News

 

Showing stories from July 2010

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Brumby blames Rudd for poll slump

Posted Thursday, 1 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victorian Premier John Brumby has blamed Labor's dismal performance in the latest opinion poll on the damage to the Labor brand under former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

The Newspoll, taken before Julia Gillard became prime minister, shows the Victorian Labor government primary vote has slipped to 34 per cent, down from 41 per cent at the end of last year.

It is the worst result for the Labor government since the Kirner years in 1992.

Rio Tinto, BHP must open parts of rail network

Posted Thursday, 1 July, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Australian Competition Tribunal has determined that Rio Tinto Ltd and BHP Billiton Ltd must let smaller miners use their respective Robe River and Goldsworthy rail lines in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, while protecting Rio Tinto’s Hamersley line and BHP's Mt Newman line.

The Tribunal said Robe River and Goldsworthy dealt less with iron ore than the other rail lines, so there would be less disruption to their operators. The Robe River line will be opened up to competitors until 2018, although they had asked for 20 years of access.

Asciano signs $320m in coal contract

Posted Thursday, 1 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Asciano Group has signed a 10 year $320 million agreement with a coal mining joint venture to move up to 3 million tonnes per year of coal in Queensland.

The contract was signed with Middlemount Coal Pty Ltd, a joint venture between local miner Macarthur Coal and Singapore's Noble Group, and Asciano will start hauling from January 1, 2012.

Asciano will haul the coal from the new Middlemount mine complex, the Melbourne-based company said in a statement on Thursday.

Toddler breaks collarbone in fall from moving train at Kuranda

Posted Thursday, 1 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

POLICE have been interviewing witnesses in an effort to find out how a three-year-old girl fell off a moving train and onto the track at Kuranda, near Cairns.

The girl fell from the train and broke a collarbone around 3.35pm near the Kuranda Railway Station.

Another child alerted their father to the toddler on the tracks.

New-look QR seeks base in Ipswich

Posted Thursday, 1 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND Rail’s new passenger arm is still looking for an Ipswich base but expects to have a temporary office set up by the end of the year.

As of today, Queensland Rail has been split in two, with the government set to retain all aspects of its passenger services, including the trains and tracks, which will still be called Queensland Rail.

ARG joins grain rail tender

Posted Thursday, 1 July, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Grain handler CBH Group is evaluating competing bids for hauling WA's grain crop after the current provider, Australian Railroad Group, and several other rail providers submitted tenders.

Earlier this week, CBH chief executive officer, Andrew Crane said an encouraging number of proposals had been lodged by rail providers from around Australia and the world.

"We believe it is an attractive contract because of the size of the task and the opportunities for improvement including in scheduling, labour arrangements and rolling stock technologies," said Dr Crane.

Government presses ahead with coal rail network sale

Posted Thursday, 1 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Government says it plans to go ahead with a public float of QR National despite an offer from coal companies to buy the coal rail network.

QR National has today split from Queensland Rail's passenger services ahead of privatisation.

Passenger services will remain publicly-owned.

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says a bid from a consortium of coal companies lacks detail.

Bright idea flies into the unknown

Posted Thursday, 1 July, 2010 by Speed in Other Transport News

An experimental aircraft, Solar Impulse, is set to take off from a Swiss airbase in the first attempt to fly around the clock fuelled by the energy of the sun.

Transport Minister pledges four extra train services

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

AN overhaul of the southeast's CityTrain timetable is on track to squeeze extra services on to the network.

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said the newly divided Queensland Rail would improve services for commuters, with a focus on fixing overcrowding and poor frequency on the network.

She said four new services would be rolled out on the Ipswich and Caboolture lines next month, while $200 million would be spent improving almost a third of the 211 train stations across the southeast.

Minor fire forces evacuation of train – NSW Central West

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A mechanical fault is being blamed for a minor fire that forced the evacuation of a passenger train in the state’s Central West this afternoon.

Emergency services responded to reports of a fire on the Sydney-bound Countrylink ‘Outback Explorer’ train as it approached Manildra, 45km west of Orange, about 4.30pm.

Metro trains fails again

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Metro trains has conceded it has failed to meet its punctuality targets for the seventh month in a row.

Metro ran about 83 per cent of trains within five minutes of their scheduled time in June.

That is slightly better than last month's 82-point-seven percent.

Metro commuters urged to claim compo

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Long-suffering rail commuters have been urged to claim compensation from Metro for late services as figures show the train operator has paid out an average of just $50,000 a month to customers since it took over the network.

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said only a "token amount" of passengers were claiming daily Metcards from Metro, which in June failed to meet punctuality targets for the seventh month in a row.

FMG rail war with BHP, Rio to drag on

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The rail access battle between Fortescue Metals Group Ltd and the mining giants will drag on for years, junior miners in Western Australia's Pilbara region say.

The Australian Competition Tribunal on Wednesday decided to allow third parties to use the Goldsworthy and Robe rail lines owned by BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd, respectively.

The tribunal did not, however, declare BHP's Mr Newman and Rio's Hamersley rail lines, which were regarded as more important, open to smaller miners.

Metro delays after tram derails at level crossing

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Commuters have been warned to expect delays in Melbourne's south-east this morning after a tram derailed at a level crossing and came to rest across railway tracks.

Peak-hour train services on the Frankston line are expected to be delayed by up to 15 minutes after the the tram jumped off its tracks near Glenhuntly station - the second incident at the same crossing in just two days.

Don't get taken for a ride: airport rail link not needed

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE popular view seems to be that a rail link from the CBD to Melbourne airport is a "no brainer" and that it would have been built long ago but for an unholy combination of vested interests and government timidity.

Much as I would enjoy a train to the airport, there needs to be a better reason than conspiracy theories or that it's an ''embarrassment'' that a city the size of Melbourne doesn't have one while Sydney and Brisbane do. There needs to be a calm, measured evaluation of whether it's a good idea.

Long term port access secured for export of Peculiar Knob iron ore

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Western Plains Resources Limited (ASX:WPG) is pleased to advise that it has executed binding lease, licence and pricing agreements with Flinders Ports Pty Ltd that will give the Company long term access to Berth 7 at Port Pirie for the export of iron ore and coal.

The initial term of the agreements is 10 years with WPG holding rights to extend the term for a total period of up to 30 years.

WPG intends to take the decision to commit to project development at its flagship Peculiar Knob direct shipping iron ore mine in H2 2010. To the best of WPG’s knowledge, Peculiar Knob is the highest grade undeveloped DSO deposit in Australia, with the lowest levels of the key impurities alumina and phosphorus.

Call to muzzle rail noise

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by 2001 in South Australian Rail News

LE FEVRE Peninsula residents living next to the rail freight corridor are demanding noise buffers or a night curfew to shield them from screeching train wheels and blaring horns, as the line becomes the state’s busiest.

