News

 

Showing stories from October 2010

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Webb Dock caught in rising storm over freight terminal

Posted Monday, 25 October, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE proposed redevelopment of Port Melbourne's Webb Dock looks to be shaping up as a key policy battle in the seat of Albert Park.

As local residents continue to seek answers from the state government and the Port of Melbourne Corporation, candidates for the ALP-held seat are engaged in a war of words over the plan.

Community concerns about the impact the 24-hour freight terminal would have on the ambience of the area have spilled into the campaign, with Greens candidate for Albert Park Ann Birrell calling on sitting MP Martin Foley and the government to provide answers.

Gap to close in Asia rail link

Posted Monday, 25 October, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

A VITAL part fell into place at the weekend of the rail network that will in five years enable people to take trains from Singapore to Scotland.

This is a 120km section in Cambodia of the Pan-Asian railroad, stretching from the capital, Phnom Penh, to Touk Meas, near the Vietnam border.

Soon the Cambodian branch will run to the Thai border, down to Sihanoukville, the country's main port, and up to the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi. Overall, the new rail section will stretch 650km. The Australian government is providing $22 million of the $145m Cambodian part of the project.

Lot riding on new container port

Posted Monday, 25 October, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A DECISION on how the Port of Melbourne will handle a huge increase in container trade is set to play a big role in industrial property development in Melbourne's south-east and west.

Two key stakeholders, Shipping Australia and Westgate Ports, have differing visions of how the port should handle its container traffic, which is expected to double to 4.4 million containers by 2020.

In submissions to Port of Melbourne Corporation, Shipping Australia called for the development of Webb Dock East as a container terminal by 2014, whereas Westgate urged that Swanson, Victoria and Appleton Docks (SAVD) should be restructured, using Victoria Dock's rail links to the rail network. Both have different implications for industrial property.

Mernda rail pledge too little too late

Posted Monday, 25 October, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Liberal Party has promised to extend the Epping rail line to Mernda by 2020, trumping Labor's commitment by seven years, but campaigners say it's not soon enough.

Liberal candidate for Yan Yean, Jack Gange, announced the commitment at a Mernda community forum with other candidates last week. "The Liberal Party will commit to starting construction by at least 2020 if elected," Mr Gange said. "I'm going to put as much pressure on my party as I can (to have it earlier), but at the moment I'm only a candidate, so my powers are limited."

Labor's incumbent, Danielle Green, also supported bringing the rail extension forward but could not specify a date earlier than "by 2027". "We haven't made a date yet on when that project is to be delivered, and our priority must be on extending the line to South Morang first," Ms Green said.

Track clean-up continues

Posted Monday, 25 October, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

A spokesperson for the Australian Rail Track Corporation says it will be over a week before part of the Melbourne to Sydney rail track in Wodonga will be fully repaired and restored.

However Brad Emery says limited freight trains are now able to get through a section of the line.

A freight train derailment caused major damage and delays on the new stretch of track Saturday morning.

"Seven o'clock a Pacific National train derailed; fifteen wagons derailed causing quite a bit of damage and 600 metres of line was damaged on the actual track."

Werris Creek rail buff says VIC derailment possible anywhere

Posted Tuesday, 26 October, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

A member of the Werris Creek Railway Museum says the freight derailment in Victoria at the weekend could just as easily happen in the New England North West.

Fifteen wagons laden with steel came off the tracks at Wodonga, on the New South Wales-Victorian border, damaging rail lines and a nearby bridge.

Transport safety officers have launched an investigation.

Passenger trains are running from Melbourne to Sydney, but buses are in place between Albury and Melbourne.

New trains arrived full of defects

Posted Tuesday, 26 October, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

EIGHTEEN trains for Melbourne delivered in the past year had a series of faults that had to be repaired before the trains were put into service.

French engineering giant Alstom was contracted by the state government in 2008 to build the trains for Melbourne, at a cost of $14.4 million each.

