News

 

Showing stories from August 2010

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Metrolinx takes over airport rail link

Posted Sunday, 1 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

A provincial agency will now build a rail link between Toronto's Union Station and its international airport after a long-standing deal with a private company collapsed.

Metrolinx, the transportation agency responsible for the Toronto and Hamilton areas, will now own and operate the rail link.

Greens to push high-speed rail

Posted Sunday, 1 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

THE Australian Greens will use their likely Senate power to urge the government to reconsider a high-speed rail link along Australia's east coast, with a new poll showing 74 per cent of people favour the idea.

The Greens are also set to ramp up a campaign warning that ''Tony Abbott is only one seat short of controlling the Senate'' - highlighting a little-known rule that would let the Coalition block legislation should it increase its numbers from 37 to 38.

Safety breach amid rail chaos

Posted Sunday, 1 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TRAIN chaos in Melbourne that disrupted 400,000 commuters on Tuesday was worsened by a major safety breach, in which a train wrongly entered an area where electrical repairs were under way.

As Metro's staff rushed to fix the damaged overhead wiring on the viaduct between Southern Cross and Flinders Street stations, a train entered the shutdown repair area.

Get set for ten-minute trains down the track

Posted Sunday, 1 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

ALL trains - and ideally buses - would run every five to 10 minutes on Melbourne routes under Metro Trains chief executive Andrew Lezala's plans for the network.

But while the rail operator is aiming for greater frequency of services across the public transport system, Mr Lezala warned that it could take at least 12 months before any substantial improvements to reliability could be delivered.

Mr Lezala told The Sunday Age that to achieve a 10-minute or better frequency Metro needed more trains, more reliable stopping mechanisms and more infrastructure.

Carr's healthy record has run off the tracks

Posted Monday, 2 August, 2010 by Speed in New South Wales Rail News

Graeme Wedderburn, Chief of staff for Former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr, praises transport developments up until 2005, both initiated by the Fahey government but completed under Labor and those initiated by the Carr government. He laments a failure to initiate any further transport projects since the conception of the Sydney Metro.

$1b light rail project begins on Gold Coast

Posted Monday, 2 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Construction has begun on a light rail project worth almost $1 billion on Queensland's Gold Coast.

The light rail will run from Southport to Broadbeach and is funded by the Queensland and federal governments and the Gold Coast City Council.

Mill worker survives freak rail accident

Posted Monday, 2 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A sugarcane mill worker is lucky to be alive after being run over by a 24-wagon freight train in Queensland's north.

Police described the incident as a "freak accident".

The 45-year-old man, who was carrying out fire safety duties on the train, and the driver had stopped for a break at Kelsey Creek near Proserpine about 9.40pm on Saturday.

Don't trust Abbott on rail link: Labor

Posted Monday, 2 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott cannot be trusted on his pledge to build a long awaited southeast Queensland rail link because he thinks public transport is a state responsibility, Labor claims.

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese warns that despite apparent bipartisan support and matched dollar for dollar spending promises on the Moreton Bay Rail Link, the project is under threat from a potential Abbott government.

Men attacked rail passengers in 'brazen and wanton' crime spree

Posted Tuesday, 3 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Two men whose "brazen and wanton" crime spree targeted vulnerable rail passengers across Melbourne suburbs have been jailed for eight years.

In March and April last year, Justin Thomas Webb, 33, and Ricky Michael Cusack, 29, bashed a deaf and blind man on a city-bound train from Epping and a German tourist at Alphington station, and threatened to bash two 17-year-old men at Ruthven station.

Maiden Sydney-to-Melbourne voyage

Posted Wednesday, 4 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

WODONGA’S new rail bypass has been crossed by a passenger train for the first time.
The inaugural train, a CountryLink XPT on route from Sydney to Melbourne, left Albury railway station at 3.20pm yesterday to give the public its first look at the $181 million project in the way it was intended to be seen — from inside a train.

A mix of passengers took in the new views over the Lincoln Causeway, across the winter-lush Murray River floodplains and the new Wodonga rail station.

Doubt cast over cattle train cuts

Posted Wednesday, 4 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A south-west Queensland mayor says rail is the best way to move thousands of cattle produced every year in the Channel Country.

The Queensland Government has announced a new deal to secure cattle train services for the next three years.

A total of 264 cattle trains a year will operate over that period but that compares to 460 last year.

Youth detention for rail thug

Posted Wednesday, 4 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A young thug has been sentenced to youth detention over a "terrifying" attack in which a good samaritan was struck by a rock at a Melbourne train station.

Matthew Simon Hamilton-Holt, 19, was ordered on Tuesday to serve two years in a Youth Justice Centre - the maximum sentence available to the magistrate.

Hobart man Tim Redmond was a passenger on a packed Frankston-bound train when he was felled by a piece of ballast that struck him in the head at McKinnon station on June 4 this year.

Sydney transport not ignored: Albanese

Posted Wednesday, 4 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has denied Sydney has been neglected by the commonwealth when it comes to funding transport projects.

Infrastructure Australia has so far rejected NSW overtures to fund projects such as the M4 East or M5 roadway duplication, arguing they weren't "ready to proceed".

Recent claims by the NSW opposition that Sydney had been snubbed were further fuelled last week when Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised funding to help build the 12.6km Moreton Bay Rail Link in Brisbane's northern suburbs.

Commuters air rail timetable worries

Posted Wednesday, 4 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The timetable for the XPT train service between Sydney and Dubbo has arisen as the key concern among western New South Wales users of CountryLink services.

Senior CountryLink managers and the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Roads, Penny Sharpe, are touring the state gaining feedback.

Pilbara rail fight may go another round

Posted Thursday, 5 August, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

FORTESCUE METALS has signalled that it may yet push ahead with its long-running bid to gain access to all four iron-ore railway lines owned and operated by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto in the Pilbara.

Although the Australian Competition Tribunal prised open access on two of BHP's and Rio's minor rail lines on June 30, Fortescue is not content. It wants access to all four arterials that feed iron ore from the Pilbara mines to ports.

Sydney rail workers set to go on strike

Posted Thursday, 5 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

w over pay and conditions can be resolved at a hearing on Wednesday.

Fair Work Australia is due to hear the case, but union officials say they hold little hope an agreement can be reached in time to avert the industrial action.

If that's the case, RailCorp administrators and maintenance workers will walk off for four hours on Thursday.

Albanese announces study into HSR

Posted Thursday, 5 August, 2010 by moonetau in Rail News

On Lateline (ABC1) tonight, August 4, Anthony Albanese announces a commitment to a scoping study into an East Coast high speed rail line. Initially a $20m study into the Sydney - Newcastle corridor to be completed within 18 months.

No other details.

NSW Rail strikes threaten to ramp up.

Posted Thursday, 5 August, 2010 by seb2351 in New South Wales Rail News

With the federal election only 16 days away, the threat of strike action could harm the chances of re-electing the Gillard Government. With this in mind, rail unions have threatened to ramp up industrial action, with fare-free days and a 24 hours stoppage planned.

