Showing stories from May 2010

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Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back!

Posted Friday, 14 May, 2010 by jmorgan in Railpage Australia News

Hi there - welcome,

Take a seat. Can I get you a drink?

Do you come here often?

Yes, we're back. It's been a long time coming indeed! We'll explain more about the reasons why shortly, but suffice to say it's been some pretty big drama that's kept us off the air for so long.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy the site being back.
Because, like, we missed you guys :)
Your friends,
The RP Team

Myki mess: big guns paid to mop up

Posted Friday, 14 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE government department responsible for getting myki working is employing 14 expensive advisers from global consulting firm Ernst & Young to sort out the smartcard mess, the opposition says.

So far the $1.35 billion smartcard - intended to replace Metcard and V/Line tickets in 2007 - is working on only a handful of regional buses and Melbourne's trains.

Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula, appearing before a parliamentary spending committee yesterday, would not say how much the Ernst & Young staff, who were hired early this year, were being paid.

Woman dies after being hit by train in Victoria

Posted Friday, 14 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Emergency services were called to Springvale Railway Station at 2pm (AEST), soon after the woman was hit by a Gippsland-bound V/line train carrying 138 passengers, the Herald Sun reports.

The woman died at the scene after being hit by the 1.25pm Southern Cross to Bairnsdale train.

The passengers on the train were moved on to coaches for the remainder of their journey.

Labor leaves way open for congestion tax

Posted Friday, 14 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

STATE Treasurer John Lenders has left the door open for congestion charges on Victoria's roads this decade following a recommendation in the Henry tax review to consider congestion pricing.

At a Property Council lunch yesterday, Mr Lenders noted the federal government had not responded to Dr Ken Henry's recommendation of congest- ion charges ''across heavily congested parts of the road network''.

When asked if Victoria would have congestion charges, Mr Lenders said it was ''not on our immediate agenda'' but would ''follow what a national approach is''.

Rail worker bashed with stick of wood at Sydney's Central Station

Posted Friday, 14 May, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A RAIL worker is in a serious condition at the Sydney's St Vincent's hospital after he was savagely bashed in the head by a passenger who tried to jump a gate at Central Station.

A baseball bat, or long piece of timber, was believed to have been used in the 6.30am (AEST) attack.

Security guards tackled the offender at the Elizabeth St entrance as he attempted to escape.

Surry Hills police officers were currently interviewing a man in his 30s about the random attack.

Fraser defends sale plan for Qld Rail

Posted Friday, 14 May, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser has defended the government's approach to selling QR National, Queensland Rail's coal and freight haulage businesses.

QR National will be split from the rest of QR from July 1 and listed on the stockmarket by the end of 2010.

The float will be the largest initial public offering on the Australian Stock Exchange this year.

Mr Fraser, addressing the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia in Brisbane on Friday, said the integrated model - including track and rolling stock - proposed by the government was critical to promote investment in Queensland.

Tenders a positive sign for rail project: Mayor

Posted Friday, 14 May, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke says the announcement that tenders are being called for roadworks to support the south-east Queensland region's light rail project, is an indication the new system will go ahead.

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh have announced the opening of bids for $110 million in roadworks contracts.

Japan train firms take own paths for US billions

Posted Friday, 14 May, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

Japan's major train operators are taking different approaches as they pursue billions in high-speed train contracts in the U.S., reflected in their sales pitches to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood during his recent visit.

Washington has awarded $8.5 billion to jump-start 13 regional high-speed rail projects, with $2.5 billion more to come this year and hundreds of billions needed before lines are up and running. The U.S. has almost no expertise of its own, and Japan sees a golden opportunity to export its technology and experience.

Track work to disrupt rail services

Posted Saturday, 15 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/Line train services to Gippsland will be disrupted this weekend because of track works.

Buses will replace trains between Pakenham and Southern Cross stations on Saturday and Sunday.

