Showing stories from March 2012

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Dulwich Hill light rail plan on track

Posted Thursday, 1 March, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

WORK on the light rail extension to Dulwich Hill will not be delayed despite toxins being found along the route, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said.

High levels of copper, lead and arsenic have been found in soil samples during testing by the state government.

Dud rail clamp that shut down Queensland Rail to cost state $1m

Posted Thursday, 1 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A SINGLE fallen powerline that almost brought Brisbane to a halt will today cost the state about $1 million as the Bligh Government attempts to turn the politically disastrous incident into an election campaign plus.

Commuters have been promised free public transport on train, bus and ferry as compensation for the disruption caused by the power fault at Roma Street Station yesterday.

Apologising to commuters, Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was seeking a full explanation for the issue.

But she denied the offer of free travel today was an election stunt  and insisted it was within the legal parameters of a caretaker government.

Family's ordeal highlights our urgent need for better rail services

Posted Thursday, 1 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE plight of a migrant family's twice left stranded on Lithgow railway station has again highlighted the need for an improved rail service to Bathurst.

Mohand Limani, his wife Malika and children Thanina, 12, and El Vaz, eight, were returning to Bathurst from a day trip in Sydney when their late-running train arrived in Lithgow after the last connecting bus to Bathurst had left.

They had faced a similar situation just weeks earlier.

The family first tried and faileded to find a room for the night in Lithgow and were facing the prospect of spending a cold night on the platform at Lithgow station before an 11pm call to deputy mayor Tracey Carpenter saw her make a late-night mercy dash to pick them up.

Public transport needs billions

Posted Thursday, 1 March, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

PUBLIC transport in Victoria has been dragged down by years of poor management and planning, and needs an annual injection of $3 billion if it is to cope with growing demand, according to a report by state Auditor-General Des Pearson. The report, tabled in State Parliament yesterday, found that public satisfaction with trains, trams and buses has declined in the past decade, and that all modes of public transport have regularly failed to meet government performance standards.

The worst decline in satisfaction was for Melbourne's trains, the report found. Mr Pearson said the Transport Department had, before recent improvement, failed for years to ''effectively manage the rapid growth in public transport patronage that happened between 2004 and 2009 [and] did not have the capability to foresee this growth or fully understand the root causes of poor performance.

Classics touted for Flinders St station overhaul

Posted Thursday, 1 March, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

CLASSIC London railway stations such as Victoria and King's Cross St Pancras have been put forward as models for an international competition to redevelop Flinders St station. Bureaucrats suggested a showbook of overseas projects to whet Premier Ted Baillieu's appetite after the competition's launch date was delayed last year, documents released to the Herald Sun under Freedom of Information reveal. London's King's Cross St Pancras, successfully renovated at a cost of more than $1 billion recently, was nominated in emails, as was the Victoria station redevelopment, and plans for other stations in Europe and Asia. Mr Baillieu announced the $1 million design prize in November, saying the 102-year-old city landmark was deteriorating and needed a major refurbishment.

Doncaster rail talks for Boroondara

Posted Friday, 2 March, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

THE Doncaster Rail Study is coming to Boroondara to discuss the plans with the community. A heavy rail link to Doncaster has long been discussed as the missing link in Melbourne's public transport network and the State Government has commissioned this study to explore route alignments, station locations and potential land use implications.

Boroondara Mayor Heinz Kreutz said the community workshop was an opportunity for local residents to have their say on a very significant public transport project. "This community workshop gives residents the chance to have their say on an issue that could directly affect them," Cr Kreutz said.

Big-ticket rail project 'ready to proceed'

Posted Friday, 2 March, 2012 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Campbell Newman insists he would not turn down federal funds to deliver the multi-billion-dollar Brisbane cross-river rail project, but would still want to rework the plans to find savings. The Queensland Liberal National Party leader's comments came as the federal government's advisory body, Infrastructure Australia, confirmed it now believed the flagship underground rail project was “ready to proceed”, meaning a decision on funding could be imminent.

The state government also yesterday revealed it had cut the expected cost of the project by a billion dollars, to just over $7 billion, following design changes believed to include reductions to the size of underground train station cavities.

Nickel West hard at work at Loopline

Posted Friday, 2 March, 2012 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

BHP Billiton Nickel West continues to lend a hand to help community organisations. Last week an army of 100 staff from the Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter and Kambalda Concentrator helped the Loopline Railway Historical Society restore the old railway station, locomotives and carriages.

Iluka investigates mineral ore spill

Posted Friday, 2 March, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

ILUKA Resources is working with railway authorities after 100 tonnes of heavy mineral ore spilt from a railway wagon on its way to Hamilton last week. Investor relations and corporate affairs general manager Rob Porter said ore from the company's Ouyen mine was sent to Hamilton, but the rail wagon was empty on arrival.

"On Friday we discovered one of the wagons was empty and it was found there had been a mechanical failure," Mr Porter said. "The bottom empty car had opened and 100 tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate spilt over 200 metres, eight kilometres north of Glenorchy along the Glenorchy-Horsham railway line."

Gov't nod for $400m Hope Downs project

Posted Friday, 2 March, 2012 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

The State Government has approved a rail and power supply project in the Pilbara to connect the new Hope Downs 4 iron ore mine, a Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting joint venture, to the existing Hope Downs 1 mine infrastructure.

The project is estimated to be worth more than $400 million and will generate up to 600 jobs. Premier Colin Barnett said the government had granted a special licence for a 53-kilometre railway line and approved a 220-kilovolt electricity transmission line.

Safety watchdog backs off on copper spill claim

Posted Friday, 2 March, 2012 by freightgate in Northern Territory Rail News

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has changed its estimation of how much copper concentrate was spilled when a train derailed north of Katherine in December.

Yesterday, the ATSB released an interim report saying 1,700 tonnes of copper concentrate was lost from derailed carriages and was washed into the Edith River by floodwaters.

The operator of the Darwin to Adelaide rail line, Genesee and Wyoming, challenged the ATSB claim. Company spokesman Bert Easthope said the figure was wrong.

Drama of rail camps

Posted Friday, 2 March, 2012 by freightgate in Rail News

The latest Australian actor to land a role in a hit US TV series is 29-year- old Victorian Ben Esler, who plays an Irishman trying to make a living in an 1860s railway camp that was so rough it was called Hell on Wheels.

Life as a worker on the great transcontinental railway was dangerous; if the work laying tracks from one side of the US to another did not kill you, then disease, crime or the Native American tribes probably would.

Though the series, Hell on Wheels, starring Anson Mount, is fictional, it is based on the real-life race between the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroad companies to be the first to lay a track across the country.

CityRail emergency train service

Posted Saturday, 3 March, 2012 by urailes0623 in Other Transport News

CityRail is encouraging Bathurst residents affected by road closures due to flooding to jump on a train shuttle

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 3/3/2012.

Posted Sunday, 4 March, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 108 sightings for this week. This is 15 sightings less than last week, making a total of 1013 sightings for this year to date.

The drop in sightings this week was due to a derailment in the Nth Geelong grain loop early in the week and we only saw a total on nine grain trains for the week.

On day 63 last year we had recorded 807 sightings. This is 206 sightings up on the same time last year.

Poland defends rail safety after deadly crash

Posted Monday, 5 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

SZCZEKOCINY, Poland — Poland's government insisted Sunday that rail travel is safe in the country despite a train collision that killed 16 people, assurances that come months before masses of sports fans will enter the country for a major soccer tournament — many of whom will crisscross the nation by train.

Miner considers Robinvale rail project

Posted Monday, 5 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The mining company Iluka is investigating building a rail head at Robinvale to move material to its mineral sands processing plant at Hamilton.

Iluka's next planned mines are around Balranald and Euston

Police officers injured in rail brawl

Posted Monday, 5 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

TWO police officers were injured trying to break up a brawl that erupted at a train station yesterday.

The officers were conducting a regular patrol at Strathfield station when they tried to stop a fight on an incoming train about 12.30am.

Light rail may displace 200 buses an hour

Posted Monday, 5 March, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

SOME peak hour buses entering Sydney's central business district from the north will be redirected to the Cahill Expressway and the Western Distributor to push them out of the centre of the city under a council proposal.

The City of Sydney's latest transport plan, to go before a council committee tonight, includes new detail on how the city would restructure bus routes and taxi ranks to accommodate the proposed light rail and pedestrian conversion of George Street.

Rail and bus changes may ease airport bottleneck

Posted Tuesday, 6 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE state government should run direct bus services between the airport and the lower north shore, Sutherland Shire and the St George region, says a report into Sydney's aircraft needs.

The inquiry also suggests a tunnel between Martin Place and St James stations to funnel more business passengers onto the airport rail line, proposes building a ''transit mall'' at the airport to accommodate the extra buses, and recommends cutting the train fare at the airport stations.

The main thrust of the joint study on aviation capacity for the Sydney region - that planning should begin immediately for a second airport - has largely been repelled since the study was released on Friday.

Phuket rail link gathers steam

Posted Tuesday, 6 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

PHUKET: The move to build a rail link from Surat Thani to a point just north of the bridges onto Phuket gained momentum on Friday when it was confirmed as one of the projects to be presented to the Cabinet during the minister’s meeting in Phuket on March 19-20.

