A WOMAN who claimed to witness oral sex being performed on a busy Perth train has now told authorities she did not see the incident. The claims sparked an investigation by the Public Transport Authority, who spent more than 100 hours reviewing CCTV footage to verify the allegations. PTA Spokesman David Hynes said train guards were interviewed as part of the investigation, but they found “no evidence” of the incident.
COMMUTERS are helping police crack down on crime on trains and at railway stations. Images of alleged offenders displayed on video screens at Elizabeth and Adelaide railway stations has led to the identification of 25 people, while a further 35 have been identified via the SA Police Facebook page. Police figures show 94 crimes were reported along the Gawler railway line between March 1 and July 30 this year. Thirty offences were on trains, while 64 were reported at stations and interchanges.
Tony Abbott has confirmed there will be no Commonwealth money for commuter rail projects if he wins the election, directly contradicting Premier Denis Napthine's claim that the federal Opposition Leader's stance on public transport had ''softened''. Desperate to head off a road versus rail debate, Dr Napthine said he had been reassured in private conversations that Mr Abbott was open to the idea of funding the metro rail tunnel from South Kensington to South Yarra. ''I've certainly had some discussions about Tony Abbott's issue with rail tunnels and he has softened, and he has indicated to me that they are prepared to have ongoing discussions on key infrastructure like the metro rail tunnel,'' Dr Napthine said.
The Napthine government's proposed $8 billion east-west tunnel project ''just doesn't make sense for us'', CityLink operator Transurban has said. Transurban chief executive Scott Charlton said on Thursday the project did not suit his company's ''strategic approach and risk profile''. And he cast doubt on the government's proposed funding model for the project. ''It just doesn't work for us the way they have proposed it,'' he said. Transurban - Australia's largest toll road operator - had been expected to show interest in the east-west project because it would connect with CityLink.
The Public Transport Users’ Association has criticised Metro security officers who restrained two 15-year-old girls on Wednesday afternoon at Flinders Street Station. The incident shows several staff lying on one of the girls for more than five minutes to subdue her. Both girls sound distressed and scream abuse throughout the incident. Metro security staff were not trained to deal with the incident properly, PTUA president Tony Morton said.
The Victorian Public Transport Users Association says it is dealing with an increasing number of people complaining about the V/Line train service between Albury and Melbourne. The association says a number of trains have been replaced with buses over recent weeks as the Australian Rain Track Corporation (ARTC) continues to work on repairing the line. The association's regional spokesman, Paul Westcott, says it has become a lotto draw, with passengers not knowing if they will be travelling on a train or a bus.
There were 110 sightings for this week. This is the same number of sighting as last week, making a total of 3638 sightings for this year to date. On day 215 last year we had recorded 3599 sightings. This is 39 sightings up on the same time last year.
The state government may alter its election promise to build a $250 million train line to Avalon Airport, and instead create a cheaper ''light rail'' link from Melbourne's south-west. The Coalition went to the 2010 state election pledging to build a direct train line linking Avalon to Melbourne and Geelong, and committed $50 million in the first term for design, planning, land acquisition, and preliminary construction. But department documents show the government is now considering other options to meet interim demand, such as light rail, buses, or ''driverless transport options which are used at many airports around the world''. Avalon chief executive Justin Giddings said he had discussed the light rail option with Transport Minister Terry Mulder.
A SUNSHINE Coast rail standards advocate holds high hopes for the new Queensland Rail chief to deliver a better deal for the region's commuters. Sunshine Coast rail advocate Jeff Addison said previous conversations with the new CEO Glen Dawe were promising. He hopes with Mr Dawe at the helm of the rail company, the Sunshine Coast would have a look-in for more efficient scheduling and the north coast rail duplication, which have been the bane of existence for commuters.
HUNDREDS of cars could be taken off the Bruce Highway north of Brisbane when the long-awaited Moreton Bay Rail Link opens in late-2016. The firm that built Brisbane Airportlink, Thiess Contractors, was yesterday awarded the $1.1 billion contract to build the 12.6km rail line between Kippa-Ring, on the Redcliffe Peninsula, and Petrie.
A transport industry lobby group is calling on the Victorian Government to improve transport options to Melbourne Airport. The Tourism and Transport Forum says the Tullamarine Freeway should be widened to six lanes and the existing skybus should be given priority on the freeway.
High-speed rail that runs at 450km/h and offers travel times of less than three hours between the major eastern seaboard capitals would be a major priority of the Australian Greens. The third force in Australian politics will pledge on Tuesday to use its numbers to force the pace on the design work and corridor acquisition for a high-speed rail link between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane. It says the project would radically reduce emissions, and return $2.30 to the economy for every dollar invested. Greens leader Christine Milne and deputy leader Adam Bandt pushed Julia Gillard's government to complete the scoping work that was released early this year.
