The Valley Rattler sent three “new” carriages for their first Mary Valley run last Wednesday.
The carriages were last used by Queensland Rail on the Cairns Kuranda tourist train
“We are very happy to be able offer these carriages to our passengers” said Jim Walker, manager of the Rattler.
The state Labor government has known since 2005, "if not before", that 2016 would be the crisis year for Brisbane's rail services, Shadow Transport spokesman Scott Emerson said yesterday.
However Brisbane will not get a new river rail crossing until 2020 and the government is counting on timetable improvements and extra carriages to bridge the gap.
Major rail studies and former premier Peter Beattie had made it clear that Brisbane needs a new river crossing of its rail lines by 2016.
KEONJHAR: As many as five persons were killed when two goods trains collided near Tangiriapal railway station, about 65 km from Keonjhar, on the Jakhapura-Banspani railway line around 1.30 am on Wednesday. All the victims were drivers and assistant drivers of the two trains, one of which was carrying mineral from Joda mining area to Jakhapura.
A railway source said, "It is a single track. One train had to stop at Tangiriapal station so that the other could pass. But for some reason, one of the driver did not stop the train resulting in the crash."
TAIPEI — Taiwan's debt-ridden high-speed rail company said Wednesday it had made a profit of nearly Tw$2 billion ($69.44 million) in the six months to June, its first since it began service in 2007.
The Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp attributed the results to the continued increase in passenger numbers, a decline in interest payments on loans, and improvement of operation.
But the hard-won Tw$1.98 billion operating profit, compared with a loss of Tw$2.3 billion a year ago, has done little to help the company reduce its snowballing debts.
The Liberal National Party has signalled it will go to the next state election without a clear decision on Brisbane's $8 billion cross-river rail project.
But it says its plans to provide extra platforms at South Brisbane and South Bank railway stations will provide “breathing space” for a decision on the big-ticket state government project.
Auckland is set to see a quieter, more environmentally friendly rail network now a deal worth more than half a billion dollars has been met.
Auckland City Council mayor Len Brown and the Minister of Transport Steven Joyce came to the agreement, which is said to be of no extra cost to ratepayers.
An Armidale fencing contractor has spoken out about the frequency of vandalism attacks occurring at the Armidale Railway Station.
Paul Halloran says he has been called in six times in eight weeks by RailCorp after razor wire was cut and CountryLink carriages were sprayed with graffiti.
THE state government's infrastructure body believes projects such as the M4 east could be more important to Sydney than the $8-10 billion North West Rail Link, senior industry sources said yesterday.
Taxpayers elected the O'Farrell government on a mandate to build the 23km line from Epping to Rouse Hill but transport sources said Infrastructure NSW was frustrated it was setting long term priorities.
The glaring hole in its independence was it had no choice but to back the rail link.
Most of the passengers scurrying to board Amtrak’s Silver Star No. 91 at New York’s Penn Station one recent morning had no idea that Chuck Jensen had already snagged the best seat: a plush leather armchair with a panoramic view out the back.
Jensen had more than a reserved seat waiting for him. He had his own rail car, an antique painted a deep Tuscan red, hitched to the end of the train.
A woman has been charged over a bomb hoax that caused the evacuation of Parliament railway station and delayed services on all rail lines in Melbourne last night.
The 36-year-old Collingwood woman was arrested after police received a call alleging a bomb had been planted at the busy city station just after 7pm.
The station was evacuated and Metro stopped trains running through the City Loop. The train operator warned passengers to expect major delays of 30 minutes on all train lines at the time.
The Russian government has given the go-ahead on an ambitious new tunnel project that could connect Siberia with Alaska via an underground rail line. If completed, the $65 billion project will be the longest underwater tunnel in the world, besting the Chunnel between England and France by twice the distance. The planned course would stretch over 65 miles and would snake beneath the Big and Little Diomede Islands. According to Inhabitat, the project will be funded by a private and public partnership. So why build it?
MELBOURNE'S trains have exceeded punctuality targets set by the state government for three consecutive months, the first time rail operator Metro has achieved this since taking over from Connex in 2009.
The improvement was revealed as Metro removed one of its top managers and replaced him with another former senior British rail executive.
In August, Metro ran just over 90 per cent of Melbourne's trains ran ''on time'' - within five minutes of the schedule.
THE New South Wales Government has bought the former Ingleburn army camp site in south-west Sydney, as part of the promised South West Rail Link.
The 300 hectare site will be used to develop land for almost 3000 new homes as part of Landcom's Edmondson Park development.
"The South West Rail Links proposed route passes through the site. Today's announcement means we have taken another step to making it a reality," Premier Barry O'Farrell said.
The State Government bought the land from the commonwealth after it had become surplus to defence requirements.
Mr O'Farell acknowledged there would have to be safety checks to ensure that housing wasn't built on land where there were potential unexploded munitions.
"Clearly, we are aware of the responsibility and we have no intention of putting housing in dangerous areas," he said at the site today.
RAIL services on the South Coast line will return to normal from 2am Saturday, but passengers are advised that more track work is scheduled for October 12-14.
Buses will replace trains between Dapto and Bomaderry until Saturday morning as part of CityRail's $12 million in maintenance on the South Coast line.
Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said the track work included replacing the timber sleepers with concrete sleepers, installing new rail and ballast and general track maintenance.
Newcastle & Central Coast Line - Part suspended CityRail advises that trains have been part suspended on the Newcastle & Central Coast Line between Hornsby and Gosford in both directions due to an incident involving a train and a motor vehicle at a level crossing at Woy Woy.
RAIL fares to Sydney airport could be halved as part of an overhaul being considered by the state government.
The private owner of the airport rail line is willing to negotiate a dramatically reduced price to attract more passengers.
Sydney air travellers have long argued the $15 train fare between the city and the airport is too expensive and better spent on a taxi.
QUEENSLAND Rail has started major maintenance works on the railway bridge to the Ipswich Workshops over the Bremer River.
