News

 

Showing stories from December 2012

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Queensland Rail bulks up coal plans

Posted Saturday, 1 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

QUEENSLAND Rail has unveiled new plans for 10 coal-train sidings as part of a $130-million train fuelling and maintenance facility at Hexham.

With the federally owned Australian Rail Track Corporation planning to build five of its own sidings at Hexham, the QR National plan could take to 15 the total number of sidings to be built beside the main northern railway.

Rail plan links city to airport

Posted Sunday, 2 December, 2012 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

WA's foremost public transport expert has proposed an ambitious "ring rail" project that would connect Perth's five existing rail lines and Perth Airport.

The plan - being developed by Professor Peter Newman and researcher Cole Hendrigan of Curtin University's Sustainability Policy Institute - would effectively see two new east-west rail lines from Fremantle in the south and Warwick in the north converge at the airport.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 1/12/2012

Posted Sunday, 2 December, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 90 sightings for this week. This is 26 sighting less than last week, making a total of 5578 sightings for this year to date. On day 336 last year we had recorded 5399 sightings. This is 179 sightings up on the same time last year.

Tunnel under city or face rail chaos

Posted Sunday, 2 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE'S trains will become so overcrowded passengers will be increasingly left behind during peak hour, unless work on an underground city rail tunnel begins within two years.

State government documents obtained by The Sunday Age reveal that unless work begins soon on the so-called ''Melbourne Metro'' rail project, several of the city's busiest train lines will come under further strain because the number of passengers will outstrip services.

Railpage Downtime update - 2/12/2012

Posted Monday, 3 December, 2012 by bevans in Railpage Australia News

Yesterday 2/12/2012 Railpage suffered a network traffic flood the reasons for which are currently being investigated. The impact of this network flood was to ensure traffic to and from the railpage servers was unable to be delivered to clients connecting to the servers. The problem began circa 19:00 last night. We have only now been able to stablise the service.

Melbourne Airport rail link vital

Posted Monday, 3 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE State Government has been urged to build a rail link and improve road access to Melbourne Airport.

The airport is planning a $500 million third runway, with work starting as early as 2016.

Melbourne Airport chief executive Chris Woodruff said the government needed to support the airport's expansion with a greater commitment to improving access.

Mr Woodruff said the Skybus carried almost 2.5 million passengers a year but was often caught in traffic congestion on the Tullamarine Freeway.

$4m earmarked for Sunshine Coast light rail study

Posted Monday, 3 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Tenders are being called for a feasibility study for the $2 billion light rail project between Caloundra and Maroochydore on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

The Sunshine Coast council has budgeted $4 million for the study, which will also present a business case.

Pak-India trade through rail comes to a halt due to wagons shortage

Posted Monday, 3 December, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

CHANDIGARH – Trade through rail route between India and Pakistan has almost come to a halt due to non-availability of rail wagons, exporters have said.

Exporters said they had not been able to get sufficient rail wagons during last four weeks. They further said goods worth Rs 1,000 crore are held up at Amritsar railway station.

“We are not getting rail wagons for export of goods, which has significantly impacted export to Pakistan through rail network,” Amritsar-based exporter Rajiv Setia said.

Fortescue commissions Hamersley rail

Posted Monday, 3 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Fortescue Metals has commissioned the Hamersley rail linking its new Solomon Hub of mines to Port Hedland, as it looks to expand its iron ore production by 20m tonnes a year from the first mine at Firetail.

Council alliance pushes completion of Maldon Dombarton rail link

Posted Monday, 3 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

WOLLONDILLY, Wingecarribee, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Goulburn Mulwarree councils have forged an alliance to support the completion of the Maldon Dombarton rail link.

Wollondilly Mayor Col Mitchell and general manager Les McMahon met members of the respective councils recently to discuss the railway line's development, the Macarthur Chroniclereports.

Airport rail link government's responsibility: Melbourne Airport

Posted Tuesday, 4 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

With Melbourne Airport set to build an $80 million six-lane road to directly connect motorists between the Western Ring Road and Tullamarine, 3AW Breakfast have asked: What about a rail link?

Simon Crean backs need for new rail line from Kununurra to Darwin

Posted Tuesday, 4 December, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

A NEW railway across the top of Australia linking Kununurra in the remote east Kimberley region with Darwin is under consideration.

Federal Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean backed the need for a new rail line connecting to Darwin's port to realise the food bowl potential of northern Australia.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills said he had discussed with Mr Crean whether the federal government would pay for a new northern rail corridor to Darwin, as part of joint talks on the expansion of the Ord irrigation scheme across the border from the east Kimberley into the NT.

But Mr Crean said he hoped private enterprise would fund any new rail link, as corporations such as Chinese property development company Shanghai Zhongfu prepare to turn remote bush country into vast irrigated sugar cane plains with a $700 million investment.

Motorists the losers in light-rail George St

Posted Tuesday, 4 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

SPARKLING pavers and Japanese trees will feature in a $180 million redesign of Sydney's George St that hands 25,000sq m of car space over to pedestrians.

A $400,000 design strategy for George St has been endorsed by the City of Sydney in anticipation that, once the state government makes an announcement on light rail, the work will begin "swiftly".

It found George St had 39,780 pedestrians each weekday and the number was falling because "by national standards the footpaths are narrow and dysfunctional".

Donated sleepers help Rattler rail service

Posted Tuesday, 4 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Mary Valley Heritage Railway has been boosted with a donation of timber sleepers from Queensland Rail.

The Rattler service needs major upgrades, before the rail safety regulator will allow it to resume operations.

General manager Jim Walker says the 240 sleepers will be a big help.

At some point, rail is the future

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Most car makers offer prospective buyers different models of a new vehicle. Buyers who are on a tight budget can go with a basic model with no frills. Well-heeled buyers can choose a top-of-the-line option with all the creature comforts. As in most things, what you get depends entirely on how much you are prepared to spend.

Whitehaven Coal - Boggabri Derailment

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by GrahamH in Rail News

Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) advises that on Wednesday 28 November, 2012 a trainderailment occurred near Boggabri in New South Wales, interrupting train movements between Whitehaven's Narrabri mine and the Port of Newcastle. Investigation and clean-up crews have beenon site since the incident.

Myki cards nearing four-year expiry date

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MYKI cards will be switched off in their thousands in coming weeks as they begin to reach their four-year expiry date.

Myki users in Geelong, where the smart-card ticketing system was first introduced on buses, will be the first affected, followed by commuters in other regional towns. Melburnians who took up an early offer of a free myki card will follow.