KEVIN Rudd will reach out to commuters with a warning that Brisbane's Cross River Rail will not be built and another $6 billion in federal road funding for Queensland could be shelved if he loses the election. In a bid to win over electorates in his home town, Mr Rudd will use his first full day after the writs were issued for the September 7 election to campaign on rail and road funding.
NORTHERN mayors are calling for an election commitment from both major parties to fast track the electrification of the entire Gawler rail line. Playford, Salisbury and Gawler leaders say the project, which has been costed at more than $300 million, is needed to support the north's population growth. Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said the state and federal governments had "dropped the ball" on the rail line. "If they are fair dinkum about getting more people on to trains, helping our environment, having quicker, better public transport, then it can't stop at Dry Creek," Mr Docherty said.
A community group dedicated to preserving north Queensland's rail history has welcomed Townsville City Council buying the old rail yards. The council yesterday approved a decision to buy the site from the State Government for $20,000. It has also purchased the old TAFE campus on the corner of Stanley and Walker streets for more than $5.5 million.
The Napthine government has foreshadowed tough new laws to prevent industrial strife hampering construction of the east-west link, setting the scene for a showdown with unions ahead of the 2014 state election. With the state opposition opposed to the $6 billion to $8 billion tunnel, Treasurer Michael O'Brien warned there was no turning back, vowing that contracts to build the road would be locked in just weeks before the state election. Although Victoria transferred its industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth during the Kennett years, it is believed the Napthine government will considering introducing major-projects legislation designed to limit the scope for industrial or legal action.
A fire on a freight train has closed central Victoria's main railway line. The Country Fire Authority (CFA) says a locomotive caught fire near Castlemaine about 3:30am (AEDT). No-one was hurt. The CFA's Bruce Quarrier says the fire started just as the train was entering a tunnel.
Melbourne and Swiss architectural team HASSELL, Herzog & De Meuron has won the state government's $1 million competition to redesign Flinders Street Station, being awarded for a vision that includes an amphitheatre by the Yarra River, a marketplace and an art gallery. "We wanted to turn Flinders Street Station into a destination to be enjoyed, rather than a place to hurry through," Hassell principal architect Mark Loughnan said. The winners beat five other short listed designs and 118 competition entrants.
THEY say nothing lasts forever and for the world-renowned Sunlander rail journey, that is now true. The Sunlander's 1700-km journey down the east coast of Queensland will end next year, opening the tracks to a new modernised fleet. The Cairns-to-Brisbane iconic rail journey will be renamed the Spirit of Queensland, Transport Minister Scott Emerson will announce on Thursday8/8, and be home to three new tilt trains. The trains - one new, two refurbished - will start journeys in late 2014. Mr Emerson said the new fleet was part of a $200 million boost in long distance travel.
[color=#000000][size=3][font=Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It is an interesting time in Australian Politics. Some may not agree but in my view we are in a period of political wilderness. We struggle as Australians to understand why poor decision making flows from Canberra and the respective state and territory governments around our country.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]We struggle to understand why we can't get what we need and why can't we actually get the right projects off the ground, projects which are good for this country. [/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The answer is of course economic and fiscal rationalism benefiting those organisations who choose to rely upon it. We continue to fall behind the rest of the developed world on many critical issues including infrastructure and education. Organisations and politicians don't always have our best interests at heart.[/font][/size][/color]
The Property Council says it appears the State Government is moving ahead with plans to deliver light rail for Newcastle with the appointment of a project director and the release of two tenders.
[left]THE Queensland government has approved Clive Palmer's $6.4 billion coal mine and rail project in the state's west. [/left] Mr Palmer's company, Waratah Coal, is planning a massive new mine and associated infrastructure near Alpha in the Galilee Basin. He says the project will create 6000 jobs during construction and 2460 jobs during operation “in a massive boost to the state and national economies”. A rail line between the mine and the Abbot Point port, south of Townsville, is part of the project. Queensland's co-ordinator-general today said he had evaluated Waratah's environmental impact statement, and approvals had been given subject to strict development and operating conditions. The Queensland government says if those conditions are met there could potentially be two major coal railways between the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point.
TREASURER Troy Buswell will turn to the private sector to help meet the cost of his government's $4 billion rail projects. Mr Buswell today insisted the $1.8 billion light rail and $1.895 billion Airport Rail Link would be built, regardless of private investment. But he confirmed he was investigating private investment options to ease the burden. Treasurer Troy Buswell announced today the timetables for the light rail and airport rail link projects had been pushed out from 2018 to 2019. Work on both rail projects would begin in 2016.
TRAFFIC through Geelong's port is set to quadruple under a bold blueprint for Corio Bay. The plan would see 60 million tonnes of goods move through the port every year with massive cargo ships berthing on our northern shores. The council will vote next week on the plan, which would see Geelong secure its position as the second biggest port in the state.
There were 110 sightings for this week. This is the same number of sighting as last week, making a total of 3748 sightings for this year to date. On day 222 last year we had recorded 3739 sightings. This is nine sightings up on the same time last year.