Labor pledges Melbourne to Brisbane rail link

Posted Thursday, 5 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese today committed a re-elected Gillard government to a 1700-kilometre rail link stretching from Brisbane to Melbourne through central west NSW.

Funding for the Inland Rail Link would begin in 2014 with $300 million to reserve land and begin planning.

The freight line would not be expected to be built until 2030 when it became economically viable.

Metro fails to meet targets for eighth month in row

Posted Thursday, 5 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne's train operator Metro has failed to meet minimum punctuality for the eighth month in a row, blaming the poor result on an overhead power failure that caused last week's rail meltdown.

New figures show 85.9 per cent of trains ran on time for the month of July - 2.1 per cent short of its minimum target.

Under Metro's contract with the government, the operator is meant to run 88 per cent of trains on time.

Wenita seeking to branch out by using rail transport

Posted Thursday, 5 August, 2010 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Wenita Forests Products may use the Taieri Gorge Rail link to transport logs daily from Mt Allen to Port Chalmers, possibly for up to eight years.

Wenita is discussing with Taieri Gorge Rail and Toll New Zealand the possibility of using about 48km of the rail link to get logs to Port Chalmers, and further afield to sawmills in Christchurch or Southland, Wenita chief executive Roger Hancock said.

Qld exports record amount of coal

Posted Thursday, 5 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland exported a record amount of coal last financial year, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser told state parliament on Thursday that the state exported a record 183.1 million tonnes of coal in 2009/10, an increase of 14.9 per cent from 2008/09.

"As the industry grows, so will the businesses that will do the heavy lifting, getting the coal from mine to port," he said.

New Adelaide railyards a step closer

Posted Friday, 6 August, 2010 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The South Australian Government says testing of facilities will begin in a few weeks on new railyards at Dry Creek in Adelaide.

The 10-hectare site replaces the rail car depot near North Terrace in the city, which will be cleared to make way for a new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Labor promises high-speed rail study

Posted Friday, 6 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

The Federal Government has announced two pledges to revamp rail transport in eastern Australia in less than 24 hours.

The Government says if it is re-elected it will fund a study into a high-speed rail link along Australia's east coast as well as commit to building an inland rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne.

Grain Train stuck at Redhill today

Posted Friday, 6 August, 2010 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Grain Train was/is today stuck at Redhill (North of Adelaide). The cause is being reported as an electrical fire in one of the Diesel Locomotoves.

Further details are not yet available.

Ballarat-Maryborough day trip a no go

Posted Friday, 6 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IF YOU think the opening of the Ballarat-Maryborough railway line means you can visit Maryborough for the day, then think again.

With the line opening on July 25, 558 passengers have made use of the train in the first week.

Coal train derails in Va., disrupts rail service

Posted Saturday, 7 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

WASHINGTON — Amtrak service along the East Coast is being disrupted and Virginia Railway Express is canceling Fredericksburg line trains after a coal train derailed south of Washington.

Amtrak says service will continue to be disrupted Friday because the railroad is shut down south of Quantico, Va., with all tracks blocked. VRE is canceling all trains on the line after Thursday's derailment.

Plan for pre-election rail strike

Posted Saturday, 7 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NSW rail workers are warning they will strike for 24 hours later this month, just days before the federal election.

The strike will be part of their push for higher pay and work conditions. Workers are asking for a 5 per cent pay increase and the assurance it would not result in staff cutbacks.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has planned to strike on August 18, three days before the federal election, a move which could massively disrupt Sydney transport and remind voters of union power.

Melbourne-Brisbane rail link not on track

Posted Saturday, 7 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

LABOR has committed to two multibillion-dollar rail projects - but producing them could be the tricky part.

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has announced plans for a new 1731-kilometre Melbourne-to-Brisbane inland rail freight route through western New South Wales.

He also announced that work would begin this year on a ''detailed feasibility study'' to identify a corridor for a high-speed rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne, focusing on the corridor between Sydney and Newcastle.

Greens to unveil Sydney light rail plan

Posted Saturday, 7 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Extending light rail across Sydney is the centrepiece of the Greens' transport plan for the city, to be unveiled on Saturday.

"Several light rail loops would reduce congestion in the CBD and free up hundreds of buses to be reallocated as part of the expansion of western suburbs bus services," said Greens NSW Senate candidate Lee Rhiannon.

Labor's high-speed east coast rail proposal brings vision to the campaign

Posted Saturday, 7 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

LABOR'S proposal for a high-speed rail in east coast corridor will bring real economic and social benefits to the country.

The announcement of a feasibility study into a fast train between Newcastle and Sydney, as a possible first step towards a Brisbane-Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne link, brings a welcome element of policy vision into the election campaign.

High-speed rail in Australia's east coast corridor must become a reality if the federal government is serious about decentralisation, sustainable economic and population growth, climate change, urban congestion and improved transport infrastructure.

This, if nothing else, provides a strong business case for the idea.

Airport sees fast rail benefits

Posted Saturday, 7 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Newcastle Airport says the very fast rail link proposal for the east coast ties in well with its planned $120 million expansion plans.

The Commonwealth has announced $20 million for a feasibility study for the fast train, with an initial study covering an area between Sydney and Newcastle.

Radical scheme for Flinders St

Posted Sunday, 8 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A BOLD plan to revamp Melbourne's crumbling Flinders St Station will be put to transport bureaucrats on Monday.

International design firm Grimshaw Architects has drawn up plans for a state-of-the-art redevelopment of the 100-year-old city landmark.

The building has been sliding into disrepair over decades.

Grimshaw, which designed the award-winning Southern Cross Station, is expected raise the proposal at tomorrow's meeting regarding the new Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel project.

Trials of the A Set leaves passengers derailed

Posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 by ThatGuy in New South Wales Rail News

Behind schedule...The first Waratah should have been in service four months ago.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 7/8/2010.

Posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 111 sightings for this week. This is five sighting more than last week, making a total of 3047 sightings for this year to date. On day 219 last year we had recorded 2571 sightings. This is 476 sightings up on the same time last year.

Investors keen, but fast trains derailed

Posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

BOND investors would be willing to fund a high-speed rail link but the proposal is unlikely to be realised, analysts say.

As Australians ponder yet another proposal for speedy intercity rail travel, economists and bond market analysts say a major infrastructure bond issuance to fund such a project would be well received by the market.

However, the sceptics say they have seen it all before.

Farmers in Banaskantha protest over DFC rail track

Posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

If DFC rail line is laid through their village, then hundreds of acres of land, sources of irrigation including wells and small check dams and even the residential colonies will be ruined, besides fertile lands, he said. Later, the agitated farmers burnt an effigy of railway authorities and blocked the main Porbandar-Silchar National High way to press for their demands.

Transit system better than rail, says engineer

Posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

A Polish engineer who lived in Auckland for a decade has proposed a solution to the city's transport woes, but it appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Ollie Mikosza has designed a personal rapid transit (PRT) system consisting of electric cars suspended from an overhead track that he says can be built for a fraction of the cost of alternatives.

