News

 

Showing stories from June 2014

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Rail plan will improve access to MCG and Melbourne’s sporting precinct

Posted Sunday, 1 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FOOTY and tennis fans would get new pedestrian links between Richmond station and the MCG and sporting precinct under plans for a radical makeover of a key rail corridor. The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal $8 million has been set aside to create a masterplan for major upgrades at Richmond station, Federation Square East, Flinders St station, and the mini suburb next to Docklands known as E-Gate. A new “gateway to the ’G” is being flagged for the Richmond site, providing a direct connection for sporting fans coming to the famous ground by public transport and cutting out the crossing of Brunton Ave on match days.

Broken rail forces Scone coal train to halve town

Posted Sunday, 1 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A BROKEN rail halted a coal train at Scone on Friday, blocking the town's Liverpool Street crossing as authorities worked to reinstate the track. The problem, which closed the New England Highway in both directions for almost an hour, prompted Roads and Maritime Services to warn drivers they should expect delays and allow extra travel time until about 9am.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 31/5/2014

Posted Sunday, 1 June, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 104 sightings for this week; this is one sighting less than last week

Canberra light rail to deliver 3560 jobs during construction

Posted Monday, 2 June, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The light rail project will deliver 3560 jobs during the three years of construction, a jobs analysis has found, as the ACT government reveals another spin-off of the project - new training courses in the city for tram drivers, rail maintenance workers and others employed on Canberra's newest mode of transport. Of the jobs in the construction years - 2017 to 2019 - 1450 are direct jobs on the Gungahlin to city tram line, with the peak in 2017. Ongoing, 55 people will be needed to operate the tram line. The Ernst and Young report makes a startling prediction for overall jobs brought to the city by light rail, predicting a "footprint" of 50,000 jobs by 2049 when the corridor is a hive of economic activity.

Police railway squad is end of line for unruly travellers

Posted Monday, 2 June, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A RAIL union has backed the development of a $500,000 police rail squad base at Ipswich train station as antisocial behaviour continues to affect commuters.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Six officers will man the outpost and focus their attention on the Rosewood line, the site of many incidents in recent years.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In July 2012 a train driver had to bring a service to a halt after being overcome by fumes from youths sniffing glue next to the driver's door on a late-night service.[/font][/size][/color]

Inland rail team to meet with stakeholders in Toowoomba

Posted Monday, 2 June, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

KEY PLAYERS in the long awaited Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail will be in Toowoomba today to host a stakeholder meeting. The meeting will include an update on the status of the project and an overview of plans for the track. The visiting team will include former deputy prime minister John Anderson and members of the Australian Rail Track Corporation's inland rail project team.

Melbourne awards depot development contract

Posted Monday, 2 June, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

Melbourne tram operator Yarra Trams announced on May 28 the go-ahead for ‘the biggest tram depot redevelopment’ in the city’s history. Under the A$190m project, part of the historic Preston Workshops will be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility to provide stabling, operational and maintenance facilities for the E-Class trams now being delivered by Bombardier. Under a deal agreed with Public Transport Victoria, an A$102m design and construction package has been awarded to Coleman Rail, covering reconfiguration of the existing heavy maintenance facilities, which will free up the southern part of the 7·3 ha site, creating a new tram servicing area with sanding facilities, a tram wash and an automatic wheel measuring system. The contract includes laying 7 km of new tracks within the depot, which will have 12 double-ended stabling roads plus a second entrance at the rear of the site.

Airport Link In Doubt

Posted Tuesday, 3 June, 2014 by pandem in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The West Australian Government is investigating four different routes for a mooted Perth Airport rail link, which the Opposition says means the project will face further delays.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The rail link is to branch off the Midland line at Bayswater train station and connect with the future consolidated Perth airport terminal, which will include domestic and international terminals.[/font][/size]

Cameras 'will make rail safe'

Posted Tuesday, 3 June, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

The state government has rejected union claims that public transport security is in crisis and says new trains fitted with almost 100 CCTV cameras will protect passengers. Premier Mike Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian on Monday announced the last of 78 Waratah trains had been delivered, meaning almost all services would be airconditioned.

Business lobby VECCI aboard new Melbourne Rail Link plan

Posted Tuesday, 3 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Victorian business backs the Napthine government's Melbourne Rail Link over the original Melbourne Metro rail tunnel because it will cause less disruption to the city. The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday outlined its priorities for the November state election, with construction of the rail link from Southern Cross to South Yarra via South Melbourne a key project.

Man attacks teenage girl in Seymour rail tunnel

Posted Tuesday, 3 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

A teenage girl has been grabbed by the neck, forced against a wall and sexually assaulted during a vicious attack in a railway underpass north of Melbourne. The girl, 16, was halfway through the tunnel near Victoria Street in Seymour last Thursday afternoon when the offender began closing in on her, police said. Sex crime squad detectives said the man, who had strawberry blond curly hair, grabbed the girl around the head and neck, pushed her against the tunnel wall and sexually assaulted her. The girl struggled and managed to break free of the man before running away.

Ipswich properties likely to be acquired for inland railway

Posted Tuesday, 3 June, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

PLANNING for an inland freight rail line is under way with the proposed track to run through the outskirts of Ipswich and properties likely to be acquired. The Australian Rail Track Corporation visited Ipswich yesterday to outline plans for the 55km stretch of rail from Rosewood to Kagaru, which will link Ipswich with the national rail system. The new track will divert all freight from the Ipswich commuter line and potentially the Ipswich Mwy, freeing up space for additional passenger services. The track extends through Peak Crossing and Harrisville, with some properties split by the line already acquired.

Major train delays after signal fault hits entire rail network

Posted Tuesday, 3 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne's rail network has returned to normal following a signal fault on Tuesday afternoon that caused major delays on all lines. Peak-hour travellers can expect a smoother commute after the network suffered delays of between 20 to 30 minutes while Metro worked to resolve the faul that occurred about 2pm. A Metro spokeswoman said all residual delays were cleared by 3.30pm.

Brisbane Citytrain users tweet complaints to Queensland Rail

Posted Tuesday, 3 June, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

COMMUTERS are finding plenty to complain about on public transport, taking to Twitter to vent about everything from people chewing gum to shaving on trains. During the past year, Queensland Rail has received almost 10,000 “pieces of feedback” from customers, a fifth of them coming via social media.

Rail corridor to be developed: Pru Goward

Posted Wednesday, 4 June, 2014 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]THE state government has confirmed it will allow development on the Newcastle rail corridor.[/font][/size][/color]

Call to release 'secret' Tier 3 rail lease

Posted Wednesday, 4 June, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A CALL has been made for the Public Transport Authority of WA (PTA) to release more information and the secret terms of Brookfield Rail's Wheatbelt rail lease agreement (until 2049) to the public. For the benefit of the State's grain export industry, Wheatbelt shire presidents, councillors and farmers met with five State MPs on the Legislative Assembly Economics and Industry Standing Committee at what was dubbed its first and probably only regional public hearing at Bruce Rock last Tuesday, to ask for more transparency and accountability.

Beneficiary pays system proposed for original Melbourne Metro rail line

Posted Wednesday, 4 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Businesses and property owners in central Melbourne could be hit with a new tax, and train passengers slugged with another fare rise, under funding proposals to ensure Victoria's biggest public transport project, the Metro rail tunnel, is built. A City of Melbourne investigation of alternative funding models for public transport has found up to half the $9 billion-$11 billion cost of Metro rail could be paid for under a ''beneficiary pays'' system. By contrast, a standard reliance on state and federal taxes risks putting the project in limbo, the report warned.

Govt gives green light to developing Newcastle's heavy rail corridor

Posted Wednesday, 4 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The New South Wales Planning Minister Pru Goward has confirmed for the first time that the state government will allow development along the Newcastle inner city rail corridor when the line is cut.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Ms Goward admitted pulling out the heavy rail line was a complicated task, but said work on the new light rail system should be underway by the end of the year.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Despite previous assurances by the government that the unused section of the rail corridor would be retained as public space, Ms Goward has acknowledged some of the land will be developed.[/font][/size]

Broadmeadow Rail Station voted worst in area

Posted Wednesday, 4 June, 2014 by bevans in Cityrail News

The two men, seated on a sunny platform bench, didn't want to give their names but seemed surprised the station had been thought of so poorly. It was voted worst local railway station, in the Hunter region, by local National Roads & Motorists Association (NRMA) members. Broadmeadow received the title from the members, due to a lack of parking near the station, lack of secure parking and because commuters don't feel safe at certain times of the day.

Murchison East train station destroyed by fire

Posted Wednesday, 4 June, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

[color=#141414][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Murchison East train station has been razed by fire tonight and has collapsed.[/font][/size][/color]

GrainCorp jobs go in $200 million road-to-rail restructure

Posted Thursday, 5 June, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

Eastern Australia's largest grains handler, GrainCorp, will cut 80 jobs and shut unprofitable storage sites as part of a $200 million plan to revitalise the company's country grain network. GrainCorpwill spend $200 million over three years, the single biggest capital investment in its country network ever, as it attempts to shift 1 million tonnes of grain from road to rail transport. The company will cut its storage network to 180 sites. It will close more than 72 sites across the network where less than 10 per cent of the east coast crop is received. GrainCorp is overhauling its network, focusing on localised "clusters", offering end-to-end export logistics and spending money to improve rail loading times.