Bus plunges in NSW Ravine

Posted Saturday, 15 May, 2010 by seb2351 in Other Transport News

A bus carrying 30 passengers has plunged ito a ravine near Fitzroy Falls at 1930 tonight. 1 person is believed to have lost their life, while other passengers remain trapped.

Channel tunnel rail services resume after smoke alert

Posted Saturday, 15 May, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

LONDON — Channel tunnel rail services between Britain and continental Europe resumed on Saturday following a smoke alert on a train, operators said, though delays are expected.

Freight and passenger services through the under-sea link were halted shortly after 0600 GMT Saturday following a problem on a Eurotunnel shuttle going through the south tunnel.

"There was some smoke emanating from a shuttle transporting trucks. Within 10 minutes all passengers were evacuated into the service tunnel," a Eurotunnel spokeswoman told AFP.

Eurostar passenger services and Eurotunnel freight shuttles have now resumed through the north tunnel.

New train crashes through fence

Posted Saturday, 15 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Metro Trains have launched an investigation after one of its newest trains crashed through a fence at Ringwood, east of Melbourne.

A spokesman says the $18-million X'Trapolis train was being parked at the Ringwood siding for the night when it crashed at about 10:00pm (AEST).

Metro spokesman, Chris Whitefield, says there was minimal damage to the train and there were no passengers on board at the time of the crash.

Rail freight pledge ignores timber industry: council

Posted Saturday, 15 May, 2010 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The Glenelg Shire Council in western Victoria says the Federal Government's commitment of $1 billion to improve rail freight between the major cities neglects the local timber industry.

The federal budget outlined improvements in the rail service between Whyalla and Broken Hill, but there was no mention of advancing rail in the south-east.

Railway gate closure an annoyance

Posted Saturday, 15 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FOR decades the manually-operated level crossing gates at New St, Brighton, remained a quaint piece of Melbourne railway history.

From a tiny hut beside the railway line, a shift of operators would manually open and close the white timber gates, swinging them across the tracks to allow vehicles to cross the line.

That all changed in September 2007 when an operator failed to close the gates and they were hit by a slow-moving train. Connex, which then operated the suburban rail system, temporarily barricaded the crossing and vehicles have been prevented from entering and leaving the street from Beach Rd since.

Rudd pushes rail to boost productivity, take trucks off road

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

A billion-dollar investment in upgrading rail infrastructure will boost productivity and lead to less trucks on the road, the Rudd Government says.

Following the allocation of $1 billion for rail projects in the Budget, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese says the Government is spending around $37 billion on rail, roads and ports.

“We are doing all of this to raise productivity, support jobs and ensure a national return,” Albanese says.

The upgrades to rail lines in four states are designed to reduce delays and allow heavier trains to use the network.

Rail outage strands Broncos, Titans fans

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by grace in Queensland Rail News

Tens of thousands of footy fans have been stranded at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium after a rail power failure paralysed rail services.

The outage struck about 8.30pm (AEST) on Friday, crippling services at three inner-city train stations, a Queensland Rail spokesman told AAP.

An estimated 40,000 Broncos and Titans ARL fans were left stranded at the stadium until the fault was repaired at 10pm.

Sydney tram restoration is just the ticket

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by grace in Tram and Light Rail News

THEY are a shockingly neglected slice of Sydney's history.

Now the fight is on to save six of Sydney's once-famous trams that sit abandoned and covered in graffiti in a Rozelle shed.

A "shocked and saddened" Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has vowed to find a way to move and restore the trams, which served Balmain, Leichhardt and Drummoyne in the Inner West.

They are but a few of the hundreds of trams that serviced routes across the city for a century along what was once Australia's largest tram network.

Cup fans suffer transport delays

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by grace in International Rail News

Portsmouth fans endured disruption on the road and rail network as they travelled to Wembley for their side's showdown with Chelsea in the FA Cup Final.

Delays were caused on the rail network in parts of Hampshire after a wheelie bin became stuck under a train in the Liphook area.

There was a 50% reduction in train services for part of the morning, British Transport Police said in a statement issued through Hampshire Police.

