News

 

Showing stories from April 2012

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Gheringhap Sightings w/e 31/3/2012.

Posted Sunday, 1 April, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 131 sightings for this week. This is four sightings more than last week, making a total of 1522 sightings for this year to date. On day 91 last year we had recorded 1246 sightings. This is 276 sightings up on the same time last year.   

Ballarat gold standard for growth

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

IN AN extraordinary change of pace, Ballarat is now growing faster than the Gold Coast, as commuters in search of cheap housing are descending on Victoria's regional cities to make their new homes.

For perhaps the first time since the gold rush, Ballarat is outgrowing Melbourne and is now the fastest-growing city in Victoria. Last year it added 1867 people, a growth rate of 1.9 per cent - the equal third-fastest of Australia's top 20 cities.

V/Line reports that more than a million passengers a year are now taking the train from Ballarat. Passenger numbers on the line have swollen 126 per cent in five years, thanks to the regional fast rail program.

Geelong & Ballarat Rail 150 – April 2012

Posted Sunday, 1 April, 2012 by bevans in Rail Events

The Geelong Ballarat rail line was officially opened on 10th April 1862. This line was built to a high standard by the Victorian Railways, with double track provided throughout, stone station buildings at all of the initial stations, a number of stone bridges for roads that crossed the line, and the 1,450-foot (440 m) Moorabool Viaduct over the river of the same name. This line remained the only way from Ballarat to Melbourne until 1889 when the current direct line was completed.

Engineer defends high-speed rail technology

Posted Sunday, 1 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

BEIJING - A Chinese engineer recently defended the country's high-speed railway technology, dismissing safety concerns regarding the world's biggest high-speed rail network.

"China's current high-speed railway technology can prevent head-on and rear-end collisions," Wang Mengshu, chief engineer of the China Railway Tunnel Group, said during an interview with China Economic Weekly, a magazine affiliated with the state-run People's Daily newspaper.

China's high-speed railways have come under scrutiny in recent months following a deadly train collision that killed 40 people in east China last July.

Russian historian's £250m bid to revive Wales' underground rail network

Posted Sunday, 1 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

It was once hailed as the future of rail travel with ambitions to provide some of Wales’ largest towns and cities with transport networks to rival the very best in the world.

But as finances ran dry following the death of its chief investor, the dream of creating London Underground-style mazes of subterranean train tracks throughout the nation evaporated.

Yet now, more than 120 years since construction first began, ambitious plans to raise more than £250m could turn Wales’ forgotten underground systems into high-tech 21st century metros.

What the people want: a new road

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

THE state government should be congratulated for considering a new road linking the Eastern Freeway and CityLink (The Saturday Age, 31/3). As our population grows, we need this link to assist in reducing traffic congestion.

However, the government will need funds and input from Infrastructure Australia. It is unbelievable that Greens MP Adam Bandt says that if the federal government ''wants to fund this madness, they are going to have to come through me''. He is arrogant and overestimates his power. Mr Bandt, you are out of touch. Remember, the next election will be held in 2013.

Peter Allan, Blackburn

No decent reason to rail against the machine

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

I'M UPSET. No, actually, I'm very angry. How come people who don't live in the area and never use it, can tell me my chosen mode of transport is useless and proceed to take it away from me? Yes, I'm talking about the monorail.

I hear, ''It's past its use-by date'' - 2 million rides a year would prove that to be a furphy. ''It's expensive'' - it costs me $2.50 per trip and it draws not a cent from the public purse. Also, if I just miss one, my usual wait time is three minutes, no matter what time of day. How many other public transport users could say that?

New transport boss rejects call for $30bn overhaul

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

THE man who today takes charge of public transport in Victoria has rejected the Auditor-General's recent judgment that $30 billion must be spent in the next 10 years to avoid choking the city, saying the system simply needs to be run better.

''The biggest opportunities are in making best use of what we've got at the moment, rather than believing that all the solutions are building, or buying new kit,'' said Ian Dobbs, the new head of Public Transport Victoria, which today replaces the Department of Transport and some other organisations to become the sole public transport authority.

''There's lots of things we can do with what we've got so we can improve significantly the performance and thereby the quality of the service,'' he said.

Telstar terror: pair left car on train tracks

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

The drivers of a cargo train could have been killed when Matthew Barrett and a mate left their 1985 Ford Telstar on the tracks at Langwarrin, a court heard today.

The train weighing 1816 tonnes crashed into the car and the accident caused widespread delays for rail commuters.

Barrett, 24, of Blind Bight, pleaded guilty today to one count of reckless conduct endangering serious injury. The maximum penalty is five years' jail. He received a 12-month community corrections order.

He had been celebrating winning his local pub's pool competition on December 14 when his friend, Christopher Oscuro, 21, of Pakenham, offered to give him a lift home at about 1.30am, Melbourne Magistrates Court was told.

Death of railway transport blurs Kenya’s pathway to Vision 2030

Posted Tuesday, 3 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

About 160 kilometres northwest of Nairobi, dozens of police officers on duty at Nakuru Railway Station take turns each day physically searching travellers before freeing them to proceed to their destinations.

Screening some of the approximately 100,000 passengers who pass through Kenya’s fourth largest town by road each day has become an important aspect of these officers’ routine for the last five years.

Yet when this station was established several decades ago, its mandate was security of the railway fleet—together with train passengers and cargo anticipated from Rift Valley and western Kenya.

“We are not here as a specialist railway force unit but as a regular police post whose officers take part in every general efforts to combat crime,” one of the officers told Business Daily.

Port Botany rail upgrade complete: govt

Posted Tuesday, 3 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The first stage of a rail upgrade that the federal government hopes will wipe 300,000 trucks off Sydney's roads each year has been completed.

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese on Tuesday said the upgrade and reconfiguration of the rail yard at Port Botany had wrapped up.

It's the first milestone in $172 million project to transform the movement of freight across the Sydney Basin.

Mr Albanese also announced that Downer Australia had started work on expanding the Enfield rail yard to accommodate more trains.

North West rail link noise controls tighten

Posted Tuesday, 3 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

GUIDELINES for managing expected noise and vibration from the construction and operation of the North-West Rail Link are set to be tightened.

Hills Shire Council last week voted to support the new guidelines proposed by the Office of Environment and Heritage.

The changes, updated from government guidelines in 2007, aim to alleviate noise near hospitals, churches, retirement homes and residential areas.

Railway crossing warnings fall on deaf ears

Posted Tuesday, 3 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

PEDESTRIANS and motorists are dicing with death on Queensland's rail crossings at an alarming rate, with almost 500 near misses last year.

Queensland Rail statistics obtained by The Courier-Mail for the Traffic Hot Spot: You Drive the Change campaign revealed pedestrians were involved in 253 near misses, or 17 more than in 2010.

The number of near misses involving cars has dropped in recent years, however, with 219 last year, 234 in 2010 and 302 in 2009.

Conflict over Fassifern-Hexham rail plans

Posted Wednesday, 4 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

PORT Stephens MP Craig Baumann says there is a clear lack of communication between governments over coal rail proposals at Hexham that threaten the much-needed Fassifern-to-Hexham rail bypass.

Mr Baumann said he raised the problem yesterday with Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, who would be in Newcastle on Friday, April 13, for a regional forum on long-term transport planning.

Federal Newcastle MP Sharon Grierson said it would take an engineer to say whether the Hexham plan was a barrier but she would urge the Gillard government to do the necessary studies to settle on a route.

As the Newcastle Herald reported yesterday, a federal government agency is working on plans to build a series of coal rail sidings on a section of the main northern line previously identified as a likely exit point for the freight rail bypass.

Thousands of V/Line commuters stuck

Posted Wednesday, 4 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THOUSANDS of train commuters, including about 800 stuck inside carriages, were left stranded as chaos struck the Geelong line tonight.

Some passengers were stuck for more than five hours as up to six peak-hour V/Line trains were stopped in their tracks between Werribee and Little River stations following a signal fault.

V/Line confirmed more than 10 Geelong-bound services and six peak-hour Melbourne trains were delayed after the signal system servicing both Metro and V/Line trains shut down at Werribee.

QR increases stake in freight project

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

Rail operator QR National has increased its ownership stake in a Sydney site where a large freight centre is set to be built.

QR National had spent $41 million to increase its stake in the Moorebank Industrial Property Trust (MIPT) from 15 per cent to 33 per cent, the rail operator said in a statement on Monday.

MIPT is the manager of an 83-hectare property at Moorebank, in Sydney's southwest, the site of a proposed freight terminal and port-linked industrial facility.

Queensland Rail to move data centres

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

Queensland Rail has awarded Logica a $33 million, five-year contract to manage the first phase of a transition away from IT infrastructure currently shared with privatised freight arm, QR National.

Government-owned Queensland Rail has now established independent ICT capability and is working with Logica on phase one of the project to move its infrastructure from three data centres shared with QR National into new facilities by June 30 this year.

