News

 

Showing stories from October 2014

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We’ll hold Labor Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews to Mernda railway promise

Posted Wednesday, 1 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews has taken Labor a step closer to claiming the seat of Yan Yean in November after promising to build a rail extension to Mernda.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Access Denied supporters are now waiting for Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder to follow suit.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]The Liberal Party is yet to announce its policy on the extension, with commuters wanting to know how long they have to wait for a Mulder train to Mernda.[/font][/size][/color]

Rail debacle threatens cup

Posted Wednesday, 1 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]WHEN Newcastle was assessed to be a host city for the Asia Cup in January next year its public transport was a major consideration and the asset of the Intercity rail service to Newcastle Station was a strongpoint.[/font][/size][/color]

Victorians sold out by reckless road contract

Posted Wednesday, 1 October, 2014 by bevans in Opinion

Taxpayers on the hook for decades unless contracts annulled, says PTUA The ‘reckless haste’ to sign East West Link contracts before November’s State election has been slammed by the Public Transport Users Association, who warned the decision could torpedo the state’s transport policy for decades.

‘Albo’ back into rail

Posted Wednesday, 1 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Rail News

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed the appointment of Anthony Albanese as Shadow Minister for Cities to enhance urban efficiency and deliver policies aimed at improving sustainability and liveability in Australian cities. Chief executive officer of the ARA Bryan Nye OAM said he was pleased to see the Federal Opposition remain committed to investment in Australia’s capital and regional cities, particularly on the matter of public transport. “This announcement demonstrates a commitment by Federal Labor to work with state governments and industry to improve our cities by making them more sustainable, productive and public transport focused,” said Mr Nye. “Increasing congestion and carbon emissions are putting too much pressure on the existing infrastructure in our cities, affecting the people living in them, which is why investment from all levels of government into public transport is paramount if Australians want to move freely and efficiently around our major cities in the future.

Backing for rail freight project from Port Yamba to Moree unclear

Posted Wednesday, 1 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

SOME endorsements for an $80 billion rail project pitched to the region are unfounded. Inverell councillor David Jones made a presentation to Armidale Dumaresq Council at its last meeting as a representative of the company Yamba Port and Rail Australia. Mr Jones said, while denying being paid by YPR, he was brought into the project as an engineer by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland.

Leaving on a night train: the best long-distance rail journeys

Posted Wednesday, 1 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Letters to the Editor

The news that [url=http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/12/europe-night-trains-sleeper-service]a worrying number of Europe’s night trains are being shunted off into history[/url], the victim of changing habits and low-cost airlines, was met with dismay by those who find long-distance train travel the finest way to explore the world. We asked [url=https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5412e260e4b0ce3d9c480541]Guardian readers to share their memories of treasured night train journeys[/url], and they didn’t disappoint. For all those desk-bound budding Paul Therouxs out there, the accounts below may inspire you to follow suit.

Major train delays follow death on tracks

Posted Friday, 3 October, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

A person has died after being hit by a train near Toorak station on Thursday afternoon, causing major delays on the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Frankston train lines.

No need for further delay on Rowville rail, says engineer

Posted Friday, 3 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]THE author of the feasibility study into Rowville rail says the line could be built sooner with improvements to signalling systems, despite the State Government maintaining the project is at least 10 years away.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Both Labor and the ­Coalition have refused to make any commitments before the ­November election to build the line, saying the project is not viable until upgrades to the metro system are completed in 2026.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Engineer William McDougal, who headed the recently completed feasibility study into the Rowville line, said it was possible that interim measures — such as improved signalling systems between Caulfield and Huntingdale — would provide the necessary ­capacity improvements.[/font][/size][/color]

Corporate Corruption Walking Tour: Melbourne CBD today

Posted Friday, 3 October, 2014 by bevans in Opinion

The [color=#29303b][size=2][font=Georgia, Times, Times New Roman, sans-serif]Corporate Corruption Walking Tour[/font][/size][/color],[color=#29303b][size=2][font=Georgia, Times, Times New Roman, sans-serif] [/font][/size][/color]highlight of the Spring Political Carnival took place this morning in Melbourne's CBD. Many new protestors, obviously shocked into action by the Government's perfidy in signing the the East-West Link contracts mere weeks before the State Election, swelled our ranks. First stop was the now-familiar 121 Exhibition Street, office of Terry Mulder, who will go down in history as a reviled co-signatary of the abhorrent contracts. 'On yer bike!' is what I want to say to Transport Minister Mulder

Operator seeks help for Logic rail hub

Posted Friday, 3 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

THE Victorian government and Wodonga Council are being courted for financial support for a proposed rail hub at Logic industrial hub to be operated by SCT Logistics. The Border Mail has seen documents outlining the incentives being sought by SCT, which includes the council agreeing to defer the payment for land at Logic, the right to reserve adjacent blocks of land and a multi-year rate holiday.

Inland rail project vital for region's future

Posted Saturday, 4 October, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

AUSTRALIA'S rail boss has declared the Inland Rail project a necessity to ensure the region's agricultural future. CEO of the Australian Rail Track Corporation John Fullerton said a world-class rail system was vital to maintaining the nation's rural growth. "Nobody would argue with the fact that this country needs an efficient transport network to enable us to support our business activities around the country and support our international competitiveness," Mr Fullerton told the Ag in the Asian Century conference. He said the cornerstone to that success was the establishment of the Inland Rail project toward which the Federal Government has committed $300 million.

Smooth railing on Albury-Melbourne line in just 18 more months?

Posted Saturday, 4 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

JUST 18 more months — that’s the latest estimate from the federal government on how much longer track work on the Albury-Melbourne line will take. Yet Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs, who said the Australian Rail Track Corporation was two-thirds the way through its five-year program, conceded there was “much work to be done” in the next 18 months. “Significant progress has been made on the condition of the track between Melbourne and Sydney,” he said.

PSO patrols result in surge in rail-station assault figures

Posted Saturday, 4 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

Assaults at railway stations are at a six-year high, up more than 40 per cent since 2008-09 and up more than 30 per cent since Protective Services Officers began patrolling stations in February 2012. Police say this is because more people are being caught and there are now calls for Protective Services Officers to be given more flexibility to patrol trains and NightRider buses and to operate during the day. Fairfax Media believes the government is in discussions about expanding the role of PSOs, who are currently limited to patrolling stations and railway car parks from 6pm.    Police said about 85 per cent of all crime at public transport locations occurred on the train network.

Fred Nile backs call to delay halt to Newcastle train services until inquiry completed

Posted Saturday, 4 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in New South Wales Rail News

THE man fronting an inquiry into the state government’s handling of contentious high-rise and rail decisions in Newcastle has joined calls to delay the planned halt to city train services until his inquiry’s findings are handed down. Reverend Fred Nile, who will chair the committee running the inquiry, said the government’s move to stop rail services from Boxing Day was being rushed and was ‘‘ignoring the vast amount of concern in the community’’ generated by recent hearings before the ICAC. Arriving in Newcastle on Thursday night ahead of a two-day visit, Rev Nile told the Herald that he had been ‘‘pressured’’ by the state government to oppose the inquiry, and that he hoped to release an interim report on his committee’s findings before Christmas.

It defies Logic not to have a rational debate on rail needs: opinion

Posted Saturday, 4 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

THE Border Mail has this week brought to light confidential negotiations between the Victorian government and the City of Wodonga about subsidising the creation of a rail terminal at the council’s Logic business park. Having a new national freight operator come to Logic might seem the answer to the council’s prayers, given its foray into commercial property development has left ratepayers with a $32 million debt. Yet, there has been no discussion of the business case for a terminal at Logic right now, whether the demand is there to make it viable or how it would commercially survive once subsidies cut out.

I want to see rail case: Bill Tilley

Posted Saturday, 4 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

MEMBER for Benambra Bill Tilley is not prepared to offer “blind support” for the creation of a rail connection to the Logic industrial hub. Mr Tilley said he wasn’t aware of the existence of a feasibility study into the multimillion-dollar proposal which is trying to woo financial support from Wodonga rate- payers and Victorian taxpayers. The Border Mail rev-ealed this week documents existed outlining the incentives being sought by proposed hub operator SCT, which includes the council agreeing to defer the payment for land at Logic, the right to reserve adjacent blocks of land and a multi-year rate holiday.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 4/10/2014.

Posted Sunday, 5 October, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 85 sightings for this week; this is five sightings less than last week, making a total of 4132 sightings for this year to date.

Melbourne Airport CEO’s plea for bipartisan support to make rail line a reality

Posted Sunday, 5 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

PASSENGERS on the long-mooted Melbourne Airport train would arrive next to the main terminal building at an elevated station under plans being investigated. Airport chiefs and Public Transport Victoria are in discussions about three options for the final section of the rail line, which would enter airport land at the end of the 25-minute journey. All options are for above-ground stations, and could include building over the airport’s long-term carpark to get “as close to the main terminal as possible” to boost passenger convenience. Although building an underground route that would finish beneath terminals is also possible, that option looks like being shelved because of high costs.

Paddington rail disaster remembered 15 years on

Posted Sunday, 5 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in International Rail News

[b]Those bereaved by the Paddington train crash are to mark the 15th anniversary of the disaster with a ceremony later.[/b] They will lay flowers at the accident's memorial site high above the railway line at Ladbroke Grove in west London. Just before 08:10 BST on 5 October 1999, 31 people died when two trains collided almost head-on. The subsequent inquiry found the Thames Trains service travelling from Paddington to Bedwyn in Wiltshire had gone through a red signal.

Sydney metro trains to be made near Chennai

Posted Monday, 6 October, 2014 by DesL in New South Wales Rail News

CHENNAI: In two years, Chennai port will be exporting trains to Australia. The Alstom manufacturing facility at Sri City, near Tada on Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border, will be constructing 22 trains consisting six coaches each for the upcoming metro train project in Sydney. Chennai port will ship out the trains by end of 2016. Recently a team of Australian officials visited the unit and were satisfied with the facilities at the unit. Following this the company received go-ahead to manufacture the trains. Incidentally, coaches for Chennai metro will also come from the same facility.

Safer train travel with new rail squad station

Posted Monday, 6 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

THE new railway squad police station at Ipswich railway station is set to drive down crime and increase commuter safety. Up to six police officers are stationed at the new $500,000 Ipswich outpost. They have access to hundreds of cameras across the Ipswich line that are part of 8000 CCTV cameras across the network. This enables them to monitor what is happening on the platforms and respond to any incidents promptly. The railway squad police target anti-social behaviour, property offences and offences against people on trains and at stations.

