News

 

Showing stories from January 2011

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Metro rail services return to normal after delays

Posted Saturday, 1 January, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Rail services have returned to normal this afternoon after an earlier track fault at Flinders Street station created delays on all of Melbourne’s train lines.

Metro was reporting disruptions of up to 15 minutes on all services at 2.30pm, while the train operator tweeted that some services were not passing through the city loop.

Weather may cut city power supply

Posted Sunday, 2 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

LOW coal supply due to flooding and heavy rain may cut power to Gladstone.

Concerns about Gladstone’s power supply are continuing to grow as flooded rail and roads cut coal supplies to a bare minimum.

Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) acting CEO Craig Walker said current stockpiles sat at just under one million tonne of coal, which is about one week’s supply. “By Sunday our stocks will be at a low and we anticipate having only one ship loader on standby should vessels be re-scheduled by shipping agents to match any remaining coal at the port,” Mr Walker said.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 1/1/2011

Posted Monday, 3 January, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 56 sightings for this week and six of them were on Saturday which count for year 2011. This is 34 sighting less than last week, making a total of 5100 sightings for this year of 2010. On day 365 last year we had recorded 4452 sightings for the year of 2009. So, 2010 sightings were 648 up on 2009.

Coal industry slow to recover

Posted Tuesday, 4 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND'S huge coal industry will take several months to return to full production after the floods.

While the Moura rail line is expected to reopen today, various mines and rail lines remain closed or at limited capacity, with industry and government insiders saying it could take a year for full production to be restored.

Three more directors jump from troubled rail board

Posted Tuesday, 4 January, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE boardroom of Reliance Rail, the public-private partnership set up to deliver the next generation of CityRail trains, is fast becoming a revolving door after another three directors stepped down.

With the financial future of Reliance in jeopardy, seven directors have left since August. The latest move sees Reliance's main backer and contractor, Downer EDI, replace three executives on its board with two former senior Downer staff.

QR National to reopen Goonyella coal rail system

Posted Tuesday, 4 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Australia's QR National said it will reopen its Goonyella coal rail system in Central Queensland on December 31st night after shutting down last week due to heavy rains in the region.

Coal car derailment near McBride, B.C., blocks traffic on CN's northern line

Posted Tuesday, 4 January, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

MCBRIDE, B.C. - A coal car derailment in northeastern British Columbia is blocking east-west rail traffic on Canadian National's northern line.

CN (TSX:CNR) says 33 coal cars on a westbound train derailed Sunday night just south of McBride.

The corporation says no one was injured and the derailment has not caused any environmental damage.

Rail trail gets cyclists' vote

Posted Tuesday, 4 January, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WHETHER they are working off extra Christmas kilograms or taking in the sights of the south-west, riders of all shapes, sizes and ages are venturing out on the Port Fairy to Warrnambool rail trail.

Although the 37-kilometre track is not officially complete, riders have already begun making the most of it, particularly the first 23.5-kilometre section from Port Fairy to Illowa and the 6.5-kilometre stretch from Levys Point to Warrnambool.

No airport, rail or road: Rockhampton now completely cut off

Posted Wednesday, 5 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Rockhampton is now completely cut off by raging flood waters that are not expected to peak for another couple of days.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh confirmed that the last route into the town has become inundated by the natural disaster.

"The highway is cut at Rockhampton," Ms Bligh told the ABC's 7.30 Report last night.

Meat prices blamed on railway washout

Posted Wednesday, 5 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

THE rising cost of meat in Queensland can be attributed to 4km of twisted rail line sitting shakily over washouts in the tiny town of Alpha.

Premier Anna Bligh yesterday toured the central Queensland town and neighbouring Jericho to assure locals they would not be forgotten as the government moved to clean up more than 20 flood-hit cities and towns.

Local Liberal National Party MP Vaughan Johnson told Ms Bligh the cost of repairing the rail line was about $1 million a kilometre, but was an essential cost because Alpha was a key railhead for thousands of prime cattle being sent to Rockhampton abattoirs each year.

Commuter in hospital after rock thrown at train

Posted Wednesday, 5 January, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

A RAIL commuter is in hospital after he was hit by a thrown rock at Macquarie Fields last night.

At 9.45pm yesterday, man, 37, boarded a citybound train at Ingleburn and sat in the middle of a carriage.

A short time later, somewhere between Igleburn and Macquarie Fields railway stations, the train driver saw three youths, aged 12-15, throw an item at the train.

No Qld rail for two weeks: GrainCorp

Posted Thursday, 6 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

GrainCorp Ltd says rail services in Queensland are unlikely to resume for up to two weeks.

The floods in Queensland had "stopped all rail-based export cargo accumulation",the company said in its harvest update on Tuesday.

"Road accumulation is also effected," GrainCorp said.

"Rail services not likely to resume for up to two weeks."

Reliance Rail is a train wreck: Greens

Posted Thursday, 6 January, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The public-private partnership (PPP) set up to deliver the next generation of Sydney's trains is failing, the Greens say.

