed about half of a $73 million upgrade of the line between Mildura and Geelong.

The project aims to cut travel times for trains using the broad gauge track.

COAG ups pressure on Rees to reveal infrastructure plans

Posted Saturday, 4 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Premier is under pressure to reveal his plans for major transport projects after the Federal Government agreed to fast-track infrastructure funding at yesterday's Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

Nathan Rees says he is pleased with the outcome of his first COAG meeting, despite not securing a commitment for more health funding for the state.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 4/10/2008

Posted Sunday, 5 October, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 100 sightings for this week, which is three sightings less that last week, making a total of 3944* sightings for this year to date. On day 278 last year we had seen 4153 sightings.
We have seen no sighting again on the B/G this week.

[ABC] Pallas defends rail line revamp policy

Posted Monday, 6 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Government is defending its policy for maintaining and upgrading the Mildura rail line.

A report for the Sunraysia Mallee Economic Development Board has found a failure to standardise the line will cost Victoria $100 million a year.

[ABC] CityRail warns of weekend travel delays

Posted Monday, 6 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

CityRail is telling train passengers to factor in extra travel time this long weekend because of extensive track work on the south coast, northern, Newcastle and central coast lines.

Buses are replacing trains between Thirroul and Waterfall and between Hornsby and Strathfield, while all Newcastle and central coast services will run via the North Shore.

Train drivers at Rio's Pilbara operations plan strikes

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2008 by witsend in Western Australian Rail News

EXPORTS from Rio Tinto's massive Pilbara iron ore operations will be hampered by strikes starting this Saturday, when train drivers will walk off the job, a union says.

State to take back control of rail

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

RAILCORP will be scrapped and New South Wales train services returned to direct control of the State Government in a move Premier Nathan Rees says will improve services.

Mr Rees will formally announce the move today, saying it comes after RailCorp continually ignored the State Government's commitments to the electorate.

Legislation will go before Parliament when it returns later this month to remove the corporation's commercial board.

Rail project vital for Brisbane: Bligh

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says a $14 billion rail project proposed for Brisbane is "absolutely imperative" to the city's future - but without federal funds, she cannot say when it will be built.

Ms Bligh on Tuesday released the Inner City Rail Capacity Study, which proposes four new underground tracks on two routes - from the western Ipswich line and from the southern Gold Coast line - extending to the north of Brisbane.

[ABC] 18yo hospitalised after level crossing smash

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A woman injured in a level crossing smash in New South Wales' Riverina region earlier today is being transferred to Canberra for further treatment.

The 18-year-old suffered serious head injuries in the crash between a car and goods train at Yoogali just after 6:00am AEDT.

[ABC] Services back on schedule after rail death

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Train services have returned to normal between Swan Hill and Bendigo, after a fatal crash at Bendigo yesterday.

A man was killed when he was hit by a Melbourne bound passenger train at California Gully yesterday morning.

Passengers made the rest of the trip by coach, and traffic was blocked at the Nelson Street crossing for more than two hours.

[ABC] Campbell hopes for rail ticket price drop

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

New South Wales Transport Minister David Campbell says he is hopeful there will be a further easing of proposed increases in train fares for the Illawarra and southern highlands.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has recommended fare increases of up to $10 for weekly tickets between Wollongong and Sydney.

[ABC] Qld Oppn calls for more action on infrastructure

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Opposition says the State Government has failed to deliver in real terms on a number of infrastructure projects planned for the next 20 years.

Premier Anna Bligh unveiled the draft plans for new underground train tracks and stations for Brisbane's CBD at an estimated cost of $14 billion.

Fears of union control over rail

Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE NSW Government's decision to bring the state rail network under its control has raised concerns that union bosses will exert a heavy influence over the state's public transport network.

Premier Nathan Rees announced yesterday that the commercial management board responsible for RailCorp would be abolished and control returned to the state Government in an attempt to boost accountability and service performance.

NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell criticised the move, saying it would do nothing to improve services and might leave the rail industry at the mercy of the unions.

