News

 

Showing stories from November 2008

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Rees scraps North-West Metro

Posted Saturday, 1 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees has confirmed he is scrapping the North-West Metro rail project.

Transport Minister David Campbell says the $12 billion project has been deferred indefinitely because of the State Government's changed financial circumstances, with revenue shortfalls of about $90 million a month.

"I think what we're doing today is being upfront and honest with people of the north-west that in changed financial cirumstances this very difficult decision has been made as part of the mini-Budget context," he said.

Pacific National selects preferred bidder

Posted Saturday, 1 November, 2008 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Pacific National's parent company says it has entered into negotiations with a preferred bidder for its Tasmanian rail freight business.

Asciano says it received several bids from parties interested in buying the business.

Anger over rail extension delay

Posted Sunday, 2 November, 2008 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The State Opposition has labelled the government short sighted for cancelling plans to extend the passenger rail service to Butler in Perth's north.

Labor made a $147 million pre-election commitment to extend the line and open a new station.

Rail tunnel 'vital' to state economy

Posted Sunday, 2 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIA'S economy will slow dramatically if the State Government fails to build Sir Rod Eddington's proposed $7 billion rail tunnel, a transport academic has warned. He says the tunnel would enable more people to work in the CBD.

Graham Currie, chair of public transport at Monash University, said constraints on Melbourne's transport system mean the number of commuters who can travel into the CBD has nearly peaked.

Without urgent action, Victoria's productivity will fall as businesses disperse across Melbourne when it becomes impossible for more people to travel into the city, he said.

Union slams new trams

Posted Monday, 3 November, 2008 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

YARRA Trams' five "bumblebee" trams - which the Brumby Government rented from a French company for three years for $10 million - should never have been brought to Melbourne, a tram union has said.

One of the trams derailed in South Melbourne yesterday morning while being shunted. No passengers were on board.

"We have been lucky there hasn't been a major derailment with these trams," said Rail, Tram and Bus Union assistant secretary Lou Di Gregorio. "There are a lot of problems to even run them on our tracks."

$2m to get city's oldest trains on track

Posted Monday, 3 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

REPAIRS to the city's oldest running trains — which were pulled from service in September and are expected by Connex to be off the rails permanently in 2011 — will cost $2 million.

The Government's fleet of seven silver Hitachi trains were withdrawn from the network because rust in the floors around doorways sparked fears they could endanger passengers.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky says spending money — the figure is capped at $2.5 million — to fix the Hitachis is necessary.

The repairs are being rushed through because the trains are needed to deliver on a major revamp of Melbourne's timetable this Sunday.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 1/11/2008.þ

Posted Tuesday, 4 November, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 105 sightings for this week, which is four sightings more than last week, making a total of 4360* sightings for this year to date. On day 306 last year we had seen 4558 sightings.
We have seen four PN grain trains on the B/G this week, on Thursday & Friday we saw XR558(PN)+XR557(PN), on the up & down on Thurs with 20 hoppers and on the up & down on Fri with 40 hoppers.

Get up early to ride free? Forget it

Posted Wednesday, 5 November, 2008 by raye in Victorian Rail News

THE Early Bird ticket, hailed by Premier John Brumby as a solution to overcrowding on morning trains, is failing dismally to attract commuters.

The ticket was aimed to tempt commuters out of bed earlier, offering free travel for trips finishing before 7am.

It was launched by Mr Brumby and Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky in March, after a six-month trial on the Frankston and Sydenham lines.

"I'm very confident it will be very well received," Mr Brumby said then.

Freight train derails then sparks grass fire

Posted Wednesday, 5 November, 2008 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

A TRAIN travelling to Katherine caused a grass fire when it derailed yesterday.

Nobody was hurt in the incident, which saw 11 carriages of the freight train leave the tracks at 1.30pm about 5km north of Katherine.

The train skidded for about 200m and caused a small grass fire, which fire fighters extinguished.

It was a bad day all round for rail operator FreightLink.

The company could go into voluntary receivership by the end of the week.

The owner of the Adelaide to Darwin railway is believed to be in talks with corporate recovery firms McGrathNicol and PPB about voluntary administration.

Epping, Hurstbridge trains suspended after person hit by train

Posted Wednesday, 5 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Epping and Hurstbridge line trains have been plunged into peak hour chaos after a person was hit by a train at North Richmond station.

Rail yards to move for Marjorie Jackson-Nelson Hospital

Posted Wednesday, 5 November, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

THE Adelaide rail yards will move to sites north and south of the city to make way for the Marjorie Jackson-Nelson Hospital, the State Government says.

