News

 

Showing stories from March 2014

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Support for North-East Rail Trail

Posted Saturday, 1 March, 2014 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

THE Greens have pledged their support towards the North-East Rail Trail, saying its development will provide an economic boost through tourism to an area that desperately needs it. The trail is about 89 kilometres from Launceston to Billycock Hill, taking in Scottsdale, Lilydale, Karoola, Lalla, Tunnel, Lebrina and Nabowla, and  would add value to existing mountain bike trails in the area.

KiwiRail carrying out urgent testing of locomotives

Posted Saturday, 1 March, 2014 by newsbot in New Zealand Rail News

KiwiRail is carrying out urgent testing to ensure our staffs’ safety after manufacturers confirmed the soundproofing compound used in its DL locomotives includes a small proportion of asbestos. This was prompted after routine testing of a paint sample indicated the possible presence of asbestos, despite contractual specification that no asbestos be used in the design and manufacture of the locomotives. Analysis carried out on a single locomotive today confirmed that the asbestos is contained and does not constitute a risk to health, says KiwiRail’s chief executive Peter Reidy.

4-8-8-4 Big Boy Locomotive

Posted Saturday, 1 March, 2014 by newsbot in Letters to the Editor

[color=#343638][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]This is a HUGE model of the 4-8-8-4 Big Boy, an American steam locomotive used by Union Pacific Railroad from 1941 into the 1960s. A special project commissioned by MakerBot to test limits of 3D printing, it was created and assembled by Paul Fischer.[/font][/size][/color]

Vic railway stations become smoke-free

Posted Saturday, 1 March, 2014 by waynes in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifBold, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]SMOKERS at Victorian railway stations and raised tram platforms must butt out from Saturday or face a $212 fine.[/font][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]All areas of railway stations and raised platform tram stops will now be smoke-free under state government changes.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]Until now, smoke-free zones have only included covered areas of railway platforms and inside covered tram and bus shelters.[/font][/size][/color]

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 1/3/2014.

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 112 sightings for this week; this is four sightings less than last week. On day 60 last year we had recorded 997 sightings. This is 31 sightings more that at the same time last year.

Denis Napthine has bad poll news, east-west link not popular. Metro Rail Tunnel favoured

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Napthine government is heading to an election with its key priorities in doubt, as most voters remain unconvinced about the east-west link and more than a quarter say public safety is getting worse. Despite countless hours and millions of dollars spent marketing the $8 billion road project, the latest Age/Nielsen poll has found that only one in four Victorians believe the tunnel should be the highest infrastructure priority to ease congestion and improve liveability. Instead, most people want the government to build the Metro Rail Capacity Project - a nine-kilometre underground train line through the city that would allow another 20,000 passengers to use the network during peak hour.

Rail project marks 150 years

Posted Sunday, 2 March, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

IN THE 1860s the American Civil War was raging and the mills in the north of England were crying out for a new suppliers of wool. The government of the new colony of Queensland, keen to get the produce from the rich farmlands of the Darling Downs, began a project that would change the state forever, with Ipswich at its heart. This week marked the 150th anniversary of the start of construction of the rail line from Ipswich to Bigges Camp, now Grandchester, the first line in Queensland. It was the first section of what would become the Main Line, which would eventually run from Roma St in Brisbane up the range to Toowoomba. The line was designed to get southern Queensland's agricultural riches to port and onto the northern hemisphere as quickly as possible.

Separatists blamed for Chinese railway massacre

Posted Monday, 3 March, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

[color=#1b2024][size=4][font=HelveticaNeue-75-Bold, Helvetica, Arial, 'times new roman', serif]Separatists from China's northwest region of Xinjiang have been blamed by local government for a mass stabbing attack which left 28 dead at a train station.[/font][/size][/color]

Road and rail is the way to go

Posted Monday, 3 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Premier Denis Napthine made an important public statement about the future of Melbourne's transport system last week. At a Property Council lunch in Melbourne, he said this: ''Let me absolutely assure you, our government is committed to a 'rail capacity project' to enhance rail capacity through the centre of Melbourne, to boost rail capacity on the Dandenong line and the Gippsland line. We need it, it is essential. We are committed, by the end of this decade, to be building a rail capacity project and include in that a link to the airport. We will deliver that because it is absolutely essential, so don't let anybody have a misunderstanding about our commitment to that as a key project.''

Dandenong rail line on track for years of disruption

Posted Monday, 3 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Tens of thousands of train passengers on the Dandenong line face the prospect of several years of severe overcrowding and declining reliability because of the Napthine government's failure to kick-start the multibillion-dollar Metro rail project. A Transport Department study of the Dandenong rail corridor found that major investment is needed before the end of this decade - including new high-capacity trains and the removal of up to eight level crossings - to cope with forecast growth of about 8000 extra peak-hour passengers a year. The study, completed in early 2012, concluded the $9 billion to $11 billion Metro rail tunnel was the long-term solution to the looming congestion crisis, noting that it could be built by 2021 at the earliest with prompt state and federal government funding.

Teenage girl has feet severed after being run over by Perth train

Posted Monday, 3 March, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A teenage girl has had her feet severed after an incident at the McIver Train Station, in Perth's CBD, overnight. Police spokesman Sam Dinnison said while police were investigating, it was understood that the 16-year-old girl was trying to cross the tracks when she was run over below the knees. Police were called to the station about 11pm on Sunday.

Recent CSX derailment fuels concerns over rail safety

Posted Monday, 3 March, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

[color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Crude oil shipments have been a growing concern for many residents in the Capital Region and the recent derailment of 13 tank cars carrying crude oil at the Selkirk Rail Yard may be fueling the controversy. A local Earth Justice attorney says it should be a wake-up call.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"Is it going to take fire and explosion with loss of life, destruction of property for people to wake up?" asks Earth Justice Attorney Christopher Amato.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Amato says that a catastrophe happened last year with an explosion in Quebec where 47 people lost their lives, all from tankers carrying bakken crude oil. He says proof of that potential danger came a little closer to home on Friday when the 13 rail cars derailed at the Selkirk Rail Yard.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"The fact that these cars are susceptible to derailment has been known for some time," says Amato[/font][/size][/color]

Former rail staff car parks seized, leaving 1000 more spaces for commuters

Posted Monday, 3 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]MORE than 1000 railway station car parking spaces reserved for RailCorp staff will be given back to commuters, as part of the state government’s latest rail reform measures.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The move comes after an audit found that staff who had left the organisation were still using their keys to access the secure car parking.[/font][/size][/color]

Miner signs deal to access proposed Pilbara rail and port system

Posted Monday, 3 March, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[b]Flinders Mines says a newly minted agreement to access a proposed rail and port system in the Pilbara will help progress its iron ore project near Tom Price.[/b] Flinders will use Balla Balla joint venture's planned network to ship its ore by 2017. The move follows failed negotiations to access existing rail lines owned by BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group.

Railway land being sold to help fund transport upgrades

Posted Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]THE Napthine Government is selling surplus railway land to developers to help fund public transport upgrades.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]An apartment development has gone up at Glen Waverley station and bidders are competing for a project at Jewell station in Brunswick.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Transport Minister Terry Mulder is due to announce expressions of interest for new housing and the revamp of Hampton station under the station precinct enhancement program.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]“Our program reinvests development profits directly to station precincts, with upgrades that create safer, more secure, more accessible and more appealing spaces around the station,” he said.[/font][/size][/color]

East West Link may have raised peak-hour tolls

Posted Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 by bevans in Other Transport News

Motorists who use the East West Link in the peak could pay a higher toll than those who drive on the planned road outside of rush-hour.

Third light rail option for Newcastle on table

Posted Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]THE proposed light rail system for Newcastle would cost twice as much to run down Hunter Street than the existing rail corridor, the state government has revealed.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]More light rail details were released last week, when the state government launched its "Revitalising Newcastle" website and hosted invitation-only sessions for industry and large business owners.[/font][/size][/color]

Greens say light rail won't boost public transport take-up

Posted Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Greens are calling on the state's Transport Minister to back up her claims Newcastle's planned light rail system will increase public transport use.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Three options are being considered for the project, including running light rail down the existing heavy rail corridor or along Hunter Street.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Greens' transport spokeswoman Mehreen Faruqi has lashed out at the government's new brochure which says the system will "encourage more people to use public transport"[/font][/size]

Key rail, road infrastructure projects identified in reports

Posted Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Several rail infrastructure projects have been identified as key to boosting the capacity at Newcastle port and creating jobs in the Hunter.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Two infrastructure planning documents, commissioned by the Federal Government, have been released today.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]More than a dozen rail and road projects have been identified as needing funding.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Some of the projects include bypasses of the New England Highway at Singleton and Muswellbrook, and upgrades to the New England Highway.[/font][/size]

$1m grant to keep rail corridor project on track

Posted Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A $1 million South Australian Government grant will be used to speed up the multi-million dollar redevelopment of Mount Gambier's rail corridor.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The independent Member for Mount Gambier, Don Pegler, announced yesterday the project had been successful in securing the 'open space' funding.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The city council will match the grant.[/font][/size]

Herald Sun/Galaxy Poll reveals airport rail link our top priority

Posted Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[b]VICTORIANS want a rail line to the airport ahead of a new rail tunnel through inner ­Melbourne or the East West Link, a Herald Sun/Galaxy Poll has found.[/b] More than one-third of voters surveyed in the poll said a city to airport rail link should be a higher priority than other major infrastructure projects promised by the Government and State Opposition. Those surveyed were able to nominate what they thought was the most important project out of the airport link, the Metro rail capacity project that will link northwest Melbourne to South Yarra, getting rid of 50 of the worst rail crossings, or the East West Link from Sunshine to the Eastern Freeway.

