Showing stories from July 2012

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Residents are concerned that closed road over rail bridges will hamper emergency

Posted Monday, 16 July, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

DETERIORATING road-over-rail bridges in southeast Queensland have been closed because of safety concerns while independent investigations are ordered.

Residents are also concerned about the impact these changes have on emergency services.

Bridges at Frederick St and Alderley Ave, Alderley, and Herbert St, Ipswich, were closed in the past months and a bridge at Boundary Rd at Dakabin had its load limit reduced at the start of the month.

Two other bridges are open but are subject to investigations.

Siemens Supplies Locomotives for BMA Mine

Posted Tuesday, 17 July, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Siemens has been awarded a contract to supply 13 heavy-haul electric locomotives to the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance for its Queensland coal rail network.

The locomotives will transport coal trains from two new mines, the Caval Ridge and Daunia in the Bowen Basin, to BHP Billiton's Hay Point terminal starting in 2014. The contract with BMA expands the Siemens locomotive fleet within the Queensland coal rail network to 163, Paul Bennett, vice president for Siemens Rail Systems, said in a statement. Siemens will deliver the locomotives in late 2013.

Federal MP says Maldon Dombarton project is on time

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

Federal Illawarra MP Sharon Bird says work is not behind schedule on the Maldon to Dombarton rail project.

The Prime Minister Julia Gillard came to Wollongong in October last year to announce $25 million dollars for further studies to prepare the project for construction.

But so far none of the money has been spent.

Ms Bird says the federal government is still waiting to see what the state government plans to do.

Progress Assoc says Adelong happy with curfew

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

The Adelong Progress Association says residents do not want Visy trucks in town at night and nor does the big pulp and paper maker.

Tumut Shire Mayor John Larter recently said Visy could ask for the curfew to be lifted because Gocup Road is a death trap because it is so busy with trucks.

Visy will not comment.

Adelong Progress Association President James Hayes, who also heads Visy's Community Consultative Committee, says the company is happy to oblige by the conditions.

Las Vegas Railway Express, Inc. Adds New COO, Rail Operations

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

The X Train, the luxury passenger train with planned rail service between Southern CA and Las Vegas, announced today the appointment of Jim Wilson, Chief Operations Officer - Rail Operations. Mr. Wilson comes to the X Train team bringing over 30 years of expertise in rail operations. His leadership in transportation, logistics, operations management, planning and overall business and performance improvement make him the best choice for overseeing Rail Operations for the company.

"Jim is exactly the right person for this position," says Michael Barron, President/CEO of Las Vegas Railway Express. "He is a strong and experienced leader with exactly the right priorities in rail operations to ensure excellence in our customer service."

High speed rail link lies dead in Maribyrnong

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

A HIGH-SPEED rail link around Maribyrnong appears dead in its tracks a week after it was mooted.

The State Government has refused to support plans for a sprinter train service to run from Newport to Spencer St along an existing freight line.

The Leader revealed deputy mayor Michael Clarke had called on the Government to fund a feasibility study as the commuter crush worsens in the west.

Group to combat rail deaths

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

A BRIMBANK railway station officer who says he has talked dozens of troubled youths out of harming themselves has called for more to be done to prevent youth suicide.

The staffer, who did not want to be named, welcomed the recent creation of a youth advisory committee in Keilor.

The group was formed after the death of a north-west teenager who took her own life after being bullied online.

The railway station officer said the responsibility of preventing railway deaths often fell on staff.

"We just want to go to work and do our job, but we can't just sit back and do nothing," he said.

QR National extends olive branch to stalled Oakajee

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

QR National Ltd has indicated an interest in helping Gindalbie Metals fund the rail component of a “southern solution” for the Oakajee port and rail project, offering a ray of hope for the stalled $6 billion project, according to The Australian Financial Review.