Rail worker regains consciousness

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by grace in New South Wales Rail News

A rail worker at Sydney's Central Station has regained consciousness after he was hit in the head by an attacker wielding a piece of timber.

Police are hoping to interview the 40-year-old customer services attendant, who was admitted to St Vincent's Hospital in a critical condition after the attack in the station at about 6.30am (AEST) on Friday.

A 29-year-old Casula man was charged with attempted murder and appeared before Central Local Court on Friday.

Australia Coal Group Set to Lodge Queensland Rail Bid (Update1)

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Queensland coal mining companies expect to have a bid ready by the end of this month for the Australian state’s rail network as the government prepares for a A$3.1 billion ($2.8 billion) initial share sale of the assets.

The group plans to lodge an initial bid, subject to due diligence, before making a binding offer ahead of the share sale proposed for the fourth quarter, Queensland Coal Industry Rail Group representative Nick Greiner said on the Sky News Business Channel today.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 15/5/2010.

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 96 sightings for this week. This is four sightings more than last week, making a total of 1765 sightings for this year to date. On day 135 last year we had recorded 1550 sightings. This is 215 sightings up on the same time last year.

State says no plan for Rowville rail line

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

HOPES for a rail line to Rowville have again been dashed after the State Government told church groups it "currently has no plans" for the project.
In June, ministers from Rowville churches wrote to Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky, calling on the Government to honour its 1999 promise to launch a feasibility study into a rail line, saying it would lower transport costs, ease road congestion and improve access to services.

In a reply to Reverend David Devine of Rowville Baptist Church, received on Thursday, Department of Transport chief of staff Patrick O'Neill said there were "no plans" for such a service.

Tanner defends focus on rail over road taxes

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

FINANCE Minister Lindsay Tanner has defended the Rudd government's rejection of recommendations in the Henry tax review to lift charges on heavy road transport.

Despite rail freight producing fewer carbon emissions than trucks, Mr Tanner said yesterday the government preferred to invest in rail to make it more cost-competitive than to lift road transport charges.

The Henry review, released earlier this month, called on the government to accelerate the development of taxes on trucks commensurate to the level of damage that they inflicted on roads.

And the review panel said that on routes where road freight was in direct competition with rail that was required to recover its capital costs, heavy vehicles should face an additional charge on a comparable basis where it improved the efficient allocation of freight between the different transport modes.

Tassie's budget share defended

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

INFRASTRUCTURE Minister Lara Giddings has defended Tasmania's share of Tuesday night's federal budget.
Both the Opposition and the Tasmanian Greens have criticised the State Government for not securing enough for Tasmania's outdated rail network.

Opposition finance and infrastructure spokesman Peter Gutwein said that the budget contained no infrastructure spending for Tasmanian roads, ports or the deteriorating rail network.

"It means that last year's missed opportunity will haunt this state for decades to come," Mr Gutwein said.

Myki swipe wiped

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

HUNDREDS of thousands of tram travellers will no longer have to "swipe off" their myki cards in a major switch being considered to enable the $1.3 billion system to start operating.

The Sunday Herald Sun has learned the Brumby Government is set to dump the need for myki users to "touch off" on trams when the system is introduced this year.

Labor accused of losing track on rail

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Tasmanian Labor Senator and Assistant Treasurer Nick Sherry says he does not know if the Tasmanian Government lobbied for any rail funds.

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz is angry that Tasmania has not received any of the one $1 billion earmarked for Australia's rail network.

The cost of upgrading Tasmania's rail network and rolling assets has been estimated at $400 million.

Senator Sherry is unsure whether the Tasmanian government lobbied for specific funding for rail.

"They're not areas where I was involved. I was involved in the overall preparation of budget expenditure that's my responsibility but it's always open for Tasmania to submit for spending programs in the rail or any other area of infrastructure," he said.

QR scores $45 million contract

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

REDBANK'S Queensland Rail workshops has secured a $45 million contract to build 160 coal wagons for coal businesses in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

The contract, which is expected to keep 100 workers at the QR Redbank workshops in work, comes after the business recently finished building 106 wagons for the same two firms.

