Showing stories from December 2012

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Rail deal to keep $10b coal project rolling

Posted Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The developers of a $10 billion coal project in central western Queensland have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) over transport services.

GVK Hancock is developing the Alpha Coal project in the Galilee Basin, which includes a thermal coal mine, a 500-kilometre rail line and port facilities at Abbot Point.

On track for traffic chaos

Posted Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

The Maitland-Newcastle rail line could be saved if Novocastrians understood the massive impact the state government's plan to stop the railway at Wickham will have on motorists, transport advocate Rick Banyard saidMr Banyard said Newcastle residents had not been informed about the dire consequences they would face when the line is truncated west of Wickham.

Mr Banyard said Newcastle residents had not been informed about the dire consequences they would face when the line is truncated west of Wickham.

History smiles on Newcastle rail

Posted Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

WHAT a wonderful photograph of Hunter Street, Newcastle, in the 1930s (''Main drag'', Herald, 27/11).

Lots of people and activity despite the fact that there was a heavy-rail line with steam trains coming into Newcastle Station from Toronto, Belmont, Telarah, Morpeth, Cessnock and Central.

There was a coal-fired power station on the foreshore near Zaara Street.

Crossing to Wharf Road from Watt Street at Customs House was over multiple train tracks in a shunting and marshalling precinct for coal wagons, locomotives and passenger carriages.

Reconstruction of rail bridge well underway at derailment site

Posted Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The ARTC is standing by its predictions that a rail bridge, damaged by a coal train derailment, will be back on track by Christmas.

New South Wales Government is monitoring trucks that are hauling grain as part of the mammoth effort to clear a backlog of stranded agri-products and coal.

The transport of grain, chickpeas, wheat and coal has been held up after the derailment at Boggabri, in the north-west of NSW, left the rail line badly damaged two weeks ago.

Adelaide’s new electric trains

Posted Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 by Arelex in South Australian Rail News

Adelaide’s new electric trains are currently being assembled with the first due for delivery next year.Called the A-City Class 4000, the trains will be the most modern in the country, including the first rail vehicle to meet stringent new international crash specifications as found in Europe and Great Britain.

Rail removal seen as ‘game changer’

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE proposed redevelopment of the Hunter Street Mall may not go ahead if the Newcastle rail line stays, the chief executive of Landcom said last night.

Sean O’Toole briefed Newcastle City Council and said the mall redevelopment could be ‘‘the greatest urban renewal project in the country’’.

‘‘I’m not aware of a city that has all of the things going for it that you’ve got here,’’ Mr O’Toole said.

‘‘There are projects that are commercial projects and there are game-changing projects. This is a game-changing project and we need to get it right.’’

Concerns Light Rail could be Scaled back in Perth

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by pandem in Western Australian Rail News

The City of Perth says its fears the State Government could be planning to scale back its proposal for a light rail network.
The council last night passed a motion saying while it remains opposed to the planned route through the Hay Street Mall, it supports the project overall.
Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi says she is worried the Government could try to use the City as an excuse for scrapping the eastern component of the plans.

Top coal expert has fast fix for rail corridor coal dust problem

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

ONE of Queensland's top coal experts says a coal dust mitigation program in the Brisbane urban rail corridor is so straightforward it could be introduced in weeks, not months as outlined in a new plan by Queensland Resources Council.

Ed Crawford, a coal specialist with Anglo Coal, which has been "veneering" coal wagons in Central Queensland for almost five years, said the set-up process does not involve a large capital outlay or significant infrastructure investment.

Residents in the rail corridor have been concerned for years about coal dust emitted from train wagons getting into their homes and the potential associated health risks.

St. Francis High's Visual Arts Teacher Dies Photographing a Train

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by pandem in International Rail News

A St. Francis High School visual arts teacher, known for her talent and passion, died when she was struck by a train while taking photos near the campus Saturday afternoon.

Another study into light rail

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

A new study will investigate how light rail will work with the existing public transport network in Canberra. The ACT Government has agreed to begin construction of a light rail network by 2016 as part of its parliamentary agreement with Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury.

Fisher fears rail line's Gulf impact

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

A Gulf of Carpentaria fisherman says he is worried about the environmental impact of a proposed rail line from Mount Isa to Karumba in north-west Queensland's Gulf. A private company, Miepco, has begun talks on a plan to build the rail line. The electrical and transport infrastructure developer says it has been consulting community and government representatives over the proposal.

Train in vain: how will commuters get to Williams Landing station?

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

Being built at a cost of $110 million, a new railway station at Williams Landing will help fill a deep need for better public transport in Melbourne's outer west when it opens in April. It is predicted that up to 1000 passengers will use the station each day in the morning peak, adding to the swelling commuter numbers on the crowded Werribee line.

But some of those would-be commuters are wondering just how they will get to the new station, even as they look forward to its opening.
Jammed local roads, infrequent and indirect bus services and a deficit of parking spaces mean reaching Williams Landing station will not be simple for the residents of Melbourne's burgeoning western suburbs.

The station is being built on the northern side of the Princes Freeway, Melbourne's busiest arterial road, which will be completely closed to traffic for nine hours from 9pm on Saturday while a pedestrian bridge to the station is put in place.

Just south of the freeway is Point Cook, population 32,500 and growing, and to the north is the developing suburb of Truganina, home to 39,000. Closest to the station is the suburb of Williams Landing, a masterplanned suburb that will in future have 2500 homes but is today occupied by just 3000 people.