Greens NSW MP Cate Faehrmann says that after the recent resignations of three directors from the board of Reliance Rail there is no confirmation of when the first new trains will come online, despite delivery schedules.

"We've seen PPPs, such as those behind the Lane Cove and Cross City Tunnels, fail time and time again, and it's the public that is left to pick up the pieces," Ms Faehrmann said in a statement on Tuesday.

Port coal stocks gone as floodwaters rise

Posted Thursday, 6 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Coal stockpiles at a major Queensland port will be exhausted within three days as heavy flooding causes mine and rail closures throughout the state.

With the coal supply chain halted due to the extensive flooding, Gladstone Ports Corporation's (GPC) RG Tanna Coal terminal has been loading coal from stockpiles.

But GPC says its stocks will be gone within three days as ships continue to arrive at the port.

There are 18 vessels at anchor off the port and a further 12 expected in the next 10 days, GPC acting chief executive Craig Walker says.

Farmers says harvest exposes rail shortcomings

Posted Thursday, 6 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says a big harvest this season is exposing shortcomings in the state's rail network and grain storages.

VFF president Andrew Broad says that after a delayed start to the harvest, yields are high but grain quality is low because of the heavy rainfall during late spring and early summer.

Portland grain exports hit five year high

Posted Thursday, 6 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

The volume of grain exported from the Port of Portland is expected to reach a five-year-high this year.

Graincorp plans to export 520, 000 tonnes of wheat and 120,000 tonnes of barley in 16 shipments.

Three of four Qld rail systems operating: QR National

Posted Thursday, 6 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QR National said that services are operating on three of its four major coal rail systems that were affected by flooding in Queensland.

The Newlands system through to the Abbot Point Terminal near Bowen, the Goonyella system through Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point coal terminals near Mackay and the Moura rail system to domestic customers and to the port of Gladstone were now in operation, QR National said in a statement.

Route 86 revamp would eliminate hundreds of car parking spaces

Posted Thursday, 6 January, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

A PLAN to close a quarter of Melbourne's tram stops has been revealed in confidential bid documents to the Federal Government.

The plan was outlined in a financing submission to Canberra for a trial that would see hundreds of on-street parking spaces taken from High St, Thornbury.

Department of Transport officials have drawn up the plan to introduce "changes to Melbourne's tram system to move it to a modern, accessible light rail service".

The train station with no trains

Posted Thursday, 6 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Southeast Queensland's newest railway station won't have any train services when it opens to the public later this month, due to a track maintenance clash.

Queensland Rail will officially open the $40 million Richlands station on Sunday, January 23, on the same weekend major upkeep is scheduled for the Ipswich Rosewood line.

Floods hit Queensland coal terminals

Posted Friday, 7 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

ONE of Queensland's largest coal terminals has stopped exports and the largest in the state is at just 60 per cent capacity, ripping nearly two million tonnes of coal a week from the global supply.

About 40 mines in Queensland have been affected by flooding and several have said they cannot meet their contracts.

The Blackwater coal rail system is inundated, cutting off the major supply line to the port of Gladstone in central Queensland, the fourth-largest coal export terminal in the world.

PM unveils plan to clear port bottlenecks

Posted Friday, 7 January, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

State and territory governments will be asked to sign off on a new national ports strategy unveiled by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The first-ever national strategy for Australia’s ports was described as a plan ‘‘for the decades ahead’’ by Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese, who will have responsibility for implementing the strategy.

But it will first need the approval of the states and territories who are responsible for ports and planning.

Grain rail network set for upgrade

Posted Friday, 7 January, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Western Australia's grain rail network is set for an upgrade with $3.5 billion to be spent over six years.

The federal government announced today it will provide $135 million to help modernise the network with the remainder coming from the Western Australian state government and industry.

Call to fix rail networks to handle the grain harvest

Posted Friday, 7 January, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A major bulk grain handler is calling for government spending on rail as New South Wales faces a record harvest.

David Ginns from the bulk carrier Graincorp said the company is in constant touch with authorities about the state of the network.
There has long been concern that when the drought ended there would be problems because so many rail lines have been mothballed or closed.

Baillieu shelves state transport plan

Posted Friday, 7 January, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TWO years and $6 million in taxpayer-funded ads later, the Brumby government's Victorian Transport Plan has been laid to rest by the new state government.

The Baillieu government has shelved its predecessor's much-promoted strategy, which pledged a cavalcade of new transport projects - many of which were unfunded - worth $38 billion.

Grain receival sites struggling

Posted Friday, 7 January, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

RAIN receival sites in the Mallee and Wimmera are struggling to keep up with demand.

It's due to variable grain quality, multiple segregations, a narrow harvest period and, in some places, bumper crops.

With the harvest just 50 per cent complete in the Wimmera and 80 per cent complete in the Mallee (as of Tuesday) some farmers are frustrated with the long wait to unload - up to six hours - at some receival sites.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 8/1/2011

Posted Sunday, 9 January, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 75 sightings for this week. This is 19 sighting more than last week, making a total of 81 sightings for this year to date. On day 8 last year we had recorded 78 sightings. This is three sightings up on the same time last year.