Rail metal theft crackdown after delays

Posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

Rail authorities say they will be stepping up their efforts to stop thefts after thousands of passengers were delayed on Friday.

A reduced service had to run for most of the day after copper wire was stolen from a signal point on the network near Tilehurst in Berkshire.

Fears for city's rail jobs

Posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

UNION and business figures agree Bradken’s decision to move its rail manufacturing to China is a harbinger of doom for heavy industry.

The Ipswich-based company has bowed to pressure from Chinese companies dominating the market, leaving Bradken with no contracts.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) said Bradken issued a memo informing its workers they will now work for Bradken Industrial, not Bradken Rail.

Train traffic on ND-Howrah route restored

Posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

KANPUR: Rail traffic on the busy New Delhi-Howrah route (both Up and Down tracks), which had come to a standstill on late Saturday evening, could be normalised only in the wee hours of Sunday.

The senior railway officials, who had claimed that the train movement would be restored by late night (Saturday), had to toil a lot before the situation could be normalised. As a result, the 'Up' route (Howrah to New Delhi) was opened at 3 in the morning whereas the 'Down' route was cleared by 6.30 am. The railway officials informed that the derailment had led to damage in the overhead equipment (OHE) and tracks.

Kenyan police seize stolen rail slippers

Posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

Police have impounded a truck loaded with 40 tons of rail-road slippers and bars belonging to Kenya Railway Corporation.

The Special Crime Prevention Unit intercepted the lorry as it made its way from Kibwezi where a whole railway line had been dismantled to obtain the slippers and bars.

The trailer was on its way to offload the illegal cargo at one of the steel smelters based in Athi River.

Albury - Melbourne Track Closed due to safety concerns

Posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 by dkaarma in Victorian Rail News

Speed restrictions have failed to satisfy CountryLink amid safety concerns and reports of couplings breaking on bouncing trains travelling over the newly laid track, Forcing CountryLink to suspend XPT services between Albury and Melbourne indefinitely.

Greens push for passenger rail

Posted Tuesday, 10 August, 2010 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

The Australian Greens are pushing for more southern Tasmanians to have access to rail as a means of public transport.

The State Government is already considering a business case for a light rail system between Hobart and the northern suburbs.

Greens Senator Christine Milne says innovative public transport should be a priority for the Federal Government under the National Infrastructure Fund.

Jobs loss as rail factory moves offshore

Posted Tuesday, 10 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The axing of 120 jobs at a Queensland-based rail factory could be the first of many as companies choose to manufacture in China, the Australian railworkers' union says.

The global company Bradken has closed its coal rail wagon factory near Ipswich, west of Brisbane, after deciding to manufacture in China.

A total of 120 workers have been laid off during the past five months.

Coal consortium ups bid for Qld rail

Posted Tuesday, 10 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Coal Industry Rail Group (QCIRG) has made a higher bid of $5.2 billion for the state's coal rail track network, Queensland Rail, according to The Australian newspaper.

The boosted offer however, is believed to include the ultimatum of a tight timetable for the government to agree to serious discussions with the miners.

Back in May, the Queensland government said it would consider the merits of a $4.85 billion bid submitted by the consortium of coal mining firms, led by Nick Greiner, to buy the state's rail network.

Fare-free day: Railcorp to lose $2m

Posted Tuesday, 10 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

RailCorp will lose up to $2 million in revenue from the fare-free day in Sydney today, organised by the rail union in support of a pay claim.

Members of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) are refusing to issue or check tickets, with entry and exit gates wide open at major stations.

The union is planning further industrial action over the next 12 days, with a total shutdown possible on Wednesday of next week.

Restoration of railway station monument completed

Posted Tuesday, 10 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

The restoration of a monument in central London, one of the railways' most historic landmarks, has been completed.

Scaffolding finally came off the Eleanor Cross which stands outside Charing Cross main line station.

The condition of the 145-yeaar-old cross had been deteriorating, so Network Rail (NR) embarked on a repair job to remove dirt and debris without damaging the stone.

Rail strike plans on hold after new pay offer

Posted Tuesday, 10 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The rail union has called off strike action this Thursday to consider a new pay offer from the New South Wales Government.

Union authorities met with the Transport Minister John Robertson and RailCorp CEO Rob Mason until 1:00am today.

The rail union's Alex Claassens says they now have an offer on the table, which will be put to workers.

Gillard's $2.6bn for Sydney rail link

Posted Wednesday, 11 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Prime Minister Julia Gillard will promise $2.6 billion to build the long-awaited rail link between Parramatta and Epping.

Ms Gillard is expected to announce the pledge on Wednesday with NSW Premier Kristina Keneally in Sydney's western suburbs, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Bullseye for the bullet

Posted Wednesday, 11 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

LEGEND has it that Japan is a utopia for rail travellers; a country where trains have attained a reputation of near-mythical proportions for their speed and punctuality.

With this in mind, I'm struggling to believe my eyes at what's unfolding at Hiroshima station today. It appears the system has malfunctioned.

Bradken tips more to come as profit jumps

Posted Wednesday, 11 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

MINING and engineered products provider Bradken is tipping further profit growth as demand in its key markets return.

The company yesterday reported a 10 per cent lift in annual net profit to $70.44 million despite a 17.6 per cent fall in revenue to $1.01 billion.

Bradken said the profit had rebounded in the second half as the business recovered from the global financial crisis and market conditions improved.

Asking price fails to slow Queensland Rail sale

Posted Wednesday, 11 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE Queensland government remains on track to sell off the coal tracks of Queensland Rail in the final quarter of this year.

The sale will be through an initial public offering, despite asking the coal companies to increase their offer for the tracks.

The state government is believed to have asked the Queensland Coal Industry Rail Group, consisting of 11 major coal companies, plus Canberra-owned Australian Rail Track Corporation, for a number "with a five in front of it".

Metro rail delays after passenger dies

Posted Wednesday, 11 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The death of a train passenger who suffered a suspected heart attack while travelling on a city-bound service early today has caused major delays on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines, says a Metro spokesman.

The 58-year-old man suffered a cardiac arrest at about 7.10am while his train was at Clayton station. The train did not move on from Clayton station until about 7.50am.

Legal action keeps striking miners away from rail line

Posted Wednesday, 11 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says Xstrata has taken legal action preventing its members from going near a north Queensland rail line.

Workers have been stopping coal trains from leaving the Collinsville coal mine site, north-west of Mackay.

Over 200 workers have been on strike for two weeks over pay and job security issues.

NSW's ability to deliver rail link questioned

Posted Wednesday, 11 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Opposition has questioned the State Government's ability to deliver the promised $2.6 billion rail link between Parramatta and Epping.

The project will be announced by the Federal Government today and will require the State Government to contribute more than $500 million.

Labor will not build rail line: Hockey

Posted Thursday, 12 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

evival of the Parramatta-Epping rail link for Sydney is nothing more than an election stunt.

