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Showing stories from March 2008

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Fortescue wins rail access rights

Posted Saturday, 1 March, 2008 by grace in Western Australian Rail News

FORTESCUE Metals has chalked up another win in its long-running legal brawl with mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton over access to the vast privately-owned rail networks in Western Australia's Pilbara.

Rio yesterday lost its challenge in the Federal Court, where it was seeking to have the Australian Competition Tribunal barred from hearing any further disputes relating to Fortescue Metal Group's (FMG) bid to gain access to the Pilbara railways.

Groceries hit by truck tax

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2008 by witsend in Other Transport News

GROCERY prices will rise as new tax increases on truckies are passed on to consumers. The Federal Government announced higher registration fees today.

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese today announced state transport ministers will implement National Transport Commission (NTC) recommendations to move towards full cost recovery for heavy vehicles.

Dredging uncovers first toxic clay load

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2008 by revans in Other Transport News

DREDGING of Port Phillip Bay yesterday uncovered its first contaminated material.

The Queen of the Netherlands left a plume of sludge as it dredged clay from the seabed between Sandringham and St Kilda.

Connex officers bashed

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2008 by revans in Victorian Rail News

TRAIN louts are attacking Connex inspectors with machetes, knifes, bottles and syringes to avoid fines for fare evasion.

Connex group customer services general manager Geoff Young revealed there were as many as 30 assaults a day on officers.

Passengers face $500m ticket chaos

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2008 by raye in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE is facing a public transport ticketing disaster, with the ageing Metcard system close to collapse and the state's transport officials considering abandoning the troubled $500 million myki smartcard system.

Secret briefings to Transport Minister Lynne Kosky, obtained by The Sunday Age, show the Transport Ticketing Authority is so worried about excessive delays with the new system it has prepared contingency plans with "termination options" if progress does not improve.

Invest in rail cargo network: GrainCorp

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2008 by raye in Victorian Rail News

Grains marketer GrainCorp Ltd has described the national rail freight network as a disgrace and called upon the federal government to standardise the network's different rail gauges.

GrainCorp chairman Don Taylor told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting on Wednesday that the rail network was essential for the movement of grain, which, in a normal year, could not be managed by road alone.

Let's get serious about public transport

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2008 by raye in Victorian Rail News

IN ALL the discussion about public transport, nobody seems to have seriously tackled the question: What is it for?

Alan Moran, of the Institute of Public Affairs, writes as if public transport is some sort of concession to latte-sipping social engineers, hell-bent on forcing people to give up car driving and live in flats or townhouses. Moran extols American cities such as Atlanta and Houston, where public transport carries a negligible proportion of the total number of journeys, mainly schoolchildren and the infirm aged.

Copper theft causing havoc

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2008 by raye in Letters to the Editor

A wave of copper thefts sweeping Australia and the United States is causing havoc as essential services are put at risk.

The surging demand for copper in India and China has pushed the price of scrap copper to $7,500 per tonne in Australia, authorities say, making it a target for increasingly-bold thieves.

Copper thieves have caused chaos for rail commuters in NSW and Victoria, risked their lives stealing the metal from power lines and turned tomb raiders, taking copper plaques and vases from cemeteries.

New timetable for Melbourne - Albury services

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2008 by raye in Press Releases

V/Line is introducing a new timetable for services between Seymour and Albury / Wodonga to reflect new train running times on the line.

Deteriorated track conditions between Seymour and Albury have forced the need to reduce train speeds from 115 kph to 80 kph and run road coaches in the place of some trains between Wangaratta and Albury.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 1/3/2008

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 116 sightings for this week, which is three sightings more than last week, making a total of 885* sightings for this year to date. On day 61 last year we had seen 927 sightings.

On the B/G we have seen 17 El Zorro ballast train movements. We had T413(VR) on the down end of the train with five CF ballast wagons along with a discharge control wagon and Y145 on the up end of the train.

US crude oil hits $US102.74 a barrel

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2008 by bevans in Other Transport News

President George W Bush on Thursday said high gasoline prices were stoking uncertainty over the direction of the US economy as crude oil prices surpassed records set during the oil shocks of 1979-1980.

"That creates a lot of uncertainty," Bush said at a news conference, referring to gasoline prices. "If you're out there wondering what your life is going to be like and you're looking at $4 a gallon, that's uncertain."

Minister says no way to congestion tax

Posted Wednesday, 5 March, 2008 by bevans in Other Transport News

A CONGESTION tax could slash Melbourne's traffic by a third, shift motorists on to public transport and cut carbon emissions, a roads summit was told yesterday.

