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Showing stories from February 2009

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Gheringhap Sightings w/e 31/1/2009

Posted Sunday, 1 February, 2009 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were only 67 sightings for this week, which included the Australia Day holiday. This is another eight sighting less than last week, making a total of 325 sightings for this year to date. On day 31 last year we had recorded 407 sightings. We have seen no sighting on the B/G this week.

Mitsubishi electric car charged for 2010

Posted Monday, 2 February, 2009 by markcurtis in Other Transport News

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV battery-electric car could go on sale in Australia as early as 2010, reports TOBY HAGON.

Bathurst rail station likely new home for Chifley Engine

Posted Monday, 2 February, 2009 by markcurtis in Rail News

The railway station in Bathurst is tipped to become the final resting place of the restored Chifley Engine.

Chatswood-Epping rail line to finally open

Posted Monday, 2 February, 2009 by markcurtis in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Government has announced that train services will begin on the Epping to Chatswood line on February 22 - unless major teething problems emerge in the next few weeks.

ATSB probes Kalgoorlie train derailment

Posted Monday, 2 February, 2009 by markcurtis in Western Australian Rail News

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is inspecting the site of a train derailment east of Kalgoorlie.

Rail line to be closed until Thursday

Posted Monday, 2 February, 2009 by markcurtis in Western Australian Rail News

The company which runs the Indian Pacific passenger rail service expects to lose more than half a million dollars in revenue as a result of a train derailment east of Kalgoorlie, in Western Australia's Goldfields.

Connex may be short of trains as school returns

Posted Monday, 2 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TRAIN operator Connex has conceded it may not have enough working trains to cope with the resumption of school today.

While Connex admits to having a list of problem lines, it has refused to reveal which lines will be most vulnerable this week as tens of thousands of students return to class.

Before what is forecast to be a cooler week following last week's historic scorcher, Connex maintenance crews worked through the night to get enough trains ready for service. For Connex to run a full timetable, it must have at least 148 out of a total fleet of 164 six-car trains working.

Vic Oppn calls for rail service guarantees

Posted Monday, 2 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Opposition is calling on the State Government to guarantee rail services and power supplies this week as schools resume and people return to work for the first time since last week's crippling heatwave.

Heat causes rail problems

Posted Monday, 2 February, 2009 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The heat is again causing problems for Adelaide's rail network.

The Belair line is closed between the Adelaide and Mitcham stations.

Smoother morning for Melbourne rail commuters: Connex

Posted Tuesday, 3 February, 2009 by vanessa in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne's rail network Connex says it's starting "behind the eight-ball" today, but commuters can expect a much smoother ride than during last week's line-buckling heatwave.

With children returning to school today, the train operator is four trains shy of the minimum 148 needed to run a full timetable

Investment to dive as projects shelved

Posted Tuesday, 3 February, 2009 by vanessa in Rail News

BUSINESS investment is set to fall sharply with $37 billion worth of projects shelved and more due to be put on hold.

The Access Economics Investment Monitor, released today, records a notable decline in the value of infrastructure projects and warns the proposed big capital works spending by federal and state governments may not fill the gap.

Slump hits Auckland's major projects

Posted Tuesday, 3 February, 2009 by markcurtis in New Zealand Rail News

More than $1 billion worth of major Auckland civic developments are under threat from the global recession which has sent returns from the regional council's strategic investments into freefall.

[The Age] Train hit girl after radio alert failed

Posted Tuesday, 3 February, 2009 by grace in Victorian Rail News

A TRAIN that lost radio communication with the Metrol control centre struck a 14-year-old girl at Narre Warren station on New Year's Day — despite desperate attempts to warn the driver she was at risk.

The girl remains in a serious condition at the Royal Children's Hospital.

Lead shipment from Fremantle to begin within 'months'

Posted Tuesday, 3 February, 2009 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The company at the centre of the Esperance lead contamination scandal says shipments of the metal through Fremantle Port could begin within months.

Economic stimulus package

Posted Tuesday, 3 February, 2009 by bevans in Rail News

More than $40 billion will be pumped into education and community infrastructure, public housing, business tax breaks and one-off cash payments in an economic stimulus plan to offset the effects of the global financial crisis.

State spying on bus drivers: union

Posted Tuesday, 3 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The bus drivers' union has accused the State Transit Authority of using security cameras to spy on employees in New South Wales.

The cameras were installed on buses across the state to improve security for passengers and drivers, but Rail, Tram and Bus Union president Daryl Malone

Terry Mulder - Who is to blame?

