News

 

Showing stories from July 2012

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Public spending cuts hurting productivity

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

PUBLIC spending on roads, rail and power stations is collapsing to levels not seen since 2006, posing a threat to the nation's falling productivity.

A new quarterly survey of the country's biggest construction companies, compiled by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and BIS Shrapnel, shows how the two-speed economy is distorting infrastructure expenditure - with headline national figures propped up by massive investment in mining projects.

The March metric reveals that outside of mining, spending has fallen to its lowest levels in seven years. Non-mine commitments fell back to an index of 82.9 in the quarter, well below the average of 113. Transport infrastructure was the worst hit, falling to 68.7, as state governments reduced their commitments to roads and rail as they continued to cut spending to protect their AAA credit rating, or in Queensland's case, tried to restore it.

Trains out after truck hits rail bridge

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

Train services have been disrupted on the Outer Harbor line in Adelaide after a truck hit a rail bridge.

Transport SA said no trains would be allowed to use the bridge over Commercial Road at Port Adelaide until engineers had completed a safety inspection.

Tungsten mine looks to make 'tidy profit'

Posted Wednesday, 4 July, 2012 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

An Adelaide-based mining company says a new tungsten mine near Tennant Creek is financially feasible.

Thor Mining's chief executive, Mick Billing, says the construction would require about 100 workers, take a year and cost $70 million.

He says the ore would be transported by road to Alice Springs and then by rail to Darwin.

Auckland rail link to claim 210 properties

Posted Wednesday, 4 July, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Auckland Transport will soon begin contacting the owners of properties it needs to buy in order to build its inner city underground rail link.

The proposed route will run through the city connecting Britomart with the existing western line and adding three new underground stations along the way.

But for the Inner City Rail Link to go ahead, Auckland Transport will need to purchase 210 properties, including the Westfield Downtown shopping centre across the road from Britomart.

Debate over double decker trains

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

The New South Wales government has decided to bore smaller sized tunnels on the north-west rail link.

Tenders have been called for the tunnels which are designed to run single deck trains.

They will be too small to fit double-deck trains that are common on the rest of the network.

More PSOs to patrol stations

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

Protective Services Officers (PSOs) will start work at Melbourne's Parliament and Richmond railway stations on Tuesday tonight.

It means they will now patrol seven stations every night from six o'clock until the last train.

They include Southern Cross, Flinders Street, Footscray, Dandenong and Melbourne Central.

The State Government has promised to deploy 940 PSOs to railway stations in Melbourne and regional centres by 2014.

Quakers Hill Police warning on rail detonator thefts

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

QUAKERS Hill Police are urging parents to be aware of where their children are and what items they may have in their possession, following the heft of  several rail detonator.

The police said that other property have recently been stolen from Rail Corp and are worried that children could be badly hurt by using the detonators.

Countrylink XPT unable to access Melbourne this evening

Posted Wednesday, 4 July, 2012 by bevans in Gunzelling Reports

The Countrylink XPT service from Sydney to Melbourne was unable to access Melbourne this evening account track access issues due to a person being hit by a metro train at Craigieburn.

Details are sketchy however Countrylink has posted an update on their website which advises the XPT returned to Seymour and passengers were transfered to buses.

Why Vline could not carry them to Melbourne from Seymour is unknown. Details follow.

Qld approves new Cloncurry multi-user rail facility

Posted Thursday, 5 July, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the state government’s approval of a new multi-user rail load-out facility that will service mining projects in the state’s north west.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said on Wednesday that the government would be actively working with the facility’s three joint venture (JV) partners, Xstrata Copper, MMG and Cudeco, to deliver the rail load-out facility for the region.

The rail load-out facility will be fully funded by the JV partners, and it was anticipated that it would take between 18 and 24 months to complete the approvals process, construct and commission the facility, with the facility to be operational by mid 2014.

“This outcome brings a resolution to more than 18 months of uncertainty on this project and will centralise the load-out requirements of three major mining operations into one location, outside Cloncurry,” Cripps said.