The former Victorian premier who made his political mark as a debt-busting crusader for small government and privatisation has urged the Napthine government to borrow whatever it takes to build a comprehensive underground rail system for Melbourne. Former Liberal leader Jeff Kennett told Fairfax Media that an expanded metro network was Melbourne's top infrastructure priority. ''There's not a major world city that doesn't have one.'' He said future generations would appreciate that earlier governments had had the foresight to borrow while interest rates were low and build public transport. ''In 100 years people won't care about how much it [the rail system] cost.''
Police are appealing for public help to identify an elderly woman who was badly injured when she was hit by a tram in Melbourne's east. The woman was crossing the road near the corner of Harp Road and High Street, Kew, when she was struck by the tram just before 8am on Tuesday. She was transported to Royal Melbourne Hospital where she remains in a critical condition. Police believe the woman is aged between 70 and 80. She has short brown hair, is about 150 centimetres tall and has a medium build.
THE number of commuters slipping, tripping and falling at and on train platforms and concourses has almost doubled in two years, figures show. Transport Safety Victoria said there were 550 incidents in 2012-13, compared with 285 in 2010-11. One woman broke her leg after tripping on her husband's luggage at Southern Cross Station, while another broke her ankle running to catch the train at Narre Warren station. Of the 1284 slips, trips and falls on Metro and V/Line platforms in the past three years, Flinders St (132), Parliament (84) and Southern Cross (53) were the worst locations.
NEWCASTLE'S rail debate has returned to City Hall, with a Newcastle councillor alleging lord mayor Jeff McCloy overemphasised the role of the line's removal in $300 million of investment at a summit last month.
Melbourne Metro is the number one rail project for Victoria, a $9 billion north-south tunnel through the city centre that would add capacity for an extra 24,000 passengers an hour. It has been backed by the Rudd government and federal advisory authority Infrastructure Australia, but according to Premier Denis Napthine it is the right project, but at the wrong time and with the wrong name. "I think we've got to find a better name for it because that is a misnomer," Dr Napthine said of Melbourne Metro on Tuesday. "We are determined to build that rail capacity project. We're doing geotechnical work on it at the moment, it is essential for rail freight, for regional rail services and for metro rail services," he said.
Melbourne's truck traffic is expected to more than double within 30 years, threatening to choke roads and deliver an economic blow to the state unless action is taken soon. Planners have warned that the heavy traffic growth will make Melbourne less liveable without the construction of more roads and rail lines. A confidential draft of the state government's Victorian freight plan, obtained by The Saturday Age, predicts freight truck trips on Melbourne's roads will surge from 290,000 a day to almost 650,000 in three decades.
Premier Denis Napthine has declared his government is committed to the Melbourne Metro rail project – just not now, and not with its current name. He said the $9 billion north-south tunnel, which would run through the city centre and have capacity to carry 24,000 passengers an hour, needed a name that better reflected its importance to Victoria beyond carrying passengers through the CBD.
The rail operator whose tanker train blew up in a Quebec town last month, killing 47 people, will be shut down because the firm does not have enough insurance to pay clean-up costs and other damages. The Canadian transport regulator says it has ordered Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway's (MMA) local subsidiary to begin shutting down its operations a week after the company filed for bankruptcy protection. The closure comes as a result of that application revealing that MMA's insurance only covered liabilities of up to $27.6 million. The repairs and clean-up of the July 6 derailment, [url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-08/railway-in-deadly-quebec-explosion-files-for-bankruptcy/4873272]which destroyed parts of the town of Lac Megantic[/url], are expected to cost more than $223 million.
A dedicated inland rail line for freight is now a much more viable option which should be placed much higher on the infrastructure plans of both sides of politics, according to the [url=http://www.ara.net.au/]Australasian Railway Association[/url]. While the inland freight line has long been dismissed as too expensive, the chairman of the ARA, former Labor finance minister Lindsay Tanner, said on Tuesday that an extensive investment program over the past five years by the federal government meant that large sections of the rail line had now been put in place. There was only an area in southern Queensland that needed to be addressed before the inland corridor could be completed.
A STATE government blueprint for freight networks lists better road maintenance as a critical priority and recognises the south-west’s key role in agriculture, timber and minerals industries. The Freight State plan released this week also looks at improving rail, port and air infrastructure for freight and logistics towards 2050 and beyond. While most of the big projects will be geared around expansion of the Port of Melbourne and Port of Hastings, the regional areas rate highly.
An Australian-designed safety device that warns rail workers about oncoming trains is being launched this week, after months of trials on Hunter Valley rail lines. The 'Track Awareness Support System' or TASS is a portable safety beacon that links into the Australian Rail Track Corporation's 3G national train communications network. It has been trialled in several locations including in the Hunter Valley, where two rail maintenance workers were killed by a coal train near Singleton while working on the tracks in 2007.