Labor railroads Coalition on PERL

Posted Monday, 10 January, 2011 by jcouch in New South Wales Rail News

Some tough talking by the federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese about the NSW state liberal party's plans to divert the PERL money to the NWRL, sets up some doubts over the state Liberal campaign promises in the upcoming state election.

Commuters powerless as possum zaps power to trains, homes

Posted Monday, 10 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

An ill-fated possum cut power to more than 400 homes and caused major delays for thousands of Melbourne and regional train commuters today.

The possum electrocuted itself on residential powerlines in Newport at 3.58am, short-circuiting a switch controlling power to Newport railway station as well as 430 homes and businesses in Newport and area, said a spokesman for electricity company Jemena.

PM defends Sydney rail link commitment

Posted Monday, 10 January, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has defended federal Labor's commitment to fund the Epping-to-Parramatta rail link in Sydney even if a new coalition state government opposes the plan.

Labor promised $2.1 billion for the link just before the federal election in August.

NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell, widely tipped to become premier after the March 26 election, has said he'll try to "renegotiate it (the deal) to prioritise the south-west and north-west rail links" instead.

Floods could cost QR National $46m

Posted Monday, 10 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

COAL hauler QR National does not expect Queensland floodwaters to recede enough until late this week to allow it to assess the damage to one of its three biggest rail networks.

Analysts have estimated that the floods could reduce QR National's earnings before interest and tax by $46 million this financial year. QR National's prospectus forecast pre-tax earnings of $894 million in 2010-11.

Plan for rail routes to link wholesale markets

Posted Monday, 10 January, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

MUMBAI: The government is planning to launch a dedicated horticulture rail transport system by March with an investment of over Rs 18 crore that will link the wholesale markets of the country.

Reliance Rail's trains running late before they hit the tracks

Posted Monday, 10 January, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

SYDNEY'S next batch of commuter trains - designed in Japan, built in China, assembled in the Hunter Valley, known as the Waratah - start hitting the tracks for passenger service some time this year. From the little we know of them, they'll be pretty good. Vestibules and stairways will be wider; there will be electronic screens to tell you what station's next; and, crucially, there will be reversible seats so you never have to travel back-to-front.

Two million trees to be planted along new rail line

Posted Monday, 10 January, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

The Government has pledged to plant at least two million trees along the proposed route of the new high speed rail line between Birmingham and London.

The trees are being planted in a bid to reduce the local impact on the landscape of the planned scheme, known as HS2, which will pass through picturesque parts of the Home Counties and south Midlands.

The proof of ports strategy lies in convincing COAG

Posted Monday, 10 January, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

THERE were some ironies in the decision by Julia Gillard and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese to launch the national ports strategy in Perth last week. The strategy is dependent on reaching agreement between the states and the commonwealth yet Western Australia is making an artform of spurning Canberra these days. The good news is that the federal government is not attempting a takeover, having learnt from the problems former prime minister John Howard encountered when he tried to bring the ports under Canberra's control. But the document's limited approach and lack of detail only serve to underline the challenges Canberra faces in trying to effect change in an area dominated by state and territory administrations.

Public transport ticket price hike to hit tourists to Brisbane

Posted Monday, 10 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

VISITORS to Brisbane will feel the pinch of public transport price rises from next week, with the cost of travel to rise sharply.

While tourists have long been able to jump destinations all day for a flat rate of $9.40, the option will be wiped out from next Monday, seeing the cost of some itineraries more than triple.

Most commuters will be hit hard by changes from January 17, with fares hiked by 15 per cent, and all multi-trip savers abolished along with the Queensland Rail "one third" student tickets.

Road congestion warning as rail lines closed

Posted Tuesday, 11 January, 2011 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

An alliance of 16 Wheatbelt shires and the WA Farmers Federation is warning there will be greater congestion on major roads as grain transport rail lines are closed.

Last year, the government announced it would close tier three rail lines that were deemed uneconomic, and put increased funding into improving roads.

Ferries out, bus and rail disrupted

Posted Tuesday, 11 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

All ferry services on the Brisbane River have been suspended today.

The CityCats and CityFerries are expected to remain out of action until at least the end of today due to debris in the river and strong currents.

The wet weather has also wreaked havoc on rail and bus services.

Freight services return after rain damages track

Posted Tuesday, 11 January, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

Passenger and freight train services between Melbourne and Sydney are returning to normal today after track damage prevented services yesterday.

Heavy rain at Henty in southern New South Wales on Sunday night caused flash flooding and damaged about 100 metres of track on the main railway line between Melbourne and Sydney.

Minister backs station with no trains

Posted Tuesday, 11 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan has backed a decision to open southeast Queensland's newest railway station on a day when no trains are running.

