The proposed sale of Queensland Rail's (QR) coal haulage business may have attracted a buyer for the Bowen to Mt Isa rail link.
The Inland Railway Project wants to create a standard gauge railway from Melbourne to Darwin via the state's mining regions and is building a $500 million investment fund to bid for the rail infrastructure being sold by the State Government.
Around half of the 60 kilometre freight line between Benalla and Oaklands has been upgraded to standard gauge with the project creating 25 local jobs and on track to be completed by the end of the year.
Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said $16.5 million upgrade of the line would seen the line converted to standard gauge and involve a sleeper replacement program.
“The Brumby Labor Government is taking action to secure the viability of regional communities and economies,” Ms Kosky said.
“Investing in important rail freight lines means we are providing the necessary industry to support grain growers while providing local jobs.”
Coal mining companies in the New South Wales Hunter Valley say they can now invest in Newcastle port infrastructure with more certainty, after formally signing off on a long-term export plan.
The new agreement is aimed at easing port and rail bottlenecks and paving the way for the expansion of the coal industry.
The proponent of an inland railway from Melbourne to Darwin via Queensland's mining regions is calling on the State Government to include Gladstone Port in the massive infrastructure sell-off.
Inland Railway Project chairman Everald Compton says his group will bid for Townsville's Abbot Point Coal Terminal when it is put on the market - as well as Queensland Railway coal freight assets.
The Tasmania Government has revealed it will pay $32 million to buy out all of Tasmania's rail operations.
It is nearly two weeks since the Government agreed to buy Pacific National's Tasmanian assets from parent company Asciano.
The purchase price had remained a secret until this morning.
Thousands of commuters were left stranded on Melbourne's rail network during the morning rush after a chair was thrown from a footbridge onto a moving train before shorting out overhead wires.
Connex spokeswoman Lanie Harris said initial investigations suggested the vandal threw a chair from a bridge at Footscray station about 5.30am that landed on an outbound Williamstown train.
The focus on Tasmania's rail buy-back has switched from how much it will cost, to how the State Government will pay.
The Government has revealed the $32 million price tag for its rail deal with Pacific National parent company, Asciano.
The Federal Infrastructure Minister has been quizzed about financial assistance for a number of Tasmanian projects, on his visit to the state today.
The Infrastructure Minister visited Launceston to launch a driver training program and open a new shipping simulation facility at the Maritime College.
Axle failure on a wagon carrying liquid gas caused this week's deadly rail disaster in northern Italy, the country's transport minister told parliament.
A train ferrying liquid petroleum gas derailed in the seaside town of Viareggio, north-west of Pisa late Monday (local time).
The death toll has climbed to 16 after two children injured in the explosion died Wednesday, rescue workers said.
THE NSW Government has given away 18 locomotives and 180 wagons worth millions of dollars to a giant grain company, just months before a federal inquiry is due to report on whether rail is the best way to transport the state's wheat.
GrainCorp, a publicly listed company, was given the trains at the end of May as part of a deal to keep railway lines operating, even though the Federal Government's $3 million NSW Grain Freight Review is yet to recommend the best way to move grain in this state.
The New South Wales Government has approved an $80 million rail line and coal unloader development at Wallerawang's Mount Piper Power Station in the state's central west.
Delta Electricity submitted a development application to build the 'western rail coal unloader' in October 2006.
A Gold Coast MP says it is vital the first stage of the proposed rapid transit system links the Helensvale rail station to Griffith University.
The Member for Gaven, Alex Douglas, says Pacific Pines, Nerang, Coomera and Maudsland are part of a large growth corridor.
The federal MP for Parkes, Mark Coulton, says talks with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) have revealed a number of routes are still being considered for an inland rail corridor.
He chaired an information session yesterday in Narrabri, in north-west New South Wales, between rail executives and nine shire councils.
The state Transport Minister says the Government has taken on board criticism of the coal supply network in central Queensland.
The O'Donnell review of the Goonyella system in 2007 found that parts of the network were being upgraded without consultation and port capacity was not matched by rail capacity.
Major works on a new station at Coolaroo started today, bringing Melbourne’s northern suburbs a step closer to improved access to public transport services.