THE candidates jostling to win Kingston both say extending the southern rail link is too far down the track to make a federal funding commitment. The Southern Times Messenger asked Liberal candidate Damien Mills and sitting member, Labor's Amanda Rishworth, if they would push for funding for three projects put up by Onkaparinga Council. On the council's funding wish list is the extension of the commuter rail line from Seaford to Aldinga. Mr Mills said the Aldinga rail extension was a State Government project and it was not slated for construction for 20 years.
TRAINS are expected to return to service between Traralgon and Bairnsdale by the end of October with rail grinding works set begin next month. Deputy Premier and Gippsland South MLA Peter Ryan said V/Line expected the rail grinder to arrive from Austria at the Port of Melbourne on Thursday, September 19 with work to begin on Tuesday, September 24.
EASTERN Australia's largest grains handler GrainCorp has urged governments to invest in rail infrastructure to benefit more greatly from China's growing demand for the nation's food. [url=http://www.afr.com/]The Australian Financial Review[/url] reported on Wednesday that China was poised to become the biggest buyer of the nation's wheat, leapfrogging Indonesia and South Korea. More than 2 million tonnes of wheat from this year's yet-to-be-harvested crop has already been sold to Chinese buyers.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced the NSW Government will make trains at Redfern Station accessible to customers in wheelchairs and parents with prams for the first time. Ms Berejiklian said the improvements were part of the $770 million Transport Access Program – a NSW Government initiative to deliver real improvements for public transport customers which has more than 100 projects underway or completed.
Heritage Express will be operating the Legend of Steam Riverina Tour with Steam Locomotive 3642 from August 29th - September 1st 2013. From Thursday 29th - Friday 30th August, Heritage Express will be running the Riverina Steam Safari Tour. An Express Diesel Loco will haul the train from Sydney - Picton, then 3642 will take over the train from Picton. The train will make its way along the Southern Highlands Line to Goulburn, where the train will stop at Goulburn where passengers can have at the historic Steam Mill Restaurant. After Goulburn, the train will continue it's journey through Yass, Harden and Cootamundra. The next morning, 3642 will haul it's train from Cootamundra to Junee, then it will travel on the branch line for a whistle stop at Coolamon. 3642 will then return back to Junee station. Then the XPT will take the passengers from Junee back to Sydney.
A BIZARRE incident caused havoc for commuters from Perth's northern suburbs by bringing the rail and freeway system to a virtual standstill late yesterday. Train services on the Joondalup line were disrupted for about two hours last night during peak hour traffic when a motorist crashed on the freeway and then walked onto the rail line and was killed. The male driver had been travelling south on Mitchell Freeway, when he veered off and hit a bank. He was then seen walking across the freeway onto the rail line into the path of a train.
A train derailment near Ouyen, south of Mildura, this week highlighted the issues facing regional Victoria's rail network. The incident delayed citrus bound for export and prompted Ken Wakefield, the managing director of a freight transport company, to call on the state government to upgrade the region's train tracks. "I get really concerned if government doesn't take the steps appropriate to ensure that we can get this cargo to market," he said. "There's other suppliers that can supply these markets as well. "We need to have an efficient and reliable rail freight network in Victoria."
The O'Farrell government and Transport for NSW should release analysis proving single-deck trains are a better fit for Sydney than double-deckers with more seats, transport experts say. Sydney's train plan, released last year by Premier Barry O'Farrell and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, commits to converting about a third of Sydney's rail system to single-deck trains.
The Latrobe Valley could become the rail freight gateway for Gippsland businesses transporting goods to port before the year is out, through an inter-modal precinct at the Maryvale paper mill. Coming as part of a recently signed rail freight contract with Qube Logistics, Australian Paper has agreed to allow the company to develop a third-party rail freight agreement, for which it has already begun seeking proposals. Under the plan, businesses will be able to truck goods to the proposed terminal, the exact location for which is yet to be determined, where they will be transferred into 40 foot shipping containers for rail freight onto the Port of Melbourne and beyond.
Gheringhap Sightings will be off the air for at least two weeks, as tomorrow I am having a knee replacement. See you all on the other side. There were also a range of camera upgrades over the Saturday as bevans and michelle12 were here upgrading the setup for HD. Previews can be found at: http://www.railpage.com.au/flickr/tag/railpage:railcam=4/ and also http://www.railpage.com.au/flickr/tag/railpage:railcam=3 see the forums for more details. There were 101 sightings for this week. This is nine sighting less than last week, making a total of 3849 sightings for this year to date. On day 229 last year we had recorded 3875 sightings. This is now 26 sightings down on the same time last year.
The pot of gold the Napthine government is splashing on the Frankston railway line will soon lead to rainbows. "Rainbow boards" - multi-coloured, live service information screens that are a feature of the London Underground - are coming to Melbourne's rail network too, starting with the line that helped deliver the Coalition to government. Frankston line passengers will be the first in Melbourne to get the London-style information boards, when they are installed as part of the three-year, $100 million bayside rail project the government announced in May. It is expected rainbow boards will eventually appear at all Melbourne stations as part of a new, city-wide system to inform passengers on the status of the public transport network.