Napthine Blind To East West Flaws by Andrew Herington

Posted Monday, 6 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The rush to sign a contract for the East West Link has delivered a very poor outcome. The independent Assessment Committee gave the Planning Minister, Matthew Guy plenty of detail about what was wrong with the Linking Melbourne Authority’s design. Yet, in its blind enthusiasm for the project, the Napthine Government has completely ignored this advice and approved the project with some untested and unhelpful changes. The flyover at Hoddle St is now called “The Soundwave” in a rebranding seemingly stolen from the script of the ABC satire Utopia. Instead of five ramps through Royal Park west there are now seven. There is a new ground level road along the Moonee Ponds Creek and a new on ramp from Brunswick Rd. The eastern vent stack has been located in the worst possible location, very close to the Gold St primary school. The inclusion of “vertical gardens” cladding the 30 metre stack will not make the fine particulates being emitted any less polluting.

The sad truth about Melbourne's transport future

Posted Monday, 6 October, 2014 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

Reality check for the people of Victoria: there is no train to the airport "with services every 10 minutes", no tunnel beneath the city connecting Fishermans Bend and St Kilda Road to the CBD. You are being fed a myth. Again. These rail projects are never happening, or at least not for decades. The worse part is millions of dollars that could be invested in better public transport is instead being spent propagating this public transport illusion across television, radio and print media.

Australia’s largest rail freight project on track

Posted Tuesday, 7 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Rail News

INDUSTRY leaders are now actively assessing their capacity to deliver the Australian Government’s iconic  Inland Rail freight project – connecting Brisbane to Melbourne via regional south east Queensland, inland  New South Wales and rural Victoria.

Fix rail, pleads GrainCorp

Posted Tuesday, 7 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

GRAINCORP director Donald McGauchie has blasted governments for failing to invest in critical regional infrastructure, saying it was "crazy" the increasing amount of grain being delivered to the nation's ports using roads instead of rail. Mr McGauchie is chairman of Nufarm and Australian Agricultural Company, and a director of GrainCorp, which plans to spend $200 million over three years to improve its storage and handling infrastructure – its biggest investment in its country network. But unless State and federal governments commit to spending an estimated $50 million to improve dilapidated railways in eastern Australia, farmers are not expected to enjoy a forecast $5 per tonne cut to supply chain costs. This represents about $100 million to farmers each harvest.

Train filmed smashing into stricken truck and derailing in Mer Rouge, Louisiana

Posted Tuesday, 7 October, 2014 by mikado5910 in International Rail News

A couple has [url=http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1942721.htm#1942721]filmed a freight train smashing into a stricken truck[/url] as they were waiting at a level crossing in the United States.

Rail crash report says V/Line and shire failed to act on level crossing concerns

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2014 by waynes in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Investigators have criticised a northern Victorian council and the state's regional rail operator, for not following up concerns about a level crossing before a crash at the site.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In February last year, a semi-trailer lost its load when it collided with a passenger train near Kerang.[/font][/size]

Japan and China are keen to see high-speed rail on east coast

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2014 by waynes in Rail News

Japan and Chinese interests are lobbying for a high-speed service on Australia's east coast, even though the project has receded from the political agenda, according to Canberra Airport. The airport's planning director, Noel McCann, said that during Japan's trade delegation to Australia earlier this year a third of the passengers aboard a chartered plane were visiting in relation to the project, which proposes linking Brisbane to Melbourne with a high speed train, and the first leg between Canberra and Sydney. Mr McCann said Chinese business interests were also continuing and Transport NSW was looking at the Sydney-Canberra corridor. Meanwhile, the Australasian Railway Association has convened an international panel of speakers from Japan, France, China and Spain to speak, on October 27 at Parliament House, on the economic, social and environmental benefits of high-speed rail.

Ley latest to can a rail hub at Logic

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2014 by Michelle12 in Victorian Rail News

THE member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, is the latest to oppose the creation of a rail hub at the Logic industrial estate near Barnawartha. Ms Ley yesterday joined the debate after her state Liberal colleague in Benambra, Bill Tilley, said at the weekend he couldn’t blindly support the hub without seeing a feasibility study into the multimillion-dollar plan, which is seeking financial support from ratepayers and taxpayers. There is already a rail hub in Ms Ley’s electorate at Ettamogah, operated by Colin Rees.

Graffiti vandals are threatening Queensland Rail train guards who witness their attacks with violence

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2014 by waynes in Queensland Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]Graffiti vandals are threatening train guards and tagging trains during daylight hours in increasingly brazen attacks across the Queensland Rail network, according to union officials.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]A 34-year-old man died two weeks ago after falling from the back of a train near Runcorn train station while putting graffiti on a passenger train at 1.30pm.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Employees state secretary Greg Smith said vandals’ attacks on trains no longer took place under the cover of darkness.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]“They are getting more brazen. They know the places where the train stops. It is happening a lot more. They have their spots where they know they can get in,” he said.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]“We’ve also had cases where the train has stopped and the guard has seen them and they have been abused and threatened.”[/font][/size][/color]

Rise above doubters on Doncaster rail, says PTUA

Posted Wednesday, 8 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Study author re-think on Rowville suggests way ahead on Doncaster The Public Transport Users Association has backed a renewed push on rail service to Doncaster Hill, and called for signalling upgrade works on the Dandenong rail corridor to be expanded to include the South Morang and Hurstbridge lines. “We’ve all heard the arguments about there being no room on the network to fit trains to Doncaster, or to Rowville for that matter,” said PTUA President Dr Tony Morton. “But these arguments are now simply out of date.”

Fred Nile has got it wrong on Newcastle rail

Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2014 by waynes in New South Wales Rail News

‘‘WHAT’S the rush’’ was the headline on the front page of the Herald on Friday expressing Reverend Fred Nile’s concern about the imminent removal of the most talked about rail line in Australia.  The decision to remove the rail was not rushed. It has been debated in Newcastle for more than a decade and it was one of the many recommendations in the 2009 Newcastle City Centre Renewal Report. This was produced by the Hunter Development Corporation in conjunction with the then minister for the Hunter Jodi McKay. For most of the 20th century the rail line was the border of Newcastle’s CBD. Now that Honeysuckle has been developed the rail line is a unwanted physical barrier in the CBD.

Culcairn to Corowa rail trail a step closer

Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2014 by waynes in New South Wales Rail News

The establishment of a rail trail from Culcairn to Corowa is a step closer to reality following a visit to the region by a delegation from Rail Trails for NSW. Led by co-ordinator John Moore, the group descended on the region over the October long weekend to scope out the potential route. Following a successful meeting in Culcairn with supporters and the town's business community, Mr Moore is hopeful progress will begin to show on the trail by the end of next month after submitting an application for funding to the state government.

Inland Rail Freight Project looks at national and international companies for construction

Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2014 by Michelle12 in Rail News

The Inland Rail Freight Project is becoming a reality as industry leaders are assessing their capacity to deliver the iconic project.

Freight train drivers report falling asleep on the job

Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2014 by Michelle12 in International Rail News

Train operators in Canada’s burgeoning freight rail industry report falling asleep at the controls and coming to work exhausted at an alarmingly high rate, according to an ongoing CBC News investigation into rail safety. “I have had instances where I have just snapped back into reality, and kind of, for a few seconds, not really realized or recognized where I am,” one Ontario-based CN rail engineer told CBC News, recalling how he’d missed a signal at the controls of a three-kilometre-long train.

First major Melbourne rail line in 80 years still six months off

Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

The stations are complete, the tracks are finished and it's in good enough shape to run test trains at 160 km/h. But Victorians won't be using the Regional Rail Link - a new rail line through Melbourne's west started under John Brumby, largely funded by Canberra, and soon to be completed under Denis Napthine - for another six months. Originally proposed by then public transport minister Lynne Kosky in 2008, it is Melbourne's first new major rail line in 80 years. It includes two new stations: Tarneit, and Wyndham Vale near Werribee.

Byron council considers whole-hearted support for rail trail

Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2014 by Bethungra in New South Wales Rail News

THE PUSH to establish a Northern Rivers Rail Trail will be boosted if a motion to support the trail is voted in at Byron Shire Council's ordinary meeting today. Councillor Sol Ibrahim is calling on fellow councillors to write to Ballina MP Don Page "acknowledging and thanking him" for his efforts to secure funding for the rail trail and vote for the council to "fully support" the plan. Cr Ibrahim says the rail trail will "secure the rail corridor in its entirety in public ownership for future generations", as well as create a new eco-friendly tourism enterprise that will create jobs.

A centenary of rail history in Boorowa

Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2014 by Bethungra in New South Wales Rail News

This Friday, October 10 marks 100 years since the final rail sleepers and line were laid from Galong to Boorowa in 1914.

Three dead in horror crash with tanker on Capricorn Highway

Posted Friday, 10 October, 2014 by Graham4405 in Other Transport News

THREE people are believed to have died in a horrendous traffic crash southwest of Rockhampton last night.

Dallas woman’s desperate call for noise controls on freight trains and trams

Posted Friday, 10 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

A DALLAS woman says calls to protect residents from increasing freight train noise have fallen on deaf ears. Railway Cres resident Gayle Lewis said freight trains ran alongside her home, sometimes more than once an hour, and wants laws introduced to protect those living nearby.

Cash to give new life to Yarrawonga rail station

Posted Friday, 10 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

THE rundown and disused Yarrawonga railway station is set to be turned into a community centre after funding from the state government was announced yesterday. The building was originally constructed in 1888 and will be given new life under the Community Use of Vacant Rail Buildings Program. The estimated cost of the works won’t be known until the project goes to tender in early November, but under the same scheme a similar project in Chiltern attracted almost $900,000.

Rail link hit again as 'rogue' wave halts train at Dawlish

Posted Friday, 10 October, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

The main railway line at Dawlish is still vulnerable to storms, in spite of £35 million of repairs, the WMN has learned. A Cross Country train was halted on Monday after it was hit by a wave at Dawlish, bringing delays of more than 35 minutes to morning commuters. And Network Rail admits that it cannot do anything to prevent similar incidents. A four-mile stretch of track at Dawlish was severely damaged by storms in February this year. Part of the line was left hanging in the air after the sea wall was demolished. The damage caused months of disruption to rail services west of Exeter.

