News

 

Showing stories from October 2011

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Reliance still on track, for now

Posted Saturday, 1 October, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE directors of Reliance Rail have signed off on its financial accounts during a last-minute board meeting after receiving assurances from the NSW government that it will continue to ''consider proposals'' to financially restructure the debt-laden consortium.

The decision signals the confidence of chairman John Harkness and his fellow directors that the consortium - tasked with delivering the 78 Waratah trains promised to the state's rail network - will remain solvent for the next year at least.

GVK lays out rail land options

Posted Saturday, 1 October, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE new owner of Gina Rinehart's Galilee Basin coalmines, Indian infrastructure conglomerate GVK, says it is prepared to call on the Queensland government to compulsorily acquire land needed for its 485km rail line.

Sanjay Reddy, deputy chairman of GVK, said the company was hopeful that it could "co-operate with everyone and find reasonable solutions", but in a "worst case scenario" land acquisition might be needed.

GVK acquired nearly all of Mrs Rinehart's Galilee Basin thermal coalmines in late August in a deal worth $US1.29 billion ($1.31bn), paid in instalments.

Late bills for myki users

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

More than 2,000 public transport users in Melbourne will have to pay late bills from myki, because the ticketing system has not deducted fares from their accounts since last September.

The Transport Ticketing Authority says the error affects customers who automatically top up their myki cards.

$10-million grain site for Dooen

Posted Saturday, 1 October, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

VITERRA will build a $10-million grain receival site at Dooen alongside the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal.

The Canadian-owned company, which already has its Wimmera base at Dooen, announced on Wednesday afternoon it would expand its facility to include a 200,000-tonne storage capability.
Executive manager Dean McQueen said investment would directly benefit Wimmera growers and exporters alike.

"Viterra is cementing its long-term commitment to rural Victoria and is making significant investments to expand its grain storage, processing and packing facilities," Mr McQueen said.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 1/10/2011

Posted Sunday, 2 October, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 112 sightings for this week. This is 12 sightings less than last week, making a total of 4223 sightings for this year to date. On day 274 last year we had recorded 3842 sightings. This is 381 sightings up on the same time last year

Flying Scotsman's return delayed due to 'defects'

Posted Monday, 3 October, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

The return to the rails of the Flying Scotsman has been further delayed by a year because of restoration problems.

Work was pushed back in 2010 and the steam locomotive was predicted to be back in use this summer.

Railway bosses said restoration was now due to be completed by late spring 2012 "due to the discovery of a number of additional defects".

China suspends railways projects

Posted Monday, 3 October, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

China has suspended construction on 80 per cent of its new high-speed railway projects in the wake of a deadly bullet train crash in July.

Until the crash in the southern city of Wenzhou, which claimed 40 lives and injured almost 200 people, China's high-speed rail network was the envy of the world.

By next year, China was expected to have more miles of high-speed rail tracks than the rest of the world put together.

Boy, 3, trapped under train

Posted Monday, 3 October, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Emergency services are on scene in Wallace, near Ballarat, where two children have been hit by a train.

One of the children, a boy aged three, is trapped under the train, while a four-year-old girl is in a stable condition.

A spokeswoman from Ambulance Victoria said a three-year-old boy was still trapped and was in a critical condition with multiple injuries.

West Sydney to get more public transport

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

COMMUTERS in western Sydney are set to get 20 new train services a week, the state government says.

The extra public transport services are part of a number being delivered to the west from October 23.

The lessons of this terrible accident are not so clear

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

EVERY parent will shudder when they read today’s headlines of another rail accident. In so many other ways the idyllic little hamlet of Wallace was enjoying a perfect spring morning. The milder weather, the flush of green and the bursts of sunshine are an invitation for outdoor activity, particularly when the holidays have been dogged by poor weather. But even on so quiet a Monday, tragedy can strike with malevolent surprise.

How fare evasion can pay on Melbourne's trams

Posted Tuesday, 4 October, 2011 by Speed in Tram and Light Rail News

The Age queries Daniel Bowen, from the Public Transport Users' Association, about the relatively low number of ticket checks on Melbourne's trams.

RailCorp Timetable changes from Sunday 23 October

Posted Wednesday, 5 October, 2011 by urailes0623 in New South Wales Rail News

RailCorp will be making several timetable changes across the CityRail network from Sunday 23 October 2011.

These timetable changes focus on easing crowding, better matching capacity on trains with passenger demand as well as providing other operational enhancements.

The timetable changes will deliver some key benefits to improve your journey

Toddler hit by V/Line train dies

Posted Wednesday, 5 October, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy died in the Royal Children's Hospital yesterday after failing to recover from injuries suffered when he was hit by a train at Wallace near Ballarat on Monday.

Victoria Police confirmed the boy's death last night.

''The boy died this afternoon after sustaining critical injuries in the incident, which occurred at 11.20 yesterday morning,'' a police spokeswoman said.

New, relocated Schofields Station to open

Posted Wednesday, 5 October, 2011 by urailes0623 in New South Wales Rail News

A new station has been built at Schofields as part of the Quakers Hill to Schofields Duplication project and will open on Saturday 29 October 2011. The new, relocated Schofields Station is approximately 800 metres south of Schofields village and less than 350 metres south of Schofields Road.