"Changing the driver won't fix the train after 13 years of neglect," Mr O'Farrell said, describing the move as a diversion from Labor's "mismanagement" of the state rail network.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 11/10/2008

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 105 sightings for this week, which is five sightings more that last week, making a total of 4049* sightings for this year to date. On day 285 last year we had seen 4252 sightings.

We have seen no sighting again on the B/G this week.

Outer suburbs 'missing out' on services

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

ONLY one out of every 100 residents in some of Melbourne's outer suburbs use public transport alone to get to work, a report shows.

The parliamentary report into outer suburban economic development found that in one of those areas, the south-east's Casey, almost 70% get to work by car alone.

The Victorian parliamentary committee report highlighted failures in the "availability, reliability, and cost of alternative transport, especially public transport" and called for "more timely, responsive and cost-effective" transport improvements.

Liberals pledge light rail viability study

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2008 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The Canberra Liberals have pledged $8 million to study the viability of light rail in Canberra if they win the election.

The figure includes $4 million for an engineering study that will consider possible routes and where to build terminals.

The money would also be spent on an analysis of how to adapt planning in the ACT to encourage people to use rail travel.

Opposition leader Zed Seselja says there would be additional funding for a commuter census to gauge community interest and opinions.

Drinking supplies hauled into Cloncurry

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Fresh water supplies will be hauled for the first time into the north-west Queensland town of Cloncurry this week, as part of a State Government rescue plan.

Twelve million litres of fresh water will be delivered to Cloncurry in an operation expected to last until Christmas .

The town has been battling water shortages for months, but now its drinking supply will be delivered by Queensland Rail (QR) subsidiary, Australian Railway Group (ARG), who will haul the water in from Mount Isa.

ARG spokesman Chris Gregg says it is believed this is the first time QR has been involved in delivering water to a drought-stricken town on such a large scale.

Newcastle Rail Line

Posted Friday, 17 October, 2008 by LesS in Rail News

A $650 million plan to redevelop Newcastle's central business district could be in jeopardy unless the State Government commits within the next five months to cutting the inner-city rail line at Wickham.

For some, enough is never enough

Posted Friday, 17 October, 2008 by luznug in Other Transport News

Greed has got us into this mess. Only a change of heart will get us out.

"YOU pay peanuts," someone said, "you get monkeys." So we paid truffles and got pigs. We would have been better off with the monkeys.

Rail boss outlines $1 billion spending plans

Posted Friday, 17 October, 2008 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

New Zealand Railways Corporation acting CEO, William Peet, has laid out his roadmap for the country’s rail, throwing a few surprises into the mix.


Speaking at the Waikato Transport Summit this week, he laid out a clearer picture of how the $1 billion set aside for his state-owned enterprise would be spent over the next five years.

Mr Peet was appointed acting chief executive officer of the New Zealand Railways Corporation in October 2007 following the re-nationalisation of the rail sector.

Wodonga rail bypass work set to begin

Posted Friday, 17 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Work on the rail bypass in Wodonga is likely to start within a fortnight.

The removal of the railway line from the CBD is part of an overall rail upgrade in north-east Victoria.

The five-kilometre bypass will eliminate 11 level crossings and a new railway station and four bridges will be built.

Asciano not hit by financial crisis yet

Posted Friday, 17 October, 2008 by bevans in Rail News

Ports and rail operator Asciano Group says it is yet to be affected by the global financial crisis but an economic slowdown could benefit its rail business.

Asciano chief financial officer Peter McGregor said that coal haulage during the September quarter continued to experience "double-digit growth" and volumes at container ports remained strong.

Transport unions to form new body

Posted Friday, 17 October, 2008 by bevans in Rail News

Australia's major transport unions are joining forces to present a united front over industrial issues relating to the nation's biggest infrastructure projects.

Meeting in Brisbane Wednesday, representatives of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), Transport Workers' Union of Australia (TWU) and the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) said they would form the Transport Unions' Federation (TUF) early next year.

You're worth only 30 cents a minute, according to government and Connex

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2008 by grace in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE train passengers will waste almost 200 million minutes between them waiting for delayed or cancelled services this year, government documents reveal.

nd tardy trams are expected to chew up an estimated 210 million minutes of travellers' lives in 2008, the Department of Transport papers show.

