News

 

Showing stories from November 2011

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FMG WILL APPEAL PILBARA RAIL RULING

Posted Tuesday, 1 November, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The High Court has granted Fortescue Metals Group leave to appeal a decision prohibiting it from accessing Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton’s Pilbara rail lines.

Rio Tinto said in a statement on Friday no date had been set for the new hearing but it expected the case to be heard in the first half of 2012.

Man dies after being hit by train

Posted Wednesday, 2 November, 2011 by freightgate in South Australian Rail News

A man has died after he was hit by a train this afternoon near Lonsdale station, in Adelaide's southern suburbs.

The 56-year-old man from Seacliff Park was crossing the tracks when he was hit after 4pm.

QR ramps up Pilbara rail focus

Posted Wednesday, 2 November, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

QR National's ambition to become a Pilbara iron ore hauler is gaining momentum, with the Brisbane company thought to have begun preliminary talks with the WA Government about breaking open BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group's Port Hedland rail duopoly.

QR, best known as the infrastructure provider for Queensland's coal industry, has added former BHP iron ore boss Graeme Hunt to a list of consultants that includes ex-Gindalbie Metals managing director Garret Dixon as it tries to build a business case for a multi-user railway in the Pilbara.

Concerns about public transport along waterfront

Posted Wednesday, 2 November, 2011 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

The State Opposition says the Government needs to ensure people who use public transport are catered for in the redevelopment of the Perth waterfront.

The Government says now that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is over, minor works and some building demolition will begin before Christmas on the $440-million project.

The Opposition's Planning spokesman John Hyde says the Public Transport Authority has not fully investigated the impact of the development on bus and rail services.

Historic Sydney trams seeking new home

Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2011 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

They are usually associated with the streets of Melbourne, but some graffiti-covered reminders of Sydney's own tram-powered past are making a comeback.

Sydney had a tram system for 100 years that in its heyday was larger than Melbourne's iconic network.

The City of Sydney council is looking for a new home for three heritage-listed trams which have sat unused since the network closed in 1961.

Man pleads guilty to rail worker attack

Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

A 19-year-old man has pleaded guilty in the Cairns Magistrates Court in the state's far north to attacking a Queensland Rail worker in August.

The 38-year-old victim had brain surgery in the Townsville Hospital after sustaining a serious head injury during the incident on Sheridan Street in Cairns.

BHP gives nod to $4.2b coal investment

Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) says the approval of a $4.2 billion coal project in the state's central region shows the sector has a long-term future.

BHP Billiton yesterday approved the development of its open-cut Caval Ridge Mine near Moranbah, north-west of Rockhampton, which is expected to produce more than 5 million tonnes of coal from 2014.

The company has also approved an expansion of the adjacent Peak Downs Mine, which is set to generate an extra 2.5 million tonnes.

No doubts about Northwest rail line

Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

No one should doubt how serious the NSW government is about building the Northwest Rail Link, transport minister Gladys Berejiklian says.

She says the proposed northwest and southwest rail lines are priorities for the government.

"We think they're absolutely vital for the future of our state," Ms Berejiklian told a business lunch in Sydney on Wednesday.

Rail Project To Cost $98B

Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

But the plan also says the system would be profitable even at the lowest ridership estimates and wouldn't require public operating subsidies.

The report estimates the actual cost at $98.5 billion if the route between San Francisco and Anaheim is completed in 2033. The plan assumes private investment will account for roughly 20 percent of the total cost, with much of the rest coming from additional borrowing.

Wreck of the old '73

Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TALK about bursting your boiler. This is what happens when said means of power and propulsion, the boiler, breaches its pressure co-efficient.

A goods train bound for Ballarat was passing the Telegraph Bridge at what was then called Kildare at 11 in the morning when a 'terrific explosion', viz, the bursting of the boiler, pitched the locomotive on its side, presently a spectacular image of mangled engineering.

Next stop, a bit of retail therapy

Posted Friday, 4 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A WOOLWORTHS supermarket will be the anchor tenant at Melbourne's Southern Cross railway station in a big revamp of the station's retail precinct.

The number of shops at the station will be increased by a third in stage one of a $22 million refurbishment by the station's manager, Assetco Management. It is the first upgrade in six years.

Sydney train station's isolation earns few friends

Posted Friday, 4 November, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

There is a brand new train station in the rail deprived north-west of Sydney, but it is hard to find anyone who is happy about it.
The new Schofields Railway Station opened without fanfare last weekend.

Queensland seeks to boost rail holiday numbers with new appointment

Posted Friday, 4 November, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail Travel has set its sights on cracking the lucrative North American travel market with the appointment of experienced tourism specialist, Luke Jones, to handle promotion on the continent.

Jones, who has over 14 years’ experience in tourism marketing and management, primarily with Tourism Australia, will take on the role through his company Advocate Travel Marketing.

Second train derails

Posted Friday, 4 November, 2011 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Tasmania's state-owned rail operator has apologised to customers for another derailment.

The north-south line is again out of action after yesterday's derailment on a straight section near Campbell Town in the Northern Midlands.

Excellent old Melbourne Surburban photos fouund

Posted Saturday, 5 November, 2011 by MickaTheMan in Victorian Rail News

I really enjoyed these. A good friend posted them and commented on some recently. Very interesting b/w from Ferntree Gully in the narrow gauge days. It is a link to fb page.

Light rail a pipe dream

Posted Saturday, 5 November, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

A LIGHT rail system proposed for the Sunshine Coast is a pipe dream that is 20 to 30 years away from becoming reality.

