News

 

Showing stories from April 2011

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Light rails slow trade

Posted Friday, 1 April, 2011 by DesL in Rail News

THERE is no point investing in new heavy-haulage locomotives without upgrading the lines' weight-handling capacity.

VicRoads rail warning system trial in Yendon

Posted Friday, 1 April, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

A NEW VicRoads radio break-in collision warning system will be trialled in Yendon today.
The system – aimed at reducing accidents between trains and vehicles – will be assessed to see if it is suitable for use across Victoria.

Queensland Rail investors on the right track

Posted Friday, 1 April, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

LAST year's float of rail operator QR National has turned into one of this year's biggest winners, delivering retail investors a near 40 per cent return in just over four months.

QRN this week hit a record high of $3.42, dwarfing the 5 per cent rise across the benchmark All Ordinaries index and thumbing its nose at naysayers who denigrated the $4 billion float.

All change for light rail

Posted Friday, 1 April, 2011 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

THE O'Farrell government will soon be asked to approve a sweeping overhaul of Sydney's central business district, including plans for light rail down George Street and significant changes to bus routes.

Transport bureaucrats and consultants are close to finishing two studies that have the potential to reshape the way residents move about the CBD.

The studies, commissioned by the former Labor government, have identified George Street as the best route to run a tram line. It would go from Central Station to Alfred Street near Circular Quay.

Malaysia May Sell Islamic Bonds to Fund $16 Billion Rail Project

Posted Friday, 1 April, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

Malaysia may sell ringgit- denominated Islamic bonds to help finance construction of a mass railway in Kuala Lumpur as part of a $444 billion investment program, Prime Minister Najib Razak said in an interview.

The government estimates the network will cost 48 billion ringgit ($16 billion) to build, making it the single biggest development project undertaken by Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy. Najib’s 10-year plan aims to attract overseas investors and includes an initiative to create a new international financial district, the Muslim world’s equivalent to Wall Street.

New city-edge suburb part of plan to curb urban sprawl

Posted Friday, 1 April, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

THE BAILLIEU government is considering plans for a carbon-neutral, high-density suburb of 12,000 on Footscray Road, in West Melbourne.

In the latest long-discussed inner city housing project , work to turn old rail yards into a more than $6 billion neighbourhood known as E-Gate could begin as early as 2014. It would be Victoria's largest development since Docklands.

Upper Hunter Mayor 'angry' over rail plan

Posted Friday, 1 April, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

Upper Hunter Mayor, Lee Watts says she is angry the Scone overpass has so far not been factored into planning for a major Hunter Valley rail project.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has this week announced its preferred option of duplicating the track across the Liverpool Range near Murrurundi.

Grazier fears coal rail lines damage

Posted Saturday, 2 April, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A grazier in Queensland's Central Highlands has expressed concern that three separate coal rail lines could cross through properties in the region.

Three coal companies have announced plans for new mines in the Galilee Basin, each with its own rail line to coal ports on the coast.

Fertilizer company looks to Indiana for rail center

Posted Saturday, 2 April, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

One of the world's largest fertilizer producers is looking to locate a multimillion dollar rail transfer center in Hammond.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott says PotashCorp of Canada is working with Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad to open an $80 million transfer center at the Gibson Yard.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 2/4/2011

Posted Sunday, 3 April, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 118 sightings for this week. This is 11 sighting more than last week, making a total of 1261 sightings for this year to date. On day 92 last year we had recorded 1218 sightings. This is 43 sighting up on the same time last year.

QR National to shed hundreds of jobs

Posted Monday, 4 April, 2011 by wolfpac in Queensland Rail News

ABOUT 660 QR National staff have accepted voluntary redundancies under a plan to make the freight company more competitive.

Extreme trainspotting

Posted Monday, 4 April, 2011 by wolfpac in Rail News

New Trainworks museum opens

Luxury trains, prison carriages and funeral carts feature in new Trainworks museum

Rail link delay as bill nears $5bn

Posted Tuesday, 5 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE proposed new rail line through Melbourne's western suburbs will take an extra two years to complete as the Baillieu government struggles to meet what it says is an uncosted blowout of up to $700 million.

After months of speculation about the fate of the Regional Rail Link, Transport Minister Terry Mulder yesterday confirmed that it would go ahead.

Historic Hanford nuclear rail cars to be displayed

Posted Tuesday, 5 April, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Two locomotives and two cask railcars that once hauled irradiated fuel across Hanford will be making a final trip in the next few months.

While 12 other railcars parked in central Hanford are destined for a landfill, the locomotives and two cars will be going to historic B Reactor for display.

"It's a big win for the preservation effort at the site and a really big win for the public," said Colleen French, DOE Hanford government affairs program manager.