The Government will seek approval from the Public Works Committee for the move from North Tce to Dry Creek and Lonsdale.

Planned $1.5bn rail link will free up bottlenecks

Posted Wednesday, 5 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A 20-KILOMETRE rail link to remove bottlenecks between Geelong and Melbourne, and provide better public transport to the west, is set to be included in a looming Brumby Government transport plan.

The $1.5 billion "Tarneit link" would run through new housing estates and paddocks between Werribee and Deer Park.

The new rail line — flagged in Sir Rod Eddington's $20 billion transport plan in April — is expected to be included in a government transport statement to be released in the first week of December.

$55m executive payout takes its Toll

Posted Thursday, 6 November, 2008 by bevans in Rail News

IT'S not going to be a season to be merry for corporate fat cats.

Toll Holdings boss Paul Little is well and truly in the firing line, along with chairman Ray Horsburgh and the company's non-executive directors.

Corporate governance adviser RiskMetrics has run the numbers and found that, of $80 million in costs incurred by Toll in its demerger with Asciano, $55 million was used to buy out options from Toll executives.

In other words, $55 million in cash has been paid to 390 Toll executives for their now worthless options.

The board's decision was based on KPMG's assumptions that the shares would be worth between $30 and $40, and the company would enjoy earnings-per-share growth of 24% a year for the next three years. Both numbers are fantasies, so little wonder the annual meeting became a heated affair, with shareholder activist Stephen Mayne leading the charge.

No silver bullet to get freight moving

Posted Thursday, 6 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

"The vast majority of the goods needed and used by Melburnians will be moved around the city by road for many years to come — and at increasing levels … This reality needs to be accepted by Melburnians."— the Eddington east-west transport study

FREIGHT is the forgotten player when most people think about Melbourne's transport future. Understandably, attention mainly turns to public transport.

But freight will have to be a key part of the State Government's transport plan for Melbourne, which is scheduled to be released soon. Trucks and trains must be on the agenda.

Every little suburban shop has to have its goods delivered. As the Eddington report noted, without freight, supermarket shelves would be empty, businesses would not function, homes could not be built and factories would grind to a halt.

RECEIVER AND ADMINISTRATOR APPOINTED TO FREIGHTLINK

Posted Thursday, 6 November, 2008 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

The FreightLink board has today appointed a voluntary administrator after it was unable to obtain all of the required consents for a voluntary sale of the business. Receivers and managers, KordaMentha, have also been appointed.

FreightLink, the owner and operator of the Adelaide to Darwin railway, began a sale process in May this year on behalf of shareholders and with the full support of the company’s senior banks.

In early September, a bidder who had made an offer significantly higher than senior debt was named as preferred bidder. Although the transaction was approved by all shareholders and a majority of mezzanine debt holders, the board could not proceed with the sale because a small group of mezzanine debt holders would not consent. This minority group had requested that senior banks make some contribution to the mezzanine debt holders. This was not acceptable to the senior banks as the offer from the preferred bidder was well in excess of the senior debt.

FreightLink chairman, Malcolm Kinnaird, said the board had been very disappointed the sale process, which had yielded an attractive bid, had been thwarted by the inability to achieve consensus.

“I would like to acknowledge the shareholders, senior banks and the mezzanine debt holders who supported the sale process and all those, particularly our customers, who have contributed and will continue to contribute to FreightLink’s operational success.” he said.

“I also acknowledge the sustained and high quality effort of the management team to achieve the operating results and sustain a high level of growth in the business.

Oaks Day off the rails with train chaos

Posted Friday, 7 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PUBLIC Transport Minister Lynne Kosky has demanded a full inquiry after thousands of furious Oaks Day racegoers were stranded yesterday.

Trains between Flemington and the city failed and tens of thousands more people had peak-hour trips home thrown into chaos, with the same overhead power line fault disrupting services on the Craigieburn, Sydenham and Upfield lines.

"I know that commuters were very, very diappointed after a great day at the races," Ms Kosky said.

Kosky demands Oaks Day rail fiasco inquiry

Posted Friday, 7 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The State Government has launched an investigation into last night's train mayhem at Flemington Racecourse, which left thousands of Oaks Day racegoers stranded during peak hour.

A train became tangled in overhead wiring, cutting power to the line and two other suburban rail services.

Thousands were forced to trek from station to station on foot, with some frustrated commuters walking along the tracks from Flemington to escape.

Melbourne transport blueprint in doubt

Posted Friday, 7 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PLANS for a dramatic redesign of Melbourne's transport system may have to be scaled back as Canberra threatens to take off the table billions of dollars promised for major projects.

