News

 

Showing stories from August 2011

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Censors slap ban on crash coverage

Posted Monday, 1 August, 2011 by Speed in International Rail News

Chinese newspapers have been forced to ditch pages of reports, about the recent high speed train crash, at last minute after propaganda chiefs issue sudden order, despite premier's pledge of transparency

Ciudad Juarez caught between rail companies struggle

Posted Monday, 1 August, 2011 by javierortizs in International Rail News

Ciudad Juárez finds itself in the midst of a struggle between Burlington Northern and Union Pacific

22 rail cars full of coal derail in western Iowa

Posted Monday, 1 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

DENISON, Iowa— Railroads crews are cleaning up after 22 cars of a coal train derailed in western Iowa.

Mark Davis, spokesman for Omaha, Neb.-based Union Pacific, says the 136-car train was headed from Wyoming to Illinois when a section derailed about 6:40 a.m. Sunday. No injuries were reported.

Three killed in train crash in India's West Bengal

Posted Monday, 1 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

At least three people have been killed and 200 injured in a train collision in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Officials said the accident happened when the engine and some coaches of the Guwahati to Bangalore express derailed and were then hit by another train.

The crash took place in Malda district about 350km (210 miles) north of Calcutta.

Passenger train near miss under investigation

Posted Monday, 1 August, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Rail authorities are investigating a close-call involving a V/Line passenger train from Melbourne to Albury that stopped 20 metres short of a gap in the tracks.

The five carriage train was loaded with passengers bound for Albury when the incident happened between Seymour and Benalla.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union's Mark Marotta says a maintenance gang was replacing a two metre length out of the track.

Truck trap hits city traffic

Posted Monday, 1 August, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Drivers could face delays at a major city intersection this afternoon after yet another truck hit a rail bridge that has become notorious for similar accidents.

The semi-trailer struck the bridge on the corner of Flinders and Spencer streets just after midday, severely damaging the rear of the vehicle.

Leighton Wins $150m Contract to Build Southern Sydney Freight Line

Posted Monday, 1 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Leighton Contractors said Monday it had been selected by Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to deliver the final stage of the Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL) in an Alliance contract worth $150 million.

The Alliance will complete the construction of a 36km dedicated freight line between Macarthur and Sefton in southern Sydney. The SSFL will provide a third track in the rail corridor specifically for freight services, allowing passenger and freight services to operate independently.

Etihad Rail awards locomotives deal

Posted Monday, 1 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

Abu Dhabi: Etihad Rail, the master developer and operator of the UAE's national railway network, said yesterday it has selected Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), one of the world's largest builders of diesel-electric locomotives, to design and manufacture seven heavy haul freight locomotives for delivery by 2012.

Etihad Rail didn't say what the size of the deal with EMD was and spokespersons at Etihad Rail and EMD were unavailable for comment when contacted by Gulf News.

Etihad Rail, however, said in a statement the locomotives contract was a "momentous milestone" for the Dh40 billion project.

Rubbish piles up

Posted Monday, 1 August, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

RAIL commuters are using city trains as personal rubbish dumps, and passengers on the Cleveland line are among the worst offenders.

Queensland Rail said more than 6.5 tonnes of waste had been collected by Queensland Rail's new mobile cleaning crews last month. Chief executive officer Paul Scurrah said the 26 members of the new teams were travelling on afternoon services collecting rubbish left by morning peak commuters and lunchtime travellers.

ATLAS, BHP RAIL ACCESS PLAN FAILS

Posted Monday, 1 August, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Yet another Pilbara iron ore rail access plan has failed.

It comes as Atlas Iron and BHP have walked away from a proposed agreement over access to BHP’s Goldworthy rail lines, The West reports.

Workers stood down after train near miss

Posted Tuesday, 2 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

It has been revealed that some of the workers involved in a near miss on the Melbourne to Albury rail line last week have been stood down.

Transport Safety Victoria is carrying out one of three investigations into the blunder.

High-speed eastern rail link to cost $100 billion

Posted Tuesday, 2 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

A FEDERAL government report into high-speed rail along Australia's eastern seaboard has identified a route between Brisbane and Melbourne, via Sydney and Canberra, that would cost almost $100 billion.

Phase one of the report is due to be released by the federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, at an infrastructure conference on Thursday. Briefings for MPs, transport bureaucrats and industry representatives will be held tomorrow.

V/Line on track with more criticism

Posted Wednesday, 3 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

EMILY BOURKE: There's fresh concern about the safety of the railway line connecting Australia's two biggest cities.

The operator of Victoria's regional rail network says a section of track between Melbourne and Sydney is in such bad shape that it will be forced to run trains at about half-speed.

The operator of the track network is already under scrutiny over a mistake which directed a passenger train to a section of track which had a maintenance truck parked across it.

$100 ticket to ride the high-speed rail to Sydney

Posted Thursday, 4 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

PASSENGERS could pay less than $100 for a three-hour journey from Melbourne to Sydney using the federal government's proposed high-speed rail link along the east coast.

The first study of the link between Melbourne and Brisbane will be released today, putting the price tag at between $61 billion and $108 billion for the project.

The report puts non-stop travel times along the 1600-kilometre distance of the track at six hours - three hours from Melbourne to Sydney and three hours from Sydney to Brisbane - with speeds of up to 350 km/h.

Commuters face delays after train death

Posted Thursday, 4 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Frankston line commuters face peak-hour delays after a person was struck by a train in Melbourne's south-east.

Trains are not running in either direction between Moorabbin and Mordialloc stations and the 5.22pm Frankston bound and 5.24pm Mordialloc bound train has been cancelled.

The line was partly suspended after a person on the tracks between Moorabbin and Highett was hit by a train.

Gindalbie signs rail access agreement for Geraldton

Posted Thursday, 4 August, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Gindalbie Metals has signed a rail access agreement allowing it to transport iron ore from its multi-billion-dollar Karara project to the Geraldton Port in Western Australia's Mid West region.

Mayors lobby for reopening of rail line

Posted Thursday, 4 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The future of the Blayney to Demondrille rail line remains uncertain until the independent study into the viability of the line is released.
That was the message from a meeting between the mayors of the five councils pushing for the line to be reopened and the NSW opposition spokesperson for regional infrastructure Mick Veitch, and opposition transport spokesperson Penny Sharpe.

Blayney, Cowra, Young, Harden, and Weddin councils are currently reviewing Booz & Co consultants draft report before they submit it to the transport minister Gladys Berejiklian.

Rail boss defends shaky track

Posted Thursday, 4 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

TONY EASTLEY: Train drivers are threatening not to work on Australia's busiest railway line between Sydney and Melbourne if safety conditions don't improve, but the boss of Australian Rail Track Corporation says he's investing millions of dollars in track maintenance and he's very confident the track is safe.

Last week a loaded passenger train in Victoria narrowly missed crashing into a maintenance crew when it travelled down a section of line that should have been closed.