$11 billion Melbourne Rail Link underground tunnels clashes with Melbourne’s main sewer

Posted Friday, 6 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[b]THE $11 billion Melbourne Rail Link underground tunnels are being redesigned to avoid cracking the city’s major sewer.[/b] Maps of the proposed route released with the State Budget show that Melbourne’s main sewer, which carries the equivalent of 140 Olympic swimming pools of human waste a day, may be in the way of the new underground tunnels. Transport Minister Terry Mulder’s office confirmed engineers were considering the location of the sewer when making plans for the rail link, but said no final decisions on the route had been made. Monash University transport engineering expert Prof Graham Currie said that the potential crossover showed that the new rail link had been rushed out for announcement ahead of the election.

Mildura Rail Line Standardisation

Posted Friday, 6 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Substantial funding for the rail network for maintenance, repairs and construction have been offered by the Napthine government after years of neglect and indifference. This change of policy is predicated on the success of the state election. The announcements made by the Premier and other government politicians are intended to improve the government’s standing in the electorate and give the impression that they are supportive of public transport. There are a numerous questions that need to be clarified by these announcements regarding the standardisation of the gauge of the Mildura line and especially the path of the standardisation and the subsequent effects of the change of gauge on local communities along the rail corridor and employment, which appear to have been neglected in the planning.

Metro puts millions into fencing off Melbourne's rail suicide 'hot spots'

Posted Friday, 6 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Millions of dollars is being spent fencing off open sections of Melbourne's railways where people are regularly taking their own lives. Suicide by train has become so common Metro plans to build a dedicated train wash, called a ''biopit'', to clean train exteriors after a person is hit. The bio-pit will cost an estimated $5.4 million to build. The secret plan to construct a specialised pit is revealed in confidential documents leaked to Fairfax Media. It will be built as part of a huge new train depot in Pakenham East, expected to open in 2019. Rail operator Metro says a person is struck by a train more than once a week on average in Melbourne. Most are killed, some survive with terrible injuries.

Moonee Valley spends $50k investigating Essendon rail improvements

Posted Friday, 6 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

MOONEE VALLEY Council has spent $49,200 on a study into an Essendon Railway Station grade separation, despite the State Government having no plans to pay for the works. Consultants GHD found the best option for the Craigieburn line at Essendon Railway Station was a $186 million rail-under-road project. The feasibility report proposed relocating a new station underground with the rail line below Mt Alexander Rd and Buckley St. Mayor Jan Chantry said the council would push for the project. “VicRoads estimates that the Buckley St boom gates are lowered for 53 per cent of the peak period but ... it is not included in the level crossing upgrades recently announced in the State Government budget,” Cr Chantry said.

Metro trains skipping stations justifiable: Transport Minister Terry Mulder

Posted Friday, 6 June, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

Metro's practice of skipping stations when trains are running late is sometimes a justifiable way for the operator to improve its on-time performance, Victoria's Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said.

Inland Rail promise finally to be fulfilled

Posted Friday, 6 June, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

Construction of the long-awaited Inland Rail is scheduled to start next year following a $300 million allocation from the federal government. The project has been discussed for many years as a way of moving freight from the regions to the ports more quickly and economically. The team responsible for delivering the project, the Inland Rail Implementation Group, met community members and stakeholders at the Narrabri Bowling Club yesterday to explain its progress and direction. The inland route, known as the far western corridor, passes through Albury, Stockinbingal, Parkes, Narromine, Gwabegar, Narrabri, Moree and North Star before heading into Queensland through Yelarbon. It will continue through Inglewood, Milmerran, Oakey, Gowrie, Rosewood and Kagaru and finish in Brisbane. Narrabri Shire Mayor Cr Conrad Bolton said it was logical that the Narrabri area would be the site for one of the inter-modal hubs on the route.

NRMA Seeing Red on Rail campaign reveals the things that drive train users crazy

Posted Friday, 6 June, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

THEY’RE the things that turn a simple train trip into a painful ordeal. A survey released today by the National Roads and Motorists Association has identified commuters’ pet peeves when catching the train — and they’re things that every passenger can relate to. Dirty, rubbish-laden and graffitied carriages was the main problem with catching a train, while security was the biggest concern at railway stations.

Melbourne Rail Link: Government dismisses claims major sewer could cause problems

Posted Friday, 6 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Victorian Government has brushed off suggestions a major sewerage pipe could cause problems for the proposed Melbourne Rail Link under the CBD.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The city's main sewer carries the equivalent of 140 Olympic swimming pools of human waste in pipes beneath the city.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Engineering expert Graham Curries, from Monash University, said no planning had been done on whether the sewer would affect the tunnel for the $11 billion Melbourne Rail Link project.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The tunnel will connect Southern Cross Station to South Yarra, with stops at Montague and Domain.[/font][/size]

Rail reports seen as too ‘commercially sensitive’

Posted Tuesday, 10 June, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

THE state government is sitting on key reports for Newcastle’s light rail project, including the business case, because it says the documents contain ‘‘commercially sensitive’’ information or are intended for cabinet. Several consultancy firms were commissioned last year to advise on the project. Newcastle-based firm GHD was appointed in September to analyse the best place for a new transport interchange and alignment of the light rail route, as well as opportunities to link the route to surrounding suburbs and the broader region in the future.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 7/6/2014.

Posted Tuesday, 10 June, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 103 sightings for this week; this is one sighting less than last week

Regional and Rural Victoria left out of the Victorian Budget

Posted Tuesday, 10 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

I read with considerable interest your article in the Rail Digest, June 2014 about rail infrastructure in Victoria in the 2014- 2015 Victorian Budget. 96% of the Victorian budget is being spent in Melbourne and 4% for Regional and Rural Victoria, there is much more to Victoria than Melbourne. The Rail Revival Alliance has been advocating for the creation of the Regional Rail Link between Geelong, Ballarat, Maryborough, Castlemaine and Bendigo the largest regional centres in Victoria. The Minister for Regional Victoria, Peter Ryan trumpeted this at the 2010 election and then miraculously a consultant’s report stating it would cost $900 million appeared and the project was scrapped to get Peter Ryan of the political hook he had created for himself.

Loop to lose phone hang-ups

Posted Tuesday, 10 June, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne's City Loop finally looks set to be in the loop when it comes to full mobile phone coverage.

Sundance signs port, rail deal

Posted Tuesday, 10 June, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

SUNDANCE Resources has taken a giant step forward in the development of its $US4.6 billion ($4.9bn) African iron ore project, awarding the major construction contract for the port and rail facilities. The Perth-based company, which has had a tough ride since its top executives were killed in a plane crash in the Congo in 2010, announced yesterday it had awarded Portuguese construction company Mota-Engil Africa the $US3.5bn engineering, procurement and construction contract for its Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore project in Central Africa. Sundance also appointed Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by assets and earnings, to advise on funding and to be the lead debt arranger for the project, which is in the republics of Cameroon and Congo.

2nd Harbor crossing- strings attached

Posted Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 by seb2351 in Cityrail News

At the next state election, the NSW Liberals have promised that the $20b proceeds from the part selling off of state electricity assets will be used to fund a massive capital investment into Sydney's public transport system, featuring new automated trains and a 2nd Sydney Harbour rail crossing.

Driverless trains, free wi-fi mooted to shake up Melbourne’s rail network

Posted Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]DRIVERLESS trains and free wi-fi have been suggested for Melbourne’s rail system.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Engineering firm Siemens said the State Government should consider the hi-tech options for the proposed airport rail link and other improvements to the rail network.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Driverless trains operate on metro systems in Paris, Singapore and Nuremberg, and will be used in Sydney’s planned northwest rail link.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Siemens CEO (infrastructure and cities) Dr Roland Busch said the technology was safe, and in the case of Paris increased capacity by 20 per cent on Metro Line 1.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]“You can reduce the lead time between two trains. You can also save energy costs because the automated system starts in the most efficient way,” he said at the World Cities Summit in Singapore.[/font][/size][/color]

Rail operators urged to cut haulage costs

Posted Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani has urged rail operators to change costly coal haulage contracts, admitting the agreements are causing some Australian mines to run at a loss.

Lobbyists hit the rails: Motor rail trip to honour 150th anniversary of line to Melbourne

Posted Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The alliance will operate a 1930s diesel rail motor on the disused standard-gauge line from Maryborough to Geelong, via Ararat – the first trek on the line since it fell into disuse not long after it was completed in the 1990s. The alliance’s president, retired mining engineer Noel Laidlaw, of Carisbrook, near Maryborough, yesterday said the most practical way of providing a freight route from Mildura to Geelong or Portland was to upgrade and standardise the line from Mildura as far as Dunolly. From Dunolly, there is a dual broad gauge/standard gauge connection to Maryborough, which connects to the standard-gauge line between Maryborough and Ararat­ that the Kennett Government constructed in the 1990s.

Get rail on track, says Hobbs

Posted Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

A VASTLY different approach to Queensland’s "shambolic" rail system will be needed to avoid gridlock and excessive future spending, according to Howard Hobbs, chairman of the Queensland Parliament Transport, Housing and Local Government committee. Mr Hobbs is preparing to present the results of his six-month enquiry into rail freight use by agricultural and livestock industries to parliament and says he will be informing Queenslanders that failing now to invest in rail will ultimately lead to millions of dollars being diverted from social programs to fix massive gridlocks in future. As well as consulting various industry groups, the committee held public hearings in Brisbane, Toowoomba, St George, Charleville, Rockhampton, Longreach, Cloncurry and Townsville to gauge the extent of the problems plaguing rail in the state.