Food, drink on V/LINE buses a must

Posted Wednesday, 5 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]V/LINE’S North East regional manager has requested Wodonga’s station manager make water available free of charge when bus replacement services are operating.[/font][/size][/color]

Plan for monorail to Melbourne Airport

Posted Wednesday, 5 March, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

Melbourne Airport would be linked to the city by a $1 billion monorail under a proposal by a tourism infrastructure entrepreneur. The monorail would be built high above the Tullamarine Freeway and would connect the airport to either Southern Cross or Flinders Street station, News Corp Australia reports. The plan is the brainchild of tourism infrastructure entrepreneur Peter O'Brien, who says it would be a high-tech alternative to a diesel train.

Spirit of the Outback back on track as flood-hit rail line reopens

Posted Thursday, 6 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

[b]The main rail line to central western Queensland has reopened after heavy rain and localised flooding damaged the track last month.[/b] Queensland Rail (QR) says its Spirit of the Outback passenger service between Longreach and Brisbane will now operate as normal, with the track around Alpha repaired.

Councils on track with push to return passenger rail services west of Ararat

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[b]A group of western Victorian councils say they will look at a feasibility study to determine the viability of returning passenger rail services west of Ararat.[/b] The Wimmera and south-west councils met representatives of the State Government and Public Transport Victoria in Ararat last week to discuss the idea. The Horsham council's chief executive, Peter Brown, say the region is being disadvantaged by a lack of services. He says it is an important project for the region which would have significant economic, employment and social benefits.

Major new rail project for Melbourne

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE'S southeast will get 25 new high capacity trains under a $2 billion-plus rail project. The project will transform the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines and deliver a 30 per cent capacity boost for the rail corridor, the state government says. Premier Denis Napthine said the project was a significant investment in the next generation of technology and would include 25 new trains.

Queensland Rail trains to continue running when motorists hit boom gates

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]TRAINS will continue to run through level crossings where boom gates have been wiped out by reckless motorists, under new procedures being introduced in southeast Queensland.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Fed up with a spate of recent boom gate strikes that have plunged the train timetable into chaos, Transport Minister Scott Emerson said Queensland Rail had devised a new system.[/font][/size][/color]

Traffic estimates for the East West Link ignore planned rail tunnel

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Official predictions about how many vehicles will travel on the East West Link ignore the impact the Metro rail tunnel would have, despite the Napthine government and the opposition pledging to start building the rail link before the end of the decade. Michael Veitch, the director of the consultancy hired by the state government to predict traffic numbers for the East West Link, admitted under cross-examination on Wednesday that the predictions published by the Linking Melbourne Authority late last year did not factor in the rail link. On day three of the 30-day planning panel hearing into the $9 billion-$11 billion road project Mr Veitch said this was because building Metro rail between South Kensington and South Yarra would make little difference to how many motorists used the toll road.

United councils confident of rail service push

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]SEVEN councils in the south-west and Wimmera are inching closer towards the return of passenger rail services after “heartening” talks with the state government.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Glenelg Shire and Southern Grampians Shire, together with five other councils covering Ararat, Edenhope, Nhil and Horsham, are moving to fund a feasibility study on the condition the government also pitches in. [/font][/size][/color]

Rail lobby urges Port of Melbourne sale to be reinvested into rail

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has hailed the Victorian government’s planned sale of Australia’s busiest port for containerised and general cargo, the Port of Melbourne. Following the Victorian government’s announcement that it intends to sell the long-term lease of the Port, the ARA has suggested that the income from the sale should be reinvested into vital transport infrastructure around the state and “in particular Melbourne”. The announcement of the sale came in early March 2014 when Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien said that the state government is “investigating the strategic and commercial options for the future of Victoria’s state-owned ports”. Mr O’Brien said the state government is “carefully considering” the future of Victoria’s port assets to ensure they deliver the “best return” to Victorian taxpayers. As the sale is expected to make significant financial returns Victoria, the ARA has called upon the state government to use the proceeds of the sale to open up reinvestment opportunities into transport infrastructure “which boost economic activity”.

Rail Revivial Alliance - Newstead Rally

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Newstead Railway Station will come alive with the next Rail Revival Alliance Rally on Sunday, 6 April at 12 noon. Bring your family and friends to the rally. Public Transport Victoria conducted the [url=http://ptv.vic.gov.au/projects/rail-projects/rail-revival-study-geelong-ballarat-bendigo/]Rail Revival Study[/url] and have surmised that the project is not economical as the costs for infrastructure would out weight the predicted benefits. Instead PTV are considering the introduction of increased coach services between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo so that passengers do not have to travel via Melbourne.

Trolley bridge about to collapse into Clackamas

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

GLADSTONE, Ore. – The Old Trolley Bridge is dangerously close to collapsing near High Rocks on the Clackamas River. The bridge is about a mile up river from the confluence with the Willamette River.

Collinsville, Merinda residents spared rail line resumptions

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The State Government has moved to exclude areas around two north Queensland towns from being resumed as part a major resource project.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Residents in Collinsville and Merinda have expressed concern their properties would be resumed to make way for a rail corridor through the Galilee Basin.[/font][/size]

Rail improvements promise quicker journey

Posted Friday, 7 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Gippsland V/Line passengers are set to benefit from upgrades to train lines in Melbourne's south-east.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A $2 billion upgrade of the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines will include upgrades to rail signalling and the removal of four level crossings.[/font][/size]

Enterprise boss calls for inland rail to come to Toowoomba

Posted Saturday, 8 March, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]TOOWOOMBA and Surat Basin Enterprise CEO Shane Charles has pushed the significant impact the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Project will have on Toowoomba when he made a presentation at yesterday's Inland Rail Symposium in Moree.[/font][/size][/color]

Group takes next step in push for rail link

Posted Sunday, 9 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A PETITION calling for the re-introduction of a regional rail link is the latest push to connect Bendigo to other major towns across the state. [/font][/size][/color]

Rail freight angst: Gap in food to Asia plan, says transport boss

Posted Monday, 10 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]THERE’S a gap in Victoria’s new  “Food to Asia Action Plan,” that only a major upgrade of the Mildura to Melbourne rail freight line can fix, Wakefield Transport owner Ken Wakefield said yesterday.[/font][/size][/color]

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 8/3/2014.

Posted Monday, 10 March, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 119 sightings for this week; this is seven sightings more than last week making a total of 1147 sightings for this year to date On day 67 last year we had recorded 1109 sightings. This is 38 sightings more that at the same time last year.

Mayor rules out Byron rail corridor as bypass option

Posted Monday, 10 March, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[ltr]Byron shire mayor Simon Richardson has rejected calls to use the rail corridor in Byron Bay as a road bypass of the town, saying it was an unlikely option.[/ltr] [ltr]Cr Richardson says the disused corridor should be protected for the future use of rail, and changing its status would increase the temptation for governments to privatise it.[/ltr] [ltr]Community calls for the much needed bypass to ease congestion on the northerly entrance to the town have increased since plans for the proposed West Byron subdivision were announced.[/ltr] [ltr]But Cr Richardson said  Transport for NSW (TfNSW), the owner of the rail asset, and its agent John Holland Rail, which has the contract for property management, have confirmed that an Act of Parliament was needed to remove the status of the rail corridor.[/ltr]

Wagga to 'grab inland rail opportunity with both hands'

Posted Monday, 10 March, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]THE number of heavy vehicles on Wagga's east-west thoroughfare is expected to triple to more than 8000 per day within 40 years.[/font][/size][/color]

Late night travellers vote with their feet to dump NightRide

Posted Monday, 10 March, 2014 by bevans in Cityrail News

Public transport use has been steadily increasing in Sydney, with one exception. Patronage on the city's NightRide buses - the only form of mass transport available to Sydney's early-morning drinkers and late-night workers - is falling rapidly. The NightRide buses are the backbone of the O'Farrell government's transport response to concerns about alcohol-fuelled violence in central Sydney, after it rejected proposals for more late-night trains. The sole transport initiative announced as part of the government's crackdown on late night inner-city drinking was to cut the cost of travelling by bus from Kings Cross to Town Hall or Central, where people are encouraged to join the NightRide services that operate in lieu of trains.

Troy Buswell resigns from Cabinet after what Premier Colin Barnett described as a 'breakdown'

Posted Monday, 10 March, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]WA Treasurer Troy Buswell has resigned from Cabinet following what Premier Colin Barnett described as a "breakdown".[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It follows reports he was involved in a car crash before taking personal leave more than two weeks ago.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]At the time Mr Barnett explained the leave by saying Mr Buswell had taken time off for health-related reasons.[/font][/size]

$15m cold store to take 6000 trucks off road

Posted Monday, 10 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Midfield Group’s construction of a $15 million cold store in Warrnambool would remove 6000 trucks from the road each year. The massive cut in truck traffic will be achieved by reducing the volume of meat product Midfield presently trucks to a cold store in Laverton.

Trains suspended on Hurstbridge line after grass fire near tracks

Posted Monday, 10 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Peak-hour trains were suspended in both directions on the Hurstbridge line after a track-side grass fire broke out in Melbourne’s north-east. Damaged power lines are believed to have sparked the fire that spread across 500 metres of train tracks between Eaglemont and Ivanhoe stations shortly before 3.30pm on Monday. It prompted the fire brigade and police to request for Metro Trains to suspend all city-bound services. Metro tweeted that services had resumed running between Heidelberg and Clifton Hill around 6.30pm.

Artarmon rail lift to rise before Unanderra?

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by bevans in Cityrail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has refused to deny claims that a train station on the border of her electorate has ‘‘jumped the queue’’ and will get lifts before Unanderra station.[/font][/size][/color]

Contact with third rail injures LIRR worker, MTA says

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A Long Island Rail Road track worker was hospitalized Monday with what a railroad official termed "non-life-threatening injuries" suffered when he came into contact with the electrified third rail in Babylon. The accident occurred at 10:35 a.m., Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said. The identity of the worker has not been released.

