News

 

Showing stories from May 2013

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Rail commuters see red on survey

Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

HUNTER commuters headed south to Sydney are passing through all five of the region’s worst stations, according to a statewide rail poll.

High-speed rail link eyed off as better transport alternative

Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

FALLING quality of service at Australia's major airports and a low-cost airline "race to the bottom" has improved the case for a high-speed rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne, a leading transport expert said on Tuesday. Curtin University Professor of Sustainability Peter Newman is also an Infrastructure Australia board member and sits on the Commonwealth's expert panel on the high speed rail proposal.

Reservoir Station could be renamed Reservoir-La Trobe University Station

Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

[b]RESERVOIR Station could be renamed Reservoir-La Trobe University Station under a plan to make it easier for students to travel to the Bundoora campus by public transport.[/b] [color=#434343][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]La Trobe University vice-chancellor John Dewar said he had put a proposal to the State Government asking for the station to be upgraded and renamed, increased express train services on the South Morang line and shuttle buses to the campus from the station every five minutes.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#434343][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The university hopes funding will be provided in next week's State Budget.[/font][/size][/color]

Report shows Queensland Rail's passenger services most costly and inefficient in country

Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][b]A SECRET report has revealed train crew and maintenance expenses are conspiring to make Queensland Rail's passenger services the most costly in the country.[/b] [/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Commissioned by the former Labor government, the report found CityTrain and Traveltrain services were significantly less efficient than rail networks in other states.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]As well as crew and maintenance expenses that exceed other railways, the report found Queensland Rail's passenger arm was shelling out $250 million annually to other parts of the business for costs that included track access and use of rollingstock.[/font][/size][/color]

RailCorp fined $150,000, takes blame for track death

Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2013 by waxyzebu in New South Wales Rail News

Sydney's train operator has pleaded guilty in its first prosecution by the rail safety authority over a 2010 death in which a track cleaner was struck and killed by a train while he was working at Kogarah.

RailCorp has been fined $150,000 over the incident, which resulted in the death of Tamati Grant, 59, and highlighted numerous failures in RailCorp's safety procedures.

Train passengers safer in Brisbane: survey

Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Brisbane train passengers feel safer than travellers in other capital cities but they're the harshest critics of phone users and more likely to think rail is more expensive than cars. The Colmar Brunton study is based on the responses of 1159 commuters who used city trains in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth across a six month period last year. The study, conducted on behalf of ratings agency Canstar Blue, found train travellers in Brisbane felt safer than all other commuters when travelling at night. They were second least likely to feel threatened by other passengers when using public transport. Only Adelaide had a better results.

Worry surrounds transfer of Qld Rail to statutory authority

Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE Newman Government claims transferring Queensland Rail to a statutory authority will pave the way for better services - but others fear it will mean further job cuts. Queensland Rail will transfer from a government-owned corporation to statutory authority after Transport Minister Scott Emerson announced in Parliament on Monday he would introduce reforms this week. Mr Emerson said the move would mean Queensland Rail would be closer to the government and bring staff under the same system as nurses, teachers and public servants.

Melbourne rail safety message wins Webby

Posted Thursday, 2 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne's Metro Trains's rail safety public service campaign [url=http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/aussie-viral-video-dumb-ways-to-die-lives-on-20121129-2ahm0.html]Dumb Ways to Die[/url], [url=http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/being-dumb-is-almost-cool-with-surprise-advertising-hit-20121118-29k6z.html]which went viral[/url], has won seven Webby Awards. Dumb Ways to Die has taken both the Webby and People's Voice awards in the Best Viral Online Film & Video category. It has also scooped the Webby and People's Voice awards for Best Animation Film & Video as well as for Best Viral Marketing Interactive Advertising & Media. In the Best Public Service & Activism (Social Content & Marketing) category it will pick up the People's Voice award.

Getting rail competition back on track

Posted Thursday, 2 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#000000][font=arial, tahoma, sans-serif]America’s manufacturing sector is experiencing a renaissance, thanks in large part to unprecedented access to abundant supplies of natural gas from shale. Natural gas is the chemical industry’s primary feedstock, and with U.S. natural gas prices as low as they are, America’s chemistry industry is in a strong competitive position for the first time in years. That means our downstream partners who rely on our industry to produce medicine, cars, computers, building materials and other essential goods are in a more competitive position.[/font][/color]

Detention company could run new rail link

Posted Thursday, 2 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Consortia led by detention centre company Serco and Hong Kong metro operator MTR, which also runs Melbourne's trains, have been shortlisted to operate Sydney's north-west rail link. Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced the two finalists in the tender to operate the new train line as a public-private partnership. If built and run as planned, the north-west rail link between Epping and Rouse Hill will be the first line in Sydney to be managed exclusively by private operators. The line will incorporate the existing Epping to Chatswood line. It will be limited to running single-deck trains with fewer seats than Sydney's double-decked trains. The tunnels being built by the government for the north-west rail link will be too small for the larger carriages.

Rail view not mine: Bishop

Posted Thursday, 2 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

BISHOP Bill Wright has distanced the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese from its strategic assets manager's support for the end of heavy rail services at Wickham.

It’s not in the knitting? Urban rail’s growing significance

Posted Thursday, 2 May, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

[color=#383838][size=3][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Tony Abbott has created a new phrase that wonderfully describes a political tradition or paradigm: “not in our knitting”.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#383838][size=3][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]“We have no history of funding urban rail and I think it’s important that we stick to our knitting,” the Federal Opposition Leader [url=http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/boost-for-rail-tunnel-20130404-2h9wq.html][color=#557585][b]declared[/b][/color][/url]. “And the Commonwealth’s knitting when it comes to funding infrastructure is roads.”[/font][/size][/color] [color=#383838][size=3][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]But is urban rail so easily dismissed as a national responsibility?[/font][/size][/color]

Rail, ports operator Asciano cuts spending

Posted Friday, 3 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Ports and rail operator Asciano has surprised the market by slashing about $250 million in spending and rushing in job cuts in a worrying sign for the Australian economy. Planned spending on its Pacific National coal and rail train fleets and port terminals and logistics businesses are in the gun. Capital expenditure for this year has been shaved by about 20 per cent from $700 million to $800 million to between $575 million and $625 million. Next year's spend has been reduced by about 12 per cent from $800 million to $900 million to between $700 million and $800 million, but there might be more.

V/Line delays cause headaches

Posted Friday, 3 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

DISGRUNTLED Melbourne-bound V/Line passengers experienced delays of more than an hour yesterday morning after a Pacific National train blocked the line at Elphinstone about 5am.

Dirt disclosed in plan to shift rail route away from garden

Posted Friday, 3 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A former adviser to Christine Lagarde when she was French finance minister is under investigation for allegedly changing the route of a TGV fast train line to prevent it going through his mother's garden. A judge suspects ''filial love'' prompted Francois-Gilles Egretier to seek to shift a section of the line linking Bordeaux to Spain three kilometres to the north of a village where his mother has a ''bourgeois property'' with a substantial garden.

Tracking a rail link: Study to look at route between Mildura, Menindee

Posted Friday, 3 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE State Government has commissioned a study of freight movement in Victoria that could finally establish a solid economic case for constructing a proposed­ standard-­gauge rail link between Mildura and Menindee.­

Fitzgibbon seeks Scone rail overpass

Posted Saturday, 4 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

FEDERAL member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon has intervened to try to resolve Scone’s rail and heavy traffic impasse.

Liberals woo Frankston line commuters with $100m rail spend in Budget

Posted Sunday, 5 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[left]PASSENGERS on one of Victoria's busiest rail lines will get station upgrades and live transport connection updates after a $100 million Budget cash splash. And journey times could be reduced on the Frankston line once signalling is upgraded to boost service reliability. The new spending will help the Coalition woo voters in a swag of marginal seats in south-east Melbourne, where grumpy commuters helped dump four Labor MPs at the 2010 state election. [/left]

Toxic chemicals on fire after train crashes in Belgium

Posted Sunday, 5 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

At least one person is dead after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in Belgium and burst into flames.
Up to 17 others were injured in the accident, which happened near the city of Ghent.
Six of the train's 13 cars came off the tracks and caught fire, leading to a series of explosions.
A fire then spread over hundreds of metres.
Fumes from the chemicals spread much further via a drainage system and authorities had to evacuated nearly 300 people from their homes.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 4/5/2013.

Posted Sunday, 5 May, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 128 sightings for this week. This is 15 sighting more than last week, making a total of 2107 sightings for this year to date. On day 124 last year we had recorded 2074 sightings. This is 33 sightings up on the same time last year.