ENERGEX to switch off power to Brisbane CBD this morning

Posted Wednesday, 12 January, 2011 by freightgate in Press Releases

NERGEX will be switching off power to some low lying areas of Brisbane including parts of the CBD this morning due to safety concerns.

It is expected that power will be progressively cut from 8.30am today (12 January 2011) to protect life and property.
Due to the scale of the de-energisations, customers will not receive personal notification.

Green light for $210 million expansion of Hunter rail infrastructure

Posted Wednesday, 12 January, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The State Government says more than 50 strict conditions have been placed on a new rail track approved for the Hunter Valley. The $210 million Third Rail Track between Maitland and Minimbah is set to create up to 650 jobs and increase the capacity and reliability of the region's coal transportation network.

Corio Model Railway Exhibition for 2011

Posted Wednesday, 12 January, 2011 by bevans in Railpage Australia News

The Seymour Railway Heritage Centre's (SRHC) Heritage Train to Geelong on Sat 22/01/2011 coincides with the Corio Model Railway Club's Exhibition (http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1475619.htm in Geelong West.

The SRHC has a special offer in place for passengers who may be travelling from Melbourne to Geelong for this Exhibition. Please see http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11360014.htm for further details.

Emirates' new mega-project: desert railway

Posted Thursday, 13 January, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

United Arab Emirates boasts the world's tallest building, a man-made island in the shape of a palm and is about to take its next ambitious step - linking cities by rail over the desert.

Already investing heavily in airlines and airports, as well as roads and public infrastructure, to attract and support growing commerce, the seven emirates are leaving nothing to chance as they bet on a freight and passenger network to help drive growth.

At stake for European and Chinese companies is a total $US11 billion ($A11 billion) to be spent on the project, as UAE's Union Railway pushes to complete the rail system by 2017.

Coal rail operations halted west of Brisbane

Posted Thursday, 13 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Freight transporter QR National has stopped rail services to coal mines west of Brisbane owing to flooding and the closure of the rail line on the Toowoomba Range following a landslide.

Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley have been affected by catastrophic flooding that has resulted in a number of deaths and widespread damage to property and infrastructure.

Network operator Queensland Rail has advised that it had been unable to assess the extent of damage to the railway caused by the landslide on the range, however, early indications are that the impact may be significant.

Business Chamber welcomes third freight rail track

Posted Thursday, 13 January, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The Hunter Business Chamber has welcomed the State Government's approval of a third rail track for the Hunter Valley, rejecting suggestions the money should be spent on alternative energy.

Chamber President, Brett Derwin says the $210-million track between Maitland and Minimbah will be an important addition to the region's coal transportation network.

He says critics of investment in coal freight infrastructure need to be realistic.

QR National Says Queensland Coal Railway May Open Next Week After Floods

Posted Thursday, 13 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

QR National Ltd., an Australian rail operator, said the Blackwater rail network that feeds into the export port of Gladstone is expected to open next week after flooding that’s inundated the state closed the track.

Services may resume as early as Jan. 20 from Burngrove, “pending no significant rain” and recovery operations proceeding as planned, Brisbane-based QR National said in a statement today. The Blackwater network, which serves at least 20 mines, has been closed since Dec. 27.

Qld suppliers take the long way round

Posted Thursday, 13 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

How do you supply the best part of a state when its highway system is splintered and its biggest port is swamped by debris and closed for business?

Logistics companies and retailers are sending trucks on wide swings through western Queensland, directing goods into the state from the Northern Territory rail line, and launching barges up the coast to help supply the far north with life's basics. ''We are sending out our distribution trucks,'' one retailer said yesterday. ''We don't know if they will come back.''

Public transport slowly back on track

Posted Thursday, 13 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Public transport services will begin returning to some semblance of normality tomorrow as Brisbane’s flood waters recede.

CityCats and ferries are weeks, if not months, away from use because of extensive damage to terminals along the length of the river.

However, Translink chief executive Peter Strachan said Brisbane City Council buses would operate on a Sunday bus timetable.

Broken Hill Railway Line closed due to flooding

Posted Friday, 14 January, 2011 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Flooding caused by a signifiant amount of rain has closed the Broken Hill Railway line. The Olary-Mingary section of the line located in South Australia was closed on thursday afternoon. Train 3PG1 has been stabled at Hillgrange.

Free public transport for a week

Posted Friday, 14 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Southeast Queensland public transport fares have been waived as the region begins efforts to recover from this week’s flood disaster.

Premier Anna Bligh said travel on buses and trains would remain free for seven days, starting today.

CityCat and CityFerry services are out of action after the surging Brisbane River inflicted major damage to pontoons and terminals, but authorities have been trying to continue rail and bus services wherever possible.

Feds clear Maine to take over 233 miles of rail

Posted Friday, 14 January, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Federal Railroad Administration has cleared all legal hurdles for the state of Maine to take ownership of 233 miles of rail in northern Maine.

Sen. Susan Collins, who made the announcement Thursday, said the state can now take ownership and rehabilitate the track to preserve rail service for nearly two dozen employers.