The lost time estimates are made in transport operator performance reports obtained by the Sunday Herald Sun using Freedom of Information laws.

Connex pays the State Government an average penalty of 30c a minute per passenger for missing punctuality targets, the reports reveal.

P-plater survives train crash

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2008 by grace in Victorian Rail News

A P-plater made a miracle escape after his car was demolished in a high-speed smash with a freight train in Victoria's north west.

The engine was ripped from the main body of the vehicle after it ploughed into the train at a rail crossing near Nhill about 5.30pm yesterday.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 18/10/2008

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 105 sightings for this week, which is the same number of sightings as last week, making a total of 4154* sightings for this year to date. On day 292 last year we had seen 4356 sightings.
We have seen our first sighting on the B/G this week since the 5th September, over five weeks. On Tuesday we saw a down PN grain train with X (no number on cab side) & BL32(NR) with 44 hoppers.

Rip out rail line, fix the freeway now, business says

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2008 by grace in New South Wales Rail News

THE NSW Business Chamber has joined the chorus of voices calling for the withdrawal of the Newcastle rail line, yesterday labelling it an "immediate priority" for the region.

The group released its submission to Infrastructure Australia, ranking a number of projects it said needed to be built and one that needed to be ripped out.

In its most immediate category, for the next two to five years, it listed the construction of the F3 Freeway extension from Seahampton to Branxton, development of the Glendale interchange and withdrawal of the inner-city Newcastle rail back to a new terminus at Wickham.

It also said the Hunter would need the development of a rail freight bypass (Hexham to Fassifern) and completion of the Newcastle inner-city bypass.

Unions show new appetite for rail reform

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2008 by grace in New South Wales Rail News

RAIL maintenance reforms announced yesterday by the Premier, Nathan Rees, were conceived by the union movement to prevent the poorly performing RailCorp maintenance yards being sold to the private sector.

The deputy assistant secretary of Unions NSW, Matt Thistlethwaite, confirmed last night that rail unions had urged the Government to reopen negotiations over the future of the public maintenance yards that had been abandoned by frustrated RailCorp executives.

GPT claim off track, says rail group

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2008 by grace in New South Wales Rail News

THE GPT Group has not justified its assertion that the rail line forms a barrier to Newcastle city centre's renewal, the Save Our Rail group says.

Save Our Rail has suggested its own proposal for more rail crossings and corridor improvements is a superior plan.

The group intends to make a submission to the Newcastle City Centre Taskforce, which will compile the city's case for Federal Government funding of some of its infrastructure needs.

The group would put forward a plan for the renewal of the CBD, which expands on a document it gave earlier this year to then Transport Minister John Watkins and Newcastle MP Jodi McKay.

Victoria rail upgrade a boost to wheat growers

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2008 by grace in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIA'S drought-ravaged grain farmers will have improved rail lines to move their harvest on after the State Government announced a $38.7 million upgrade of priority freight corridors.

The lines to benefit from the new money were identified as "silver" priority in a report conducted last year by former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer.

They include tracks from Benalla to Oaklands, Quambatook to Manangatang, Charlton to Sealake, Warracknabeal to Hopetoun, and Ouyen to Murrayville. Projects identified as "gold" priority have already been announced.

Murrayville freight line to reopen

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Graingrowers and the Mildura Rural City Council have won their campaign for the reopening of the Ouyen to Murrayville freight line.

The line closed last year and was ranked only silver-line status in the Fischer rail freight review report, below the gold ranking the Victorian Government was targeting for upgrades.

But during a Community Cabinet visit to the Wimmera yesterday, the Premier announced $39 million to reopen the Murrayville line and upgrade other silver lines, including Warracknabeal to Hopetoun, Charlton to Sea Lake and Quambatook to Manangatang.

Govt reviews coal rail plans

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Government is assessing plans for a $100 million rail project, aimed at easing bottlenecks on the Hunter Valley coal chain.

Australian Rail Track Corporation chief executive officer David Marchant says the Minimbah Third Track Project involves the construction of a third track on an 11 kilometre stretch of rail line near Singleton.