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan announced the new contract at the site yesterday and said it proved the workshop and QR National was a competitive national business in the lead-up to its sale in September.

Freight plan snub angers Mayor

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The Glenelg Shire says the federal budget has let south-west Victoria down.

The shire was hoping the budget would include money for the Green Triangle Freight Action Plan.

The plan details the road and rail upgrades needed in the region before the blue gum harvest starts later this year.

Asciano snags $1b deal for Toll rail freight

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

Asciano Group says it's signed a contract with Toll Holdings to haul intermodal rail freight, with expected revenues of up to $1 billion over five years.

Under the contract, Asciano's Pacific National Intermodal division will supply rail haulage services to Toll to move containers and cars interstate.

The contract includes options to extend the initial term of five years for up to another 10 years.

No money for crumbling rail network: Budget

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2010 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

THE Budget has failed to deliver much needed rail upgrades for Tasmania, Liberal senator Eric Abetz says.

Mr Abetz said the island state had lost out in the budget for the second year in a row.

"Nothing was asked for by Tasmanian Labor and certainly nothing was delivered,'' Senator Abetz said.

Rail link upgrade at risk

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE Federal Government's proposed Resource Super Profits Tax could jeopardise the future of the rail link between Mount Isa and Townsville, according to the State Opposition.

Opposition spokesperson for transport Fiona Simpson said proposed new mining projects in the North West were being reviewed, which meant the rail link could miss out on money for upgrades.

Goldfields backs federal rail funds

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Goldfields Esperance Development Commission has welcomed Federal Government funding for upgrades to a major railway line.

A total of $95 million has been allocated in this year's budget for works on the line between Kalgoorlie and Koolyanobbing.

The commission's CEO Robert Hicks says it is a critical piece of infrastructure that needs upgrading.

"We know that is a significant bottleneck, particularly given that 80 per cent of the freight that comes into Western Australia from the eastern states comes on that line through [the] City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder," he said.

Govt's transport commitment questioned

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

Infrastructure lobby groups are questioning the Federal Government's commitment to public transport projects and traffic congestion solutions.

Two years ago, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd established Infrastructure Australia as an expert panel to prioritise a range of projects including new road and rail developments in the nation's capital cities.

However, last night's budget revealed few new urban projects, and the lobby group Infrastructure Partnerships Australia is hoping any new money is being held back for election promises.

$71m Budget boost for Sydney freight hub

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Plans to create a freight terminal in Sydney's south-west have been given a $71 million boost in the Federal Budget.

The facility, to be built in Moorebank, will integrate rail with other modes of transport moving freight across the Sydney basin.

The $71 million of the funds will be used to establish a project office and plan for the relocation of Defence facilities there.

Rail electrification plans down the track

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE state Department of Transport has a long-term plan to electrify the rail line between Frankston and Baxter and eventually the spur line to Mornington.

The plan has not been officially released but actions by the department and new rail operator Metro Trains Melbourne hint at the move. These include:

* The Peninsula Link freeway builder being instructed to build a multi-million flyover where the planned freeway crosses the disused rail line south of Baxter to allow for three rail lines.

* An email from Metro Trains Melbourne that discusses parking trains overnight at Baxter and electrifying the line to Baxter.

Shire backs 'responsible' rail repairs

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Mayor of the Cowra Shire has dismissed claims work on a local train track will hamper efforts to revive five central western New South Wales rail branch lines.

The Cowra Shire Council called for the viaducts on the Cowra-to-Eugowra route to be removed because they are in a state of disrepair and are causing traffic problems.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation will now remove them.

However, the Lachlan Regional Transport Committee has raised concerns that the decision to remove the three timber bridges may give the State Government "mixed messages" about how valuable rural train services are.

Schools slam Metro's late train

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

METRO train travellers have been hit by more delays as schools order their students to leave earlier to dodge the chaos.