The federal government has announced plans to spend $2.1 billion on the project, with an additional $500 million from NSW Labor.

The state government dropped its commitment to the project in its 10-year transport blueprint for Sydney, launched in February.

Gold Coast V8s give way to light rail

Posted Thursday, 12 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The Gold Coast's V8 motor race circuit has been shortened to make way for the $1 billion Gold Coast Rapid Transit system.

Premier Anna Bligh on Thursday announced the new "compact" street circuit for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 event would accommodate the preferred $949 million light rail route through Surfers Paradise.

"The new V8 route has been shortened from 4.49km to 2.96km and retains the chicane along Main Beach Parade, turning into Breaker Street and travelling west before turning onto the Gold Coast Highway," she said.

California must puts high-speed rail on fast track

Posted Thursday, 12 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

"This is a big deal, I can tell you that," U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told a crowd of about 1,000 people at San Francisco's Transbay Terminal.

He was speaking at Wednesday's groundbreaking for the first high-speed rail line in the United States, and at the site of what other speakers hailed as "the Grand Central Terminal of the West" - California high-speed rail's northern terminus to be built out of the ashes of a dilapidated bus station.

Train commuters face 40-minute delays

Posted Thursday, 12 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PASSENGERS on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines face up to 40 minute delays tonight after a train was caught in overhead wires near Dandenong station.

A Metro spokesman said passengers travelling beyond Westall station should be prepared for “anywhere up to 40 minute delays”, while other passengers would only have minimal waits.

The spokesman said buses would replace trains between Westall and Berwick stations for several hours while the overhead wires were untangled.

Dubbo unlikely to see morning XPT

Posted Thursday, 12 August, 2010 by 574M in New South Wales Rail News

Dubbo could not have a morning departure XPT train with current fleet numbers, pensioner representative Keith James says.
Dubbo did not have the necessary maintenance staff for a train to terminate in its midst, the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA) Dubbo branch treasurer and former train driver said.

Nor would the suggestion be good for passengers west of Dubbo, he said, but he gave support to increased Hunter services.

Dubbo and Wellington participants at a forum hosted by Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Minister for Transport Penny Sharpe in Dubbo this week made these suggestions for how Countrylink could be improved.

Damaged wire causes rail delays

Posted Friday, 13 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Rail commuters have been warned to expect long delays on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines this evening due to a damaged overhead wire.

Metro has suspended train services in both directions from Westall to Berwick.

A Comeng train is believed to have brought down the overhead wires at 4.45pm, near Dandenong station.

NSW Libs claim more proof rail link a stunt

Posted Friday, 13 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Opposition says it has further proof the plan to build the Parramatta to Epping rail link in western Sydney is just an election stunt.

The Coalition has obtained a letter from the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport stating the deferral of the project has allowed the State Government to direct funds to higher priority projects.

New light rail route will be a winner

Posted Friday, 13 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

THE revised route for the Gold Coast light rail is a victory for long-term thinking, which we do not see often enough.

The re-routing of the track along Surfers Paradise Boulevard (as opposed to the previous Ferny Avenue proposal) will see that street turned into a one-way street southbound and businesses in the area are excited at the prospect of a steady stream of trams delivering new customers into the area.

With Surfers Paradise Boulevard carrying an estimated 7000 vehicles a day compared to the 40,000 using Ferny Avenue, the move makes perfect sense and will result in a minimal impact on traffic flows.

Rio Tinto to resist action by Fortescue over rail access

Posted Saturday, 14 August, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

RIO Tinto is to ''vigorously resist'' a Federal Court action by Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals to have recent Pilbara rail access decisions by the Australian Competition Tribunal overturned.

In the June decisions, the ACT said that Rio's Hamersley railway line should not be ''declared'' available for third party access under Part IIIA of the Trade Practices Act, and that its Robe River railway line should be declared until 2018, rather than until 2028 as originally sought by Fortescue.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 14/8/2010.

Posted Sunday, 15 August, 2010 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 97 sightings for this week. This is 14 sighting less than last week, making a total of 3144 sightings for this year to date. On day 226 last year we had recorded 2670 sightings. This is 474 sightings up on the same time last year.
On Wednesday the S/G line was flooded at Vite Vite and we saw no S/G trains at Gheringhap between 1232 Wed and 1352 Thursday. And we saw no grain trains on the S/G this week.

Work underway for light rail line

Posted Sunday, 15 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Preparation work on the first stage of the extension of Sydney's $500 million light rail network is underway, the NSW government has announced.

Work is being carried out on the Dulwich Hill to Lilyfield rail extension to allow the line to be built quickly once the consultation process is completed, Premier Kristina Keneally told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

Consultation on the alignment of "greenways" and cycleways is continuing and the concerns of residents on the location of the Dulwich Hill station are being addressed, Ms Keneally said.

Miners lodge rail access appeals

Posted Sunday, 15 August, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Fortescue Metals Group has lodged Federal Court appeals to gain access to Rio Tinto's Pilbara rail lines.

The Australian Competition Tribunal recently declared Rio's Robe River and BHP's Goldsworthy rail lines open to other users.

Rail deal cynics cite parallels

Posted Sunday, 15 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

PUBLIC cynicism over Labor's promised western Sydney rail link is being echoed by transport experts.

Several former public transport planners consulted by The Weekend Australian pointed to parallels in the 2007 federal election, when federal transport promises were never fulfilled because state Labor did not hold up its end. As Labor and the Coalition continued to trade blows yesterday over the $2.6 billion proposed rail link between Epping and Parramatta, one former rail chief predicted the project would go into the "too-hard basket".

"The parallels from three years ago do support the cynicism," he said, adding that patronage estimates for the line were "very low".

Tebbutt promises to fight rail tunnel plan

Posted Sunday, 15 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Deputy Premier of New South Wales has promised hundreds of angry residents she will fight against her own Government's plan to demolish their homes to make way for a rail corridor.

The Government plans to build a five-kilometre tunnel through the inner city suburb of Newtown as part of a plan to link the Sydney CBD to the western suburbs.

Delays expected for Wellington rail commuters

Posted Monday, 16 August, 2010 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Wellington rail commuters can expect further delays on Monday, after an upgrade to the rail signalling system encountered "unexpected complications", KiwiRail said today.

Trains on the Paraparaumu line will be affected.

Metro goes off the rails and adds buses

Posted Monday, 16 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

METRO has a new idea to improve its train service: buses.

The rail operator is about to submit plans to the State Government for a shuttle bus between Camberwell and Caulfield.

And it has considered keeping its own fleet of buses, which it can deploy quickly when train services are suspended.

Big rail deal for OneSteel Whyalla

Posted Monday, 16 August, 2010 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

OneSteel Whyalla has been commissioned to produce more than 2,000 kilometres of rail for two re-railing projects in SA, Victoria and NSW.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation projects are worth more than $400 million.

Corporation chief executive David Marchant says it is one of the largest rail infrastructure supply deals in a decade.

