News

 

Showing stories from June 2011

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No need to rattle the tin, Transport Minister says of northwest rail link

Posted Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

A shortened version of Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian’s speech in State Parliament last Friday

“On August 10 last year the Hills Shire Times - as members will agree, that great local paper in the northwest - reported comments from the then premier, Kristina Keneally, about the construction of the northwest rail link. Do members want to know what premier Kristina Keneally said at that time? She told a meeting of the Western Sydney Business Connection there was a way the people of the northwest could get their train line. Do members want to know what she said to them?

$5m in rail freight support continues

Posted Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

THE Victorian government says it is pleased to announce that its $5 million Rail Freight Support Package will continue in 2011/12, which the Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder confirmed today.

"This is a big win for rural residents who will see fewer large trucks on single lane each-way roads such as parts of the Calder, Goulburn Valley, Princes and Western Highways," Mr Mulder said.

"Victorian and southern NSW farmers and a wide range of country manufacturers or other businesses will also benefit from rail's lower transport costs. There are many economic, social and environmental benefits from rail freight.

MVHR defends record

Posted Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 by ahallam in Queensland Rail News

Frank Lightfoot is no stranger to controversy, he was accused of perjury by ajudge in 2004 and ordered to pay legal costs of more than $30 000 to a business he took to the Planning and Environment Court in an effort to stop a development.

New line ‘low class’

Posted Thursday, 2 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Australia Rail Track Corporation is racing to avoid the newly converted V/Line track between Melbourne and the Border turning to mud.
An independent expert says the line is low class and likely to turn to mud "very quickly" without immediate action.

The report commissioned and published by the ARTC blames shoddy track construction in the 1970s and neglect by a succession of state and federal governments for the creation of mudholes that last year caused trains to violently dip, sway and in some instances pull apart.

V-line back on track - at last

Posted Thursday, 2 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The first V-line train in more than two years pulled into Albury station on Tuesday afternoon. It's been a long time coming, but the test run means we're a step closer to getting our train services back on track.

V/Line to start partial Albury service fron June 26

Posted Thursday, 2 June, 2011 by dkaarma in Victorian Rail News

THE Coalition Government is pleased to announce that the first daily return V/Line train on the Albury line will recommence on Sunday 26 June, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said today.

Mr Mulder said that the first V/Line trains to recommence would be the 6.35am from Albury to Southern Cross and the 12 noon from Southern Cross to Albury.

Railway cleared (MVHR)

Posted Friday, 3 June, 2011 by ahallam in Queensland Rail News

In light of concerns raised about the Mary Valley Heritage Railway track by one of its members Frank Lightfoot, Queensland Transport's Rail Safety regulator sent an engineer to assess sections thought to be unsafe. The result was a good one for MVHR with no major issues reported and the all clear given to continue operations as normal.

Ballarat heritage signal boxes ruined

Posted Saturday, 4 June, 2011 by Apocalyptical in Victorian Rail News

MUCH of Ballarat’s rail history has been vandalised and is showing signs of neglect.

Broken windows and vandalism mar the city’s historic signal boxes, most of which are listed under the Victorian heritage register and date back to the 1800s.

Arguably the most prominent signal box, situated on Lydiard Street opposite the Ballarat Railway Station and built in 1885, barely has a window that has not been smashed.

A number of other signal boxes are also showing signs of deterioration and abandonment.

The Macarthur Street box appears derelict and is covered in vandalism and although it was recently repaired and fenced off, the Mair Street signal box is also covered in graffiti.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 4/6/2011

Posted Sunday, 5 June, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 116 sightings for this week. This is two sighting more than last week, making a total of 2235 sightings for this year to date. On day 155 last year we had recorded 2077 sightings. This is 158 sightings up on the same time last year.

Elderly man killed by train at Bonbeach

Posted Sunday, 5 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

AN elderly man has been hit and killed by a train in Melbourne's south-east.

The victim was struck at Bonbeach at about 1.15pm.

Police are at the scene.

Rail 'inefficiency curbs exports'

Posted Sunday, 5 June, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

While the slowdown in China's growth rate has resulted in falling SA coal exports and prices, a bigger concern is Transnet's inefficiency.

The Richards Bay Coal Terminal can ship 91million tons of coal a year, but badly run Transnet railway lines are preventing established miners and juniors from expanding their output and exports, said analysts.

Export earnings could be 20% higher if Transnet could improve its capacity.

A transport pipedream gathers serious steam

Posted Sunday, 5 June, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

The July release of the feasibility study into a high-speed rail line has the lobbyists in overdrive.

AHIGH-SPEED rail line along Australia's east coast has been a pipedream for 25 years, but a federal government feasibility study has rekindled serious interest in the project.

The $20 million study was announced during the 2010 election and will examine the basic requirements for a high-speed network linking Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. It will provide costings, timetables and potential routes.

Tram users seek route 8 extension

Posted Monday, 6 June, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

The PTUA renews calls for tram route 8 to be extended along Toorak Road to join route 75 at Camberwell Road.

Salvage team to move derailed grain carriages

Posted Monday, 6 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Several carriages have been derailed from a freight train near Warracknabeal.

The derailment happened six kilometres south of Warracknabeal.

Rail company announces new maintenance facilities

Posted Monday, 6 June, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Rail freight company Pacific National says its plans for new multimillion dollar train maintenance and provisioning facilities in central Queensland reflects strong growth in the state's coal sector.