Transport forum calls for funding for new rail lines

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victorian councils are demanding new rail lines to Doncaster and Rowville be funded by the Federal Government.

Rail projects are the centrepiece of the Metropolitan Transport Forum's submission for funding from the Commonwealth's $20-billion Infrastructure Australia fund.

The forum also wants federal money to fund the extension of rail services to Cranbourne East, South Morang and Whittlesea and for electrifying the line to Bacchus Marsh.

Kosky confident on federal transport funding

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Transport Minister, Lynne Kosky, says she is confident the Federal Government will consider calls to fund more train lines in Melbourne.

The Metropolitan Transport Forum wants money from the $20-billion Commonwealth infrastructure fund, spent on Melbourne's public transport system.

Toll plans ammonium nitrate terminal

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Logistics giant, the Toll Group, is planning to spend $18 million on an ammonium nitrate terminal on Newcastle's Kooragang Island.

It will handle goods for movement by rail, road and shipping.

Toll Properties says the inter-modal goods terminal would store and handle up to 6,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at any one time, with most to be sold to the Hunter's mining sector.

State coal project needs rail system to give it legs

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

WARATAH Coal is a significant coal play focusing on the Galilee Project in central Queensland.

Tenements contain an inferred coal resource of 4.3 billion tonnes, able to be mined at a projected 25million tonnes a year.

What's the catch? In order to get the coal to market, construction of a 495km heavy rail system, and a large-scale port at Shoalwater Bay (north of Rockhampton) is required.

Cost estimates for the construction of the mine, rail system and coal export port facility is $5.3 billion.

According to wise-owl.com analyst Joshua Terlich, this sort of funding is no short change in the current market climate.

Pukekohe fire closes rail lines

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2008 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

The main trunk railway lines were closed south of Auckland today following a fire at Pukekohe railway station.

Emergency services were called about 11am to the fire, believed to have started in the switch room before quickly spreading to the upper floor of the building.

Trains in disarray after level-crossing smash

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A city-bound V/Line train has collided with a ute at a level crossing in Oak Park in Melbourne's northern suburbs.

Victoria Police said the crash happened at 7.10am today at the Devon Road intersection, near Pascoe Vale Road. The train originated in Seymour.

"A city bound sprinter has collided with a ute and there are no injuries," a police spokeswoman told The Age.

Waiting for trains: Adelaide commuters live in hope

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The news that global financial unrest will see some infrastructure projects delayed or shelved in South Australia is unlikely to please commuters who use Adelaide's ageing rail system.

While it is not yet clear if there will be any impact on plans to modernise and electrify the rail fleet, it is clear to commuters in both Adelaide's north and the south that the status quo is inadequate.

Opposition MP Duncan McFetridge says the trains need upgrading urgently.

Freight line revamp brings relief

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Councils and farmers are relieved a major freight rail line in the Goulburn Murray region will be upgraded.

There was concern the Benalla to Oaklands line would be mothballed, after it was not included in a $500 million plan to upgrade rail lines in north-east Victoria.

But the Victorian Government yesterday announced it would spend $17 million upgrading the line, with work to start early next year.

Work is expected to take 18 months to complete and clashes with the 2009 grain harvest.

Brumby urges infrastructure buying plan

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victorian Premier John Brumby has called for a national approach to buying trains and major infrastructure to boost local manufacturing jobs.

But he wants the federal government to chip in with subsidies to help manufacturers compete in tough international markets.

Mr Brumby said as long as the states continued to make independent, sporadic purchases, local manufacturers would be outpriced by competitors overseas.

He called for the states to pool their buying power and coordinate demand to give the manufacturing industry certainty.

Govt moves to rebuild grain freight network

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Federal Government has formed a task force to develop a strategy to rebuild the grain transport network in New South Wales.

It is spending $3 million to set up the task force that includes industry and Government representatives.

The review will include an examination of cropping patterns, the likely impact of climate change on crops, market demand and the capacity of infrastructure to carry it.

Cultural concerns stop rail bypass work

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

An Aboriginal group says it has negotiated a temporary halt to construction work on the Wodonga rail bypass, in north-east Victoria, that is near cultural sites.