Safety upgrade promised for rail bridges

Posted Monday, 16 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Government says it will spend $1 million upgrading safety measures around low-level rail bridges in the south-east.

Parramatta to Epping Rail Link was not planned and wont happen under Labor

Posted Monday, 16 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A leaked Keneally Labor Government document shows no planning had been undertaken for the Parramatta to Epping Rail Link and its announcement was only hatched days before Labor’s latest promise was made, NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell and Shadow Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said today.

Mr O’Farrell released the document with Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott while campaigning in Western Sydney.

Railway bidders must admit wartime roles

Posted Tuesday, 17 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

LOS ANGELES: Railway companies will have to come clean on their role in transporting victims of the Nazis during the Holocaust when they bid for a multibillion-dollar contract to operate a new bullet train in California.

A Democratic politician is pushing to make it a requirement that any involvement in taking people to concentration or prisoner of war camps between January 1942 and December 1944 must be disclosed.

Expanded Coast light rail long way off

Posted Tuesday, 17 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

TRANSLINK has dodged questions from Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke about whether the city's light rail system will extend past stage one before 2018.

During a TransLink presentation to the council yesterday on how bus routes will service the rapid transit system in 2018, it was inadvertently revealed the light rail will not have progressed beyond stage one by then.

Labor rail pledge didn't get Cabinet approval

Posted Wednesday, 18 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has admitted Labor's biggest election promise has not been formally approved by Cabinet.

Last week Labor pledged to spend $2.1 billion building a rail link between Epping and Parramatta if it wins the election.

The plan involves the Federal Government teaming up with the NSW Government to build the $2.6 billion link.

Car-loving leader on a collision course with Turnbull

Posted Wednesday, 18 August, 2010 by Speed in New South Wales Rail News

Sydney Morning Herald transport commentator Andrew West contrasts Abbott's, O'Farrell's and Turnbull's attitudes to transport planning, in response to Monday's Four Corners episode on planning, infrastructure and the imminent election.

Greens push for light rail plan

Posted Wednesday, 18 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The Greens want high-speed rail between cities and more light rail within cities.

Greens Leader Bob Brown says China, the US, and European countries are all investing in light rail as a sustainable public transport system.

He said it was time Australia caught up and introduced a dedicated sustainable transport arm to investigate light rail.

Passengers injured as train hits sewage tanker

Posted Wednesday, 18 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

Three people were critically injured when a train struck a vehicle on a level crossing in eastern England on Tuesday, Network Rail said.

The train, a National Express East Anglia service from Sudbury to Marks Tey, hit a sewage tanker about 5:35pm (local time) on a crossing between Sudbury and Bures in Suffolk.

Suffolk Police said the train, which had about 20 passengers on board, had derailed but remained upright.

Light rail answer to Brisbane transport woes: Greens

Posted Wednesday, 18 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Brisbane's Clem 7 and Airport Link projects should have included light rail options, according to The Greens.

The party today proposed the city's Buz and CityGlider bus routes and busways be progressively converted to light rail to save on fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions.

The former Democrat turned Greens candidate for the seat of Brisbane, Andrew Bartlett, said the $4 billion Airport Link tunnel was a good example of misguided transport infrastructure.

Groups Bid For U.K. High-Speed Rail

Posted Wednesday, 18 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

LONDON—Bids have come in for the U.K.'s only high-speed rail link by Tuesday's indicative bids deadline, people familiar with the matter said.

At least two, and as many as six, groups have submitted indicative offers for the rail network, these people said.

The deadline is the next staging post in a process that will ultimately see the rail link, which connects London with the Channel Tunnel, sold as one of a series of moves by the U.K. government to trim its budget deficit.

Leaders back unviable railway

Posted Wednesday, 18 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

THE proposal to build an inland railway line from Melbourne to Brisbane, now backed by the Coalition and Labor, is not financially viable.

THE $4.7 billion proposal would also threaten the future of existing railways through Sydney.

Tony Abbott made a commitment to the project the centrepiece of his "action plan" on infrastructure yesterday.

Victorian seniors to get extension of free public transport

Posted Wednesday, 18 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

In another Brumby Government pre-election stunt, Transport Minister Martin Pakula has confirmed today from September 2010, Senior Citizens will have free access to public transport extended from Sunday to include Saturday. This will provide full weekend coverage.

The members of the Canberra Society of Model and Experimental Engineers invites

Posted Wednesday, 18 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail Events

The members of the Canberra Society of Model and Experimental Engineers invite you to what could be the last Invitation run at there present site at Kingston prior to re-locating to a new and bigger site at Symonston.

Buses replacing Belgrave trains due to euipment failure

Posted Thursday, 19 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Buses are currently replacing trains on the Belgrave (19/8/2010) line between Ringwood and Belgrave due to an equipment failure.

Reports suggest a tree many have fallen overnight.

Tackling export bottlenecks

Posted Thursday, 19 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

IN a story that could have been written yesterday, The Australian reported on December 15, 2004, that

"The Reserve Bank has warned that the economy has run into bottlenecks that have slowed its growth . . ." Despite strong world demand for Australian minerals, then deputy governor Glenn Stevens said, "The economy had hit a speed limit" with "capacity constraints in . . . key areas of transport infrastructure, such as ports and rail."

Six years, a financial crisis and $42 billion worth of stimulus later, the shipping queues off Hay Point and Newcastle again stretch over the horizon as the economy heads to the limits of its capacity. Business leaders calculate that Australia's infrastructure shortfall is at least $770 billion, reflecting long-term neglect by federal and state governments.

Labor in transport cost blowout

Posted Thursday, 19 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

NEW railway stations priced at $20 million each four years ago are now set to cost Victorian taxpayers $55 million each, according to Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula.

Mr Pakula has admitted in a statement to Parliament that the average expected cost of stations the government promised in 2006 at Lynbrook, Williams Landing and Cardinia Road in Pakenham had almost tripled.

NSW Treasury approves $520m rail boost

Posted Thursday, 19 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW government's $520 million contribution to the Parramatta to Epping rail link, to be funded under its metropolitan transport plan, has been given the go-ahead by Treasury and cabinet, Premier Kristina Keneally says.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's largest single pledge of the election campaign has been towards the $2.6 billion rail line connecting northern and western Sydney, which will be jointly funded by the Commonwealth and NSW.

Candidates debate reopening north coast rail line

Posted Thursday, 19 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A federal candidates' forum has been held on ABC North Coast this morning for voters to hear each party's position on local issues ahead of the election.

The issue of reinstating the Casino-to-Murwillumbah rail line was one of the issues raised.

Labor's federal member for Richmond, Justine Elliot, has deflected blame to state MPs over the lack of any progress on reopening the line.

Amtrak, Metro-North service resumes in Conn.

Posted Friday, 20 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

Amtrak and Metro-North rail services have been restored in southwestern Connecticut but delays are being reported after an Amtrak train got entangled in overhead wires and forced the shutdown of all tracks near Bridgeport.

Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said an Acela Express train traveling between New York and Boston got snared in overhead wires just after noon Thursday near the Southport station in Fairfield.