At Coolaroo today, the Premier and Member for Broadmeadows, John Brumby turned the first sod on the $36 million station project.
“This project is part of the Victorian Government’s $38 billion transport plan, which focuses on improving access to public transport for growth areas,” Mr Brumby said.
“The new station in Coolaroo will save journey time for residents in the suburbs of Coolaroo, Dallas and Meadow Heights, as they will no longer have to travel to either Broadmeadows or Roxburgh Park to access a train services.
Thirteen people have been injured, six seriously, when a train derailed after hitting a trailer near the south-western French city of Limoges, police said.
Three wagons derailed but did not overturn after the train rammed into the trailer carrying straw which had toppled on the tracks.
Officials in Italy say 21 people are now known to have died after a train carrying liquefied gas exploded in the northern town of Viareggio earlier this week.
At least 11 others are seriously injured.
Many victims of the accident have yet to be identified because they suffered such severe burns.
There were 79 sightings for this week. This is one sighting less than last week, making a total of 2136 sightings for this year to date. On day 185 last year we had recorded 2643 sightings.
We have seen six sighting on the B/G this week, which is two less than last week. We have seen 9140 from Mildura twice this week, on Monday, Thursday. On Monday with XR553?(FA)+P2X(FA)+X4X(PN), and on Thursday with XR553?(FA)+X4X(PN). And we saw two sighting of diverted 9141 to Mildura on Monday & Thursday night’s, with the same locos as 9140. The timetables for these two trains were thrown out of sequence by fallen trees across the tracks due to the very windy days in the state earlier in the week. And we have seen only one PN grain train this week, on the up on Thursday with XR552(FA)+XR558(PN) and only seven hoppers. Two hours later the locos off this train was seen light locos on the down.
On the S/G we have seen seven sightings of AN class locos and eight sightings of the XRB slave units. We have seen one sighting of BL30 with its very big number on the side, in PN livery.
Steve Meacham escapes CityRail chaos and makes tracks for northern NSW.
The adventure has already started and I haven't even reached Central Station. "The country platforms?" the cab driver asks. "Yes," I reply, trying to hide the excitement in my voice. "The country platforms."
Not today the suburban predictability of a normal week. This morning I'm heading off on a railway adventure - even if I won't actually be leaving NSW. I've been meaning to do this for 18 months, since I dropped off the backpacking daughter of an English friend at Central so she could continue her journey around the world.
One person died early on Sunday after two monorail trains collided at the Disney World amusement park in Florida, CNN television reported.
The network said the accident, the cause of which remains unknown, occurred at about 2:00am (local time). The victim was one of the monorail drivers.
Queensland Rail (QR), one of the assets that could be sold-off by the State Government, has won a major interstate contract.
QR has secured an 11-year deal with coal giant Peabody Energy to transport coal from two mines in the Hunter Valley to the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales.
GrainCorp has defended allegations its truck drivers are taking illegal shortcuts through the New South Wales central west to get their loads to Port Kembla.
New South Wales Greens' MP Lee Rhiannon says she has received information B-doubles contracted to the grain company have been using routes through the Weddin and Young shires that are unsuitable for trucks.
Plans for Melbourne’s new tram fleet have gathered steam with Premier John Brumby today announcing the Victorian Government will seek expressions of interest from industry for up to 50 new low floor trams.
Mr Brumby said the Victorian Transport Plan pledged $1 billion for a new tram fleet which will be capable of moving as many as 10,000 people at any one time.
“Melbourne’s trams are an iconic symbol of our city and much loved by commuters and tourists alike. I’m pleased to announce today that we have moved onto the next stage for delivering a new tram fleet,” Mr Brumby said.
TRAIN drivers have suffered headaches, dizziness, fatigue and nausea on the Epping to Chatswood rail link in the latest disaster to hit the jinxed line.
The relentless strobe effect of thousands of lights bolted to the tunnel walls at eye-level has raised fears it could cause a driver to collapse, with one already being taken to hospital.
RailCorp immediately stepped in to avoid any significant safety risks, fearing drivers could pass out or have seizures while operating trains packed full of commuters. Experts said passengers may also be in danger because of the high flickering light level which can cause seizures, blackouts or illness.