V/Line promises maintenance during shutdown

Posted Sunday, 5 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[left]V/Line says it has stepped up its maintenance program on the Gippsland train line.[/left] [left]Trains have not been running between Traralgon and Bairnsdale for about six weeks now, with no indication services will start again any time soon.[/left] [left]V/Line shut down the line because rust on the tracks was causing a signalling problem at level crossings.[/left]

Testing CityRail News

Posted Sunday, 5 May, 2013 by newsbot in Cityrail News

Testing CityRail News Submissions

Trains on hold after level-crossing crash

Posted Monday, 6 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

All Werribee and Geelong-line trains were suspended on Monday morning after a person was hit by a V/Line train. The person was hit at a level crossing at Hoppers Crossing at about 8.25pm by the 7.41am Marshall train service to Southern Cross station. The person survived the collision. Emergency service workers and train staff were clearing the scene.

Commuter dramas: rail delays hit workers

Posted Monday, 6 May, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

Rail commuters faced major delays across Sydney at the start of the working week when routine infrastructure work at Homebush took longer than expected.

State budget funding hopes aired

Posted Monday, 6 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Councils in north-west Victoria are waiting to hear funding announcements from tomorrow's Victorian budget release. In the 2013-2014 budget, the State Government says it will spend $466 million to maintain the state's roads, including those damaged by floods. There will be $61 million allocated to improving the health of Indigenous communities but what is unknown is whether schools that received Government maintenance funding last month will get any extra money in tomorrow's budget.

Coal companies may consider Gladstone Port 'purchase'

Posted Monday, 6 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) says industry does not have a preference for how a proposed lease of the Gladstone Port might be structured. The State Government is considering leasing Gladstone and other ports, which was recommended in the Costello audit of state finances.

Council questions Roseworthy support

Posted Monday, 6 May, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The Light Regional Council says it is disappointed with the lack of South Australian Government support it is receiving for a proposed major development at Roseworthy. The Garden Town Project project, which is part of the Government's 30-year plan for greater Adelaide, would include the construction of 26,000 new houses and the creation of a rail line from Roseworthy to Gawler.

Tassie innovation wins grant

Posted Monday, 6 May, 2013 by DesL in Other Transport News

FEDERAL Government funding continued to flow in Tasmania today as Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation Greg Combet flew in to award a North-West business a grant of almost $500,000 to develop a world-first rail and tram monitoring system.

People deserve transparency: Save Our Rail

Posted Tuesday, 7 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Save Our Rail has urged Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard to honour his commitment to consider every submission to the Newcastle Urban Renewal strategy – ­especially those that favour keeping the Maitland-Newcastle rail line.

Partial sell-off of Fortescue rail and port facilities to pay debt

Posted Tuesday, 7 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group hopes to sell part of its rail and port assets by mid-year, with the proceeds going towards paying down its large debt. Chief executive Nev Power declined to divulge who was interested in the sale, which is understood to involve about 40 per cent of Pilbara Infrastructure, but Fortescue was working on a shortlist of potential buyers, including sovereign wealth funds, infrastructure funds and industry players.

Twelve months on and we are still in rail mess

Posted Tuesday, 7 May, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

ALMOST a year to the day since Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced her "Fixing the Trains" reforms, tens of thousands of CityRail passengers were forced to endure lengthy delays and slow journeys after weekend track work ran overtime. Many commuters were left wondering what had changed after engineers working on a subway bridge at [url=http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/twelve-months-on-and-we-are-still-in-rail-mess/story-e6freuy9-1226636359473#suburbinfo_popup]Homebush[/url] failed to complete repairs in time for the busy Monday morning peak travel period - causing chaos across the [url=http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/twelve-months-on-and-we-are-still-in-rail-mess/story-e6freuy9-1226636359473#suburbinfo_popup]Sydney[/url] railway network.

Queensland Rail bus from M'boro West to Bay not guaranteed

Posted Tuesday, 7 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

ANYONE who tries to book a train ticket to Hervey Bay on the Queensland Rail website from anywhere north of Rockhampton, is currently unable to do so. Even tourists who don't book online, but talk to an agency or to QR directly, are being told they can get to Maryborough West but the bus service to Hervey Bay from there cannot be guaranteed. Tourism portfolio councillor Stuart Taylor has raised his concern regarding the impact of the bus service being "not guaranteed" for certain train services.

Minister "as angry as anybody" about rail delays

Posted Tuesday, 7 May, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

The New South Wales Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says major delays this morning on Sydney's rail network should not have happened. Major lines across the city were affected when overnight track work at Homebush failed to finish on time. Cityrail says there were delays of up to 30 minutes on the Airport-East Hills, Bankstown, Inner West, North Shore, Northern, South, Western and Blue Mountains lines.

Road, rail pledges likely in Vic budget

Posted Tuesday, 7 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victorians should not be fooled into trusting the government after more than $1 billion in pre-budget spending announcements, the opposition has warned.

Premier seeks answers on Owen donation

Posted Tuesday, 7 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

PREMIER Barry O’Farrell has told parliament he will ask the NSW Electoral Commissioner to examine a $7000 donation a self-described property developer declared making to Newcastle Liberal MP Tim Owen.

No new money for Melbourne Metro rail tunnel in the Budget

Posted Wednesday, 8 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[left]VICTORIA'S key public transport project, the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel, has been put on ice, with no new money allocated in this year's Budget.[/left]

Hope for budget to fund Hamilton freight hub

Posted Wednesday, 8 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Southern Grampians Council is calling for investment in a Hamilton freight hub in today's Victorian budget. Mayor Albert Calvano says he wants the Government to focus more on the decentralisation of the state's population and its industries.

Rail land's toxic dirt removed

Posted Wednesday, 8 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

LARGE amounts of contaminated soil built up over more than a century are being removed from former railway land in Wodonga to allow for further redevelopment. High levels of arsenic, copper, nickel zinc, sodium chloride and nitrate were discovered in and around the former station and goods shed from testing done in late 2011.

$30,000 to assist with rail centenary

Posted Wednesday, 8 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE Centenary of Rail celebrations throughout the Mid North Coast have just received a huge boost, with $30,000 funding announced yesterday by Independent Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott.

National Express eyes German rail tenders

Posted Wednesday, 8 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[url=http://markets.ft.com/tearsheets/performance.asp?s=uk:NEX]National Express[/url] underlined its focus on expanding its position in Germany, as it looked to build on its initial success in Europe’s largest rail market by bidding for new tenders that could bring in annual revenues of €900m. The company declined to specify the number of tenders it was bidding and said it would not expect to win all the contracts. The German regional rail market is being gradually liberalised, with 35 contracts expected to be let over the next two years

Frankston rail: Geoff Shaw raises $100m question

Posted Wednesday, 8 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]FRANKSTON MP Geoff Shaw wants to know what portion of $100 million promised for Frankston train line upgrades will actually be spent in the city.[/font][/size][/color]

Budget mothballs Metro rail tunnel

Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victoria's biggest public transport project has been sidelined, with just $10 million committed in the 2013-14 state budget for the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel. The money will go towards further planning for the multibillion-dollar project, a nine-kilometre tunnel beneath the city centre which has been identified by the state's rail planners as the only effective way to create significant new capacity on Melbourne's urban rail network .

Rail yards land use given green light for proposed project

Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Toowoomba was a political hotbed on Wednesday with three State Government ministers and a host of MPs visiting the Garden City. Leading the charge was Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney who was the guest speaker at the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry business breakfast held at Picnic Point. Mr Seeney addressed the 200 business and civic leaders who attended the event and spoke about regional planning and infrastructure.

E-Gate site at the West Melbourne rail yards to become Melbourne's next suburb

Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WORK on Melbourne's newest suburb could start within two years. "E-Gate has the potential to develop up to $6 billion in new investment over 12-18 years and could provide housing for up to 10,000 residents, as well as 200,000 sqm of commercial and associated retail space with strong public transport connections," said Major Projects Minister David Hodgett.

Iraq Laying Plans to Rebuild Rail System

Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, 'Arial Unicode MS', sans-serif]BAGHDAD[/font][/size][/color][color=#000000][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, 'Arial Unicode MS', sans-serif] — In a shabby, rusty train that had just left Baghdad for the southern city of Basra, Riyadh Saleh moved restlessly from carriage to carriage, searching for a comfortable, air-conditioned seat.   Saleh was one of about 200 passengers taking a 25-year-old diesel train to Basra last week; he was enticed by fares as low as 7,500 dinars ($6.50) for a seat on the 600-kilometer (375-mile) journey. But like many others, he felt the experience — especially the train's top speed of 60-70 km/hour — left much to be desired.[/font][/size][/color]

Rail feasibility study won't solve problems

Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

INVESTIGATING the feasibility of rail services from South Geelong to Drysdale and Grovedale to Torquay is "better late than never," the Public Transport Users Association says. Geelong convenor Paul Westcott welcomed a $300,000 purse earmarked for the study in Tuesday's state Budget, but said improving Bellarine and Surf Coast bus services to rail interchanges should be priority No.1. "What we really need right now are better and more frequent bus connections which are a cheaper and more effective short-term solution," Mr Westcott said.

Why do governments favour road over rail in cities?

Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=2][font=Merriweather, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The Victorian government provided funding for a new city freeway this week but spurned a new rail line. It’s important to understand why governments continue to favour roads over rails[/font][/size][/color]

Colin Barnett wants federal WA rail funding

Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

PREMIER Colin Barnett continues to push for commonwealth funding in the federal budget for WA rail plans, despite its historical backing of roads. When asked what he hoped to see in next week's federal budget, Mr Barnett mainly nominated contributions for various CBD transport projects promised during the recent state election. With a rebuild of WA's public hospital system now well under way, the focus had moved to transport infrastructure, Mr Barnett said.

Rail line work

Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A MULTI-million dollar program to upgrade level crossing safety and restore trains to the Gippsland line between Traralgon and Bairnsdale has been approved.

Myki to start on V/Line at end of year

Posted Friday, 10 May, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

MYKI still doesn’t have an official launch date for the Ballarat V/Line service.

But commuters between Ballarat and MelbourneTesting! are not looking forward to the change to the pre-paid “smart card” system, which is already in place for bus services around Ballarat and metropolitan train services in MelbourneTesting!.

Rail chaos plagues morning peak

Posted Friday, 10 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Commuters in Melbourne's west and south-west face major headaches and delays city-bound, with an equipment fault causing chaos for the rail network. Train travellers from Geelong are also caught up in the chaos, after an early morning equipment fault near Newport station forced the suspension of metropolitan trains between Footscray and Laverton stations.

In Conversation: High Speed Rail

Posted Friday, 10 May, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

High-speed rail has been a success in Europe, but is it viable in Australia? Rico Merkert, a lecturer in aviation management and logistics at Sydney University outlines the pros and cons.

Train radio upgrade hits sidetrack

Posted Friday, 10 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A project to replace Melbourne's outdated train radio system, which is bedevilled by potentially dangerous communications flaws, has suffered another costly setback. A new digital system for the metropolitan rail network - in the works since 2009 and originally costed at $134.9 million - is now another two years from completion after budget papers revealed the overhaul had suffered a setback for the third year running. Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder previously said he hoped it would be in partial use by the end of 2012 but it is now estimated that will not happen until mid-next year. The government expects to complete the project in mid-2015.

Outback cattle train trial becomes permanent

Posted Friday, 10 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Government says it is committed to providing more livestock train services into the future but is hamstrung under contract arrangements. The State Government has confirmed a trial of extra livestock trains on the Winton to Rockhampton line, while the Mount Isa line to Townsville will continue permanently.

Canberra offers funds for rail tunnel

Posted Saturday, 11 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The federal government has offered to put up more cash for the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel, beginning towards the end of the decade, the Victorian premier says. Premier Denis Napthine said he had received a letter from federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese offering potential funding for the rail project, on top of the $40 million already committed by the commonwealth. The state government has allocated only $10 million in 2013/14 for the project, in comparison to almost $300 million set aside over two years for the East West Link road.

Rail or road? Napthine takes us down the wrong route

Posted Saturday, 11 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The conversion occurred on the railroad to Flinders Street. As the morning train approaches Victoria Park, it emerges from the old MelbourneTesting! inner-suburban landscape of Clifton Hill to cross the Eastern Freeway. Depending on the time, the train can be packed, standing-room only, just enough arm space for a compact Age. But if there is any sense of discomfort, it is soon replaced by a deep sense of satisfaction. Look down into the valley of the cars, and it is a study in still life.

Fickle charms work for Frankston while Broady left jilted at station

Posted Sunday, 12 May, 2013 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

Broadmeadows and Frankston are geographic opposites but demographic twins. One is a landlocked outlier, the other boondocks by the bay. One is to the north, the other the south. Both are bound by similar social and economic inequities. And both are described - perhaps a bit too often - as homes for battlers and underdogs. As in many suburbs, a railway station lies at the beating heart of each one. Neither utility screams modernity - either one could be considered a nexus of neglect. And yet, following the announcement of the state government budget this week, the funding for a long-overdue, much-anticipated, multimillion-dollar upgrade to Broadmeadows station has been withdrawn, while the train terminal in Frankston is set to receive a $13.8 million facelift.

Rail tunnel drilling despite budget blow

Posted Sunday, 12 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Workers will spend the next two months drilling boreholes along the Yarra River to plan for the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel, despite the project being sidelined in the state budget. The project received only $10 million for further planning in the 2013-14 Victorian budget, compared with $294 million for the east-west link, despite Infrastructure Australia assessing the nine-kilometre rail tunnel as ''ready to proceed''. Government documents reveal peak-hour trains will become increasingly overcrowded, with commuters left stranded unless work on the $8 billion project begins within two years. On Monday, a barge with drilling equipment will be on the Yarra River to the east of Princes Bridge to collect information about the soil quality and groundwater flow.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 11/5/2013

Posted Sunday, 12 May, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 130 sightings for this week. This is two sighting more than last week, making a total of 2237 sightings for this year to date. On day 131 last year we had recorded 2190 sightings. This is 47 sightings up on the same time last year.

Greens go for rail over road in funding fight

Posted Monday, 13 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Federal funding for rail projects would be placed ahead of roads under a law being proposed by the Greens, as the political debate on the Victorian government's multibillion-dollar plan for a road tunnel heats up.

Car rolls on to rail tracks after crash at Torrens Park

Posted Monday, 13 May, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A DRIVER is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after crashing and rolling his car on to railway tracks at Torrens Park. The man, 32, was driving south on Belair Rd when he hit a tree and rolled several times along the tracks, about 1.20am.

Blowing the whistle on rail pranks

Posted Monday, 13 May, 2013 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]TASRAIL has warned of Friday madness on the state's railways as motorists and pedestrians foolishly risk their lives with moving trains.[/font][/size][/color]

Shire keen to air rail worries

Posted Monday, 13 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Mount Alexander Shire is considering asking for an urgent meeting with the Victorian Government to express its concern about local train services. A new shire report says passengers on the Melbourne to Bendigo line want trains every 20 minutes in peak times and 40 minutes in off-peak times.

Aurizon raises $3.6bn in new debt, in talks for rail track sale

Posted Tuesday, 14 May, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

RAIL operator Aurizon has begun talks to sell a stake in its rail track infrastructure that would free up money to expand and lead to a break-up of the business. Australia's largest rail freight company has also taken on an extra $3.6 billion in debt amid criticisms by the market that it was not using enough borrowings to grow. Aurizon said in a statement that it had engaged with a limited number of potential investors in relation to the possible issue of a minority equity interest in Aurizon Network. A sale would give it the flexibility to redeploy capital, such as by buying a stake in Fortescue Metals' iron ore rail tracks that it is believed to be considering.

Historic engine sale review (SMR 10 Class)

Posted Tuesday, 14 May, 2013 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A committee will assess the case for and against the sale of seven, historic steam engines entwined in Maitland’s past.[/font][/size][/color]

Hunter trackwork to cause major rail disruptions

Posted Tuesday, 14 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]There will be major disruptions to passenger and freight rail services north of Newcastle today, as a four day shut-down of the Hunter Valley track gets underway.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Trains will not operate on the main northern line from 6:00am (AEST) today until Saturday morning, to allow for major upgrade work and maintenance aimed at increasing the reliability of the network for both passenger and freight trains.[/font][/size]

Budget rallies around roads and Cross River Rail

Posted Tuesday, 14 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Treasurer Wayne Swan will include money for the Ipswich Motorway and Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project in Labor’s sixth federal budget, several sources confirm. Funding for the projects will be drawn from a $100 billion nation building plan [url=http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/labor-urges-states-to-consider-more-asset-sales-20120613-20ab8.html]backed by superannuation funds[/url] reported to be at the heart of the budget papers due to be handed down Tuesday night. Such investment could see tenders for the highly-anticipated underground rail project released before the 2013 election a Queensland Department of Transport spokesman said on Monday.

Councils use election to lobby for inland rail

Posted Tuesday, 14 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Parkes Shire says it wants to see lobbying for a railway from Melbourne to Brisbane intensified in the lead up to the federal election. The council has voted to put a motion forward at the Australian Local Government Association's conference next month to call for a commitment to build the track during the current decade. The Mayor of Parkes Ken Keith says the route would have significant economic benefits for the Central West.

Fast-track rail plan

Posted Tuesday, 14 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

SUPERFAST trains to Melbourne, rail links to Queenscliff and Torquay and renewed passenger services on the Ballarat line are part of a Geelong transport vision outlined yesterday by MP Darren Cheeseman. The Member for Corangamite revealed the unfunded plan a day before the Federal Budget and less than a week after the State Government announced cash for a feasibility study into Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast rail options. But Mr Cheeseman's Liberal opponent at the election later this year, Sarah Henderson, said the plan lacked credibility.

$400m for Perth-Darwin highway, Barnett would have preferred rail

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

THE federal government has confirmed it will contribute $400 million to the Perth-to-Darwin Highway and says there will be more for Western Australia in tonight's budget. A spokesman for Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says the State Government has asked for at least 50 per cent of the funds needed for the highway, which will divert northbound heavy traffic from the Swan Valley tourism and wine-growing region. The State Government will have to match that contribution.