A QR spokesman said the iconic CBD railway bridge was built in 1915 and was heritage listed.
“As part of the maintenance we are repainting the bridge to closely match the original heritage colours of French grey steel trusses and maroon piers,” the spokesman said.
CARRY-OVER grain from the 2010-11 harvest, added to another large crop looming on the horizon this season, is set to test the grain logistics supply chain on Australia’s east coast.
WA bulk grain handler CBH is forecasting a crop of about 12 million tonnes to 13/mt following a strong start to the season.
On the east coast, GrainCorp is predicting 18.5/mt to 19/mt; about 4/mt or 5/mt less than last year’s harvest which was devastated by late season flooding and storms.
WA is looking at its best return since CBH handled 12.6/mt in 2008-09 which will be welcomed after last year’s meagre return of about 6/mt.
A stumbling block to the New South Wales Government's promised construction of the south-west rail line has been overcome, with the purchase of 300 hectares of land off the Commonwealth.
The proposed route for the rail link passes through a former army camp at Ingleburn.
Premier Barry O'Farrell today announced an agreement has been reached to buy the land from the Federal Government.
THE grains industry needs a comprehensive, long-term national logistics plan to optimise transportation from storage sites to port via rail, according to Australasian Railway Association (ARA) chief executive, Bryan Nye.
Mr Nye says if the plan was devised and implemented without delay, it would help lower grain transportation freight costs for farmers.
However, it could bring some short term pain for growers, with the closure of inefficient rail lines and small grain delivery facilities necessary to make way for bigger, better sites.
Earlier this month, the ARA called on governments across Australia to increase rail infrastructure investments, thereby unlocking billions of dollars in lost economic productivity.
DEPARTURE day has fallen upon Footscray residents whose properties are being acquired for the Regional Rail Link.
Today was D-day for residents, but last week Buckley St, Footscray already resembled a ghost town.
Fair Go For Footscray Rail Residents spokesman Nick Fahey reported last Tuesday that the process of boarding up empty houses had started.
There were 113 sightings for this week. This is one sighting less than last week, making a total of 3755 sightings for this year to date. On day 246 last year we had recorded 3452 sightings. This is 303 sightings up on the same time last year.
THERE is something perverse about giving priority to a rail link to Avalon Airport over Melbourne Airport. One offers a handful of domestic flights a day, carrying 1.5 million passengers a year.
The other is an international gateway, with 200,000 flights a year carrying a fast-growing total of 28 million passengers. Avalon is 56 kilometres from central Melbourne but readily accessible by road. Melbourne airport is closer but the 22-kilometre trip - by car, bus or taxi - is an unpredictable nightmare. Yet the state government is moving first on Avalon. ''There are challenges around an airport link for Melbourne,'' said Aviation Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips.
FIFTY million paper myki cards in storage will never be used, after the Baillieu government decision to dump all short-term tickets when the Metcard system is shut down.
The government has confirmed it owns the single-use paper tickets, which are on hundreds of pallets in warehouses in Altona and Rowville.
The tickets - designed as single-use myki fares for people who did not have a permanent plastic smartcard, and did not want to spend $10 buying one - have a microchip. Each ticket cost taxpayers 31¢, or about $15 million in total.
Australian coal freight firm QR National signed an agreement with a consortium of coal companies for the construction of the $900 million Wiggins Island Rail Project to a new export terminal at Gladstone, South Australia eyed for completion in 2015.
Great Southern Rail (GSR) says it is aiming at budget-conscious travellers with the launch of a range of new Red Service holiday packages to the outback.
This follows a recent $6 million facelift for "Red Service" aboard The Ghan between Adelaide and Darwin and the Indian Pacific between Sydney and Perth including refurbished Matilda cafes and Red Gum Lounges, and refitted seating carriages.
The trains are now a one-stop-shop for economy-level travel ranging from Australia-widerail passes to full holiday packages and short day tours, the company says.
It is responsible to plunge NSW into debt this financial year to guarantee future jobs, Premier Barry O'Farrell says.
NSW will be in the red by more than $1 billion in 2011-12 to pay for transport infrastructure, including the North West Rail Link, News Ltd reports the budget will reveal on Tuesday.
It will be the state's first deficit in five years and only the second in 15 years.
Mr O'Farrell said the deficit was the only way to guarantee jobs for the future.
"We've said we will ensure that we will put in place the economic infrastructure that guarantees the future of the state," he told Fairfax Radio network on Monday morning.
UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond is said to be drawing up plans for a £500m rail scheme linking Wales with Heathrow Airport.
A proposed new spur from the Great Western main line would end the need for passengers to travel in to London before heading out to the airport.
The scheme, to include the west of England, would also connect with the proposed HS2 high speed rail link.
A trial of Adelaide’s new smartcard ticketing system, to be known as Metrocard, will begin later this year, in preparation for full operation of the system on all buses, trains and trams in 2012-2013.
The ticketing system equipment will be trialled on Adelaide Hills bus routes. Metrocard will replace the current Multitrip tickets as they are gradually phased out.
Funding for major rail projects is good news for commuters - but the investment will be wasted if there are not enough workers to run services on the new tracks, according to the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU).
The start of geotechnical work on Sydney's North West Rail Link shows the NSW Liberal government is committed to delivering transport infrastructure, says Premier Barry O'Farrell.
A drilling rig was set up on Tuesday at a park opposite Castle Towers shopping centre in Sydney's northwest.
The plan is for one of the rail link's stations to be built under the park.
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The North West Rail Link was promised several times, in various forms, by the former NSW Labor government, but never delivered.
FOOTSCRAY senior citizens groups bid farewell to their Buckley Street home of 35 years last week before it is bulldozed for a new rail line.
And it could be at least three years before they return to Footscray.
The centre, which opened on July 25, 1976, will be demolished to make way for two new tracks as part of the Regional Rail Link project.