The Dhudhuroa group is concerned six sites of cultural significance are threatened by the project.

Chairman Gary Murray says there has been no consultation and it is now trying to come to a resolution with the State Government.

Greens worried about CountryLink support

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Greens say they are worried by an apparent lack of support for CountryLink rail services within the New South Wales Government.

Upper House MP Lee Rhiannon says the Government plans to reduce rail services further and replace them with coaches.

She says better timetabling and more services would improve rail usage.

Ms Rhiannon says the Government should be putting more resources into public transport for country people.

Epping rail noise 'won't delay opening'

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW government says it is confident noise levels akin to a landing Boeing 737 can be addressed without further delaying the opening of the Epping to Chatswood railway line.

RailCorp chief executive Rob Mason said the noise exceeded acceptable levels when train carriages tested on the track travelled the steep, curved section under the Lane Cove River.

"Yes, the noise, using our existing CityRail trains is too high compared with the same trains in our other tunnels of the network," Mr Mason told ABC Radio on Thursday.

Concrete basis for rail's faster times

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2008 by bevans in Rail News

The millionth concrete rail sleeper between Sydney and Melbourne was laid at Gunning yesterday, part of a $2.4 billion project to lay new sleepers right along the main line linking Melbourne to Brisbane.

The project, scheduled to be completed early next year, will allow travel between Melbourne and Brisbane in 27 hours, 10 hours less than now possible and quicker than road.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation's chief executive, David Marchant, said rail would be able to offer freight industry transit times as low as 10 hours 40 min utes between Sydney and Melbourne, and 15 hours 35 minutes between Sydney and Brisbane.

''For ARTC, it marks rail's resurgence as a realistic freight option,'' he said. ''Consistency in rail sleepers may not sound significant, but it will mean a more reliable track and reduced transit times between the main eastern state demand centres.'' Mr Marchant said the concrete sleepers increased the strength of the railway line, allowing heavier loads to be carried at faster speeds. They also meant few restrictions on speed during summer because, unlike wooden sleepers, concrete ones do not expand in high temperatures that cause tracks to buckle. As well as replacing wooden sleepers, the corporation is introducing new passing loops and upgrading signals and bridges.

Locals could derail freight plans

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

Villagers in Glenboig, near Coatbridge, have voiced concern at plans to build one of Europe's biggest rail freight terminals on an old landfill site.

Kilgarth Development Company wants to convert almost 2 million sq ft of grassland between Coatbridge and Glenboig into a huge rail freight hub.

The firm said the $1m project could create up to 1000 jobs.

But residents and a local MSP have expressed fears about an increase in traffic levels and pollution.

Local govt calls for federal infrastructure funding

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2008 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

The president of the Local Government Association in the Northern Territory says a bridge between Darwin and the Cox Peninsula should be built as part of the Commonwealth's investment in local government.

The Federal Government plans to inject millions of dollars into local government infrastructure as part of its response to the global economic crisis.

Aldermen Kerry Moir says a number of projects are being considered.

"My personal project of course is the bridge across the harbour between Darwin and the Cox Peninsular," she said.

El Zorro rides into GIFT freight terminal

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A trial run to prove that the Gippsland Intermodal Freight Terminal (GIFT) at MidValley can still be used for rail freight purposes was undertaken yesterday, when a freight train operated by El Zorro Transport Pty Ltd and headed by two T Class diesel locomotives rolled into the currently disused siding.

While the rolling stock carried no freight, Latrobe City mayor, Cr Bruce Lougheed said yesterday's train brought to and operated by El Zorro was great news for Latrobe City and the Gippsland region.

Runaway train

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2008 by IronMan in South Australian Rail News

A driver of a train in Whyalla lost control of his locomotive whilst in 'remote control'

China to invest $445 billion in rail system

Posted Sunday, 26 October, 2008 by Bree76 in International Rail News

China makes a massive investment in it's rail network to help overcome the impact of the global financial crisis, with an additional 35,000 kms of track to be built in the next two years.

Asciano finds silver lining in economic clouds

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2008 by bevans in Rail News

Rail and ports operator Asciano said the current economic meltdown could be a boon for its freight rail business.