Challenge to road link with $3b for Metro rail

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[left]The Gillard government has pledged $3 billion for the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel, pitting it against the federal opposition, which has promised to spend half as much on the east-west road link.[/left] [left]This comes on a day when [url=http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/warning-on-high-tunnel-toll-20130514-2jkjj.html?rand=1368533685061]The Age revealed[/url] that the planned east-west link would have to be three times the current cost of an average trip on CityLink for the project’s investors to make a profit.[/left]

Budget to solve Scone rail crossing headache

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Scone is the big winner in the Hunter when it comes to the budget with the government committing $45 million dollars to fix the town's level crossing. Scone is regularly cut in two by long coal trains. A final proposal to fix the problem is yet to be chosen, with an overpass or a full bypass being considered, but Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon says $45 million dollars is now committed to the project and $5 million of that is to be spent this coming financial year to start construction.

Road and rail hub to be built in Ballarat west development zone

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]BALLARAT will receive $9.1 million in funding to begin construction of a road and rail freight hub to be built in the new employment development zone in Ballarat’s west.[/font][/size][/color]

Byron is tooting for rail

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

THE State Government's report into the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line may seem like the end of the line to many rail enthusiasts, but not for Byron mayor Simon Richardson. The report has been widely criticised by the Greens and local rail advocacy group TOOT, who say the costs quoted in the report ($900 million to restore rail services) are "unbelievable". The report recommends the line remain closed and that improvements to bus services are the best way to address the region's public transport needs.

CountryLink service hits sheep

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by djf01 in New South Wales Rail News

RAIL officials apparently told passengers on the 6.43am CountryLink Canberra to Sydney service on Friday that “technical problems” were responsible for it failing to make Goulburn.

ARTC's next-generation train management launches rail into the next century

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

ARTC has welcomed the Australian Government’s Nation Building investment of $50 million into the first stage implementation of an Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) on the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) Interstate network, CEO John Fullerton said today. The investment will see the technology tested and implemented on the Interstate network between Port Augusta and Tarcoola in South Australia and prepare a section of track for ATMS between Tarcoola and West Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.  “ATMS is a smart train management system that can locate and control trains on the network allowing them to travel at closer intervals safely and has collision avoidance systems and remote braking override to help prevent accidents,” Mr Fullerton said.

WA Premier Colin Barnett 'can't guarantee' airport and light rail

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

PREMIER Colin Barnett has all but conceded he cannot deliver on his election promises to build an airport link to the airport and a Perth light rail network connecting Mirrabooka with the Perth CBD by 2018. Banking on $3 billion from the Commonwealth to build those $4 billion projects, Mr Barnett will receive just $500 million from the Federal Government - and that is over 10 years. The funding was contained in tonight's federal budget.

Fond rail memories

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]THE Centenary of Rail celebrations, held in Taree and Wingham over the weekend, sparked fond memories for many who remember the earlier days of rail.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Aggie McClutchey (nee Neal) of Taree, remembers how life revolved around the movement of the trains and how important many of the sidings were.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]"The railway line went through our family farm at Kolodong, so I have many childhood memories which include trains.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]"Many farms depended on those sidings. As youngsters if we wanted a day in town we would catch the morning goods train into Taree and get the evening train home," Aggie said.[/font][/size][/color]

State may not have enough workers for road, rail

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victoria may not have enough workers to build the East-West link and Melbourne Metro rail tunnel at the same time, the state Treasurer has warned. Victorian Treasurer Michael O'Brien said the state government wanted a pipeline of major projects and staggering their delivery would ensure taxpayers got the best value for money. "You do need to make sure your major projects are sequenced in a way that is both affordable and that the labour force is able to deal with," he said. "It is so important that we sequence them rather than have a bottle neck and two major projects all competing for manpower at the same time."

Promised Frankston rail cash diverted

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

Just $10 million of a promised $100 million outlay on the Frankston railway line will be spent in the next 12 months, and some of it will be spent on fixing other lines in Melbourne's west. The Napthine government last week committed $100 million over the next three years to improving the Frankston line, which runs through four marginal seats in Melbourne's south-east that swung its way at the 2010 election. But the first chunk of that money – $10 million in 2013-14, budget papers show – will also be spent on improving the Werribee and Williamstown lines.

Metro rail tunnel faces a long wait for money

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[left]Most of the $3 billion the Gillard government has committed towards building a new rail tunnel in Melbourne would not begin to flow until next decade, suggesting train commuters face several years of worsening overcrowding no matter which party wins the federal election.[/left] [left]As federal Labor and the Victorian Coalition sparred over when work on the multibillion-dollar Melbourne Metro rail tunnel might proceed, state Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder told a parliamentary hearing $2 billion of the promised federal outlay was scheduled to be delivered after 2019.[/left]

State plans for Epsom rail line lack flexibility

Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]In relation to Ivan Kitt’s letter (More thought needed for Epsom Train Station plans, Bendigo Advertiser, May 13) – while it’s great to see money being allocated for rail, I too have some concerns over the proposal.[/font][/size][/color]

Funding to keep TasRail on track

Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2013 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

TasRail is expecting to deliver a more reliable service after a funding boost in the federal budget. The state-owned company will receive $120 million over five years which will be spent on new sleepers, track upgrades and bridges.

Bring back our trams: Ansett

Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2013 by xxxxlbear in Tram and Light Rail News

We could see trams rattling back along Malop Street if a Geelong Councillor gets his way.  Tony Ansett is proposing to bring back the trams to run from the Geelong train station to Eastern Gardens.

Brockman Mining pushes Fortescue on rail access under WA code

Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial][b]BROCKMAN Mining will force Fortescue Metals Group into rail access talks as it seeks to be the first junior to test Western Australia's railway access code.[/b] [/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial]The iron ore hopeful said it believed that Andrew Forrest-led Fortescue had spare capacity on its rail system and, as the miner had agreed to provide third-party access, it should enter commercial negotiations with Brockman.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial]Brockman's chief executive Russell Tipper said the company had pursued commercial negotiations with parties for some time without success, adding that negotiations could often be open-ended and drag on if the counterparty was not willing or was seeking exorbitant returns.[/font][/size][/color]

Treasurer Wayne Swan promises more than $7.5 billion for South Australia

Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

ADELAIDE has been promised road and rail infrastructure upgrades, including better train stations in the city's south, as part of a new $24 billion nationwide spend. Treasurer Wayne Swan has added to a promised $448 million for the South Road Upgrade and pledged further improvements to the South Eastern Freeway, public transport rail services around Tonsley and Darlington and upgrades to roads in the state's remote north-west. Each will only go ahead if the State Government promises to fund half of the works. Premier Jay Weatherill yesterday signed on to the South Road upgrade. But after Mr Swan made his Budget speech, Mr Weatherill noted that South Australia was likely to lose a "significant" amount of GST cash. "Our preliminary advice is that the GST write down for South Australia is likely to be very significant over the next four years," Mr Weatherill said. "This places considerable pressure on an already difficult budget position."

Long Beach votes to sue L.A. over proposed rail yard at port

Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The Long Beach City Council has authorized a lawsuit to challenge plans by Los Angeles to build a [url=http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/08/local/la-me-harbor-rail-yard-20130509][color=#2262cc]rail yard in the harbor[/color][/url] that could impact low-income neighborhoods in West Long Beach.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]Council members voted 9 to 0 Tuesday to sue over the Southern California International Gateway -- a 153-acre project in the [url=http://www.latimes.com/topic/travel/transportation/waterway-maritime-transportation/port-of-los-angeles-PLTRA00080.topic][color=#666666]Port of Los Angeles[/color][/url] capable of handling more than 8,000 trucks a day and the equivalent of 2.8 million 20-foot shipping containers annually. [/font][/size][/color]

$50m upgrade for Toowoomba Range rail infrastructure

Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

UPDATE: A $50 million upgrade of Toowoomba Range rail infrastructure will take 25,000 trucks a year off south-east Queensland's roads, according to the State Government. Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson made the announcement in Toowoomba. Mr Emerson said the investment in rail infrastructure was aimed at the agricultural sector in a bid to get crop transport off the roads and onto rail. "The industry has told us this is what they wanted," Mr Emerson said.

Winners and losers: all change in rail revamp

Posted Friday, 17 May, 2013 by djf01 in Cityrail News

Sydney's biggest train timetable change in almost a decade will include an extra 700 services a week - but some commuters will miss out when trains skip certain stations.

Important information about changed Overland Services

Posted Friday, 17 May, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

From May 2013, selected Saturday westbound services for The Overland (Melbourne to Adelaide) will be affected by the Regional Rail Link project. Regional Rail Link is Australia’s largest public transport infrastructure project and Melbourne’s first new major rail line in 80 years. Upcoming works require the partial closure of Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station on weekends.  Coach transfers from Southern Cross Station to North Shore Terminal (Geelong) will be available for all guests travelling on any of the affected services from May 11, 2013 to December 7, 2013.

