AUSTRALIA'S road and rail network user charges are a disgrace.
Neither road nor rail pays its way on the networks they use. That's a recent development for road transport but a traditional state of affairs for rail. Road transport was, overall, paying its way under a simple, practical, though imperfect system until recently. Then two events queered it. One was the insistence by state and federal transport ministers at the Australian Transport Council that each class of truck pay its own way, rather than trucks overall paying their way.
Police will spend today trying to make contact with witnesses of yesterday's fatal rail smash, north of Bendigo.
For Pyramid Hill man Daniel Carey, yesterday's fatal rail crossing crash north of Bendigo brought back bad memories of last year's Kerang disaster.
Not only was the 32-year-old a passenger on the train in yesterday's fatal smash in central Victoria, in which a woman died when her car collided with a train, but he was also a survivor of the Kerang crash.
There were only 96 sightings for this week, due to the Australia Day holiday, which is 12 sightings less than last week, making a total of 439* (* most of the sightings missing for 1st week of 2008). On day 33 last year we had seen 486 sightings.
On the B/G we have seen two PN grain trains for the week, on Sunday XR558(PN)+XR554 came in with 32 hoppers and returned the same day.
THE true cost of Victoria's bungled public transport smartcard is $1 billion, secret new documents reveal.
A damning report by the Office of the Auditor-General has shown taxpayers are paying twice as much for the delayed card as the Government has previously revealed.
The figures show the taxpayer is paying for a $189 million contingency fund, which seems likely to be used now the contractors have told the Government they need more money.
MORE train security officers will patrol Melbourne's worst rail crime areas in a bid to cut violence and vandalism.
A new intelligence-based tasking system will map where and when criminal flare-ups are likely and authorised officer numbers will be boosted by 21 to 371.
Connex Group customer services general manager Geoff Young said hotspots including the Belgrave line and Noble Park station would be under the microscope during peak crime times, with staff to focus on violence, rock-throwing and graffiti.
CAR park prices are set to soar across the city with the major provider slugging users almost twice as much from next month.
Motorists will be forced to fork out up to $9000 a year after Secure Parking lifted rates from $420 to $750 a month at its Festival Carpark in Charlotte St.
BHP Billiton has approved $US1.094 billion ($1.22 billion) in funding to ramp up growth of its Western Australian iron ore (WAIO) business.
The capital expenditure will be used to start duplication of the railway track between the Yandi mine and Port Hedland and begin the expansion of the inner harbour at Port Hedland.
Construction of the second railway is expected to begin in May, subject to various government approvals.
IF the mayors of five South Burnett councils thought they could get away with quietly doing a deal to dig up a historical railway line, then they hadn't reckoned on Dulcie Hewitt.
The little grey-haired dynamo who heads up the Kilkivan Community Gardens and Railway Markets Project has not only blown the whistle on the deal – she's mustered up a mini-army to fight it to the death.
Although no trains have used the line from Theebine to Kingaroy since October 2004, Ms Hewitt says plans to rip up the 112-year-old track and transform it into a cycling, horse-riding and walking track are premature and short-sighted.
TRAIN commuters are being ferried on buses and in taxis for free because of a massive spike in the number of scheduled Citytrain services that never turn up.
New figures have revealed there were more than 1500 unscheduled cancellations of Citytrain services in the first four months of this financial year – a five-fold increase in the overall rate of cancellations in the previous financial year.
A significant factor in the cancellation blowout has been Queensland Rail's failure to employ the additional drivers needed to operate new trains ordered several years ago. CityTrain's woes have added to the meltdown occurring in public transport services throughout southeast Queensland.
FORTESCUE Metals has dispelled rumours it will miss its first shipment of iron ore in mid-May, claiming the project is still on schedule.
The firm said yesterday the $2.7 billion project was 82 per cent complete and on-time completion would prove doubters wrong.
It did however concede the timeframe for the completion of the rail link was pushing critical because of minor delays.
RAIL commuters travelling into Brisbane on the Beenleigh line this morning were herded on to buses after a derailment threw the service into chaos.
A Queensland Rail spokeswoman said a maintenance machine derailed at a set of points between between the Dutton Park and Fairfield stations at 5.30am.
Junee is celebrating its rail history and artistic talent with a festival to be held 7-9 March 2008. 3 LVR motors, vintage 1928 (Tin Hares) will arrive from Cowra on Friday, 7 March and will ferry passengers to and from Wagga throughout Saturday, then to Cootamundra on Sunday.
We are also seeking permits to run the "Mark Twain Boree Creek Express" hosted by Tim Fischer on Saturday 8 March.
There will be tours of the Junee Signal Box and a concert at the Junee Roundhouse Railway Workshops.
The Federal Opposition says there is widespread concern and anguish over the Government's decision to put on permanent hold funding for a planned inland rail link in eastern Australia.
The proposed link would be built through Narrabri and Moree shires in north-west New South Wales.
