News

 

Showing stories from November 2012

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Rail fatality caps a spate of near misses

Posted Thursday, 1 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

AN INVESTIGATION is under way into whether a radio communication failure contributed to the death of an 83-year-old man who was hit by a train at Laburnum station last month.

The man was hit by an empty city-bound Metro train on October 4 while trying to climb back onto the platform.

Neither Metro, the state government, nor Victoria Police would comment on the investigation, but it is believed train drivers travelling in the other direction saw the man on the tracks and alerted Metro's central control unit in the minutes before he was hit.

The investigation into the man's death follows the release of new data that reveals a rise in near misses between people and trains on Victoria's railway lines in the past year, particularly among trackside workers.

Two days after a paralyzing flood, officials announced plans to reopen subway

Posted Thursday, 1 November, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

NEW YORK -- Two days after a paralyzing flood, officials announced plans Wednesday to open the undamaged parts of the massive subway and suburban rail systems that are so essential to life in New York City.

The city's transit headaches, though, are far from over.

Suicide main cause of rail deaths

Posted Thursday, 1 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Suicide accounted for 80 per cent of national rail deaths last year, according to new figures.

TrackSafe Foundation statistics show that in 2011 186 people died on the railways nationally. Of those, it is estimated 150 took their own lives. The remaining 36 died when trespassing or at a level crossing.

Earlier this year, The Age revealed that Victoria's rail suicide toll was by far the highest in Australia, with 206 deaths between 2001 and 2007 - 74 more than in New South Wales and 150 more than in Queensland.

Ridin' the golf cart railway

Posted Thursday, 1 November, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Backyard tinkerers have long fitted railway wheels to an assortment of maverick machines designed to run either on tarmac or on rail.

Back in the 1930s, the general manager of New Zealand Railways had his own "inspection railcar", a car adapted to drive along the rails.

And, in a famous 1987 episode of MacGyver, our hero escapes from trigger-happy Latin American guerrillas by stripping down a jeep to run along jungle railway tracks.

No problem for MacGyver; all he needed was a Swiss army knife, some duct tape and a spare hour.

Light rail down Parramatta Rd plan revealed

Posted Thursday, 1 November, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

LIGHT rail would run down Parramatta Rd, linking Taverners Hill to the city while extended inner west services would connect Balmain to Lilyfield as part of an ambitious NSW Greens proposal to get cars and buses off the inner west's most congested streets.

The proposal, prepared by University of Technology urban transport expert Dr Garry Glazebrook, has examined the possibility of creating a city-wide loop, stretching down Parramatta Rd.

Under the plan the city's light rail link would be expanded with light rail connecting Taverners Hill to Central station, via Parramatta Rd.

Rail guard fires gun into floor at police HQ

Posted Friday, 2 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police have launched an investigation after a Protective Services Officer accidentally fired a gun at the Victoria Police headquarters in Melbourne.

The officer, hired to keep commuters safe on Melbourne's rail network, fired a bullet inside the Victoria Police Centre in Docklands about 5.15pm.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the officer fired the shot accidentally, and the bullet hit the floor.

"No one was injured and no members of the public were present," the spokeswoman said.

Premier offers up V/Line to Metro

Posted Friday, 2 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Baillieu government has approached Metro to gauge whether it is interested in running V/Line, raising the prospect of country rail services returning to private hands.

Separate sources close to the government and to Metro said the proposition was put to Metro in a discussion earlier this year, but that no agreement was reached on the potential move.

The government and Metro poured cold water on the prospect on Thursday, denying that the discussion took place.

Light rail may halt Canberra's urban sprawl in its tracks

Posted Friday, 2 November, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Light rail could be the key to preserving the bush capital, using densification around rail lines to limit the need for continued urban sprawl, claim academics, architects and environmental campaigners.

Density has been a longstanding conundrum for Canberrans, according to Phoebe Howe, a spokeswoman for climate change group Canberra Loves 40%, who said the capital struggled to preserve the city while coping with a growing population.

Ms Howe said planners needed to focus on a more compact Canberra instead of continuing with greenfield developments such as Molonglo.

''With an increasing population, it might be density that saves our bush capital by limiting suburban sprawl,'' she said.

Surat Basin rail line gets go-ahead

Posted Friday, 2 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Parliament has approved legislation to enable the development of a billion-dollar Surat Basin rail line.

A private consortium is planning to build a line between Wandoan, north-west of Toowoomba in the state's south and Banana, south-west of Gladstone in central Queensland.

Sunbury trains: Boom time a slow signal for drivers

Posted Friday, 2 November, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

SUNBURY drivers and pedestrians will pay a heavy price if they try to cross rail crossings illegally, police say. The warning comes ahead of November 18 when Metro trains start running on the Sunbury rail line.

Sunbury Senior Sergeant Jeff Verinder said the boom gates would be down longer and more often. He feared more people would try to ignore them.
Sunbury has two rail crossings, one in Station Street and the other in Macedon Street.

Taree rail sleeper business to close

Posted Friday, 2 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A TAREE business involved in supplying timber sleepers to Railcorp will close down by June next year, affecting five local employees. The closure is part of a review under the State Government's 'Fixing the Trains' program.

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian announced the planned changes today. Also affected will be RailCorp maintenance businesses at Bathurst and Strathfield.

  "As RailCorp transitions to a customer-focused rail operator and maintainer, we have carefully considered the future of these three businesses, which are not part of this core function," Ms Berejiklian said.

New carriages for V/Line services

Posted Saturday, 3 November, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

SUFFERING V/Line commuters may be able to travel in a little more comfort after a leaked state report revealed dozens of new train carriages are to be ordered for the fast-growing regional train service.

It was reported yesterday that Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder had written to Treasurer Kim Wells stating the department would spend $174 million to purchase 34 Melbourne-made VLocity carriages.

Mr Mulder's spokeswoman, Larissa Garvin, said no contract had been signed and that negotiations were still continuing. She said the government would make an announcement once the negotiations are completed.

The news comes as V/Line continues to struggle with record patronage growth, which last financial grew by 6.9 per cent.

Arrium pushes for rail line upgrade to improve exports

Posted Saturday, 3 November, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

TAKEOVER target Arrium is urging federal authorities to begin upgrades to a stretch of national railway that links three capital cities and is crucial to the company's hopes of increasing its iron ore exports beyond current growth forecasts.

Arrium believes its iron ore business has been grossly undervalued in recent takeover offers, and converting export potential into official forecasts looms as the perfect way to convince suitors that its true value is much higher than the 88¢ per share offer that was lodged this week.

A Metro passenger train and truck collide in Dandenong South

Posted Saturday, 3 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

UPDATED: 1:45pm. Multiple emergency services are responding to a train vs truck accident located at Abbots rd in Dandenong South an outer eastern suburb of Melbourne. Sources have described the scene as chaotic with the front carriage of the passenger train derailed and laying on its side with multiple people trapped.

Historical railway documents to be preserved

Posted Sunday, 4 November, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Nationally significant documents recording the history of Broken Hill's railways will be better preserved thanks to a $7,000 Community Heritage Grant.

The Sulphide Street Railway and Historical Museum is one of 20 New South Wales recipients of the grants managed by the National Library of Australia.

Museum curator Christine Adams says the money will be important to preserve the documents that have been assessed by a preservation expert.

Hooded man jumped from train after assault

Posted Sunday, 4 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police are searching for a man who leapt from a moving train after assaulting two people.

Police say the man, who looked to be aged between 18 and 22, approached and assaulted two male passengers while travelling on the Cragieburn line at 12.25am on September 10.

Futuristic rail plan gains speed

Posted Sunday, 4 November, 2012 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

WEST Australians have been promised a futuristic train fleet that will cut travel time and reduce crowding in carriages.   However the new plans would also make more passengers stand.   Transport Minister Troy Buswell will today unveil his plan for the "next generation" of trains, while also announcing a $55 million, 15-carriage boost to existing services.  

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 3/11/2012.

Posted Sunday, 4 November, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 117 sightings for this week. This is ten sighting more than last week, making a total of 5165 sightings for this year to date. On day 308 last year we had recorded 4864 sightings. This is 301 sightings up on the same time last year.

No rail fault in fatal truck-train crash, preliminary investigation suggests

Posted Sunday, 4 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A preliminary safety investigation into a fatal truck and train crash in Melbourne's south-east has found no faults with the rail network.

Three investigations are under way into the level-crossing collision that killed one man and sent 13 others to hospital on Saturday.

Melbourne rail tunnel project rides again

Posted Sunday, 4 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

An ambitious plan to build an underground a railway line through some of Melbourne’s most expensive suburbs is being considered again by the Baillieu government – and with a new twist.

Under “Project Double Fault” a private sector consortium would take sections of the Glen Waverley line, sink it into a tunnel and develop the highly valuable land above it in suburbs such as Toorak and Malvern.

The project would remove the requirement for problematic level crossings on major arterial roads.