Logica said it would provide Tier 1 data centres located in Brisbane as part of the contract, “offering... the optimal combination of state-of-the-art infrastructure and security with proximity to the Queensland Rail fibre network”.

Rail link bigger than Harbour Bridge

Posted Wednesday, 4 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The North West Rail Link will use more steel than the Sydney Harbour Bridge, create more than 16,000 jobs and inject about $25 billion into the state economy.

Details about the 23km rail line through northwest Sydney emerged on Wednesday as the first of two Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) was released for public comment.

NSW Transport minister Gladys Berejiklian said the project was the biggest transport infrastructure project in Sydney since the Harbour Bridge.

Financing still murky for revamped $68B rail plan

Posted Wednesday, 4 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - (AP) -- Supporters of California's ambitious high-speed rail project began their hard sell with lawmakers and the public Monday after releasing an updated business plan that scales back the scope of the project and speeds up construction to save money, but still relies heavily on speculative funding sources that might never materialize.

In addition to money from voter-approved bonds and startup funds from the federal government, the plan hinges on receiving billions more from a skeptical Congress, fees from an untested cap-and-trade system that is at the heart of California's effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and unnamed private investors to jump aboard and risk their own money once construction begins.

The updated proposal speeds completion of the nation's first true high-speed rail system to 2028, about five years earlier and $30 billion less than projected in a draft plan released last fall by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. But the $68.4 billion price tag is still $23.4 billion higher than the plan voters approved four years ago.

Suburbs hit by myki crush

Posted Wednesday, 4 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE crush of myki users queuing to exit rail stations has reached the suburbs as increasing numbers of travellers switch to the troubled ticketing system.

The Baillieu government has come under fire from public transport advocates for failing to plan for the soaring demand, with the Public Transport Users' Association slamming the ''illogical'' distribution of myki readers.

But the Transport Ticketing Authority has pledged to install new gates, increase the number of readers at stations and redesign some stations to ease the crush by the end of the year.

Commuters trapped on train for five hours as cable is cut

Posted Wednesday, 4 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Hundreds of frustrated V/Line passengers were stranded on board stationary trains for up to five hours last night when an underground fault cut power to the signalling system and brought the Geelong line to a grinding halt.

The rail operator this morning apologised for the ‘‘terrible situation’’ in which about 800 furious passengers who left the city at the start of peak-hour did not reach their destinations until after 10pm.

V-Line chief executive Rob Barnett said a major fault occurred in an underground cable between Little River and Werribee, affecting all trains on the Geelong line.

OLYMPIC DAM WILL START ECONOMIC BOOM: BIS

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

A private report on future engineering construction in Australia says the Olympic Dam mine expansion project holds the key to transforming South Australia's economic landscape.

The BIS Shrapnel report says rail and road infrastructure works will give a vital boost to the construction sector over the next three years.

BIS Shrapnel senior manager Adrian Hart said the bright outlook for SA was dependent on BHP Billiton deciding to proceed with the Olympic Dam expansion.

Blind woman fights for right to know as trains come and go amid confusion

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

A BLIND woman has launched an action against the rail operator Metro in the Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission over a failure to provide adequate announcements at train stations.

Annmarie Kelly has claimed that the substandard announcements unlawfully discriminate against her on the basis of her disability, and she has demanded they be improved.

The commission has accepted her complaint, and a conciliator will look at the matter in two weeks.

Myki swipes $12 million from commuters

Posted Thursday, 5 April, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

The Transport Ticketing Authority is reaping hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest from money stored on passenger's myki cards, a windfall set to balloon as Metcards are phased out. As commuter frustration mounts over smartcard barrier crushes at train stations, myki millions are flowing smoothly into the authority's operating budget - but how the money will be spent remains a mystery.

About $12 million of myki money is currently stored on the smartcards - more than double the amount held on the cards nine months ago, and 10 times that stored in myki accounts three years ago.

Last financial year the Transport Ticketing Authority earned $150,000 in interest from money stored on commuters' cards, and current figures show just 46 per cent of ticket validations are conducted with myki.

Road, rail crucial for Australia

Posted Thursday, 5 April, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

AUSTRALIA needs visionary leaders to champion investment in urgently need major rail and road projects, says the head of one of the nation's key business groups.

Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd said a failure to invest in infrastructure was costing Australia $4 billion-a-year in lost efficiency as congestion choked major cities.

Making his first public speech since taking up his role in November 2011, Mr Shepherd told a business lunch in Sydney on Wednesday that while China is investing $200 billion in rail and airports and London is spending $20 billion on rail, Australia has baulked at extending Sydney's major motorway, the M4, for 20 years.

New rail link to swallow 90 houses, businesses

Posted Thursday, 5 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

MORE than 90 properties on the north west rail link route will be bought and demolished as the state government forges ahead with the city's biggest transport project since the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Business will be disrupted and residents will be subjected to noise, vibration and traffic during the five-year works, the scale of which was revealed yesterday when the first environmental impact statement was released.

Two-thirds of the $9 billion, 23-kilometre line will be built underground between Bella Vista and Epping.

Drunks keep armed rail guards occupied

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

GUN-toting railway guards have spent much of their first six weeks on the job dealing with drunks.

Since stepping out at Flinders St and Southern Cross stations on February 22, the first batch of 18 protective service officers has made 70 arrests.

Police said most of these were for public drunkenness and outstanding warrants.

Rail bypass needed for Newcastle container terminal

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

ONE of the architects of the plan for a container terminal in the Port of Newcastle says a rail freight bypass west of Newcastle is an absolute necessity.

To read the Herald's opinion, click here.

Greg Cameron, BHP’s Newcastle manager of external affairs between 1994 and 1999, said yesterday the Hunter public needed to be aware of plans to massively expand Port Botany at the expense of Newcastle.

Mr Cameron said Botany handled 2million containers last year and would reach its approved capacity of 3.2million containers in about 2020.

A tale of two cities, pinning their hopes on that old line

Posted Saturday, 7 April, 2012 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

BUILT in 1862, Lethbridge railway station evokes the romantic Victorian age of travel, with its stately bluestone frame and grand verandah.

But close up, it's a boarded-up ghost station, with period windows, signs and fan lights long gone. The passenger service ceased on the Geelong-Ballarat line 17 years ago, but trains had bypassed Lethbridge, and many other small towns on the 80-kilometre route, since 1981.

Locals and organisers of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the line say it's time to reopen it to passengers.

Freight rail bypass years away

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

The head of Hunter Development Corporation says a proposed freight rail bypass of Newcastle is part of a 20-year Regional Infrastructure plan but it will not happen for many years.

Newcastle Council has asked the State and Federal Governments to commence a study of the bypass saying the project is needed to reduce delays at the Adamstown level crossing.

Moving to a Metro

Posted Saturday, 7 April, 2012 by bevans in Press Releases

The new Metro timetable is a significant step towards providing our customers with a metro-style service.

Three new stations will open, one line will be extended and a further 353 services per week will be added to the timetable.

A three-kilometre extension of the existing Epping line to a new Premium Station at South Morang will officially open. The line will also undergo a name change to the South Morang line.

New stations will also open on both the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines at Cardinia Road (between Officer and Pakenham stations) and Lynbrook (between Dandenong and Merinda Park stations).

Warning over rail fail pain

Posted Saturday, 7 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE state's new public transport regulatory body has given V/Line a rap over the knuckles for its handling of Tuesday's power failure which left thousands of Geelong train commuters stranded for up to five hours.

The debacle, caused by a failure of a high voltage underground power line which left the entire line from Werribee to Geelong paralysed, was the first crisis for the not-yet week-old Public Transport Victoria (PTV).

Chief executive Ian Dobbs told the Geelong Advertiser he was extremely disappointed with the delays experienced by 4250 V/Line passengers.

Rail revolution right on track

Posted Saturday, 7 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

IT IS the final stage of the $1.2 billion rail project that is set to change the face of Springfield forever.

The 9.5km rail link from Richlands to two new Springfield stations - Springfield Lakes and Springfield Central - is just over 15 months from opening.

The line is stage two of a rail development that will connect Darra to Springfield Central.

The earliest projected opening of the Springfield link is July 2013, but it will be up and running by the end of next year at the latest.

Residents support for new grain terminal

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

The Newcastle Port Corporation's decision to approve a $28 million grain export terminal at Carrington has been welcomed by some Carrington residents.

Local firm, Newcastle Agri Terminal says construction will start within weeks on the project, that will include five grain silos, along with rail, processing and shiploading facilities.

Cut the noise, planners for new railway are ordered

Posted Saturday, 7 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE authority in charge of building a major rail line through Melbourne's west has been ordered to come up with a new plan to cut noise levels after experts found that thousands living near the line would be condemned to excessive noise from high-speed trains.