Scone railway crossing submissions

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

The State Government has received more than 100 submissions about options to address the railway crossing issue at Scone. Five options have been proposed, including different locations for an overpass and relocating the rail line, with the options ranging in price from 65 million to 250 million dollars.

Ban the 'bogans' plea on Sunbury V/Line

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by in Victorian Rail News

SOME Bendigo line commuters have started a petition calling for Sunbury passengers to be stopped from boarding V/Line trains.

The petition to V/Line, Public Transport Victoria and the state government is being handed out on V/Line trains.
Metro began services from Sunbury to the city last month. As previously reported by the Weekly, the government promised Sunbury commuters access to both V/Line and Metro trains following the Sunbury electrification project. Transport Minister Terry Mulder and PTV and V/Line officials have all publicly said the promise still stands.
The petition has 60 signatures, mostly from Macedon Ranges residents.

All aboard: the growth of global rail and our future cities

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

There is a major rail revival around the world, including light rail, metro rail, heavy rail, and high speed rail. At the same time car use has peaked and is in decline in most cities. However transport planning, especially in major Australian cities, continues to plan for expansion of road capacity and cannot understand this rail fetish. Why is there a reversal in the historic transport patterns?

Rural retreats with city convenience

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

With the sprawl of Melbourne growing seemingly ever wider, finding somewhere that offers a country lifestyle within a commutable distance of the city centre is becoming harder.

But there are opportunities for those who don't want to spend a fortune and who don't mind spending a couple of hours travelling to and from work each day - which may be particularly attractive to the growing number of people able to work for one or two days a week from home.

Phil Manning, property adviser at the WBP Property Group, says the corridor heading towards Bendigo to the north-west of the city provides some good opportunities to purchase properties on a bit of land, particularly around places such as Macedon, Woodend and Kyneton, and, closer in, Gisborne and even Sunbury.

Thousands of commuters have to buy new myki cards as their smart card expires

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

A leaked memo obtained by the Herald Sun reveals cards that are four years old will be turned off in coming weeks. Commuters can only get a free replacement card at the PTV Hub at Southern Cross Station or must buy a $6 card and fill out a form to have the cost reimbursed and have their myki money transferred.

Those in country areas are set to be hit first as early as next week. Geelong will be the first regional town impacted followed by commuters in Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour and the Latrobe Valley.

"The myki ticketing system has been operating for almost four years on a number of regional town buses and cards purchased by passengers when the system began will soon begin to expire,'' the Public Transport Victoria memo sent to staff last Thursday said.

Next will be the thousands cards that belong to Melburnians who registered for a free myki ahead of the smartcard starting on the metropolitan train network in December 2009.

Southern Highlands coal miner moves rail line

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Xstrata Coal has built a new section of railway on the main Southern Highlands line because there was a risk that its mining operations could damage a train tunnel.

The newly constructed 1.8 kilometre section of rail goes around the Redbank Tunnel on the Southern Highlands line between Tahmoor and Picton.

Another webcam project at Menzies Creek (NodeJAA)

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by in Railpage Australia News

Melbourne Wireless has several nodes at Menzies Creek one of which NodeJAA has a camera placed at the site. The camera is looking south over Cardinia Reservoir and is quite scenic. Several of these cameras exist on the network and I am hoping (since they are a lot cheaper) we can roll a few out around the network at other locations and preferably rail. To access the webcam click over to [url=http://jaacam.mw.org.au]http://jaacam.mw.org.au[/url] I have temporarily setup a website which (similar to Bunbury Street) will refresh a new image every 60 seconds.

Top End rail plan for new steel industry

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

AN ambitious rail plan to create a new Australian steel industry by linking coalfields in the east with mines in the west has taken a step forward with a top Japanese consultancy agreeing to help develop a feasibility study.

The Nomura Research Institute has agreed to participate in the early stages of the multi-billion-dollar Project Iron Boomerang, which also involves the consulting arm of Britain's Tata Steel.

The NRI, which signed an agreement to join the project in Tokyo yesterday, is expected to lend its expertise to analysing stage-one plans, which involve building a new town for 20,000 people and a giant slab-steel plant near Queensland's Abbot Point export coal terminal, north of Bowen.

Regional Rail Link: Rising Sun bridge to come tumbling down

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE RISING Sun footbridge linking Seddon with West Footscray will be demolished early next month to make way for the $5 billion Regional Rail Link.

Residents were first told the bridge would remain in place until the end of next year, but about 2000 letters being sent out from today will announce the bridge will close on January 8 and be pulled down between January 12 and 14.

The bridge will not be replaced.

Libs stuck on Southland station

Posted Friday, 7 December, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

PLANS to build a railway station at Southland have been ready to launch since March last year, but have stalled while the Baillieu government considers pursuing a deal with the shopping centre owner to share the construction costs.

Documents obtained by Fairfax Media reveal that the Department of Transport proposed last year that the government sell Southland's owner, Ventana, the right to build new stores above the planned station.

North West Rail Link enters new phase

Posted Friday, 7 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Plans for the North West Rail Link moved a step closer this morning.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced the start of the third major North West Rail Link contract process to deliver and operate the link.

"This is the biggest milestone so far in this massive infrastructure project," Ms Berejiklian said.

The NSW Government called for expressions of interest for the Operations, Trains and Systems contract.

Rail closure causes headaches for Whitehaven

Posted Friday, 7 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Whitehaven Coal might seek temporary approval to truck coal from its Narrabri underground mine, after a train derailment near Boggrabri forced the closure of its rail line.

According to the Financial Review Whitehaven has been advised that while cleanup work has begun the track damage is unlikely to be fixed within the next 12 to 15 days.

Light rail the route to higher property prices

Posted Friday, 7 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Experts say plans for light rail between the CBD and the University of NSW will boost property prices along the route.

The state government is expected to announce next week the first stage of a light rail plan that is set to reinvigorate Sydney's public transport network.

It is also expected to commit to the second stage - lord mayor Clover Moore and the public's favoured option of light rail between Central and Circular Quay along George Street.

The stage-one route is likely to run from Central, through Surry Hills, to the SCG, and up Anzac Parade to Kensington and Kingsford.

Damaged NSW rail line should reopen by Christmas

Posted Friday, 7 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A major freight route in north-west NSW is expected to reopen within three weeks after a derailment left thousands of tonnes of grain, pulses and cotton stranded.