A day after saying the global financial crisis had blown a "$40 billion hole" in his budget over four years, federal Treasurer Wayne Swan yesterday said at least $14billion earmarked for major projects was under threat.

Victoria is relying on a share of the money to build massive congestion-busting projects such as those recommended in Sir Rod Eddington's $20billion Melbourne transport blueprint.

Livestock rail plan labelled 'devastating'

Posted Friday, 7 November, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A western Queensland Mayor says he is appalled by a Queensland Rail (QR) plan to cut livestock services because it will mean job losses and more cattle trucks on the state's roads.

A major meat processor says he has received notification from QR that it will stop loading livestock at centres including Hughenden, Richmond, Charters Towers and Dalby, and freight charges will be increased from early next year.

Connex donate $100k over train delays

Posted Friday, 7 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Connex will donate $100,000 to a cancer charity rather than compensate train commuters over Thursday's severe disruptions on the Flemington racecourse line, it says.

Tens of thousands of racegoers were left stranded after a power cut to the rail service on the Flemington racecourse line.

It happened after a pantograph, the electrical contact on top of a train, become tangled with the wires at North Melbourne railway station about 5.15pm (AEDT), just as many of the 89,000 racegoers at Flemington for Oaks Day prepared to leave the course.

Oppn warns Brisbane rail plan to be shelved

Posted Friday, 7 November, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Opposition says an ambitious underground rail plan for Brisbane is likely to stay on the shelf because of the Federal Government's $40 billion budget downgrade.

Premier Anna Bligh says frontline services will not be affected by shrinking state and federal surpluses, but there will be hard decisions to make about other spending.

She will not say yet what might be cut, but Opposition treasury spokesperson Tim Nicholls predicts the potentially federally-funded rail plan will be put on hold.

"Projects like the inner Brisbane rail - $14.2 billion that the Premier said is number one on the Government's list - are going to face a lot more difficulties," he said.

Maryborough rail station revamp finished

Posted Friday, 7 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Almost $2 million has been spent upgrading the Maryborough train station.

The building has undergone extensive restoration and the works are now complete.

The station was built in 1890 and has the longest platform in Victoria.

ABC News

RAIL SERVICE UPGRADE: Costs increase more than $7m

Posted Saturday, 8 November, 2008 by aussiebbq in Victorian Rail News

RAIL upgrades for Ballarat, including the new Wendouree Train Station, are costing the State Government more than $7 million extra than intended.

Girl defends Oaks Day melee after aiding elderly

Posted Saturday, 8 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A FLEMINGTON race fan caught in the Oaks Day train fiasco claims she was manhandled by security staff and restrained by police when she stood up for elderly patrons.

Charmaine, 17, said she was accosted by security guards as agitated racegoers became dehydrated and sunburnt when they were stranded after Thursday's races.

She said a fracas involving her boyfriend, security guards and police started when she complained after security people allegedly let attractive girls on to the crowded platform to use the toilets while others were told to wait.

Free train rides to races after backflip

Posted Saturday, 8 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

RACEGOERS will get free train travel to and from Flemington today in a Connex bid to save face after tens of thousands of passengers were stranded in an Oaks Day transport fiasco.

Punters with a pass to the Emirates Stakes won't need a return train ticket for the journey.

Up to 40,000 racegoers are expected to take up the offer.

Connex chiefs bowed to pressure from the Victoria Racing Club, which branded rail services the "achilles heel" of the Spring Racing Carnival.

Canberra raps Brumby over funding

Posted Saturday, 8 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PREMIER John Brumby and Treasurer John Lenders have received a swift rebuke for their lobbying over Canberra's dwindling infrastructure dollars, with the federal minister declaring their comments irrelevant.

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has dismissed as a "speculative bid" recent suggestions from Victoria that the state is expecting $10 billion worth of federal funds for transport upgrades.

"Public comments by state and territory leaders will have absolutely no impact on the outcome," Mr Albanese told The Age in an interview yesterday.

Freight sale plan goes off the rails

Posted Sunday, 9 November, 2008 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

THE operator of Australia's $1.2 billion north-south freight railway, which links the port of Darwin with southern cities, has been put into receivership after a group of second-tier debt holders cruelled a plan to sell the business.

Directors of FreightLink, which manages all rail transport between Darwin and Tarcoola in South Australia, believed proceeds from the proposed sale would have fully repaid the $330 million owed to a syndicate of 15 banks.

BNSF Adds Third Rail Line Through Cajon Pass

Posted Sunday, 9 November, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

FORT WORTH, TX, Nov 06, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- BNSF Railway has completed construction of a third main rail line through Cajon Pass in Southern California that will increase capacity on BNSF's Chicago to Los Angeles Transcontinental (Transcon) route from 100 to 150 trains a day. The $90 million project adds almost 16 miles of third main track to BNSF's route into the Los Angeles Basin.