Public transport fares to rise in 2013

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PUBLIC transport fares will rise by 7 per cent on New Year's Day in the latest blow to commuters.

The price hike will mean a daily Zone 1 myki fare will increase by 46c to $7.02, costing a commuter up to $168 extra a year.

Sydney's eastern suburbs to get light rail

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

A $1.6 billion light rail line will be built between Circular Quay and Sydney's eastern suburbs, reducing congestion in the city, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says.

The 12km link to Randwick will run down George Street, past the Moore Park precinct, Randwick Racecourse, the University of NSW and to the Prince of Wales Hospital.

It will be built by 2020.

The line is the major new announcement in the government's final 20 year transport masterplan, which restates its commitments to the northwest and southwest rail links, Sydney's West Connex road project announced earlier this year, and its bridges to the bush program.

Greta rail facility to ease Newcastle coal congestion

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The amount of coal transported through the Hunter Valley will increase in the months ahead, with the opening of a new refuelling and maintenance facility for coal trains in Greta.

After seven years of work, the train support facility will today be officially opened by the New South Wales Roads Minister, Duncan Gay.

The $110 million operation will mean coal trains will no longer be refuelled at Newcastle, while maintenance works can also be carried out further up the Valley.

Rail yard exit delay disappoints

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Tasmanian Rail News

Contractors are disappointed about a likely delay in redevelopment work at Macquarie Point in Hobart. Macquarie Point tenant Toll yesterday announced it would not leave the site and pave way for clean-up until 2014 when its new Brighton hub home was ready.

Train travel turns toxic

Posted Thursday, 13 December, 2012 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

V/LINE passengers are being reminded to be courteous and respectful as an "us-versus-them" mentality simmers on the Bendigo services.

A Sunbury commuter, who asked not to be named, approached Leader and Macedon state Labor MP Joanne Duncan last week to say a petition was being circulated to get Sunbury commuters off "our V/Line".

NSW State transport plan announced

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2012 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

THE state's new long-term infrastructure and transport blueprints have earmarked the need to invest in coal communities and speed up trains between Sydney and Newcastle.
But funding has yet to be committed to the projects, with the government to examine in more detail whether the projects are feasible.

Angry commuters plan to storm Parliament House

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Planning has begun for an army of protesters to rally on the steps of Parliament House in Sydney if the state government proceeds with plans to cut the Maitland-Newcastle rail line west of Wickham.

The Premier’s office told the Mercury that an announcement would be made on Friday and a spokesman for Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard said the details were being prepared and the office hoped Mr Hazzard would visit Newcastle to reveal the government’s plans.

Labor, the Greens, unions and commuters are already formulating their response, which will include a petition, protests in Newcastle culminating in the Parliament House rally on February 19 they say will attract thousands of people from across the Hunter angered by the decision. 

Central Newcastle train line to shut

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Train services into Newcastle's central business district will be cut, as part of a $120 million transport overhaul for the city.

New South Wales Planning Minister Brad Hazzard will officially announce the plan today.

He will reveal plans to end train services at Wickham and build a new transport interchange, with frequent bus services to replace the trains.

Whitehaven rail line to reopen earlier than expected

Posted Saturday, 15 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Whitehaven Coal Ltd has advised that the estimated date for the reopening of a rail line closed down due to a derailment near Boggabri has been brought forward by five days.

Trains have been unable to move coal between the Narrabri underground mine and the Port of Newcastle since the track was damaged by a derailment on November 28.

In a statement issued to the Australian Securities Exchange, Whitehaven said that the Australian Rail Track Corporation now expects the line to be reopened on December 20.

Indian rail network added 11,004 kilometres in 62 years

Posted Saturday, 15 December, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

New DelhiIndia's rail network rose from 53,596 route kilometres as of April 1950 to 64,600 kilometres in March 2012.

Stating this in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Railways K.J. Surya Prakash Reddy, however, said the total rail route converted to broad gauge or new broad gauge laid totalled 52,241 kilometres.

The minister was responding a question from D.P. Tripathi of the Nationalist Congress Party

Aurizon defends its rail tack

Posted Saturday, 15 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Emerging WA rail powerhouse Aurizon has hit back at claims its "risk-averse" approach to projects is delaying mining ventures around the State, saying it is "not a benevolent society" for the sector.

The group, which until last month was called QR National, has an increasing footprint in WA, and is in talks with a range of Pilbara miners, including Atlas Iron and Aquila Resources to potentially build and operate railways to get their ore to port.

However, miners, including global giant Rio Tinto, have criticised Aurizon recently for, among other things, demanding contracts that require payment whether ore is shipped or not, and wanting millions in security payments before railways are built.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 15/12/2012

Posted Sunday, 16 December, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 118 sightings for this week. This is 17 sighting more than last week, making a total of 5797 sightings for this year to date. On day 350 last year we had recorded 5647 sightings. This is 150 sightings up on the same time last year.

Rail history revealed

Posted Sunday, 16 December, 2012 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

An old railway station in Tasmania's north-east has been transformed into a quirky museum as part of a plan to revive the region's transport heritage.

In its 1940s heyday, St Marys was a bustling coal town and transport hub.

Now its 126-year-old railway station has been reopened as a museum, celebrating the town's industrial heritage.

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