Australia Rail Track Corporation says repair work in underway and trains will be back on track at Boggabri by Christmas.

Six fully loaded coal wagons fell from the track last week, causing major structural damage to the rail bridge last Wednesday.

Rail fix forces move to buses

Posted Friday, 7 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Buses will replace trains on the Gippsland train line this weekend.

The disruptions are being caused by track work scheduled for the Melbourne train line.

V/Line spokesman James Kelly says Gippsland travellers need to allow extra time for their journeys.

Pumping Operations Completed On Breached Rail Car In Paulsboro

Posted Friday, 7 December, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

PAULSBORO, N.J. (CBS) – U.S. Coast Guard officials said Thursday that pumping operations on the breached rail car have been completed, which is a step in the right direction for still-evacuated residents in Paulsboro.

The Unified Command said that product mixture pumping operations were completed on the breached rail car at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

A thorough cleaning was performed at 7:40 a.m. on Thursday to eliminate any remaining liquid from the breached rail car. A barge is being moved into place on the Mantua Creek and other tankers carrying vinyl chloride will have to be checked and then moved out by the barge.

Yarra Council calls for Doncaster rail study details

Posted Saturday, 8 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

YARRA Council has called for the release of first phase findings of the Doncaster Rail Study to help balance debate around Melbourne's future. 

Yarra Mayor, Jackie Fristacky said she had written to state Transport Minister, Terry Mulder seeking the release of the report to better inform the public into transport and planning considerations.  

City slows to crawl as commuters clog road, rail network

Posted Sunday, 9 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

AFTERNOON peak-hour travel on Sydney's major roads is getting even slower, according to the latest snapshot of the state's transport system.

But there has been a mild improvement in travel times in the city's notorious morning peak hour, says the report, which highlights a host of long-standing problems in the management and performance of the system.

The Auditor-General's performance report into transport and ports, released on Wednesday, reveals that almost half the major transport projects in the state are over-budget or delayed.

City to airport rail tunnel option

Posted Sunday, 9 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A NEW train tunnel from the CBD to Tullamarine is being considered as part of a long-awaited rail link to Melbourne Airport.

A state government study into the feasibility of an airport connection has examined about 80 route options designed to ease traffic congestion and cope with the airport's future growth.

One of the options is a direct tunnel from the CBD that would cut through the north-west suburbs. Another is a rail link between Albion North and the airport, connected to the city via the Sunbury train line.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 8/12/2012

Posted Sunday, 9 December, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 101 sightings for this week. This is 11 sighting more than last week, making a total of 5679 sightings for this year to date. On day 343 last year we had recorded 5530 sightings. This is 149 sightings up on the same time last year.

Wollongong in high-speed rail plan: Greens

Posted Monday, 10 December, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Wollongong was still under consideration for a stop on any proposed Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne high-speed rail network, Greens transport spokeswoman Lee Rhiannon has said.

A study into high-speed rail was commissioned by the federal government as part of a deal to earn the support of the Greens in Parliament.

The first phase of the study laid out a proposed route and identified the Illawarra as a regional area that could benefit from high-speed rail.

Call for light rail

Posted Monday, 10 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

VETERAN Maitland councillor Ray Fairweather is calling for five Lower Hunter councils to co-operate to create a co-ordinated, light-rail network to transport the large numbers of people expected to move into the region in coming years.

Mr Fairweather, who retired from the Maitland City Council at this year’s local government election, said if a network was not built, the region would face the same, if not worse, traffic congestion being experienced now.

MP jumps on board Mernda rail line push

Posted Monday, 10 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE bid to extend the rail line to Mernda has won the support of Northern Metropolitan MLC Craig Ondarchie.

He has asked lobbyists to draw up a cost-benefit analysis of taking the rail line from South Morang seven kilometres to Mernda, with an additional three stations.

The information will be given to Treasury to establish a case for the extension, according to Darren Peters of the South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance.

Sagging, fractured rail wagon prompts investigation

Posted Monday, 10 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A prohibition notice has been issued for some American-made rail cars after wagons in a Newcastle-bound grain train started to sag and fracture.

The Office of Transport Safety Investigations is investigating the incident at Gulgong involving a train en route to Newcastle last Wednesday.

The train had 100 wagons manufactured in the US by American Railcar Industries.

MP urges SA Govt to accept grain report

Posted Monday, 10 December, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The chairman of the state grain handling committee, Geoff Brock, has urged the South Australian Government to accept the committee's final report after the way was cleared for Glencore to take over Viterra.

Glencore announced on Friday night it had cleared the final regulatory hurdle and been approved by the Chinese Government.

The multi-national company will now take control of most of the state's grain handling storage and port facilities.

Talk of tram comeback amid celebrations

Posted Monday, 10 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

There was much talk over the weekend about Bendigo's trams making a comeback to the public transport landscape, 40 years after the system shut down.

Conductors, tourists and local families flocked to Bendigo's vintage talking trams to celebrate the tourist attraction's 40th birthday.

The network started when the public transport tram system wound up in 1972.

Big grain freight road task begins in earnest

Posted Tuesday, 11 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Truck movements of grain out of Narrabri begin in earnest today following a train derailment at Boggabri, with Tamworth the focus of activity.

The extra road movements are needed following the closure of the main Northern line after a coal train derailed at Boggabri nearly two weeks ago, causing damage to tracks and the Coxs Creek Bridge.

New masterplan plans to run part of Outer Harbor rail line underground

Posted Tuesday, 11 December, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A NEW masterplan for an under-used section of the parklands proposes a $15 million pedestrian bridge, youth precinct and community orchards - and running the Outer Harbor rail line underground.

The Renewal SA masterplan, which will go before an Adelaide City Council meeting tonight, proposes a two-staged redevelopment of about 5ha of parklands between Port Rd and Park Tce.

Almost 170,000 free trips taken on Melbourne's public transport network daily

Posted Tuesday, 11 December, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

ALMOST 170,000 free trips are being taken on Melbourne's public transport network each weekday, despite overall fare evasion falling.

Results of the latest fare evasion survey, released yesterday, showed freeloaders equated to 9.4 per cent of about 1.8 million weekday commuters. It is an improvement on the 11.9 per cent figure in October last year and 13.5 per cent in May this year.

Fare evasion on buses rose from 7.6 per cent in October 2011 to 9.1 per cent - or about 38,000 of the 417,000 weekday trips.

Inland rail project faces uncertainty

Posted Tuesday, 11 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The future of a major rail project through Queensland's southern inland is in limbo.

