News

 

Showing stories from December 2012

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Light rail still on the agenda in Canberra

Posted Sunday, 16 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The ACT Government is to conduct another study into its promised light rail project for Canberra's north.

It will commission research, to be completed early next year, to see how the line would integrate with existing public transport options.

A start within four years for the long-awaited light rail link between Civic and Gungahlin is now official government policy as part of Labor's minority government deal with the ACT Greens.

Can we afford to get back on the rails?

Posted Sunday, 16 December, 2012 by stefowefo in Rail News

AT A BUSY intersection on Melbourne's Nepean Highway, looking out over eight lanes of traffic, stands the imposing bronze figure of Sir Thomas Bent.

Amid the noise of cars and trucks, few pedestrians stop to read the text on his plinth, which gives the outline of a long political career - as speaker of the Legislative Assembly 1892-94, premier of Victoria 1904-09, parliamentary representative for Brighton for thirty-two years, and a councillor of Brighton and Moorabbin for forty-five years.

But it is Tommy Bent's surname that gives the best clue to his character, if not his impact on the city. In the early 1880s, his public and private roles - as commissioner for railways and as a property speculator - neatly overlapped. He not only promised to build railways to MPs' electorates in exchange for political support, he also pushed through suburban lines that directly boosted the value of his own subdivisions.

Newcastle train line axing sparks more debate

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The State Transport Minister is refusing to comment on the decision to cut Newcastle's rail line, fuelling criticism that it is aimed more at developers than improving public transport.

Gladys Berejiklian yesterday deflected requests for comment about the plan to cut the heavy rail line and build a new transport interchange at Wickham.

Footscray residents taken for a ride on noisy night-time rail works

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

FOOTSCRAY residents needlessly endured weeks of massively noisy night-time rail work near their homes because authorities neglected to tell them that temporary hotel accommodation was available. The authority in charge of building a new railway line through Melbourne's west pledged at community meetings earlier this year that residents seriously affected by heavy construction works on the $5.3 billion regional rail link could opt to be put up in a nearby hotel. But that offer was left off an information leaflet that the regional rail link alliance issued to affected residents and businesses last month, which referred only to an information line that could be called ''should you have any questions or concerns about … our work''.

$290m loss on botched rail line

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WATER damage on the Melbourne-Sydney railway line has contributed to a $290 million write-down this year for the operator of Australia's interstate rail network.

The government-owned Australian Rail Track Corporation posted the large impairment loss in its 2012 annual report, despite recording a 24 per cent access revenue boost from managing the 8500-kilometre network.

In its report, the corporation noted the impairment loss, or asset write-down, was due to the poor condition of the Melbourne-Sydney corridor, which has been blighted by severe speed restrictions and safety concerns since the rail line was converted to standard gauge at the turn of the decade.

Labor promises new Perth rail network

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

Opposition leader Mark McGowan has announced plans to overhaul Perth's rail network and build a new Metronet system to reduce traffic congestion, should Labour win the state election in March.

Plans released on Sunday showed Labor's priorities for building new infrastructure included a northern and southern suburbs route and extension of the existing Clarkson and Armadale line.

Mr McGowan said they don't have a cost or a timeframe for the project but believe it will cost more than the development of the Mandurah Line and Thornlie spur line in 2007, and the extension to Clarkson in 2004, which during Labor's last two terms in office that came to an estimated $1.6 billion.

China ready to open longest high-speed rail link

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

The world's longest high-speed rail route, running from the Chinese capital Beijing to Guangzhou in the south, will open for business on December 26.

Travelling at an average speed of 300 kilometres per hour, the line will slash journey times linking Beijing in the north with the country's southern economic hub from 22 hours to just eight hours, the China Daily newspaper said.

Property prices to rise due to rail cut

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Real estate agents say the New South Wales Government's decision to cut Newcastle's rail line has had an immediate impact with a number of inquiries already regarding property overlooking the line.

After decades of debate Planning Minister Brad Hazzard last week unveiled plans to end the train line at Wickham and build a new transport interchange.

Mary Valley Rail group bounces back from financial struggles

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

ONY Hallam has been re-elected president of the Mary Valley Heritage Rail association, at a surprisingly peaceful annual general meeting on Wednesday night.

About 45 MVHR members attended the meeting at Old Gympie Railway Station to vote for new officials, with all candidates elected unopposed.

The meeting put a full stop at the end of a troubled year that saw the organisation come close to financial and operational disaster.

Maharajas’ Express wins ‘World’s Leading Luxury Train" in 2012

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by kunvar in International Rail News

Maharajas' Express again made the world surprise by winning 'World's Leading Luxury Train' Award 2012. It's the third time that the luxury train has been laurelled in the international spectrum for its exceptional services and amenities.

Save Our Rail chief accuses MP of slapping residents in the face

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

Maitland MP Robyn Parker has betrayed the people of Maitland with her secret support of the truncation of the Maitland-Newcastle rail line at Wickham, Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson said.

Ms Dawson said Ms Parker's conduct was a slap in the face to Maitland residents because she had openly stated while in opposition that she wanted the railway line retained and vowed to fight for it if elected.

Opposition unveils extensive rail proposal

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A VAST public transport rail network connecting suburbs as far south as Pinjarra all the way to Yanchep will be built by the State Opposition if elected to government next year.

The bold plan unveiled today by State Opposition leader Mark McGowan, dubbed "Metronet", consists of over 75km of new rail track and dozens of new train stations in suburbs such as Yangebup, Coogee, Wattle Grove, Mundijong and Forrestfield.