Retired civil engineer Adam Brunner of Buderim, who has just completed a consultancy to the Gold Coast Rapid Transport project, said while technically feasible here, in fact a piece of cake, it would be decades before the region's population could sustain the system economically.

Mum's train 'trip from hell'

Posted Saturday, 5 November, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

LAYLA Treffery isn't interested about the merits or otherwise of a rapid light rail system for the Sunshine Coast.

She just wants the existing heavy rail service brought into the 21st century.

The life-long public transport user is now seeking a driver's licence after a "trip from hell" from Brisbane to Eumundi this week.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 5/11/2011

Posted Sunday, 6 November, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 130 sightings for this week. This is six sighting more than last week, making a total of 4881 sightings for this year to date. On day 309 last year we had recorded 4372 sightings. This is 509 sightings up on the same time last year.

Brierty wins $60m Fortescue rail contract

Posted Sunday, 6 November, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Construction firm Brierty has won a $60 million contract to build a rail line for Fortescue Metals Group's Solomon iron ore project in Western Australia.

Brierty said in a statement late on Friday that it would construct 25km of rail for the miner's Solomon rail spur.

Preliminary work has commenced and construction of the rail line will be complete by the end of June next year, Brierty said.

TRAIN DERAILS AFTER HITTING ABANDONED UTE

Posted Sunday, 6 November, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A passenger train has been derailed in the NSW Southern Highlands after a ute was left on railway tracks.

Twelve people were on the CityRail train when it struck the Toyota shortly before 4.30am (AEDT) on Sunday, police said.

UP Reveals New Convertable Rail Car

Posted Sunday, 6 November, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Union Pacific is the largest automotive shipper west of the Mississippi with 18,000 automobile carrying rail cars, but on November 4, Union Pacific revealed a notable improvement to their rail car fleet, the Autoflex® rail car. The Autoflex® rail car is a 90-foot multi-level rail car designed and built by Union Pacific employees to improve automobile shipping. The car’s main feature is the capability to be easily transformed from two to three decks, depending on customers shipping needs. The unique design of Union Pacific’s new rail car creates a variety of benefits. According to Union Pacific:

Plenty of sums in rail plans but not everything adds up

Posted Monday, 7 November, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

IF YOU'RE a Sydney transport consultant and you have not been asked to work on the government's long-term rail plan for the city, you might wonder what you did wrong. No fewer than six different consulting firms have been engaged to look at ways of adding capacity to Sydney's rail system, according to two sets of documents obtained by the Herald.

The documents detail the government's thinking, current to at least two months ago, about what is required over the next 25 years to allow more trains to run through the city - requirements that will cost in the region of $20 billion to $30 billion.

PLAN TO CONVERT SYDNEY TRAINS REVEALED

Posted Monday, 7 November, 2011 by irbam in New South Wales Rail News

A radical plan to convert large parts of the CityRail network to single-deck high-frequency trains is closer to being accepted by the NSW government.

Detailed reports have shown senior bureaucrats have been told a multibillion-dollar overhaul of the system would be the cheapest and most efficient way to add capacity to CityRail during the next half a century, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday.

Lost 71/4 inch gauge steam raising blower @ Cobden

Posted Monday, 7 November, 2011 by irbam in Rail News

I have recently had a 71/4 inch gauge steam raising blower go missing from the engine shed at the Cobden Miniature Railway.

We have had a number of visiting engines over the last 3 weeks including a very good roll up for the Spring Festival held 15/16 of October and it seems to have been missing after that week-end. In the rush to pack up and be on the road, someone may have inadvertently put it amongst their kit.

Grain transport prices to double

Posted Monday, 7 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

Upper Hunter grain growers could be slugged with some of the nation's highest prices for transporting their harvest by rail this season.

The New South Wales Farmers Association says the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has recommended the access price for grain lines be doubled over a two year period.

Fears rail costs to push freight onto highways

Posted Monday, 7 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The Newell Highway Taskforce says moves to increase the cost of freighting grain by rail could lead to more traffic on New South Wales' roads.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has recommended grain growers pay double for access to rail lines.

Taskforce chairman Ken Keith says it is important rail remains cheaper than road transport.

Wimmera Container Line on track to be named freight terminal operator

Posted Monday, 7 November, 2011 by bigshunter in Victorian Rail News

WIMMERA Container Line is one step away from being named the operator of the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal at Dooen.

Horsham Rural City Council's corporate services and economic development manager Tony Bawden said the company signed an agreement to lease with council on Friday morning.

Chinese cities fast-track metro networks

Posted Monday, 7 November, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

After building more than 80,000 kilometres of motorways and 10,000 kilometres of high-speed rail lines, China is turning its attention underground, with the world's most extensive metro project.

More than 1 trillion yuan ($A152.5 billion) will be spent on building underground networks in 28 cities, according to Gao Yucai, the head of the urban mass transit committee of China's Communications and Transport Association.

Echuca level crossings to be upgraded

Posted Tuesday, 8 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

A $5.6 million program to upgrade 13 level crossings with boom barriers between Bendigo and Echuca will soon begin Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today.

When finished travel journey times between Echuca and Bendigo will be reduced as trains increase their speed from about 80kmh to at least 100kmh along the 87 kilometres of track.

"V/Line trains had to run at slower speeds for safety reasons due to the amount of level crossings that existed with only stop or give way signs," Mr Mulder said.

QR criticised over fatal crossing crash probe

Posted Tuesday, 8 November, 2011 by henry in Queensland Rail News

A report on a fatal crash at a level rail crossing in the state's central region is highly critical of Queensland Rail's (QR) investigation.