North West Rail Link workers discover remains of 180-year-old White Hart Inn at Kellyville

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

[color=#333333][size=4][font='Times New Roman', sans-serif][b][b]FOR more than a century, it was the pub with a name but no fixed address. Until now.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font='Times New Roman', sans-serif]The remains of the White Hart Inn have been unearthed by workers preparing to build the North West Rail Link in Kellyville, sparking a full-blown archaeological dig.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font='Times New Roman', sans-serif]The circa 1830 building fronted Windsor Rd — an unsealed dirt track for much of its life, before disappearing between the 1880s and the early 1900s.[/font][/size][/color]

Local farmers may not benefit from inland rail line

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

[b]The proposed Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail line won't necessarily help local farmers get their produce to market.[/b] Much of the 1,800 kilometre route will run though country New South Wales. But Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss says branch lines (small lines that connect to the main rail line) are unlikely to be funded by the private sector investors who are integral to the $5 billion project project. He says it will be those investors that decide if branch lines would be viable.

Rail upgrade hopes not high

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A $2 billion election commitment promising to benefit Gippsland rail commuters has been met with scepticism by the Public Transport Users Association.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Premier Denis Napthine announced $2 billion to $2.5 billion would be spent upgrading the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines, delivering a 30 per cent capacity boost for one of Melbourne's busiest rail corridors.[/font][/size][/color]

Mayor hails government’s interest in rail line in action plan for upgrade to Mildura

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

AT LAST, there’s some light at the end of the line: the Victorian Government’s new Food to Asia Action Plan has flagged an upgrade to the decrepit, accident-prone Mildura to Melbourne rail link.

Heritage rail to get Greens' backing

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by newsbot in Tasmanian Rail News

THE Tasmanian Greens announced their support for heritage rail at Steamfest at Sheffield at the weekend.Greens candidate for Lyons Tim Morris said the Greens would invest $2.25million over the next three years to ensure the heritage railways had consistent access to money.

New York could be model for Qld's rail network: Newman

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

A PROJECT beneath New York's iconic Grand Central Station could be a good model for Queensland's new underground bus and rail network, Premier Campbell Newman has said. Inspecting New York's East Access Rail Line project during his US trade mission, Mr Newman said the state could learn from the New York city experience as it built a major rail system to service the eastern part of the state. "This New York project involves major station cavern construction and deep levelled stations beneath existing and operating rail stations and city environments," he said..

Aurizon to close Toowoomba Depot on March 28

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by bevans in Aurizon

Six jobs are on the chopping block as the Toowoomba depot of rail freight company Aurizon closes on March 28.

Suspect leaves car on railroad tracks, disrupting rail traffic

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A Louisville man is accused of disregarding a stoplight, failing to stop for police and leaving his car on railroad tracks, holding up rail traffic for about an hour.

Maitland commuters sceptical of light rail

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]MAITLAND commuters were largely unimpressed with the state government’s plan to install light rail in Newcastle CBD at a consultation session last night, preferring to keep the heavy rail line intact.[/font][/size][/color]

Council urged to get aboard inland rail alliance

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A Southern Downs regional councillor says the shire should join an alliance considering opportunities the proposed inland rail line will bring.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Final studies are underway into a railway between Melbourne and the Port of Brisbane.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance meets in Sydney later this month.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Cr Neil Meiklejohn says the Southern Downs council should get a seat at the table, even though the proposed route of the line does not pass through the shire.[/font][/size]

Queensland’s transport network modelled on the best

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

Some of the world’s most cutting edge public transport design and technology was on show as Premier Campbell Newman toured New York’s East Access Rail Line project during his US trade mission. Mr Newman said the project underneath New York’s iconic Grand Central Station was a good model for Queensland’s own underground bus and rail network, which is set to transform transport in Brisbane’s CBD. “The Brisbane project will create hundreds of jobs and is a major project that delivers on our election commitments,” Mr Newman said. “We promised to grow construction as one of the four pillars of the economy and we promised to revitalise frontline services and create jobs.

Standing committee recommends state government support rail trail concept

Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Rail trails are being promoted by a state government standing committee, investigating ways to grow tourism.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Committee chairwoman, Liberal MP Natasha Maclaren-Jones, says the committee is recommending the government allow disused rail corridors to be developed into rail trails.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The finding is line with the Wagga City Council's recent renewed new push to support developing the disused Ladysmith line, despite ongoing landholder concerns.[/font][/size]

Railway line which crumbled into the sea in ferocious storms is almost rebuilt and will reopen in time for Easter

Posted Wednesday, 12 March, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=1][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=1]Rail chiefs hoped to re-open the line this month, but had to put the date back to mid-April as the project slipped behind schedule. Now, however, they have brought the date forward two weeks and say it will re-open on April 4.[/size][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=1][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=1]It will be welcome news to the thousands of commuters who will have been stranded on replacement buses and coaches for two months.[/size][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=1][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=1]Immediately after the track collapsed some passengers were forced to pay double because the rail firm which runs services on the line withdrew all its advance tickets, which come at a heavy discount. [/size][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=1][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=1]Amid a fierce backlash, First Great Western was forced to deny 'profiteering' and the next day introduced a 25 per cent discount for all its more expensive on-the-day fares.[/size][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=1][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=1]Despite the gesture traders in Devon and Cornwall have claimed the works have cost the South West's tourist economy more than £1million a day.[/size][/font][/size][/color]

Mixed response to city rail plan

Posted Wednesday, 12 March, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

THE majority of inner-city residents who attended a community consultation on the state government’s light rail plan last night were wholeheartedly behind the project.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian under fire over 'two-tiered' ticket plan for the east

Posted Wednesday, 12 March, 2014 by bevans in Cityrail News

Passengers who combine bus and train travel will be denied discounts offered to bus and tram commuters under Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian's policies for the new Opal smartcard. In response to concerns from eastern suburbs residents that they will have to pay more when light rail is introduced in a few years, Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday that trams and buses will cost the same under Opal. But this policy - which will make light rail a more attractive proposition in the eastern suburbs - opens up a gap between what people who live near trains and trams will pay for public transport.

'Freeloaders' targeted in fare evasion campaign

Posted Wednesday, 12 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Public transport authorities have denied they will profile certain passengers as part of a new blitz of fare evasion, despite research revealing young women are regular offenders. Public Transport Victoria commissioned research from Monash University’s’s Institute of Transport Studies to narrow down the type of person most likely to fare evade and where that most likely occurs. New data released reveals fare evasion is at its lowest levels in five years but more than 67,000 repeat fare evaders cost taxpayers about $60 million annually.

Hope for long-suffering commuters as Metro Trains considers paving Huntingdale carpark

Posted Wednesday, 12 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]METRO Trains told Monash Council it will consider paving the gravel Huntingdale Railway Station carpark, to help solve rubbish dumping and parking chaos.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Monash Mayor Geoff Lake said Metro had agreed to investigate payment options for the upgrade during meetings last month.[/font][/size][/color]

Law protecting rail corridors hampers rail trail development

Posted Wednesday, 12 March, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]NEW South Wales is missing out on the growing cycling tourism market because it is hamstrung by old legislation stopping rail trail developments.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]That's the message a new group of rail trail enthusiasts is taking to Macquarie St, and it appears politicians from all sides are listening.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Tim Coen is spokesman for the newly formed Rail Trails for NSW group and said cyclists are travelling to Victoria and New Zealand because there are no rail trails in NSW.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The group is planning an official launch outside Parliament House and Minister for the North Coast, Don Page will be among the guest speakers.[/font][/size][/color]

Geebung rail overpass almost ready for traffic

Posted Thursday, 13 March, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

A notorious level crossing in Brisbane's north will be a thing of the past in just 10 days time. The long-awaited $199 million Robinson Road level crossing replacement project in Geebung is set to open ahead of schedule on March 24, Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said on Wednesday. The RACQ identified the Newman Road level crossing as one of Queensland's worst traffic blackspots following three fatalities and multiple near misses at the site. The construction site became the centre of national media attention in July last year, when [url=http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/technology/sci-tech/phenomenal-fossil-find-in-brisbanes-north-20130716-2q1bk.html]50 million-year-old fossils were found by project workers[/url].

Western Australian rail network inquiry

Posted Thursday, 13 March, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Western Australia's freight rail network will be the subject of an inquiry by the State Economics and Industry Standing Committee.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Committee will consider whether the current lease arrangements and management of the network comprising of tier one, two and three lines, facilitate or hamper state development.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Brookfield Rail currently holds a 50-year lease with the State Government to operate the network.[/font][/size]

Water, port asset sales to fund roads and rail

Posted Thursday, 13 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]SELLING off Melbourne Water and Melbourne Port assets could provide an $8 billion cash injection for the State Government to reinvest in new infrastructure projects.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A report from ANZ has identified more than $112 billion of assets that could be sold by State and Federal governments to fund the nation’s next round of much needed infrastructure investment.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A cashed-up $1.75 trillion superannuation and wider private sector also claim to be ready to snap up any good existing Australian infrastructure that is put on the block.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]This comes as the Abbott government releases a draft report from the Productivity Commission report into public infrastructure that urges an overhaul of the system to attract more private sector funds and generate better returns for taxpayer dollars.[/font][/size][/color]

Car stuck on light rail tracks

Posted Friday, 14 March, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, Lucida, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A car being driven by elderly woman going to a hair appointment has become stuck on light rail tracks on the Gold Coast.[/b][/font][/color]

Alliance fears grain waste without rail freight investment

Posted Friday, 14 March, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance has warned millions of tonnes of grain, harvested during the upcoming season, could go to waste because of the poor state of Western Australia's grain freight network.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]With WA coming off a record grain harvest, at least some of that crop is expected to be in storage until next harvest.[/font][/size]

Tony Abbott backs East West Link to make rail 'easier'

Posted Friday, 14 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Prime Minister Tony Abbott supports improving Melbourne's rail network and says he will help the state build it by funding major road projects including the East West Link. Mr Abbott told Jon Faine on ABC radio that his government was looking at ways to help fund stage two of the East West Link and indicated that both sections could be built at the same time. The Commonwealth has already committed $1.5 billion to stage one of the project – a tunnel between Clifton Hill and Parkville. Asked about employment in Victoria, Mr Abbott said he had been talking to Premier Denis Napthine about the second stage of East West link.

to re-open disused rail lines

Posted Friday, 14 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]A PUSH to allow a private operator to reopen an abandoned country freight rail line could become a model for resurrecting other disused lines across the state.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The state government is advertising for tenders to run and maintain 200km of track from Blayney to Demondrille and Koorawatha to Greenthorpe — known collectively as the “Cowra Lines” and closed in 2007 — as part of the country regional network.[/font][/size][/color]

Why did we cancel trains? Er, our crew can’t walk… Is this the worst excuse yet for rail delays?