Greens MP and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said that new information she received today that b-double trucks contracted to GrainCorp are travelling illegal routes highlights the need for the NSW government to back rail haulage of the Central West grain crop.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says the $949 million light-rail project will become the engine room of the Gold Coast economy during its construction.
A joint funding agreement for the city's rapid transit project has been signed by Ms Bligh, the federal Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliott and Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke.
Melbourne's existing tram fleet will have to carry a projected 8 million extra passengers before a single new tram hits the rails to alleviate crowding.
And before any new trams arrive, the city's fleet will shrink, with five leased trams due to return to their country of origin, France, in December 2011.
Victorian Transport Minister Lynne Kosky has canvassed the possibility of returning passenger rail services to Mildura.
The Labor Government made the promise when it was elected, and Ms Kosky says the upgrading of the Mildura line that is nearly finished now opens up that opportunity.
Colac Otway Shire Mayor Brian Crook says he wants V/Line to offer more passenger train services between Geelong and Colac.
Councillor Crook has sought an urgent meeting with V/Line to discuss the possibility of introducing more frequent connections.
Darwin police say a man crashed his car in Palmerston this morning after falling asleep behind the wheel.
The 46-year-old is in a stable condition in Royal Darwin Hospital after he fell asleep driving along Wishart Road .
An academic from the Southern Cross University (SCU) in northern New South Wales says a coastal rail service makes more sense than restoring trains to the Casino-to-Murwillumbah line.
Rose Wright, manager of industry development at the SCU school of tourism, says a light rail line running adjacent to the Pacific Highway from Coolangatta to Ballina and using Queensland trains is the way to go.
The family of a girl killed at a country rail crossing, nine years ago today, is calling on the West Australian Government to implement the recommendations of a report on rail crossing safety.
Jessica Broad, 18, and her two friends were killed when their car collided with a diesel locomotive at Jennacubbine, north-east of Northam.
There has been a drop in the number of overcrowded peak services on Melbourne's rail network.
Figures from the Department of Transport show a 17 per cent decline in overcrowding in the past year.
The Pakenham and Craigieburn lines are the only services to record an increase in overcrowding.
A report into the completion of the Maldon to Dombarton rail link has found it will cost at least $550m to complete.
The pre-feasibility report released yesterday says the project is attractive from a railway operations perspective, but has a negative return on investments and would be unlikely to attract private investment.
Completion of the work would generate considerable employment opportunities as it would require over one-point-two-million work hours over 40 months.
Army bomb disposal experts removed a grenade from a Brisbane railway station this afternoon.
Queensland Rail (QR) workers discovered the grenade about 1:00 pm (AEST) while working on the duplication of the Darra rail line in south-west Brisbane.
Police were called to the Darra station and alerted Army bomb disposal experts. An Army spokesman says the grenade had been removed.
A rail line which would have been used to transport logs from Tasmania's north-west to Gunns' proposed pulp mill has missed out on federal funding.
The Federal Government has finalised $195 million in funding for nine lines in Tasmania's rail network.
The Victorian Public Transport Minister says Warrnambool will not benefit from new train carriages on its V/Line service.
Lynne Kosky says carriages will be delivered to the cities with the most passenger growth.
As part of the opening of the City of Melbourne's International Student Centre, Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle calls for concession fares to be made available in Melbourne for international students.
A western Victorian rail association says it is unfair the Victorian Government is only upgrading train services in growth areas.
Earlier this week, the Government announced new carriages that will be in service from next week for Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Gippsland.
COMMUTERS will get extra train services from July under the latest timetable expansion.
The big winners are passengers on the Werribee line, who will get boosted services throughout the day.
Other lines to get a boost will be Williamstown, Pakenham and Frankston.
Organisers of the public consultation meetings held this week for the Queensland Government's north-west regional plan say rail services are the key concern of residents.
Meetings were held in Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Richmond and Hughenden, giving locals a chance to comment on the blueprint that will shape the region's economic future for the next 20 years.
There were 83 sightings for this week. This is four sighting more than last week, making a total of 2219 sightings for this year to date. On day 192 last year we had recorded 2742 sightings.