Fortescue puts key assets on the block

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Fortescue Metals Group is poised to sell off part of its most valuable asset, as the company continues efforts to lower debt and free up enough cash to restart the expansion projects that were halted in September.

The iron ore exporter announced this morning that it had received strong interest from investors keen to buy a minority stake in Fortescue's railway and ports, which are held by Fortescue as a separate subsidiary.

No price indication was given, but analysts have valued the infrastructure assets at $US6 billion.

Export infrastructure is crucial to companies seeking to build iron ore companies in the Pilbara, and the recent downturn in iron ore has left numerous junior players holding stranded iron ore assets hundreds of kilometres from the coast.

Rail cut 'a cheap option'

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

Opposition against the truncation of the Maitland-Newcastle rail line at Wickham is mounting with Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery labelling it a "cheap, second rate option" that will create traffic chaos.

Adelaide's Electric Trains Taking Shape

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by JimYarin 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.
Under a supply and maintenance contract with Bombardier Transportation Australia, 22 three-car units will be delivered. The A-City will seat around 240 passengers with standing room for another 300.

Concrete milestone lowered in to place for new Moreton Bay Rail Link

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Giant concrete girders were lifted in to position on the new Kinsellas Road East bridge last week in a milestone for the $1.147 billion Moreton Bay Rail Link.

The steel-lined and concrete-filled girders are a key visible part of the first major construction project for the new rail link.

Photographer Chris Higgins and on-site engineer Emma Jackson covered the arrival and installation of the giant girders.

 

Maldon to Dombarton rail link: new contracts awarded

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Maldon to Dombarton Rail Link Project has now moved to the next stage with the awarding of contracts to Parsons Brinckerhoff and GHD for engineering, planning and environmental works.

The two companies have now started this initial planning work, which is about working through the safety, design, operational and environmental issues so that the project is at a stage where it can be considered for possible federal funding.

Parsons Brinckerhoff will do the engineering work of investigating design, safety and operational issues involved in completing the rail link.

Rail worker run over by excavator

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A MAN working on railway track repairs at Barnawartha North has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after he was run over by an excavator this afternoon.

The man was walking along the railway line, near the Hume Fwy, while the machinery followed behind him, Acting Insp. Barry McIntosh, of Wodonga police, said.

The machine drove over the man, from Queensland, about midday, police say.

High speed rail to Bangkok

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by JimYarin in International Rail News

BANGKOK: Transport Minister Chatchat Sittiphan announced earlier this week that Thailand will build two, high-speed railway lines, one running from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and the other running from Bangkok to the northeastern province of Nong Khai.

Wheels rolling on Queensland rail development

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Three major rail lines are being considered to help develop Northern Australia.

One from Kununurra in Western Australia to Katherine in the Northern Territory, another from Central Queensland to Abbot Point in the Far North, and more recently a renewed push to build a line from Mount Isa to Karumba.

The idea of shipping minerals from North West Queensland out of Karumba has been around since the 1800s, but the Mount Isa Electric Power Company, or MIEPCO, has put together a detailed proposal which is attracting investors.

The development would include a 450 kilometre rail line, plus a 40 kilometre jetty west of Karumba to reach deeper waters and allow loading.

Changes made after runaway railcar crossed border

Posted Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

NIAGARA FALLS - Procedures are now in place at the border in Niagara Falls that should prevent any run away railcars from crossing the Whirlpool Bridge from the United States into Canada.

Specific details as to how that is being accomplished is not being made public by Canada Border Services Agency.

On Aug. 12, at about 1:30 a.m., an empty rail car somehow became disconnected and broke free from the CSX rail yard in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and started rolling down the tracks toward the Whirlpool Bridge.

Calls for greater public transport investment

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Academics are calling for a greater investment in Victorian public transport, with new research showing more Melburnians drive to work than residents in any other Australian city.

An analysis of census data over the last 35 years also shows that Melbourne has the lowest car pooling rates and the lowest use of buses and trams.

Researcher Dr Paul Mees says projects like the proposed east west tunnel, would only increase Melbourne's reliance on cars.

Rail link set to rock Festival Hall

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

CONCERNS over the environmental impact of a new rail bridge to be built just one metre from Festival Hall could force the Baillieu government back to the drawing board on the regional rail link, Victoria's biggest infrastructure project.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy has ordered the authority that is overseeing the development of the $5.3 billion rail link to submit a noise assessment for the section that runs between Southern Cross Station and Moonee Ponds Creek in North Melbourne, due to concerns about harmful noise levels.

That section of the 90-kilometre rail link was approved by former planning minister Justin Madden more than two years ago without an environmental effects statement, under the justification that it was to be built within the existing rail reserve.

Boggabri rail line getting ready to reopen

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Final preparations are being made to get trains back on track in north-west NSW, with a major rail line set to reopen tomorrow afternoon. It's been three weeks since a coal train derailment badly damaged a rail bridge at Boggabri. The Australian Rail Track Corporation says safety assessors have been on site, scaffolding surrounding four new bridge pylons has been removed, and a site clean-up is underway.

Hazzard stands firm on rail plan

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Save Our Rail will continue its fight against the state government’s decision to terminate the Maitland-Newcastle railway line at Wickham after Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard refused to back down from the plans yesterday. Mr Hazzard met with SOR representatives in Sydney where they outlined their concerns about the truncation of the line. Group president Joan Dawson said Mr Hazzard politely listened to their arguments for the line’s retention but was adamant that it would be cut and commuters would be transferred onto buses at a first class interchange to complete their journey into Newcastle.

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