Atlas continues talks with BHP over rail access in the Pilbara

Posted Thursday, 4 August, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

ATLAS Iron is continuing its discussions with BHP Billiton about infrastructure solutions, as the expanding iron ore miner also starts to examine rail options for when it out-grows its road haulage method.

Atlas managing director, David Flanagan, said yesterday that discussions with global major BHP, which has aggressively fought against third-party access to its Pilbara infrastructure, were ongoing.

Unity needed in fight for train return

Posted Thursday, 4 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IT’S great to see so many “coming on board” to support our quest for the return of the passenger service to Mildura.
But why do some seem to be opposing us?

Please join those of us who have been fighting for the train’s return for more than five years.

The Mildura Passenger Train Action Group is not partisan, it is not even bi-partisan but is truly multi-partisan, representing all political persuasions and none – just those who want to have our train back, a service to get us to Melbourne at least as fast as a car, to start with.

NSW backs high-speed ACT rail link

Posted Friday, 5 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW Government is backing a proposed east coast high-speed rail connection, saying it would allow Canberra to become Sydney's second airport.
The Commonwealth Government is also talking up the potential of a 1600km link between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, but has admitted the price tag of $61billion to $108billion could be hard to justify given Australia's relatively small population.

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese issued the first stage of an implementation study into the link yesterday, saying it was not a simple project and the Government did not want to gild the lily, but it "certainly thinks it's worth it".

Woman's suicide bids cause chaos

Posted Friday, 5 August, 2011 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

A WOMAN has cost taxpayers more than $80,000 by repeatedly threatening to harm herself at train stations, a court was told.

The 18-year-old has allegedly threatened suicide on Queensland Rail property 34 times.

On these occasions, all trains must be stopped until the threats can be assessed and police attend.

Despite being banned from going to train stations and having a curfew between 7pm and 7am as part of her bail conditions, the woman allegedly returned to Ipswich station at the weekend.

Train crash 'catalyst for reform'

Posted Friday, 5 August, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

CHINA'S deadliest high-speed train crash may hasten the break-up of a ministry that runs the world's second-largest rail network, employs more people than the US government and has debts larger than Denmark's economy.

Premier Wen Jiabao has pledged more focus on safety and greater accountability following the July 23 crash that killed 40 people, endangering the Ministry of Railways' dual grip on regulating and operating China's trains.

Dividing these roles may improve management, financial transparency and safety, said Hu Xingdou, an economics professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology. "The Rail Ministry has been run like an independent kingdom for years," he said.

Wagga could be stop on fast rail trail

Posted Friday, 5 August, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

WAGGA and Albury have been included in plans for a multibillion-dollar high-speed rail connecting Brisbane and Melbourne.

After speculation Wagga could miss out on the ambitious plan, reports released by the federal government yesterday outlined phase one plans for linking the eastern seaboard.

But despite the benefits that could come with being one of the stops along the route, scepticism remains in the Wagga business fraternity over the future of the project. Wagga Business Chamber president Julian McLaren yesterday said he was dubious of the scheme and labelled it a "Greens pipe dream".

Hope for high-speed rail to transform Riverina economy

Posted Friday, 5 August, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

A rail expert predicts huge spin-offs to the region from Wagga Wagga's inclusion on a high-speed rail corridor linking Sydney and Melbourne.

The Federal Government released a report yesterday which said the fast train network in eastern Australia could cost almost $110 billion.

Bryan Nye from the Australasian Railway Association says Wagga and Albury are included among the proposed stations on the Melbourne to Sydney route.

Study on KL-S'pore high-speed rail

Posted Friday, 5 August, 2011 by freightgate in International Rail News

KUALA LUMPUR: A pre-feasibility study for Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) system will be concluded in a few weeks, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) director Ahmad Suhaili said.

“The findings of this study will allow the Government to decide on where to place key stations.

Fast rail push sparks call for speedier XPT

Posted Friday, 5 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Details of the Federal Government study into a high-speed rail network has prompted calls to increase speed limits on the XPT service between Melbourne and Wodonga.

John Emmery form the Albury Citizens and Ratepayers Movement has welcomed the study but says high-speed rail is still a few years off.

Sydney train drags drunk man 10m

Posted Friday, 5 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A man has been seriously injured when he was dragged 10 metres by a train in Sydney's west last night.

Police say the 28-year-old was extremely drunk when he arrived at Marayong Railway Station about 11:00pm (AEST).

Baillieu probes call for more Sale trains

Posted Friday, 5 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu has been unable to ease the concerns of Sale commuters calling for more train services.

Sale has three train services to Melbourne each day compared with about 18 from Traralgon to Melbourne.

Costs run away on bullet train plan

Posted Friday, 5 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

The plan seems out of this world - at least, that is, if you live in Australia. A high-speed bullet train which could slash travel times and costs between major cities and dramatically change the way Australians do business and holiday.

The Federal Government has released the first stage of a feasibility study into a high-speed rail network which could link Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra by 2036.

Labor Party 'dead weight' on light rail

Posted Saturday, 6 August, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Randwick mayor Murray Matson has taken aim at what he says is Labor Party inaction on light rail.

The motion that had the green mayor seeing red was one by Labor councillor Tony Bowen calling for the light rail network to be publicly owned and for safeguards against the loss of existing public transport services.

Cr Matson said he found Cr Bowen’s motion an unnecessary hindrance towards the achievement of light rail.

Open Rails Forum established on Railpage

Posted Saturday, 6 August, 2011 by bevans in Railpage Australia News

Railpage has recently established an open rails forum.

Openrails.org's goal is to enhance the railroad simulation hobby through a community designed and supported platform built to serve as a lasting foundation for an accurate and immersive simulation experience.

Model of a modern trainspotter

Posted Sunday, 7 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

The former deputy PM has delivered a bold manifesto for transport - in Australia and across the world, writes Andrew West.

TIM FISCHER greets me at the door of the carriage as the train pulls into Newcastle's Broadmeadow station. ''Welcome aboard,'' the former deputy prime minister-turned-diplomat says.

Clasping the brim of his black Akubra, he offers his other hand for a typical, firm, country man's handshake. He is on his way back to Sydney from Armidale aboard the Armidale Xplorer.

Police investigate after man hit by a train - Como

Posted Sunday, 7 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Police are investigating after a man was struck by a city-bound train in Sydney’s south last night.

Just before 7pm (Saturday 6 August 2011), police and NSW Ambulance Paramedics responded to reports that a man had been struck by a train at Como Railway Station.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 6/8/2011

Posted Sunday, 7 August, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 124 sightings for this week. This is 14 sighting more than last week, making a total of 3262 sightings for this year to date. On day 218 last year we had recorded 3031 sightings. This is 231 sightings up on the same time last year.

Sunshine Coast light rail push

Posted Sunday, 7 August, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

DEMAND for light rail on the Sunshine Coast has been reignited by a community association this week.

Representatives from the Sippy Downs and District Community Association have pushed for Deputy Premier Paul Lucas to put his department to the task of considering light rail for the region.

On Thursday, members of the association and Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie met Mr Lucas about the Palmview Development.