Posted Tuesday, 3 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Labor government has now entered its 10th year in office, but has failed to sufficiently invest in our trains and tracks.

Premier John Brumby and his Minister for Public Transport Lynne Kosky are to blame for Victoria's public transport woes that were such an embarrassment during the Australian Open.

The 730 Melbourne metropolitan and 40 Victorian country train cancellations on Friday January 30 was the worst day in decades, transport-wise, for the 400,000 Victorians who make more than 700,000 daily trips on trains.

Snow strands 2,000 Eurostar passengers overnight

Posted Wednesday, 4 February, 2009 by bevans in International Rail News

Some 2,000 Eurostar rail passengers were blocked for hours in the Channel Tunnel or stranded in northern France through the night because of heavy snowfall, the operator said Tuesday.

Two Paris-to-London trains and one London-to-Paris service were held up by between five and a half and seven hours because of the weather conditions in southern Britain and northern France, the high-speed rail operator said.

Connex firm brings out big guns

Posted Wednesday, 4 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Connex's French parent company, Veolia, has shown how hard it is prepared to fight to keep lucrative contracts to run trains in the world's big cities.

The Age reported today that Connex was recently dealt a blow in its fight to keep the contract to run Melbourne's troubled rail system after one of its bid partners, Thiess, pulled out.

Stimulus package excludes Gold Coast rail system

Posted Wednesday, 4 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Premier says the Federal Government's stimulus package does not include funding for a rapid transit system on the Gold Coast.

Union to monitor lead transport standards

Posted Thursday, 5 February, 2009 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union says it will closely monitor the transportation of lead by train from Wiluna to Fremantle.

Earlier this week, the Western Australian Government approved the transport of lead carbonate in double lined bags from Magellan Metals' Wiluna mine to Fremantle Port.

Rail site clean-up starting

Posted Thursday, 5 February, 2009 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Work has started to clean up pollution at the site of the proposed Marjorie-Jackson Nelson Hospital in Adelaide.

Health Minister John Hill says much of the current Adelaide railway yards site is contaminated with diesel fuel.

Mr Hill says tests are underway to determine the best methods for cleaning up the contamination, which in some places extends to 18 metres deep and has reached the groundwater.

Rail labour company to lose up to 100 jobs

Posted Thursday, 5 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Federal Government has been blamed for favouring multi-national rail companies and forcing the closure of the Dubbo and Forbes offices of a rail labour company.

Up to 100 employees, of which 60 per cent are Indigenous, will be out of work when Trackforce closes on February 17.

Trackforce has been supplying labour to a contractor for the past three years.

But general manager Peter Simpson says he has been forced to shut the doors because the Federal Government is refusing to be fair.

Inquiry into train chaos

Posted Thursday, 5 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The chaos that plagued Victoria's train system over January is set to come under parliamentary scrutiny.

Greens MP Greg Barber will today call for a seven-member select committee to be established in Parliament.

The committee will investigate the failure of Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky to stop the chaos that last week saw 24 per cent of metropolitan train services cancelled by operator Connex.

During last week's record heatwave, 1447 out of 5966 scheduled train services were cancelled in the three days to Friday.

Whatever the weather the heat is on, Premier

Posted Thursday, 5 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WHEN the Council of Australian Governments assembles in Canberra today, the state and territory leaders will formally submit their wish lists to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. If they find that Mr Rudd is more inclined to dictate than negotiate the allocation of funds, it may be because he already knows what the premiers want from individual meetings with them. Or it may be that he is more concerned with Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull's decision to hold up passage of legislation necessary to implement the Government's $42 billion economic stimulus package.

Crumbling sleepers may have caused rail chaos

Posted Thursday, 5 February, 2009 by raye in Victorian Rail News

A failure to replace crumbling sleepers on the city's train network may have led to last week's rail meltdown, it has been suggested.

The claim has come from Opposition transport spokesman Terry Milder, who today released leaked Government documents that he said showed Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky is to blame for last week's commuter chaos.

[ABC News] Leaked document proves Melbourne rail underfunded: Opposition

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by vanessa in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Opposition says a leaked government document proves Melbourne's rail system is being underfunded.

The Coalition has released a document that raises concerns about how quickly the Government is replacing rail tracks, sleepers and gravel used for ballast.

[ABC News] Mickel urges union to resume QR negotiations

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by vanessa in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Transport Minister John Mickel is urging unions to resume negotiations before Brisbane train crews walk off the job.