The news was announced at a meeting chaired by Phuket Governor Tri Akaradacha at Phuket Provincial Hall.

The meeting, attended by provincial government representatives from Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Trang and Ranong provinces, was called to confirm which projects from those provinces will be presented to the Cabinet for approval.

Each province can present up to 10 projects, but the total budget for each province cannot exceed 100 million baht, Gov Tri explained to the Phuket Gazette.

Countrylink Train service alterations

Posted Tuesday, 6 March, 2012 by freightgate in Rail News

Southern Region - Due to speed restrictions and local flooding at Harden, CLK622 the 19:55 Melbourne to Sydney overnight XPT service will experience delays of up to 320 minutes.

Tuesday 6 March 2012

For updated information and service disruptions or delays due to localised flooding in the Southern Region of New South Wales, passengers are advised to reconfirm prior to travel by contacting CountryLink on 132 232.

Freight Train Derails near Roto, NSW

Posted Tuesday, 6 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Due to a freight train derailment near Roto, the 07:45 Broken Hill to Sydney XPLORER service has been replaced by a Coach service for the entire journey.

Passengers from Menindee need to travel by Taxi to Broken Hill at 06:30 to meet the coach. No Service will be available to Ivanhoe, Darnick or Eubalong or Condobolin.

Harmonisation of rail safety laws could force NSW train drivers to work longer

Posted Tuesday, 6 March, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

A plan to harmonise rail safety laws across Australia could force train drivers to work for more than 12 hours.

Unions and the NSW government are opposing the proposal, which would throw out a reform stemming from the official inquiries into the Glenbrook and Waterfall train disasters.

National Transport Commission's draft statement which will be discussed by state transport ministers in May recommends that NSW standards be relaxed instead of forcing other states to strengthen laws on safe working.

NSW train drivers can only work to maximum shifts of 12 hours when working in teams or nine hours when there is only one driver on board.

Indian Pacific services will operate via Melbourne (Tottenham Yard)

Posted Tuesday, 6 March, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

3AS8 Indian Pacific services will operate via Melbourne (Tottenham Yard) although unfortunately during darkness - approx 1600hrs at Dimboola; 2340 at Tottenham.

Rail move to cut Rimutaka log jam

Posted Tuesday, 6 March, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Motorists on the Rimutaka Hill Rd will encounter fewer logging trucks from now on, but Masterton residents still face a long wait before trucks are diverted around the town.

Wellington port company CentrePort has announced 80,000 tonnes of logs from the region's forests will be transported each year by rail, starting this week.

Most of the logs will come from Forest Enterprises forests in Te Wharau, Ngahape and, if capacity allows, Te Mai.

General manager of forestry Bert Hughes said the cost of road freight was a big factor in the company making the commitment to rail.

Price to pay for extra Metro train services under new timetable

Posted Wednesday, 7 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TRAINS will run every 10 minutes during the weekend on Melbourne's busiest lines.

Fast turnover services on the Dandenong, Frankston and Ringwood lines will start next month.

In other developments, operator Metro said services to South Morang would begin following completion of the 3.4km extension from Epping while new stations will also open at Cardinia Rd on the Pakenham line and Lynbrook on the Cranbourne line.

But on the down side, up to five minutes extra has been added to many weekend and daytime services to reflect journey times.

Bikes make tracks for Gippsland

Posted Wednesday, 7 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE last train out of Leongatha is long gone and almost certain never to be seen again.

The South Gippsland rail line, which successive state governments have killed and revived and killed and promised to revive again only to abandon that promise, has finally had its fate sealed. In concrete.

In the town of Koo Wee Rup, a 1.5-kilometre stretch of the line is being ripped out of the ground and converted into a ''rail trail'' for cyclists and walkers, severing South Gippsland's dormant rail link to Melbourne.

Port of West Sacramento gets federal grant to build rail track loop

Posted Wednesday, 7 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

The Port of West Sacramento said today that it has been awarded a grant of more than $960,000 from the Federal Railroad Administration for construction of a rail loop track that will increase freight capacity and handling efficiency.

The port is one of 12 recipients that will share $16.9 million in funding to relocate, replace and improve railroad track segments under the FRA's Rail Line Relocation and Improvement grant program.

Eric the jammer silences mobile phones on buses

Posted Wednesday, 7 March, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

No service? Maybe you've been zapped by a mobile phone jammer.

A Philadelphia man has stirred up controversy after he frequently used a device on a public bus to create a mobile phone dead zone.

A reporter for NBC10 in Philadelphia recently tracked down the man, who was using a mobile phone jammer on the bus to block riders' phone reception. His reason - he didn't want to listen to other people's phone conversations. He says he turns on the illegal device whenever other passengers talk too loudly and bother him.

The man, identified as Eric, told NBC reporters: "I guess I'm taking the law into my own hands, and quite frankly, I'm proud of it."

Police recruits offered switch to rail security jobs

Posted Wednesday, 7 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIA Police is asking people who successfully apply to become police to consider careers as protective services officers on railway stations as it tries to deliver one of the Baillieu government's key pre-election promises.

The revelation follows the first deployment of 18 armed officers last month at city stations, with the force required to deliver another 75 by July to meet its first target.

ARTC digital track project chugs ahead

Posted Wednesday, 7 March, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

The Australian Rail Track Association (ARTC) is set to finish the proof-of-concept phase and sign off on the business case for an ambitious project to digitise Australia's train-signal network using Telstra's Next G network as its transmission backbone.

The ARTC is responsible for the maintenance and ongoing management of Australia's interstate gauge track, and it laid out plans for the digitisation of the analog point network in 2009. The ARTC signed a $73.2 million contract with US defence giant Lockheed Martin for a train-management platform to fit snugly into the ARTC's new Advanced Track Management System (ATMS), which would see traditional points abolished and block-style train-allocation systems revised.

Steve Bogdanov, technology and infrastructure manager with the ARTC, explained the current system to a Gartner datacentre summit in Sydney yesterday. He said that when a freight train runs along the interstate train corridor, the ARTC will give that locomotive a "block", which consists of one stopping distance and a safety margin.

Fears bridge collapse to hurt cattle industry

Posted Thursday, 8 March, 2012 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

A western Queensland mayor says it is unacceptable a flood-damaged rail bridge between Longreach and Winton will not be fixed for several months. A rail bridge over the Darr River in the west has suffered extensive damage after flooding last month and Queensland Rail (QR) says it is unlikely to be fixed until July.

Winton Mayor Ed Warren says up to 90,000 cattle are due to leave the town this year and it is unacceptable the repairs will take that long. "I'm sure that if this railway line was east of Longreach or up and down the coast somewhere it would be fixed a lot damn sooner than what they've said," he said.

Plans revealed for new coal export terminal

Posted Thursday, 8 March, 2012 by freightgate in Queensland Rail News

Plans have been unveiled for another coal export terminal in central Queensland. The Brisbane-based company Tenement to Terminal says it will buy more than 130 hectares of land at Yarwun, near Gladstone, to build a facility next to the Wiggins Island Coal Terminal.

Metro Coal has a 20 per cent stake in the venture and says it will be a customer of the terminal. Coal terminal chairman Everald Compton says he hopes it can start exporting by 2017. "We've done $2 million worth of engineering work and planning work," he said.

Metro plans radical overhaul

Posted Thursday, 8 March, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

Metro trains is planning a radical overhaul of Melbourne's rail services, Seven News can reveal.

The plans are revealed in a secret document leaked to Seven's state political reporter Brendan Donohoe. The secret new timetable, to be launched from April 22, brings both good and bad news for the 400,000 commuters who use the rail system. Under the new timetable, codenamed Green Fields 2A, there will be an extra 353 services per week.

But the majority of the new services will run on Saturdays and Sundays. On weekends, the Frankston, Dandenong, and Ringwood lines will run day time trains every 10 minutes to Flinders Street.

Hope remains for restored rail services

Posted Thursday, 8 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The South Gippsland Transport Group is not giving up hopes of returning rail services from South Gippsland to Melbourne.

Contractors have started removing the old railway track between Koo-Wee-Rup and Lang Lang.

Derailment probe may take months

Posted Thursday, 8 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Transport safety investigators say their inquiry into the derailment of a central Victorian tourist train could take months to finish.

A train on the Victorian Goldfields Railway came off the tracks between Castlemaine and Maldon with about 60 passengers on board, although no-one was hurt.

Commuter delays as power failure knocks out train services

Posted Thursday, 8 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Rail passengers in Melbourne’s west have been warned to expect major delays this morning after a black-out near Newport railway station.

Metro said the power supply fault, which occurred about 5.30am, had been fixed by 7am however it had caused significant delays on the Williamstown and Werribee lines.

Rail study unveils grand plans for Melbourne's east

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A BIG rail tunnel system from Ringwood to the city's north and Hawthorn is among three new options to boost train services to Melbourne's east.

The alternatives have been put forward by the Baillieu Government's Doncaster Rail Study.