Train crash shakes confidence in train travel

Posted Sunday, 7 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

BEIJING - Last month's fatal train crash has shaken the country, not only causing the loss of lives and delayed and unclear explanations, but also undermining people's confidence in the rail system.

Bai Ruoxue stands in line at the bus station of Fuzhou, capital city of eastern Fujian province, waiting to buy a ticket to her hometown of Zhaoan, in the southernmost part of the province. She decided to take the bus despite the fact that it takes three hours longer than the bullet train.

"I took train all the time in the past," said the 20-year-old college student. "I thought trains were safe and fast." But after the tragic train collision on July 23, Bai swore not to take bullet trains.

Western rail passengers Melbourne's most unhappy

Posted Monday, 8 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PEOPLE in Melbourne's west are the most unhappy rail passengers in the city, while those who live in the east are the most satisfied with how the network performs, confidential data shows.

Customer satisfaction surveys obtained by The Age under freedom of information laws reveal that for several years Sydenham line passengers have on average rated the network far worse than other passengers.

Rare species could disrupt Sydney-to-Melbourne rail link

Posted Monday, 8 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

AN endangered moth and legless lizard could derail the proposed $108 billion high-speed rail link to Sydney and Brisbane.

The golden sun moth and the striped legless lizard live in sensitive Craigieburn grasslands.

The Federal Government's High Speed Rail Study has outlined the potential environmental damage of the favoured route, which cuts through the Chiltern-Mt Pilot and Kinglake national parks as well as state forests near Glenrowan and Springhurst.

Mayor hits back over financing of city rail loop

Posted Monday, 8 August, 2011 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has hit back at Transport Minister Steven Joyce for virtually ruling out road tolls to help pay for the $2.4 billion inner-city rail loop.

"We can either bury our heads in the sand or discuss ways of fixing Auckland's transport crisis," Mr Brown told the Herald.

Rail timetable changes spark 'good feedback'

Posted Monday, 8 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victoria's regional train operator says it has received positive feedback about timetable changes on the Bendigo railway line.

V/Line angered some commuters when it added an extra stop at Gisborne on a morning express service to Melbourne and created earlier departure times for trains at Eaglehawk and Bendigo.

Train fire due to bad practice

Posted Tuesday, 9 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

METRO'S failure to satisfactorily maintain one of its trains and a railway power substation in Reservoir led to a fire igniting on the train as it pulled out of a Northcote railway station last year, a report by the state's rail safety investigator has found.

A lack of repair records for the train and extensive fire damage meant the investigation was unable to establish what had caused the blaze, chief investigator Ian McCallum found.

Lack of locomotion - split over funding, route for the North West Rail Link

Posted Tuesday, 9 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

TENSIONS are emerging between the state government and Infrastructure NSW over the North West Rail Link.

Infrastructure NSW is concerned that neither a cost nor a route has been sorted out on the project, despite continuing press appearances by Premier Barry O'Farrell and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

"They have got all these bloody press conferences (on the link and we don't know yet whether) this is $12 billion, $8 billion or $10 billion," one source said.

Fast rail proposal worth consideration

Posted Tuesday, 9 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

AFTER decades of talk, a high-speed rail (HSR) network for Australia is again up for discussion.

The Federal Government last week released the basics of a first-stage study into the feasibility of an HSR link along the east coast. The study is looking at potential routes from Brisbane to Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, as well as the economic viability of such a network.

RWC: Rail authorities look to streamline trips

Posted Tuesday, 9 August, 2011 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Auckland's transport authorities will aim to knock 20 to 30 minutes off rail journeys after passengers faced bottlenecks at Kingsland train station after Saturday's match.

Trains carried 16,500 fans to and from the test at Eden Park. While travel times from Britomart to Kingsland were exemplary before the match - around 20 minutes - some passengers had a long wait on the return trip.

Nash guarded over high-speed rail support

Posted Tuesday, 9 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Nationals' Senator Fiona Nash says she will back a fast train if it is good for regional areas and it stacks up financially.

The Young-based Senator says there is a lot to consider before giving her support for any high-speed rail proposal.

A Federal Government commissioned report released last week costs an eastern Australia fast train network at almost $110 billion.

Port rail line to bypass Baxter

Posted Tuesday, 9 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire mayor Graham Pittock has welcomed a promise from the state government that a railway line to service the expanding Port of Hastings will not run through Baxter.

Ports Minister Denis Napthine said at a recent private meeting the government was working on plans to acquire land and develop a railway alongside the Western Port Highway to transport shipping containers between Hastings and Dandenong.

Premier yet to submit North West Rail Link for Federal funding

Posted Tuesday, 9 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE North West Rail link has been omitted from a 2011 national priority list, after Premier Barry O’Farrell failed to update a submission to Infrastructure Australia after the March state election.

Repeating the same processes for new governments in WA and Victoria, Infrastructure Australia wrote to the Premier giving the State Government a chance to update the NSW submission to Infrastructure Australia.

Bradken stays positive about future

Posted Tuesday, 9 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Mining and rail equipment maker Bradken says China's growth made it bullish about the year ahead, despite posting a drop in net profit.

Bradken announced a 4.1 per cent fall in net profit to $67.56 million for the 12 months to June 30 compared with the same period a year earlier.

However, profit after material, one-off items was up 24 per cent at $87.1 million.

NSW must get on with northwest rail: Labor

Posted Tuesday, 9 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell needs to stop talking about the government's plans for a northwest rail link and get on with building it, opposition leader John Robertson says.

Despite an election promise to build the link, Mr O'Farrell had not done the work required to get it off the ground, Mr Robertson told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

"Today, we see there is no plan, there is no cost, we don't see a route and no application to the commonwealth government for funding," he said.

Metro trains wait at stations to arrive on time

Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

A NEW rail timetable introduced by Metro in May allows so much extra time for trains to run on schedule that drivers say they are waiting for up to three minutes at some railway stations before leaving.

Metro chief executive Andrew Lezala said last week that in July, the operator had achieved the best on-time running performance in five years.

Rail investment and truck levy needed to drive modal shift

Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

More funds should be pumped into rail to generate a modal shift, according to a new report touting the benefits of rail.

Deloitte Access Economics’ The True Value of Rail report is urging greater investment in the north-south corridor connecting Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney to increase rail’s share of the goods carried along the route.

The report, paid for by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), says the corridor is beset by capacity constraints, particularly on the Sydney metropolitan section.

China bullet train maker halts deliveries

Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

SHANGHAI: A Chinese bullet train manufacturer said on Wednesday it had been told to stop shipments after a series of delays on the new high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai.

China's railway ministry ordered the halt after problems with high-speed trains manufactured by a unit of listed company China CNR Corp, the company said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

New rail crew barracks for Gunnedah

Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Rail freight company Pacific National will open a new depot and train crew barracks on Wednesday in Gunnedah.

The company currently operates more than 120 coal train services a month from the Gunnedah Basin and Werris Creek depot to the Port of Newcastle.