In a ballot by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), 95 per cent of drivers and crew voted yes to strike action as early as next week.

Train driver injured as children pelt him with stones

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by markcurtis in New Zealand Rail News

A group of Waikato children pelted a train driver with stones after he stopped on a railway bridge to warn them to stop playing on it.

CBD metro rail may be expanded: NSW govt

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by markcurtis in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW government hopes to get federal funds to expand the Sydney CBD metro after axing the $12 billion northwest metro.

Commuters face rail strike misery

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by markcurtis in Queensland Rail News

THOUSANDS of rail passengers could be left stranded next week after Brisbane's train drivers voted to walk off the job over cuts in time off for staff.

Train lines' condition 'unsustainable'

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE'S train network is in an "unsustainable condition" and V/Line's radio communication system is past its expiry date, according to internal Government documents.

The documents, obtained by the Coalition, warn of significant disruption to the metropolitan rail system without sufficient track replacement and note "demonstrably insufficient" replacement of track crossings.

What meltdown? Adelaide's rail network handles heat

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE rail meltdown that occurred in Melbourne last week did not occur in Adelaide, despite it having similar trains and experiencing an even worse heatwave.

In the final three days of last week, when temperatures peaked above 43 degrees each day, Adelaide cancelled 7 per cent of train services.

In Melbourne, where temperatures were near identical, 24 per cent of trains were cancelled.

Rise in injured commuters

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

More than 1500 Victorian commuters were injured on public transport or at train stations in 2007-08, new figures have revealed.

There was a ten-fold increase in the number of people injured on buses, trains and trams in the past eight years with 1501 hurt in the 2007-08 financial year compared to 154 in 1999-2000.

Train drivers strike looms for Brisbane commuters

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail (QR) says it has contingency plans in place if train drivers walk off the job over pay and conditions.

Train drivers are in a stand-off with Queensland Rail over a proposed roster that would cut the number of leave days they are entitled to.

Vic orders 38 new Melbourne trains

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Government has ordered 38 new trains for Melbourne.

Train drivers vote for strike action

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

About 500 train drivers will go on strike in Brisbane in a week-and-a-half over the amount of leave they are entitled to.

The two train drivers' unions are in a stand-off with Queensland Rail over a proposed roster that would cut their number of days off.

The Rail Tram and Bus Union says it will not plan a strike until both unions meet with QR on Monday.

Rail vandals causing havoc

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Adelaide police are looking for vandals who have caused havoc along metropolitan train lines.

It is believed the group tampered with rail signals, forcing a train to stop at Christie Downs last Saturday.

Multi-storey car park to help push rail use

Posted Friday, 6 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Wollongong railway station is to get a new multi-storey car park to help encourage commuters to travel by rail to Sydney.

Premier Nathan Rees has travelled to Wollongong by car to announce plans to build a new car park for local rail commuters.

Bushfires disrupt Victoria's train network

Posted Saturday, 7 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Bushfires raging across Victoria have forced the cancellation of several V-Line trains services.

There are no services between Melbourne and Bairnsdale, Geelong and Warrnambool and between Melbourne and Shepparton.

Buses are replacing trains on some services except to Gippsland.

$2 billion rail network proposed for the Mid-West

Posted Saturday, 7 February, 2009 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A Chinese-backed company is proposing to build a $2 billion rail network to connect the iron ore mines in the Mid West with the new port at Oakajee.

Yilgarn Infrastructure submitted its proposal to the State Government yesterday.

Japanese-backed company, Oakajee Port and Rail, last year won the right to negotiate with the government over the development of the new port, which is due for completion in 2014.

Talks resume to avert Brisbane train strike

Posted Monday, 9 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail (QR) will hold a last round of talks with unions today to avoid a train drivers' strike next week.

About 500 members of Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Employees have voted to strike over the amount of leave they are entitled to.

Barnett rules out Yilgarn's Oakajee rail bid

Posted Monday, 9 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has ruled out allowing a Chinese backed company to build a $2 billion rail network in the state's mid-west.

Last year a Japanese backed company, Oakajee Port and Rail, won the right to negotiate with the Government over the development of the new port near Geraldton, about 400 kilometres north of Perth.