New and improved NightRide services

Posted Wednesday, 5 October, 2011 by urailes0623 in New South Wales Rail News

From Sunday 23 October 2011, two new NightRide services will be introduced for the Carlingford Line and the Richmond branch line:

N61 will operate from Town Hall to Carlingford
N71 will operate from Town Hall to Richmond

Damage to Hallett Cove railway station captured on CCTV. Two youths arrested

Posted Wednesday, 5 October, 2011 by sojourner in South Australian Rail News

CCTV footage has assisted police identify two youths following a report of a significant amount of damage to the railway station at Hallett Cove on Thursday 29 September 2011.

Experts push for congestion charge

Posted Wednesday, 5 October, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

MOTORISTS in Melbourne and Sydney face congestion charges in a bid to cut pollution and raise revenue for public transport, under submissions to the tax summit yesterday by transport experts and the Greens.

The issue of charging motorists to drive in the larger cities was fiercely debated but was strongly backed by environmentalists and some economists.

Metro shunts train union officials from its offices

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

METRO has taken on the powerful union representing Melbourne's train drivers, locking its officials out of office space at Flinders Street Station.

On Sunday, Metro management - accompanied by two security guards - changed the locks on an office at the station overlooking Flinders Street long used by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union's locomotive division. Metro also removed the officials from a special roster.

Four union officials rostered to work in the office were told they would be driving trains instead of their usual union work.

Man killed in NT train collision

Posted Thursday, 6 October, 2011 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

Northern Territory Police say a 44-year-old man has been killed after his car collided with a freight train last night.

The collision happened at a rail crossing near the entrance to the Pine Creek Mango Farm, about 200 kilometres south of Darwin, about 9.00pm.

Watch Commander Louise Jorgenson says the man was thrown from the car because he was not wearing a seatbelt and was killed instantly.

Metro trains proposal 'a bureaucrat dream'

Posted Thursday, 6 October, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Opposition has poured cold water on a proposal to introduce smaller capacity but higher frequency passenger trains to Sydney.

Transport NSW has developed a proposal to convert about a third of the CityRail network to metro services, similar to those on offer in London and Paris.

The trains would have fewer seats on a single deck, but would run more often that the current double-deck services.

Drivers play Russian roulette with level crossings

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

A rail freight company says there have been more than 60 near misses at level crossings on its central Queensland network this year.

QR National says the latest incident happened at a level crossing at Dingo yesterday.

Queensland Rail workers told to not wear colourful underwear after new uniforms

Posted Friday, 7 October, 2011 by urailes0623 in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND's Transport Minister has defended a policy of ordering rail workers not to wear coloured underwear, calling the directive a "common sense approach".

Railway renationalisation would save £1 billion a year

Posted Friday, 7 October, 2011 by urailes0623 in International Rail News

ENGLAND: A NEW union-sponsored report prepared by a transport pressure group has concluded that renationalising the railways would save at least £1 billion a year -- about the level of savings set out in the McNulty/DfT 'value for money' study published in May.

Overturned car crashes onto rail platform

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

An out-of-control car has landed upside down on a railway platform at Sunnybank on Brisbane's south.

Police say the 30 year-old driver is in hospital with non-life threatening injuries after his car crashed through a fence around 11:30pm (AEST).

Three cheers for heroic rail campaigners - but what about the buses?

Posted Friday, 7 October, 2011 by freightgate in New Zealand Rail News

One of the cruellest aspects of political life is how quickly yesterday's leaders can get written out of history.

So it was refreshing, at the signing of the historic Auckland electric rail contract, to hear acknowledgement of the tenacity of two veteran campaigners, Gary Taylor and Mike Lee, in their hard-fought battles to persuade fellow Aucklanders and successive Governments to begin valuing the under-used rail corridors criss-crossing the isthmus.

Campaign on track to reopen rail line

Posted Friday, 7 October, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The wheels have been set in motion to try and reopen the Narrandera to Tocumwal rail line.

The Narrandera, Urana, Berrigan and Jerilderie councils will meet later this month to talk about a strategy to get the line recommissioned after it was closed in 1988.

Paris-style train plan for city

Posted Friday, 7 October, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

RAIL services on the north shore, inner west, Bankstown, Hurstville and north-west lines would operate as single-deck, high-frequency metro-style trains under a plan being drawn up by Transport NSW.

The plan would convert about a third of the CityRail network to metro services similar to those in Paris or London. They would have far fewer seats than they have now but offer greater frequency.

Buswell provides temporary lifeline to rail lines

Posted Friday, 7 October, 2011 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

Western Australia will extend the life of four rail lines to shoulder some of the load of this year’s grain harvest.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell has negotiated with Brookfield Rail for the Quairading-York, Trayning-West Merredin, Bruce Rock-Yilliminning and Bruce Rock-Merredin lines to stay open for the 2011-12 season.

Buswell says the extension runs only until the end of October next year, at which point he says the roads should be able to handle the 2012-13 harvest.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 8/10/2011

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

There were 136 sightings for this week. This is 24 sightings more than last week, making a total of 4359 sightings for this year to date. On day 281 last year we had recorded 3950 sightings. This is 409 sightings up on the same time last year.

Second Albury / Wodonga train to return October 30

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

V/Line will reintroduce its daily second return train to the Border and northeast Victoria from Sunday 30 October, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today.

Mr Mulder said that he was pleased the Government was now able to return this second daily V/Line train, which had been off the tracks since 8 November 2008.

"I am grateful to V/Line, the Department of Transport, the Australian Rail Track Corporation and local MPs Bill Tilley, Tim McCurdy, Bill Sykes and Cindy McLeish for their efforts during the past few months to ensure that northeast Victorians get their much loved V/Line local trains back," he said.

