Showing stories from November 2013

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CBH calls in mediator over grain rail stoush

Posted Sunday, 3 November, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Western Australia's main grain handler and marketer the CBH Group has asked the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) to assist with negotiations with Brookfield Rail over access to the state's grain rail lines. The lines are owned by the State Government and have been leased by Brookfield for a period of 50 years, with CBH the sole user of many of those lines. Brookfield Rail has been in ongoing consultation with the co-operative over the future of the Tier 3 lines, which transport grain from up country receival sites to ports.

BHP Billiton axes Abbot Point rail plan

Posted Monday, 4 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

BHP Billiton has scrapped plans for rail and port development in north Queensland. BHP had planned to develop terminal two of the proposed Abbot Point expansion north of Bowen, as well as a rail line linking the port with mines in the Bowen Basin. The $5 billion plan would have transported up to 60 million tonnes of coal a year and was expected to begin in 2015, but BHP postponed the development in September and has now abandoned the idea. The decision follows a Centre for Policy Development report that found existing coal terminals are underused and further port expansions could be unviable.

Elderly man lucky to survive after falling from Boronia station platform as train approached

Posted Tuesday, 5 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

UPDATE: AN ELDERLY man is lucky to be alive after a train stopped just inches from him when he fell from a station platform. Boronia Senior Sergeant Wayne Fielding said the man fell off the Boronia station platform as a Belgrave-bound train was approaching the station this morning. Sen-Sgt Fielding said it was extremely lucky not to have been hit by the train. "A very quick response by the train driver has averted tragedy," he said. "Another couple of inches and it would have been a coronial inquest... it was a very, very close shave." He said the train had been slowing down to stop at the station but the driver still had to apply the emergency brakes.

Standard rail gauge needed to transport coal

Posted Friday, 8 November, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The State Government will offer incentives to mining companies in an attempt to encourage development in Central Queensland's Galilee Basin. The Premier Campbell Newman released the Galilee Basin Development Strategy today. He says incentives could could include an initial discount on royalties for the first company to go ahead with a new coal mine.

Grylls wants rail assurances

Posted Friday, 8 November, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

REGIONAL Development Minister Brendon Grylls says the State Government needed more assurance that Tier 3 lines would be viable in the future before any taxpayer money would be invested in them. In an interview with Farm Weekly last week, Mr Grylls said the initial report provided to government, which was signed off by all industry players, suggested there was no case to invest in Tier 3. “If something has changed and they are now considered viable then this needs to be communicated to government,” he said.

Rail board approves bullet train route from Fresno to Bakersfield

Posted Friday, 8 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Recently unveiled route changes for high-speed rail between Fresno and Bakersfield won approval Thursday by the project's governing board. The unanimous vote, which the board's chairman emphasized is not final, was supported by Shafter and Wasco farmers but opposed by Bakersfield representatives unhappy with the proposed alignment through downtown.

Harvest woes worsened by rail service

Posted Friday, 8 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

This year's harvest was tough to get in the ground, tough to get off and now it’s tough to get to market. Grain movement is severely hamstrung by lack of railroad service, primarily from BNSF Railway and Friday a top rail official will meet with grain growers and state officials to explain what the problems are and the solutions. But no matter what gets said Friday, State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said he's been told it'll be another two months before the region can expect to see relief and even then, catching up will be difficult. Goehring said it's impossible to put a price on what service problems are costing elevators and producers, who can't get enough trains to clear out inventory either at central elevators or at home in the bin. "If you could put a price on anxiety, it would be in the billions," Goehring said.

Tim's fast rail dream alive

Posted Monday, 11 November, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

A DECISION to axe the High Speed Rail Advisory Committee has failed to put the brakes on Tim Fischer's hopes for the project. The former deputy prime minister said the decision was not unexpected, but disagreed it was a backwards step. "That is because the committee had completed the specific report it was tasked with doing," he said. "That report was tabled to the then deputy prime minister and transport minister Anthony Albanese, job done."

Train derailment causes Western line to close

Posted Monday, 11 November, 2013 by Amraks in Tasmanian Rail News

THE Western line will re-open later today following a train derailment early this morning. A train carrying paper heading towards Burnie derailed at about 4.15am. TasRail crews are working to clear the site and it is expected the line will re-open later today.

Do road and transit authorities see the same world?

Posted Monday, 11 November, 2013 by railblogger in Other Transport News

[size=2]The Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) has released publicly a swag of[url=][color=#669900]technical material[/color][/url] in support of its case for building the East-West Link motorway in inner suburban Melbourne.[/size] [size=2]There’s a lot there but unfortunately the key documents that most observers want to see [url=][color=#669900]haven’t been released[/color][/url]. There’s no sign of either the full business case (we’ve previously seen a “short-form” version e.g. see [url=][color=#669900]here[/color][/url] and [url=][color=#669900]here[/color][/url]) or the detailed traffic modelling work done by Veitch Lister Consulting (VLC).[/size]

Victorian ALP's poll-winning edge crushing Premier Denis Napthine

Posted Monday, 11 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

SATISFACTION with Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has crashed as Labor opens up an election-winning lead over the government. The number of voters satisfied with Dr Napthine's performance fell 11 percentage points in the latest Newspoll to 42 per cent and his dissatisfaction rating rose five points to 36 per cent.