The advisory report into stage two of the $5.3 billion regional rail link was uploaded, without an announcement, onto the website of the Department of Planning and Community Development late on Thursday, on the eve of the Easter break.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 7/4/2012

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

There were 108 sightings for this week. This is 23 sightings less than last week, making a total of 1630 sightings for this year to date. On day 98 last year we had recorded 1353 sightings. This is 277 sightings up on the same time last year.

Brakes 'not used properly on runaway train'

Posted Monday, 9 April, 2012 by snowy446 in New South Wales Rail News

A 3000-tonne freight train was left to career uncontrolled down a hillside in Farmborough Heights after the drivers failed to properly use the train’s brakes, a safety report has said.

 

On Monday, February 7 last year the grain transporter, en route from West Wyalong to Port Kembla, lost control over a 3km section of track south of Unanderra station, just after 6.30am. No-one was hurt in the incident, which was the subject of a scathing safety report that has been tabled in NSW Parliament.

Five-hour train wait was not necessary, V/Line concedes

Posted Monday, 9 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/Line has admitted that thousands of frustrated passengers trapped on stationary trains for up to five hours last week could have been ferried to nearby stations at lower speeds if the crisis had been handled differently.

The beleaguered rail operator's executive team met last week to examine its response to a situation that left peak-hour passengers stuck on board Geelong-line trains without food or water when an underground fault cut power to the signalling system on Tuesday.

High-Speed Rail Takes Californians for a Ride

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

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has a serious public-relations hurdle: how to sell its proposed Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bullet train without the word “boondoggle” attached.

But the rail authority’s latest compromise plan to solve this problem -- with its focus on building the system in a “better, faster, cheaper” manner -- not only doesn’t fix the system’s fundamental flaws, it may plant the seeds of its destruction.

In November 2008, California voters -- notorious for approving huge spending projects, regardless of the state’s budget problems -- approved Proposition 1A, which earmarked almost $10 billion in general-obligation bonds to build a comprehensive rail system whose cost was estimated at the time at $35 billion to $42 billion.

Canberra airport backs Sydney fast train

Posted Monday, 9 April, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

The boss of Canberra Airport has backed the NSW premier's call to expand Canberra's capacity to ease pressure on Sydney's airport.

Canberra Airport is urging the NSW premier to reject a housing developer's plans for thousands of new homes under its flight path which would block an expansion of the airport's capacity.

Canberra Airport chief executive Stephen Byron has backed Premier Barry O'Farrell's call to expand Canberra's terminal and build a high-speed rail service between Sydney and the national capital with a travel time of just one hour to ease the pressure off Sydney Airport.

The Scottish Borders: A region without railway stations

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

As conversational opening gambits go, it is not the kind of statement likely to fire you to the top of the guest list for a dinner party.

Or, if you are already at a social gathering, it probably won't get you invited back.

And yet, the pictorial history they offer of the expansion, contraction, disappearance and planned revival of train travel in the Scottish Borders is - to my mind at least - an intriguing one.

Your worst rail gripes

Posted Monday, 9 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

EVER entered a train only to be blown away by blaring music from a mobile phone or over heard so much of a conversation it's possible you could join it?

Well, you are not alone.

Over the past year train commuters have recounted their beefs with fellow commuters to Queensland Rail through Facebook, Twitter and customer feedback lines.

In response, QR launched a campaign to educate passengers on train etiquette in September last year - and it seems to have hit the mark.

Photographer’s actions avert train crash

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

A RAIL photographer’s quick actions averted an accident between a freight train and the XPT on the main southern line last month.

Long time railway photographer and author Peter Attenborough had been driving ahead of a northbound Queensland Rail National (QRN) freight train near Penrose on March 23 when he noticed a tree had fallen over lines.

The Post understands Mr Attenborough turned around and raced back to flag down the freight train. It stopped a short distance before the tree, averting a potential catastrophe.

The crew contacted control which brought the XPT to a stop as well. QRN and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) have confirmed the incident but did not know the photographer’s identity.

Via passengers stranded for over eight hours after breaks detected on tracks

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

HINTON, Alta. - About 130 passengers on board a Via Rail train have been stranded for more than eight hours in Hinton, Alta. after breaks were detected in the tracks.

VIA spokesman Malcolm Andrews says the west-bound passenger train was on the way to Vancouver on Sunday when CN crews detected the breaks.

The train was still in Hinton late Sunday night while repairs to the track were being made, but Andrews says CN expected the job to be completed by about 10:30 p.m. MT.

Rail service must be safe and reliable

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

The Office of Transport Safety Investigations’ report into the runaway freight train in Unanderra must force state and federal governments to consider the wisdom of placing freight and commuter traffic on the same line.

This incident is not the first time freight rail has caused problems for commuters. Last November rail access was cut between Thirroul and Waterfall after a coal train derailment at Clifton. Thousands of commuters were inconvenienced.

Neglect destroying rural rail network

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

Rural rail freight networks have been critically under-funded during more than a decade of drought, with many neglected rail lines now the equivalent of ''dirt tracks'', a Senate inquiry has heard.

Australia is also failing to train - and design tertiary courses needed to produce - the next generation of digitally savvy engineers to operate the sophisticated smart-rail networks of the future, the nation's peak rail industry body says.

The Australasian Railway Association, which represents more than 150 member organisations and businesses in Australian and New Zealand, has urged governments and industry to ''reduce national reliance on skilled migration'' to meet a worsening shortage of skilled labour for infrastructure projects.

Stranded again: more rail chaos

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

Hundreds of V/Line passengers have been stranded for the second time in a week after trains on the Geelong line were stopped due to a signal fault.

Services were halted around 12.20pm after a V/Line control room detected a signal fault on the tracks between Werribee and Little River — the same section of track where a fault was detected last Tuesday.

Premier O'Farrell won't back down on high-speed rail link to Canberra

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

FEDERAL Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has called on Liberal MPs from NSW to press Premier Barry O'Farrell to dump his opposition to the construction of a second Sydney airport.

The move comes as business groups and unions say a second airport will produce jobs and an increase in tourism, and is vital to the economic growth of Sydney and the nation.

Mr O'Farrell yesterday said he would not back down and would instead look to build a high-speed rail link to Canberra, a move welcomed by Canberra airport.

COAL DEPOSIT POTENTIAL BETTER THAN FORECAST

Posted Tuesday, 10 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

An Australian resource company has released details of a prospective thermal coal deposit in western Queensland.

International Coal has been exploring as part of its 'South Blackall' project in an area north-west of Charleville.

Director David Round says it has also begun talks over the need for infrastructure to support a mining operation.

He says the results of the drilling program show there is potential for an open-cut mine.

"Better than had been projected by our independent geologist at the time," he said.

Freeway tunnel, rail link must be built soon, VECI says

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

A ROAD tunnel between the Eastern and Tullamarine freeways and the Avalon Airport rail link must be built urgently, employers say.

 
Expansion of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and more capacity at Melbourne's docks are also high on a priority list of major projects, according to the Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

They have also called for the proposed Metro Rail tunnel, between South Kensington and the Domain, to be built, in their State Budget submission released this morning.

VECCI chief executive Mark Stone said that current road and rail links were under pressure.

Geelong trains to be replaced by buses

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

A fleet of more than 80 buses will transport Geelong commuters into Melbourne tomorrow morning following a major signal fault on the train line this afternoon.

While buses will run to the train timetable, commuters are being asked to please allow for an extra 30 minutes travel time due to traffic.

The Geelong line was suspended and all trains replaced by buses as a result of a signal fault which occurred at about 12:20pm today.

V/Line CEO, Rob Barnett, said the signal fault was believed to be linked to underground cable problems between Lara and Little River that also delayed trains last week.

North West Rail is NSW's biggest ever project: have your say

Posted Wednesday, 11 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE North West Rail Link will be the state’s biggest ever project, using 20,000 more tonnes of steel than the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Premier Barry O’Farrell confirmed the project was on track to start construction in 2014 as the first of two Environmental Impact Statements was released today.

The announcement was made with Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian at the North West Rail Link Community Information Centre in Castle Hill.

Fast track high speed rail: group

Posted Wednesday, 11 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

PLANNING for a high speed rail link between Sydney and Melbourne should start immediately, along with upgrade work on the current line, says The Goulburn Group.

(TGG) In a submission to the NSW Government Long Term Transport Management Plan, TGG’s ‘Train Watch Committee’ has urged the government to immediately implement urgent improvements to the Goulburn to Sydney rail service.

“The current service by both City Rail and Country Link is unreliable and painfully slow,” TGG-committee head Peter Fraser said.

150 years of rail celebrated in special service from Geelong to Ballarat

Posted Wednesday, 11 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A GOLDEN age of rail travel was reborn yesterday, with celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the Geelong-Ballarat train line and the opening of Ballarat’s historic railway station.

Community leaders, dignitaries, rail aficionados and residents joined a special heritage train service which departed Geelong at 10.30am and stopped at Lethbridge, Lal Lal and Ballarat before making a return journey around 1pm.