Train travellers on the wrong track

Posted Friday, 20 August, 2010 by Speed in International Rail News

TOURISTS travelling on a sleeper train from Spain to Italy woke up nearly 320 kilometres away in Switzerland after a mix-up by French railway staff in Lyon.

Travellers expecting an early morning glimpse of the ornate spires of Milan's cathedral instead were greeted by views of Zurich.

2010 Australian Federal Election

Posted Saturday, 21 August, 2010 by bevans in Railpage Australia News

Railpage wishes all our Australian Based users a very happy election day this Saturday. When casting your vote, think about who is providing the most support to Australia's Rail projects as these projects really need support.

Have a gret day and don't forget to monitor the election thread on Railpage during the evening.

Train crash man still 'critical'

Posted Saturday, 21 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

A 58-year-old man remains critically ill three days after suffering "life-threatening" abdominal injuries when the train he was travelling in hit a sewage tanker on a level crossing, prosecutors have said.

The first of the train's two carriages was derailed and 21 people, including the train driver, were hurt in the accident at Little Cornard, Suffolk, late on Tuesday.

Tanker driver Arvydas Bartasius appeared before magistrates in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on Friday accused of endangering the safety of railway users by driving a lorry on to the level crossing without notifying railway signallers.

Tens of thousands protest at German rail project

Posted Saturday, 21 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

STUTTGART, Germany — Some 30,000 people protested in Stuttgart on Friday against one of Europe's biggest construction projects in the German city, the demonstration organisers said.

The nine-year, seven-billion-euro (nine-billion-dollar) project, which has just begun, aims to transform the city and the surrounding region into the rail crossroads of 21st-century Europe.

But many in Stuttgart, capital of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, say the project is far too disruptive and expensive and that there are other, cheaper ways to speed up the rail network. They also fear it will go over budget.

'Bold plan' for Mekong area rail link approved

Posted Saturday, 21 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

HANOI — A "bold" plan for a railway system connecting more than 300 million people who live around one of the world's great rivers, the Mekong, was approved Friday, officials said.

Ministers from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam adopted the plan which they called "a significant first step toward the development of an integrated... railway system".

The six nations' national railway systems do not link up except for a line that connects China and Vietnam, and Laos has no rail network at all.

Labor holds narrow lead in final polls

Posted Saturday, 21 August, 2010 by bevans in Railpage Australia News

Labor is holding onto a narrow lead over the coalition in the final opinion polls of the federal election in one of the tightest races in living memory, as 14 million voters head to the polls on Saturday to decide who runs the country for the next three years.

Keneally rail claim a lie: O'Farrell

Posted Saturday, 21 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell has rubbished claims that the state's $520 million contribution to the Parramatta to Epping rail link will be paid out of the government's metropolitan transport plan.

The $2.6 billion rail line, connecting northern and western Sydney, will be jointly funded by the commonwealth and NSW, under an election pledge made by Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week.

US States Balk At Costs Of High-Speed Rail Projects

Posted Saturday, 21 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--Some states that participated in the Obama administration's plans for building high-speed rail networks are now balking at those projects, halting or scaling back development because the federal government won't foot the entire bill.

The latest round of federal funding for high-speed rail carries a requirement that states chip in 20% of a project's costs. States say that is forcing them to choose between putting money toward what they see as more pressing short-term needs and devoting funds to projects that will take years to complete.

The Obama administration and Congress set aside $8 billion in the economic-recovery act last year to build 13 regional, high-speed rail networks. States submitted applications totaling $102 billion in requests for grants. The administration announced awards earlier this year, with projects in Florida and California getting the biggest awards, but scores of projects in other states also were approved for funds.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 21/8/2010.

Posted Sunday, 22 August, 2010 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 102 sightings for this week. This is five sighting more than last week, making a total of 3246 sightings for this year to date. On day 233 last year we had recorded 2766 sightings. This is 480 sightings up on the same time last year.

Station staff do not deter thugs

Posted Sunday, 22 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MORE than three-quarters of all reported attacks at Melbourne train stations occur at staffed facilities, with a quarter of violent assaults carried out by gangs or groups of thugs.

The latest figures from the government body responsible for public transport safety also show that of the 583 assaults reported across the network in 2009, more than a quarter were attacks on rail staff and ticket inspectors.

The Transport Safety Victoria figures, obtained by The Sunday Age under freedom-of-information laws, show that assaults on rail staff included punching, kicking, shoving, spitting and, in two of the most disturbing cases, the attempted strangulation of ticket inspectors. In several cases the victims required hospital admission or emergency department treatment.

National Rail Safety Week (23-29 August 2010)

Posted Monday, 23 August, 2010 by bevans in Press Releases

NSW Police Force will increase enforcement levels at railway level crossings today in support of National Rail Safety Week.

Police will be monitoring motorists for dangerous behaviour at railway level crossings, and issuing fines when appropriate.

NSW Police Force are participating in a national effort to minimise infringements and boost safety at Australian railway level crossings.

Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, of the Traffic Services Branch, says there will be an increased police presence at NSW railway level crossings throughout National Rail Safety Week.

SRT rolls out Airport Rail Link (Bangkok)

Posted Monday, 23 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

The rail link will charge promotional fares until the end of the year on its city and express lines. It expects to serve up to 50,000 passengers a day.

The service has been operating on a trial basis since June 1, attracting about 17,000 people a day travelling for free.

State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor Yutthana Thapcharoen yesterday led an inspection of the rail link and its facilities to ensure it was ready for commercial services.

Commuters hope to feel the serenity

Posted Monday, 23 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

If you're the type of commuter whose blood boils when a teen with an iPhone gets on your train and blasts you with the latest Lady Gaga hit, take heart.

The "quiet carriage" is on the way in Queensland's southeast.

The state government is trialling the concept from Monday after irate commuters complained that mobile music and other devices had shattered their serenity.

Train drivers urge caution at crossings

Posted Monday, 23 August, 2010 by Speed in South Australian Rail News

As part of National Rail Safety Awareness Week, South Australian Minister for Road Safety Jack Snelling and a train driver Nitschke call for motorists and pedestrians to take care at level crossings.

Sydney rail link not a mistake: NSW govt

Posted Monday, 23 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Federal Labor's decision to announce a $2.6 billion rail link for Sydney during the election campaign was not a mistake, NSW Transport Minister John Robertson says.

The plan to build the previously abandoned Parramatta to Epping rail link was jointly announced by federal and state Labor governments on August 11, ten days before the August 21 poll.

It was part of a pitch to marginal electorates in Sydney's western suburbs and Bennelong, in the northwest, to shore up crucial Labor votes.

OPR inks deals with Oakajee customers

Posted Monday, 23 August, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) says it has inked agreements with three foundation customers for a new iron ore export port being developed in Western Australia's midwest region.

OPR is an equal joint venture between iron ore miner Murchison Metals Ltd and Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation.

The new deepwater port at Oakajee, north of Geraldton, will include an extensive rail component to link the region's iron ore mines to the export facility.