A 28-year-old Mackay man was killed in July last year after his car struck an empty coal train at a level rail crossing near the Goonyella Riverside mine at Moranbah.

Green rail slam

Posted Tuesday, 8 November, 2011 by henry in Victorian Rail News

THE Greens have been slammed by both sides of the political spectrum over comments that the most significant transport project in the western suburbs could be too expensive.

In parliament late last month, Greg Barber, Greens Member for the Northern Metropolitan Region, said the $5 billion being spent on the Regional Rail Link, “does seem an extraordinarily high price tag to run an extra three regional trains in the morning”.

Metro meets punctuality targets

Posted Wednesday, 9 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE rail operator Metro has met punctuality targets set for it by the state government, with almost 90 per cent of the city's trains running on schedule last month.

Metro's Leah Waymark said there had also been a rise in passengers happy with the city's services, with 66 per cent of those surveyed who caught trains saying they were satisfied with performance levels.

Railcorp apology to Newcastle commuters

Posted Wednesday, 9 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

Rail authorities have apologised to Newcastle commuters for long delays getting home after a storm created havoc on the rail network yesterday.

Passengers heading north to Newcastle and the Central Coast suffered delays of more than two hours after a storm passed through at about 5.00pm (AEDT), disrupting every line in the network.

A major transformation of Bunbury Port is planned

Posted Wednesday, 9 November, 2011 by raye in Western Australian Rail News

The South West city of Bunbury is a major beneficiary of the local coal industry which has been operating in the nearby town of Collie for more than 100 years.

Not only does the city's economy enjoy the benefits that flow from coal mining, many of the industry's workers live in the Bunbury community.

But major changes are being planned in the sector that will change the landscape of the South West capital.

All aboard for a fun trip to the past

Posted Wednesday, 9 November, 2011 by henry in New South Wales Rail News

Two small children, a brother and sister aged about five or six, stand holding hands and watching - with a mix of terror and hypnotic fascination - as an enormous monster heads their way.

Its face is blank, steam shoots menacingly from its sides and clouds of smoke billow from its funnel. It is extremely odd-looking.

The wide-eyed kids glance nervously to left and right. They're reassured because no one else looks the least bit worried. So, they decide to stay where they are - and their fear soon turns to glee.

You travel, myki tracks your moves

Posted Wednesday, 9 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

POLICE and other agencies are using myki as a Big Brother-style tool to track Victorians.

Ticketing system staff have handed over dossiers on 33 commuters since January 2010, figures obtained under Freedom Of Information laws reveal.

Most data requests are made by email and not one has been refused, documents released to the Herald Sun show.

Victoria Police and the Transport Ticketing Authority would not say what level of information was handed over, for what purpose, or whether the shared data had helped solve any crimes.

No fare go on Sundays for train commuters

Posted Wednesday, 9 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE commuters suffer almost the worst Sunday train services in the nation.

A study by the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA), found Sunday trains start too late, are too infrequent and play havoc with shift workers and patrons attending major events.

The comparison of train timetables around the country, found Melbourne's earliest trains into the CBD arrive later than anywhere else in Australia except Adelaide.

Mixed signals for rail guru

Posted Thursday, 10 November, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Rail expert Andrew McCusker received a timely insight into what can go wrong on Sydney’s rail network when he was stranded for two hours due to intense summer thunderstorms.

Mr McCusker has just been appointed to the SMART Infrastructure Facility, at the University of Wollongong, where he will explore ways to make Australia’s railways run more smoothly.

He has recently returned from Hong Kong, where he helped run the city’s rail network which carries about four million people a day.

Asciano holds off on guidance

Posted Thursday, 10 November, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Ports and rail operator Asciano says it has performed well in uncertain economic conditions but warned it would be affected by a fall in economic activity.

Chief executive John Mullen said global economic conditions were difficult and unpredictable at present.

"While Australia is better placed than many countries, activity levels remain inextricably linked to global influences," he said in a statement before the company's annual general meeting on Thursday.

Rail workers plan work stoppages over station staff

Posted Thursday, 10 November, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Rail workers will take industrial action in Brisbane next week as unions slam a proposal to remove staff from 16 of the city's railway stations.

Queensland Rail (QR) says the plan is not finalised, but Go-Card records show few passengers are using the stations, including Wynnum, Rocklea and Chelmer.

The Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) and QR are negotiating a new enterprise agreement for station employees.

BLUEPRINT RELEASED FOR MELBOURNE'S GROWTH

Posted Thursday, 10 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

New housing, town centres, rail stations and jobs have been unveiled in a draft plan for Melbourne's growth suburbs over the next 30 years.

The plan, released by the Victorian government on Wednesday, guides growth in urban areas as Melbourne copes with an anticipated increase of two million people over the next 30 to 40 years.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy says the growth corridors and the development within them represent the largest current construction project in Australia.

Unmanned train stations pose safety risk

Posted Friday, 11 November, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail is proposing to pull staff from 16 train stations in the southeast network, according to the union which warns this poses a safety risk for passengers.

Rail Tram and Bus Union president Bruce Mackie made the revelations yesterday, which Queensland Rail has not denied.

Mr Mackie said QR were planning to remove staff from Wynnum, Lota, Hemmant, Ebbw Vale, Chelmer, Gailes, Oxford Park, Keperra, Holmview, Rocklea, Moorooka, Nudgee, North Boondall, Virginia, Sunshine and Palmwoods stations.

Train services halted as man is struck by train

Posted Friday, 11 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Hundreds of frustrated commuters are stuck at railway stations in Melbourne's south-east after a man was hit by a train at Clayton railway causing the suspension of two train lines.