Hundreds of locals lined the tracks to catch a glimpse of the historic train rattling along tracks usually reserved for freight services.

Track work to cause more rail delays

Posted Wednesday, 11 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

There will be more disruptions to Gippsland train services this weekend, because of ongoing track works in Melbourne.

Bairnsdale, Stratford, Sale and Rosedale trains are being replaced by buses for the entire trip to and from Melbourne.

Call for candidates to attend light rail rally

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

GOLD Coast MPs and city council candidates have been challenged to attend a citizens' forum tonight to explain why the light rail project should be allowed to continue.

Citizens' alliance Surfers Paradise Against Trams and Gold Coast Residents and Ratepayers Association spokesman Gordon Douglas said ratepayers should seriously question the light rail project's long-term economic impact.

Forum told of plans to tackle Hunter transport needs

Posted Wednesday, 11 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Hunter Independent Public Transport Inquiry says a freight bypass of Newcastle is urgently needed to free up the current rail line for commuter trains.

The findings of the inquiry were presented to about 50 people at a forum in Newcastle last night.

The inquiry also found a 15 minute timetable is needed for both buses and trains to encourage more people to use public transport.

Economist and member of the inquiry, Howard Dick says a freight corridor needs to be built from Fassifern through to Thornton

Signal fault stops Geelong trains

Posted Wednesday, 11 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TRAIN services on the Geelong line have been brought to a halt, leaving passengers stranded for the second time in a week.

A signal fault has stopped Melbourne-bound trains at Geelong while services headed to Geelong from Melbourne were halted at Werribee about noon.

Buses were being brought in to ferry stranded passengers between the two cities, until the fault could be fixed.

Hundreds of frustrated passengers at Geelong Central station were trying to get a seat on the road coaches, which were struggling to keep up with demand.

More than 60 buses have been brought in to offer express services to Melbourne and longer trips that stopped at all suburban stations, leading to longer travel times for people through the peak-hour period.

Galilee Basin railway duplication frustrating Central Queensland farmers

Posted Wednesday, 11 April, 2012 by mick987654 in Queensland Rail News

Access to ports is one of the biggest challenges and expenses mining companies face, but you may be surprised to hear that doesn't necessarily mean they want to work together.

At the moment three mining companies with interests in the Galilee Basin, Hancock Coal, Waratah Coal and Adani, all have submissions with the state government to build individual rail lines (nearly next to each other) from Alpha to Bowen.

As yet none have been approved but it has upset landholders in Central Queensland who potentially can see three rail lines cutting through their properties.

Geelong services back to normal, V/Line says

Posted Wednesday, 11 April, 2012 by mick987654 in Victorian Rail News

V/Line train services have resumed on the Geelong line this afternoon, nearly 24 hours after a faulty cable caused the suspension of the busy commuter route.

The first Geelong-bound train left Southern Cross Station at midday, and V/Line said all services were expected to run as scheduled this afternoon.

It follows a difficult week for the regional rail operator, which was forced to shut down the line on two separate occasions due to the faulty high-voltage cable.

Looking back but towards the future

Posted Thursday, 12 April, 2012 by mick987654 in Victorian Rail News

April 10th was the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Geelong to Ballarat railway and to mark the occasion a T class locomotive pulled 3 carriages built in the 1920's up the line to Ballarat with 62 invited guests who relished the opportunity to travel on the line that hasn't seen regular passenger services since 1978.

Dignitaries from Geelong and Ballarat Councils, heritage and train enthusiasts assembled at the Geelong railway station and the keynote speech was made by the Mayor of Geelong John Mitchell, who has a strong connection to the line well beyond his mayoral duty.

Long wait for new rail services

Posted Thursday, 12 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

PUBLIC transport lobby group Rail Back on Track has called for the Ipswich rail line to be included in a 15-minute frequency trial set to begin on the Ferny Grove line.

The trial was announced by then LNP candidate Campbell Newman during the Queensland election campaign.

The 15-minute trains will double the services offered in non-peak times over the next two years and are due to start in the middle of the year.

The Ipswich line carries 13,900 commuters between Oxley and Rosewood stations each day, only 400 shy of the patronage on the Ferny Grove line of 14,300.

Tourism operator fears rail disruption impact

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A Warrnambool tourism operator expects disruptions to train services will deter visitors to the region.

The Geelong line was crippled by a signal failure on Tuesday.

Services on the line were also disrupted last week.

Amtrak CEO: New rail tunnels to New York critical

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

As Amtrak continues to set ridership records, chief executive Joseph Boardman said Wednesday that new rail tunnels to New York are "critical" to meeting growing passenger demand.

Amtrak is seeking $35 million this year to advance plans for its $13.5 billion Gateway proposal to increase rail service on the Northeast corridor by adding two tunnels under the Hudson, replacing the century-old Portal Bridge near Newark, and expanding Pennsylvania Station in New York.

The Gateway project, which Amtrak hopes to complete by 2025, is a key part of Amtrak's effort to increase capacity on the overloaded Northeast corridor.

$347,000 improves Warrnambool line level crossing safety

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by Galron in Press Releases

The Coalition Government has completed the installation of boom barriers to improve safety at the Dwarroon Road, Cudgee level crossing, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said today.

Drivers ignore rail warnings

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QR NATIONAL is pleading with motorists to play it safe following a spate of serious incidents at a Blackwater level crossing.

These near-misses come just a month after a tilt train collided with a ute at a level crossing in central Rockhampton and show an alarming trend in people's attitude towards rail safety.

Senior vice-president safety, health and environment Neil Backer said it was clear motorists were ignoring QR calls for vigilance at level crossings.

Rail authority passes plan for Calif. bullet train

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

The authority overseeing efforts to build a high-speed rail system in California approved its revised business plan on Thursday, sending the ambitious project to an uncertain fate in the Legislature.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority voted 6-0, with two members absent, to approve its latest plan. Two hours of public comment preceded the vote, most of it favorable toward the bullet train.

Minister given report into boy's train fall

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail says it has completed its report into an incident where a child fell from a moving train, south of Cairns in the state's far north.

The five-year-old boy fell from the Sunlander last December and was picked up by a motorist who saw him walking near the tracks a short time later.

He was treated in the Cairns Base Hospital.

CBH rail fleet on track

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

THE first of CBH's new locomotives has been loaded onto a ship in Savannah on the east coast of the USA and is about to start its seven week voyage to WA.

Locomotive number 001 is the first of 22 new locomotives to make the journey.

It is a 2700 horsepower, narrow gauge locomotive and was named by a WA grower in CBH's train naming competition late last year.

The Yilliminning will reach WA soil in May and be out to work the Wheatbelt tracks mid-year.

CBH general manager operations Colin Tutt said the shipment of the first locomotive was an exciting step in the process towards CBH owning its first rail fleet.

Keith Douglas wants heavy rail link

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

GOLD Coast Mayoral hopeful Keith Douglas wants a heavy rail train to link with the light rail in Southport, providing travellers with a seamless entry into the city.

The candidate, who revealed his plans yesterday as the debate surrounding the light rail reached boiling point, said the train would cruise underground to Southport from Helensvale and connect to the airport.

Italians Rail Against a High-Speed Train Project

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

On a day in late winter in a valley in the Italian Alps, about a hundred people set off on a walk. Their path took them by steeply terraced vineyards, through a small village, and over the crest of a hill to where the riot police were waiting for them.

The officers stood in small knots, behind a fence topped with razor wire, spread out across a patch of cleared land where the government plans to break ground on an €8.2 billion ($10.8 billion) project to connect Italy and France by high-speed rail. Soldiers clustered nearby. A camouflage-painted Lince—Italy’s answer to a Humvee—moved in a lazy patrol. A medic’s jeep squatted under a concrete overpass.

Transport minister orders full rail audit

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Transport has been ordered to conduct an audit of the maintenance problems on southeast Queensland’s city rail network by new Transport Minister Scott Emerson.

Queensland Rail holds the maintenance contract for the city train network.

An interim report must be finished by May 31 and the final report finalised by June 30.

Rail trip back on the rails for schoolchildren

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WARRNAMBOOL East Primary School pupils have been saved from a very long bus ride with their class excursion plans now back on track.

Last week The Standard published letters from some of the 120 pupils let down by passenger rail service V/Line, which claimed it could not accommodate the school on a Melbourne trip this month, despite confirming the booking.

A V/Line spokesman said only 80 seats were available to staff and pupils because rolling stock was not available to add extra seating capacity. However, after hearing the students’ complaints, Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder yesterday intervened to ensure the school could travel to and from Southern Cross for the class trip.

Rail upgrade off tracks

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

IT is unlikely an independent audit of the Sunshine Coast's inadequate rail network will speed up the much-needed duplication of the Beerburrum-to-Landsborough line.