In 2006, a consortium of mining and infrastructure companies was given an exclusive contract to build a 204-kilometre rail line between Wandoan and Banana.

It is designed to link Surat Basin coal mines to the Port of Gladstone.

Mayor to ramp up inland rail link calls

Posted Tuesday, 11 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio says he will make a renewed effort to call for a rail link between Parkes in New South Wales and Brisbane, via regional southern Queensland.

The Toowoomba and Goondiwindi councils met Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO Brian Nye, in Millmerran yesterday, to get an update on the long-discussed inland rail line from Melbourne to Brisbane.

Rail commuters disrupted as thieves steal 'poor man's gold'

Posted Tuesday, 11 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Thousands of Melbourne commuters had a longer journey to work than normal today because of a problem which is being experienced worldwide, the theft of copper.

The Melbourne thieves targetted cabling between some of the railway stations in the city's west.

Globally the theft of copper is driven by high world prices for the metal.

Rail group braces for line cut at Wickham

Posted Tuesday, 11 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Frustrated rail supporters believe their protests to save Maitland's direct link with the Newcastle CBD have fallen on deaf ears with Premier Barry O'Farrell to announce before Christmas the closure of the line at Wickham .

Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson said her group has it on good authority that the rail line will be cut at Wickham with bumpers installed on the tracks to stop the trains.

Ms Dawson said the government would use $60 million from the Hunter Infrastructure Fund to build temporary facilities to move commuters from the train to the platform - including bumpers - which would remain in place for two years to allow the redevelopment of Newcastle CBD.

Rail deal to keep $10b coal project rolling

Posted Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The developers of a $10 billion coal project in central western Queensland have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) over transport services.

GVK Hancock is developing the Alpha Coal project in the Galilee Basin, which includes a thermal coal mine, a 500-kilometre rail line and port facilities at Abbot Point.

On track for traffic chaos

Posted Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

The Maitland-Newcastle rail line could be saved if Novocastrians understood the massive impact the state government's plan to stop the railway at Wickham will have on motorists, transport advocate Rick Banyard saidMr Banyard said Newcastle residents had not been informed about the dire consequences they would face when the line is truncated west of Wickham.

Mr Banyard said Newcastle residents had not been informed about the dire consequences they would face when the line is truncated west of Wickham.

History smiles on Newcastle rail

Posted Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

WHAT a wonderful photograph of Hunter Street, Newcastle, in the 1930s (''Main drag'', Herald, 27/11).

Lots of people and activity despite the fact that there was a heavy-rail line with steam trains coming into Newcastle Station from Toronto, Belmont, Telarah, Morpeth, Cessnock and Central.

There was a coal-fired power station on the foreshore near Zaara Street.

Crossing to Wharf Road from Watt Street at Customs House was over multiple train tracks in a shunting and marshalling precinct for coal wagons, locomotives and passenger carriages.

Reconstruction of rail bridge well underway at derailment site

Posted Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The ARTC is standing by its predictions that a rail bridge, damaged by a coal train derailment, will be back on track by Christmas.

New South Wales Government is monitoring trucks that are hauling grain as part of the mammoth effort to clear a backlog of stranded agri-products and coal.

The transport of grain, chickpeas, wheat and coal has been held up after the derailment at Boggabri, in the north-west of NSW, left the rail line badly damaged two weeks ago.

Adelaide’s new electric trains

Posted Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 by Arelex in South Australian Rail News

Adelaide’s new electric trains are currently being assembled with the first due for delivery next year.Called the A-City Class 4000, the trains will be the most modern in the country, including the first rail vehicle to meet stringent new international crash specifications as found in Europe and Great Britain.

Rail removal seen as ‘game changer’

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE proposed redevelopment of the Hunter Street Mall may not go ahead if the Newcastle rail line stays, the chief executive of Landcom said last night.

Sean O’Toole briefed Newcastle City Council and said the mall redevelopment could be ‘‘the greatest urban renewal project in the country’’.

‘‘I’m not aware of a city that has all of the things going for it that you’ve got here,’’ Mr O’Toole said.

‘‘There are projects that are commercial projects and there are game-changing projects. This is a game-changing project and we need to get it right.’’

Concerns Light Rail could be Scaled back in Perth

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by pandem in Western Australian Rail News

The City of Perth says its fears the State Government could be planning to scale back its proposal for a light rail network.
The council last night passed a motion saying while it remains opposed to the planned route through the Hay Street Mall, it supports the project overall.
Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi says she is worried the Government could try to use the City as an excuse for scrapping the eastern component of the plans.

Top coal expert has fast fix for rail corridor coal dust problem

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

ONE of Queensland's top coal experts says a coal dust mitigation program in the Brisbane urban rail corridor is so straightforward it could be introduced in weeks, not months as outlined in a new plan by Queensland Resources Council.

Ed Crawford, a coal specialist with Anglo Coal, which has been "veneering" coal wagons in Central Queensland for almost five years, said the set-up process does not involve a large capital outlay or significant infrastructure investment.

Residents in the rail corridor have been concerned for years about coal dust emitted from train wagons getting into their homes and the potential associated health risks.

St. Francis High's Visual Arts Teacher Dies Photographing a Train

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by pandem in International Rail News

A St. Francis High School visual arts teacher, known for her talent and passion, died when she was struck by a train while taking photos near the campus Saturday afternoon.

Another study into light rail

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

A new study will investigate how light rail will work with the existing public transport network in Canberra. The ACT Government has agreed to begin construction of a light rail network by 2016 as part of its parliamentary agreement with Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury.

Fisher fears rail line's Gulf impact

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

A Gulf of Carpentaria fisherman says he is worried about the environmental impact of a proposed rail line from Mount Isa to Karumba in north-west Queensland's Gulf. A private company, Miepco, has begun talks on a plan to build the rail line. The electrical and transport infrastructure developer says it has been consulting community and government representatives over the proposal.

Train in vain: how will commuters get to Williams Landing station?

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

Being built at a cost of $110 million, a new railway station at Williams Landing will help fill a deep need for better public transport in Melbourne's outer west when it opens in April. It is predicted that up to 1000 passengers will use the station each day in the morning peak, adding to the swelling commuter numbers on the crowded Werribee line.

But some of those would-be commuters are wondering just how they will get to the new station, even as they look forward to its opening.
Jammed local roads, infrequent and indirect bus services and a deficit of parking spaces mean reaching Williams Landing station will not be simple for the residents of Melbourne's burgeoning western suburbs.