Coal trains will be serviced at facilities at Callemondah in Gladstone, Dysart on the Central Highlands, and Nebo and Waitara, south-west of Mackay by early next year.

Rail sleeper tender sparks fears for timber jobs

Posted Monday, 6 June, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A group of timber cutters in southern Queensland's Wide Bay-Burnett region says Queensland Rail (QR) has failed to contact them about the termination of their contracts.

The timber cutters say QR will not renew local contracts for the supply of railway sleepers and is moving to a tender process next month.

Sleeper supplier Peter Fields says the change will cost jobs.

"There's been no notification that you're going to lose your job," he said.

Rising costs to sink Northbridge rail line

Posted Tuesday, 7 June, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

It has been revealed the cost of sinking the Northbridge rail line has again blown out, this time to $737 million.

The Perth City Link project was originally forecast to cost $500 million, but in April last year the figure was revised to $609 million.

In a budget estimates committee meeting earlier this week, the Planning Minister John Day said the figure had not included the money allocated to above ground works.

The Victorian Grain supply chain debacle

Posted Tuesday, 7 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIA’S grain freight system needs urgent addressing, according to VFF grains group vice president and logistics spokesman Peter Tuohey.
“At present, we are trying to get a freight plan together.

“The process is started through the Victorian Freight Logistics Scheme, but we need to clarify a pathway for reform.

“We need to prioritise which rail lines are first in line for funding, then which roads need attention.

Mr Tuohey acknowledged the rail network in Victoria was better than in neighbouring states, such as NSW, where the branch lines are in a state of advanced decay, but said this did not mean there were not serious issues here.

“We saw last year what can happen with a big harvest, there were hold-ups getting grain to port, which cost exporters and growers money.”

Rail services back on track

Posted Tuesday, 7 June, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Rail services have resumed on the Gold Coast after a mains fault caused commuter chaos between Nerang and Coomera.

The fault at Helensvale was fixed this morning.

New rail service opens up 'options'

Posted Tuesday, 7 June, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Gympie rail commuters say a new train service to Brisbane is much needed.

The new TransLink train timetable includes an additional train service from Gympie North via Nambour to Brisbane.

Andrews questions Gippsland rail investment

Posted Tuesday, 7 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews is in Warragul today questioning the State Government's rail policies.

Mr Andrews says Gippsland has missed out in the State Government's plan to introduce new train carriages on regional lines.

Tram runs over woman in CBD

Posted Wednesday, 8 June, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

A female pedestrian was taken to hospital after she was struck by a tram in the city this afternoon, paramedics say.

The woman was knocked under the tram on the corner of Spring and Collins streets in the city just after 1pm.

Paramedic team manager Shaun Columbine said he arrived to find the woman, believed to be about 60, under one end of the tram.

Level crossing on track for disaster

Posted Wednesday, 8 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A BUSY level crossing in Glen Iris where trains and trams intersect is a ''disaster waiting to happen'', a transport union has warned, with three trams derailing there in the past 10 weeks.

In the most serious incident, two weeks ago, a derailed tram ground to a halt in the middle of train tracks on the Glen Waverley railway line.

In the past decade, 30 trams have derailed at locations where trams cross train lines.

Rail scuffle leads to ban

Posted Wednesday, 8 June, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

THE head of the rail drivers' union has been barred from entering all suburban railway property, after he was involved in a physical altercation with another train driver at the Epping rail workshops on Monday.

Full steam ahead for Iluka rail link

Posted Thursday, 9 June, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

IT'S full steam ahead for a south-west rail project designed to slash the number of heavy trucks on local roads.

Transport Minister Terry Mulder yesterday helped turn the first sod at Iluka's Hamilton mineral separation plant, where a spur line and unloading facilities are being built.

The $9 million link also involves construction of loading facilities at the Hopetoun siding and will carry heavy mineral concentrate from two Iluka mines near Ouyen.

It is expected the infrastructure will cut 40 B-double trips each day between the two centres.

Tickets sales rocket on airport line as prices plunge

Posted Thursday, 9 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

IT WAS once unloved and unused. But patronage on Sydney's Airport Line, which has the only privately owned stations on the CityRail network, has exploded since the former Labor government started subsidising fares on two stations.

The final transport policy of the Keneally government was to pay the $2.60 ''station access fee'' for commuters using Mascot and Green Square, two stations in the former premier's electorate.

All aboard O'Farrell's rail funding express

Posted Friday, 10 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

UNDETERRED by the state's ugly record in teaming up with the private sector for big transport developments, the O'Farrell government is asking financiers how they would like to pay for its signature rail project.

The north-west rail link in Sydney, a 23 kilometre line to service 300,000 people, will cost an estimated $8 billion to build.

But the first step for the government will be to thrash out with banks and finance houses ways of paying for it through a public private partnership.

Transit officers rail against targeting fares

Posted Friday, 10 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

RAILCORP has directed transit officers to spend more time catching fare evaders than monitoring safety across the rail network.

In the past six weeks, RailCorp has started to put pressure on transit officers to increase the number of infringement tickets they write.

Officers have been called into meetings where the number of tickets they write is compared against a regional average. They have been told to spend more time - at least two hours a day - checking tickets at train station gates. Officers say this means they can spend less time patrolling trains or stations where they might assist public safety.