About 160 freight trains use the line adjacent Mersey Rd weekly, at all hours of the day and night, up from 40 movements, since the opening of Outer Harbor’s new $135 million grain terminal earlier this year.

The rail corridor has now overtaken the Adelaide to Perth route as the most frequently used freight line in SA, which sees an average of 130 trains a week.

Rattling windows, vibrations causing cracks to form in walls, squealing brakes and thumping wheels are among the complaints from residents, who say the increased traffic has made living near the line intolerable.

Talbot residents rally for train service

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by aussiebbq in Victorian Rail News

TALBOT residents have spoken loud and clear - "we want trains to stop here".
A community campaign to include the small township in the state government funded rail development is gaining momentum.

Two weeks ago Premier John Brumby announced passenger rail services would return to Clunes on the Maryborough line, which will open later this year.

Residents argue that an extra stop at Talbot would boost tourism and enable the town to grow significantly.

Yesterday, more than 50 people met at the station to hear the progress of the campaign.

Central Goldfields Shire mayor Chris Meddows-Taylor said it was crucial the community stayed active as council developed a business plan to help further the cause.

Rail decision could help Atlas projects

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Junior iron ore miner Atlas Iron Ltd says it welcomes the Australian Competition Tribunal's decision to declare BHP Billiton Ltd's Goldsworthy railway open to smaller miners, which could help Atlas' projects.

The tribunal on Wednesday decided to allow third parties to use the Goldsworthy and Robe rail lines, which are owned by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Ltd respectively, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The tribunal did not, however, declare BHP Billiton's Mt Newman and Rio Tinto's Hamersley rail lines, which were regarded as more important, open to smaller miners.

Aquila eyes Rio's Robe rail for project

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Aquila Resources Ltd says the Australian Competition Tribunal's decision to open up Rio Tinto Ltd's Robe railway in Western Australia to other users may benefit the smaller miner's West Pilbara iron ore project.

The Robe rail line runs to Rio Tinto's wholly owned port at Cape Lambert.

Aquila, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd and Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd (MCC) have considered constructing their own rail line and a new port at Anketell Point so they don't have to rely on Rio Tinto granting access to its infrastructure.

Power surge sparks rail chaos on Metro and V-Line tracks

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

DELAYS have surged to over an hour for some rail lines in the state's west tonight.

Trains on Metro's Williamstown, Werribee and the V-Line Geelong corridor have been delayed up to an hour.

A Metro spokeswoman advised passengers avoid travelling on these lines and suggested footy fans using them to seek alternative travel arrangements to arrive in time for the clash between Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs at the MCG.

Footscray to Domain rail link made a national infrastructure priority

Posted Saturday, 3 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE $4.9 billion rail tunnel from Footscray to the Domain has been ranked as one of Australia's priority building projects - a key step in securing federal government funding.

The ranking was made in a new report by Infrastructure Australia that also recommends governments consider ''congestion charges'' - such as London's toll to enter the CBD - to pay for transport projects.

Woodchip mill ships first load: Industry helps diversify employment

Posted Saturday, 3 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A BULK ship will dock in Portland tomorrow to load the first output from a new $32 million woodchip mill near Heywood.

The export shipment to Japan will help lift gloomy clouds hanging over the Green Triangle's huge bluegum plantation industry.

Yesterday's official opening of the South West Fibre mill at Myamyn renewed confidence in the industry which was rocked when two major plantation companies went into receivership earlier this year.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Geoff White described the mill as a landmark investment after several setbacks.

Train crash driver sacked

Posted Saturday, 3 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE driver of the Metro train that crashed into a freight train near Craigieburn station in May has been sacked.

Five people were taken to hospital following the collision on May 4.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 3/7/2010.

Posted Sunday, 4 July, 2010 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 105 sightings for this week. This is four sighting more than last week, making a total of 2500 sightings for this year to date. On day 184 last year we had recorded 2047 sightings. This is 374 sightings up on the same time last year.

Plans on track for Gold Coast light rail

Posted Sunday, 4 July, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The first contract for a billion-dollar light rail system on Queensland's Gold Coast has been awarded.

Leighton Contractors will build the Gold Coast University Hospital Station Shell and carry out associated roadworks in Southport, worth approximately $33 million.

This first major package includes construction of the floor, roof and walls that will support the future light-rail station structure, Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said in a statement.

Rail transport chaos in Paris after lightning strike

Posted Sunday, 4 July, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

TRANSPORT chaos hit Paris at the start of the French holiday season today after all trains from one of the city's main stations were canceled after lightning cut power supplies.

France's state rail network SNCF said trains from the city's Austerlitz station, which provides services to the country's south and east as well as Spain, "will be canceled for the entire day."

Arriving trains were re-routed to other Parisian stations. The SNCF did not say how many passengers were hit by the suspension.

Hundreds were stuck in Austerlitz but some were philosophical.

Massive funds injection into German Railways

Posted Monday, 5 July, 2010 by seb2351 in International Rail News

A record $51 billion dollars is to be pumped into the German rail network, with funds being directed from modernising stations to the acquisition of new rollingstock

NSW transport projects need a jump-start

Posted Monday, 5 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NONE of the Sydney transport projects for which NSW is seeking federal funding has been judged ''ready to proceed'' by Infrastructure Australia, including the state government's big-ticket promise to build the $2.4 billion south-west rail link.

The latest report to the Council of Australian Governments by the federal funding body will also dash the hopes of Sydney motorists. While it classifies the $4 billion M5 east expansion as a project with ''real potential'', it indicates more work is required before funding is considered.

Only one NSW project - a $6 billion plan to upgrade the Pacific Highway - has received the tick of approval from the federal government's infrastructure funding body.

150th anniversary of first Market St. rail line in San Francisco

Posted Monday, 5 July, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

The Fourth of July is famous for other reasons, but today also is the 150th anniversary of the first run of the first street railway on the Pacific Coast - a two-car steam train that ran up San Francisco's Market Street.

$2b Galilee Basin rail project approved

Posted Monday, 5 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland's coordinator-general has approved a $2 billion major rail corridor in the state's central-west to open up mining projects in the Galilee Basin.

The Hancock rail corridor has been approved as an infrastructure facility of significance.

Hancock Coal wants to run a 495-kilometre standard gauge railway line from its proposed Alpha Coal mine to the port of Abbot Point, north of Mackay.

Rail meetings this week

Posted Monday, 5 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE five councils of Blayney, Cowra, Harden, Young and Weddin have been advised that the Ministerial Taskforce to examine the reopening of the rail line will hold its first meeting at Cowra on Thursday 8 July 2010.

South-west cattle train service reopens

Posted Tuesday, 6 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The first cattle train service in more than a year has left the south-west Queensland town of Quilpie, but there are still concerns about the State Government's plans for rail services to the bush.

The line west of Charleville was washed away by flooding earlier this year and it has taken three months to repair.

