News

 

Showing stories from January 2013

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Hume Highway could see B-triple trucks

Posted Tuesday, 1 January, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

The NRMA has raised safety concerns about a proposed trial of larger three-trailer trucks on the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne.

The New South Wales Government is considering a trial of B-triple trucks, which are about 36 metres long - 10 metres longer than the B-doubles that currently ply the Hume Highway.

The state's Roads Minister Duncan Gay says a trial would not begin until 2014 at the earliest.

Stopping all stations: Bendigo line commuters forced back to their cars

Posted Tuesday, 1 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WHEN Richard Cooper moved from St Kilda to Kyneton six years ago he did so confident the fast V/Line train would help him get to his South Melbourne graphic design job with ease.

But a few weeks ago Mr Cooper ditched the train and started driving to work along the Calder Freeway, no longer willing to spend hours commuting on a rail service that has become progressively slower since he started using it.

''I drive now, which I think is really terrible,'' he says. ''I kind of feel like I've been forced on the road.''

Rail oil transport booming

Posted Tuesday, 1 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

 Energy companies behind the oil boom on the Northern Plains are increasingly turning to an industrial-age workhorse — the locomotive — to move their crude to refineries across the U.S., as plans for new pipelines stall and existing lines can’t keep up with demand.

Delivering oil thousands of miles by rail from the heartland to refineries on the East, West and Gulf coasts costs more, but it can mean increased profits — up to $10 or more a barrel — because of higher oil prices on the coasts. That works out to about $700,000 per train.

Upgrade rail and get those bigger trucks off road

Posted Tuesday, 1 January, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

The high treble-like sales pitch from the trucking companies tells of the wonders of B-triples (''Swift no to call for lower speed limit in B-triple trial'', December 31). The government says it is a trial. How cynical is their tune?

Trucking companies are going to buy millions of dollars' worth of machinery, then set it aside when the trial is deemed unsuccessful? How gullible do these people think we are? Or are we? The word ''trial'' is surely putting road dust in our eyes. How about some honesty. ''We are putting B-triples on the road, so get lost.''

Ripping out rail will be regretted

Posted Tuesday, 1 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

PLANNING and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard has said that Newcastle station has only a few passengers. This is not what I observe regularly.

If the decision to cut the rail is allowed, how are buses going to cope with Foreshore events such as Fat as Butter, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day?

Wait for train to Tullamarine now 55 years

Posted Wednesday, 2 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

RECENTLY I had the task of dropping a relative off at Melbourne Airport. It was a well-worn journey through Keilor Park, which is more scenic and quicker than the Tullamarine Freeway. As we drove I noted the history of the area. At the corner of Link Road (previously known as Conders Lane) and Melrose Drive was the site of the Tullamarine Primary School. The only evidence of the school, three or four tall gum trees, had recently been cleared away. Melrose Drive deviates left on approach to the airport. This was once known as Grants Lane - some of that road still exists.

Adelaide Railway Station closed from today

Posted Wednesday, 2 January, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

COMMUTERS are grappling with the first day of the Adelaide Railway Station closure, forcing train passengers to use buses for all or part of their journey to the city.

The Adelaide station is closed until February 3 to upgrade the tracks in the rail yard and prepare it for electrification.

This morning, regular train passengers on the Noarlunga and Belair lines were forced to use substitute buses for the entire journey.

Rail Workers Burned

Posted Wednesday, 2 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Two employees have been taken to a burn unit for treatment after they were injured while working on a rail car at Union Pacific's Bailey Yard in North Platte.

Railroad spokesman Mark Davis says the two and another worker were using a blowtorch on the coupler end of a car when the accident occurred Saturday. A hot oil, likely hydraulic fluid, spilled onto the workers, burning hands and faces.

Train commuters delayed due to trackside fire in Hallam

Posted Wednesday, 2 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TRAINS on the Pakenham line are set to resume after services were suspended because of a massive trackside mulch fire.

Commuters have been warned to expect delays of at least five minutes as train operator Metro clears a backlog.

Firefighters were called to the burning pile, which was 30m by 25m and 7m high, alongside the train line in Hallam about 11.30am.

Tripped up by shortage of Metro train drivers

Posted Wednesday, 2 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TRAIN operator Metro has been slammed after some revellers were forced on to buses for part of their new year's journey home because of a driver shortage and thousands crammed into packed carriages.

Group wants to move bitumen by rail to Alaska

Posted Wednesday, 2 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

EDMONTON - Alison Redford’s cabinet is expected to decide in January whether the government will spend $10 million to study the idea of building a rail line to ship oilsands products from northern Alberta to a port in Alaska.

The money would help pay for a $40-million study that will investigate the feasibility of a proposed 2,400-kilometre rail line to carry landlocked oilsands products from Fort McMurray to Delta Junction, Alaska.

From there, Alberta’s oil would flow through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline system to the Valdez Marine Terminal, and on to booming Asian markets.

Hume Highway B-triple plan 'off-track': candidate

Posted Wednesday, 2 January, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

While both sides of NSW state politics lambast each other about whether or not B-triples are safe enough to drive on the Hume Highway, Angus Taylor says the debate is a red herring.

The Liberal candidate for Hume, who has worked on several transport studies in his agribusiness career, has argued the federal government's failure to embrace long-haul rail freight was the real issue, the Goulburn Post reports.

The recently released NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan has revealed that High Productivity Vehicles (three carriage, 35m trucks) could be trialled on the Hume in early 2014, after completion of the Holbrook Bypass.

Auckland's $1.1b rail upgrade on track

Posted Thursday, 3 January, 2013 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Auckland's $1.14 billion rail electrification project is chugging into the home straight, ready for the arrival in September of the first of 57 zippier and quieter trains.

KiwiRail is using its last big summer shutdown of the region's rail network to rearrange tracks at Britomart and two other locations before spinning the final segments of an electrical web which by August will cover about 85km of lines from central Auckland to Papakura in the south and Swanson in the northwest.

Auditor General critical of rail freight management

Posted Thursday, 3 January, 2013 by pandem in Western Australian Rail News

The Auditor General has recommended changes to the State Government's management of the lease of WA's rail freight network.

Myki: disaster from touch on to touch off

Posted Thursday, 3 January, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE public transport passengers are now stuck with myki, the new ticketing system which can only be described as disastrous.

Its defenders say the new system works for most passengers, most of the time. But so did the old system. If myki works just about as well as Metcard did across the whole network, then at best we've just replaced one functional system with another. ''If it ain't broke, don't fix it'', goes the old adage.

Or at least, don't fix it for one-and-a-half billion dollars.

Coal train derailed to avoid level crossing

Posted Friday, 4 January, 2013 by DesL in New South Wales Rail News

THREE workers were stood down after a Pacific National coal train had to be derailed in Carrington to stop it running onto a suburban level crossing.

Why did a Train Carrying Biofuel Cross the Border 24 Times and Never Unload?

Posted Friday, 4 January, 2013 by bevans in Gunzelling Reports

A cargo train filled with biofuels crossed the border between the US and Canada 24 times between the 15th of June and the 28th of June 2010; not once did it unload its cargo, yet it still earned millions of dollars. CBC News of Canada was the first to pick up on this story on the 3rd of December 2012, and began their own investigation into the possible explanations behind this odd behaviour.

CN Rail, the operator of the train, stated their innocence in the matter as they had only “received shipping directions from the customer, which, under law, it has an obligation to meet. CN discharged its obligations with respect to those movements in strict compliance with its obligations as a common carrier, and was compensated accordingly.” Even so, they still managed to earn C$2.6 million in shipping fees.

V/Line fares peak too soon

Posted Friday, 4 January, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

TRAVELLERS in about a dozen Victorian towns have been slugged with a new fare increase for V/Line travel after off-peak tickets were abolished without warning.

The cheaper off-peak fares were removed because of an administrative error, and are expected to be reinstated today.

But their return will be temporary as the discount will be scrapped again once V/Line switches to myki later this year. Eventually, most off-peak fares will disappear.

Pressure grows to fix Melbourne's rail network after heat caused track to buckle

Posted Saturday, 5 January, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

DELAYS are expected to plague Victoria's regional rail network for the rest of the night following a horror day for commuters.

Sweltering conditions across the state meant services across the entire V/Line network experienced heavy delays, with buses replacing trains on multiple lines.

V/Line spokesman Colin Tyrus said the rail operator's heat speed restrictions and delays causing by drivers being out of position, combined to make many services more than an hour late.

Balloon and Twitter delay Perth trains

Posted Saturday, 5 January, 2013 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

A HELIUM balloon and "citizen journalism" via Twitter are believed to have been responsible for a delay in train services in Perth.

Train services on the Mandurah and Joondalup lines were temporarily stopped just after 8am (WST) on Friday after reports of a fallen power cable at Perth Underground Station.

Passengers were evacuated from the platform after what was thought to have been a fallen wire began sparking.

Rickety rail fast track to power

Posted Saturday, 5 January, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

FOR decades the railway tracks which criss-cross Western Australia's wheatbelt have been the lifeblood of grain-growing communities across the region, taking millions of tonnes of wheat from field to markets as the linchpin of the state's $4.5 billion grain export industry.

But the 2300km of railway lines, which carry about 40 per cent of the nation's grain exports, have become run-down and are now under threat from a lack of funding, sparking concerns they will be shut down in favour of trucking the wheat and other grains on massive road trains instead.

