News

 

Showing stories from July 2013

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Rail track cleared in Sydney's west

Posted Monday, 8 July, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

Trains are running again on all lines through a western Sydney station, a week after a collapsed wall dumped tonnes of debris onto the tracks.

Oil shipments in focus after Canadian train disaster

Posted Monday, 8 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

The deadly train derailment in Quebec this weekend is set to bring intense scrutiny to the dramatic growth in North America of shipping crude oil by rail, a century-old practice unexpectedly revived by the surge in shale oil production. At least five people were killed, and another 40 are missing, after a train carrying 73 tank cars of North Dakota crude rolled driverless down a hill into the heart of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where it derailed and exploded, leveling the town center. It was the latest and most deadly in a series of high-profile accidents involving crude oil shipments on North America's rail network. Oil by rail - at least until now - has widely been expected to continue growing as shale oil output races ahead far faster than new pipelines can be built. Hauling some 50,000 barrels of crude, the train was one of around 10 such shipments a month now crossing Maine, a route that allows oil producers in North Dakota to get cheaper domestic crude to coastal refiners. Across North America, oil by rail traffic has more than doubled since 2011; in Maine, such shipments were unheard of two years ago.

A tale of two rail lines: Altona slumps while Werribee soars

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Two rail lines diverge in Altona North; some take the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. Four years of patronage data on Melbourne's railway stations reveals that while passenger numbers have soared on the Werribee line, they have collapsed on the Altona Loop line that branches off it. Between 2008 and 2012 - a period when public transport patronage grew in Melbourne - passenger numbers at the Altona Loop's three bayside stations fell 30 per cent, data released by Public Transport Victoria shows.

Traralgon rail line on track for myki ticketing

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The controversial myki ticketing system will be introduced on the Traralgon train line from today. The smart card system is already being used on Latrobe Valley buses and is being progressively rolled out on regional trains.

Brooklyn Man Electrocuted After Urinating on Subway’s ‘Third Rail’

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

A man is dead after urinating on the third rail of a Brooklyn subway track Monday morning, the [url=http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/man-electrocuted-brooklyn-subway-tracks-article-1.1392744]New York Daily News reports[/url]. Police say the victim, Matthew Zeno, 30, and his 26-year-old friend (whose name was not released) were looking for a place to relieve themselves after leaving a bar. At around 3:10 a.m., they ended up on the tracks of a G train stop in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. As he paused to urinate, [url=https://www.facebook.com/matthew.zeno]Zeno[/url] accidentally touched the third rail and was zapped with 625 volts of electricity, according to the New York Police Department and the New York City Fire Department, local NYC news website [url=http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130708/williamsburg/man-killed-his-friend-hurt-electrocution-on-subway-tracks]DNAinfo reports[/url]. When Zeno’s friend tried to help him, he received a much milder electric shock. Both men were sent to Woodhull Hospital, where Zeno died of a heart attack and his friend remained in critical, yet stable condition as of Monday morning.

Memorandum signing significant milestone for rail line

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Expressions of interest for reviving the Blayney-Demondrille rail line can now be called for following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between five regional councils.

'Last-ditch' pitch for valley's brown coal

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Napthine government will try to drum up interest in the vast but carbon-intensive brown coal reserves of the Latrobe Valley through a direct sales pitch to big mining companies. More than a year after it sought expressions of interest in opening up new coalfields in the valley, the government is turning to active promotion of 13 billion tonnes of unallocated brown coal, including to overseas companies. ''This coal resource has been spoken of for decades as being a clear competitive edge [for Victoria],'' said the Deputy Premier and State Development Minister, Peter Ryan. ''We intend to find out the reality of that. That is why we are casting the net as widely as we are and in the way that we are.'' But critics of new coal allocations see the cranked-up sales pitch as an acknowledgement of a dearth of significant commercial interest in brown coal.

Alannah MacTiernan attacks the opposition over its lack of support for public transport

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

LABOR candidate for Perth [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alannah_MacTiernan]Alannah MacTiernan[/url] has launched a comprehensive broadside against the "primitiveness" of the Coalition's attitude to urban planning and what she says is a lack of policy to increase productivity and wealth in major cities. Ms MacTiernan, a former West Australian state planning minister and the Mayor of the town of Vincent, said the Liberals did not understand that to function properly growing cities needed a highly efficient public transport system.

Pilbara rail deal possible: Atlas

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Junior iron ore producer Atlas Iron has insisted that a recent flurry of deals between small iron ore players in the Pilbara has strengthened its ability to secure a deal to transport its iron ore, according to [color=#333333][font=inherit]The Australian Financial Review[/font][/color]. Atlas Iron chairman David Flanagan said deals such as those involving Brockman Mining, Flinders Mines and Fortescue Metals Group and Aurizon have opened-up opportunities for Atlas to exploit third-party infrastructure opportunities.

Oil-by-rail up in Illinois too

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Crude oil has long been transported by rail, but volume has spiked significantly in recent years, driven in large measure by increased shale production through hydraulic fracturing.  Last year, railroads moved 234,000 carloads of crude oil through the U.S., up from 9,500 carloads in 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads. A single carload is equivalent to 600 to 700 barrels of oil. The trend is accelerating, with shipments up 166 percent during the first quarter of 2013 over the same period last year, according to the rail association.

Commuters urged to plan for rail shutdown

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

Transport Minister Troy Buswell has urged Perth commuters to take time to plan around a rail shutdown to allow final work on the new Fremantle rail tunnel as part of the Perth City Link project. Mr Buswell said the tunnel work was pivotal to the Perth City Link project which sinks the Fremantle rail line, reconnecting the city centre with Northbridge for the first time in more than 100 years.