We have seen only five sighting on the B/G this week, which is one less than last week. We have seen 9140 from Mildura three times this week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. All three trains included XR553(FA)+X41(PN) with the addition of P20 on Monday’s train. And we saw one sighting of diverted 9141 to Mildura on Monday night, with X41(PN)+XR553?(FA). And we have seen only one PN grain train this week, on the down on Friday with XR55X(PN)+XR55X(PN)+BL32(NR) and 20 hoppers.
WorleyParsons has been appointed as project management study contractor to the more than $3 billion Oakajee port and rail project in Western Australia's mid-west region.
The value of the contract to Australia's largest engineering company was not revealed in a joint statement by the project developer, Oakajee Port and Rail, and iron ore miner Murchison Metals, which owns 50 per cent of OPR.
Japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi owns the other 50 per cent.
Five workers were killed when a rail bridge under construction collapsed Sunday in the Indian capital, officials said.
At least 14 people were injured and two of them were in serious condition, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation spokesperson Anuj Dayal said.
Two people were still trapped in the debris and rescue operations were continuing at the accident site in the Greater Kailash area of south Delhi.
DOWNWARD trends in car travel and surging public transport usage mark a turning point in history and a challenge for policymakers and politicians.
For the past 40 years or so, the game has been to plan for more car traffic and less public transport use.
ASCIANO boss Mark Rowsthorn and his banker, UBS, will dump up to $79.8 million of the company's stock on the sharemarket to help pay for his liability under the company's capital raising — a deal that could reap the managing director a $6.65 million windfall.
Mr Rowsthorn committed to buying $151 million of shares under the capital raising, but will have to sell the vast majority of his existing 76 million shares in Asciano to pay for it.
Police are searching for a group of children who allegedly threw rocks at The Ghan as it passed through Alice Springs, leaving several windows smashed yesterday.
Staff onboard the passenger train have told police how rocks were thrown as it passed by the Karnte camp on the outskirts of the Central Australian town about 1.30pm.
A man was assaulted and robbed at the Dandenong railway station overnight.
Police say the 43-year-old victim was set upon by three other men around 1am today.
INVESTMENT bank UBS has rejected as "unequivocally incorrect" and "malicious" suggestions that its winning of the mandate to handle Asciano Group's $2.35 billion capital raising is linked to its deal to provide a loan to the debt-laden port operator's managing director, Mark Rowsthorn.
PERTH Airport could be linked to the metropolitan rail network after it was listed in the Government's plans for land use over the next 20 years.
The link was listed as an area of potential business and commercial growth in the Directions 2031 report, inmycommunity.com.au reports.
A FATAL collision between a car and a train on Edithvale Rd has halted train services on the Frankston line.
A Frankston-bound passenger train collided with a Ford Laser at the Edithvale Rd crossing around 5.05pm.
The driver of the car, believed to be in his 20s, died at the scene, a police spokeswoman confirmed.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) plans to spend more than $1 billion on rail upgrades in the Hunter Valley in a bid to ensure the coal sector recovers from the economic downturn.
The 10-year plan will see a third track built for the Nundah Bank, north-west of Singleton, as well as two holding tracks for the Newcastle coal terminals.
The federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, says the Port Kembla port could be identified for further expansion in the National Ports Strategy.
In developing the strategy, Infrastructure Australia will consider a $3 million feasibility study into the Maldon-Dombarton rail link to Port Kembla.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has started consulting mining companies on a 10-year, multi-billion dollar plan to improve the haulage of coal between the Gunnedah Basin, the Upper Hunter and the Port of Newcastle.
It is the fourth track upgrade plan for the Hunter coal line prepared by ARTC, but the first time the track manager has planned a decade ahead.
A western Queensland Mayor says he is worried rural communities are being overlooked in the Queensland Government's privatisation plans.
Winton Mayor Ed Warren says the future of Queensland Rail's livestock freight services is especially concerning and he is worried there would be cutbacks if privatisation goes ahead.
A Bathurst rail lobby group has applauded New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees for returning to the city to address concerns face-to-face.
The chairman of the Rail Access Bathurst Group, John Hollis, says the Premier has done the right thing by updating the community in person, rather than by letter.
A GRAFFITI gang has been broken up after three vandals were caught tagging trains at a yard in the middle of the day, police said.
