There were 87 sightings for this week. This is five sighting more than last week, making a total of 647 sightings for this year to date. On day 59 last year we had recorded 854 sightings.
We have seen seven 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. On Thursday we saw XR554(FA)+XR558(PN) and 40 hoppers, returning on the down later in the day. And on Saturday it was XR558+XR552 and 40 hoppers, returning on the down later in the day. On Friday we saw 9140 diverted this was with G525+XR55? This train came in side by side with up P & O S/G train AM6.
The Victorian Parliament’s Education and Training Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into skills shortages in the rail industry. The Committee invites comment from all interested members of the community.
CityRail will push ahead with upgrading the Newcastle Railway Station, regardless of a proposed plan to cut the inner-city rail line at Wickham.
Some of the sandstone buildings at the railway station date back to 1878 and several need to be repaired or restored.
AS OVERCROWDED trains leave thousands of commuters stranded at Melbourne's stations, the Brumby Government has spent more than $200,000 asking the community what it wants from transport.
A contract posted on the Government's contracts website shows that, last July, it commissioned research firm Ipsos-Eureka to complete a $250,000 study on community attitudes to transport.
Ports and rail operator Asciano Group said on Wednesday that it had no new information that could explain a sharp rise in the company's share price on Tuesday, March 3.
Asciano was responding to a query from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on why the company's share price had risen from 44.5 cents at the close of trading on Monday, March 2 to 63 cents on March 3.
A petition protesting against plans to shut several local rail lines will be lodged in the New South Wales Parliament today.
Five branch lines have been earmarked for closure, including the Cowra to Koorawatha, Nevertire to Warren and Ungarie to Lake Cargelligo lines.
ANXIOUS Australian miners and investors take heart. This vast, uncompleted bridge spanning the Yangtze River near Nanjing in China -- part of the new $US32 billion ($50 billion) high-speed train link between Beijing and Shanghai -- still needs tens of thousands of tonnes of steel.
SHARES of iron ore minnow Murchison Metals soared 15 per cent yesterday after China's Sinosteel lifted its holding above 5 per cent to become the third-biggest shareholder.
State-owned Sinosteel does not have approval to boost its stake in Murchison beyond 49 per cent, but believe it will play a growing role in Western Australia's burgeoning mid-west iron ore sector.
Sinosteel revealed late on Tuesday that it had built a 5.85 per cent stake in the company through a series of on-market purchases since the start of last year.
A Turkish man says life is "beautiful" after he survived a collision between a truck and a train that was captured on security camera video.
The video, released on Wednesday by Dogan news agency, shows a train ramming into a flatbed truck as it crosses train tracks in the Mediterranean port city of Mersin on February 25. Propelled sideways, the truck sweeps over 32-year-old Cem Tokac, who was standing beside the tracks.
NOT long ago it was the heatwave that disrupted Melbourne's trains. Now, according to Connex, autumn is the problem.
Connex management has sent a notice to train drivers warning them that trains should approach station platforms at 30 km/h, instead of the usual 50 km/h.
"It is strongly recommended that, with the onset of the autumn climatic conditions that may affect the normal braking performance of the train, a maximum approach speed of 30 km/h is adopted," a letter posted to all drivers this week says.
Visy Industries says it is disappointed with the rate of progress on fixing Gocup Road, but rail is still an option for moving the increased freight.
The road is already considered dangerous and truck numbers will almost double when Visy's second pulp mill comes on line later this year.
Proserpine Sugar chief executive officer John Power says there is no longer a need to use trucks to transport milled product to the Mackay Port.
The cooperative was considering using road transport after the Queensland Rail's freight service the Australian Railroad Group (ARG) indicated its fees could increase by as much as 60 per cent.
THE reflection is hard to miss for those travelling the Lincoln Causeway.
The silver cylinder arch, that will form a 36m underpass on the Wodonga rail bypass, is in stark contrast to the mountain of earthworks rising along the route.
The tunnel has recently been constructed over the existing stock route road which runs parallel to the Lincoln Causeway.
AUSTRALIA is facing a looming transport crisis with highways and arterial roads set to be choked with thousands of extra cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles.
In an alarming scenario after decades of under-investment, government research given to The Sunday Age suggests Australia's addiction to cars and trucks will soar in the absence of massive new investment to modernise transport networks.
There were 88 sightings for this week. This is one sighting more than last week, making a total of 735 sightings for this year to date. On day 66 last year we had recorded 970 sightings.