It was unsuccessfully pitched to the previous Labor government, which questioned the fundamentals of the project and struggled with how to handle the unsolicited bid.

Palace on Wheels Festive Departures Gaining Popularity Amongst Luxury Travelers

Posted Sunday, 4 November, 2012 by harrenlee in International Rail News

The festive season departure of the Palace on Wheels is gaining a lot of popularity all around the globe from the bracket of people who are into luxury traveling. This special departure is getting an amazing response from both local as well as foreign tourists.

Greens demand action on dust

Posted Sunday, 4 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Greens say Hunter residents need to maintain their fight to have the impacts of coal mining on the region fully investigated, as air pollution continues to plague the valley.

Five health alerts were issued for the Upper Hunter this morning in Singleton, Mount Thorley, Camberwell and Maison Dieu.

The Greens' New South Wales Senator Lee Rhiannon is pushing for a Senate inquiry into the health impacts of mining on air quality and health in the Hunter Valley.

Crude-by-rail carves out N American niche

Posted Monday, 5 November, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

In this era of pipelines spanning thousands of miles, the idea of shipping crude across North America in railway cars might seem a quaint throwback to the oil pioneering days of the West.
Yet it’s a booming business for North America’s railroads, and should remain an important niche market for years to come.

Shipments of crude by rail in the United States have surged from around 11,000 barrels per day in 2007 to an estimated 340,000 bpd in 2012, according to data from the Association of American Railroads. If rail shipments in Canada are added, the volume could top 400,000 bpd, more than 4 per cent of North American crude production and equal to a new, large pipeline.

Dandenong South rail crash: Truck appeared to crash into gates

Posted Monday, 5 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE driver of a truck involved in Saturday's horrific collision with a train in Dandenong appears to have smashed straight through level crossing boom gates, the state's top transport safety official says.

The 69-year-old truck driver from Narre Warren North, whom police have not named, went through the crossing in Abbotts Road about noon on Saturday. He walked away unhurt, but the crash left a 43-year-old Cranbourne man on board the train dead - the first death of a passenger on Melbourne's electrified rail system in decades.

New rail safety standard to begin in January

Posted Monday, 5 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

An updated safety standard for rail workers will come into effect on January next year when the National Rail Safety Regulator begins. 

The country’s transport ministers approved the updated standard to begin on January 20 following a review by the National Transport Commission (NTC). The commencement date is in line with the National Rail Safety Law, which establishes the regulator. 

Under national law, rail transport operators must have a health and fitness program that complies with the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers.

O'Farrell's Cabinet rolls into Tamworth

Posted Monday, 5 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Senior ministers of the O'Farrell government arrived in Tamworth on Monday for a community Cabinet meeting.

More than 60 local council and community representatives are meeting individual Ministers to discuss welfare, law and order, health and small business issues.

A lunchtime public forum has also been organised.

Deputy Premier and leader of the Nationals, Andrew Stoner, says the Coalition is living up to an election promise to include the ideas of regional people in policy-making.

TasRail posts big loss

Posted Monday, 5 November, 2012 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

The state-owned rail company TasRail has reported a loss of almost $40 million, blaming worthless assets.

TasRail has made a loss of $36.3 million for the last financial year, the third consecutive loss since taxpayers took over the company in 2009.

In the 2010-11 financial year, Tasrail made a loss of $27 million and $10 million the year before.

Zanker wins second mayoral term

Posted Monday, 5 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Councillor Kylie Zanker will lead the Yarriambiack Shire for the next 12 months after being elected mayor for a second time.

She says the new council will lobby for adequate road funding and ensure rail lines are capable of carrying the region's grain crops.

Upgrading level crossings too expensive: minister

Posted Monday, 5 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Transport Minister, Terry Mulder, says talks are underway to see if the Government can "ramp up" the replacement of rail level crossings, after one person died in a crash at Dandenong South on the weekend.

One passenger was killed and nine others were taken to hospital on Saturday, after a Metro train collided with a truck at a level crossing.

It is the first death of a passenger on the metropolitan rail system since 1926.

There are 172 rail crossings in metropolitan Melbourne and 10 of them have been earmarked for an upgrade.

Transport Minister Terry Mulder says discussions are underway to see if they can speed up the replacement program.

Cable workers 'lack training'

Posted Tuesday, 6 November, 2012 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

The snapped overhead power line that crippled Perth's rail network last month was the result of substandard training among inspectors, which will cause more emergencies if unchecked, WA's rail union says.   The claim came as the State Opposition said yesterday the Government's order of 15 extra railcars was based on outdated passenger modelling and 30 were needed to keep pace with demand.  

Fatal crash sparks anger over motorists

Posted Tuesday, 6 November, 2012 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Reeling from the biggest crash on Melbourne's railway network in years, Metro train drivers are angry with the behaviour of some drivers who try to out-race boom gates at level crossings, the train drivers' union says. Rail, Tram and Bus Union divisional secretary Marc Marotta said there was anger among drivers that the discussion about Saturday's fatal smash had so quickly turned to level crossing safety, rather than the bad behaviour of some drivers. "In terms of the level-crossing debate, certainly there are some around the state we'd like to see made safer but this one had more than adequate safety warnings," Mr Marotta said.

Councils unite behind rail vision

Posted Tuesday, 6 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

About fifteen councils across the state have drafted a memorandum of understanding to convince the state and federal governments of the urgent need to complete the Maldon to Dombarton railway link.

Wollongong's mayor, Gordon Bradbery, and the Port Kembla Port Corporation CEO Dom Figliomeni travelled to Cowra on the weekend to meet with other mayors and the Lachlan Regional Transport Committee.

Rail safety report urges Rattler suspension

Posted Tuesday, 6 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Gympie Cooloola Tourism Board says losing the Mary Valley 'Rattler' steam train in south-east Queensland would be a major blow to the community.

Queensland's Rail Safety Regulator yesterday handed down a report finding that the Rattler needs major maintenance upgrades, including 6,000 new sleepers, before it can operate again.

Train drivers blame motorists ignoring signals

Posted Tuesday, 6 November, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

''Certainly there are some [level crossings] around the state we'd like to see made safer but this one had more than adequate safety warnings. The boom gates were down, the lights were flashing, the bells were sounding and yet somehow those warnings were not good enough.''

The driver of the train, Trevor King, was brought out of an induced coma on Monday at The Alfred hospital, surrounded by his family, including his wife who is a Metro train driver on maternity leave, and his mother who flew home from Canada.

Train drivers' concerns were matched by the Australian rail industry group the TrackSafe Foundation, which called for a steep increase in penalties for drivers who disobey level crossing laws.

Experts warn of North West Rail Link noise

Posted Wednesday, 7 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

FEARS that the Skytrain could keep nearby residents awake at night appear to be well-founded, with the state government warning as many as 130 current homes and hundreds more future ones could be affected.

The warnings are contained in the North West Rail Link's second environmental impact statement.

The statement predicts that one home in Terry Rd in Rouse Hill, five between Fitzroy Pl and Lycett Ave in Kellyville, five in Bentwood Tce in Stanhope Gardens, 19 in Farrier Way and Miller Way in Kellyville Ridge, as well as the five apartment buildings in Kilbenny St in Kellyville Ridge will be subjected to between 77dB and 80dB of noise - the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner.

Rail freight: A clean energy initiative that's building speed

Posted Wednesday, 7 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Railway freight haulage is not a sector that springs to mind when one stops to consider industries that will benefit in the transition to a low carbon economy. However, if it was added that moving freight over long distances by rail rather than road is three times more fuel and emissions efficient, then the proposition changes significantly.

With diesel prices up 300% over the last 15 years to over US$4.00 per gallon, the cost advantage enjoyed by rail freight operators over their road bound rivals is becoming increasingly material. Combined with a longer term ambition to replace diesel locomotives with high efficiency electric alternatives, it likely that rail operators will continue to increasingly leverage the efficiency advantages that they enjoy. Add to this equation such developments such as battery recharging for locomotives through regenerative braking and tougher, legislated, safety standards, it is safe to stay that the future potential of rail is significant indeed.

Dandenong South rail crash: Unsung hero tells tale of tragedy

Posted Wednesday, 7 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IAN Atkinson was one of the unsung heroes in the rescue of a stricken train driver soon after a fatal level crossing smash in Dandenong South on Saturday.

He was part of about 20 impromptu rescuers who ran to the aid of victims after the smash between a Metro train and a prime-mover laden with a trailer of vegetables at the Abbotts Road level crossing.

Freight operator denied terminal access

Posted Thursday, 8 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Horsham council has refused to grant a company access to the city's freight terminal.

Freight operator Qube is setting up its operations at the Mill Street site after failing to gain access to the Wimmera Intermodal Freight hub at Dooen.

Mine extends working hours, despite sleep complaints

Posted Thursday, 8 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A Gloucester mine has had its rail operating hours increased despite warnings by residents of sleep disturbances and asthma attacks.