Officers from the Rail Vandalism Task Force - set up to target train-related graffiti - raided the home of one of the men and seized graffiti illustrations, spray cans and a digital camera allegedly linked to a spree of vandalism.
REMOVING Connex's name from Melbourne's train fleet and replacing it with the new operator's logo will cost more than $15 million — almost the price of an entire new six-carriage train.
The Brumby Government last month dumped Connex as the city's rail operator, and named a new consortium led by Hong Kong's MTR Corporation as the preferred train operator.
The New South Wales Government has rejected calls for a daily commuter rail link between Bathurst and Sydney.
Premier Nathan Rees was in Bathurst late yesterday to respond to concerns and issues raised at last month's Community Cabinet meeting in the city.
About 200 people attended the forum at Mount Panorama last night.
The Premier says a lot of money would need to be spent to introduce the commuter rail service.
There were 91 sightings for this week. This is eight sighting more than last week, making a total of 2310 sightings for this year to date. On day 199 last year we had recorded 2846 sightings.
We have seen only six sighting on the B/G this week, which is one more than last week. We have seen 9140 from Mildura three times this week, on Monday with XR553+X49, And Wednesday and Friday with G527+X49. And we saw two sightings of diverted 9141 to Mildura on Monday and Wednesday nights, with X49+G527. And we have seen only one PN grain train this week, on the down on Friday with XR+XR and 40 hoppers.
MORE trains are arriving on time, with 95.4 per cent of all services running to timetable, according to figures to be released today.
Results for last financial year showed on-time running had exceeded CityRail's benchmark of 92 per cent, Premier Nathan Rees said yesterday.
"These are the best results in 10 years, with every CityRail line improving on-time running," he said. "We know how important it is to make sure we provide a good service so people can get to work and home to their families on time.
Melbourne commuters can expect another train system meltdown next summer because the Victorian government has failed to address heat-related glitches that plague the system, the opposition says.
As a parliamentary inquiry begins on Tuesday into the thousands of services that were late or cancelled predominantly during the summer heat wave, the opposition says the government is squarely to blame.
The New South Wales Member for Goulburn, Pru Goward, says RailCorp staff on the Southern Highlands line still do not know whether transport will be provided for them to fix problems at unstaffed stations.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has ruled out selling off the Port of Gladstone in the state's central coast region.
The chairman of the Inland Rail project, Everald Compton, says he cannot understand why the Gladstone Port is not included in the State Government's asset sale.
The Blayney Shire Council has received support from its federal MP in its push for a $5 million bypass road.
The council yesterday took the Nationals' Member for Calare, John Cobb, to the Mid Western Highway rail crossing in Blayney where a train derailed earlier this month.
The New South Wales Government says a review of staff along the south coast and Illawarra rail lines will not affect the reliability of trains.
The Government has released figures which show almost 97 per cent of Illawarra trains were on time in the last financial year, up 2 per cent from the previous year.
A parliamentary committee examining Melbourne's train network will begin public hearings today.
Representatives from the Department of Transport, Connex, and the new train operator Veolia will give evidence.
An array of lost property that has been collected across Sydney's rail network, will be auctioned off today.
Among the items are thousands of bags, wallets, mobile phones, jewellery, sunglasses and of course, umbrellas.
A railway line to Monash University was considered, and ultimately rejected, by the State Government last year.
A line to Rowville, which would have run past the university, was weighed up by cabinet during preparation for the Government's most recent transport plan, a freedom of information request by The Age shows.
The Wodonga council is a step closer to redeveloping the CBD after last night approving the rezoning of land to be released when the rail bypass is built.
The bypass will result in the removal of 11 level crossings from the city centre.
MELBOURNE'S rail system will continue to malfunction on hot days because air-conditioners on most of the city's trains won't be fixed before summer, the head of the Department of Transport says.
Appearing yesterday before a parliamentary inquiry into Melbourne's troubled rail system, transport department secretary Jim Betts said no major overhaul of air-conditioning on the city's Comeng train fleet was under way.
MELBOURNE loves its trams, but a new lobby group set up to campaign for just one lone tram line takes the obsession to a new extreme.