Premier rules out short-term ticket U-turn

Posted Friday, 17 May, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

Single-use public transport tickets will not be reintroduced by Premier Denis Napthine despite several transport experts describing Melbourne's ticketing system as unfriendly for occasional users and visitors. Former premier Ted Baillieu scrapped short-term tickets at the end of last year and some in the industry believed Dr Napthine was open to the idea of short-term tickets, but a spokeswoman for the Premier said: "Nothing has changed, there are no plans [to bring back the tickets]." The government  has 60 million short-term paper myki tickets in storage but has refused to use them.

Sydney hosts biggest Rail Conference and Exhibition in Southern Hemisphere

Posted Friday, 17 May, 2013 by DoubleEdge in Rail Events

[justify][size=2]Australasia’s flagship rail conference and exhibition, [/size][b][size=2]AusRAIL PLUS 2013 [/size][/b][size=2]will be co-located with the leading international forum, the [/size][b][size=2]World Congress on Railways Research [/size][/b][size=2]from [/size][b][size=2]25-28 November 2013[/size][/b][size=2]. [/size][/justify] [justify][/justify] [justify][size=2]It is the first time the two events have combined, and together they will feature over 400 speakers, up to 350 technical papers and more than 400 exhibitors across 25,000sqm of exhibition space at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre.[/size][/justify]

Buses replace trains after woman hit on rail line

Posted Friday, 17 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A person has been hit by a train at Epping just after noon, forcing the cancellation of trains between Keon Park and the terminus at South Morang.

Grain producers claim Toowoomba rail loops win

Posted Friday, 17 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Farming lobby group AgForce says the construction of new passing loops for trains on the Toowoomba range on Queensland's Darling Downs will take more prime movers off the Warrego Highway.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Queensland Government will spend up to $50 million to build the loops, which will allow up to 20 additional train paths per week for farmers to get crops off road and onto rail.[/font][/size]

Light rail link to Robina planned

Posted Saturday, 18 May, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

ROBINA and Burleigh are firmly in Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate's light rail plans as talks ramp up on the city's new planning scheme. Cr Tate confirmed yesterday that he wants stage two of the multibillion-dollar rail project to go to Parkwood to connect with heavy rail.  Light rail connections for Robina and Burleigh Heads have been flagged for stages three and four of the project respectively.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 18/5/2013

Posted Sunday, 19 May, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 126 sightings for this week. This is four sighting less than last week, making a total of 2363 sightings for this year to date. On day 138 last year we had recorded 2311 sightings. This is 52 sightings up on the same time last year.

Rail site’s workshop objectors dismissed

Posted Monday, 20 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

PLANNERS will recommend the approval of a 24-hour rail maintenance workshop planned to be built directly across from homes at Carrington.

Inland rail likely to trump Cross River under Abbott

Posted Monday, 20 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A $4.7 billion plan for an inland freight rail line from Melbourne to Brisbane via Parkes and Toowoomba will push aside Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, Shadow Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss said. Mr Truss over the weekend confirmed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's plans to ask the Queensland Government to try to fund Cross River Rail, Brisbane’s underground rail. Queensland’s Transport Minister Scott Emerson has continually said the Queensland Government does not have the $5 billion to fund Cross River Rail. Mr Truss said the Opposition wanted to concentrate on improving freight into the ports of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

Fortescue told to re-price Pilbara rail

Posted Monday, 20 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group has been told to change the way it charges for access to its Pilbara railway, as regulators grapple with the ambitions of iron ore junior Brockman Mining. Western Australia's Economic Regulation Authority has ordered Fortescue to supply a new pricing structure for the railway by Monday, following last week's dramatic application by Brockman to use the railway to transport its iron ore. Fortescue's railway is vulnerable to such requests because it was built after a third-party access law was introduced in WA in 2000, and Brockman launched the application after talks with Fortescue failed to produce a transport deal. Under the existing structure, Fortescue's railway is broken up into three sections for pricing purposes.

Broken rail suspected in US train crash

Posted Monday, 20 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A commuter train derailment and collision that left dozens injured outside New York City was not the result of foul play, officials say. A fractured section of rail is instead being studied to determine if it is connected to the accident. Officials described a devastating scene of shattered cars and other damage where two trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in Connecticut, saying on Saturday it was amazing no one was killed. Seventy-two people were sent to hospital on Friday evening after the crash, which damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the north-east corridor.

Plan for disrupted rail trip

Posted Monday, 20 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]QUEENSLAND Rail is encouraging customers to plan ahead for any train travel on the Caboolture and Sunshine Coast lines ahead of important maintenance work over the June long weekend.[/font][/size][/color]

Albanese backs airport rail plan

Posted Monday, 20 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has played down the significance of an "internal working document" from Infrastructure Australia that casts doubt on the viability of the Barnett Government's airport rail and light rail plans. Mr Albanese said he wanted to see both projects proceed and it was appropriate that more planning be done by the State Government before more Federal funds were committed.

Evening peak rail concern over plans to changes rosters for Metro maintenance staff

Posted Tuesday, 21 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

METRO wants to re-roster maintenance staff working during the evening peak in a move union sources say will expose the rail network to meltdowns. But Metro said the revamped rosters would lessen the overall risk to the train network. Metro spokesman Daniel Hoare told the [color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Herald Sun [/font][/size][/color]last night there would be fewer staff rostered for the start of the evening peak, but the chances of disruption after 4pm and before 8am would be reduced.

Commuters told to brace for Metro disruptions

Posted Tuesday, 21 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Railway signalling engineers say commuters could face more peak-hour disruptions if Metro succeeds in its push to introduce new around-the-clock working arrangements for some of its staff. Melbourne's metropolitan rail operator wants more of its signalling engineers to perform maintenance work in the early morning when no trains are running, rather than be on standby during peak hours in case there is a fault. But Metro's signalling staff and their unions are fighting the proposed changes. They say they are being pushed into working unfriendly hours that will cut Metro's overtime wages bill but do nothing to improve the reliability of Melbourne's trains. The proposed cut in the number of signalling staff at the start of both peaks will increase the risk of delays, they claim. "We believe that Metro are putting public safety and train running at risk at peak times by reducing the number of reactive signalling people," said Electrical Trades Union organiser Gerry Glover.

Rival MPs in huff about rail

Posted Tuesday, 21 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

POLITICAL rivals Darren Cheeseman and Sarah Henderson are all steamed up in a row about Geelong region train services. Ms Henderson again criticised the Corangamite MP yesterday for a rail vision he released last week, saying his idea was a "thought bubble" that would cost local tourism. Although thin on detail and costings, Mr Cheeseman did produce a map to show where he thought new train lines should be installed to connect South Geelong station to Queenscliff, and Marshall station to North Torquay.

Copper mine promises jobs boost

Posted Tuesday, 21 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Southern Grampians Shire Council says up to 200 jobs could be created if a copper mine is established at Stavely. Northern Platinum has acquired mineral tenements for the area east of Hamilton from BCD Resources and says it will spend the next two years assessing the copper resource.

Train derailment at Salmon Gums last night

Posted Tuesday, 21 May, 2013 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

A DERAILMENT  of an iron ore train occurred  17 kilometres north of Salmon Gums, 140 kilometres north of Esperance at approximately [url=http://7.pm/]7.pm[/url] last night.

Road, rail upgrades 'key to growth'

Posted Tuesday, 21 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Unlocking Bunbury Port’s capacity and upgrading rail between Collie and Bunbury are key to WA’s first regional freight infrastructure blueprint released last week. The State has devised a long-term infrastructure plan for WA’s regional roads, rail lines and port authorities. The plan has pointed to a number of key priorities for the South West, including doubling the capacity of Bunbury Port, upgrading the Collie to Brunswick rail line and duplicating the line between Brunswick Junction and Bunbury Inner Harbour. Also named were improvements to Coalfields Highway and South Western Highway and completion of Bunbury Outer Ring Road.

Bendigo trains lift on-time performance

Posted Tuesday, 21 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

There was a sharp improvement in the performance of trains on the Bendigo line last month. V/Line says 85.8 per cent of services on the line were on time during April.

Abbott denounces Government's Brisbane rail funding pledge

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has dismissed the Federal Government's budget pledge for Brisbane's Cross River Rail plan. Last week, Treasurer Wayne Swan promised $715 million for the $5 billion project. But it appears unlikely to go ahead, with Labor locked in a funding stoush with the Queensland Government. Mr Abbott says the Federal Government is not being "fair dinkum". "It's more of the kind of wild stuff that we get from a desperate Government," he said.

El Zorro Super Payments Stalled

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Loco Division is speaking to its legal representatives following El Zorro’s failure to pay superannuation entitlements to members. The Division has been in discussions with the company about the super payments for some time after the union was made aware the company had failed to make the full super contributions for the December payment period.

Cable thieves create rail, traffic havoc

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Long-suffering commuters in Melbourne's north face another morning of lengthy delays after vandals struck. Signal faults are occurring on the Craigieburn line after cabling was stolen overnight near Glenroy station. Metro has warned of delays of up to 25 minutes through the morning peak travel period while crews work to fix the problems and replace the cables.