Runaway car ploughs onto train tracks at Murrumbeena

Posted Tuesday, 5 April, 2011 by wolfpac in Victorian Rail News

UPDATE 8.10am: A CAR ploughed through a barrier at a train station and on to the tracks in Melbourne's southeast early this morning.

Rail users face more confusion

Posted Wednesday, 6 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

BALLARAT rail commuters face extra travel time and confusion under the Regional Rail Link project, the Public Transport Users Association claimed yesterday.

Commenting on Monday’s announcement by the state government that the project would go ahead despite a budget black hole, the PTUA said bypassing North Melbourne Station in the project would mean add extra travel time for Ballarat commuters.

Association spokesman Paul Westcott described the North Melbourne Station as a vital interchange point for regional rail travellers to catch suburban trains and buses.

5112 chifley engine bathurst

Posted Wednesday, 6 April, 2011 by greg standen in New South Wales Rail News

The chifley engine located in the precinct of the Bathurst railway station has bee finished.

Lead 'may have come from rail yard'

Posted Thursday, 7 April, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The lead found mixed up in mud on a Magellan Metals shipping container could have been sitting in the environment at a Leonora rail yard for years, it has been revealed.

Magellan Metals believes the lead, which isotopic testing revealed has very likely originated from Magellan's Wiluna mine, could have attached itself to the container at only two points - the mine or the Leonora rail yard.

The mud containing the lead was found on the bottom of a container that was transported from the mine at some point in the past month.

Regional rail link seen as Ballarat work boost

Posted Thursday, 7 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Committee for Ballarat expects a regional rail link could encourage Melbourne workers to live in Ballarat.

The Victorian Government is endorsing plans for the new rail line through Melbourne's west, despite objecting to the project while in opposition.

More alarm over rail near misses

Posted Thursday, 7 April, 2011 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Tasmania's rail authorities are alarmed after another near miss at a rail crossing.

Tasrail says 22 such incidents were reported last month alone.

In the latest incident, Tasrail says an elderly man and his passenger had a "miraculous escape" when their car collided with a train at a level crossing at Moonah in Hobart.

NSW Railway Gatekeepers

Posted Thursday, 7 April, 2011 by greg standen in Letters to the Editor

I am currently researching nsw railway gatekeepers if any one who has a family member or friend who was a gatekeeper could you please contact me standen_lrtc@yahoo.com

Residents Push To Get Train Line Back On Track

Posted Monday, 11 April, 2011 by Kooka in Victorian Rail News

The people of South Gippsland are pushing for their rail service again, this times it's mainly people of Lang Lang, who are pledging for it.

Fears mount on station guards plan

Posted Monday, 11 April, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

A POWERFUL alliance has been formed to try to convince the State Government to halt its controversial plan to have armed guards at railway stations.

The Police Association, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union and the Public Transport Users Association want a high-level meeting to develop the best way of tackling crime and safety problems.

Metro chief executive Andrew Lezala has previously expressed his opposition to the proposal.

Metlink to target fare evaders in new crackdown

Posted Monday, 11 April, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

FARE evaders will be targeted in a new crackdown at the city's busiest transport locations.

Metlink CEO Dale Larkin said 13 per cent of passengers travel without the right ticket, costing Victorians an estimated $80 million each year.

A new campaign by the public transport operators promises "more checks, more fines, more often".

Former CBD Metro chief to drive north-west rail link

Posted Monday, 11 April, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

THE O'Farrell government has appointed the man in charge of the CBD Metro, a project it described as reckless and mismanaged in opposition, to run its centrepiece transport policy, the north-west rail link.

Yesterday the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, and the Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, announced a project team to deliver the north-west rail link and committed to beginning geotechnical work on the line this year.

Ms Berejiklian said Rodd Staples, the former chief executive of the Sydney Metro Authority, would lead the project, and said he should not be judged by his previous role.

Inquiry urged into 'poor' rail infrastructure

Posted Monday, 11 April, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon is calling for a public inquiry into rail infrastructure.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation is under fire for letting the main east-west rail line deteriorate to such a degree that at least one freight carrier is favouring road transport.

ARTC fights back over rail criticism

Posted Monday, 11 April, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has defended its maintenance of rail infrastructure after being accused of letting the main east-west rail line deteriorate.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has called for a public inquiry into rail infrastructure and says the Sydney to Melbourne track needs urgent attention. But the ARTC says the line’s 80 percent share of the market is proof its reliability has increased.

Spokesman Brad Emery says the ARTC has been upgrading the line for over 10 years, with the average growth of tonnes transported increasing to 4.9 percent annually.