Cajon Pass is located between the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountain ranges, just north of the City of San Bernardino. Approximately 75 to 100 freight and passenger trains currently traverse this route on a daily basis. Each intermodal train on these tracks can take more than 250 long-haul trucks off of the region's local highways. Additionally, freight trains are more fuel-efficient than trucks and can move one ton of freight more than 400 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 8/11/2008

Posted Monday, 10 November, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

This weeks sightings included the Melbourne Cup holiday and there were 94 sightings for this week, which is 11 sightings less than last week, making a total of 4454* sightings for this year to date. On day 313 last year we had seen 4653 sightings.
We have seen no sightings on the B/G this week.

[ABC] Govt moves to calm cattle train cut fears

Posted Monday, 10 November, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Rural lobby group AgForce has welcomed the Queensland Government's reassurance that cattle train services will not be cut without industry consultation.

Transport Minister John Mickel met AgForce yesterday to discuss reports that Queensland Rail (QR) is planning to close some cattle train loading centres and raise freight rates.

AgForce president John Cotter says they covered a range of issues and agreed to meet again in January.

"It was a useful meeting in so much as that [John Mickel] has given us a reasonable amount of commitments," he said.

[ABC] Another broken promise: End of the line for UWS station

Posted Monday, 10 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Government has broken an election commitment to build a train station at the University of Western Sydney, near Penrith.

A day after the Government reneged on two other promises, Transport Minister David Campbell has confirmed the station will not be built following a review by retired Carr government minister Andrew Refshauge.

"The review included targeted meetings, letters to identified stakeholders, advertisements in local newspapers, a letterbox drop in the area surrounding the proposed station site and a public hearing," Mr Campbell said in a statement to the ABC.

[ABC] Qld Govt continues push for $2.2b in infrastructure funding

Posted Monday, 10 November, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland is stepping up a push for its share of infrastructure funding from the Federal Government, despite concerns the economic downturn will lead to spending cuts.

Brisbane City Council has asked the Federal Government for $2.2 billion to fund new and ongoing roads projects.

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman says the council submission to Infrastructure Australia includes a request for an additional $850 million towards the Northern Link tunnel, which will link Toowong to Kelvin Grove.

[The Age] Rudd's $6bn car plan

Posted Monday, 10 November, 2008 by bevans in Other Transport News

The Rudd Government will pump more than $6 billion into Australia's ailing car industry over the next 13 years under a plan unveiled in Melbourne today.

An extra $3.2 billion in funding was announced as part of the Government's strategy to protect automotive jobs and focus the country's car industry on becoming greener.

The Government's 'A New Car Plan For A Greener Future' followed a review of the future of car industry assistance headed by former Victorian premier Steve Bracks released earlier in the year.

[The Age] Connex changes affect thousands

Posted Monday, 10 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Connex's changes today to the way Melbourne's trains run around the City Loop have affected thousands of rail users on their morning commute.

The operator says the changes will ultimately mean the rail network can carry thousands more commuters more efficiently each morning.

[The Age] Fast ferry plan for Melbourne

Posted Monday, 10 November, 2008 by bevans in Other Transport News

Fast ferries linking Port Phillip Bay to Federation Square and the Docklands is being touted by a lord mayoral candidate as part of his election plan.

Cr Gary Singer told The Age the high-speed ferries, capable of carrying 150 people at a time, would open up Melbourne's waterfront and offer alternative means of transport to people living in bayside suburbs.

"I've worked out a strategy of how we can work out a fast-ferry service to link points along Port Phillip Bay to Federation Square and Docklands and even look at the feasibility of taking it up the river as far as Hawthorn," Cr Singer told The Age.

[Herald Sun] Fare go for our country trains

Posted Monday, 10 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

CUT-price train fares to rural Victoria during off-peak times will be promoted to shore up tourism in country areas.

V/Line is planning an advertising blitz to encourage Melbourne families to take advantage of cheaper fares to places including Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Echuca.

The campaign, See Things Differently, was launched yesterday by Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky.

It comes as Connex today launches 277 new services and 51 extended services a week on the overcrowded Melbourne train network.

In the V/Line deal, commuters will save $5.30 for every child that travels to regional and country Victoria.

[Herald Sun] Offences rising on rail routes with the least staff

Posted Tuesday, 11 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE'S busiest train lines are also the worst for crime, with Pakenham the No. 1 hot spot for bashings, sex offences and theft.