The 25-year-old man luckily escaped with only a broken arm after being clipped by the train about 8am. He has been taken to The Alfred hospital.

Minister Chloe Fox says one contractor's bus services are not good enough

Posted Friday, 11 November, 2011 by AN830 in Other Transport News

TRANSPORT Services Minister Chloe Fox says bus services from one new contractor are not good enough.

Mono rail plan for Fiji

Posted Saturday, 12 November, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

THE Transport Ministry is looking at introducing a mono rail system to supplement, modernise and ease our travelling experience.

This was confirmed by the Minister Colonel Timoci Lesi Natuva while launching the new Hino300 series at the Niranjan Showroom in Suva on Thursday.

"A renowned mono rail company based in California has expressed its interest to build Fiji's first mono rail system along the busy Suva-Nausori corridor.

Closing rail lines will endanger community: petition

Posted Saturday, 12 November, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A PETITION calling on the State Government to reconsider the closure of the Wheatbelt’s Tier 3 grain-haulage rail lines was presented on the steps of Parliament House yesterday.

More than 4000 people signed the petition, which listed concerns about road safety, industry double handling and the environmental impact of more trucks on WA roads.

Minister for Transport Troy Buswell recently allowed the Wheatbelt rails to remain open another year for the 2011-12 harvest but next season Wheatbelt farmers will rely more on truck haulage.

Coal firms lose rail corridor legal fight

Posted Sunday, 13 November, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by a group of coal companies aiming to quash a State Government plan to resume land for a major rail corridor in central Queensland.

Last year, the Queensland Government approved an application by Hancock Coal to build a 500-kilometre rail line from its planned Kevins Corner mine in the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point, north of Mackay.

Signal woes keep rail users off-track

Posted Sunday, 13 November, 2011 by kapow in Victorian Rail News

A RAILWAY station in Clayton, re-built for $153 million and opened to users last year, has problems that have delayed use of its new third platform - the key reason for the station's reconstruction.

Westall railway station re-opened last October, before the Victorian state election. About 1800 people get on and off trains there each weekday, a relatively small number compared to busier suburban stations such as Footscray (average weekday boardings 12,320), Box Hill (10,030) or Caulfield (10,150).

The cost of rebuilding the station was, in part, due to the addition of the third platform, which has been designed to increase the number of trains running on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.

Chengdu gets rail freight service to Germany

Posted Sunday, 13 November, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

On November 3, Ge Honglin, mayor and deputy secretary of the Municipal Party Committee of Chengdu, met with Jiang Peihua, the Chinese representative of German Railway Global Freight Company in Ningbo, and agreed to ensure that the scheduled railway freight transportation service from Chengdu to Germany will open before March next year.

The two sides met during the 7th China International Logistics Festival.

Compared with existing ocean shipping, the railway service will shorten station-to-station container delivery from Chengdu to Europe to 16 days. It will take about 20 days for door-to-door delivery service. The transportation costs will also be reduced.

Driver injured after tram smashes into taxis

Posted Sunday, 13 November, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Four taxis were involved in a crash with a tram on Swanston Street thisy afternoon, causing injuries to at least one driver and lengthy disruptions.

The crash occurred just before 6pm at the corner of Swanston and Bourke streets.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 12/11/2011

Posted Sunday, 13 November, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 124 sightings for this week. This is six sighting less than last week, making a total of 5005 sightings for this year to date. On day 316 last year we had recorded 4472 sightings. This is 533 sightings up on the same time last year

Police investigate Wangaratta level crossing collision

Posted Monday, 14 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the collision between a car and freight train near Wangaratta early this morning.

Investigators believe the collision occurred after a maroon Toyota hatch-back with two occupants became stuck on the Bowser level crossing near Federation Way around 3am.

Glen Waverley Rail Line suspended 14-11-2011

Posted Monday, 14 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Services have been suspended on the Glen Waverley Railway Line due to an incident between a car and train at Toorak Road.

Buses are now replacing trains until further notice and Toorak Road has been closed at the scene of the accident. It is not know if there are any serious injuries.

Further information will be provided when they come to hand.

Crashes spark transport chaos

Posted Monday, 14 November, 2011 by carnot in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne’s train system has been thrown into chaos this morning with two separate accidents.

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a train near Station Street at Aspendale station on the Frankston line at 11.09am.

Just before 10.30am a car was driven onto train tracks at Toorak Road, Hawthorn on the Glen Waverley line. Emergency services are attempting to free the male driver from the wreckage.

Auckland CBD rail-link 'bottom line' for Greens

Posted Monday, 14 November, 2011 by freightgate in New Zealand Rail News

Never afraid of a gimmick, the Green Party launched its transport policy today with what it says is Auckland's first ever press conference on a bus.

The bus travelled the route of the proposed CBD rail link, with the Green Party saying it would make funding for a rail-link a priority.

QR National signs new Wesfarmers deal

Posted Monday, 14 November, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

Rail operator QR National has signed a deal with Wesfarmers to haul up to 1.5 million tonnes of coal each year from its Curragh mine in Queensland to port.

Train hits couple’s car stuck on crossing

Posted Monday, 14 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

A RUTHERGLEN man and woman are in hospital at Wangaratta after their car was hit by a goods train on a level crossing early yesterday.

The overnight XPT rail service between Sydney and Melbourne was stopped at Albury and passengers had to travel the rest of the way to Melbourne by coach before the North East line reopened at 6.30am.

Police said investigators believed the incident occurred when the couple’s maroon Toyota hatchback became stuck on the Bowser crossing near Federation Way, north of Wangaratta, about 3am.