Teen girl urged not to cross tracks before she was killed

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

UPDATE 11.10am: STUNNED train passengers pleaded with a 15-year-old girl not to cross railway lines seconds before she was hit and killed this morning.

The safety boom gates were down at the time but the teen opened a side gate and made the dash when she was struck at 7.45am at Ginifer station in St Albans.

Final $2.2bn rail stake 'pawned' to pay off debt

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

THE Bligh government has racked up a $2.2 billion loan against the remaining taxpayer-owned stake in Queensland Rail.

It had promised that would be sold from next year and used to pay off its spiralling debt.

Almost a year after the privatisation, it has emerged the state government is facing a $200 million interest bill after it cashed in early on the third share of QR National that was not offered in last November's public float.

In a complex deal, Queensland Treasury took out a 100 per cent loan to buy the government's remaining stake in the rail and freight company, with the $2.2bn poured into its coffers.

North West Rail Link our top priority, says Premier

Posted Monday, 10 October, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE North West Rail Link is the State Government’s “number one priority” and will get built, regardless of federal help or not, Premier Barry O’Farrell has vowed.

In an exclusive interview with the Hills Shire Times, Mr O’Farrell said bogged down negotiations with the federal government would not stop the construction of the 23km long rail link.

Olympic dam expansion gets approval

Posted Tuesday, 11 October, 2011 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The federal and South Australian governments have approved BHP Billiton's plan to develop the world's largest mine at Olympic Dam in the state's north.

The two governments have imposed tough environmental conditions on the $30 billion expansion of the company's existing copper and uranium mine, which is forecast to contribute $45 billion to the SA economy and almost $18 billion to the national economy over the next 40 years.

Payroll fraud is fingered

Posted Tuesday, 11 October, 2011 by urailes0623 in New South Wales Rail News

IN A scene that could be straight from a Hollywood spy thriller, the worker puts his finger on an ID scanner pad and punches in a secret four-digit code before being allowed access to headquarters.

Is it the home of the CIA in Washington DC? No, it's the Eveleigh Railway workshops near Redfern and the people showing their fingerprints are not highly-trained covert government operatives but fitters and turners, upholsterers and train drivers.

Two trains crash into each other during shunting procedures at Sydney's Eveleigh

Posted Tuesday, 11 October, 2011 by urailes0623 in New South Wales Rail News

TWO Sydney trains crashed during a shunting incident at the Eveleigh Train Yard near Redfern early this morning.

'I thought the world had ended', says witness to train smash at Greenfields

Posted Tuesday, 11 October, 2011 by freightgate in South Australian Rail News

ADELAIDENOW reader Paul thought the world had ended when a train slammed into a grain carriage just 30m from his bedroom in the early hours of this morning.

"I think it was about 3am," Paul said.

"The missus and I sat straight up in bed and thought what the hell was that?

GrainCorp lifts storage for Wimmera Mallee harvest

Posted Tuesday, 11 October, 2011 by BigShunter in Victorian Rail News

GRAINCORP will add 20,000 tonnes of storage capacity to each of its Hopetoun, Natimuk and Underbool storage sites for the coming harvest.

GrainCorp corporate affairs manager David Ginns said a total of 235,000 tonnes storage capacity would be added to 11 sites across the state, taking the total additional capacity for this season to 650,000 tonnes.

Rail bridges get wood sleepers

Posted Tuesday, 11 October, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

NEW wooden sleepers are being used on the problem-plagued Albury to Melbourne rail line.

But it is not a change of heart on the $285 million overhaul to replace 300,000 wooden sleepers on the track that began three years ago.

Trains overtaking flights as preferred way of travelling through Europe

Posted Tuesday, 11 October, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

EXPLORING Europe by train has been a popular form of transport for more than a century and new high-speed rail developments have accelerated its growth in popularity.

Dutch rail plan to introduce pee-bags

Posted Tuesday, 11 October, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

Dutch National Railways says it has introduced so-called 'pee-bags' as an emergency alternative to non-existing toilets on its short-hop trains.

'From today plastic bags will be made available on trains to be handed out to passengers in case of extreme emergencies,' NS spokesman Eric Trinthamer told AFP on Friday, saying 'it included when trains were stranded'.

Stonnington cop's rail crossing warning

Posted Tuesday, 11 October, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

A TOP cop says “stupid” pedestrians are risking their lives crossing rail tracks against warning bells in Stonnington.

Southern Metro Region Inspector Adrian White said he often saw pedestrians cross against warning alarms and signals at Tooronga Rd and Burke Rd railway crossings in Glen Iris.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone doesn’t see a train coming,’’ Insp White said.

Call for rail safety gates

Posted Wednesday, 12 October, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A HOBSONS Bay councillor has dismissed as “nonsense” the view that there is not enough space at North Williamstown railway station to upgrade the pedestrian crossing with automatic safety gates.

Cr Angela Altair told last week’s council meeting that the council had previously received “all sorts of silly excuses” the last time it requested the gates in 2008.

Grain wars ahead on Carrington dockyards

Posted Wednesday, 12 October, 2011 by DesL in New South Wales Rail News

GRAIN wars are set to take place on the dockyards of Carrington with independent company Newcastle Agri Terminal (NAT) hoping to gain some of GrainCorp's Newcastle exports.

Hackers crack myki: cards to be scrapped

Posted Wednesday, 12 October, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

More than 1.1 million myki cards will be phased out after hackers found a way to clone the tickets.