Residents in the Gloucester area told the Planning Assessment Commission their physical and emotional health would be at risk if Duralie Coal got approval to increase its train haulage hours from 15 to 19 hours a day.

Troubled Waratah trains on track

Posted Thursday, 8 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Rail manufacturer, the Downer Group, has assured shareholders at its Annual General Meeting that its troubled Waratah train project in Newcastle is back on track.

The Waratah trains being made in China and assembled at the company's Cardiff site near Newcastle have been plagued with problems, including issues with software and design, as well as long delays with deliveries.

Fears grain rail woes 'pounding' roads

Posted Thursday, 8 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Balonne Shire Mayor says local roads are suffering because grain growers cannot transport enough produce by train.

Donna Stewart says access to slots on trains has been declining in recent years in favour of coal from southern Queensland mines.

Council keen to learn more about freight terminal plans

Posted Thursday, 8 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Horsham council says it is hoping to find out more about a company's decision to reopen the city's freight terminal.

Council staff were due to meet senior executives from Qube yesterday but it has been postponed until next week.

Horsham North residents have raised concern about the return of trains to the site at Mill Street.

Arson suspected in Ipswich rail museum blaze

Posted Friday, 9 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Authorities believe arsonists are to blame for an overnight fire at the Workshops Rail Museum precinct at Ipswich, west of Brisbane.

One disused building was gutted, with another two were badly damaged when the blaze broke out just after 1:00am (AEST).

It is believed security footage shows people fleeing the area soon after it started.

Oakajee $6b port project shelved in latest blow to resource sector

Posted Friday, 9 November, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The $6 billion Oakajee port and rail development in Western Australia's mid-north has been shelved, the latest big project to be put on hold as the resource cycle cools.

The decision is another big blow to the resource sector, coming just months after BHP Billiton shelved $30 billion of projects, including the huge Olympic Dam expansion in South Australia and its outer-harbour development at Port Hedland.

Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals also dramatically scaled back its multibillion-dollar expansion plans in the Pilbara amid a sharp pull-back of iron ore prices in September.

The Reserve Bank warned last month of a noticeable decline in the appetite for spending by Australian resource companies, though it did signal a more positive note by keeping interest rates steady when it met on Tuesday.

Rattler rail suspension a 'kneejerk' response

Posted Friday, 9 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A community group in south-east Queensland's Mary Valley has questioned the effectiveness of the rail safety regulator and its investigation of the region's heritage steam train service.

The regulator indefinitely suspended Mary Valley Rattler steam train services on Monday after a five-week investigation into the railway's second derailment this year.

Friends of Kandanga president David Sims says the regulator could have acted quicker as it should have been aware of the poor state of the track from previous investigations.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 10/11/2012

Posted Sunday, 11 November, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were only 92 sightings for this week. This is 25 sighting less than last week, making a total of 5257 sightings for this year to date. On day 315 last year we had recorded 4989 sightings. This is 268 sightings up on the same time last year.

Bellarine Railway Queenscliff - Drysdale Train Accident

Posted Sunday, 11 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

One person is in hospital after a car and tourist train collided in Drysdale, east of Geelong.

The accident happened at a level crossing on Princess Street at 10:00pm AEDT last night.

The crossing does not have boom gates or flashing lights.

The Queenscliff Blues Train is a slow moving train.

Chadstone station and tunnel on $2b shopping list

Posted Sunday, 11 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A NEW train line connecting the Glen Waverley and Dandenong railway lines would stop at Chadstone Shopping Centre as part of a bold $2 billion plan to bury part of the Glen Waverley line.

A private consortium wants government money to help build the new Chadstone station and subway tunnels, which would remove six of the eastern suburbs' most dangerous level crossings and free up valuable land for development.

The heavy-hitting consortium, which includes NAB, Thiess, Hassell, Grimshaw Architects and KPMG among others, has proposed linking Chadstone to the rail network by digging a tunnel between the Glen Waverley and Dandenong lines.

Melbourne Metro rail tunnel construction to wreak havoc on Swanston St

Posted Monday, 12 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

SWANSTON St will be out of action for up to a year when the iconic thoroughfare is dug up for the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel project.

The Herald Sun can reveal areas near the two new proposed city train stations - CBD North and CBD South - will be worst affected.

One source said the entire width of the impacted stretches of road could be out of action for up to a year.

New battle over 'secret garden'

Posted Monday, 12 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

FEARS are held that the garden built by art scene grande dame Wendy Whiteley could be destroyed as the New South Wales Rail Corporation is refusing to hand over the harbourside land at Sydney's Lavender Bay.

A new tussle has emerged over the site, known as Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden, as North Sydney Council seeks permanent control of the land.

Rail delays on Ballarat, Bendigo lines

Posted Monday, 12 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PASSENGERS on the Sydenham, Ballarat and Bendigo train lines will face delays over summer as part of Regional Rail Link works.

Buses will replace Ballarat and Bendigo V/Line trains between December 28 and 30 and January 4 and 13, theHerald Sun reports.

Some will face delays of up to 45 minutes.

Passengers on the Sydenham line will also have to catch buses between Albion and Footscray stations in the same period.

Billions needed to fix transport backlog - RACV

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

MORE than $4 billion should be spent on improving roads and public transport to keep up with Melbourne's booming population.

In a report released today, the RACV says long-term planning and accelerated investment in infrastructure is needed to avoid chronic congestion and cope with an average of 1000 families a week moving into the outer suburbs.

Gone: our rail link with Newcastle to end at Wickham

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The state government will cut the Newcastle rail line at Wickham and force commuters onto buses to finish their trip into the CBD.

Sources have revealed to the Mercury that the government’s  intention to make the announcement  in cabinet’s is imminent,  possibly as early as today.

The sources, who requested to remain anonymous, said they had it on good authority the decision to stop the line at Wickham, which has the strong backing of Newcastle MP Tim Owen and Newcastle Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy, had been made and the timing of the announcement was the only issue in doubt.

Greens back up rail call

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

DETRACTORS are wrong to suggest Hobart does not have a big enough population to support a rail development, say supporters.

Former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown and Greens Federal Denison candidate Anna Reynolds have identified more than 180 small cities around the world with light rail systems.

They have provided the information to a Legislative Council inquiry into integrated transport options for southern Tasmania.

Rail corridor worries spark petition

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A Townsville councillor says he will rally behind residents to stop the construction of a rail corridor near homes in the city's southern suburbs.

Les Walker says a petition has been started to pressure the State Government into looking at alternatives to the Oonoonba-Cluden line.

He says any plan to put the line close to a residential area is unacceptable.

Olympic showpiece back on the rails

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Ten million passengers – almost half the population of Australia – will travel on Sydney's Airport Link train this year. But it was a different story in 2007 when the company, like so many infrastructure projects of its time, went into liquidation.

In addition, more than 5.7 million passengers will travel to or from Sydney Airport by train this year, an increase of 1.7 million people since 2009.

“This growth is the most pleasing aspect of our business,” says CEO Tim Anderson, chief executive of Airport Link Company.

Sunbury commuters get say as Metro service starts

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 by railblogger in Other Transport News

SUNBURY residents and community groups can have their say about the future of transport in the town by taking part in the Sunbury transport partnership project.

Launched next month as part of the state government transport connections program, the project involves residents and organisations working to improve transport services for disadvantaged communities.

The aim is to help them with better access for education, health, work and social opportunities.
The project is jointly run by the state government, Hume Council and LINK Community Transport.

Project officer Josh Madgwick said the partnership was to ensure Sunbury residents' views were being listened to.
He said the idea was to speak to "transport-disadvantaged" people and see where transport services could be improved.

"We want community involvement in this sort of thing, to see what they believe is lacking and needs improvement.

MP urges calm over Townsville rail corridor plans

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Burdekin MP Rosemary Menkens says she understands the concerns from locals over the proposed southern rail corridor for Townsville in north Queensland, but is calling on them to be patient.

Cluden and Oonoonba residents in Townsville have voiced concerns over a potential increase in heavy rail traffic along the existing route.

Hope remains for Rattler rail recovery plan

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne says he is optimistic that a business advisory group will come up with a plan to ensure the survival of the Mary Valley Heritage Railway in the south-east Queensland town.

The group met for the first time yesterday to develop a business plan for the Rattler, after the safety regulator suspended services because of two derailments this year.

State claims funding gap a threat to transport projects

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

FUTURE Victorian transport projects could be under threat because of federal funding cuts, the State Government has warned.

Public Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder said he was concerned the Commonwealth Government would contribute less to major infrastructure projects, forcing the states to shell out more.

The claims came as commuters on the Sunbury, Ballarat and Bendigo train lines were told to expect delays over summer as part of Regional Rail Link works.

The Federal Government contributed $3.2 billion to the $5.3 billion link and Mr Mulder said Victoria hoped it would get similar contributions in future.

"If they go to a 50-50 split, rather than the current 80-20 split, that would cause significant concerns," Mr Mulder said.

"Our concerns are the likes of the Western Highway duplication, the M80, which in the past have had 80-20 funding from the Federal Government."