Taxpayers fund $25m Metro makeover

Posted Monday, 11 April, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIANS paid $25 million to erase the Connex brand from Melbourne and replace it with the logo of the company's more expensive but poorer performing successor Metro.

Figures sought by The Age and released by the Baillieu government show Victorians paid $20.4 million for stickers and artwork to remove more than 11,000 references to Connex on the city's rail network.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 9/4/2011.

Posted Tuesday, 12 April, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 102 sightings for this week. This is 16 sighting less than last week, making a total of 1363 sightings for this year to date. On day 99 last year we had recorded 1287 sightings. This is 76 sighting up on the same time last year.

Rain plays havoc with trains, roads

Posted Tuesday, 12 April, 2011 by merlin in Victorian Rail News

Heavy overnight rain has caused major disruptions on Melbourne's rail network today, with one line shut down and at least three others suffering closures along stretches of track.

More rail hitches to come, govt says

Posted Tuesday, 12 April, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Rail commuters should expect more debacles like the one that crippled Sydney's train lines and left 100,000 people stranded during the morning peak, says NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian .

"I know people were let down today," she told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

"I know they've been let down before and unfortunately there maybe other occasions when they're let down."

Promise to start drill on new northwest rail link

Posted Tuesday, 12 April, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Premier Barry O’Farrell has promised work will start on the northwest rail link by the end of the year.

Geotechnical studies, which will involve drilling at locations along the proposed route, will commence by year’s end.

Mr O’Farrell and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian reiterated the government’s commitment to having construction work on the link start in the next four years at a press conference at the Rouse Hill Town Centre on Wednesday.

“We will start construction for this line in this term of government to deliver the people of Sydney’s northwest the rail line they were promised would be open last year,” he said.

Regional Rail Link: Where's the cash?

Posted Tuesday, 12 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE state government has vowed to proceed with the Regional Rail Link project but won't reveal how much it will spend.
The federal government is contributing $3.2billion to the estimated $5billion project, which was under review after Treasury identified a $1billion costing shortfall.

The separation of V/Line and suburban train tracks would enable up to 9000 extra passengers in weekday peak periods and include the removal of level crossings on Anderson Road, Sunshine.

Clunes rail service held up in planning

Posted Tuesday, 12 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE state government is still seeking planning approvals from Hepburn Shire Council to overhaul the dilapidated Clunes railway station and include it on the Maryborough train line.
Former premier John Brumby visited Clunes in June last year and announced $7 million for the project, after the community successfully campaigned the government to reinstate passenger rail in the village.

The first passenger rail services to Maryborough began last year, but Transport Minister Terry Mulder last week confirmed the government was still seeking planning approvals for works to commence in Clunes.

Solution to smooth tracks five years behind schedule

Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

YESTERDAY was one of the worst days on Sydney's train system for six years, triggered by multiple signal failures during the morning peak hour at a critical junction on the network.

And the delay and frustration built up throughout the day, extending into the afternoon peak, partly because a $2 billion program to simplify the railway grid is running five years late.

Trains back to normal today

Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A RailCorp spokesman said the train system was back to normal and trains were running on time this morning.

The CityRail website said there were minor delays on the South Coast line, but the hold up was caused by a private freight train that had mechanical issues.

Rail Woes Hit Auto Deliveries

Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Already rattled by a looming shortage of made-in-Japan parts, Detroit auto makers are struggling with rail shipping woes that are stalling deliveries of finished vehicles.

About 4,000 brand new Chrysler Group LLC vehicles, mostly Ram pickup trucks, are parked under guard at the Michigan State Fairgrounds & Exposition Center in Detroit. General Motors Co. says it has delayed vehicle shipments by a day or two for as many as 1,000 cars at a time, and Ford Motor Co. is storing finished pickups at a closed assembly plant in Wixom, Mich., and at a lot near downtown Dearborn, Mich.

A delicious journey by train

Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

CHOO-Choo! The train experience of a lifetime had begun.

Well, maybe chew-chew or even whoo-hoo would have better described the wining and dining extravaganza that is the Queensland Rail Master Class tour.

Train stalls at Stawell

Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A passenger train has stopped at the Stawell train station in western Victoria for the first time in more than a decade.
Stawell residents gathered at the station, to welcome the train to town.

In the 90s passenger rail services were withdrawn from the Wimmera and replaced with buses.

Lend Lease reveals $1b homes plan for Werribee

Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Lend Lease Group will develop an urban community on a 438-hectare site in Werribee on Melbourne's western fringe for about $1 billion.

Lend Lease said in a statement today that its communities business had signed a land management agreement to develop the site in the fast-growing corridor 30km south-west of Melbourne. It is expected to house about 12,000 people.

