News

 

Showing stories from July 2008

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Rudd may overhaul public transport

Posted Tuesday, 1 July, 2008 by bevans in Rail News

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has hinted at a new frontier for tackling climate change: a national overhaul of public transport.
The introduction of emissions trading is dominating the climate change debate, with a major report to be handed down by government adviser Ross Garnaut on Friday.

Work begins on key western rail project

Posted Tuesday, 1 July, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Darra to Springfield Transport Corridor took a small but significant step towards completion this morning with the turning of the first sod on the Richlands Station site.

Transport Minister John Mickel said the station was a vital part of the rail corridor's infrastructure.

Study: Freight rail can reduce traffic congestion

Posted Wednesday, 2 July, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

Moving freight by rail has the potential to save Americans hundreds of dollars and time in the car, according to the Congestion Relief Index, a study of traffic congestion in 82 major urban areas.

Truck and train collide in fiery crash

Posted Thursday, 3 July, 2008 by funloving266 in Queensland Rail News

A 55-year-old truck driver has been seriously injured in a fiery collision between a coal train and a semi-trailer at a level crossing in north Queensland.

Scott eyeing rail link

Posted Thursday, 3 July, 2008 by funloving266 in South Australian Rail News

The Adelaide-Darwin rail freight service could be handed a lifeline by one of its most frequent users – SA transport magnate Allan Scott.

FreightLink has put the service up for sale after making losses despite boosting the number of weekly freight services last week.

Terminal continues to develop

Posted Thursday, 3 July, 2008 by funloving266 in New South Wales Rail News

Asciano’s rail subsidiary, Pacific National, has completed the purchase of 327 hectares of freehold land in the Parkes Multi Modal Transport Hub for the development of an intermodal freight terminal.

The freehold land has concept plans already approved by the NSW Minister of Planning for the development of an intermodal freight terminal and container storage and warehousing.

Group lobbies for Daylesford to Woodend railway line to be reopened

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

DAYLESFORD'S newly formed Light Rail Action Group wants to reopen the line to Woodend. But a Daylesford rail preservation group says the idea is unlikely to ever happen.

Screams and panic: passengers tell of Connex hell ride

Posted Friday, 4 July, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Passengers have told The Age of their "terrifying" ride on the train that sped through the City Loop with an open door during Tuesday's peak hour.

Costs balloon for western railway trial

Posted Saturday, 5 July, 2008 by markcurtis in New Zealand Rail News

Auckland Regional Council leaders are defending their allocation of scarce transport funds to a trial Helensville rail service, even though the cost of building temporary platforms has doubled.

Govt defends 20-year public transport plan

Posted Saturday, 5 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Western Australian Rail News

Western Australia's Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan has rejected Opposition criticism of the State Government's 20-year vision for public transport.

Govt $6m to help get container traffic off roads

Posted Saturday, 5 July, 2008 by markcurtis in New Zealand Rail News

Finance Minister Michael Cullen is offering Auckland $6 million to get more shipping containers off the region's roads, and on to trains.

Lee confident about trains

Posted Saturday, 5 July, 2008 by markcurtis in New Zealand Rail News

Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee is looking forward to the purchase of electric trains after legislation providing for special road-fuel taxes for public transport projects won majority support for a second reading in Parliament yesterday.

Rail deal finalisation going to the wire

Posted Saturday, 5 July, 2008 by markcurtis in New Zealand Rail News

Haggling over the details of the government buyback of Toll Holdings' rail business in New Zealand will go right to the wire today.

Bolger to head Govt's 'KiwiRail' service

Posted Saturday, 5 July, 2008 by markcurtis in New Zealand Rail News

Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger will head KiwiRail, the country's renationalised rail network.

The Government took ownership of the rail and ferry assets at midnight.

More freight may go from rail to road

Posted Saturday, 5 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Tasmanian Rail News

Concerns have been raised in State Parliament that there are only two rail services still operating in Tasmania, and more freight will need to be shifted onto trucks.

