News

 

Showing stories from January 2012

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Mining company says uranium in rail spill

Posted Sunday, 1 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

An Australian mining company Oz Minerals says a low level of uranium was contained in copper concentrate which spilled into a Northern Territory river this week.

Oz Minerals estimates it lost about 1,200 tonnes of copper concentrate, when a freight train hit flood waters and plunged into the Edith River, north of Katherine, on Tuesday.

Fire at Clayton station delays trains on Cranbourne line

Posted Sunday, 1 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A FIRE at Clayton Railway Station delayed trains on the Cranbourne line this morning.

Three crews were called to the scene to find the old waiting room alight at 11.30am.

Trains were stopped until noon as fire crews brought the blaze under control.

GWA derailment at Darke Peake

Posted Sunday, 1 January, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Looks like GWA has had another derailment, just south of Darke Peake on the Eyre Peninsular.

 

Front part of the loading being moved to Cummins. Looks minor but heat damage to Track most likely.

WA farmers record bumper grain harvest

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

West Australian grain farmers are set to record the state's second largest harvest.

 

With 90 per cent of the harvest completed, grain handler CBH says they are on target to get 14.3-million tonnes.

Colin Tutt from CBH says although farmers have had high yields, the grain has been poor quality and some will struggle to make a profit.

INQUIRY INTO RAIL DEATH

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Construction company John Holland says it has launched a full inquiry into the death of a worker in Perth.

Police say a rail maintenance vehicle's brakes failed as it was being taken off the tracks, and struck the employee as he worked on the Perth City Link Project.

SCG light rail makes sense, says trust boss

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

AS THE SCG prepares for the start of its 100th Test, SCG Trust chairman Rodney Cavalier said the state government's study into putting in light rail to link the ground with the inner city was crucial in ensuring its charm would be passed on.

Tomorrow, the SCG will join the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Lord's as the only venues to have hosted 100 Test matches.

New tram plan for Bendigo lake

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by DavidB in Tram and Light Rail News

There is a new plan to save a controversial project to extend the Bendigo tourist tram network around Lake Weeroona.

Rivers tested for derailment copper spill spread

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

The Northern Territory Government is testing waters in the Daly River as part of its investigations into the spillage of hundreds of tonnes of a toxic substance in another Top End river.

 

When a Darwin-bound freight train was swept off tracks as it crossed a flooded bridge early on Tuesday, containers carrying the hazardous copper concentrate spilled into the raging Edith River, about 50 kilometres from Katherine.

Green light for tarps to hold uranium

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

COVERING copper concentrate that contained uranium traces by tarpaulins for rail transport was allowed.


The 1200 tonnes of copper concentrate that spilled into the Edith River, 40km northwest of Katherine, contained 0.008 per cent uranium - which could be up to 96kg of the hazardous material.

 

NT Worksafe and Safework SA had allowed OZ Minerals a 12-month exemption from carrying copper concentrate in sealed containers while they were being built. The exemption expired on December 31.

Pioneering Otago rail trail joins national cycleway

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

The pioneering Central Otago cycleway is to be enrolled into the Government's national network of bike trails.

 

The renowned Otago Central Rail Trail along a 156km former rail corridor between Middlemarch and Clyde is seen as a benchmark for 18 other clusters of "great rides" being developed for more than $80 million as Nga Haerenga - the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Toll says NT railway is expensive

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by DavidB in Northern Territory Rail News

A founding freight customer on the Adelaide-to-Darwin railway says it will consider switching back to road transport after a huge hike in charges.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 24/12/2011

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 124 sightings for this week. This is seven sighting more than last week, making a total of 5757 sightings for this year to date. On day 358 last year we had recorded 5043 sightings. This is 714 sightings up on the same time last year.

Train derailment sparks uranium transport fears

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

An environment group says the derailment of a train carrying hazardous substances raises concerns about the transport of uranium through the Northern Territory.

 

A freight train transporting containers of copper concentrate was derailed yesterday after flash floods damaged the railway track north of Katherine yesterday.

Gowrie zoning off the rails

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TRANSPORT Minister Terry Mulder should visit Gowrie station and explain why he won’t place it in zone 1, the State Opposition says.

 

Thomastown state Labor MP Bronwyn Halfpenny called on Mr Mulder to tell Fawkner residents why “they must pay zone 2 public transport fares from a rail station that should clearly be in zone 1”.

 

She described Gowrie’s zoning as an anomaly and an inequity.

Gauges near derailment indicated flooding

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

River level data shows regular updates were being recorded near river crossings where a train derailed and cars were swept off the road in the Northern Territory.

 

Flash flooding at the Edith and Cullen rivers caused chaos last week, when part of a freight train was swept from the Edith River bridge and raging waters pushed a car and caravan into the Cullen River.

 

The Northern Territory Government has river level gauges installed near both bridges.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) tour package for GOA

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

PATNA: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to conduct a tour package for Goa from January 7. The tour package will include seven nights stay in Goa for tourists. The IRCTC has fixed Rs 10,600 per person for this tour package.

Transportation officials explore possible passenger rail expansion in Kan., Okla

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Expanding passenger rail service through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas would cost the federal and state governments hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a recently released study that looked at several proposals for the region.

 

One option it examined would provide nighttime passenger train service between Fort Worth, Texas, and Newton, Kansas. Another would establish daytime service between Fort Worth and Kansas City. Both options would use an existing stretch of Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks that pass through Lawrence, Topeka and Wichita in Kansas as well as Oklahoma City.

UK Rail fares rising from today

Posted Monday, 2 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Rail fares go up by an average of 5.9% on Monday, but some commuters will find their season tickets are rising by almost 11%.

 

Under an annual price-rise formula, regulated fares, which include season tickets, are increasing by an average of 6% on Monday.

 

But compared with January 2011 prices, the cost of a Chester-Crewe annual season ticket goes up 10.6% as does a season ticket for travel between Llandudno and Bangor in Gwynedd.

BHP insists route safe

Posted Tuesday, 3 January, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

BHP Billiton insists the toxic products from its Olympic Dam expansion can be safely transported through central Australia and exported from Darwin, despite a derailment and spill this week adding to environmental concerns about the export route.

Toxic copper concentrate owned by OZ Minerals spilled into the Edith River on Tuesday after bad weather caused a freight train to derail near Katherine, about 320 kilometres south-east of Darwin.

Psychic tips - Train Derailment

Posted Tuesday, 3 January, 2012 by Robuster in Other Transport News

A STABBING in central Albury, train derailment on the Sydney to Melbourne line and a goldmine for Urana are among the predictions for this year being made by a psychic.

Maria Campbell, who is moving from The Rock to Tangambalanga, believes the new year will be dramatic with her other forecasts including an earthquake in New Zealand which will spark a tsunami along the northern NSW coast.

Reader catches Port Pirie train carriage in flames

Posted Tuesday, 3 January, 2012 by homusadarling in South Australian Rail News

AN unused train carriage was gutted yesterday afternoon when a fire broke out at a Port Pirie railyard.