Posted Friday, 14 March, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

A new excuse was added to the list of reasons for rail delays this week. London Midland cancelled two rush-hour trains – because the crews were banned from walking. Ticket conductors were making a 1km (half-mile) journey from Birmingham Snow Hill station to New Street in a taxi when it broke down in a busy tunnel. They were forbidden from completing the journey by foot – which would have taken ten minutes – because they had ticket machines and the day’s takings on them.

SteamFest marks 100 years of rail: pictures, photos

Posted Friday, 14 March, 2014 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]KENTISH Museum curator Barb Wells rubs two hands together and utters a chilled ``brrr'' to great effect.[/font][/size][/color]

Probe to lift lid on secret rail deal

Posted Saturday, 15 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

[b]Three State Government backbenchers have broken ranks with ministerial colleagues to launch a potentially explosive inquiry to WA's rail freight network.[/b] The inquiry will delve into the secret terms and management of a lease agreement between the Government and Brookfield Rail covering the Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 lines CBH uses to cart grain from Wheatbelt farms. The powerful Economic and Industry Standing Committee, compromising Liberal MLAs Ian Blayney and Jan Norberger, Nationals MLA Shane Love and Labor's Fran Logan and Peter Tinley, agreed unanimously to launch the inquiry.

Newcastle CBD vision wound back

Posted Saturday, 15 March, 2014 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]LAST week, the state government unveiled the latest version of its plan to revitalise the Newcastle CBD.[/font][/size][/color]

Too many loads on our roads when rail is the answer

Posted Saturday, 15 March, 2014 by waynes in Rail News

[color=#383838][size=3][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]“Without trucks, Australia stops” is now a fact of modern life. But when all costs are considered, road freight is an expensive way of moving large amounts of freight. And, as shown by ongoing fatal crashes involving large trucks, road freight can also be dangerous.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#383838][size=3][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]The main beneficiaries of road freight are not the truck drivers who work hard in a dangerous occupation, but the companies that choose to consign large quantities of freight by road. Road freight has seen strong growth, in part, due to good service levels and major road improvements that include highways with dual carriageways and concrete pavements, climbing lanes, and town bypasses. Over the past 25 years, road upgrades have allowed for the introduction of larger trucks such as B-doubles.[/font][/size][/color]

Rail planning calls for big-picture approach

Posted Sunday, 16 March, 2014 by waynes in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]PROVISION of community infrastructure is rightly a focus for all three levels of government but often attention is given to projects that are not priorities.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]It is time to think about the long-term transport needs for the wider Hunter Region, not just those for inner-city Newcastle.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A vast amount of money continues to be directed to major road upgrades that channel more cars and trucks into our urban areas, including the Hunter Expressway, Newcastle Inner City Bypass and Golden Highway upgrades.[/font][/size][/color]

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 15/3/2014.

Posted Sunday, 16 March, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 138 sightings for this week; this is 19 sightings more than last week making a total of 1285 sightings for this year to date On day 74 last year we had recorded 1221 sightings. This is 64 sightings more that at the same time last year.

Railway goods line reborn as New York-style high line

Posted Sunday, 16 March, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Pedestrians should be able to walk the first section of Sydney's version of New York's ''High Line'' by the end of the year with construction due to start this month. But the latest plans for the goods line walkway - a redevelopment of a little-used rail corridor between Central station and Darling Harbour - show it is expected to be much more than a pedestrian thoroughfare. Pop-up bars, cafes, performance stages, ''study pods'' and electronic screens are all planned to line the border of the goods line, a 500-metre stretch linking Central with Haymarket, Ultimo and Darling Harbour. The line - part of which will consist of raised walkways - is to be built in two stages.

Ten of the world’s best train journeys to experience

Posted Sunday, 16 March, 2014 by bevans in Rail Events

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]FROM the frozen wastes of Siberia to our own backyard there are plenty of adventure train journeys to satisfy even the most jaded traveller, writes Brian May[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Mark Smith is a British train buff and travel writer known as ‘The Man in Seat 61’ who has travelled the world’s finest trains, always in seat 61.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]“A great train ride is that triple combination of the scenery outside the train, the experience inside the train and the people you meet and things that happen on that specific trip which make it memorable,” Mark Smith says.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]“Flying has lost its glamour, it’s time to rediscover real travel by train where the journey itself is an adventure.”[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]So don’t just watch the train go past, jump on and go on an adventure to remember.[/font][/size][/color]

New Zealand DL Locomotive Testing Results Received

Posted Monday, 17 March, 2014 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Laboratory testing of samples taken by an independent tester indicates that no airborne asbestos fibres or asbestos dust has been found to be present in 33 of the 40 Chinese built KiwiRail DL locomotives.  Chief Executive Peter Reidy says results from the rigorous testing show no immediate risk to health, and the report contained recommendations outlining a process for managing and removing the asbestos containing material.  “This is positive news.  Our immediate priority is staff safety, and this vindicates our joint decision to withdraw the locomotives from service until we had a clear pathway for moving forwards.

High-speed rail to take Kochi-Kasaragod route

Posted Monday, 17 March, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#3b3a39][size=2][font=Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The high-speed rail corridor project proposed by the State government between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod is likely to be revamped in the wake of the Union government’s plan to extend the Bangalore-Coimbatore high-speed rail project to Kochi.[/font][/size][/color]

High-rise railway developer on track for local projects

Posted Monday, 17 March, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

[color=#333333][size=4][font='Times New Roman', sans-serif][b][b]JAY Walder readily concedes that putting up a 50-storey apartment building over a train station won't be everyone's answer to funding significant infrastructure development.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font='Times New Roman', sans-serif]As chief executive of Hong Kong's rail operator, Walder routinely oversees such projects. It suits one of the most densely populated cities and biggest users of public transport, but it's not for everyone, Walder admits.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font='Times New Roman', sans-serif]However, that hasn't stopped international cities -- Melbourne and Sydney among them -- beating a path to MTR's door in the quest for workable solutions to the expensive problem of financing and sustaining rail development in some of the world's biggest cities.[/font][/size][/color]

Bid for Central West Rail Trails gathers steam

Posted Monday, 17 March, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Momentum is building for the development of rail trails in the Central West.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Rail trails are disused train routes that can be used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]There are currently rail trails on lines that were publicly operated and only a few around Newcastle on lines that were privately used by coal companies.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A Parliamentary Inquiry has just recommended the government allow disused rail corridors in New South Wales to be opened up for such use.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Liberal MLC, Natasha Maclaren-Jones, who chaired the inquiry says the committee believes rail trails have tourism potential but its now up to the Government to consider the recommendation.[/font][/size]

Driver's tramline mishap won't change light rail safety efforts

Posted Monday, 17 March, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The CEO of the consortium operating the Gold Coast light rail says drivers will be completely safe if they follow road rules around the new lines.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Aan 88-year-old woman drove onto the tramlines at Southport and then 60 metres onto the Sundale Bridge, with one wheel on the line and the other on concrete a foot below, on the way to a hairdresser appointment.[/font][/size]

Would-be palm reader pleads guilty to V/Line sex attacks

Posted Monday, 17 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

A man has pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting young women on V/Line trains as they travelled between Bendigo and Melbourne. Ajay Chopra, 41, pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault and two charges of attempted indecent assault in the County Court on Thursday after deciding overnight against having his case go to trial. Chopra approached five women, aged between 20 and 30, between February 1 and August 17, 2011 and either indecently assaulted them or tried to. Previous court hearings were told he approached the women offering to read their palms.

Mudslide slows BNSF rail service north of Seattle

Posted Monday, 17 March, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

A mudslide late Sunday night has temporarily cut rail service on BNSF tracks north of Seattle. BNSF spokesman says the slide of mud, trees and debris struck about 11 p.m. between Seattle and Edmonds.

Twenty rail cars derail, block road at Wedron

Posted Monday, 17 March, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Verdana, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]More than 20 rail cars carrying sand derailed in Wedron near Wedron Silica at about 9:50 a.m. Sunday, blocking County Highway 21 and for part of the morning prevented traffic from crossing the Fox River bridge from Wedron toward Route 71.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Verdana, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]Serena firefighters and Sheridan ambulance crews responded, and had left the scene before 11 a.m., said La Salle County Sheriff’s Cpl. Dave Woolford.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Verdana, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]La Salle County deputies remained on the scene and, as of 11 a.m., were waiting for Illinois Railway (the Illinois Rail Net company) to get a crew to clear the crossing.[/font][/size][/color]

S. Africa rail firm in 'biggest ever train order'

Posted Tuesday, 18 March, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

Johannesburg (AFP) - South Africa's state-owned rail freight firm Transet said Monday it was ordering more than 1,000 new trains, in what it hailed as the country's biggest single corporate infrastructure investment. The total order of 1,064 locomotives was worth 50 billion rand (3.3 billion euros, $4.7 billion), Transnet said in a statement.