The overdue assessment, announced by new LNP Minister for Transport Scott Emerson yesterday, will look into rail reliability and integrity in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Sunshine Coast.

However, while he admitted on the Sunshine Coast "there was clearly an issue with infrastructure capacity" given the "tight budget situation", the duplication would form "part of a pipeline of projects".

Light rail halt 'catastrophic' for Coast

Posted Friday, 13 April, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

TEARING up the light rail contract would have `catastrophic ramifications' for the Gold Coast long after the tracks were ripped up, says a well-respected local businessman.

Murray d'Almeida said if the public-private partnership agreement -- the contract that ties in three levels of government with global banks and the contractor GoldLinQ to build the light rail -- were torn up, the city's reputation would be in ruins.

"It would be terrible for the perception of the Gold Coast and more than that, it would reinforce what many people already think of us," he said.

Thousands march for Napier to Gisborne rail line repair

Posted Saturday, 14 April, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Thousands of people have marched in support of Gisborne maintaining a rail link with Napier this morning. 

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon lead the march today in a bid to convince KiwiRail how important the threatened Napier to Gisborne rail line is. 

The line was washed out in several places during a storm three weeks ago, and the rails are now hanging in mid-air.

$44,000 sting in rail's high-wire act

Posted Saturday, 14 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A FREE Wi-Fi service for commuters at Melbourne's key train stations is being delayed because a state government-owned authority wants $44,000 to install a single 100-metre optical fibre cable.

VicTrack, landlord to railways operator Metro Trains, also wants to charge the internet service provider behind the Wi-Fi service, Netbay, $34,000 a year to ''monitor'' the cable.

It's official: Indians are going to track and ruin

Posted Saturday, 14 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

India was built on, and runs on, its railways.

Every day across this broad land, more than 20 million Indians ride those rails, and 2.5 million tonnes of freight are carted from farm or factory to market.

For many, and for much produced here, this is the only reliable, affordable way.

Spending on capital works should be seen and not inferred

Posted Sunday, 15 April, 2012 by Speed in New South Wales Rail News

When the Carr government took office in 1995 there was widespread discontent across NSW about inadequate public infrastructure, particularly in health and transport.

Today, there is still a perception that spending on infrastructure is inadequate. But in fact, the NSW government in the past 10 years has more than doubled annual capital works expenditure in real terms - that is, after adjusting for inflation.

They built her for comfort, not speed, but she could still give the XPT a run

Posted Sunday, 15 April, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Fifty years after the first direct train trip from Sydney to Melbourne, the travel time has barely changed, writes Daniel Lewis.

''ALBURY, all change!'' For nearly 80 years these three words were the curse of anyone catching the train between Sydney and Melbourne. David Burke, 84, remembers the freezing nights when he would drag his luggage across the platform at the border town because NSW and Victoria had built their rail systems on different gauges.

Gisborne rail rally fails to convince

Posted Sunday, 15 April, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

KiwiRail is unmoved by Saturday's Gisborne protest where hundreds of residents marched through the city demanding the repair of the region's crippled rail link.

''Nothing's changed from our perspective,'' KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said following the fix the rail rally led by Gisborne mayor Meng Foon.

Train services to and from Gisborne have been cut by three big washouts on a section of line near Wairoa.

Mr Foon said Gisborne's business community, in particular, was worried by the prospect the line could be closed permanently.

Metro staff hid as passengers tended injured man, commuter claims

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

A woman who came to the aid of a seriously injured man who had fallen between a train and a platform is demanding answers from transport chiefs over why station staff failed to render assistance.

The man required ambulance attention after he fell and hit his head on the carriage floor while boarding at Footscray Station on Saturday about 8:10pm.

His fall left him dazed and dangling half in and out of the carriage.

Passenger Gemma Houston, a healthcare physiologist, acted quickly to press the train's emergency button and, with the help of others, pulled the injured man into the carriage in case the train took off.

My week in myki hell

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

Let me say at the outset, I was an early adopter of myki. As a former transport reporter for The Sunday Age, it seemed I should really test it out in the field.

I lost my original card last year, at a football game where my team was destroyed by Collingwood and my children and I caught colds. The reason I mention this is that my card was not old, not more than seven months, but it had been trouble for much of that time.

I used to think it was my swiping technique. Other commuters cruised through as I stood there muttering and huffing at the card reader. Then on Wednesday, I took five boys, aged under seven, to the city. Four needed myki cards and I swiped them easily through. My technique was fine. My next job was to top up.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 14/4/2012.

Posted Monday, 16 April, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 116 sightings for this week. This is eight sightings more than last week, making a total of 1746 sightings for this year to date. On day 105 last year we had recorded 1475 sightings. This is 271 sightings up on the same time last year.

Railway fight ‘starts today’

Posted Monday, 16 April, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

PLACARDS and chanting filled the inner city as about 2000 people marched to save the Gisborne to Napier Rail line on Saturday.

Mayor Meng Foon led the march from the Post Office in Grey Street to the rail yard at the other end of the street, accompanied by pleas to “Do not give our rail the slip” and chants of “We want our rail” .

The march exceeded all expectations. A crowd of about 400 gathered at the start but by the time the march reached the rail yard, it was estimated there was close to 2000 people.

Glimpse of train service in 2021 emerges

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

A GLIMPSE of what Melbourne's train timetable could look like 10 years from now has emerged from a government study into building a new rail line to Monash University and Rowville.

It reveals a plan to run trains as often as every four to five minutes in rush hour on some metro lines, and once every 10 minutes outside the peak.

The three-page ''train service plan'' for the year 2021 was published as an appendix to the lengthy government-commissioned Rowville Rail Study. It also gives an early peek at projected increases to V/Line trains to Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo once the $5 billion regional rail link opens in 2016.

Major Expansion to Key Norfolk Southern Rail Facility in Ohio

Posted Tuesday, 17 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

BELLEVUE, Ohio, April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Norfolk Southern NSC +1.19% this month will begin a $160 million project to expand its Bellevue rail yard in Northern Ohio, a project that will double the yard's capacity in order to meet rising demand for freight rail transportation.

"Bellevue is already an important terminal for the classification and movement of freight, and this investment will expand and modernize Bellevue, contributing to the fluid movement of long-distance freight across our rail system," said Mark Manion, Norfolk Southern's chief operating officer. "This project will help us improve asset utilization and efficiency, enhance customer service, strengthen our entire 22-state system, and further confirm Ohio's importance to freight rail transportation."

Regional Rail Link: Reduce rail racket, commands Guy

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

BRIMBANK residents living close to the railway line may need earplugs following a review of noise management as part of the $5 billion Regional Rail Link.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy has directed the Regional Rail Link Authority to come up with a new noise management plan by next March to limit noise from trains that will run on section two of the project between Deer Park and Werribee.

The demand follows an advisory report that found previous management reports and plans "fail to deal reasonably and rationally with the operational noise impacts anticipated", shifting the responsibility back to landowners to pay for noise mitigation.

Bon voyage, Wollongong farewells Iron Monarch for final time

Posted Tuesday, 17 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

It's a ship that has carried tonnes of steel slabs each year from Port Kembla in Wollongong to the Western Port in Hastings in Southern Victoria, but today is its final journey.

 

The Bluescope-owned bulk carrier has been sold and 650,000 tonnes per year of hot rolled coil will now been transported from Wollongong to Victoria by rail in a deal between the steel manufacturer and rail group Pacific National.

The Southern branch of the New South Wales Maritime Union says the ship has been sold for somewhere between $4m and $5m, despite having a $17m upgrade last year.

The story of Geraldton's old railway station

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

It is one of the State's most significant heritage buildings serving as railway station, a museum and a library in the past. Today, there is a growing concern for the iconic building as it falls into a state of disrepair. 

 

Rita Stinson is the President of the Geraldton Historical Society and says there is a wide spread concern for the old railway building near Pages beach on Marine Terrace.

"It is so sad to see such a significant building in such a dilapidated state," she says.

"This building is probably one of the most significant heritage buildings in Geraldton and in Western Australia."

March towards more train strain

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

V/LINE figures show that almost one in five Geelong trains were more than five minutes late last month.

The latest V/Line performance figures for March show that just 83.9 per cent of Geelong services ran to within five minutes of their scheduled time, again failing to meet the on-time target of 92 per cent.

The figures also showed that 98.2 per cent of Geelong services ran, meeting the target of 96 per cent of scheduled services to run.

V/Line's Clare Steele said congestion in the metropolitan network was the biggest contributor for late trains, accounting for 21 per cent of the total.

Ms Steele said ill passengers accounted for almost 10 per cent of late trains for the month, when the figure is usually around 2 per cent of causes.

"That often results in a train being held up while an ambulance arrives at the scene," she said.


Light rail for Oxford St campaign begins

Posted Wednesday, 18 April, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

POTTS Point resident and Darlinghurst record store owner Stephan Gyory is leading a campaign to bring light rail to Oxford St.