Quilpie Mayor David Edwards is hoping the resumption of train services is a good sign.

Federal investigations into Scone's coal train woes

Posted Tuesday, 6 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Upper Hunter Shire Council says it believes Federal Government officials now understand the problems posed by coal train movements through Scone.

Representatives from the Department of Transport and Infrastructure and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) have visited the town, after a request was made during senate estimates hearings.

Nightrider bus service cancelled

Posted Tuesday, 6 July, 2010 by bevans in Other Transport News

Bendigo's Nightrider bus service has collapsed due to a lack of consistent funding.

For the past three years, the bus has operated in the early hours of Sunday morning, ferrying nightclub patrons home.

In a recent deal licensed venues agreed to contribute to the operating costs, with the Greater Bendigo Council paying for half of the service.

But Sue Clarke, chair of the Safe Community Forum, says some of those venues have now reneged on the deal.

Work to start on $2bn pulp plant

Posted Tuesday, 6 July, 2010 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A REVITALISED $2 billion Penola pulp mill project will be one of the biggest infrastructure investments in South Australian history, creating 260 jobs and adding more than $500 million to the economy a year.

The project is back on track under the guidance of high-profile Adelaide businessman Greg Boulton and construction could start as early as the middle of next year.

Return of V/Line rail services to Maryborough

Posted Tuesday, 6 July, 2010 by jslasher in Victorian Rail News

The Victoria Government has announced that rail services would be re-introduced on Sunday, 25 July 2010.

Rail approval opens up Mine

Posted Tuesday, 6 July, 2010 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

THE Coordinator General has approved the proposed Hancock rail corridor — an essential milestone towards an Alpha Coal Mine, which could directly create up to 1600 jobs.

Making the announcement, Premier Anna Bligh said the corridor had been approved as an Infrastructure Facility of Significance (IFS) under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971.

Tourists saved from Sydney bus inferno

Posted Wednesday, 7 July, 2010 by Speed in Other Transport News

A tourist bus caught alight on Tuesday night while travelling along Sydney's Gore Hill freeway.

Derailment closed Pilbara line: BHP

Posted Wednesday, 7 July, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

BHP Billiton has confirmed its main Pilbara train line was closed over the weekend because of a derailment.

Major power disruption causes train delay chaos in Melbourne

Posted Wednesday, 7 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Metro trains are in damage control this evening with a major power blackout affecting trains in the Flinders Street area. Railpage has been advised a number of Metro trains are stopped and unable to move in the Jolimont area.

Valley minds the gap on tube route (Brisbane Metro)

Posted Thursday, 8 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Rail commuters could discover next month where Brisbane's proposed underground tube-style train network will run, but Fortitude Valley businesses fear they will miss out.

Cross River Rail project director Luke Franzmann yesterday told a Fortitude Valley Chamber of Commerce lunch a decision on which of three short-listed options would be made soon.

High hopes for rail outcomes in ministerial meeting

Posted Thursday, 8 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

There are high hopes for today's first meeting of a new ministerial taskforce after a 15-year campaign to keep rail lines open in the New South Wales central west.

The Blayney, Cowra, Harden, Young and Weddin Shires have been working intensively for the past two years to try to get the line between Blayney and Harden upgraded and fully re-opened.

Councillor Maurice Simpson will represent the group at today's meeting.

Bad timing for QR asset sell-off: Opposition

Posted Thursday, 8 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Opposition says timing is another reason for the State Government to call off this year's planned float of Queensland Rail's (QR) coal business.

The head of the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) says the asset should be privatised but that the market is deteriorating.

Australian Rail Track Corp To Take Equity In Queensland Rail Group

Posted Thursday, 8 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

CANBERRA -(Dow Jones)- Federal government-owned Australian Rail Track Corp. will join 13 mining companies and take up an equity interest in Queensland Coal Industry Rail Group, the corporation said Thursday.

Rail Track Corp. will become a party to a subscription agreement with the other members of the consortium, it announced in a brief statement. A spokesman said further information isn't available at this point.

Underground train stations in Brisbane to cost $100m each

Posted Friday, 9 July, 2010 by Peter_J in Queensland Rail News

FOUR underground train stations planned for Brisbane's inner city will carry a price tag of more than $100 million each.

Rail line reopens after fatal crossing accident

Posted Friday, 9 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A rail line in Queensland's Central Highlands has reopened after a fatal accident yesterday morning.

A 28-year-old man was killed and a 24-year-old man received serious head and chest injuries after their four-wheel-drive collided with a coal train near Moranbah, south-west of Mackay.

Back to the original problem - finding a way through Sydney's rail congestion

Posted Friday, 9 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

It's almost a tale of two cities. The state government has shelving its proposed metro projects but Infrastructure Australia is keeping the door ajar for the western metro to proceed, along with a private proposal for a railway line linking the city's north-west with the CBD.

Papers tabled in the NSW Parliament this week made it crystal clear that the CBD Metro, or its most recent transfiguration, Metro stage one - to run from Central to Rozelle and costing $5.3 billion - was a lemon.

Fraser tight-lipped over Qld Rail sale timing

Posted Sunday, 11 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Treasurer Andrew Fraser says the State Government will wait until the last moment in deciding when to float Queensland Rail's (QR) coal freight business.

Mr Fraser has acknowledged warnings the current market for public floats is not good.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 11/7/2010.

Posted Sunday, 11 July, 2010 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 107 sightings for this week. This is two sighting more than last week, making a total of 2607 sightings for this year to date. On day 191 last year we had recorded 2208 sightings. This is 399 sightings up on the same time last year.

India Concerned Over China Plans for Rail Link to Pakistan

Posted Monday, 12 July, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

BANGALORE, India—The Indian defense minister has expressed deep concern over new momentum behind a Chinese proposal to build a rail link from China to Pakistan.

The planned line would go through the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region, part of the Pakistan occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is expected to cover a distance of about 435 miles, traveling through the Karakoram mountain ranges in the Himalayas. The line will give China access to Pakistan. China already has a rail link in Tibet close to the Indian border.

Melbourne rail revamp revealed

Posted Monday, 12 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Five new stations - including an underground rail station at North Melbourne's Arden Street - are part of the Brumby government's new $10 billion transport plan.

Premier John Brumby today released the Victorian Transport Plan report for 2010, describing it as a significant milestone for Melbourne’s transport future.

In the biggest expansion of Melbourne's rail network since the City Loop, the $4.5 billion Melbourne Metro rail tunnel will provide capacity for an extra 12,000 passengers every hour.

Opposition may scrap myki, says Baillieu

Posted Monday, 12 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu has said he may scrap myki if his party wins government in November.

Today marks five years since the Government signed the contract to deliver myki by March 1, 2007.

It is now three years late and its budget has blown out to $1.35 billion.

Asked this morning if the opposition would scrap myki if it won government, Mr Baillieu said: “We are now looking at our legal options.”