Level crossing removals fuel hope for Rowville rail link from Huntingdale

Posted Tuesday, 18 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]THE State Government’s multi-billion-dollar rail ­announcement has reinvigorated calls for a Rowville rail link from Huntingdale Railway Station.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The link would run from Huntingdale to Rowville and include three new train stations in Monash.[/font][/size][/color]

Traveller satisfaction improves as V/Line works on reliability

Posted Tuesday, 18 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

CUSTOMER satisfaction on V/Line trains has improved, however it still sits far below figures achieved in 2006.  The Public Transport Victoria results show 86 per cent of customers are satisfied and covers the services between October and December.

Abbot Point rail line concerns for surrounding community

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]HIGH rents, tight labour pool and rough roads.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It doesn't sound like a fun place to live, and it kind of sounds familiar, but according to Australia Institute researcher Mark Ogge that will become the reality for communities near the soon-to-be built Abbot Point rail lines.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mr Ogge will be among the speakers at a workshop for landholders in Clermont on Monday.[/font][/size][/color]

CQU research will help boost rail manufacturing industry

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]THE Federal Government has pledged at least $31 million to bolster Australia's rail manufacturing industry, and CQUniversity will be a key research provider.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A new rail manufacturing co-operative research centre will draw on CQUniversity's expertise in software and instrumentation used for train condition monitoring, and the regional uni is also well placed to use simulation to test new designs of railway components.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]CQUniversity's rail research group was a key partner in the research centre bid and was involved in bid preparation and the final interview.[/font][/size][/color]

Costly airport express rail link for Badgerys Creek sure to test state-federal relations

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

A separate express train line would be needed if people were to travel by rail to a Badgerys Creek airport, not a simple extension of Sydney's existing train system, says one of the authors of the major study in support of the airport site. The Abbott government is poised to announce its support for a Badgerys Creek airport in western Sydney within weeks. Determining who pays for the transport links to the airport is almost certain to emerge as a source of tension between the federal and state governments before the airport is built. But Peter Thornton, a former general manager of infrastructure at the engineering firm WorleyParsons who worked on a federal-state study into the airport site, says a rail line to the airport may not be required for many years. But if a line were built, he said, it would need to be an express service and not a simple extension of the south-west rail link that runs close to Badgerys Creek.

Aurizon confirms north Qld redundancies

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by newsbot in Aurizon

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Rail company Aurizon says it has made a final decision on job cuts in four regional towns in north Queensland.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]About 50 jobs will go from depots in Townsville, Charters Towers, Hughenden, Cloncurry and Mount Isa.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The company says it is in the process of telling workers about the decision.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Rail Union's Les Moffitt says the company has offered voluntary redundancies to 21 people working at the Townsville's national operations service centre.[/font][/size]

Patrick Stevedores handed millions of dollars for Port of Melbourne hold-up

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by newsbot in Asciano

Waterfront operator Patrick Stevedores has been secretly handed $18.5 million to compensate for disruptions caused by the expansion of the Port of Melbourne. The Maritime Union of Australia is furious, claiming the secret deal underpins a taxpayer-funded push to casualise the port workforce. In a report to the Australian stock exchange, Patrick's parent company, Asciano, last week confirmed it had received the payment because of the early termination of its lease at Webb Dock, an area of the port that is being redeveloped. Patrick has already announced that as part of the redevelopment it will be offering redundancies to its 260-strong stevedoring workforce. The union says 80 jobs are likely to be lost with 73 per cent of the remaining workforce being employed as casuals.

5 reasons fast trains have an Aussie future

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

[color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]What goes up must come down. At least in the case of airplanes, that's true. But as airplanes keep going up, so do greenhouse gas emissions – these emissions stay in the atmosphere and do not come down.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]High speed rail, on the other hand, is on the up and up, and can run without contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Europe has had high speed rail since the 1960s. China, Japan and Korea all have high speed rail. India has this year announced it is investigating the feasibility of building high speed rail.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Australian governments have for over 30 years toyed with the idea of building a high-speed rail line on the east coast, and there are finally moves underway to set aside the corridor in which a system could be built. This follows the previous federal government’s $20 million high speed rail implementation study which found a significant economic benefit to Australia returning $2.30 for every $1 invested.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions has just completed a two-year study into HSR in Australia which shows that rail can not only dramatically reduce transport emissions, but also be built for $30 billion less than the most recent government study.[/font][/size][/color]

Tenders called for to reopen Cowra rail lines

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay today announced the NSW Government is calling for tenders from the private sector to reopen the ‘Cowra Lines’, 200 kilometres of non-operational rail lines between Blayney and Harden, and Koorawatha and Greenthorpe.[/font][/size][/color]

Time to Deliver: ARTC takes rail freight message to ALC Forum 2014

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

ARTC will be promoting the benefits of rail in a ‘Making Rail Freight Work’ session at the [url=http://alcforum.cvent.com/events/alc-forum-2014/event-summary-c76625ec93a6479199d79ba215fb137a.aspx]Australian Logistics Council’s Forum 2014[/url] to be held on March 19-20 at Royal Randwick in Sydney. Session chair, John McNamara, general manager marketing and customer relations ARTC will reinforce the economic and social benefits of expanding rail freight’s share on the east coast corridor. “ARTC is focused heavily on improving rail freight’s reliability and capacity and reinforcing to our customers the economic, environmental and safety benefits of rail freight – issues which I look forward to highlighting as chair of the ‘Making Rail Freight Work’ session at the ALC Forum,” McNamara said.

Louise Koenig’s trip from Bruce Springsteen’s AAMI Park gig to Macleod a ‘comedy of errors’

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]BRUCE Springsteen fan Louise Koenig’s great night soured when her trip home from a concert on public transport turned into a “circus act”.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Ms Koenig left from Melbourne’s AAMI Park on February 5 and finally opened the front door of her Macleod home just after 2am.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]“It was a comedy of errors,” she said.[/font][/size][/color]

Part of Metro light rail closed in downtown Phoenix after fatal shooting

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

[color=#444444][size=2][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The Metro light rail line is shut down heading eastbound in downtown Phoenix after police shot and killed a carjacking suspect near 1st Avenue and Jefferson Street.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#444444][size=2][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The light rail station at 1st Avenue and Washington Street is closed as police investigate the carjacking, police pursuit and shooting near the Cityscape development downtown. A police official said the station would be closed for several hours.[/font][/size][/color]

Dubai Tram: No mobiles, headphones nearby

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by waynes in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#222222][size=2][font=Arial, sans-serif]Do not use headphones or mobile phones in the area where Dubai Tram could pass.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#222222][size=2][font=Arial, sans-serif]This was one of the messages sent out by the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) during the ongoing Gulf Traffic week, when several authorities are organising safety related events.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#222222][size=2][font=Arial, sans-serif]At first, the warning message may sound a bit surprising. After all, we are used to listening to whatever we like to when roaming or driving in a public area.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#222222][size=2][font=Arial, sans-serif]However, it is all for the benefit of road users’ safety, said RTA.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#222222][size=2][font=Arial, sans-serif]"Did you know that Dubai Tram cares about your safety on the road?" tweeted the authority on Monday.[/font][/size][/color]

Green shoots for rail promise positive year ahead

Posted Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) CEO John Fullerton today said rail has its best ever opportunity to succeed on the corridor between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and following new business wins in 2013 is expecting further growth in 2014. Fullerton said the Company would be targeting the competitive grocery, FMCG, bulk and retail sectors as the main areas for attracting containerised freight on the back of a 30 per cent reliability improvement along this North South corridor in 2013. “Over the last five years more than $3 billion in new infrastructure investment has been pumped into freight rail lines between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane,” Mr Fullerton said. “It really is time for ARTC to capitalise on that investment and capture greater market share of the intermodal market.” In addition to the new rail infrastructure, Fullerton said freight owners will also be benefitting from an advanced rail fleet with above rail operators investing in and operating new locomotives and high productivity wagon designs along the North South corridor.

'Absolutely idiotic': police investigate train-jumping teen

Posted Thursday, 20 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Police are investigating an incident in which a teenage boy was filmed jumping from a moving train for a prank and then bragged about it on Facebook hours later. Metro and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union have condemned the boy’s reckless act, saying it endangered other passengers as well as himself and distressed Metro staff. The boy, 17, was filmed by friends jumping onto the platform at Watergardens station while the train was still moving at about 40 km/h. He immediately lost his feet and crashed to the ground, narrowly avoiding hitting his head on the platform.

How well do you know Melbourne’s rails? Take our quiz to find out

Posted Thursday, 20 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]DO you find yourself predicting every stop on the way home?[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Do you make a point of reminding friends that there are also North and West Richmond stations?[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Do you know that places such as Keon Park, Merlynston, Aircraft and Collingwood actually have train stations?[/font][/size][/color]

Rail trail group off the tracks

Posted Thursday, 20 March, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

[ltr]It’s sad that some people are saying TOOT (Trains On Our Tracks) are not supporting a rail trail. This could not be further from the truth.[/ltr] [ltr]TOOT has been supporting a Rail Trail beside the tracks, with a light rail commuter service. I live 3kms from the Mullum train station, so I’d love to be able to ride my bike to the station and jump on a train.[/ltr] [ltr]While some rail trail supporters are saying they are not ‘anti-trains’, one look at the Northern Rivers Rail Trail Group and Casino Murwillumbah Rail Trail Supporters Group Facebook pages paints a very different story indeed.[/ltr] [ltr]There are people who are anti-train for their own agendas. The creators of these pages are removing all comments that are pro-train, and not answering our questions about their intentions. This is creating tension and preventing a community discussion on the issue.[/ltr]

Opal active on Illawarra and East Hills rail lines from March 28

Posted Thursday, 20 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Rail commuters will be able to use the Opal card to travel on the Illawarra and East Hills rail lines from Friday, March 28.[/font][/size][/color]