Fire cancels rail services

Posted Monday, 9 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Trains between Geelong and Warrnambool have been cancelled because the railway line was damaged by fire at the weekend.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 7/2/2009

Posted Wednesday, 11 February, 2009 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were only 64 sightings for this week. This is another three sighting less than last week, making a total of 389 sightings for this year to date. On day 38 last year we had recorded 515 sightings. Most of this weeks Perth trains were missing due to a derailment in WA on 30th January.
We have seen two sighting on the B/G this week. On Friday we saw two PN grain trains, 9124 on the up with XR557(PN)+XR552(FA) and 40 hoppers. It returned later in the day on the down as 9123.

Sydney to Canberra in 50 minutes: fast tracking second airport

Posted Wednesday, 11 February, 2009 by bevans in Rail News

A high speed train link that shuttles passengers between Sydney and Canberra in as little as 50 minutes could turn the national capital's airport into a viable second airport option for Sydney.

Canberra Airport today released its 2009 preliminary draft master plan, which outlines its plans over the next 20 years.

Three men narrowly escape train crash

Posted Wednesday, 11 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Three men have been taken to hospital after narrowly escaping from a car before it was hit by a train in Sydney's south.

The driver of a dark-coloured Holden Commodore sedan failed to negotiate a turn onto Carlton Parade from Xenia Avenue, Carlton before the car went through a fence and landed on railway lines shortly after 2am (AEDT) on Wednesday, police said.

"The 36-year-old driver and two male passengers got out of the vehicle and escaped to the embankment beside the tracks moments before a southbound train hit the Commodore," a NSW police statement said.

Train delays continue after bushfires

Posted Wednesday, 11 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Trains will not run between Melbourne and both Shepparton and Seymour until at least next week.

A total of 600 railway sleepers and two bridges near Wandong were damaged in bushfires.

Wandong Station was also damaged.

V/Line says buses will replace trains on the affected routes until the two bridges are rebuilt.

Freight trains and the Melbourne to Sydney XPT train are continuing to run because they use separate tracks which were not damaged.

Newcastle coal ship queue drops

Posted Wednesday, 11 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The number of coal ships queuing off the Newcastle coast is continuing to drop.

In recent years rail and port bottlenecks have been blamed for the ship queue blowing out to as many as 80 vessels.

Govt accused of delaying Oakajee work

Posted Wednesday, 11 February, 2009 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Western Australian Opposition has criticised the State Government for delays in finalising the Oakajee Port development.

Premier Colin Barnett is standing by his Government's decision to fund the proposed mid-west port development with taxpayers' money.

Union, QR talks break down

Posted Thursday, 12 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Talks between train drivers and Queensland Rail (QR) have broken down and more than 1,000 train drivers are planning to strike next week over weekend working hours and other conditions.

Queensland Rail met with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union in Brisbane this afternoon in a bid to avert strike action.

Council to reluctantly accept road upgrade funds

Posted Friday, 13 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Balonne Shire Mayor in southern Queensland says the council has no choice but to accept funding from the Queensland Government to repair the Noondoo-Thallon Road.

Train strike will impact across Qld, union says

Posted Friday, 13 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Unions say rail services between Brisbane and Cairns would be disrupted if train drivers strike next week.

Queensland Rail (QR) has gone to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) to try to stop drivers in Brisbane and Bundaberg from striking on Monday and Wednesday over a dispute about leave entitlements.

Transport group airs 'super truck' fears

Posted Saturday, 14 February, 2009 by markcurtis in Other Transport News

There are fears the Newell Highway could soon be opened up to a new design of so called 'super trucks'.

$320m buys 20 new passenger trains for SE Qld

Posted Saturday, 14 February, 2009 by markcurtis in Queensland Rail News

The State Government will build 20 new passenger trains to ease congestion in south-east Queensland. Premier Anna Bligh was in Maryborough this morning to announce local company Downer EDI will build the new trains.

Calls for extra Bathurst train service

Posted Saturday, 14 February, 2009 by markcurtis in New South Wales Rail News

The Bathurst Rail Action Group says the time is right for an extra rail service to be introduced in Bathurst. The group will reignite its push to have a daily commuter service between Bathurst and Sydney set up, when it meets the federal Member for Macquarie today.

Rail strike cancelled for next week

Posted Saturday, 14 February, 2009 by markcurtis in Queensland Rail News

Strike action that would have seriously disrupted train services in south-east Queensland has been called off.