Bradken $162m raising to fund China foundry and rail expansion

Posted Friday, 10 June, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

THE engineering group Bradken has announced a surprise $162 million capital raising to fund a capital expenditure drive, which will include the cost of building a foundry in China, as it looks to extend the reach of its products globally.

The capital expenditure had been foreshadowed in an investor update last week, but analysts were surprised by the company's decision to fund it through a dilutionary equity raising, given its low gearing and its ability to fund spending through operating cash flow or its dividend reinvestment plan.

''It didn't look like they needed it,'' the head of research at LINWAR Securities, Stuart Turner, said.

$5 = $470,000 myki bonus

Posted Friday, 10 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FOR a fleeting moment this week, while topping up his myki card, Elwood resident Larry Stillman says he was considering early retirement.

Dr Stillman, an information technology researcher at Monash University, was at Ripponlea station on Wednesday afternoon trying to add $5, when he noticed a remarkable - and temporary - financial windfall on the myki machine's screen.

''It told me the balance was $474,591.47,'' said Dr Stillman. ''When I tried to add my $5, it spat it out,'' he said. He was eventually allowed to top up his account, to around the $8 mark.

18-day rail line closure criticised

Posted Friday, 10 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THOUSANDS of suburban and regional train passengers will be badly disadvantaged by a shutdown next month that an international rail expert says will help Metro and V/Line save money.

But the 18-day shutdown - so work on the Ballarat, Bendigo and Sydenham lines can be carried out - would not be considered in many other transport systems, rail consultant Rolf Bergmaier says, because of the impact on passengers.

Another transport expert has also warned that the shutdown will convince many who have begun travelling by train to get back in the car, clogging Melbourne's roads in the west.

PN Magnatite train derails at Woodstock

Posted Sunday, 12 June, 2011 by andrewstrains in Queensland Rail News

In the eairly hours of this morning the PN Magnatite train ex Cloncurry had what looks like a axel / bearing failure heading through Woodstock, resulting in a minor derailment.

The offending wagon ROAF 26 came to rest on the level crossing on the eastern end of the yard.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 11/6/2011

Posted Sunday, 12 June, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 125 sightings for this week. This is nine sighting more than last week, making a total of 2360 sightings for this year to date. On day 162 last year we had recorded 2180 sightings. This is 180 sightings up on the same time last year.

NSW rail upgrade on time and on budget

Posted Monday, 13 June, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

The government says work on upgrading the railway line between Newcastle and the Queensland border is progressing well and is set to be concluded on time and on budget.

Infrastructure and transport minister Anthony Albanese said a section of track just south of Casino in northern NSW became the first to be fixed in the project.

Rails Return To Chaffee

Posted Monday, 13 June, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

When Fort Smith Railroad Co. rolled into Chaffee Crossing last week with 12 empty hopper cars in tow, it was both a welcome surprise and a long-planned new beginning.

"For the first time in 10 years, we have active rail service at Chaffee Crossing," said Ivy Owen, executive director of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority.

Push on for Sun Coast rail infrastructure revamp

Posted Monday, 13 June, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The transport lobby group Rail Back on Track says considerable track infrastructure upgrades are required on the Sunshine Coast.

The group has welcomed the State Government's biggest overhaul of south-east Queensland train timetables in 15 years.

Lease deal urged to keep rail station on track

Posted Monday, 13 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Serviceton residents say they hope the West Wimmera Shire Council will enter into a lease in order to keep the Serviceton railway station open.

The council will meet tonight to discuss whether it will enter into an agreement over the heritage-listed building with the owner VicTrack.

The council has expressed concerns over the current condition of the building, as well as issues over insurance.

Passengers give free morning travel the flick

Posted Tuesday, 14 June, 2011 by Apocalyptical in Victorian Rail News

FREE morning public transport has flopped: statistics show the number of commuters taking advantage of the "early bird" deal is on the slide.

Department of Transport documents obtained by the Herald Sun reveal train patronage before 7am has slumped by 5.6 per cent over a year.

Over the same period, patronage during the morning peak, from 7am to 9am, surged by 4.5 per cent.

On the Alamein and Dandenong lines, early morning patronage nosedived by as much as 28 per cent over 12 months.

Light rail back on track

Posted Tuesday, 14 June, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The Government is currently conducting a transit study into Northbourne Avenue, considering traffic, bus ways and cycling paths.

Designers will now also look at light rail, with a 13 kilometre route between Civic and Exhibition Park, which could then be expanded to Gungahlin.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says it is a more modest system than the city-wide plan of 54 kilometres of track that was ruled out two years ago because of the cost.

Man charged over rail indecent assaults

Posted Tuesday, 14 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A 26-year-old man accused of indecently assaulting young boys on Melbourne's rail network was arrested yesterday.

The Glen Waverley man was charged with four counts of committing an indecent act with a child under 16.

Police allege the man touched the boys inappropriately on trains and at stations.

Sydney light rail now part of MyZone

Posted Tuesday, 14 June, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The NSW government will spend up to $2.5 million a year so commuters using the one ticket to travel on trains, buses and ferries can now access the light rail.

"Including light rail in MyZone means a more integrated ticketing system and less hassle for commuters who want access to all modes of public transport in Sydney on one ticket," said Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

Queensland Rail's new travel initiatives breaking boundaries

Posted Wednesday, 15 June, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

After a challenging start to 2011, Queensland Rail Travel is delivering a series of initiatives to explore new markets and lure tourists to the state.