And revenue from it could be reinvested in public transport to boost train, tram and bus services, the national meeting was told.

Rail boss quits troubled network

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE head of NSW's troubled rail network, Vince Graham, has quit his post as RailCorp chief executive to take up a role with Integral Energy.

NSW Transport Minister John Watkins announced in a statement that Mr Graham would take up his new job on April 7, after five years in charge of RailCorp.

Connex to fight takeover bids

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

Train operator Connex says it will have to fight to keep control of Melbourne's train network after a large number of takeover bids by rival companies.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky today declined to confirm a report in yesterday's Herald Sun that 19 transport companies wanted to wrestle train and tram franchises from Connex and Yarra Trams, including some from overseas.

As services rise, so do cancellations

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

CANCELLED train services on Melbourne's rail network climbed almost 50% from 2006 to 2007, the State Opposition says.

NO Conductors In CBD for Adelaide Trams

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2008 by MrSquiggle in Tram and Light Rail News

Transadelaide want to remove conductors from all C.B.D Trams. Is This the last of the Conductors? First the C.B.D then the rest of the line and guess what there goes the trams! the drinking drugs and all sorts will start the South Australian Goverment will loose money no end!

Victoria: the garden state or greenhouse capital?

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

MELBOURNE produces far more greenhouse emissions from transport than London despite having half the population, according to a new study.

Highlighting the heavy environmental cost of Melbourne's urban sprawl, the study found the city's cars, trucks, motorcyles and public transport services were generating the equivalent of 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, compared with just 8.5 million tonnes in London.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 8/3/2008

Posted Wednesday, 12 March, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 117 sightings for this week, which is one sightings more than last week, making a total of 1002* sightings for this year to date. On day 68 last year we had seen 1037 sightings.

On the B/G we have seen 17 El Zorro ballast train movements.

Report exposes dangers of state's ageing rail network

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

A SECRET State Government report written 18 months before the Kerang rail disaster warned that Victoria's public transport system was so old and run down that it posed a serious threat to passenger safety.

The report, by the Government's public transport safety experts, warned of the danger of train collisions and derailments and suggested Labor had not done enough to improve passenger safety since coming to office in 1999.

Second state considers free early trains

Posted Thursday, 13 March, 2008 by raye in New South Wales Rail News

NSW Transport Minister John Watkins has not ruled out following Melbourne's lead and offering free train trips to commuters before 7am on weekdays.

Victoria's government last week announced it would introduce free train travel for passengers who arrived at their destination by 7am, from Monday to Friday.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 15/3/2008

Posted Monday, 17 March, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 103 sightings for this week, which is 14 sightings less than last week, making a total of 1105* sightings for this year to date. On day 75 last year we had seen 1140 sightings.
This week’s sightings are down due to the Labour Day holiday on Monday and the derailment of PM9 in WA.
On the B/G we have seen 13 trains. We saw 12 El Zorro ballast train movements. We had T413(VR) on the up end of the train with seven CF ballast hoppers along with a discharge control wagon and Y145 on the down end of the train

Toll road chief backs city congestion tax and public transport boost

Posted Monday, 17 March, 2008 by alstom_888m in Victorian Rail News

From "The Age" website 17/03/2008

Driver Trapped After Colliding with Train

Posted Friday, 21 March, 2008 by witsend in South Australian Rail News

TWO people leapt from a four-wheel-drive seconds before it hit a freight train head-on near Murray Bridge early today.

But a third person in the car was trapped for two hours after the accident, understood to have happened as the vehicle was driven on the tracks.

Bribes paid 'to survive'

Posted Friday, 21 March, 2008 by funloving266 in New South Wales Rail News

A subcontractor has told a Sydney corruption inquiry he did what he had to do in paying bribes to get work from RailCorp.

Domenic Murdocca is giving evidence today before the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Sydney plans $12bn suburban rail link

Posted Friday, 21 March, 2008 by funloving266 in New South Wales Rail News

Sydney will build a $12 billion metro rail link between the city and its northwest suburbs in the first stage of the nation's biggest infrastructure development.

The rail line will run underground from the city to Rouse Hill with completion expected by 2017, the NSW state government said in a statement on its website. The 38 kilometre metro link will have 17 stations with connections to existing railway stations and buses.

Police, Customs seize Asia-bound container with copper

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

A JOINT investigation into the organised theft of copper cable from the state's public transport system has landed another major haul of the highly sought metal.

In what has been described as the largest haul of its kind in Victoria, police and Customs have seized more than 20 tonnes of cable in a shipping container destined for Asia. Police say it is worth up to $3 million on the Asian black market.