South China rail line to boost economic cooperation with ASEAN

Posted Thursday, 20 March, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#353434][size=3][font=Georgia, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Nanning – Wuzhou railway, a section of a south China’s high speed rail line, has been put into trial on March 19, 2014. This line will start operation on April 5.[/font][/size][/color]

Inland Rail Going Round In Circles

Posted Thursday, 20 March, 2014 by Trainplanner in Press Releases

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Calibri]As proposals for a Melbourne to Brisbane freight railcorridor creep back into the headlines once again, an interesting article has appeared in the newsletter of the Railway Technical Society of Australia’s (RTSA) Sydney chapter suggesting that all is not quite so clear cut when it comes to selecting the optimum route for the railway, Mark Carter writes.[/font][/size][/color] [size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]Behind the recent headlines has been the establishment latelast year by the Federal Government of an Inland Rail implementation group led by former transport minister John Anderson.[/font][/color][/size] [size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]According to deputy prime minister Warren Truss, the group’sfirst priority will be to finally settle the alignment and reserve land for the route. [/font][/color][/size]

Man jailed for racist bus tirade in Melbourne

Posted Thursday, 20 March, 2014 by bevans in Other Transport News

The tirade was unrelenting, misogynist, sexist, racist, and it sent a man to jail. As French tourist Fanny Desaintjores sat on a Melbourne bus singing with her friends in her native tongue in November 2012, David Robert Mathew Graham told her to "speak English or die" before unleashing a frightening, expletive-filled rant. He threatened to cut Ms Desaintjores' breasts off with a filleting knife, telling her he was a chef and he knew what he was doing. Graham also delivered a series of sexually degrading comments to her. Hayden Stirling Stewart, 26, joined in the attack, and also threatened to cut the French woman.

Dennington's old rail line wasted, say residents

Posted Friday, 21 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FRUSTRATED Dennington residents say the town’s old railway line is growing weeds and gathering rubbish instead of being used as a walking and cycling route.

Sydney light rail extension to open soon

Posted Friday, 21 March, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#000000][size=4][font=arial]Light rail services between central Sydney and Dulwich Hill in the inner west will begin next week, with services running every 10 minutes during peak times.[/font][/size][/color]

Re-opening of Tonsley rail line is delayed again, for the second time in two months

Posted Friday, 21 March, 2014 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]THE reopening of the Tonsley rail line – which has been closed since February 2012 – has been delayed for the second time in as many months.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The line has been closed for so long that some students at the new $120 million Tonsley Park TAFE campus told the [i]Guardian Messenger [/i]they weren’t even aware there was a train set to service the site.[/font][/size][/color]

Metro Trains under fire over lift breakdown at Coolaroo Railway Station

Posted Saturday, 22 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]AN ELDERLY commuter has labelled Metro Trains “slack” for taking almost a month to fix a broken lift at Coolaroo Railway Station.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Mill Park man Colin Henwood visits the station each weekend, using an elevator to get from one platform to another.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]When the lift broke on February 19, the 82-year-old was forced to climb almost 50 steps to a footbridge to change platforms.[/font][/size][/color]

Opal card smart ticketing system to work on all Sydney trains by end of month

Posted Saturday, 22 March, 2014 by bevans in Cityrail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Sydney's smart ticketing system for public transport, the Opal card, will work at every train station across the city by the end of the month.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]By April 4 it will also be extended to the South Coast and Southern Highland lines.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Blue Mountains and Hunter lines also need to be added to the network, before work starts to have all Sydney Buses services accepting the card by the end of the year.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Opal is already operating on all ferries, across much of Sydney's rail network and for trains up to the central coast.[/font][/size]

Dulwich Hill Light Rail Extension to Open on 27 March

Posted Sunday, 23 March, 2014 by Alfred3333 in Tram and Light Rail News

Sydney's newest light rail extension will deliver turn up and go and reliable transport options through the a part of the Inner West which originally heavily relied on buses only. This is the first completion of a major transport project under Barry O'Farrell.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 22/3/2014

Posted Sunday, 23 March, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 128 sightings for this week; this is ten sightings less than last week making a total of 1413 sightings for this year to date On day 81 last year we had recorded 1349 sightings. This is 64 sightings more that at the same time last year.

Rail to raise options

Posted Sunday, 23 March, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

GRAIN farmers won’t be the only ones reaping the rewards of the proposed inland rail, with regional communities set to be hubs for warehousing and logistics. The $4.5 billion Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Railway would see at least three regional hubs developed, depending on the route taken. In the State’s north, Moree is almost certain to have its own stop on the line, with the council looking to develop an intermodal terminal.

Rail Revival Alliance - Newstead Rally

Posted Sunday, 23 March, 2014 by newsbot in Press Releases

The campaign to restore the Bendigo – Castlemaine –Maryborough – Ballarat – Geelong rail link and the increasing the number of passenger services to Maryborough moves up a notch with the second of a number of rallies to be arranged this year in [url=http://www.railpage.com.au/calendar/event/1165]key locations[/url].

Int’l tenders to be invited for rail upgrades

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

[justify][color=#444444][font=Georgia][b]Myanmar government plans to invite international tenders to bid for railway upgrade projects including the Yangon-Mandalay railway line, said a ministry official at the recent Myanmar Infrastructure Summit.[/b][/font][/color][/justify] [justify][color=#444444][font=Georgia]“Foreign investments are required for our projects. In terms of international aid, JICA [Japan International Cooperation Agency] has contributed the largest. Nevertheless, we will put out [our projects] to international tenders. It’s not true that we will just give them to Japan,” said Kyaw Kyaw Myo, assistant general manager at the Ministry of Rail Transportation.[/font][/color][/justify]

Rail trail option could help boost local tourism

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A rail trail between Dubbo and Molong could be just the sort of attraction that would boost tourism for the region, according to Dubbo Mayor Mathew Dickerson.[/font][/size][/color][color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Cr Dickerson will be at Parliament House in Sydney next Wednesday where the group Rail Trails for NSW will be having its official launch.[/font][/size][/color]

Greens track commuters on light rail plan

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]REGIONAL residents will suffer most if the state government’s plan for light rail in Newcastle goes ahead, Greens transport spokeswoman Dr Mehreen Faruqi said yesterday.[/font][/size][/color]

Railroad to Nowhere: 10 Haunting Abandoned Railway Lines

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by bevans in Railway Stories

Despite being little more than strips of rusty metal laid atop rotting wooden sleepers, there’s something strangely romantic about abandoned railway lines – especially when the tracks are still in situ.  Whether it’s their proud industrial history or the lonely sight of their rails disappearing into the undergrowth, these 10 abandoned railroad lines to nowhere have a haunting appeal.

Rail car shortage has strangulation hold on barley marketing

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

The vast backlog of rail cars has forced those grain handlers dealing in malting barley contracts to focus on moving their contracted bushels, and as a result pretty much suspended any open market malting barley action. “We are 1,700 cars behind on rail cars,” said Kayla Burkhart, a grain broker for Sun Prairie Grain in Minot, N.D. “We are concentrating so much on getting our contracted malt barley moved that we aren’t buying any open market barley at this time. Prices have been pretty stagnant, even with the slight upturn in the other grains. It’s been pretty quiet on the malt barley front.” Many of the elevators have turned to trucks to ship contracted malting barley, but aren’t able to move the volume needed to clean out the 2013 crop in an orderly fashion.

Napier-Gisborne railway back on track?

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by JimYarin in New Zealand Rail News

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council is considering investing more than $5 million to help reopen the Napier-Gisborne railway. The possibility is revealed in the Draft Annual Plan which will be put to the council on Wednesday before being released for public consultation. Submissions close on May 12. The proposal to lease the line if it is reopened by KiwiRail and to then run a rail freight service comes from the Napier Gisborne Rail Establishment Group (NGR), which estimates $10.7 million will be needed to finance capital and operating budgets, including $5.3 million to buy rolling stock, $2.4 million for working capital and a $3 million disaster contingency reserve.

Light rail will allow Canberrans to rethink their city

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

So many of us in Australia are obsessed with our own private mobility. We love driving our cars, but better still, we love buying new cars. We are buying cars in record numbers and, with more road funding flagged in what is otherwise expected to be a tight federal budget, there is little to dissuade us from our self-drive preferences. However, there are undisputed benefits - personal, environmental and economic - from moving away from a reliance on cars and making a shift towards low-emission public transport such as light rail. The focus on private cars for transport has influenced the design of our cities - and not necessarily in a positive way. It often manifests in increased congestion, air and noise pollution. Cities around the world are embracing light rail as they look to re-energise and reshape their cities to reduce congestion and improve the overall health and wellbeing of their citizens. Most Australian cities have very low public transport usage, but anecdotal evidence suggests that private car use has peaked or will peak soon.

Young business travellers favouring first class rail

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

Young business travellers are more likely to travel in first class on trains compared to other age groups, the GTMC has found. A new survey by the association found 28% of 18 to 29 year-olds typically travel in first class when travelling on trains for work, compared to 16% of all respondents.

New VLocity train for the V/Line network

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

More passengers will be able to travel on Victoria’s regional rail network with the Coalition Government announcing that it would boost its existing order of rolling stock with local train manufacturer Bombardier. Premier Denis Napthine and Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder attended the Bombardier factory in Dandenong today and revealed that the Coalition Government would purchase an extra $17 million VLocity train on top of its existing order of 40 new carriages. “This new three-carriage train will be capable of seating an additional 228 passengers, each and every trip for commuters travelling from Traralgon, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo,” Dr Napthine said.

Sydney's North West Rail Link underway

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

Work on Sydney's $8.3 billion North West Rail Link is running ahead of schedule with massive boring machines set to start drilling by the end of October.

Fortescue's rail and port give it cost edge over rivals

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

Fortescue Metals Group is now a cheaper producer of iron ore than Brazil's Vale and is closing the gap on its Pilbara rival BHP, analysts say. A team of Credit Suisse analysts led by Matthew Hope said Fortescue has bounced back from the company that hedge funds cornered during the iron-ore priced slump of mid 2012.