Rail depot approved for Carrington

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

PLANS to build a 24-hour rail maintenance facility directly across from 100-year-old homes at Carrington have been approved by Newcastle City Council.

Sale and top up of myki cards to commence on Metropolitan Buses

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

From Monday, 27 May 2013 the sale and top up of myki cards will commence on metropolitan buses including the Mornington Peninsula. Bus drivers will sell and top up myki cards (Full Fare, Concession, Child and Seniors) via the bus driver console. A Full Fare myki costs $6. A Concession, Child or Seniors myki costs $3. 
If a customer purchases a myki on board the bus for immediate travel they must also top up with myki  money at the same time. Drivers should inform the customer that they then need to touch on  their myki for that trip.
Customers must purchase or top up their mykis with cash. The minimum top up is $1 and the maximum top up is $20. EFTPOS or credit cards are not accepted for top up on-board buses. A myki pass top up cannot be purchased on the bus.

PN intermodal and bulk enterprise agreement nears vote

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2013 by JimYarin in Rail News

The Pacific National Intermodal and Bulk enterprise agreements are in the final stages, with the union negotiating committee currently doing a final review of the documents. The RTBU negotiating team had hoped for the process to move much faster, however the timeframe had to be extended after the company’s documents were found to contain a number of errors including incorrect calculations and missing words.

Investigation into iron ore train derailment

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

An investigation will be conducted into what caused an iron ore train to derail near Salmon Gums. The locomotive was headed for Esperance from Kalgoorlie-Boulder when 32 wagons derailed around 7:00 pm on Monday.

Rail over-pass meetings in Gunnedah

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Residents will today have the opportunity to comment on three proposed options for a second crossing of Gunnedah's rail line. The proposals for a new over-bridge include connections with either New Street or Warrabungle Street. The member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson, says there's expected to be some impact, whichever proposal is adopted.

ARTC presses on with ATMS project

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

DESPITE speculation that Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) might not proceed with its implementation of an Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) on the interstate network, a further $A 50m ($US 49m) was allocated in last week's Federal Budget to allow the technology to be rolled out on the Port Augusta - Tarcoola line. ARTC CEO Mr John Fullerton says: "this system is a first for Australia and it's at the cutting edge of rail management systems anywhere in the world."

Port of Brisbane eyes inland rail investment

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Brisbane's newly-privatised Port of Brisbane, which supported $50 billion in imports and exports last year, is interested in investing in part of a $4.7 billion inland rail project linking Brisbane, Toowoomba, Parkes and Melbourne. The proposed inland freight line would be seven hours faster and about 170 kilometres shorter than the existing coastal railway. Shadow Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss outlined the Port of Brisbane's enthusiasm for the futuristic project on Friday. "The Port of Brisbane has indicated that they are interested in being an investor," Mr Truss said.

Vandals cause more pain for Melbourne commuters

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

For the second day in a row, vandals caused lengthy delays for commuters following the theft of signalling cables on the Sunbury line. On Thursday, Metro announced delays of up to 30 minutes for citybound trains between Sunshine and Footscray on the Sunbury line due to the theft of signalling cables. Metro spokesman Daniel Hoare said crews discovered the faults about 3.30am. “Crews discovered that several copper cables had been stolen in different areas on the Sunbury line,” he said.

Man stabbed in rail platform fracas

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police are investigating a fracas on a train station platform in Melbourne's inner west earlier this week. A man, 48, from Footscray, started arguing with two other men and a woman on platform two at Footscray train station about 1.15pm on Tuesday. A police spokeswoman said that the argument escalated and one of the men punched the 48-year-old in the face. Police believe the 48-year-old then stabbed one of the two men in the shoulder. They and the woman then got on a Sunbury-bound train and left, the spokeswoman said.

Lake rail ticket machines hit by thieves

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

TICKET machines at Awaba, Dora Creek and Teralba railway stations were targeted overnight by would-be thieves using a grinder and cordless drill.

Flinders to seek Fortescue rail access

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Iron ore junior Flinders Mines will jump on board with Brockman Resources in seeking access to Fortescue Metal Group's rail infrastructure in the Pilbara, according to [color=#333333][font=inherit]The Australian Financial Review[/font][/color].  Flinders’ executive chairman Robert Kennedy was looking at applying for access in the next few months and expected more iron ore companies would follow suit, the newspaper reported.

Sydney Boys High student stands up to Gladys Berejiklian over Surry Hills light rail

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#191a18][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]SYDNEY Boys High School student Dexter Gordon recently mustered the courage to do something most 14-year-olds would not.[/b] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#191a18][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The year 10 student questioned Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian about the State Government's south-east light rail route at a packed public forum.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#191a18][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Dexter and his rugby teammates stand to lose a slice of their training ground to make way for the route and they're not happy about it.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#191a18][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]"We're going to get half our fields cut off," he said.[/font][/size][/color]

Greiner, Broad step down from adviser roles

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

THE state government’s chief infrastructure advisers, Nick Greiner and Paul Broad, are stepping down from their positions, Premier Barry O'Farrell has told State Parliament.

Commuters to benefit from extra trains on Bankstown line

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by michaelgreenhill in Cityrail News

EXTRA services on the Bankstown line is a central feature of CityRail’s draft new timetable. The 800-page timetable document, set to take ­effect in October, was leaked ­online on Friday. The Express has examined the document and found the Bankstown line among the biggest winners.

Commuters to benefit from extra trains on Bankstown line

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by michaelgreenhill in Cityrail News

EXTRA services on the Bankstown line is a central feature of CityRail’s draft new timetable. The 800-page timetable document, set to take ­effect in October, was leaked ­online on Friday. The Express has examined the document and found the Bankstown line among the biggest winners.

RACV asking for feedback on rail services

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by michaelgreenhill in Victorian Rail News

The RACV is inviting Victorians to have their say about the state's rail transport services. The peak body for motorists in Victoria today launched an online survey asking V/Line and Metro passengers to share their experiences.

Buses replacing trains for RRL works

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013 by michaelgreenhill in Victorian Rail News

Buses will replace trains on the Sunbury line between Albion and Footscray, and coaches will replace trains on the Bendigo and Ballarat lines from first service Saturday 29 June to last service Sunday 14 July 2013.

Southeast Queensland commuter train network to be stretched without Cross River Rail

Posted Friday, 24 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

PREMIUM-priced peak fares and a timetable rejig are among the measures being considered to try to squeeze more capacity out of southeast Queensland's rail network. With Cross River Rail plans in tatters, the State Government has been forced to examine plan B to deal with escalating demand for rail services. But transport groups yesterday warned the measures were "tinkering at the edges" and, without Cross River Rail, Brisbane would be choked by congestion.

Train services returning to normal

Posted Friday, 24 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A signalling problem affecting Transperth trains has been fixed and train services in Perth are returning to normal.

Crude-by-Rail Boosts Union Pacific as CEO Sees 40% Gain

Posted Friday, 24 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Arial][url=http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/UNP:US][color=#0066cc]Union Pacific Corp. (UNP)[/color][/url], the biggest U.S. railroad, may carry as much as 40 percent more crude oil in 2013 and is seeing evidence that the slump in coal shipments is over, Chief Executive Officer Jack Koraleski said.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Arial]The gains in crude-by-rail, driven by increasing output from hard-to-reach petroleum deposits in shale formations, can withstand the construction of pipelines including Keystone XL, Koraleski said in an interview today at Bloomberg headquarters in New York.[/font][/size][/color]

Direct rail track to Delhi by next year

Posted Friday, 24 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[left][color=#3f3f3f][size=2][font=georgia]RANCHI: General manager of South Eastern Railway (SER), [color=#0000ff][u]Abhay Kumar Verma[/u][/color] has promised that the Ranchi-Lohardaga-Tori railway line would be complete by 2014. The project has been delayed by a year. Once the rail tracks are laid completely it would facilitate faster route between Ranchi and New Delhi.[/font][/size][/color][/left] [left][color=#3f3f3f][size=2][font=georgia]The newly-laid railway tracks between Ranchi and Tori would shorten the route to Delhi. Currently the trains need to undertake a circuitous [url=http://timesofindia.speakingtree.in/topics/journey/journey][color=#024d99]journey[/color][/url]to Delhi via [color=#0000ff][u]Ramgarh[/u][/color] and [color=#0000ff][u]Barkakana[/u][/color].[/font][/size][/color][/left]

GrainCorp takeover almost unstoppable: analyst

Posted Friday, 24 May, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

A grains analyst predicts nothing will stop the proposed acquisition of GrainCorp by an international company. American agribusiness giant Archer Daniel Midlands is trying to take over Australia's largest east coast grain exporter for $3.4 billion.