Houses to go for new regional rail link

Posted Monday, 12 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Up to 26 houses will be compulsorily acquired under a $4.3 billion plan to fast-track regional rail services between Melbourne and western Victoria.

Victorian Premier John Brumby released the route for the Regional Rail Link project today, promising commuters between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo faster and more reliable train services.

Under the plan, regional trains travelling between Southern Cross Station and western Victoria will have their own dedicated line.

Brumby's infrastructure menu

Posted Tuesday, 13 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

JOHN Brumby has presented the Prime Minister with a $7 billion menu for infrastructure spending in Victoria.

He hopes she will green-light funding for rail and road projects in key seats in Melbourne and the inner west.

In a timely reminder to voters about the government's announced transport plan, Mr Brumby yesterday presented a "progress report" on Victoria's rail and road projects just five months from the state election.

It included details on where the $4.3bn regional rail link will go.

Cup win may bring light rail to city

Posted Tuesday, 13 July, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Canberra will be a significant beneficiary of a successful Australian soccer World Cup finals bid, which could also help the city get a light rail network.

The Football Federation of Australia believes its bid to host the 2022 World Cup received an enormous boost from the success of Sydney's Fan Fest event, which about 500,000 people attended over the four weeks despite the late kick-off times and cold weather.

The host country will be announced in December.

IBIS World yesterday published research that found holding a World Cup in Australia would inject $35.56billion into the national economy if it was held in 2022.

Brisbane's CBD to get new underground rail station

Posted Wednesday, 14 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Premier Anna Bligh says a new underground railway station will be built in Brisbane's CBD.

Albert Street has been chosen as the best site for a new underground railway station in Brisbane's CBD.

It will service a proposed new rail tunnel under the Brisbane River, linking Salisbury in the south to Wooloowin in the north.

Govt defends consultations on transport plan

Posted Wednesday, 14 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The State Government says public servants were scared off by the media yesterday, as they tried to tell residents at Footscray, their homes would be demolished.

Up to 50 homes in Footscray and Sunshine will acquired to make way for the development that is part of the Government's transport plan.

Premier John Brumby has criticised the media for alerting residents first and rejected claims the Department of Transport failed to consult the community.

Rail station vandal hit with drug charge

Posted Wednesday, 14 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police in Kyneton are expecting to charge a man with criminal damage and drug possession after he allegedly vandalised the town's railway station.

Premier, minister refuse to say sorry for rail-link bungle

Posted Wednesday, 14 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IT WAS meant to be a pre-election good news story about how Premier John Brumby was taking action to unclog trains and roads in Melbourne's crowed inner-west.

But last night the government was in damage control after its multibillion-dollar transport dream turned into a PR nightmare.

Mr Brumby and Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula were refusing to say ''sorry''to dozens of distressed residents of Footscray who found out from the media their homes would be bulldozed to make way for the $4.3 billion Regional Rail Link.

Central the way to go

Posted Friday, 16 July, 2010 by Peter_J in Queensland Rail News

Station turns card only on July 26

Prepare for grief at the gates of Brisbane's busiest train station in less than two weeks.

MP bore only good news on rail link

Posted Friday, 16 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

NEVER get between a politician and a good news story.

Labor MP for Footscray Marsha Thomson on Monday morning this week had letters hand-delivered to residents of Railway Place, a street in her electorate that had campaigned hard against their homes being demolished for the government's $4.3 billion Regional Rail Link project.

''I am pleased to be able to announce today that the route chosen for the Regional Rail Link will not impact on your neighbourhood,'' wrote Ms Thomson, a state government minister for seven years until 2006.

Rail workers threaten to strike

Posted Friday, 16 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

New South Wales train services could be disrupted next month as Railcorp workers push for a bigger pay rise.

The state's rail workers are expected to vote this week in favour of taking industrial action as they campaign for a 5 per cent pay rise over three years, two times the State Government's offer.

Negotiations are continuing but rail employees are losing patience after their enterprise bargaining agreement expired in April

Election year support for cross-river rail

Posted Friday, 16 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Brisbane's underground rail project has the support of the federal government, but the opposition wants more details on its cost before committing to the project in the lead-up to the 2010 election.

A spokesman for federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said the government supported the $8.2 billion cross-river rail project.

"That is why we have put $20 million towards the completion of the feasibility study in last year's budget, to try to bring this project up to the next stage," the spokesman said.

Northern rail line back on track

Posted Saturday, 17 July, 2010 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

The Bell Bay rail line in northern Tasmania will reopen in September.

The line between Hobart and Bell Bay closed earlier in the year because two significant customers decided to ship their products out of the Burnie port instead.

Blue Mountains passenger train catches fire

Posted Saturday, 17 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Investigations are underway into a passenger train fire in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

State Rail now says 30 people were evacuated from the train after one of its engines overheated and caught fire near Springwood.

Spokesman John Novakovic says two people were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

The Brumby government managed to turn a transport triumph into disaster

Posted Saturday, 17 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IT was supposed to be an announcement that heralded the Brumby government's transport credentials just five months out from an election, to remind voters of its plans to ease inner-city congestion on roads and trains.

A $4.3 billion regional train line that ran through the western suburbs, a $4.5bn proposal for extra city stations and a $2.8bn plan for a tunnel for truck traffic in the west.

Despite the bulk of the announcements previously mooted or awaiting the funding green light from the federal government, it should have been a good news story for Labor.

But what happened this week will no doubt go down as one of the worst examples of public relations management by a government and its team of spinners.

Cadbury to use Bell Bay rail line

Posted Saturday, 17 July, 2010 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

TASRAIL has found a sweet solution to the shutdown of its Bell Bay line.

Cadbury Kraft will use the line after it reopens from the end of September to transport imported cocoa from the port to its Hobart factory and to get block chocolate back to Bell Bay for shipping interstate, to New Zealand and Asia.

Infrastructure Minister Lara Giddings said yesterday when announcing the reopening that Cadbury would be the only customer on the line initially.

On the heartache express

Posted Saturday, 17 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE blinds for Ruth Illich's $1.1 million warehouse in Footscray, which has been undergoing a $75,000 renovation for the past four months, were due to turn up this week. So were the builders.

On Thursday, Illich was trying to cancel both, after learning - through a bungled compulsory acquisition process - that her home would probably be demolished to make way for a new train line.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 17/7/2010.

Posted Sunday, 18 July, 2010 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 112 sightings for this week. This is five sighting more than last week, making a total of 2719 sightings for this year to date. On day 199 last year we had recorded 2298 sightings. This is 421 sightings up on the same time last year.

Residents left hanging as rail link bungle hits home

Posted Monday, 19 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FOOTSCRAY residents who may lose their homes in a compulsory acquisition process started by the state government last week have been told they won't know for two months if their houses will go.

The news comes as the Department of Transport says it does not know how many trains will run on the Regional Rail Link project when it is completed.