Fast-track plan to buy more trams

Posted Tuesday, 8 July, 2008 by 409 in Tram and Light Rail News

Victorian Goldfields Railway to remove Thomas the Tank Engine trains

Posted Wednesday, 9 July, 2008 by Loco in Victorian Rail News

FRIENDS of Thomas the Tank Engine have puffed their last puff and the Fat Controller has waved his last green flag on the Victorian goldfields.

Iemma loses as rail unions win pay rise

Posted Wednesday, 9 July, 2008 by markcurtis in New South Wales Rail News

RAIL unions have forced the State Government to abandon plans to axe more than 400 jobs from the CityRail network and to endorse a pay rise well above the 2.5 per cent cap imposed by the Premier, Morris Iemma, and his Treasurer, Michael Costa.

Public transport needs urgent attention

Posted Wednesday, 9 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Rail News

Australian urban railways are running at capacity and the federal government needs to pour at least $10 billion into meeting public transport demand, an expert panel warns.

Darwin-Mt Isa rail link back on agenda

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Queensland Rail News

A railway link between Mount Isa, in north-west Queensland, and Darwin is being reconsidered.

Group says rail freight service access reduced

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Victorian Rail News

The Wimmera Regional Transport Group says farmers north of Warracknabeal on the Hopetoun train line will not have access to rail freight services for the coming harvest.

Flinders rail plan under consideration

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by markcurtis in South Australian Rail News

A study will consider ways to expand the public transport system in Adelaide's south.

Other rail freight providers to help with grain harvest transport

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Victorian Rail News

GrainCorp says it will be relying on other rail freight providers to help cover the job of transporting this season's grain harvest in Victoria.

QR under fire over workers' excessive hours

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Queensland Rail News

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has accused Queensland Rail (QR) of ignoring the safety of its workers by forcing them to work excessive hours.

The rail strike blunderbuss

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by markcurtis in New South Wales Rail News

RAILCORP'S staff are five times more efficient than their counterparts on Indian Railways, measured in manpower per kilometre of track, but that is not saying much.

Airline looks to take to the rails

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by markcurtis in International Rail News

With the high price of fuel raising the cost of flying, Air France is looking into replacing some of its short-haul European flights with a high-speed rail service in partnership with a French train operator, a move that analysts said could lead to significant savings.

Temporary fix for rail bridge

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Tasmanian Rail News

The Bell Bay rail line in Tasmania's north is expected to temporarily re-open at the end of the week after work is done to stabilise a bridge damaged in an accident last week.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 5/7/2008

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 102 sightings for this week, which is 12 sightings less than last week, making a total of 2673* sightings for this year to date. On day 187 last year we had seen 2876 sightings.

We have seen only one train on the B/G this week, 9140 was seen on the up Friday with G525+X39?

Rail productivity will have to rise for higher pay

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The rail unions' original threat to strike during World Youth Day celebrations, the biggest event on Sydney's calendar this year, was deliberately provocative. I am pleased the unions conceded they got it wrong and we were able to come to a sensible outcome that will not disrupt the people of Sydney.

High-speed rail route approved

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2008 by bevans in International Rail News

SAN FRANCISCO—The California High Speed Rail Authority has given its final approval to a route that would link the state's major cities and regions.

Environmental studies approved Wednesday clear the way for a high speed rail system route that would connect San Francisco, Sacramento and the Central Valley with Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego.

Victorian Goldfields Railway to remove Thomas the Tank Engine trains

Posted Friday, 11 July, 2008 by NSWRTM123 in Victorian Rail News

The popular tourist railway has been ordered by the multinational owners of the Thomas the Tank Engine copyright to stop using the name.

They must also remove the Thomas-style faces from the front of their locos.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 12/7/2008

Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 102 sightings for this week, which is the same number of sightings as last week, making a total of 2775* sightings for this year to date. On day 194 last year we had seen 2979 sightings.
We have not seen any trains on the B/G this week.

37 arrests at climate change protest

Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2008 by Sydney_Gunzel in New South Wales Rail News

NSW police have arrested 37 protesters who chained themselves to a train and rail tracks at the world's biggest coal export port in Newcastle to protest against climate change.