Asciano open to contract talks: report

Posted Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 by newsbot in Asciano

Asciano chief executive John Mullen has expressed a willingness to engage in discussions with coal miners over their rail contracts amid reports some of the the world's biggest resources companies are running their Australian mines at a loss because the fixed costs of rail contracts mean leaving the mine operational is more cost-effective than closing it, The Australian Financial Review reports. According to the newspaper, Mr Mullen said the group had  held  "positive and fruitful discussions with a number of important customers" about take-or-pay contracts with miners.

More rail industry jobs set to go as last Waratah trains delivered

Posted Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Manufacturing Workers Union is hopeful their campaign to save Newcastle's rail industry will be taken to State Parliament this week.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The AMWU has collected more than eight thousand signatures on petitions calling on the State Government to retain local rail jobs and not import trains from China.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Union delegate Daniel Wallace says with the last Waratah train delivered to the Sydney rail network last week, Downer EDI could be shedding more jobs in coming weeks.[/font][/size]

Bus network faces review to coincide with rail link completion

Posted Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

BALLARAT’S bus network could undergo an overhaul to coincide with the completion of the Regional Rail Link Project.

WA grain export crisis looms as key rail lines set to close at end of month

Posted Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[b]The future of WA's grain exports has been plunged into doubt as the deadline for the closure of some of the state's key freight rail lines looms.[/b] Rail lines which transport grain to port will likely shut down at the end of this month as WA faces the task of getting the biggest harvest in history - worth an estimated $5.3 billion - to market. Brookfield Rail and grain handlers CBH have been locked in a bitter dispute over access to Tier 3 lines, which carry about 4 per cent of movements on the State Government-owned rail network.

City Loop construction photos give glimpse of what is ahead and what has been

Posted Thursday, 12 June, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

With both the Victorian Government and State Opposition offering competing visions for an expansion of Melbourne's underground rail network, it is useful to get a sense of the scale of what is proposed.

Minister's report card: 'must do better'

Posted Thursday, 12 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

I WELL remember a few years ago travelling on a train from Ballarat to Melbourne accompanied by the then Opposition spokesman for transport Terry Mulder.

Gippsland trains fail to meet punctuality benchmark

Posted Thursday, 12 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

The latest performance figures from V/Line show trains to Gippsland fell well short of their punctuality target. V/Line aims to deliver 92 per cent of services on time.

Training improved after Tas rail accident

Posted Thursday, 12 June, 2014 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

IT'S not exactly a runaway train, but this rail incident was dramatic enough. IN a remote part of western Tasmania, eight track workers set off in two custom-made vehicles that can travel on roads and railway tracks. On a steep section of the then-unused West Coast Wilderness Railway near Rinadeena Station, two workers went to investigate a noise under the vehicle. (Rinadeena is the highest point on the tourist rail link from Queenstown to Strahan.) The driver lifted the rear wheels, but then the truck started to roll backwards. Despite the handbrake being on, the vehicle began skidding and picked up speed before the engine stalled.

Smartphone app to prevent bridge strikes

Posted Friday, 13 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

Overzealous truck drivers continue to cause hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to rail bridges each year by underestimating the heights of their vehicles, sometimes with [url=http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/tributes-for-les-karayan-killed-in-a-freak-crash-20130818-2s4y2.html]tragic consequences[/url].  But a new smartphone app developed by Brisbane City Council and the Queensland University of Technology is aiming to curb the costly and potentially dangerous bridge strikes in Queensland by alerting drivers to structures they will not easily pass under. Drivers will be able to input the height of their vehicles and the app will provide a map with locations of low bridges and their heights.

Napthine Government’s transport campaign ‘Moving Victoria’ should be retitled ‘Moving Victoria to Melbourne!’

Posted Friday, 13 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Napthine government has certainly shown  where its priorities lay  with the in the 2014 - 2015 Victorian Budget,  by allocating 96% of the Victorian budget to being spent in Melbourne and 4% for Regional and Rural Victoria, there is much more to Victoria than Melbourne. In light of the 2014 -2015 budget priorities, the  Napthine Government’s transport campaign ‘Moving Victoria’ should be retitled ‘Moving Victoria to Melbourne!’ The Rail Revival Alliance has been advocating for the creation of the Regional Rail Link between Geelong, Ballarat, Maryborough, Castlemaine and Bendigo the largest regional centres in Victoria. The Minister for Regional Victoria, Peter Ryan trumpeted this at the 2010 election and then miraculously a consultant’s report stating it would cost $900 million appeared and the project was scrapped to get Peter Ryan off the political hook he had created for himself.

Rail trail to cost $75 million, report says

Posted Saturday, 14 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[ltr]A report released today predicts that it would cost $75 million to build a rail trail between Casino and Murwillumbah, as opposed to $900 million to bring the train back.[/ltr] [ltr]NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said the study, commissioned by Ballina MP Don Page when he was north coast minister last year, had assessed the economic, environmental and social benefits of the project.[/ltr] [ltr]The north coast community was outraged when the rail line was closed in 2004, and has been lobbying unsuccessfully to have a train returned.[/ltr] [ltr]Instead, a feasibility released last year predicted it would cost more than $900 million to do so, which is why the rail trail study was commissioned.[/ltr]

WAFarmers to make submission to grain freight rail network inquiry

Posted Saturday, 14 June, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The head of WAFarmers will today provide evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into the state's grain freight rail network.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The inquiry was launched in March and is examining whether the State Government-owned lines hamper or facilitate state development.[/font][/size]

Poles, wires and public transport

Posted Saturday, 14 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A big public transport project forms the centrepiece of Premier Mike Baird’s plan to redefine Sydney with the proceeds of the partial privatisation of the state’s electricity poles and wires. But even if the plan to build a $10 billion rail line from to the city’s north-west through the CBD to Bankstown materialises, Sydney’s mass transit system will still be inadequate. The huge cost of the new line simply highlights how much the city will have to invest if it’s ever to get the public transport it needs.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 14/6/2014.

Posted Sunday, 15 June, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 95 sightings for this week; this is eight sighting less than last week We saw 13 sightings on the Broad Gauge, which are five sightings less than last week. This total included eight PN Grain trains.

Boy films brothers death skylarking on train

Posted Sunday, 15 June, 2014 by KRviator in Victorian Rail News

A TEENAGER has died in front of his younger brother after leaning out of a moving train in Melbourne’s southeast.

Newman Government to announce State Development Area paving way for mining companies to build rail lines for coal

Posted Sunday, 15 June, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

GRAZIERS in central Queensland have been told their properties may be up for grabs as the State Government paves the way for potential land resumptions and forced sales to make way for a rail corridor for coal mines. The Government will this week announce a long, narrow slab of central Queensland will come under a State Development Area which will help mining companies build two rail lines from the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point, near Bowen. The rail corridors would allow the planned Galilee megamines by Indian companies Adani and GVK get their coal to the port. And farmers are outraged that the mining companies are being given a leg up by the Government.

Regional rail works are 'not enough'

Posted Sunday, 15 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

THE final Regional Rail Link works affecting the Bendigo train line will be completed within a month, however Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards says it won't entirely solve the woes of the region's commuters.   Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder says the works will result in a more streamlined and reliable journey for Bendigo passengers and create space to run additional V/Line services in the future.

The NW link toy tunnels will cripple Sydney’s rail future

Posted Sunday, 15 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=2][font=Merriweather, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The warnings keep mounting, Sydney will be cut off from effective use of rail in its public transport services if the narrow tunnels and punitive small trains proposed for the NW Rail Link go ahead in their current form.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Merriweather, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The latest example is this opinion piece by a transport planner in the [b][i][url=http://www.smh.com.au/comment/dont-fall-for-bairds-train-bribe-20140611-zs46p.html][color=#669900]Sydney Morning Herald.[/color][/url][/i][/b][/font][/size][/color]

Tourism funding boost: Rail trails, wine history centre suggested for the region

Posted Monday, 16 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Rail trails in the Mid-Western Region could be back on the agenda, thanks to a new $110 million program for regional tourism infrastructure.

North Lismore rail bridge taken down

Posted Monday, 16 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

IT MIGHT have taken weeks of hard labour to build a century ago, but it was a lazy Sunday afternoon's work to tear it down. The timber railway bridge over Woodlawn St in North Lismore was demolished yesterday in just a few hours after it was deemed a hazard earlier this year by the NSW Department of Transport.

Victoria to begin exporting 580,000 tonnes of coal through the Ports of Melbourne and Geelong

Posted Monday, 16 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A massive Chinese state-owned company has been given $25 million by the Victorian and federal governments to develop more Latrobe Valley brown coal. Shanghai Electric will be announced on Monday as the final winner of government grants for new brown coal pilot projects. It is promising to build a $119 million demonstration plant to process coal into briquettes.

Coalition electorates favoured 3 to 1 in Abbott government infrastructure spend

Posted Monday, 16 June, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

The Abbott government has been accused of pork-barrelling after analysis of the budget's infrastructure spending revealed Coalition electorates are favoured for new money by a ratio of three to one. A Fairfax Media analysis of the Abbott government's 2014 budget has calculated that, of the new projects announced and funded, just under three-quarters were in Coalition electorates. Including the infrastructure projects which aren't new but which have received more funding under the incoming Coalition government, such as the Warrego Highway in Queensland and the Swan Valley Bypass in Western Australia, there was a total of 50 projects benefiting Coalition electorates.

Vandals cause chaos on Ballarat train line

Posted Monday, 16 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

BALLARAT’s train service is in disarray after vandals cut signal cables at Rockbank late last night. Five services between Ballarat and Melbourne have been cancelled and most morning trains will be delayed by 25 minutes. The cables were cut in two places near Rockbank. V/Line has cancelled three services from Southern Cross - the 6:12am to Ballarat, the 7:12am to Bacchus Marsh and the 9:06 to Wendouree.