Freight on rail wagons across strait 'obsolete'

Posted Friday, 10 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New Zealand Rail News

Moving freight by rail wagons on Cook Strait ferries was costly and obsolete, says an industry consultant, who believes KiwiRail should dump the idea. KiwiRail's board is expected to decide soon what ship could replace the 31-year-old Cook Strait rail ferry Arahura. Options include another specialist rail ferry or a roll-on, roll-off (non-rail) ship, capable of handling rail freight with a "road-bridging" system - moving freight on and off trucks to cross the Strait. "We are investigating options for our business, including investing to retain Arahura beyond July 2015 or replacing it with another ship," InterIslander general manager Thomas Davis said recently.

Too high? Light rail to cost $90m a kilometre

Posted Saturday, 11 October, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

THE viability of a 23-kilometre, $2 billion stretch of light rail is up for public debate. Sunshine Coast Council has released the findings of initial feasibility studies into the infrastructure proposal. The project, which would rely heavily on state government funding, was estimated to cost $90 million a kilometre to build. The light rail would potentially service Caloundra South, one of three new areas that will hold 60% of the Coast's population growth by 2031, according to the council's $26,000 document.

Memo to Daniel Andrews: voters care about transport after all

Posted Saturday, 11 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

Students of opinion polls know that questions about “issues” need to be handled with care, since voters won’t necessarily tell pollsters what they’re really thinking. Unemployment is a classic example: no one wants to say they don’t care about it, but except in real depression-style conditions, most people are relatively untouched by it. It doesn’t affect people’s votes nearly as much as you would think from looking at the polls. Before the last Victorian election, poll respondents said they were very concerned about public transport. Some commentators, including me, thought maybe this was another “feel-good” issue, where people would say they cared but wouldn’t really let it influence their votes — after all, the large majority of voters in the outer-suburban marginals use public transport rarely, if at all.

East West Link: the case for and against Melbourne's $6.8bn road

Posted Saturday, 11 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

It’s a “congestion buster”, a “game-changer”, a “dud”. It’s a road, the East West Link, the most contentious, emotionally charged flashpoint in next month’s Victorian election. Swirling around the politics, the court challenges and the price tag is a question: is this 18km toll road a good idea? And even if it does have merit, are there better ideas that would ease Melbourne’s gridlock more cheaply? I’ve tried to tease out this question with the help of transport and urban planning experts and others. I’ve tried to ignore the politics, [url=http://www.theguardian.com/world/victorian-election-the-countdown/2014/sep/11/labors-east-west-link-u-turn-melbourne-right-end-dubious-means]which are fraught indeed,[/url] and focus on the merits of the East West Link as a project and a case study in how infrastructure policy works – or doesn’t work - in this country.

Shocking racist attack on Queensland rail guard goes viral

Posted Sunday, 12 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Queensland Rail News

A young man has blamed alcohol for a shocking racist tirade against a Queensland Rail security guard after it went viral online. The man was filmed by a friend verbally abusing the guard onboard a Brisbane commuter train, repeatedly calling him a "n----r", a "black c--t" and a "black dog". The five minute video was shared widely after the offender's friend posted it to Facebook, prompting widespread condemnation from other users. The incident began when the man was told the train would remain stopped until he got off, having refused to remove his feet from the seats.

Epsom train station officially opens

Posted Sunday, 12 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

EPSOM train station is bustling as Transport Minister Terry Mulder officially opens the station. Mr Mulder said the station was a "magnificent asset" to the Epsom community. He said he was thrilled Epsom people would have a station for the first time in 40 years.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 11/10/2014.

Posted Sunday, 12 October, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 77 sightings for this week; this is eight sightings less than last week, making a total of 4209 sightings for this year to date.

'Young idiot' writes off 4WD after becoming stuck on Adelaide to Darwin rail track

Posted Sunday, 12 October, 2014 by mikado5910 in Northern Territory Rail News

A young man has had his new four-wheel drive dragged more than a kilometre by a freight train after trying to cross a track in the Northern Territory.

Napthine government cracking down on non-commuters who park at railway stations

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

Motorists who park in railway station car parks but who do not catch a train could face fines next year. Authorised transport officers will begin patrolling station car parks in the new year, and will check myki cards to make sure the drivers are genuine commuters. The punitive approach to tackling Melbourne's chronic shortage of railway station car parking will be trialled at six stations, before potentially being introduced more widely.

New truck-only CityLink on ramps to be built for East West Link

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

Two new roads for trucks carrying dirt and rocks will be built on to CityLink as part of the first stages of the Napthine government's East West Link project. The new roads are designed to help keep trucks off local roads during the toll road's five-year construction timeline. And massive acoustic sheds will be built on what is now a sports oval and field in Parkville so that construction spoil can be stored under them before being trucked out.

Alert on country trains after door locks fail

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

V/Line has ordered staff to check carriage doors are secure before departing platforms, amid reports of doors opening while trains are travelling at high speeds. The regional rail operator confirmed the directive was given to conductors in August following safety concerns after doors opened on three moving trains recently. Problems with the doors have all affected h-set trains, of which there are nine in V/Line's fleet that typically run limited services to and from Geelong, Seymour, Kyneton and Bacchus Marsh each day.

Aurizon welcomes positive vote on proposed Queensland Staff Enterprise Agreement

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by bevans in Aurizon

Aurizon has welcomed the positive vote by employees on the proposed Staff Enterprise Agreement (EA) with 51.67% voting in favour of the agreement in the ballot run by the Australian Election Company (AEC) which ran from Tuesday 7 – Monday 13 October 2014. We are disappointed, however, that the concurrent Train crew and Transport Operations EA and the Construction and Maintenance EA ballots were unsuccessful.  Aurizon today received the results of the ballot for three proposed EAs voted on by Queensland-based employees.

Newcastle rail line to stay and Adamstown rail gates to go under Labor's revitalisation plan

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

State Labor has unveiled its revitalisation plans for Newcastle, pledging to keep the city's rail line and get rid of the Adamstown rail gates. The centrepiece of Labor's revitalisation plan is keeping the Newcastle rail line and building six new pedestrian and traffic crossings to spread out traffic loads. Re-signalling work will slow trains down, while rail gates will open and shut much quicker.

Excursion and rally in support of country rail

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Rail Revival Alliance will be holding a train excursion and public meeting and all those concerned about the future of freight and passenger rail should attend. We will be running the Victorian Goldfields Train to Maldon from Castlemaine. We will have a rally at the Maldon station and return by train to Castlemaine "Lets Shine a Light on Country Rail Policy"

Melbourne tram stops removed in bid to speed up network

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

Melbourne's tram network will be transformed under a new plan which will force passengers to walk an extra 250 metres to their nearest tram stop.  Yarra Trams — in conjunction with Melbourne City Council — plans to speed up the city's tram network by removing unnecessary and unsafe stops along all tracks, spokesman Simon Murphy said.  "In Melbourne, the average distance between tram stops is about 260 metres, while the international standard — based primarily on European tram networks — is between 400 and 500 metres," he said. Mr Murphy cited the Gold Coast light rail as a national example of a spaced-out tram network, where the distance between stops was 800 metres.

Geelong’s newest train station opens at Waurn Ponds

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IT was party time at the Waurn Ponds Station when it opened for business on Sunday with enthusiastic neighbours popping by to have a first look at the railway station. Perched at the edge of a housing development, the station was a beacon of new possibility with 100 return services a week to Geelong and Melbourne leaving from its one platform, which will be manned by V/Line staff from first to last train daily. There is parking for 292 cars and space for another 150 “informal parking”. There is also a secure bike cage.

The Inaugural Paul Mees Public Debate

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Rail Events

[color=#2c2c2c][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, Geneva, sans-serif]Join us for a critical and jovial debate to honour one of Australia’s foremost transport advocate and planning scholars, Dr Paul Mees OAM.[/font][/size][/color]

Is This The Most Amazing Model Railway Ever Made? All 9 MILES of it!

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Railway Stories

Model trains have come a long way since your Dad bought you that Hornby ’00’ gauge set for Christmas way back in 1972. For proof of the development you only have to look at what Bruce Williams Zaccagnino has created. This is something else. Literally. He has made the Northlandz model railroad, and it is based in Flemington, New Jersey. If you are in the area then you really should go and check it out.

Close Byron vote on rail trails ‘not a green light’

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in New South Wales Rail News

A NSW Greens MP says Byron Shire Council’s close vote last Thursday to support a rail trail thereby weakening protection for the railway corridor is not a green light for the controversial $75 million Northern Rivers Rail Trail proposal. Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, the Greens’ transport spokesperson, says the closeness of 5-4 vote (progressive councillors Simon Richardson, Duncan Dey, Basil Cameron and Paul Spooner against) not only weakens the corridor protections but jeopardises future public transport for the northern rivers. Ironically, Greens defector Cr Rose Wanchap voted with the pro-development faction.

The Rail Revival Alliance calls for Labor to Commit to Country Rail

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

‘The Labor party has no country rail policy and is in danger of losing seats won back from the coalition’ says Noel Laidlaw, President of the Rail Revival Alliance. Mr Laidlaw is an engineer and campaigner for improving country rail services and stated that the Labor policy was totally Melbourne centric and has turned its back on the regional and rural seats that had put and kept the Bracks and Brumby governments in power. ‘One third of the Victorian population do not live in Melbourne and have been seriously let down by the Napthine Government and it appears they will be let down by Labor’ Mr Laidlaw commented. The Napthine government has made a series of empty promises to country Victorians. They have gone on a transport spending spree in Melbourne, yet the Napthine Government has only allocated 4% of the total 2014 -2015 state budget to regional, rural and country Victoria. The Labor party has remained completely mute on any country rail initiatives.

'Idiotic' Katherine rail crash could cost $300,000

Posted Monday, 13 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Northern Territory Rail News

THE “idiotic” annihilation of a four-wheel drive that became stuck on a railway track in Katherine on Sunday morning provides a graphic safety reminder for motorists, according to the boss of the freight company whose 7100-tonne manganese train caused the damage.

The 2014 Transport Election: WE DEMAND OUR SAY!

Posted Tuesday, 14 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Come along to this public meeting on Wednesday October 15 to discuss how community groups can ensure public transport is put at the top of the political agenda in the lead up to the November 29 Victorian state election.