Elderly motorist drives up O-Bahn to Klemzig

Posted Saturday, 14 February, 2009 by markcurtis in Other Transport News

AN elderly motorist has been taken to hospital after accidentally driving up the O-Bahn bus track. The Mt Barker man, 82, was taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for observation after his late-model Mitsubishi sedan became stuck on the up-track near Klemzig.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 14/2/2009

Posted Sunday, 15 February, 2009 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 89 sightings for this week. This is 25 sighting more than last week, making a total of 478 sightings for this year to date. On day 45 last year we had recorded 616 sightings. We have seen three sightings on the B/G this week. On Wednesday we saw 9140 diverted this way with G525(FA)+A81(FA)+X41(PN) and 36 wagons of containers. And on Thursday we saw two PN grain trains, 9124? On the up with XR554(FA)+XR558(PN) and 40 hoppers, returning on the down later in the day

Qld Govt given $42m to improve level crossing safety

Posted Sunday, 15 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Government has received $42 million from the Commonwealth to improve safety at level crossings in Queensland.

The money will be spent over two years, accelerating the installation of boom gates and flashing lights.

Public transport in review

Posted Monday, 16 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

An unprecedented number of train cancellations recently has commuters seeing red _ and wanting answers. Colleen Ricci explores the issue.

PUBLIC transport in Victoria has long been a simmering issue, but tempers boiled recently when chaos hit Melbourne's rail system. Over three consecutive days - in which the city experienced temperatures exceeding 43 degrees - 1447 trains out of 5966 were cancelled. The heat exposed the growing inadequacies of the system's ageing infrastructure.

FreightLink sale deadline extended

Posted Monday, 16 February, 2009 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

FREIGHTLINK administrators have extended the deadline for expressions of interest for the Adelaide to Darwin rail line operator to March.

A buyer is yet to be found for the company, nine months after the business was first listed for sale.
In November, FreightLink was put into administration, laden with a debt of about $500 million after recording its fifth straight annual loss.

Five cities, nine days and on track

Posted Tuesday, 17 February, 2009 by bevans in International Rail News

Forget crowded airports and delays - Kristie Kellahan finds Europe's rail network is speedy, stylish and stress-free.

It's about time for a nap. Tummy full from a late afternoon meal of seared salmon, followed by gourmet cheeses and a good French wine, I feel too sleepy for the steaming cup of hot chocolate being offered by the charming waiter even if the chocolate is Valrhona and the waiter is tall, dark and handsome.

'No kissing, we're British': train station bans fond farewells

Posted Tuesday, 17 February, 2009 by Speed in International Rail News

Virgin Rail has put "No Kissing" signs up around at least one of its railway stations.

Ballarat rail services back on track

Posted Tuesday, 17 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/Line will return full services to its Ballarat line today.

Last weekend's bushfires at Pomborneit, near Camperdown, damaged four kilometres of rail sleepers.

Council panel opposed to tram route

Posted Tuesday, 17 February, 2009 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

An Adelaide City Council committee has rejected a South Australian Government request to remove more than 20 trees in Bonython Park as part of the western suburbs tram line extension.

City councillor Anne Moran voted against the request and says the Development Assessment Panel would prefer a different route for the tram line.

Canadian miner awaits goldfields uranium approval

Posted Tuesday, 17 February, 2009 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A Canadian mining company is awaiting approval from the Western Australian Government to mine uranium in the eastern goldfields.

Mega Uranium acquired the Lake Maitland resource, 110 kilometres south-east of Wiluna, in 2006 and wants to start producing uranium by 2011.

Sydney metro project now officially underway

Posted Tuesday, 17 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Government has today begun the process of constructing Sydney's CBD metro.

Transport Minister, David Campbell, says a project application has been lodged with the Planning Department, and community feedback is being sought on the $4.8 billion project.

Metro too costly: Leichhardt mayor

Posted Tuesday, 17 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Leichhardt Council has urged the New South Wales Government to rethink its proposal for the CBD metro rail line, saying the existing plan is too costly and ill-conceived.

The State Government has started the formal planning process for the 7 kilometre underground line from Rozelle to Central, and is now seeking community feedback.

Farm group urges Govt to finalise rail rescue

Posted Tuesday, 17 February, 2009 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Western Australian Farmers Federation has urged the WA Government to finalise rescue plans for the state's grain freight network.

Transport Minister Simon O'Brien last year said he was trying to secure Federal Government support to upgrade the 3,600 kilometres narrow gauge rail system which was privatised in 2000.

Train services resume after broken-down train moved

Posted Wednesday, 18 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Rail operator Connex has blamed the union for a broken down train remaining stuck at one of Melbourne's busiest stations all day, stranding thousands of commuters.

The train broke down at Richmond station at 9am and was not removed until around 5.30pm after commuters were told to catch trams and replacement buses.

