Showing stories from December 2012

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Footbridge removed to make way for rail

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

AN often derided part of Surfers Paradise history has been demolished to make way for the Gold Coast's $1.2 billion light rail system with workers pulling down the party precinct's last pedestrian overpass yesterday.

The walkway, on the corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Staghorn Avenue next to the QT building, stood for more than 25 years but took just five minutes to bring down.

Genesee & Wyoming Signs New Contract for Export Iron Ore in South Australia

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) (NYSE: GWR) announced today that its subsidiary, Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) has signed a rail haulage agreement with a subsidiary of WPG Resources Ltd (WPG) (ASX:WPG) to transport 3.3 million tons per year of hematite iron ore from WPG's Peculiar Knob mine in South Australia.

GWA plans to operate unit trains of iron ore from a rail siding near Wirrida, South Australia, located on the recently acquired Tarcoola to Darwin rail line, to a new bulk export facility in Port Pirie, South Australia. The haulage service is expected to start in the second quarter of 2012 and continue for a minimum of five years, and it may be extended depending on the development of certain nearby iron ore deposits.

Experts praise Labor heavy rail plan for Perth

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Transport experts yesterday backed the State Opposition's rail expansion plan over the Government's light rail network, saying investment in heavy rail was needed to solve Perth's congestion crisis.

Labor unveiled Metronet on Sunday - a multibillion-dollar plan to build 75km of rail within eight years if it wins the March election.

The plan includes new lines to Perth Airport and Ellenbrook and two new ring routes. The north route will connect the Joondalup and Ellenbrook lines and the south route will link the Mandurah, Armadale and Perth Airport lines.

Curtin University sustainability expert Peter Newman said he was not opposed to light rail but an integrated heavy rail system was crucial to meeting future needs.

'Dumb', life-threatening train trip comes up short

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

A group of young men who brazenly posted live photographs of a freight train surf from Perth to Adelaide have been branded "just plain dumb" and their actions "extremely dangerous" as authorities appear hamstrung to do little more than issue small fines.

None of the men were arrested or charged when police finally caught up with them near Port Wakefield, about 90 kilometres from Adelaide on Tuesday morning - ending a saga that had played out online for nearly three days.

They had travelled more than 2400 kilometres across the Nullarbor Plain, where temperatures reached close to 40 degrees, before being spotted by a train controller, according to a spokesperson for the train operator.

Holiday drivers told to take care around rail crossings

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

THE rail industry has warned holiday drivers to take care around level crossings when travelling this festive season. TrackSAFE director Bryan Nye said it only took a few seconds of inattention at a level crossing for a Christmas holiday to end in tragedy.

Will High Speed Rail save the cities and develop the regions?

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Taking growth pressures off the city fringe while simultaneously developing the regions is one of the key arguments used to support proposals for a High Speed Rail network on Australia’s east coast. But is it a cost-effective way of doing either?

Sydney welcomes light rail announcement

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The inner city has largely welcomed the State Government’s commitment to building new light rail lines, announced last Thursday.

The CBD and South East Light Rail will run from Circular Quay to Central Railway Station via George St, then on to Moore Park, with lines branching off to Kingsford and Randwick.

Twelve kilometres of new tram tracks will connect numerous landmarks and localities, including Martin Place, the QVB, World Square, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Randwick Racecourse and the University of NSW.

Boggabri rail line reopens

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

A crucial freight route, cut by a train derailment last month, has reopened in north-west NSW. The rail line at Boggabri was badly damaged when a coal train came off the tracks on November 28, blocking grain, pulse, cotton and coal freight destined for NSW ports. Since then, a team of more than 40 construction staff from the Australian Rail Track Corporation have worked in ideal weather conditions to reconstruct four bridge piers over Cox's Creek. The 80 kilometre an hour speed limit for trains has been reduced at the location to 20 kilometres an hour, but that will rise to 60 in January.

Newcastle Rail reasons hidden

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

WHATEVER benefits there may be in the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) vision, the community needs to be aware that we can have those benefits without having to forgo the vital rail services to Newcastle station. The department has stated that the policy ‘‘was prepared prior to the government’s decision on transport services and was therefore written to enable successful implementation of all possible transport arrangements’’. 

Tasmania's push to enter the fast lane

Posted Thursday, 20 December, 2012 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

TASMANIA is about to get the latest in freight trains but there is also a push for a fast-train passenger service.

Public transport advocacy group Future Transport Tasmania wants the state and federal governments to establish a fast rail link between Launceston and Hobart, using money the Liberal Party wants to find to upgrade the Midland Highway to four lanes between the two cities.