Proposal for dedicated SkyBus lane renews calls for airport rail link

Posted Saturday, 5 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A government plan to give SkyBus its own lane on CityLink and the Tullamarine Freeway – reportedly opposed by toll-road operator Transurban – has renewed calls for a rail link to Melbourne Airport.

Speaking with Justin Smith, general manager of corporate and public affairs at Melbourne Airport Matt Francis said the dedicated SkyBus lane and rail link calls were supported by the airport.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 5/1/2013 and yearly summary

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

2012 finished up with a total of 5990 sightings, this was 114 sightings more than last year, also remember we had one extra day with 2012 being a leap year. The 5990 total was the highest number of sightings in one year since 2004.

Communications with World's Longest Trains

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2013 by GrahamH in International Rail News

Eight Zetron DCS-5020 Digital Consoles are used to expedite an R3.6m upgrade to the 861 km freight line which transports over 60 million tonnes of iron ore every year between mines in the Northern Cape and the deep water port of Saldana in South Africa. More than 3.5 km long, with eight locomotives and 342 wagons, the trains that carry the export iron ore on the line are the longest in the world.

Union rails against Chinese contract

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2013 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Tasmanian unions are angry state-owned TasRail has awarded a multi-million dollar contract to a Chinese company.

Last week, China Northern Rail was chosen to provide more than 190 new container, coal, cement and ore wagons.

At the time, TasRail Chief Damien White said a local offer had been shortlisted, but could not provide the amount of rolling stock needed within budget.

The contract value is confidential, but TasRail says it is worth less than $20 million.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union's John Short says several companies across the state had formed a consortium to tender for the project.

World's longest high-speed rail link ready for launch

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

China on Saturday showed off the final link of the world's longest high-speed rail route set to begin whisking passengers from Beijing to Guangzhou this week in a third of the time currently required.

The much anticipated opening of high-speed passenger service from Beijing to Guangzhou, a distance of 2298 kilometres is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, officials said.

Travelling at an average speed of 300 kilometres per hour, the new line will slash the time it takes to travel by rail from the capital to the southern commercial hub from the current 22 hours to just eight.

$60 Million to kickstart a transport project to "revitalising" Newcastle CBD

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2013 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

THE Hunter’s Infrastructure and Investment board has earmarked $60million to kickstart work on a transport project aimed at revitalising Newcastle’s city centre. Sources said the board has recommended the use of the money to Planning and Infrastructure minister Brad Hazzard, as part of the state government’s deliberations on the future of heavy rail between Wickham and Newcastle.

Cash limbo of Sydney light rail

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

TRANSPORT Minister Gladys Berejiklian has committed $1.6 billion to the light rail project through Randwick and the city but was not prepared to say where the money was going to come from - or which transport projects were going to suffer in order to fund it.

Ms Berejiklian has been told by Treasury to "reprioritise" capital funding from the transport budget to come up with the money.

But when quizzed on which projects would be put on the backburner or delayed, she would only say that an answer would be given in the state budget later this year.

Let's build an airport rail link without delay as it's time to improve Tullamarine

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IN March, we get a rare opportunity. Tullamarine Airport Master Plan is made public in draft form, with the opportunity to describe what we want our major airport to be.

It's not a chance that comes along very often. It may be our only crack at fixing Tullamarine in our lifetimes.

When Tullamarine opened in 1970, it was a visionary and world-class facility. It was sited in a green wedge away from urban development but still close to the city, with plenty of capacity and room for growth in a modern single-terminal model.

Inland rail project faces uncertainty

Posted Sunday, 6 January, 2013 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

The future of a major rail project through Queensland's southern inland is in limbo. In 2006, a consortium of mining and infrastructure companies was given an exclusive contract to build a 204-kilometre rail line between Wandoan and Banana.

Rail staff get hot under collar over new uniforms

Posted Monday, 7 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

FEMALE rail staff are declaring war on the state government over plans to force them to wear airline-style, low-cut blouses and skirts while on duty.

Men are also alarmed at claims they will no longer be able to wear shorts under Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian's plan to spruce up RailCorp.

The government has confirmed a uniform change for frontline staff is "in the pipeline" but the union says the move is far more advanced, with members being shown photos of the proposed design.

Great Train Robbers 'planned second Royal Mail rail heist'

Posted Monday, 7 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

It has gone down as the greatest British heist in history. Now, previously unseen documents suggest that criminals linked to the Great Train Robbery planned a second raid on another Royal Mail rail service only months later.

Police investigating the original theft received a series of "reliable" tip-offs that a second raid – to be at least as vast in scale – was being organised by individuals connected to the earlier one. Informants told police that the gang were planning to ambush a mail train travelling from Weymouth, in Dorset, to London Waterloo.

Inland rail and freight hub for Yass

Posted Monday, 7 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Liberal Candidate for Hume has recently been talking up the benefits of an inland rail line and freight hub to get trucks and especially B triples off the highways.

The problem as I see it is that people want stuff overnight or as soon as possible. With road via Toll or the other freight companies, if you get your package or pallet or whatever to the depot by the allotted time in the afternoon it arrives in Brisbane or Melbourne the next morning. It then gets delivered that day.

High speed rail routes to be published

Posted Monday, 7 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Plans to push Britain’s high speed rail network into the north will be flagged up in the midterm review.

But agreement on how to pump more cash into the country’s road network is proving more elusive.

Rolling in luxury

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 by railblogger in Railway Stories

'You're not from around here, are ya?'', asks a bloke in a grubby stetson, jeans and thongs, a stubby grasped firmly in his right hand. ''Can't be, not lookin' as clean as that!''

He guffaws away with his mate as I look down at my all-white ensemble, as yet untouched by the red dust swirling around us. I have to laugh along with them.They're right - I'm a long, long way from home. It's taken me 50 hours to get from Sydney to remote Rawlinna in Western Australia. There's not much to see here.

A sandstone station house. A few jackaroos lounging in slivers of shade. One lone, skinny palm attempting to wave away the raw heat of the day.I've arrived on the iconic Indian Pacific, the Great Southern Railway train that runs coast-to-coast, 4352 kilometres from Sydney and Perth in three days. We're nearing the end of our journey and this is our second stop on the vast, arid and famously treeless Nullarbor Plain.Of course, all-white seemed perfectly appropriate when I boarded the Indian Pacific at Sydney's Central Station.

From the moment I was greeted on the platform by Jos, the train's tall, elegantly mustachioed hospitality manager who ushered me gently through to my Gold Service sleeper cabin, I felt as if I was being transported back to a more gracious, elegant age of travel.

Regional rail built on airport link corridor

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A 10-YEAR-OLD design for a future railway line to Melbourne Airport is ''no longer viable'' because the regional rail link is being built on the reserved corridor of land.

The loss of what was previously considered the best pathway for an airport railway line makes the Baillieu government's pledge to begin developing the airport rail link more difficult.

Listen to the rail users in debate

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

PEOPLE like Hank Willems (Short Takes 4/1) and others who live nowhere near the rail line really should just stay out of the whole rail debate. I seriously doubt he and the overwhelming majority of others residing more than one kilometre from rail lines are anything but occasional users. 

Tier three rail network report finds lines in poor condition

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The state's main grain handler and marketer remains confident about the viability of WA's rail freight network after an Auditor General's report found the lines were in a poor condition.

The Tier Three lines, which are owned by the Government but leased by private operator Brookfield, were due to close last year but will now operate until October.

Colin Murphy's report raised concerns over the management of the lease agreement and found the lines had become delapidated.

Alberta bitumen makes it to Mississippi by rail

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

EDMONTON - The first oil from Southern Pacific Resource Corp.’s startup thermal oilsands facility near Fort McMurray reached Mississippi by rail this week after a 4,500-kilometre, two-week journey.

The Calgary-based firm was in the news this fall when it announced it would avoid the bitumen pipeline bottlenecks and very low prices being paid to Canadian oilsands producers by contracting for new terminals and a fleet of rail cars to carry its product to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The first shipment of diluted bitumen left the Lynton rail terminal, located just south of Fort McMurray, on Dec. 22 and landed in Mississippi on Jan. 6. It will be off-loaded at the Genesis Natchez terminal where Southern Pacific has exclusive terminal capacity, the company announced Monday.

Cameras to watch rail crossings at Salisbury, Dry Creek and Elizabeth

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

TRAFFIC cameras have been installed at two northern suburbs level crossing to deter dangerous driving.

The cameras at Commercial Rd, Salisbury, and Magazine Rd, Dry Creek, will record offences including ignoring give-way signs and not stopping when warning lights are flashing.

Another camera is expected to be fitted on the crossing at Womma Rd, Elizabeth, in coming months.

More safety for commuters at Sunshine

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The first few days on the platforms of Sunshine railway station will be quiet for Melbourne's newest protective services officers – there will be no trains.

The acting Premier, Peter Ryan, announced that Sunshine would get the latest round of PSOs from 6pm on Tuesday, yet buses will replace the trains until Sunday.

The Sunbury line between Albion and Footscray will be closed while contractors complete work for the regional rail link, including track, bridge earth works.

"The trains are not actually running at the moment because of the work being done, very obviously, on the regional rail link, but they will be back here within the next few days," Mr Ryan said.