The figures also reveal crime is increasing on lines with the least staff, prompting new calls for the State Government to man the whole network.

There were 199 assaults, 20 sex attacks and 45 weapons offences on the Pakenham line in 2007-08, transit police data shows.

A further 363 passengers reported theft from their cars while 92 cars were stolen from station car parks.

Public infrastructure is the Road to Recovery

Posted Tuesday, 11 November, 2008 by bevans in Press Releases

CEC National Secretary Craig Isherwood today called on Australia’s state and federal governments to embark on the greatest public infrastructure development program in history, to save Australia from collapsing into an economic depression worse than the 1930s.

Mr Isherwood pointed to the two seminal CEC publications that deal with this crisis: What Australia Must Do to Survive the Depression (published 2001), and The Infrastructure Road to Recovery (published 2002), which detail a series of grand water and transportation infrastructure projects that would spearhead an industrial revival in Australia, create millions of jobs, and build the nation out of depression.

Train chaos after timetable change

Posted Tuesday, 11 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TRAIN travellers have told of "chaos" and additions of up to 20 minutes to morning trips caused by new Connex timetables for three of the city's busiest lines.

Connex, still reeling from last week's Oaks day rail fiasco that left thousands stranded at Flemington racecourse, changed operating patterns on Sunday on the Werribee, Hurstbridge and Epping lines.

The changes mean Werribee line trains no longer run around the city loop.

And all Epping and Hurstbridge line trains go direct to Flinders Street, and then around the loop.

Ports giant Asciano on the skids

Posted Wednesday, 12 November, 2008 by luznug in Rail News

PRESSURE is building on Asciano to deal with rejected US takeover predators after the port and rail group's shares went into free fall and were placed in a trading halt.

Asciano's shares plunged by $1.03, or 59.9%, to 69¢ before the trading halt was called, and the Australian Securities Exchange queried Asciano about the share fall. The company's stapled securities reached a high of $11.43 shortly after listing in June last year.

Green group warns of Alice radioactive freight threat

Posted Thursday, 13 November, 2008 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

Anti-nuclear campaigners have warned the Alice Springs Town Council against a plan to increase the amount of radioactive material freighted on the Adelaide to Darwin railway.

The Olympic Dam mine in South Australia has applied to increase the amount of uranium it transports on the line, as well as radioactive copper concentrate.

The road to a low pollution future: rail

Posted Thursday, 13 November, 2008 by bevans in Rail News

As Australia edges closer toward the introduction of an emissions trading scheme, it is high time for a serious discussion about the climate debate's poor third cousin: transport.

The transport industry is the third largest emitter of carbon in Australia, behind manufacturing and agriculture.

While all the talk has been about manufacturing and clean coal technology and how the government will offset the costs to business, there has been little serious talk of the need to address our increasing reliance on road transport.

[ABC] New timetable may mean longer trips

Posted Thursday, 13 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A new timetable designed to boost the capacity of the Melbourne's public transport network begins today with 328 new weekly services.

Many of the changes affect the way the Werribee, Hurstbridge and Epping lines use the city loop.

Connex spokesman John Rees says some commuters will experience longer journeys as a result.

Single-deck trains on their way back

Posted Friday, 14 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE NSW Government is planning to convert Sydney's rail network back to single-deck trains. NSW Transport Minister David Campbell confirmed the plans to buy single-deck trains, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"There is a long-term strategic direction to start investing in single-deck rolling stock," Mr Campbell told the Herald.

Contrary to reports, our rail system is alright

Posted Friday, 14 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Under franchising, Melburnians get better value for money.

FOR years, Paul Mees has been arguing that there is some overseas city whose public transport system Melbourne should be emulating, but in his article "Travelling second-class", published on this page on Wednesday, Dr Mees has added a temporal comparison to his usual geographic ones.

While he eulogises the performance of the Melbourne rail network in the 1920s, he is apparently unaware of the experience of F. W. Eggleston as minister for railways in that decade. Eggleston's attempt to improve the railway was so disillusioning that it converted him from being a firm believer in state control of all common services to an advocate of private enterprise wherever possible.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 15/11/2008

Posted Sunday, 16 November, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were only 79 sightings for this week, which is another 15 sightings less than last week, making a total of 4533* sightings for this year to date. On day 320 last year we had seen 4746 sightings.
We have seen no sightings on the B/G again this week.

Connex takes heat over loop changes

Posted Monday, 17 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

CONNEX has defended itself against complaints from passengers that its new timetable, designed to add more peak-hour trains and improve services, has instead made travelling conditions worse.