Casey rail crossing dangers in the spotlight

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THERE is one road rule Casey councillor Mick Morland is never tempted to break.

"If it's after 3pm on a week day, I don't go near Clyde Road in Berwick — ever!"

Cr Morland said that in peak traffic, vehicles were banked up in every direction around the rail crossing — "it's horrendous".

And he has no expectations that a $160 million duplication of Clyde Road, scheduled to be completed late next year, will solve the problem. "The trains are still going to come through there and the traffic is still going to be held up."

Level crossing are in the spotlight after last Saturday week's fatal collision between a train and a truck in Dandenong South.

Work starts on taking train line further north

Posted Wednesday, 14 November, 2012 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

Work is expected to begin "almost immediately" on the extension of the Joondalup train line to Butler, following the signing of a major contract for the project.   Transport Minister Troy Buswell today revealed the Perth office of Ansaldo STS Australia last week signed a $19.7 million contract with the Public Transport Authority, which allowed work on the project to start.   "The contract covers the detailed design and construction of the railway signalling system for the $240 million Butler Extension Project," Mr Buswell said.  

Elevated Park proposed for Darling Harbour Line

Posted Wednesday, 14 November, 2012 by mikesyd in New South Wales Rail News

AN INDUSTRIAL relic on the city's western fringe is poised to be made into a New York-style High Line.

A 500-metre stretch of disused railway track dividing Ultimo from Haymarket has been earmarked for redevelopment as an elevated city park - akin to the makeover that turned 2.3 kilometres of an old Manhattan freight line into a lauded urban renewal landmark, nine metres above ground.

NSW Govt urged to trial Newcastle rail closure

Posted Wednesday, 14 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

As speculation mounts that a decision is imminent on the cutting of Newcastle's inner city rail line, the New South Wales Government has been challenged to conduct a trial before spending any money.

The Save Our Rail group says the government should be prepared to test suspending trains into the city, put on additional buses, and close facilities like ticket machines and toilets.

Group spokeswoman, Joan Dawson says even a weekend trial would give a good indication of how traffic and commuters would be affected.

Rail sleeper thefts stoke asbestos fears

Posted Wednesday, 14 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FEARS that wooden sleepers contaminated with asbestos are being stolen and used as firewood have emerged following their removal from train tracks during the upgrade of the Glen Waverley railway line.

Metro Trains has confirmed the theft of an unknown number of sleepers, and the Firewood Association of Australia said the sleepers were being used in the place of safer and more expensive firewood.

The Firewood Association has banned members from selling sleepers because they are potentially lethal when burned, said association secretary Alan McGreevy.

Protest over trucks to block bridge

Posted Wednesday, 14 November, 2012 by bevans in Other Transport News

A PLANNED blockade of one of Melbourne's main truck routes by local activists sick of neighbourhood truck traffic has turned spiteful.

A trucking industry heavyweight is threatening to sue the protesters and the industry body is calling for police to shut down the rally.

Residents of Melbourne's inner west will occupy busy Shepherd Bridge on Footscray Road for half an hour on November 27 - the date of the Baillieu government's second anniversary - blocking a key route to the port and CBD in the morning peak. A big band and giant puppets will join the protest.

''It's really not just a protest but also a celebration of community,'' said Peter Knight, spokesman for the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group, which is behind the protest.

Qld Rail defends passenger safety record

Posted Wednesday, 14 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail says assaults on its long distance services are rare - despite two serious incidents in the past fortnight.

An 84-year-old Brisbane man has been charged with indecently assaulting a woman on the Sunlander train on Sunday night.

Queensland Rail on-time performance show what portion of trains are on schedule

Posted Thursday, 15 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

NEW warts-and-all data revealing the on-time performance of Queensland Rail services has been published by the State Government.

Unlike previous statistics which did not include incidents beyond Queensland Rail's control, the new figures show what percentage of trains ran on time for each line.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said it would mean public transport users could monitor the peak performance of their train network for the first time ever.

New speed signs for rail crossings

Posted Thursday, 15 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

NEW speed limit signs will be erected to improve safety on local roads approaching railway level crossings in Victoria.

It was first recommended speed limits should be reduced at all country crossings by a government inquiry in 2008, following the Kerang rail disaster the previous year in which 11 people were killed.

"I am proud to say that within the next few months, all Victorian councils will receive the reduced speed limit signs to make more than 170 regional level crossings considerably safer for all drivers,'' Roads Minister Terry Mulder said today.

Coal trains in the suburbs labelled 'crazy'

Posted Thursday, 15 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

CALLS to cover coal wagons rolling through Brisbane's urban rail corridor are growing as experts and residents express concern about the health risks of flying carbon particles.

Three companies with coalmines near Toowoomba transport nine million tonnes of coal in open wagons through Brisbane each year.

None of the companies have plans to cover their wagons and decline to say why. Rail sources say it adds between $1 million and $3 million to the cost of transport and neither QR National nor the coal companies are willing to pay.

Mayor demands explanation after Auckland rail chaos

Posted Thursday, 15 November, 2012 by JimYarin in New Zealand Rail News

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has demanded an explanation from KiwiRail after two rail problems in little more than 12 hours caused commuter chaos.

A broken communications cable caused major delays on Auckland's southern and eastern train networks this morning and hundreds of commuters were held up last night when a signal failure cut stopped trains and left passengers stranded in the CBD.

KiwiRail has apologised for the disruption and launched investigations into the two unrelated incidents, but Mr Brown said today he wanted an explanation and an assurance that everything was being done to prevent it happening again.

No rail fault in fatal truck-train crash, preliminary investigation suggests

Posted Thursday, 15 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A preliminary safety investigation into a fatal truck and train crash in Melbourne's south-east has found no faults with the rail network.

Three investigations are under way into the level-crossing collision that killed one man and sent 13 others to hospital yesterday.

Police say a prime mover smashed through boom gates and into the path of a six-carriage Metro service at the Abbotts Road crossing in Dandenong South at 11.42am.

Transport Safety Victoria director Alan Osborne says preliminary results from the crash scene reveal that nothing was wrong with the train, the rail or the level-crossing warnings before the crash.

Port of Whyalla redevelopment on track as Arrium ramps up exports

Posted Thursday, 15 November, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

THE Port of Whyalla will surge with extra activity within weeks as Arrium iron ore exports begin to ramp up.

The $200 million redevelopment of the port is well within schedule and budget as Arrium forges ahead with its plan to double exports to 12 million tonnes a year from mid-2013.

From early next month, trainloads of direct shipping ore from the new Peculiar Knob mine, south of Coober Pedy, will be hauled into the shipyard.

Test runs of the heavy duty wagons, custom made in China by CRM, have been railed to Darwin as Arrium commissions the mine and the Wirrida crushing and loading plant.

New myki card readers no faster

Posted Thursday, 15 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

NEW myki-only barrier gates are no better at clearing long passenger queues at busy railway stations than the obsolete Metcard/myki barriers they are steadily replacing, a small study has found.

The new gates' inability to clear the crowds any quicker than the old barriers was revealed in a simple experiment by a rail enthusiast, who used the stopwatch on his smartphone to count passengers as they exited Flagstaff station in the morning rush. Both types of gates processed an average of just over 20 passengers a minute, the study found.

Marcus Wong, a self-described gunzel (rail obsessive) and engineering geek, conducted his experiment in two stages - timing the hybrid Metcard/myki barriers in June and again last week with the new myki-only gates that have replaced them.

Asciano says times and share price tough

Posted Thursday, 15 November, 2012 by JimYarin in Rail News

Ports and rail operator Asciano has told shareholders that it is operating in a difficult economic environment and it is frustrated by the disappointing performance of its share price. Investors were told at the company's annual general meeting in Sydney that it was dealing with muted consumer driven volumes in its rail freight business, constant speculation about coal demand and ongoing challenges in the global container shipping industry. However, chief executive John Mullen said Asciano was well positioned to deliver another year of solid earnings growth and to continue to deliver on its ambitious financial targets. Asciano had a good year, lifting its profit for the 12 months to June 30 by 43 per cent to $242.7 million.

Longer travelling times for rail commuters

Posted Thursday, 15 November, 2012 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

PUBLIC transport rail passengers will face up to 40 minutes a day in extra travelling time when buses are used to cope with the closure of train lines from January. New timetables for the substitute services for 2013 will be available from the adelaidemetro.com.au website from Monday and in hard copy form from stations at information centres the next day.

Back to the buses for rail works

Posted Friday, 16 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

NO trains will run between Albury and Melbourne tomorrow.

Buses will provide all XPT and V/Line services because of works on the regional rail link project.

Sunday’s services will revert to the “normal” temporary timetable introduced last month with a mix of train and bus services.

But XPT passengers face delays of up to 40 minutes on Sunday due to RailCorp track maintenance work in suburban Sydney.

Countrylink operates two intercapital services each way daily on Saturday and Sunday.