Advertiser reader Ray Bresil captured the blaze on camera as Metropolitan and Country Fire Service crews battled to contain the fire near Wandearah Rd about 3.30pm.

Firms land rail link contract

Posted Tuesday, 3 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE contract for the $885 million Footscray to Deer Park section of Regional Rail Link has been awarded to a consortium.

Thiess, Balfour Beatty, Parson Brinckerhoff and SKM will lay 7.5km of new track.

They will build a new station at West Footscray and upgrade Footscray, Sunshine and Tottenham stations.

Damaged railway line repair work on track

Posted Tuesday, 3 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

The owner and operator of the line where a train derailed in the Northern Territory last week says the route should be re-opened by the end of the month.

The train derailed trying to cross a flooded bridge near Katherine, spilling about 1,200 tonnes toxic copper concentrate into the Edith River and destroying a section of the bridge.

Train turmoil after woman struck

Posted Tuesday, 3 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A woman has been hit by a train in Melbourne's west, causing disruptions to the Sydenham line.

Police said the woman was hit by a train at Tottenham station about 12.20pm. Her injuries were not life-threatening, a police spokesman said.

OM unaffected by Edith River train line

Posted Tuesday, 3 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

OM HOLDINGS says a freight train derailment in the Northern Territory will have no major impact on production or revenue.

People would work 24/7 to fix the Edith River Bridge, north of Katherine, after the Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) freight train derailment on December 27, the miner said.

OM Holdings said the Darwin-bound train was not carrying any OM Holdings manganese product from the Bootu Creek Manganese Mine at the time.

Oakajee sale in shareholders best interest - independent expert report

Posted Tuesday, 3 January, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

AN independent expert report recommends Murchison Metals shareholders approve a $325 million plan to sell its major assets to Japan's Mitsubishi Corp, highlighting the risk of a corporate collapse if the deal is rejected.

The KPMG report, released today, said Murchison would be in an "extremely vulnerable position, both operationally and financially" if the sale was not approved at a February 13 meeting.

RailCorp awards train maintenance contract

Posted Wednesday, 4 January, 2012 by urailes0623 in New South Wales Rail News

RailCorp has awarded a $1.4 billion contract to UGL Unipart Rail Services Pty Ltd (a
joint venture between UGL Limited and Unipart Rail) to manage heavy maintenance
and logistics for 1050 cars in RailCorp’s fleet, Chief Executive Rob Mason
announced today.

Travelling on Australia's longest train journey

Posted Wednesday, 4 January, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Most of my images of inter-city train travel have come from TV, usually reruns of movies. Orient Express. Wild West. Improbable action heroes performing impossible stunts along the roofs of locomotives traversing precipitous European Alps.

It is the absence of TV, and other distracting media that defines the actual experience of Australia's longest train voyage, the overwhelmingly flat Indian Pacific coast-to-coast journey from Sydney to Perth.

Dispute threatens future of Outer Harbor

Posted Wednesday, 4 January, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

THE State Government is standing back in the pay dispute between stevedoring company DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia.

DP World employees returned to work this morning after a 24-hour lockout yesterday.

Industrial Relations Minister Russell Wortley said the two parties had indicated their intentions to resolve the issue and would be left to reach an agreement.

"I spoke to both parties yesterday and they both expressed the view that they are very keen to get a resolution to this enterprise bargaining agreement," he said.

TransLink under pressure to boost 2013 rail service

Posted Wednesday, 4 January, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Public transport activist Gavin Seipelt has his fingers crossed the State Government will shout commuters a New Year's gift by boosting service frequencies on the Richlands to Springfield railway line.

It is understood Queensland Rail plans to run services every 15 minutes during peak times, doubling the interval to 30 minutes in off-peak periods when the line is in operation in 2013.

QR investigates rowdy Roar fans stoppage

Posted Thursday, 5 January, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail will review audio and video recordings as part of an investigation into a driver halting a train in frustration at singing football fans.

Queensland Rail's acting chief Martin Ryan said the stopping of a passenger train on Monday night between Gold Coast stations was a safety breach and would be fully examined.

The driver halted the train about 30 seconds after leaving Robina station about 10pm (AEST) on Boxing Day.

Toll hikes freight costs to cover switch to roads

Posted Thursday, 5 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

A major transport company says it is increasing its charges for carrying freight to the Northern Territory by 30 per cent.

The move comes after flooding in the Katherine region caused a train to derail last week, damaging the Adelaide to Darwin line.

Australia's largest transport company, Toll Holdings, says the surcharge will apply to freight between the Territory and Adelaide and Melbourne.

The company says it has been forced to transfer its rail freight to road services and needs to recover the additional costs until the rail line is repaired.

Bumper harvest stuck in silos

Posted Thursday, 5 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIA'S neglected freight rail network is crippling the state's ability to reap the full benefit of bumper grain harvests, with millions of tonnes of export grain languishing in remote silos.

report by the state Transport Department has found that a lack of investment during more than 10 years of drought has left the state's freight rail infrastructure ailing and overstretched.

Heavy trucks have been filling the breach, damaging country roads and exacerbating urban congestion.

Travellers train anger on tweets

Posted Thursday, 5 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A STORM of online abuse rained down on metropolitan train operator Metro yesterday over its decision to stop using Twitter to update passengers about minor train delays.

Scores of Metro's 10,000 Twitter followers vented their anger at the change on the social network site yesterday. News about minor train delays - meaning delays of less than 20 minutes - is now solely published on Metro's website.

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said it was a backwards step for Metro, which had previously taken a progressive approach to social media.

California high-speed rail funding could be in jeopardy

Posted Friday, 6 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

The Legislature should not authorize the issuance of $2.7 billion in bonds to start building California's $98.5-billion bullet train project, a state-appointed review panel says in a key report to be released later Tuesday.

The conclusion by the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group is a serious blow to the project as it is currently designed because state law specifically empowered the group to make recommendation before any serious money on the train could be spent.

Dock lock set to rock grain

Posted Friday, 6 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE agribusiness industry has warned that a planned 48-hour shutdown of Melbourne's port early next week could delay dairy and grain exports, potentially jeopardising key contracts.

The United Dairyfarmers of Victoria said the shutdown caused by the pay impasse between port operator DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia would slow export shipments.

The Swanson Dock West container terminal, which handles dairy exports of about $2 billion a year, could be closed by a planned 24-hour strike from Sunday night and reciprocal 24-hour company lockout.

Record coal exports for Hunter

Posted Friday, 6 January, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Newcastle Port Corporation CEO Gary Webb says record coal export figures are due to all stakeholders working together on the Hunter's coal chain network.

There were record figures for December while the total coal export figure for 2011 was just over 114 million tonnes - up 11 per cent on the previous year.

The trade is worth nearly $13 billion.

Wimmera and Victoria suffering from 'antiquated' rail system

Posted Friday, 6 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FARMERS across the Wimmera and the rest of Victoria are suffering from a lack of investment in Victoria's rail freight network.

The Victorian Transport Department 'Grain Logistics Taskforce Report' released this week found the State Government needed to invest further in rail and recommends converting Victoria's rail freight network from broad gauge to standard gauge like the rest of the country to improve efficiency.