The timetable changes coincided this week with cancellations as trains malfunctioned due to hot weather and storms.

Weather bureau meteorologist James Taylor said yesterday's storm was at its peak between 6.30am and 7.30am, leaving commuters struggling to get to work after lightning and heavy rain disrupted services throughout the rail network.

Train kills man walking on tracks

Posted Monday, 17 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police are appealing for witnesses to the death of a man hit by a train as he walked on tracks at Newport, in Melbourne's inner west last night.

A police spokesman said the man was groceries in plastic bags along city-bound tracks about 50 metres south of Newport station when he was hit from behind by a freight train at 11.20pm.

Logistics centre new kid on the dock

Posted Monday, 17 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A NEW chapter in the history of the Port of Melbourne has been opened with the launch of a major container logistics centre at Victoria Dock by Westgate Ports.

The centre, located on a 21-hectare site on the Yarra River at the foot of the Bolte Bridge, will cater for bulk, break bulk (steel, paper, wood products) and eventually container trade, and is directly serviced by a rail link. Westgate Ports, the new kid on the block in the port, is a subsidiary of Salta Group.

The company aims to make the upgraded Victoria Dock the staging point for a system that will deliver freight efficiently by rail and specialist trucks to intermodal terminals in suburban Melbourne.

[ABC] ARTC defends Hunter rail coal infrastructure

Posted Monday, 17 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) chief executive officer, David Marchant, has rejected claims rail infrastructure on the New South Wales Hunter's coal chain is shoddy and out of date.

In a submission to Infrastructure Australia, the Minerals Council of Australia has labelled the coal chain a planning failure.

It says it contains old mismatched rail infrastructure and ancient train signalling systems that in many cases only work one way.

VECCI convention to forge better business in the bush

Posted Monday, 17 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

BUSINESS in country Victoria is being hindered by "under-performing" rail freight, regional airfields in need of upgrading and a lack of suitable commercial and industrial land for development in some areas.

High transport costs, labour and skills shortages and slowing consumer demand are also affecting the rural economy, according to the Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI).

These and other challenges to rural business, as well as opportunities in the bush, will be discussed at VECCI's first regional business convention, to be held this Thursday at Bendigo's town hall. About 150 regional business owners and managers, local government leaders and other regional representatives are expected to attend. Issues facing business in country Victoria are highlighted in a policy discussion paper prepared by VECCI ahead of the convention.

Train delays after man hit by locomotive

Posted Monday, 17 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Train services have been delayed this afternoon after a 30-year-old man had both his legs severed when he was hit by a locomotive at North Melbourne station.

Police said the man was hit shortly after 5pm by the V/Line locomotive, which was not carrying passengers at the time.

Single-deck trains 'long way down the track'

Posted Monday, 17 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NSW Premier Nathan Rees says any move to bring in single-deck train carriages is a long way down the track.

The State Government has yet to take delivery of more than 600 double-deck carriages which are due to come on line from next year.

But a spokeswoman for the Transport Minister David Campbell says it has already had to begin the process of planning for their replacement.

Transport group wants freeze on rail fare rise

Posted Monday, 17 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A Wollongong transport group has rejected calls by the Minister for Transport to keep a proposed increase in rail fares to a minimum.

Under proposals by the Independent Regulatory and Pricing Tribunal (IPART), Wollongong and Kiama residents commuting to Sydney could face a $9 per week fare increase.

Transport Minister David Campbell has called on IPART to reduce the proposed fare increase by 1.2 per cent.

Sprinter train kills driver in level crossing smash

Posted Tuesday, 18 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A person has died after a Sprinter train hit a car at a level crossing near Dandenong this morning.

The collision occurred at a level crossing at Abbotts Road, Dandenong South, on the Cranbourne line at 7.20am, police said.

A police spokeswoman said the boom gate was down at the time of the collision.

The train was a Sprinter service that left Southern Cross at 6.20am.

Springborg calls for train service overhaul

Posted Wednesday, 19 November, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg says the Government needs to do more to improve Brisbane's train services.

Lawrence Springborg travelled on the Ipswich line this morning and says commuters told him it is always overcrowded during peak hour.

Mayor announces underground railways for Baghdad

Posted Friday, 21 November, 2008 by Speed in International Rail News

The Mayor of Baghdad has announced plans for an underground rail network, starting with two railway lines. The Iraqi government has offered funding.

$8.5b tunnel centre of transport plan

Posted Friday, 21 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

An $8.5 billion rail tunnel linking Melbourne's east and west will be the centrepiece of the Victorian government's transport plan, to be announced next month.

But the tunnel proposal hinges on the federal government providing Victoria with promised infrastructure funding.