Rail, trails and public money

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

[ltr]The success of constructing and maintaining a road, a highway, a hospital or a school (the list goes on) is not measured by the direct return of the money spent. Those are not-for-profit businesses, whose only goal is direct monetary return on investment.[/ltr] [ltr]They are firstly  judged by their overall benefits, which they contribute to the region they are in, be it indirectly adding to the financial wealth of the region (creating jobs, attracting people who spend money which they otherwise would not).[/ltr]

Goods train derails at Pilol yard, rail traffic hit

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#3f3f3f][size=2][font=georgia]A goods train derailed near Pilol railway station in Savli taluka of Vadodara district in the wee hours of Sunday. The derailment at around 2.30 am adversely affected rail traffic in the region.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#3f3f3f][size=2][font=georgia]According to officials of Vadodara railway division, one wagon of a goods train got derailed at Pilol yard near Pilol railway station on Vadodara-Godhra railway line. The goods train, with 49 wagons, was ferrying coal from Adani Petronet (Dahej) port and was supposed to reach Dadri substation near Delhi.[/font][/size][/color]

Homes near rail lines face exposure to harmful emissions

Posted Monday, 24 March, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A University of Washington study has found residents near rail lines face increased exposure to harmful microscopic particles from diesel emissions. The study also found residents are exposed to larger particles, possibly from coal trains. The study, accepted for publication this month in the online journal Atmospheric Pollution Research, provides some of the first measurements of emission effects of coal train traffic through neighbourhoods in the Pacific Northwest.

Rail company play down asbestos risk on coal wagons

Posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2014 by newsbot in Asciano

ASBESTOS found in Chinese-built coal wagons posed a ‘‘negligible’’ risk to employees and the public, coal train company Pacific National said yesterday.

Three-minute limit suggested for rail interchange

Posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

Three minutes should be the benchmark for changing between heavy and light rail at Wickham station, according to a Maitland City councillor. Some commuters from Maitland have expressed concern about a proposal to cut the heavy rail line at Wickham and replace it with a tram network into Newcastle CBD because of extra time and costs involved in changing from trains to light rail.

Train Derailment at O'Hare Leaves 32 Injured

Posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

Thirty-two people were injured — none seriously — when an eight-car Chicago Transit Authority train continued through the end of the platform and struck the escalators leading to the terminals at O'Hare International Airport early Monday morning. "The train actually climbed over the last stop, jumped up on the sidewalk  and then went up the stairs and escalators," Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jose Santiago said of the crash, which happened just before 3 a.m. on the CTA's Blue Line.

Wagga Mayor confident council will secure private investment for Bomen rail hub over coming months

Posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Wagga Wagga City Council is taking a new approach to attracting private investment to the proposed Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics Hub, allowing operators to join the project at a lower cost.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mayor, Rod Kendall, says council has set aside $50,000 to facilitate negotiations with industry for firm commitments to the Bomen project, which already has around $20m of federal and state government support.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Councillor Kendall says the next few months will be critical in determining the project's future.[/font][/size]

Poor rail threatens food boom

Posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]THE disgraceful state of rural railways means grain growers could become uncompetitive and miss out on big profits from the Asian food boom, warns GrainCorp chairman Don Taylor.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The chairman of eastern Australia's biggest grains handler says urgent spending is needed on the railways.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"We don't have any right to benefit from the food boom; we have to earn it," Taylor tells [url=http://www.afr.com/][color=#1b759a][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][i]The Australian Financial Review[/i][/font][/size][/color][/url].[/font][/size][/color]

Disabled train and tram passengers forgotten

Posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Passengers with disabilities are being left stranded on Melbourne's trains and trams because drivers ''forget'' to help them off at their requested stop or station, an inquiry has heard. Drivers at Metro and Yarra Trams use a ''post-it notes system'' to remind themselves of which stop a passenger in a wheelchair needs to get off the train or tram, but sometimes fail to do this because the sticky note falls to the floor or the vehicle has a change of driver, an inquiry into the social inclusion of Victorians with a disability was told on Monday. Public Transport Ombudsman Janine Young raised concerns at the parliamentary inquiry that lifts, ramps and adequate seating were not being provided across the public transport network for people with disabilities. Ms Young told the inquiry that as a result, some ''might not use public transport at all''.

State government plans overhaul to Melbourne public transport zones, ticketing

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Travel within Melbourne's CBD and Docklands would be free and commuters travelling from the outer suburbs would be charged the same amount as zone 1 passengers under election-year changes proposed by the Napthine government. The state government has pledged to cap maximum daily fares at the zone 1 rate across Melbourne if it wins November's state election, News Corp Australia reports, with all trams in the CBD becoming free from New Year's Day. The free-zone grid would include the Queen Victoria Market and Docklands, and ticket inspectors would no longer police inner-city tram routes. Full-fare commuters travelling from zone 2 into zone 1 now fork out $6.06, while those living within zone 1 pay $3.58 for a two-hour journey.

Rail deals force major miners to operate at a loss

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

Some of the world's biggest miners are running Australian mines at a loss because the fixed costs of their rail contracts mean it would cost more to close them. Several coalmines in Queensland are understood to be operating under such a scenario, because of long-term ''take-or-pay'' rail access contracts that miners struck when commodity prices were high. Several coking coalmines run by global miner Anglo American are understood to be affected in this way and one source said he was confident that Anglo was not ''Robinson Crusoe'' in that regard.

Epic 53-day round-the-world train journey launched

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

It's 27 days shorter than Phileas Fogg's round-the-world attempt in Jules Verne's classic adventure novel, Around the World in 80 Days, but still offers train lovers a rail trip of a lifetime. Beginning and ending in London, Great Rail Journeys' [url=http://www.greatrail.com/tours/around-the-world.aspx#ATG5]53-day escorted trip[/url], which launches next year, covers sites including Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, Xi'an and the Terracotta Army, and the steppes of the Gobi desert. Trains included on the trip include the Tsar's Gold Private Train from Mongolia, the Venice Simplon Orient-Express and the British Orient Express Pullman. The price for the trip, which departs on May 18, 2015, is from £21,995 per person ($A39,711, with a single room rate of £26,345, or $A47,565). That works out at £415 ($A749) per day, and the price includes four- and five-star accommodation throughout, all air and rail travel, most meals and the services of a tour manager.

Train and car collide at Reservoir level crossing while drivers exchange details, South Morang line suspended

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]POLICE have warned motorists to take better care around level crossings after a peak-hour accident that injured one woman and has caused trains to be cancelled on the South Morang line.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Leading Senior-Constable John Bateman from Epping Highway Patrol said the accident at the Reservoir junction crossing was the result of what started as a minor “nose to tail” collision between two cars at about 9am.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]He said the two drivers got out of their vehicles to exchange details, leaving the rear car still on the tracks.[/font][/size][/color]

No mandate: Give Victorians a chance to vote on the East-West toll road

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by newsbot in Letters to the Editor

[color=#4b4f4f][size=4][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]My name is Danita. I'm the mother of two young children and right now I'm feeling abandoned by our Victorian political leaders. [/font][/size][/color] [color=#4b4f4f][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]It frustrates me that politicians promise one thing and then deliver the opposite. Back in 2010, a new government came to power saying they would fix our public transport system and now they want to build the dirty, expensive and unpopular East-West toll road instead.[/font][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#4b4f4f][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]They don't have a mandate for this toll road. We should be given the opportunity to vote on this expensive and excessive misallocation of public money.[/font][/b][/font][/size][/color]

End of the line for rail link

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by JimYarin in New Zealand Rail News

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has poured cold water on a Hawke's Bay Regional Council-backed initiative to restore the Napier-Gisborne railway. However, backers of the plan say the minister's rejection of it is based on a "significant misunderstanding" of their proposal and they will continue lobbying Central Government for assistance to re-open the line. The council has floated the idea of investing just under $5.5 million of ratepayers' money over five years to re-establish a rail service on the mothballed line but its proposal depends on the Government also spending several million dollars repairing the damaged track and other infrastructure. The plan is outlined in the council's 2014-15 draft annual plan, which will be voted on at a meeting today before being released for public consultation.

US company Genesee and Wyoming puts the Ghan on track

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by newsbot in South Australian Rail News

It was a proud nation-building moment, the biggest project of its kind since the Snowy Mountains scheme was finished in 1974. When the first train from Adelaide arrived in Darwin in January 2004 - with the prime minister John Howard in the driver's cab - it was the realisation of a 150-year dream: a north-south transcontinental railway. Via its connection with Darwin port, the line was to be Australia's gateway to the lucrative markets of Asia, one that would transform trade to the region by slashing travel times. From the day the first sod was dug in 2001, however, the railway's critics predicted it would not attract enough business. The $1.3 billion line was built and operated by private operator FreightLink, but it took $800 million in federal and state government subsidies to get the project started. Interstate trucking and coastal shipping operators predicted a white elephant. Memorably, Patrick boss Chris Corrigan said returns on the line would be ''smaller than a tick's testicles''. Unfortunately, Corrigan's doubts proved justified. FreightLink made profits but the company was heavily indebted by the line's construction. Investors were not satisfied and in May 2008 the company was put up for sale. In June 2010 it was purchased by American operator Genesee and Wyoming, which had entered Australia in 1997 with the purchase of freight lines in South Australia.

Rail inquiry launched

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

WA’S freight rail network will be the subject of a Parliamentary Committee inquiry. The Economics and Industry Standing Committee last week resolved to investigate and report on whether current lease agreements and management of the network promote or hamper State development. Central Wheatbelt MLA Mia Davies said the inquiry would provide more clarity on how the State’s freight rail network is positioned to service the grain industry in to the future Ms Davies, who recently toured the region with Agricultural Region MLC Paul Brown and Main Roads representatives to assess the impact of additional road traffic during harvest season, said the committee would investigate the entire 2600km network’s strategic direction and regulation, including Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 lines.