Kosky stands by tickets as Sydney hails connies

Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PUBLIC Transport Minister Lynne Kosky might argue that ticket machines are more efficient than tram conductors, but the operator of Sydney's only tram service would beg to differ.

MetroRail, a seven-kilometre light rail from Central to Lilyfield with only seven trams, launched in 1997 with ticket machines.

But in the lead-up to the 2000 Olympic Games, the 24-hour light-rail system ditched them.

Melbourne's trams are a hostile place

Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

APPARENTLY, it makes economic sense to bring back tram conductors to Melbourne's trams (The Age, 13/7). Excuse my bluntness, but der, Fred. And, ah, what about all the other factors that make something a good idea? Such as safety, functionality, enjoyment?

An instinctual, helpful human presence as opposed to a robot is always going to make good economic sense. Problems of obesity, consumer debt and depression are rising at the same speed as our technological advancement, and it seems the same narrow view has created the problems with our city's tram system.

New rail tunnel may be privatised

Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A PROPOSED $7 billion rail tunnel from Footscray to Caulfield could be privatised under funding options being considered by the Brumby Government and being backed by Metlink, the body that promotes Melbourne's public transport operations.

The Government has also refused to rule out fare increases to help pay for the tunnel.

The tunnel was among the key proposals in Sir Rod Eddington's report earlier this year on east-west transport options for Melbourne.

Transport group urges caution on rail tunnel

Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Public Transport Users' Association (PTUA) says the Victorian Government should be making the most of existing public transport infrastructure, before investing in a new rail tunnel.

Sir Rod Eddington's report on an east-west transport solution proposed a $7-billion rail tunnel from Footscray to Caulfield.

QR calls for comment on proposed rail link

Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland's coordinator-general is calling for public comment on Queensland Rail's proposal to build a rail line to link to Wiggins Island Coal Terminal.

The terms of reference have been released for the $500 million rail upgrade.

Record Botany trade, but rail links need work: Rowsthorn

Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A record of more than 1 million TEUs moved through the Patrick Port Botany container terminal in the 2007/08 financial year, the stevedore reports.

The result continues the 7 percent annual growth in container volumes through the Patrick terminal.

Mark Rowsthorn, CEO of Patrick’s parent Asciano, says the growth has been driven by a combination of strategic investment in equipment, improved operational efficiency and providing capacity ahead of demand.

Freight emissions set to double by 2020: report

Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2008 by bevans in Other Transport News

New figures reveal carbon emissions from the freight transport sector in Australia are set to increase by 100 per cent by 2020.

The figures prepared for the Federal Government reveal the growth in pollution from freight vehicles exceeds that produced by transport used for personal travel.

Rail tunnel vision praised, road link less popular

Posted Wednesday, 16 July, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A $7 BILLION plan to tunnel from Footscray to Caulfield to build a new "metro style" underground rail line has won overwhelming endorsement from councils, transport groups and social welfare bodies.

But support for a proposed $9 billion road tunnel stretching from Footscray to Clifton Hill has received a mixed response in submissions to the Government's review of Sir Rod Eddington's $20 billion transport plan for Melbourne.

CityLink operator Transurban said the road tunnel should be built as a tollway - but even then it could only be built with additional Government funding.

Roads to nowhere

Posted Wednesday, 16 July, 2008 by bevans in Other Transport News

Three years ago, a 75 year-old academic from Sydney University, Dr John Goldberg, issued a paper claiming Australia's toll road companies were unsustainable unless the Government continued to prop them up with subsidies under its infrastructure bond scheme.

Goldberg was rubbished by the operators Transurban and Macquarie. How could all the broking analysts, institutional investors and other experts be wrong, and this bloke right? PricewaterhouseCoopers, auditor and consultant to most of the stapled infrastructure structures, was also wheeled out as an expert to debunk Goldberg's contention that the toll road model was flawed.

Men jump from Adelaide train travelling at 60km/h

Posted Thursday, 17 July, 2008 by 409 in South Australian Rail News

TWO men who jumped from a commuter train travelling at 60km/h did so because it's believed the locomotive didn't stop at their station. The men - including a 19-year-old - jumped from the train travelling south on the Adelaide to Gawler line, between Broadmeadows Station and the Smithfield Interchange about 3.30pm.