We have seen seven sighting on the B/G this week, which is the same as last week. On Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday we saw two PN grain trains on the up & down each day with XR558(PN)+XR552(FA) and 40 hoppers. On Friday, as last week, we saw 9140 diverted this was with G525+X49.
COMMUTERS and bus drivers in Geelong say the first week of operation of Victoria's new myki smartcard has been riddled with problems.
Geelong is piloting the new public transport ticket and the city's 167 buses started using myki last Monday.
MELBOURNE'S existing suburban rail network could run more than double the present number of trains if it was operated as designed, Connex's own documents show.
During the morning rush hour, between 8am and 9am, 100 trains arrive at Flinders Street Station — the same as in 1975 before hundreds of millions of dollars were spent building the City Loop in a bid to run more trains.
DESPITE a 46 per cent rise in trips on Melbourne's trains in the past four years, the State Government will deliver just one new train this year.
The contract for 18 new trains, signed last year with French train maker Alstom, has recently been posted on the Government's contracts website.
THE CityRail network has insufficient electric power to run the biggest order of new trains in Australia and has been forced to spend more than $1 billion to fix the problem and to pay for other essential upgrades.
The first of more than 600 rail carriages due to begin testing in October will be restricted to one section of the rail network until a program of capital improvements is completed, some of which are running years late and over budget.
The New South Wales Government has denied reports that it does not have the electric power supply to run its new multi-billion dollar train carriages.
The state Government ordered 600 new carriages at the end of 2006 at a cost of $3.6 billion.
The West Australian Premier, Colin Barnett, says he is unlikely to change his mind on allowing lead shipments through Fremantle.
At a rally outside State Parliament today, the Mayor of Fremantle, Peter Tagliaferri, handed a petition to Mr Barnett and the Opposition leader, Eric Ripper, opposing the shipments.
Police say a female pedestrian was dragged 100 metres down the road in a fatal hit-and-run at Reservoir, in Melbourne's north.
Police are questioning a 45-year-old man about the woman's death, at the intersection of High Street and Broadhurst Avenue, about 10:30pm yesterday.
CONNEX has drawn up a secret proposal to remove one of Melbourne's busiest train lines from the City Loop.
Confidential documents reveal the rail operator is considering running Frankston line trains directly through the city and on to Werribee.
This would mean thousands of Frankston line passengers who want City Loop stations would have to change trains at Richmond.
A man has been charged after a hit-and-run in Reservoir last night that left a 33-year-old woman dead.
The 45-year-old man from Yarroweyah was charged this morning with failing to stop and failing to render assistance.
He has been bailed to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.
QANTAS has urged the Federal Government to open air force bases to more civilian traffic, in a move which could eventually open the way for Richmond to handle its first commercial airline services.
The Flying Kangaroo does not state which site it favours as a second airport for Sydney, but in a submission to the Government it tacitly leaves the door open to the RAAF bases at Richmond or Williamtown in Newcastle as a secondary base for commercial passenger aircraft.
Queensland Rail is investigating a coal train derailment at a central highlands' rail yard.
A spokeswoman says the train derailed at the Coppabella Yard, south-west of Mackay, after it hit some stationary, loaded wagons.
V/Line says too many sheep and cattle are being killed on its train lines.
It says nine incidents on the Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill lines last year were caused by sheep and cattle being on train tracks.
Studies are continuing into the possibility of a high-speed passenger rail service between Perth and Bunbury.
Connex has unveiled its hotly anticipated demonstration train with a new layout and other modifications designed to increase capacity, reduce waiting times at stations whilst improving customer comfort and maintaining safety.
China's Railways Minister says there are plans to build a train line between Xiamen on the mainland and the island of Taiwan.
But he did not say how trains would be taken across the 180-kilometre Taiwan Straight.
Liu Zhijun is quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying the Government is "actively planning" the line which would take passengers from Beijng to Taipei.
A new train carriage design featuring fewer seats and more standing room will be trialled across Melbourne's train network from today.
Operator Connex has removed a total of 44 seats from three carriages to accommodate more standing passengers and wheelchairs.
A MAN hit by a train at Islington is fighting for his life, after police originally reported that he had miraculously escaped with only minor injuries.
Authorities are investigating the derailment of an empty iron ore train in Darwin this morning.
One of the carriages of the Freightlink train was left lying on its side beside the railway line, which runs parallel to the Berrimah Road near the Trade Development Zone.