Trams could be an economic bonus for city

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

How wonderful it would be to see the city’s beautiful old trams being the heartbeat of Bendigo once again. 

So much has been said recently about the disadvantages of reinstating trams to Mitchell and View streets, but have people really anticipated the unique benefits that would come with this venture? Having discussed some options already, it appears likely that should this extension go ahead, double track would be the go for smooth traffic flow and balanced road planning. 

Some people in the community have made the point that laying the tracks in Mitchell Street and unearthing the original track in View Street will destroy the ambiance that has been created since the trams were replaced. 

Fast rail, new road and a beach

Posted Wednesday, 9 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

HAVING lived on both sides of the world, Jason and Janelle Smith know a thing or two about what makes a city great.

The pair met in Janelle's home town of Sydney where Jason, then one of the NRL competition's leading players, was playing for Canterbury Bulldogs.

Pursuing Mr Smith's career, the couple then spent four years in England where Jason played for Hull in the English Super League.

They then returned to Australia, lived in Canberra for two years while Jason played for the Raiders, followed by a year in Townsville, with Jason running out for the North Queensland Cowboys.

Murwillumbah-Casino rail study running months off track

Posted Wednesday, 9 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A CAMPAIGNER for the restoration of the rail line from Murwillumbah to Casino wants to know what happened to a $2 million study into the line's viability that was due for release last year.

The NSW Government allocated the funds in the 2011 budget.

Trains on our Tracks (TOOT) president Karin Kolbe said she has not heard a word from the North Coast minister Don Page about the study despite the report being expected at the end of last year.

North West Rail Link corridor to extend through to Marsden Park

Posted Wednesday, 9 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE State Government will preserve a corridor of land from the Cudgegong Rd terminus of the North West Rail Link at Rouse Hill through Schofields to Marsden Park.

A transport corridor from Marsden Park to Mount Druitt to Western Sydney Employment Area to Fairfield and Leppington will also be set aside.

The announcement was contained in the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan released in December.

How do we fix public transport in Brisbane?

Posted Wednesday, 9 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Selling pre-loaded Go Cards on buses, getting rid of expensive paper tickets, dropping prices to $2 for zone one journeys, getting extra Gold Coast trains and charging CBD parking operators a levy to make city parking more expensive.

These are among the ideas experts floated to make public transport better value, after Fairfax Media revealed yesterday public transport was now more expensive per kilometre in southeast Queensland than in Sydney or Melbourne.

Almost all the public transport experts canvassed agreed persuading the federal government to fund Brisbane's underground rail project should be the medium to long-term priority.

However the experts proposed a range of other strategies to improve Brisbane's public transport scheme in the medium to short-term.

Sydney's light rail to be built in one go

Posted Thursday, 10 January, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has conceded there will be disruptions in Sydney's CBD when George Street is dug up to build two light rail lines.

The lines linking Sydney's Circular Quay to Central Station then on to Randwick will be built at the same time rather than in two stages, she confirmed on Thursday.

The eastern suburbs line to the Sydney Cricket Ground, University of NSW, Randwick Racecourse and Prince of Wales Hospital was initially tipped to be built before the more contentious CBD line.

But Ms Berejiklian said the lines were now being treated as one project, although they will be built in stages to minimise disruption.

The $1.6 billion line aims to reduce congestion in the city and give people a faster ride along George Street than buses.

$1.8m upgrade for Glen Waverley station

Posted Thursday, 10 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

GLEN Waverley station will receive a $1.8 million facelift paid for by proceeds from the suburb's new 116-apartment development.

The upgrade will include a new kiosk, improved forecourt and improved disability access to the station.

The project has been bankrolled by profits from the IKON development, which is being built on VicTrack land on Kingsway between Coleman Pde and Railway Pde North.

Punctuality solid, delivery now the key focus for Metro Trains

Posted Thursday, 10 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Metro has registered a ninth consecutive month of meeting its on-time delivery target, posting a figure of 92.12 per cent, but the number of timetabled services delivered overall in December was 97.95 per cent.

Metro CEO Andrew Lezala says while it's pleasing to have maintained a stable on-time performance figure, December was a challenging month and delivery will be the key area of focus in the months ahead.

London Underground map 1933

Posted Thursday, 10 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Pocket London Underground map from 1933. This was the first version of the iconic London Tube map, and it was innovative because it showed the layout of the underground rail network without being constrained by geographical accuracy.

A heavy price to pay for the light rail revolution

Posted Thursday, 10 January, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

THE city's major artery, George St, will be dug up during the next state election campaign in order to build two new light rail lines at the same time.

The move by Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian comes despite initial plans to build the lines in separate stages.

The eastern suburbs light rail line to the SCG, NSW University and Randwick Racecourse was to be built first, giving the government the option of dumping the more contentious CBD line which opponents fear will cause traffic chaos. But Ms Berejiklian yesterday confirmed the line would be built from Central to Circular Quay at the same time as the one from Central to Randwick.

A myki state of secrets

Posted Friday, 11 January, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

THE myki mess left by the former Labor government continues to grow bigger under the Baillieu Government, with tens of thousands of malfunctioning tickets.

However, Transport Minister Terry Mulder has not received or requested a single written briefing or report from the Transport Ticketing Authority on myki's many problems.

Public transport suffering from investment in roads: report

Posted Friday, 11 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Brisbane's public transport system has fallen behind its counterparts, according to a major national report that praises Perth and Sydney as models for best-practice.

The RMIT report, released late last month, concluded investment in rail - coupled with significant road congestion - had led to strong use of public transport in Sydney, while a "remarkable turnaround" of public transport use in Perth could be attributed to effective integration of the different modes of transport, as well as infrastructure investment.

By contrast, the report blamed Brisbane public transport's lacklustre patronage on years of heavy investment in tunnels, bridges and motorways.

Metro staff hit with pepper spray in row

Posted Friday, 11 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

STAFF at Broadmeadows railway station were exposed to second-hand pepper spray after protective services officers clashed with a man who refused to show them his ticket.

The man was sprayed in the face after advancing aggressively towards the officers, who had demanded to see his ticket in the station concourse, a covered area next to the ticket counter.

The pepper spray drifted into the staff area and four Metro employees who breathed it in experienced sinus and throat pain and nausea.

Victoria theatre revamp on hold until rail resolved

Posted Saturday, 12 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE owner of Newcastle’s historic Victoria Theatre says the heritage building could become a high-end restaurant, but only if the government follows through on plans to remove the inner-city rail line.

Pub baron Arthur Laundy, who owns the adjoining Crown and Anchor Hotel, said renovating and restoring the 1870s building would ‘‘cost a lot of money’’.

TOOT gives a hoot about missing rail route reboot

Posted Saturday, 12 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A CAMPAIGNER for the restoration of the rail line from Murwillumbah to Casino wants to know what happened to the $2 million study into the line's viability that was due for release last year.

The feasibility study, announced last year by North Coast Minister Don Page was to examine the potential costs and engineering requirements of reinstating the line along with the potential to link it with Queensland.

"The State Government is proceeding as promised with the feasibility study for the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line and it will be completed later this year," Mr Page said in March last year.

Union speechless at $1.7m training for rail staff

Posted Saturday, 12 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

IT HAS produced some of the silkiest voices in radio and now the Australian Film, Television and Radio School has been given the task of polishing the vocal performance of RailCorp's station staff and train guards - at a breathtaking price.

RailCorp has agreed to pay the prestigious Sydney broadcast school $1.76 million to bring public announcements into the realm of the comprehensible for its 5million-odd weekly passengers.

The program will include coaching in microphone technique, vocal performance, scripting and delivering messages in a clear manner.

Granville rail tragedy will not be forgotten

Posted Sunday, 13 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

WHEN the story broke, pioneer news reader Brian Henderson remembers exactly where he was - painting his house.

But within a few hours of the Granville train disaster he was where everybody expected him to be, behind the Channel 9 news desk updating the story.

The country's longest-serving TV news anchorman has come out of retirement to relive that day 36 years ago, narrating a documentary on the terrible wreck that left 83 commuters dead and more than 200 injured when a train derailed, collapsing a bridge that crushed several carriages.

Henderson, who narrates The Train, to screen on the anniversary on Friday, said he did it in one take and on one cup of coffee.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 12/1/2013

Posted Sunday, 13 January, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 121 sightings for this week. This is 50 sighting more than last week, making a total of 192 sightings for this year to date. On day 12 last year we had recorded 161 sightings. This is 31 sightings up on the same time last year.

EU moves to end state rail monopolies

Posted Sunday, 13 January, 2013 by vanessa in International Rail News

BRUSSELS (AFP) - In proposals likely to infuriate Germany, the EU executive will this month urge an end to Europe's last rail monopolies and so open the lucrative passenger market to competition from 2019. The toughest opposition to the European Commission plan is likely to come from Germany and its rail giant Deutsche Bahn. But France's SNCF railways and Italy's FS too are keenly awaiting a package of proposals described by the Commission as "enormous", comprising six lots of draft legislation, one report and two so-called EU "communications".

Queensland's heatwave sees concerns for western rail lines as temperatures soar

Posted Monday, 14 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

YOU'VE heard of hot enough to fry an egg but yesterday Queensland was hot enough to buckle railway lines.

As the mercury soared, Spirit of the Outback proved no match for the heat of the bush as high temperatures buckled the famous train's railway lines, forcing Queensland Rail to put the service on ice to prevent the tracks warping.