Candidate has rail on his agenda

Posted Monday, 14 November, 2011 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

A GLASSHOUSE Mountains-based businessman has announced he will stand for division one in the next council elections.

Steve Attrill, a former Suncorp financial planner who has owned a series of video stores, will contest the seat to be left vacant by outgoing councillor Anna Grosskreutz.

Mr Attrill, 41, a married father of one, has lived in Glasshouse Mountains for 10 years and ran for council at amalgamation, picking up about 25% of the vote.

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

Posted Tuesday, 15 November, 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.

"The Government had claimed the New Generation Rollingstock project would replace and expand the existing train fleet with 200 three-car passenger trains," Mr Emerson said.

Free train travel pushed to tackle peak-hour overcrowding

Posted Tuesday, 15 November, 2011 by henry in New South Wales Rail News

Sydney business leaders are backing a proposal by Infrastructure NSW for the government to offer free train travel before 7am.

The proposal, pushed by the Infrastructure NSW chief executive, Paul Broad, would aim to lessen crowding on peak-hour trains by making it more attractive to travel before the peak period.

At a transport forum last month, an Infrastructure NSW board member, Max Moore-Wilton, said the state government should be looking at introducing congestion charging across all modes of transport.

"Why on earth is it just for cars?" Mr Moore-Wilton said.

Rail station to get major face-lift

Posted Tuesday, 15 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

The State Government has announced a design competition to give Flinders Street Station a face-lift.

The neglected four-storey administration building will be restored while preserving its historical significance.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu says the Government wants to see the landmark site developed to its full potential.

Control of East Midlands' rail network moves to Derby

Posted Tuesday, 15 November, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

Full control of the East Midlands' rail network has been moved from London to Derby.

It is part of plans to devolve Network Rail's control. A new team will take responsibility for the track and its maintenance in the East Midlands.

Martin Frobisher, the new route managing director, said local experts would now be able to target investment where is was most needed.

Network Rail hopes the devolution plans will help save up to £5bn by 2014.

China bullet trains back in service after recall

Posted Tuesday, 15 November, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

BEIJING — Fifty-four bullet trains recalled after a deadly high-speed rail accident in China are to resume operation on the new Beijing-Shanghai line after problems were fixed, state media said Monday.

The Chinese manufacturer of the trains pulled them from service over safety concerns weeks after July's crash in the eastern city of Wenzhou killed at least 40 people and injured nearly 200, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The recalled trains were not the same model as those involved in the Wenzhou crash but the move was part of a huge overhaul of the country's high-speed train network following the accident, which sparked widespread public fury.

DB Schenker delivers first Poland to UK rail freight service

Posted Tuesday, 15 November, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

European rail freight history was made at 01.00 on 11th November when DB Schenker delivered on-time the first of a regular new weekly container train from Poland to the UK.

The train is the first regular rail freight service to use the High Speed 1 rail route, the only European-sized railway in the UK. As a result, the train can be loaded with European-sized curtainsided swap bodies, opening up a new freight and logistics market.

The train, which has strengthened trading links between Poland and the UK, operates once a week leaving Wroclaw, in Poland, late on a Tuesday evening, arriving 11 minutes early into Ripple Lane Exchange Sidings, Barking, London, early on Friday morning the same week.

New powers for home acquisitions

Posted Wednesday, 16 November, 2011 by Apocalyptical in Victorian Rail News

MELBURNIANS living in areas affected by proposed rail extensions such as Doncaster and Rowville could be given land nearby instead of money if their homes are compulsorily acquired by the state.

The option is revealed in a clause contained in new legislation recently passed by Parliament that will create the Public Transport Development Authority.

Tickets won't be more for Sydney rail link

Posted Wednesday, 16 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW government has ruled out making commuters pay higher fares to use the North West rail link, but has left the door open for it to be privately run.

Former NSW premier Nick Greiner is reported to be lobbying for changes to the $9 billion project because he believes the current plan does not represent good value for money.

Rail users’ complaints justifiable

Posted Wednesday, 16 November, 2011 by raye in New South Wales Rail News

‘‘Here we go again. Sunday, 9.51am, four-carriage train, passengers standing from Helensburgh to Central, plus return trip 4.29pm, four-carriage train from Central to Wollongong, passengers standing again. Where are the extra carriages on weekends?’’

The words above were contained in a letter from a disgruntled train traveller to the Mercury this week.

Grain rail compaign gains momentum

Posted Wednesday, 16 November, 2011 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

LAST Thursday, Western Australians campaigned on the steps of Parliament House urging the Barnett government to reverse its decision to close 700 kilometres of Wheatbelt rail lines.

Members of the community presented the Barnett government and shadow Transport Minister Ken Travers with a petition containing more than 4000 signatures to save the rail lines.

Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance chairman Bill Cowan said the petition helped to prove the worth of tier three rail lines and displayed the strong community support for the continuation of WA’s tier three rail lines.

Car falls on to train tracks at Pymble in Sydney causing major delays

Posted Wednesday, 16 November, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

MAJOR train delays are expected after a car fell onto train tracks on Sydney's north.

A car has fallen from the road onto the tracks at Pymble, blocking trains in both direction on the north shore train line.

Police and other emergency services are at the scene, and helicopters hovering above, after a car landed on railway tracks.

$4bn of rail track ... let's add bike paths

Posted Wednesday, 16 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

ROBERT Greenberg likens crossing the narrow and busy Shepherd Bridge in Footscray on a bike to a video game.