A Big Year for Rail Improvements and More to Come

Posted Friday, 21 December, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

As the annual rail network closure approaches Auckland Transport, Public Transport Operations Manager, Mark Lambert looks back on the many rail improvements made during the year.

“We’re making good progress with our upgrade programme, modernising and readying stations for the arrival of electric trains in 2013.


“A highlight of the year was the opening of the first stage of the Manukau Station, the first new rail route to be built in Auckland in 82 years. Another is the AMETI project which had two new bridges built and 2500 truckloads of rock excavated for a new road tunnel this year.


“Otahuhu, Onehunga, Remuera and Greenlane stations were all upgraded with additional platform furniture, lighting, increased CCTV coverage, HOP machines and improved access for mobility users. Ellerslie station underwent a revamp with a longer platform, new furniture and pedestrian lift.

Money for Great Southern Rail Trail study

Posted Friday, 21 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

South Gippsland Shire Council will spend $40,000 investigating whether the Great Southern Rail Trail could be connected between Meeniyan and Koonwarra, over the existing old rail bridges. At present the rail trail ends outside of Meeniyan and begins again near Koonwarra.

High-calibre team heads ports, rail, energy, water bodies

Posted Friday, 21 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Treasurer and Minister for Trade Tim Nicholls today announced the appointment of fourteen directors to the boards of Queensland’s ports, rail, energy and water bodies.

Mr Nicholls said the new appointees brought an ideal skill set to the Government-owned corporations.

“Power, water, the State’s passenger rail network, ports – for these essential services, the GOCs have to get it absolutely right,” Mr Nicholls said.

“If we are going to deliver better infrastructure and planning and better value for money for Queenslanders, our GOCs must have a strong leadership base.

“This is what these directors bring to the table.”

Light rail vision

Posted Saturday, 22 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

An independent review has described the business case for a light rail network in Hobart's northern suburbs as optimistic.

The State Government hired consultants Aecom to review the business case prepared by ACIL Tasman.

The review said the original report underestimated the cost of the project.

Rail commuters face more pain

Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

IPSWICH rail commuters will have to endure more pain before long-term gain with six additional track closures planned for vital work to improve reliability.

The work includes replacing the turnouts, which allow trains to change between tracks and is expected to log 41,000 hours of construction work.

Between now and August the Ipswich line will be closed for nine weekends.

Public transport advocacy group Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said the closures will test commuter's patience. The services will be replaced by buses, but Mr Dow said commuters should not have to pay for trips while the lines are shut.

Fortescue rail and port sale could cut debt burden by half

Posted Monday, 24 December, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

FORTESCUE Metals Group could net up to $8 billion from the sale of a stake in its multi-billion-dollar rail and port network if the miner is then charged commercial rates to use the infrastructure and opens it to third-party access.

The debt-laden miner said two weeks ago that it was reviewing the sale of a minority interest in its wholly owned subsidiary, The Pilbara Infrastructure (TPI), which houses FMG's rail and port assets.

Analysts widely estimated FMG could fetch up to $5.1bn for a 49 per cent stake in its infrastructure assets, which would put a significant dent in its estimated $10bn debt.

Light rail cut short

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

GLENORCHY is the best choice for the northern terminus of the proposed light rail, a report has found.

The business peer review found the proposed Hobart to Northern Suburbs Light Rail should finish at Glenorchy rather than further north as originally planned.

Aecom Ltd's review of ACIL Tasman's 2011 business case, released yesterday, said Glenorchy stood out because its net costs were lowest and it was a major generator and attractor of trips. The peer review of the business case found it was "in essence a fair and sound appraisal of the economic benefits and costs" of the proposed light rail system.

State breaks own rule on paper myki ticket a second time

Posted Thursday, 27 December, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

HE Baillieu government has made an exception to its ruling that there will be no short-term myki tickets on Melbourne's public transport, just days before the Metcard system is to be shut down.

Paper myki tickets will be sold on two bus routes on the Mornington Peninsula after it was found some concession card holders would be charged between $1.42 and $5.22 more using myki than Metcard, because buses operate in zones 2, 3 and 4.

It is the second time the government has made an exception to its decision to scrap short-term tickets, following the issuing in July of a disposable myki day pass for charities.

Irving Refinery Said to Get 90,000 Barrels a Day by Rail

Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Irving Oil Corp. is moving more than 90,000 barrels a day of crude from Alberta and North Dakota by rail to its Saint John refinery, Canada’s largest, and plans to increase those shipments, according to a person familiar with the plans.

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