The station is being built on the northern side of the Princes Freeway, Melbourne's busiest arterial road, which will be completely closed to traffic for nine hours from 9pm on Saturday while a pedestrian bridge to the station is put in place.

Just south of the freeway is Point Cook, population 32,500 and growing, and to the north is the developing suburb of Truganina, home to 39,000. Closest to the station is the suburb of Williams Landing, a masterplanned suburb that will in future have 2500 homes but is today occupied by just 3000 people.

Public transport fares to rise in 2013

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PUBLIC transport fares will rise by 7 per cent on New Year's Day in the latest blow to commuters.

The price hike will mean a daily Zone 1 myki fare will increase by 46c to $7.02, costing a commuter up to $168 extra a year.

Sydney's eastern suburbs to get light rail

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

A $1.6 billion light rail line will be built between Circular Quay and Sydney's eastern suburbs, reducing congestion in the city, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says.

The 12km link to Randwick will run down George Street, past the Moore Park precinct, Randwick Racecourse, the University of NSW and to the Prince of Wales Hospital.

It will be built by 2020.

The line is the major new announcement in the government's final 20 year transport masterplan, which restates its commitments to the northwest and southwest rail links, Sydney's West Connex road project announced earlier this year, and its bridges to the bush program.

Greta rail facility to ease Newcastle coal congestion

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The amount of coal transported through the Hunter Valley will increase in the months ahead, with the opening of a new refuelling and maintenance facility for coal trains in Greta.

After seven years of work, the train support facility will today be officially opened by the New South Wales Roads Minister, Duncan Gay.

The $110 million operation will mean coal trains will no longer be refuelled at Newcastle, while maintenance works can also be carried out further up the Valley.

Rail yard exit delay disappoints

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Tasmanian Rail News

Contractors are disappointed about a likely delay in redevelopment work at Macquarie Point in Hobart. Macquarie Point tenant Toll yesterday announced it would not leave the site and pave way for clean-up until 2014 when its new Brighton hub home was ready.

Train travel turns toxic

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

V/LINE passengers are being reminded to be courteous and respectful as an "us-versus-them" mentality simmers on the Bendigo services.

A Sunbury commuter, who asked not to be named, approached Leader and Macedon state Labor MP Joanne Duncan last week to say a petition was being circulated to get Sunbury commuters off "our V/Line".

NSW State transport plan announced

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2012 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

THE state's new long-term infrastructure and transport blueprints have earmarked the need to invest in coal communities and speed up trains between Sydney and Newcastle.
But funding has yet to be committed to the projects, with the government to examine in more detail whether the projects are feasible.

Angry commuters plan to storm Parliament House

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Planning has begun for an army of protesters to rally on the steps of Parliament House in Sydney if the state government proceeds with plans to cut the Maitland-Newcastle rail line west of Wickham.

The Premier’s office told the Mercury that an announcement would be made on Friday and a spokesman for Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard said the details were being prepared and the office hoped Mr Hazzard would visit Newcastle to reveal the government’s plans.

Labor, the Greens, unions and commuters are already formulating their response, which will include a petition, protests in Newcastle culminating in the Parliament House rally on February 19 they say will attract thousands of people from across the Hunter angered by the decision. 

Central Newcastle train line to shut

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Train services into Newcastle's central business district will be cut, as part of a $120 million transport overhaul for the city.

New South Wales Planning Minister Brad Hazzard will officially announce the plan today.

He will reveal plans to end train services at Wickham and build a new transport interchange, with frequent bus services to replace the trains.

Whitehaven rail line to reopen earlier than expected

Posted Saturday, 15 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Whitehaven Coal Ltd has advised that the estimated date for the reopening of a rail line closed down due to a derailment near Boggabri has been brought forward by five days.

Trains have been unable to move coal between the Narrabri underground mine and the Port of Newcastle since the track was damaged by a derailment on November 28.

In a statement issued to the Australian Securities Exchange, Whitehaven said that the Australian Rail Track Corporation now expects the line to be reopened on December 20.

Indian rail network added 11,004 kilometres in 62 years

Posted Saturday, 15 December, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

New DelhiIndia's rail network rose from 53,596 route kilometres as of April 1950 to 64,600 kilometres in March 2012.

Stating this in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Railways K.J. Surya Prakash Reddy, however, said the total rail route converted to broad gauge or new broad gauge laid totalled 52,241 kilometres.

The minister was responding a question from D.P. Tripathi of the Nationalist Congress Party

Aurizon defends its rail tack

Posted Saturday, 15 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Emerging WA rail powerhouse Aurizon has hit back at claims its "risk-averse" approach to projects is delaying mining ventures around the State, saying it is "not a benevolent society" for the sector.

The group, which until last month was called QR National, has an increasing footprint in WA, and is in talks with a range of Pilbara miners, including Atlas Iron and Aquila Resources to potentially build and operate railways to get their ore to port.

However, miners, including global giant Rio Tinto, have criticised Aurizon recently for, among other things, demanding contracts that require payment whether ore is shipped or not, and wanting millions in security payments before railways are built.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 15/12/2012

Posted Sunday, 16 December, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 118 sightings for this week. This is 17 sighting more than last week, making a total of 5797 sightings for this year to date. On day 350 last year we had recorded 5647 sightings. This is 150 sightings up on the same time last year.

Rail history revealed

Posted Sunday, 16 December, 2012 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

An old railway station in Tasmania's north-east has been transformed into a quirky museum as part of a plan to revive the region's transport heritage.

In its 1940s heyday, St Marys was a bustling coal town and transport hub.

Now its 126-year-old railway station has been reopened as a museum, celebrating the town's industrial heritage.

Light rail still on the agenda in Canberra

Posted Sunday, 16 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The ACT Government is to conduct another study into its promised light rail project for Canberra's north.

It will commission research, to be completed early next year, to see how the line would integrate with existing public transport options.

A start within four years for the long-awaited light rail link between Civic and Gungahlin is now official government policy as part of Labor's minority government deal with the ACT Greens.

Can we afford to get back on the rails?

Posted Sunday, 16 December, 2012 by stefowefo in Rail News

AT A BUSY intersection on Melbourne's Nepean Highway, looking out over eight lanes of traffic, stands the imposing bronze figure of Sir Thomas Bent.

Amid the noise of cars and trucks, few pedestrians stop to read the text on his plinth, which gives the outline of a long political career - as speaker of the Legislative Assembly 1892-94, premier of Victoria 1904-09, parliamentary representative for Brighton for thirty-two years, and a councillor of Brighton and Moorabbin for forty-five years.