The Victoria University sessional lecturer regularly rides to and from his East St Kilda home to the university's Footscray Park campus.

It's a relativity straightforward commute until the bridge.

"It's like a video game because I'm one of the few riders going in the direction of Footscray and there's a whole lot of cyclists going to the city. They're in a hurry, I'm in a hurry, and invariably I have to dodge them.

Greiner push for rail link planning to go private

Posted Wednesday, 16 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

BARRY O'FARRELL'S infrastructure adviser, the former premier Nick Greiner, is pushing the government to reopen the saga of the north west rail link, citing concerns about its cost and a lack of faith in RailCorp.

In a development recalling the missing line's tortuous 13-year history, Mr Greiner is lobbying inside government for it to consider throwing the planning and operation of the line to the private sector. If the government adopts Mr Greiner's suggestion, it would need to break a commitment to have the line's final plan and cost set in stone by the end of this year.

QR finalises terms of $900m contract

Posted Thursday, 17 November, 2011 by henry in Western Australian Rail News

Rail operator QR National says all conditions on a 10-year, $900 million rail haulage agreement with Gindalbie Metals have been finalised.

Libs ramp up priority for freeway

Posted Thursday, 17 November, 2011 by Apocalyptical in Victorian Rail News

A CONTROVERSIAL freeway through inner Melbourne and a new underground rail line have again topped the state's wish list for funding from Canberra, with the Baillieu government saying it wants to proceed with a series of major transport projects first proposed by Labor.

The government today will unveil its submission to the federal government's advisory body Infrastructure Australia. It marks the first release of the Coalition's transport proposals since coming to office last November.

However, the submission does not say when any of the projects detailed would be built, or what they would ultimately cost. Premier Ted Baillieu said yesterday he did not want to make these predictions until more planning had been done.

Private sector could fund rail link: Baird

Posted Thursday, 17 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The proposed North West Rail Link in Sydney may be bankrolled largely by the private sector in a return to the public-private partnership (PPP) model of infrastructure funding.

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird says the rail link is one of many public works that could be funded via a PPP arrangement, despite the state's past disappointments with the funding model.

PPPs have been criticised especially for poor outcomes on Sydney's Cross City Tunnel and Lane Cove Tunnel.
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But Mr Baird says PPPs are "back in town".

Road and rail delays for CBD commuters

Posted Thursday, 17 November, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

A three-car accident on the Story Bridge is causing delays for commuters travelling into the CBD this morning.

An Australian Traffic Network spokesman said traffic was banked up back to Lytton Road, Kangaroo Point as a result of the accident that occurred about 8.15am.

The accident has not yet been cleared.

Hillside workers vote no confidence

Posted Thursday, 17 November, 2011 by freightgate in New Zealand Rail News

Workplace relations at Hillside Engineering appear to have soured further after workers passed a vote of no confidence in their KiwiRail managers at a union meeting yesterday morning.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union-led vote looks likely to gain little traction in the KiwiRail head office, with chief executive Jim Quinn instead publicly backing Hillside manager Andy Bisset and national workshops manager Clive Cooper-Smith.

Congress about to kill high-speed train program

Posted Friday, 18 November, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted Thursday to kill funds for President Barack Obama's signature high-speed rail program, but the initiative may have some life in it still.

Republican lawmakers are claiming credit for killing the program. But billions of dollars still in the pipeline will ensure work will continue on some projects. And it's still possible money from another transportation grant program can be steered to high-speed trains.

Obama had requested $8 billion in fiscal 2012 for the program and $53 billion over six years.

But House-Senate bargainers this week agreed to a broad spending bill that eliminates any funding specifically for high-speed trains. The House approved that legislation Thursday 298-121, and the Senate was expected to send the measure to the White House later in the day.

Stopping all stations: Baillieu's borrowed transport plan

Posted Saturday, 19 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

ROCKETING across China at 300 kilometres an hour by rail, Ted Baillieu recently did some quick mental calculations to see whether a high-speed train for Australia was viable.

Baillieu, who seems adroit when it comes to such thought experiments, concluded that likely patronage and the high construction costs would make it difficult to leverage the necessary private sector investment.

Be a rail blazer in Melton

Posted Saturday, 19 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELTON residents are being urged to unite and help beautify the town’s railway station - with a little bit of elbow grease thrown in.

Melton state Labor MP Don Nardella has commissioned resident Karen Hickman to co-ordinate a community action group to help improve the visual appearance of the railway station and its surrounds.

Murwillumbah Railway restoration back on agenda

Posted Saturday, 19 November, 2011 by arctic in New South Wales Rail News

A call for tenders to evaluate the costs of restoring and maintaining the 130km railway line from Casino to Murwillumbah and to look at the costs of extending the line to Coolangatta Airport for heavy or light-rail passenger services.

Hope for north coast rail line to get back on track

Posted Saturday, 19 November, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Government is to investigate the cost of returning rail services to the state's north coast and extending the line into Queensland.

The Casino to Murwillumbah line was closed by the Labor government in 2004.

The NSW Minister for the North Coast, Don Page, said the study will be broad in its investigation.

Australian dies in Indian train fire

Posted Wednesday, 23 November, 2011 by Speed in International Rail News

Seven people, including one Australian woman, died when a fire swept through an overnight train in eastern India, officials say.

QR National float a success: Fraser

Posted Wednesday, 23 November, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

The Queensland government has declared victory in its controversial privatisation of the state freight rail line.

The government retained a 34 per cent share in QR National, which was floated 12 months ago to the day.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the decision to sell off QR National was vindicated by how well its shares had performed on the Australian stock exchange.