RailCorp axes more jobs and to spilt in two in major rail restructure

Posted Friday, 16 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Another 690 jobs will be cut from RailCorp in the latest changes to Sydney's train system.

But the cuts will not affect drivers, guards or station staff, the transport minister, Gladys Berejiklian, said at a press conference on Friday morning.

From July next year, RailCorp will be dissolved and replaced by two new organisations, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains.

Ms Berejiklian said 240 positions will be cut as a result of the new organisations - about half from middle management and half from other parts of the organisation.

West Texas rail crossing had 10 previous accidents

Posted Saturday, 17 November, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

WASHINGTON (AP) — There were 10 previous collisions at the West Texas railroad crossing where a train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans and their families, according to Federal Railroad Administration records reviewed by The Associated Press.

Freight train hits Texas veterans parade; 4 dead

Posted Saturday, 17 November, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

MIDLAND, Texas — Cheered by a flag-waving crowd, the parade float carrying wounded military veterans was inching across the railroad tracks when the crossing gates started coming down. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, a freight train came bearing down, its horn blaring.

Four veterans died in the Thursday collision, and sixteen other people were hurt. For some of the war heroes who managed to jump off the flatbed truck just in time, training and instinct kicked in: They rushed to aid their injured comrades.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 17/11/2012

Posted Sunday, 18 November, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 115 sightings for this week. This is 23 sighting more than last week, making a total of 5372 sightings for this year to date. On day 322 last year we had recorded 5128 sightings. This is 244 sightings up on the same time last year.

Walker's plan for tallest tower on rail yards

Posted Sunday, 18 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE major events supremo Ron Walker has launched a behind-the-scenes pitch to the Baillieu government for a multibillion-dollar development over the Jolimont rail yards, including the city's tallest skyscraper.

The plan puts Mr Walker in direct competition with construction giant Daniel Grollo, who is lobbying for his vision of a civic and commercial precinct above the rail yards east of Federation Square. Mr Grollo's Grocon also built the Eureka Tower on Southbank, the city's tallest building.

Daylight savings provides extra viewing time for Bunbury Street Railcams

Posted Sunday, 18 November, 2012 by bevans in Railpage Australia News

With the arrival of Daylight Savings and an increase in the amount of daylight per day it is a great time to review the current setup at Bunbury Street in Footscray. Both cameras have been working well recording the arrival and departure of over 50 movements per day most days of the week.

Tram passengers terrorised with garden stake, box cutter

Posted Monday, 19 November, 2012 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

Tram passengers were startled and alarmed late last night when two men terrorised them by wielding a box cutter and a garden stake. Police arrested the men after a series of armed robberies and thefts targeting passengers on the route 96 tram to St Kilda. A police spokeswoman said three men were threatened with a garden stake and a box cutter and robbed during separate incidents on the tram.

No ticket respite in windfall from airport train fares

Posted Monday, 19 November, 2012 by djf01 in New South Wales Rail News

ANNOYED at $15 train fares to Sydney Airport?

Within months, that annoyance can be fairly levelled at the O'Farrell government, which will start collecting more than half the fare on Sydney's privately owned airport line.

Metro's tongue-in-cheek transport safety animated video goes viral

Posted Monday, 19 November, 2012 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

''SET fire to your hair, poke a stick at a grizzly bear ... Dumb ways to die ... Dumb ways to die-ie-ie ...''
If the chorus isn't stuck in your head, it will be soon.

Metro Trains' darkly cute -- and irksomely catchy -- new ad for transport safety has gone viral, notching up a whopping 2.7 million YouTube views in just 48 hours. And nobody is more stunned by its success than the man who wrote the music to accompany the lyrics, Ollie McGill, keyboard player with band the Cat Empire, who has watched Facebook likes, Twitter shares and YouTube hits skyrocket as word of the animated video has spread.

About 50 rail workers caught drunk or stoned while on the job

Posted Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

MORE than 50 rail workers have been caught drunk or stoned while on the job, shocking figures reveal. Transport Safety Victoria documents show 31 workers tested positive to cannabis and 20 to alcohol in the past two years. One had a blood-alcohol level of .114, more than two times the legal limit to drive a car.

Woman hit by train, suffers partial leg amputation

Posted Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

A woman, who suffered a partial leg amputation after being struck by a train south of Brisbane, has undergone emergency surgery and is recovering in hospital. The woman, believed to be aged in her 30s, was lying on the platform at Woodridge Railway Station with her legs hanging over the edge, police said.

Support for light rail down George Street

Posted Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

A packed forum at Sydney's Town Hall on Monday night overwhelmingly endorsed plans for a light rail line down George Street, and rejected the proposed underground bus tunnel through the city.

The forum, organised by the City of Sydney, tackled the two and competing plans for the city sitting before the O'Farrell government: a tram line through the city, against the bus tunnel put forward by Nick Greiner and Infrastructure NSW.

Rail crashes on the rise, as 435 notifiable incidents occur

Posted Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

RAIL accidents and irregularities are up on every count, reaching 435 "notifiable" incidents during the past financial year.

This was despite the state's 45 rail transport operators travelling two million fewer kilometres than the previous year. Collisions doubled from five to 10, level crossing accidents jumped from one to five and the 14 derailments was one more than the previous year.

The number of occasions when trains "passed signal at speed" rose from 68 to 83, while loading and track irregularities also both rose.

Judge rejects bid to halt California high-speed rail project

Posted Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 by JimYarin in International Rail News

A Sacramento County judge has rejected a bid by agricultural interests to temporarily halt California's bullet train project in the Central Valley until a lawsuit can be decided. After a three-hour hearing, Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley on Friday evening declined to issue a preliminary injunction against the California High-Speed Rail Authority that was sought by farm bureaus in Merced and Madera counties. Filed earlier this year, the lawsuit alleges that the rail authority failed to conduct thorough environmental reviews as required by the California Environmental Quality Act and violated state open-meeting laws related to the analysis.

Hidden cameras on trams are the latest weapon in taxi war

Posted Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 by railblogger in Other Transport News

TAXI operators have turned their attention to a controversial new target - trams.

Lobby group Victorian Taxi Owners has sent every Member of Parliament a comparison of the two modes of transport, saying the government's attention should be on fixing the tram network rather than the cab industry.

Trams are branded insulting and second rate as passengers are depicted crammed together, eating and with their feet on the seats.

The Melbourne icons are also labelled distasteful and dirty, with pictures of graffiti on windows and worn-out seats.

Berejiklian: Restructure to bring rail out of the dark ages

Posted Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Jobs cuts, platform marshalls and restructuring will make the State's rail system more efficient and could eventually stop weekend track work, says Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.    The NSW Government began a four week trial at Town Hall station today involving event style marshalling in morning peak hour to reduce the amount of time trains are stopped at the station. Ms Berejiklian was quick to reassure listeners that the 16 "door managers" at the station aren't pushing large groups of people onto the train like a rugby scrum.

Rail link to Tullamarine is logical step in Melbourne Airport's bid

Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE Airport's bid for a third runway should push plans for a rail link to Tullamarine up the Baillieu Government's infrastructure batting order.

Passenger numbers are predicted to hit 40 million by the end of the decade, the point at which observers believe a rail link will become economically viable.

Indeed, according to Matt Francis, Melbourne Airport's general manager of corporate and public affairs, ours will be the only airport in the world handling that sort of traffic without a rail link.

Transport planning off rails

Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IN THE 1880s Melbourne was a study in contrasts. It was the fastest growing city in the British Empire and one of the most prosperous. It was also the smelliest, with an appalling infant mortality rate and up to 3 per cent of the rest of the population dying of typhoid every year.

The economists and the germ theory deniers said that this was the way things were, and the best thing to do was to do nothing. People in the wealthy suburbs south of the Yarra weren't worried by the smells since they could pay to have their sewage carted to the river and dumped in it. The poor would have to put up with the smell, which served them right for not being rich.

Train driver finds motorcyclist dead near tracks

Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2012 by bevans in Gunzelling Reports

Police are investigating a motorcyclist's death last night after his body was found near a train line in the state's north.

The driver of a Swan Hill-bound V/Line train found body of the man, 50, near White Lane in Kerang at 10.30pm.

Baillieu's western 'CBD' to fail without rail

Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A PLANNED new ''CBD'' for Melbourne's west that the Baillieu government hopes will house 20,000 people and create 50,000 jobs will fail without high-quality public transport, planning experts warn.

The government on Tuesday announced plans for a new suburb and employment centre, to be built on 770 hectares of state-owned land between Werribee and Point Cook.

Avalon boss rails against Tullamarine plans

Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A third runway at Melbourne Airport would create a Tullamarine traffic nightmare if no rail link was built to go with it, according to the operator of rival Avalon Airport.

Chief executive of Avalon Airport Justin Giddings says he believes the new runway has state government support and is "a bit of a fait accompli", despite the infrastructure and noise problems it could create.

Speaking on ABC radio on Wednseday, Mr Giddings also said a new rail link to Avalan would cost $150 million, compared to the "billions" to put one through to Melbourne Airport.