The newspaper said QR had suggested it would consider funding the rail alternative devised by Gindalbie. Gindalbie needs Oakajee to go ahead if it is to expand production at its Karara project beyond 16 million tonnes of iron ore annually. Gindalbie has contracted QR to transport up to 10.8 million tonnes a year of iron ore from the project for the next five years.

More mobile coverage on rail lines

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

FOR the first time, CityRail commuters should have uninterrupted mobile coverage between the city and the north shore.

The Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, will announce today that Optus and Telstra mobile coverage will go live this week on the north shore and western lines underground between Central, Town Hall, North Sydney and Chatswood.

The announcement will also foreshadow more underground mobile coverage through the central business district, with plans in place to extend coverage on the City Circle and also along the eastern suburbs line.

Amtrak’s $151 billion high-speed rail plan: Are there cheaper options?

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

Last week, we took a look at Amtrak’s $151 billion proposal to convert the heavily trafficked Northeast Corridor into true high-speed rail. Under this vision, the Acela train would no longer average a plodding 70 mph across the system. A trip from New York to Washington, D.C., would take just 94 minutes instead of three hours. Boston to D.C. would take just three hours instead of seven.

Delayed rail passengers cause crash

Posted Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Egyptian passengers fed up with waiting for their train to move put logs and rocks on the rails of a nearby track, causing two other trains to collide, an official has said.

A security official said some of the passengers in Giza, Cairo's twin city, were enraged that they had to wait for more than 30 minutes on their train to allow another train to pass.

Some of the restless passengers placed logs and rocks on the rails of the track of the other train that was holding theirs up. When the speeding train approached, the debris caused it to sideswipe another train. Three cars of the fast-moving train overturned and at least four people were injured.

Canberra + rail = preferred option

Posted Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

CANBERRA Airport has proposed a plan to bypass Wilton with a fast train that could link Sydney to the nation's capital in less than an hour.

The airport's managing director, Stephen Byron, said the Wollondilly community was against Transport Minister Anthony Albanese's proposal for a second major Sydney airport at Wilton.

"There will never be a second airport built in the Sydney basin," he said.

"Aircraft noise and major environmental issues would indicate that an airport at Wilton is looking less and less likely."

Trains running early a cause for concern

Posted Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 by Mouse in Victorian Rail News

THERE'S one thing worse than being late because your train is running late. That's being late because it's running early.

The first time it happened, about a fortnight ago, I dismissed it as an aberration, unlikely to ever be repeated.

But it has emerged as a definite trend, and we downtrodden, long-suffering train travellers are entitled to know why

All flights grounded at Melbourne Airport as terminals lose power

Posted Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 by bevans in Other Transport News

UPDATE: MELBOURNE Airport remains at a standstill with all flights grounded for more than an hour as the chaos caused by a blackout continues.

"Flights are coming in and obviously landing, but our priority is getting our screening points system back running," a Melbourne Airport spokeswoman told the Herald Sun.

"We are regaining power progressively but we're not up and running (flights) just yet.

"At the moment our focus is working on resolving this matter as quick as we can and then of course we will investigate its cause."

Ansaldo wins Rio Tinto automated rail deal

Posted Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Ansaldo STS Australia has landed a $317.5 million contract to create an automated train management system for Rio Tinto's iron ore rail network in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

The firm, which is a subsidiary of Italian giant Ansaldo STS, is to develop a modular signalling system that "includes the introduction of a centralised Vital Safety Server for the safe and flexible management of train movements".

Light rail the way for Robert

Posted Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

TOOWOOMBA train enthusiast Robert Ketton is urging Toowoomba Regional Council to seriously consider alternative options regarding the future of the city's current rail corridor.  

Mr Ketton, the public relations officer for DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum has suggested using the line as a light rail transport system.  

He said the tram-like system would connect the major traffic areas of Toowoomba and boost the city's public transport system.  

WA company wins NZ rail contract

Posted Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

A Perth company has been contracted to maintain 2800km of New Zealand rail track.