Woman trapped in rollover at rail crossing

Posted Monday, 16 June, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

[color=#424944][size=2][font=Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A FEMALE motorist was trapped last night about 5.42pm after her vehicle rolled after contacting with railway lines.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#424944][size=2][font=Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The accident happened about seven kilometres west of Muckadilla on the Warrego Highway.[/font][/size][/color]

Optus brings mobile coverage underground for Melbourne trains

Posted Monday, 16 June, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne commuters will be able to say goodbye to mobile black spots on trains with Optus set to bring mobile coverage underground on parts of the network by the end of the year.

Father pays tribute to his 'beautiful boy', killed near Malvern train station

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The father of a teenager who died after leaning out of a moving train has described his son as a "beautiful boy and big brother" who will always be remembered. Jack Irving, 17, of Beaumaris, died shortly after hitting his head on a pole while hanging out of the driver's cabin at the back of a Caulfield-bound train, near Malvern station, on Friday night. The teen was with his younger brother, Nicholas, at the time of the incident. It is believed Nicholas watched his older brother die.  The accident happened about 200 metres from the station. Ambulance Victoria spokesman Ray Rowe said paramedics treated the teenager at the scene for upper body and leg injuries.

V/Line train travel still too tardy

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

TEN years after V/Line took over Warrnambool’s train line new figures show the service is failing to reach its own performance targets.  The average on-time performance target for the south-west line is 85 per cent — below the rail operators’ benchmark of 92 per cent.  Greens MP Greg Barber said the lacklustre figure was unacceptably low.

Ag freight goes off the rails

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

SHAMBOLIC, outdated, inefficient, unreliable and inflexible. These are just some of the words that Howard Hobbs MP used to describe Queensland’s rail freight service as he handed down the final recommendations from a parliamentary inquiry to ways to incentivise the agricultural and livestock industries to use more rail freight. The Member for Warrego tabled the final report from the Parliamentary Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee (THLG) in State Parliament today, calling upon the government to act now to fix rail freight services across Queensland.

Karara warns on Mid West rail

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

Struggling iron ore miner Karara fears inadequate regulation of WA's freight rail network will curtail development of the industry in the Mid West. Karara chief executive Dale Harris is involved in tough negotiations over an access agreement with Brookfield Rail which has an exclusive lease over the State-owned network. Mr Harris said Karara - a joint venture between Gindalbie Metals and China's Ansteel - was effectively flying blind in negotiations with a monopoly supplier of vital infrastructure.

Thirroul residents to voice rail timetable concerns at public meeting

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

Thirroul residents will voice their concerns about the rail timetable to government officials at a public meeting on Tuesday night. Since the introduction of the revised train timetable, residents and business owners in Thirroul have complained of increased traffic as more commuters drive to the station. The new timetable introduced a number of "express" services in peak hours that cut out stations around Thirroul.

Coal train fire sparks investigation

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by DesL in Asciano

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating a fire on a Pacific National coal train at Awaba at Lake Macquarie earlier this month.

Regional V/line services unacceptable say Greens

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIAN Greens leader Greg Barber says the performance of regional V/Line train services remains unacceptable. Mr Barber said V/Line again failed to come up to scratch last month with 87.4 per cent of regional services across the state running on-time. Only two of the 11 regional train lines met the 92 per cent on-time performance target — Shepparton (95 per cent) and Albury (94.2 per cent).

Rail crossing closed

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

SALE-Maffra Rd was closed at the railway crossing for several hours on Sunday afternoon following a fatality.

South-west travellers deserve an updated rail service

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

REGULAR travellers on the V/Line service between Warrnambool and Melbourne have been complaining about the second-rate service for years. The carriages are old and rickety, the catering is below par, the heating and cooling systems often don’t work and coaches are sometimes used at late notice on parts of the journey. Worst of all, the service often does not run on time.

Byron climbs aboard with new rail trail

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

BYRON Shire Council has finally thrown its support behind the Murwillumbah to Casino rail trail, yet simultaneously renewed its commitment to seeing trains reinstated on the track. In two separate motions last week, councillors formally supported the rail trail and also voted to request "an immediate investment in the Byron Shire section of the Casino-Murwillumbah line for light rail". Byron councillor Sol Ibrahim said it was crucial that the council made a "definitive statement" on the rail trail after the proposal received emphatic support from Tweed and Lismore councils, as well as a formal support from NOROC.

Repeat attack on Ballarat train lines

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

VANDALS have again sabotaged Ballarat's train line, cutting signalling cables between Bacchus Marsh and Ballan. The Courier yesterday reported cables had been cut at Rockbank which disrupted over customers and delayed some services by almost minutes.

Airport rail may fail to fly

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by newsbot in New Zealand Rail News

It could be too late to get a rail system to the airport, a Campaign for Better Transport spokesman says. Cameron Pitches says the planned widening of State Highway 20A and the massive number of buildings erected around the site might have scuppered any chance of building an "L" shaped rail line from Onehunga to the airport and then to Manukau. The project is still being investigated and he has told Auckland Council's infrastructure committee about his concerns. "In 2007 we presented a petition with more than 100,000 signatures in support of rail to the airport," he says. "Since then there have been new buildings built that are taking up space where rail might go.

Money is in the bag for Gunnedah rail overpass

Posted Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Construction on Gunnedah’s long-awaited rail overpass project is on track to begin at the end of the year, after being included in today’s state budget.

Rail would add value to ports, says chief

Posted Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]CARPENTARIA Rail chief executive David Fletcher said the strength of his company's proposal for a rail line to Karumba could affect the long-term value of the Townsville Port and Mount Isa to Townsville rail line.[/font][/size][/color]

Rail trail a sleeping giant

Posted Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

GOULBURN is earmarked as the centre of plans to convert old railway lines into tourist cycling hot-spots. The major obstacle standing between outdoor cycling enthusiasts and their dream is not logistics, but rather legislation. Until NSW Members of Parliament scrap rules preventing disused railway tracks from being adapted, the Southern Tablelands Cycling Incorporation cannot fulfil its vision.

Transporters laugh off new rail proposal

Posted Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

MACKAY transport operators say that the new government Moving Freight Strategy, that is aiming to take big numbers of trucks off Queensland roads and put more freight onto the rail network, simply will not work. Arnold Cole from AR and Ed Cole Transport laughed off the plan, saying "they will never do it". "The Queensland rail system couldn't cope with freight years ago," Mr Cole said.

Epsom station on track

Posted Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PUBLIC Transport Minister Terry Mulder has turned the first sod on the new Epsom Train Station project. Mr Mulder visited the construction site, at the corner of Station Street and Howard Street at Epsom, on Tuesday afternoon. Plans for the new station include a 160-metre platform with shelters, ticketing services, bicycle hoops, a bus stop and parking for 100 cars. "This is a great project, it's a fantastic project," Mr Mulder said.

Major delays on Frankston line after train hits and kills cyclist

Posted Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

A MAN has been killed after he was struck by a train while crossing railway tracks in Melbourne’s southeast.

$400m in the budget for Western Sydney Light Rail

Posted Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]HILLS residents have 400 million reasons to be hopeful that a Western Sydney Light Rail network will soon be a reality.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The state government has allocated $400 million to accelerate work on the project, with the first task to identify the highest priority corridor from Parramatta and carry out a detailed feasibility study.[/font][/size][/color]

The Triumphant Return of Private U.S. Passenger Rail

Posted Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]MIAMI—Beginning in 2016, [url=http://www.allaboardflorida.com/][color=#0ab8eb]All Aboard Florida[/color][/url] will run 32 departures a day between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, with service extending to Orlando soon afterwards. With a maximum speed of 125 miles per hour, the trains will complete the 240-mile journey in less than three hours. In South Florida, around the three initial stations, the company will develop 4.2 million square feet of real estate. In Orlando, the terminus will be located at the airport and connect to a new commuter rail line at a sparkling, state-funded [url=http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2014/2/20/gov_scott_wants_215_.html][color=#0ab8eb]$215 million transportation hub[/color][/url].[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]It's a big project by any standard, but it looms even larger in historical context. No private intercity passenger rail line has operated in the United States in 30 years — and it has been longer still since a new service was introduced. "You'd have to go back over 100 years to find a significant investment in private intercity rail in the U.S.," says David Levinson, a transportation analyst at the University of Minnesota. [/font][/size][/color]

Call to extend Plenty Road tram line to South Morang station

Posted Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

The mature eucalyptus trees in the wide Plenty Road median strip tell the tale of a tram line long hoped for but never built. As suburbs sprouted from the volcanic plains of Melbourne’s northern fringe 30 years ago, judicious local planners left space in the middle of Plenty Road for a future tram extension. Now the busy arterial road is close to capacity, carrying tens of thousands of vehicles in and out of Melbourne’s northern growth corridor each day, and residents say the tram link’s time has come.

Rail giant Genesee & Wyoming to close rail lines in South Australia’s south east

Posted Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 by Michelle12 in South Australian Rail News

RAIL giant Genesee & Wyoming Australia is set to close two commercial rail lines in SA’s southeast, says the State Opposition. Liberal Member for Chaffey, Tim Whetstone today told State Parliament that Genesee & Wyoming Australia will close two rail lines in his electorate. “I have met with Genesee & Wyoming and, sadly, they have indicated to me that the two lines from Tookyerta (which is at Loxton) down to Tailem Bend and the rail line from Pinnaroo to Tailem Bend will close before the end of the year,” he said.