The project would be delivered over 10 years, with first sales expected in mid-2012.

Man who fell on to live wires on railway pedestrian bridge suing

Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A YOUNG man injured while skylarking on a railway pedestrian bridge is suing Queensland Rail for almost three-quarters of a million dollars for not building a barrier high enough.

Thornlands carpenter Shane Matthew Czerkes was 21 when he fell on to overhead powerlines at Wellington Point train station at 1.20am on March 18, 2007.

Regional Rail Link: Delay 'exacerbates' congestion

Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WYNDHAM leaders have welcomed news the Regional Rail Link will go ahead.
As reported in the Weekly on April 6, the state government has confirmed the multi-billion dollar project, but conceded a blowout of between $700million and $1.1billion was likely.

The project was announced by the former Brumby Labor government in 2008 with a price tag of $4.3billion and was to be finished by 2014. It was put on hold while the Baillieu government reviewed the cost.

Rising Railroad Shipments Reflect Increasing Momentum in U.S. Expansion

Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Growth in railroad-shipping volume shows the U.S. economic expansion is gaining momentum, even with rising energy prices in the first quarter.

Total rail volumes excluding grain and coal shipments rose 7.9 percent to 4.6 million carloads in the quarter ended March 31, according to data compiled by the Association of American Railroads in Washington. It was the second-highest increase in a first quarter, following last year’s 9.3 percent rise.

Backpackers offered free ride to Queensland

Posted Thursday, 14 April, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Tourism Queensland says it will extend a free travel offer until 500 backpackers sign up to come to Queensland.

The offer includes bus travel from Sydney to the Gold Coast or Brisbane and rail passes as far north as Cairns when backpackers book five nights' accommodation in Queensland.

Train-ing commences: Minister says V/Line service on track for June

Posted Thursday, 14 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A SINGLE locomotive at Wangaratta Railway Station on Friday afternoon has signalled a return of V/Line rail passenger trains to the city remains on track for June.

Transport Minister Terry Mulder told the Wangaratta Chronicle the locomotive kicked off driver training on the new 200 kilometres of standard gauge track.

Footscray residents question rail details

Posted Thursday, 14 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FOOTSCRAY residents are worried the devil is in the detail of the State Government’s recommitment to the Regional Rail Link plan.

In February, Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the plan - previously costed at $4.3 billion - had funding black holes and was poorly planned.

Mayor voices fears for outback rail services

Posted Thursday, 14 April, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

A western Queensland mayor says he fears train services to the state's south-west will be axed.

Quilpie Mayor David Edwards says while the State Government has promised to retain the line to Quilpie, there have been no trains to the town for four months.

He says all rail freight and passengers have been transported by road.

Councillor Edwards says he is worried QR National voluntary redundancies, to take effect from tomorrow, will be another nail in the coffin for local trains.

O'Farrell's rail plea derailed by PM

Posted Thursday, 14 April, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has put the New South Wales Premier, Barry O'Farrell, in his place as the two met for the first time since his election victory.

Mr O'Farrell did not come empty handed to the meeting at the Prime Minister's official Sydney residence, Kirribilli House.

The Premier brought two showbags for Ms Gillard after an earlier visit to Sydney's Royal Easter Show.

China Slows Down Showcase Bullet Trains

Posted Thursday, 14 April, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

China is slowing down its bullet trains following complaints the showcase system is dangerously fast and too expensive.

High-speed rail is a national prestige project aimed at showing off China's technological prowess and rising wealth while linking together its far-flung regions. That makes any decision to scale it back politically sensitive.

Transit police shortfall

Posted Friday, 15 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

SAFETY on the Melbourne suburban rail network is in the hands of a skeleton staff of transit police, undermining claims by Victoria Police and the Baillieu government that they are targeting violence and crime on the trains.

A Victoria Police document obtained by The Age shows that just 72 Transit Safety Division officers are rostered on today to cover 15 suburban rail lines and 2156 scheduled train services.

V/Line adds peak trains

Posted Friday, 15 April, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

TRAINS between Geelong and Melbourne will run as often as every 11 minutes during peak times from early next month, the State Government announced yesterday.

Two added services mean V/Line trains will run in a suburban-style frequency during peak periods, with nine trains to run to Melbourne between 7.20-9.05am on weekdays, and nine returning to Geelong between 4-6pm.

The additions mean our notoriously crowded commuter trains will run every 11 minutes on average in the morning, and every 13 minutes at day's end.

Commuters 'can't wait' 20 years for rail line

Posted Friday, 15 April, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A public transport lobby group has slammed as "ridiculous and farcical" the decision not to upgrade the Doomben to Hamilton railway line for up to 20 years.