Airport Rail Link begins full commercial operations

Posted Monday, 23 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

The Airport Link connecting downtown Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi airport began its first day of commercial services on Monday, with trains now running from 6am to midnight.

Transport Minister Sohpon Zarum said the Airport Link can carry up to 50,000 passengers a day, generating revenue of one million baht a day.

"I believe this rail link will help ease traffic, lower pollution and make it easier for the public," Mr Sohpon said.

QR National rail staff get job guarantee

Posted Tuesday, 24 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QR National employees have accepted new workplace agreements ahead of the rail company's public float that guarantees employees their job for three years.

QR's bulk haulage network was split from the state-owned corporation on July 1 and will be floated later this year under the government's privatisation plan.

Managing director Lance Hockridge said the 13 new enterprise agreements would provide security and certainty for employees leading up to the float of the company and beyond.

Thomas the Tank Engine used in child safety

Posted Tuesday, 24 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

Normally stationed at a rail museum at Thirlmere, in the New South Wales southern highlands, the steam-powered engine stopped over on platform one today, the first day of National Rail Safety Week.

The week raises awareness of the dangers of trespassing on rail lines, and basic rail safety, after revelations that one child a day fell off a Sydney train platform in March and April - when more kids were using public transport to go to the Royal Easter Show.

"Thomas is a strong advocate for raising awareness about rail safety for kids,'' NSW Transport Minister John Robertson told RailCorp employees, their children and journalists.

Greens put fast rail back on track

Posted Tuesday, 24 August, 2010 by freightgate in Rail News

After 25 years of planning, high-speed rail between Newcastle and Melbourne may become reality after the newly empowered Greens pledged to make it a key issue when they assume the balance of power in the Senate next year.

The new NSW Greens senator Lee Rhiannon told the Herald that fast trains, running at up to 350 km/h between Sydney and Melbourne, had been one of the party's most prominent policies during the election campaign.

Drunk teen's miracle survival after hit by train

Posted Tuesday, 24 August, 2010 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

A teenager has miraculously survived falling in front of an approaching train and being run over by three carriages at a station in Melbourne's east late yesterday.

Police said while details remained sketchy, it was believed the 17-year-old was intoxicated when he leaned over the edge of the platform at Mooroolbark station about 7pm and overbalanced, falling into the path of an oncoming train.

Metro payments go up as services go down

Posted Wednesday, 25 August, 2010 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

METRO earned $53 million more from taxpayers over a three-month period this year than Connex did over the same period last year, a state government report quietly released on the eve of the federal election shows.

The jump in payments came despite a fall in the rail system's performance.

The government report shows Metro received payments of $206 million between January and March this year.

Tram injuries rising on a fast track

Posted Wednesday, 25 August, 2010 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

MORE people are being injured by Melbourne's trams, new research has shown, including passengers falling inside trams and being hit by them as they get on or off.

An eight-year study by emergency doctors at The Alfred hospital has shown that the number of people presenting to emergency departments with tram-related trauma increased from 156 in 2001 to 237 in 2008. Of the total 1769 tram patients seen by emergency departments between 2001 and 2008, most had sustained minor trauma. These involved injuries from falls (808 cases), and also included pedestrians (194) and cyclists (194) being hit by a tram.

Hunter Valley Loco Derailment

Posted Wednesday, 25 August, 2010 by poppins122325 in New South Wales Rail News

A coal train derailment has blocked deliveries from two Upper Hunter mines.

Several locomotives and fully laden wagons came off the tracks on a rail loop between the Drayton and Mt Arthur operations south of Muswellbrook.

Libs pledge action on Rowville line

Posted Wednesday, 25 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A STATE Liberal government would move to build a railway line past Monash University to Rowville.

Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder yesterday said his party would commission a $2 million study to confirm the feasibility of the long-promised railway line if it wins government in November.

The line would give Monash University's 28,000 students an alternative to driving or taking the often overcrowded bus service.

Asciano reports net loss on impairment

Posted Wednesday, 25 August, 2010 by wolfpac in Rail News

PORTS and rail operator Asciano Group has reported a net loss for 2009/10 due to impairment charges but says the outlook for the current year is positive.

Security upgrades planned for regional railway stations

Posted Thursday, 26 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A Queensland Rail (QR) study has identified how security should be upgraded at seven regional train stations.

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says Maryborough, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns are the stations to get more security cameras by the end of the year.

She says the upgrade is a preventative measure, not the result of a particular incident.

Greens to push for high-speed rail link

Posted Thursday, 26 August, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

The State Greens candidate at Saturday's Senate election, Lee Rhiannon, says she will push to have the New South Wales south east included in a high-speed rail link between Newcastle and Melbourne.

The service is a key issue for the party, and may become a reality when the Greens assume the balance of power in the Upper House next year.

Ms Rhiannon says the final route for the train has not been determined, but towns on the Monaro and far south coast are set to benefit.

Opposition questions Premier's light rail plan for Newcastle

Posted Friday, 27 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The New South Wales Opposition is calling on the Premier to immediately release the Government's future transport options for Newcastle, including its light rail plan.

Property group GPT scrapped its $600 million Newcastle inner city project this week and blamed its decision on the Government's failure to endorse the Hunter Development Corporation's renewal project.

Queensland Rail is World Equity's oyster

Posted Friday, 27 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Move over BHP Billiton, Xstrata, Rio Tinto, Vale, Felix Resources, Anglo American, Macarthur Coal, Peabody Energy and Wesfarmers Resources.

A new suitor has come forward with a $6.5 billion proposal to buy the soon-to-be-listed QR National business from the Queensland Government, trumping a $4.85 billion bid from the consortium of 13 coalminers for the Queensland Rail coal network.

Rail disruption in Perth

Posted Friday, 27 August, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Many rail commuters in Perth are having a slow trip to work after dozens of train drivers called in sick at short notice amid wage negotiations.

Up to 40 drivers called in sick on Thursday night or Friday morning, causing train services on the northern and southern lines into the city to be limited to two an hour, instead of one every four minutes.

NSW Rail union to consider pay offer after weeks of strikes

Posted Friday, 27 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NEW South Wales rail workers' union leaders will meet next month to decide whether to approve a new pay offer after weeks of industrial action.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) secretary Alex Claassens says an offer was put on the table by RailCorp for an immediate four per cent pay increase and 3.5 per cent pay increases for the next three years.

"The offer does include guarantees that there will be no job losses and a lot of other protections for the workers," he said.

MPs furious over light rail comments

Posted Friday, 27 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

HUNTER MPs said they were not to blame for the GPT Group's withdrawal from Newcastle, and that they made their views about the rail line clear to Hunter Minister Jodi McKay from the start.

Tensions among the region's Labor representatives have become inflamed since The GPT Group said it was pulling out.

Panic attack bores commuters rigid

Posted Friday, 27 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A NATIVE grass is to blame for late trains on the Ballarat line last month.