New mining projects in NSW

Posted Friday, 24 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[left][size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The exploration sector is "moribund" according to miners and finding backers for new projects is very tough at the moment.[/b][/font][/size][/left] [left][size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]While many Australian companies are focussing on overseas operations with lower costs there are some copper, gold, silver and zinc projects in this state that could get up in the next few years.[/font][/size][/left] [left][size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Wayne Taylor from TriAusMin is confident his project at Woodlawn will attract the investment needed because it has a lot of infrastructure already in place.[/font][/size][/left]

Safety boost in Inverleigh

Posted Friday, 24 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Government will deliver a major safety boost at Peel Road, Inverleigh with the start of essential railway bridge maintenance works. The $580,000 works will include the installation of new steel piers and beams, renewal of the deck and the construction of new abutments. Essential maintenance repair works at the Peel Road bridge will deliver significant safety improvements for local residents and road users.

New rail freight route in Federal Coalition plan

Posted Saturday, 25 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[left][color=#000000][size=2][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][b]A NEW freight rail link built alongside the Gateway Motorway is being considered as part of a Coalition plan to fast-track the east coast inland network.[/b] [/font][/size][/color][/left] [left][color=#000000][size=2][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]With the Cross River Rail project now in doubt, the new freight rail line could free up capacity on Brisbane's strained urban network for extra commuter trains and reduce heavy trucks on the roads.[/font][/size][/color][/left] [left][color=#000000][size=2][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]If built, it will also save inner city suburbs including Tennyson, Fairfield, Coorparoo and Norman Park from noise and coal dust pollution.[/font][/size][/color][/left]

Rail museum proposed for Broadmeadow

Posted Saturday, 25 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

BROADMEADOW’S historic locomotive yards could be transformed into the southern hemisphere’s largest railway museum as part of a transport heritage project.

FOI documents reveal high arsenic levels found at Goodwood Junction rail upgrade site

Posted Saturday, 25 May, 2013 by MikeyJackson in South Australian Rail News

ARSENIC levels well above the limit of requiring follow-up safety tests were detected in the soil alongside the Goodwood Junction railway upgrade last year, a contamination report reveals.           The report prepared for the State Government by consultants Parsons Brinkerhoff was obtained by the Opposition under Freedom of Information this month. It reveals the concentration of arsenic in the soil exceeded safe levels in “numerous samples” along the rail corridor. The arsenic was in herbicides used in the past. Three samples also exceeded National Environment Protection Measures Health Investigation Levels, meaning more testing was required to ensure safety, the July 2012 report says.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 25/5/2013

Posted Sunday, 26 May, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 114 sightings for this week. This is 12 sighting less than last week, making a total of 2477 sightings for this year to date. On day 145 last year we had recorded 2434 sightings. This is 43 sightings up on the same time last year.

Line to open for mobile Loop hole

Posted Sunday, 26 May, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

People using Melbourne's City Loop will have full mobile telephone coverage within a year. The breakthrough came after the state rail authority struck a deal with Australia's three main mobile carriers, promising to end years of frustration for people plagued by mobile "dead zones".

Rail crash brings down US road bridge

Posted Sunday, 26 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[left]TWO freight trains have collided in Missouri, bringing down a highway bridge and sending seven people to hospital.[/left] [left]The collision occurred about 190km southeast of St Louis on Saturday when one train ploughed into the side of another and derailed.[/left]

Perth station closes for rail tunnel works

Posted Sunday, 26 May, 2013 by michaelgreenhill in Western Australian Rail News

The biggest service shutdown in the history of the Perth rail system will happen in July and August as part of essential works to sink the railway, the Public Transport Authority has revealed. No trains will pass through Perth Central Station during two five-day blocks from July 12 to 17 and July 31 to August 4, both of which include weekends.

CityRail trains not properly cleaned for decade

Posted Monday, 27 May, 2013 by michaelgreenhill in Cityrail News

THAT train seat might be dirtier than you think. Thousands of seats and floors on CityRail trains have not been properly cleaned in more than a decade, an audit of RailCorp cleaning practices has found.

Poll shows public prefers rail tunnel ahead of road link

Posted Monday, 27 May, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Victorians have narrowly backed a new rail tunnel under the city over the Napthine government's proposed east-west road connection. An Age/Nielsen poll found 47 per cent of voters backed the metro rail tunnel from South Kensington to South Yarra over the $6 billion to $8 billion road project connecting the Eastern and the Tullamarine freeways. But the results were finely balanced, with 43 per cent favouring the road project, which the government says will begin towards the end of next year.

Plans on track to assess rail line

Posted Monday, 27 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/Line will run a special train on the Gippsland line this week to inspect the condition of tracks between Traralgon and Bairnsdale. Trains have not been running to Bairnsdale since March because of a signalling fault. The company has been stepping up maintenance works during the shutdown and an infrastructure evaluation vehicle will be travelling along the line on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Inland rail gains momentum grows

Posted Monday, 27 May, 2013 by JimYarin in Rail News

The inland rail through Parkes concept has received a huge boost with news the Port of Brisbane could be ready to invest heavily. Mayor Cr Ken Keith said on Friday this indicated momentum was growing for the project.

Coal companies desperate to dump port capacity

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by DesL in Other Transport News

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype when times are good: rising prices are the party no one wants to miss.

Rail rules as airport option

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE Airport's master plan gives priority to a rail link into the CBD in contrast to the state government's main infrastructure priority: an east-west road tunnel under the city. The airport draft plan favours what is known as the Albion East rail connection, part of the Metro Rail Link, which is also supported in the recent federal government budget.

Sydney's State Rail to trial high-pitched devices to get vandals to buzz off

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

STATE Rail is set to trial high-pitched Mosquito devices to drive young people away from graffiti hot spots. The technology emits an irritating high-frequency buzzing noise only people aged 13 to 24 can hear and is used by police forces and councils around the world in areas where teenagers are known to cause trouble. It is understood State Rail plans to test the devices in known trouble spots for graffiti such as rail depots and subway tunnels, where vandals cause millions of dollars damage each year.

Peak demand for road and rail: Is that all there is?

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

[color=#333333][size=2][font=Merriweather, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The first exhibit shows something we don’t often see – how travel behaviour has changed over long periods of time, in this case three decades. (fn 1)[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Merriweather, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]It’s taken from a paper by Craig Mcgeoch, a transport analyst at engineering consultants Arup Pty Ltd, and is titled [url=http://www.atrf11.unisa.edu.au/Assets/Papers/ATRF11_0177_final.pdf][color=#669900]30 years of travel in Melbourne: 1978/79 and 2008/09[/color][/url]. While it’s specifically about Melbourne, it tells a story that applies in general terms to all our large cities.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Merriweather, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]Mr McGeoch examined travel behaviour from the 1978/79 Melbourne Home Interview Travel Survey (HIS) and compared it with data from the 2007/08 Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel and Activity (VISTA).[/font][/size][/color]

Queensland Rail staff will receive free go cards in an attempt to boost dwindling patronage figures

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND Rail staff will be given free Go Cards in an attempt to boost dwindling patronage figures. The taxpayer-funded organisation's 6500 staff already carry identification cards to allow them on trains for free but these rides do not count towards patronage. In the nine months to the end of March, the number of trips taken on trains was down by two million compared with the previous corresponding period - the worst result in more than five years.

Ardeer residents rail against noise policy

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

OUTRAGED Brimbank residents will protest the Regional Rail Link Authority’s plans to build massive sound-proofing walls along the Deer Park stretch of the $5 billion project.

Long delays after train derails

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Commuters can expect long delays on several Metro and V/Line services this evening after a derailment and a fatality on metropolitan rail lines this afternoon. Metro has confirmed there will be delays of up to 20 minutes on the Frankston, Cranbourne, Pakenham and Williamstown lines as a result of a derailment at Caulfield station. "The derailment occurred on Platform 1," a spokeswoman for train operator Metro said. "At this stage I understand it’s two out of six carriages that have come off the track." She said there were no passengers were on board at the time of the derailment and the driver was uninjured.

Rail picks up steam as a way to move crude

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#222222][size=1][font=Arial, sans-serif]SAN ANTONIO — The surge in North American oil production has prompted energy companies to invest heavily in a 19th-century technology: rail. Companies including Valero Energy Corp., Tesoro Corp. and NuStar Energy already have purchased or leased rail cars to move crude to their refineries.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#222222][size=1][font=Arial, sans-serif]There aren’t enough pipelines to move crude out of major producing regions, including western Canada and the Bakken Shale of North Dakota, so refiners are turning to rail.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#222222][size=1][font=Arial, sans-serif]Transporting crude by rail costs more than shipping it through a pipeline, but refiners can buy North American crude oil at reduced prices, offsetting the higher cost of rail.[/font][/size][/color]

Sydney counts down to last monorail run

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

In just over a month’s time, Sydney’s monorail will make its final run, giving a handful of passengers one last loop around Australia’s largest city from its elevated line. Once seen as the future of urban travel, the monorail has fallen out of fashion among Sydneysiders. Plans to integrate it with regional and light rail systems didn’t happen as planned and in March 2012 the New South Wales (NSW) Government bought the company that operates the system and announced plans to tear it down.