Two Train Cars Derail, Snarling Rush Hours

Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

New York commuters inched homeward by bus, hitched rides with friends and waved down taxis Tuesday evening after a derailed train earlier in the day disrupted rail traffic across the Northeast.

The accident forced authorities to shut down one of the two rail tunnels used by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains between Manhattan and New Jersey. Both inbound and outbound trains were sharing the remaining tunnel.

Push for rail in Redbank Plains

Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND Mayors have called on a plan to build a rail line between Springfield and Redbank Plains to be brought forward as a way of easing road congestion in booming population pockets.

A rail line between Richlands and Springfield will be finished by 2013, while the State Government has preserved a further corridor between Springfield and Yamanto.

Transport safety crackdown targets louts

Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Alcohol, drugs and anti-social behaviour will be the focus of a public transport safety blitz designed to stamp out bad behaviour on buses, trains and trams.

Sniffer dogs will comb train carriages for illicit drugs and police officers will wait on end-of-line platforms to provide a visible safety presence as part of Operation Safe Travel.

State looks to NZ to bring transport up to speed

Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE man who will be responsible for Sydney's ticketing system, for making RailCorp lift its game, for talking figures with a private ferry operator, and for drawing up a new public transport timetable, first has to make sure the Rugby World Cup runs smoothly.

The NSW government has looked to New Zealand for answers to Sydney's transport woes, and will announce today the appointment of the chief operating officer of Auckland Transport, Fergus Gammie, as a key foot soldier in its attempt to reshape the bureaucracy.

Trains drive trucks, cars off the road

Posted Thursday, 11 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE average freight train takes 110 trucks off the road, new economic research shows.

And one passenger train removes 525 cars from the road, says a study, by Deloitte Access Economics for the Australasian Railway Association.

The study says a road congestion charge and a per-tonne charge on trucks should one day apply across Australia.

Nearly 7000 use passenger rail

Posted Thursday, 11 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Nearly 7000 passengers left Maryborough station in the first 10 months of the return of passenger rail services.

But with work still continuing on the Maryborough-Ballarat line to improve the service, that number could rise as more stations are opened and services introduced.

From day one of the returned service in July 2010 to May, 6842 passengers have caught the train from Maryborough Railway Station.

High speed rail opportunities

Posted Thursday, 11 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

LYNE MP Rob Oakeshott has welcomed a commitment from opposition communications and broadband spokesman Malcolm Turnbull not to destroy the National Broadband Network if the Coalition wins office.

"Mr Turnbull's promise not to remove NBN cables already in the ground is a sensible move that will be welcomed by many, including hospitals, universities and businesses in regional Australia," Mr Oakeshott, who is also chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the NBN, said.

XPT breaks up leaving Melbourne this morning

Posted Thursday, 11 August, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

This mornings Northbound XPT service From Melbourne to Sydney has broken into two travelling near Coolaroo Station just north of Broadmeadows.

Transit officer punched in face at station

Posted Thursday, 11 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A TRANSIT officer has been punched in the face after he asked four teenagers, all aged under 15, to produce train tickets at a station in Sydney's southwest.

Two plain-clothes officers asked to see the tickets about 3pm (AEST) yesterday at Birrong Railway Station.

The teenagers refused to show them and one of the group punched an officer in the face when he told them to sit down.

China stops work on all high-speed rail projects

Posted Thursday, 11 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

China has suspended all new high-speed railway projects three weeks after the Wenzhou rail disaster that killed 40 people, raising serious questions over the safety of China's decade of super-charged railway expansion.

Cars should be included in carbon tax: rail lobby

Posted Thursday, 11 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Excluding cars from the Australian Government’s proposed new carbon pricing defies logic, the head of Australia’s peak rail industry body says.
Australasian Railways Association chairman Lance Hockridge says the policy will deliver the perverse outcome of making passenger and freight rail more expensive than road, and encourage greater use of the less carbon-friendly mode.

‘‘The sensible approach would be to either abandon this expansion or provide the rail industry with a level playing field.’’

The little engine that couldn't keep it together

Posted Friday, 12 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IN THE latest rail debacle involving interstate services, the carriages on yesterday's morning train to Sydney became separated from the engine car as it gathered speed on the outskirts of Melbourne.

About 9am, as it passed through the suburb of Coolaroo in Melbourne's north, the engine car on the morning's Melbourne-to-Sydney train detached from carriages carrying 142 passengers. No one was harmed in the incident, and both the engine car and the passenger carriages slowly ground to a halt after they became separated, due to a loss of power.

Competition heats up for Pilbara port and rail use

Posted Friday, 12 August, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

With several key iron ore projects due to come online in the north west of Western Australia, competition for existing port and rail infrastructure is intensifying.

The proposed $4 billion open access port at Anketell Point about 30 km east of Karratha is expected to be one of the solutions, with the port set to ship 350 million tonnes of product a year.

Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre (ILC)

Posted Friday, 12 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) has been appointed as operator of the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre (ILC), which is located 18 km from Port Botany - where HPH also operates the new third container terminal.

According to Sydney Ports chairman Bryan Smith, the ILC would be a key element in a network of facilities across Sydney that will provide a more efficient means to transfer containers by train to and from Port Botany, and to allow the efficient repositioning by rail of empty containers for export from regional and rural New South Wales.

Fast train customers are facing delays

Posted Saturday, 13 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

PLANS for a Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne high-speed train hinge, more than anything, on one question: if you struggle to get Australians out of their cars and on to public transport, how are you going to get them out of their aeroplanes?

It's not just the cost. Australians simply don't do long-distance rail travel; in fact, only about 3 per cent of long-distance journeys take place on a train. Getting your interstate travellers down to the railway station will require a significant cultural shift.

Human error to blame

Posted Saturday, 13 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

HUMAN error put 300 lives at risk when a V/Line train was switched to the wrong track, Transport Safety Victoria has said.
The near-full Border-bound train stopped 20 metres short of derailing.

The public transport watchdog this week completed the first stage of its investigation into the incident north of Seymour, late last month.

Baillieu rails for Avalon

Posted Saturday, 13 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A $250 million rail link to a near-deserted Avalon airport will be built ahead of one to Melbourne Airport, a senior government minister confirmed yesterday.

Melbourne Airport is the nation's second busiest, handling about 28 million passengers on 200,000 thousand flights a year, while Avalon sees six Jetstar flights a day now that Tiger has pulled out from operating there.

‘Time to get the trains back’

Posted Saturday, 13 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

DANIEL Andrews says it is time to stop the blame game and time to get the trains back on track.

The Victorian Labor Opposition Leader says it has taken too long to get “this mess sorted” and hopes governments and their agencies will learn some valuable lessons.

Heading along the wrong track

Posted Sunday, 14 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

WAY across the paddocks, when we were children, steel tracks ran, and on still nights the drawn-out howl of a train was the sound of yesterday and tomorrow: the coming from somewhere and the going to somewhere else that so infected the imagination of country kids.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 13/8/2011

Posted Sunday, 14 August, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 134 sightings for this week. This is ten sighting more than last week, making a total of 3396 sightings for this year to date. On day 225 last year we had recorded 3136 sightings. This is 260 sightings up on the same time last year.