New push for Mount Gambier railway

Posted Thursday, 17 July, 2008 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

There is a strong business case to reopen the Mount Gambier to Heywood railway line, according to the Port of Portland.

The authority was responding yesterday to news the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) had acquired the Portland-Maroona line, which Pacific National shut down earlier this year.

All aboard for a rational national rail plan

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

Would improved rail service help our nation reduce dependence on foreign oil? My short answer is: "It could, but not the way we're approaching rail now." Those seniors old enough to remember the glory days of fast, frequent passenger trains will have a long wait until we see anything like those days again. Here are some of the hard truths about the future of rail service in the United States:

Sydney Rail System Braces for Pilgrims Welcoming Pope

Posted Thursday, 17 July, 2008 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- Sydney began adding extra buses and trains to its public transportation system today to cope with an influx of people descending on the city for a glimpse of Pope Benedict XVI during World Youth Day celebrations.

To cater to the extra volume of commuters, 45 additional trains and 2,500 buses will run on the city's transportation network, said Adam Berry, a spokesman for World Youth Day.

End of the line for Thomas the Tank Engine

Posted Monday, 21 July, 2008 by Demonlord Hightower in Rail Events

CORPORATE red tape has strangled the Hunter's friends of Thomas the Tank Engine, according to train buff Graham Black.

Thumbs up for Beijing's high-speed airport rail link

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

A high-speed Beijing airport rail link built in time for the Olympics won kudos from its first batch of passengers who were whisked from the city's gleaming new terminal to downtown in under 20 minutes.

"Normally I take a taxi and that can take an hour or more," said Chen Jianlan, a frequent visitor from Hong Kong, taking one of the first trains into town after the line opened Saturday.

Highpoint lobbies for new train line to Maribyrnong

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

HIGHPOINT Shopping Centre wants a new train line to Maribyrnong.
The retail mecca has outlined the plan in its response to Sir Rod Eddington's transport report.

Starting from the existing Flemington Racecourse line, it would extend past the shopping centre to former Defence Department land in Maribyrnong.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 19/7/2008

Posted Tuesday, 22 July, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 102 sightings for this week, which is the same number of sightings as last week, making a total of 2877* sightings for this year to date. On day 201 last year we had seen 3081 sightings.

We have seen only one train on the B/G this week, on Friday 9140 was diverted this way with G527(PN)+X39 and 45 wagons.

Surge in passenger demand prompts call for Airport rail link

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

MELBOURNE has moved closer to building an airport-city rail link as the number of people using Tullamarine soars.

Premier John Brumby gave his strongest signal yesterday he would back the move if Melbourne airport patronage continued to soar.

"There is no doubt that if the airport grows and Melbourne grows in the longer term this issue will come back on the agenda," he said.

Melburnians want a better rail system

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

It is essential and possible to meet growing transport needs.

THE Federal Government has given the travelling public and State Government infrastructure planners just five years to

adapt before a carbon price for transport kicks in fully. So infrastructure decisions to mitigate climate change must be made now.

Extra clearways and bus stops may stay

Posted Wednesday, 23 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Other Transport News

THE [NSW] State Government will consider keeping the extra bus lanes, bus stops and peak-hour clearways introduced for World Youth Day to tackle the city's worsening traffic congestion.

$2bn Buckland Park development will have 'no public transport'

Posted Wednesday, 23 July, 2008 by markcurtis in South Australian Rail News

THE planned $2 billion Buckland Park (SA) development is likely to be approved without basic public transport infrastructure, the Greens claim.

Perth drivers dicing with death

Posted Wednesday, 23 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Western Australian Rail News

The Public Transport Authority is warning Perth motorists to stop dicing with death at railway level crossings.

See video at: http://www.westtv.com.au/?Channel=Crime+Stoppers&ClipId=1416_WAU1215&bitrate=300&Format=flash

The comprehensive, in depth research behind Sir Rods report...

