Showing stories from April 2012

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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.


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.

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