Myki manufacturer NXP has recommended users upgrade to the newer, 2008 swipecard, the MIFARE DESFire EV1.
The Transport Ticketing Authority has said it would replace myki with the more secure card, but has not said when, the Melbourne Weekly reports.

TTA financial reports state the authority has $22.8 million worth of tickets in stock — which could include metcards and single-use mykis — but this figure was written down this year to $8.1 million after the decision to scrap short-term myki tickets worth $14.1 million.

Rail siding cuts traffic

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

AUSTRALIA Pacific LNG has announced another milestone in its CSG to LNG project with the start of construction of a rail siding at Callide to minimise traffic movement in and around Gladstone when pipe delivery begins in January 2012.

QR National's wholly owned subsidiary QR National Network Services has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to construct a 730m-long operational siding track adjacent to the Callide stockpile and lay down area.

Saudis Lay 2,400 Miles of Rail to Ease Oil Dependence: Freight

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

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia is laying 2,400 miles of rail lines, almost enough to stretch across the continental U.S., in a push to diversify from oil that will also benefit Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Saudi Arabian Mining Co.

The construction in the kingdom, which relies on crude exports for 86 percent of government revenue, aims at developing mines of bauxite -- Saudi Arabia holds at least 11 percent of the world’s estimated deposits -- phosphate and precious metals. The first major rail line began running test shipments in May.

Cities keen on rail line reopening

Posted Thursday, 13 October, 2011 by raye in Victorian Rail News

The Weddin Shire Council says it has been approached by cities interested in using the Blayney to Demondrille railway line.

The council has joined the Blayney, Cowra, Young and Harden shires, to lobby the New South Wales Government to reopen the freight line.

New tactics to target graffiti on train lines

Posted Thursday, 13 October, 2011 by raye in South Australian Rail News

Trail and mountain bikes are the latest weapons in the fight against graffiti vandals targeting Adelaide's trains.

Mountain bikes are patrolling the O-Bahn and Linear Park areas and motorbikes are searching for vandals along the Dry Creek rail yards, and tunnels at Eden Hills and Lynton.

The South Australian Police transit officers have already had great success and over the past two weeks have seen a drop in reported graffiti attacks in the Dry Creek area from 11 to three.

Tram conductors could return under new trial plan

Posted Thursday, 13 October, 2011 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

A TRANSPORT expert has devised a plan to reintroduce Melbourne's much-loved tram conductors and recoup millions of dollars in lost fare revenue.

Prof Russell’s report, commissioned by Greens MP Greg Barber, says the benefits would completely cover the costs.

Light rail 'game changer'

Posted Friday, 14 October, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

LIGHT rail for the Sunshine Coast is an economic game changer for the region according to the council's integrated transport head, Councillor Vivien Griffin, and needs Noosa to support this bold $2 billion proposal.

"You might very well wonder why we are talking to Cooroy about light rail, because the focus and the (light rail service) hot spot here is more the Caloundra to Maroochydore," Cr Griffin told a Cooroy Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday night.

North Coast rail upgrade: completion of yet another project

Posted Friday, 14 October, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said once fully completed later this year, the $170 million North Coast Curve Easing Project will allow trains to run at higher speeds along this busy part of the Network, shaving almost an hour off transit times along Australia’s east coast.

“The entire project is on track to be completed on time and on budget – a tribute to the professionalism of the ARTC as well as the expertise of its contractors and the hundreds of workers delivering this upgrade,” said Mr Albanese.

Record Amtrak Passengers Hint at Growing Demand for High-Speed Rail

Posted Saturday, 15 October, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Amtrak said Friday it carried more than 30 million passengers in the latest fiscal year, an all-time record that has helped stir interest in a degraded high-speed rail industry.

Supporters of high-speed rail, who have been struggling for years to initiate its adoption in the U.S., say demand for the either loved- or loathed- sector is now clearly visible.

India’s longest rail tunnel opened in Kashmir

Posted Sunday, 16 October, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Jammu/Mumbai, (IANS) An engineering marvel was unveiled Friday when the Indian Railways opened a 10.96-km long railway tunnel, the longest in the country, that will help connect the Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country, a company release said.

The tunnel, which connects the Jammu region to the Kashmir Valley at Banihal, about 190 km from Jammu, was constructed at the cost of Rs.391 crore, according to Hindustan Construction Corporation (HCC) project manger S. Yala.

The construction took six years.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 15/10/2011

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

There were 137 sightings for this week. This is one sighting more than last week, making a total of 4496 sightings for this year to date. On day 288 last year we had recorded 4063 sightings. This is 433 sightings up on the same time last year.

Full steam ahead for our new port at Hastings

Posted Sunday, 16 October, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A NEW 30km road or rail link through Melbourne's southeastern suburbs is the key to the Baillieu Government's multi-billion-dollar development of a new deep-water port at Hastings.

Releasing key details of the project for the first time, Ports Minister Denis Napthine described it as the biggest infrastructure project in Victoria in a century.

Menindee-Mildura rail link back on agenda

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

A $500 million new rail link between Menindee and Mildura is being considered for the mining boom.

The former chairman of the Sunraysia Mallee Regional Development Board, and the man behind the rail concept, John Irwin, says he has been meeting state ministers about the project and is heading to Canberra this week to hold further meetings.

Seaford rail extension over the Onkaparinga River, in Adelaide's south

Posted Monday, 17 October, 2011 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

WORK is on target to complete one of Australia's longest rail bridges within a year.