NZ First leader Winston Peters revealed today that KiwiRail had awarded the contract to Belmont-based rail grinding company Speno Rail Maintenance Australia Pty Ltd.

"This is exactly the sort of maintenance work that should be carried out by KiwiRail using New Zealand labour, not by a foreign company that will take its profits offshore," Mr Peters said.

"This backhanded move to use an Australian company over KiwiRail's own staff is insulting."

Iran to Expand National Rail Network

Posted Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Roughly 420 kilometers of railroad will be built by the end of the Iranian year (March 20, 2013), said the managing director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Company.

Abdol-Ali Saheb-Mohammadi made the remarks on the sidelines of inaugurating a locomotive production plant in northern Alborz Province on Tuesday, the Mehr News Agency reported.

Tram drivers, inspectors vote on strike action

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

YARRA Trams ticket inspectors could soon stop issuing fines, refuse to carry out plain-clothes duties, and provide passengers with ''free travel days'', as part of an industrial campaign for better pay and conditions.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has asked its members, which include drivers and ticket inspectors, to vote on strike action against Yarra Trams, run by a joint venture of French transport giant Keolis and Australian engineers Downer EDI.

Amtrak engine derails in Wash.; rail line blocked

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

WOODLAND, Wash. (AP) — An Amtrak spokeswoman says the lead engine of an Amtrak Cascades train traveling from Portland to Seattle has derailed in southwest Washington but no one was injured.

A Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway spokesman says the Wednesday evening derailment blocked both main lines in a rail corridor used by more than 50 freight and passenger trains daily.

Amtrak spokeswoman Danelle Hunter says the train was carrying 86 passengers when the engine went off the tracks near Woodland. Bus transportation was being arranged for the passengers.

Asciano announces major expansion project for terminal

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

Asciano has announced a capital investment program to comprehensively redevelop and expand its container terminal at Port Botany in Sydney, New South Wales. 

This will include investing $348 million to develop fully the recently leased Knuckle capacity extension as well as the introduction of state-of-the-art terminal handling technology, additional cranes and straddles, and new upgraded employee facilities.

Mary Valley Rattler back on track

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

Gympie's heritage steam train, the Mary Valley Rattler, returns to the rails today after being grounded by a safety audit.

Rattler services were suspended more than a week ago after a locomotive derailed in the Gympie yard.

Phone-distracted commuter tumbles onto tracks

Posted Friday, 20 July, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A man's lucky escape at falling onto train tracks at a Melbourne station has prompted a warning from public transport authorities for commuters to take greater care.

Vision released by Public Transport Victoria shows a man slipping off the platform at Thomastown station, in the city's north, after he stepped too close to the edge.

The man appears so engrossed in a conversation on his mobile phone that as he checks for a train, he oversteps the edge of the platform and topples over. Fortunately for him there was no train arriving.

A PTV spokesman said the man suffered a bloodied nose and was left dazed. The vision shows two students running from the other side of the platform to come to the man's aid, before the trio walked across the tracks to get to the other side of the platform.

Metro's website drops cancelled train updates

Posted Friday, 20 July, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

METRO has defended its decision to stop publishing online updates about train cancellations, saying travellers can find out by SMS or on display screens at stations.

Melbourne's rail operator launched a revamped website on Monday, which includes a so-called ''healthboard'' that includes live information about train delays and disruptions, both planned and unplanned.

But updates about cancelled trains have been dropped, prompting criticism that the new website contains less useful information than the old one. Rather, there is information on whether trains on each line are on schedule, delayed or suspended.

Perth rail network hailed for 'smart planning, design'

Posted Saturday, 21 July, 2012 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

PERTH has been praised in a federal government report for managing to make rail an attractive alternative to roads. Transport Minister Anthony Albanese released the Understanding Australia's Urban Railways report at a transport forum in Sydney today.   "The report showed that smart planning and design, coupled with infrastructure, could increase the use of public transport," Mr Albanese said.

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