THE Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, has delivered a blow to Sydney's inner west, revealing an 18-month delay for the light rail extension to Dulwich Hill and mothballing the Greenway cycle and walking path plan.
Ms Berejiklian blamed inadequate planning by the former government for the blow-out in costs for the project, and said the expected finish date of late next year was now more likely to be early 2014. Labor had budgeted $120 million for the light rail extension, and $30 million for the Greenway, connecting the Cooks River to Iron Cove.
But Ms Berejiklian said Transport NSW now estimated the cost at $176 million for the light rail extension from Lilyfield and $37 million for the Greenway.
The number of trains for Wendouree passengers will more than double from Sunday 9 October following a government funding boost, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today.
V/Line has been given the go-ahead to extend 85 existing weekly Ballarat trains to and from Wendouree Station - resulting in more station staff, extended ticket office hours and greater flexibility for the people of Wendouree, Lake Gardens, Alfredton and surrounds.
Mr Mulder said the Coalition Government’s funding of $470,000 towards the timetable overhaul would see a greater choice of trains starting and finishing at Wendouree, particularly in the middle of the day, late at night and on weekends.
"Most Ballarat trains will soon stop at Wendouree Station making it an attractive place for people to leave the car rather than drive to Ballarat Station where parking is at a premium," Mr Mulder said.
COMMUTERS face chaos as Metro declares war on the train drivers' union in a high-risk bid to end the sabotage of services.
Melbourne's rail system will become the latest battleground in an increasingly bitter fight pitting the rail operator and Baillieu Government against the unions.
Metro last night filed an application with Fair Work Australia to have Rail, Tram and Bus Union locomotive division secretary Marc Marotta banned.
The New South Wales Government is facing a three-pronged attack over its transport policies.
At the top of the list are reports that Cabinet is considering a proposal to overhaul security arrangements on the state's rail network.
The state's 600 transit officers would be sacked.
Instead the number of police dedicated to transport duties would be doubled from 300 to 600.
Transit officers have more limited powers to arrest and demand identification from passengers, and are armed only with a baton.
A Yarra Trams employee has been injured in an accident involving two trams outside Flinders Street station in Melbourne's CBD.
The 70-year-old man had been cleaning the stop, when the panel van he was driving was sandwiched between the trams in St Kilda Road.
The NSW Government will pump some of the proceeds from the privatisation of Port Botany into rail to lift the mode’s share of the freight task.
With NSW aiming to have 40 percent of Port Botany container freight carried by rail by 2016, Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay says the privatisation process will help fund necessary port infrastructure to generate a modal shift.
The union boss leading the industrial fight against the operators of Melbourne's rail system says he is happy for his behaviour to be scrutinised publicly so long as the same scrutiny is applied to Metro.
In the latest escalation in the dispute that threatens to cause commuter chaos, Metro has reportedly applied to Fair Work Australia to have Rail, Tram and Bus Union and Metro locomotive division secretary Marc Marotta banned from approaching workers.
The application comes after Mr Marotta was interviewed by police over what he said was an argument with a union member. Mr Marotta admitted "voices were raised" during the altercation, but said police had cleared him of any wrongdoing.
A former JPMorgan Chase & Company executive aims to turn 26 unused London subway stations and bomb shelters into shops and tourist attractions after raising 200 million pounds ($A300 million) from investors.
Ajit Chambers, chief executive officer of Old London Underground, met Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday to discuss the plan. Chambers agreed to provide more information on potential sites, costs and the work needed to convert the stations, according to an e-mail from Johnson's office.
"We've set up the construction teams, the finance availability and the investment to renovate underground space," Chambers said in an interview. He declined to identify the investors.
SYDNEY Lord Mayor Clover Moore wants the city's "ugly and intrusive" monorail torn down to make way for the proposed extended tram network through the CBD.
Two decades after it was built, the monorail is again being targeted by its critics who have questioned its necessity alongside an expanded light rail system.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal tenders have opened for the state government's feasibility study into new public transport corridors.
Sydney City Council and Randwick City Council want a light rail link along George St , Hickson Rd and out to Sydney's eastern suburbs to relieve the congested CBD.
The monorail, owned by Metro Transport, has eight stops along a 3.8km loop through the CBD from Pyrmont to Ultimo.
Metro Transport, which also owns the city's light rail system, claims the monorail is used by four million commuters each year.
There were 116 sightings for this week. This is three sighting more than last week, making a total of 3871 sightings for this year to date. On day 253 last year we had recorded 3562 sightings. This is 309 sightings up on the same time last year.
The Department of Transport knowingly breached federal anti-discrimination laws by ignoring wheelchair accessibility rules on trams.
A tender assessment from September last year for 50 new "low-floor trams" reveals that the department decided a Disability Discrimination Act requirement for a step height between platforms and trams of no more than 12 millimetres was too onerous, instead asking for a cheaper 50 millimetre option, which is the European standard.
"It was determined that the 12mm option was not feasible and should not be actively pursued", the briefing to Martin Pakula, transport minister in the former Labor government, says.
Following its feel-good formula, the chief executive of Great Southern Rail, Tony Braxton-Smith, dons a disguise and takes long, cross-country trips to appreciate how under-appreciated his hard-working employees are. It is watchable in its soft-hearted, warm way but the local version of this American reality TV concept does not do as proficient a job in disguising the obvious promotional value of being on television with stories of personal hardship and unexpected rewards from grateful bosses.
FOR an edifice that is a mere 101 years old, Flinders Street Station has been subjected to more than its share of redevelopment proposals over its lifetime. Many plans - for example, the Festival Marketplace of 1989, the ''creative arts incubator'' of 2005 and the boutique hotel idea of 2007 - have come to nowt. Indeed, like the trains that run through the station, you can easily miss a plan in the secure knowledge that there'll be another one along shortly.
Dubai: A modern rail network is set to connect countries in the Arabian peninsula over the next decade, with Gulf Cooperation Council nations committing over USD 100 billion to projects that will ensure cost-effective means to transport goods and services.