It is a new approach for the government owned corporation; taking a more commercial, customer focused approach to tourism.

Leading the charge is Queensland Rail Travel’s General Manager Max Kruse, who said the biggest shift is the company’s focus on new markets, expanding business with existing customers and transforming its operations to become more efficient.

“Queensland Rail Travel is committed to supporting the local tourism industry and we are working on a number of initiatives to back that up,” said Mr Kruse.

Rail officials alert after tampering

Posted Wednesday, 15 June, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Railroad employees are watching track equipment closely after a switching mechanism was tampered with in west-central Iowa.

Early Sunday morning, an observant Iowa Interstate Railroad crew member on a westbound train spotted something that didn't look right on a switch just west of Menlo.

The railroad worker contacted dispatchers. The switch, which was supposed to appear green, was showing a little red, said Mick Burkart, chief operating officer of the railroad.

3 state agencies sue North Charleston over rail access to former Navy base

Posted Wednesday, 15 June, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

The state of South Carolina, the S.C. Department of Commerce and the S.C. State Ports Authority sued the city of North Charleston today, saying the city is misreading a 2002 memorandum of understanding that grants rail access through the southern end of the former Navy base.

The memorandum has been a key document in the dispute between the city and the state Department of Commerce about competing intermodal rail plans. The city says the state is violating the memorandum with its plan for rail access through the northern end of the former Navy base.

According to the state’s lawsuit, North Charleston wants to bind all state agencies to its memorandum with the ports authority.

Light rail will solve traffic woes: Buswell

Posted Thursday, 16 June, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

A study that identifies light rail as a solution to Perth's traffic woes is likely to put more pressure on the State Government to reveal its plans for public transport in the metropolitan area.

The business-based think tank Committee for Perth has recommended immediate planning and investment in rail infrastructure, particularly light rail, because the city's public transport system is struggling to cope with demand.

"Drivers today are spending 70 per cent more time in their cars driving to work than they were in the 1990s," committee chief executive Marion Fulker said.

Victorians are the grumpiest commuters, Perth trains have satisfied customers

Posted Thursday, 16 June, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

HALF of all Aussie commuters say overcrowding on trains is hurting their quality of life.

And Victorians have the grumpiest commuters, an independent consumer survey of city trains has found.

Fifty-five per cent of Victorian train passengers surveyed said overcrowding was substantially impacting their quality of life.

Circular Quay Free Rail Wi-Fi To Continue Until End Of 2011

Posted Thursday, 16 June, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The offer of free Wi-Fi at Circular Quay station in Sydney was originally only supposed to run three months, but the signage still remains very visible at the station. Now Cityrail has confirmed that the free offer will continue until the end of this year, though there’s no clear timetable on when (or if) the service will get expanded.Andrew Colley at AustralianIT reports that Cityrail has confirmed that the trial will continue until the end of the year, but further expansion of Wi-Fi to other parts of the network won’t happen until an organisational restructure of public transport in NSW is completed.

Study looks at air quality of West LB rail yard

Posted Thursday, 16 June, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Researchers are wrapping up work on a detailed two-year study of health impacts from pollutants emitted by trains, trucks and cranes at a massive rail yard bordering West Long Beach.

The Intermodal Container Transfer Facility, or ICTF, moves about 750,000 containers annually through a roughly 150-acre facility on Willow Street just west of the city's border.

Air quality around the site is among the region's poorest, though much of the danger is blamed on overall activities from the twin port complex just four miles south of the rail yard.

Metro on Huntingdale litter warpath

Posted Thursday, 16 June, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

Illegal rubbish dumping is highlighted as a continuing problem at Huntingdale Station.

Time to put the brakes on Metro's advertising spending spree

Posted Friday, 17 June, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

Marketing and copy-writing consultant, James Schloeffel rants and raves about Metro Trains' This is me advertising campaign and Metlink's Fare evaders shouldn't be here campaign.

No rail plans for Barangaroo's commuters

Posted Friday, 17 June, 2011 by Speed in New South Wales Rail News

AN EXTRA 13,000 commuters a day, enough people to fill more than 10 trains, will pass through Wynyard station to get to work at Barangaroo within a decade - and the government does not have a plan to move them.

The Auditor-General's report, released yesterday, draws out the massive transport challenge of delivering workers to the new site, where 22,700 people are expected to be employed by 2023.

CN boosts rail access to northern Alberta

Posted Friday, 17 June, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

EDMONTON - Canadian National Railway will have invested nearly $400 million to acquire and upgrade four short-line railways serving northern Alberta by the end of 2011, company CEO Claude Mongeau says.

“CN has stepped up to the plate in Alberta with sizable rail infrastructure investments,” Mongeau told an Edmonton Chamber of Commerce audience today.

“Since 2006, we’ve purchased four rail short lines that are key to economic growth and prosperity in northern Alberta, and have spent significant sums to maintain and improve them.”

Rail funding missing: candidate

Posted Friday, 17 June, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

THE State Government has targeted little for the Noosa electorate in the State Budget according to Greens candidate for Noosa, Dr Jim McDonald.

“There are some welcome initiatives in health for the Sunshine Coast and a continuation of the bicycle path program,” Dr McDonald said.

“The building of a state school and pre-school at Peregian Springs is essential spending to meet the growing demand in the school population.