Speaking at an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia event in Sydney, Asciano chief financial officer Peter McGregor said rail’s affordability would increasingly appeal to freighters amid the financial downturn.

“When the economy slows, cost becomes really important,” he told delegates.

Pilbara rail stoush

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2008 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

TREASURER Wayne Swan yesterday toured the iron ore operations of BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto in the Pilbara before tomorrow's decision on whether to let third parties use the region's railways.

BHP and Rio have tried to block competitors from using the railways.

The National Competition Council made a draft recommendation in August that BHP's Goldsworthy railway and Rio's Hamersley and Robe River lines be opened to third parties.

Hancock and Theiss reach coal mine deal

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A new thermal coal mine could be operating in central Queensland from 2012 after a deal was reached between miner Hancock Prospecting and contractor Thiess.

Thiess, a subsidiary of Leighton Holdings, announced it had been engaged to co-manage with Hancock Prospecting the pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Alpha Coal Project.

The mine is expected to produce 30 million tonnes of thermal coal a year at full capacity, or more than one billion tonnes over at least three decades.

Major delays after tram derailment

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2008 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

A tram derailment at South Melbourne's Montague Street overpass has stalled trams in both directions on part of the 109 route.

Yarra Trams spokeswoman Katie Maynes said an out-of-service tram came off the rails about 8am, disrupting the Box Hill to Port Melbourne route.

The tram is part of the Citadis fleet, hired from France in a $10 million deal to help meet booming passenger numbers.

The Southbank depot tram stop has been closed since this morning, with commuters either walking about 10 minutes between the Montague Street and Clarendon Street stops or catching a shuttle bus.

Secrecy over $500m in transport money

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

CONTROVERSIAL laws have been used to stop the public finding out how Connex and Yarra Trams plan to spend over half a billion dollars of public money.

The Brumby Government has relied on commercial-in-confidence laws — which it attacked repeatedly while in opposition — to keep secret the two operators' annual planning documents.

Under freedom of information, The Age requested that the Government release Connex's and Yarra Trams' last five franchise business plans.

Council urges Gippsland Freight Terminal opening

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Latrobe City Council is renewing calls for the Victorian Government to approve the use of the Gippsland Freight Terminal.

The council says a trial run at the Morwell terminal this week, by a major transport company, proves it should be opened for freight operations as soon as possible.

Melbourne woman hit by freight train

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A woman has been hit by a train while trying to get to her dog at Albion in Melbourne's north-west.

The animal had been scared off by the horn of the freight train, and the woman ran onto the tracks to retrieve it.

The woman is in a critical condition in the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

ABC News

QR jacking up freight charges: hay producer

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A central Queensland hay producer says Queensland Rail has increased freight charges for his products by up to 400 per cent.

Biloela lucerne grower Ken Bauer says it is now becoming unaffordable for him to keep sending hay to horse trainers in North Queensland.

Mr Bauer says his customers are also facing massive increases in their bills.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 25/10/2008

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 101 sightings for this week, which is four sightings less thanlast week, making a total of 4255* sightings for this year to date. On day 299 last yearwe had seen 4462 sightings.

The only sightings on the B/G this week was two visits from EM100.

SA: Trucking Magnate Allan Scott Passes Away

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2008 by witsend in South Australian Rail News

BREAKING NEWS: MT Gambier business magnate Allan Scott has died.

Mr Scott, 84, one of South Australia's most powerful business figures, has been ill for several weeks.

BHP, Rio lose rail fight with Fortescue

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2008 by pilbara_sam in Western Australian Rail News

Treasurer Wayne Swan has ruled that BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto must share haulage railways in the west of the country with other companies, in a major win for Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group.

SA hopeful of federal money for rail

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Transport Minister Patrick Conlon is seeking a federal grant from the national infrastructure fund to improve rail services in Adelaide's southern suburbs.

The South Australian Government outlined plans in the Budget to spend about $2 billion upgrading rail infrastructure, including electrifying the Noarlunga line.

Mr Conlon says approval of funding could speed up an extension of the rail line to Seaford.

$7.5b coal mine planned for central west Qld

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A $7.5 billion coal project has been proposed for the Galilee Basin in Queensland's central west.