Phantom trams to vanish, but still take passengers

Posted Monday, 15 August, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

YARRA Trams calls them its phantom routes for a reason: they're a mystery to all but the most seasoned traveller.

Every week 2500 trams, about 8 per cent of services, run around the city without appearing on the timetable.

These so-called ''phantom services'' run to move trams between depots, or reposition them on the network.

And they do not appear on timetables or maps because technically, for passengers, they don't exist.

Train operator boosts earnings

Posted Monday, 15 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Hong Kong-based operator behind Metro has reported a $A7 million pre-tax profit increase from running Melbourne's trains in the first half of this year.

Hong Kong's MTR is majority shareholder in Metro Trains Melbourne.

In a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday, MTR said Melbourne earnings before tax and other expenses for the first six months of 2011 were $HK263 million ($A33.7 million), up from HK$209 million for the same period in 2010.

Transport highlights North West Rail vision

Posted Monday, 15 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE Department of Transport have responded to claims made by retired Epping High School teacher Bob Masters that their rail system is inadequately planned.

Axed timber cutters fighting back

Posted Monday, 15 August, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

MORE than 30 sleeper cutters from around the region gathered in Rosedale yesterday to fight back against Queensland Rail’s tender process changes.

The meeting resulted in the formation of a small delegation that plans to meet senior politicians and administrators.

Many timber cutters in the region were taken by surprise when a tender notice appeared in the NewsMail recently calling for the supply of railway sleepers and other timber products.

French companies eye Australian high speed rail

Posted Monday, 15 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

SYDNEY — French companies are keen to build a high-speed rail network in Australia, France's Transport Minister Thierry Mariani said, despite the prospect still being in the early stages.

The idea of a very fast train system linking the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra has been debated for years, but gained momentum last year after the government announced a study into a network.

Rail station cost 'over the top'

Posted Tuesday, 16 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A NEW railway station and road extension near Point Cook will cost $110 million, a price a public transport group has described as ''over the top''.

The Williams Landing railway station, on the Werribee line, will cost $86 million, with an accompanying access road another $24 million.

Western Australia joins Victoria in resisting transport reforms

Posted Tuesday, 16 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

WA's Transport Minister Troy Buswell said yesterday he had concerns about the reforms, which would see single national regulators established for maritime, rail safety and heavy vehicles.

The comments increase the likelihood the Gillard government will develop plans to dock reform incentive payments and infrastructure funding from states that are resisting the reforms.

Australia's Aston, Whitehaven lock in rail capacity for coal projects

Posted Tuesday, 16 August, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Aston Resources said Tuesday that it has secured 2 million mt/year of rail haulage capacity from the second quarter of 2013 and ramping up to 5 million mt/year by Q3 2013 for its Maules Creek metallurgical coal project the Gunnedah coal field in New South Wales, Australia.

Securing the rail haulage capacity from Australian Rail Track Corp for its potential exports "has further de-risked the infrastructure requirements for the delivery of first coal," Aston Resources CEO Todd Hannigan said in a statement.

Queensland Rail to outsource IT

Posted Tuesday, 16 August, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail has revealed plans to outsource its entire IT infrastructure and support desk to a single managed service by the end of September next year.

The state government department, which split from the privatised freight arm QR National under a $4.6 billion float last year, would retain responsibility for ICT strategy as well as support for some Microsoft Exchange instances, network services and the end-user computing environment.

Man killed at rail crossing

Posted Wednesday, 17 August, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

AN ANDERGROVE man was killed when the tractor he was driving collided with a traini on Tuesday.

Police, QAS and QFRS crews attended the scene where the 58-year-old driver of the tractor was killed instantly; he leaves behind a wife.

The tragic accident occurred about 11.10am when an empty QR National freight train heading to Proserpine collided with a tractor at Knobels Rd crossing near Farleigh.

Inquiry ordered on rail mudhole mess

Posted Wednesday, 17 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

FEDERAL Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has called for the national transport safety watchdog to investigate the state of the mudhole-plagued Sydney- to-Melbourne rail line.

At least four senior Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators will examine safety issues and the quality of work involved in $750 million of projects on the line in three years.

Mr Albanese said recent incidents had prompted the inquiry.

State shirks airport rail challenge

Posted Wednesday, 17 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THERE is something perverse about giving priority to a rail link to Avalon Airport over Melbourne Airport. One offers a handful of domestic flights a day, carrying 1.5 million passengers a year.
The other is an international gateway, with 200,000 flights a year carrying a fast-growing total of 28 million passengers. Avalon is 56 kilometres from central Melbourne but readily accessible by road. Melbourne airport is closer but the 22-kilometre trip - by car, bus or taxi - is an unpredictable nightmare.

Yet the state government is moving first on Avalon. ''There are challenges around an airport link for Melbourne,'' said Aviation Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips.

Murchison Metals wins approval for $3.7bn expansion of Jack Hills iron ore

Posted Wednesday, 17 August, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

EMBATTLED miner Murchison Metals has won approval from Western Australia's Environmental Protection Authority for the $3.7 billion expansion of its half-owned Jack Hills iron ore project in the state's Mid-West region.

The move could boost the sale process for Murchison's assets.

Potential buyers have been running the numbers in a data room since the miner's admission last month that it was unable to fund its share of the Jack Hills expansion or the $5.94bn Oakajee port and rail project.

Track death triggers rail chaos

Posted Wednesday, 17 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Rail services have been suspended on a section of the Pakenham line this afternoon after a person was struck by a train and killed.

Emergency services were called to the level crossing on Clyde Road in Berwick at 12.40pm where the collision occurred. The person died at the scene.

Downer EDI denies default claim on Reliance Rail joint venture

Posted Wednesday, 17 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

DOWNER EDI denied claims today from debt insurers of default events being triggered in its train building joint venture, but the news drove its shares down 2.7 per cent.

Downer EDI owns 49 per cent of the Reliance Rail consortium, which is building and maintaining 78 eight-car trains in a private-public partnership with the NSW government called the Waratah project.

Brookfield to expand rail network in WA

Posted Thursday, 18 August, 2011 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

CANADIAN asset manager Brookfield has unveiled plans for a huge expansion in the capacity of Western Australia's key rail network as it strives to meet soaring demand from the state's growing number of resources projects.

The company also announced yesterday it would rebadge its WestNet Rail business as Brookfield Rail.

Brookfield Rail owns 5000km of track which supports more than 270,000 train movements across the southern half of WA. It also moves 80 per cent of all general freight from the east coast.

Financial strain over new trains made plain

Posted Thursday, 18 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

TENSE negotiations between the NSW state government and Reliance Rail, the troubled public-private partnership delivering the Waratah train into Sydney's rail network, have been pitched into confusion after the project's guarantors claimed Reliance had defaulted on their intricate funding agreement.