Labor's transport plan for Newcastle revealed

Posted Tuesday, 14 October, 2014 by Newcastle Express in Cityrail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]STATE Labor has taken the covers off an ambitious transport plan it says will revitalise Newcastle’s CBD and ease traffic on the roads and public transport.[/font][/size][/color]

Newcastle, Charlestown byelection 2014: ALP's John Robertson unveils transport strategy

Posted Tuesday, 14 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

LABOR leader John Robertson called it the most comprehensive and complete strategy yet aimed at revitalising Newcastle’s city centre and easing traffic congestion, but he also knew he wasn’t going to please everyone. Some called it Groundhog Day and some called it ‘‘back to the future’’, but support wasn’t totally lost. While his political opponents launched fresh attacks and the city’s key business groups accused him of creating more ‘‘pie in the sky’’ promises before  the October 25 byelections, the Opposition Leader stood firm saying his vision ‘‘went beyond the electoral cycle and created something for the future’’.

Plane 'bursts into flames' in Chelsea

Posted Tuesday, 14 October, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Other Transport News

There have been chaotic scenes in Chelsea this hour, with a light plane crashing into a suburban house.

Melbourne should follow Sydney and remove its overhead tram wires, rail expert says

Posted Tuesday, 14 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

Could Melbourne ditch its overhead tram wires? A growing list of cities around the world, including Sydney, are building wire-free tram lines, powered at ground level to avoid cluttering the streets with catenary. One rail industry leader argues Melbourne should follow Sydney's example and gradually remove the wires that power the city's 250-kilometre tram network. Bryan Nye, chief executive of the Australasian Railway Association, said technology had recently emerged that made removing Melbourne's extensive web of overhead tram wires a realistic proposition.

‘Train excursion’ between Castlemaine and Maldon to push rail  revival case

Posted Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

ANOTHER event will be held to showcase the growing support for the revival of country rail services across Victoria.  The Rail Revival Alliance will hold a public meeting and ‘train excursion’ from Castlemaine to Maldon. Rail Revival Alliance president Noel Laidlaw said the group had held a number of events in the past 12 months that had been very successful in gaining community support. “It is pretty hard to get much more, we are getting support from everywhere,” he said.

Doncaster rail advocacy group to present petition at State Parliament

Posted Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

A DONCASTER Rail advocacy group will today present Spring St with proof that Melbourne commuters have not abandoned Doncaster Rail. The Doncaster Rail Advocacy Steering Committee’s petition to push the State Government to plan for a rail connecting Doncaster to the CBD has gained more than 4000 signatures. The campaign is calling for bipartisan support with an immediate commitment for the project to be delivered within the next 15 years.

Sydney storm: rough water stops rescuers from using boats to reach trapped train passengers

Posted Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

The State Emergency Service was close to using boats to rescue 12 people on a Canberra to Sydney train late on Tuesday night, before aborting the exercise because the water flooding the rail line was too choppy. And rail authorities had organised a plan to close the entire T2 Airport and East Hills line on Wednesday morning, before a late break in the weather allowed them to open the lines for the commute.

A future station at Langwarrin

Posted Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Public Transport Victoria (PTV) is seeking community views on the preferred location for a railway station at Langwarrin. Between 1888 and 1981 Langwarrin had its own railway station on the Stony Point line. As part of its planning for development of the Stony Point line PTV is seeking community feedback on the preferred location for the station.

Gungahlin light rail line is a mistake, says former Treasury heavyhitter David Hughes

Posted Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Tram and Light Rail News

Former senior Treasury official David Hughes has dismissed the light rail line as a "folly" that is highly unlikely to deliver the benefits claimed and will not transform the city or change transport habits. "From the work the government's done, it appears to be a poor project," he said. "It's costly and even the government figures seem to suggest that it won't make much difference to patronage. They really haven't established a case for doing it. "They've clouded the issue with a lot of discussion of things like creating jobs which are really irrelevant to this project - the government can spend money on anything and it will create jobs in that activity at the expense of jobs elsewhere in the economy.

Coal rail line will benefit Qld: premier

Posted Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Queensland Rail News

[color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifBold, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]FARMERS say a coal railway line on their properties will damage their livelihood, but the premier assures them it's for the good of all Queenslanders.[/font][/font] [/font][/size][/color] [color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]LANDHOLDERS affected by the proposed new line between the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point Port have given evidence in a parliamentary inquiry in Brisbane, pleading with the government to give them fair compensation for land acquisition.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]Their properties have been earmarked State Development Areas (SDA) under the government's deal with Indian firm Adani to build infrastructure that will enable the transport of more than 100 million tonnes of coal per year.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The validity of these SDAs form the focus of the inquiry.[/font][/size][/color]

Metro Trains officers under fire for using force on schoolboy

Posted Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Metro Trains' authorised officers have come under fire for using excessive force to detain a schoolboy at Windsor station. In a video posted on YouTube, two male officers can be seen pinning the student by his arms over a low wall on Wednesday morning. The boy can be heard shouting "f---ing get off me", "let me stand up" and "what are you trying to do?" while flailing his legs in an attempt to get free. The officers refuse to let him up saying he had "resisted arrest". Witnesses said six to eight other officers were watching the incident.

What Old Transit Maps Can Teach Us About a City's Future

Posted Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 by Jack Le Lievre in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Houston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles are three of America's most notoriously car-dependent metropolitan areas, but each has taken steps of late to counter highway-first development patterns with more sustainable ones. Houston is expanding its light rail system, improving walkability, and considering an [/font][/size][/color][url=http://transitsystemreimagining.com/][font=Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][color=#0ab8eb]enhanced bus plan[/color][/font][/url][color=#000000][size=3][font=Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]. [/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Atlanta has pushed transit-oriented development with its [/font][/size][/color][url=http://www.citylab.com/work/2014/05/can-atlanta-go-all-beltline/9036/][font=Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][color=#0ab8eb]BeltLine project[/color][/font][/url][color=#000000][size=3][font=Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif] and may soon add a new county to its MARTA system. Los Angeles remains committed to a 30-year, transit-intensive, multi-modal plan funded by voters in 2008.[/font][/size][/color]

CSX CEO Warns About Railroad Mergers

Posted Thursday, 16 October, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

[url=http://quotes.wsj.com/CSX]CSX [/url]Corp. Chief Executive Michael Ward said Wednesday that railroad industry mergers could exacerbate congestion and traffic problems, not alleviate them.

CBH and Brookfield sign interim rail deal

Posted Thursday, 16 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

CBH and Brookfield Rail have signed an interim agreement to extend the existing rail access agreement as the 2014-15 harvest cranks up. The deal will ensure access to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 lines of the grain rail network until April 2015. Tier 3 lines, which were shut down on June 30 this year, will remain closed. CBH and Brookfield are still to negotiate a longer term access agreement through an arbitrator appointed by the Economic Regulation Authority.

Light rail projects bring far-reaching benefits, says transport planner

Posted Thursday, 16 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

Western Australian transport planner and consultant James McIntosh has rejected a claim that Canberra's tram will change nothing, insisting light-rail projects are transformative. Not only did tram lines have direct transport and environmental benefits, Mr Mcintosh said, they brought higher land values near the line, and allowed high-density living, which made people more productive. Mr McIntosh has just completed a PhD at Curtin University looking the value that infrastructure projects bring to property markets and has advised the ACT government on the tram line, but is not a paid consultant.

Call for parts of grain rail freight network to be reopened by Government

Posted Thursday, 16 October, 2014 by Bulbous in Western Australian Rail News

A parliamentary committee wants the Government to attempt to reclaim closed parts of the state's grain freight network, if it cannot otherwise ensure they can be accessed. The Economics and Industry Standing Committee released its report into the management of WA's freight rail network, which was critical of the state's management of the lines and the lack of transparency around their management.

Rail line key election issue: Vic Greens

Posted Friday, 17 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[b]ADDRESSING the lack of a rail line to one of Melbourne's inner eastern suburbs will be a vote-changing issue in the Victorian election, the Greens say.[/b] VICTORIAN Greens leader Greg Barber said Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews must commit to building a Doncaster rail line if he is serious about killing off the government's East West Link project. "The Liberals promised it at the last election and then just delayed the whole thing by doing endless studies, and Labor won't say anything," Mr Barber told AAP on Friday.

MP Greg Piper introduces bill to protect Newcastle inner-city rail corridor from development

Posted Friday, 17 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

LAKE Macquarie independent MP Greg Piper introduced on Thursday to State Parliament his bill to protect the Newcastle inner city rail corridor from major development. The bill sets out that certain development can occur on the corridor between Wickham station and the current Newcastle terminus after the heavy rail is removed, limited to being for the purposes of public open space, areas for passive recreation, kiosks, cafes and amenities or public transport.

Train station advertising screens draw complaints from commuters, drivers

Posted Friday, 17 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Victorian Rail News

New video screens blaring news and advertising on a constant loop at Melbourne's underground railway stations have drawn complaints from commuters and even a warning from train drivers that the screens are a hazard. The audio-visual billboards, a revenue grab by railway operator Metro, have recently been installed on platforms at City Loop stations Flagstaff, Melbourne Central and Parliament. Metro spokeswoman Pauline O'Connor said there were no plans to install audio-visual billboards at any other stations. The screens will show a mix of customer service information, advertising and "infotainment", namely news, sport and weather, she said. Metro gets the revenue from the ads.

Brakes tampered with on runaway train cars in south Edmonton, CP Rail says

Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

EDMONTON - CP Rail officials are investigating a September incident in which two train cars rolled out of control after their brakes failed. The incident is believed to have been “an intentional act,” CP spokeswoman Breanne Feigel said Thursday. “Certainly, CP is very concerned, which is why we launched a criminal investigation,” she said.

Restore Our Rail group urges government to listen to St George MPs concerns about timetable

Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

COMMUNITY group says the government won’t even listen to its own MPs about the need for changes to the rail timetable at St George stations. Restore Our Rail said Oatley MP Mark Coure and Rockdale MP John Flowers had agreed at a meeting on June 12 there were ‘‘[url defaultattr=http://www.theleader.com.au/story/2626825/poll-train-passengers-up-on-illawarra-line-but-so-is-crowding/?cs="1507"]real shortcomings in the timetable affecting users [/url]at Beverly Hills, Mortdale, Rockdale and Kogarah stations’’. A spokesman said the meeting had agreed on steps to address crucial problems, including the removal of express services, and this had been confirmed in writing to ensure no misunderstanding occurred when the MPs approached Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian and Transport For NSW.