Hancock Prospecting is planning a new thermal coal mine near Alpha, together with the construction of a 400 kilometre rail line and a port and coal handling terminal near Mackay.

It could process up to 80 million tonnes of coal a year.

Landmark decision in WA rail lines stand-off

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2008 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Federal Government has ordered mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP-Billiton to open up their rail lines in Western Australia's north-west to third parties.

Both BHP and Rio built their rail networks decades ago and have always had monopoly control over them.

But rival miner Fortescue Metals Group called for the Hammersley, Robe River and Goldsworthy rail lines to be opened up to others to use.

SA hopeful of federal money for rail

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Transport Minister Patrick Conlon is seeking a federal grant from the national infrastructure fund to improve rail services in Adelaide's southern suburbs.

The South Australian Government outlined plans in the Budget to spend about $2 billion upgrading rail infrastructure, including electrifying the Noarlunga line.

Mr Conlon says approval of funding could speed up an extension of the rail line to Seaford.

Funds sought for Seaford train link

Posted Wednesday, 29 October, 2008 by markcurtis in South Australian Rail News

THE long-awaited extension of the Noarlunga train line is among projects the State Government wants federal money to help fund.

Buses replace trains for rail standardisation project

Posted Wednesday, 29 October, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Buses will replace V/Line passenger trains between Albury and Seymour from November 9.

The change will enable work to start on a $500 million project to standardise the railway line and move it out of Wodonga.

V/Line's communications manager, Daniel Maloney, says it expects the work to be completed in 12 to 18 months.

Dry outback town gets water shipment

Posted Wednesday, 29 October, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A north-west Queensland town will get its first delivery of water by rail today under a plan expected to cost taxpayers $400,000 a month.

The mining and agricultural town of Cloncurry is edging on dry - its dam is low and underground water supplies are shrinking due to continued regional growth but a lack of rain.

SA puts infrastructure wishlist

Posted Wednesday, 29 October, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The South Australian Government has requested federal funding for a number of major projects it had previously announced in public transport and water infrastructure.

The SA Government is bidding for a share of the $20 billion Building Australia Fund in the hope that SA projects can be accelerated.

The bid covers projects including a rail line extension south to Seaford, electrification of the Gawler rail line and work on the north-south road corridor.

SA Infrastructure Minister Patrick Conlon sasy it is a good time to make the bid public.

"We are very hopeful that what we've put forward suits the program in terms of building infrastructure and we're very hopeful about that," he said.

SA seeks rail revamp funds

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

THE desalination plant and the electrification of the metropolitan rail network head the State Government's "wishlist" for federal funding.

Details of the list of five major projects were released today by Premier Mike Rann and Infrastructure Minister Patrick Conlon.

They said the list had been put forward to federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and how much SA secured from the giant Infrastructure Australia fund would be subject to ongoing negotiations.

The projects on the list are:

THE desalination plant at Port Stanvac.

EXTENSION of the rail network to Seaford.

UPGRADE and electrification of Gawler rail line.

UPGRADE of Torrens and Goodwood rail junctions.

NORTH-SOUTH corridor including South and Sturt road underpasses and extension of the Tonsley rail line to the Flinders Medical Centre.

Inland rail would help Mudgee

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The proposed inland rail project is the most obvious infrastructure project to stimulate Australia’s economy and protect it against the deepening global financial crisis, Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has said.

Mr. Coulton called on the government to urgently consider the project following an announcement by Prime Minster Kevin Rudd that the government was creating a short-list of infrastructure projects to invest in as part of the $20 billion Building Australia Fund.

Mr. Coulton said the ambitious Melbourne to Brisbane rail link had the potential to change the course of the country and steer Australia’s economy away from recession.

(NSW CityRail) Rail blunders put hundreds of commuters at risk

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2008 by nadnerb_2000 in New South Wales Rail News

From the Sydney Morning Herald: A BURST high-pressure gas main at Revesby, and the electrocution of passengers at Lidcombe Station were "future catastrophic events" that were narrowly averted in two bungled rail projects that have cost NSW well in excess of $150 million.

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