Nationals' leader and Opposition transport spokesman, Warren Truss, says hidden down the Finance Minister's list of spending cuts was the loss of $65 million for the northern inland rail project.
Councils say they are disappointed at meetings with the Victorian Government yesterday aimed at heading off a crisis in the state's rail freight.
The state's rail freight operator, Pacific National, is due to stop services in Victoria next month, and transport operators and councils are warning there will be a huge shift of heavy traffic onto the roads.
A major north-west Victorian freight operator is backing a proposal for a new rail line north of Mildura, in north-west Victoria, but says it is likely to depend on a new carbon trading scheme.
A five-month feasibility study into a new $300 million railway line linking Mildura and Menindee, in far western New South Wales, will soon be launched.
On the drawing board for three years, the Barkindji Corridor project proposes a 220 kilometre standard gauge rail line between Mildura and Menindee.
New South Wales Transport Minister John Watkins says he is very impressed with the next generation of trains set to take over on the state's rail network.
Mr Watkins has inspected a life-size model of a carriage, which has been built to get feedback from RailCorp staff, commuters and disability groups.
The South-West Development Commission says building a fast-train service between Bunbury and Perth is something that the region has been waiting for for a long time.
Premier Alan Carpenter has announced a feasibility study will be conducted to look at running a fast-train service from Perth to Bunbury.
Nambucca Shire Council will consider its options for replacing a rail bridge when it meets today.
The 60-year old Upper Warrell Creek bridge, near the Macksville industrial area on the New South Wales mid-north coast, needs replacing at an estimated cost of $1 million.
There were 106 sightings for this week, which is 10 sightings more than last week, making a total of 545* sightings for this year to date. (* most of the sightings missing for 1st week of 2008). On day 40 last year we had seen 596 sightings.
On the B/G we have seen two El Zorro grain trains for the week, the up train came in on Monday at 2226 with S302(V/L)+S303?(VR)+S311(CF)+T413(VR)+T357(VR) and 39 hoppers.
Services are currently suspended on the Melbourne/Ballarat railway line due to a collision between a freight train and a vehicle. Police are in attendance with the railway line expected to open before 9am.
An Ararat truck-driver standing trial over a fatal crash at a railway crossing in Western Victoria in 2006, has been cleared of all charges.
57-year-old Ivan Jenkins has been acquitted on all 22 charges due to insufficient evidence.
The County Court Judge, Lisa Hannan today directed the jury at Ballarat to find Mr Jenkins had no case to answer.
A lobby group says the State Government must seriously reconsider restoring the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line to meet the needs of a growing population.
The Northern Rivers Trains for the Future (NRTF) has reacted angrily to comments made yesterday by the Premier, Morris Iemma, that he had no plans to revisit the possible re-opening of the line.
Victrorian Police are continuing their investigations into a crash between a ute and a freight train early this morning.
The driver of the ute received minor injuries in the collision at Ingilston between Ballan and Bacchus Marsh.
The Richmond Mayor says he fears cutbacks will be made to rail services in western Queensland.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has released details of a briefing paper which it says outlines measures including possible job losses and freight depot closures.
John Wharton says the council learned last week that Queensland Rail (QR) may be considering service reductions to make the Cloncurry to Hughenden line more competitive.
Thousands of people have signed a petition pushing for improved rail services out of Bathurst in central western New South Wales.
Rail Action Bathurst is lobbying for a daily, return rail service with limited stops, between Bathurst and Sydney.
A group spokesman, John Slobbe, says more than 3,000 signatures have been collected.
He says it shows there is a huge demand for faster train services to Sydney.
The Port of Portland in south-west Victoria denies there will be traffic congestion in the city if Pacific National stops its rail freight operations.
The Federal Government is being urged to go get behind a plan for a new rail link north of Mildura in north-west Victoria.
The Sunraysia Mallee Economic Development Board is pushing the $300 million project, saying it would complete Australia's national rail network and cut the time and cost of moving freight between Perth, Darwin and Melbourne.
QR announced today that it will partner with Stockland and Kaplan Funds Management (KFM) to create a new intermodal facility at Stockland’s Department of Defence National Storage and Distribution Centre at Moorebank, as part of its plans to build a national freight business.
QR has taken a 10% interest in the joint venture, with Stockland holding a 60% interest and two
entities managed by logistics experts KFM each having taken a 15% interest. Stockland today assumed control of the 83 hectare site at Moorebank.
QR’s head of freight Steve Cantwell said QR was delighted to gain a foothold in this exciting new venture.
THE prospect of new routes between Hawaii and Australia has edged closer after Hawaiian Airlines reached labour agreements with its pilot and flight attendant unions for the introduction of the Airbus A350XWB-800.
Hawaiian this week signed a definitive purchase agreement with Airbus to acquire six of the super-efficient long-range wide-body aircraft and secure purchase rights for an additional six aircraft. It has also signed up for six A330-200s with purchase rights for six more. The total value of the deal, if all the purchase rights are exercised, will be $US4.4 billion at current list prices.