There were 92 sightings for this week. This is four sighting more than last week, making a total of 827 sightings for this year to date. On day 73 last year we had recorded 1062 sightings.
We have seen six sighting on the B/G this week, which is one less than last week. On Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday we saw two PN grain trains on the up & down each day with XR558(PN)+XR552(FA) and 40 hoppers on Tuesday and XR554+XR557 & 40 hoppers on Thursday and Saturday.
HUNDREDS of extra train services introduced by Connex have been swamped by a surge in cancellations, leaving passengers worse off.
An extra 328 weekly services were added in November. But a big increase in services that failed to run meant that weekly train cancellations averaged 370 over the three months to March.
Before the timetable changes, Connex usually cancelled fewer than 100 services a week.
CONNEX is risking its passengers' lives by refusing to remove faulty trains from the system, according to one of its drivers.
The rail operator stands accused of running trains that it knows have unreliable brakes and of ignoring the massive safety implications.
THE Department of Transport has significantly overestimated the number of people who will use Melbourne's trains in coming years, leaving it likely to misspend billions on new trains and upgrading the network, according to a study.
RMIT transport economist John Odgers said stable oil prices and lower interest rates could see about 188 million trips made on Melbourne's trains in the 2010-11 financial year — 65 million fewer than predicted by the department.
Debt-laden transport infrastructure firm Asciano Group says it is considering the sale of up to 100 per cent of either its coal or container ports businesses.
The company also said that it had received proposals in respect to the group's other assets and businesses.
There were also proposals that would result in a change of control, and/or a recapitalisation of the group, it said in a statement on Monday.
ASCIANO is the classic global crisis squeeze play. It owns assets that cannot be replaced in this country but is supporting them with a debt load that was uncomfortably large before the crisis took hold, and are a potential company-killer today.
It has to sell assets, but there are also plenty of potential buyers: Asciano confirmed that much and sparked a rally in its shares yesterday by saying it had received multiple expressions of interest — about its key assets and about the company as a whole — and had appointed ABN Amro and Lazard Carnegie Wylie to help sift through the options.
Commuters in Sydney's west are experiencing disruptions after a fire destroyed two shops near Auburn railway station.
Three nearby residents were evacuated when three shops caught alight in South Parade, Auburn, about 2.30am (AEDT) on Tuesday.
Rail and road commuters experiencing delays on Tuesday morning, with South Parade closed between Park and Auburn streets, police said.
Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Northern Australia, Gary Gray, today announced that the review to help determine ways to improve the effectiveness of the grain transport network had commenced.
KPMG has been appointed to undertake the review in partnership with SAHA International who brings considerable expertise in the grain sector. Throughout the review, they will consult with all levels of government and key industry stakeholders.
The state's grain handler has resorted to calling on truck owners to help it get this year's harvest to port.
Only a third of this year's harvest has so far been exported, and CBH is blaming among other things the state's ageing rail infrastructure.
A trial is starting today to measure demand for a limited commuter tram service in Bendigo.
Bendigo Tramways will run trams every 20 minutes during the morning and afternoon peaks between North Bendigo and Golden Square and the CBD.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh is urging infrastructure company ATEC to be patient over plans to build the inland railway between Gladstone, in central Queensland, and Melbourne.
The company has been approved to build one part of the line in the Dawson Valley, but it says it has been waiting more than two years to get the go-ahead to build another section between Toowoomba, in southern Queensland and Moree in north-western NSW.
Teams of engineers, geologists and environmental consultants will begin arriving in Western Australia's mid-west almost immediately, as work begins on a feasibility study for the Oakajee deep-water port.
On Friday, Premier Colin Barnett, signed a state development agreement with Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) to construct and operate the $4 billion port, 25 kilometres north of Geraldton.
Several of the central west New South Wales region's councils are considering hiring a consultant to help them fight plans to shut five rail lines.
The State Government has earmarked branch lines near Cowra, Grenfell and south of Warren for closure.
Almost 5,000 people have signed a petition protesting against the proposal.
A West Australian academic says Perth will fall behind other cities unless it develops a light rail network to complement its train system.
Professor Peter Newman, from Curtin University, will use a senate inquiry into public transport that begins in Perth today, to lobby for a light rail network in the metro area.
AS PASSENGERS crush on to the city's overcrowded trains in record numbers, figures reveal the extent of the daily squeeze Melbourne's rail commuters endure.
Head counts carried out for the State Government over the past five years, obtained under freedom of information, show a dramatic surge in passengers during peak hours.