Nine of 16 of Melbourne’s train routes were still disrupted by 8.30am after a string of issues triggered delays.

Among the biggest problems was on the Hurstbridge line, where buses replaced trains between Eltham and Hurstbridge in both directions after overhead wires came down in Diamond Creek about 6.05am.

Public opinion wanted on light rail expansion

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The New South Wales Government is calling for public submissions into its light rail pre-construction study looking at the new 5.6km extension from Lilyfield and Dulwich Hill.

The Premier Kristina Keneally says it is the first step in the roll out of Sydney's light rail expansion.

The Dulwich Hill expansion is the first stage, while stage two goes from Central to Circular Quay.

Ms Keneally says the study looks at a number of issues, like station locations.

Rail freight authority needed

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIA needs a rail freight authority, says BILL RUSSELL

Victoria's intrastate rail freight industry continues to be in a parlous condition, with declining traffic in key areas.

The Victorian Government deserves credit for the positive planning and investment that has taken place, but the rail share keeps falling.

Rail's share of grain freight has fallen from 90 per cent in 2001-02 to 35 per cent in 2007-8. Meanwhile, non-grain rail freight has fallen by 40 per cent a year during the past four years.

These are very serious declines, with multiple causes.

There have been bad seasons for primary producers and vigorous competition from road freight.

Derailment in Alice Springs Yard

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by sar700 in Northern Territory Rail News

It has been reported to Railpage that approximately 30 minutes ago, AN2 derailed in the yard at Alice Springs.

South Africa transport strike seen widening

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

OHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Talks between striking South African transport workers and logistics group Transnet have failed to end a dispute, threatening to widen action that has crippled the country's rail and port operations.

The strike, in its second week, has hit exports of metals, fruit and wine to customers in Europe and Asia after nearly two-thirds of Transnet's 54,000-strong workforce joined in.

"The Transnet strike is set to intensify with no resolution in sight. Management effectively walked away from any negotiated settlement (last night) after stating an unwillingness to budge on any item of money substance," the Satawu and Utatu unions said in a statement on Monday.

Govt releases Sydney light rail proposal

Posted Monday, 17 May, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The NSW Government has released a draft study into a planned multi-million dollar light rail extension through Sydney's inner-west.

Construction is likely to begin by the end of the year.

The 10km light rail extension to Dulwich Hill was announced in February's Transport Blueprint and would take existing city services from Lilyfield along a disused rail line.

Coal terminal sets export record

Posted Tuesday, 18 May, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The operators of Queensland's largest coal terminal says a new export record was set during April.

About 6 million tonnes was shipped through the Dalrymple Bay terminal south of Mackay, in the state's north, which is an annualised total of 71.3 million tonnes.

Hopes build for south-west budget funding

Posted Tuesday, 18 May, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Bunbury City Council is hoping infrastructure funding for south-west Western Australia will feature prominently in the state budget when it is handed down later this month.

Mayor David Smith says upgrades and expansions to the port, roads and railways are needed if the city is to cope with major industrial development and the region's rapidly growing population.

Councillor says rail land under threat

Posted Tuesday, 18 May, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A Lismore City councillor says the state government is making a back-door grab for rail corridor land.

Simon Clough says the new Local Environment Plan framework will force local councils to rezone rail corridor land to reflect the zoning of adjacent property.

Rail shutdown to allow coal haulage boost

Posted Tuesday, 18 May, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) says a three-day shutdown of the Hunter Valley rail corridor will allow it to complete a project to improve coal haulage to the Port of Newcastle.

All coal and passenger trains between Maitland and Scone have been stopped to allow for major maintenance works until Thursday.

GrainCorp reduces rail freight rates

Posted Wednesday, 19 May, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

Grains marketer GrainCorp Ltd says it has cut rail freight rates for the 2010/11 harvest.

GrainCorp said on Tuesday that it had reduced the average freight rate per tonne by two per cent across 197 GrainCorp sites served by rail.