This is despite the $4.3 billion project having been planned for the past two years.

Car on rail track – Springwood

Posted Monday, 19 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a car crash at Springwood overnight which has left a car on rail tracks.

About 3am today a 48-year-old Katoomba man was driving his Toyota Prado westbound on the Great Western Highway.

It appears the driver has struck the boundary fence of the rail corridor and destroyed the pedestrian crossing on the city bound line causing significant damage to the gate structure and the signal controller.

Elephant runs amok, enters railway station

Posted Monday, 19 July, 2010 by grace in International Rail News

An elephant ran amok in Thrissur city on Saturday, injuring its mahouts and causing panic for around three hours.

The elephant, Vadakkunnathan Krishnan, turned violent at Kottappuram around 11-45 a.m. while it was taken back from a ceremony called ‘Anayoottu' held at Sree Vadakkunatha Temple in the heart of the city in which 49 elephants were fed.

It certainly was a great day for the YVR and for the Yarra Valley

Posted Monday, 19 July, 2010 by thunda in Victorian Rail News

The weekend saw the official return of railmotor traffic to Healesville with Minister Tim Holding on Sunday officially cutting the ribbon on the RM service.

The morning saw 22RM being given the final spruce up, ready for all the pics. A members meeting was held in the morning, during which ATHRA chairman Peter Silva Presented the YVR with a plaque.

10 Tunnels to celebrate 100th anniversary

Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2010 by flying_donkey in Rail News

PLANS are underway to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the opening of the ‘Ten Tunnels’ rail link to Lithgow and the closing of the Zig Zag, with a weekend of railway heritage activities on October 16 and 17.

Government adds cycle and walking path alongside light rail extension

Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

WORK on the light rail extension to Dulwich Hill will begin by December and should be completed within two years, with the state government using more of the disused freight rail corridor for urban passenger transport.

The $500 million project will connect the light rail terminus at Lilyfield with the heavy rail network in Dulwich Hill, which is on the Bankstown line.

From Lilyfield, the stations will be Leichhardt North, Hawthorne, Marion, Taverners Hill, Lewisham West, Waratah Mills, Arlington and Dulwich Grove, with an interchange at Dulwich Hill.

New fast track rail service opens in Japan

Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

Tourists heading to Japan on holiday can now benefit from a new express train service from Narita International Airport, which could get them to downtown Tokyo in as little as 36 minutes.

The new Narita Sky Access opened over the weekend and boasts trains with a top speed of 100 miles per hour. The journey from the airport to the centre of Tokyo usually takes nearly an hour but the new service can cut this time by around 15 minutes.

Mayors campaign for Coast rail extension

Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

MEMBERS of the southeast Queensland council of mayors have joined forces to endorse a campaign asking for federal funding to extend the city's railway network right down to the Gold Coast Airport.

The mayors, from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast and west to Toowoomba, identified the rail project as one of seven key projects crucial to the state in the unprecedented move.

Internet call for V/Line rail services

Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/LINE trains would be equipped with wireless internet and dedicated workstations under a bold proposal put forward by business leaders in Melbourne and Ballarat.

The Committee for Melbourne and the Committee for Ballarat issued a joint plea last week for better internet facilities on all commuter trains between Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.

Committee for Melbourne chief executive Andrew MacLeod said WiFi internet was already on public transport in many countries around the world and was critical in attracting business.

Return of train services to Maryborough

Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Train services will return to Maryborough on Sunday 25 July (more info), with 14 services running every week between Maryborough and Melbourne (via Ballarat).

The State Government has committed $50 million to the project which includes the upgrade of Creswick Station, signalling works, train stabling and upgrading the track between Ballarat and Maryborough.

Police charge City Loop brawl suspects

Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police have charged a group of males with affray over a brawl at a train station in Melbourne's City Loop a month ago.

A police spokesman confirmed the suspects, who handed themselves in this morning, had been charged over the melee, which left one man in hospital and up to five others injured.

The men fronted police less than 24 hours after CCTV footage of the alleged bashing, which occurred at Parliament Station on June 19, was released.

Labor going backwards on roads and rail

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

A report yesterday warned that the condition of state and local roads, rail and electricity infrastructure had all gone backwards. THE problems plaguing Labor in NSW were highlighted yesterday when The report by Engineers Australia found that "major changes" were needed to the state's infrastructure as it was generally in a poor to average condition.

Asciano abandoned rail sharing talks with QR

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

HE increasingly painful rail track access stand-off between QR National and Asciano has been reignited.

The state rail operator revealed that its emerging Queensland coal freight competitor walked away from infrastructure sharing discussions in December last year.

In its formal response to Asciano's attempt to have Queensland's coal freight rail track and some supporting facilities declared by the National Competition Council, QR National says the companies have twice held detailed discussions over "reciprocal infrastructure sharing", first in 2008 and then through 2009.

Compo for rail link residents

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Government has confirmed the owners of several houses at Footscray that will be affected by the regional rail link will be eligible for compensation.

The houses in Buckley and Victoria streets are outside the area of homes to be compulsorily acquired by the government to make way for the project.

Police Incident at Newport Railway Station

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A woman has been injured in an attempted robbery at Newport Railway Station this morning. The woman was attacked by a group who were riding in a car on a street adjacent to the station.

Billions being spent on rail network: ARTC

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) says it is spending billions of dollars on the Hunter Valley's coal chain network in a bid to get freight off the region's roads.

A new infrastructure report card by Engineers Australia has found the rail network has performed well under the ARTC's management.

But the report's authors say it is crucial there is even more investment in rail.

New report card gives state's rail -D

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

A new report card has found three quarters of infrastructure in New South Wales is in need of major changes.

Engineers Australia has tracked the development of infrastructure in New South Wales over the past seven years.

Believe it, or not, rail link is a goer

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A $1 BILLION rail project, linking Moree to Toowoomba in Queensland, has been described as a nationally significant piece of infrastructure by the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Anthony Albanese.

“In recognition of its potential as a nationally significant piece of infrastructure, I’ve granted Major Project Facilitation (MPF) status to the Border Railway Project being advanced by the Australian Transport and Energy Corridor Ltd (ATEC).

Car on Springwood rail tracks

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A car destroyed a railway pedestrian crossing and travelled 100 metres along the tracks before coming to rest in a drainage ditch in Springwood last weekend.

The vehicle, driven by a Katoomba man, was travelling west on the Great Western Highway about 3am last Sunday, July 18 when it struck a boundary fence on the rail corridor, police said in a statement.

Metro may reopen use of gates

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

METRO is considering bringing back entrance gates on platforms at 25 of Melbourne's most overcrowded railway stations in a bid to better control the flow of passengers getting on and off trains.

Gippsland call for additional train services

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WELLINGTON Shire Council has developed a report supporting its bid to increase passenger rail services between Sale and Traralgon.

The report, to be put forward for adoption at tonight's council meeting, sets out the business case to increase services from the current three to six.