Victoria's corruption watchdog to investigate Transport Department

Posted Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Victoria’s corruption watchdog is investigating alleged ‘‘serious corrupt conduct’’ in the state’s Transport Department, including whether government staff profited from contracts that were awarded to private companies.  The investigation, dubbed Operation Fitzroy, will probe dealings between department staff and companies that were later awarded contracts to supply goods and services, the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission announced on Wednesday.

Controversial rail closures puts grain transport onto Western Australia roads

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Tier 3 railway lines in Western Australia, responsible for transporting grain to port, are due to be placed into care and maintenance at the end of June.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Despite intense lobbying from regional shires and farmer groups, grain that was transported by rail will be transported by road beyond the end of the month with railway manager and operator Brookfield Rail continuing its controversial rail closures.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Last year it closed its York to Quairading and Merredin to Trayning lines.[/font][/size]

Better buses proposed in Rowville rail line report

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Residents of Melbourne’s south-east who have waited 45 years for the Rowville rail line to be built should expect to wait at least another 10, but can take consolation in the prospect of spending less time waiting for a bus. The second phase of a $2 million Napthine government study into a potential Rowville rail line has proposed a ''turn up and go'' bus service running every 10 minutes between Caulfield and Rowville, as an ''interim'' public transport boost before the rail line is built. ''This could provide a comparable road-based alternative to a Rowville rail line and would potentially develop and build the market for a future rail service,'' the study, by Public Transport Victoria, notes.

Vision for better connected rail travel

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

AN airport rail link from Southern Cross Station will make travel easier for regional Victorians, says Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder. "It will mean that people from Epsom, people from Bendigo and your other stations here, that their holiday starts when they get on a train at a station," he said.

Rail plan on the right track

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

In 1870 Dallas was a small town in the south west of the United States of America. Unlike the bustling port cities of the East Coast or the river towns of the Mississippi, Dallas was not much more than a trading post for the hardy souls who scratched a living from the local countryside. The fortunes of this sleepy backwater took a dramatic turn in 1872 when the railway from Houston reached the town, followed by the railway from the east a year later. Within 20 years the town's population had grown from 3000 to 38,000 residents and Dallas was on its way to becoming the economic powerhouse of the South West.

Warren rail bridge unlikely to reopen

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries, says the rail bridge at Gunningba Creek near Warren will be repaired if it is needed.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The bridge was destroyed in a fire at the Warren cotton gin in 2012, and while money was set aside to rebuild it, the bridge's future has come into doubt with Graincorp's decision to cease using the silo.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mr Humphries says Transport for New South Wales has reallocated the money for the bridge to a section of the line between Auscott and Namoi Cotton.[/font][/size]

Cairn Hill mine falls victim to iron ore price fall

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The decline in the iron ore price has been blamed for a decision by the board of directors of Termite Resources to put the company into administration. Iron ore has fallen 34 per cent this year, down to $US89.30 per tonne, the first time it has traded lower than $US90 since 2012. IMX announced this morning that all contractual liabilities would be the obligation of Termite Resources, except for a $3 million capped guarantee provided by IMX under the port handling services contract with Flinders Ports.

Approval sought for port, village, rail line

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by newsbot in South Australian Rail News

IRON Road has submitted a development application to the state government for major parts of its Central Eyre Iron Project (CEIP).

MP's regional rail line closure comments unhelpful, SA Government says

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by newsbot in South Australian Rail News

Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan says comments by Liberal MP Tim Whetstone about two regional rail lines are not helping negotiations on their future. Mr Whetstone says the lines connecting Tailem Bend, Loxton and Pinnaroo will be closed before the end of the year.

Faster speeds essential to improve rail service to Newcastle

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

NEWCASTLE is home to the nation’s sixth largest population centre, which makes it larger than Canberra. Maintaining heavy rail access to the Newcastle CBD will ensure ongoing access to environmentally friendly and sustainable transport. The increasing likelihood of higher world oil prices, which peaked in mid 2008, and are expected within a decade to return to higher levels, is a further factor in retaining this electrified line.

Inland rail's war of words

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

LABOR and the Coalition are locked into a verbal battle over credit for the mooted inland rail scheme, while primary producers wait to see results that could help cut costs and boost profitability. Shadow Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says his counterpart Warren Truss and his National party colleagues have repeatedly claimed the Coalition government is “kick-starting" and "fast-tracking" the inland railway project with $300 million. But the Labor power broker says that $300 million funding commitment was initially provided by the previous Labor government in 2011.

Asciano to axe 500 jobs

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by DesL in Asciano

Rail operator Asciano will axe about 500 jobs in order to cut costs. The company said the job cuts will help reduce costs by $90 million during the 2014/15 financial year.

Telcos meet Napthine’s call for metro rail mobile coverage

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have agreed to build out their mobile networks on Melbourne’s City Loop rail line after being labelled “greedy" by Victorian Premier Dennis Napthine, who refused to include inner city services in a $40 million plan to roll out free wi-fi on V/Line train services. The state government today announced the country’s three biggest telcos had agreed to partner with the state and the VicTrack rail body to extend mobile coverage to the inner city rail tunnels.

Virgin wins rail deal extension

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

Virgin Trains today promised to increase capacity on the West Coast mainline after it secured a deal to continue running the franchise until March 2017.

Better roads and rail high on agenda of council delegation to Canberra

Posted Thursday, 19 June, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Better road and rail services were high on the agenda for a joint Gosford-Wyong Council delegation to Canberra this week. Wyong Shire Mayor Doug Eaton and Gosford City Council Chief Executive Officer Paul Anderson held meetings with Federal Government Ministers to discuss major infrastructure needs for the Central Coast. In Canberra to attend the 2014 National General Assembly of Local Government, the two Councils have used the visit as an opportunity to seek support for a range of specific economic development initiatives to deliver over 10,000 new jobs by 2030. On Tuesday they met with Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Jamie Briggs, to discuss the need for Federal funding assistance for a range of projects around Warnervale, including the proposed link road connecting North Wyong to Warnervale, estimated to cost $45 million, and the feasibility of straightening the main northern railway line between Hornsby and Woy Woy.

Port of Brisbane and rail body link to get box transport back on track

Posted Friday, 20 June, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Dedicated freight-rail access linking south-western Queensland and the Port of Brisbane (PBPL) is another step closer as the port and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) have formally agreed to share information.

Vet all rail options: expert

Posted Friday, 20 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Finishing the Maldon-Dombarton line would improve the South Coast rail line more than a rail bridge off Stanwell Park, said a University of Wollongong academic. On Wednesday, the Mercury broke the news of Heathcote MP Lee Evans's proposal to build a [url=

Aurizon workers seeking voluntary redundancies: union

Posted Friday, 20 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Aurizon

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union says workers have begun seeking voluntary redundancies at Aurizon's Redbank and South Townsville depots. The rail freight company announced last month that it would cut 480 jobs from its South Townsville and Redbank depots as part of a restructure.

Canberra light rail contractors required to employ local workers, businesses

Posted Friday, 20 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

Lead contractors on Canberra's light rail project will be required to engage local businesses and workers under changes to the ACT Government's procurement process. The proposed Capital Metro rail line from Gungahlin to the city centre is expected to create 3,500 jobs during construction. Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell said the tender process would ensure most of the jobs go to locals. "We want to make sure there's a fair share for local contractors, for local employers and for local workers," he said.

VLine train art project Transit puts train passengers' creative talents on display

Posted Friday, 20 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

An artist's regular train commutes in England and Victoria inspired a new exhibition set to roll into the Bendigo Station. Transit, by Julie Andrews, is comprised of black-and-white sketches by passengers on V/Line trains. "In England I did a lot of travel on trains, and I found there's a space with that that I find really useful for creativity," the Bendigo-based artist said.

Truck traffic fears aired as deadline looms for rail lines closure

Posted Friday, 20 June, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

Community concerns are mounting in Bruce Rock as the deadline for the closure of tier three rail lines in the Eastern Wheatbelt approaches. Shire president Stephen Strange says residents are worried that, when CBH stops shifting grain by rail on June 30, there will be a dramatic increase in truck traffic in the region. Mr Strange says the backlog of grain in the Muntadgin, Narembeen and Bruce Rock bins will mean there will be 80 extra trucks each day on local roads.

Bridges demolished on north coast rail line

Posted Friday, 20 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

A NSW upper house MP yesterday tabled a petition to return the Casino to Murwillumbah rail service but the call may have come too late after two bridges on the line were demolished this week. The removal of the historic bridges effectively severs the old north coast railway line and erodes hopes it will ever be reopened. Work commenced on the first of the two bridges, at Woodlawn Street, North Lismore, last Sunday. Crews were this morning mopping up the work at Binna Burra, where a second bridge crossing Lismore Road was demolished yesterday.

Police probe more rail line vandalism

Posted Friday, 20 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Police are investigating a third vandalism attack on train lines in south-west Victoria this week. Vandals cut signalling cables on the Ballarat line between Bacchus Marsh and Ballan yesterday, forcing the cancellation of four train services and delaying others. V/Line spokesman Colin Tyrus says police are also investigating vandalism to signalling cables on the Ballarat and Geelong lines on Sunday.