Train plan a 'third world' joke

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

A CONNEX investigation into ripping out train seats to ease overcrowding has been slammed as a 'third world' joke and safety risk.

Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu today branded the idea an insult to passengers suffering overcrowding, cancellations and delays.

The Herald Sun today revealed Connex may remove some seats from the back of carriages to make more standing room for commuters.

Victoria - Off the rails

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

VICTORIA'S rail freight system, which has been carrying the state's goods and grain for more than 140 years, is in danger of collapse.

Rail giant Pacific National has signalled it will stop running freight trains because it is losing too much money, and the rail network itself, which has lacked thorough maintenance for 15 years, is increasingly ramshackle.

Bligh seeks superbuses for Brisbane

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2008 by bevans in Other Transport News

The Queensland government has foreshadowed a trial of "superbuses" to deal with Brisbane's worsening traffic congestion.

Premier Anna Bligh will this week put the call out to bus companies to express interest in the trial, which could be held next year.

NSW govt accused of double tunnel vision

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

Disused train tunnels beneath central Sydney are now at the centre of a political row, with the NSW government accused of planning farcical "underwater" trains.

The opposition pointed to state government plans, outlined last year, to use a flooded tunnel now known as St James Lake as a major source of recycled stormwater.

BREAKING NEWS: Two dead in Vic level crossing crash

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

Two members of one family are dead after a train hit a car on a level crossing at Modewarre near Geelong, south-west of Melbourne.

A parent and a child were killed when the family car, believed to be a four-wheel drive, was hit by a train at the Considine's Road intersection.

Business fears for rail future

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2008 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

There is growing anxiety in Tasmania's business community about the future of the state's rail freight system, after the latest train derailment.

The rail operator Pacific National is still clearing the main north-south line after nine wagons came off the track 20 kilometres south of Tunbridge on Sunday night.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 22/3/2008

Posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 94 sightings for this week, which is nine sightings less than last week, making a total of 1199* sightings for this year to date. On day 82 last year we had seen 1253 sightings. This week's sightings are down again due to the Good Friday holiday and no B/G ballast trains since Monday. On the B/G we have seen only five trains. We saw five El Zorro ballast train movements.

Witness rang police about man on rail tracks

Posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police are still trying to identify an elderly man who was killed by a train in Melbourne's west this morning.

The man, believed to be in his seventies, was hit by the Melbourne bound V-line train near the Ardeer railway station.

Brumby defends efforts to upgrade level crossings

Posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Premier John Brumby says he is confident his Government is doing everything it can to reduce the number of level crossing fatalities in Victoria.

A Geelong mother and daughter were killed yesterday at a level crossing where rumble strips and a stop sign had been installed a month ago.

Country routes to close

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2008 by funloving266 in Victorian Rail News

PUBLIC Transport Minister Lynne Kosky has asked local governments to consider closing a handful of quiet country roads with railway level crossings after the state's Easter double fatality.

Ms Kosky also pleaded for drivers to be more careful when approaching any of the state's level crossings, which have the nation's worst fatality record.

Toddler escapes in horror crash

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2008 by funloving266 in Other Transport News

AN 18-month-old baby has miraculously escaped injury in a crash between a petrol tanker and two cars that killed her mother yesterday.

Rail delay due to fallen wires

Posted Friday, 28 March, 2008 by grace in New South Wales Rail News

HUNDREDS of commuters were stranded at stations yesterday morning because of extensive delays on the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra lines caused by fallen power lines at Tempe.

There were also delays on the Southern, Airport, East Hills and Cumberland lines, according to RailCorp, which put additional tracks into service.

New industrial rail hub for west Sydney

Posted Friday, 28 March, 2008 by grace in New South Wales Rail News

Transport companies P&O Trans Australia and QR will join forces to create a domestic and international industrial rail hub in western Sydney.

The logistics partnership is aimed at improving services out of the existing Yennora Rail Site in western Sydney.

New features will include an intermodal terminal, which will allow customers to use different forms of transport to move their products along a supply chain, and a port shuttle service, designed to carry international cargo to and from Port Botany.

Rail loop to link west

Posted Saturday, 29 March, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

NEW rail line linking Werribee and Deer Park is set to be unveiled as part of a plan to fight congestion in Melbourne's booming west.

The Herald Sun believes the line will form a loop from Werribee, going through Wyndham Vale, Tarneit, Truganina and Deer Park to join the Deer Park or Sunshine railway stations on the Ballarat line.

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