Australasian Rail Industry Awards Website launched & Dates announced

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by newsbot in Rail Events

[color=#1c1c1c][size=2][font='PT Sans', Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, sans-serif]The Australasian Rail Industry Awards website has been launched and the dates have been announced.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#1c1c1c][size=2][font='PT Sans', Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, sans-serif]The Awards will take place on Thursday 17 July 2014 in Melbourne at the stunning Crown Casino River Room.[/font][/size][/color]

Trains That Could Be Better Than Planes

Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

Driving traffic-clogged roads to Baltimore is no fun. Ditto taking a crowded shuttle from Washington D.C. to New York. Which is why for the commuting masses (like yours truly), something tantalizing’s in the air: a privately funded company’s vision to build a $10 billion, high-speed, magnetically propelled train that would cut travel between the nation’s capital and Baltimore to 15 minutes, about the time it takes to casually walk a dozen city blocks. Compare that with today’s hours-long commutes by car, train or plane between cities on the East Coast or, for that matter, anywhere in the country. That travel in the Northeast — among the nation’s densest population corridors — can be so irksome is telling: As bad as it is, it has the best, most extensive passenger train service in the country, albeit one woefully in need of new cars, new tracks, new everything.

Fast track for light rail ignores obvious flaws

Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]GOVERNMENTS are obliged to be rigorous in spending public money.  The NSW government has committed to lease the Port of Newcastle and direct almost half a billion dollars to terminating the rail line at Wickham with a light rail shuttle. Has this project been rigorously assessed? [/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Last year Newcastle lord mayor Jeff McCloy baulked at spending $7million on extensions to the Newcastle Art Gallery, claiming the project was  not ‘‘shovel ready”. Is the Wickham project ‘‘shovel ready’’? [/font][/size][/color]

Debate could spark rail rebirth

Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

THE Tier 3 debate has highlighted the enormous opportunities for growing WA's rural economy according to the Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Transport Ken Travers. Speaking at the WAFarmers annual conference last week, Mr Travers said the Tier 3 debate could initiate the rebirth of rail across regional WA and the State's freight network. "I think there is an opportunity out of the Tier 3 debate to look at the whole of the Wheatbelt," he said. "There are an enormous array of opportunities and we have got to work out how to get the economy going, apart from just the grains industry.

Rail display to grow

Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]FOLLOWING the success of the Centenary of Rail celebrations last year, the Manning Valley Historical Society Museum has received a $4000 donation from the centenary's executive committee. [/font][/size][/color]

Qube strikes $50m joint venture deal with Noble for new grain depot at Port Kembla

Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Logistics group Qube Holdings will invest $50 million in a joint venture with Hong-Kong based agricultural group Noble to build a new grain handling depot at NSW's Port Kembla. The depot, which will be known as Quattro Grain, will export up to 1.3 million tonnes of grain annually. Noble will use Qube Logistics' rail services to transport grain to Quattro Grain on a "take or pay" basis. Grain traders Emerald and Cargill have also agreed to use Quattro Grain and Qube's rail services, and other grain groups are also welcome to use the depot, which is expected to start operating in early fiscal 2016.

Rail Trail advocates put the pressure on the pollies

Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]THE best the Northern Rivers has to offer has been showcased in NSW Parliament where Rail Trail advocates have put the pressure on politicians to back a project, which the crowd heard had changed the face of country Victoria.[/font][/size][/color]

Major milestones marked as the Inner West Light Rail opens and the soon-to-come completion of the Opal Card installations

Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by Alfred3333 in New South Wales Rail News

[b]Rail fails to dampen Barry O'Farell's lauch of tram extension to Dulwich Hill. While Opal Card is rolled out and ready in use on all Sydney Trains stations.[/b]

RACV bid to turn Elizabeth St into a mall between Flinders St and Bourke St

Posted Friday, 28 March, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]MELBOURNE’S Elizabeth St should be car free and turned into a super shopping mall to revitalise the “shabby” area, says the RACV.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Victoria’s peak motoring body wants the inner-city street closed for two blocks from Flinders St to Bourke St to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and reduce car and tram crashes.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The concept is backed by Yarra Trams. The City of Melbourne has said it would consider the suggestion.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Yarra Trams’ data shows Elizabeth St is a hot spot for car and tram collisions. Three intersections along it are among the top 10 for incidents.[/font][/size][/color]

Joe Hockey looks to convince states to sell public assets to invest profits in infrastructure

Posted Friday, 28 March, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey will today attempt to convince his state counterparts to sell public assets and invest the profits in infrastructure.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The ABC understands the incentive the Federal Government is planning to offer the states could, in part, involve giving the company tax the newly privatised businesses pay to the states.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Federal Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs is confident most states will get on board.[/font][/size]

Access Denied: Why O’Herns Rd/Hume Freeway interchange and Mernda rail extension is needed

Posted Friday, 28 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]WHITTLESEA Council, together with the Aurora Community Association and South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance, is calling on the state’s two major parties to commit to two major transport projects in the next term of government.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The [i]Whittlesea Leader[/i] continues its support of the [url=http://accessdenied.net.au/][color=#07416c]Access Denied[/color][/url] campaign with an overview of these key projects and why they must be built.[/font][/size][/color]

Move the grain, or lose the rail duopoly

Posted Friday, 28 March, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=1][font=Garuda, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]Claude Mongeau, the CEO of Canadian National Railway Co., says a new law will subject his business to “unfair poaching.” But it sounds like what he’s really complaining about is, in plain English, more competition.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=1][font=Garuda, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]Mr. Mongeau delivered his words in response to a federal government bill, which would give grain shippers more freedom to choose which railway will carry their grain. The purpose of the bill – called the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act – is to help deal with the large backlog of grain from a bumper crop still waiting to be delivered.[/font][/size][/color]

Melbourne Airport SkyBus might be better than a rail link, says transport expert

Posted Friday, 28 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melburnians who believe the city desperately needs a rail link to the airport should be careful what they wish for. They might just kill a bus service that is already better than a train could ever be. So says international public transport planning consultant Jarrett Walker, who argues that Melbourne Airport already has the best public transport of any Australian airport, including Sydney and Brisbane with their rail links. SkyBus is privately run with a portion of profits going to the state government. It charges $18 for a one-way trip. Mr Walker, the author of Human Transit, who is visiting Melbourne on a lecturing and speaking tour, told Fairfax Media the key to a good airport link is frequency, not the transport mode.

Truck crash closes Southern Highlands rail line

Posted Friday, 28 March, 2014 by bevans in Cityrail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The Southern Highlands Line is partially closed in both directions between Picton and Moss Vale due to a truck accident near the railway line at Bargo.[/font][/size][/color]

Cheaper public transport fares are not fair

Posted Friday, 28 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Napthine Government has announced reductions to Melbourne rail fares including capping of zone 1-2 regular rail travel (to zone 1 fare levels) and a Free Tram Fare Zone in Melbourne CBD costing $100 million a year. But are reduced fares fair? On the good side it's going to be popular; reducing the expenses of voters always is. Indeed this is very likely the aim; 2014 is an election year and the policy won't be implemented until 2015, well after the election. Is this a cynical view? I don't think so. Reducing fares will increase subsidies and this does not sit well with Liberal ideology. Also despite claims of investment in public transport, this administration has done little to substantively increase public transport. Since 2011 service per head has actually fallen by 3 per cent. Some SmartBus routes were completed and the Regional Rail Link is being implemented but these were previous Labor government projects. At least they were not withdrawn. The facts are that service levels haven't changed much but our population has been booming and we have been waiting for public transport to keep pace with this.

6 Freeway Removals That Changed Their Cities Forever

Posted Saturday, 29 March, 2014 by bevans in Letters to the Editor

[color=#222222][size=2][font=Georgia, serif]It seems counterintuitive, right? Rip out eight lanes of freeway through the middle of your metropolis and you'll be rewarded with not only less traffic, but safer, more efficient cities? But it's true, and it's happening in places all over the world.[/font][/size][/color]

India-China to collaborate on building semi-high speed rail

Posted Saturday, 29 March, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

NEW DELHI: India and China would look at collaborations in semi-high speed rail and building world-class railway stations. This was decided at the strategic and economic dialogue between the two countries earlier this month when an Indian delegation, headed by Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, had visited Beijing.

Portland's historic rail cars need a push

Posted Saturday, 29 March, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]PORTLAND’S historic cable trams face possible closure unless operators can boost passenger numbers. [/font][/size][/color]

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 29/3/2014

Posted Sunday, 30 March, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 116 sightings for this week; this is 12 sightings less than last week making a total of 1529 sightings for this year to date On day 88 last year we had recorded 1467 sightings. This is 62 sightings more that at the same time last year.

Southland rail station deal draws closer

Posted Sunday, 30 March, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The state government is on the brink of clinching a deal to finally start the redevelopment of a new train station at Southland Shopping Centre. Almost four years after it was first promised, it is understood the Coalition will make the announcement well ahead of the May budget, adding to its multibillion-dollar package of transport sweeteners for November's election. Once open, the station is forecast to become the fourth-busiest on the Frankston train line, attracting 4400 passengers a day. Despite lengthy negotiations with Westfield, which has led to delays in the project getting off the ground, the government has insisted the redevelopment will be ''in line'' with the $13 million pledge made at the 2010 election.

The new 'silk road', a rail link from China's factories to Europe

Posted Sunday, 30 March, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

One of the world's longest railways -- a "modern-day silk road" -- covers some 11,000 kilometres (24,000 miles) en route from the Chinese megacity of Chongqing to Duisburg, a key commercial hub in western Germany. On Saturday, as part of his landmark visit to Germany, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the last stop on the "Yuxinou" rail line, an industrial feat that promises to revolutionise transport between Europe and Asia.

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