The regional train operator V/Line is consulting with the Department of Sustainability and Environment about how to control the spread of the grass, which it said made 144 Ballarat trains late last month.

V/Line general manager Geoff Arthur said heavy rain in March had contributed to the outbreak of ''rigid panic'', a grass growing on properties neighbouring train tracks in Parwan, near Melton.

Agreement on Pilbara rail corridor

Posted Friday, 27 August, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

An Aboriginal corporation has signed a native title agreement with Hancock Prospecting to cover a proposed railway to carry iron ore from its Roy Hill project to Port Hedland.

The agreement with the Kariyarra native title group is designed to protect cultural heritage sites throughout the planning and construction of the rail corridor in the Pilbara.

Left standing by China's bullet trains

Posted Friday, 27 August, 2010 by richardlu_yy in Rail News

The building of Sydney's new trains is a sideshow on the Chinese factory floor, writes John Garnaut in Changchun.

Three years ago China had planned to lay 13,000 kilometres of high-speed railway by 2020, which would be more than the rest of the world combined.

Rail union presumes Labor loss in NSW

Posted Saturday, 28 August, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE powerful NSW Rail Tram and Bus Union has effectively conceded Labor will lose the state election in March.

It has told its members in an update on pay negotiations that it has secured "vital protections" for them when the Coalition "takes over" next year.

In a bulletin to the state's 17,000 rail workers dated August 25, the RTBU says the threat of industrial action has forced RailCorp and the NSW government to offer a four-year wages deal, with a 4 per cent pay rise in the first year and 3.5 per cent a year in the following three years.

Good news on light rail buried under bureaucracy

Posted Saturday, 28 August, 2010 by goninan_bl00d in Tram and Light Rail News

IT IS ONE of the few good stories the NSW government has to tell on public transport - yet it has refused traditional bragging rights, perhaps because of a struggle taking place inside the state's transport and planning bureaucracy.

The extension of the light rail from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill is continuing at a cracking pace. The laying of track is almost half finished. The rest of track should be complete - with new rails and concrete sleepers - by mid- November. Industry sources have told the Herald that test vehicles, although not trams carrying passengers, could be on the rails by early next year.

Off the rails - What our trains are really like

Posted Sunday, 29 August, 2010 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

The Age's (Melbourne) Magazine prefaces an article ONE TRACK MIND - How bad are our trains? Ian Rose finds out the hard way. With the federal election over save the vote counting and Victorian voters anticipating the state election in November, the author uses stories from the Herald Sun as an impetus for a mission to travel throughout Melbourne's suburban network, from first train out of Belgrave to last train back there.

Tram safety plan runs off the rails

Posted Sunday, 29 August, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

THE $12 million TramCam plan to protect passengers has been quietly dumped after the cost blew out to $68 million. This is despite earlier state government claims that improving tram safety was a priority.

The plan, announced by the state government in 2003, was to put cameras on trams to catch the 124,500 vehicles that illegally pass trams every month, seriously injuring at least one pedestrian a month and causing dozens of other injuries plus delays. Tram drivers report at least 16 near misses a month.

FOI documents reveal that it took the Department of Transport more than four years of research - including a trial on two trams in 2007 - to conclude that fitting cameras to the outside of trams wouldn't work because of technical and legal problems.

Train station robbed at gunpoint

Posted Sunday, 29 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

An armed man has held up the customer service section of a Melbourne city loop station and escaped with cash.

The robbery occurred at about 10pm (AEST) on Saturday at the Central railway station in Melbourne’s CBD.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 28/8/2010.

Posted Sunday, 29 August, 2010 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 105 sightings for this week. This is three sighting more than last week, making a total of 3351 sightings for this year to date. On day 240 last year we had recorded 2766 sightings. This is 493 sightings up on the same time last year.

Asciano in $700m grain transport bid in WA

Posted Monday, 30 August, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

ASCIANO is among the bidders vying for a major rail contract in Western Australia to transport $100 million worth of grain a year.

It is the first time the rail contract has been put to tender by grower co-operative CBH Group and it is expected to pit Asciano against rival QR National, which owns the current operator, Australian Railroad Group (ARG).

"CBH have broken up the rail task into three parcels and we're pitching for all of those parcels at the moment," Asciano managing director Mark Rowsthorn told The Australian, adding he was hopeful of winning all three.

Metro boss wants more staff on trains

Posted Monday, 30 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne's train network boss wants up to 500 more security staff on the network, but doesn't want them to carry guns.

The state opposition has pledged to have 940 armed protective service officers at train stations across Melbourne and in parts of regional Victoria if it wins the November 27 election.

An extra 100 transit safety police would ride on trains to help protect commuters.

Metro lunches new timetable across Melbourne rail network

Posted Monday, 30 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

DAYTIME trains will leave Frankston every 10 minutes under new train timetables due to start in October.

Metro trains today announced new timetables, which will deliver 285 more weekly services across Melbourne’s rail network from October 10.

The launch of the new timetable comes on a day when train services were disrupted on four lines by the discovery of a dead body alongside tracks at Flinders St station.

Singapore to invest $44 bln on rail in next decade

Posted Monday, 30 August, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

Aug 29 (Reuters) - Singapore plans to invest S$60 billion ($44 billion) over the next decade to double its suburban rail network to cope with the city-state's growing population, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday.

Opposition deny rail security plan 'heavy handed'

Posted Monday, 30 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A war of words has errupted between the Victorian Opposition and the chief executive of Metro, over plans to put armed officers at train stations.

The Coalition will put armed protective services officers at all train stations after dark if it wins the state election in November.

But Metro boss Andrew Lezala says that would be heavy-handed, making a comparison to the fatal shooting of an innocent man on London's underground in 2005.

Metro plans television screens for Melbourne trains

Posted Monday, 30 August, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

METRO plans to put TV screens in Melbourne trains, but commuters say that the rail operator should concentrate on running the network on time.

The company has called for tenders to install the screens, which would show news, sport, weather and Metro information - paid for by ads.

The move came as Metro admitted it failed to meet its timetable targets for the eighth month in a row.

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said Metro should forget the TV screens and concentrate on running the trains.

Treasurer rejects rail offer

Posted Monday, 30 August, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser says a fresh offer to buy the state's coal network is not credible.

Private equity company World Equity has attempted to trump a bid by a consortium of major mining firms to buy central Queensland's coal rail track network.

The $6.5 billion offer, which was well above that reportedly proposed by the mining consortium, was contingent on the new entity QR National opening its books so the equity company could undertake due diligence.

Rio Tinto approves $1.8b for new iron ore mine

Posted Monday, 30 August, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Rio Tinto says it will invest $US1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) to develop the Hope Downs 4 iron ore project in Western Australia and link it with existing rail, power and port infrastructure in the Pilbara.

The new open-cut mine will have an annual capacity of 15 million tonnes of high-quality iron ore, with first production anticipated in 2013.Rio Tinto will share the capital cost to develop the mine, estimated at $1.33 billion, with joint venture participant Hope Downs Iron Ore Pty Ltd.

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