Dirty tracks turning Yarra Trams into death traps

Posted Friday, 17 June, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

YARRA Trams has issued a safety alert after its vehicles have become electrically "live" due to dirty tracks.

Six incidents of trams becoming "insulated" have occurred in the past month, according to the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.

Yarra Trams disagrees and says there have been only three incidents, all inside depots.

But RTBU tram secretary Phil Altieri maintained there had been three cases on the network in addition to the depot incidents.

CN to sell IC Railmarine Terminal assets for $73 mln

Posted Friday, 17 June, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

June 16 (Reuters) - Canadian National Railway Co said it will sell assets of its indirect subsidiary, IC RailMarine Terminal Co, for $73 million and enter a related 10-year coal transportation agreement to increase its participation in the growing export of Illinois Basin coal.

Canada's biggest railway said it will sell the assets of the unit to an affiliate of Foresight Energy LLC and the Cline Group. Foresight Energy has about 3 billion tons of coal reserves and coal production from four mining complexes in Illinois.

BC Iron on track for production targets

Posted Friday, 17 June, 2011 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

New iron ore producer BC Iron Ltd says it is meeting production targets and forecasts it will ship 2.3 million tonnes by the end of December this year.

The movement of iron ore from its Western Australian Nullagine mine has been adversely affected by extreme rain this year, with product shipped for the half year ending this month expected to be only 300,000 tonnes.

Work starts on north coast rail project

Posted Friday, 17 June, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

A multi-million dollar project to fix sharp bends on the Interstate Rail Network is progressing well.

The $170 million north coast 'Curve Easing Project' is a federal government initiative to have a safer, faster and more reliable rail network.

(Melbourne) City bound for commuter hell

Posted Sunday, 19 June, 2011 by Apocalyptical in Victorian Rail News

WITHIN a decade, Melbourne's already bursting train services will have to accommodate an extra 1 million passenger trips a day.

The forecast, contained in Transport Department documents obtained by The Sunday Age under freedom of information, reveals that average weekday travel on trains will rise from about 800,000 trips to 1.8 million by 2021-22.

This will put unprecedented pressure on the city's beleaguered rail network, which is already costing Melbourne's central business district $80 million a year in lost productivity, according to economic modelling and research by Monash University.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 18/6/2011

Posted Monday, 20 June, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 114 sightings for this week. This is 11 sighting less than last week, making a total of 2474 sightings for this year to date. On day 169 last year we had recorded 2282 sightings. This is 192 sightings up on the same time last year.

Rail line to be raised at GPT talks

Posted Monday, 20 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

Talks this week between the State Government and the GPT group on the fate of Newcastle's CBD, are expected to include the impasse over the city's rail line.

The talks follow the collapse of plans by Nathan Tinkler's Buildev group to purchase several GPT properties earmarked for a $600 million inner-city redevelopment.

Newcastle MP Tim Owen says he is hopeful GPT will reconsider the project, if it can be assured the Government wants to address the rail line issue.

RailCorp Transit Officer faces sex charges

Posted Monday, 20 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

A RAILCORP Transit Officer in Sydney is one of three men who police allege was involved in a brutal gang rape after a woman was lured to a hotel and her drink spiked.

Salim Elkassaa, 30, who is defending the charges, is still being paid while in custody after being charged with aggravated sexual assault in company and inflicting actual bodily harm.

Police allege three men went to the hotel at Casula on June 5 and drank alcohol with the woman.

It is alleged she then became the victim of a "violent and vicious attack" after unknowingly consuming a drug and being rendered unconscious.

RailCorp accepts train but project doubts persist

Posted Monday, 20 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

THE belated acceptance of Downer EDI's first Waratah train by RailCorp has been welcomed by investors, but concerns persist over the project's long-term financial viability.

Delivered more than 15 months late, the acceptance of the first train had been seen as the potential catalyst for a major share price recovery for the embattled train builder.

And while shares in the company spiked by more than 4 per cent to $3.94 within the first 15 minutes of Wednesday's announcement, they were pegged back to close at $3.76 on Friday, although they still outperformed a weak broader market.

London Subway Drivers Walk Out in First of Four Strikes During Wimbledon

Posted Monday, 20 June, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

London Underground drivers began the first of four strikes last night to protest the dismissal of a union activist, coinciding with the start of the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

The strike began at 9 p.m. local time and is scheduled to end at 3 a.m. today, Geoff Martin, a spokesman for the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union, said by telephone last night. The plan involves all union members who drive trains on the city’s subway system, known as the Tube.

The walkout is the first of four strikes coinciding with the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, which runs from today until July 3. The RMT represents 80,000 transportation workers.

Boy breaks his back jumping NSW train

Posted Monday, 20 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

A TEENAGER has fractured his ribs and spine after trying to hitch a ride with a coal train near Wollongong.

At about 1.15pm yesterday the 17-year-old boy trespassed onto railway lines near Otford Station, with the hope of catching a train ride into Wollongong.

Police said he misjudged the speed of the moving coal train and struck the side of one of the carriages.

Stranded at Barangaroo

Posted Monday, 20 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

WITH construction due to start soon on the first of 12 towers planned at Barangaroo, and the first commercial building scheduled to open just three years later, it seems strange that Sydney's planning authorities have still not worked out how people will get there. The first tower alone will house nearly 6000 workers. By the time Barangaroo is finished in 12 years, almost 60,000 workers, residents and visitors will throng there daily.