The report noted the rail problem meant about 30 per cent of the state's bumper 2010-11 harvest was still in storage and earning no money for growers, a problem which would be further exacerbated by this season's predicted 6.2-million-tonne harvest.

Dimboola to Rainbow rail line due to open

Posted Friday, 6 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V-LINE hopes to open the Dimboola to Rainbow rail line this month.

Victorian Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder announced in September the State Government and GrainCorp would invest $6.3 million to reopen the 66-kilometre section between the towns by late December.

The line was temporarily reopened in 2010 but was last used to regularly haul grain in 2006.

V-Line spokesman James Kelly said works were 'virtually finished' but the line was not ready to be reopened.

He said V-Line had hoped to open the line last year.

The roads mass travelled

Posted Saturday, 7 January, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Andrew West eschews the car for the region's most picturesque public transport journeys.

Let me share a secret. The biggest rift - the only rift - in my marriage is not over religion, politics or money. It's over public transport.

My wife is a daily bus rider but grimaces every time she gets on board. She loves the car and cannot understand how I can adore mass transit.

Edith River Bridge repairs on track to finish

Posted Saturday, 7 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

The high-level bridge at the Edith River crossing in the Northern Territory is likely to re-open in a week.

The Stuart Highway north of Katherine was badly damaged during flash flooding last week, when a train derailed at the crossing.

A Department of Construction and Infrastructure spokeswoman says the low-level and Cullen bridges will be sealed early next week.

Dispute deepens over container port

Posted Saturday, 7 January, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

South Australia risks losing its only shipping container business if strike action at the Port Adelaide terminal continues, Shipping Australia says.

Workers employed by company DP World returned to work this morning after the company locked them out on Monday because of a weekend strike.

Shipping Australia represents ship owners and businesses from across the country.

HS2: High-speed rail link 'to be approved'

Posted Sunday, 8 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

A government-backed report has given the clearest signal yet that a new high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham will be approved.

The Network Rail review has looked at two alternatives, favoured by many opponents of the £17bn HS2 scheme.

It concludes both will cause major disruption without solving the longer-term need for greater capacity.

Miner ordered to clean up train spill

Posted Sunday, 8 January, 2012 by Galron in Northern Territory Rail News

A mining company has been ordered to clean up the site of a train derailment in the Northern Territory.

Back in business as waterfront dispute ends

Posted Sunday, 8 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

INDUSTRY has cautiously welcomed a breakthrough in the damaging dispute between maritime workers and container operator DP World which had threatened to cripple the Port of Melbourne over the next two days.

The container port at West Swanson dock will operate normally today after eight months of industrial action ended with DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia agreeing in-principle to improve productivity at five container ports across Australia.

Heavy snow causes Austrian transport chaos

Posted Sunday, 8 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Heavier than usual snowfall and high winds have caused chaos on roads and railways in many areas of Austria.

About 1.2 metres of fresh snow has fallen, closing sections of highway and isolating some towns since Thursday. Avalanche risk is extreme as more snow is forecast in the coming days.

After 40-Year Battle, Train May Roll for Oahu

Posted Sunday, 8 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

KAPOLEI, Hawaii — From the farmlands here on the western side of Oahu, the hotels of Honolulu and the bluffs of Diamond Head can be seen rising 20 miles in the distance. This is rural Hawaii: waves and coastline on one side, lush mountains on the other and barely a building or vehicle in sight.

The 2011 traffic counts have been tallied, and North American railroads expand

Posted Sunday, 8 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

The 2011 traffic counts have been tallied, and North American railroads posted year-over-year gains in overall carloads, and trailers and containers carried, as well as many commodity groups, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

U.S. railroads originated 15.2 million carloads and 11.9 million trailers and containers in 2011, up 2.2 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, compared with 2010.

In addition, railroads posted traffic increases in 14 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by AAR. The largest gains were: metallic ores, up 20.5 percent; primary metal products, up 12 percent; and petroleum products, up 11.1 percent. Grain traffic had the biggest carload decline, down 2.4 percent year over year.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 31/12/2011

Posted Sunday, 8 January, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 89 sightings for this week. This is 35 sighting less than last week, making a total of 5846 sightings for this year. On day 365 last year we had recorded 5100 sightings. This is 746 sightings up on the same time last year.

Year Total

2000 = 6226.
2001 = 6243.
2002 = 5893.
2003 = 4338.
2004 = 6034.
2005 = 5275.
2006 = 5973.
2007 = 5350.
2008 = 5077
2009 = 4456.
2010 = 5100
2011 = 5846

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 7/1/2012

Posted Sunday, 8 January, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 96 sightings for this week. This is seven sighting more than last week, making a total of 96 sightings for this year to date. On day 7 last year we had recorded 73 sightings. This is 23 sightings up on the same time last year.

Amtrak brings history on rails to Fort Worth

Posted Sunday, 8 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

FORT WORTH — Amtrak is traveling the country to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its passenger rail service.

The exhibit train rolled into Fort Worth's Intermodal Station, offering a unique showcase of Amtrak history from past menus to personnel uniforms.

There is also a kids' activity area called Chuggington Depot, based on the hit Disney show.

NSW residents brace for hail, floods

Posted Monday, 9 January, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

RESIDENTS in northern New South Wales have been warned to brace for large hailstones, flash floods, heavy rain and strong winds.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning shortly before 10pm (AEDT), telling people to be prepared in the major coastal cities of Newcastle and Gosford, along with the northern inland towns of Tamworth, Gunnedah, Moree and Narrabri.

Woman indecently assaulted after exiting tram

Posted Monday, 9 January, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

A WOMAN has been indecently assaulted after being followed off a tram by a man in Melbourne's north.

Detectives have been told a woman was riding a tram on Sydney Rd in Coburg just before midnight on December 30 when she noticed an unknown man staring at her.

The 29-year-old woman exited the tram at O'Hea St and Sydney Rd, crossed the street and headed north on Sydney Rd.

Yobs face public transport ban

Posted Monday, 9 January, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

PUBLIC transport troublemakers who refuse to curb their behaviour will for the first time be banned from city trains, trams and buses, in a crackdown by the Transport Department.

Incidents such as a king-hit on a train conductor captured on CCTV in November have prompted the Government to draw up a "hit list" of Adelaide's worst public transport menaces.

Starting this month, the department will begin prosecuting a group of 12 repeat offenders responsible for multiple offences such as fare evasion and antisocial, indecent or violent behaviour.

One man targeted in the crackdown has more than 50 previous convictions for failing to pay fares.

Monorail likely to go in tourism revamp

Posted Monday, 9 January, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The state's top infrastructure advisers are encouraging developers planning Sydney's new convention centre precinct to tear down the much-maligned monorail.

Infrastructure NSW is drafting plans to redevelop the Darling Harbour Convention Centre in partnership with one of three consortiums on a shortlist for the multimillion-dollar building contract.