The X'Trapolis trains were manufactured in Katowice, Poland, before being trucked to Savigliano, Italy, where they were assembled. The trains were then shipped 9000 kilometres to Melbourne.

Rail delays between Scone and Singleton

Posted Tuesday, 26 October, 2010 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

Buses are replacing trains in both directions between Scone and Singleton after a coal truck tipped over on the Hunter line this morning.

The truck and trailer accident occurred near the intersection of Muscle Creek Road and Inglewood Road, just outside of Muswellbrook, just before 4am.

A crane and heavy vehicle tow truck were organised and track damage now needs to be repaired.

Feds Dish $800 Million to Speed Florida Rail Development

Posted Tuesday, 26 October, 2010 by freightgate in International Rail News

The federal government today awarded Florida with an additional $800 million to complete its high speed network. Plan will connect Tampa and Orlando. Of the money that was given out today, $8 million was designated for initial planning on a stretch between Orlando and Miami. An earlier grant of $1.25 billion was given out in January as part of President Obama’s “down payment.”

Wagga residents worried after train derails

Posted Tuesday, 26 October, 2010 by freightgate in Rail News

SAFETY on the major rail link between Sydney and Melbourne is again in the spotlight after a serious derailment involving a freight train at the weekend.

Problems with buckling and mud holes along the region's rail lines hit national headlines last month, with train drivers, union officials and residents living near train lines all raising concerns.

Truckers consider impact of newly renovated railway

Posted Tuesday, 26 October, 2010 by DesL in International Rail News

CAMBODIA’S renovated railway could offer freight transport rates below those charged by the domestic trucking industry, but a sector spokesmen said yesterday that competition would not begin in earnest until next year.

Melbourne port gets rail connected

Posted Wednesday, 27 October, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The ‘Missing Link’ project has been completed, which improves the connection between the Port of Melbourne and the interstate freight network.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the final stage to the project involved duplicating the dual-gauge track between Sims Street Junction and the Port, building 18 new turnouts, installing new signalling and completely reconstructing the Melbourne Operations Terminal.

Queensland Rail: where’s the smart money?

Posted Wednesday, 27 October, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Thousands of households, the Mums and Dads being attracted to the float are being asked to gamble on the world failing to act on climate change.

The Queensland government needs the money for electoral purposes but it may have been clever enough to read the tea leaves on the future of coal.

Queensland minister: QR was a 'rort'

Posted Wednesday, 27 October, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A senior government minister does not need to apologise for labelling Queensland Rail as a "rort", Premier Anna Bligh says.

Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten spoke of "the rort that is Queensland Rail" in parliament on Tuesday.

The minister was speaking of subsidies for multinational coal companies by previous governments, which had robbed core services, like health, of funding.

Airline luxury for new Queensland tilt train as Sunlander service retired

Posted Wednesday, 27 October, 2010 by 037291 in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND Rail will spend $189 million on new and improved tilt trains to service Queensland.

World class trains for Queensland supporting 800 jobs for Maryborough

Posted Wednesday, 27 October, 2010 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Premier Anna Bligh has announced the State Government will invest $189 million to buy another Tilt Train and upgrade the existing two tilt trains.

Ms Bligh said the work will be carried out at Maryborough’s Downer EDI facility providing support for 800 direct and indirect jobs in the Wide Bay region.

The existing Sunlander Train, which has been in service for 45 years, will be replaced by the new Tilt Train, slashing at least five hours from travel times.

“Travelling the Brisbane to Cairns rail route is one of the world’s top train journeys,” said Ms Bligh.

“It takes you past the magnificent Glasshouse Mountains, the cane country of North Queensland and the majestic tropics beyond Townsville.

“This $189 million investment means passengers on this world class route will be able to travel in world class luxury.”

Caroline Springs Railway Station (New Stations)

Posted Thursday, 28 October, 2010 by freightgate in Press Releases

Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula was today joined by the Member for Kororoit Marlene Kairouz to turn the first sod at the site of the new station which is part of a $220 million package for new stations in Melbourne’s growth areas.