Continuing high demand for oil and gas as well as the increasing need for cost-effective means to transport goods and services across the region has led to a spurt in demand for better transport and communication links throughout the Middle East, a report released by Epoc Messe Frankfurt, organiser of a trade show to be held in Dubai later this month, said.
Queensland Rail is the first rail public transport company in the world to be certified in the International Customer Service Standard (ICSS).
Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland Rail was setting the benchmark for Customer Service in public transport after receiving the tick of approval.
“This is a huge acknowledgement of the great work we’re doing to deliver world class public transport for all Queenslanders,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
FOOTSCRAY will be the only station in the North West to receive protective service officers (PSOs) next year, while stations without toilets will be last on the list.
Victoria Police Acting Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said stations on the City Loop, North Melbourne, Richmond and Footscray would receive PSOs from February 2012.
Mr Lay said police intended to have two PSOs at every metropolitan station by 2014, but would not be placing the officers at stations without amenities like toilets.
About 40,000 people have cycled the Otago Central Rail Trail in the past 10-and-a-bit years. Not bad for a disused railroad in a depressed rural area boasting more sheep than people.
Not unlike the gold rush that brought flashmobs of miners and a boom for supporting businesses, the Rail Trail has revitalised the Otago uplands' rural economies and made international resorts out of hydro and orcharding towns like Clyde, Alexandra and Oterahua.
Great timing, then, for this great-looking and well-written book, which captures the atmosphere and the characters of the region that the 150-kilometre trail bisects on its gently graded arc from Middlemarch to Clyde.
MACARTHUR roads and transport systems are the big winners in the state coalition government’s first budget.
Several major arterial roads were allocated funding last Tuesday to improve traffic flow. Another $25 million was allocated to complete widening works along the F5 between Brooks Rd, Ingleburn, and Narellan Rd, Campbelltown.
The four-lane upgrade of Camden Valley Way received $15 million and Narellan Rd was allocated $700,000 towards widening plans.
ONE of the busiest stations in Brisbane's Citytrain network will close next month for major refurbishment work.
South Brisbane station - which is used by nearly 4000 people a day - will be out of action for as long as two months during the upgrade.
It is not clear when Queensland Rail or Translink were planning on making the closure public but a spokesman said alternative transport arrangements were being made.
The upgrade will include raising the platform so it is level with the carriages to make them wheelchair-accessible, and restoring the station to its former heritage glory.
A MORE accurate costing of the North West Rail Link should be available by the end of the year.
Geotechnical drilling that began last week will allow engineers to determine the exact underground conditions for the 23-kilometre route.
Premier Barry O'Farrell, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian and Treasurer Mike Baird, along with local MPs Dominic Perrottet, David Elliott and Matt Kean inspected drilling at the proposed Castle Hill station last week.
The inspection comes on the back of the state budget's provision for $2.5 billion to go to the project over the next four years.
THE operators of much-loved steam train Puffing Billy warn the tourist railway's survival is at risk unless it receives an urgent cash injection to fund work on its ageing infrastructure.
Tourism Minister Louise Asher last night refused to commit the Baillieu Government to funding what she described as a $25 million ''grand plan'' put forward by Puffing Billy management.
''It's a substantial ask for a whole upgrade of the area,'' Ms Asher said.
A teenager has been taken to hospital with serious burns after she fell from a bridge above railway tracks in Bundaberg, in south east Queensland.
Authorities say the girl fell from the bridge about 3:00pm (AEST) and came in contact with electrical wires.
She suffered burns to her legs and stomach and was taken to hospital.
A TRAIN carriage at Sydney's Central Station caught fire in the early hours of this morning, with 12 RailCorp staff taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.
Police believe the blaze started on a seat in the train, that had terminated at Central Station near the city centre.
SMALL amounts of a non-toxic gas will be pumped through Melbourne's underground railway stations next week, as part of preparations in case of a major emergency.
WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett doesn't expect to find an immediate solution for the embattled Oakajee port and rail project when he flies out to Beijing tonight.
But Mr Barnett is determined to "unscramble" the complex $6 billion project and save what is one of Australia's biggest planned infrastructure projects.
Mr Barnett will meet with Chinese government officials during the next two days to discuss ways to formally bring Chinese investors into the project, near Geraldton.
The project is already well behind schedule and over budget and last month joint venture partner Murchison Metals admitted it can't fund its share.
Fewer people are getting robbed on NSW trains, but assaults and sex offences are on the rise, new statistics show.
Rail passengers are more likely to become crime victims in regional areas than suburban ones, but crime levels on the rail system overall are very low, says Don Weatherburn, from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
"It's far worse out on the street," he told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.
Ports and rail operator Asciano says positive cash flow and a strong balance sheet mean it can now take advantage of emerging business opportunities after surviving four years of losses.
Asciano transformed from an extremely indebted, loss making company fighting for survival, to a company that was now in "pretty good shape", chief executive John Mullen said on Thursday.
A truck driver has died after crashing his semi-trailer on to a railway line on the NSW mid-north coast.
The truck left the Pacific Highway at Rossglen about 1am (AEST) on Thursday before smashing through a railing and sliding down an embankment.
The head of Auckland's trains is urging Rugby World Cup fans to take buses the next time a major crowd is expected at Eden Park.
Veolia head Graham Sibery said it is the only way to stop overloading the rail network again.
There was chaos on Auckland trains last weekend with thousands of fans stranded on trains and some ticket holders missing the opening ceremony, kick-off or, in some cases, the whole event.
The State Opposition says the Government must explain how it is planning to drive down crime on Hunter trains, while there are plans to cut security staff across the network.
The latest data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research shows that Newcastle's Waratah train station has the highest rate of personal crime, with Newcastle, Maitland and Hamilton stations also in the top 20.
The figures show that generally, recorded rates of personal crime are very low across New South Wales, with just under one incident for every 300,000 passenger journeys.
The Bureau's Doctor Don Weatherburn says Waratah station tops the the list for personal crime rates, with just over three incidents for every 100,000 journeys.