A manufacturing operation established in Taree in 1975 is set to close in October with over 130 job losses. The U-G-L rail facility is on a 54 hectare site next to main north coast rail line. It has produced rail and mining related products for companies like Xstrata and Railcorp and has exported to areas including China, South Africa and Egypt. The closure is said to be largely in response to a slowdown in the manufacturing sector.
A FIGHT between two Protective Services Officers (PSOs) reportedly led to the two men unleashing their capsicum spray on each other at a Melbourne train station. The incident is believed to have taken place in the last two weeks and was reported by 3AW. The Herald Sun has been told the two PSOs were of Indian descent.
[b]TWO minor party Federal Election candidates for McEwen have pledged commitment to lobbying for a rail extension to Mernda and beyond.[/b] If elected, Palmer United Party candidate Trevor Dance promised to push the State Government to act on the extension all the way to Whittlesea township.
Transwa AvonLink and MerredinLink Services will be changing effective December 30[color=#333333][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]th [/font][/color]2013. The AvonLink train between Northam and Perth is to be replaced with a road coach service, which will operate twice as often as the current train.
A POLITICAL party established for the sole purpose of pushing for an east coast high-speed rail link says the September 7 election will be an "unofficial referendum" on the issue. The Bullet Train for Australia Party launched its election campaign on the lawns of Parliament House on Tuesday. It used the launch to unveil its plans for the first stage of the link between Melbourne and Newcastle, which it claimed would cost just 1% of federal and state budgets during the next five years and would be ready to go by the end of 2018.
The Napthine government is facing growing local government opposition to its east-west link, with a key south-eastern council covering Victoria's most marginal state electorate warning the road will delay public transport projects for years. The City of Glen Eira - headed by Liberal mayor Jamie Hyams - has unanimously passed a motion warning that the $6 billion to $8 billion project will offer the local area offer ''little benefit''. ''The east-west tunnel will effectively absorb funds for major transport infrastructure in Melbourne for many years, possibly delaying projects that potentially benefit Glen Eira,'' the motion says. The council wants the government to divert the money to fix dangerous level crossings and build the $9 billion metro rail tunnel.
[b]A scathing report on transport failures has been tabled in State Parliament by the Victorian Auditors-General Office (VAGO).[/b] The report says, “over many years, the state has failed to deliver the transport infrastructure and services needed to support rapidly growing communities. This is adversely impacting accessibility, and risks the future liveability of metropolitan Melbourne. “Urgent action is required to address this serious problem. Inadequate public transport and growing gaps in the road network in these communities are creating barriers to mobility, including access to critical services, education and employment opportunities.”
Train services have resumed after a man in his 30s was assaulted and thrown onto the train tracks in Melbourne's north. Services to Keon Park, in Thomastown, were suspended while emergency services attended to the man who was discovered lying unconscious on the tracks. Train services have now resumed between Bell and South Morang but trains will not stop at Keon Park due to a police request.
Queensland’s rail operator has begun an overhaul of its rostering solution that will see it consolidate workforce management across three discretely operating divisions. Queensland Rail has [url=https://secure.publicworks.qld.gov.au/etender/tender/display/tender-details.do?id=9938&action=display-tender-details&returnUrl=%2Ftender%2Fsearch%2Ftender-search.do%3Faction%3Dadvanced-tender-search-open-tender%26amp%3BchangeLevel%3D%26amp%3Binputlist%3Dha]called on providers[/url] to pitch their designs as part of the first procurement stage of its workforce management system replacement. The current systems architecture at Queensland Rail is siloed between the service delivery, rollingstock maintenance and train operations branches of the organisation, and is hampered by inflexible and legacy applications. The train service delivery branch is looking to phase out the 10 year-old sapiens system it uses to generate job cards, and the legacy Rail//Table timetabling tool which it said fails to communicate with other key systems in the cycle.
The manager of a regional business centre has expressed concern over the Western Australian Government's move to cut the AvonLink train service. Transport Minister Troy Buswell says the service, which runs between Midland, Toodyay and Northam, will cease at the end of December because of low passenger numbers. He says it will be replaced by twice-daily bus services. The general manager of the Small Business Centre in Northam, Mike Jose, says the last thing the region needs is more heavy vehicles on Wheatbelt roads.
Thousands of Sydney commuters have had to endure another lengthy journey home after broken down trains and equipment caused significant delays across the CityRail network. Some passengers reported as much as 50 minutes had been added to their regular commute. Signalling lights at Wynyard broke down this afternoon and are still causing delays for passengers travelling out of the city on the Western and Northern Line this evening. Trains travelling from the North Shore into the city are also affected.