Spirit of the Outback train passengers were transferred to airconditioned buses at Emerald to continue their travel west to Longreach.

Sydney Light Rail Construction Will Disrupt City

Posted Monday, 14 January, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The construction of two light rail lines in Sydney will require George Street to be dug up and disrupt traffic, state Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has admitted.

Berejiklian confirmed on Thursday that the lines linking Sydney’s Circular Quay to Central and then on to Randwick would be treated as one project, albeit with the possibility they may be built in stages to minimise disruption.

Previously, it had been expected that the eastern suburbs line to the Sydney Cricket Ground, University of NSW, Randwick Racecourse and Prince of Wales Hospital would be built before the more contentious CBD line.

With a price tag of $1.6 billion, the line will reduce congestion in the city and give commuters a faster ride along George Street than the bus transportation along the route.

Report finds Gisborne-Napier rail line viable

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

An independent review has found flaws in KiwiRail's decision to close the Gisborne to Napier line and suggests the tonnage needed to keep the route viable can be achieved with new commitments from regional businesses now coming forward.

The review, released this morning, was paid for by donations from the public and written by economists at Business Economic and Research (Berl) then reviewed by a specialist international rail engineering consultancy.

Inside the City's Ghost Platforms

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by djf01 in Gunzelling Reports

THEY'RE the ghost platforms of Sydney. While Town Hall and Wynyard railway stations are jammed to capacity during peak hour, St James and Museum - a couple of hundred metres to the east - are underground deserts.

Queensland Rail report says aged, disabled, mums with prams face highest risk on trains

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A REPORT on incidents has shown the aged, disabled and mums with prams were the main victims of incidents at Queensland's train stations.

The report - obtained by The Courier-Mail through a Right To Information request - has prompted calls for more staff and better infrastructure to cater for society's vulnerable.

One elderly woman needed a hip replacement after she fell when her suitcase got caught in the door of a train which then left the station in one of almost 1000 Queensland Rail safety incidents in the past year.

Bendigo rail on right track, says Fischer

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FORMER deputy prime minister and rail enthusiast, Tim Fischer, says services on the Bendigo rail line are “heading in the right direction”. 

Multi-billion dollar upgrades separating regional and metro lines, and upgrading stations are underway in Melbourne. 

Those behind the project say the line will have increased capacity and more reliability when the project is finished in 2016. 

Mr Fischer told the Advertiser there had been a huge increase in demand for local rail services. 

Theatre, rail not linked

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

WHAT has the presence of the railway between Wickham and Newcastle got to do with the viability of the revamping of the old Victoria Theatre.

Why does the government have to waste many millions of dollars to remove the railway to allow redevelopment of this and other buildings in Hunter Street.

Stuck on a train with no toilet - what are you supposed to do?

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by Raildave in Queensland Rail News

LACK of toilets on Sunshine Coast commuter trains became so acute during December, one service stopped at Caboolture to let passengers use the loo. And they were not the only passengers inconvenienced.

New figures reveal that 25% of Coast commuter trains do not have a working toilet.

As the  State Government announces new peak hour rail trips for the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast commuters are hoping the government will address a more pressing need.

Hold on a toot, rail study still coming says minister

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE NSW Minister Of Transport Gladys Berejiklian was reviewing the outcomes of a study into the viability of the Murwillumbah to Casino rail line.

Ms Berejiklian said it was "sensible that the government does its homework before undertaking major projects."

"The NSW Government has made significant progress on this issue," she said.

The Little Things: Unique Orchids in Queensland Rail Cabins

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Little Thing: Queensland Rail's Cooktown Orchid spray in the overnight sleeper cabins.

Boarding a train with plans to share some stories with fellow travelers in the club car and then retire to your berth is super glamorous as it is, but when we walked into our cabin to find a delicate orchid spray in a bud vase, it put a smile on our face and added to air of retro travel glamor.

Central Asian rail corridors offer alternatives to the Trans-Siberian

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

IN 1996 China's first rail outlet to the west opened - a single line from Urumqi through the Pass of Druzba to Aktogay in Kazakhstan. This line was quickly double-tracked and further capacity has just been created with the opening in December 2012 of the Zhetygen - Korgas - Jinghe line. Plans are now under development to add further routes through Kyrgyzstan (IRJ January p8) which would provide a line through Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan into Iran via the existing gauge change point at Sarakks.

Rail upgrade for growth

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MULTI-BILLION dollar train line upgrades will create a more reliable service for Bendigo residents, according to those behind the project. 

The Advertiser was recently given a behind-the-scenes look at the $4.4 billion Regional Rail Link upgrades in Melbourne. 

Green Music Train to entertain commuters

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

People who catch the train from Sydney to the Illawarra Folk Festival won't have to wait until they arrive to hear the music.

They just have to catch a Green Music Train and be entertained by festival performers on the way.

Festival organiser David DeSanti said the trains, run in partnership with CityRail, had been running for the past six years and were the brainchild of Illawarra Folk Club president Russell Hannah and member Brian Dunnett, who are both train buffs.

"Russell's written books about trains and Brian is actually an ex-state rail employee and has done [a] lot of history work with trains," Mr DeSanti said.

Driver in rail crossing crash blows .301

Posted Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A Myers Flat man who crashed into a train crossing near the intersection of Loddon Valley Highway and Williams Road about 4pm on Saturday returned a blood alcohol reading more than six times the legal limit.

Leading Senior Constable Peter Dyer of Bendigo Highway Patrol said the 61-year-old driver's reading of .301 was the highest he had detected in 21 years with Victoria Police.

Report reveals Napier-Gisborne rail line 'sustainable'

Posted Wednesday, 16 January, 2013 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

An independent report has revealed flaws in KiwiRail's arguments for closing the Napier-Gisborne rail line, and is calling for the corporation to reconsider their decision.

KiwiRail confirmed in October that the service would close, saying the $4 million cost to repair the track after a storm in May was too expensive, as well as the $8 million a year to keep the line open.

Plans afoot for unused rail reserve

Posted Wednesday, 16 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

An unused rail reserve at Wahgunyah could soon become a significant community attraction.

The Wahgunyah Progress Association has completed a draft plan for the area that is ready to go on public display.

Swedish cleaning lady steals train, crashes into building

Posted Wednesday, 16 January, 2013 by vanessa in International Rail News

A Swedish cleaning lady has commandeered an empty Stockholm commuter train, which careered off the tracks when it reached the end of the line and smashed into a block of flats, police say.

The woman's condition was "serious but stable", Stockholm police spokesman Lars Bystroem said. She was detained on suspicion of destroying public property, a crime punishable by up to eight years in jail.

The train slammed into a three-storey building in the upscale Saltsjoebaden neighbourhood but no other injuries were reported.

Two teens nabbed train surfing

Posted Wednesday, 16 January, 2013 by Amraks in Tasmanian Rail News

TWO teenagers were taken into police custody after being caught "train surfing" on Sunday at Ulverstone.

The 14-year-old boys had been seen "riding" train 135 between Burnie and Ulverstone by concerned members of the community, who then alerted TasRail and Tasmania Police.

China to build 5,210 kilometres of high speed rail

Posted Wednesday, 16 January, 2013 by vanessa in International Rail News

China will build around 5,210 kilometres of high speed railways in 2013 according to the Ministry of Railways.  At this pace it would be 2,740km more than built in 2012.

Surry Hills residents kept in the dark about light rail line through their homes

Posted Wednesday, 16 January, 2013 by vanessa in Tram and Light Rail News

THE first residents of Olivia Gardens heard of plans to put a light rail line right through their block of flats was when they saw the maps in the newspapers before Christmas. Now residents of the Surry Hills apartment block are calling on the state government to end the uncertainty about what will happen to their homes once construction starts in 2014.

Pressure to open Napier-Gisborne rail line

Posted Wednesday, 16 January, 2013 by vanessa in New Zealand Rail News

Political pressure is mounting on the Government to consider re-opening the Gisborne to Napier rail line following the independent review criticising KiwiRail's closure of the network last year.Hawke's Bay and Gisborne community and business leaders expect to meet with the Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee this month to push the case for a second look at how to make the rail line economically viable.

Two dead in helicopter crash near railway station in central London

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2013 by vanessa in International Rail News

Police say two people were killed when a helicopter crashed Wednesday during rush hour in central London after apparently hitting a construction crane on top of a building.Two people were taken to a nearby hospital with "minor injuries," London Ambulance Service said.

Police warn of train dangers

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2013 by Amraks in Tasmanian Rail News

YET another instance of dangerous behaviour involving trains in the North-West has left police shaking their head. Two 14-year-old boys were apprehended by police after being caught "train surfing" at Ulverstone on Sunday.

End of the line for family's rail bond

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

WHEN Keith Jenkins retired at the end of last year it closed the book on more than 150 years on the railway by the Jenkins family.

Keith and his four brothers – Robert, Barry, Raymond and Henry – all worked for State Rail and later Pacific National, all beginning their careers in Junee.

Report warned of threat to rail safety

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

SENIOR RailCorp executives warned that continued cuts to maintenance funding would jeopardise the safety of the network a year before the O'Farrell government announced 450 jobs would be axed, leaked documents reveal.

The confidential report of an executive management meeting shows RailCorp was already struggling with funding cuts in February 2011, a month before the state election in which the O'Farrell government took office.