But it is Tommy Bent's surname that gives the best clue to his character, if not his impact on the city. In the early 1880s, his public and private roles - as commissioner for railways and as a property speculator - neatly overlapped. He not only promised to build railways to MPs' electorates in exchange for political support, he also pushed through suburban lines that directly boosted the value of his own subdivisions.

Newcastle train line axing sparks more debate

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The State Transport Minister is refusing to comment on the decision to cut Newcastle's rail line, fuelling criticism that it is aimed more at developers than improving public transport.

Gladys Berejiklian yesterday deflected requests for comment about the plan to cut the heavy rail line and build a new transport interchange at Wickham.

Footscray residents taken for a ride on noisy night-time rail works

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

FOOTSCRAY residents needlessly endured weeks of massively noisy night-time rail work near their homes because authorities neglected to tell them that temporary hotel accommodation was available. The authority in charge of building a new railway line through Melbourne's west pledged at community meetings earlier this year that residents seriously affected by heavy construction works on the $5.3 billion regional rail link could opt to be put up in a nearby hotel. But that offer was left off an information leaflet that the regional rail link alliance issued to affected residents and businesses last month, which referred only to an information line that could be called ''should you have any questions or concerns about … our work''.

$290m loss on botched rail line

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WATER damage on the Melbourne-Sydney railway line has contributed to a $290 million write-down this year for the operator of Australia's interstate rail network.

The government-owned Australian Rail Track Corporation posted the large impairment loss in its 2012 annual report, despite recording a 24 per cent access revenue boost from managing the 8500-kilometre network.

In its report, the corporation noted the impairment loss, or asset write-down, was due to the poor condition of the Melbourne-Sydney corridor, which has been blighted by severe speed restrictions and safety concerns since the rail line was converted to standard gauge at the turn of the decade.

Labor promises new Perth rail network

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

Opposition leader Mark McGowan has announced plans to overhaul Perth's rail network and build a new Metronet system to reduce traffic congestion, should Labour win the state election in March.

Plans released on Sunday showed Labor's priorities for building new infrastructure included a northern and southern suburbs route and extension of the existing Clarkson and Armadale line.

Mr McGowan said they don't have a cost or a timeframe for the project but believe it will cost more than the development of the Mandurah Line and Thornlie spur line in 2007, and the extension to Clarkson in 2004, which during Labor's last two terms in office that came to an estimated $1.6 billion.

China ready to open longest high-speed rail link

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

The world's longest high-speed rail route, running from the Chinese capital Beijing to Guangzhou in the south, will open for business on December 26.

Travelling at an average speed of 300 kilometres per hour, the line will slash journey times linking Beijing in the north with the country's southern economic hub from 22 hours to just eight hours, the China Daily newspaper said.

Property prices to rise due to rail cut

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Real estate agents say the New South Wales Government's decision to cut Newcastle's rail line has had an immediate impact with a number of inquiries already regarding property overlooking the line.

After decades of debate Planning Minister Brad Hazzard last week unveiled plans to end the train line at Wickham and build a new transport interchange.

Mary Valley Rail group bounces back from financial struggles

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

ONY Hallam has been re-elected president of the Mary Valley Heritage Rail association, at a surprisingly peaceful annual general meeting on Wednesday night.

About 45 MVHR members attended the meeting at Old Gympie Railway Station to vote for new officials, with all candidates elected unopposed.

The meeting put a full stop at the end of a troubled year that saw the organisation come close to financial and operational disaster.

Maharajas’ Express wins ‘World’s Leading Luxury Train" in 2012

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by kunvar in International Rail News

Maharajas' Express again made the world surprise by winning 'World's Leading Luxury Train' Award 2012. It's the third time that the luxury train has been laurelled in the international spectrum for its exceptional services and amenities.

Save Our Rail chief accuses MP of slapping residents in the face

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

Maitland MP Robyn Parker has betrayed the people of Maitland with her secret support of the truncation of the Maitland-Newcastle rail line at Wickham, Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson said.

Ms Dawson said Ms Parker's conduct was a slap in the face to Maitland residents because she had openly stated while in opposition that she wanted the railway line retained and vowed to fight for it if elected.

Opposition unveils extensive rail proposal

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A VAST public transport rail network connecting suburbs as far south as Pinjarra all the way to Yanchep will be built by the State Opposition if elected to government next year.

The bold plan unveiled today by State Opposition leader Mark McGowan, dubbed "Metronet", consists of over 75km of new rail track and dozens of new train stations in suburbs such as Yangebup, Coogee, Wattle Grove, Mundijong and Forrestfield.

Fortescue puts key assets on the block

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Fortescue Metals Group is poised to sell off part of its most valuable asset, as the company continues efforts to lower debt and free up enough cash to restart the expansion projects that were halted in September.

The iron ore exporter announced this morning that it had received strong interest from investors keen to buy a minority stake in Fortescue's railway and ports, which are held by Fortescue as a separate subsidiary.

No price indication was given, but analysts have valued the infrastructure assets at $US6 billion.

Export infrastructure is crucial to companies seeking to build iron ore companies in the Pilbara, and the recent downturn in iron ore has left numerous junior players holding stranded iron ore assets hundreds of kilometres from the coast.

Rail cut 'a cheap option'

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

Opposition against the truncation of the Maitland-Newcastle rail line at Wickham is mounting with Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery labelling it a "cheap, second rate option" that will create traffic chaos.

Adelaide's Electric Trains Taking Shape

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

Adelaide's new electric trains are currently being assembled with the first due for delivery next year.
Called the A-City Class 4000, the trains will be the most modern in the country, including the first rail vehicle to meet stringent new international crash specifications as found in Europe and Great Britain.
Under a supply and maintenance contract with Bombardier Transportation Australia, 22 three-car units will be delivered. The A-City will seat around 240 passengers with standing room for another 300.

Concrete milestone lowered in to place for new Moreton Bay Rail Link

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Giant concrete girders were lifted in to position on the new Kinsellas Road East bridge last week in a milestone for the $1.147 billion Moreton Bay Rail Link.

The steel-lined and concrete-filled girders are a key visible part of the first major construction project for the new rail link.

Photographer Chris Higgins and on-site engineer Emma Jackson covered the arrival and installation of the giant girders.