Media Release - Downs Dasher meets Finnegan at Clifton

Posted Friday, 20 February, 2009 by warwickevents in Queensland Rail News

The musty smell of steam from Warwick's own little steam train, the 'Downs Dasher' will waft out of Warwick station next weekend.

Hurry along to the Warwick Information Centre for your ticket to experience the romance of a real live steam train trip.

Coal company to boost infrastructure

Posted Friday, 20 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Centennial Coal is poised to expand its export markets, with work about to start on new infrastructure near its Lake Macquarie mines.

The company released its half-yearly results yesterday, posting a record $43 million after-tax profit in the six months to December.

It announced its Newstan mine will close by July, but recorded good results at its Awaba and Mandalong operations.

Dispute centres around faults management: Connex

Posted Friday, 20 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Connex says it is hoping a dispute with union members will be resolved in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) soon.

The dispute led to the cancellation of trains on the Sandringham line for about eight hours yesterday.

Rail union dispute 'outrageous', Transport Minister says

Posted Friday, 20 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky says the union dispute that saw trains cancelled on the Sandringham line yesterday was outrageous.

Services were disrupted for about eight hours, when a train was left at Richmond Station.

The dispute will be dealt with in the Industrial Relations Commission.

Private operator interest may keep rail lines open

Posted Friday, 20 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Five rail lines in central western New South Wales earmarked for closure could remain open.

The State Government has confirmed it has received a number of expressions of interest from freight companies wanting to carry grain along the branch lines.

They include the Cowra to Koorawatha, Koorawatha to Greenethorpe and Nevertire to Warren lines.

The Minister for Transport, David Campbell, says he is currently considering the proposals.

Industry welcomes coal rail link delay

Posted Friday, 20 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Queensland Resources Council says a delay in a vital coal rail link could have significant benefits for industry.

The State Government yesterday put the proposal to build a 69km rail line linking Bowen Basin mines with the Abbot Point terminal in north Queensland on hold indefinitely.

The project was previously declared "significant" by the Government, and Treasurer Andrew Fraser says it will be reconsidered when coal exports return to boom levels.

Council leaves rail station's fate with community

Posted Friday, 20 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Coonamble council says it will be up to the community to decide what happens to the town's disused railway station.

The station is more than 100-years-old and has been in disrepair for several years.

Flood-damaged rail line closed for 3 weeks

Posted Friday, 20 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail says it will be three weeks before the line between Townsville and Mount Isa is re-opened.

Sections of track have been severely damaged by flooding and some parts are still under water.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 21/2/2009

Posted Monday, 23 February, 2009 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 82 sightings for this week. This is seven sighting less than last week, making a total of 560 sightings for this year to date. On day 52 last year we had recorded 738 sightings.
We have seen four sighting on the B/G this week. On Monday we saw two PN grain trains on the up & down with XR558(PN)+XR554(FA) and 40 hoppers. And on Wednesday we saw XR554(FA)+XR558(PN) and 40 hoppers, returning on the down later in the day.

Epping to Chatswood rail to finally open

Posted Monday, 23 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The much awaited Epping to Chatswood rail link will transport its first commuters on Monday - three years after it was initially scheduled to do so.

The $2.3 billion project should have opened in 2006, but has repeatedly been delayed due to problems including noise levels inside test trains and flaws in the way tracks were fixed to 19km of concrete slabs.

On Sunday, NSW Transport Minister David Campbell told AAP the service would operate as a shuttle for several months.

Locomotive blaze may delay CountryLink service

Posted Monday, 23 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

CountryLink says its Moree to Werris Creek service could arrive a little later today because of a fire on the line near Boggabri this morning.

Flooding closes Longreach-Winton rail line

Posted Monday, 23 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail (QR) says it will begin repairing the rail line between Longreach and Winton as soon as its safe to do so, but it could be closed for three weeks.

Several sections of the track between the two towns have been washed out by flooding and QR says substantial repair work will be required before the line can reopen.

Train line blocked in rail union stand-off

Posted Tuesday, 24 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A stand-off between warring factions of the state's rail union last night saw a Belgrave line train stopped, blocking the path of other trains, for at least five hours on platform two at Flinders Street Station.

Train drivers and train controllers - the two belong to separate factions of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union - were last night locked in an argument over the train, which was to run on the Belgrave/Lilydale line.