Light rail on track despite Christmas halt

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The consortium building the Gold Coast light rail project says stopping construction in Surfers Paradise over the Christmas period has not delayed the development.

Retailers lobbied GoldLinQ for a grace period of six weeks, arguing the building sites were keeping customers away during one of the busiest periods of the year.

Tremain backs rail line closure

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2013 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Napier MP Chris Tremain is backing KiwiRail's move to close the Gisborne to Napier rail line and says the Government has already spent enough on upgrading the national rail network.

Mr Tremain said National had made a major commitment to rail transport to turn it around and make it viable.

Train ride death risk

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2013 by Amraks in Tasmanian Rail News

TRAIN surfers are at serious risk of being crushed to death within seconds, a Burnie train driver says.

"It can only take one moment," TasRail driver Grant Youd said.

Pacific National Rail faces prospect of strike action

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Major coal freight company Pacific National Rail may face strike action from workers next week after workplace agreement negotiations broke down, The Australian Financial Review reports.

According to the newspaper, the RTBU has rejected an offer from the Asciano Ltd subsidiary for a four per cent annual wage increase over three years, and will vote this week on whether to strike.

Rail visitors from Toowoomba

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A GROUP of 28 visitors from Toowoomba travelled to Crookwell on December 28 to visit the Railway Station.

The group was very impressed with the actual “working” condition of the tracks and the museum at the Station.

Sydney-Perth line closed as freight train derails

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2013 by michaelgreenhill in South Australian Rail News

The main rail line between Sydney, Adelaide and Perth is blocked after a freight train derailed about 200 kilometres west of Broken Hill.

Freight train derails at Yunta

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2013 by michaelgreenhill in South Australian Rail News

The main railway line from Adelaide to Sydney was blocked after a freight train derailed at Yunta in north-eastern SA. The Australian Rail Track Corporation says damage to the track has to be assessed before the route can reopen. The CFS put out a fire at the scene, but remained concerned about a leak from one of the carriages. No one was injured.

Major rail delays hit millions of passengers at Victoria, King's Cross, Moorgate and Fenchurch St

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Millions of rail passengers suffered miserable journeys this morning after a series of problems led to long delays on major routes.

The difficulties included hold-ups in and out of Victoria, King's Cross, Moorgate and Fenchurch Street stations in London.

There were also long delays affecting services run by five train companies after a body was discovered on the line south of York.

Granville anniversary prompts calls for rail investment

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Transport Union is urging the New South Wales Government to invest in railway maintenance on the 36th anniversary of Australia's worst train disaster.

83 people died and more than 210 were injured when a crowded commuter train derailed and crashed into an overpass bridge at Granville on January 18th 1977.

The bridge collapsed onto two of the train's carriages, crushing the passengers inside.

Iluka to layoff 65 workers at Eneabba after production falls

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

MINERAL sands producer Iluka is to axe 65 positions in response to tough market conditions, which saw it record lower production volumes last year.

The company, releasing its quarterly production report today, said that the redundancies were a result of its decision to idle its Eneabba operation in Western Australian in March.

Iluka also said that its operations in South Australia, Victoria and the US would be run on a reduced roster or idled.

“These and other potential actions will reduce costs across the business,'' the company said. “Capital expenditure levels, relative to 2012, will also be reduced.''

Penrice to pull pin on soda ash production

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

About 60 workers are likely to lose their jobs after Penrice announced plans to stop producing soda ash at its Osborne plant in Adelaide's north-west in June.

Penrice Soda is the only Australian producer of soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate, which is used to make glass, washing power, pharmaceuticals and as a food additive.

Opposition pledge to retain grain rail network

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The State Opposition says a $30 million pledge to keep the state's Tier Three grain rail lines open will help to ease traffic congestion in the metropolitan area.

The Wheatbelt lines had been due to close last year but were extended until at least October after increasing pressure from farming groups to retain them.

Man dies crossing train tracks

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police say it appears the death of a man who was struck by a train in the Macedon Ranges was accidental.

The man was crossing the tracks at the Kyneton train station just before 6:00pm (AEDT) yesterday when he was hit.

Figures show fewer Bendigo trains on time

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The number of central Victorian trains running on time dropped last month.

V/Line has been criticised recently by passengers upset about delayed and cancelled services.

Signal faults, hot weather and work on the Regional Rail Link have all caused interruptions.

ACT public transport policy 'a failure'

Posted Friday, 18 January, 2013 by bevans in Other Transport News

A report has described Canberra's public transport policy as a spectacular failure.

The national study by a Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) academic found Canberra was no where near meeting any of its sustainable transport targets.

Heat record causes rail chaos in Sydney

Posted Saturday, 19 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Commuters on Sydney's rail network have been experiencing delays of up to an hour because of overhead wiring and signal problems.

The rail system succumbed as Sydney experienced its hottest day on record, with the mercury hitting 45.8C just before 3pm (AEDT).

Passengers took to the social media network Twitter to complain about sweltering on rail stations or being stuck in train carriages without air conditioning.

Make or break for light rail

Posted Saturday, 19 January, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

A MEETING of supporters of the Northern Suburbs light rail next month will decide how to make the idea a reality, former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown said yesterday.

Dr Brown says he hopes to bring together an "irresistible" coalition to secure the funding for the $100 million project.

"I'm optimistic about it. We haven't had passenger rail since the 1970s. Everything has been geared towards road transport," he said.

Dirty tracks blamed for tram driver's electric shock

Posted Saturday, 19 January, 2013 by railblogger in Tram and Light Rail News

TRAM drivers fear maintenance cutbacks that led to dirty tram tracks are to blame for a recent incident in which a driver received an electric shock while standing on a tram floor. Yarra Trams is investigating the January 11 incident, which forced the temporary shutdown of one of Melbourne's busiest tram corridors, between Melbourne University and La Trobe Street. The low-floor D-class tram - Melbourne's latest type - has been put out of action until the investigation is complete. The driver was shocked moments after reporting to the fleet operations centre that his tram had suddenly lost power while shunting at the university tram terminus. He was told to inspect whether the tram's pantograph had become disconnected from the overhead wires, which transmit 600 volts of electricity. He was shocked when he touched a metal barrier while leaning out of the tram door. The driver was taken by ambulance to Royal Melbourne Hospital suffering symptoms of mild electric shock, and has yet to return to work. Tram drivers and the union that represents them say they are concerned the injury happened as a result of the operator having made recent c

Coal train drivers vote to strike

Posted Saturday, 19 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Hunter Valley coal train drivers will now be able to strike for up to two days at a time after voting on industrial action yesterday.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union says employees of coal freight giant, Pacific National, voted 85 per cent in favour of taking action after wage negotiations broke down this month.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 19/1/2013

Posted Sunday, 20 January, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 120 sightings for this week. This is one sighting less than last week, making a total of 312 sightings for this year to date. On day 19 last year we had recorded 267 sightings. This is 45 sightings up on the same time last year.

Freight train derailment under investigation

Posted Sunday, 20 January, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the cause of a freight train derailment in north-eastern South Australia on Thursday.

The derailment at Yunta, about 200 kilometres south-west of Broken Hill, has forced the closure of the track and trains travelling between Sydney and Adelaide are being diverted through Melbourne until early next week.

Road closure from Mt Ossa to Seaforth due to derailment

Posted Sunday, 20 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE road from Mt Ossa to Seaforth will be closed until tomorrow afternoon after a train derailed yesterday.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said no one was injured when three carriages from the 11-carriage train went off the tracks after 3pm.

Train derails at Francis Street, Yarraville

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Reports this morning are emerging of a freight train derailment on the Brooklyn goods loop in Melbourne.  Reports say Francis Street, Yarraville is blocked to traffic. Police are in attendance.

New trucking and rail regulators begin work

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

New trucking and rail regulators will open for business, slashing red tape for transport operators, the federal government says.

The new national heavy vehicle regulator based in Brisbane and the new Adelaide-based national rail safety regulator will start operating today.

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the "historic reforms" will slash red tape for transport operators

CityRail is a sardine express in peak hour

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NORTHERN Sydney train commuters are suffering more than those in other parts of the city - packed like sardines in the morning and afternoon peaks, CityRail data reveals.

CityRail published its capacity figures yesterday, showing that in peak hour the average train is standing-room only. In the morning peak to the city, Northern line commuters fared worst, averaging more than 22 passengers standing and all seats taken by the time trains get to Redfern.

Gisborne-Napier rail line meeting tonight

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2013 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

A public meeting's being held in Gisborne tonight to discuss the future of the city's rail link to Napier.

A Business and Economic Research Limited report released last week identifies some inconsistencies with revenue and cost estimates KiwiRail used to justify mothballing the line.

All aboard! Man builds train... in his basement

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2013 by bevans in Railway Stories

A MAN has taken his love of trains to the extreme, spending 2500 hours over four-and-a-half years building a full-size replica train carriage in his own home in painstaking detail.

Jason Shron, 37, who owns a model train company in Canada, finally finished the epic project last month. It cost $10,000.

'We wanted to make sure we got it right': new rail line opens ... three years late

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The first train line in Sydney to be paid for and built under the Rudd and Gillard governments opened on Monday, $700 million over budget and three years after it was promised to be finished.