Extensive delays across the Melbourne Metropolitan Rail Network

Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Melbourne metropolitan railway network is today experiencing major delays.  MetroTrains is advising customers on their [url=http://www.metrotrains.com.au/lines/]website [/url]of Major delays across almost the entire network.  The delays come at the start of the spring racing carnival with today being the running of the Caulfield Cup.

Allora back road reopens after rail bridge damage

Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

THE Allora back road has been reopened after damage to the railway bridge at Rosehill Rd was repaired by Queensland Rail. Traffic movements were back to normal after the bridge was damaged by a truck transporting an excavator late on Monday afternoon.

Dandenong rail upgrade in disarray

Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

A multibillion-dollar upgrade of the Dandenong railway line is in disarray after the Napthine government said on Friday it would not sign contracts with the consortium delivering the project until next year. The government's admission that it could not commit to the project before November's election puts in doubt a string of promised improvements to Melbourne's busiest railway corridor, including 25 new "high-capacity" trains, four level crossing removals, three rebuilt stations and new signalling technology. It would deliver capacity for 2 million extra passenger journeys a year on a line that suffers chronic overcrowding. Labor has refused to commit to the project, arguing there is too much secrecy and uncertainty about how it would be delivered. The government and the consortium had originally sought to sign contracts for the $2 billion-$2.5 billion project by September 30, but Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said he was not yet confident enough that every part of the project would deliver value for money for taxpayers.

Call for rail hub ahead of election

Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

A NORTH East regional alliance group is backing an intermodal rail hub at Logic and wants the Victorian government to get on board. The controversial proposed rail hub at the Barnawartha site is among the key priorities 4Hume — formerly the Hume Alliance — will present to both major parties ahead of next month’s election. Chaired by Wodonga councillor Mark Byatt, 4Hume is made up of the 12 councils in the Hume region, the Hume Regional Development Australia Committee and the Hume Regional Management Forum.

Plans unveiled for new £144bn high-speed rail link from Moscow to Beijing that could cut Trans-Siberian journey time by 4 DAYS

Posted Sunday, 19 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in International Rail News

China and Russia are considering building a high-speed rail line thousands of kilometres from Moscow to Beijing that would cut the journey time from six days on the Trans-Siberian to two. The project would cost more than $230bn (£144bn) and be over 7,000km (4,350 miles) long - more than three times the world's current longest high-speed line, from the Chinese capital to the southern city of Guangzhou. The railway would be a powerful physical symbol of the ties that bind Moscow and Beijing, whose political relationship has roots dating from the Soviet era and who often vote together on the UN Security Council.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 18/10/2014.

Posted Sunday, 19 October, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 81 sightings for this week; this is four sightings more than last week, making a total of 4290 sightings for this year to date.

Firefighters battle shed blazes at Camden Park and Mt Gambier

Posted Sunday, 19 October, 2014 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

[color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifBold, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]SA firefighters have battled two shed fires this morning — at Camden Park and Mt Gambier[/font][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]MFS crews were called to a fire in a back shed of a group of units at the corner of Anzac Highway and Clifton St, Camden Park, about 8.35am after passers-by noticed smoke.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]Firefighters were able to quickly contain and extinguish the blaze, limiting its spread.[/font][/size][/color]

Bendigo on board with urban rail service

Posted Sunday, 19 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Bendigo, Victoria's fourth-biggest urban centre, is pushing for its own local commuter rail service to deal with what it says are "unprecedented levels" of population growth in the key state election battleground. The Goldfields city says it already has "the foundations required for a local rail system" because it is at the junction of two rail lines and now has four operational train stations. The fourth, at Epsom, opened this month. Bendigo wants new stations built at Maiden Gully, Golden Square, Huntly and Marong, and has long-term aspirations for others. The call comes in a new planning document released by the city that charts a road map for growth. It addresses land use planning, transport and other issues. The municipality, which is not all urbanised, is now home to almost 110,000 people, but is growing fast. One ambitious growth plan has predicted a municipal population of 200,000 by 2041.

Public invited to comment on designs for Syndal carpark

Posted Sunday, 19 October, 2014 by JoppaJunction in Victorian Rail News

Reinventing the rail

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Opinion

Traditional rail lines and rights of way litter the ACT and its immediate environs like so many broken and discarded children's toys. There is an operational line joining Canberra to the not insignificant population centres of Queanbeyan, Bungendore and all the stations between there and Goulburn. To the south, there is a disused line that in the recent past extended from Queanbeyan, via Michelago to Cooma. There is even an unused rail siding in the depths of Tuggeranong. Yet, despite growing populations, none of the existing lines, with all their sunk capital investment, support a regular, high-frequency inter-urban commuter service with Canberra. Little or no freight is carried and the only ongoing passenger service is the thrice daily run on an ageing Canberra-Monaro express to and from Sydney. As a rail enthusiast, I'd be both surprised and disappointed if options for using the existing infrastructure more effectively to promote development and remove light and heavy traffic from the regional and the ACT roads had not been explored.

Rail cut leaves loose ends

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

SUITS won’t catch buses. That’s what Transport Minister and Minister for the Hunter Gladys Berejiklian told the Newcastle Herald in June. It’s largely denim, flannos, trackies and thongs. There’s no Rundles and Berlutis flashing about on local buses. Even the bus to Newcastle Airport is a suit-free zone, although contemporary air travel offers nothing that would warrant a bag of fruit.

Tweed’s pilot rail-trail project on track

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

[ltr]Concept plans for what could be the state’s first public rail trail, a 2.5-kilometre pilot project between Murwillumbah railway station and the Tweed Regional Gallery, are now on display.[/ltr] [ltr]Tweed shire councillors on Thursday gave the green light to an extended 42-day exhibition period for the pilot project, costed at around $1 million for which funding is being sought from Infrastructure NSW.[/ltr] [ltr]Council has already allocated $275,000 this year for the first stage of the project, including detailed design, after resolving in May 2013 to support establishing such a rail trail.[/ltr] [ltr]The state government’s feasibility study on converting the disused Casino to Murwillumbah rail corridor into a rail trail, released in June, put the cost of a regional rail trail at around $75.5 million.[/ltr]

East-west link: Manningham Council calls for rail link to Doncaster

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Manningham Council has weighed into the east-west link debate, arguing that rail to Doncaster should come before the state government’s 6.6-kilometre cross-city road project. It comes amid concerns the future of the long-proposed railway remains unclear only weeks out from the state election.

Jeremy Hanson 'will do everything' to stop light rail

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Tram and Light Rail News

Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson says he will do everything in his power to stop the development of light rail in Canberra, as a new survey shows 59 per cent of participants oppose the planned route to Gungahlin. Mr Hanson wouldn't say if an incoming Liberal government would tear up contracts for the $783 million project, dismissing questions as hypotheticals.  The Liberals will seek legal advice on how to block the development, which is expected to be underway by the time of the October 2016 election.  Mr Hanson said he was putting potential bidders for the project on notice and careful consideration of the contract and progress of construction would take place.

Native title holders lodge objection to proposed North Galilee Basin rail project

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Queensland Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A group of native title holders say they are seeking help to stall a proposed railway line through their land, after concerns they have not been consulted.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Juru people are the traditional owners of land that Adani Mining is using to build the North Galilee Basin rail project.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]They said most of the traditional owners did not know what Adani's plans were and were unable to attend information meetings, including a forum in Townsville.[/font][/size]

Coffee Pot completes steam test

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by bevans in Rail Events

Pichi Richi Railway's unique steam railcar, [url=http://www.prr.org.au/cms/history-mainmenu-77/locomotives-and-railcars-mainmenu-52/137-south-australian-railways-smc-class-commonwealth-railways-njab1.html]Steam Motor Coach No. 1[/url], known affectionately as the [color=#000000][font=Open Sans, sans-serif][size=2]Coffee Pot[/size][/font][/color], is a major step closer to returning to operation after it successfully underwent a steam test today.

Rail plan safety concerns

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

The Napthine Government has been accused of ignoring safety concerns as it pushes ahead with a plan to start running a single Xtrapolis train on the Frankston line. Brendan Donohoe reports.

Demands to end Wyndham rail crossing crush now

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

Wyndham’s level crossings have been the scene of 245 incidents in the past 12 years, prompting calls from the council and transport lobby groups for them to be removed. Last week, Wyndham council released a report stating that the crossings were safety risks and were adding to traffic congestion on the city’s roads, with boom gates down for up to 35 minutes per hour in peak periods. It is predicted that the volume of traffic crossing the tracks will rise 95 per cent by 2046.

Early patronage at Epsom delights V/Line

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

V/LINE has labelled patronage from the re-opened Epsom train station as encouraging. The station was officially opened by Transport Minister Terry Mulder at a community celebration last Saturday. The first service departed the station at 10.10am Sunday. It was the first time in 40 years Epsom residents had access to a local station. Regional manager Jonathan Mckeown said an average of 10 passengers were joining the four daily services to Melbourne.

Socialist candidate slams Newcastle rail cuts

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Steve O'Brien, Socialist Alliance candidate for the byelection in the NSW state seat of Newcastle, slammed the NSW government’s decision to close the heavy rail line to Newcastle at Broadmeadow, cutting the city centre from rail traffic from December 26. "This move is wrong and completely unacceptable for the people of Newcastle," O'Brien said. O'Brien was speaking at the campaign launch at the Rail Sheds, Newcastle East Foreshore Park, on October 12. The by-election will be held on October 25. He said: "This byelection is the ideal opportunity for the electors of Newcastle to make the ultimate protest vote — against the corrupt Coalition state government, and against its corrupt Labor predecessors. A vote for Socialist Alliance is a vote for real social change, and community mobilisation on the issues that affect their lives.