"For more than 100 sites, we have reduced rail rates by an average of $2.40 per tonne, or over six per cent," GrainCorp said in a statement.

Fears for Northland rail link

Posted Wednesday, 19 May, 2010 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Transport campaigners are concerned that mothballing the rail line to Northland would reduce options for diverting freight from Auckland's congested Auckland waterfront.

KiwiRail yesterday disclosed that as part of its $4.6 billion "turnaround plan" - into which the Government will pump $750 million over three years - it is considering mothballing four under-used railway lines, including the link between Auckland and Moerewa.

No financial woe, says Metro chief

Posted Wednesday, 19 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

SPECULATION that Metro has threatened to walk away from its $8 billion contract with the Brumby government is incorrect, the boss of the train operator has said in an extraordinary letter to his 3600 staff.

Metro chief executive Andrew Lezala told staff, in a letter posted to each of them, that widespread reports the operator is going broke just six months into its contract were wrong.

Among rumours and reports that Mr Lezala said were incorrect were that the state government was paying all wages, that Metro had asked to be released from its eight-year contract, and that it planned mass redundancies. ''We are making money and will not make mass redundancies,'' Mr Lezala wrote.

Minister says rail funding on track

Posted Wednesday, 19 May, 2010 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

The Federal Government says Tasmania has not missed out on money to improve rail infrastructure.

There was criticism after last week's Federal budget when Tasmania failed to share in any specific funding allocation.

Asciano moves to ensure competition on Qld rail track

Posted Wednesday, 19 May, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

orts and rail operator Asciano Group has moved to ensure that the Queensland government's privatisation of rail freight operator QR National does not hinder competition and threaten Asciano's $1.5 billion potential investment in Queensland coal haulage.

Asciano said on Wednesday that it had applied to the National Competition Council (NCC) to have the use of Queensland's coal rail track assets "declared" under the Trade Practices Act.

Repair of station roof delayed by volcano

Posted Wednesday, 19 May, 2010 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

The Eyjafjallajokull eruption is delaying delivery of materials to repair the roof of Spencer Street Station, damaged by fail early in March.

Asciano: Could delay Queensland Rail’s IPO

Posted Thursday, 20 May, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

In a release to the Australian Securities Exchange, Asciano Group announced that they applied to the have the use of Queensland’s coal rail track assets declared under the Trade Practices Act.

Asciano’s application to the National Competition Council could delay Queensland Rail’s $A3 billion initial public offering for its coal and freight assets.

According to Asciano Managing Director and CEO Mark Rowsthorn, “A privatized Queensland Rail National, which owns both the freight business and the tracks on which it competes with businesses like Asciano, is intolerable as the existing regulatory structure does not have the necessary protections to deliver a level playing field.

SCT Expands with trial freight service

Posted Thursday, 20 May, 2010 by bevans in Rail News

SCT Logistics has commenced rail van trials between Melbourne and Brisbane. The trials began on 2 February with the relocation of significant volumes of stock for the Heinz Corporation into its new distribution facility in Northgate, Queensland.

David Campell resigns from ministerial post

Posted Thursday, 20 May, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NEW South Wales Labor MP David Campbell has resigned as the state's Minister for Transport and Roads.

"I have resigned as minister for Transport and Roads for personal reasons, not for any reasons relating to my ministerial duties,'' he said in a statement today.

Channel Seven tonight aired footage of Mr Campbell allegedly visiting the club in Kensington.

Rezoning 'not going to mean railway line sold'

Posted Thursday, 20 May, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The region's rail lobby spokeswoman has downplayed concerns about the rezoning of rail corridors on the Casino-to-Murwillumbah line.

This week a Lismore city councillor accused the New South Wales Government of making a back-door grab for rail corridor land.

Parliament passes new transport laws

Posted Thursday, 20 May, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Parliament has passed sweeping changes to the state's transport laws, covering marine pollution, driver's licences and some asset sales.

The amendments mean shipping industry polluters could now be fined up to $10 million.