Wynyard, the closest railway station, built in the 1920s and now at bursting point, will be unable to cope. As the NSW Auditor-General's report on Barangaroo's transport planning put it too kindly last week, unless something is done now, "Barangaroo's success could be limited".

Plans to extend North West rail link

Posted Tuesday, 21 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

THE North West Rail Link could be extended to join the Richmond line, linking it to a $2 billion industrial, office and residential precinct at Marsden Park, confidential tender documents have revealed.

The state government plans to extend the line from Epping past Rouse Hill to help cope with the population explosion in Sydney's north west.

Transport experts said the proposal would free up capacity on a number of congested lines and make RAAF Base Richmond a more likely second airport option.

The proposal is flagged in confidential Department of Transport tender documents dated June 9.

State Government to retain Myki, despite woes

Posted Tuesday, 21 June, 2011 by nukegrove in Victorian Rail News

After months of uncertainty, the State Government has opted to keep the troubled myki public transport ticketing system - but with modifications that will add to its already over-budget cost.

Announcing the decision this morning, Premier Ted Baillieu said the "smart card" would take over from the current Metcard tickets by the end of 2012.

Asbestos found at station

Posted Tuesday, 21 June, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

ASBESTOS has contaminated a section of track at Flinders Street Station after work on a disused goods shed.

Oakajee given green light for railway

Posted Tuesday, 21 June, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Oakajee Port and Rail has been given the green light to start construction on its major railway infrastructure project in the Mid West.

OPR is constructing the common-user rail link to connect mines in the Mid West to a proposed deep-water port at Oakajee, north of Geraldton.

Chinese coal miner says

Posted Tuesday, 21 June, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Chinese company developing a large coal mining project in the Liverpool Plains near Gunnedah, Shenhua Watermark, says it has no plans to export coal through Port Kembla.

Industry and Investment NSW had facilitated talks between Shenhua and the Port Kembla Port Corporation because Newcastle's coal loader is clogged.

Landholders to make case against rail proposal

Posted Wednesday, 22 June, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

LANDHOLDERS from Alpha to Bowen impacted from the five proposed rail line developments to move coal from the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point and Moranbah, will meet with Queensland Coordinator-General, Keith Davies and a team of senior department heads on Thursday, June 30, at Clermont.

Corridor to Coast Galilee Network (C2C), the recently formed group representing landholders in the region, will host a two-day visit, including an inspection of road crossings, flood plains and rail sites the day before meeting with landholders.

Aconex selected to provide online solutions to Regional Rail Link

Posted Wednesday, 22 June, 2011 by wturbet in Victorian Rail News

Aconex, the world’s largest provider of online collaboration solutions to the construction and engineering industries, has been selected to service the State of Victoria’s multi-billion dollar Regional Rail Link project. The web-based system will be used to manage communication and documentation across the project.

Waratah train project 'in serious risk'

Posted Wednesday, 22 June, 2011 by Big J in New South Wales Rail News

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird has warned the government may have to hold sensitive discussions with all parties involved in Sydney's Waratah train project because it is "in serious risk".

Queensland Rail going gangbusters

Posted Thursday, 23 June, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The QR National boss, Lance Hockridge, is on a mission. Having pounded Sydney's pavements on Tuesday talking to the market he found himself caught by the volcanic ash cloud unable to fly out to other appointments in Melbourne. He made the 10-hour journey by car - stopping overnight at the local hotel/motel in Goulburn.

His mission is to talk to the market as part of the goal to rebalance the company's share register by enticing local institutional shareholders to buy the stock.

High-Speed Rail Poised to Transform China

Posted Thursday, 23 June, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

CHANGSHA, CHINA — Even as China prepares to open bullet train service between Beijing and Shanghai by July 1, its steadily expanding high-speed rail network is being pilloried on a scale rare among Chinese citizens and the news media.

Rail closure causes Bendigo commuter pain

Posted Thursday, 23 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MANY Bendigo line commuters face excruciating early starts when the line closes for major maintenance linked to the construction of the regional rail link.
The Bendigo line will close from Saturday, July 2 and reopen on Monday, July 18.

A temporary timetable for replacement coach services released by V/Line shows the earliest weekday train from Bendigo, the 5.14am stopping all stations except Watergardens and arriving at Southern Cross at 7.12am, will now be a coach that leaves at 3.25am and arrives at 7.17am.

QR National shares jump 11c on Oakajee report

Posted Thursday, 23 June, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

SHARES in Queensland-based rail haulier QR National kicked up 11c, or 3.5 per cent, yesterday on reports it could get involved in the much-delayed Oakajee Port and Rail project in Western Australia.

QR National has contracts to carry iron ore for Mount Gibson, Cliffs and Gindalbie Metals' Karara projects to nearby Geraldton on existing rail tracks, but capacity constraints mean construction of the Oakajee rail and port would need to take place to allow significant increases in tonnage on those contracts in the future.

Fast rail would help travel crisis: Brown

Posted Thursday, 23 June, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has used the air travel chaos caused by ash from a Chilean volcano to push the cause for high-speed rail.