Rail Corridor re-opens for public use from Monday

Posted Monday, 9 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

The Rail Corridor - the snaking, 26km tract of former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway land - is open to the public from Monday, with the exception of four areas.

For the past half-year, the authorities had been removing old railway tracks and equipment as well as levelling and turfing over the land parcel, which runs from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands.

‘No pants’ light rail ride: Seattle goes pantless for a day

Posted Monday, 9 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

There’s a funny thing that happens when people take their pants off in public.

No one — none of the pantless people, anyway — wants to tell you their name.

Sure, they’ll tell you why they decided to get on a trail full of passengers and strip to their boxers. They’ll tell you it’s fun, a great way to meet people, the only time they can get away with riding the rails sans pants.

Tourists rail against push to demolish monorail

Posted Monday, 9 January, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

It is much maligned by Sydneysiders, but the tourists who actually use the city's monorail says it should be spared from the wrecking ball.

A redevelopment of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre has reignited debate about whether the service should be scrapped.

The elevated single-rail service was labelled a white elephant even before trains began running in 1988.

Premier embraces light rail network

Posted Tuesday, 10 January, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

BARRY O'FARRELL has given the clearest sign yet that he will expand Sydney's tram network, saying work should begin on a light rail project in the city or eastern suburbs before the next election.

In a wide-ranging interview to mark the start of a new year in power, the Premier defended the pace of progress since his election in March and said he aimed to deliver ''stable, mainstream, competent government''.

Super highways aren't the answer but rail may be

Posted Tuesday, 10 January, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

More deaths on the highway, more calls for big spending to stop more happening (''Truck slams into house, killing sleeping boy'', January 9). New roads are the panacea to stopping more road accidents, or are they?

Metro cuts peak-hour paramedics at rail stations

Posted Tuesday, 10 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

METRO Trains has axed morning peak-hour paramedic services across the metropolitan railway network as a cost-cutting measure that will save millions of dollars each year.

The rail network operator last week terminated a deal with St John Ambulance to provide first-aid responder units - teams of highly trained paramedic staff qualified to provide specialised medical assistance - at Caulfield and Footscray railway stations.

Metro has also reduced the number of first-aid responder units at Richmond station from two to one during peak hour.

UK High-speed rail link HS2 set to be approved today

Posted Tuesday, 10 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

The controversial £32 billion HS2 high-speed rail project will be given the green light by the Government today.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening will give the go-ahead to the scheme which, in its first phase, will run through picturesque Tory heartlands from London to Birmingham.

It is thought she will announce more measures to mitigate the worst effects of the line which will see passengers travelling at 225mph as the London to Birmingham journey time comes down to 49 minutes.

Initially put forward by Labour, HS2 has been strongly supported by the coalition Government, the rail industry and big business.

High-speed rail stops to be this next year

Posted Tuesday, 10 January, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says Albury and Shepparton will find out this year if they will be stops on a proposed east coast high-speed rail service.

Both cities were revealed as potential stops, in the first stage of a study into high speed rail linking Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.

Planners want to discard Grapevine route for rail project

Posted Tuesday, 10 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Planners of California's high-speed rail project want to discard a more direct route from Los Angeles to Bakersfield over the Grapevine and continue development of a sweeping dogleg through Palmdale and Lancaster.

Though the option was ruled out in 2005, the Interstate 5-Grapevine corridor was revived for further study last May after state officials and some transportation experts thought it would save billions in construction costs and up to 12 minutes of travel time between Los Angeles and the train's ultimate destination: the Bay Area.

Britain's high-speed rail given green light

Posted Tuesday, 10 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Britain's government on Tuesday approved the construction of a high-speed rail network linking London with cities in central and northern England from 2026 at a cost of almost 33 billion pounds ($49.4 billion).

Supporters of High Speed 2 (HS2), which will see journey times between London and Britain's second biggest city Birmingham slashed to 49 minutes from around 1.5 hours now, say it will boost Britain's economy in both the short and long term.

Opponents argue it is too expensive and that building a new rail line carrying trains travelling 360 kilometres-per-hour will scar England's countryside.

Rail closure blamed for truck rollover

Posted Wednesday, 11 January, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Farming groups claim a serious rollover involving a grain truck yesterday highlights the need for the government to overturn its decision to close rail lines across the state's Wheatbelt. Farmers have been protesting against the closure of 700 kilometres of tier three rail lines for months, claiming it will result in an extra 85,000 truck movements on WA roads every year, increasing the chance of more serious or fatal road accidents.

Tram push for Western Sydney

Posted Wednesday, 11 January, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Western Sydney is pushing to be included in any New South Wales Government plans to expand Sydney's light rail network.

Parramatta City Council is seeking funding for a feasibility study on an ambitious plan to improve access between north and south in Sydney's west.

Lord Mayor Lorraine Wearne says the first stage should be a $3-billion, 44-kilometre network with links stretching from Castle Hill to Bankstown.

CityRail services not affected by Sydney Harbour Bridge closure

Posted Wednesday, 11 January, 2012 by urailes0623 in New South Wales Rail News

The Sydney Harbour Bridge will be closed to motorists for up to three weekends in January to allow for major resurfacing of the bridge deck and approaches.

China Spurs $115 Billion Australia Port, Rail Boom: Freight

Posted Thursday, 12 January, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Australia is set for an A$112 billion ($115 billion) infrastructure boom as the nation adds ports and railways to feed China and India’s appetite for coal and iron ore.

The largest exporter of the key steelmaking materials will build enough railroads to stretch from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles over the next decade, as well as a new port on the Great Barrier Reef coast that will dwarf the world’s biggest bulk harbor. The projects will near-double global coal trade and add 57 percent to the market for seaborne iron ore.

“There is so much opportunity here,” said Philippe Bouquet, Australia construction head at French builder Bouygues SA. “People in Paris are very impressed. They say: ‘23 million people? How can they do so much?’”

Now surf the net on Airport Metro free of cost

Posted Friday, 13 January, 2012 by freightgate in International Rail News

The Delhi Airport Metro Express will launch wi-fi connectivity at all its stations on Friday, providing seamless Internet connectivity to commuters using the service.

“Since internet connectivity has become a basic necessity these days, Airport Metro Express is facilitating its commuters with wi-fi connection,” said a spokesperson of Reliance Infrastructure, the concessionaire that operates the line. It has tied up with You Broadband to provide the wi-fi connectivity.Initially, the facility will be available free of cost to passengers, and in- train broadband connectivity will also be provided soon, said the spokesperson.

Coroner urges alarm upgrade over train door failure fatality

Posted Friday, 13 January, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

A CORONER has recommended Metro trains be upgraded after the horrific death of a passenger at Melbourne Central station.

Paul Johnston was dragged 120m along the platform before falling beneath the train in front of shocked onlookers who had scrambled to the train's emergency intercom systems in failed attempts to alert the driver.

Coroner Iain West found last month that problems with the intercom system and a fault involving a door monitoring system contributed to the death, along with the actions of Mr Johnston, who was drunk and abusing prescription medications at the time.