The 36km Southern Sydney Freight Line will allow extra freight trains to run between Macarthur and Chullora in the city's south west and will increase rail freight capacity along the entire Australian east coast.

A wee win for commuters as govt moves on train toilets

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2013 by Raildave in Queensland Rail News

THE State Government has unveiled a raft of emergency measures to ensure rail commuters between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane have access to toilets.

After a week of sustained pressure from rail travellers and the Daily, Transport Minister Scott Emerson yesterday released details of a multi-pronged plan which will be put in place today.

Trains with toilet facilities will be prioritised to the Sunshine Coast line; facilities will be inspected on a daily basis and necessary maintenance of toilets will be done overnight.

Infrared chopper hired to monitor Melbourne's rail network

Posted Monday, 21 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Metro has hired a low-noise infrared helicopter to monitor Melbourne's rail network following a 270 per cent increase in copper theft.

Transport Minister Terry Mulder said thieves are only taking about 200 dollars worth of copper at a time but the cost of delays and repairs is up in the millions.

Snow: commuters voice anger at rail websites

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

As commuters endured a miserable journey into London, passengers voiced their frustration at the information given on company websites.

The twittersphere was filled with complaints from travellers about what they described as the shambolic information they were receiving.


Around 40 per cent of trains across the country were either cancelled or failed to meet agreed punctuality targets of arriving less than 10 minutes late for long distance services and five minutes on commuter routes.


One tweeter, Geoffrey Kwateng complained: “Trains are messed up and the rail website even tell you how bad, said mine was 'on time'. “

Ambleside Passing Loop Upgrade Completed

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by AFULE in South Australian Rail News

Another major section of the nation's Interstate Rail Freight Network has been modernised with the extension and upgrade of the last of 7 passing loops between Adelaide and Melbourne now completed.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said with the commissioning of the new, extended passing loop at Ambleside in the Adelaide Hills this section of the Interstate Rail Freight Network is now able to carry bigger, longer trains and pass each other with minimal delay.

“Funded as part of our recession-busting Economic Stimulus Plan, the $74 million investment we have made in the Melbourne to Adelaide section means it can accommodate trains of up to 1,800 metres in length, with each able to carry more freight than 100 trucks,” said Mr Albanese.

Fremantle rail plan supported

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

FREMANTLE could return to its former economic glory if more people had easier access to the city, according to Fremantle Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tim Milsom.
He joined Fremantle MLA Adele Carles and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt in supporting Labor’s Metronet plans, which could see Fremantle connected to Perth Airport, Shenton Park, Coogee, Yangebup and South Lake through a larger rail network.
Mr Milsom said making an easier and more direct avenue for people from other suburbs to come to Fremantle would benefit the economy.
“I think the Metronet is great because we do need to pull in people from the southern suburbs and have links to the airport and new Fiona Stanley Hospital,” he said.

Train station bashing victim 'knew attacker'

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Police believe the victim of a violent bashing at a train station in Sydney's south-west overnight knew his attacker.

Officers say a fight broke out at Yagoona station, near Bankstown in the city's south-west, about midnight (AEDT).

A 26-year-old man was allegedly kicked repeatedly and had his head stomped on.

Downer wins $90m NSW rail contract

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

ENGINEERING firm Downer EDI has clinched a $90 million contract for a NSW rail infrastructure project aimed at removing bottlenecks on a major freight corridor. The NSW government contract will see Downer create two passing rail loops on a stretch of track near Gosford on the state's Central Coast.

25 hurt as packed commuter trains crash head-on

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

TWENTY-FIVE people were injured - five of them seriously - after two packed commuter trains crashed head-on in Austria. Rescuers used ladders to climb into the wrecked carriages before carrying the injured out on stretchers after the collision in a suburb of Vienna early today.

Major train line reopens

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The rail line connecting Sydney to Adelaide has reopened, after a derailment in north-east South Australia forced it to close last week.

A freight train travelling from Perth to Sydney derailed at Yunta on Thursday, damaging 300m of track.

Rail-deprived, little by little

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

STEPHEN Galilee, chief executive of NSW Minerals Council (‘‘Payback overdue for Hunter contribution’’, Herald, 16/1) discusses how the Hunter has been neglected by the NSW government as far as infrastructure is concerned. For some strange reason he maintains that if we cut the rail into Newcastle’s central business district, the place will magically invigorate itself.

A second railway ... and please finish the motorway!

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

THE Ipswich to Springfield Rail Link and Norman St Bridge are at the top of Mayor Paul Pisasale's wish list for a State Government review into transport in Ipswich. The Ipswich Area Transport Study will be conducted by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to "plan for Ipswich's future transport requirements". The review will encompass the entire Ipswich region. THE region extends from Darra west to Marburg, and Ripley Valley north to Mt Crosby. Cr Pisasale said he hoped the study would ensure the development of the connection of Springfield to Ipswich, via Ripley and Amberley, the eastern end of the Ipswich Mwy, the Norman St Bridge and the link from Riverview to the Ipswich CBD. "Ripley needs close attention paid to it," Cr Pisasale said. "Connecting it with Springfield, the CBD and the job creation areas such as the aerospace precinct is vital."

Underground Reservoir rail plan to free up land, boost jobs

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A PROPOSAL to take the Reservoir rail line underground could free up $40 million of land for development as part of a plan to reinvigorate the area.

About four hectares of land could become available if the state government, which owns the land, agrees with Darebin council's Reservoir Structure Plan.

The plan includes the grade separation of the junction, which would remove the significant division between the Reservoir Village and Broadway shopping strips. The plan could cost $100 million.

Labour, Greens pledge to reinstate Gisborne rail line

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Labour and the Greens vowed at a public meeting in Gisborne last night that they would reinstate the Gisborne to Napier railway line if they won the 2014 election.

East Coast National MP Anne Tolley's absence from the meeting about the mothballed line was noted, with most of about 100 meeting-goers giving her a vote of no confidence.

KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn offered no hope for the line and said the ongoing costs of repair and maintenance meant it would not be reopened.

Opposition demands costings for light rail plan

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The State Opposition has demanded the Government release costings for its light rail plan, suggesting the figure could be more than $2 billion.

The State Government wants to build a 22 kilometre line, dubbed the Metro Area Express, to link Mirrabooka and the CBD.

The Transport Minister Troy Buswell has previously said the project would cost more than a billion dollars but he will not give exact details until the election campaign officially begins.

State calls for federal help to ease Coast rail crisis

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE FEDERAL Government has been asked to help ease the Sunshine Coast's rail bottleneck.

It has been confirmed the state government applied for federal funding for the crucial duplication of the railway line between Beerburrum and Landsborough in August last year.

This duplication will make it possible to provide much-needed express trains for this route.

But the issue is not likely to be heard until the next Nation Building program, in 2014-15.

The $300 million project was under way by the former Labor state government, but rail commuter Jeff Addison said it stopped "26 days after Andrew Powell was elected as Member for Glasshouse in 2009".

Rowville rail study delay

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

HOPES for a Rowville rail station are on hold with the final version of its feasibility study now more than six months overdue.

This is despite an earlier, draft report finding strong community support for the project, particularly from Monash University which sees the station as a key support for developing its Clayton campus.

Woman charged over outback train surfing

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Police in far-west New South Wales say a woman who hitched a 300-kilometre ride on the roof of a freight train for four hours is lucky to be alive.

The driver of the train called police from Ivanhoe Railway Station, after noticing a woman climbing down.

Northern Queensland cops a drenching

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail has closed the train line between Cairns and Townsville due to flooding as a result of torrential rain across northern Queensland.

Hundreds of millimetres of rain has fallen overnight as a result of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

There is water over the tracks at a number of places including Tully, Bilyana, Aloomba, and Deeral.

Crews will assess damage when flooding subsides.

A QR spokeswoman says passengers will have to wait in the cities because they cannot arrange alternative transport due to road closures.

RDA starts assessing proposed Riverina projects

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Regional Development Australia (RDA) is assessing the latest round of applications for projects to boost the local economy.

Griffith City Council is seeking funding to move its rail port out of the CBD while Tumut Shire Council is again applying to upgrade the busy timber route, the Gocup Road.

The last round delivered funding for the private hospital in Griffith and the Bomen rail hub in Wagga Wagga, neither project has started yet.

ALP quizzed about Oakajee plans

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Geraldton Iron Ore Alliance is calling on the Western Australian Opposition to outline how the Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) project could go ahead without state funding.

WA Labor says if it wins the March election, it will withdraw state funding for the project.

The alliance's Rob Jefferies says the move would likely deter international investors.

Sydney-Melbourne rail study almost complete

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Nearly five months, after it was expected to be released the Australian Safety Transport Bureau (ATSB) says its final report into the Sydney to Melbourne rail line is almost complete.

Man charged after jump from freight train at Coffs

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A man allegedly jumped off the roof of a freight train on the Coffs Coast at the weekend.

The 31-year old was arrested after he started shouting at people and blocked traffic on Sawtell Road in Toormina on Saturday.

The Coffs Harbour Local Court has been told he is wanted on three arrest warrants by Queensland police.

Evaluation of High-Speed Rail Program Should Consider Wider Economic Benefits

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Wider economic development benefits of high speed rail projects are  significant and are worth considering in the evaluation of such programs, in addition to traditionally measured direct transport benefits, suggests a new World Bank research paper released today.