Reliance and its major equity partner, trainbuilder Downer EDI, immediately downplayed the seriousness and disputed the claim, received in the form of a ''reservation of rights'' notice from its credit insurers, Syncora and FGIC UK, on Tuesday afternoon.

Gawler rail line disruption

Posted Thursday, 18 August, 2011 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

THOUSANDS of train commuters will be disrupted for seven months due to the closure of the rail line between Gawler and Mawson Lakes.

The section of the line will be closed from Sunday, September 18, to allow for the electrification of the line, new and upgraded stations and extra parking.

Substitute bus services GA1, GA2, GA3 and GA4 will operate between Gawler Central and the Mawson Interchange during the upgrades.

Yarra Trams driver Andy Blume under investigation over Twitter taunts

Posted Thursday, 18 August, 2011 by raye in Tram and Light Rail News

A ROGUE tram driver who posts photographs of sleeping passengers, degrades crash victims and taunts commuters online is under investigation by Yarra Trams.

Andy Blume has been driving city trams for more than 10 years and regularly posts foul rants on the internet via a blog and Twitter.

The 33-year-old faced a disciplinary hearing last month for using his phone to take pictures while at the controls of his tram and posting them online.

He was not stood down.

Drivers applaud inquiry

Posted Thursday, 18 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

TRAIN drivers must be an integral part of any inquiry into the failings of the Sydney to Melbourne rail line, says the NSW rail union boss.
Yesterday Bob Hayden and the train drivers applauded federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese for finally calling a wide-ranging inquiry into mudhole-plagued track.

They say the decision clears them of “whinger” and “trouble maker” tags and justifies their ongoing concerns.

Mr Hayden said yesterday investigators needed to talk to drivers.

Boy pinned between train and platform

Posted Friday, 19 August, 2011 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

A 13-year-old boy who crossed the tracks at a Sydney railway station was hit by an oncoming train and pinned against the platform wall.

The teenager, who survived, was rushing to catch an approaching train at Werrington station at 8pm yesterday and decided to take a short cut across the tracks to the opposite platform.

Eddington urges transport overhaul

Posted Friday, 19 August, 2011 by urailes0623 in Rail News

INFRASTRUCTURE Australia chairman Rod Eddington has written to premiers and treasurers urging them to sign up to a transport reform agenda worth $30 billion to the national economy.

Suspicious device found after train kills Seattle woman

Posted Friday, 19 August, 2011 by urailes0623 in International Rail News

A busy passenger and freight rail line was shut down for nearly five hours on Thursday after police investigating the death of a woman struck by a train in Seattle said they found a possible explosive near the tracks.

From pit to port: India's $10bn coal export plan

Posted Saturday, 20 August, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

INDIAN energy giant Adani Enterprises has moved foreign investment in Australia to a new level, with a $10 billion scheme to control every stage of its booming coal export business from mine to port.

In his first major interview, the chief executive of Adani's Australian operations, Jignesh Derasari, declared the company wanted to control "whatever component the coal touches", including a $3bn railway network to haul coal from the emergent Galilee Basin in central Queensland to two ports, one of which it purchased this year and the other which it will build at Dudgeon Point near Mackay.

Power woes hamper rail services

Posted Saturday, 20 August, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A power fault at Eudlo is continuing to disrupt train services on the Sunshine Coast today.

It is affecting rail services between Nambour and Mooloolah stations, including Woombye, Palmwoods and Eudlo.

Rail guards work despite 'poisonous' relations

Posted Saturday, 20 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE RailCorp transit officers who patrol Sydney's trains have a ''poisonous'' relationship with their management and many stick in the job only because of the relatively high pay.

An external review of the officers finds morale is ''either low or at best ambivalent'', amid complaints of malicious management, unfit workmates and inadequate security equipment.

The review was commissioned by RailCorp in response to union concerns about safety. But its final report, obtained by the Herald, goes further than its terms of reference to expose a troubled work culture and recommends RailCorp turn over responsibility for managing officers to a senior police figure.

PM trumpets transport regulation reform

Posted Saturday, 20 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says three new agreements with the states and territories on heavy vehicle, rail and maritime safety regulation will save the economy tens of billions of dollars.

All the states and territories signed off on the agreements with the exception of Western Australia which has some concerns regarding the heavy vehicle deal.

'This is a major economic reform,' Ms Gillard told reporters in Canberra.

'I understand the question of heavy vehicle regulation doesn't necessarily sound all that interesting to some.

Plan puts Queensland cotton and cattle family's future on the rails

Posted Sunday, 21 August, 2011 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

ON Marcel Hall's Galilee Basin cotton and cattle property, Queensland's summer of horror rain has led to its most fertile year in decades, with cows fatter than he's ever seen and a bumper $5 million cotton crop.

But the 57-year-old, whose family has farmed on some of Australia's best cattle-fattening country north of Clermont in central Queensland since halfway through last century, fears it could be one of the property's last.

Fast rail takes driver's seat

Posted Monday, 22 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

N MELBOURNE, French Transport Minister Thierry Mariani told BusinessDay Europeans were increasingly choosing the convenience of fast rail over air travel.

The corridor between Paris and London is no longer the world's busiest air route, with some surveys suggesting 90 per cent of people are choosing to travel by fast rail instead.

Rail link team considers adding three more stations

Posted Monday, 22 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE north-west rail link could be opened with eight stations instead of the proposed six.

The team in charge has raised plans with local businesses and council that include building a second station at Norwest and another station beyond Rouse Hill, but scrapping a proposed station at Burns Road, Kellyville.

The Burns Road station would be replaced by a station further north at Samantha Riley Drive.

Rail group liable for severed leg

Posted Monday, 22 August, 2011 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

ADELAIDE'S train operators were liable for the severing of a drunken passenger's leg, a court has found. Dennis Martin was thrown off the train in 2001 for travelling without a ticket and fighting ticket inspectors. But he tried to reboard as the train left Bowden station. He grabbed a door but tripped over his feet and fell between the train and platform. His injuries were so serious a leg had to be amputated.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 20/8/2011

Posted Monday, 22 August, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 132 sightings for this week. This is two sighting less than last week, making a total of 3528 sightings for this year to date. On day 232 last year we had recorded 3234 sightings. This is 294 sightings up on the same time last year.

BlueScope Steel cuts 1000 jobs, industry in crisis

Posted Monday, 22 August, 2011 by merlin in Victorian Rail News

AT least 1000 jobs are tipped to go at manufacturing giant BlueScope Steel today and workers across the sector have been warned to brace for big job losses.

Territory drivers labelled as rail crossing hazards

Posted Monday, 22 August, 2011 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

The rail network operator in the Northern Territory says Top End drivers are notoriously dangerous at railway crossings. There are 220 railway crossings on about 1,700 kilometres of railway track in the Territory. There have been eight serious accidents between trains and vehicles in the past seven years. Genesee and Wyoming Darwin coordinator Brett Kimpton says most crossings do not have lights and bells.

