Showing stories from December 2011

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$500m rail revamp urged

Posted Friday, 9 December, 2011 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

TASRAIL has 36 locomotives and 374 wagons "you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy", the chairman of the state-owned enterprise told a parliamentary committee yesterday.


Bob Annells also told the committee that the $30 million operation needed more than $500 million for upgrades to rolling stock and the 632km of operational track.

Costly Christmas greeting is merry slow

Posted Friday, 9 December, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

mX ridicules Melbourne City Council for its decoration of Flinders Street Station

Government poised to rip up Newcastle inner-city rail

Posted Saturday, 10 December, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE state government is poised to make one of the biggest political statements in the Hunter’s history by ripping up the inner-city rail line between Hamilton and Newcastle.
At least that’s been the talk of the town all week.

Woodville Junction at Hamilton is understood to be the preferred terminus, with a green corridor left, allowing for a future light rail service, into the CBD.

Fast rail link cost quoted at $30b

Posted Saturday, 10 December, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Engineers from Japan and China believe they could build a high-speed rail line between Sydney, Canberra and Newcastle for about $30 billion, according to the Australasian Railway Association.

The ARA made the claim to an inquiry into rail costs in NSW yesterday, where it said the costs of tunnelling for major rail projects was falling around the world. If so, that would be a major benefit for the NSW Government's north-west rail link project, which involves a 15km tunnel, Sydney's longest and one of the longer rail tunnels in the world.

Springvale rail crash truckie fined

Posted Saturday, 10 December, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A TRUCK driver has been fined after a train hit the back of his vehicle in Springvale, causing disruptions to the Pakenham line and Springvale Rd.

On November 28, a train hit the back of the tip truck at the Springvale Rd level crossing about 9am.

The collision damaged the train, the truck, the signals and the boom gates at the crossing.

There were no reports of injuries.

Rail campaign gathers pace

Posted Saturday, 10 December, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

A CAMPAIGN to overhaul Harrogate’s railway line is gaining strength thanks to significant new support.

Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce now counts City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire PTE (Metro) and Leeds City Regional Transport Panel among its advocates.

Unanimous votes of support have been given by Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council’s Harrogate committee.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 10/12/2011

Posted Sunday, 11 December, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 131 sightings for this week. This is eight sighting less than last week, making a total of 5516 sightings for this year to date. On day 344 last year we had recorded 4848 sightings. This is 668 sightings up on the same time last year.

Go on, Gladys, stop that gravy train

Posted Monday, 12 December, 2011 by Speed in New South Wales Rail News

IN OPPOSITION, Gladys Berejiklian was a vociferous critic of the RailCorp bureaucracy. Story after story about waste and mismanagement at RailCorp's headquarters at Central Station came with an obligatory damning quote from the then shadow transport spokeswoman. It was her relentless attack-dog approach that won her a place in Barry O'Farrell's heart and succession plans.

Rapidly approaching a year in power, the Transport Minister is finding that turning around the entrenched culture of mediocrity and waste among the 15,000-strong RailCorp workforce is harder than talking about it.

Kennett calls for all-night public transport

Posted Monday, 12 December, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett has called for public transport to run around the clock on weekends during the festive season in a bid to get revellers home quicker and address Melbourne's taxi shortage.

Long queues are common for cabs in the CBD and Melbourne's inner-city suburbs and often cause tension as people wrangle over hailing taxis or wait in ranks on their way home from a night out.

North West Sydney rail link plans unveiled

Posted Monday, 12 December, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Sydney's North West Rail Link will include a 4km skytrain and two extra stations under plans lodged by the NSW government.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell on Monday unveiled plans for the 23km rail line through northwest Sydney, which is expected to cost somewhere between $7.5 and $8.5 billion, and be completed in around a decade.

Big wheat harvest to stretch rail capability

Posted Monday, 12 December, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

This year's bumper wheat harvest has exposed a lack of investment in rail infrastructure, with the NSW Government lifting a long-standing curfew on grain truck deliveries, even though it will add millions of dollars to handling costs.

GrainCorp says rail is no longer capable of adequately servicing Port Kembla terminal's grain export program, which now has approval to receive grain by road around the clock, as well as more than double the volume, from 200,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes, and more in exceptional circumstances.

Leaders, businesses welcome rail news

Posted Monday, 12 December, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

CIVIC leaders and business groups have welcomed news of an imminent decision on the Newcastle rail line.
It follows a report in Saturday’s Newcastle Herald that business sources believe the state government will announce early in the new year the creation of a terminus at Woodville Junction.

The Hamilton to Newcastle link would become a green corridor, which could be used for a future light rail service.

Newcastle lord mayor John Tate, whose support for a Woodville Junction interchange goes back a decade, said it remained the best option.

RailCorp sale of Sydney train passengers' USB keys sparks probe

Posted Tuesday, 13 December, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

RailCorp's sale of 50 misplaced USB keys containing sensitive personal information about passengers has sparked an investigation by the NSW Privacy Commissioner.

The investigation has led to a tiff between the privacy watchdog and Sophos, the computer security company that bought the USB keys from RailCorp's lost property auction for just over $400.

Metro on track for $2m bonus

Posted Tuesday, 13 December, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Baillieu government has rewarded rail operator Metro with a bonus of more than $2 million for getting Melbourne's trains to run on schedule between July and September.

Metro received a $2.19 million ''incentive payment'' for exceeding its 88 per cent punctuality target in each month of the September quarter, when 90.3 per cent of trains were punctual - meaning they ran less than five minutes late.

$60m loco contract to double freight

Posted Wednesday, 14 December, 2011 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Tasmania's problem-plagued rail company has bought 17 new locomotives, more than doubling its freight capacity.

It will cost TasRail more than $60 million which the state-owned company will cover with its state funding.

TasRail's chairman Bob Annells told a parliamentary hearing last week he would not wish the current rolling stock on his worst enemy.

Skytrain plan raises hackles in NW Sydney

Posted Wednesday, 14 December, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Government has come under fire for its plan to build a section of elevated railway in Sydney's north-west.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian revealed yesterday that four kilometres of the planned 23-kilometre North West Rail Link will be on elevated rail called the Skytrain.

Previously the section of the track between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill was to be in an underground cutting.

Ms Berejiklian says the Skytrain will be less disruptive for the suburbs it will pass through.

Northland rail network could have reprieve

Posted Wednesday, 14 December, 2011 by freightgate in New Zealand Rail News

The Northland rail network, due to be shut down next July, looks to have won a six-month reprieve.

A critical factor in the change of plan is the possibility of using low-floor wagons which can carry the new "high-cube" containers through existing tunnels, saving millions of dollars in tunnel reconstruction costs.

The larger containers cannot go through about half of the region's tunnels, forcing many customers to move freight by road.

Rail fix must happen, says 'uphill battle' Bligh

Posted Wednesday, 14 December, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has rubbished claims the $8 billion cross-river rail project is a pipedream, hitting back at opposition predictions the unfunded plan to transform Brisbane's transport network would never happen.

In an end-of-year interview with, Ms Bligh d