Train delays hit peak-hour Metro commuters

Posted Friday, 14 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Train users battling foul weather have suffered another morning of widespread delays and cancellations after equipment failure and a fallen tree threw peak-hour services into chaos.

Metro spokesman Chris Whitefield said a range of problems, including the suspected theft of copper wire, struck five lines on the network early today.

Severe rail damage revealed in South Queensland

Posted Friday, 14 January, 2011 by raye in Queensland Rail News

As the floods in Queensland recede, severe damage to the rail systems that feed Gladstone port has been revealed.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 15/1/2011

Posted Sunday, 16 January, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 92 sightings for this week. This is 17 sighting more than last week, making a total of 173 sightings for this year to date. On day 15 last year we had recorded 160 sightings. This is 13 sightings up on the same time last year.

Rail link opens early to Brisbane's west

Posted Monday, 17 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland government has decided to bring forward the opening of a new rail line to Brisbane's west to help with the flood recovery efforts.

Premier Anna Bligh says Ipswich and the western suburbs are some of the worst hit by flooding, and opening the new station at Richlands and the rail link to Darra will assist recovery efforts.

Rail battered as Tasmania hit by downpour

Posted Monday, 17 January, 2011 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

TASMANIA is starting to count the cost from fierce rains that forced 500 people to be evacuated from 120 homes and businesses.

The worst-hit districts, as rain reached 158mm at Lake Mackenzie after a 100mm downpour the previous day, were Railton, Stony Rise, Devonport, Gunns Plains, Nook, Penguin and Cooee.

The historically high rainfall caused some dams to burst, including at Castra, near Devonport.

Flood-related budget cuts could kill cross-river rail

Posted Monday, 17 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says budget pressures after the floods could hit Brisbane's proposed cross-river rail project.

Grain harvest hit by floods

Posted Monday, 17 January, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Rains across eastern Australia have further slowed an already much delayed grain harvest while flood damage to key rail lines in several states will hamper exports, grains handler GrainCorp said on Monday.

Australia suffered some of its worst floods on record over the past two months, with waters engulfing parts of Brisbane, the nation's third biggest city, shutting much of Queensland's vital coal mining sector and damaging crops.

96 per cent of public transport services back tomorrow

Posted Monday, 17 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Public transport will be almost back to full capacity tomorrow in South East Queensland, Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said today.

All bus and train services will be back on-line with some disruptions as roads and section of railway lines continue to be impacted by flood damage.

Ms Nolan said staff at Translink and Queensland Rail have done an exceptional job maintaining services during the flood crisis while striving towards a full return of services this week.

Grain Supply Affected as Victoria Flooding Disrupts Rail, GrainCorp Says

Posted Monday, 17 January, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Wheat exports from Australia, the fourth-biggest shipper, may be curbed as floods in Victoria state add to transport disruptions in the country’s north amid continued harvest problems, Commonwealth Bank of Australia said.

Logistical issues and price premiums for Australian wheat could reduce the bank’s December export forecast of 14 million metric tons in 2010-2011, Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at the Sydney-based company said by phone today.

Metro on track, if not on time, with $20m profit

Posted Tuesday, 18 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

TRAIN operator Metro posted a $20 million profit in its first seven months of operation, despite failing every month to meet punctuality targets set by the Brumby government.

Detail of the company's first profits from running the metropolitan network comes as its chief executive claimed Melbourne's franchised rail model was the world's best.

''This is the best model of how to run a railway, in my opinion,'' said company chief Andrew Lezala. ''I think they [the Victorian government] have got it seriously right.''

Railway damage dents grain delivery

Posted Tuesday, 18 January, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

GRAIN supplies from Victoria will be disrupted as flooding affects the railways, GrainCorp, the biggest handler in Australia's east, said.

The quality of unharvested grain is also likely to be hurt by rain in Victoria and southern NSW, the company said yesterday.

The extent of rail problems in Victoria is still unknown. In Queensland repairs on the Toowoomba line may take up to three months, limiting grain deliveries to the Fisherman Islands port terminal at Brisbane.

Severe damage to Toowoomba railway to restrict coal production

Posted Tuesday, 18 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Coal operations near Toowoomba will struggle to recover from the floods because key infrastructure is substantially damaged

The state government said yesterday it was conducting a full assessment of the Western train line to Toowoomba but there were early indications the line had suffered substantial damage.

Helicopter survey flights ascertained that at least one bridge had been partially washed away, while landslips had covered rail lines with debris and in some areas washed away the ground underpinning the track, Queensland Rail said.

Kerang rail disaster inquest to begin

Posted Tuesday, 18 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

The driver of the train that crashed into a truck in Kerang in 2007 will give evidence at an inquest into the deaths of 11 people in the rail disaster.

Coroner Jane Hendtlass will investigate the June 2007 crash in which the truck driven by Christian Scholl and a V/Line train collided at Kerang in northern Victoria.

The inquest was due to begin on Tuesday in Kerang, but due to extensive flooding in the area it will now start in Bendigo on Wednesday.