A tunnel via Doncaster Rd and Kew Junction could attract development in existing residential and commercial areas, the Government said.

Cross River Rail moves a step closer

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Brisbane's Cross River Rail project is one step closer to starting with confirmation this morning that the state has formally asked the Federal Government for $3.98 billion in funding.

With the funding request spaced out over seven years, on average that means the state government is asking annually for comparable sums of money that the Commonwealth has already promised to Brisbane City Council’s Legacy Way tunnel ($500 million) and for the Petrie to Kippa-Ring rail line ($740 million).

The underground rail project’s estimated construction cost has been scaled back from an estimated $7.7 billion in 2011 to $6.4 billion this week after a detailed study by Australia’s chief infrastructure assessment group, Infrastructure Australia.

High-speed rail link holds great prospect

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

I'M looking forward to the potential high speed rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore High speed rail-ity? (The Star, Mar 5).

As a frequent traveller to Malacca, Johor and Singapore, I would greatly appreciate an additional option to travel down south.

Air travel, with all its perceived luxury, still brings with it delays, long wait times and the inconvenient (though admittedly necessary) security screening.

All these on top of the 40-minute travel time to KLIA/LCCT from Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya.

No Rowville train for 10 years, so Monash Uni wants dedicated bus link

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MONASH University will push the State Government to make the express bus service linking Huntingdale Station with the Clayton campus permanent from July.

A feasibility study looking into the proposed Rowville Rail Link, released today, showed it could be at least ten years before a train line is built to the university.

But the report recommended that bus services in the region be upgraded.

Monash environmental sustainability director Paul Barton said the university could not wait years for transport improvements.

Queensland Rail orders tilt train without seats

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A NEW tilt train to transport passengers along the Queensland coast in luxury was ordered by the Bligh Government without seats.

Queensland Rail has insisted the omission of seats, as well as in-seat entertainment systems, was a deliberate decision.

However, high-level insiders have told The Courier-Mail that the seats were inadvertently left off the original order.

The state-owned company has been forced to issue an additional tender to ensure passengers have somewhere to sit. An announcement by Premier Anna Bligh of the new train and refurbishment of existing services indicates the seats were an oversight.

No costings for Rowville rail feasibility study

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The State Government has released the results of a feasibility study for a new train line to Rowville, in Melbourne's south-east.

The draft report proposes stops at Monash University, Mulgrave and Waverley Park.

Parts of the proposal involve underground tunnels. But the study does not detail how much it will cost.

Transport Minister Terry Mulder says the Government will seek funding from the Federal Government when the time comes to commit to the project.

Make tracks for Kyneton model rail show

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in Press Releases

MODEL train enthusiasts will converge on Kyneton next weekend for the 25th Macedon Ranges Model Railway Club exhibition.

Vice-president Graeme Day said the club wanted to include something for everyone, from avid collectors to the casual observer.

Five grotty train stations set for sale to the private sector

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

FIVE of Sydney's overcrowded and grubby train stations could be handed over to the private sector for redevelopment.

The state government is considering a radical proposal to "bundle" five CBD train stations and release them as a series of public-private partnerships for an overhaul.

Commuters would benefit from redesigned and modern stations, attractive shopping precincts and affordable apartments, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) said.

The overhaul would include the five stations on the City Circle Loop - Redfern, Central, Town Hall, Martin Place and Circular Quay.

IPA, the peak lobby group representing the infrastructure private sector, has submitted the radical plan to the Legislative Assembly committee's inquiry into the utilisation of rail corridors.

Tourist myki plans still up in the air

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The tourism industry is confident a new myki ticket for tourists will be rolled out in the coming months.

There has been uncertainty about whether tourists would be forced to buy a myki card once paper tickets are phased out later this year.

Yesterday, tourism groups met with transport authorities to discuss how the temporary myki would work.

Maldon tourists outing goes off the rails

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

A VICTORIAN Goldfields Railway tourist train travelling to Maldon from Castlemaine slipped off the tracks about midday on Sunday. Fifty people were on board at the time of the incident, however no one was injured.

Operations Manager Brian Frewin said one minute the train was going smoothly and the next it wasn't. "On the way up to Castlemaine it was fine, however the story is a little different on the way back to Maldon", he said.

Felixstowe rail freight subsidies offered to hauliers

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

A new incentive scheme is aiming to move 30,000 freight containers off the road and on to the railway at the Port of Felixstowe.

The Haven Gateway Partnership is offering smaller haulage firms 30% of their costs if they use the train.

The partnership estimates firms could receive £75 per container.

Richard Morton, Haven project director, said: "We want to make that process easier and show them it's a potential route for their customers."

The Port of Felixstowe, which is a member of the Haven Gateway Partnership, said it moves 3.4 million standard containers a year.

Of these, about 750,000 go by rail which is 27% of the total.

Chaos as Sydney lashed by heaviest rain in five years

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by freightgate in New South Wales Rail News

SYDNEY (AFP) - Sydney was thrown into chaos Thursday after the city's heaviest rainfall in five years sparked widespread flash flooding and forced the closure of railway lines and dozens of roads.

Large tracts of Australia's most populous state New South Wales are under water, with Sydney feeling the force of a La Nina weather system as an estimated 119 millimetres (4.7 inches) of rain fell on the city -- the highest daily total since 2007.

"There has been very, very heavy rain and some very strong winds," a Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said. La Nina conditions typically bring higher-than-normal rainfall. The downpour sparked extensive flash flooding, caused havoc with bus timetables, road and rail transport and prompted power cuts to at least 2,000 homes.

Major track work to begin on Seymour line

Posted Friday, 9 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Seymour line will have up to 52,000 sleepers replaced as part of a multimillion dollar program of works during 2012 Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today.

The series of projects, to begin from April 6, will involve the replacement of track and superstructures on 10 bridges, replacing track over four major bridges, repairing of mud holes, a new bridge between Wallan and Kilmore East, and platform works at Donnybrook, Wallan, and Broadford.

The Platform works include the replacement of the east platform at Wallan and Broadford, and the extensions of the west platform at Donnybrook and Wallan to allow passengers to safely exit at any train door.

O.C Metrolink disrupted by crash

Posted Saturday, 10 March, 2012 by Blackadder in International Rail News

Metrolink service in Orange County was disrupted Friday morning after a freight train struck a vehicle. Metrolink officials reported the collision just before 5:30 a.m. between Riverside and La Sierra.

Walking a thing of the past as rail bridges come down

Posted Saturday, 10 March, 2012 by Apocalyptical in Victorian Rail News

FOOTSCRAY'S Rising Sun footbridge has a poetic name for such a dour-looking concrete overpass. Rising from an inhospitably narrow footpath at a bend in busy Buckley Street, it extends north over the Sydenham line train tracks and descends into the eye of a looping entry ramp onto choked Geelong Road.

It's an unprepossessing landmark in a scrappy-looking part of the inner west, but news of its planned demolition to make way for the $5 billion Regional Rail Link has locals ruing the loss of a vital walkway to services such as childcare, parks and a primary school.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 10/3/2012

Posted Sunday, 11 March, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 132 sightings for this week. This is 24 sightings more than last week, making a total of 1145 sightings for this year to date. The increase in sightings this week is due to 14 diversions off the Broken Hill line and the Nth Geelong grain loop being back in action. On day 70 last year we had recorded 911 sightings. This is 234 sightings up on the same time last year.

Tributes for teen killed train surfing

Posted Monday, 12 March, 2012 by vanessa in New South Wales Rail News

THE friends of a teenager who was killed while train surfing have described him as being "vibrant, outgoing" and with a "heart of gold." Concord teenager Jacob Anderson, 17, affectionately known as Jezebel, is believed to have been train surfing when he knocked his head in the tunnel of Lewisham Railway Station on Friday night.

His mother Kate Bowman posted an emotional plea on his Facebook page yesterday morning asking for anyone with information on her son's death to contact her. "I am his mum and I do know but I would really like to find out more so if anyone can contact me I would be really grateful," she wrote.

Rail website crashes after millions of hits on Saturday

Posted Monday, 12 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website "the online ticket booking portal of the Indian Railways" almost crashed on Saturday. This happened as around a million people hit the website on average every hour, soon after the booking window opened in the morning.

Girl fishing on rail bridge when hit

Posted Monday, 12 March, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

Two young sisters remain in a serious condition in hospital after a freight train hit one of them in Christchurch.

The girls, aged four and 11, were among a group of children fishing from the Styx River rail bridge near Grimseys Reserve, south of Belfast, about 3.50pm yesterday when the accident took place.

The train's driver spotted the children on the bridge - which has security fencing and warning signs prohibiting access - and repeatedly sounded warnings, and activated the train's emergency brakes, police say.

Future rides on the humble bus

Posted Monday, 12 March, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

EVEN railroad fanatics like myself have to admit that the future of passenger transportation by rail, particularly urban commuter rail, is pretty well frozen where it is. New rail - even light rail, an idealistic indulgence - is doomed by high costs, lack of appropriate track and political squabbling.