Abigroup has started work on a $42.5 million contract to duplicate an existing 34.5km section of rail embankment as part of the Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) Iron Ore Expansion project near Port Hedland in Pilbara region of Western Australia.
It looks as though One Steel is going to buy into the Wilcherry mine near Kimba and build a line between Buckleboo and Iron Knob.
V/Line has cemented its position as Australia’s busiest and fastest growing regional rail operator following a 7.1 per cent increase in passenger trips in 2010- 11, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today.
The increase brings the number of passenger trips on V/Line trains to 13.5 million, up from 12.6 million the year before.
The result, contained in V/Line’s 2011-12 Annual Report tabled in State Parliament today, is the sixth consecutive year of record growth for V/Line trains.
THE man in charge of safety on Victoria's public transport says that new laws passed this week are an attack on his independence.
Transport Safety Victoria was established as an independent watchdog in 2006, which could take action, without political interference, to prevent deaths and injuries on public transport.
This week the state government passed laws transferring some of the office's powers to Transport Minister Terry Mulder.
Victoria is a step closer to a better coordinated and more integrated transport system, with legislation to enable the formation of a new Public Transport Development Authority (PTDA) introduced into Parliament today.
Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said with the legislative process now underway, the new authority would be up and running in the first quarter of 2012.
"The new authority will be the face of public transport and will be responsible for planning, coordinating and integrating transport services throughout Victoria," Mr Mulder said.
"It will focus on the core business of a good public transport system – trains, trams and buses that run on time, simple and reliable timetables, passenger comfort and timely and accurate passenger information.
V/LINE commuters face an increasing squeeze, with the Geelong line almost at capacity during peak times and no real relief in sight until at least 2016.
The company's annual report released yesterday showed in the past five years patronage on the busiest Victorian line has increased 86 per cent to 3.77 million passengers a year while services have increased 23 per cent to 371 a week.
But with an extra 20,000 people expected to move to Geelong before the $5 billion Regional Rail Link (RRL) opens in 2016, stakeholders are calling for off-peak services every 20 minutes to ease congestion.
V/Line spokeswoman Clare Steele said because V/Line shared the Werribee to Southern Cross leg with Metro trains, only a few more peak services could be added before the line was full, which was why the dedicated Regional Rail Link line was so important.
The State Government has announced that it is investigating the feasibility of moving Victoria’s vital car import and exports from Melbourne to the Port of Geelong. A shift would have many positives for the local Geelong economy, but a number of factors need to be considered during the feasibility period.
Ports Minister Denis Napthine says the feasibility study will be completed at the end of the year, and nominated easing of traffic congestion in Melbourne’s west, increased land availability at the Port of Melbourne and the creation of about 1000 jobs in Geelong as reasons why the move could be a successful one.
A range of bodies will be approached to have their say, including shipping companies, car importers and exporters, the relevant port authorities and local councils.
There are "very significant" delays on the Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra train line this morning after a train derailment damaged tracks at Tempe, transport officials say.
A private freight train was between Hurstville and Tempe about 3.45am when it derailed and rerailed itself, a RailCorp spokesman said.
One of the train wagons was believed to have damaged the train. Point switches at Wolli Creek were also damaged, he said.
The trains were further delayed after a pregnant woman became seriously ill at Arncliffe train station.
One of Queensland’s unique pieces of rail infrastructure will celebrate its 125th anniversary this Saturday (17 September).
The heritage-listed Dickabram Bridge, which crosses the Mary River at Miva, north-west of Gympie, is the oldest combined road and rail crossing left in Queensland and also the oldest surviving complete steel truss bridge in the state.
The community is invited to join in the celebration marking the milestone, with free entertainment on offer at the bridge site including a band, poet’s breakfast, and the official anniversary ceremony.
STANDING on a train in Melbourne used to be something you did only on a weekday.
As the city grows though, it seems Melbourne's trains are now often crowded on weekends, too. But despite passengers showing up for trains in ever greater numbers, there have been only minor changes to weekend timetables in the last decade. And the City Loop's Flagstaff station still shuts down for the entire weekend.
THERE is something perverse about giving priority to a rail link to Avalon Airport over Melbourne Airport. One offers a handful of domestic flights a day, carrying 1.5 million passengers a year. The other is an international gateway, with 200,000 flights a year carrying a fast-growing total of 28 million passengers. Avalon is 56 kilometres from central Melbourne but readily accessible by road. Melbourne airport is closer but the 22-kilometre trip - by car, bus or taxi - is an unpredictable nightmare. Yet the state government is moving first on Avalon. ''There are challenges around an airport link for Melbourne,'' said Aviation Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips.
There were 116 sightings for this week. This is the number of sightings as last week, making a total of 3987 sightings for this year to date. On day 260 last year we had recorded 3653 sightings. This is 334 sightings up on the same time last year.
Last week's transport chaos on the opening night of the Rugby World Cup was a disgrace for Auckland.
On what was arguably one of the biggest nights in our city's history, the public transport system failed. Hundreds did not get to the game on time, as trains were held up by people on the tracks, emergency stop buttons being pressed in carriages as children and adults suffered from heat exhaustion and hyperventilation.
Fingers were pointed and blame was shifted, and Auckland's inadequate public transport system was in the firing line.
You don't need your car to have a great day out in Melbourne's suburbs. John Bailey, from the Sunday Age's M Magazine, picks some of the best food and entertainment on offer, all within walking distance of a railway station.
The ACT Greens have called on the Government to reverse its failure to pursue long-mooted plans for a Canberra light-rail network.
The Greens say since the ACT Government's bid for Commonwealth funding for a light-rail network in 2008, it has failed to progress those plans since then. Instead, the Government has made concerted bids for roads funding from Infrastructure Australia, winning support for its Majura Freeway.
The Queensland Transport Minister says she's committed to rail in regional areas, despite many communities being concerned about its future.