QR National struggles to right coal network

Posted Tuesday, 18 January, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

As floodwaters gradually recede, the impact on Queensland's coal network customers and tonnages including the cost of recovery is yet to be fully assessed.

While Freight Rail provider QR National says there is progress on the recovery efforts across the company’s operations, total coal tonnages across the QR National coal network, which is used by both QR National and Pacific National trains, is expected to continue to be impacted over coming weeks.

QR National says the Moura coal line was opened to traffic last week and the Blackwater network is now targeted to re-open late this week, following a detailed track inspection.

North-west rail-funding push taken off the track

Posted Tuesday, 18 January, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell's plans to redirect $2.1 billion in funding to the North West Rail Link, if elected, have been derailed by federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.

Mr O'Farrell said he would push to have funding from the billion-dollar Epping to Parramatta project re-allocated to the North West Rail Link where construction would start within his first term.

"The NSW Liberals and Nationals are committed to prioritising the North West Rail Link and we will commence construction in our first term of government," Mr O'Farrell said.

"Labor's commitment to this project is weak and construction will not commence for at least another seven years."

Kerang rail disaster begins in Bendigo

Posted Wednesday, 19 January, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The driver of the train which crashed into a truck in Kerang in 2007 will give evidence at an inquest in Bendigo on Wednesday into the deaths of 11 people in the rail disaster.

Coroner Jane Hendtlass is probing the June 2007 crash when the truck driven by Christian Scholl collided with a V/Line train at Kerang in northern Victoria.

The inquest was due to begin on Tuesday in Kerang, but due to unprecedented flooding in the area it is starting in Bendigo.

New timetable may anger some city train users

Posted Wednesday, 19 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE commuters can expect a more reliable service but fewer trains through the City Loop under a shake-up of train timetables — to be phased in from May by the Baillieu government.

Clearly mindful of a potential political backlash only weeks into his role as Transport Minister, Terry Mulder yesterday confirmed he had backed a proposal by rail operator Metro that will cut its penalty payments but risk angering Melbourne's frustrated public transport users.

Rural railway lines ignored

Posted Wednesday, 19 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

HINDMARSH Shire councillor Michael Gawith has challenged the State Government to fund rural railway lines in the Wimmera.

His call comes after revelations there have been no rail services on the Dimboola to Yaapeet line for almost a month, despite the region's bumper harvest.

Cr Gawith said one train could replace 50 B-doubles and prevent further damage to the Dimboola-Rainbow Road.

But he said the railway line was not up to standard and trains were limited to travelling at 30 kilometres an hour before services stopped in December.

Freight lines may be cut for months

Posted Thursday, 20 January, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIA'S road, rail, and water networks have been devastated by the floods, with the full extent and final damage bill not expected to be known for weeks, and repairs expected to take months.

The extensive damage bodes ill for farmers, who have already endured 10 years of drought, with rail freight lines, which mainly carry grain to the north-west, likely to be cut for months.

Mernda transport plan low on priority list

Posted Thursday, 20 January, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE future of the Mernda busway is in doubt and plans for a Mernda train put off until the ‘‘outer years’’ after the state government confirmed its transport priorities lie elsewhere.
Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the Mernda busway was on hold as the government conducted a review of the former government’s projects.

‘‘The busway was never ever part of this government’s transport plan, and that’s one of the projects under review,’’ Mr Mulder said. During the election campaign Labor announced the $48.5 million busway along 7.5 kilometres of rail reserve from South Morang to Mernda, but the Coalition made no commitments on transport in Mernda.

NSW coalition to defer Sydney rail lines

Posted Saturday, 22 January, 2011 by Speed in New South Wales Rail News

New South Wales Shadow Treasurer, Mike Baird confirms that Liberal-National policy costings will be based on cancelling the Parramatta-Epping link, Western Express and Eveleigh Relief line.

Working to get rail back on track

Posted Saturday, 22 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QR NATIONAL boss Lance Hockridge has been in Central Queensland talking to flood-affected workers and checking damage to the region's rail infrastructure.

Speaking at the company's Bolsover Street yards yesterday Mr Hockridge said the repair cost to date would be about $10 million. And he said he sensed the true Queenslander spirit among staff who were digging in to get things back on track.

Mr Hockridge reassured investors in the company it was well set to handle disasters such as this flood.

Woman passenger describes Kerang crash

Posted Saturday, 22 January, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A passenger in the Kerang rail disaster has told an inquest she heard a noise like an explosion and her friend disappeared as their carriage was ripped open.

Rebecca Marchesi of Mildura said glass and dust flew through the air, and she called to her friend Geoff McMonnies but got no reply.

Mr McMonnies, 50, and his 17-year-old daughter Roseanne were among 11 people killed when a truck collided with the V/Line train travelling from Swan Hill to Melbourne on June 5, 2007.

Coalition to axe rail links to cut $3.8b in spending

Posted Saturday, 22 January, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE state opposition has bought into a fight with the federal government before its likely election win by refusing to back the Epping-to-Parramatta rail link.