Ex-exec cleared in Japan train crash that killed 107

Posted Friday, 13 January, 2012 by freightgate in International Rail News

TOKYO (AFP) - The former president of one of Japan's biggest rail operators was Wednesday cleared of responsibility for a crash that claimed 107 lives when a speeding commuter train smashed into an apartment building.

Masao Yamazaki was found not guilty of professional negligence over the 2005 smash, which happened when a train jumped the tracks on a tight bend during the morning rush hour and ploughed into a residential tower.

The driver and 106 passengers died in the accident, which also left 550 people injured in Japan's worst rail disaster for four decades.

High speed rail will hit house values

Posted Friday, 13 January, 2012 by freightgate in International Rail News

Property prices along the recently planned HS2 rail link have plunged 15% to 30% since the route was proposed in December 2010 and they will likely worsen, claims Richard Sexton director of e.surv.

Teenager graffiti artist killed by train

Posted Friday, 13 January, 2012 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

A teenager killed by a train in Sydney's inner west may have been spraying graffiti, police say.

Officers were called to Lewisham railway station shortly after 9.30pm (AEDT) on Wednesday following reports a train driver had hit something.

An 18-year-old man's body was found in the tunnel of the West Street overpass.

It is believed he may have been spraying graffiti inside the tunnel with friends when he was hit.

NSW pressured to sell its Snowy Hydro share

Posted Friday, 13 January, 2012 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Government is facing renewed pressure to privatise its share of Snowy Hydro and re-invest the proceeds into infrastructure.

The state owns 58 per cent of the scheme, along with the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments.

When the NSW Government completes its planned sale of its coal-fired generators, Snowy Hydro will be the last remaining publicly owned power source in south-eastern Australia.

Brendan Lyon from the lobby group Infrastructure Partnerships Australia says selling the asset off makes sense.

Amtrak buying new locomotives, rail cars

Posted Friday, 13 January, 2012 by freightgate in International Rail News

Amtrak this year will pay $466 million for 70 new locomotives to enhance the speed and reliability of rail service in the Northeast corridor and invest another $298 million in 130 new rail cars to serve the East Coast and Midwest.

The new equipment will be a major upgrade for a system that now operates with locomotives that are 20 to 30 years old and some sleeper cars that are 60 years old, Amtrak President Joe Boardman said in announcing the federally subsidized passenger rail line’s plans for 2012.

No ACT submission to rail study: Greens

Posted Friday, 13 January, 2012 by freightgate in Rail News

Commonwealth Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has dismissed Greens' criticism that the ACT Government has not made a submission to a federal study into high-speed rail.

He said the ACT Government was represented on the Government's formal reference group, and it was not a matter on which governments had to lobby but to determine what would work.

The first stage of a feasibility study into a high-speed rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne had identified a station would be either at Canberra Airport or in Civic.

ACT Greens transport spokeswoman Amanda Bresnan said she had asked the ACT Government last year to present a proposal to the Federal Government on the prioritised construction of the Canberra stages of the route.

Freight chaos as truckers shift Top End supplies

Posted Friday, 13 January, 2012 by freightgate in Northern Territory Rail News

Supplies to Darwin are being delayed because of congestion in the town of Katherine, the Northern Territory Opposition says.

The rail link between Darwin and Katherine was cut when a train derailed at the Edith River crossing during flash flooding last month.

All freight now has to come to Darwin by road.

Opposition member for Katherine, Willem Westra van Holthe says the freight transfer station near the town, 300 kilometres south of Darwin, is filled with road trains.

Metro Trains tackles Graffiti Vandals

Posted Sunday, 15 January, 2012 by XStrap in Victorian Rail News

We all dislike graffiti vandals and the way they disfigure and mutilate the trains of this great state of Victoria. Graffiti costs momney to remove and manage. Costs in relation to the removal of Graffiti are bourne by all passengers.

METRO have an organisation that investigates all graffiti crime against its fleet, which is the Asset Protection Unit.  The Asset Protection Unit is 

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 14/1/2012

Posted Sunday, 15 January, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 92 sightings for this week. This is four sighting less than last week, making a total of 188 sightings for this year to date. On day 14 last year we had recorded 159 sightings. This is 29 sightings up on the same time last year.

A small town back on track

Posted Sunday, 15 January, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

There is an argument that any country town can be turned into a major tourist attraction. All that is needed is lots of money.

Think of the $12 million poured into Longreach to build the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame; the millions Lord McAlpine spent building his Cable Beach resort in Broome; and the way the five-star El Questro Homestead turned an isolated property on the Gibb River Road into a destination in the Kimberley.

Tram driver who lived for the job was 'last of his kind'

Posted Sunday, 15 January, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

IF THE tram is Melbourne's most iconic object, Lenny Bates is the man who would be best qualified to drive it.

Mr Bates, who died this week of pancreatic cancer, aged 81, ferried tram travellers around Melbourne for more than 55 years, reluctantly calling it a day just a few weeks ago.

Colleagues who gathered at the Kew depot to farewell him say he was ''the last of his kind'', a tram driver who lived for the job, and whose devotion to his passengers was almost fanatical.

Huntingdale station to remain neglected

Posted Sunday, 15 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

LEADING transport groups have united to demand a solution to ongoing problems at Huntingdale Railway Station.

The Road User Collaborative - which includes Metro trains, Yarra Trams and the RACV - is pushing for improvements at Monash’s most notorious station.

Problems include pedestrian safety, poor bike storage and its constantly overflowing carparks.

RACV public policy general manager Brian Negus said the station had been neglected despite being a key link to Melbourne’s southeast.

Spain's high-speed rail system offers lessons for California

Posted Sunday, 15 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

MADRID -- It's 8 a.m. at the Puerto de Atocha train station in central Madrid. Business travelers armed with cellphones and laptops, and pleasure travelers toting cameras and carry-on bags, make their way through security to board the high-speed trains that connect Spain's capital to cities across the nation.

The sprawling station, which dates to the 1890s, serves not only the AVE, or Alta Velocidad Espanola high-speed trains, but also the city's metro subway and commuter trains. It sits amid a bustling district of offices, hotels, restaurants, museums and other businesses.

Tram workshop revamp revealed

Posted Sunday, 15 January, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The Bendigo Trust says a major overhaul of the city's tram workshop has been a big win for the organisation.

A total of $3.1 million has been spent renovating the site and the work was officially opened yesterday.

The historic tram depot is one of city's most popular tourist attractions and it reopened to visitors just before Christmas.

Train union boss banned

Posted Monday, 16 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TRAIN drivers' union boss Marc Marotta has been banned from Metro premises for three months after claims he had a scuffle with a staff member.

Metro applied to Fair Work Australia for the ban when train driver Geoff Zlabek alleged Mr Marotta threatened to kill him, grabbed both his arms and kicked him last June.

Mr Marotta, the Victorian secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union locomotive branch, denied the allegations.

Government spruiks Townsville rail upgrade

Posted Monday, 16 January, 2012 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Government says a $300 million upgrade of the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line will make exporting minerals from the north-west more efficient.