London transport officials have come under fire for banning a poster showing a classic nude painting of Venus on the Underground train system, because it might offend travellers.
The poster was part of an advertising campaign for the Royal Academy for a forthcoming show on the 16th century German painter and printmaker, Lucas Cranach the Elder.
But London Underground said it breached guidelines against advertising which "depict men, women or children in a sexual manner, or display nude or semi-nude figures in an overtly sexual context."
Timber plantation company Great Southern has signed a $130 million contract to export woodchips from Victoria's south-west to Japan.
Up to 400,000 tonnes of woodchips will be exported annually as part of a five-year deal.
The rail line to Wycheproof opened October 1883 so this year is 125 Yrs, I have Started a Wycheproof History Website
Website Link this site has about 2000 photos of history in the area , one lot of photos is our rail history with photos from day 1 to now, for those interested in steam there is a couple of photos of the rail station in Wycheproof taken by a station staff member in 1964 from top of the silo's next to the line & they are in colour two steams trains are in the station & unloading coal from a rail truck.
We have a steam engine & guards van on display next to the turntable (K167 engine) it has been left a bit without upkeep & the asbestos has been removed so the Lion Club who first put the engine & van there have decided to restore both to the best of our ability.
There were 111 sightings for this week, which is five sightings more than last week, making a total of 656* sightings for this year to date.
(* most of the sightings missing for 1st week of 2008). On day 47 last year we had seen 706 sightings.
On the B/G we have seen one light loco movement on Tuesday with S302(V/L)+S311(CF), it is reported that it was for driver training. And on Saturday morning 0639 the El Zorro ballast train arrived on the down with Y145(V/L)+T413(VR) and five CF ballast wagons along with a discharge control wagon.
There were 113 sightings for this week, which is two sightings more than last week, making a total of 769* sightings for this year to date.
On the B/G we have seen eight El Zorro ballast train movements, working out of the former gypsum siding on Tuesday and Wednesday before it moved on to Meredith. We had T413(VR) on the down end of the train with five CF ballast wagons along with a discharge control wagon and Y145 on the up end of the train.
Promoters of a rail link to Auckland airport are turning up the heat to secure an agreement before it’s too late.
Lobby group The Campaign for Better Transport wants Auckland’s various transport agencies and Transit to designate a suitable railway corridor before construction of the second Manukau Harbour crossing begins.
A quarter of motorists race trains and ignore signs at rail level crossings according to a new study.
The survey of 4,500 road users by Roy Morgan Research found young people under the age of 25 are the drivers most at risk.
Police are preparing a report for the coroner on Victoria's second fatal level crossing crash in a month.
A man died when his car and a freight train collided at Mitiamo, near Echuca late yesterday afternoon.
Business leaders say they are worried about a New South Wales Government rethink on the long-awaited rail line to Rouse Hill, in north-west Sydney.
The Government had committed to extending the existing heavy rail system with double-decker carriages.
But Transport Minister John Watkins is now not ruling out a single-deck, subway-style metro service.
"Of course there's a debate about metro for Sydney because we have to talk about where we go with rail in our vast city," he said.
he wife of a train driver involved in a fatal smash near Bendigo, in central Victoria, has urged the public to consider the forgotten victims of level crossing accidents.
Yesterday's smash at Mitiamo involved a car and maintenance train.
Echuca man Haldane Nelson, 32, was killed.
It is the second crash on the line in a month.
The wife of one of the train drivers involved in yesterday's crash has told the ABC that motorists who are complacent around level crossings forget the grief they can cause train drivers.
Victorian transport minister Lyn Kosky has finally decided to assist the rail terminal operators across Victoria. The minister has today announced the government will provide terminal operators access to a $20m fund designed to assist in subsidising the cost of Pacific National services to terminals. Terminals include bulk handling such as grain and also general freight.
MELBOURNE'S unfriendliest and safest train stations are revealed in a police snapshot of our rail system.
Dandenong station is the hotbed for transit crime, with more offences than on several entire rail lines combined.
The Pakenham line is the most dangerous, recording a fifth of all rail crime, police data compiled for the Sunday Herald Sun reveal.
REGIONAL rail freight has been given a $20 million boost by the State Government. Rebates will be handed out for container freight along the Horsham, Mildura, Shepparton and Warrnambool lines.
Premier John Brumby said existing rebates for domestic grain would be extended to exports.
A NORTH East MP has predicted it could be at least 12 months before trains return to the Albury to Wangaratta V/Line service.
Ken Jasper made the call after Victorian Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said yesterday she was hoping to hear back from the Australian Rail Track Corporation within the next four weeks about a decision on the future of the line.
UP to 400 disgruntled Qantas passengers are stranded in the wings of Perth Domestic Airport after their plane bound for Sydney failed to show.
It may be eight hours before passengers waiting for their 4.15pm flight will actually get off the ground, airline staff say.