A Coalition government would also axe the planned Sydney western express line, the so-called city relief line, which it says is meaningless unless part of larger upgrades of the city's rail services.

Taken for a ride: how Metro 'inherited a dog'

Posted Saturday, 22 January, 2011 by richardlu_yy in Victorian Rail News

PEOPLE love trains in Hong Kong. Not surprising, really, given they tend to be fast, frequent, clean, safe, almost totally reliable, and dirt cheap. This week, the majority government-owned company that runs the Hong Kong system, MTR, had a malfunction that hit the front pages of a local newspaper. One line was disrupted for two hours, meaning trains would run every 12 minutes instead of every eight.

If only the news could be so bad in Melbourne each morning.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 22/1/2011

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 92 sightings for this week. This is the same number of sighting as last week, making a total of 265 sightings for this year to date. On day 22 last year we had recorded 249 sightings. This is 16 sightings up on the same time last year.

Jobs, safer roads promised from rail freight project

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by freightgate in South Australian Rail News

The first stage of a $30 million rail freight terminal project has been opened near Penfield in Adelaide's northern suburbs.

The terminal funded by SCT Logistics is being developed on a 70-hectare site.

SCT Logistics CEO Geoff Smith said it would help make roads safer, among other things.

Rail safety on the line

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

A new report has highlighted the need for rail authorities in News South Wales to improve safety for track workers.

The Transport Safety Regulator's annual report says two rail workers died last financial year.

The regulator's Executive Director of Operations, Simon Foster, says there were also several other high-risk incidents that could have been fatal.

"We have investigated a number of those incidents and we are also doing a lot of work with the two network owners in New South Wales, having a very close look at the rules and procedures that are in place to protect track workers," Mr Foster said.

Anger at planned axing of rail links

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

COMMUTERS have turned out in protest against the State Opposition’s plan to scrap the Western Express and Parramatta-to-Epping rail link in favour of other projects.

Rail users protested at stations along the western Sydney line yesterday morning, angry over the Coalition’s announcement it would defer building the Western Express line and the Parramatta-to-Epping link if elected in March.

Shadow Treasurer Mike Baird said on Friday a Coalition government would transfer the funding for the two projects to the northwest and southwest rail links, in what the Coalition has identified as $2.4 billion in capital savings.

Brace for rail pain

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

WILLIAMSTOWN and Werribee metropolitan train services will be among those affected by drastic timetable changes proposed by Metro.

Under the new timetable com¬muters should expect a more reliable service but fewer trains through the City Loop, according to Metro.

Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said the new timetable proposal had issues that needed to be addressed urgently.

Rail project has many benefits for Broken Hill

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The Mayor of Broken Hill, Wincen Cuy says a new rail project based in the city will be good for employment and economic development.

$1m for bridge rebuild - V/Line

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

V/LINE estimates the floods have caused more than $1 million damage to a freight rail bridge near Inglewood.

The bridge, near Blackridge Road in between Inglewood and Arnold, could take more than 12 weeks to repair.

Yesterday staff were estimating that more than 1.2 million litres of water had been pumped out of the overflow creek.

Concerns Thornton rail overpass will be delayed

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Maitland MLC Robyn Parker says she's concerned the State Government is delaying the construction of a new rail overpass at Thornton.

In a letter to Maitland Council, the Planning Department says a review of the project by the RTA has found 1400 new homes could be constructed in the area before a new bridge is needed.

More delays as Waratah train project dealt new blow

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE troubled and overdue Waratah project to build the next fleet of CityRail trains has been dealt a blow which casts serious doubt over whether the project can be delivered.

Downer EDI, the lead contractor in the Reliance Rail consortium, halted trading yesterday before an announcement expected on Thursday about the future of the contract.

The first of the 626 air-conditioned trains was due for delivery in December, at least nine months late, but that deadline has been extended to April. It is not known how protracted the latest delays will be.

Should the Western Express & Parramatta to Epping Rail Link be scrapped

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

This direct from update is from the office of the NSW Minister for Transport John Robertson.

Streetcorner publishes unedited statements from politicians so you can make up your own mind about their policies and opinions. You can also be part of the news making process and self-publish your own stories on Streetcorner.

Transport infrastructure, or rather the lack of it has been a political 'hot potato' in recent years, with the NSW Labor government under attack for failing to address traffic and transport issues. This week, it was the turn of Labor to attack the Liberals plans to axe a number of public transport projects promised by Labor to Western Sydney.

Explorer aims to fend off bids

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

FERRAUS says it may merge with Brockman Resources to help fend off bids by a Hong Kong-based company.

Fellow iron ore explorer Brockman is also a takeover target.

FerrAus also continues to seek access to Fortescue Metals Group's rail lines in Western Australia's Pilbara so it can transport future ore output to port, in tandem with attempts to gain access to BHP Billiton's rail network.

Shares in FerrAus ended 2.6 per cent lower at 94 cents.