Life or death: is this Melbourne's worst railway crossing?

Posted Wednesday, 23 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Paramedics fear someone could die in the back of an ambulance waiting at a notorious Melbourne railway crossing, which is just 500 metres from hospital, unless an underpass is built.

Ambulance officers say they are often stuck at the Clayton crossing with sick or injured passengers in the back, a situation made more frustrating given Monash Medical Centre is so close - but across the tracks.

Paramedics say they dread driving north up Clayton Road for fear they will get stuck at the crossing, but say the route is unavoidable given the congestion across the south-eastern suburbs.

Locomotive shortage delays rail service

Posted Wednesday, 23 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Regional train operator V/Line says it does not need to immediately increase the number of locomotives available for the Warrnambool train service.

Yesterday morning, a service between Melbourne and Warrnambool was delayed because several of the locomotives were being repaired and none were available to pull carriages on the Warrnambool line.

Rail costs 'blow out because of add-ons'

Posted Wednesday, 23 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

TAXPAYERS could have saved more than $100 million if the government had closed down the Richmond line and put on replacement buses during a track construction program, a parliamentary inquiry into rail costings heard yesterday.

The inquiry is investigating the escalation of rail costs.

During the hearing, transport officials defended the process of developing rail costings in NSW and argued construction costs in Sydney were not particularly large relative to other states.

Rail duplication plans on track

Posted Wednesday, 23 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

Plans are progressing for a massive rail project that aims to get more coal to the Port of Newcastle.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation is duplicating around 13 kilometres of track over the Liverpool Range near Murrurundi, scrapping earlier plans for a more costly rail tunnel.

Peak-hour strain testing Geelong's old trains

Posted Wednesday, 23 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

GEELONG commuters are relying on trains that are more than 20 years old because of booming patronage and ageing rail infrastructure.

Every V/Line train is used during morning and afternoon peaks, which yesterday left travellers to Warrnambool on the platform when a locomotive needed repairs.

The 7.19am service was delayed by 30 minutes as a train was sent up to Southern Cross from South Geelong.

Get on with electrified rail services: MP

Posted Wednesday, 23 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

THE state government says it will seek funding from Infrastructure Australia for the electrification of railway lines to Melton but is yet to announce a timeline for the project.

Announcing the plan last week, Premier Ted Baillieu said the upgrade of regional passenger lines was focused on providing additional tracks and an electrified service between Sunshine and Melton. It includes track upgrades on the Ballarat and Bendigo lines.

The project is dependent on the completion of the Regional Rail Link, Sunbury electrification and Laverton upgrade projects.

Coal Train Derailment at Coalcliff

Posted Thursday, 24 November, 2011 by werriscreek in New South Wales Rail News

Trains are unlikely to run on most of the South Coast line until Sunday afternoon at the earliest after a freight train derailed this morning.

Authorities suspect a broken axle may have caused a Pacific National freight train carrying coal to derail at Clifton about 12.25am, leaving five wagons tipped on their sides and their loads spilled.

Rail study to go full steam ahead

Posted Thursday, 24 November, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Trains On Our Tracks (TOOT) has welcomed news that the NSW Government will conduct a study into the cost of reinstating the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line, but says the terms of reference should be widened to include the social and economic benefits.

Rail safe alternative to roads

Posted Thursday, 24 November, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

RAIL Back On Track will continue to work constructively with the government to improve passenger rail services between Brisbane and Gympie North.

This community support group advocates for public transport passengers and were influential in getting the new daytime train for Gympie.

Middlemount rail spur kick-starts coal exports

Posted Friday, 25 November, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Construction has been completed on a 16.5km rail spur directly linking the Middlemount Coal project to the Goonyella rail network in Central Queensland, enabling exports through Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT).

Middlemount Coal Chairman Tim Crosslet says the green light for rail haulage is a significant milestone for the Middlemount Coal project, which is a joint venture between Gloucester Coal and Macarthur Coal.

He says initial exports from the project will be via existing port capacity allocation at DBCT, while the completion of the Northern Missing Link early next year will expand its long term prospects through Abbott Point.

Mount Alexander council backs train revival

Posted Friday, 25 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MOUNT Alexander Shire wants the state government to investigate a dedicated local train line between Bendigo and Kyneton.
Councillors unanimously threw their support behind the government’s $2 million feasibility study into the return of passenger trains between Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong, via Castlemaine, Maryborough and Meredith.

A key focus for the Mount Alexander Shire is to improve rail access.

Train services disrupted after grass cutter is hit

Posted Friday, 25 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Train services between Melbourne and Frankston have been disrupted after a man was hit by a train near Cheltenham station this afternoon.

Ambulance Victoria said a man was clipped by a south-bound train at 3.30pm.

Police said the man was cutting grass at the time.

I was there - City Loop inauguration

Posted Saturday, 26 November, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

Ken Matthews, driver of the first train through Melbourne's City Loop, speaks to the Age's (Melbourne) Magazine.

Mineral sands update

Posted Saturday, 26 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Arriving in the early hours last Friday, the train only pulled six pair of wagons totaling 12 bins. 620 tonnes of mineral sands was loaded in two hours and then transported to Hamilton.

Albury bound passenger train derails at West Footscray

Posted Saturday, 26 November, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

If people thought things could not get any worse for the Victorian Government with regard to the restoration of Vline Passenger services to Albury, then think again.

Tonight the 18:00 Vline service from Melbourne to Albury has derailed at West Footscray some 10 minutes after leaving Melbourne.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 26/11/2011

Posted Sunday, 27 November, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 136 sightings for this week. This is one sighting more than last week, making a total of 5276 sightings for this year to date. On day 330 last year we had recorded 4671 sightings. This is 605 sightings up on the same time last year.