He said Tullamarine's third runway would ultimately be a federal government decision even though it was the Victorian government that had to pay for upgraded transport links to the expanded airport.

Greta man blocks access to rail machinery

Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A GRETA landowner came close to stopping a major rail maintenance program before it started yesterday, when he blocked off his property to rail machinery.

Earthmoving machines and heavy vehicles were banked up for hundreds of metres along Florence Street, Greta, at 6am yesterday as Peter Kennedy took protest action against the Australian Rail Track Corporation .

ARTC shut down the main northern rail line yesterday for four days, but when dozens of rail workers and heavy machinery operators arrived at Greta they found their access gate blocked by parked vehicles.

Pilbara ore rail plan slips

Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A landmark bid to build the Pilbara's first genuine multi-user iron ore rail line involving QR National, Atlas Iron and Brockman Mining has slipped by up to six months, highlighting the difficulty of delivering big infrastructure projects in WA.

QR National chief executive Lance Hockridge confirmed the delay of its feasibility study in a wide-ranging interview with WestBusiness in Esperance where the rail boss unveiled a $125 million expansion of its South East operations.

"I would expect it (the study) would take us into the first half of next calendar year before either us alone or with our prospective customers are in a position to understand what the next steps are," he said.

Mr Hockridge also said the Queensland-based QR, which today will seek at its annual meeting to change its name to Aurizon to reflect its increasing push into other parts of Australia, including the Pilbara, was potentially interested in Fortescue Metals' rail network - but only if it gained control of the assets .

LPSC wants CityRail service extended from Scone to Tamworth

Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Deputy Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council is urging the state government to consider extending its CityRail evening passenger rail service from Scone, in the Upper Hunter, to Tamworth.

Col Stewart says he raised the issue with Transport Minister Gladys Berijiklian at Tamworth's community Cabinet meeting in early November.

He says a number of councils in the region are supportive of the idea.

'Dumb ways to die' turns into internet sensation

Posted Thursday, 22 November, 2012 by cootanee in Rail News

A safety campaign for Metro Trains in Melbourne has become an international YouTube sensation.
The quirky clip called Dumb Ways to Die has had nearly 12 million views on YouTube since it was leaked less than a week ago.
The video features animated characters killing themselves in a variety of "dumb" ways.

Leah Waymark from Metro Trains says they are not completely surprised by the popularity of the video.
"[But] you can never predict the speed and the take up, which in this case has been amazing," she said.
Ms Waymark says Metro spoke with their employees about dumb things they have witnessed in and around train stations.

Transport hub gets seal of approval

Posted Thursday, 22 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Bathurst Regional Council has approved plans for a major tranport hub near Raglan Creek.

The intermodal freight facility plan includes space for warehouses and distribution centres to be built.

The Mayor Monica Morse says it will boost employment and business opportunities in the region.

Baillieu backs third runway but not rail link to Melbourne airport

Posted Thursday, 22 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne Airport says better ground transport links are needed as it pushes ahead with its plans for a third runway.

Airport Chief executive officer (CEO) Chris Woodruff says it is up to the Victorian Government to pay for upgraded transport links to an expanded airport.

The State Government has thrown its support behind a third runway at the airport but has stopped short of committing to a rail link to Tullamarine.

The Premier Ted Baillieu says the Government is spending $6 million on a feasibility study on a rail link and will await the airport's master plan due to be revealed in February next year.

Mr Woodruff says ground transport access is a critical issue for the airport.

Monitoring shows freight train noise is worse than noise from Adl airport

Posted Thursday, 22 November, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

THE noise from some freight trains in the Mitcham Hills is worse than the loudest plane at Adelaide Airport, an expert says.

Doug Bardsley, a senior lecturer in Geography, Environment and Population at Adelaide University, recently compared train noise data, taken at Heathfield, with noise data from Adelaide Airport.

He found the loudest planes recorded noise levels of 100 decibels, while the loudest freight trains recorded 120 decibels.

No bonuses for Queensland Rail staff

Posted Thursday, 22 November, 2012 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND Rail (QR) bosses will not get $11 million worth of Christmas bonuses this year because not enough trains arrived on time. Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson isn't signing off on the budget bonuses for last financial year, because peak hour on-time arrivals dropped to 90 per cent in the last three months of the previous Labor government. That's the lowest level in almost three years.

Gawler rail line to be closed on Saturday nights

Posted Thursday, 22 November, 2012 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

THE Gawler rail line will be closed between Adelaide and Mawson Lakes on Saturday nights from November 24 to December 15. The last full-service trains will leave Gawler at 7.54pm and Adelaide at 8.48pm.

What problems? Government skims over transport nightmare

Posted Thursday, 22 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A government submission to a two-year inquiry into the liveability of Melbourne's outer suburbs has been attacked for being delivered 11 months late and with just one reference to transport issues – in London.

One day soon these problems will be so bad and obvious that hardly anyone will want to buy a house in Epping North. 

Launched in February last year, the state parliamentary Inquiry into Liveability Options in Outer Suburban Melbourne was due to report 11 months ago, but the deadline has been pushed back repeatedly and it is now due to be tabled on December 13. The Baillieu government handed in its submission on October 29.

Eighty groups and individuals – including outer suburban councils, residents and sporting clubs – have submitted their views to the inquiry on the most urgent issues affecting the liveability of Melbourne's growth suburbs, with access to transport, health services and schools dominating the agenda.

Melbourne Airport 'needs a rail link'

Posted Thursday, 22 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian government needs to come to the party on a rail link to Melbourne Airport and improved road access, the airport's boss says.

The airport is planning a $500 million third runway, with construction likely to start in 2016.

The runway would take two to four years to complete and allow more aircraft movements, which are expected to jump from 200,000 to 281,000 by 2022-23.

But Melbourne Airport chief executive Chris Woodruff says the government needs to support the expansion with a greater commitment to improving access.

German high-speed rail link to London delayed further

Posted Friday, 23 November, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European travellers will have to wait longer than expected for direct train connections from London to Frankfurt, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said, citing delays to the delivery of new high-speed trains.

The state-owned rail operator said on Thursday its three-times daily service, which promises to bring passengers the 640 kilometres from London to Frankfurt in about five hours, would not be in place before 2016. It had originally hoped to start running trains on the route for 2013.

Deutsche Bahn was initially due to receive 16 ICE trains worth a total of about 500 million euros ($641 million) and made by German engineering group Siemens in late 2011.

Tilt train derailed just hours after track inspection

Posted Friday, 23 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A tilt train derailed in far north Queensland just four hours after the rail line was inspected and re-opened after damaged caused by Cyclone Yasi, it has been revealed.

The train derailed on March 19, 2011 on its first northbound trip between Townsville and Cairns in a known problem area.

The rail line was re-opened at 11.48am and the train derailed at 3.45pm.

While there were no injuries, the 200 metre-long train left the tracks on a corner just 300 metres south of the Herbert River Bridge.

Baillieu's transport report card: solid, but uninspiring

Posted Friday, 23 November, 2012 by railblogger in Other Transport News

It is an accepted part of the narrative of the 2010 election that Melburnians' festering gripes about transport helped propel Ted Baillieu to a surprise win.

Confidence in Labor's ability to manage the issue was low due to myki delays and cost blowouts and rail infrastructure being so run down it couldn't even cope with hot weather.

Transport minister Terry Mulder pledged to make the trains more reliable by investing in sorely needed maintenance, and on that front he has achieved respectable results. Metro hits its punctuality targets almost every month now (although they're not averse to skipping stations to give the stats a favourable nudge) and there are fewer vexing cancellations.

Regional Rail Link cost questioned

Posted Friday, 23 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Labor says it is worried a lack of fresh cost estimates for the Regional Rail Link will upset the project.

The project will give regional trains from central and western Victoria a direct line in and out of Melbourne.

An auditor-general's report suggests the Government's lack of current budget estimates could undermine the cost-value of the project.

Miner denies rail project delayed

Posted Friday, 23 November, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A Pilbara mining company involved in the region's first multi-user railway says the project's feasibility study is on track to be completed by the end of the year.

QR National (QRN) is working with Atlas Iron and Brockman Resources to develop the line, which will help companies move iron ore to port.

Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group operate their own railways, which junior miners have struggled to gain access to.

Train chaos as Craigieburn, Sunbury, Upfield, Werribee and Williamstown delays

Posted Saturday, 24 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

UPDATE: BUSES are replacing trains on five rail lines as a broken signalling cable has brought chaos to Metro and V/line passengers this morning.

It is believed the cable broke near Franklin St, causing the suspension of large sections of the Craigieburn, Sunbury, Upfield, Werribee and Williamstown lines.

New rail hub likely for Hexham

Posted Saturday, 24 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

An environmental assessment of a multi-million dollar rail maintenance facility proposed for an outer Newcastle suburb has concluded there will be no significant impact to the already degraded site.