A preliminary study released today has found building a new rail corridor south of Townsville is feasible and would improve access to the city's port.

The Government is seeking expressions of interest from private investors to build, own and operate the infrastructure.

Study backs Townsville rail freight system upgrade

Posted Monday, 16 January, 2012 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

A proposed major upgrade to Townsville's rail freight system can be built, will be profitable and will deliver far-reaching benefits to the north, according to a new study.

Premier Anna Bligh, Main Roads Minister and Member for Thuringowa Craig Wallace today released findings of a preliminary evaluation study into the proposed Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor (TEARC) project - delivering on a Townsville Futures Plan commitment.

“As part of our long-term vision for the north’s economic future, we commissioned this study to determine if a rail line connecting the Port of Townsville with the North Coast and Mt Isa lines was feasible,” the Premier says.

“That study is complete, we know this project is economically viable and the Queensland Government is ready to work with industry to make it happen.

Pacific National scores another Rio Tinto coal contract

Posted Monday, 16 January, 2012 by freightgate in Rail News

Asciano's Pacific National Coal haulage business will haul an extral 8.5 million tonnes per annum of coal for two Rio Tinto mines in Queensland.

The port and rail operator says its new 10 year take or pay contract will see Pacific National snare the movement of 8 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from Rio Tinto Australia’s Hail Creek mine and 0.5mtpa from its Kestrel coal mine in central Queensland.

In a cheeky snub to its rival QR National, the company says the deal represents additional tonnages to Asciano’s existing haulage arrangements with Rio Tinto in the state.

Unipart wins $1.4 billion Railcorp contract

Posted Monday, 16 January, 2012 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

British company, Unipart Rail, together with joint venture partner, UGL Limited, has won a $1.4 billion contract to provide fleet maintenance and logistics services to RailCorp in Sydney.

The two companies will provide heavy maintenance, engineering, procurement and logistics management services for 1,050 of Sydney’s passenger car fleet.

RailCorp controls public transport services in New South Wales, along with interstate passenger services.

Buswell chastised for closure of grain rail lines

Posted Monday, 16 January, 2012 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

The West Australian Government has come under attack for closing the Wheatbelt grain rail lines following yesterday’s grain truck rollover between Quairading and York.

The driver was trapped in his cabin for several of hours after colliding with another truck east of Beverley about 9am.

Western Australian Farmers Federation President Mike Norton believes road safety in farming regions is being ignored by the government and says the crash highlights the risk motorists face as rail transport and rail rolling stock options are stretched.

Rail icon Indian Pacific slashes services

Posted Monday, 16 January, 2012 by freightgate in Rail News

ICONIC Australian rail icon the Indian Pacific is under threat and will slash services to stay afloat.

The world-famous train linking Western Australia with the eastern states via the Nullarbor Plain is battling competition from low-cost airlines and the cruise ship market, amid slumping tourism and a high Australian dollar.

But its owner, Great Southern Railway, says China could come to the rescue as visitor numbers from the US, Britain and Europe drop.

GSR has been forced to cut back services on the Indian Pacific, which runs between Perth and Sydney via Adelaide, dropping back to one service a week from March 28 two months earlier than it usually scales back for the low season.

Sick drivers put brakes on trains with cancellations on most lines

Posted Monday, 16 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

UPDATE 7pm: A SHORTAGE of drivers has forced train operator Metro to cancel scores of services across its network today.

At least 13 outbound and five city-bound peak services tonight have been scrapped after an abnormally high number of drivers called in sick.

Another nine outbound and five inbound services were due to be cancelled after 7pm.

It was unclear if the driver absenteeism was related to the ongoing war between Metro and the drivers union or a combination of sick leave, school holidays and sunny weather.

Australia the slow coach in starting fast trains

Posted Monday, 16 January, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

AUSTRALIA is lagging behind much of the rest of the world as more countries turn to high-speed trains to meet their future long-distance transport needs, according to the Australasian Railway Association.

''Australia is the only continent apart from Antarctica that doesn't have a high-speed rail network,'' its chief executive, Brian Nye, said. ''The time has come.''

Mr Nye pointed to a recent report from the Worldwatch Institute in Washington which found that by 2015 high-speed trains would be operating in 24 countries, compared with 14 today, as evidence Australia was behind the times.

Many trains cancelled and things were crook

Posted Tuesday, 17 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WERE you crook your train didn't run yesterday? A high sickness rate among Metro's train drivers was given as the reason for a spate of cancelled services across Melbourne.

At least 50 trains did not run because 16 drivers phoned in sick. Most cancellations affected services in the afternoon peak period and last night, which meant thousands were home late.

Another nine drivers were on annual leave, putting a strain on the network, Metro said.

Mount Isa Line Upgrade Proposal

Posted Tuesday, 17 January, 2012 by Big J in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Government says a $300 million upgrade of the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line will make exporting minerals from the north-west more efficient.

A preliminary study released today has found building a new rail corridor south of Townsville is feasible and would improve access to the city's port.

Rail lines warning after teenager's death in Sydney

Posted Tuesday, 17 January, 2012 by freightgate in South Australian Rail News

PEDESTRIANS, cyclists and motorists returning to school or work have been urged to take care near railway lines after the death of a teenager who was spraying graffiti in a railway tunnel in Sydney last week.

Australasian Railway Association chief executive Bryan Nye is urging anyone travelling near railway lines to be vigilant.

"The tragic death of a young man from Abbotsford last week is an example of the catastrophic consequences that can result from trespassing on railway lines," Mr Nye said.

Sinkhole stops port rail services

Posted Tuesday, 17 January, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Rail transport at the Geraldton Port has been suspended while Karara Mining investigates what caused a sinkhole to appear near its operations.

The sinkhole has appeared near where Karara is constructing in-loading facilities.

Cross river plan puts Queensland Rail off track as only provider

Posted Tuesday, 17 January, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

OPENING the State's rail network up to greater competition could help fast-track major infrastructure projects, the proponents behind an ambitious Cross River Rail alternative say.

A report into public transport in Queensland, commissioned by the Council of Mayors (Southeast Queensland), has suggested introducing another operator to the rail network to avoid Queensland Rail's monopoly "stifling" innovation.

"A number of the great urban public transport systems have more than one operator on their network," the report states.

Train derailment copper concentrate recovered

Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

The Northern Territory Environment Department says some of the copper concentrate which contaminated the Edith River is being sent back to South Australia.

A train derailed last month at the Edith River bridge near Katherine, 300 kilometres south of Darwin, spilling up to 1,200 tonnes of the toxic substance into the river.

The department says kibbles and copper concentrate have been found covered in sand and rubble close to the damaged rail bridge.

“We’ve done a lot of work improving vital infrastructure and streamlining day-to

Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

For customers travelling to the 2012  Australian Open we've got plenty of services to get you there and home again. If you're travelling home from a night time session please be aware of the last train services to depart from Flinders Street.

 To view the last train times click here Metro last trains for the Australia Open

Cable theft causes major rail delays

Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Thousands of rail passengers suffered travel chaos this morning following a cable theft, leading to huge disruption into London’s Waterloo station.