Mernda rail extension will go ahead after Liberal Government commits $700 million to plan

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]PREMIER Denis Napthine has announced the Liberal Government will provide $700 million for a rail extension to Mernda if it wins the state election.[/b][/size] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]The announcement guarantees the extension will go ahead, with the Access Denied campaign having secured commitments from the Liberal,[url=http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/north/labor-announces-mernda-rail-extension-if-elected-in-november/story-fnglenug-1227069982293][color=#484f54] Labor[/color][/url] and [url=http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/north/greg-barber-confirms-greens-will-build-mernda-rail-extension/story-fnglenug-1227040171681][color=#484f54]Greens[/color][/url] parties.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]The campaign, launched in March, called on the parties to extend rail from South Morang to Mernda and build an interchange at the O’Herns Rd overpass of the Hume Freeway in the first term of government, whoever is to win the November election.[/font][/size][/color]

Safety fears lead to speed restrictions for X'Trapolis train on Frankston line

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

The first scheduled run of the X'Trapolis train on the Frankston line has been criticised as a desperate election stunt with Melbourne's newest and fastest train having to operate at a restricted speed because of fears it may be too fast for boom gates. The train will travel to Frankston and back on Wednesday as a symbol of how much work the Napthine government has done to modernise the line, which was so unreliable four years ago some believe it cost Labor the election. Then it will be taken out of service and stabled at Burnley for the rest of the day. And the train will be set to run at a limited speed to avoid the danger of beating the boom gates at one of the line's 30 level crossings.

Grave doubts about proposed rail link

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in New South Wales Rail News

Infrastructure Australia has queried whether a proposal to build a rail line from Yamba through the north to link with the proposed Melbourne to Brisbane line is feasible.

Bus service to run from Hamilton station after train line cut

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

BUSES will be waiting at Hamilton station for each train service and passengers won’t have to pay twice for their trip, after Newcastle’s heavy rail is closed on Boxing Day, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has assured passengers. The government has released its route map for the replacement shuttles that will run for more than two years while a new Wickham interchange is built and light rail installed as part of plans aimed at revitalising the city. It promises a seat for every train traveller on airconditioned  buses, operating every 10 minutes during peak periods and able to carry surfboards and other luggage into the city, for the usual price of a train fare. But the changes could add up to 15minutes to the journey for passengers usually bound for Newcastle railway station. Meanwhile, the  government has decided to sell 237 Wharf Road, a glass building on the harbour foreshore that houses staff from RailCorp, Transport for NSW and the Attorney-General and Justice Department.

Burnt car on tracks stops Upfield line train at Campbellfield

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

A train was stopped in its tracks after thieves left a burning car on the Upfield railway line, at Campbellfield, in the early hours of Tuesday. The abandoned car was set alight after someone left the car on the tracks between Dunstan and Garner parades at 12.38am. The driver of the 12.04am Upfield train from Flinders Street saw the burning car and was able to stop in time.

Councils yet to get funding answer for passenger rail feasibility study

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A group of councils tyring to return passenger rail services west of Ararat says the project has stalled until it gets an answer on funding for a feasibility study.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The group, which includes Horsham, Yarriambiack and Southern Grampians, submitted a funding request to the Victorian Government several months ago.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It is holding another meeting today to discuss the progress of the proposal.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]However, Northern Grampians Shire Mayor Kevin Erwin said the delay was frustrating.[/font][/size]

Premier Mike Baird grilled on future of Newcastle rail line

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2014 by Bethungra in New South Wales Rail News

PREMIER Mike Baird, when asked in state parliament, has twice refused to rule out selling or leasing land in the Wickham-to-Newcastle rail corridor for property development after the rail line is truncated. In response to a question from Labor leader John Robertson, seeking a guarantee that the corridor would be protected,  Mr Baird said: ‘‘We promise to do the right thing by the city of Newcastle ... the difference between this side and that side is that we are proud of that urban renewal project, we are proud that we are putting close to $500million into that city and that’s a city that you forgot about.’’

Elevating the Newcastle rail line could be a solution

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2014 by Bethungra in New South Wales Rail News

REGARDING the rail issues, one alternative that may have not been considered would be to not cut the rail, but instead elevate it so that the railway will be above all traffic. This would provide open space to construct a single or double-storey parking space to accommodate the expanding university campus and developing Newcastle area.

Brookfield points to rail freight growth in light of report findings

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Western Australian Rail News

BROOKFIELD Rail chief executive Paul Larsen says the WA government's inquiry into local grain rail operations delivers an "emphatic no" on the key question of whether lease arrangements hamper State development.  "The question the committee was asking itself to address was: Is there anything in the arrangements of the network, whether it be the lease or the access, that is hampering the development of the State?" he said.  "I would point to page five of the report which shows the tonnages on the rail network have grown from 30 million tonnes to more than 70mt in the past 13 years which has come about directly as a result of us investing in the network and pursuing those freight opportunities.

Too much myki is barely enough

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

There at 10 myki cards in circulation for every weekday public transport user, with the massive over subscription blamed on a lack of short-term tickets.  Public Transport Users Association president Tony Morton said the ticketing authority would be making millions from the surplus cards.  "The government is not so concerned about having millions and millions of cards because at $3 or $6 each it is about $30 million worth of revenue," he said.  There are 10 million myki cards in circulation, almost double Victoria's population of 5.8 million. Dr Morton said the surplus in cards was a predictable problem caused by the lack of a short-term ticket.

Government gives go-ahead to 4 strategic rail lines along China border

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2014 by Bethungra in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The government has kick-started the process of building four top-priority strategic railway lines along the China border — a project that had been stuck in deliberations for years for want of a political decision at the highest level.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Last week, at a high-level meeting with officials from the Planning Commission, Defence, Railways and Finance ministries, the PMO finally asked the Railways to carry out detailed engineering survey of the 1,000-odd kilometres of lines identified by the Defence Ministry as strategically crucial. [/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]They are in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, and J&K.[/font][/size][/color]

ATSB report: freak storm caused ship to hit Fremantle Rail Bridge

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Western Australian Rail News

A freak storm caused a cargo ship to break lines and smash into Fremantle Rail Bridge in the space of eight minutes, a preliminary report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau shows. On August 17 a bollard that was holding all three of the AAL Fremantle's stern lines and two from the car carrier the Grand Pioneer ripped off a wharf at Fremantle Port, causing both ships to swing away from berth.

No new plans for South Coast rail tunnel to speed up Sydney commute

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Cityrail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Both Labor and the Liberal Party have put any plans to build a new rail tunnel on the South Coast line on hold in the lead-up to the March 2015 state election.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Both sides of politics advocated in the past for significantly shortening the commuter times from Wollongong to Sydney by investing in major new rail infrastructure, including a rail tunnel.[/font][/size]

10th next generation E-Class tram hits the tracks

Posted Wednesday, 22 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Tram and Light Rail News

The 10th next generation E-Class tram has hit the tracks today, providing capacity for 2100 passengers at any one time on Route 96. The heritage-listed theatre building at Preston Workshops will be transformed into modern driver facilities as part of the $190 million New Preston Depot Project, part of the overall investment of more than $800 million in tram procurement and associated infrastructure upgrades. Public Transport Victoria Chief Executive Officer Mark Wild said that our newest tram has proved a great hit with passengers and is providing much needed capacity on Route 96. "The 10th E-Class tram is hitting the tracks today and these trams are providing capacity for up to 2100 passengers at any one time on Route 96. "These next generation trams are improving capacity, safety and accessibility, providing a more comfortable journey for thousands of passengers every day.

Rail network lease unveiled by committee

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Western Australian Rail News

BROOKFIELD Rail is unlikely to pursue legal action against the WA government for publishing the lease and other critical contract documents underpinning management of the State's grain rail network.  Brookfield had requested the documents remain confidential when handing them over during the Economic and Industry Standing Committee's inquiry into the rail network's management, which started in March.  But that request was controversially ignored when the papers were publicly unveiled last week along with the comprehensive 251-page committee report which made 22 recommendations and 35 individual findings.

Frankston line commute safer with X’Trapolis train and police presence

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]TRAVELLING on the Frankston Train Line just became easier and safer, with the introduction of the first X’Trapolis train and more Protective Service Officers.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]The first X’Trapolis train to run on the Frankston line started yesterday morning, while PSOs clocked on for their first shift at Bonbeach Train Station on Tuesday night.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder travelled on the X’Trapolis yesterday morning from Flinders St to Frankston.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]“X’Trapolis trains include enhanced safety features such as CCTV cameras in every carriage with a direct video link to the train driver,” Mr Mulder said.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]“Works to upgrade rail infrastructure on the Frankston, Werribee and Williamstown lines are continuing, to enable eight brand new X’Trapolis trains to run on these lines in late-2015.”[/font][/size][/color]

Albury-Wodonga rail action group gathers steam

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Bill Reynoldson retired to Albury-Wodonga with his family in the hope that there'd be a reliable rail service to Melbourne. But, he said, he's found that the service wouldn't even match that of the 1950s and '60s. For this reason, Mr Reynoldson joined about 60 other people who were crammed into the upstairs room of a Wodonga pub on the evening of 22nd October.

Two tram stops to go on Collins Street for new super-stop

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

The last three older-style tram stops along Collins Street will be scrapped and replaced with a single super-stop. Simple "safety stops" at the corners of King, William and Queen streets will go under a plan Yarra Trams has put to the City Of Melbourne, to be replaced by a platform stop just between William Street and Market Street.  The two stops that will be permanently lost at the corners of King and Queen streets are used by 10,000 passengers each weekday on average. Collins Street will narrow from two lanes to one westbound to fit in the super-stop, although the City of Melbourne predicts the increase in delay for motorists queuing at the lights will be negligible, at just two or three seconds.

East West Link and the Secret Development Plans

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by bevans in Other Transport News

In a 8-page, plastic-wrapped newsletter released late last week, the Linking Melbourne Authority announced amongst spin and puff that the development plans required as the final step of the planning permit had been endorsed by the Planning Minister. On any other planning permit these development plans, or ‘endorsed drawings’ as they are also known, will detail all the design modifications from the permit conditions and essentially finalize the design which has been approved. Whilst they will not detail the construction engineering aspects they typically cover such things as final finishes, proposed overall dimensions and all the features and aspects of the design proposal related to planning. In any other project, be it a 100 storey tower or a minor residential extension, these plans are public documents. However such is the secrecy around the East West Link that, like the ‘business case’, these documents are under lock and key away from public scrutiny.

Railway newspaper puts Liberal message on tracks

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

It looks a lot like a community newspaper – with its Sudoku, crosswords, local news and soup recipes – until you get to the glowing assessment of the Napthine government's work on the Frankston railway line. Welcome to The Southern Express, a newspaper produced by the Liberal Party and distributed at train stations this month in the lead-up to Victoria's election. The paper's production is a sign of the extraordinary lengths to which the major parties are going to win the marginal seats dotted along the bay down to Frankston. Not that production of [color=#000000][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=1]The Southern Express [/size][/font][/color]by a political party is immediately apparent: the Liberal Party name does not appear amid its eight pages.