QR National is proposing the $130 million development at Hexham to free up its current sites in the Port of Newcastle, significantly reducing rail congestion.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 24/11/2012

Posted Sunday, 25 November, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 116 sightings for this week. This is one sighting more than last week, making a total of 5488 sightings for this year to date. On day 329 last year we had recorded 5260 sightings. This is 228 sightings up on the same time last year.

Train drags man sitting on platform edge

Posted Sunday, 25 November, 2012 by QSB6.7 in New South Wales Rail News

A MAN has been critically injured after being hit by a train while sitting on the platform with his legs dangling over the edge near Wollongong.

Light rail focus on Burleigh Esplanade

Posted Sunday, 25 November, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

BURLEIGH HEADS' beachfront is shaping up as the new battleground for the proposed expansions of the light rail.

A proposal to expand the system along Burleigh Heads' Esplanade is now open for public consultation as part of the council's 2031 draft city transport strategy.

Leading the charge against the plan is former Burleigh councillor Paul Gamin and his wife Judy, herself a former Burleigh MP.

Metro train catches fire at Reagan National

Posted Monday, 26 November, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Smoke billowing from Metro rail cars stopped at the Reagan National Airport station just before 11 a.m. Sunday delayed trains and caused a traffic snarl as emergency vehicles competed with people dropping off passengers on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Rail museum takes out top tourism title

Posted Monday, 26 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

IPSWICH'S Workshops Rail Museum has claimed another tourism accolade, named the top tourist attraction in the state for the second year running.

The museum was awarded the top gong at the Queensland Tourism Awards on Saturday night, capping a remarkable decade for the railway yards which were once the hub of Ipswich.

Museum director Andrew Moritz said winning the award for the second year running was fantastic

Peak-hour rail crisis coming, Metro warns

Posted Monday, 26 November, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

TRAIN passengers in Melbourne's north and west can expect chronic peak-hour congestion within two to three years after the government rejected a proposal to use two idle platforms at Southern Cross station.

The two platforms were built last year at a cost of $23.1 million but are expected to sit unused until trains are running on the regional rail link in 2016.

Metro and V/Line approached the Department of Transport last year with a proposal to share the two platforms, which are at the western end of Southern Cross Station.
Metro said it was approaching the limits of its ability to run more trains into the city to meet passenger growth from the northern and western suburbs.

Blitz on the railway

Posted Monday, 26 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

RAILWAY louts, take note.

A blitz on the train line between Redbank and Rosewood has resulted in more than 150 infringements and warning notices being issued, but also unearthed some surprise results.

Member for Ipswich West Sean Choat said that during the past fortnight transit officers conducted 300 hours of patrols on the Ipswich-Rosewood line and between Ipswich and Redbank, intercepting about 3700 passengers.

Rail lobby aims to get debate on track

Posted Monday, 26 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese will drive a train on Monday from Parliament House.

Parliamentarians and government staff will have the chance to drive the multimillion-dollar machine, yet it isn't the high-speed or light rail that some Canberrans have wanted for years.

The Waratah train simulator, here in conjunction with the AusRAIL conference, will be at Parliament House for three days and is an exact replica of a Sydney train cabin.

GrainCorp's Geelong terminal upgrade

Posted Monday, 26 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIAN grain growers should see some country grain storages empty faster during the off-season.

The Victorian Government, GrainCorp and the Australian Rail Track Corporation will spend $5.6 million upgrading the rail loop at the Geelong grain terminal and automate signalling in Geelong and Dunolly. 

Minister for Ports and Regional Cities Denis Napthine announced the funding as part of the Government's response to the Grain Logistics Taskforce report, which was released late last year. 

The taskforce was put together last year to resolve bottlenecks in the supply chain which were hampering grain exports.

The rail loop at GrainCorp's Geelong terminal was identified as a major problem by the taskforce.

Ken's rail worries roll on for Granville's Parramatta Rd level crossing

Posted Monday, 26 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THERE has been some improvement at Granville's rail crossing since resident Ken Wildy raised safety concerns with the Parramatta Advertiser in September, but he is still far from happy.

Mr Wildy wants an overhaul of the crossing, preferably an overpass, or at least work to ensure the gravel is not loose and is even.

In recent weeks, new bitumen near the tracks on one side has made for a smoother ride for cars and for a crossing that is a little safer.

Melbourne commuters should expect delays this morning (27/11/2012)

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne commuters should expect rail delays this morning after a series of lightening storms crossed the Melbourne area last night.

More carriages on regional rail network

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The State Government has signed off on the purchase of 40 new V/Line carriages to help meet growing demand on Victoria's regional rail network.

Mine gets time to submit environmental report

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

Arafura Resources Limited has been given extra time to produce an environmental impact statement for its proposed phosphate and rare earths mine, 135 kilometres north of Alice Springs.

The company has been granted an extra two years by the Northern Territory Government to provide a detailed plan on how the company will prevent water pollution, stop hazardous or radioactive discharges and eventually close down the mine.

Rival cities leave Sydney smartcard in the dust

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

As Sydney residents trial new transport smartcards, other cities are moving fast on ticket systems that won't need them.

But while one analyst says the Opal cards are "10 years too late" due to the rise of mobile phone and contactless credit/debit card payment systems, other experts say that after a long history of electronic ticketing debacles in NSW the government is right to play it safe with a mature and tested technology first.

Guy Cranswick, an analyst with Australian firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS), said the Opal smartcard was "old technology and already being replaced around the world".

Full steam ahead for Zig Zag reopening

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Work on upgrading safety standards at the Zig Zag Railway is starting, after regulators approved a plan for the tourist attraction.

Representatives from Lithgow's Zig Zag Railway have met regulators for the first time since it closed in June.

An audit released in September listed 150 instances where the railway was deficient in its safety management.

Elevated tracks required for rail link: industry

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

A speaker at the national rail conference in Canberra says a high-speed link between major cities is possible if new technology is adopted.

Dozens of train experts and railway manufacturers are gathering for the start of the AusRail conference, as Federal and State Governments remain concerned about price estimates for building a new train line.

Head of Metro Trains Melbourne Andrew Lezala says elevated tracks will be needed alongside existing infrastructure such as highways, to help reduce costs.

More rail carriages on track for Bendigo line

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Government has indicated the Bendigo rail line will get more train carriages in the coming years.

The Government confirmed the order of 40 new carriages yesterday.

The first trains will be delivered in 2014 and the remainder will be completed by the time the Regional Rail Link opens in 2016.

Council sells Scone transport solution

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Upper Hunter Shire Council has floated its own solution to deal with Scone's ongoing traffic woes.

Roads and Maritime Services has put forward five options to help ease escalating transport issues in Scone's CBD which are likely to worsen as coal expansion in the Gunnedah Basin continues.

Gippsland likely to share in new rail carriages

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Gippsland train travellers will have to wait until at least 2014 to benefit from the rollout of new V/Line carriages.

The Victorian Government has awarded a $207 million contract to a Victorian train manufacturer to build the 40 new carriages.

Train crashes into stolen car left on tracks

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A train has hit a stolen car that was left on the tracks in Yangebup in Perth's south.

The 4WD had been abandoned on the tracks near a railway crossing on Erceg Road early on Sunday morning when it was hit by the train.

Transport Department chief Rod Hook: Belair rail line must close during upgrade

Posted Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

THE Belair rail line must close for seven months next year for the safety of maintenance crews, the Transport Department chief says.

At a public meeting attended by 280 people at Blackwood High School last night, residents asked if the train line could remain open from Belair to Mitcham while a $110 million Goodwood junction upgrade was built next year.

But Transport Department chief executive Rod Hook ruled this out.

The line will be shut from January 2 to July 1, with shuttle buses replacing trains.

Survey to fix Newcastle city centre

Posted Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Newcastle residents are being urged to take part in an online poll which aims to tell political leaders what should be done to fix the city centre.

The "Make My City Work" survey asks respondents to imagine they are in charge of revitalising Newcastle's city centre.

They are then asked questions about the city's greatest strength, its biggest challenge and the number one priority for revitalising Newcastle.

Metro accused of bullying train victim's mother

Posted Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A WOMAN whose son this year became the 16th person killed at a despised St Albans level crossing says Metro bullied her and destroyed her property after she posted flyers around St Albans railway station calling for the crossing's removal.

Dianne Dejanovic has led two rallies in recent weeks calling for the removal of Victoria's deadliest level crossing. The Baillieu government has promised to begin planning to remove the crossing in its first term.

500km/h 'floating' bullet train unveiled in Japan

Posted Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

RAIL operators in Japan have unveiled a prototype for a "levitating" high-speed train capable of reaching speeds of up to 500km/h.

Designed by JR Tokai, the 28 metre-long Series LO "maglev" train would be able to cover 322 kilometres in just 40 minutes.

The company plans to use the train on one of Japan’s busiest routes from 2027 – between Tokyo and Nagoya. The service will be expanded to Osaka by 2045 at a cost of approximately $98 million.