The cable theft in the Basingstoke area resulted in severe signalling problems early this morning.

This was followed by a cracked rail just outside Waterloo, meaning services were heavily delayed and are still being affected.

The cracked rail line means emergency engineering works are causing disruption between Vauxhall and London Waterloo.

Metro performance on target

Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Metro enters the New Year on a solid footing after rounding out 2011 by exceeding performance targets for the seventh consecutive month.

The number of trains running on time in December 2011 was 89.81 per cent and the number of services delivered was 98.36 per cent.

Metro Corporate Relations general manager Leah Waymark says the result is the culmination of a year of consolidation.

Changes to CityRail fares

Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) today announced a fare increase to take effect from Monday 2 January 2012.

Single MyTrain tickets will increase in price between 20 cents and 40 cents. MyTrain weekly tickets will increase in price between $1 and $3.

We recommend customers allow extra time to purchase their ticket on Tuesday 3 January 2012, as many people will be returning to work.

The table below outlines the changes to CityRail fares. Fare calculator data on this website will be updated when the changes are introduced.

Fake crime fighter is a swindler on the loose

Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2012 by Henry in Press Releases

A CON artist who posed as a federal agent and sexually assaulted a prisoner is swindling his way across the country.

Indonesia tries to deter "rail surfing"

Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesia has gone to imaginative extremes to try to stop commuters from illegally riding the roofs of trains: hosing down the scofflaws with red paint, threatening them with dogs, and appealing for help from religious leaders.

Now, authorities have an intimidating and possibly even deadly new tactic: suspending rows of grapefruit-sized concrete balls to rake over the top of trains as they pull out of stations or go through rail crossings.

Authorities hope the balls - which could deliver serious blows to the head - will deter defiant roof riders.

Worst rail death traps to get chop

Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

TWO of the three worst Central Queensland rail crossings will be wiped out due to the $50 million Gracemere road and rail overpass.

Construction started yesterday with Queensland Premier Anna Bligh on site to turn the first sod.

Also yesterday QR National vice-president of network operations Clay McDonald announced the corporation would put $10 million into the $50 million Gracemere Industrial Access Project as it would eliminate two of the three worst railway crossings in the region.

Granville train victims remembered

Posted Thursday, 19 January, 2012 by urailes0623 in New South Wales Rail News

Anne Bowers says her hate for cigarette smoke helped save her life in Australia's worst rail disaster.

She was one of hundreds aboard a Sydney-bound train from Mount Victoria when it derailed and crashed into the Bold Street overpass at Granville, in Sydney's west, on January 18, 1977.

Eighty-three people were killed and over 210 injured after the bridge collapsed and crushed two passenger carriages.

Cut-price rail plan 'thought bubble': Albanese

Posted Thursday, 19 January, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A plan for a cut-price alternative to the underground Cross River Rail project has been described as a “thought bubble” by Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese.

However, the plan received the backing of Redlands Mayor Melva Hobson, whose constituents would be well-served by the light rail “Cleveland solution” proposed by the Southeast Queensland Council of Mayors.

But Mr Albanese had his reservations.

Car clipped by tilt train at crossing

Posted Friday, 20 January, 2012 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

A driver escaped serious injury after his car was hit by a tilt train at a level crossing in north Queensland this morning.

The north-bound train clipped the back of the vehicle on a crossing on Knobels Road at Farleigh, 10 kilometres north of Mackay, just before 7:30am (AEST).

Miner switches to sealed containers after spill

Posted Friday, 20 January, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

A mining company that ships hazardous substances through the ports of Darwin and Adelaide says it is spending $15 million to upgrade its transport infrastructure.

Oz Minerals lost about 1,200 tonnes of copper concentrate when a Darwin-bound train derailed in floodwaters north of Katherine last month.

It was being transported by rail in carts covered by industrial tarpaulins, under an exemption to transportation laws granted by the Northern Territory and South Australian Governments.

Grain trader says Victoria needs rail freight upgrade

Posted Friday, 20 January, 2012 by Galron in Victorian Rail News

A Victorian grain trader says a lack of investment in the state's railway lines is costing farmers money.

Two recent derailments on the Mildura to Melbourne line have cost freight operators money and time.

Jeparit Rail Yard Environmental Tests

Posted Friday, 20 January, 2012 by Galron in Press Releases

From January 2012, VicTrack is carrying out environmental testing in and around the Jeparit railway precinct. The works will be carried out on railway land (former petroleum depot) and surrounding land and will involve a soil vapour survey and groundwater monitoring.

John Holland takes over NSW Country Regional Network

Posted Saturday, 21 January, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

At exactly one minute past midnight on Sunday, John Holland Rail became the first accredited private rail transport operator of a government owned heavy rail network in New South Wales as it officially commenced operations as the new manager of the NSW regional rail network.

Union Pacific Rises to Highest Since 1980 as Profit Jumps

Posted Saturday, 21 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) rose to the highest price in at least 31 years after the biggest U.S. railroad’s profit topped estimates amid shipment-volume gains.

The shares increased 2.2 percent to $112.18 at 4 p.m. in New York, the highest since at least July 1980, the last date for which Bloomberg data was available. Net income climbed 24 percent to $964 million, or $1.99 a share, compared with the $1.82 average of 25 analyst estimates.

Amtrak cancels trains between Portland and Seattle due to weather

Posted Saturday, 21 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Amtrak has canceled its Coast Starlight train service between Portland and Seattle on Thursday due to trees and debris on the tracks as a result of severe weather. 

Passengers are being bused instead to their locations. 

Amtrak said trains for the Seattle-to-Vancouver, B.C., route and the Portland-to-Eugene route will continue to operate, although may be delayed by weather. 

Amtrak will announce plans for Friday before the service is supposed to start that day, the company said.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 21/1/2012.

Posted Sunday, 22 January, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 107 sightings for this week. This is 15 sighting more than last week, making a total of 295 sightings for this year to date. On day 21 last year we had recorded 259 sightings. This is 36 sightings up on the same time last year.

Travellers suffer more tram delays

Posted Sunday, 22 January, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

HUNDREDS of thousands of Melburnians faced more delays and longer waits for trams last year, with the network performing worse in its second year of new management than it did in its first.

Yarra Trams' 2011 performance figures show it posted worse punctuality and cancellation figures than in 2010 as nearly one in five trams ran more than five minutes late and about one in 100 was cancelled.

Metro rail figures show while its punctuality improved significantly, trains were 15 per cent more likely to be cancelled than in the previous year.

BHP Billiton: Queensland coal rail-line on track

Posted Sunday, 22 January, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

MELBOURNE -(MarketWatch)- BHP Billiton Ltd. BHP -0.10% is pushing ahead with plans for a dedicated rail line linking one of its mines in eastern Australia and the country's most northerly coal port.

The Melbourne-based company said Thursday a project for a line between its Goonyella mine and a planned coal export terminal at the port of Abbot Point is on track, and Queensland's state government has been notified of a proposal to build a rail corridor to the port able to accommodate several rail lines. The infrastructure would ultimately be able to export as much as 60 million metric tons of coking coal a year, BHP said.