The issue arose yesterday when Brisbane's Lord Mayor-elect Graham Quirk said plans to reduce road traffic on Kingsford Smith Drive were back on Brisbane City Council's planning agenda.

Teen almost hit jumping rail line

Posted Friday, 15 April, 2011 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Adelaide police have issued security vision of a teenager narrowly avoiding being hit by a train.

They say it is timely to warn people of the extreme danger of failing to use proper crossings of rail tracks.

Juniors face long wait on rail costs

Posted Friday, 15 April, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Iron ore juniors face a longer wait to find out what they will have to pay for access to Fortescue Metals Group's Pilbara railway after the Economic Regulation Authority suspended its review.

The ERA - the body charged with devising a way to value third-party rail access - took the decision to allow a spur line between the Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek mines to be factored in.

BP eyes rail for expected South Australia boom

Posted Friday, 15 April, 2011 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

BP says it is looking to rail to add distribution efficiencies in South Australia.

The energy supermajor is to expand its Largs North terminal with the state’s resources boom in mind.

BP will spend $20 million on its Adelaide expansion and work has already begun on the design of two additional 30 million litre storage tanks.

Construction due to start in the second half of the year.

At the same time, a rail gantry will be built within the terminal.

PSOs will help reclaim station safety

Posted Friday, 15 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Government went to the recent state election committed to putting Victoria Police protective services officers on train stations.

A number of unions and interest groups now want the Government to water down or abandon its commitment.

Our Government stands firm in its commitment to deliver on that policy.

The vast majority of Victorians have told me they strongly support our plan because they are scared to use public transport at night, and train stations in particular have become places of fear instead of places of safety.

SMS to track late trains

Posted Sunday, 17 April, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

LONG-SUFFERING commuters will soon be able to receive text-messages notifying them of delays to services on the city's troubled rail and bus network.

And Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the Government would also fast-track the development of "apps" for mobile phones to provide real-time information about delays on the city's rail and bus network.

Ms Berejiklian said she was "appalled" by the slow reaction of RailCorp in informing more than 100,000 stranded commuters about extensive delays to the network on Tuesday caused by a signalling failure.

Rail guards put squeeze on police

Posted Sunday, 17 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FRESH doubts have emerged over state government plans for armed guards on train stations, with the police academy already so stretched that courses have been moved, bedrooms have been converted to offices, and some classes are ''bursting at the seams''.

The Coalition has come under fire in recent weeks for its election promise to train 940 protective services officers and deploy them at every city station and major regional centre after 6pm.

'Airport rail link must be a priority': RACV

Posted Monday, 18 April, 2011 by nukegrove in Victorian Rail News

Easing congestion on Victorian roads and improving road safety must be at the top of the state government's agenda when it delivers its first budget in May, Victoria's peak motoring body says.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 16/4/2011

Posted Monday, 18 April, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 126 sightings for this week. This is 24 sighting more than last week, making a total of 1489 sightings for this year to date. On day 106 last year we had recorded 1386 sightings. This is 103 sighting up on the same time last year.

Major delays hit rail lines

Posted Monday, 18 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Sick train passengers and a signalling fault caused peak-hour delays on five of Melbourne's train lines this afternoon.
Commuters were warned to expect delays of up to 20 minutes on the Frankston line, while delays of 10-15 minutes were experienced on each of the Alamein, Belgrave, Glen Waverley and Lilydale lines.

Train crash 'rattled the entire house'

Posted Monday, 18 April, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

McPherson, Ia. — A collision between two trains west of Red Oak in southwest Iowa on Sunday morning killed two crew members and will keep the track closed for an indefinite amount of time, officials said.

Both trains were eastbound when the trains collided at about 7a.m. at McPherson, an unincorporated town about 35 miles southeast of Council Bluffs, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway spokesman Gus Melonas said.

One-third of myki bills 'inaccurate'

Posted Tuesday, 19 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

ERRORS were found in more than a third of myki statements sent by myki users to a free website set up to check the smartcard's accuracy.

Jonathan Mullins, a Monash University software engineering student, last year created mykileaks.org to help public transport users with a myki card keep track of whether they were being overcharged.

Users upload their myki statement to the website, which automatically deduces whether an error has occurred.

EU could ground short-haul flights in favour of high-speed rail

Posted Tuesday, 19 April, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Short-haul flights across Europe could be replaced by high-speed rail under ambitious European Union proposals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from transport by 60% over the next 40 years.

According to the EU, Heathrow's congestion problems could be eased by cutting domestic and European flights, while demand for new runways could be suppressed by building new rail networks. The EU transport commissioner, Siim Kallas, has announced a series of green transport goals including phasing out the use of petrol cars in city centres by 2050.