Perth sees the light, with new rail network investigated

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The first steps in a light-rail system for Perth are about to be taken, with a potential route to be mapped out.

As part of the Department of Transport's strategic plan to improve public transport in the city, it is working on mapping a proposal for a light-rail network between Curtin University in Bentley and the University of Western Australia, travelling through the CBD.

Adelaide Railway Station has been evacuated

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by raye in South Australian Rail News

ADELAIDE Railway Station has been evacuated as police investigate a suspicious package.

Police are closing the North Tce station for an hour as a precaution.

Govt examines passenger rail service from Scone to Tamworth

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A new CountryLink report has supported a proposal to expand the Newcastle-to-Scone passenger rail service in New South Wales, to include Tamworth.

The submission was lodged by Tamworth Independent MP, Peter Draper, as part of community consultations on CountryLink services.

Gippsland rail services return

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Passenger train services on the Gippsland line are back on schedule after major disruptions yesterday.

Buses replaced trains on much of the line after a Metro city train became tangled in overhead wires yesterday morning.

Train kills girl, 10, at Coledale

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by Sydney_Gunzel in New South Wales Rail News

A 10-year-old girl was killed at Coledale tonight after she was struck by a southbound passenger train.

Ambulance paramedics, police and Fire and Rescue NSW crews rushed to Coledale Railway Station shortly before 7pm following calls of a child under a train.

Port Adelaide mayor welcomes trucks ban

Posted Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 by bevans in Other Transport News

The Port Adelaide-Enfield mayor says reducing truck traffic in the heart of the Port is a first step in its rebirth.

Heavy vehicles will be diverted around the centre of Port Adelaide from next week, in an effort to decrease noise, rumblings and traffic congestion.

Baillieu Government derails Labor plan for train station staff

Posted Wednesday, 26 January, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

COMMUTERS could face more hardship with plans to upgrade and staff 15 suburban rail stations under review by the Baillieu Government.

After increasing fares and cutting services on some lines, the Government is looking at ditching Labor's pledge to boost safety by providing staff from first to last train at key stations.

Instead, the much longer-term promise of putting two protective service officers on every station platform after dark will take priority.

Rail, Train and Bus Union state secretary Trevor Dobbyn yesterday said the public wanted more fully operational stations, quickly.

Road toll solution: reopen the railways

Posted Thursday, 27 January, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

THE vast majority of Australians support increased investment in rail services, including re-opening country and regional lines and a possible high-speed network, to try to reduce the road toll.

Waratah train project derails Downer

Posted Thursday, 27 January, 2011 by dkaarma in New South Wales Rail News

The next generation of Sydney commuter trains will not start operating until late May or early June after the company assembling them unveiled a catalogue of production delays today.

South Morang rail line approved

Posted Thursday, 27 January, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE State Government will proceed with the South Morang Rail Extension project, ending weeks of speculation.

But the Mernda busway remains in doubt.

Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder spokesman Paul Price said in an emailed statement the Government viewed the heavy rail project as important but was reviewing the previous government’s busway promise.

Rail network repairs begin

Posted Friday, 28 January, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND'S flood decimated rail network could be operational within three months, but it will not be done without a lot of economic pain.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser, Transport Minister Rachel Nolan and Member for Toowoomba North Kerry Shine inspected Spring Bluff station near Toowoomba yesterday where large sections of the rail line were washed away in the January 10 flash floods.

China can afford WA rail project, but will they want to share?

Posted Friday, 28 January, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A SMALL but potentially significant development occurred yesterday which underscores the threat to Murchison Metals and its Japanese partner Mitsubishi in retaining control of the $4.3 billion Oakajee project, which involves building a new deepwater port and rail line to enable development of WA's Mid-west iron ore region.

Almost two years ago the former WA Labor Government controversially chose Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR), owned 50-50 by Murchison and Mitsubishi, to develop the Oakajee port ahead of Yilgarn Infrastructure, a consortium half-owned by five Chinese state-owned enterprises, and half by Australian investors.

NSW Opposition pledges to deliver trains

Posted Friday, 28 January, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW Opposition has pledged to make the delivery of new generation Waratah train carriages to the state's rail network a top priority if it wins the next election.

The promise came after the company making the carriages, Downer EDI, confirmed on Thursday delivery of the first set of the rolling stock to operator RailCorp had been delayed until April, after the March 26 poll.

Elderly woman bashed, sexually assaulted at Southern Cross station

Posted Friday, 28 January, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

AN 85-year-old woman has been bashed and sexually assaulted at Southern Cross railway station.

The incident, which happened at 1.10pm yesterday, is being investigated by the detectives from the sexual crimes squad.

Police said the victim was dragged into a disabled toilet by a man who demanded cash.

He then bashed the woman and sexually assaulted her.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 29/1/2011

Posted Sunday, 30 January, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 87 sightings for this week. This is five sighting less than last week, making a total of 352 sightings for this year to date. On day 29 last year we had recorded 330 sightings. This is 22 sightings up on the same time last year.

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