South Australian Premier Mike Rann inspected the Seaford rail extension today which includes the 1.2km bridge over the Onkaparinga River, in Adelaide's south.

It features 21 spans placed 53 metres apart, making it longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Resources sector gets boost with rail line

Posted Tuesday, 18 October, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A new rail line will support NSW's expanding resources sector by providing direct access to Port Kembla, says Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

She announced on Tuesday an additional $25.5 million to advance the Maldon to Dombarton Rail Link project for the Illawarra.

The railway line will assist the mining sector, as well as free up capacity along the existing Illawarra Line for additional passenger services.

State Government ticks rail line for Springfield

Posted Tuesday, 18 October, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

IT HAS spent years on the drawing board but now the State Government is expected to announce commencement of the rail line to Springfield this month.

The $475 million rail extension will include two new train stations - Springfield Central, near Orion Shopping Centre, and Springfield, near Woodcrest College.

Acting Transport Minister Cameron Dick yesterday confirmed the project was due to be finished in 2013 - two years early.

Doubt cast over rail service benefits

Posted Tuesday, 18 October, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A report to the Bendigo council states a proposed passenger rail service to south-west Victoria does not appear to offer much benefit to the city's residents or businesses.

The route would link Bendigo to Geelong via Castlemaine, Maryborough and Ballarat.

Rail users less than impressed

Posted Tuesday, 18 October, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

IPSWICH commuters say they would prefer to see annual fare increases kept low instead of a new Go Card incentive that gives regular users bonus trips.

The State Government announced a plan where rail and bus users who make 10 journeys during a week with a Go Card can take any further trips for free.

For example, an Ipswich resident that makes a return train trip to work every from Monday to Friday can travel free on the weekend to any destination.

Wheat Stockpiles in Australia May Near Record on Rail Shortage

Posted Tuesday, 18 October, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat stockpiles in Australia, set to be the world’s second-biggest shipper, may climb near to a record by September as competition for rail capacity with coal- mining companies creates transport bottlenecks in eastern states.

Inventories may increase to a near record 8 million metric tons to 10 million tons by Sept. 30 from as much as 7.3 million tons a year earlier, according to Steve Burt, managing director of PentAG Nidera, a Queensland state-based trader partly owned by Nidera Group. While the country will have a normal export program, there’ll be “quite a large carryover towards the end of 2012,” said Alan Winney, chairman of marketer Emerald Group Australia Pty. “I see big problems on the east coast.”

Rail against Government: We won't stand for it

Posted Tuesday, 18 October, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PASSENGERS boarding Epping line peak-hour trains are sick of having to stand the entire journey.

Train users have called for extra services and changes in the way the State Government measures overcrowding on trains to include the length of time passengers are forced to stand.

Regional Rail Link: Bureaucrats tip-toe for sleep-deprived

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

THE din made by residents about extra noise from new passenger train projects is pushing the state government towards a policy to reduce the problem.

The Department of Planning has released a draft framework that will lead to a noise policy for new passenger rail projects.

The draft acknowledges that "making decisions about noise from future passenger rail investments is complex, needs to have regard to a range of factors, and has significant consequences. For these reasons, more detailed guidance would aid decision-making about noise emissions from new passenger rail proposals."

Heavy cost for rail line to Coast airport

Posted Wednesday, 19 October, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

LATEST estimates put the cost of extending the heavy rail to Gold Coast Airport at $2.8 billion.

South-East Queensland Council of Mayors documents state the rail link is expected to come online in 2018, just in time for the Commonwealth Games.

Rival unions steaming up over rail project

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

A UNION turf war on the nation's largest public transport infrastructure project has intensified after Fair Work Australia approved agreements between the Australian Workers' Union and the project's final bidders.

The tribunal rejected a bid by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union to have the deals that cover a significant part of the $4.3 billion regional rail project in Victoria thrown out.

Ballarat councillor calls for rail line duplication

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

A POSSIBLE Melbourne to Ballarat railway line duplication will be the focus of a new Ballarat City Council report.

Councillor Noel Perry, who is on the Regional Rail Link Committee reference group, recently called for the review.

He said the upcoming electrification of the Melton railway line and the planned Regional Rail Link — which will give Ballarat trains a dedicated line into Southern Cross station — had raised new possibilities.

MP says rail service benefits to take time

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

A Victorian Government MP says it could take several years for the benefits of a proposed new rail service to flow through to Bendigo.

Work has started on a feasibility study looking into a service linking Bendigo to Geelong, via Castlemaine, Maryborough and Ballarat.

Greens back freight rail link study

Posted Thursday, 20 October, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Greens have welcomed the Federal Government's funding for further studies into the viability of the Maldon to Dombarton freight rail link south of Sydney.

A $3 million pre-feasibility study into the project and extra funding to prepare pre-construction plans have been announced.

Sounds of silence depart with rail link

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

A NOISE impact assessment report by the Regional Rail Link Authority has found the new $5.3 billion rail project will cause an increase in noise levels along the rail link between Sunshine and Deer Park.

The report said the noise level increase would be a noticeable ''but not substantial'' change to existing noise levels.

Reliance auditors say future remains uncertain

Posted Thursday, 20 October, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE fate of Reliance Rail - the consortium building 78 eight-car Waratah trains for Sydney's rail network - remains squarely in the balance, with its auditors BDO declaring the ''existence of material uncertainty'' over its ability to stay financially viable.
The accounting firm stopped short of qualifying its audit opinion, but emphasised it had relied on assumptions made by Reliance directors that it would receive support from the state government to help refinance its $2 billion debt.