New subways, the elegant way to get around a city by going under it, are an almost impossible dream. The costs are too great in times of austerity and the cost of maintenance, as Washington, DC, has discovered, can be prohibitive as the system ages, particularly as local jurisdictions have a habit of postponing maintenance.

Increasingly, the future appears to be the once humble bus. They have a low capital cost, are flexible and can be adjusted to demand and population changes in a way that trains cannot.

Lack of investment ruins rail services: Katter

Posted Monday, 12 March, 2012 by vanessa in Queensland Rail News

A LACK of government investment in Queensland's rail system was to blame for the state of disrepair to the Darr River Bridge which now means livestock rail services to the Winton shire have halted, according to Katters Australian Party candidate for Mount Isa Robbie Katter.

The Darr River Bridge was damaged two weeks ago, and Queensland Rail reportedly can't repair it until July.

Rail corridor to "future-proof" North-West Sydney

Posted Monday, 12 March, 2012 by vanessa in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales Government has announced it will reserve a transport corridor to allow Sydney's planned North-West Rail Link to one day connect to the Richmond Line. The Premier Barry O'Farrell and his transport minister Gladys Berejiklian travelled to Rouse Hill this morning for the announcement.

The State Government says so far 15 major tenders and 25 contracts have been awarded for a variety of works on the multi-billion dollar North West Rail Link. Major tunnelling work on the planned 23-kilometre line is due to begin in 2014.

KAP pledges to scrap Brisbane light rail

Posted Monday, 12 March, 2012 by vanessa in Tram and Light Rail News

Katter's Australian Party has promised to scrap the $8 billion Brisbane light rail project and instead spend the money on major road projects in rural Queensland.

At the Australian Party's election campaign launch in Townsville on Sunday, state leader Aidan McLindon said the light rail project should not be built.

'We are the most decentralised state in the nation, and it only makes sense that we have to empower the communities outside of Brisbane so that Brisbane has a win and that Queensland's communities have a win,' Mr McLindon said.

China railway workers repair 'collapsed' new line

Posted Monday, 12 March, 2012 by Galron in International Rail News

A newly-built section of a high-speed rail line has collapsed in China's central Hubei province following heavy rain, state media reports.

The line was set to open in May and had been in use for test runs.

About 300m of the embankment in Qianjiang city collapsed last Friday, Xinhua news agency says. News of the incident only emerged on Monday.

MP calls for rail return to Mount Gambier

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A HIGH-PROFILE Upper House MP has called for the State Government to consider reopening the South East rail corridor to passenger train services to boost public transport for regional residents.

During a visit to Mount Gambier, Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire claimed the government should reopen the disused broad gauge freight branch line to Wolseley.

The latest call for a return to passenger rail comes four years after a parliamentary committee investigated the viability of reinstating passenger services to the region amid hopes the now defunct Penola pulp mill would create a thriving freight service.

While the Mount Gambier to Adelaide passenger train service ceased in 1990, the entire broad gauge network was closed because of a standardisation infrastructure roll-out across the state.

Perth travel chaos as rail lines shut down

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

An electrical fire near Perth's central railway station has caused major disruption for the city's commuters with major rail routes shut down.

Transperth says the Fremantle line is closed in both directions while the Armadale-Thornlie line is only running to Cannington and the Midland line is only running to Bassendean.

No quick ease for rail squeeze

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WESTERN suburbs rail commuters will have to continue putting up with peak-hour overcrowding after being overlooked in the latest timetable update.

Changes to the metropolitan rail timetables include 353 new services, 283 of which will be added on weekends. The bulk of the changes are on three lines in the eastern suburbs, which will get 10-minute frequency on weekends.

Patronage predictions in 2008, now being updated, forecast the highest growth in the city on the Sydenham and Werribee lines.

Train maker backs double-deckers

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THERE is no need to scrap double-deck trains to run more frequent services through crowded cities such as Sydney, a senior executive at one of Europe's largest train manufacturers says.

The state government, which announced plans yesterday to protect future transport corridors in the city's north-west, is continuing to pursue plans that would convert a portion of Sydney's train system to single-deck metro-style trains.

But a senior vice-president at Alstom Transport, the world's largest manufacturer of high-speed trains and a major urban rail builder, said the European experience showed there was no need to switch to single-deck carriages that had fewer seats.

Call for unemployed to get transport discounts

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland's two major political parties have rejected calls to offer the unemployed public transport concessions to help them find work.

As it stands, Queensland is the only state not to offer public transport subsidies to the unemployed.

Unemployment concessions for public transport was one of five key issues raised by the Queensland Council of Social Service with the Labor and Liberal National parties yesterday.

While neither major party would offer public transport concessions to the unemployed, providing discounted public transport costs formed part of the Queensland Greens' transport policy.

Electrical fire sparks chaos on Perth rail network

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

AN electrical fire has brought Perth's commuter rail network to a standstill, halting southern suburbs trains in and out of the city.

V/Line faces 167 per cent increase by 2021

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PATRONAGE on V/Line trains, including the Geelong line, is tipped to more than double by 2020/21, according to the Victorian auditor-general.

Auditor-General Des Pearson said regional train patronage had doubled in the past five years from 6.4 million to 13.5 million.

He said it was tipped to increase by a further 167 per cent in the decade to 2020-21.

Third, final train returns

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A THIRD daily Albury-Melbourne V/Line train will be on the tracks next month.

The return service will start on April 22, the Baillieu government announced today.

The new V/Line train will depart Southern Cross at 7.10am and leave Albury at 12.45pm daily.

It joins two other V/Line train services that leave Southern Cross at 12pm and 6.01pm, and depart Albury at 6.35am and 5.20pm.

"Significant surge" in sales as myki gains momentum

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

COMMUTERS have begun the forced stampede toward the controversial $1.35 billion myki ticketing system in earnest.

Statistics released by the Transport Ticketing Authority exclusively to theHerald Sun, revealed the number of people touching on with myki surged 10.5 per cent to more than 2,338,992 in the week ending February 24.

This followed an eight per cent jump the week before.

Toll to quit Cambodia rail plans

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

AUSTRALIAN company Toll Group is set to pull out of a controversial $145 million project to rebuild Cambodia's railways, reliable sources in Cambodia say.

Under an agreement signed in 2009, Toll and a Cambodian joint venture partner were to operate the railways for 30 years.

The project, partly funded by the Australian aid agency AusAid, has been at the centre of claims that up to 4000 people living along the tracks are not being fully compensated for having to move. A Toll spokesman declined to comment.

"Basket case" rail spending push

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

GOVERNMENTS were prepared to spend $250 million a kilometre to rebuild roads like the Ipswich Motorway, but would not to spend $300 million to upgrade Sunshine Coast's rail lines, a rail lobby group's spokesman said yesterday.

Rail Back on Track's Robert Dow, speaking at Nambour railway station, said neither major party had mentioned the Coast rail line in the March 24 election campaign.

Alliance says rail investment to deliver safer roads

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance says new railway locomotives coming into service will improve the safety of regional roads.

The first of 22 new locomotives commissioned by Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) has finished production in the United States.

The infrastructure is part of a $175 million investment into grain transport by rail.

Light rail recommended to ease train chaos

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

An expert on sustainable cities says yesterday's train chaos could have been eased if Perth had a light rail system.

Yesterday morning a fire in an electrical conductor shut down some rail lines and disrupted services on others, delaying 30,000 passengers trying to get to work through peak hour.

Qld minister angry over train disruption

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND'S transport minister says she's angry about a second major disruption to train services in less than three weeks.

Annastacia Palaszczuk has apologised to commuters who faced delays during peak hour services today.

"I've asked Queensland Rail for a full investigation and I'll be meeting with the CEO of Queensland Rail today," Ms Palaszczuk told ABC Radio.

"I share commuters' frustration. I'm angry about it."

A major power outage between Roma Street and Milton took out signalling, halting some services from 5.53am (AEST).

Commuters on the Ipswich, Gold Coast, Beenleigh and Cleveland lines experienced delays of up to half an hour.

Collapse slows fast rail

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

BEIJING. China's troubled state-run rail system suffered another setback with reports that a section of railway that already had undergone test runs had collapsed.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the track section collapsed on Friday, possibly as a result of heavy rains. The reports said no one was injured.

Scrapped Rowville rail link 'can't wait'

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

ROWVILLE cannot afford to wait another 10 years for a rail link to be built, Eastern Transport Coalition chairwoman Samantha Dunn says.

She lashed out after the state government last Friday released its feasibility report into a possible Rowville rail link, the results of which have put any project on hold for another decade.

The draft stage 1 report by engineers Sinclair Knight Merz states that while the best solution was to provide frequent train services between Rowville and the city, it would not prove possible until at least 2020.

But Cr Dunn said delaying the project would "exacerbate costs, road congestion and land use issues".

"This project has been shoved into the too hard basket for four decades by successive state governments who claim that it is either too hard or too expensive," she said.

West rail squeeze won't end quickly

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WESTERN suburbs rail commuters will have to continue putting up with peak-hour overcrowding after being overlooked in the latest metropolitan timetable update.

Changes to the timetables include 353 new services; and 283 of those will be added on weekends. The bulk of the changes are on three lines in the eastern suburbs, which will get 10-minute frequency on weekends.