Police blitz on Melbourne's rail system

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victoria Police will target violent offenders on Melbourne's rail network with a "saturation operations" blitz on train lines over the coming weeks, Chief Commissioner Simon Overland said today.

Under the safety push, a mixture of uniformed and plain-clothes police officers will take over whole train lines, patrolling known troublespots in a bid to curb anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related problems.

Blackout hits commuters, 40,000 homes

Posted Wednesday, 21 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Rail commuters were stranded on a train for more than 40 minutes in Melbourne's west this morning when a power surge cut electricity to the area.

The blackout also hit almost 40,000 homes and businesses in the area for a short time after a transformer inside the Laverton sub-station malfunctioned about 8.50am.

New $500m railway line 'unsafe'

Posted Thursday, 22 July, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

LARGE sections of the newly upgraded Melbourne-Albury rail line have been declared unsafe, forcing trains to slow down and prompting claims that the $500 million project has been bungled.

The train drivers union says speed restrictions have had to be enforced along 58 kilometres of the line where hundreds of large, mud-filled potholes have formed under the newly installed sleepers and rails.

The union says the holes under the tracks have caused carriages to separate and train drivers to almost bounce out of their seats. And it says resulting speed restrictions are adding an hour to the supposedly high-speed Melbourne-Sydney XPT passenger service.

Myki transit card ready for buses and trams

Posted Thursday, 22 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Long-suffering Melbourne commuters finally get smartcard.

The Victorian Government will extend the myki transit smartcard to cover buses and trams in two public transport zones from next week.

The troubled system went live late last year but only for trains.

It was now ready to be extended to other forms of public transport in Melbourne zones one and two, said the State's Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula.

He said a "significant amount of work had gone into getting the system ready for trams and buses during the past few months".

Bell tolls for last of the old trams

Posted Thursday, 22 July, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

THE historic Glenelg tram that was to be a tourist drawcard will be confined to the railyard unless the local mayor can broker a deal between the council and TransAdelaide.

The future of the tram was put in jeopardy when Holdfast Bay Council decided to cut funding to the Glenelg to Morphettville Tourist Tram Service, which was the last remaining service for the H-Class tram, at a committee meeting last week because at $300,000 it was too expensive.

Govt focus on ageing rail, ports

Posted Thursday, 22 July, 2010 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Senior officials from Infrastructure Australia will visit Tasmania next month to look at ways to improve the state's ageing infrastructure.

An independent report recently gave the state's rail network an "F" rating and found the road network was below par.

Greens push regional rail agenda

Posted Thursday, 22 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Greens have unveiled plans to boost regional rail infrastructure by moving freight off roads and onto trains.

The party wants to end the subsidisation of B-double truck registrations and invest the money in the Australian Rail Track Corporation to help create more jobs.

The federal election policy has been unveiled in Dubbo by the Greens' candidates for Calare and Parkes, Jeremy Buckingham and Matt Parmeter.

Pitt Street possum stops monorail

Posted Thursday, 22 July, 2010 by Speed in New South Wales Rail News

The rescue of an injured possum on Pitt Street on Wednesday afternoon requries the suspension of monorail services for half an hour.

Parents swing into action to stop relocation plan

Posted Thursday, 22 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

WITH 84 children, and 350 on its waiting list, uprooting St Thomas's Rozelle Child Care Centre to make way for a metro line that may never be built is not something parents will take lying down.

The community child-care centre is on one of the busiest sections of Victoria Road - at the corner of Darling Street - and is one of the first sites to be resumed for the Sydney metro line planned from Central to Rozelle.

Rail 'creates more jobs than road transport'

Posted Friday, 23 July, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

MORE jobs would be created by reducing car use and encouraging a switch to rail travel, according to a new report.

The findings. commissioned by pteg, the Campaign for Better Transport and Sustrans from researchers Ekosgen, show that 100 direct rail jobs support 140 ‘indirect and induced’ jobs, while 100 direct motor industry jobs support only 48 other jobs.

Myki set to go on trams, buses

Posted Friday, 23 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne's much-maligned myki smartcard system will go live on trams and buses on Sunday even though the $1.35 billion operation still has problems, Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula has announced.

Mr Pakula said today that ''bugs'' are likely to emerge when the bungled system - which is $350 million over budget - is up and running.

Late arrival has train officials in a flap

Posted Saturday, 24 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE first train on Wodonga’s $181 million rail bypass made its belated journey across the Lincoln Causeway yesterday afternoon but not before what was believed to be a driver protest threatened to derail the celebrations. A mercy dash to North Albury by rail executives prevented a public relations disaster.

The Pacific National train had been expected about 3pm, the same time phones started ringing at the new Wodonga Rail Station celebration.

Wodonga bypass causing train delays

Posted Saturday, 24 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Passenger rail services between Melbourne and Sydney will be disrupted until early next month because of the Wodonga bypass commissioning.

Drivers to be warned of oncoming trains

Posted Saturday, 24 July, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

Wireless technology to warn cars at level crossings of oncoming trains - potentially eliminating collisions and saving lives - could be ready to roll out in three years, researchers say.

La Trobe University in Melbourne is developing the technology, to be trialled in 100 vehicles.

The trial, to begin next year, should be completed by the end of 2012, the head of the $4 million project Jack Singh said.

The system uses wireless and GPS technology to broadcast a visual and audio warning in vehicles approaching level crossings when a train is expected.

Eurotunnel celebrates 250 million people through the Channel Tunnel

Posted Saturday, 24 July, 2010 by Tonymercury in International Rail News

Today, 21 July 2010, Eurotunnel celebrates the passage of 250 million people through the Channel Tunnel since commercial services began, 16 years ago, in June 1994.

This significant number (equivalent to half the population of the European Union!), includes car and coach passengers on board Passenger Shuttles, Truck drivers and their companions travelling on Truck Shuttles and passengers on Eurostar trains between London, Paris and Brussels.

58% of the 250 million people are customers on Eurotunnel Shuttles, the car and truck carrying system that runs between Folkestone and Calais in just 35 minutes, with up to 10 departures per hour in each direction.

One dies, 42 hurt when Swiss tourist train derails

Posted Monday, 26 July, 2010 by The Man in Blue in International Rail News

FIESCH, Switzerland (Reuters) - One passenger died and 42 were injured on Friday when one of Switzerland's best-known tourist trains, the Glacier Express, derailed at the height of the holiday season, a railway official said.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 24/7/2010.

Posted Monday, 26 July, 2010 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 111 sightings for this week. This is one sighting less than last week, making a total of 2830 sightings for this year to date. On day 205 last year we had recorded 2383 sightings. This is 447 sightings up on the same time last year.

Man killed as V/Line train hits car at level crossing

Posted Monday, 26 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A man was killed when his car was struck by a train on a level crossing north-west of Melbourne last night, police say.