"If ever there was another reason for high-speed rail it's the current state of air chaos," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Motiva Announces New Rail Yard in Port Everglades Terminal

Posted Thursday, 23 June, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

HOUSTON, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Motiva Enterprises LLC (Motiva) announced they have reached an agreement with Vecenergy to construct a fuel grade ethanol rail offloading facility at the Motiva Port Everglades, Florida, terminal. The expanded operations will allow for the delivery of ethanol unit trains directly into existing Motiva storage tanks. These new facilities will increase cost efficiency and improve delivery logistics by minimizing the number of transports required before arriving into the South Florida market.

"Motiva is ready to move forward with the construction of the rail offloading project," said Steve Herrington, Motiva General Manager - Supply. "Motiva and Vecenergy are pleased to be coordinating efforts with the Florida East Coast Railroad (FEC) to provide an integrated rail-to-terminal delivery system."

Vecenergy currently operates a products terminal at Port Everglades and is active in designing and building operating facilities for offloading, storage and distribution of bulk petroleum products. "This is a major step in making the Motiva Port Everglades terminal a multi-modal solution for ethanol distribution in the Port," stated Mark Huff, Vecenergy's Managing Director, Commercial and Corporate Development.

Truck smashes into coal train at Dalby

Posted Thursday, 23 June, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

EMERGENCY services are on the scene of a truck that crashed into a train in Dalby, Queensland.

A police spokesman said the man driving the truck was travelling south on Dalby Jandowae Road about 9.30am (AEST) when he smashed into a coal train that was passing through a crossing.

He said the truck damaged some crossing lights and caused some minor damage to a coal carriage.

There is no boomgate attached to the crossing.

Baillieu Government makes $93m seven-train order to cope with transport crush

Posted Thursday, 23 June, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

THE State Government has ordered another seven trains to cope with growing public transport patronage.

Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder announced the $92 million deal this morning at Flinders St station.

The trains will start operating on the system in 2013, while another 15 previously ordered are still on the way.

“(This is) good news for metropolitan commuters,” Mr Mulder said.

Sinosteel's decision has a domino effect on mining

Posted Friday, 24 June, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The announcement that Chinese mining company Sinosteel Midwest Corporation has shelved its $2 billion Weld Range project in the mid-west of the state is having a domino effect on the WA resources sector.

Not only has it cast doubt on the development of the multi-billion dollar Oakajee Port and Rail Project (OPR), it could also threaten WA's emerging magnetite iron ore industry.

China brings forward key high-speed rail launch

Posted Friday, 24 June, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

BEIJING — China has announced it will bring forward by a day the launch of a much-anticipated high-speed train link between Beijing and Shanghai to June 30.

The link, which has been operating on a trial basis since mid-May, "has passed safety assessment and currently is fully qualified for the launch of service", the railways ministry said in a statement released late Thursday.

The need for speed in rail link

Posted Friday, 24 June, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

A HIGH-speed rail line between Australia's major east coast cities must link Sydney to either Melbourne or Brisbane within three hours if it is to be viable, according to the head of French transport and electricity giant Alstom.

Speaking in Melbourne yesterday, Chris Raine, Alstom's Australian chief executive, said this country had debated for far too long about the need for a fast train between its biggest cities.

Epping 'wrong' northwest rail link option

Posted Friday, 24 June, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

LOCAL residents’ trusts have suggested the northwest rail link join the CityRail network at either Parramatta or Carlingford rather than Epping.

While welcoming progress on the northwest rail link under the O’Farrell government, civic trusts in Beecroft, Cheltenham and Epping said building the Epping-to-Parramatta rail link was equally important.

Two killed, dozens hurt in Amtrak collision

Posted Sunday, 26 June, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

(Reuters) - At least two people were killed and dozens injured on Friday when a tractor-trailer rig crashed through closed rail crossing gates and collided with an Amtrak train on a rural Nevada highway, authorities said.

Return of rail’s ‘glory days’

Posted Sunday, 26 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIAN Transport Minister Terry Mulder said Saturday marked the start of the return to the glory days of rail travel to the Border.

He says the resumption of V/Line trains, 2.5 years after they were replaced by buses as part of a project to improve the line and create the rail bypass, is long overdue.

Mr Mulder will be among VIPs to ride the celebration train into Wodonga station at midday.

Suburban assaults are on track with Flinders St station

Posted Monday, 27 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FLINDERS St may be the most dangerous station in Melbourne, but a suburban transport hub isn't far behind.

There were more assaults (31) at Flinders St than any other station last year, but close behind the city's busiest station was Dandenong (28).

Next on the list were Footscray, Frankston and Southern Cross stations.

Residents 'in the dark' over rail line

Posted Monday, 27 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FOOTSCRAY residents affected by the expansion of a railway line through Melbourne's west have been left in doubt about the project's impact on their homes - just weeks before properties are to be bulldozed.

The Regional Rail Link is a new set of railway tracks from Southern Cross Station to Werribee. It was meant to cost $4.3 billion, but is now being budgeted by the Baillieu government at $5.3 billion.

Elephant hit by train, injured

Posted Monday, 27 June, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

JALPAIGURI: In yet another incident involving jumbos on the Alipurduar Junction - New Jalpaiguri railway track, an adult cow elephant was badly injured when it was hit by a train near the Red Bank tea estate at Banerhat in the Dooars in Jalpaiguri district. The incident happened on Saturday at 10 pm.

Rail alarm over station assaults

Posted Tuesday, 28 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Herald Sun has used Freedom of Information laws to obtain details of alleged assaults at railway stations during the past year.