The state's Transport Minister has refused to detail what evidence was used to justify the government's change of mind on the feasibility of light rail in Newcastle. Earlier this year the Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said light rail in Newcastle was not economically viable or sustainable given the size of the population. But the government has now committed to building light rail and has called for tenders to explore where the line should go and how it will revitalise the Newcastle CBD.
A truck is stuck beneath an overpass in Goodna, west of Brisbane. The driver was trying to negotiate the 3.8 metre low-level road underpass on Layard Streeet when the truck became stuck. Police are directing traffic around the scene. Goodna councillor Paul Tully said it appeared the truck driver had ignored multiple low-level warning signs before the incident.
The Eastern Suburbs, Illawarra and South Coast railway lines are closed partially between Sutherland and Waterfall because of a freight train breakdown at Loftus.
A maintenance technician at an Ausgrid facility in a Canterbury substation is suspected of causing the power blackout that struck large parts of Sydney on Thursday afternoon, closing roads and rail lines and triggering another peak hour nightmare for tens of thousands of commuters. The fault at the Canterbury subtransmission substation occurred at 4.35pm, at the same time an Ausgrid employee was conducting what a spokesman described as ''urgent'' but unrelated maintenance work. The fault caused a power outage that shut electricity to about 60,000 homes and businesses in the inner west and inner south, suspended services on the Bankstown train line and closed the M5 tunnels at peak hour.
The number of train services on rail networks in Australian cities could eventually increase by 40 per cent because of a recent decision about access to radio bandwidth, operators say. The Australasian Railway Association has retained the use of a crucial radio spectrum that will allow new wireless rail control and safety systems. There had been concern the spectrum would be lost to mobile phone companies when the bandwidth licence expires in 2015. The association says the licence is needed for an upgrade of the nation's rail safety network planned for the next 10 years.
If you book your trip directly with Holidays to Treasure you are entitled to get special offer on booking for luxury train packages or you can avail complimentary night at the ITC Maurya with airport pickup and sightseeing with the English speaking guide.
KEVIN Rudd has sought to re-energise his election campaign today by announcing a fresh Labor commitment to a high-speed rail line along Australia's east coast. The move follows the completion of a $20 million feasibility study, promised by Labor at the last election, which found a high-speed rail link between Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne would cost $114 billion and take 45 years to complete. Mr Rudd today unveiled the next step in Labor's preparations for the project, talking up the capacity of the project to drive jobs creation. However, it was understood the Prime Minister was to stop short of making any definitive commitment to go ahead with what Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese called a “monumental endeavour”. Mr Albanese tweeted earlier this morning: "Releasing High Speed Rail Advisory Group Report today shows a return of $2-10 for every $1 invested on Sydney-Melbourne."
Building the Melbourne Metro rail project would improve train times, tackle disadvantage and boost productivity by almost $400 million, according to high-level advice prepared for state and federal governments. As Premier Denis Napthine pushes ahead with plans for an east-west road between Clifton Hill and Flemington, an economic report has argued in favour of the alternative rail proposal: an underground train line between South Yarra and Kensington. The report was prepared last year for the Council of Australian Governments reform council. It says the Melbourne Metro would improve travel times, reshape employment opportunities, and ''significantly'' mitigate disadvantage in Melbourne's west by giving people more access to work. In turn, labour productivity would increase by about $384 million over the next 30 years, and ''equality of opportunity'' would improve.
Victorians will never get to see the economic rationale for the state's most expensive transport project, with the Napthine government ruling out public release of the business case for the controversial east-west road tunnel, even after contracts are let. Treasurer Michael O'Brien confirmed that the business case for the $6 billion to $8 billion tollway to link the Eastern Freeway and CityLink, will never be made public, citing commercial sensitivity. Secrecy around the business case for the east-west public-private partnership has fuelled concern about the reasoning for a project that the government has struggled to justify. It is also at odds with a call last year by former Kennett government minister Mark Birrell for the release of business cases for PPPs in light of the financial collapse of toll tunnels in Brisbane and Sydney. Mr Birrell is now the head of private infrastructure lobby Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott could have 'all but guaranteed' a win in Brisbane on Sunday if he'd backed the city's proposed cross-river rail plan, argues a lobby group, but he missed the chance. "There were lots of R words - Rudd and Roads, but no Rail" said a disappointed Rail Back On Track's Robert Dow. "We really do need ongoing investment from all levels of Government for urban rail. At the moment we are seeing projects advanced in Perth, Adelaide and regional Victoria (but) Cross River Rail is the number-one priority according to Infrastructure Australia.
KiwiRail’s second generation DL Locomotives were officially launched today in Auckland by the Minister of Transport, Hon Gerry Brownlee. These 20 new locomotives are about to join the other 20 DL’s that have been hauling rail freight for almost two years in the Upper North Island. According to KiwiRail Chief Executive, Jim Quinn, the first ten of these huge machines are already in operation after only being delivered two months ago and several of the second tranche are operational. “We now have over 30 DL Locomotives in operation around the North Island and they have been instrumental in providing enough capacity and grunt to ensure we deliver for our customers,” he said.