The 21-year-old's car was hit by a V/Line passenger train on the crossing on the Old Calder Highway at Diggers Rest just after 8pm. The Diggers Rest man died at the scene.

The Melbourne-bound train, which originated in Swan Hill, had 88 people including passengers and crew on board at the time.

Kapooka Bridge to be replaced

Posted Monday, 26 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Government has announced funds to design a replacement for the notorious Kapooka Bridge on the Olympic Highway.

Central Station 'closed' to paper tickets

Posted Monday, 26 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Central effectively became a closed railway station today as fare gates were shut to paper ticket holders.

For the first time this morning, paper ticket holders had to have their ticket checked with Queensland Rail staff to be let through the fare gates.

Previously the fare gates remained open for paper ticket holders, who had to briefly flash their ticket to QR staff.

Canberra would have a light rail system under a plan by the Greens

Posted Monday, 26 July, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

GREENS leader Bob Brown has launched a light rail blueprint for Canberra as part of a plan to establish light rail in cities across the nation.

Senator Brown wants revenue from the mining tax to be diverted into fast rail to link capital cities and light rail in cities to ease congestion.

Senator Brown said the proposal could be funded through a “fair mining tax” or the Future Fund.

Still not perfect, but myki makes full debut - at last

Posted Monday, 26 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

YKI'S first day of full operation in Melbourne has been marred by a series of minor problems, with users complaining of overcharging, continuing issues with the $1.35 billion smartcard's website, and equipment failures.

The myki card became valid for use on all public transport in Melbourne yesterday, three years and five months after it was meant to replace Metcard. Myki had been valid for travel on trains since January, but not trams and buses.

Metcard will continue to work alongside myki in Melbourne until at least next April.

Qantas plane forced to turn back

Posted Monday, 26 July, 2010 by bevans in Other Transport News

A Qantas airliner has been forced to turn back to Sydney after its de-icing equipment failed mid-air.

Flight QF922 left for Cairns at 10.35am (AEST) on Sunday and was forced to turn around about 90 minutes into the flight, a Qantas spokeswoman said.

Rail line reopens

Posted Monday, 26 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Passengers will be able to travel by train to the Victorian town of Maryborough for the first time in more than 15 years from Sunday.

Passenger rail services will return to the section of track between Creswick and Maryborough in central Victoria, extending the line which was decommissioned under the Kennett Liberal government in the 1990s.

Peak-hour test for myki smartcard system

Posted Monday, 26 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne's troubled myki ticketing system faced its first peak-hour test this morning after it was rolled out across the city's entire public transport network at the weekend.

Commuters' reactions to the smartcard were mixed in the city centre early today, with reports of myki readers on trams not working and many sceptics saying they would wait until teething problems were fixed before converting.

Metro Trains Melbourne - Major System Delays

Posted Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Due to major issue at Southern Cross Station (SCS) affecting power, there is significant delays across the network this morning. The problem was initially reported as a power issue at Flinders Street Station affecting only the Cranbourne and Pakenham Lines.

Delays on the affected lines have now reached 60+ minutes.

Petrie to Kippa-Ring Rail Line gets Go Ahead.

Posted Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 by Peter_J in Queensland Rail News

Julia Gillard to announce the fast tracking of the $1.15 billion Petrie to Kippa-Ring railway.
This line has been promised for about 30 years by various State & Federal Governments.
From the Courier Mail.

'Hours of chaos' ahead for Metro commuters

Posted Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Peak-hour train services were thrown into chaos across Victoria this morning after a massive power failure near Southern Cross Station brought the rail system to a halt.

Melbourne rail passengers are being warned that while trains are now back up and running, the backlog of services will take until at least lunchtime today to clear.

About 400,000 passengers were caught up in the chaos during peak-hour, with the Sydenham, Upfield and Werribee lines the worst hit.

Angry travellers lash out at Metro

Posted Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE'S angriest commuters have been revealed in a survey of our struggling train service.

Train travellers have ranked Metro lines in confidential surveys for the Department of Transport.

The research confirms passengers from the western suburbs are getting the worst service. Commuters on the Sydenham line between Footscray and Sunshine are fuming more than most.

Footscray residents rally over rail link

Posted Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Footscray residents whose homes will be destroyed to make way for the Regional Rail Link have rallied on the steps of Parliament.

Several houses in Footscray will be compulsorily acquired to make way for the new rail lines.

Protesters block Qld rail line

Posted Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Residents of a north Queensland town have blocked a railway line in protest over a planned upgrade they say will see more than 40 freight trains pass through a day.

Protesters blocked the line at Collinsville, west of Bowen, at 11am (AEST) on Tuesday and have vowed to remain there until senior representatives of rail provider QR National agree to meet with the community.

Metro rail debacle 'will cost state at least $12 million'

Posted Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

This morning’s rail meltdown is estimated to have cost Victoria’s economy at least $12 million in lost productivity after the travel plans of 400,000 peak-hour commuters were thrown into chaos.

University of Melbourne finance professor Kevin Davis said the rail disruptions would also cut into the leisure time of many Melburnians this afternoon as they stayed late to make up for time lost during this morning’s frustrating commute.

Rail scheme residents to get compo

Posted Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The Queensland Government has bought 44 properties and will reclaim all or part of another 200 to accommodate the Gold Coast light rail system.

Design work for the 13 kilometre track, which links the new Gold Coast University Hospital at Parklands to Broadbeach, has been completed and roadworks will begin in October.

Call for emissions payment to fund rail work

Posted Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) wants the voluntary car emissions payments, made under the State Government's Climate Change Action Plan, to go towards the development of rail infrastructure.

Drivers will be able to pay about $80 to offset the annual emissions of their cars, as part of the Government's plan to cut emissions by 20 per cent in the next 10 years.

Transport Minister Martin Pakula Press Conference

Posted Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victorian Transport Minister Martin Pakula has just announced at a Press Conference commuters will be compensated for failed services during todays Melbourne rail debacle

Rail chaos imperils Brumby

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

John Brumby's self-congratulatory mantra is that under his government, Victoria is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Not yesterday it wasn't.

Yesterday was an embarrassment for Victoria's capital, which markets itself as one of the world's most liveable cities.

Federal Labor puts brakes on coal rail sell-off

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE model being used by the Bligh government to sell off its coal rail business is anti-competitive

It disadvantages mining companies and is likely to slash the state's long-term royalty take, according to a commonwealth appraisal of the plan.

A series of briefing notes, obtained by The Australian using Freedom of Information laws, explain federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese's public opposition to the plan to sell part of Queensland Rail.

Asciano opposes bid for joint rail access

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

ASCIANO is trying to block 16 coalminers from bargaining with QR over use of railway infrastructure associated with a Gladstone port.

The move comes as the miner-funded coal terminal calls for expressions of interest from miners for a second-stage expansion of the $4 billion Wiggins Island coal export terminal at Gladstone from 2015 or 2016.