Melbourne's suburban six-carriage trains are considered overcrowded when they have more than 798 passengers, or 133 per carriage. Yet trains regularly carry 1200 passengers, the head counts show, and one in six of the city's suburban trains is considered overcrowded.
Lynne Kosky has failed commuters so badly that her position has become untenable.
PUBLIC Transport Minister Lynne Kosky has managed to get a lot wrong since she was given the portfolio in November 2006. Admittedly, she inherited a mess, but until recently she has spent much of her time denying the depth of the crisis in public transport. In the cabinet reshuffle that moved her, apparently reluctantly, into the portfolio, the former Transport Ministry was divided in two: Roads and Ports, and Public Transport. That meant Ms Kosky was the first minister able to focus solely on delivering a system in which trains, trams, buses and taxis carry passengers to their destinations reliably and on time. Despite that, the system's performance has gone backwards, as today's Age report again confirms.
POLICE are investigating a horrifying crash between a freight train and a school bus near Southern Cross yesterday after the bus became stuck on the railway tracks.
ONE man is dead and four other railway workers have serious injuries after a crane dropped a load of steel at their work site.
The Federal Government is continuing to roll out funding for rail level crossings, giving more than $56 million to South Australia and NSW.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found a freight train derailment near Merredin last year was caused by a wheel bearing failure.
Eleven wagons carrying general and dangerous goods from Melbourne to Perth derailed at Hines Hill on March 10 last year.
The Mudgee Rail Group says services along the Gulgong to Kandos rail line could resume within two years.
Its chairman, Mike Sweeney, says the New South Wales Government is considering 're-railing' the line and upgrading its three bridges.
The line was suspended in 2007.
The New South Wales Opposition has promised to axe Sydney's CBD metro rail project if it takes government.
Exactly two years from the next state election, Opposition transport spokeswoman Gladys Berejiklian has unveiled the policy to scrap the $4 billion line, which is planned to run from Rozelle through east Darling Harbour to Central Station.
The State Government is warning that it will cost millions to back out of the project but Ms Berejiklian says the rail line is a waste of money.
There were 83 sightings for this week. This is nine sighting less than last week, making a total of 910 sightings for this year to date. On day 80 last year we had recorded 1178 sightings.
We have seen six sighting on the B/G this week, which is the same as last week. On Tuesday we saw a PN grain with four locos on the up, XR554(FA)+XR557(PN)+XR552(FA)+XR558(PN) and 40 hoppers. XR554(FA)+XR557(PN) returned later in the day on the down as a light loco movement and the other two locos and the train returned on the down on Thursday. Another two PN grain trains were seen on the up then down on Saturday with XR558(PN)+XR552(FA) and 40 hoppers. And on Wednesday we saw up 9140 diverted via Gheringhap with G525(FA)+XR553(FA).
The State Government has appointed McConnell Dowell Constructors – the team behind the Bakewell underpass – to deliver the $32 million project, which will take the city-Glenelg trams over South Rd, near the Gallipoli Underpass at Anzac Hwy.
There were only 78 sightings for this week. This is another five sighting less than last week, making a total of 988 sightings for this year to date. On day 87 last year we had recorded 1250 sightings.
WHILE an avalanche of bad news over cancellations and overcrowding has befallen Melbourne's train and tram systems in the past year, buses have been the city's quiet achievers.
Last year, there were 98 million trips on Melbourne's buses — 13.1 per cent more than the year before — with little of the unreliability and overcrowding on rail-based services.
And no route has been more successful than the number 401 bus from North Melbourne train station to Melbourne University.
TRAIN, tram and bus fares in Melbourne have escalated far more rapidly in the past two decades than the cost of driving, public transport advocates will today tell a Senate inquiry into federal funding of urban public transport.
Australia is one of the few countries where the federal government does not fund urban public transport but pours billions of dollars into road funding. Most submissions to the Senate inquiry, which is staging its only meeting in Melbourne today, point this out.
MELBOURNE'S train drivers are planning to break away from their union, escalating a factional war that has led to more than 100 trains being cancelled and raising the prospect of more disruption across the rail network.
The move would shatter any remaining sense of unity between drivers and train controllers. Both parties are members of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, formed when four smaller public transport unions amalgamated in 1993.
A massive blackout is affecting about 70,000 homes and businesses across central Sydney and parts of the eastern suburbs.
The streets of the CBD were crowded with pedestrians and in some cases gridlocked with vehicles after some traffic lights along George Street and surrounding streets went out about 4.45pm.