Regional high-speed rail forecast as $48b winner

Posted Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

AN EAST-coast high-speed railway linking major cities would deliver more than $48 billion worth of benefits in its first 30 years.

Benefits would include boosting health and social services in regional communities and easing the burden on Melbourne's sprawling suburbs, the study says.

The study into the benefits of the rail link says $31 billion worth of "time savings" would be made through reduced car and air travel, with a further $11 billion saved by decreasing road congestion.

Commissioned by the Greens and authored by Naomi Edwards, a former partner at Deloitte, the report found that high-speed rail would be a powerful way to deal with the sharp rise in people settling 20 kilometres from the CBD.

Rail on the move at Winton

Posted Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Winton rail users, in central west Queensland, say services are currently running smoothly.

The small outback town is at the end of the central Queensland rail line, but over the past few years the district has also felt very much at the end of the line when its come to upkeep and services.

It took the state government six months to fix flood damage to the Darr river bridge, between Winton and Longreach, forcing cattle and minerals to be trucked out of the town.

Sunbury commuters get foretaste of Metro travel

Posted Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

COMMUTERS have had a mixed reaction to using Metro trains following the first week of the new services on the Sunbury line.
Services started last Sunday following the completion of the Sunbury electrification project.

Matthew Carter, who regularly travels with a group of commuters from Sunbury to the city, said there had been some positives.
"I think the newer trains in peak hour have been good and those [travelling] on train [back] home pre-5pm have said it is not that full, which I experienced on Tuesday."

He said the main problem experienced by passengers was the lack of communication from Metro staff about cancellations and changes to timetables.

High-speed rail should start 2013: Greens

Posted Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

WORK on building a high-speed rail network on Australia's east coast should start as soon as next year to take advantage of the economic and environmental benefits, the Australian Greens say.

The party on Wednesday released new modelling that outlines about $48 billion in economic benefits to come from building the network.

It also says high-speed rail would lead to shorter commute times, reduced congestion, fewer accidents, and less pollution.

Commuters split on new trains

Posted Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

FOR almost three decades Kerryn Mah has taken the train from Sunbury to work in the city. Over 28 years she's formed close ties with her "second family" of fellow commuters and V/Line staff.

But the extension of Metro services to Sunbury has signalled the end of her regular commute. "They (passengers) are a tremendous bunch of people, the conductors over the years have been wonderful. You just get to know them, it's like a big family," she said.

Comparing the trains

Posted Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

THERE are two schools of thought about Metro rolling in to Sunbury.

One: it's the natural progression for a growth town on the outskirts of Melbourne.
Two: there was no need for change with V/Line already meeting commuters' needs.

Metro supporters will argue it will provide flexibility, with more frequent services and late-night trains.

Pro-V/Line passengers say they will lose comfort and slam Metro for over-crowded trains, timetable changes and longer travel times. Both are correct. Catching the 7.38am train from Sunbury to the city on both began quite similarly.

Lightning strikes and rail delays

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A coal train has derailed near Boggabri, and lightning has caused a spate of fires in the North West this afternoon

A Pacific National coal train has derailed at Boggabri this afternoon, which could cause delays to passenger trains again tomorrow morning, due to damage to the rail line.

Several carriages derailed and caught fire just before three o'clock this afternoon. No one was injured.

Greens want high speed rail fast tracked

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

The Greens say the time is right to fast track plans for a high-speed east coast rail link, taking in Newcastle.

A report commissioned by the party shows the project would generate $48 billion worth of benefits over three decades.

That compares to an estimated overall costs of $80 billion.

Regional Rail Link works stir up dust, noise complaints

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FOOTSCRAY residents fed up with noise and dust from construction of the Regional Rail Link say ramping up of the works will make their lives a nightmare.

Raleigh Street residents say their health is suffering from constant disruption to sleep by generators and bright lights as construction is carried out in the middle of the night.

New rail lines could kill iron ore price: UBS

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

The new rail lines under construction in the Pilbara could damage the iron ore price and threaten the existence start-up projects like Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine, according to UBS analysts.

As part of expansions in the Pilbara QR National has teamed up with Atlas Iron and Hong Kong-based Brockman Mining (formerly Wah Nam Holdings) to propose a new rail line,The Australian reports.

More south coast rail infrastructure spending needed

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Opposition Leader John Robertson has cast doubts on the state government's ability and willingness to spend money on the south coast rail line.

The line was identified as the top infrastructure priority for the region in the Infrastructure New South Wales report handed down in October this year.

The report recommended spending $500-million on a program to shorten travelling times between Sydney and Wollongong to one hour.

Coal train derails near Boggabri

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by michaelgreenhill in New South Wales Rail News

A clean-up is underway this evening after a full-laden coal train derailed in spectacular fashion from a bridge near Boggabri this afternoon.

At 2.45pm the train was travelling across the bridge 800metres from Boggabri when 5 or 6 carriages have derailed.

Petition for light rail in CBD

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

A petition for light rail in the CBD is gaining widespread support in wake of the State Government’s proposal to build a bus station under Wynyard Station to ease traffic congestion.

Infrastructure NSW Chief Executive Paul Broad said addressing the CBD’s congestion is part of a 20-year strategy to improve transport and economic growth.

“We need to decongest our global city if we are to increase productivity and grow the economy,” he said.

Siemens buys Invensys rail automation arm

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

GERMAN industrial giant Siemens says it has reached an agreement to buy Invensys Rail from the British technology company Invensys for about 2.2 billion euros ($A2.75 billion).

Siemens on Wednesday also announced it planned to divest its baggage handling, postal and parcel sorting activities.

"Today's moves are important measures to focus our core activities," Roland Busch, chief executive of Siemens Infrastructure & Cities said in a written statement.

RailCorp prosecuted over track worker's death

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Railcorp is being prosecuted for the first time in its history by the state's transport safety watchdog, following the death of a track worker struck by a train at Kogarah.

Tamati Grant, 59, died attempting to scramble clear of a southbound train from Hurstville just after 1am on April 13, 2010.

The fatality was attributed to the failure of a RailCorp employee, an area controller, at the train operator's Sydenham signalling complex to alert Mr Grant's cleaning team of the impending arrival of the train.

Fears high-speed rail planning too late

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Bundaberg Regional Council says a realistic approach is needed for a proposed high-speed rail network linking central Queensland's major mining towns.

Business group Capricorn Enterprise released a glowing pre-feasibility study on the idea in August.

Spokeswomen Mary Carroll says the concept would bring jobs and reduce traffic on the region's roads, including the Bruce Highway which links Bundaberg, Gladstone and Rockhampton

Government public transport group is secretive and compromised, says PTUA

Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Baillieu government's specially created public transport authority is so far failing in its task to fix and expand public transport in Victoria because it is too politically compromised, the state's leading public transport lobby group says.

Tony Morton, the new president of the Public Transport Users Association, has condemned the performance of Public Transport Victoria, the overarching authority the Baillieu government established to improve transport governance, saying that eight months after its formation it was yet to reveal an agenda.

Further delays for rail report

Posted Friday, 30 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

ANOTHER long delay has hit the release of a final report from an investigation into the Melbourne-to-Sydney rail line.

The latest date is the end of February, six months after the report was first due.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman said in September that the report would be released by year’s end.

FMG looks for buyer for rail network

Posted Friday, 30 November, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Fortescue Metals Group has stepped up its search for a potential buyer of part of its vast rail and port network, opening a data room for a handful of local and international operators to comb its books.

The sale of a possible stake in Fortescue's infrastructure arm, TPI, is being run by Macquarie Capital's global head of resources Robert Dunlop, and sources say activity has ramped up in recent days.

Proceeds from any sale would be used to retire Fortescue's substantial debt and fund the development of the Kings mine at its Solomon Hub.

What are the benefits of east coast High Speed Rail?

Posted Friday, 30 November, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

The Greens released a report this week claiming an east coast High Speed Rail line would deliver benefits of $48 billion. Trouble is, it would cost much more than this to build and would mainly benefit regional leisure travellers

Ignore rail crossing warnings and you could be fined $8,800

Posted Friday, 30 November, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

IGNORING level crossing signals and damaging boom gates or other rail equipment now carries the same demerit points as driving 30km/h over the speed limit or a learner driving without a supervisor.


Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson says imposing a four-point demerit loss and maximum $8,800 fine for two new rail crossing road rules shows how seriously the State Government views level crossing safety.

NSW rail review has container focus

Posted Friday, 30 November, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Doubling the percentage of containers moved into and out of Port Botany by rail is a key driver in the state government’s review of rail access, which begins today.

Exporters suspend cement supply to India through rails

Posted Friday, 30 November, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

LAHORE - Cement export to India through Railways wagons has completely been stopped as in the absence of adequate security measures for eliminating narcotic smuggling, the cement manufacturers preferred to discontinue sending dispatch through rail routes, sources said.

Currently, cement is being exported to India through trucks only which remain under the exporters control before crossing the border, however the trucks are accepted by Indian authorities in small numbers thus resulting in declining export dispatches.

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