Reliance Rail is also fighting claims made by its monoline insurers, Syncora and FGIC UK, that it is already in default, with drastic consequences if it loses. That case will be heard next month.

MP downplays rail report doubts

Posted Thursday, 20 October, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, says it is important to remain positive about the Maldon-Dombarton rail line, despite a feasibility study finding the project does not make economic sense.

The Prime Minister this week announced $25 million in pre-construction funds that would ensure the project was ready to go if a final investment decision was made.

Plan for free wi-fi on Geelong's trains

Posted Friday, 21 October, 2011 by Apocalyptical in Victorian Rail News

SURFING the web for free could soon become a reality for thousands of Geelong V/Line commuters in Victoria.

The State Government is looking to install wi-fi transmitters and improve telecommunications on regional trains, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said.

"The Coalition Government is investigating the possibility of providing wi-fi and other improved telecommunications on board V/Line trains, possibly in conjunction with a proposed upgrade to V/Line's internal train radio communications system," he said yesterday.

Railway corridor approved for Oakajee

Posted Friday, 21 October, 2011 by pandem in Western Australian Rail News

The Western Australian Government has approved a 570km corridor for a railway providing key Mid-West iron ore projects access to the proposed deepwater port at Oakajee.

Academic sees strong case for rail line

Posted Friday, 21 October, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A rail expert from the University of Wollongong says the cost of not building the $660 million Maldon Dombarton rail line will be greater than relying on road transport.

This week, the Prime Minister announced $25 million for pre-construction design and engineering work.

TRAIN COMMUTERS FACE FURTHER OVERCROWDING

Posted Friday, 21 October, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

New figures reveal Perth train commuters will face even more overcrowding in the next five years as passenger numbers continue to increase.

During a Parliamentary Committee hearing, the Public Transport Authority revealed the Joondalup, Mandurah and Midland train lines are forecast to be operating at 95 per cent capacity during morning peak hours in 2016.

Ballarat teen train surfers caught on camera

Posted Saturday, 22 October, 2011 by Apocalyptical in Victorian Rail News

A photograph of three young men “train surfing” in Ballarat earlier this month has outraged police.

It comes just days after a couple were filmed hitching a ride on the back of a moving tram in Melbourne.

Obtained by The Courier, the shocking photograph shows three young males standing on top of an empty freight train, including one who appears to be texting on his phone, as it approaches Ballarat East from Geelong.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 22/10/2011

Posted Sunday, 23 October, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 131 sightings for this week. This is six sighting less than last week, making a total of 4627 sightings for this year to date. On day 295 last year we had recorded 4161 sightings. This is 466 sightings up on the same time last year.

At warp speed on a rail odyssey

Posted Sunday, 23 October, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

"COME to Barcelona," said my friend, who, on a whim, had decided to spend the northern summer enjoying a cocktail of sun, sand and sangria in one of my favourite European cities. She had, she added, a spare bed if I fancied visiting. Perfect.

Well, almost. I was in Genoa, on Italy's Ligurian coast, with vague plans to head east, while Barcelona was a 900-kilometre trek west. I ummed and aahed for about two minutes before coming to a conclusion. My schedule wasn't set in stone, I had a month-long rail pass - and this is Barcelona we're talking about. Let's go with the flow.

CRANE TO LIFT DE RAILED TRAIN

Posted Sunday, 23 October, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A crane will be used to right a rail wagon carrying chemicals which derailed at Cloncurry in Queensland's north west.

GMR is gathering steam

Posted Sunday, 23 October, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

GLENREAGH Mountain Railway has finally received its Notice of Accreditation under the Rail Safety Act (2008) as a Rail Infrastructure Manager but is still a long way from running trains.

The Independent Transport Safety Regulator accreditation became effective on October 11 and covers the full 35km of line which GMR owns.

Port of Hastings road or rail link likely

Posted Monday, 24 October, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A ROAD or rail line running parallel to the Western Port Highway is the most likely link between the enlarged Port of Hastings and an 'inland port' in Dandenong or Lyndhurst.

Ports Minister Denis Napthine told the Weekly it would be up to the new port authority to decide whether it would be road, rail "or even something revolutionary, like electric trucks or a magnetic loop system".

AQUILA'S WASHPOOL COAL SIGNS RAIL AGREEMENT

Posted Monday, 24 October, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Aqulia Resources has announced the signing of a rail agreement with QR National, for its Washpool Coal project.

The rail agreement is a ten year contract for the transportation of up to 1.6 million tonnes annually of coal from the Washpool hard coking coal project to the Wiggins Island coal export terminal at the Port of Gladstone.

Seven hurt after tiny train derails

Posted Monday, 24 October, 2011 by Robuster in International Rail News

A miniature train in New Zealand, carrying 12 passengers derailed as it left a bridge on Saturday in Havelock North's Keirunga Park Railway, with seven people aged 3 to 60 taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital.

Work starts on rail line

Posted Tuesday, 25 October, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

CONSTRUCTION of the Richlands to Springfield train line has begun, bringing the commuter rail network to Ipswich's fastest-growing suburbs.

The new 9.5km track will extend the Darra to Springfield line from Richlands to two new stations being built in Springfield and Springfield Lakes.

Rail din set to worsen

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

NOISE levels are expected to increase along the rail line between Sunshine and Deer Park due to the Regional Rail Link project.