Rail boss under fire in Senate

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

SPEED restrictions will “never” be lifted from the North East rail line, according to the head of the organisation in charge of the line. Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) chief executive officer John Fullerton was asked directly when the speed restrictions would be lifted at a Senate estimates committee hearing on Monday, but shirked at giving a firm answer.

‘Secret’ spots on rail trail

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in New South Wales Rail News

THERE are hundreds of beautiful "secret" spots along the overgrown Casino to Murwillumbah rail line, says rail trail supporter Richard White. Mr White is one of a handful of people intimately familiar with some of the best sections of the trail. He has walked from Bentley to Tuncester, Bangalow to Byron, and enjoyed the dramatic Naughtons Gap tunnel near Casino. What struck him about being on the track was how different an experience it was to driving or riding through the same landscape along the road.

#cityfail: Twitter users share worst behaviour on Sydney trains

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Cityrail News

[color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifBold, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]SYDNEY commuters fed up with the behaviour of fellow passengers on their daily City Rail grind have started a social media campaign using the hashtag #cityfail to publicly shame offenders.[/font][/font] [/font][/size][/color] [color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]From feet on seats, to discarded rubbish and people cutting their nails, passengers have had enough of the complete disrespect for social etiquette in a public space.[/font][/size][/color]

Victorian minister fumes after train sabotaged before launch

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

Victoria’s Transport Minister has been left fuming, after what he’s described as an attempt to sabotage the operation of [url=http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11379525.htm]newer X’Trapolis trains on the Frankston rail line[/url]. Terry Mulder said the driver’s seat on the train due to run today’s inaugural service was slashed overnight, in an apparent effort to have the carriage taken out of service. “The idea of slashing the seat is that it's a safety issue for the driver, and the train was supposed not to run”, he told news crews in Frankston this morning.

Malaysia confirms its Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail stations

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in International Rail News

The high-speed rail (HSR) project connecting Singapore and Kuala Lumpur will have seven stops in Malaysia, namely Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Nusajaya. While several of the proposed stations had been revealed earlier this year by Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission, they were confirmed yesterday by its chairman, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar. Construction of the line could begin some time next year, although the actual date has yet to be fixed.

Baird govt to release documents regarding Newcastle rail line truncation

Posted Thursday, 23 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The New South Wales Greens say they have forced the Baird Government to release key documents associated with its decision to truncate Newcastle's inner-city rail line on Boxing Day.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Greens MP and transport spokeswoman Mehreen Faruqi says it is crucial the community gets to see the cost-benefit analysis, as well as other transport planning documents.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]She says she suspects the papers will reveal there is "no business or public transport case for cutting the line".[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Dr Faruqi said the documents must be released within 14 days.[/font][/size]

Greens ramp up push for Doncaster rail link

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

THE Greens say there will be money in the kitty for both the Doncaster and Rowville train lines if the State Government drops the East West Link. The party is ramping up its campaign to secure a commitment to Doncaster Rail after the Government announced $700 million for a rail extension to Mernda to match Labor’s promise. Greens Leader Greg Barber has drafted a motion to table the final Doncaster Rail report, which he will move when parliament ­resumes.

Parliamentary committee report sheds light on secret profit sharing deal between WA Government and private rail operator

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2014 by Wallip in Western Australian Rail News

Revelations of a deal struck with Brookfield Rail to give the Western Australian Government a slice of grain rail profits has been described by farmers as 'a scandal of the highest order'.

Gippsland train disruption blow to government re-election hopes

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Gippsland train services will be thrown into disarray during the height of next month’s Victorian election. Engineers have recommended major work on the line, to begin tomorrow, for up to two months after the discovery a fault at the Morwell River Bridge. It’s understood V/Line and the Victorian Government were informed of the discovery yesterday. Trains to and from Southern Cross station from Traralgon were running as scheduled today. The disruption to services could prove a major blow to the Premier Denis Napthine’s re-election campaigning for the November 29 poll. Nationals MP and Energy Minister Russell Northe is already under pressure to hold his Latrobe Valley seat of Morwell amid the fallout from the Hazelwood mine fire.

Border Rail Action Group ask MPs Sussan Ley, Cathy McGowan for help

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

THE Border Rail Action Group will today start the process of bringing together federal MPs who they hope will put resolutions from Wednesday night’s meeting to a federal minister. Group convenor Bill Traill said he would be extending formal invitations to both Farrer MP Sussan Ley and Indi MP Cathy McGowan. “We are asking these people as our representatives for support in establishing a deputation,” he said.

Grave doubts about rail project chatter

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

INFRASTRUCTURE Australia has queried whether a proposal to build a rail line from Yamba through the north to link with the proposed Melbourne to Brisbane line is feasible.

$15k keeps rail trail idea on track

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in New South Wales Rail News

GOULBURN Mulwaree Council has thrown its support behind a proposed rail trail circuit, pledging $15,000 to fund a feasibility study on the concept. The Goulburn to Crookwell Rail Trail circuit is one of a few proposed cross country cycling tracks on the cards in NSW. Deputy mayor Bob Kirk said council’s investment was a no-brainer. At present, rail trail cycling is prevalent in every Australian state and territory, with the exception of NSW. Existing legislation permits the transformation of disused railway lines into cross country cycling paths.

Rail-corridor protections ‘still in place, for now’

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in New South Wales Rail News

Rail-transport campaigners have welcomed the derailment of a bill which they say would have enabled the dismantling of the disused Casino-Murwillumbah rail line to make way for cycling and walking trails. But the rail-trail lobby say the defeat of the private member’s bill has not sidetracked their campaign, claiming that a recent $75 million proposal to convert the Casino-Murwillumbah rail line corridor into recreational rail trail will be approved. NSW Greens, the National and the Shooters parties combined in the Upper House last Thursday to vote down the Transport Administration Amendment (Rail Trails Community Management) Bill 2014 moved by Labor’s Mike Veitch which he said aimed to ‘transfer rail corridors to community organisations for use as recreational rail trails’.

Dubai Metro kick starts 30,000 km of railway tracks in Gulf

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in International Rail News

Dubai has set the example in the Middle East region with its success story of Dubai Metro, noted Ed James, Director of Analysis at Meed Projects. In an era considered the golden years of the railway industry, the example of Dubai Metro has also been dubbed ‘the Dubai metro effect’. “Where Dubai leads, others follow,” he pointed out at the ongoing MENA Rail & Metro Summit held by Meed. Billions of dollars are invested in rail network systems all over the Middle East. Countries where currently no rail network exists have mega projects in the rail sector planned. Metro as well as train networks are not only set to connect cities, but countries in the region.

Candidate must pick side in rail debate

Posted Friday, 24 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

I READ with interest in our local newspaper that Mercurius Goldstein is the endorsed candidate for this area to stand for the Greens in the up-coming state election.  Mr Goldstein is one of the principal voices behind ripping up the Northern rail line from Armidale and turning it into a rail trail.  Mr Goldstein must be reading a different version of the Greens Transport Policy which states they want to “Restore Regional Railways”.  Restoring Regional Railways is one of four key policy objectives on the Greens Transport Policy website.

Art That Makes You Wish You Were There

Posted Sunday, 26 October, 2014 by Jack Le Lievre in Railway Stories

“Some travel posters show you what you’ll see,” said Nicholas D. Lowry, president and principal auctioneer at Swann Galleries in Manhattan. “Others show you what you’ll feel or present you with a fantasy of who you’d like to be.” Case in point: [url=

High speed rail: Japanese bid to bring us into the game

Posted Sunday, 26 October, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

In Tokyo this week for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the first of Japan's remarkable high-speed rail lines, the Shinkansen, former deputy prime minister and noted train buff Tim Fischer drew a laugh with a spot of Australian self-deprecation. "Australia invented 22 different railway gauges," Fischer told a conference audience, referring to that notorious situation in which the colonies built rail tracks different widths apart, which for many years prevented proper interstate travel. "We have some competence in this subject." The anniversary of the opening of the first Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka in October 1964, a few days before Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games, is a moment of immense national pride in Japan.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 25/10/2014

Posted Sunday, 26 October, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 75 sightings for this week; this is six sightings less than last week, making a total of 4365 sightings for this year to date.

Melbourne metro system damaged by overnight storm 27-10-2014

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Open Sans, Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Commuters are waking to long transport delays this morning after a wild electrical storm hit Melbourne overnight.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Open Sans, Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Metro Trains are reporting the signalling system on metropolitan network has suffered "significant damage" overnight with 40 minutes delays on passenger services across the entire network.  Only Hurstbridge and South Morang services are running via the loop all other line are running direct to Flinders Street. [/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Open Sans', Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Upfield line has been completed suspended.[/font][/size][/color]

Corrosion forces V/Line track closure near Morwell

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Victorian Rail News

The Morwell wetlands have once again become a curse for Gippsland V/Line commuters, with corrosion of track infrastructure forcing the line's closure this afternoon.

Alstom warns Ballarat train factory may close after losing Metro contract

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

French train maker Alstom has given its strongest indication yet that it might quit its manufacturing plant in Ballarat, perhaps as early as mid-2015, costing about 70 local jobs. The company, which makes Melbourne's current train model, the X'Trapolis, has no work booked at its Ballarat plant after June, having been cut last month from the competitive tender to design and build 25 "next-generation" Metro trains. Alstom's global president, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, told Fairfax Media it was doubtful the Ballarat plant would remain in operation if the company was no longer making trains for Victoria. "It's true that if Alstom was excluded from this contract, then it's an issue for our Ballarat factory and, very frankly, it's a threat to the future of Ballarat," Mr Poupart-Lafarge said.

Aurizon's coal volumes up, iron ore down

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Aurizon

Rail freight company Aurizon has re-affirmed its full year guidance for iron ore and coal volumes after a mixed September quarter. Aurizon increased coal volumes by one per cent in the three months to the end of September to 54.2 million tonnes compared to 53.5 million tonnes a year ago.