Light rail project boosting Gold Coast coffers

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The CEO of the Gold Coast Light Rail says the project has injected $170 million into the local economy and it will not carry its first passenger for another year. Phil Mumford says 80 per cent of workers employed on the $1 billion first stage, between the Gold Coast University Hospital at Parklands and Broadbeach, live on the Gold Coast.

Ravenshoe Rail's 'Capella' off track again after fire tube blows

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

It was supposed to be a day of celebration, thanking volunteers to their hard work in helping get Ravenshoe Heritage Steam Railway back on track. Instead, the town's iconic blue locomotive, Capella, blew a fire tube and ended up stranded 300 metres from Log Gully Bridge on Saturday.

Oil shipments by rail have increased 28,000 per cent since 2009

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A whopping 28,000 per cent increase in the amount of oil shipped by rail over the past five years is coming under the microscope following the deadly rail blast in Quebec. Canada’s railways have made a determined push to cash in on the country’s crude-oil bonanza, painting themselves as a cost-effective alternative to politically unpopular pipelines like the proposed Keystone XL.

Minister keeps lips sealed as monorail trains removed

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

The process of tearing down Sydney's monorail will start next month, but the Transport Minister will not yet say what the space made available by its removal might be used for. Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, who on Monday handed over the receipts from the monorail's final weekend to five charities, said the monorail trains would be removed from their stabling this week. Two of the carriages from the now dormant monorail line, which closed on June 30, will be housed in Ultimo's Powerhouse museum. But the rest will go the way of the monorail's track, pylons and stations, to be dismantled, recycled for scrap or used for landfill.

Quebec disaster death toll jumps to 13, some 37 still missing

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

The death toll in Quebec's oil train disaster jumped to 13 people on Monday and police said about 37 more people were missing, a sign the derailment and explosion could be the worst accident in Canada since the Swissair crash of 1998. Police said they estimated a total of around 50 people were either dead or missing after the gigantic blast destroyed dozens of buildings in the centre of Lac-Megantic early on Saturday.

Coast railway stations ‘to stay’ amid rumours of cutbacks

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 by Raildave in Queensland Rail News

THE State Government has denied rumours it is planning significant cutbacks to some Sunshine Coast railway stations. The Sunshine Coast Daily received reliable information that there were plans to reduce the staff hours at the Nambour station so that it would no longer be open 24 hours a day.

Metro trains go down wrong tracks

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

For the second time in a week, a Metro train has gone down the wrong tracks. Around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, a train that was marked as an Orange Line train went down the Blue Line tracks. Blue and Orange line trains share a track for portions of the system but they split apart at Rosslyn. The Blue Line heads south to Franconia-Springfield while the Orange Line heads west to Vienna. The train stopped at Arlington Cemetery and passengers were off-loaded and rerouted on another train, according to Metro spokesman Caroline Lukas.

Rail line shelved as bypass route

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 by MikeyJackson in New South Wales Rail News

Councillors voted unanimously this week to reject the disused Canowindra rail line option as a short term heavy vehicle bypass route, opting for the recommended Southern Ring Road corridor.  Councillor Jack Mallon abstained from voting, citing his ownership of land affected  by the proposed bypass route.  The Canowindra Rail Corridor option surfaced as a short term possibility earlier this year, with community feedback at the time stressing the need to move heavy vehicle traffic from the main street as soon as possible.

While the rail shutdowns will cause chaos on the surface, what's happening underground?

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by MikeyJackson in Western Australian Rail News

At 7pm on Friday the Fremantle line will close for five days, while final work is completed on the rail tunnel that will sink the line from Milligan Street to Perth station and pave the way for the City Link project that will join the CBD with Northbridge. "Working with live rail is a risky business," says Anderson. Building the tunnel amongst the maze that is Perth's busy central station, where all five metropolitan service continued to operate, has had numerous challenges.

Rail chief blames engineer for deadly train inferno in Quebec

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A lone engineer failed to set brakes properly on an oil-laden train that derailed and exploded in a small Canadian town, the rail company's head said. The train derailed on a curve and exploded into a huge fireball on Saturday, destroying the centre of the town of Lac-Megantic in Quebec province. The death toll from the incident continues to rise, with 20 people confirmed dead and a further 30 still missing.

Criminal probe in Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train derailment

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by MikeyJackson in International Rail News

CANADIAN authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the fiery wreck of a runaway oil train as the death toll climbed to 15, with dozens more bodies feared buried.            Quebec police inspector Michel Forget says investigators have "discovered elements'' that have led to a criminal probe. He gave no details but ruled out terrorism. Tangled debris and gas leaks hampered rescue workers' search for bodies three days after the crash on Saturday that incinerated much of Lac-Megantic's downtown and raised questions about the safety of transporting oil by rail instead of pipeline.

Underground rail systems a necessary part of sightseeing

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by bevans in Railway Stories

AS MUCH as I dislike using the metro or underground, there is no denying their efficiency in getting you around quickly in a clogged city. People will warn you never to use an underground rail system in a large city - the threat of having your wallet being nicked in the crush or having an unsavoury armpit in your face (think I'd rather have my wallet stolen) - but if you're careful it's the quickest and easiest way to travel. Try sitting in the traffic in Paris, Rome or London in a taxi with the meter ticking over and you'll soon get over your aversion to underground rail travel.

Trains resume on Fremantle line

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Trains have resumed on the Fremantle line after a technical fault forced its closure this morning. The train line was shut down for 1.5 hours.

New CBH Group trains arrive in Esperance port zone

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[b]For most grain growers, a train out-loading wheat wouldn't be much of an unusual sight.[/b] But for about 40 farmers who gathered at the Grass Patch CBH recieval site, 80km north of Esperance yesterday, it was a bit of a novelty. It was the first time the co-operative's new trains had started moving grain on rail in the Esperance port zone.

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