Wayville station to support Keswick Army Barracks redevelopment

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

AN $8 million railway station is earmarked for Wayville to cater for a future housing development at the Keswick Army Barracks.

The Wayville station would be built south of the Anzac Highway and Greenhill Rd intersection and replace the rarely used Keswick station.

Plans were lodged with the Development Assessment Commission by the Transport Department this month.

Supermarket supplies on track as rail line reopens

Posted Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

It is expected empty supermarket shelves will start being restocked in far north Queensland today after the reopening of a rail corridor north of Mackay last night.

The derailment of an empty nickel train on Saturday closed the track at Mount Ossa, affecting several Aurizon freight services.

Atherton shop owner Mike Shakes says a train carrying much-needed stock is expected to arrive in Cairns today but may take several hours to reach the store.

Rail link won't cope

Posted Thursday, 24 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/LINE warned the State Government two years ago that trains on the Geelong line would not be able to cope with passengers numbers when the new Regional Rail Link opened.

The 2011 report on the Regional Rail Link was obtained by the Greens under Freedom of Information.

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said the extra trips to be scheduled meant there would be insufficient trains.

"Geelong trains will be standing room only and service extensions to Marshall or a future Grovedale station will be deferred, unless the Baillieu Government commits to basic infrastructure improvements," he said.

Rail tagger didn't hear deadly train

Posted Thursday, 24 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A YOUNG apprentice plumber was so absorbed tagging his name on a railway underpass that he failed to hear a train that struck and killed him, a coronial inquest has heard.

Tre Toman, 18, was spraying his "Ontre" tag near Lewisham station with two friends on January 11 last year when he was "cut in half" by a city-bound train.

The Glebe Coroner's court heard yesterday that Mr Toman loved painting and his personal tag can be seen everywhere from "Blacktown to Maroubra".

Report urges central Victorian rail expansion

Posted Thursday, 24 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/Line has used a report to recommend an expansion of railway stations in central Victoria and the duplication of tracks to meet the increased demand from passengers.

The Greens have obtained the strategic report in which V/Line warns regional trains will not cope with the forecast population growth in Bendigo, Kyneton, Castlemaine and Macedon.

Metro derails online complaint system

Posted Thursday, 24 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

You can do almost anything on a mobile phone these days.

Read the paper, book a flight overseas, send emails – but you can't claim compensation from Melbourne train operator Metro for poor performance.

You can't even fill out the form.

Commuters are forced to print out the form or collect one from a station, fill it in with a pen and mail it.

Want express trains from the Coast? Be fruitful and mulitply

Posted Thursday, 24 January, 2013 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND Rail has tweeted there are not enough commuters on the Sunshine Coast line to Brisbane to justify an express service. On the back of the Sunshine Coast Daily Campaign to improve rail services from Nambour, Landsborough and Palmwoods to Brisbane, APN Newsdesk journalist Owen Jacques tweeted "I personally can't see why @QueenslandRail doesn't have a SC-Bris express line for commuters each day" Earlier this morning Twitter user  Ryan ‏@genericleftis tweeted "The trains used to bypass Caboolture and any subsequent stations before Bowen Hills. Stopped sometime after 2009."

Floodwaters close North Qld rail line

Posted Friday, 25 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

About 6000 north Queensland homes are without power and the rail line between Mackay and Cairns is closed due to ex-cyclone Oswald.

Regional rail link taking shape in Footscray

Posted Friday, 25 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE constant roar of bulldozers has been a trial in patience for visitors to Footscray's CBD.

For the past nine months, road closures, roped-off parking bays and rubble up to your knees have been as well known as the Olympic Donut Van on Irving St.

The works, part of the Regional Rail Link, have infuriated traders and upset residents along the line.

But the disruptions and detours are going to make way for a big payoff come 2014, the project team says.

British researchers make bomb-proof trains with plastic-coated windows

Posted Friday, 25 January, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

BRITISH researchers say they have developed train carriages that can reduce deaths and injuries in terror attacks by using plastic-coated windows and measures to prevent flying debris. The New Rail research centre at Newcastle University analysed the carriages hit in the July 7, 2005 attacks on the London Underground and conducted a test explosion on a decommissioned carriage to study the impact on its structure. The three-year SecureMetro project focused on containing the blast impact and reducing debris, which is the main cause of death and injury in such explosions and an obstacle for the emergency services trying to reach injured passengers.

Trains halted after truck crashes into rail bridge

Posted Friday, 25 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Craigieburn line services have been suspended until further notice after a truck became wedged underneath the Racecourse Road bridge in Flemington about noon on Friday.

The trains were suspended due to loss of signal power caused by the accident, Metro reported on their website. Maintenance crews are fixing the problem but Metro have not specified when trains might resume.

Rail line won't cope with growth, say Greens

Posted Friday, 25 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/LINE train services to Colac and Warrnambool won’t meet the demand from forecasted population growth according to Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber.

Mr Barber referred to a 2011 V/Line document which noted that the Warrnambool station facilities were “inadequate even for the current patronage level, especially at peak times”.

Heathrow left out of rail plans

Posted Saturday, 26 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Heathrow airport will be left out of plans for the proposed high speed rail link between London and the north when details of the next phase of the £32.7bn project are unveiled on Monday.

The government is understood to have put on hold plans for a spur off the London-to-Birmingham section of the line to Heathrow amid uncertainty over the future role of Britain’s biggest airport.

 

Brisbane Model Train Show 2013

Posted Sunday, 27 January, 2013 by ianren in Rail Events

The Australian Model Railway Association Queensland Branch Inc. a not for profit Association Incorporated in Queensland Presents the 2013 Brisbane model railway show.

Liberals question future of northern rail service

Posted Sunday, 27 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

The province's Liberal Party says declining traffic and a lack of funding for CN Rail is jeopardizing the future of a rail service in northern New Brunswick.

CN Railway is looking for $50 million from the New Brunswick government and other partners to maintain freight rail service in the northern part of the province.

Otherwise, the company says it will be forced to discontinue part of the Newcastle Subdivision service by March 2014.

Party members met with CN officials in Bathurst on Friday.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 26/1/2013

Posted Sunday, 27 January, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 106 sightings for this week. This is 14 sighting less than last week, making a total of 418 sightings for this year to date. On day 26 last year we had recorded 376 sightings. This is 42 sightings up on the same time last year.

Transport Policy at the Crossroads - Travel to work in Australian capital cities 1976-2011

Posted Sunday, 27 January, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Transport problems are a significant cause of discontent in most of Australia’s major cities. There is increasing community pressure for improved and extended public transport; growing traffic volumes are contributing to traffic congestion, local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while increasing dependence on insecure oil supplies. The main response to these problems, historically and currently, has been to propose massive investment in new infrastructure, particularly roads (e.g. Infrastructure NSW, 2012). The infrastructure-first approach does not appear to be working, since transport problems continue to worsen despite these large investments.

This report seeks to contribute to a reconsideration of urban transport policy by presenting and analysing data on travel patterns in Australia’s seven capital cities (Canberra plus the six state capitals) over time. It is anticipated that analysis of this kind can contribute to the development of more effective policies, by revealing some of the factors behind rising traffic volumes that may not have been fully considered by proponents of the infrastructure-first approach. 

250mph train is a quick route to regenerating Britain

Posted Sunday, 27 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A SUPER-SPEED rail network linking all Britain’s major cities and creating 100,000 jobs will get the go-ahead this week.

David Cameron is to fast-track a £32billion plan to bring our creaking system into the 21st Century. Passengers will zoom along at 250mph in double-decker trains which will slash travel times.

Coal's weakness hampers rail earnings

Posted Sunday, 27 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Norfolk Southern (NSC -0.20%) reported its fourth quarter earnings on Jan. 22 after the market close.  The company posted around a 14% decline in net income at $413 million versus $480 million during the same period in 2011.  This drop is considerable in the context that revenues declined 4% primarily due to a decline in coal and merchandise shipments. The reason for the big gulf between net income and revenue declines was the increase in Norfolk's railway operating ratio to 73.4% from 70.4% in Q4 2011.

'Standing room only' on Regional Rail Link

Posted Sunday, 27 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Greens have released a State Government advisory indicating its order for Regional Rail Link trains falls well short of demand.

The Government has refused to comment on figures in a V/Line document suggesting a significant shortfall in an order for regional trains.

The Greens obtained the V/Line advisory under Freedom of Information.

It advisory recommends the Government order 67 new carriages for its Regional Rail Link project to cope with growing service demand.

Transport survey finds Victorians 'unhappy' with the Government

Posted Monday, 28 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A new survey has found commuters believe the Baillieu Government has failed to make any improvements to Melbourne's public transport network.

More than 1,000 people were surveyed by the Metropolitan Transport Forum which represents 22 Melbourne municipalities on transport issues.

Most respondents believe that public transport has not improved.  Across the board, the most common response was that there was no change to overcrowding, frequency, amenity or overall services.

Cut airport rail costs, top tourist body urges

Posted Monday, 28 January, 2013 by simonl in New South Wales Rail News

The Tourism industry is renewing a push for the government to cut the price of tickets on the airport rail line, which charges passengers an extra $12.30 for every trip. A report by the Tourism and Transport Forum claims the cost of travelling to the CBD from the airport works out, per kilometre, to be one of the most expensive airport trips in the world - about $2 a kilometre.