The NSW Government Has Picked 4 Options For Light Rail Around Parramatta

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#333333][size=4][font=Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The NSW Government has released its shortlist of light rail corridors to service Parramatta and the western Sydney region.[/font][/size][/color]

Trains, planes and pain: it takes only seven minutes longer to travel from the Sydney CBD to Melbourne than it does to Ruse

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]SYDNEY’S peak hour commute has slowed to such a crawl it takes only seven minutes longer to travel from the CBD to Melbourne than to suburbs in the southwest of the city.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]The Daily Telegraph last Wednesday put Sydney’s afternoon traffic to the test and discovered a person can travel 800km further in virtually the same amount of time than a commuter cursed to navigate our clogged streets.[/font][/size][/color]

Australia’s public transport is a shambles —and we’'ve had enough

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2014 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

[color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifBold, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]PASSENGERS on Australia’s trains, buses and trams are sick to death of terrible public transport.[/font][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]From state to state, infuriated commuters are venting their anger over inadequate service at a heavy price.[/font][/size][/color]

High-speed east coast rail link 'could cost half previous estimate'

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

The perpetually postponed east coast high-speed rail link could cost around half the previous estimate, according to a new study. The Australasian Railway Association has released a report that says a comparison of international construction costs indicates a railway between Brisbane and Melbourne could be built for $35m a kilometre. That gives a price tag of $63bn – significantly lower than the $114bn estimate from a feasibility study completed last year. The association’s chief executive, Brian Nye, said prices had not come down and the $63bn cost was a reflection of current international costs. “These construction costs are why the the project needs to be put on to the global market,” he said.

Convert Carlingford rail line to light rail, Parramatta MP Geoff Lee says

Posted Monday, 27 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Tram and Light Rail News

The Member for Parramatta, Geoff Lee, is pushing for the state government to convert the Carlingford rail line to light rail, as part of a new connection between Parramatta and Epping and Macquarie Park. Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian released four possible routes on Monday for a new light rail line to be built around Parramatta, with construction  to start in the next term of Parliament. Ms Berejiklian said the government would now analyse which route made most sense to be the first built, but said she wanted to eventually deliver a light rail "network" around Parramatta.

Brisbane to Melbourne high speed rail cost estimate slashed | 'We need to commit now,' rail chief says

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

ALBURY-Wodonga’s chance to cash in on a high speed rail link has risen with new estimates slashing the build cost. A report released in Canberra yesterday has estimated the Brisbane to Melbourne line would cost $63 billion to build. That is 45 per cent less than the $114 billion bill predicted in a previous federal government report. Albury-Wodonga, Wagga and Shepparton are part of a proposed stage one of the high speed rail system between Sydney and Melbourne.

Rail system failure that threw city into chaos ‘not acceptable’ but may happen again, says transport boss

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]GROVELLING apologies from rail bosses for Monday’s train chaos have not come with a pledge it won’t be repeated. [/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Wild weather delayed commuters on all Metro lines by up to 60 minutes, and by midday 176 trains had been cancelled.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Trams and buses also experienced delays of up to 30 minutes because of congestion.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]A heatwave, rats chewing cabling and a short-circuit caused by a bat have derailed train services in recent times.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Public Transport Victoria chief executive Mark Wild, who is paid $330,000 to ensure the trains run on time, apologised to commuters, saying the network had failed the early morning test.[/font][/size][/color]

Morwell rail repairs force paper shipments onto road

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Management of the Maryvale Paper Mill in the Latrobe Valley has had to scramble to organise a fleet of 40 trucks to transport paper to Melbourne.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The mill normally sends a train loaded with 43 container loads of paper to the Melbourne ports every day.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]V/Line notified Australian Paper on Friday that the line would be closed from Saturday to repair the Morwell River crossing.[/font][/size]

Knox residents too conservative for their own good when it comes to Rowville rail extension

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]THE State Government has been accused of putting votes before priorities as it refuses to make a ­commitment to rail projects in the east.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]The Coalition last week made a $700 million commitment to build a rail extension in an ultra-marginal seat in Melbourne’s north.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]This is despite a Victoria Public Transport report in 2012 stating the Mernda rail extension was less of a ­priority than the proposed Rowville and Doncaster rail lines.[/font][/size][/color]

Dodging debate on passenger rail?

Posted Wednesday, 29 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

ACCORDING to ABC’s 7.30 (October 17), Mildura MP Peter Crisp doesn’t want a debate on passenger rail at the moment. It’s too inconvenient.

More to be done to meet rail demand

Posted Wednesday, 29 October, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

IN response to recent letters regarding the Regional Rail Link, as a regular train service user and a civil engineer I think any rail and public transport improvement is welcomed, but there is always more to be done.   Yes, in my train travelling time over recent years while the number of services and carriages/seats available have increased considerably, the travel times have also risen and peak service departure times made even less convenient. The Regional Rail Link does provide much-needed additional capacity and much-reduced conflict between Metro and Regional trains, particularly as they near Southern Cross Station.

Study finds Doncaster rail off track for 15 years

Posted Wednesday, 29 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Victorian Rail News

The Doncaster rail line – all but promised by the Coalition before the 2010 election – is another 15 years away from being built, a Napthine government study has found. Government authority Public Transport Victoria also predicts the railway line would prompt just 2 per cent of motorists to switch from cars to trains, even though the line would service one of the most car-dependent parts of Melbourne. About 56,000 passengers a day would use the line by 2031, PTV predicts. In the meantime, work will be done to give residents of Melbourne's north-east better bus services in and out of the city.

A once-visionary rail plan for Sydney lost in time

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

OUTSIDE Tony Eid’s ­office at Sydney Trains is a giant “bird’s eye” view of Sydney’s electric train routes with the Harbour Bridge and the City Circle stations easily identifiable in red. “It is fantastic,” said Mr Eid, Sydney Trains ­director of ­operations, “particularly when you realise this map was drawn in 1915, long before any of this was built.” The name of the draughtsman and visionary sits in pride of place in the top left corner of the map — John Bradfield.

Secret deal sparks new rail controversy

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Western Australian Rail News

CBH says a potential conflict of interest in the WA Government's oversight of Brookfield Rail operating a privatised State-owned monopoly asset, while being incentivised to profit share with the commercial entity, must be urgently addressed. A previously undisclosed profit-sharing deal between Brookfield and the Public Transport Authority (PTA) sparked fresh controversy last week over the grain rail network's complex operations. It was unveiled when the rail network's operational lease and other details were publicly released earlier this month, along with the WA parliament's Economic and Industry Standing Committee report into the rail network's management.

Victoria state election poll shows Labor leading Napthine government

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

n a sign the government is failing to gain traction just four weeks from the November 29 election, the inaugural Fairfax Ipsos poll shows the Coalition lagging Labor 44 per cent to 56 per cent in two-party-preferred terms.

Driverless trains are coming to Sydney, which is kind of cool but also a teensy bit scary. Or is it?

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

[color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifBold, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]THE LITTLE boy slipped down the gap and onto the track as he tried to board the carriage with his parents.[/font][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The train driver prepared to accelerate away from the station, but before doing so, he performed one last habitual check of the CCTV monitor in his cabin. That’s when he saw a tiny hand reaching up and averted a tragedy.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#323232][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]It’s isolated incidents like this one on the Jubilee Line of the London Underground in 2012 that fuel the opponents of driverless train systems.[/font][/size][/color]

Labor's $800m rail pledge: Hope for north-east Vic to be a focus

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Labor candidate for Benambra, Jennifer Podesta, says a Victorian Opposition pledge of $800 million for new trains and carriages could deliver improved services for the north-east.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Labor Leader Daniel Andrews pledged to spend the money on Victoria's rail network if he wins government next month.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mrs Podesta said it was vital that the north-east gained its share of new V/Line carriages.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]She said the north-east line needs to be a focus, no matter which party forms government.[/font][/size]

Wulkuraka rail depot is right on track

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND Rail has started drainage works and earthworks at Wulkuraka station as part of the massive New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) project. QR says it means temporary closures of the Dixon St station entrances will be required over the next six months. There will be alternate station access with check signs at each entrance and around the station. The largest single investment by Queensland in trains, the State Government's NGR project aims to significantly increase the train fleet to meet the growing demand for the region's rail services.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder council urges rethink on PortLink rail line route

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in Western Australian Rail News

The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder is appealing to the Department of Transport to change its preferred route for a new rail link in town. As a part of the PortLink project to connect the Goldfields city with ports in the Pilbara, mid-west and Esperance regions, both a new rail and bypass road will be built around Kalgoorlie. The department is hoping to build a line on the north-west side of town connecting to the existing rail lines on the Goldfields and Great Eastern highways. However, Kalgoorlie Mayor Ron Yureyvich said that route would inhibit the future growth of the town over the next 30 years.

Labor All Aboard For Bendigo Metro Rail

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

An Andrews Labor Government will introduce Bendigo Metro Rail, a dedicated commuter rail service for Bendigo, to reduce local traffic and allow people to commute to work and school. Under Labor’s $2 million plan, regular rail services will run from Epsom, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat to Bendigo. Labor will establish a community taskforce to help implement Bendigo Metro Rail. It will advise on timetables, fleet and marketing. Currently, only four train services a day run from Eaglehawk to Bendigo station, and only two from Epsom. Patronage is low. It’s not a real, dedicated rail system for Bendigo.

Italy to speed up rail operator privatization

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2014 by pgrimbles in International Rail News

Italy's [url=http://www.reuters.com/finance/economy?lc=int_mb_1001]economy[/url] ministry said on Wednesday it will set up a working group to speed up the process of privatizing rail operator Ferrovie dello Stato, one of several units earmarked for sale in an asset sale program which has run into delays. [url=http://www.reuters.com/places/italy?lc=int_mb_1001]Italy[/url] planned a raft of state asset sales last year in a bid to raise about 11 billion euros ($14 billion) and chip away at a public debt which is the second highest in the [url=http://www.reuters.com/subjects/euro-zone?lc=int_mb_1001]euro zone[/url] as a percentage of output, after [url=http://www.reuters.com/places/greece?lc=int_mb_1001]Greece[/url]. But plans have been delayed and one of the most high-profile privatizations, of a 40 percent stake in state-owned post office operator Poste Italiane, is now unlikely to be completed until late next year.

Victorian election 2014: Ripon candidates talk transport

Posted Thursday, 30 October, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

TRANSPORT has quickly become the most talked about issue across metropolitan seats. The East-West Link stands as the most contentious issue in politics although in Ballarat residents are still after improvements at a local level. With Ballarat's train line booming, forward thinking for a long-term vision for the line is needed now. While new trains are on order from both side politics, neither side is set to commit to any further duplication of the line, meaning adding extra services will become increasingly difficult for the Ballarat line.

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