A Regional Rail Link Authority report predicts average noise level increases of up to five decibels at

some locations.

But the authority is designing the route without barriers due to a lack of government policy and concerns over the fairness of selecting some areas but not others.

Rugby World Cup: Rail gets it right to give a smooth trip to the final

Posted Tuesday, 25 October, 2011 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Auckland's public transport redeemed itself on rugby world cup final night in welcome contrast to the tournament's opening day, with no serious disruption to trains, buses or ferries.

"We're very pleased because most people heeded advice to go early to the game - everything's gone very well," a relieved Auckland transport spokeswoman, Sharon Hunter, said during the All blacks-France clash.

Doncaster rail line study under way

Posted Wednesday, 26 October, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

THE long-proposed rail line to Doncaster is a step closer with a multimillion-dollar feasibility study beginning this week.

Public transport advocates have welcomed the move, saying the rail line would slash the travel times for thousands of Melburnians.

The Coalition promised the project just weeks before last year's state election, outlining plans that would see it link Doncaster with the city via Clifton Hill and leave open the option of an extension to Ringwood in the east. It declined to cost the full project until a route was identified and refused to rule out acquiring homes.

Why rail is moving more crude these days

Posted Wednesday, 26 October, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

The gaping difference between North American and international crude prices is spurring a boom for Canada’s railways as energy companies look to shuttle more of their output to the continent’s coasts, where they have been able to fetch substantial premiums.

A year ago, almost no Alberta or Saskatchewan crude travelled by rail, moving instead through the network of pipelines that has built up over many decades. Now, rail volumes are rising so quickly that shippers can’t find enough rail cars to pour it into as oil companies look to sell crude in parts of the country that are difficult to reach by pipeline. Companies are converting other types of rail cars to transport oil, as industry rethinks a long-standing reluctance to deliver crude by train.

Light-rail system works delayed

Posted Wednesday, 26 October, 2011 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

GOLD Coast drivers face more traffic woe with the Bulletin revealing up to six months of delays of the early works on the light-rail system.

The Gold Coast Rapid Transit team promised the early works, including road widening and clearing underground pipes for the tracks to go in, would be done by November.

Atlas sees production upside in rail plan

Posted Wednesday, 26 October, 2011 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

Atlas Iron expects to reveal its Pilbara railway plans to enable an increase in iron ore production to more than 15 million tonnes a year within months, the miner said yesterday.

Atlas said it was studying various rail options, including as owner-operator, as a third party with a rival miner or as an infrastructure provider.

No further details or early-stage preferences were revealed, although Atlas said it would be able to "provide further disclosure following the results of its rail studies by March 31".

First rail freight service on High Speed 1 to be launched by DB Schenker Rail

Posted Wednesday, 26 October, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

Trading links between Poland and the UK are to be strengthened during November with the introduction of regular European sized rail freight services by DB Schenker Rail.

One train per week will operate between Wroclaw, in Poland, and Barking, London, in the UK.

Demand from customers has been high resulting in strong orders for the new service being received from the automotive, retail and food sectors.

Trains funding runs off the rails as state cuts $1billion tender

Posted Thursday, 27 October, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

THE latest plan to build more trains for the city's busy network has hit trouble after the State Government apparently cut a $1 billion tender because it can't afford it.

In 2007, the Government admitted it had bought new trains that did not fit through Brisbane's busiest tunnels.

Opposition transport spokesman Scott Emerson yesterday said the contract had been slashed 25 per cent to 450 carriages from the 600 promised by the Government as recently as last Sunday.

Train wi-fi promise goes off the rails

Posted Thursday, 27 October, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

The state government has reneged on a promise to provide free wireless internet on new trains and said it has no plans to introduce the technology on existing trains, buses and trams across the public transport network.

Last November, then Opposition leader Ted Baillieu promised to purchase 40 new trains with wi-fi technology for Melbourne's public transport network — but the first seven X'Trapolis trains on order for 2013 will not be fitted with wi-fi.

Melton rail station misses out on upgrade

Posted Thursday, 27 October, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

MELTON state Labor MP Don Nardella has labelled the State Government “inadequate and weak” after it failed to fund an upgrade to Melton railway station.

Mr Nardella said it was “totally unacceptable and another kick in the head for Melton rail commuters” after Transport Minister Terry Mulder revealed there was no funding available for an upgrade.

Banker the inspiration for award-winning railway man

Posted Thursday, 27 October, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

For a long time he wondered if he would even take his phone call. Yet for many years the 42-year-old chief executive of Queensland Rail has modelled himself on the retiring Commonwealth Bank boss.

Qld mine projects declared 'significant'

Posted Thursday, 27 October, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

A proposed coal terminal and rail line in central Queensland, which will expand export capacities, have been declared projects of state significance.

The declarations recognise the size, scale and potential economic impact of Indian company Adani Group's Dudgeon Point coal terminal project and BHP Billiton MetCoal Holdings' Goonyella rail project.

Regional Rail Link: No barriers so it's earplugs for now

Posted Thursday, 27 October, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

TO the boffins who crunch the numbers on passenger rail noise, it's technically only a small increase. But to residents living beside the new rail tracks it's simple: more trains means more noise.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy released a noise impact assessment report for the extra trains as part of the $5billion Regional Rail Link project.

WILLOUGHBY: Light rail revolution

Posted Thursday, 27 October, 2011 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

LAST week I was slapped with a $50 parking ticket after going to a lunch where local businessman John Witheriff spoke about the Light Rail project.