So far, the public response has been strongly in his favour.

Mr Gyory, of The Recordstore in Darlinghurst, said Oxford St needed light rail to bring commuters back to the area, which had suffered since the Gateway Project in 2004.

Regional Rail Link: Minister, too, cops an earful

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

FOOTSCRAY residents living close to the railway line may need to invest in earplugs following a review of noise management as part of the $5billion Regional Rail Link project.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy recently directed the Regional Rail Link Authority to come up with a new noise management plan by March next year to limit noise from trains that will run on section two of the project between Deer Park and Werribee.

There are no directions for reducing noise for section one, from Moonee Ponds Creek to Deer Park, despite the area being more densely populated and the corridor carrying more trains than outer sections.

Metro sheds staff as V/Line bosses ride the rails

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

More than 50 Metro rail workers have been sacked and a further 58 temporary and vacant positions cut following a review by the rail operator just days before the introduction of a new timetable this weekend.

The job losses, most of which will be in Metro's operations division, were revealed to staff yesterday - the same day car manufacturer Toyota sacked 350 workers from its Altona plant.

Metro corporate relations general manager Leah Waymark said 51 employees were told of the job losses in meetings yesterday and would be leaving the business with full entitlements.

Shepparton’s $7 million rail safety upgrade works completed

Posted Thursday, 19 April, 2012 by Galron in Press Releases

The biggest boost to rail safety in Shepparton in decades is now complete with the completion of a major rail signalling system and crossing safety project, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said today.

Queensland Rail to ditch shorts for train crews because of safety concerns

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

THE much-maligned work uniform of tailored shorts and long socks is heading for extinction with the ensemble set to be banned from train stations.

Queensland Rail has indicated shorts will not be part of train crews' new uniform when it is rolled out later this year because of safety concerns, including the heightened risk of skin cancer.

The decree has angered the Rail Tram and Bus Union, which has been in consultation with Queensland Rail about the new look.

State secretary Owen Doogan said it was their understanding that the risk assessment of shorts had not found any negative safety outcomes.

"There's been no approach to us about stopping the issue of shorts. That is something we'd be concerned about," said Mr Doogan.

LIRR: 2 boys burned on third rail

Posted Thursday, 19 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Two children suffered burns after coming into contact with an electrified third rail on train tracks in Wyandanch, according to a spokesman for the Long Island Rail Road.

One of the children, an unidentified 12-year-old boy, was burned on the right hand, said the spokesman, Sam Zambuto. He was conscious and taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip for treatment.

Company hit with a heavy fine over fatal rail accident

Posted Thursday, 19 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A New South Wales company has been fined $200,000 over a rail accident near Maitland that claimed the life of one worker and injured four others.

In March 2009, Sydney Labour hire worker Agamalu Iosefa was killed when rail lines sprang free as a crane was unloading a panel weighing almost 35 tonnes at Farley.

Four other workers suffered serious injuries and one lost part of his arm.

Lawmakers Scrutinize $68B Rail Plan

Posted Thursday, 19 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

A day after a highly critical report on a $68.4 billion high-speed rail proposal, Democrats who control the Legislature said they remained committed to the project while the chairman of the authority that would oversee construction said it's still a risk worth taking.

On Wednesday, lawmakers began evaluating the latest proposal from the California High-Speed Rail Authority in Senate and Assembly hearings. They are considering Gov. Jerry Brown's request to sell about $2.6 billion in voter-approved bonds to begin construction.


Light-rail cost estimate is called into question

Posted Thursday, 19 April, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The price tag for building a 13-kilometre stretch of light rail from north Canberra into the city could be up to $860 million, according to a new transport study released by the ACT government.

But the announcement sparked a flurry of conflicting claims yesterday about the cost of the project, with light-rail proponents accusing the government of overstating the price.

The ACT Greens said the figure was as much as three times the price of light-rail networks in other cities, a claim disputed by Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell.

KiwiRail putting Hillside up for sale

Posted Thursday, 19 April, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

The business will be advertised for sale as a going concern from early May, 2012 with a final decision due by the end of August, 2012.

KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said the decision was made after analysing the financial impact of the reduction in construction and refurbishment forward work orders for Hillside Workshops.

While the sale terms were negotiable, the preferred outcome would be that it was purchased as a going concern, he said.

Rail death caused by poorly designed forms

Posted Friday, 20 April, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

A poorly designed application form contributed to a train collision that killed a man in the NSW central west in 2010, an investigation has found.

On May 5, 2010, a train collided with a track-mounted excavator near Newbridge, resulting in the death of the excavator driver.

During the course of the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), a similar incident occurred near Wards River in the NSW Upper Hunter.

Local mine supports rail line

Posted Friday, 20 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The councils behind a campaign to reopen a central west rail line say they have secured freight from a gold mine and are now looking for someone to operate the track.

The general manager of the Weddin Shire Council, Trevor Lobb, says the bid suffered a blow when a paper and pulp miller pulled out of a plan to use the line from Blayney to Demondrille, near Harden.

"At the time it happened it affected us significantly because it, that extra freight would have carried the benefit-cost ratio over the threshold value of one, which we need to do to establish that the line is viable," he said.

Amtrak rail project keeps right on rolling

Posted Friday, 20 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Governor Christie scuttled the "Access to the Region's Core" tunnel, and the chairman of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority this month effectively quashed an idea to extend the No. 7 subway to Secaucus.

But Amtrak's Gateway Project — the third of three multibillion-dollar proposals to construct a new pair of rail tunnels under the Hudson River – continues to simmer.

Although it has nowhere near the $14.5 billion needed to ultimately propel high-speed and commuter trains along the Northeast Corridor and into New York Penn Station, Gateway is gaining momentum as a project Amtrak is pitching as an answer to the region's need for rail congestion relief.

On Thursday, the project got a boost when the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $20 million for Amtrak to continue preliminary design and engineering work on the proposal. It still must be approved by the full Senate and House, but its survival in committee at a time when transportation programs are at risk for large funding cuts or elimination has encouraged backers.

120 hurt in Amsterdam rail crash

Posted Sunday, 22 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Two busy passenger trains have collided head-on near an Amsterdam park on Saturday, injuring scores of people, including more than 50 seriously, a police spokesman said.

National Police Corps spokesman Ed Kraszewski told Amsterdam local news network AT5 that some 70 people had minor injuries and 51 were "seriously or very seriously injured." He said the victims sustained broken bones and neck injuries.

Fleets of ambulances ferried injured away from the scene.

Trains bypass stations to stay on time

Posted Sunday, 22 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Metro Trains has admitted its drivers are sometimes ordered to deliberately miss stations to ensure trains run on time.

The train drivers' union has questioned the practice saying it is leading to drivers being abused by passengers.

Metro spokesman Daniel Hoare says he understands some commuters are inconvenienced, but the strategy is designed to ensure the majority of passengers arrive on time.

Police investigate fatal stabbing in Kalgoorlie

Posted Sunday, 22 April, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Police are treating the death of a 60-year-old man, who was found dead in a Kalgoorlie railway yard donga, as suspicious.

The man was found in a donga at the Transfield rail complex, on Yarri Road, just after midday yesterday.

Call for V/Line train funding in budget

Posted Sunday, 22 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews is urging the Victorian Premier to commit to funding more V/Line trains in next month's state budget.

V/Line has asked the Government to buy an extra 40 trains because patronage on regional rail services has doubled over the past five years.

Transport Minister Terry Mulder has refused to comment on whether the budget will include funding for more trains.

Dozens injured as Dutch trains collide

Posted Sunday, 22 April, 2012 by Speed in International Rail News

Two busy passenger trains have collided head-on near an Amsterdam park, injuring scores of people including more than 50 seriously.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 21/4/2012.

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

There were 127 sightings for this week. This is 11 sightings more than last week, making a total of 1873 sightings for this year to date. On day 112 last year we had recorded 1579 sightings. This is 294 sightings up on the same time last year.

Forum to consider high-speed train potential

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

The Bundaberg Mayor says a proposed high-speed train, connecting Bundaberg to Gladstone and Rockhampton, would cut the current travel time in half.

A forum will be held in Bundaberg on Wednesday to discuss the feasibility of the train, which will provide transport for mining workers living in the Wide Bay.

Lorraine Pyefinch says the high-speed train could take just 90 minutes to travel from Bundaberg to central Queensland.

QR putting coal before farming: Johnson

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

Queensland MP Vaughan Johnson says Queensland Rail is putting the maintenance of its coal lines ahead of agriculture links as cattle farmers in the outback remain hamstrung by a collapsed rail bridge.

The Darr River rail bridge, between Winton and Longreach, collapsed in February while workers were trying to repair storm damage.

The cattle industry in west Queensland had been expecting to move 80,000 to 90,000 head of cattle out of Winton this season but the closure of the bridge has made transporting the livestock expensive and impractical.