Dating back to the 1950s, our train carriages are the oldest in the state

Posted Monday, 23 January, 2012 by VRcasts in Victorian Rail News

SOME of Victoria’s oldest train carriages run through the heart of Transport Minister Terry Mulder’s electorate, The Standard can reveal.

Dozens of antiquated carriages dating as far back as 1957 trundle through Polwarth and the wider south-west several times each day while Ballarat and Bendigo are serviced with the latest in public transport.

Twenty-two Z carriages constructed in the late 1950s still run along the Warrnambool line as the state’s remaining long-haul train service. Newer N-set trains are also in operation, carriages which date back to the early 1980s.

Car hitting tilt train sparks call for audible warnings

Posted Monday, 23 January, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has renewed calls for a radio transmitter warning system at level crossings, after a car was hit by a tilt train in north Queensland.

The driver of the car has been fined for ignoring a stop sign, after the rear of his four-wheel drive was grazed by the train at Knobels Road at Farleigh, near Mackay.

A 58-year-old man was killed on the same crossing in August last year when his tractor collided with a freight train.

Ticket to ride the most prized possession

Posted Monday, 23 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

For 300 million so-called migrant workers, the Spring Festival is the only chance they get all year to go home and see their family.

For someone facing 17 hours crammed in an overcrowded and unventilated train from Beijing to Hefei, Xu Shiyou is remarkably upbeat.

And with good reason. At the end of the journey, Xu will see his family for the first time in a year.

''I'm feeling very emotional, and very happy,'' he says. ''Once I got my hands on these train tickets, I couldn't stop thinking about home.''

NSW govt forced to bail out Reliance Rail

Posted Tuesday, 24 January, 2012 by arctic in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales State government is expected to inject up to $200 million into the Reliance Rail consortium, to ensure the delivery of trains critical to Sydney's transport network, according to The Australian Financial Review.

NSW freight corridor is on track

Posted Tuesday, 24 January, 2012 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW government will meet with the private sector to make further plans in building the $1.1 billion Northern Sydney Freight Corridor.

Transport minister Gladys Berejiklian said more than 100 companies will be briefed on Tuesday in the Sydney north shore suburb of Chatswood.

The industry representatives will hear from Transport for NSW experts about the project, which is being funded by both the state and federal governments.

Two years in, Metro proves poor rail replacement

Posted Tuesday, 24 January, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

WHEN train operator Connex was dumped in 2009, Melburnians breathed a sigh of relief.

Then premier John Brumby told long-suffering commuters that the network would improve as new operator Metro fixed the problems that had plagued the network for years.

But government data shows replacement operator Metro has run trains later in its first two years than Connex did in its last two. The revelation raises questions over the decision to dump Connex and has come despite Metro receiving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

Union Pacific Plans $1B In Neb. Rail Upgrades

Posted Tuesday, 24 January, 2012 by freightgate in International Rail News

Union Pacific said Friday it plans to invest $1 billion in railroad projects in Nebraska over the next several years to upgrade the capacity of its network.

Jim Young, the CEO of Union Pacific Corp., said he expects the investments to help create at least 1,000 jobs in Nebraska. The company plans to invest the money over about seven years, but the projects could be accelerated if the economy improves quicker than expected.

Teenager dies while train surfing at Caulfield Station

Posted Wednesday, 25 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A MAN has died after he was electrocuted while train surfing in Melbourne's south last night.

The man, believed to be aged in his late teens, was train surfing when he was electrocuted at Caulfield Station just before 11pm.

A police spokeswoman said police were speaking to a number of people who were at the station at the time.

PM to question Barnett on Oakajee report

Posted Wednesday, 25 January, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Prime Minister Julia Gillard will write to Western Australia's premier about reports the builder of Australia's largest infrastructure project is being directed to import Chinese equipment and services.

Foreign companies are being favoured over local contractors, with Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) told to endeavour to secure the involvement of private or state-owned Chinese companies, The Australian reported on Wednesday.

Japanese-owned OPR is pressing on with plans for a $6 billion port and infrastructure project near Geraldton, in WA's Mid-West, to open up the region's junior iron ore plays, despite hitting trouble with its joint venture partner Murchison Metals last month.

Man killed trying to cross train tracks at St Albans

Posted Wednesday, 25 January, 2012 by vanessa in Victorian Rail News

A MAN has died after he was struck by a V/Line train while trying cross the tracks at St Albans in north-west Melbourne this afternoon. The man, aged in his 40s, is believed to have jumped a fence at St Albans Station at about 5.30pm in an attempt to beat the city-bound service.

Asciano seeks new driver for rail-freight business

Posted Friday, 27 January, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

ASCIANO has begun a search for a new boss of its rail-freight business after Chris Keast handed in his resignation after about two years in the role.

Mr Keast will stay on at Pacific National Rail, which hauls containers and bulk products such as grain in all states except Tasmania, until as late as September to ensure an ''orderly handover'' to his successor. A spokeswoman said Mr Keast did not have plans to go to another job.

As part of leadership changes announced yesterday, the rail and ports company has also decided not to replace the head of its Patrick stevedoring division, Paul Garaty.

Light rail tunnel for Surry Hills proposed

Posted Friday, 27 January, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

THE state government faces a judgment call over whether to build a light rail tunnel under Surry Hills or a cheaper but slower surface link between the eastern suburbs and the city.

The Herald has been told transport planners working on the city's light rail expansion expect the tunnel option to be about seven minutes faster for commuters travelling through Surry Hills. 

That would be a significant advantage in travel time for anyone using the line to get between Central Station and Anzac Parade and Randwick.

But the faster route would be offset by a significantly higher cost. The tunnel to the eastern suburbs could cost about $100 million, sources said.

Rail freight back on the move in Pakistan

Posted Friday, 27 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Pakistan Railways has restarted rail freight services from the port of Karachi, after a six-month gap due to a lack of locomotives.

A spokesman said daily services would be used to clear a backlog of of coal, phosphate and railways material at the port, while container services would restart within 10 days.

Around 15 locomotives had been operating freight trains last year but services were suspended in July, due to an “acute shortage of locomotives”.

Rail freight line work done

Posted Friday, 27 January, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Work has finished on an important rail freight branch line in Victoria's Wimmera-Mallee.

Trains are expected to start running on the Yaapeet line in the next few weeks after construction work and inspections were finished.

OBAMA AIMS TO USE WAR SAVINGS ON INFRASTRUCTURE

Posted Friday, 27 January, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama proposed ploughing half the money America will save from the end of its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into high-speed rail lines and repairs to the nation's creaking roads and infrastructure.

The plan likely will face an uphill battle in Congress where Republicans frequently point to high-speed rail projects as a waste of money at a time of tight budgets.

"So much of America needs to be rebuilt," Obama said in his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, adding the United States has "crumbling roads and bridges."

Damage discovery delays rail link reopening

Posted Saturday, 28 January, 2012 by arctic in Northern Territory Rail News

Damage discovery delays rail link reopening

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