Freeway not worth cost (Melbourne)

Posted Friday, 21 May, 2010 by bevans in Other Transport News

THE economic case for the Brumby government's top transport project is in tatters, with its own figures revealing benefits barely a third of its multibillion-dollar price tag.

The WestLink freeway, a six-lane road under Footscray and through Sunshine West, was estimated to cost $3.5 billion when the state asked Canberra to fund it in October 2008.

13 oil tankers burn as Maoists blast railway tracks

Posted Friday, 21 May, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

MOTIHARI/PATNA/MUZAFFARPUR: At least 13 oil tanker wagons derailed and went up in smoke one after another as suspected Maoists blew up the track when the goods train was crossing past Bangari Halt between Pipra and Jivdhara railway stations in Bihar's East Champaran district.

Northeast states seek plan for rail upgrades (USA)

Posted Friday, 21 May, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

BOSTON — A coalition of 11 states asked federal railroad officials on Thursday to develop a plan to dramatically upgrade high-speed passenger rail service along the Northeast Corridor during the next four decades, part of an effort to relieve strangling traffic congestion and airport delays in the region.

The planning effort would be "one of the most comprehensive and inclusive transportation plans ever attempted on a broad, regionwide basis," the coalition wrote in a proposal submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Bus hijack ends in shooting

Posted Sunday, 23 May, 2010 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

Police cordoned off the area around Essendon Station after a man tried to hijack a bus. A witness says he saw police pepper spraying a young man before shooting him on a bus outside Essendon railway station.

Caulfield railway station, where you come for the train but stay for the food

Posted Sunday, 23 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

DETAILS of Metro Trains' proposed $2.5 million revamp of Caulfield railway station reveal the operator plans to transform it from a transit hub into a dining destination complete with restaurant, cafe and airport-style lounge.

The Sunday Age has been told the plans, which are before Heritage Victoria, are aimed at not only making the station more attractive, but at improving safety for commuters.

Very fast rail travel figures add up

Posted Monday, 24 May, 2010 by richardlu_yy in Rail News

WHEN business travellers want to get from London to Paris in a hurry, or from Paris to Brussels, or from Madrid to Barcelona, or from Wuhan to Guangzhou, or from Tokyo to Osaka, they don't rush to the airport. They get to a railway station and catch a train.

$80million boost for grain network

Posted Monday, 24 May, 2010 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The State Government has announced more than $80 million will be invested in the State's grain freight network while it continues to develop a long-term business case to address deficiencies in the network.

Transport Minister Simon O'Brien said the State Government’s $50 million contribution, more than matched the Commonwealth's committment of $30 million as outlined in the Federal Budget and would provide for important initial works on the network.

South Morang Extension works start

Posted Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 by justin in Victorian Rail News

TRAINS will travel at speeds well over 100km/h along the Epping to South Morang rail extension when it opens in 2013.

A Federal Government website, which shows trains will run at up to 115km/h along the extension, has also raised fears that the track will not be lowered along Sturrock Court, Mill Park.

Train hits landslide, derails in China, killing 19

Posted Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 by richardlu_yy in International Rail News

BEIJING (AFP) – At least 19 people were killed and another 71 injured Sunday when a train derailed in a mountainous area of east China after a landslide damaged the tracks, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Qld firms vie for light rail project

Posted Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The Premier says Queensland firms are part of the final three consortia in the running for the contract to build and operate the Gold Coast rapid transit project.

Anna Bligh says the groups, GC Connect, GoldlinQ and Move GC, include international companies with experience in running light rail systems in European and Asian capitals.

Tasmanian rail fails engineers report

Posted Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

An independent report has found Tasmania's rail infrastructure is inadequate and in need of an enormous injection of funds.

Engineers Australia has released the report card on Tasmania's infrastructure.

Rail received an 'F', the lowest rating ever handed out by the group.

Minister's resignation leaves rail lines in doubt

Posted Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The resignation of the New South Wales Transport Minister has sparked concern about the impact on a campaign to save five central west rail lines from closure.