The Herald Sun reported that the 17km tunnel, linking Caulfield and Footscray, would be the most expensive item in the plan.

Rail buyer revealed

Posted Friday, 21 November, 2008 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

An American company, Patriot Rail Corporation, is tipped to be the next operator of Tasmania's troubled rail network.

The Greens believe Patriot is the preferred purchaser in final negotiations to buy the rail operations from Pacific National Tasmania.

'CSI Oaks Day' investigations criticised

Posted Sunday, 23 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE reasons behind the Oaks Day railways meltdown that left tens of thousands of passengers stranded for hours will not be known until next year.

Rail advocates have slammed the delay, claiming it is baffling that the public has to wait months for answers.

Smart plan to double trains

Posted Sunday, 23 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE'S rail network capacity could be doubled and made safer with the introduction of standard European signalling systems.

Engineers who helped build Victoria's fast-rail system say they could transform the city's rail system within 10 years.

The proposal, by engineers O'Donnell Griffin, would see the implementation of the smart ERTMS (European Rail Track management System) Level 2.

Auckland councils want input on rail

Posted Monday, 24 November, 2008 by markcurtis in New Zealand Rail News

The National-led Government will be asked to jump aboard Auckland's billion-dollar rail electrification project in the first weeks of power.

Train delays on Frankston, Cranbourne, Pakenham lines

Posted Monday, 24 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Commuters on the Frankston, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines face delays this morning due to an electrical fault at Caulfield.

Connex spokeswoman Kate De Clerq says the fault is being investigated but there are delays with some services.

"There was a track circuit failure earlier this morning at Caulfield, we've got fitters out there trying to repair the situation," Ms De Clerq said.

New CityRail timetable to be unveiled

Posted Monday, 24 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A new CityRail timetable to be unveiled on Monday will signal the biggest increase in capacity for the network since Sydney's eastern suburbs railway opened nearly 30 years ago.

Construction of the Epping to Chatswood line, at a cost of $2.3 billion, and track upgrades at Hornsby, Berowra, Revesby and Macdonaldtown, costing $250 million, has underpinned the timetable, The Sydney Morning Herald says.

New life for Old Wodonga Station?

Posted Tuesday, 25 November, 2008 by peterg in Victorian Rail News

"Transit hub plan for rail station"
by BRAD WORRALL of the Border Mail
24/11/2008 1:00:00 AM

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 22/11/2008

Posted Wednesday, 26 November, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 90 sightings for this week, which is 11 sightings more than last week, making a total of 4623* sightings for this year to date.On day 327 last year we had seen 4827 sightings.

Call for witnesses after train station stabbing

Posted Wednesday, 26 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police want to speak to four women who helped a 27-year-old man after he was stabbed at Elsternwick railway station yesterday.

The attack happened at 7pm when the man, from Windsor, got off the Sandringham line train with a group of about ten youths.

Police believe an argument broke out between the victim and two of the youths and escalated into a physical fight.

During the scuffle the man was allegedly kicked and punched before being stabbed with an unknown object.

He was taken to The Alfred hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Chatswood Rail Line riddled with faults

Posted Wednesday, 26 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW government says it's "cracking the whip" to ensure defects on the $2.3 billion Epping to Chatswood rail line don't delay the project.

A government report has exposed thousands of flaws in the way the tracks have been fixed to 19km of concrete slabs, Fairfax Media reported on Wednesday.

The epoxy used on the project was often water-affected or contaminated, bolts and clips have been incorrectly tensioned and sleepers have been cracked, the report said.

Draft cuts north Sydney rail services

Posted Wednesday, 26 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

New South Wales Transport Minister David Campbell has defended a proposed new CityRail timetable that would reduce services at some stations in north Sydney.

Mr Campbell says there will be fewer services at the Eastwood and West Ryde stations, but the timetable would improve services for most of the network.

Vic Govt urged to open pockets on infrastructure

Posted Wednesday, 26 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A consultant to the federal and state governments is warning against a reliance on private money to complete large projects.

Sir Rod Eddington is the chairman of the Commonwealth's Infrastructure Australia body.

The Victorian Government is considering his suggestion for new road tunnels and rail lines for Melbourne.

Very fast train 'ideal project for Canberra'

Posted Wednesday, 26 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Property Council of Australia has resurrected the very fast train (VFT) proposal saying it is the ideal project to help Canberra weather the economic crisis.

The council has released a wishlist of 10 infrastructure projects with the Sydney to Canberra high-speed rail-link at the top of the list.

Federal funds needed for grain rail network: Opposition

Posted Wednesday, 26 November, 2008 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Western Australian Opposition says the State Government needs to secure federal funding to ensure the future of WA's grain rail network.