High-speed rail funding poised for approval

Posted Thursday, 5 July, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Even though Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers failed this week to reach a deal on public worker pensions, the Legislature may be ready to approve billions of dollars in spending on high-speed rail and related projects.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) told reporters on Tuesday that lawmakers would vote on the funding this week.

Legislative approval would be a victory for Brown, who has championed high-speed rail despite uniform opposition from Republicans and scattered concerns among Democrats.

Brown has planned to start the project with 130 miles of rail in the Central Valley, stretching from Bakersfield to Madera. But some Democratic state senators have suggested it would be better to start in wealthier, more-populous areas such as San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Derailed coal train fuels critics of increased Northwest shipping

Posted Thursday, 5 July, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

A derailed Spokane-bound train interrupted an interstate railroad thoroughfare for more than 24 hours, but the tracks were to reopen Tuesday night, BNSF Railway Co. officials said.

The freight train derailed Monday, spewing 31 cars and tons of coal dust across the arid grasslands of southeast Washington.

More than 50 workers from a nearby town bulldozed 30 of the 31 cars into a heap, righted the last one, and cleared the tracks, officials said.

Sutton rail campaigners fight to save a train link

Posted Thursday, 5 July, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Rail campaigners are planning a day of action in a bid to save a train link to The City, St Pancras, North London and stations to Luton.

Under current plans, Thameslink Loop Line trains, which link Sutton to St Albans and Luton through central and north London, will terminate at Blackfriars station from 2018.

Network Rail has said the changes are part of a Thameslink upgrade to increase the number of trains.

Rail imposes carbon tax surcharge

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

RAIL operators warn the carbon price could backfire by providing a financial incentive for businesses to move more cargo on to heavier-polluting trucks and drive up the costs of groceries.

Asciano's rail freight business, Pacific National, is imposing a 1.34 per cent "carbon cost surcharge" on rail freight, with the diesel fuel rebate slashed by 6.21c per litre from July 1 under the Gillard government's carbon tax.

It has told customers in a letter obtained by The Australian that the surcharge would be adjusted when the carbon price varied and that it regretted having to pass on the increases to other businesses.

Last night, Asciano chief executive John Mullen said it was "somewhat counter-intuitive" that at a time when government was trying to cut greenhouse emissions it was imposing a carbon price on rail, but trucks were exempt until mid-2014.

Mordialloc and Frankston trains halted account accident

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

Buses will replace trains between Mordialloc and Frankston until further notice due to a pedestrian accident.

High-speed rail boosts economy

Posted Thursday, 5 July, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

During the course of any modern political debate, we often hear a familiar refrain from those who oppose particular investments.

They usually say something along the line of "This project will burden future generations with debt." We're currently hearing of lot of this concerning high-speed rail in California. And while concern about our debt is a legitimate and important point of view, it does not apply to California's high-speed rail project.

Investment in high-speed rail will actually help to reverse the downward economic spiral that leads to deficits and long-term debt. How can this be?

One word: jobs. The project will create an estimated 450,000 direct job-years throughout its lifetime, as well as a million job-years from all economic activity generated by the statewide project. It is the lack of jobs that is causing our state's budget crisis as tax revenues have plummeted while the unemployed draw on public services. With high-speed rail starting construction next year, the huge number of new jobs generated will dramatically increase tax revenues flowing into the state budget.

Kerang among worst rail crossings

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

THE Kerang railway crossing - where 11 people died in 2007 - has been named one of Victoria's worst.

The crossings were named by train drivers.

While the Kerang crossing features prominently on the list others were nominated not only because of fatalities but because of the "danger" factor.

Most crossings had been identified as being potentially lethal and have attracted treatment such as flashing lights.

Fast rail inspires political party

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

A group called Bullet Train for Canberra has applied to register as a political party for the October ACT election.

Party registrations closed on Saturday and so far seven parties have been approved including.

They are the Australian Labor Party, the Australian Motorist Party, The Liberal Democratic Party, The Liberal Party of Australia, Pangallo Independents Party, the ACT Greens, and the Community Alliance Party ACT.

Irish Rail sent a "Lost dog!" tweet with a photo attachment

Posted Thursday, 5 July, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

WHEN Patch hopped aboard the train to Dublin, it took the power of Twitter to reunite the dog with his owner.