South Morang finally gets its line

Posted Monday, 23 April, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

THE last time South Morang had a functioning railway station it was called Rail Motor Stopping Place 39 - a bush signpost where passengers jumped on and off the line to Whittlesea.

That line was shut down from Epping in 1959 and ripped up, but trains returned to South Morang yesterday, at a cost of $498 million to build three kilometres of track from Epping and duplicate the line from Keon Park. Now a booming suburb in Melbourne's northern growth corridor, South Morang has a new terminus for what was previously the Epping line.

But residents who have fought for years to get rail to South Morang say urban growth is happening so rapidly the line now needs to be extended further north to Mernda to relieve chronic congestion on the roads.

''It takes me 40 minutes to drive from Doreen to Mill Park - that's eight kilometres,'' said primary school teacher Darren Peters, who is also spokesman for the South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance.

QR to begin fixing rail bridge next month

Posted Monday, 23 April, 2012 by vanessa in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail (QR) will begin repairing a collapsed outback rail bridge next month which has hamstrung cattle farmers. The Darr River rail bridge, between Winton and Longreach, collapsed in February while workers were trying to repair storm damage.

The cattle industry in western Queensland was expecting to move 80,000 to 90,000 head of cattle out of Winton by rail this season but the closure of the bridge has meant that they are being transported to meatworks and the capital by trucks, which is more costly and time consuming.

Morning rail chaos due to breakdown

Posted Monday, 23 April, 2012 by vanessa in South Australian Rail News

Train services were cut on the Noarlunga line in Adelaide after a train broke down at Clarence Park on Monday morning. The train had mechanical problems about 8:30am, stranding morning commuters on that train and others which banked up behind it. Some commuters got out of their trains and walked, despite rain. Adelaide Metro said the train was towed away for repair work and it appeared the heavy rain had caused an electrical fault.

Flinders to get new rail station by 2014

Posted Monday, 23 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Shellharbour rail commuters can finally celebrate today, with plans for a railway station at Flinders back on track.

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian, and Kiama MP Gareth Ward, will this morning announce plans to spend $39million building the long-awaited station, improving access to train services for Flinders, Shell Cove and Shellharbour residents.

‘‘You’ve got a growing population in Shell Cove, particularly with young families and they need access to public transport to get to work, to get to school,’’ Mr Ward said yesterday.

‘‘I have been fighting for this since I was elected.’’

The case for high speed rail in Australia

Posted Monday, 23 April, 2012 by vanessa in Rail News

Stage two of the Federal Government's feasibility study into high speed rail along Australia's east coast is underway, with Albury Wodonga on the list of proposed 'stops' along the way. But we get plenty of callers who say a very fast train (VFT) network will never be built in Australia and all this talk is 'pie in the sky' stuff.

Passengers blast updated app for public transport

Posted Tuesday, 24 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IF IT were a movie, the terrible opening weekend reviews would have consigned it to a quick and brutal box office death.

But the masses of people who went online to vent their loathing for a complex new public transport iPhone app have been told to learn to love it.

The app was released last Thursday by Public Transport Victoria, the government body that this month took over the running of public transport in the state.

City tram users pay an extra $1m

Posted Tuesday, 24 April, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

INNER-CITY tram users are being slugged an extra $1 million each year to subsidise the extension of zone 1 along tram routes in outer suburbs, according to secret government briefings.

Documents provided to The Age under freedom of information laws reveal that scrapping the cheapest Metcard fare - the City Saver - has boosted revenues by $110,000 a month under myki, or more than $1 million each year. This has offset the extension of zone 1 fares to the end of the 109, 75 and 86 tram routes.

The briefings appear to contradict claims by the former Labor state government that scrapping the City Saver was only necessary because of a decision to stop all tram passengers from touching-off their myki card, which would have congested tram doorways at busy times.

Trains halted in wedge of city's north-east

Posted Tuesday, 24 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A medical emergency on board a Metro train near Jolimont station this morning has resulted in passengers being stranded on board for an hour.

Metro warned of major delays of 30 minutes or more on the Epping, Hurstbridge and South Morang lines while paramedics treat a sick passenger.

A Metro spokesman said a passenger on the train suffered an epileptic fit and hit their head just after 9.30am.

"They can't be moved off the train so the train's stopped there," he said.

Rail noise to be reduced

Posted Tuesday, 24 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE State Government will reduce noise levels along the Footscray stretch of the Regional Rail Link.

A spokesperson from Planning Minister Matthew Guy’s office has told Star a new noise mitigation plan for the Deer Park to Werribee section will also include measures for Footscray.

“The Environmental Management Plan for Regional Rail Link Section 1 (including Footscray) has been endorsed by Minister Guy, subject to a supplement to be provided by 31 Dec 2012, to further address the management of operational noise in the context of the forthcoming policy framework for noise from future passenger rail investment in Victoria,” the spokesperson said.

Another council joins push to reopen Riverina rail line

Posted Tuesday, 24 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A fifth Riverina council has come on board to support the re-opening of the Narrandera to Tocumwal rail line.

The Griffith City Council's joined the Berrigan, Jerilderie, Narrandera, Urana councils in trying to revive the line, shut down in 1988.

The Griffith Council wants the town's freight rail hub to be relocated out of the city, and Narrandera Councillor Wesley Hall says the Narrandera line could be complimentary.

"Absolutely," he said.

MP fears 'bandaid' rail bridge fix

Posted Wednesday, 25 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A western Queensland MP says he hopes efforts to rebuild a rail bridge in the central west are not a "bandaid" solution.

Queensland Rail (QR) says it will award a contract to fix the Darr River Bridge between Longreach and Winton within the week.

Cattle producers wanting to use trains to move their stock are worried it could be July before the rail line reopens.

Trawalla V/Line Accident

Posted Wednesday, 25 April, 2012 by steamkiwi in Victorian Rail News

Truck Driver Suing over Trawalla Accident

Lucky escape at level crossing

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

Victorian police say a man is lucky to have escaped injury after his car was hit by a train at a railway crossing in Brunswick.

Police say the man tried to cross the rail line in heavy traffic last night.

Metro claims fare evasion led to rail injury

Posted Wednesday, 25 April, 2012 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

A female passenger narrowly escapes disaster as she falls between a train and the platform. The train leaves the platform unaware.

METRO says a woman who fell between a train and platform during an alleged attempt at fare evasion is lucky to be alive. But the woman, Leah Morgan, said her accident only occurred because she had no myki and the train station platform was dangerous.

Metro moves to plug leaks in City Loop tunnels

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

THE tunnel walls of Melbourne's City Loop will be injected with sealant in an attempt to stem serious water leaks and halt concrete erosion in the underground rail system.

The move follows a walk-through tunnel inspection by Alan Osborne, the man in charge of safety on the state's rail system. Mr Osborne inspected the water leakage and concrete erosion in February, after The Age revealed the loop's serious structural problems that had been ignored by successive state governments and train operators.

''There's no doubt there's a fair amount of leakage coming through,'' said Mr Osborne, safety director at Public Transport Safety Victoria.

Calls for decentralised public transport

Posted Wednesday, 25 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The state government is being urged to address what is being described as inefficient and inequitable public transport in the central west.

The Mid-Western Region is the latest council to lodge a submission on the inquiry into Countrylink and says more bus and rail links to Sydney and the north and west of New South Wales are needed.

It gives an example of the journey from Mudgee to Tamworth taking up to 24 hours because passengers have to go via Lithgow and Sydney.

High-speed rail touted

Posted Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

The government is defending its planned high-speed train lines, saying their development will stimulate regional economies, open new domestic economic areas and spur tourism.

"The government's strategy (for high-speed rail) focuses mainly on how to boost the regional economy rather than passenger volume and rates of return," said Deputy Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra asked the Transport Ministry to produce an updated report on high-speed train development plans next Monday.

The ministry also needs to study technical and engineering aspects, investment and finance, service management, and connectivity with existing mass transit, the airport rail link and other transport systems.

Atlas eyes rail link at cost of up to $3.5bn

Posted Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

ATLAS Iron will today unveil a complete game-changer for the Pilbara region and the iron ore miner, with the launch of a study to develop a new railway.

The Perth-based miner, in a joint venture with QR National, will conduct a feasibility study for the construction of a 600km multi-user railway, at a cost of up to $3.5 billion, to transport ore from the east and southeast Pilbara to Port Hedland Port.

The new rail line would allow the junior miner to bypass dealing with the major miners such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton that refuse access to their rail infrastructure.

The study, named the Pilbara Independent Rail Project, is expected to be completed by the end of this year, with first haulage tipped for 2015.

More myki readers for loop

Posted Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

COMMUTERS dealing with crushingly long queues at city loop railway station exits face another month of frustration before new myki readers are switched on.

A batch of 27 new myki-only readers designed to ease the severe peak-hour bottlenecks at ticket barriers have been erected, but they are at least two weeks away from operation.