Business plan to revive rail freight service

Posted Monday, 22 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

KARACHI: THE cash-strapped Pakistan Railways, severely hit by depleting assets and services, has developed a new business plan to revive its freight service with the support of private and public firms.

The plan is based on an agreement with the NLC, three major terminal operators at Karachi Port, Daudkhel Cement and a multi-national oil company who will provide Rs2 billion for rehabilitating 20 diesel locomotives at the Railways establishments at Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. The proposal is now awaiting approval of the ministry of railways.

More pedestrians ignoring rail safety

Posted Monday, 22 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/Line says it is concerned about a spike in the number of pedestrians risking their lives on regional railway lines.

The authority has released new figures showing a 22 per cent rise in the number of incidents over the past financial year.

North Cotswolds railway line re-opens after £70m revamp

Posted Monday, 22 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

A £70m project to enable the North Cotswolds railway line to run on two tracks has been completed.

The scheme, which has taken two years to complete, means tracks now run in both directions between Worcester and Oxford, through Moreton-in-Marsh.

Dandenong rail commuter answers the call

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A FREQUENT Dandenong railway station user believes it's the perfect time to establish a friends group to lobby for improvements.
In the Weekly last Monday, Greater Dandenong mayor Roz Blades spoke of her campaign to "clean up" the station.

Last week she met representatives of Victoria Police, the transit police, the Department of Transport, council staff, VicUrban and Metro on site to discuss ways to improve the station.

Rail Safety Week kicks off to raise awareness

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

National Rail Safety Week for 2011 has been launched, with the annual event bringing together organisations to educate the community about rail safety.

The initiative will run until August 28, with more than 20 Australian and New Zealand organisations working together to raise awareness on acting safely around trains.

The 2011 event will focus on level crossing safety and trespass, and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) says the aim is to remind motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists to take extra care around railways and always practice safe behaviour.

Rail works force city footbridge closure

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2011 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

THE William Street footbridge to the Perth Train Station will be closed from Wednesday as part of the works to sink the Fremantle Line and link Perth’s CBD with Northbridge.

The western concourse will be closed at the Roe Street end but the Wellington Street entry will remain open.

Part of the footbridge will be removed next month.

Commuters will be able to take three alternative routes around the train station: the eastern concourse from Forrest Chase across to the Perth Cultural Centre, the Horseshoe Bridge, and the Milligan Street railway foot bridge.

Study underway for Bendigo rail revival

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

INVESTIGATIONS are underway examining the long-term feasibility of returning passenger trains between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo via Meredith, Maryborough and Castlemaine.

Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today the state government was carrying out the study with part of the $2 million provided in the May state budget.

Scrap airport rail toll, report says

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2011 by raye in New South Wales Rail News

NEW direct buses to Sydney Airport should be introduced and the $11.80 access fee for the airport rail link scrapped, according to a scathing report into traffic congestion by the Productivity Commission.

A toll could also be placed on the M5 to reduce traffic in and around the airport.

In a draft report into economic regulation of airports released yesterday, the commission called for the O'Farrell government to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of abolishing the access charge on rail ticket prices to the airport.

Youth's conviction welcomed over rail near-miss

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2011 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A youth has been ordered to do community service and write an apology to the driver of the Adelaide train.

He was charged over an incident at Mawson Lakes last April, when he crossed the tracks from behind a stationary train into the path of an express train.

Bomb hoax at Riverstone Railway Station

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A PACKAGE that contained a bomb threat found on a train near Riverstone station today was a hoax, police have said.
Traffic was blocked near the station for about 2.5 hours and police and emergency services diverted substantial resources, including the bomb squad, ambulances and state rail staff to the police operation.

OneSteel buys iron ore assets, will expand Whyalla port

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2011 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

ONESTEEL'S $200 million committment to expand its Whyalla port and nearly double iron mining will save hundreds of jobs.

The company said yesterday it would buy an iron project near Coober Pedy - the Peculiar Knob mine which was approved for construction by the State Government only last month - as well as other iron assets owned by WPG Resources.

The move was a strategic decision to harness the growth of iron exports, OneSteel managing director Geoff Plummer said. "This is an opportunity to do that," he said.

Fast trains winning battle with planes in Europe

Posted Wednesday, 24 August, 2011 by The Man in Blue in International Rail News

IN MELBOURNE, French Transport Minister Thierry Mariani said Europeans were increasingly choosing the convenience of fast rail over air travel.

The corridor between Paris and London is no longer the world's busiest air route, with some surveys suggesting 90 per cent of people are choosing to travel by fast rail instead.

Russia approves US$65b Alaska-Siberia rail tunnel project

Posted Thursday, 25 August, 2011 by jcouch in International Rail News

Russia has unveiled an ambitious plan to build the world’s longest tunnel under the Bering Strait as part of a transport corridor linking Europe and America via Siberia and Alaska.

The planned tunnel is 103km long and will connect 3/4 of the northern hemisphere together in a single rail system - effectively allowing you to take a train trip from London to New York. However, the goal appears to be not driven by passenger journeys, but linking the vast Siberian resources to North America.

Melbourne's new trams revealed

Posted Thursday, 25 August, 2011 by nukegrove in Tram and Light Rail News

The prototype of a fleet of 50 new trams that will begin appearing on Melbourne's network from late next year has been unveiled today by Transport Minister Terry Mulder.

Comeback for Kennett-era transport chief

Posted Thursday, 25 August, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

In response to their promise to create a new transport planning agency, the government announces that Ian Dobbs will have a prominent role and will initially be chief executive.

Ararat and Maryborough passengers may now stay on board trains at Ballarat

Posted Thursday, 25 August, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said today that he had resolved a longstanding annoyance for rail passengers using Ararat and Maryborough line trains with V/Line now agreeing to allow travellers to remain on board at Ballarat while train sets were coupled together or divided.

Asciano swings to profit, deems split of businesses not attractive

Posted Thursday, 25 August, 2011 by freightgate in Rail News

RAIL and ports operator Asciano has returned a full-year profit for the first time in three years and suggested a speculated split off its ports and rail businesses was unlikely in the near term.

The company today reported net profit of $145.2 million for the year ended June 30, following a $788.5m loss the previous year. The company was hit by poor weather during the southern wet season and industrial action at its Patrick ports business, but posted a significant improvement in earnings after recording a $1.1 billion one-time accounting charge in 2010.

Asciano, the largest hauler of coal into Newcastle port, the world's largest coal export harbour by volumes, said revenue in the period was $3.06bn, up 7.2 per cent from $2.85bn the previous year.

Taskforce to put $2b light rail plan on track

Posted Friday, 26 August, 2011 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council is working with a local architectural firm to progress a $2 billion light rail network for the region.

The council has approved the formation of the Sunshine Coast Light Rail Taskforce to oversee the development of the line that will operate between Maroochydore and Caloundra within 16 years.

SA rail ops overhaul 'a cabinet matter'

Posted Friday, 26 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

The transport department says while plans are afoot to ensure a significant shift of the movement of freight from road to rail, any restructuring of current rail operations is a policy consideration that will be dealt with by the Cabinet.

