Showing stories from July 2012

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Metro Trains strikes a new Enterprise Agreement for 2012-2015 period

Posted Wednesday, 25 July, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Railpage Australia understands a new Enterprise Agreement 2012-2015 for the Rail Operations Division of Metro Trains Melbourne, inclusive of a 13% pay rise, has been overwhelmingly endorsed by Rail Operations employees.

A significant majority of employees voted 'yes' for the new Agreement during a series of voting meetings held over the past 10 days.

The Agreement will now be lodged with Fair Work Australia for approval to take effect as soon as possible.

Canny buyers want to be close to public transport, but not too close

Posted Thursday, 26 July, 2012 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

Petrol prices make public transport very important. Tram and train access are particular drivers of housing demand, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria says.

Rail Intimidation: Get beggars off the gravy train

Posted Thursday, 26 July, 2012 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

Beggars on Melbourne trains are hassling, and at times badgering, commuters for money during peak times.

mX witnessed a beggar on a Laverton-bound train claiming to be homeless and asking for spare change.

Fast trains planned for Adelaide's south

Posted Thursday, 26 July, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

TRAINS with the capacity to reach speeds up to 260km/h will travel to Aldinga as part of the $800 million rail extension from Seaford, a council briefing has been told.

Transport Department spokesman Gareth Evans outlined the government's two preferred rail routes from Seaford to Aldinga at an Onkaparinga Council meeting this week.

Is this rail line too good to be true?

Posted Thursday, 26 July, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Here's some great news. A consulting team led by Curtin Uni's Peter Newman has apparently found a way to reduce significantly the stratospheric cost of new urban rail lines in Australia's capital cities.

Professor Newman reckons a 12 km rail line running down the central median of Melbourne's Eastern Freeway from inner city Clifton Hill to suburban Doncaster could be built for a mere $840 million. The costing includes five stations and 2-3 kilometres of tunnel.

And for another $300 million, the team reckons a further 3 km of tunnel could be constructed between Clifton Hill and near-city Parkville. And it could fund itself! A tax on the increase in property values arising directly from the rail line would raise enough revenue to fund construction.

Amtrak Plans for Upgrades in Bid to Push Faster System

Posted Friday, 27 July, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

WASHINGTON — Amtrak is promoting a $151 billion expansion plan that includes a major revamping of Union Station in Washington, which was unveiled here Wednesday, as well as the upgrading of its hubs in New York and Boston. The plan represents a bid for federal support to transform the service into a high-speed rail operation.

Poor results linked to cancellation of QR bonuses

Posted Friday, 27 July, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail executives will not receive bonuses this year, unless expressly stipulated in their contracts, due to the service’s poor performance.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson this morning announced the government would take measures to freeze all bonuses, saying the previous Labor administration had allowed the supplementary payments get out of control.

He said 1337 bonuses totalling $4.8 million were paid to QR executives in the 2010/2011 financial year.

That figure, he said, was not ''in line with community expectations'', particularly in tough economic times.

Magellan to resume Freo rail shipments

Posted Friday, 27 July, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Canadian company that breached strict lead transport rules several times in Western Australia will be allowed to again move product from its Mid West mine to Fremantle Port, the state government says.

Magellan Metals, owned by Toronto-based Ivernia, in 2007 was barred from shipping lead from its Wiluna mine to the southern WA port of Esperance after extensive lead contamination was discovered in the town.

The company ran into trouble again in 2010 when traces of airborne lead were found in containers carrying sealed bags of lead carbonate railed to Fremantle.

Full steam ahead for light rail construction

Posted Saturday, 28 July, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Construction on the Gold Coast's light rail system is ramping up with works under way for the 800-metre light rail bridge over Smith Street and across the Loders Creek valley.

GoldLinQ Chairman John Witheriff said this city-building project was full steam ahead to connect residents, businesses and tourists to key Gold Coast precincts with an integrated public transport system.

“The first stage of this project is injecting millions into the local economy as well as providing local construction workers with jobs,” Mr Witheriff said.

“We are averaging more than 100 subcontractors on site each day with 100 per cent of blue collar workers from the Gold Coast and surrounding regions and we are consistently hitting our targets of more than 90 per cent for local industry participation.

“The key to the success of this project is locals supporting businesses on the construction corridor and when operating trams will deliver people right to the doors of these businesses.”

'Just do it': Howes blasts Cross River Rail 'faffing'

Posted Saturday, 28 July, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Newman government should stop "faffing about" and commit to the Cross River Rail project, union leader Paul Howes says.

The Australian Workers Union national secretary did not withhold his fire at Premier Campbell Newman, saying the LNP state leader had "gone cold" on public transport investment and had also been "blinded by the mining boom" at the expense of the manufacturing industry,

Mr Howes told a press club luncheon in Brisbane that resolving the capacity constraints on the Queensland Rail network should be a priority for the Newman government.

"That means committing to the Cross River Rail project – not just faffing about with endless reviews and re-designs, and waiting for the Federal Government to fund it," he said.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 28/7/2012

Posted Sunday, 29 July, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 124 sightings for this week. This is eight sightings more than last week, making a total of 3518 sightings for this year to date. On day 210 last year we had recorded 3126 sightings. This is 392 sightings up on the same time last year.

AWU pushes for east-west tunnel

Posted Monday, 30 July, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE powerful Australian Workers Union has backed the controversial east-west road tunnel project and says it will push a future state Labor government to support it.

Cesar Melhem, the secretary of the AWU's Victorian branch, told The Age it would be crazy if the project did not go ahead and his view was simply that it had to be built.

Victorian Labor opposes the section of the proposed east-west tunnel stretching from the end of the Eastern Freeway to CityLink and running underneath Royal Park and surrounding inner-city suburbs.

But it supports construction of a road tunnel in Melbourne's west to create a second river crossing and connection to the port to alleviate traffic on the Westgate Freeway. It also backs works on Hoddle Street to ease traffic flows coming off the Eastern Freeway.

Dozens killed in India train fire

Posted Monday, 30 July, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

At least 32 people are dead after a fire ripped through a coach on a speeding express train as it carried sleeping passengers to the southern Indian city of Chennai.

The accident, on a long-distance service from New Delhi, occurred in the early hours of the morning near the town of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh state.

"Thirty-two (bodies) have been pulled out from the coach," Madhusudan Sarma, a senior administrative officer in Nellore district, said, adding that there were still more corpses inside.

Vic rail tunnel funding in doubt

Posted Monday, 30 July, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A senior Victorian bureaucrat says it will be a "tough ask" squeezing funding out of the commonwealth for a major state rail project, suggesting pork barrelling will determine the carve-up of infrastructure money.

The Victorian government is seeking $130 million through Infrastructure Australia for preliminary works to develop a new Melbourne metropolitan rail tunnel.

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