 

Maldon to Dombarton rail link: new contracts awarded

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Maldon to Dombarton Rail Link Project has now moved to the next stage with the awarding of contracts to Parsons Brinckerhoff and GHD for engineering, planning and environmental works.

The two companies have now started this initial planning work, which is about working through the safety, design, operational and environmental issues so that the project is at a stage where it can be considered for possible federal funding.

Parsons Brinckerhoff will do the engineering work of investigating design, safety and operational issues involved in completing the rail link.

Rail worker run over by excavator

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A MAN working on railway track repairs at Barnawartha North has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after he was run over by an excavator this afternoon.

The man was walking along the railway line, near the Hume Fwy, while the machinery followed behind him, Acting Insp. Barry McIntosh, of Wodonga police, said.

The machine drove over the man, from Queensland, about midday, police say.

High speed rail to Bangkok

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by JimYarin in International Rail News

BANGKOK: Transport Minister Chatchat Sittiphan announced earlier this week that Thailand will build two, high-speed railway lines, one running from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and the other running from Bangkok to the northeastern province of Nong Khai.

Wheels rolling on Queensland rail development

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Three major rail lines are being considered to help develop Northern Australia.

One from Kununurra in Western Australia to Katherine in the Northern Territory, another from Central Queensland to Abbot Point in the Far North, and more recently a renewed push to build a line from Mount Isa to Karumba.

The idea of shipping minerals from North West Queensland out of Karumba has been around since the 1800s, but the Mount Isa Electric Power Company, or MIEPCO, has put together a detailed proposal which is attracting investors.

The development would include a 450 kilometre rail line, plus a 40 kilometre jetty west of Karumba to reach deeper waters and allow loading.

Changes made after runaway railcar crossed border

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

NIAGARA FALLS - Procedures are now in place at the border in Niagara Falls that should prevent any run away railcars from crossing the Whirlpool Bridge from the United States into Canada.

Specific details as to how that is being accomplished is not being made public by Canada Border Services Agency.

On Aug. 12, at about 1:30 a.m., an empty rail car somehow became disconnected and broke free from the CSX rail yard in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and started rolling down the tracks toward the Whirlpool Bridge.

Calls for greater public transport investment

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Academics are calling for a greater investment in Victorian public transport, with new research showing more Melburnians drive to work than residents in any other Australian city.

An analysis of census data over the last 35 years also shows that Melbourne has the lowest car pooling rates and the lowest use of buses and trams.

Researcher Dr Paul Mees says projects like the proposed east west tunnel, would only increase Melbourne's reliance on cars.

Rail link set to rock Festival Hall

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

CONCERNS over the environmental impact of a new rail bridge to be built just one metre from Festival Hall could force the Baillieu government back to the drawing board on the regional rail link, Victoria's biggest infrastructure project.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy has ordered the authority that is overseeing the development of the $5.3 billion rail link to submit a noise assessment for the section that runs between Southern Cross Station and Moonee Ponds Creek in North Melbourne, due to concerns about harmful noise levels.

That section of the 90-kilometre rail link was approved by former planning minister Justin Madden more than two years ago without an environmental effects statement, under the justification that it was to be built within the existing rail reserve.

Boggabri rail line getting ready to reopen

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Final preparations are being made to get trains back on track in north-west NSW, with a major rail line set to reopen tomorrow afternoon. It's been three weeks since a coal train derailment badly damaged a rail bridge at Boggabri. The Australian Rail Track Corporation says safety assessors have been on site, scaffolding surrounding four new bridge pylons has been removed, and a site clean-up is underway.

Hazzard stands firm on rail plan

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Save Our Rail will continue its fight against the state government’s decision to terminate the Maitland-Newcastle railway line at Wickham after Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard refused to back down from the plans yesterday. Mr Hazzard met with SOR representatives in Sydney where they outlined their concerns about the truncation of the line. Group president Joan Dawson said Mr Hazzard politely listened to their arguments for the line’s retention but was adamant that it would be cut and commuters would be transferred onto buses at a first class interchange to complete their journey into Newcastle.

Footbridge removed to make way for rail

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

AN often derided part of Surfers Paradise history has been demolished to make way for the Gold Coast's $1.2 billion light rail system with workers pulling down the party precinct's last pedestrian overpass yesterday.

The walkway, on the corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Staghorn Avenue next to the QT building, stood for more than 25 years but took just five minutes to bring down.

Genesee & Wyoming Signs New Contract for Export Iron Ore in South Australia

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) (NYSE: GWR) announced today that its subsidiary, Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) has signed a rail haulage agreement with a subsidiary of WPG Resources Ltd (WPG) (ASX:WPG) to transport 3.3 million tons per year of hematite iron ore from WPG's Peculiar Knob mine in South Australia.

GWA plans to operate unit trains of iron ore from a rail siding near Wirrida, South Australia, located on the recently acquired Tarcoola to Darwin rail line, to a new bulk export facility in Port Pirie, South Australia. The haulage service is expected to start in the second quarter of 2012 and continue for a minimum of five years, and it may be extended depending on the development of certain nearby iron ore deposits.

Experts praise Labor heavy rail plan for Perth

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Transport experts yesterday backed the State Opposition's rail expansion plan over the Government's light rail network, saying investment in heavy rail was needed to solve Perth's congestion crisis.

Labor unveiled Metronet on Sunday - a multibillion-dollar plan to build 75km of rail within eight years if it wins the March election.

The plan includes new lines to Perth Airport and Ellenbrook and two new ring routes. The north route will connect the Joondalup and Ellenbrook lines and the south route will link the Mandurah, Armadale and Perth Airport lines.

Curtin University sustainability expert Peter Newman said he was not opposed to light rail but an integrated heavy rail system was crucial to meeting future needs.

'Dumb', life-threatening train trip comes up short

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

A group of young men who brazenly posted live photographs of a freight train surf from Perth to Adelaide have been branded "just plain dumb" and their actions "extremely dangerous" as authorities appear hamstrung to do little more than issue small fines.

None of the men were arrested or charged when police finally caught up with them near Port Wakefield, about 90 kilometres from Adelaide on Tuesday morning - ending a saga that had played out online for nearly three days.

They had travelled more than 2400 kilometres across the Nullarbor Plain, where temperatures reached close to 40 degrees, before being spotted by a train controller, according to a spokesperson for the train operator.

Holiday drivers told to take care around rail crossings

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

THE rail industry has warned holiday drivers to take care around level crossings when travelling this festive season. TrackSAFE director Bryan Nye said it only took a few seconds of inattention at a level crossing for a Christmas holiday to end in tragedy.