Cross River Rail project under a cloud because of state's 'city-country divisions'

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE Federal Government has blamed city-country divisions in the Newman Government for threatening to sink the Cross River Rail project.

Sources have told The Courier-Mail the project is not getting the same support from Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney as Transport Minister Scott Emerson.

"It's pretty clear that Mr Seeney is pushing projects of most importance to regional Queensland, while Mr Emerson is lobbying for Cross River Rail," said the source.

A Federal Government spokesman said the only submission received for Cross River Rail from the Newman Government was for $300 million worth of measures to increase capacity on the Citytrain network - not the full $4.4 billion needed for the project.

The submission says a $300 million early capacity works package will extend the life of the inner-city rail to 2020 - before a longer term solution was needed.

Narrow gauge rail pose huge limitations on transport efficiencies

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE Galilee Coal Basin presents enormous opportunities for Queensland and Australia but decisions on rail infrastructure need to be very carefully considered by all stakeholders and mistakes must be avoided, especially over the best rail gauge.

Fifty years ago, consideration was given to a major upgrade of the Townsville-Cloncurry-Mt Isa railway line, which crosses the mighty Burdekin River near Charters Towers.

Visionaries decades before had built the Burdekin railway bridge with both narrow gauge and standard gauge capability. Brisbane decided to do that upgrade in narrow gauge.

Downer Rail workers told to stay at home due to floods

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

DOWNER Rail workers have been told to stay at home tomorrow as the business takes precaution and shuts down for the day.

"The Downer Rail facilities at Bowen Street and Harwood Street, Maryborough will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, 29 January," a spokeswoman said this morning.

Threats close Southern Cross station

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE'S Southern Cross station was evacuated for about an hour on Monday night as police arrested a man who allegedly threatened staff on a train arriving from Albury.

A Rail Corp spokeswoman said staff alerted police after being threatened by a man on board the train shortly before it pulled into Melbourne.

Police said the man claimed he had a gun but they did not find one after an extensive search, and he may have just been making an idle threat.

Police met the train on arrival and took the man into custody for questioning. A 45-year-old Glen Waverley man was helping them with their inquiries on Monday night.

Miners spared but Queensland storm closes rail and ports

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

COALMINERS are looking for alternative ways to export coal from the southern part of Queensland's Bowen Basin after rail infrastructure became a potential long-term casualty after the weekend's wild storms.

Mining and gas companies came through the rain and floods relatively unscathed as most of the rainfall did not go inland far enough to flood mines and coal-seam gas works.

While ports, alumina plants and LNG construction sites were shut down ahead of the storms, they were not expected to suffer long-term outages.

Railway rallying call

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

An increasing army of protesters will rally on the steps of Parliament House in Sydney next month to voice their anger over the state government’s decision to cut the Maitland-Newcastle rail line at Wickham.

Coal giants butt into union pay dispute

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by DesL in New South Wales Rail News

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has been in salary negotiations with Asciano's New South Wales coal division, Pacific National Coal. The union's members, who drive trains that transport coal, have threatened to take protected strike action.

Xstrata Coal NSW, which is not involved in the salary negotiations, has written to the union threatening to take legal action if a strike goes ahead. A third company, Whitehaven Coal, has threatened to make a complaint to the Fair Work Commission.

Train carriages vandalised at Ballarat rail yards

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A GANG of vandals broke into secure rail yards in Ballarat and painted three brand new train carriages destined for Melbourne's metropolitan network.

Rail manufacturer Alstom is producing the carriages along with the X'Trapolis trains for rail services operator Metro in a multi-million dollar boost for Ballarat.

But police as many as eight trespassers broke into the company's Creswick Road rail yards and covered the carriages in graffiti.

Labor partially costs Metronet heavy rail line

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The State Opposition has promised to build a railway line to the Perth Airport by mid-2018 if it wins the election in March.

The Opposition Leader, Mark McGowan says the 10.5 kilometre rail line, stopping at Redcliffe, the airport and Forrestfield, would cost $731 million.

It does not include the cost of new rail cars to service the line.

Mr McGowan says the airport line is a priority for Labor.

BHP's Bowen Basin coalmines hit by floods, Aurizon warns on rail lines

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE impact of Queensland's flooding on coalminers is widening, with three of the nation's biggest miners suffering lost production.

BHP Billiton, the biggest coal producer, is set to lose production from its extensive network of coking coalmines in the Bowen Basin after floods damaged roads and other infrastructure.

It is understood the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance joint venture, which is also the world's biggest seaborne coking coal shipper, has received major rainfall since Thursday in areas previously thought to have suffered little impact.

But the company has since determined that damage to roads and infrastructure will affect operations.

A full assessment on the impact is still being conducted.

Anglo American, the nation's second-biggest coking coal producer, said some mining had been stopped.

Miners warn of third-party legal action to stop strike

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

TWO multinational coal companies have taken the unusual step of threatening legal action against union workers involved in a pay dispute with a different company.

Train drivers who work for Pacific National Coal - a division of Asciano, Australia's largest rail freight and port operator - are threatening to strike after pay talks collapsed.

Xstrata Coal NSW, which is not involved in the salary negotiations, is threatening to take legal action against the workers if they strike. The threat was outlined in a letter to the Rail, Tram and Bus Union last week.

The dispute is expected to fuel a national union campaign against the return of WorkChoices under a Coalition government led by Tony Abbott if it is elected this year.

Emergency vehicles seen at London Bridge station

Posted Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Twitter user Helen True shared this photograph of emergency services attending London Bridge station where four people were been taken ill.

Vline trains running out of elbow room

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

V/LINE trains in the Macedon Ranges and Sunbury areas are nearing capacity and won't cope with future demand, says a report from the regional rail operator.

The report, obtained by the Greens under freedom of information laws, says there will be peak-hour problems even after the Regional Rail Link opens.

The link, which is slated to improve reliability of trains by separating regional and metropolitan train tracks, will open in 2016.

But the report says that when the regional link opens there will only be one additional V/Line train on the Bendigo line during peak hour.

Tom Gyorffy, who travels from Kyneton to Melbourne each day, says peak morning and afternoon trains are crowded.

Three rail choices for Avalon airport

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THREE possible corridors for a long-awaited rail link to Avalon Airport have been announced. The rail link, one of the Baillieu Government's election promises, would represent the biggest expansion to Melbourne's railway network in more than 30 years. The railway would run along the existing Geelong-Melbourne line and then divert towards Avalon south of Little River, at one of three locations. The eastern option would see the track break away closer to Melbourne, near Cherry Swamp Rd at Little River.

Flooding put brakes on outback rail services

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail (QR) has apologised to customers stranded by the cancellation of long-distance rail through western Queensland due to flooding. Spirit of the Outback, which travels between Longreach and Brisbane, and the Westlander, which travels between Charleville and Brisbane, have been cancelled without any alternative transport provided.

Long rail campaign trail led to this, Hollis says

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

When a community works together for the common good there is nothing that can’t be achieved, Rail Action Bathurst president John Hollis said yesterday.

The group won the Australia Day Award for Best Event of the Year for the October launch of the daily return express rail service to Sydney.

“It shows persistence and energy can bring a good outcome,” Mr Hollis said of the award.

Commuters desert 'unreliable' Tonsley rail line replacement buses

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

[b]COMMUTERS are deserting a replacement bus service for the closed Tonsley rail line because they say it is unreliable, inefficient and poorly managed. [/b] Patronage on the southwest route has slumped more than 95 per cent since the train line was closed on February 28, 2012. About 1200 commuters used the Tonsley line daily during its weekday-only operation, before it was temporarily shelved to cut the number of trains using the Adelaide Railway Station during works at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Rowville rail: MPs to feel the heat

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

KNOX councillors have vowed to make the decades-long quest for a Rowville rail station a priority at this year's federal election. Despite council officers saying it was too early to meet with local MPs because the final stage one report was yet to be released, councillors voted to request meetings with government. They are targeting talks with Premier Ted Baillieu, Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder, Scoresby MP and Treasurer Kim Wells and Ferntree Gully MP Nick Wakeling. The council is also seeking a meeting with Aston federal MP Alan Tudge. The council resolved to insist on meetings with any candidates for Aston in the lead-up to this year's federal elections.

Labor promises rail line to Ellenbrook if elected

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The State Opposition has promised to build a railway line to Ellenbrook by the end of 2018 if it wins the March election.

The Labor leader Mark McGowan says the 21 kilometre line would cost $863 million, excluding the cost of new rail cars.

It would connect to the Midland line and stop at Morley, Noranda, Bennett Springs and Whiteman.

Both major parties committed to an Ellenbrook line at the last election and Labor has constantly attacked the Premier Colin Barnett for dumping the plan.

Ghan passenger train derailed at Katherine

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 by bevans in Northern Territory Rail News

TWO carriages of the Ghan have derailed at Katherine.

Police have reported the second and third carriages on the Great Southern-operated train slid off the tracks 300m north of the town's railway station about 3.10pm.

V/Line carriages pulled over fatigue cracks

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/LINE has removed 22 of its older carriages from service for testing and repairs after a safety audit revealed fatigue cracks.

Buses will be used to boost train services where necessary while the work is carried out on the 'bogies' that support the Z-class carriages.

Public Transport Victoria chief executive Ian Dobbs said it could take months to return the carriages to service.

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