Flinders St is officially the most dangerous in Melbourne, the scene of more assaults than any other station. Following closely behind are Dandenong, Footscray, Frankston and Southern Cross stations.

PT Problem of the Day: VLine overcrowding becoming more common

Posted Tuesday, 28 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

We’re getting more reports of overcrowding on V/Line services, particularly in peak hour. The Geelong line appears to be worst, but it’s also occurring on the other lines.

Oakajee project like a crash in slow motion

Posted Tuesday, 28 June, 2011 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

MURCHISON Metals' confession yesterday that it is having serious trouble delivering the $6 billion-plus Oakajee port and rail project in Western Australia feels a bit like watching a car crash in slow motion.

The Perth-based miner, which is just three days away from finalising a bankable feasibility study for Oakajee that will probably reveal more bad news on cost blowouts, broke its silence to make two crucial admissions.

Train track ‘terrible and dangerous’

Posted Tuesday, 28 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE V/Line driver who hosted the Minister for Transport in his cabin on Saturday has labelled the track dangerous.
Driver of 40 years Trevor Kruger said the line was dangerous between Melbourne and Seymour.

He said Mr Mulder was shocked by the track’s condition during his ride in the cabin from Seymour to Violet Town.

Trains fly on Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway

Posted Tuesday, 28 June, 2011 by raye in International Rail News

BEIJING, June 27 (Xinhua) - Like a main artery, the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway connects the heart of China with its vital areas.

The 1,318-kilometer link, starting from Beijing and ending at Shanghai, chains together the country' s prosperous Pan-Bohai and Yangtze River Delta economic zones, speeding up the movement of people, goods, information and capital.

Half a century ago, it would normally take two days for a single-way trip between the Chinese capital in the north and the eastern metropolis of Shanghai.

Shire rail services next in line

Posted Tuesday, 28 June, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

THE fight is on to improve rail services to and from the Wollondilly region - and Mayor Michael Banasik and State Liberal MP Jai Rowell are in the shire’s corner.

Mayor Banasik called on the council to liaise with Mr Rowell, Goulburn State Liberal MP Pru Goward and the Wingecarribee and Goulburn councils, to work on improving services on the Southern Highlands line.

The call follows growing demand for rail travel as the shire continues to develop.

'Lovely' station but real test ahead

Posted Tuesday, 28 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A CROWD of hundreds inspected the new Wodonga train station at its official opening on Saturday, giving the new building an overwhelming thumbs up.

More than 400 enjoyed cake fashioned into a V/Line train, a shuttle service between Albury and Wodonga and the official cutting of the ribbon by member for Benambra Bill Tilley, Wodonga mayor Mark Byatt and Minister for Transport Terry Mulder.

Elderly woman king hit while waiting for train

Posted Tuesday, 28 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A 79-year-old woman was king hit by a train commuter in an attack described as "horrific" by police.

The elderly woman was punched in the head without warning as she waited to board a train with friends at Ringwood railway station about 9.20am on June 20.

Her attacker, who is believed to have got on the train at Bayswater five minutes earlier, appeared agitated and was behaving aggressively towards other passengers in the lead up to the assault, police said.

Southern Cross Station to act on diesel fumes

Posted Wednesday, 29 June, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

AFTER years of denying that diesel fumes circulating beneath Southern Cross Station's wavy roof are hurting railway employees, the company that manages the station has agreed to install extraction fans to improve air quality.

But it appears taxpayers will foot the bill for work at the station, which was built under a public-private partnership.

The move comes as the manager of the station's small food court abruptly abandoned it, well before its lease was up.

Rail protester abused by MP

Posted Wednesday, 29 June, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

A female Victorian Labor staffer handing out leaflets attacking the government at a Melbourne railway station has been verbally abused by a Liberal MP. In the attack, which was also seen by a reporter, Mount Waverley MP Michael Gidley demanded the young woman's contact details and started filming her, Labor MP Fiona Richardson told parliament on Wednesday.

No progress on improving rail services

Posted Wednesday, 29 June, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Member for Murray Darling has had no progress yet on improving train services to Broken Hill, but says he is feeling confident.

As part of his campaign, John Williams made a pre-election promise to look into extra services for the city.

Mr Williams says he has made inquiries, and is awaiting a reply from the Transport Minister, Duncan Gay.

Timetable change on right track

Posted Wednesday, 29 June, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

COMMUTERS have applauded the decision to introduce a new afternoon peak rail service from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast.

In response to passenger complaints since the recent introduction of a new rail timetable – particularly chronic overcrowding on the 5.22pm Central to Nambour service – Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday unveiled a number of changes.

From July 11, the 5.22pm service will now be halted at Caboolture, and the 5.04pm train from the Brisbane CBD to Caboolture will become a Nambour service.

Asciano shares gain 2% on contract

Posted Thursday, 30 June, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Shares in Asciano Ltd gained two per cent after the freight rail company renewed an existing coal haulage contract with Coal & Allied Industries Ltd in the NSW Hunter Valley.

Government looking at Privatising NSW Rail

Posted Thursday, 30 June, 2011 by jcouch in New South Wales Rail News

THE man hand-picked by Barry O'Farrell to drive the future of NSW transport and infrastructure is in favour of privatising the state's rail system and supports congestion charges to get drivers off the roads.

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