The Friends of Tram 96 held their first meeting yesterday to discuss strategies to pressure the State Government to further improve what is already one of Melbourne's premier routes.
The tram line runs between St Kilda Beach and East Brunswick, via one of the city's key boulevards, Bourke Street.
Victorian Premier John Brumby is confident Melbourne's rail service will perform better this summer.
A state parliamentary inquiry is looking into the problems that occurred on the network during the hot weather in January and February.
Victorian transport officials deny Melbourne's train system is experiencing a big increase in cancellations.
The Upper House inquiry is examining why so many train services were cancelled last summer.
The Transport Department secretary Jim Betts has told a Parliamentary inquiry that the Government takes full responsibility for a system meltdown during last summer's heatwave.
Asciano shareholders are well on the way to backing the company's bid to raise $2 billion to pay off debt and position the business for the future.
Asciano completed a $2.35 billion rights issue and placement last month, but still required shareholder approval to use $1.55 billion of that amount. The $1.35b conditional placement had to go to the vote before it could get issued.
PILES of “ugly” timber sleepers, which line the railway between Seymour and Albury, should be removed to boost Victoria’s image and eliminate a fire hazard, the State Opposition’s public transport spokesman says.
Connex ticket inspectors have been accused of using heavy handed tactics while detaining an alleged fare evader this morning.
The inspectors were questioning a man at Southern Cross Station and a scuffle broke out when members of the public became involved.
The Premier, Colin Barnett, says China is showing renewed interest in the multi-billion-dollar Oakajee Port and Rail project in the Mid West.
A Japanese-backed consortium won the tender to build the $4 billion development near Geraldton, beating the Chinese-owned Yilgarn.
A group of outback Queensland mayors say they are worried the State Government is not considering the full impact of privatisation of public assets on small rural communities.
The Outback Regional Roads Group is meeting in Longreach today and its co-chairman, Bruce Scott, says there is concern that if rail services are privatised it will mean more heavy trucks on rural roads that are already deteroriating.
The future of public transport in Canberra will be examined at a roundtable discussion next week.
ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says it is time for a new five-year plan for sustainable transport.
Mr Stanhope says the aim will be to increase the proportion of commuters who travel by public transport..
"What we're doing is acknowledging that this is hard, this is tough, that the move that we've achieved in relation to public transport from 6.5 to 9 per cent over the last five years," he said.
BORDER residents will start to see the railway bridge across the Lincoln Causeway take shape when workers start erecting the three concrete piles from today. The causeway was reduced to one lane each way yesterday ahead of the work.
Six people died when a Croatian passenger train derailed near the southern Adriatic city of Split at the height of the summer tourist season, police said.
Twenty people were seriously injured, a police spokeswoman in Split said. Some 50 people suffered light injuries, state television reported, citing hospital sources.
RESIDENTS who will be affected by the proposed 13km billion-dollar rapid transit project from Griffith University to Broadbeach have already received letters notifying them their properties will be required for resumption.
The Transport Minister Simon O'Brien says there has been a disturbing trend of people taking dangerous short cuts at Perth rail crossings.
Mr O'Brien has highlighted the problem as part of rail safety week.
Pressure is mounting on the New South Wales Government to release its position on the revitalisation of Newcastle's inner-city.
It has been eight weeks since the Hunter Development Corporation's City Renewal report was made public.
Since then, more than 3,000 people have accessed the blueprint via the corporation's website.
There were 84 sightings for this week. This is seven sighting less than last week, making a total of 2394 sightings for this year to date. On day 206 last year we had recorded 2946 sightings.
We have seen only four sighting on the B/G this week, which is two less than last week. We have seen 9140 from Mildura three times this week, on Monday and Wednesday with G527(PN)+A81(FA) and Friday with G527(PN)+A81(FA)+P22(FA). And we saw one sighting of diverted 9141 to Mildura on Monday night, with G527(PN)+A81(FA). And we didn’t see one grain train this week on the B/G.
A federal report on Western Australia's grain freight network says there is no clear case for the State Government to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade deteriorating country rail lines.
The report examines an earlier review in 2004, which recommended the state's rail freight network be upgraded at a cost of $400 million with a further $400 million spent on upgrading roads.