An Australian government report recommends a Sydney-to-Canberra high speed rail link be up and running in 17 years, with a $23 billion price tag and a fare of $42 to $69 to compete with the airlines. Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will release the High Speed Rail Advisory Group's findings on Monday, which takes the focus off a 30-year time frame for the overall Brisbane-to-Melbourne project. Drawing on international experience, the report goes for smaller stages to build momentum and garner public support, including the first leg over 64 minutes from Sydney to Canberra. The report's authors say a $23 billion first stage is far less intimidating than the overall $114 billion price tag for the Brisbane-Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne journey.
The Queensland government will pour $17 million into upgrading railway tunnels to increase freight capacity between the Darling Downs and the Port of Brisbane. Transport Minister Scott Emerson said 11 tunnels through the Toowoomba Range and Lockyer Valley would be expanded to allow larger hi cube freight containers to pass through. Darling Downs farmers and the agricultural industry are expected to reap the benefits of the upgrades. "The amount of grain and cotton through the Port of Brisbane increased by 50 per cent last year," Mr Emerson said.
Sharn Juster likes to look up at the stars at night. From where he lives in Warragul they sparkle with an intensity that cannot be matched 100 kilometres away in Melbourne. This ''awesome'' star show is just one of the advantages of life in rural Victoria, and something he happily rediscovered when he moved to Warragul from Caulfield nearly two years ago.
The Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese conducted a whistle stop tour of sites across the Illawarra on Tuesday to help bolster Labor's electoral fortunes. At the centrepiece of a string of announcements covering Gerringong, Shellharbour and Wollongong came a further $50-million dollars for the Maldon to Dombarton rail line. When former Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited Wollongong in October 2011 she committed $25-million for studies to make the project shovel ready. Mr Albanese, who's vast portfolio includes Infrastructure, says the additional seed funding will be used to encourage private investment.
MELBOURNE Airport CEO Chris Woodruff has called for a rail link to be built "sooner rather than later" but warned it wouldn't be a silver bullet. Speaking at the airport's annual stakeholder event, Mr Woodruff said the aviation hub was spending tens of millions to improve access including "the mother of all elevated loop roads" but "there was only so much we can do". "We need on a rail link to Melbourne Airport and we need it sooner rather than later. But a train is not a silver bullet. It won't be enough on its own," Mr Woodruff said.
AN UNDERGROUND freight tunnel will be carved through Brisbane's southside as part of an ambitious $5 billion plan to build an alternative rail line connecting the Queensland capital to Melbourne. The Coalition will today announce $300 million in funding over three years to finalise plans for the 1800km inland track which promises to revolutionise freight movement in the eastern states. Central to the project is 25km of new track between Acacia Ridge in Brisbane's southwest and the Port of Brisbane - mostly underground. It comes just a day after Prime Minister [url=http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/special-features/kevin-rudd-to-move-australian-navy-north-report/story-fnho52jo-1226704659044]Kevin Rudd revealed his own multibillion-dollar plan to relocate Australia's major naval base to Brisbane[/url].
Buses will replace trains on the Albury to Melbourne line today and tomorrow after a fallen tree damaged a train. V/Line is working to repair the locomotive, which was significantly damaged when it hit a tree near Euroa on Friday. The line has been allocated three trains and with another already undergoing repairs, V/Line is unable to run its four daily services.
A group of Wheatbelt residents is circulating a petition protesting against the Western Australian Government's move to cut the AvonLink train service. As a cost-saving measure, and as a result of declining passenger numbers, the Government says the service, which runs between Midland, Toodyay and Northam, will end on December 30.
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Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer says bipartisan support would be needed if a fast rail link down the eastern seaboard is ever to become a reality. Yesterday, the Federal Government pledged $52 million to a fast train between Melbourne and Brisbane, to finalise the track alignment and station locations, as well as a detailed business case.
THE Gold Coast can be delivered a light rail extension from Griffith University to the Helensvale railway station before the 2018 Commonwealth Games for less than $100 million, according to planners. Documents obtained under Right To Information show Transport Minister Scott Emerson, his bureaucrats and Helensvale stakeholders have met privately to discuss a "missing rail link" plan. The landowners' proposal is funding a new route west from the Parklands Drive station along Smith St to Parkwood and north through bushland along the transport corridor by the heavy rail, ending on the eastern side of the train station next to the shopping centre. After briefing by Katarno strategic planners representing the businessmen, the Newman Government has agreed to funding $100,000 to "facilitate the proposal and ensure future transport requirements are not compromised". "At face value, extension of the light rail network as proposed by this development has merit and warrants further investigation," a meeting brief note to Mr Emerson said.