Will High Speed Rail save the cities and develop the regions?

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Taking growth pressures off the city fringe while simultaneously developing the regions is one of the key arguments used to support proposals for a High Speed Rail network on Australia’s east coast. But is it a cost-effective way of doing either?

Sydney welcomes light rail announcement

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The inner city has largely welcomed the State Government’s commitment to building new light rail lines, announced last Thursday.

The CBD and South East Light Rail will run from Circular Quay to Central Railway Station via George St, then on to Moore Park, with lines branching off to Kingsford and Randwick.

Twelve kilometres of new tram tracks will connect numerous landmarks and localities, including Martin Place, the QVB, World Square, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Randwick Racecourse and the University of NSW.

Boggabri rail line reopens

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

A crucial freight route, cut by a train derailment last month, has reopened in north-west NSW. The rail line at Boggabri was badly damaged when a coal train came off the tracks on November 28, blocking grain, pulse, cotton and coal freight destined for NSW ports. Since then, a team of more than 40 construction staff from the Australian Rail Track Corporation have worked in ideal weather conditions to reconstruct four bridge piers over Cox's Creek. The 80 kilometre an hour speed limit for trains has been reduced at the location to 20 kilometres an hour, but that will rise to 60 in January.

Newcastle Rail reasons hidden

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

WHATEVER benefits there may be in the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) vision, the community needs to be aware that we can have those benefits without having to forgo the vital rail services to Newcastle station. The department has stated that the policy ‘‘was prepared prior to the government’s decision on transport services and was therefore written to enable successful implementation of all possible transport arrangements’’. 

Tasmania's push to enter the fast lane

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

TASMANIA is about to get the latest in freight trains but there is also a push for a fast-train passenger service.

Public transport advocacy group Future Transport Tasmania wants the state and federal governments to establish a fast rail link between Launceston and Hobart, using money the Liberal Party wants to find to upgrade the Midland Highway to four lanes between the two cities.

A Big Year for Rail Improvements and More to Come

Posted Friday, 21 December, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

As the annual rail network closure approaches Auckland Transport, Public Transport Operations Manager, Mark Lambert looks back on the many rail improvements made during the year.

“We’re making good progress with our upgrade programme, modernising and readying stations for the arrival of electric trains in 2013.

 

“A highlight of the year was the opening of the first stage of the Manukau Station, the first new rail route to be built in Auckland in 82 years. Another is the AMETI project which had two new bridges built and 2500 truckloads of rock excavated for a new road tunnel this year.

 

“Otahuhu, Onehunga, Remuera and Greenlane stations were all upgraded with additional platform furniture, lighting, increased CCTV coverage, HOP machines and improved access for mobility users. Ellerslie station underwent a revamp with a longer platform, new furniture and pedestrian lift.

Money for Great Southern Rail Trail study

Posted Friday, 21 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

South Gippsland Shire Council will spend $40,000 investigating whether the Great Southern Rail Trail could be connected between Meeniyan and Koonwarra, over the existing old rail bridges. At present the rail trail ends outside of Meeniyan and begins again near Koonwarra.

High-calibre team heads ports, rail, energy, water bodies

Posted Friday, 21 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Treasurer and Minister for Trade Tim Nicholls today announced the appointment of fourteen directors to the boards of Queensland’s ports, rail, energy and water bodies.

Mr Nicholls said the new appointees brought an ideal skill set to the Government-owned corporations.

“Power, water, the State’s passenger rail network, ports – for these essential services, the GOCs have to get it absolutely right,” Mr Nicholls said.

“If we are going to deliver better infrastructure and planning and better value for money for Queenslanders, our GOCs must have a strong leadership base.

“This is what these directors bring to the table.”

Light rail vision

Posted Saturday, 22 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

An independent review has described the business case for a light rail network in Hobart's northern suburbs as optimistic.

The State Government hired consultants Aecom to review the business case prepared by ACIL Tasman.

The review said the original report underestimated the cost of the project.

Rail commuters face more pain

Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

IPSWICH rail commuters will have to endure more pain before long-term gain with six additional track closures planned for vital work to improve reliability.

The work includes replacing the turnouts, which allow trains to change between tracks and is expected to log 41,000 hours of construction work.

Between now and August the Ipswich line will be closed for nine weekends.

Public transport advocacy group Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said the closures will test commuter's patience. The services will be replaced by buses, but Mr Dow said commuters should not have to pay for trips while the lines are shut.

Fortescue rail and port sale could cut debt burden by half

Posted Monday, 24 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

FORTESCUE Metals Group could net up to $8 billion from the sale of a stake in its multi-billion-dollar rail and port network if the miner is then charged commercial rates to use the infrastructure and opens it to third-party access.

The debt-laden miner said two weeks ago that it was reviewing the sale of a minority interest in its wholly owned subsidiary, The Pilbara Infrastructure (TPI), which houses FMG's rail and port assets.

Analysts widely estimated FMG could fetch up to $5.1bn for a 49 per cent stake in its infrastructure assets, which would put a significant dent in its estimated $10bn debt.

Light rail cut short

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

GLENORCHY is the best choice for the northern terminus of the proposed light rail, a report has found.

The business peer review found the proposed Hobart to Northern Suburbs Light Rail should finish at Glenorchy rather than further north as originally planned.

Aecom Ltd's review of ACIL Tasman's 2011 business case, released yesterday, said Glenorchy stood out because its net costs were lowest and it was a major generator and attractor of trips. The peer review of the business case found it was "in essence a fair and sound appraisal of the economic benefits and costs" of the proposed light rail system.

State breaks own rule on paper myki ticket a second time

Posted Thursday, 27 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

HE Baillieu government has made an exception to its ruling that there will be no short-term myki tickets on Melbourne's public transport, just days before the Metcard system is to be shut down.

Paper myki tickets will be sold on two bus routes on the Mornington Peninsula after it was found some concession card holders would be charged between $1.42 and $5.22 more using myki than Metcard, because buses operate in zones 2, 3 and 4.

It is the second time the government has made an exception to its decision to scrap short-term tickets, following the issuing in July of a disposable myki day pass for charities.

Irving Refinery Said to Get 90,000 Barrels a Day by Rail

Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Irving Oil Corp. is moving more than 90,000 barrels a day of crude from Alberta and North Dakota by rail to its Saint John refinery, Canada’s largest, and plans to increase those shipments, according to a person familiar with the plans.

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