Irish Rail sent a "Lost dog!" tweet with a photo attachment after the Jack Russell terrier arrived with Wednesday morning commuters on a train from rural Kilcock, County Kildare, an hour's ride away.

After more than 500 retweets in just 32 minutes, the photo found Patch's owner, Deirdre Anglin, who tweeted the state railway: "That's my dog!"

The episode underscored the ubiquitous use of mobile-friendly social media sites in Ireland, a tech-savvy corner of Europe where mobile phones were the norm long before they were in the United States.

Highway, rail corridor upgrades considered

Posted Thursday, 5 July, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Government says it will consider upgrades to the Flinders Highway and the Mount Isa to Townsville rail corridor if mining activity in the region increases.

The miners Xstrata Copper, MMG and Cudeco have agreed to contribute money to build a rail load-out facility about 10 kilometres east of Cloncurry.

The Natural Resources and Mines Minister, Andrew Cripps, says the facility gives the miners certainty about the future.

"There is the potential for growth in the capacity of the facility," he said.

Police threat sparks fare-fine insurance rethink

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

Organisers of a proposed scheme to shield fare evaders from fines are reconsidering the project following calls to shut it down.

Public Transport Victoria chief Ian Dobbs has urged the organisers of Tramsurance, which for $20 a month would cover fines incurred for fare evasion, to shelve the project.

"We're going to ask them to desist," Mr Dobbs told ABC 774. "If they don't do that we will probably have to refer them to Victoria Police because we can't have this."

Metro's train system depends on this wilderness

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

A SHEEP paddock between the home of tyre king Bob Jane and his Calder Park drag racing circuit could hold the key to the future of Melbourne's trains.

But first the government will have to deal with the endangered growling grass frogs that live there.

Seventy hectares of farmland in Plumpton, on Melbourne's north-western fringe, have been earmarked by the government as the place for a stabling yard for its ''next generation trains''.

Rail freight scheme may be extended to Portland

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

Victorian Roads Minister Terry Mulder says a scheme to transfer more freight from roads to rail could eventually target the Port of Portland.

Warrnambool company Wettenhals is taking part in the current round of the Government's rail freight investment scheme, along with companies at Tocumwal, Mildura and Horsham.

Mr Mulder says the $10 million scheme will cover about 50,000 containers being transported to the Port of Melbourne.

Rail imposes carbon tax surcharge

Posted Friday, 6 July, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

RAIL operators warn the carbon price could backfire by providing a financial incentive for businesses to move more cargo on to heavier-polluting trucks and drive up the costs of groceries.

Asciano's rail freight business, Pacific National, is imposing a 1.34 per cent "carbon cost surcharge" on rail freight, with the diesel fuel rebate slashed by 6.21c per litre from July 1 under the Gillard government's carbon tax.

It has told customers in a letter obtained by The Australian that the surcharge would be adjusted when the carbon price varied and that it regretted having to pass on the increases to other businesses.

NY joining revival of short-line rail industry

Posted Friday, 6 July, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

NORTH CREEK, N.Y. (AP) — A railroad company is renovating rusty, overgrown tracks to get at millions of tons of waste rock at an abandoned iron and titanium mine near the source of New York's Hudson River and the highest peaks of the Adirondacks, part of a widespread resurgence of short line and regional freight lines.

The planned reopening of a 30-mile rail link is being driven by high oil prices that make rail shipping more economical than trucking. Backers hope the Adirondack line will bring an economic boost to faded towns along its route by providing a new shipping option for products such as minerals, logs and paper products.

Rail services partially return on suspended lines

Posted Sunday, 8 July, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Trains are again running on two of four train lines closed in Queensland's central west because of safety concerns.

All four lines were closed on Friday when it was revealed more than 70 wooden rail bridges had not been checked following recent floods and inspection records dating back to November 2010 had been falsified.

Suspensions on two lines have now been lifted.

The Emerald to Longreach and Longreach to Winton tracks are operating again but with a number of restrictions, including a 15km/hr speed limit on all bridges yet to be inspected.

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