Posted Wednesday, 23 July, 2008 by The Vinelander in Victorian Rail News

Sir Rod Eddington's report on Melbourne's inner city transport links has been hailed in most quarters, however all may not be quite as it seems.
The Age 'Diary' article of 23 July below tells all, and maybe it's just as well Sir Rod wasn't paid squillions from the Victorian Government.

Mike, in very, very wet Georgetown Nth Qld.

[ABC] Vic Govt lobbied for better regional public transport

Posted Wednesday, 23 July, 2008 by funloving266 in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability is calling on the Victorian Government to plough more money into regional public transport.

Doctor Ian McPhail has completed a report which urges the Government to place a higher priority on public transport in the state.

Iemma backs Newcastle option

Posted Wednesday, 23 July, 2008 by markcurtis in Other Transport News

THE construction of a second international airport at Newcastle's Williamtown air base would boost the region's steel and tourism industries and mean improved road and rail infrastructure, the Premier, Morris Iemma, said yesterday.

State owned rail least preferred option: Minister

Posted Friday, 25 July, 2008 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Tasmania's Infrastructure Minister says a State Government takeover of the rail network is the least preferred option now that Pacific National has decided to cease operations.

Pacific National, which transports freight containers across the state, has its rolling stock on the market.

Road wins but rail left out in latest ATC meeting

Posted Friday, 25 July, 2008 by bevans in Rail News

The rail industry has missed out in the latest Australian Transport Council (ATC) meeting, after the announcement work will not begin on a single rail safety regulator and investigator until next year.

Despite Australia’s transport ministers agreeing to send a number of road transport reforms to the Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) for support, the ATC merely agreed to "progress work" on the rail issue.

Truck drivers already assisted by fuel levies: Albanese

Posted Saturday, 26 July, 2008 by luznug in Other Transport News

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has stopped short of supporting a push by truck drivers for a national fuel levy.

Eddington: visionary and plodder

Posted Saturday, 26 July, 2008 by luznug in Victorian Rail News

NOW that submissions to the Eddington report into east-west travel needs have closed, the Brumby Government must decide its response.

Eddington proposes billions of dollars of investment in what is trumpeted as an integrated package of major transport infrastructure projects - take away one component, and the plan collapses.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 26/7/2008

Posted Monday, 28 July, 2008 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 102 sightings for this week, which is the same number of sightings for four weeks in a row, making a total of 2979* sightings for this year to date. On day 208 last year we had seen 3182 sightings.
We have seen only one train on the B/G again this week, on Friday 9140 was diverted this way with XR554+XR558+G527(PN)+X39 and 37 wagons.

Truckie strike a fizzer: TWU

Posted Monday, 28 July, 2008 by bevans in Other Transport News

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has described a strike organised by some truck drivers as a fizzer.

The National Road Transport Forum and the Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association voted to hold a two-week nationwide strike, because of anger about rising fuel costs, registration fees and low wages.

Queensland Rail May Need to Double A$3.75 Billion Spending Plan

Posted Monday, 28 July, 2008 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Queensland Rail, Australia's largest coal transporter, said it may need to double a A$3.75 billion ($3.6 billion) spending plan for trains and new railroads to meet surging demand from mining companies.

``I would expect that some of those projects that we are talking about will more than double those kinds of numbers,'' Queensland Rail Chief Executive Officer Lance Hockridge said today in Brisbane, the Australian state's capital.

Cross-city rail tunnel likely

Posted Monday, 28 July, 2008 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PREMIER John Brumby has given his strongest indication yet that the Government will build a multibillion-dollar rail tunnel to tackle Melbourne's public transport congestion crisis.

Mr Brumby told The Age several train lines were already at full capacity, and the rail tunnel from Sunshine to Caulfield proposed by transport adviser Sir Rod Eddington was "obviously about increasing capacity".

Asked if he was attracted to Sir Rod's call for "a generational leap forward in Melbourne's rail capacity" and the creation of a Paris-style "metro" underground rail network, Mr Brumby said: "I am categorically in the business of making the right decisions now to secure the long-term future of the state."

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