Showing stories from April 2012

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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.

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