The hefty fee made me all the more keen to see the project completed. I had parked in the Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club car park.

Disabled train slows rail service

Posted Friday, 28 October, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

NEWARK, N.J. — Workers have removed a disabled NJ Transit train that slowed rail traffic in and out of New York City Wednesday.

NJ Transit spokeswoman Courtney Carroll says Train 3705 broke down after it left New York City just outside the Hudson River rail tunnel around 7 a.m.

Works to speed up Mount Isa-Townsville rail link

Posted Friday, 28 October, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

RESOURCES from the North West Minerals Province could soon be reaching Townsville for export quicker.

Queensland Rail's Northern Ninja has been deployed to service the Townsville-Mount Isa rail corridor and return it to top condition.

Rail cars for military arriving at Fort Lee

Posted Friday, 28 October, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

The era of troop transports by rail is arriving at Fort Lee today.

Four passenger rail cars are set to arrive on the Army base around noon today for a new passenger rail service that will carry soldiers from Fort Lee to Fort A.P. Hill for training.

With the arrival of the rail cars there may be minor traffic delays on state Route 36 and Temple Avenue when the rail cars make their way onto post.

Greens would fund 60 percent of CBD rail

Posted Friday, 28 October, 2011 by freightgate in New Zealand Rail News

Central Government can afford to fund at least sixty percent of Auckland CBD rail link, to boost the economy and give Aucklanders better options to get around their city, said the Green Party today.

“The Auckland Council’s draft long term plan shows they are desperate to fund crucial bus and rail projects — the Government can support them if it adopts a more balanced transport programme,” said Gareth Hughes, Green Party transport spokesperson.

Mr Hughes was responding to the draft Auckland Long Term Plan released today that suggested the Government pay for half the cost of the rail link.

Police operation sparks rail chaos in city's west

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

An incident involving a rail intruder and police has wrought havoc on two major Metro rail lines in Melbourne's west this morning, stranding thousands of commuters.

Travellers have been warned to expect major delays as police negotiate after a man threatened to harm himself at Newport station, a major transport interchange in the city's inner west.

Train troubles disrupt morning rush hour

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

It has been a difficult morning for Melbourne commuters.

Buses replaced trains on the Cranbourne line, which was closed between Cranbourne and Dandenong after a car collided with a train.

Emergency officials had to free two people who were trapped in the car at Dandenong South.

Port, rail projects declared

Posted Friday, 28 October, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

DUDGEON Point Coal Terminal and a proposed Goonyella rail project have officially been declared significant projects by the Coordinator-General.

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State Development Andrew Fraser said the declarations were not approvals, but rather recognition of the size, scale and economic impact the projects could potentially have.

Rail lines first call in Games wish list

Posted Friday, 28 October, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

EXTENDING the Gold Coast light and heavy rail lines are top of the Commonwealth Games infrastructure wish list for the region's leading commercial property agents.

With the Gold Coast considered a frontrunner to host he 2018 Commonwealth Games, residents are keen to hear the winner announced on November 12 (Australian time).

Industry agents tip the area could be swamped by a rush of building as various levels of government push through infrastructure projects.

Savills Gold Coast principal Kev Carmody, Colliers International head Stewart Gilchrist and Ray White Commercial Gold Coast chief Greg Bell all called for the extension of the light rail lines and for links to the heavy rail.

GOVT TO GIVE TAX BREAKS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE

Posted Friday, 28 October, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

The federal government is set to offer tax breaks for private-sector investment in infrastructure projects to boost Australia's production of goods and services.

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten released a discussion paper on Wednesday about the 2011/12 budget measure to introduce new rules for tax losses that were attributable to appropriate works on roads, bridges, rail and ports.

DERAILMENT CLOSES RAIL LINE

Posted Saturday, 29 October, 2011 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Tasmania's north-south train line will be closed for the weekend due to a derailment in the southern midlands.

Nine wagons of a freight train bound for Burnie came off the tracks at Lowinda near Campania just after 5:30pm on Friday.

MAGELLAN METALS OPERATIONS REMAIN SUSPENDED

Posted Saturday, 29 October, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The State Government has announced that Magellan Metals' export operations will remain suspended after a small amount of the lead was found near rail yards in Leonora.

Magellan was put on care and maintenance in April after lead was found in dried mud at the bottom of one of its shipping containers.

Qantas responds to industrial action

Posted Saturday, 29 October, 2011 by bevans in Other Transport News

Qantas today announced that, from 8pm AEDT on Monday 31 October 2011, it will lock out all employees who will be covered by the industrial agreements currently being negotiated with the Australian Licenced Engineers Union (ALAEA), the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Australian and International Pilots Union (AIPA).

This step is being taken under the provisions of the Fair Work Act in response to industrial action taken by these unions. The financial impact of action taken to date has reached $68 million and the action is costing Qantas approximately $15 million per week in lost revenue. Approximately 70,000 passengers have been affected and more than 600 flights cancelled.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 29/10/2011

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

There were 124 sightings for this week. This is seven sighting less than last week, making a total of 4751 sightings for this year to date. On day 302 last year we had recorded 4272 sightings. This is 479 sightings up on the same time last year.

Rail spat shunted to High Court

Posted Sunday, 30 October, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

FORTESCUE Metals' attempt to gain access to the Pilbara rail lines operated by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto will go to the High Court next year in a case the miner told the court was crucial to many infrastructure projects around Australia.

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