“The Brumby Labor Government is taking action to ensure people in Melbourne’s west have good access to public transport services,” Mr Pakula said. ... “The station, due to open in 2012, will serve current and future public transport needs and help people access jobs, study and also stay connected with family and friends.”

Anger as buses given nod ahead of rail

Posted Thursday, 28 October, 2010 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

ALMOST $50 million will be spent installing a bus route on land in Melbourne's north, reserved for a railway line.

Planners, the opposition and resident groups yesterday savaged the decision to stop the Epping railway line at South Morang, and build a 7.5 kilometre road exclusively for buses to Mernda.

Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula announced that the new road would be built on a publicly owned rail reserve, where trains ran until the late 1950s.
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The ''bus way'' would provide convenient and fast services on a dedicated road built for buses, Mr Pakula said. A low-floor bus would meet every train departing and arriving from South Morang, he said. The project, including the road and running buses for four years, will cost $48.5 million.

ARTC slammed for snubbing residents rail meeting

Posted Friday, 29 October, 2010 by freightgate in Rail News

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has been accused of shirking its responsibilities to Newcastle residents, by failing to attend a forum about noise and dust from coal trains.

The Minister for the Hunter, Jodi McKay has organised next week's forum to discuss the impact on port-side residents of more coal trains heading into Newcastle.

Rail link from Toowoomba to Gladstone 'nationally significant'

Posted Friday, 29 October, 2010 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Central Queensland Opposition backbencher Ken O'Dowd has called on the Federal Government to declare a new freight rail line to Gladstone as a project of national significance.

Developer Everald Compton is working with a consortium of coal companies to complete a rail link between Toowoomba in the state's south and Gladstone on the central Queensland coast.

Mernda rail pledge too little too late: campaigners

Posted Friday, 29 October, 2010 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

THE Liberal Party has promised to extend the Epping rail line to Mernda by 2020, trumping Labor's commitment by seven years, but campaigners say it's not soon enough.

Liberal candidate for Yan Yean, Jack Gange, announced the commitment at a Mernda community forum with other candidates last week. "The Liberal Party will commit to starting construction by at least 2020 if elected," Mr Gange said. "I'm going to put as much pressure on my party as I can (to have it earlier), but at the moment I'm only a candidate, so my powers are limited."

QR still confident on forecasts: report

Posted Saturday, 30 October, 2010 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

QR National remains confident of its coal haulage and profit forecasts, despite rival ports and rail operator Asciano Group Ltd's questions over the rail sector's health, according to The Australian Financial Review.

In a quarterly trading update yesterday, Asciano said haulage volumes on its Pacific National rail network were slightly below expectations.

Taxpayers face steep rail subsidy bill

Posted Saturday, 30 October, 2010 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland government says it will pay about $265 in subsidies for every person who uses the revamped Brisbane-to-Cairns passenger rail service.

Premier Anna Bligh yesterday announced a $189 million project to buy a luxury new tilt train and refurbish two others, replacing the ageing Sunlander Train when it goes out of service in 2014.

The new trains will feature deluxe sleeper cars with personal ensuites, first-class cars with lay-flat seats like airline skybeds, and premium economy seating.

Greens plan for state to run public transport

Posted Saturday, 30 October, 2010 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

The Greens will push for Melbourne's privatised public transport network to be returned to public control if they win the balance of power at next month's state election.

Under a proposal to be unveiled today, 370 staff in the Department of Transport's public transport division, and more at other government agencies, would be replaced by a new public transport authority, which would employ 60 people.

Paul Little prepares to step down from Toll

Posted Saturday, 30 October, 2010 by freightgate in Rail News

After a quarter of a century at the head of Toll Holdings, Paul Little and the board have confirmed they are commencing an orderly succession to a new managing director. It is anticipated that this transition will be completed around January 2012.

Toll shares have dropped sharply following the announcement and are down 38 cents, or more than 5%, to $6.26 as at 2 pm.

Paul Little has agreed to return to Toll as a non-executive director after “an appropriate period”, which has not as yet been determined.

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