More money poured into plan to bring supersized trains to Melbourne's rail network

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

MORE money has been poured in a plan to bring supersized trains to Melbourne's rail network, which the Opposition claims has been mothballed. The Government announced in May 2011 planning for 33 promised high-capacity trains would begin. This year’s budget contained $2 million for the same project, prompting the Opposition to claim the work hadn’t been done.

Opposition queries private involvement in rail

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

The State Opposition is calling on the Government to confirm whether the state's transport system could move to private hands. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday urged the Government to make tough spending decisions ahead of the August state budget. One of the chamber's proposals was for the private sector to deliver and operate state transport projects such as the airport rail and light rail system. The Government has previously said it would consider private investment for its light rail project.

German railways to use mini drones to stop graffiti

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2013 by 9034 in International Rail News

GERMANY'S railway operator plans to deploy mini drones to catch vandals who deface its trains with graffiti, with the aerial vehicles shooting thermal images of its train depots at night

The Baltimore Train Derailment Pictures Are Terrifying

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Times New Roman', Times, serif]A derailed train just outside the hub of Baltimore sent a huge plume of smoke into the sky Tuesday afternoon that could be seen from downtown, as buildings shook from miles away and residents feared the worst from schools and office buildings across the city. [/font][/size][/color] [b][color=#000000][size=2][/size][/color][/b] [b][color=#000000][size=2][font=Times New Roman', Times, serif][i]Update[/i][/font][/size][/color][/b][color=#000000][size=2][font=Times New Roman', Times, serif]: [/font][/size][/color][url=http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2013/05/28/breaking-cargo-train-derailed-in-east-baltimore-county/][color=#000000][size=2][font=Times New Roman', Times, serif]The local CBS station reports[/font][/size][/color][/url][color=#000000][size=2][font=Times New Roman', Times, serif] that a tractor trailer collided with a cargo train around 2 p.m. in the Rosedale area of Baltimore, sending the train off the tracks and into the surrounding area. There have been no injuries reported so far, but things are still early. [/font][/size][/color][url=http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bal-train-derails-in-white-marsh-20130528,0,6849185.story][color=#000000][size=2][font=Times New Roman', Times, serif][i]The Baltimore Sun[/i] reports hazardous material teams[/font][/size][/color][/url][color=#000000][size=2][font=Times New Roman', Times, serif] are on the scene. The [/font][/size][/color][i][color=#000000][size=2][font=Times New Roman', Times, serif]Sun[/font][/size][/color][/i][color=#000000][size=2][font=Times New Roman', Times, serif] is also reporting several buildings collapsed after the explosion happened. [/font][/size][/color]

Will Abbott copy Fortescue and sell rail assets?

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

While it is by no means certain that Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party will win government at the upcoming election, the odds would certainly seems to be stacked against Prime Minister Gillard at this stage.  With the high probability of a change in government in September, investors are considering how that might change the investment landscape. A recent article in The Australian Financial Review speculated that shadow treasurer Joe Hockey had identified the interstate railway asset Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) as a potentially saleable asset. The ARTC owns and manages 8500 km of rail tracks spanning from WA, through SA, Vic, NSW and up to Qld. The public accounts show that last year it made $265 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and impairments. Ascribing a multiple of 10 times to these assets, would suggest a sale price of over $2.6 billion, however this would undervalue the assets which are valued on the books at $4.2 billion and include over $1 billion in recent capital expenditure.

Transport head confirms rail funding delay

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

Plans to postpone federal funding for Sydney's Parramatta-Epping rail line have been confirmed during a parliamentary hearing in Canberra.

'Cut and cover' tunnel an option for light rail project

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

SYDNEY'S light rail project could yet include a tunnel – but further east than Surry Hills residents might prefer. Transport for NSW said in an email to Action for Public Transport that a "cut and cover" tunnel has been recommended for the route as it passes through Moore Park.

The rail line slower than a horse and cart

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

In 1938, when my grandparents bought acreage on the edge of Oatlands golf course in Dundas in north-western Sydney, they arrived at their new home in a horse and sulky. The neighbouring dairy farmers, the Bells, laughed at this outmoded form of transport. The electrification of parts of the Carlingford line train line between Clyde and Rosehill racecourse, which had happened in 1936, made the Bells buoyant about the prospect of the region's transport future. “You'll be doing away with that horse and sulky,” they told them, “the train line will soon be electrified all the way from Parramatta to Epping and then you can go all the way to Central.” That was 75 years ago.

Rail centenary banners find new homes

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

REVELERS at the Centenary of Rail celebrations earlier this month may have noticed two blue banners celebrating the event.

Rail centenary banners find new homes

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by in New South Wales Rail News

REVELERS at the Centenary of Rail celebrations earlier this month may have noticed two blue banners celebrating the event.

Julia Gillard shelves $2b west Sydney rail link - report

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

FEDERAL transport minister Anthony Albanese has defended his decision to delay $2 billion in funding for the long-promised Parramatta to Epping rail link until at least 2019, arguing the NSW Government had rejected the offer. The Gillard Government quietly shifted the funds for the $2.6 billion, 14KM rail line to the Nation Building 3 fund, which is for infrastructure projects not expected to be built until between financial years 2019 and 2024. "The state government has refused to go ahead with this project,'' Mr Albanese said.

Julia Gillard shelves $2b west Sydney rail link - report

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by in Cityrail News

FEDERAL transport minister Anthony Albanese has defended his decision to delay $2 billion in funding for the long-promised Parramatta to Epping rail link until at least 2019, arguing the NSW Government had rejected the offer. The Gillard Government quietly shifted the funds for the $2.6 billion, 14KM rail line to the Nation Building 3 fund, which is for infrastructure projects not expected to be built until between financial years 2019 and 2024. "The state government has refused to go ahead with this project,'' Mr Albanese said.

Illawarra City Rail train seats set for first deep clean in decade

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

There's a good chance your Illawarra City Rail train hasn't had a thorough cleaning for ten years, but that's set to change.

Banff Springs Hotel, a rail baron's castle of dreams, celebrates 125 years

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

In early 20th-century books, it was described as a “stately pile,” and “a most sumptuous affair,” before being christened the [url=http://www.calgaryherald.com/travel/Banff+Springs+Hotel+rail+baron+castle+dreams+celebrates+years/8432294/story.html]Castle in the Rockies[/url]. When first built in 1888, the Victorian-styled structure looming above the Bow River was an anomaly in Banff, which only had a few log structures, dirt streets and mountain men eking out a living as best they could. One British writer who worked on the railway in 1883 and returned four decades later went so far as to say it didn’t seem real.

Banff Springs Hotel, a rail baron's castle of dreams, celebrates 125 years

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 by in International Rail News

In early 20th-century books, it was described as a “stately pile,” and “a most sumptuous affair,” before being christened the [url=http://www.calgaryherald.com/travel/Banff+Springs+Hotel+rail+baron+castle+dreams+celebrates+years/8432294/story.html]Castle in the Rockies[/url]. When first built in 1888, the Victorian-styled structure looming above the Bow River was an anomaly in Banff, which only had a few log structures, dirt streets and mountain men eking out a living as best they could. One British writer who worked on the railway in 1883 and returned four decades later went so far as to say it didn’t seem real.

FMG puts $576m cost on rail access

Posted Thursday, 30 May, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Fortescue Metals Group's infrastructure arm has told Brockman Mining it could cost up to $576 million a year to access part of its Pilbara rail line, putting itself on a collision course with Brockman and the State's economic regulator. Documents released to _WestBusiness _ by The Pilbara Infrastructure late yesterday show the Fortescue subsidiary has set a high price on potential access to its rail line, quoting a minimum fee of $73.4 million a year for access to 196.5km of its lines, and a ceiling price of a massive $575.6 million a year.

All aboard for high-speed rail campaign

Posted Thursday, 30 May, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

WAGGA City Council has joined a new high-speed rail lobby group, which will create a strategic memorandum of understanding (MOU) between councils positioned along the proposed Campbelltown to Albury corridor.  Formed in February at a forum hosted by Goulburn Mulwaree Council and a private consortium, Chicago Freight Car Leasing, the group will lobby state and federal governments to view high-speed rail as a national priority.  Councillor Greg Conkey said it was important the creation of the link was put on the front-burner due to the latest high-speed rail maps indicating a station would be built in Wagga.

Scone rail solutions on show

Posted Thursday, 30 May, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

OPTIONS proposed to solve Scone’s rail level crossing bottleneck will be on display today at an information session at Scone Motor Inn from 11.30am to 2.30pm. Roads and Maritime Services staff will make a presentation at 12.30pm and answer questions.  The presentation will also be on their website.

Concerns over leaked draft train timetable

Posted Thursday, 30 May, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

Hunter transport advocates will take their concerns about a draft rail timetable to the government next week after a leaked version left the region disappointed. The Hunter Commuter Council says the draft has several problems including connectivity issues and slower journey times. It says the government maintains the leaked version is not the final document and was invited to make comments towards the upcoming timetable due in October.

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