Station guards plan in trouble

Posted Tuesday, 19 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Baillieu government's plan to deploy 940 protective service officers across Melbourne's train network has hit more trouble, with fears of cost blowouts after police commissioner Simon Overland suggested the officers would require additional training.

Mr Overland says the existing eight-week training period for protective service officers would be insufficient for those deployed at train stations, who will be vested with extra powers.

Shortlist for major regional rail link alliance work packages announced

Posted Tuesday, 19 April, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

The shortlisting of tenders for two significant packages of the Regional Rail Link has been finalised following an extensive evaluation process.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said the shortlisting of potential builders for the Footscray to Sunshine and Train Control and Systems packages was another major milestone for Regional Rail Link, one of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects.

Problems arise for the Mary Valley Heritage Railway

Posted Wednesday, 20 April, 2011 by 1957 in Queensland Rail News

The Mary Valley Heritage Railway is in such a dire financial situation, it cannot be turned around by residents using the service as the MVHR Management Committee would have people believe.

Hybrid Electric Diesel Locomotives announced in Japan

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2011 by djlyon in International Rail News

As with cars, Japan leads the way. After a three-year trial JR East, a privately owned railway company, announced that it would introduce ten diesel-battery hybrid railcars. This would be the first fleet of hybrid diesel multiple units. The system is expected to reduce fuel consumption by 10% and to be much quieter than the current arrangement. But, unlike the European car industry, the European rail industry is not far behind Japan. MTU, for example, has developed a hybrid engine-gear package which can simply replace a conventional motor. Its engineers added an electric motor and a special gearbox to combine the output of both engines. All the components are built into a frame, which can be put into the space the old engine occupied.

Downer delivers its first waratah train set

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2011 by urailes0623 in New South Wales Rail News

AFTER a delay of more than a year, two shock profit downgrades and three chief executives shown the door, engineering contractor Downer EDI has presented its first train set to RailCorp for approval under its loss-making multibillion-dollar Waratah contract.

Rail risk on Melton bridge

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2011 by wolfpac in Victorian Rail News

TRANSIT police say people using a railway bridge over Melton Weir as a short cut are risking their lives.

Tram jam: Melbourne's car glut puts the brakes on public transport

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2011 by nukegrove in Tram and Light Rail News

MELBOURNE'S trams are slowing to a crawl, stuck in traffic as car numbers on the state's roads soar by 100,000 a year, according to a report written by Yarra Trams and handed to the Baillieu government days after it won office.

V/Line and railway union battle over allowing pets on trains

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

UPDATE 12.58pm: REGIONAL rail operator V/Line has defied Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder and has banned animals from its trains.

Mr Mulder yesterday said that pets could travel on country trains from today.

But V/Line has published a statement on its website saying the ban would remain in place.

“Please note that despite a State Government announcement on Wednesday 20 April, pets are not allowed on V/Line trains until further notice,” the website says.

Tram work to break noise barrier

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2011 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

YARRA Trams will hand out earplugs to help people cope with this weekend's massive works on Spencer St.

The strip from Flinders to La Trobe St will be off limits to all traffic while 740m of double track is replaced.

Tram services that travel along Bourke and Collins streets will be disrupted. Yarra Trams said it was a short-term inconvenience for long-term benefit, as some of the track hadn't been replaced since 1951.

Rail damage tipped to delay grain shipping

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

GrainCorp says damage to Victoria's railway lines will add to delays in the shipping of grain from its receival sites.

Many rail lines are still yet to be repaired after they were damaged by floods earlier this year.

Rail supporters rally for funds in Fresno

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

Rallying for some of the $2.4 billion in federal rail funds rejected by Florida leaders, high-speed rail supporters gathered outside of the Fresno Amtrak station today calling on the California Department of Transportation to invest in the project as well.

Local names showed up to offer their two cents, including developer Tom Richards, John Hernandez, executive director of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Lee Ann Eager, chief operating officer of the Fresno Economic Development Corporation.

Yarra Trams study shows Melbourne trams crawling at 16km/h average

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2011 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

MELBOURNE trams are among the slowest in the world, a new report shows.

The Yarra Trams study shows its trams crawl along the tracks at an average 16km/h, much slower than comparable cities elsewhere.

Yarra Trams spokesman, Colin Tyrus said it was planning a major overhaul to speed things up.

He said even a small boost to efficiency would be the equivalent of adding seven new trams to the network.

Mongolia Rail Boom Seen Breaking China’s Rare Earths Grip: Freight Markets

Posted Thursday, 21 April, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

Mongolia’s aim of quadrupling its rail network will send coal, copper and rare earths to nations such as Japan and South Korea under a plan to reduce dependence on the Chinese market and boost economic development.