Patronage predictions in 2008 forecast the highest growth in the city on the Werribee and Sydenham lines.

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said crowding was common at peak times and was also becoming a problem at off-peak times "when most western suburbs trains run every 20minutes, compared with every 10-15 in the east".

Driver injured after collision with freight train in Sunshine

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by wolfpac in Victorian Rail News

A TRAIN and a car have collided in Melbourne's west, leaving one person in hospital.

Rail work to hit grand prix fans

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Major track works are expected to seriously disrupt the travel plans of some grand prix fans this weekend.

Buses will replace trains on the Sydenham, Bendigo and Ballarat lines so that track work can done on the $5 billion regional rail link project and the electrification of the Sunbury line.

The works will add about half an hour to the journeys of travellers on the Sydenham line, and extend the trip by about an hour for country travellers.

Geraldton-Busselton rail service not on agenda

Posted Wednesday, 14 March, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls says a railway service between Geraldton and Busselton is not something being considered by the Government at the moment.

Professor Richard Weller from the University of Western Australia says a high-speed railway servicing regional areas should be built to minimise urban sprawl.

Mr Grylls says the project should be considered in the future to help stimulate growth in regional areas.

Adelaide train services resume

Posted Thursday, 15 March, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

Adelaide's train services have resumed after a lightning strike brought them to a standstill for about an hour.

Adelaide Metro said the lightning had disabled the signalling system within the Adelaide Train Control Centre.

All trains were subsequently stopped to ensure the safety of passenger and staff.

Engineers worked on the problem and services resumed by 4.15pm (CDT) on Wednesday.

Infrastructure forum to focus on port growth

Posted Thursday, 15 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Port of Townsville is likely to be discussed at a national Infrastructure Australia conference in Newcastle today.

The three-day event will focus on city and port growth and the balance between development and liveability.

Infrastructure Australia's national coordinator, Michael Deegan, says the group has been working closely with the Port of Townsville on growth plans.

Illawarra commuters avoid rail chaos

Posted Thursday, 15 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The South Coast and Illawarra rail lines are among the only parts of the CityRail network not affected by major delays this afternoon.

Trains have started running again across most of the CityRail network, but major delays are expected to continue through afternoon peak hour.

Trains across most CityRail lines were knocked out for about an hour this afternoon following a signalling failure at Lewisham.

The failure, which RailCorp first thought was at Ashfield, left trains suspended between Strathfield and Redfern.


Posted Friday, 16 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

SINGAPORE (AFP) - A busy section of Singapore's metro system broke down for almost 11 hours Thursday, triggering outrage among commuters already hit by a series of disruptions.

A total of 90,000 commuters were affected by the breakdown which was caused by a power supply problem and electricity insulation fault, metro operator SBS Transit said as it promised a thorough investigation.

Activist to run for city council

Posted Friday, 16 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

SHAREHOLDER activist and serial candidate Stephen Mayne has confirmed he will contest the Melbourne City Council election in October on an anti-pokies and pro-Doncaster rail platform.

Currently a councillor at Manningham City Council, Cr Mayne told The Age he would be running for a council position - not for lord mayor.

Add an hour to travel time, train commuters warned

Posted Friday, 16 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail are urging train commuters on several lines to factor in an extra hour of travel time this weekend, as sections of the tracks are closed for “essential maintenance” works.

Buses will replace trains on parts of the Beenleigh, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Rosewood and Cleveland lines from the first service on Saturday to the last service on Sunday.

The southeast Queensland train network, including the southern lines, has been disrupted three times in as many weeks, delaying the morning commute for many.

But Queensland Rail chief operating officer Theo Taifalos said this weekend's closure was unrelated.

Safety issues plague Sydney's rail network, report shows

Posted Friday, 16 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

SIGNIFICANT safety issues for track workers are still plaguing Sydney’s rail network, a new report has shown.

A number of incidents revealed just how close rail staff came to being seriously injured or killed on the job, The Independent Transport Safety Regulator (ITSR) report into Rail Safety released today shows.

“No rail employees died in 2010-11 but there were more than 100 serious irregularities in worksite protection systems including several incidents where collisions between trains and workers were narrowly avoided,” ITSR chief executive Len Neist said.

Man dead after car crushed by peak-hour train at Cheltenham Station

Posted Friday, 16 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A MOTORIST is dead after a peak-hour collision between a car and a train at Cheltenham Station.

The fatal smash, between a Holden Commodore and a Metro train at about 4.30pm, is expected to disrupt commuter services.

Witness Seamus Timms told the Frankston Standard Leader that he and about five other people were waiting on the platform of the station, off Charman Rd, when the car stopped on the tracks.

"The crossing gates came down and the (train driver) blew his horn but he didn't move" Mr Timms said.

Asciano and union talks break down

Posted Friday, 16 March, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A dispute between port and rail operator Asciano and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is set to continue after negotiations between the parties broke down.

The union had refused to allow the industrial umpire Fair Work Australia (FWA) to broker negotiations for a new enterprise agreement, Asciano said in a statement on Friday.

Asciano applied to the FWA for conciliation last week following an 18 months dispute between the union and its ports business Patrick.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 17/3/2012

Posted Sunday, 18 March, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 119 sightings for this week. This is 13 sightings less than last week, making a total of 1264 sightings for this year to date. On day 77 last year we had recorded 1021 sightings. This is 243 sightings up on the same time last year.

Work begins on two rail link stations

Posted Sunday, 18 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Work on two new stations for Sydney's South West Rail Link is under way, the state government has announced.

The coalition fast-tracked the 11.4km, $2.1 billion rail project, linking Leppington to Glenfield, when it won office in March 2011.

High-speed rail better than a second Sydney airport

Posted Sunday, 18 March, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

Newly appointed foreign minister Bob Carr said in a January blog post: “As [NSW] Premier, I never saw a demonstration that didn’t hurt the side that mounted it. And I was never persuaded by a noisy crowd with a few placards.”

But on March 2, the same week he was appointed, the federal government gave a powerful confirmation of the power of protests.

Federal infrastructure and transport minister Anthony Albanese said Badgerys Creek in Sydney’s west was not the preferred site for a second airport for Sydney. This was despite a 3000 page study that recommended it as the best option.

Rail Tram and Bus Union members to meet to consider response to dismissal

Posted Monday, 19 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE State Government could have a train strike on its hands in the final week of the election, with drivers furious about the sacking of a colleague involved in a fight with a passenger at South Bank station.

Rail Tram and Bus Union members will meet on Monday to consider their response to Queensland Rail's dismissal of the train driver, with industrial action firmly on the agenda.

6 injured when car runs red light

Posted Monday, 19 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

Car collides with LA’s Expo rail train during test run.

LOS ANGELES — Police say six people were injured after the car they were riding in ran a red light and collided with a light rail train in downtown Los Angeles.

Sgt. Greg Hoyt says the sedan struck a Metropolitan Transportation Authority Expo line train as it was conducting a test run Saturday afternoon.

Everyone in the car was injured. A spokeswoman for California Hospital Medical Center says three were in serious condition. The others were taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Their conditions were not immediately available.

One killed in goods train collision

Posted Monday, 19 March, 2012 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

ONE person has died after a car and train collided on the Port Flinders Causeway, north of Port Pirie.

Police and paramedics are at the scene and treating a second occupant of a Hyundai which has collided with a freight train.

Rail review favours new operator for CountryLink

Posted Monday, 19 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

COUNTRYLINK will be carved off from the rest of RailCorp and run by a separate operator under plans being drawn up by the state government.

This will not necessarily mean the privatisation of CountryLink, which runs long distance train services and regional bus routes, but will leave it under a separate management and operational structure that will make it easier to be run by a private company in future.

Sources told the Herald the CountryLink proposals were likely to be among the first to emerge from an internal review of RailCorp that is almost complete.

Queensland Rail fails in bid to block potential strike threat

Posted Monday, 19 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND Rail has failed to get a six-month ban on industrial action by train drivers.

In an eleventh hour hearing before Fair Work Australia on Sunday night, the passenger train operator sought an order preventing Rail Tram and Bus Union members going on strike over the sacking of a worker.

The RTBU members are meeting today to discuss their response to the driver's dismissal for his involvement in a fight on Southbank Station after being spat on by a passenger.

RTBU secretary Owen Doogan said there was "enormous anger" among members over the worker's treatment but no industrial action was planned at this stage.

Yarriambiack shire calls for Rainbow-Yaapeet rail upgrade

Posted Monday, 19 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

YARRIAMBIACK Shire Council has called on the State Government to upgrade 16 kilometres of rail line between Rainbow and Yaapeet.

The State Government completed a $6.3-million upgrade to the Dimboola to Rainbow rail line last month. 

Council's infrastructure and planning director James Magee said an upgrade would cost about $1 million. 

He said he, councillor Helen Ballentine and chief executive Ray Campling met Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Edward O'Donohue, Member for Northern Victoria Damien Drum and Member for Mildura Peter Crisp in February to request the upgrade.