Welcome to [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talbot,_Victoria]Talbot[/url] - population 258 according to the 2011 census - a ''living ghost town'' that doesn't have a sewerage system but is about to get a brand new railway station. V/Line trains are scheduled to stop again at the quiet former gold mining town by year's end after a 20-year absence, and excitement is building among locals who were initially told they would be left out when it was announced in 2008 that the Maryborough line would be reopened. ''It'll be fantastic for the town,'' said Helen Green, owner of second-hand bookstore Slightly Bent Books. ''It's a little village, it's a bit marginal, but we've always been left out a bit.''
Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron believes the latest report on high speed rail, which sets a much quicker timeframe of 17 years for the Sydney-Canberra leg - sets a new benchmark for the transport agenda. The Federal Government's High Speed Rail Advisory Group recommends building a $23 billion link from Sydney to Canberra first, to create enough momentum for the overall project, worth an estimated $114 billion. The latest report says locating a station in Civic, rather than the airport, would deliver $2 billion to $3 billion more in benefits, but Mr Byron says any decision on station locations is premature.
MILLIONS were invested in Victoria's now-faltering freight lines, writes CHRIS McLENNAN It was 8.30am on a chilly, overcast Saturday just a few weeks ago. An empty freight train was making steady progress towards the northern outpost of Mildura to collect a consignment of oranges for a critical export market. The train was travelling slowly after a trip of 486km as it passed through the remote Bronzewing nature reserve, south of Ouyen. Only a few years earlier the Federal and State Governments had poured an impressive $73 million into this freight-only line. In a two-year project ending in 2009, more than 500km of line between Mildura and Geelong was upgraded. Yet at 8.30, the Pacific National train exploded.
Major delays are expected on the Frankston train line and on the Nepean Highway after a truck and a passenger train collided at a level crossing in Melbourne's south-east. The truck driver escaped with only minor injuries after his truck crashed into a train at Bonbeach railway station.
Passengers travelling on the Newcastle & Central Coast Line in both directions are advised to allow additional travel time due to a freight train with mechanical problems at Hawkesbury River earlier.
Borrowing big could be the answer to boosting Victoria's public transport network, according to the state's public transport boss. With a rail expansion "vision" - that includes the multibillion-dollar Melbourne Metro 9 kilometre rail tunnel through inner Melbourne, linking the Sunbury and Pakenham/Cranbourne rail lines, and new lines to Rowville, Doncaster and the airport - Public Transport Victoria boss Ian Dobbs said borrowing should be on the table.
Japan is resuming trial runs for the world's fastest magnetic-levitation train that will complement the Shinkansen bullet-train network when ready in 2027. Central Japan Railway plans to begin work on the 5.1 trillion yen ($51 billion) maglev line between Tokyo and Nagoya as early as April. Trial runs resumed on Thursday after the company spent five years building a 24-kilometre extension of a test track. The trains can run at speeds of up to 500 kilometres per hour. The maglevs will whisk passengers to Nagoya, a city of 2.3 million people, from Tokyo in as little as 40 minutes for the 286-kilometre journey, from as short as 95 minutes now, according to JR Central. Faced with the challenge of tunneling under Tokyo's skyscrapers and Japanese Alps, the project is unlikely to be completed on time even as Japan's population is projected to shrink.
A plan to build Australia's biggest port at Hastings, south-east of Melbourne, relies on also building the state's biggest public transport project, the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel, putting the Napthine government at odds with its federal allies. The federal Coalition has ruled out funding passenger rail projects, including Melbourne Metro, but on Wednesday committed $300 million towards building an inland freight rail line between Melbourne and Brisbane. The Rudd government on Tuesday committed the same amount to early work on the line, which would ultimately cost $5 billion to build. Nationals leader and shadow transport minister Warren Truss said the inland rail line ''has the potential to take up to a million semi-trailers a year off the road by transferring freight that otherwise would have moved by road onto the rail network''.
The Zero Carbon Australia Transport Project is currently completing a report assessing a High Speed Rail service operating from Melbourne to Brisbane via Sydney and Canberra. It is the product of 12 months of joint analysis by researchers from Beyond Zero Emissions, a non-profit climate solutions research organisation and the German Aerospace Centre, Germany’s national research institute. High speed rail in Australia has been discussed for decades. It is widely recognised as a desirable, exciting concept. Anyone who has enjoyed the experience in Europe or Asia is often left asking “Why don’t we have this back home?”. Yet multiple studies and political indecisiveness have made no progress, and positive support for the idea of HSR is often held back by misconceptions about Australia not having enough people to make it viable. The government-commissioned HSR Phase 2 report from AECOM released earlier this year suggested that HSR could pay its operating costs, but only after the $114 billion capital cost had been paid by the government.
THE Greens Party has promised $180 million for a rail line extension to Mernda if elected. Greens lead senate candidate for Victoria Janet Rice and Greens Melbourne candidate Adam Bandt released the party's Fixing Melbourne's Transport plan on Friday, August 30, which prioritises rail investment ahead of roads projects.