Community members from the south-west town of Quilpie say there have been only 10 livestock trains leave this year, while thousands of cattle have had to go via road to market.
Bringing Chinese investment into the embattled Oakajee port and rail network won't be easy, West Australia Premier Colin Barnett says, with the country still debating the massive project.
Mr Barnett met with Chinese government officials last week to discuss bringing them into the $6 billion port and rail project in WA's mid west.
The project hit a major hurdle last month when joint venture partner Murchison Metals admitted it can't fund its share of one of Australia's biggest planned infrastructure projects.
ALMOST half a million passengers travelled on the Warrnambool to Melbourne rail service last financial year — a two per cent rise.
V/Line’s annual report shows 477,781 passengers used the long distance south-west rail and bus link while the Geelong to Melbourne section carried 3.3 million passengers — up nine per cent.
Combined figures for both sections show a massive 86 per cent increase in patronage since 2005 when there were 2.03 million passengers.
Heading north on the Hume Freeway, I'm out of Melbourne and into the countryside within an hour. The sun's shining, the grass is green and the mountains, albeit modest, look majestic. The Goulburn Valley is ticking lots of boxes.
Surrounded by the Murray River, Yarra Valley, Goldfields and High Country, it probably doesn't get the love it deserves from tourists - especially at this time of lush paddocks and bushland, blossoming orchards, budding vines and rushing rivers. Heritage is among the Goulburn Valley's underappreciated charms, associated as it is with some of Victoria's earliest European settlement (Kilmore is the state's oldest inland town), the gold rush and the Kelly gang.
THE O'Farrell government's first shot at adding to Sydney's train timetable will produce just a handful of new services.
Elements of a new CityRail timetable, obtained by the Herald, show RailCorp will reduce journey times on some suburban services and add a number of mostly off-peak services.
But the timetable, to be introduced next month, also reveals some weekend service cuts, and shows RailCorp remains far from implementing the 135 new express trains promised by the Coalition before the election.
SUNBURY residents are ditching the car in favour of rail travel in increasing numbers, latest V/Line figures show.
In the 2010-11 financial year, the rail operator recorded an increase of 3.1 per cent in patronage in Sunbury.
The increase equates to 477,093 passenger trips.
In neighbouring Macedon Ranges, the rail operator recorded an increase of almost 10 per cent in patronage. This equates to 830,673 passenger trips.
Here, the biggest increase - 16 per cent - was in Gisborne.
An important rail freight branch line in the Wimmera Mallee is set to reopen for harvest.
The 66-kilometre section of the Yaapeet Rail Line will reopen early next year.
The Transport Minister Terry Mulder says the $6 million re-commissioning of the Dimboola to Rainbow section will allow an extra 120,000 tonnes of grain to be moved by rail.
INDIAN infrastructure company GVK will allow other mining companies to use the Queensland railway line it is building from the Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point coal port, and it is also applying for extra loading capacity at the port as the size of the project ramps up.
After talks with Australian producer Hancock Coal for almost a year, GVK announced at the weekend that it was paying $1.2 billion for the project, which involves three coalmines in the Galilee Basin and a railway line to the coal-loading facilities.
MOBILE carriers and rail stakeholders have been given hope that a compromise might be found in their ongoing stand-off over 1800MHz LTE mobile broadband spectrum.
THE Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has been fighting a public battle to secure guarantees it will retain control of the licences after they start expiring from 2013 as it has earmarked them for billions of dollars of investments in a new unified rail safety and signalling system.
Carriers including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) also hold 1800MHz spectrum assets but they have been placing pressure on the communications regulator to make state rail interests available to them so they can deploy more powerful LTE broadband services.
SERIOUS structural problems in Melbourne's City Loop - including cracking tunnel walls, concrete corrosion and poor emergency systems - have been ignored by successive state governments and train operators despite repeated warnings.
An investigation by The Age into the rail tunnel system has revealed that emergency exits are padlocked, with keys held only by station managers, not train drivers.
The tunnels are also inadequately equipped for the disabled in the event of a train fire, with emergency walkways too narrow and 1.5 metres below the carriage doors.
STRUGGLING miner Murchison Metals has admitted it will miss a December 31 deadline to proceed with the $5.9 billion Oakajee port and rail project in Western Australia, creating further doubts over whether the long-delayed infrastructure will ever be built.
The revelation yesterday by Murchison's new chief executive, Greg Martin, will place pressure on WA Premier Colin Barnett to strip Murchison's half-owned development vehicle, Oakajee Port & Rail, of the right to build the troubled project in the Mid-West iron ore region.
However, sources close to the project suggested last night that Mr Barnett might have no choice but to stick with OPR beyond December 31 because it was the only entity with the ability to begin work in the near future.
THE Public Transport Users Association has thrown its support behind a plan to introduce longer trains in a bid to overcome crowded carriages and increasing passenger numbers.
Super-sized trains could run on Melbourne's rails under a Metro plan to cope with booming patronage.
The idea, raised in private talks with the State Government, would involve having trains nine carriages long on the Dandenong line.
MELBOURNE'S train operator has moved to change one of its key emergency plans for the City Loop after discovering a critical flaw in its incident response system.
Metro said yesterday it would train extra people to earth power lines in the event of an emergency in the Loop, after firefighters said they would refuse to enter in certain circumstances.
The Age can reveal that the Metropolitan Fire Brigade has told Metro it will enter the Loop only to attend a train fire if power is cut and overhead lines are earthed at both ends of the incident. The power can be cut remotely, but the earthing must be done manually.
FOUR companies and a director have been fined almost $500,000 after a NSW rail worker's arm was cut off by an excavator.
The 24-year-old man was welding on the tracks at a rail construction project at Sandgate, in the Hunter Valley, when an excavator ran over his left arm and severed it just below the elbow, WorkCover said in a statement.
His arm was later reattached but the injury has left him with permanent nerve damage.
An investigation by WorkCover found serious safety breaches by the site's contractors, including a number of defects on the rail-mounted excavator, which put the lives of employees at risk.