Death of Alan Pegler

Posted Tuesday, 20 March, 2012 by Tonymercury in International Rail News

LONDON – British businessman Alan Pegler, best known for saving England’s famed Flying Scotsman steam locomotive from scrap, died Sunday after a short illness. He was 91..

Infrastructure delivery 'too slow, over budget'

Posted Tuesday, 20 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE state's financial watchdog has slammed the way infrastructure is delivered in Victoria, saying too many projects are put at risk by insufficient leadership, poor management and bad advice.

With business leaders urging Ted Baillieu to revitalise the economy by boosting infrastructure around the state, Auditor-General Des Pearson has warned that Victoria must lift its game to ensure future projects are within budget and delivered on time.

In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry commissioned by Treasurer Kim Wells, Mr Pearson criticised the way some infrastructure has been managed in the past, with projects hindered by a lack of oversight or accountability, limited skills to deal with complex plans, or unreliable advice leading to costly budget overruns and delays.

Fault brings chaos to rail network with Fremantle trains cancelled

Posted Tuesday, 20 March, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

HUNDREDS of train passengers were again hit with major delays on the rail network after an electrical fault cancelled services on the Fremantle line.

After a morning of commuter chaos, train services on the Fremantle Line resumed about 9.45am.

Trains between Fremantle and Loch Street were cancelled early today from about 6.40am after a surge protector on a booster transformer, which is part of the overhead power system, failed and power was lost.

The disruption also impacted on the Midland Line.

Indian train crash kills 15 amid row over safety upgrade

Posted Tuesday, 20 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

FIFTEEN people have been killed in a train accident in north India, an official said, amid a political row over a plan to raise fares to pay for a safety upgrade on the network.

A train travelling across Uttar Pradesh state crashed into an overloaded jeep carrying 19 people as it tried to pass an unmanned crossing in Mahamaya Nagar district, 296km from state capital Lucknow.

''The jeep was thrown 20 feet (6m) away,'' a state home ministry official who declined to give his name told AFP, adding that 15 passengers were killed instantly and four others were critically injured.

The accident occurred about 7.30am (1300 AEDT) this morning.

Weekend buses, cycle paths slated in transport plan

Posted Wednesday, 21 March, 2012 by bevans in Other Transport News

A bus timetable that is the same seven days a week is a key feature of the new ACT government transport strategy announced today.

Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell said the change had come out of community consultation on Canberra's public transport system "so that people don't have to interpret a completely different timetable for their weekend services."

He said the move away from a timetable that changes on the weekend would help build community confidence that the public transport system could be relied upon and increase the number of people using buses.

Mr Baillieu should spend more for the greater good

Posted Wednesday, 21 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

AFTER the Baillieu government handed down its first budget last May, the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia was disappointed. The state's infrastructure spending would fall by $260 million in 2011-12, said chief executive Chris Walton, and was not keeping up with population growth.

It could be argued that the engineers were touting for jobs, but the figures they provided were convincing. They said that according to the budget papers, Victoria's population was expected to grow by 1.5 per cent over the next year, while infrastructure investment was set to fall by more than 4 per cent.

Sundance strikes another rail sharing deal

Posted Wednesday, 21 March, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

African-focussed iron ore explorers Sundance Resources and Equatorial Resources are exploring the potential to share rail infrastructure.

Sundance's Mbalam/Nabeba iron ore project straddles the republics of Cameroon and Congo.

Equatorial's Badondo iron project is in the north-west of Congo, approximately 90km south west of Sundance's Nabeba deposit.

Maintenance blitz for trains, trams, regional rail

Posted Wednesday, 21 March, 2012 by Nigelinoz2 in Victorian Rail News

Commuters are being warned of delays and disruptions across the state's public transport network over the coming months.

West set to get is own Puffing Billy

Posted Wednesday, 21 March, 2012 by VRcasts in Victorian Rail News

A PUFFING Billy of the west could be steamrolling into Footscray on a tourist railway by next year.   

'We're l8! Hang in there': Sydney train to commuters

Posted Wednesday, 21 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Transport for NSW will use social media to fast track the way it communicates with travellers in the wake of last week's rail commuter chaos in Sydney.

Thousands of derailed Sydney-siders took to the airwaves and Twitter last Thursday, not just to moan about having their travel plans hi-jacked by the delays, track closures and diversions – but to complain that train operator RailCorp was slow to let them know what was going on.

RailCorp improving updates for passengers on trains when delays occur

Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

FRUSTRATED rail commuters caught up in major disruptions may soon have one less thing to complain about.

RailCorp is overhauling the way staff update passengers sitting on trains and platforms, particularly when there are big delays across the network.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian yesterday said improving communication to passengers will reduce one of the biggest complaints people have when they are delayed.

Armed gang of youths terrorises train passengers

Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A GANG of youths armed with knives have terrorised passengers on a city train, holding commuters captive while allegedly robbing two people of their mobile phones.

The incident, which occurred on a Williamstown-bound train which departed North Melbourne station at 3.20pm yesterday, is being investigated by police.

The mother of a 20-year-old university student said her son was put in a headlock and robbed of a mobile phone after up to eight youths of youths African descent boarded the train.

The victim was uninjured apart from abrasions.

She said only one woman tried to help her son, telling the attackers to let him go as he yelled for help.

"The whole carriage was threatened,'' she said.

Tulla rail link should be priority, says airport boss

Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE Airport's chief executive, Chris Woodruff, is urging the Victorian government to rethink its priorities of building a rail link to Avalon Airport before one to Melbourne Airport.

Melbourne Airport would need a rail link by the end of the decade to cater for the projected growth in air travel, said Mr Woodruff.

The Baillieu government has committed $50 million on preliminary works to build a railway line to Avalon, but only $6.5 million for a two-year feasibility study into a train to Melbourne Airport.

Casino to Murwillumbah rail study gets green light

Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A decision on whether to restore the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line could be made by next year 


The long-awaited feasibility study into the return of rail services to the Casino-Murwillumbah line should be finished by the end of the year.

The State Government has announced that Tim Poole will be the project director.

He previously performed a similar role for the Gold Coast Rapid Transport Project.

The Minister for the North Coast, Don Page, says the study will cover a wide range of issues.

"We've deliberately extended the terms of reference in the feasibility study to specifically identify the benefits of rail services on the 130 kilometre-long corridor as well as the types of transport services that could be offered, and of course we're also looking at the potential to extend the line into south-east Queensland," he said.

Perkins retracts on rail crossing

Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

MACKAY Regional Council may have been too hasty in reconfirming its commitment to working with Queensland Rail towards the closure of Knobels Rd Level Crossing at Conningsby.

At yesterday's meeting, economic development councillor Dave Perkins asked his fellow councillors to support him in rescinding this previous motion that was passed on Wednesday, March 7.

Cr Perkins said this wasn't a decision he made lightly and in his eight years as a councillor, it was the first time he's made such a move.

Floods disrupt rail freight

Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FLOODS in northern Victoria and southern NSW disrupted grain movements to port.

The Tocumwal rail line between Numurkah and Wunghnu had ballast washed out by raging floodwaters but repairs were quickly made.

Trains were travelling along the line by last Wednesday.

GrainCorp spokesman Angus Trigg said some branch lines in NSW were still damaged by the recent floods.

These include the Boree Creek line, the line west of Ungarie and the railway west of Temora to Griffith and Hillston.

LNP's u-turn on Cross River Rail

Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Liberal National Party has retreated from its pledge to release a detailed policy on Brisbane's Cross River Rail project to voters before they head to the polls, saying today it would examine alternatives to the $6.4 billion plan after the election.

Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman has promised to pursue a more affordable alternative to the government's underground rail project, and during the campaign he has repeatedly stated a specific policy on the rail capacity issues would be unveiled before polling day.

“We will be announcing a specific policy to do with the rail capacity issues in southeast Queensland during this campaign, so wait and see," Mr Newman told reporters on February 23.

Human error caused rail shutdown chaos: Buswell

Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Human error caused the electrical fault that sparked a fire and shut down much of Perth's rail network last week, Transport Minister Troy Buswell revealed today.

A contractor working on the CityLink project incorrectly connected power cables, causing the electricity network to shortout, which led to the fire, Mr Buswell told Parliament.

The incident occurred during the sinking of the Fremantle rail line.

Easter rail fix to hit commuters

Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victorians can expect widespread disruptions on public transport over Easter - and on most other weekends this year - as the state's transport network is given a major upgrade.

More than $350 million is being spent on train network maintenance the Baillieu government says is badly needed to make the system more efficient, while $54 million will be spent fixing tram infrastructure.

"Over the coming months commuters will witness rail and tram maintenance works right across the network," Premier Ted Baillieu said.

Mulder admits V/Line is struggling

Posted Friday, 23 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PUBLIC Transport Minister Terry Mulder has finally admitted what Geelong commuters have known for years - V/Line is struggling.

Mr Mulder yesterday acknowledged that V/Line was doing it tougher than city rail operator Metro with skyrocketing demand and ageing infrastructure.

Announcing the latest maintenance works yesterday alongside Mr Mulder, V/Line chief executive Rob Barnett said at least 40 extra carriages were needed to cope with demand.