A meeting between David Campbell and local councils, to discuss the terms of reference for keeping the routes open, has been cancelled.
Mr Campbell had vowed to set up a ministerial taskforce to examine the case for retaining the rail branch lines, with work set to start next month.

Twin rail fatalities blamed on drugs

Posted Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A report on a double fatality at a rail crossing in the mid-north of South Australia has found the victims had taken illegal drugs.

A man, 35, and a woman, 23, died last August when their utility failed to stop as a freight train neared the crossing at Bumbunga, on the Lochiel-Blyth Road, about 130 kilometres north of Adelaide.

Rail Sale

Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WYNDHAM residents are selling their homes, amid fury over plans to build the Regional Rail Link at ground level.

Star can reveal a number of families have put their homes on the market, while others are considering a move.

Manor Lakes residents were too distraught to speak last week as they began the painful process of uplifting their lives.

Werribee could miss the train

Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A COMMUTER advocate has voiced concerns the State Government’s $4.3 billion Regional Rail Link project could have a negative impact for Werribee travellers.

Geelong Public Transport Users Group spokesman Paul Westcott said he was concerned the new V/Line service would miss Werribee station.

Red faces over rail

Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2010 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

The Liberals say Tasmanians are embarassed about an infrastructure report card that gives an "F" to the state's rail network.

An independent infrastructure report by Engineers Australia also gives the State's roads a D rating.

The Infrastructure Minister Lara Giddings says the State is making progress.

Guwahati Rajdhani derails in Bihar

Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2010 by bevans in International Rail News

Fourteen coaches of the Guwahati-New Delhi Rajdhani Express derailed near Naugachhia in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district on Tuesday morning. However, no casualties were reported.

Police and Railway authorities cite different reasons for the derailment. While the Bihar police said the derailment was due to poor track maintenance, East Central Railway suspects “possible sabotage” even though no explosives were found from the spot.

Consortium offers $4.85b to try to head off rail float

Posted Thursday, 27 May, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A CONSORTIUM of mining companies has unveiled a $4.85 billion bid to buy Queensland's coal rail tracks, in an attempt to halt the Bligh government's planned float of Queensland Rail late this year.

The group, which includes BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Xstrata and 10 other coalminers, said the all-cash offer for Australia's largest coal railway network was at a substantial premium to what was likely to be achieved under the government's plans for a $3 billion float.

Although willing to review the proposal, the Queensland government appeared lukewarm yesterday on what its Treasurer, Andrew Fraser, described as an ''unsolicited submission''.

Miracle escape for rail track baby

Posted Thursday, 27 May, 2010 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A 15-month-old boy has escaped with just a few cuts and bruises after his pushchair rolled on to a railway track in Australia and was hit by a train.
The incident happened in Melbourne when the baby's grandmother looked away for a moment.

Security camera footage shows the pushchair rolling over the edge of the platform just as the train pulls into the station - it was pushed a short distance down the tracks before the train came to a halt.

Paramedic Kate Jessop said officials are amazed the child survived.

At least 65 killed in Indian train blast: report

Posted Friday, 28 May, 2010 by Speed in International Rail News

Maoist rebels are suspected of derailing a train in West Bengal, either by removing a section of rail or by bombing.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 22 & 29/5/2010.

Posted Sunday, 30 May, 2010 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 113 sightings for this week. This is 15 sightings more than last week, making a total of 1976 sightings for this year to date. On day 149 last year we had recorded 1727 sightings. This is 249 sightings up on the same time last year.

Bligh faces angry rail workers

Posted Sunday, 30 May, 2010 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has faced an angry demonstration of rail workers concerned about their jobs as the state prepares to sell off Queensland Rail.

The premier was confronted by a loud, agitated crowd of more than 100 Queensland Rail employees and unionists as she arrived at a community cabinet meeting at Emu Park, east of Rockhampton, on Sunday.

Demonstrators shouted abuse and cries of "Queensland Rail not for sale" in reference to the government's planned asset sales, as she made her way through the crowd.

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