There were 124 sightings for this week. This is eight sightings more than last week, making a total of 4111 sightings for this year to date. On day 267 last year we had recorded 3742 sightings. This is 369 sightings up on the same time last year.
THE Baillieu Government will consider an offer by private developers to pay up to $2 billion towards the cost of axing Melbourne's 172 level crossings.
Queensland's embattled tourism industry can ill afford a transport strike, says Premier Anna Bligh.
Four unions representing Queensland Rail workers will meet this afternoon to discuss possible industrial action over wage claims.
The unions say shoppers and commuters will face significant delays in the lead-up to Christmas if the government doesn't listen to their concerns.
Waratah Coal has released an environmental study into an $8.3 billion coal project in central Queensland's Galilee Basin.
The company is planning a series of coal mines near Alpha, west of Rockhampton, linked by a 500-kilometre rail line to the Abbot Point coal port.
FIREFIGHTERS have brought a large fire under control that broke out at the Workshops Rail Museum at Ipswich last night.
Queensland Fire and Rescue crews were at the scene of the fire on North St, North Ipswich, which started about 6.20pm.
An old administration and an old engineer's building were destroyed, but crews brought the blaze under control by 8pm. A third building was also damaged.
TRAIN commuters could face major disruptions in the lead-up to Christmas with up to 5000 Queensland Rail workers threatening industrial action over pay and conditions.
Four unions representing QR workers, including controllers and ticket operators, but not drivers, say they will soon begin holding industrial talks and ballots.
The QR city train network carries more than 130,000 commuters daily.
With around two crimes a day on Victoria's rail network, is the Baillieu government's costly plan to put armed officers on every Victorian train station at night really necessary?
HUSEYIN Sahin could well be the perfect protective services officer recruit. Friendly and polite, he speaks a second language and received extensive weapon training during his time in the Turkish army. The 49-year-old upholsterer plans to apply to become a PSO, and as part of what is one of the most controversial initiatives in Victoria Police's 158-year history, start guarding Melbourne's rail platforms.
Premier Ted Baillieu has reignited an old debate about the merits of building a very fast train to connect Australia's eastern cities after announcing that Victoria is set to become the regional headquarters for China South Rail, the world's largest manufacturer of electric trains.
Mr Baillieu said the state-owned company was ''certainly very interested'' in pursuing very fast train projects in future, adding that most Australians would like to see the very fast train proposal happen.
Southern Region - Due to signaling works being carried out by ARTC between Melbourne and Benalla, the overnight 20:40 Sydney to Melbourne XPT service arrived into Melbourne at 10:35. This service will remain in Melbourne until the line re-opens.
Southern Region - Due to signaling works being carried out by ARTC between Melbourne and Benalla, the 08:30 Melbourne to Sydney XPT service has been replaced by coaches for the entire journey. Delays of up to 60 minutes to be anticipated for passengers departing from Melbourne. Coaches to depart stations Benalla to Goulburn are to depart on time.
A Queensland Rail contractor poured petrol over a workmate and set him on fire in incident described as "mucking about or horseplay''.
The 21-year-old victim suffered life-threatening burns and is permanently scarred, while his 26-year-old workmate Neville Cifuentes has pleaded guilty to causing grevious bodily harm and been jailed for three years to be released on parole in September next year.
LONGVIEW, Wash. —
The main BNSF rail line is re-open through southwest Washington, after police and inspectors temporarily shut it down Monday to investigate reports of tampering along the line from north of Vancouver to Chehalis.
Spokesman Gus Melonas says officials have determined that it is safe for all operations through the area. He would not specify how the lines were tampered with, but he says it has been eliminated.
BUSES will replace trains on the Richmond line for most of October.
Major track work between Quakers Hill and Schofields as part of stage one of the Richmond rail line duplication will result in the shutdown from the evening of Sunday, October 2 through to Friday, October 28.
The project includes construction of over 3pm of new railway track and signal and control system testing at the Blacktown signal box.
A five-month old boy who ended up face down on train tracks when his pram rolled off a platform in Melbourne's north-east yesterday managed to escape with only minor injuries.
The pram fell more than a metre from a platform at Fairfield station just after 8.30am yesterday, an Ambulance Victoria spokesman said.
Paramedic Simon Della-Rossa said the pram had rolled away from the baby's mother and landed on the tracks with the boy face down.
(Reuters) - Two subway trains collided in central Shanghai on Tuesday injuring more than 200 passengers, though none critically, prompting public anger just two months after a deadly crash between two high-speed trains.
THOUSANDS of public transport users have been hit with belated bills from myki, which failed to properly debit users' bank accounts since at least September last year.
A Transport Ticketing Authority spokesman said myki had failed to collect between $100,000 and $140,000 from about 2400 users. Users may be unaware of the problem because their myki accounts were credited even though their bank accounts were not charged.
Every boom has its standard bearer, at once a symbol of a blistering future, then a failed, ruinous dream.
Lord Treasurer Robert Harley founded the South Sea Company at the heart of the South Sea Bubble, the dot com collapse featured Boo.com and Pets.com and most recently, AIG waved a flag signalling the way to the global financial crisis.
The boom in iron ore may not endure but it would be wrong to speak of Fortescue Metals in the same breath as these failures. Once puffed with promise and a share price loaded with hope, Fortescue has delivered.
But it could all so easily come undone.
Motorists battling to get to work on Melbourne's congested freeways may soon have to contend with larger trucks.
VicRoads is considering dumping the peak-hour ban on heavy trucks, introduced by the former Labor government two years ago, and allowing trucks longer than 30 metres.
Former roads minister Tim Pallas launched the trial in 2009 allowing heavy freight trucks up to 30 metres long on freeways linking the Port of Melbourne with major industrial areas in the west and north of the city and in the green triangle region in southwestern Victoria.
The Victorian Opposition has backed the establishment of the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal at Dooen, which is designed to maintain the state’s competitiveness in the grain export market.