Child abuser dies at train station

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A MAN who collapsed and died on the platform of Wacol train station yesterday has been confirmed as convicted serial pedophile Keith Albert Beattie.

Recently released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence, the 68-year-old suffered a suspected heart attack before falling to the ground about 10.50am.

How one snap hit the entire rail system

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

AT 4.55AM yesterday a badly worn cable that supported overhead power wires for city trains snapped.

While the failure was a serious one, the cable's location could not have been worse - and as a result Melbourne's entire train system was thrown into disarray.

The broken support cable was at the southern end of platforms 13 and 14 at Southern Cross Station.

Norfolk Southern profit surge on volume, prices

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

NEW YORK — Railroad Norfolk Southern Corp. said Tuesday that second-quarter earnings surged 59 percent, as shipments increased, prices rose and efficiency improved in the recovering economy.

The Norfolk, Va., company earned $392 million, or $1.04 per share, compared with $247 million, or 66 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue rose 31 percent to $2.43 billion.

Stranded by a wire

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A SINGLE piece of snapped overhead wire that brought chaos to Melbourne's train system yesterday - delaying more than 400,000 passengers for at least an hour - had been inspected for faults only 35 days earlier.

Eurotunnel sets new record for cross Channel transport

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

On the opening weekend of what looks set to be a record breaking summer for the Channel Tunnel, Eurotunnel's Passenger Shuttle Service carried 9,382 passenger vehicles* between Folkestone in Kent and Coquelles in the Pas-de-Calais in a crossing time of 35 minutes.

This beats the previous daily record from the UK to the Continent since services began in December 1994.

On 23 July, 71 Passenger Shuttles left Folkestone departing every 15 minutes from 8am until midnight with an average load factor of 96.3% of capacity. This unprecedented number was helped on its way by strengthening the customer service teams on site and by adapting the organisation to manage the flows. All of the Shuttles left on time and traffic on the terminal in Folkestone was fluid throughout the day.

China plans $300b-plus splurge on high-speed rail

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

China's construction of a vast high-speed rail network will bequeath it one of the world's most advanced rail industries, but it needs to keep a close eye on the debts it is running up in the process, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

China plans to build 13,000 km of high-speed rail lines by 2012, more than the rest of the world combined. Trains will travel at a maximum speed of 350 km an hour on 8,000 km of the track and at 250 km an hour on the rest. The Beijing-Shanghai line due to open next year will halve the travel time between the two cities to 5 hours.

Metro in confidential talks after rail meltdown

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Metro Trains and the state government have refused to reveal details of a meeting just hours after yesterday's power-line failure threw the metropolitan transport system into chaos.

Both Metro and a government official said last night's meeting was confidential, but conceded the events of yesterday, which stranded 400,000 commuters and led to serious delays for tram, bus and road travellers, were on the agenda.

LNP jumps aboard rail plan

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Liberal National Party overnight promised $750 million towards the $1.15 billion Petrie to Kippa Ring rail line in a bid to neutralise Prime Minister Julia Gillard's promise that Labor would build the long-awaited 12.6 kilometre rail line to Redcliffe.

That effectively means bayside commuters will get a new rail line by 2016 regardless of which party wins the federal election on August 21.

Rail sale opposition old news: Qld govt

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland government has dismissed federal government documents criticising its planned coal rail sale as "old news" and promised to go ahead with its plan.

Briefing notes, provided to federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and released under freedom of information laws, say the sale should be opposed.

The notes say the model being used by the Bligh Labor government is anti-competitive, will bring about higher costs for the resources sector and could lead to less royalties for the state.

Activists end Collinsville rail line blockade

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Protesters who were blocking a major rail line in north Queensland have agreed to stop their blockade.

The protesters began picketing the rail line on Monday at Collinsville, south of Townsville, preventing coals trains from passing through the town to the Abbot Point terminal.

They are angry about an increase in coal train traffic and emissions in the town.

Fix transport train wreck

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A SUGAR-coated "free" day for the chaos that brought Melbourne's rail system to a standstill is not enough.

The same sweetener has been doled out to train travellers before.

But still the chaos continues. Melbourne's train "service" has become a disservice to a long-suffering public.

Even the phrase long-suffering public has become a cliche. Train operator Metro and the Victorian Government must move decisively to overhaul a system that dates back 80 years to when the network was electrified.

Gov: Conn. funding likely for high-speed rail

Posted Wednesday, 28 July, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell says $260 million in state funding to upgrade train service from New Haven to Springfield, Mass., is expected to win approval from the state Bond Commission next month.

The state funding would nearly match a request for $220 million in federal money for the project. Connecticut is working with Massachusetts and Vermont to establish high-speed rail service in the region.

Rail workers plan strike

Posted Thursday, 29 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Sydney rail workers are threatening to go on strike next week unless a row over pay and conditions is resolved.

Unions say RailCorp administrators and maintenance workers will walk off the job for four hours on August 5 unless a compromise deal can be reached.

Rail operator signals September prospectus

Posted Thursday, 29 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE sales pitch to investors for the coal and freight rail operator QR National being listed on the sharemarket is ''coming down to the wire'' with expectations a prospectus will be released in late September.

In what has been billed as the country's biggest float since the first tranche of Telstra shares, T1, listed in November 2007, the QR National sales team rolled into Sydney yesterday attempting to stoke interest and ward off concerns about investor appetite for initial public offerings.

CP Rail rolls to surprise quarterly results

Posted Thursday, 29 July, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. delivered stronger-than-expected quarterly results Wednesday, but warned its recovery out the recession will remain choppy throughout the remainder of the year.

The country's No. 2 railway said its volumes continued to grow in the second quarter, up 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Privacy worries as police confirm they track commuters via their Go Card use

Posted Thursday, 29 July, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

GO Cards are being used almost weekly by police to track down innocent people and "bad guys".

TransLink, which co-ordinates the Go Card system, admit police requested access to its Go Card system 46 times last financial year.

"Most of those have been for missing persons," TransLink spokesman Andrew Berkman told The Courier-Mail.

"There's been one or two serious ones as well."

Rail talks to try and head off strikes

Posted Friday, 30 July, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

RailCorp and the major rail union will return to the Industrial Relations Commission today to try to resolve a pay dispute threatening future disruptions to train services.

RailCorp employees have been pushing since April for a five percent annual pay rise over four years.

Rail line commissioning on track

Posted Friday, 30 July, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

Parts of the new train line between Seymour and Albury are expected to be commissioned from the end of September.

The north-east rail track has been upgraded and a rail bypass has been built around Wodonga, as part of a project funded by governments and the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

GrainCorp, AWB merger to bring $40m in annual savings

Posted Friday, 30 July, 2010 by crusty in Rail News

GRAINS marketers GrainCorp and AWB will merge to create a $2 billion diversified agribusiness that will be one of Australia's biggest.

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