Train’s return to mark 140 years of rail between Castlemaine and Maryborough

Posted Saturday, 21 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]A TRAIN will return to the Castlemaine-Maryborough rail line on July 6.[/b] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The line will celebrate its 140th anniversary.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The celebration is part of the campaign to have passenger rail services restored between Geelong and Bendigo via Ballarat, Maryborough and Castlemaine.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The opening of the Maryborough to Castlemaine line will be celebrated in the park opposite the wonderful Maryborough station which once drew admiring comments from celebrated US novelist Mark Twain.[/font][/size][/color]

Fischer backs return of rail over trail

Posted Sunday, 22 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#424944][size=2][font='Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]HE IS the patron of Rail Trails NSW, but former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer has spoken out against funding a rail trail and, instead, has put his weight behind the campaign to return trains to the Northern Rivers.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#424944][size=2][font='Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Mr Fischer, a railway enthusiast, patron of Rail Trails NSW and author of the book, Trains Unlimited, has written to the Northern Rivers Railway Action Group to say that while rail trails are a positive for some locations, the Northern Rivers' community would be better served by a light rail commuter service.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#424944][size=2][font='Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]"Rail trails are great in many ways and certainly boost cross-pollination of ideas and linkages but, better still in north-eastern NSW, a shuttle modern light rail between Casino and Byron Bay and Murwillumbah makes great sense," he said.[/font][/size][/color]

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 21/6/2014.

Posted Sunday, 22 June, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 96 sightings for this week; this is one sighting more than last week We saw 15 sightings on the Broad Gauge, which are two sightings more than last week. This total included 10 PN Grain trains.

Maldon-Dombarton line more effective than rail bridge: expert

Posted Sunday, 22 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Finishing the Maldon-Dombarton line would improve the South Coast rail line more than a rail bridge off Stanwell Park, said a University of Wollongong academic.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]On Wednesday, the Mercury broke the news of Heathcote MP Lee Evans's proposal to build a [url defaultattr=http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/2361321/mp-flags-rail-bridge-over-ocean-at-stanwell-park/?cs="300"][color=#0c41a4]"Sea Cliff Bridge style" rail line over the water at Stanwell Park[/color][/url].[/font][/size][/color]

Cottoning on to inland rail

Posted Monday, 23 June, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

[color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]COTTON Australia CEO Adam Kay has backed the proposed Brisbane to Melbourne inland railway, saying the critical government infrastructure investment could help boost cotton exports into key Asian markets, especially China.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mr Kay said Australia had a proven global reputation for producing high quality cotton products, but the prospect of moving cotton freight into export markets faster through more efficient port access transport routes ensured a double-edged selling point for current trade negotiations with China.[/font][/size][/color]

Updates to Gheringhap Loop Camera Network

Posted Monday, 23 June, 2014 by bevans in Railpage Australia News

Railpage wishes to advise [url=http://www.railpage.com.au/locations/9/]Gheringhap Loop[/url] Camera #3 is now back in service after suffering from power supply problems over the past few months.

Oakland Opposes Fossil Fuel Transport By Rail As Sacramento Imposes New Fees To Help Fund Spill Response

Posted Monday, 23 June, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

The City Council of Oakland, California has [url=https://oakland.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=1747455&GUID=D41B7760-10B0-455E-B1F5-88894FBAD097&Options=&Search=]passed a resolution[/url] opposing the transport of coal, oil, petcoke (a byproduct of the oil refining process) and other hazardous materials by railways and waterways within the city. The resolution is a response to “a new push by the fossil fuel industry to transport, export, and/or refine coal, crude oil and petroleum coke (“petcoke”)… on the West Coast and in California,” as well as efforts by California refineries to build new rail terminals that would allow them to import more crude oil from the tar sands in Canada and the Bakken Shale in North Dakota.

Baosteel and Aurizon welcome release of target’s statement recommending shareholders accept the offer

Posted Monday, 23 June, 2014 by newsbot in Aurizon

We refer to the joint takeover offer by Baosteel Resources Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 66 154 815 362) (Baosteel) and Aurizon Operations Limited (ABN 47 564 947 264) (Aurizon) (together, theBidders) to acquire 100% of the ordinary shares in Aquila Resources Limited (Aquila) that they do not already own for A$3.40 per share (the Offer).  The Bidders welcome the release of Aquila’s Target's Statement. The Target Statement includes the Independent Expert report, which is available at [url=http://www.asx.com.au/]www.asx.com.au[/url]

India hikes rail fares ahead of new budget

Posted Monday, 23 June, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

The government on Friday pushed through a steep hike in rail passenger and freight fares, the first dose of the "bitter medicine" Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warned is needed to revive the economy. India's railway network is one of the world's largest, but years of low investment and populist policies to subsidise fares at affordable levels have crimped growth in new lines and hindered private investment. From June 25, rail passenger fares will increase by 14.2 percent and freight rates by 6.5 percent, the railways ministry said in a statement. The last fare hike was in October 2013.

Britain to consider east-west high-speed rail link

Posted Monday, 23 June, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

Britain will consider building an east-west high-speed railway between cities in northern England to help boost economic growth outside London, finance minister George Osborne will say on Monday. Less than a year away from a national election and with his Conservatives trailing by six points in the polls, Osborne's call to build a "northern powerhouse" will be seen as an attempt to boost the party's appeal in the opposition Labour party's northern heartlands.

Freight train derails in Katihar, disrupts rail services

Posted Monday, 23 June, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

[color=#3c3d3d][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A container of a freight train derailed due to mechanical problems in Bihar's Katihar district on Sunday disrupting movement of about a dozen trains on the route, a railway official said.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#3c3d3d][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The incident took place between Bakhri and Karagola stations under Sonepur division of the East-Central Railway (ECR) as a container of Barauni-bound freight train derailed due to mechanical problems, the ECR Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Arvind Kumar Rajak said. A dozen trains on up and line route of Katihar-Barauni sections were stranded as a result of the derailment, he said.[/font][/size][/color]

Qld should look to rail supply chain efficiency first

Posted Monday, 23 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Government has been urged to focus on supply chain efficiency and infrastructure upgrades while it waits for national heavy vehicle charging reforms to affect competition between road and rail freight. The advice is contained in the Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee’s recent Rail freight use by the agriculture and livestock industries report While noting the Government’s acceptance of the Federal Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform project

Thirteen per cent increase in cost of rail travel since introduction of Opal card

Posted Monday, 23 June, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

THE cost of commuting on trains has jumped an average 13 per cent since the State Government’s Opal card was rolled out to all 300 stations on the Sydney Train’s network, a spending study shows. Research into spending trends in April and May found that commuters are spending an extra $100 a year to catch the train.

The private 'police' of public transport

Posted Monday, 23 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

Yesterday in Perth I was accosted by a comically bright super-sized character of indeterminate sex, questionable body odour and garish tribal tattoos down its wide, flabby arms. The gang of large fluorescent teletubbies demanded to see my train ticket as if I’d already committed a crime. Being a transit officer must be a tough job. So I handed over my Myki card, no Go card, oops wrong state, Opal card - I didn’t have my Perth Smartrider on me.

Gravel carpark at Huntingdale railway station overlooked in redevelopment proposal

Posted Tuesday, 24 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

HUNTINGDALE  Railway Station’s cramped and unsafe gravel carpark failed to score a mention in a major redevelopment proposal. The Rowville Rail Study stage 2 report sets the scene for a future train line from Huntingdale to Rowville and includes recommendations for the State Government. The report suggested consolidating the station’s bus interchange on one side of Huntingdale Rd, which would up-end a small gravel carpark described in the report as having “safety, littering and crowding issues”. But the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) report failed to mention the larger gravel carpark across the street, which is also unsafe, littered and crowded, and the subject of the Waverley Leader’s This is Rubbish campaign.

Regional Rail Link changes to affect students, commuters

Posted Tuesday, 24 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

BALLARAT public transport commuters say the changes to the V/Line service to Melbourne will affect hundreds of students and professionals who would usually leave the train at North Melbourne station.

Man posing as palm reader jailed for sexually assaulting women on V/Line trains

Posted Tuesday, 24 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

A Bendigo man has been jailed for 21 months for sexually assaulting young women on V/Line trains while posing as a palm reader. Ajay Chopra, 41, pleaded guilty to five charges over a series of sex assaults on trains between Bendigo and Melbourne in 2011. The court heard Chopra would pretend to be a palm reader before grabbing the women's hands and assaulting them. His youngest victim was 18 years old. "All of this was a ruse, and what you were attempting to do was either to put their hand in your crotch area or put your hand in their crotch area," Judge Gerard Mullaly said.

Melbourne train operator Metro Trains Melbourne to run Sydney's north-west rail link

Posted Tuesday, 24 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The operator of train systems in Hong Kong and Melbourne has been chosen to run the first privately operated passenger rail line in Sydney, the north-west rail link. Premier Mike Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced on Tuesday morning that MTR Corporation, along with John Holland, Leighton Contractors, UGL Rail Services and Plenary Group, had been chosen to operate the $8.3 billion train line.

Rail commuters trapped on trains as signal failure at Martin Place causes chaos

Posted Tuesday, 24 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

TAXIS were swamped by desperate workers after a major track failure on the Eastern Suburbs line ground trains to a halt this morning. The track issues at Martin Place saw peak hour trains backed up in both directions from Town Hall along the T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra line before 9am. “There’s big dramas here today,” a Sydney Trains worker said to an elderly woman as he helped her. City-bound commuters using the line were in no doubt. Some passengers were forced to endure a one-hour trip from Kings Cross to Martin Place, a journey that usually takes about three minutes. Others were stranded for more than 90 minutes on Illawarra trains caught in the backlog.