They are being installed months early, in response to Metro's decision last month to throw open loop station barriers to cut long queues it deemed a threat to passenger safety.

Ten new myki readers have been installed at parliament station and these will become operational in about two weeks, a spokesman for the Transport Ticketing Authority said.

Rail union slams plans to change driving hours

Posted Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Australia's rail transport union is warning proposed changes to train drivers' working hours are risky and fly in the face of the latest research on fatigue and safety.

The draft proposal by the National Transport Commission (NTC) recommends ditching a 12-hour cap on working hours and letting rail companies set limits on shift lengths and rest breaks.

State and federal transport ministers are just weeks away from getting together to look at fatigue and safety laws for the nation's rail network.

The commission recommends fatigue standards for train drivers in New South Wales be relaxed, for the sake of flexibility and to cut the burden and cost of regulation.

Tycoons Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart battle for Galilee Basin railway lines

Posted Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THEY'RE two of Australia's biggest billionaires, both accustomed to getting what they want.

What the resource tycoons want is their own personal railway lines to coal mines they plan in Queensland's Galilee Basin.

However, the Newman Government is placed in the unenviable position between the billionaires and has warned them it wants only one railway.

With a collective fortune of more than $15 billion and no love lost between the two, industry insiders say convincing the pair to share may be one of the Newman Government's greatest challenges.

WA govt supports common Pilbara rail line

Posted Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The West Australian government will support QR National and Atlas Iron's bid for a common rail line in the Pilbara, but says it won't put any money towards it.

WA Premier Colin Barnett told reporters in Perth on Thursday his government "in principle" supported any rail network to link mining projects in the state's northwest, but said they would have to be self-funded.

"It's a project that's been talked about for along time," Mr Barnett said.

"The state government would be, in principle, in support of this to be able to have a common user rail system that services different companies, different mines.

Bathurst freight hub delayed

Posted Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A $100 million freight hub proposed for the outskirts of Bathurst has been delayed until at least next year.

In 2009 Gateway Land Corporation received approval from the state government to build an intermodal facility and warehouse east of Kelso, which would cater for onsite customs, grain silos, fuel storage and maintenance.

Two days down the track, South Morang is still a missing link

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

IT TOOK more than two decades for capacity in the City Loop to begin to be tested. It took less than two days at South Morang.

In its first week, South Morang railway station is struggling to cope with demand, its sprawling 450-space car park filling by 7.30am, and overloaded connecting buses leaving would-be passengers stranded in the afternoon.

Commuters have been parking in the neighbouring Westfield shopping centre, which has reacted by leaving notices on windscreens telling drivers not to park there and noting vehicle number plates.

Specialists warn of coal terminal health risk

Posted Friday, 27 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

PUBLIC health specialists have labelled the $5 billion fourth coal terminal proposed for Kooragang Island a ‘‘significant threat’’ and called for a more thorough assessment of dust and noise effects on residents.

In a joint submission to the NSW Department of Planning, Nick Higginbotham, Ben Ewald, Graeme Horton, John Hall, Abul Hasnat Milton and Mark McEvoy, all with the University of Newcastle’s School of Medicine and Public Health, said air quality modelling done for the ‘‘T4’’ proposal made ‘‘unsafe assumptions’’.

It was among five flaws they identified with the project’s environmental assessment report, which is on public exhibition.

‘‘T4 will not burn coal but the noise and dust from it will contribute to an unhealthy environment that will lead to people getting sick,’’ Associate Professor Higginbotham said.

Jogger killed by train was wearing earphones

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

A jogger who was struck by a train and killed in Melbourne's south-east last night was wearing earphones at the time and may not have heard the train approaching from behind, police believe.

The 27-year-old man was also distracted by a second oncoming Metro train as he ran less than a metre from the train tracks in the rain in Pakenham about 6.45pm.

Hunter light rail plan suggested

Posted Friday, 27 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A MAITLAND councillor has flagged a light rail system linking Lake Macquarie to Newcastle, Port Stephens, Maitland and the Coalfields.

Ray Fairweather was speaking this week on Maitland City Council’s submission to the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan when he raised the issue of a complex light rail system for the Hunter.

He said a network linking Newcastle Airport at Williamtown to Nelson Bay, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Cessnock and Maitland would be a transport boon for the growing region.

Auckland rail delays prompt call for control system review

Posted Friday, 27 April, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says it is time to review the location of the country's train control system following a problem in Wellington that disrupted Auckland trains last night.

Massive delays were caused to Auckland's suburban rail network during rush hour yesterday after a power outage shut down KiwiRail's National Train Control Centre in Wellington, affecting thousands of commuters. Wellington trains were unaffected by the outage.

Brown said the question now needs to be asked whether to move the control centre to Auckland.

QR National considering Pilbara rail line

Posted Friday, 27 April, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Rail freight company, QR National, and iron ore miner, Atlas Iron, are investigating the possibility of an independent, open-access rail line for the Pilbara.

The privately owned nature of the Pilbara's rail assets has been a barrier to new entrants but this proposed line, to run from the East Pilbara to Port Hedland, would allow junior miners much freer access to rail transport.

A feasibility study should be finished this year, and if the line goes ahead QR expects to see ore on the rails by the end of 2015.

Rail industry hits back at union 'scaremongering'

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

The Australian rail industry has lashed out at the train workers' union, accusing it of scaremongering over safety.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has warned that proposed changes to train drivers' working hours and rest breaks pose serious safety risks.

"Uniform legislation across Australia should raise standards across Australia rather than reducing them to the lowest common denominator," the union's Bob Nanva told AM yesterday.

But the Australasian Railway Association, the peak body representing the nation's public and private rail operators, says the new national safety code will not diminish safety on the train network.

Future use for Hobart rail yards investigated

Posted Saturday, 28 April, 2012 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

The Federal Government is spending more than $200,000 to help revitalise Hobart's inner city and encourage more people to use public transport.

The money has been allocated under the Government's Liveable Cities program.

The State Government's been allocated $110,000 to assess potential uses for the Macquarie Point Railyards, which will relocate to a new transport hub at Brighton north of Hobart later this year.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 28/4/2012.

Posted Monday, 30 April, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 114 sightings for this week. This is 13 sightings less than last week, making a total of 1987 sightings for this year to date. On day 119 last year we had recorded 1678 sightings. This is 329 sightings up on the same time last year.

Historic Soldiers Hill signal box demolished due to fire damage

Posted Monday, 30 April, 2012 by Apocalyptical in Victorian Rail News

BALLARAT’S historic railway signal boxes are in need of urgent protection from vandals and the ravages of time, a local heritage expert said yesterday. The call comes just a day after the burnt shell of an 1880s signal box in Soldiers Hill was demolished following a suspicious fire two weeks ago.

Demolition crews employed by rail authority VicTrack demolished the derelict graffiti-covered C Box at the Macarthur Street railway crossing yesterday morning, after fire crews fought to save it.

CTA train chartered for rail buffs derails in Loop

Posted Monday, 30 April, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

An elevated Green Line train carrying about 40 train buffs and other CTA riders derailed about 11:20 a.m. Sunday near State and14th Street in the South Loop, though no one was injured.

All but one of those aboard the three-car L train were able to walk down on their own via a nearby walkway to the nearest train station.

Plans for Springvale grade separation revealed

Posted Monday, 30 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE first plans for the long-awaited Springvale level crossing grade separation have been released.

VicRoads showcased four draft design plans at a public meeting last week.

A proposal to move the station north of the present railway line, and build a train tunnel 6m under Springvale Rd has been touted as the most effective option.

VicRoads project director Andrew Williams said this option would also allow for more tracks to be built in the future.

Councils see 'huge potential' in weekend rail services

Posted Monday, 30 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Central Victorian councils are pushing for the State Government to introduce weekend train services from Maryborough to Ballarat.

The State Government committed $2 million for a feasibility study last year to consider passenger trains between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, with stops at Meredith and Castlemaine.

Calls for more federal funding at Orange transport forum

Posted Monday, 30 April, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Member for Orange Andrew Gee says the state government supports calls to get the commonwealth to provide more funding for local roads.

Up to 100 people gathered in the city last night to discuss road, rail and air links with the New South Wales roads and transport ministers Duncan Gay and Gladys Berejiklian.

$50m to prepare rail yards site

Posted Monday, 30 April, 2012 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

The Tasmanian Government is facing a $50 million bill to prepare a large slice of Hobart waterfront for development.

The State Government is conducting a federally-funded study into the potential uses for Macquarie Point rail yards.

The Economic Development Minister, David O'Byrne, says the site could be a mix of residential, commercial and tourist facilities.

Vline expected to receive funding in budget for rollingstock

Posted Monday, 30 April, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Vline is expected to have a rare win in tomorrows budget with the announcement of $205m allocated to fund up to 45 new passenger carriages for the regional railway operator.

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