The landlocked nation’s drive to lay 5,700 kilometers (3,542 miles) of track across the country and to Russia’s Far Eastern ports stands to benefit such companies as Australia- listed Aspire Mining Ltd. (AKM) and Canada’s Prophecy Resource Corp. (PCY), said Richard Harris, chief executive officer of Hong Kong-based Quam Asset Management. His firm has raised $20 million for a Mongolia-focused fund that will start investing in a few months.

Overseas bidders vie for Auckland trains

Posted Tuesday, 26 April, 2011 by freightgate in New Zealand Rail News

Two bidders - a Spanish train maker and a South Korean Hyundai subsidiary - will compete for the $500 million contract for Auckland's new electric trains.

State-owned rail operator KiwiRail has announced the shortlist for the 38 new electric trains and maintenance contract is Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and Hyundai Rotem.

The winning bidder is expected to be decided by the end of September, says KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn.
CAF, a public company listed on the Madrid stock exchange, makes high speed and commuter trains, locomotives, and subway and regional trains.

Hunter fast rail study on track

Posted Tuesday, 26 April, 2011 by 1957 in New South Wales Rail News

The first part of a $20 million study into the east coast very fast train project, that could reduce travel times between Sydney and Newcastle to less than an hour, will be finished by July.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 23/4/2011.

Posted Tuesday, 26 April, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 83 sightings for this week. This is 27 sighting less than last week, making a total of 1588 sightings for this year to date. On day 113 last year we had recorded 1483 sightings. This is 105 sighting up on the same time last year.

$20mil for new rail links

Posted Tuesday, 26 April, 2011 by nukegrove in Victorian Rail News

NEW train lines to Melbourne and Avalon airports, Doncaster and Rowville will be kick-started by the Baillieu Government in next month's state Budget.

Treasury chiefs are believed to have put aside more than $20 million for preliminary work on a major expansion of Victoria's rail network this year, with significant extra funding to be announced in the next four years.

Ballarat commuter anger: V/Line drops express

Posted Tuesday, 26 April, 2011 by Apocalyptical in Victorian Rail News

BALLARAT train commuters are angry after new V/Line timetables show increased travel times to and from Melbourne, and the loss of a 64-minute service to Southern Cross Station.

The new timetable on the Wendouree-Ballarat-Melbourne line will add a further five minutes to travel time, as a morning and evening express service is lost due to a new stop at Ballan.

MVHR 'cleared' in Owen Court Case

Posted Tuesday, 26 April, 2011 by ahallam in Press Releases

A Supreme Court Judge in Brisbane has rejected legal action brought against the Gympie Region's iconic Mary Valley Rattler organisation.

Man killed by coal Train

Posted Tuesday, 26 April, 2011 by poppins122325 in New South Wales Rail News

A man has been kit and killed by an unloaded coal train at Metford station this afternoon causing the rail line to be closed.

Historic Calgary rail yard ends era

Posted Tuesday, 26 April, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Ogden, the Canadian Pacific rail yard that created an economic engine for a young Calgary and spurred the city's growth, is losing the repair shop that started it all.

Beginning in August, locomotives and rail cars will no longer be overhauled and rebuilt at the facility.

Rail loses out to roads on spending

Posted Wednesday, 27 April, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

ROAD building has received four times more federal, state and local government funding over the past decade than new rail projects, a report to be released today says.

The report, by the Australian Conservation Foundation, says Victoria's investment in rail and light rail, measured as a percentage of the state's economic output, has been among the lowest in the country. Of all the states, only Tasmania spent less largely due to it having no commuter rail system.

Hunt on for 'stupid' train-surfing teens

Posted Wednesday, 27 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Three teenagers photographed train surfing in Melbourne's south-east have been labelled "stupid" by authorities who warn they are dicing with death.

The trio was caught by a keen-eyed commuter as they clung to the back of a Cranbourne-bound train at Hughesdale station last night, just after 7pm.

Vic Metro drivers suspected of sabotage

Posted Wednesday, 27 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Every unexplained late train will be investigated by Metro as plummeting punctuality has raised suspicions that drivers are secretly sabotaging the timetable.

One in four Metro trains was late and just 77 per cent on time in the past month, News Ltd reports on Wednesday.

Rail line removal paves way for link road

Posted Wednesday, 27 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The removal of the railway line from the centre of Wodonga will allow a link road to be extended.

The Bandiana Link Road connects the Hume Freeway with the Murray Valley Highway towards Tallangatta.

Metro 'couldn't run a baby shower': union lashes out over investigation

Posted Wednesday, 27 April, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

The union representing Melbourne's train drivers has lashed out at Metro over an investigation into rail punctuality, saying the train operator could not ''run a baby shower'' let alone a major metropolitan transport network.