Melbourne rail operator Metro investigates ice-affected train driver who ran red signal

Posted Tuesday, 24 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne's rail operator Metro is investigating how a train driver who was high on the drug ice was allowed to keep driving after running a red signal. The driver alerted management that he went through the stop signal and he was instructed to pass through the closest train station at Albion and drop passengers at Sunshine to avoid congestion on the line. He then dropped the empty train at St Albans before returning to the city for a drug test. The test revealed he had more than 10 times the threshold for a positive reading of ice in his system.

Call for Dookie rail fix

Posted Tuesday, 24 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Dookie district grain growers are calling for freight trains to be returned to the Shepparton-Dookie line.

Brisbane rail freight track on conference agenda

Posted Wednesday, 25 June, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

A proposed multi-million dollar rail freight link between Toowoomba and Brisbane’s port will be one of the talking points at the first big agriculture conference held in Brisbane for many years. The Queensland Government is one of the major sponsors of the Queensland Agricultural Conference at the Pullman Hotel in Roma Street on Thursday. The idea of a new rail freight link was raised publicly by the Port of Brisbane in May last year. Part of the plan is an underground tunnel from Acacia Ridge toward the port.

Butler St residents want rail corridor used for Byron bypass

Posted Wednesday, 25 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

A BYRON Bay community group is spruiking a multi-use shared transit route to alleviate traffic woes. Butler Street Community Network says its Grab The Rail bypass plan offers substantial benefits over Byron Shire Council's proposed mini and long bypass plans. The residents will be the hardest hit by Byron Shire Council's decision to run the bypass along Butler Street and through part of the Cumbedin Reserve. They proposed using the rail corridor as a bypass route at the same council meeting that approved the Butler Street option, but were unable to win support before the decision was rammed through.

Passenger numbers down on re-opened Tonsley line

Posted Wednesday, 25 June, 2014 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

[b]PATRONAGE on the Tonsley line has slumped by 30 per cent since the line re-opened in May after a two year closure.[/b] Figures show 850 commuters use the service daily, down from 1200 commuters who were using the weekday-only service before it was cut in February 2012. The rail service closed as part of the State Government’s rail upgrades and the extension of the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Ballarat V/Line trains delayed again due to vandals at Rockbank

Posted Wednesday, 25 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

For the fourth time in 2 weeks vandals have attacked trackside infrastructure at Rockbank causing significant delays and cancellations to Ballarat Vline services.

Freight rail operator cuts 103 more jobs

Posted Wednesday, 25 June, 2014 by bevans in Aurizon

A weakening mining sector has led rail operator Aurizon to cut another 100 jobs and take tens of millions of dollars off the value of its assets and coal terminal projects. The company formerly known as QR National has made 103 redundancies, mainly from its head office, less than two months after announcing plans to cut 480 staff from its Queensland maintenance operations. Aurizon also said the Dudgeon Point coal terminal and phase two of the Wiggins Island coal terminal, both in Queensland, were not expected to progress in the foreseeable future.

Aurizon announces further reform and subdued market conditions driving additional asset impairments

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by bevans in Aurizon

In December 2013, Aurizon announced that it had undertaken a review resulting in impairments relating to a reduction in the rollingstock fleet and a review of strategic projects.

XPT evacuated after roof of carriage blown off in storm

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

PASSENGERS on Tuesday morning's XPT service from Sydney to Melbourne were forced to evacuate a carriage after part of its roof was blown off the carriage in torrid weather conditions. Part of one of the carriage's roof panels fell off while the train was between Goulburn and Cootamundra, with passengers having to board buses to complete the trip to Melbourne after the service was terminated in Cootamundra.

CBH kept in the dark on rail arrangement

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

IT IS hard to imagine paying for a service and not knowing what you're getting in return for your money. But that's exactly what CBH has been forced to do. I wouldn't be too keen on pre-paying my rent without first knowing how many bedrooms there were in the house and on which street it was located. I wouldn't hand over cash to Telstra without knowing which phone plan the sales assistant intended to sign me up for.

Heritage stations to become rail trail tourism businesses

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

ICONIC heritage buildings along the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line would be leased to private operators to run cafes and other tourism businesses under the proposed $75.5 million rail trail, Ballina MP Don Page said. There are 24 original stations along the line including main stops at Murwillumbah, Burringbar, Mullumbimby, Byron Bay, Bangalow, Eltham, Lismore and Casino. The rail trail would provide a track for walking and riding bikes and/or horses along the existing rail corridor, providing a safe and scenic route without steep hills between Northern Rivers towns.

BNSF sending up to 19 crude-by-rail shipments each week through Washington state

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

BNSF is sending as many as 19 oil trains a week, each carrying at least 1 million gallons of crude, through Washington state, according to a disclosure the railroad filed with the state, including up to 13 trains through heavily populated King County, where Seattle is located. The disclosure, required under an emergency order issued by the US Department of Transportation in May, was posted on the state's Emergency Management Division website late Tuesday. Short-line railroad Portland and Western Railroad also disclosed moving three oil trains carrying at least 1 million gallons of crude each through Washington.

Survivor contestant Caleb Bankston killed after being crushed between two rail cars

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by newsbot in International 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]FORMER Survivor contestant Caleb Bankston has died after he was crushed between two rail cars when the train he was riding on derailed.[/font][/font] [/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]TMZ reports the 26-year-old, who appeared on last year’s [font=LiberationSerifItalic, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]Survivor: Blood vs. Water[/font], was “checking on something in the small space between two of the cars when the train went off the tracks.”[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]Police reportedly said the rear car slammed into the forward car with Bankston caught helplessly in between.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]Bankston was working on the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham, where he was a train engineer and conductor.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif][font=LiberationSerifItalic, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The Birmingham News [/font]reports that he was standing on the ladder of a hopper car and directing an engineer who was backing up a train when the car suddenly derailed.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]The derailment threw Bankston from the train car and the car fell on him - crushing him.[/font][/size][/color]

Full steam ahead for town rail track projects

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Gunnedah motorists will have noticed some major construction works along the town’s rail line this week, with two projects under way.  The Marquis Street level crossing was closed on Tuesday for a track upgrade, where a new rubber element is being installed to help make traversing the crossing smoother.  Work is being carried out around the clock, and the crossing is due to open by Friday.  Further north, the Gunnedah rail yard is undergoing some major work that includes a track reconstruction and upgrade between the two level crossings at Marquis and New streets.

Unsuccessful East West Link tender may be eligible for millions in compensation

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Other Transport News

CONSTRUCTION giants bidding to build the first stage of the East West Link have been whittled down to two contenders, with an unsuccessful third company to pocket up to $12 million in compensation. The two shortlisted bidders were today revealed as East West Connect and Inner Link Group. East West Connect includes construction giant Lend Lease. Inner Link Group is backed by Macquarie Capital, in partnership with Spanish transport developer Cintra. Momentum Infrastructure, a consortia between John Holland, Leighton and The Bank of Tokyo, did not make the latest shortlist. The unsuccessful bidder could be eligible for up to $12 million reimbursement for the costs of the tender, according to the Government’s expression of interest document.

Productivity Commission calls for sale of Tasmanian ports, rail and ferry services

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by newsbot in Tasmanian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The sale of Tasmanian ports, rail and even the Bass Strait Ferry Service has been recommended by the Productivity Commission.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The commission's report into the state's shipping and freight industry has highlighted the parlous state of Tasmania's economy.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It found less emphasis should be placed on subsidy schemes and more on reforms that bring both national and state benefits and enhance competitiveness.[/font][/size]

Why the East West Link is a con job

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

An opinion poll showing that only 24% of Victorians support the government's flagship road project, the East West Link, has sent shockwaves through the Victorian government. The Age/Nielsen poll, published on March 2, also showed the Metro Rail project has [url=http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/denis-napthine-has-bad-poll-news-eastwest-link-not-popular-20140301-33szm.html]double the amount of support among the public[/url], with 42% in favour. The Metro Rail project is a nine-kilometre underground train line through the city that would allow another 20,000 passengers to use the network during peak hour. The state Coalition government immediately started an advertising blitz, talking up its public transport credentials, implying that the construction of the East West Link was part of “improvements” to public transport.

Community outcry forces rail line rethink

Posted Thursday, 26 June, 2014 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

COMMUNITY backlash has prompted changes to a plan to elevate a section of the Outer Harbor commuter train line. New designs for the raised track, part of the $896 million South Rd project, will be released within weeks after complaints from residents and Charles Sturt Council. The Weekly Times Messenger understands the rail line is set to rise 7m above street level on the city side of South Rd and returning to ground level before the intersection of Croydon’s Queen and Elizabeth streets and the nearby station. Previous Transport ­Department flyover designs showed the train line would rise east of South Rd and ­return to ground level west of Croydon station. Elizabeth St resident and community reference group member Ivana Kotasek said the original design was “monstrous”.

Near miss between XPT train and passengers

Posted Friday, 27 June, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

JUST 80 metres and the quick reflexes of an XPT driver saved six people who had been told to get off one passenger train from being cleaned up by another  last month. The near miss on the  Paterson line, out of Maitland,  is being investigated by the Office of Transport Safety Investigations. Chief investigator Paul O’Sullivan said it was not clear what had happened “other than we ended up with some passengers on a track looking at the front-end of a train that stopped 80 metres from them”.

New peak-hour services for busiest rail lines

Posted Friday, 27 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victoria's public transport system will get a much-needed shot in the arm next month when new peak-hour services are added to some of Melbourne's busiest rail lines, and sweeping changes are made to tram and bus services. Chronic overcrowding on the Dandenong rail corridor will be addressed with the addition of two extra peak-hour services in the morning and two in the evening. The extra peak hour trains were a $25 million commitment in last year's state budget. The Frankston railway line will also get two extra peak-hour trains.