"We're the fastest growing railway in Australia with 8 to 9 per cent compounding growth," he said.

"We're 85 per cent full on average during the peak."

Hurstbridge Line Works

Posted Friday, 23 March, 2012 by msilsby in Victorian Rail News

 From the Minister for Public Transport Main works are set to begin shortly on the Hurstbridge line upgrade project with the construction contract awarded to Abigroup. Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said the $60.8 million upgrade will improve the reliability and efficiency of the Hurstbridge line. "The project includes the addition of two new stabling tracks at the Eltham stabling yard and a signalling upgrade between Greensborough and Hurstbridge," Mr Mulder said.

Tulla rejected rail for car park revenue, says Avalon

Posted Friday, 23 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

AVALON Airport's chief executive has hit back at Melbourne Airport's lunge for a rail link ahead of Avalon, accusing Melbourne of acting simply to protect a monopoly.

"If they [Melbourne Airport] want a rail link, they should put one in," said Avalon Airport's chief executive Justin Giddings.

Mr Giddings was responding to a report in yesterday's Age, in which Melbourne Airport chief executive Chris Woodruff urged the state government to rethink its priorities of building an airport rail link to Avalon Airport ahead of Tullamarine.

'Once-in-a-generation' opportunity to fix transport

Posted Friday, 23 March, 2012 by freightgate in Tram and Light Rail News

Sydney's 24-year-old monorail will be torn down and the city's light rail line will revert to public ownership in what the state government is calling a "once-in-a-generation" opportunity to fix transport in the city's CBD.

This morning's announcement by the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, and the Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, came after months of negotiations with the shareholders of the company that owns the light rail and monorail lines.

Sydney's monorail to be scrapped

Posted Friday, 23 March, 2012 by unrailed in Press Releases

The New South Wales Government has announced that it has bought Metro Transport Sydney (MTS), the company that owns the monorail and light rail, in a $19.8 million deal.

It is part of the plan to re-develop the Darling Harbour Convention Centre and precinct.

The Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says the monorail is in the way and it will be removed as soon as possible.

She says it is not integrated with Sydney's wider public transport network and has never been embraced by the public.

The plan is to replace it with an extension of the light rail network.

Mulder defends putting brakes on trial bus routes

Posted Saturday, 24 March, 2012 by Speed in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Government is defending its decision to cut several trial bus routes it says were not being used sufficiently. Thirty routes in regional areas that had been operating under the Transport Connections program are being cut.

Among those lost are routes between Sea Lake and Ouyen, Trentham and Kyneton and Lockington and Rochester.

WA port plan a boost for the east

Posted Saturday, 24 March, 2012 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

THE freight distance between struggling manufacturing sectors in the eastern states and more than $300 billion worth of projects in the West Australian resource pipeline could be cut by 16 hours if an ambitious plan to connect WA's major ports by road and rail goes through.

The PortLink project is still in its preliminary stages, but if realised would also mean untapped regions of mineral-rich Western Australia considered unviable due to their remoteness could become more attractive exploration targets.

WA Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls yesterday announced $5 million, topping up the federal government's contribution of $2 million for planning of an early stage in the plan, an inland intermodal transport hub in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and a sealed road heading north towards the Pilbara.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 24/3/2012

Posted Sunday, 25 March, 2012 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 127 sightings for this week. This is eight sightings more than last week, making a total of 1391 sightings for this year to date. On day 84 last year we had recorded 1130 sightings. This is 261 sightings up on the same time last year.

Mooroolbark/mitcham shuttles

Posted Sunday, 25 March, 2012 by trainbrain in Letters to the Editor

AS I rode the Moorolbark / Mitcham on Saturday 24.3.2012 a Metro employee happen to mention this is the last of the shuttles out of Mitcham for either Mooroolbark or Camberwell as the crossover on the upside of Mitcham is ear marked for removal sometime soon

Metcard phase-out crucial test for myki

Posted Monday, 26 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE controversial $1.35 billion myki ticketing system faces another crucial test today, with commuters no longer able to buy weekly and monthly Metcards.

The development is part of the forced migration of Melbourne public-transport users on to the new smartcard system by the end of the year.

It follows the removal of the first Metcard machines from railway stations last month and their replacement with myki equivalents.

About a quarter of metropolitan railway stations have had Metcard machines permanently turned off.

The Public Transport Users Association warned travellers at unstaffed stations might struggle coming to grips with myki.

Inter City V/Line Growth Strategy

Posted Monday, 26 March, 2012 by Blinkey in Victorian Rail News

Public transport: rail -- Maryborough services   8160. MS PULFORD -- To ask the Minister for Planning (for the Minister for Public Transport): When will a morning rail service to Maryborough and an evening rail service from Maryborough be available to weekend train travellers. 

Easter south-east rail shutdown

Posted Monday, 26 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Rail services between Cranbourne and Dandenong will be shut down for nine days over Easter during a maintenance blitz by the state government.

Buses will replace trains during replacement works of points, signalling, overhead wiring and sleepers.

Stress on transport as our railway fails

Posted Monday, 26 March, 2012 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

MAJOR damage to the rail line between Gisborne and Wairoa has further broken fragile transport links in and out of the district.

During the bad weather last week, two massive dropouts under the line has left about 100 metres of line — and the future of the line — hanging.

Weatherell Transport’s Steve Weatherell is “gutted” with the latest blow to the rail.


Posted Monday, 26 March, 2012 by bevans in International Rail News

KIEV (Reuters) - A consignment of enriched uranium - enough to make a nuclear weapon, according to a U.S. expert - rumbled out of a Ukrainian railway depot late on Saturday bound for Russia, a move designed to coincide with an international summit on nuclear security.

The 19 kilograms (42 pounds) of spent highly enriched uranium, loaded in four containers onto rail carriers in a high-security operation, was the last such material to be removed from the ex-Soviet republic under a two-year programme with the United States and Russia.

The completion of the programme was timed to raise the curtain on a March 26-27 nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea, to be attended by leaders from 50 countries including U.S. President Barack Obama and Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovich.

Newcastle rail decision still 'imminent'

Posted Monday, 26 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Newcastle Liberal MP Tim Owen says the New South Wales Government will announce a decision on the future of the inner city heavy rail line before the May budget.

A decision on the controversial rail corridor was widely tipped late last year, after years of debate and calls for the business community to kickstart development by ripping out the line.

Rowville rail: Secure land first, say rail consultants

Posted Monday, 26 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE state government needs to act now to secure land for any future Rowville rail link, say the authors of a feasibility report into the project.

More than 80 people attended a meeting in Rowville on Monday night to hear consultants from Sinclair Knight Merz present the draft stage one report.

SKM principal consultant William McDougall said that despite a Rowville rail line being considered since 1969, no land had ever been gazetted or formal studies produced.

Asked how long the line would take to complete, Mr McDougall said construction was expected to take four years but could only start after all planning was completed and funding sourced and allocated.

Selling assets is a sure way out of office

Posted Monday, 26 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Ted Baillieu has got the politics and his policies all wrong.

THE Baillieu government must be desperate. It wants to sell the Port of Melbourne (a proposal business opposes) and Melbourne's water assets (which the people want to keep) in order to build an east-west road tunnel between the Eastern Freeway and CityLink.

Surely somebody in Baillieu's cabinet remembers why the Kennett government was thrown out of office in 1999. The reasons were legislative changes to neuter the auditor-general, handing industrial relations to the Commonwealth, and the threat to sell off water assets.

Bridge keeps cattlemen from record payday

Posted Monday, 26 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

TIME is running out for western Queensland cattlemen to cash in on what should be a bumper season, with authorities' failure to fix a rail bridge blocking them from an $80 million payday.

The cattle industry in west Queensland was expecting to move 80,000 to 90,000 head of cattle out of Winton this season but the closure of the bridge could make transporting livestock expensive and impractical.

The Darr River rail bridge, between Winton and Longreach, collapsed in late February while workmen were trying to fix storm damage.

With the bridge down, it is impossible to transport cattle by rail from Winton to abattoirs in Rockhampton and Brisbane.

Rail profit warning a new blow to Labor's re-election hopes

Posted Monday, 26 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

PREMIER Anna Bligh's re-election hopes have been dealt a fresh blow on the eve of the Queensland poll, with QR National issuing a shock profit warning.

The rail operator was one of a string of asset privatisations ordered by the state Labor government to pay down debt after the global financial crisis.

The announcement will anger thousands of Queensland investors who were offered generous incentives by QR National to buy into the float in late 2010.

Inquiry to look at rail corridors building

Posted Tuesday, 27 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE state government should consider creating a special authority to facilitate redevelopment around Sydney's train stations and railway lines for things such as new apartments and shopping centres, says the state's top transport official.

A parliamentary inquiry is under way into the benefits and barriers to building Hong Kong-style developments above and around Sydney's rail corridors, a concept given general support by a broad range of groups, including the City of Sydney, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and the government's own Department of Planning. Benefits cited include providing housing where public transport infrastructure already exists and reducing reliance on cars and road congestion.

Development has taken place above and around only a small number of stations in Sydney - such as Chatswood, Kogarah and Edgecliff.