Tram stalker gets five-year treatment

Posted Wednesday, 27 April, 2011 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

A tram stalker who violently and sexually assaulted two women passengers on consecutive nights will spend five years in a treatment facility.

John Dymond, 32, of no fixed address, assaulted the women, aged 18 and 31, on separate occasions after they got off trams in Melbourne's east in August 2010.

V/Line users fear longer travel times after timetable revamp

Posted Wednesday, 27 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A REVAMP of V/Line's regional timetable has angered commuters across Victoria, who say their travel times will be longer as a result.

The new timetables for trains across Victoria, reveal an overhaul that extends the travelling time on some services on the Geelong and Ballarat lines, and changes of departure times on others.

Norfolk Southern Profit Tops Estimates as Rail Volumes Gain

Posted Thursday, 28 April, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC), the fourth- biggest U.S. railroad, posted a quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates as the economic recovery boosts shipping volumes.

Profit excluding some items was $1 a share, topping the 90- cent average estimate from 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Net income climbed 26 percent to $325 million, or 90 cents a share, from $257 million, or 68 cents, a year earlier, the Norfolk, Virginia-based company said today in a statement.

Metro blames train drivers for unpunctual April

Posted Thursday, 28 April, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FOR the first time since Melbourne's public transport system was privatised in 1999, the city's trains are less reliable than its trams - with one in four rail services now running five minutes or more late.
With Metro to post its worst performance yet for late trains for the month of April, passengers have been caught in the middle of a battle between the operator and its train drivers.

Railpage Server Upgrades and Financial Support

Posted Thursday, 28 April, 2011 by bevans in Railpage Australia News

You will have noticed that over the past few weeks the Railpage service has been a little patchy. This is because we are not able to get access to any further resources at the data centre without our own investment.

Railpage has secured an excellent server for the project moving forward. We have received a large number of donations which will ALL go to the server and memory upgrades etc.

Currently we need to pay for the server in 5 days and we are still short. The bandwidth has been generously donated however, if we are to remain at the data centre then we MUST raise the money we urgently require.

Please see: Railpage Funding Thread

Public transport needs more funds: ACF

Posted Thursday, 28 April, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

New figures show Australian governments have invested four times as much on roads and bridges as they have on railways in the past decade.

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) says $11.3 billion was spent on road construction around the country and just $3.3 billion on rail construction in 2008/09.

The ACF wants to see a change of thinking by government to place more emphasis on public transport, which includes making it more attractive to commuters as far as price and comfort are concerned.

Council objects to rail line strategy

Posted Friday, 29 April, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A couple of weeks ago we caught up with the Australian Rail Track Corporation about its plan to remove the rail bottle neck over the Liverpool Plains.

It decided that the duplication of the track was the best option at a total cost of $284 million.

Report finds faulty switch caused rail chaos

Posted Friday, 29 April, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

An engineer's report has confirmed a faulty computer switch caused a signalling meltdown that resulted in chaos on the Sydney rail network.

RailCorp has wound up its investigation into what caused the signalling system at Sydenham Station to crash three weeks ago, sparking major delays across the network.

PECULIAR KNOB AWARD IRON ORE RAIL CONTRACT

Posted Friday, 29 April, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

WPG Resources have announced a rail haulage agreement with Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) for iron ore transportation from Peculiar Knob.

The agreement will see GWA will transport approximately 3.3 million tonnes of hematite iron ore annually.

Police seek clues to rail death

Posted Friday, 29 April, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

South-west Western Australian detectives are trying to piece together the final movements of a Bunbury man who was run over by a train earlier this month.

Xstrata signs a rail deal in north Queensland

Posted Saturday, 30 April, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A rail deal with mining giant Xstrata which will see 160 new jobs created in north Queensland has been welcomed by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).

ARA Chief Executive Officer Bryan Nye has praised the deal struck between Queensland Rail (QR), Pacific National and Xstrata, saying it is well-needed to deliver export dollars.

“If you look at the amount of export we move every year; bulk, iron, ore – that’s where rail really shines and rail does it better than any other mode of transport.

Genesee & Wyoming Australia makes first purchase

Posted Saturday, 30 April, 2011 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

ADELAIDE to Darwin railway operator Genesee & Wyoming has purchased seven new locomotives.

The multi-million investment is the first by the company since its $334 million purchase of the railway from FreighLink in December.

The New York Stock Exchange-listed company said the seven, high-horsepower and energy efficient standard-gauge engines would be delivered by the end of December 2011 and would operate on the 2300km of the track between Tarcoola, north of Adelaide and Darwin.

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