Despite service, Connex coins it

Posted Tuesday, 24 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

RAIL operator Connex earned $175 million in payments from the Brumby Government and in ticket sales in the final three months of last year, when hundreds of trains were cancelled.

The Department of Transport yesterday released its Track Record quarterly performance results.

The results showed that $6.34 million had been deducted from Connex's payments, for the operator's shoddy performance in the final three months of last year.

Weekend shutdowns ahead for new rail line

Posted Tuesday, 24 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

IT TOOK seven years and $2.3 billion to build and has been open to the public for just a day, but the Epping to Chatswood rail line will have to close next month for track maintenance.

The 12.5-kilometre tunnels and three new stations will be out of operation for weekend maintenance six times this year, the CityRail website says. The first round of work is just three weeks away.

The closures are due next month, in May, June, July, August and November, the CityRail trackwork calendar says. The Queen's Birthday, June 8 to 10, is included in the closures.

Speaking after the official opening of the line yesterday, the Minister for Transport, David Campbell, said the closures were needed to link the line to the rest of the network - a process that will not be completed until November.

Route 72 service change - Tuesday 24 February

Posted Tuesday, 24 February, 2009 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Due to a scaffold collapsing on Commercial Road, South Yarra causing damage to overhead power lines, service changes are currently in place for Route 72 services (Camberwell to Melbourne University) this morning Tuesday 24 February.

2nd Rail Service to Operate from Parkes & Re-Location of SCT’s Linehaul Fleet

Posted Tuesday, 24 February, 2009 by bevans in Press Releases

SCT Logistics is proud to announce that our continuing growth as one of Australia’s leading privately owned logistics companies has taken another step forward.

To accommodate for the growing volumes of freight for Western Australia from both New South Wales and Queensland SCT Logistics’ will be operating a second rail service from Parkes to Perth due to commence on Tuesday the 3rd March 2009.

SCT is now firmly established in Parkes, servicing both New South Wales and Queensland freight movements for Western Australia. Over the past year we have seen our trains grow from 4900 tons to capacity at 6000 tons every week, with overflow freight having to be directed via our Melbourne terminal.

Prospectus pushes Parkes transport hub

Posted Tuesday, 24 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A document promoting Parkes as a national transport hub will be officially launched today.

The investment prospectus cost $74,000 to produce.

It touts Parkes as "one of the most important locations in the future development of transport and logistics in Australia".

Michael Greenwood from the Parkes council says the document is long overdue.

BHP Billiton worker killed by train

Posted Tuesday, 24 February, 2009 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A worker has died after being hit by a train on a BHP Billiton rail line in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The incident happened about 3:30am on the Tabba rail line, 74 kilometres south of Port Hedland.

BHP says the main rail line in the area has been closed and rail operations have been suspended until further notice.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum is investigating the incident.

Premier rolls out rail funding

Posted Tuesday, 24 February, 2009 by raye in Tasmanian Rail News

The Don River Railway tourist attraction near Devonport in Tasmania's north-west has received a funding boost.

Premier David Bartlett has announced a $184,000 grant for repairs to the Van Diemen Light Railway Society's historic locomotives.

Volunteers have been unable to service the engines because of workplace safety laws.

BHP shuts main iron ore rail line

Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2009 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

BHP Billiton has confirmed it has closed its main iron ore rail haulage line in Western Australia's Pilbara mining region, citing an unspecified "incident''.

The ABC earlier reported on its website that a worker was hit by a train and killed along the line 74 kilometres south of the Port Hedland export terminal, leading BHP to shut the line.

Architect appointed to Mildura riverfront revamp

Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A start is being made to Mildura's long-awaited riverfront redevelopment in north-west Victoria.

The Mildura council has appointed Brisbane architect Suters to prepare the detailed design work for the central precinct of the redevelopment.

Coal competition affecting grain rail freight

Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2009 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Farmers in north-west New South Wales say fierce competition with the Hunter's coal Industry is making it increasingly difficult to get grain to the Port of Newcastle by rail.

The NSW Farmers Association says during several years of drought and small crops, the availability of rail freight wagons was reduced, but this has created transport problems now there is a good harvest.

Rail and ports operator Asciano posts $107m profit

Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2009 by bevans in Rail News

The rail and ports operator Asciano has reported a net profit of $106.9 million for the six months to the end of December.

IRC to hear rail dispute

Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne train operator Connex and the Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union will return to the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) today to try to resolve a dispute that has caused disruption to services.

Tensions within the union are at the heart of the dispute.

Connex spokeswoman Lanie Harris says the company is determined to settle the issue.

