News

 

Showing stories from April 2012

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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.

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