The department's statement followed Transnet's announcement that while it welcomed an open debate on the potential separation of its rail operations and infrastructure, the idea would cause panic to investors from whom it had borrowed money for an investment plan for the next five years.

Motorists Urged To Beware of Level Crossing Danger

Posted Friday, 26 August, 2011 by Stew in New South Wales Rail News

NSW motorists have been urged to put their mobile phones away when driving – even when using open country roads.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (NSW) Secretary Alex Claassens today said the distractions such as mobile phones posed a potentially deadly risk for drivers, especially around level crossings.

Asciano shunts port-rail split

Posted Friday, 26 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

ASCIANO'S decision to retain its business structure after a six-month strategic review is expected to overshadow its solid profit result in investor roadshow discussions that kick off today.

Chief executive John Mullen defended the decision to pursue organic growth options and plans to further integrate the three divisions ahead of any sale or demerger of its ports business, which had been widely speculated about in the market.

Young mum dies after being hit by train

Posted Friday, 26 August, 2011 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Friends of a 24-year-old woman who was struck by a train and killed last night watched on in horror as the woman was clipped by the approaching V/Line train, police say.

Oli Tuilau was on her way to a concert with a large group of friends about 7.15pm when she crossed the tracks at Roxburgh Park railway station to go to the toilet.

The Dallas mother was clipped by a city-bound V/Line passenger train and died instantly.

Tweed MP backs rail project

Posted Friday, 26 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Tweed MP Geoff Provest says he remains committed to improving rail services on the New South Wales far north coast.

A report commissioned by the Tweed Shire Council favours improving bus rather than rail services as the best way to boost public transport in the area.

Expert speaks out over controversial rail overhaul

Posted Friday, 26 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

A prominent railway consultant has broken his silence over the poor state of Australia's busiest railway line.

In a move that surprised most rail industry insiders, Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese last week announced a second inquiry within six months into the state of the country's busiest rail line linking Melbourne and Sydney.

The line has been plagued with mud holes, which critics of its operator, the Australian Rail Track Corporation, say have been caused by a bungled billion-dollar re-sleepering program.

2011 Shepparton Model Rail Exhibition

Posted Saturday, 27 August, 2011 by Ross1701 in Rail Events

GV Rail Club, Shepparton, Victoria, will host the 2011 Shepparton Model Railway Exhibition on Saturday and Sunday, September 17th and 18th.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 27/8/2011

Posted Sunday, 28 August, 2011 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 114 sightings for this week. This is 18 sighting less than last week, making a total of 3642 sightings for this year to date. On day 239 last year we had recorded 3339 sightings. This is 303 sightings up on the same time last year.

Commuters rail against rude and untidy workers

Posted Sunday, 28 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

SYDNEY commuters have long railed against late running trains, but now their biggest complaint is how CityRail staff look and act.
Figures obtained by The Sun-Herald show that Central, Town Hall, Parramatta, Wynyard and Strathfield received the most complaints in the past year. And at each of these stations, the most number of complaints were about ''staff behaviour and presentation''.

"Rocky Mountaineer" lockout of on board attendants is entering its third month

Posted Monday, 29 August, 2011 by eminence_grise in Letters to the Editor

"Rocky Mountaineer" lockout of on board attendants is entering its third month.

New York mass transit still halted, unclear when will resume

Posted Monday, 29 August, 2011 by bevans in International Rail News

NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - New York City's mass transit system remained shut down on Sunday afternoon even after Hurricane Irene had roared through, and there was no immediate word on when services would resume. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Sunday that Monday's morning commute will be "tough".

The following are the latest transport updates.

QR National chalks up $350m net profit

Posted Monday, 29 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

QR National has reported a significant jump in profits in its first results since its share market float.

The rail haulage company has recorded a net profit of $350 million in the 12 months to June.

The result is a major turnaround after losses of almost $37 million the previous financial year.

QR National says the result would have been better if not for the Queensland floods, which led to a reduction in coal haulage.

'Pool of blood': rail attack

Posted Monday, 29 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NSW detectives have launched a murder investigation after a 76-year-old man was savagely beaten on a train somewhere between Newcastle and Fassifern stations.

The man died in John Hunter Hospital on Saturday night, less than two days after the attack.

Homicide squad members have joined Lake Macquarie investigators in their hunt for the man's attackers.

Rail chaos after track death

Posted Monday, 29 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Rail services have been suspended on a section of the Epping line this afternoon after an elderly woman was struck by a train and killed in Melbourne's north.

Police said the woman, believed to be in her 70s, was hit by the train near Preston railway station just after 11.30am. She died at the scene.

Provest backs study for rail

Posted Monday, 29 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

TWEED MP Geoff Provest has insisted a $1 million study into rail feasibility for the Tweed will go ahead despite a Tweed Shire Council report announcing bus travel as the best public transport option.

The council's Public Transport Strategy investi- gated various forms of pub- lic transport – heavy rail, light rail and buses – to determine the best options for the future of public transport on the Tweed.

More jobs to go as floods dent earnings at QR

Posted Tuesday, 30 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

THE rail freight company QR National has adopted a cautious approach to the financial year as coal-haulage volumes are yet to recover from the impact of the Queensland floods.

Announcing its maiden full-year result since it was privatised last November, QR National also indicated it was likely to make further redundancies later this year despite already laying off 660 workers.

The coal-hauler reported a net profit from continuing operations of $350 million for the year to June, compared with a $222 million loss a year earlier.

Train travel kept 76-year-old safe from the cold, but not his attackers

Posted Tuesday, 30 August, 2011 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

HIS transient lifestyle drove him to find somewhere warm and safe on freezing winter nights, and this homeless man found solace in the railway system.

He is believed to have become accustomed to travelling the northern line between Central and Newcastle train stations, especially at night, knowing that terminations at either end meant he would never be more than three hours from home.

But it was to prove fatal.

South Morang rail upgrade to finish early

Posted Tuesday, 30 August, 2011 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE South Morang rail extension project is months ahead of schedule and residents are looking forward to an early completion date.
The Epping line will soon extend into the thriving northern suburbs, however Mernda residents are still campaigning for a further extension beyond South Morang.

The South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance members, who have campaigned for more rail infrastructure, hope the extension eases traffic in Plenty Road because more people will be able to catch a train to work.

'Psychic' sought over train sex assault

Posted Tuesday, 30 August, 2011 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

A man with distinctive, pointy front teeth who claimed he had psychic abilities offered to read the palm of a fellow train passenger before sexually assaulting her north-west of Melbourne, police say.

USE MINING CASH FOR HIGH SPEED RAIL: BROWN

Posted Tuesday, 30 August, 2011 by bevans in Rail News

Cash from the resources boom should be used to build a $100 billion rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne, federal Greens leader Bob Brown says.

When a feasibility study was published by the federal government early this month, Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said the plan to link the cities was worth the significant expense and would also cut carbon emissions.

On Tuesday, Senator Brown said funding for the rail link should be drawn from the resources industry, with private enterprise playing a role.

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