Men face court over train attack

Posted Tuesday, 27 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

FOUR men who were allegedly part of a gang that bashed and robbed a commuter in front of passengers on a busy Melbourne train faced court yesterday.

Kot Gatlwalk, 19, Chol Adub, 20, Kok Beyong, 20, and Mamer Kuor, 32, made separate appearances at the Melbourne Magistrates Court, with police alleging they were all involved in the assault and robbery of a 20-year-old man on the Williamstown-bound train last Tuesday.

North West Rail Link Centre station backed by Premier

Posted Tuesday, 27 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE Castle Hill Showground will be preserved for future generations.

Premier Barry O'Farrell publicly backed the southern option for the Hills Centre station on the North West Rail Link last week.

The southern option will have minimal impact on the showground.

The station would be built to the south of the showground adjacent to Carrington Road, in the vicinity of the council depot site.

LNP Government to sell QRN shares in bid to cut state debt

Posted Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 by Peter_J in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLANDERS will have another opportunity to invest in the state's rail group QR National when the new State Government sells some or all of its remaining holding, probably towards the end of the year.

Rail and land use key to Hunter's future

Posted Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

TURNING old rail corridors into cycleways, preserving future freight corridors and putting state government-owned land near rail lines to use are key to ensuring the Hunter can cope with growth, a state parliamentary inquiry has been told.

The Parliament’s transport and infrastructure committee is examining the potential for more mixed-use developments near and over rail corridors, transit-oriented development near stations and the use of land next to the corridors.

Fremantle port limited by planning failures: CEO

Posted Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 by freightgate in Western Australian Rail News

A business conference in Perth has heard poor planning threatens to stifle growth at Fremantle port. The CEO of Ports Australia, David Anderson, says the port is expected to triple its output to two million containers a year by 2030. He says that is in line with similar growth at other major ports.

Myki muddle as touch-off befuddles travellers

Posted Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A surge in commuters using the myki ticketing system has caused delays at train stations, with large queues of people waiting to touch off.

The Transport Ticketing Authority says the delays have been caused by people unfamiliar with myki cards, and have urged commuters to be patient.

"People are going up to the gate and are putting their card up to the reader and rubbing and swiping it, but for the best result they need to touch on," a spokesman for the authority said.

Hobart wants Sydney's monorail for free - but it won't be a gift

Posted Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has invited Tasmania to make an offer for Sydney's monorail, saying he's happy to send it across Bass Strait but has no intention of gifting it.

The NSW government bought the company that owns the city's controversial monorail network for $19.8 million with the intention of pulling it down.

Sunshine stab accused behind bars

Posted Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A man accused of stabbing a good Samaritan after she stepped in to stop a fight on Sunshine railway station has appeared briefly in court this afternoon.

Mathew Hearn, 27, of Flemington, was arrested after allegedly stabbing a 61-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl at the station at about 4.15pm yesterday.

Queensland Rail launches new site where personal etiquette takes on new meaning

Posted Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND Rail's popular train etiquette campaign is getting personal, with passengers invited to put their own names on interactive versions of the posters.

Previously, "Sally", "Mary" and "Tim" featured most prominently in the campaign which focuses on topics that can affect commuters' experience on trains such as people leaving their bags in the aisles, putting their feet on the seats or playing loud music.

Woman stabbed trying to stop train station fight

Posted Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A man accused of stabbing a good Samaritan as she tried to stop a fight in Melbourne’s west yesterday will face court today.

Detectives last night charged Mathew Hearn, 26, over the double stabbing at Sunshine railway station just after 4pm yesterday.

Police said the 61-year-old woman was attempting to break-up a fight between a group of people when she was stabbed in the torso in a tunnel at the railway station about 4.10pm.

Bystanders rushed to her aid and applied pressure to her wound before emergency services arrived.

Initiative aims to cut rail suicides

Posted Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 by bevans in Rail News

STAFF at railway stations could soon receive training to detect signs when a person is preparing to commit suicide, as part of a national campaign to reduce the number of rail deaths.

Other measures being considered include erecting more barriers along train lines and placing phones with a direct link to Lifeline at suicide hot spots. The campaign, to be launched in Sydney tonight, is being driven by a coalition of 11 rail operators, including Metro in Melbourne, with the assistance of suicide prevention experts at Lifeline. It will also push to include teaching safe behaviour at level crossings in the national curriculum and in drivers' licence testing, and to boost support for train drivers who witness rail deaths.

ACT Government rejects monorail purchase

Posted Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The ACT Government has rejected a proposal to buy the Sydney monorail and establish a commuter route in Canberra.

The Tuggeranong Community Council wants the Government to purchase the monorail track and trains to establish a commuter service in the ACT.

The New South Wales Government plans to pull down the tourist monorail which currently operates through Darling Harbour, Chinatown and Sydney's central business district, then extend the light rail network.

Anger at transport master plan

Posted Thursday, 29 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A plan outlining the state's future transport needs has been branded 'terrible' by the Lithgow City Council.

The council is lodging a submission on the Long Term Transport Master Plan, which identifies what road and rail routes will help cut congestion and improve links to the central west.

The mayor of Lithgow says the discussion paper does not include the Bells Line Expressway across the Blue Mountains and refers to upgrades for the Great Western Highway.

Community consultation for Hexham rail project

Posted Thursday, 29 March, 2012 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Australian Rail Track Corporation will today begin community consultation on a proposed $multi-million facility at Hexham, to ease congestion in the rail network.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Relief Roads Project will be presented to a community forum at Hexham.

The final EIS is due for release in coming weeks.

ARTC spokesman Brian Dale says the project should help to reduce bottlenecks for both passenger and freight trains.

Trekking millipedes sideline trains

Posted Thursday, 29 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A PLAGUE of migrating millipedes and an outbreak of fairy grass have forced V/Line to stop running single-car trains due to safety fears.

The millipedes are moving in vast numbers this autumn, particularly along the important Geelong line, literally covering the tracks in a carpet of insects at some locations.

The insect outbreak, as well as a problem with overgrown fairy grass, has twice this year created potentially dangerous signal failures with lighter single-carriage trains.

Heritage rail operator rejects safety fears

Posted Friday, 30 March, 2012 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The operators of the Mary Valley Heritage Railway in Gympie have dismissed claims the tourist attraction is unsafe.

A former committee member of the heritage railway has distributed 7,000 leaflets to Gympie residents claiming the train line used by the valley rattler is in desperate need of repair.

However, the railway's manager, Jim Walker, says the track is checked twice a week and maintained by a full-time work crew.

Tas consortium puts $2m price on monorail

Posted Friday, 30 March, 2012 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

Hobart's deputy Lord Mayor says Sydney's monorail is worth no more than $2 million and he has a consortium of businessmen prepared to put their hands in their pockets to help buy it.

Alderman Ron Christie says 80 per cent of the $19.8 million the NSW state government paid for Metro Transport was not for the unwanted monorail, but for its light rail system.

Rail safety fight gains momentum

Posted Friday, 30 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE prevention of tragic deaths on Australia’s rail networks has a passionate new advocate following the formation of a national rail safety foundation.

Launched this week, the not-for-profit trackSAFE Foundation brings together 11 rail companies including Metro Trains with the aim of reducing around 1800 near collisions and injuries recorded on train lines nationally.

The foundation will also seek to implement rail suicide prevention strategies to combat the rising number of people taking their own lives on train tracks.

Free-for-all: gates flung open in myki crush

Posted Friday, 30 March, 2012 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Station masters are opening ticket barriers to ease potentially dangerous passenger crushes caused by commuters switching to myki - and that could leave some with a bigger-than-expected charge for their trip.

Metro staff opened the ticket barriers at Flagstaff station this morning after queues stretched back to the escalators.

"Any of the busy stations would follow a similar protocol," a Metro spokesman said.

QR firms up Pilbara railway options

Posted Friday, 30 March, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

QR National has put its foot on a preferred route for a fourth iron ore railway line into Port Hedland in a move that could throw a lifeline to juniors sitting on billions of dollars of otherwise stranded deposits.

The corridor mapped out by QR is understood to pass close to Atlas Iron's Mt Webber, McPhee Creek and southern Pilbara deposits, paving the way for the miner to underpin a business case for the railway.

It would also hand Atlas what it needs to meet its production target of 46 million tonnes a year by 2017.

WestBusiness understands QR has submitted a so-called file notation area with the Department of Mines and Petroleum over a tranche of land in the Pilbara, essentially an expression of interest that is a crucial step towards building what would be the region's first genuine third party railway.

Teen hailed hero for saving girl on rail tracks

Posted Friday, 30 March, 2012 by freightgate in Victorian Rail News

A Melbourne schoolboy who risked his own life to save a young girl from being hit by a train has spoken of his extreme bravery.

Daniel Grulke saw the girl walking on the tracks at Beaconsfield Station as he stood on the platform waiting for a train at about 4.30pm yesterday.

As the train approached, Daniel said it was clear the girl was in real danger. "As it got to about 20 metres away, I decided she wasn't going to move, she's not going to get out of the way," he said. "I just jumped down onto the tracks and pushed her off so she was safe."

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