The $16.75 million project, which has been described by Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder as a “vital” element in the freight supply chain, will facilitate a 23.5 hectare terminal and process up to 18,600 containers within five to six years.
The state-of-the-art facility will replace the aged terminal at Horsham and provide the grain, pulse and oilseed industries in the Wimmera region with a direct export facility.
Grain harvest in the region topped 2.5 million tonnes last year.
A 17-year-old has been charged with arson after two historic railway workshop buildings, earmarked for private redevelopment, were destroyed in a spectacular fire at Ipswich, near Brisbane.
The blaze, which could be seen from some Brisbane suburbs, started about 6.30pm (AEST) yesterday and took six fire crews 90 minutes to control, says the Department of Community Safety (DCS).
EVEN heavy rail should be considered in viability studies for rail in Bondi, Mayor John Wakefield said.
“Any studies need to look at the potential of extending the existing heavy rail route from Bondi Junction, down under Birriga Rd and should terminate near the Rose Bay Golf course to minimise negative impacts on the Bondi Basin,” Cr Wakefield said.
He would not want to see heavy rail extended to Bondi Beach.
A petition to save Northland's rail network that attracted more than 10,000 signatures will be presented to Government next month.
Organiser Vivienne Shepherd will be handing the petition to Green MP Gareth Hughes on the steps of Parliament on October 6.
TRAIN travel in the Macedon Ranges is forging ahead, accord- ing to the latest figures from V/Line.
And surprisingly it is Woodend which is the most-frequented station in the shire, with many more commuters boarding there than the larger population centres of Gisborne and Kyneton.
All three of the townships recorded steady increases in people getting on board at each station.
Woodend rose by 8.4 per cent, Kyneton by 8.2 per cent and Gisborne - where an extra morning service was added this year - by 17 per cent.
A cyclist struck by a train at a Melbourne railway crossing is fighting for his life with critical head and chest injuries.
Paramedics treated the unconscious 28-year-old man underneath the train for 50 minutes in the dark and rain before he was freed and taken to hospital.
The man was hit by the train at North Williamstown railway station just after 7pm, amid a massive storm that dumped 45 millimetres on the city.
LIGHT rail roadworks giving you grief?
Get ready for more because the worst is yet to come.
Although Surfers Paradise and Southport have both been a hive of preparatory construction activity for the past few months, Gold Coasters have been warned all hell will break loose when the project's major works start in January.
The next stage of construction is laying the tracks and cables which will power the $1.67 billion system's trams along the 13km first stage from Griffith University to Broadbeach.
Adelaide-based tourism transport brand Great Southern Rail has hired George Patterson Y&R Adelaide as its creative agency following a five-way pitch.
GP Y&R replaces Adelaide agency Einstein Da Vinci, who did not re-pitch for the business. GP Y&R will be responsible for creative across multiple channels including digital. The first campaign will be unveiled in late December.
A woman aged in her 60s has been struck and killed by a train as she crossed a road against boom gates in Melbourne’s south-east this morning.
The tragedy comes just 14 hours after a cyclist was hit by a train in North Williamstown as he crossed against pedestrian crossing warnings.
A study carried out for Auckland Transport Agency says the city should push forward with a rail link to Auckland airport.
The report is for Auckland Council, the Government and Auckland International Airport Ltd.
Commuters are this morning feeling the aftermath of last night’s wild storm and torrential rains, with trains at a standstill across the city.
Disruptions on the Hurstbridge, Pakenham, Upfield, Cranbourne and Belgrave lines are causing havoc, with almost a month's worth of rain falling in the space of 24 hours.
The risk of derailment on the Sydney-Melbourne rail line has increased due to unusually heavy rainfall, a report has found.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is carrying out a safety investigation of the interstate line, says mud-holes are a major concern.
Auckland Transport is backing a finding that an airport rail loop would provide higher long-term benefits than other transport options for the region's southwestern sector.
The board of the council-controlled organisation yesterday gave its approval for a multi-agency study to progress to a detailed scheme assessment and business case for providing airport rail links from both central Auckland and Manukau.
ANOTHER transport stoush is breaking out between Canberra and Macquarie Street, after the federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, called on the state to begin work on a freight corridor that would carve through parts of northern Sydney.
In a speech in Sydney yesterday, Mr Albanese lamented that the state government had not yet signed off on a series of rail projects that would help separate freight and passenger rail between Sydney and Newcastle.
IT TOOK engineers in China 20 months to build a 200 kilometre high-speed rail line from Shanghai to Hangzhou for trains that run up to 420km/h.
It will take the NSW government four years to deliver a 5.5 kilometre light rail line from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill for trams travelling about 40 km/h, on tracks that are already laid.
Since the government announced another delay to the extension of Sydney's light rail line in Tuesday's budget, locals and transport advocates have questioned how the project could take so long.
A COUNCIL of Mayors South East Queensland lobbying mission to Canberra has raised little Federal Government action on heavy rail extension.
Heavy rail is a CMSEQ Magnificent 7 Project, which deputy mayor Daphne McDonald promoted on Mayor Ron Clarke's behalf as a must-have for the Gold Coast's Commonwealth Games 2018 bid.
"The response was like everything: there's little or no funding available," Cr McDonald said. "But we've got to keep peddling it to our Federal Members and show them how important this is for our residents.
REPRESENTATIVES from Wimmera municipalities toured the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal site at Dooen yesterday for the first time since the first sod was turned.
Horsham councillor and terminal committee chairman Bernard Gross was pleased with the turnout for the bus tour, with representatives from Horsham, Hindmarsh, Yarriambiack and Buloke municipalities as well as representatives from the state and federal governments' project control group, based in Melbourne.
A DECISION to allow railway and road works to take place over the long weekend will cause traffic chaos, the New South Wales Opposition says.
The M2, which services north-western Sydney, will be reduced to a single lane in each direction from tomorrow night to allow for drainage works.