Container rail logistics works

Posted Friday, 27 June, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

WA-owned and operated rail transport and logistics company Intermodal Group has had a record-breaking month at the North Quay Rail Terminal (NQRT) at Fremantle’s InnerHarbour, processing more than 10,000 containers for both import and export in May. This is the highest volume recorded by the group since it commenced operations at NQRT in 2007. Approximately 80% of volumes currently received at NQRT are transported by Intermodal’s rail service from its Forrestfield Intermodal Rail Terminal (FIT). Intermodal is the exclusive operator of the NQRT to Kewdale-Forrestfield rail corridor. The remaining 20% is from the Kalgoorlie and Kwinana line services, are operated by other providers.

Students risk lives by crossing electrified rail tracks at Marion after train station flooded

Posted Friday, 27 June, 2014 by newsbot in South Australian 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]STUDENTS have “risked their lives” to cross railway tracks at Marion station as its only designated access way was flooded when a metre-high deluge hit.[/font][/font] [/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=LiberationSerifRegular, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]Marion man Geoff Wells says he saw students walking across the tracks and jumping over a fence to avoid the station’s flooded underpass during this week’s wet weather.[/font][/size][/color]

Man feared dead after ‘major incident’ at Balaclava train station

Posted Friday, 27 June, 2014 by RunningLine in Victorian Rail News

A man has been electrocuted on the roof of a city-bound train at Balaclava on the Sandringham line.

Auckland rail staff to be equipped with lapel cameras

Posted Friday, 27 June, 2014 by newsbot in New Zealand Rail News

Ticket inspectors on Auckland's public rail network will soon be kitted with personal lapel cameras as part of efforts to improve their safety.

Airport's new rail link is no longer on the table

Posted Friday, 27 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The debate over the massive lie by the Napthine government regarding a supposed airport rail link has evolved further.[/font][/size][/color]

Regional Rail Link work to see buses replace trains on Ballarat line

Posted Friday, 27 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Buses will replace trains on the Ballarat line from tomorrow until July 15 for works on the Regional Rail Link.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The construction over the school holidays are the last major disruption before the works are completed next year.[/font][/size]

The WA Environment Minister has given the green light for a $500 million coal export facility at Bunbury Port

Posted Friday, 27 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Open Sans', Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Lanco Resources wants to export up to 12 million tonnes of coal each year from Griffin Coal's Collie Basin operations.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Open Sans', Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The facility will require dredging up to 1.9 million cubic metres at the port and blasting 20,000 cubic metres of rock.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Open Sans', Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Environment Minister Albert Jacob approved Lanco's proposal on a number of conditions, including a requirement to monitor dolphin populations and not conduct blasting activities during dolphin calving periods from October to May each year.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Open Sans', Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Lanco's executive general manager David Trench says the company is happy to comply with all environmental conditions.[/font][/size][/color]

New peak-hour services for Dandenong and Frankston rail lines

Posted Friday, 27 June, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Victoria's public transport system will get a much-needed shot in the arm next month when new peak-hour services are added to some of Melbourne's busiest rail lines, and sweeping changes are made to tram and bus services. Chronic overcrowding on the Dandenong rail corridor will be addressed with the addition of two extra peak-hour services in the morning and two in the evening. The extra peak hour trains were a $25 million commitment in last year's state budget. The Frankston railway line will also get two extra peak-hour trains.

Commuter live tweets police hunt as man brings rail network to a standstill

Posted Saturday, 28 June, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

The storify below shows how the man, clad all in white, seemed to remonstrate with a passenger before police converged upon him

Coaches to replace V-Line trains on Bendigo line

Posted Saturday, 28 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

COACHES will replace trains between Melbourne and Bendigo from tomorrow.  Regional Rail Link works mean only coaches will run on the line from Saturday, June 28 to Tuesday, July 15. Trains will continue to operate between Bendigo and Swan Hill/Echuca. V-Line has advised passengers to allow an extra 60 minutes travel time.

Government rules out privatisation despite Opposition claims

Posted Saturday, 28 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[b]THE Victorian Government has ruled out any plans to privatise V/Line despite freedom of information documents revealing the state could terminate the country rail operator “without cause”.[/b] An internal memo between Public Transport Victoria — the statutory authority that manages Victoria’s train, tram and bus services — and Transport Minister Terry Mulder  reveals a termination clause in the new services agreement­ ­established last year between V/Line and PTV.

Extra-tall van forces Ford to design new rail car for shipping

Posted Sunday, 29 June, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

It is one thing to build a new van with a high roof height, quite another to ship it to dealers. That was among the challenges Ford faced as it made plans to build and sell the Ford Transit full-size van and wagon in the U.S. for the first time. The van comes in a choice of three roof heights and the highest — 110.1 inches tall — allows a 6-foot, 4-inch person to stand upright.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 28/6/2014.

Posted Sunday, 29 June, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

This week saw the start of a new ARTC timetable, all AB/BA trains now run via Broken Hill. There were only 80 sightings for this week; this is 15 sightings less than last week making a total of 2875 sightings for this year to date

China research study for rail link from Kashgar to Gawadar begins

Posted Sunday, 29 June, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=1][b]China has reportedly commissioned a "preliminary research study" to construct an international rail link connecting its province Xinjiang’s border to Pakistan.[/b][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=1][b]China has allocated funds for preliminary research on building an international railway connecting Kashgar in Xinjiang with Pakistan's deep-sea Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.[/b][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=1] [/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=1]"The 1,800-km China-Pakistan railway is planned to also pass through Islamabad and Karachi," Zhang said at the two-day International Seminar on the Silk Road Economic Belt.[/size][/color]

Desperate search for missing plush rabbit goes viral

Posted Monday, 30 June, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

A father’s search for his daughter’s lost stuffed animal has gone viral on social media. Max Sharples’s three-year-old daughter OIive left her plush rabbit Flopsy on a city-bound train from Werribee on Friday morning.

NSW government must proceed with caution on the sale of rail lines

Posted Monday, 30 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

At the March 2015 election, NSW voters will be asked, in effect, to vote for one privatisation to pay for another. Both offer substantial opportunities for the state. And both carry risks if not implemented with care and caution. Premier Mike Baird's government wants to sell the state's electricity poles and wires. If it wins support for this privatisation, the government will use part of the funds it raises to accelerate another privatisation, that of a major part of Sydney's rail system. The government's plan, if successful in selling the electricity assets, is that within two or three years it will begin extending a privately operated north-west rail link over the harbour through another central Sydney rail line.

Outdoor enthusiasts chuffed as rail trail funding gathers pace

Posted Monday, 30 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Snaking round hills that once echoed with the chuff of steam trains, the state’s abandoned rail lines have lain silent since the last services departed decades ago. But they could soon be filled with walkers, cyclists and, according to former deputy prime minster Tim Fischer, “scantily clad Scandinavians”, as the push for so-called “rail trails” gathers pace. Rail trails are public paths built along former rail corridors, taking users past scenic landscapes and country towns, and following gentle slopes perfect for hill-shy legs.

Track work may signal line truncation for heavy rail

Posted Monday, 30 June, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

THE state government has scheduled a shut-down of trains between Broadmeadow and Newcastle from mid-November - and isn't ruling out that it is for truncation of the heavy rail line. The proposed track work schedule warns commuters that trains will be replaced by buses on the inner-city section from November 22 until December 5, which is the only block of works currently listed for the section until the end of the year. The state government has flagged plans to truncate the heavy rail at Wickham by the year's end and to potentially also start work on a new interchange.

Tiny rail fans told of heists

Posted Monday, 30 June, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THERE were a number of great train robberies at the Workshops Rail Museum over the weekend. The museum's latest exhibit, Heist, kicked off at the weekend. There were cops and robbers, dress-up and a pit to dig up gold.

Metro Trains corruption claims

Posted Monday, 30 June, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The former managing director of a company that completed millions of dollars of work for Metro Trains says he was told the rail operator was ‘‘awash with corruption’’. The claim is detailed in a statutory declaration that also alleges employees who were ‘‘on the take’’ had been ‘‘gifted such things as jet skis and additions erected to their properties paid for by suppliers’’. Mark Boulton, who headed Metro Trains supplier Vital Services Group from October 2012 until January this year, has detailed his allegations in a statutory declaration signed in March and seen by Fairfax Media. The statutory declaration was provided to Metro Trains as part of an internal audit into allegations of corruption and kickbacks.

Rail line woes lessen

Posted Monday, 30 June, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[justify]JUST five speed restrictions remain in place for the North East rail line, and Tim McCurdy is hopeful they will be fixed by the end of the year.[/justify] [justify]Mr McCurdy was one of several North East MPs and representatives from local councils – including Wangaratta – to meet with Transport Minister Terry Mulder last week.[/justify]

East West Link project approved with Royal Park largely spared

Posted Monday, 30 June, 2014 by newsbot in Other Transport News

The six-kilometre East West Link tollway through Melbourne's inner north will be built after Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced he had approved the project on Monday. But some elements of the massively controversial road project have been culled following the recommendations of a 30-day planning panel hearing held in April. Much of Royal Park's heritage-listed grounds have been spared the bulldozer after Mr Guy axed the Elliott Avenue interchange from the design. The road will instead be built with access to Flemington Road, "subject to further detailed design work", Mr Guy said. Refinements to the design of the nest of flyovers at the tunnel's western end in Parkville will also be required.

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