Sign rail study becoming a reality

Posted Sunday, 27 November, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE NSW Government has called for tenders for an economic study on re-opening the Casino-to-Murwillumbah rail line and extending it to Coolangatta.

Advertising in the Daily News indicates Transport NSW is seeking the services of a suitable firm to undertake the study.

Port's rail failure forces trucks to clog city roads

Posted Monday, 28 November, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

SYDNEY motorists will have to share the roads with a rapidly increasing number of trucks this summer because of repeated failures to move freight containers by rail.

The situation will worsen when freight starts moving through a third container terminal at Port Botany in just over a year's time, amid predictions by Sydney Ports of a 70 per cent growth in trucks in the next decade.

Train services restored after train, truck collide

Posted Monday, 28 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Trains are operating again on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines following an accident near Springvale station about 9am.

Metro organised replacement buses between Westall and Dandenong stations after a train struck a truck that was across a level-crossing on Springvale Road.

A caller to 3AW said a train had smashed into the back of a "dump truck". Police said no one was injured.

V/Line off the rails

Posted Monday, 28 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

A V/LINE train bound for the Border derailed in Melbourne on Saturday night, leaving disoriented passengers in smoke-filled carriages.

The 135 passengers had to clamber down a ladder from the carriages.

An investigation is under way as to how the 6.01pm return train to Albury left the tracks only 10 metres from West Footscray station.

The line was closed yesterday until late afternoon to fix the track and clear the derailed carriages, with last night’s 6.01pm service to Albury expected to operate under speed restrictions.

Hero specialises in keeping people off the rails

Posted Monday, 28 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

RALPH Martyn knows how long a minute lasts.

Last October, the 64-year-old railway station host was at Middle Brighton station when he saw a woman crossing the tracks with a walking frame. Slowly. The alarms sounded and the gates swung closed.

"At that moment I knew something had to be done," he said. "I ran down and jumped off the end of the platform."

Qld Rail drops station staff cuts plan

Posted Monday, 28 November, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail (QR) has abandoned a plan to redeploy staff from 16 Brisbane railway stations.

The Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) and QR are negotiating a new enterprise agreement for station employees.

The efficiency measure was put forward as part of enterprise bargaining negotiations to cut costs.

But QR chief executive officer Paul Scurrah says the proposal will not go ahead because it is unpopular with employees and unions.

RailCorp fixes City Circle signal failure

Posted Monday, 28 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

RailCorp says technicians have now fixed a signalling failure at Central that caused widespread disruption to the rail network this morning.

Trains had been travelling through the City Circle in only one direction as RailCorp tried to resolve the problem, but the rail operator said trains were now back to running in both directions.

The signal failure caused delays across the network on this morning's commute, disrupting trains on the Bankstown, Inner West, South, Airport, North Shore and East Hills lines.

Norfolk Group win BHP rail contract

Posted Monday, 28 November, 2011 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

Norfolk Group have won an $82 million contract for rail signaling systems at BHP Billiton's Port Hedland project.

The engineering company will design and install new and modified signaling systems for the iron ore port in the Pilbara.

Government denies Inlander rail service cut

Posted Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail (QR) says it has no plans to cut a passenger train service linking Mount Isa to Townsville in the state's north.

The Liberal National Party (LNP) candidate for Mount Isa, Mick Pattel, says the Inlander service could be scrapped.

Freight rail project reaches half-way milestone

Posted Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The Federal Government’s interstate freight rail network upgrade project between Broken Hill and Parkes has reached the half-way mark with the 500,000th concrete sleeper laid.

The $253 million project, which began in January is currently on track to be completed by the middle of next year according to Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.

“All up, just over a million new concrete sleepers will be used on what is the most extensive upgrade of this 691 kilometre line since it was first opened in 1927,” Minister Albanese says.

Get on with new rail services, says Hartland

Posted Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

THE state government says it will seek funding from Infrastructure Australia for the electrification of railway lines to Melton but is yet to announce a timeline for the project.

Announcing the plan last week, Premier Ted Baillieu said the upgrade of regional passenger lines was focused on providing additional tracks and an electrified service between Sunshine and Melton.

It includes track upgrades on the Ballarat and Bendigo lines.

Qld govt to invest in rail building school

Posted Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland government will contribute $1.5 million in seed funding for a hub teaching railway building skills.

Premier Anna Bligh says the rail industry contributes $3 billion to the state's economy and faces huge demand for a skilled workforce as the population and mining industry expand.

Transport planners considering city subway

Posted Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 by freightgate in South Australian Rail News

Transport planners are investigating the long-term prospect of an underground rail link through the heart of Adelaide.

It could connect the northern Gawler line with the southern Noarlunga line under the city's streets.

Transport Department CEO Rod Hook says an underground rail link is part of its forward thinking for public transport over the next 30 years.

"Clearly if we were looking at a public transport system and a rail system for Adelaide over the next 30 years we'd be talking about an underground loop," he said.

Big miners fear global deep freeze

Posted Wednesday, 30 November, 2011 by pilbara_sam in Press Releases

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto - the giant miners feeding the enginerooms of the global economy - say the eurozone crisis has entered a dangerous new period, and warned of global contagion and frozen credit markets.

Nuclear rail convoy reaches destination

Posted Wednesday, 30 November, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

A rail convoy taking radioactive waste from a French reprocessing centre to storage in northern Germany, finally arrived at its destination early on Monday, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

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