The Opposition spokeswoman for infrastructure, Alannah MacTiernan, says federal support is critical to rescuing the network which was privatised by the previous Liberal government in 2000.

Tripodi offers rail link conditional support

Posted Wednesday, 26 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi says he would like to see the Maldon to Dombarton rail link go ahead, subject to certain conditions.

The New South Wales Government has been reluctant to endorse completion of the rail link by referring to it regularly as a Federal Government responsibility.

Fixing the road ahead

Posted Friday, 28 November, 2008 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

TRANSPORT is the new health. The transport portfolio has become the hottest potato on the state cabinet table. Angry train commuters kept waiting on stations have replaced frustrated hospital patients kept waiting on trolleys as the staple nightly news item that serves as a reminder all in Victoria is not working as well as it should.

It is no coincidence that the highest profile shadow cabinet minister is the Liberal Opposition's transport spokesman, Terry Mulder, whereas in the final years of the Kennett government it was the Labor opposition's health spokesman, John Thwaites. Mulder is, and Thwaites was, a talented and conscientious politician, but they've had plenty of material with which to embarrass the government of the day.

Two dead, many injured in Tilt Train accident

Posted Friday, 28 November, 2008 by bulldozed in Queensland Rail News

TWO people have died and up to 85 are believed to been injured after a truck and a Tilt train collided.

The semi-trailer and the passenger train - believed to be the Tilt train - collided about 5km north of Cardwell in north Queensland just after 3pm (AEST), The Courier-Mail reports.

Faulty signals blamed for rail smash

Posted Friday, 28 November, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland's Transport Minister John Mickel has promised a full investigation into a fatal level-crossing accident near Cardwell in the state's north.

Two people died and several were injured when a tilt train collided with a semi-trailer on the Bruce Highway about 3:00pm (AEST).

Queensland Rail (QR) says it is too early to pinpoint an exact cause, but a truck driver says lights at the crossing were malfunctioning.

Petition urges support to save rail lines

Posted Friday, 28 November, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Lachlan Valley Railway Society is urging people to sign a petition to save five western rail lines from closure.

The state Nationals' MP Katrina Hodgkinson has launched a petition calling on the New South Wales Government to overturn its decision.

Government under pressure over rail lines

Posted Friday, 28 November, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Two petitions are being delivered to the State Government today calling for new rail lines in Melbourne's east and west.

The Metropolitan Transport Forum says the petitions, with 5,000 signatures, are part of a campaign for new rail links at Rowville and Tarneit.

The forum's chair, councillor Janet Fristacky says Monash University is suffering because there is no line to Rowville.

QR official to face court over rail worker deaths

Posted Friday, 28 November, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A senior Queensland Rail (QR) official will reappear in a Mackay court early next year, charged in relation to the deaths of two rail workers last year.

Road accidents leading cause of male injuries

Posted Friday, 28 November, 2008 by luznug in Other Transport News

New figures show that road accidents remain the leading cause of injury in Australian men.

The latest study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found there were more than 350,000 admissions to hospital in 2004-05 due to injuries.

Work commences on the Wodonga Rail Bypass

Posted Sunday, 30 November, 2008 by peterg in Rail News

BULLDOZERS are carving out a new railway route across the Wodonga flats, just as Irish navvies with picks and shovels built the original inter-colonial railway link 125 years ago.
The 5.7km bypass will cost $130 million and is part of the $501 million upgrade and gauge conversion of the line between Albury and Seymour.

Qantas plane makes emergency landing

Posted Sunday, 30 November, 2008 by bevans in Other Transport News

A Qantas flight from Singapore to Brisbane has made an emergency landing after developing what the airline says was a minor technical problem.

Sugar cane train collides with truck in north Qld

Posted Sunday, 30 November, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

There has been another crash between a semi-trailer and a train at a level crossing in north Queensland.

The privately-owned sugar cane train derailed after colliding with the truck on a crossing at Ingham on Saturday night.

Warning lights working in fatal train smash: QR

Posted Sunday, 30 November, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail says warning lights at a railway crossing near Cardwell in north Queensland were working properly when a high speed tilt train and a semi-trailer collided on Thursday.

The train's two drivers were killed in the accident.

A QR spokesman says data from the signal box at the level crossing shows nothing unusual about the lights.

Vintage rail carriage makes road trip

Posted Sunday, 30 November, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A 1949 train carriage has been returned to Adelaide for restoration at the National Railway Museum.

It has been keen to get hold of the sleeper carriage for 20 years, as only a few remain.

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