Empty messages all part of the state's not-so-grand plan

Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2009 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

An Age journalist looks out onto Spencer Street and likens the Victorian government's transport plan to Stalinist propaganda.

LOOKING back after crossing Spencer Street from the railway station that once sensibly bore its name, it's hard to miss the State Government poster and its massively lettered message: "We're buying 120 new trains and trams. (It's part of the plan.)"

Connex, rival factions of unions reach agreement

Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TALKS between Connex and rival factions of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union have ended in an agreement.
Connex executive chairman Jonathan Metcalfe said significant progress had been made.

“We are very pleased with today’s outcomes, and customers can expect to see immediate improvement in train services,” Mr Metcalfe said.

“Although we’re not yet in the position to say that all issues have been resolved, we do want to assure customers that the benefits of the Commission process will be evident in the coming days and weeks.”

Ombudsman in rail row probe

Posted Thursday, 26 February, 2009 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

CONNEX and the state's rail union are under investigation by the federal Workplace Ombudsman for potentially illegal industrial action that brought chaos to Melbourne's train system in recent weeks.

Qld train drivers continue pay talks

Posted Thursday, 26 February, 2009 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Talks resume on Thursday morning on a new pay agreement for Queensland train crews.

The talks in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission began last week following the cancellation of two 24-hour strikes.

The walkouts were called off after Queensland Rail (QR) agreed not to increase the number of Sunday shifts from 18 to 26 a year.

The Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Employees (AFULE) and the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) agreed to have an Australian Industrial Relations Commissioner conciliate the meetings.

More money for national building

Posted Thursday, 26 February, 2009 by freightgate in Rail News

The government is raising another $2.2 billion, mainly to pay for parts of its controversial national building and jobs plan.

Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen introduced two appropriation bills on Thursday to raise the money.

The biggest item is nearly $1.2 billion for rail projects, including expanding the lines between the Hunter Valley coal mines and the Port of Newcastle.

Asciano may sell Patrick

Posted Thursday, 26 February, 2009 by freightgate in Rail News

THE stricken ports and rail operator Asciano Group has provided its strongest indication yet it could be forced to sell its prized Patrick stevedoring business to cut its $4.6 billion of debt.

The group's shares tumbled to a new low of 45.5 cents yesterday after the company reported a first half loss of $93.4 million, which was largely a result of write-downs in goodwill.

Rail sale off track

Posted Friday, 27 February, 2009 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

The State Government is considering taking over Tasmania's railways.

Pacific National cannot find a buyer for its rail assets and the parent company Asciano has asked for Government help to off-load the operation.

Mackay Sugar trucks produce after rail price rise

Posted Friday, 27 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Mackay Sugar says a price increase by Queensland Rail (QR) has forced it to truck milled product past residential areas.

Chairman Eddie Westcott says about 80 trucks a day will be on the road between the Marian mill and the Mackay Port, after QR increased its price by between 50 and 60 per cent.

Gangster seriously injured avoiding paint fumes on train

Posted Friday, 27 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police say a man who suffered severe head and spinal injuries after leaning out of a Melbourne train this afternoon is part of a graffiti gang.

Trains to roll on while uncertainty grows

Posted Friday, 27 February, 2009 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Tasmania's railways have lurched into another phase of uncertainty, with the State Government one step closer to a forced purchase of the network.

The present owner, Pacific National has called for help to off load the business after months of negotiations to sell its Tasmanian assets came to nothing.

Connex met obligations on Oaks Day, transport watchdog finds

Posted Friday, 27 February, 2009 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

An investigation has found Connex acted appropriately during a major rail problem during last year's Spring Racing Carnival.

Unions vow to block Pacific Brands transporting machinery

Posted Friday, 27 February, 2009 by bevans in Rail News

UNIONS have jointly vowed to block any attempts by clothing firm Pacific Brands to ship production equipment offshore.
Waterside workers will join truck drivers and rail workers in stopping the company from shipping out millions of dollars in government subsidised machinery to China.

The Herald Sun revealed this morning the total remuneration for Pacific Brands' 13 directors more than doubled last year as the company planned to sack more than 1850 workers.

Petrie to Kippa-Ring rail link promised by the LNP

Posted Friday, 27 February, 2009 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE LNP has promised to build the Petrie to Kippa-Ring rail link by 2016 with or without federal funding if it wins the March 21 state election.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Fiona Simpson announced this morning that construction on the rail line would start during the party’s first term if the Federal Government contributed.

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