Transport for NSW ignores own survey for north-west rail link plans

Posted Tuesday, 12 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

How annoying is it, precisely, to have to change from one train to another train or from a bus to a train to get to where you want to go? Transport for NSW attempted to answer this question in relation to its plans for the north-west rail link, which will demand that tens of thousands of people across northern Sydney will have to change forms of transport multiple times in their daily commute. But then it did not use the answers - which showed that people did not like changing very much at all. When the north-west rail link to Rouse Hill opens in 2019, Transport for NSW plans to redirect the majority of express buses that currently travel from the Hills District to the city to the new train stations.

State paper criticised for no urgency on rail link

Posted Tuesday, 12 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW government's 20-year growth strategy for the Illawarra should include a plan to fast-track the Maldon-Dombarton rail link and place more emphasis on public transport and job creation, Wollongong City Council said. The council's submission to the NSW Planning Department's discussion paper The Illawarra Over The Next 20 Years was supported unanimously by councillors at last night's meeting, with minor variations.

Save Our Rail to present 10 thousand signature petition to MP

Posted Tuesday, 12 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Public transport lobby group 'Save Our Rail' says more than 10,000 people are opposed to cutting Newcastle's heavy rail and it has the signatures to prove it. The group will catch a train to Parliament House in Sydney tomorrow morning to hand their petition to local Labor MP Sonia Hornery. The Newcastle CBD Renewal Taskforce last month revealed Broadmeadow as the preferred option for the location of the city's new transport interchange. Joan Dawson believes her group is the first Hunter Valley community organisation to present such a large petition to government.

Ratepayers foot the bill for for rail fence

Posted Tuesday, 12 November, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

NEW fencing along the railway corridor in Port Lincoln is being funded by the city's ratepayers because the rail operator will not pay for it. The ongoing project to replace the rail corridor fencing is part of the council's strategic improvement program to enhance the city entrance.

Support urged for Gold Coast light rail-Brisbane link

Posted Tuesday, 12 November, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Minister for Transport is seeking support for building a connection between the Gold Coast's light rail system and Brisbane's trains. It would be the second stage in the light rail project on the coast which would link Southport to Brisbane for the first time since 1964.

Pre-Christmas rail track closures are 'bad timing'

Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

CHRISTMAS shoppers heading to Brisbane in the weeks leading up to the festive period better check twice before catching a train. Queensland Rail has scheduled several track closures in coming weeks, including one on December 14 which public transport lobbyist Robert Dow says is the busiest of the year for public transport use. Mr Dow said his group Rail Back on Track suggested the weekend closure should be moved. He said the closure would add to the traffic headaches motorists faced over the Christmas period. "We don't think it's the best timing. You have got to ask yourself is that really a smart thing to do? It's going to give people a lot of grief and people are going to be upset," he said.

Drilling starts for high-speed Alpine rail line

Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A six-metre-wide drill roared to life Tuesday in [url=]Chiomonte [/url]in northeast Italy and began boring a reconnaissance tunnel for a controversial fast train from Lyon, France to Turin, Italy. The latest phase in a project which has suffered years of delays kicked off with only Italian and French dignitaries as well as media informed about it to avoid potential violent demonstrations. "We have entered the drilling phase, the project is now more irreversible than ever," Turin's mayor Piero Fassino said.

Discrepancies in JR Hokkaido’s rail inspections

Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Rail spacing data from track inspections conducted by Hokkaido Railway Co. and reported to its headquarters doesn’t match all of the data in the divisions that originally conducted the checks, according to transport ministry sources. Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, transport minister Akihiro Ota said it would be “very regrettable” if the discrepancies are part of an attempt to intentionally cover up track irregularities. According to the sources, the discrepancies were reported by senior officials of JR Hokkaido during on-site inspections by the ministry’s Hokkaido District Transport Bureau, which Ota said had started Monday night in accordance with the Railway Business Act.

Residents take rail fight down the line

Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2013 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

A CONVOY of Hunter residents opposed to the removal of the Newcastle rail line is heading to Sydney  today  in a bid to convince the state government to change its tune on the city’s transport future. Members of the Save Our Rail community lobby group will depart from Newcastle station just after 7am, bearing the signatures of 10,000 people opposed to the government’s plan to remove the rail line.

Where To For High Speed Rail After Advisory Group Abolished

Posted Thursday, 14 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Rail News

The Federal Member for Murray, Sharman Stone, says the government's decision to axe the High Speed Rail Advisory Group is not a setback to hopes of getting a fast train service through the north east. The Federal Government has abolished 21 non-statutory bodies which they say are no longer needed or don't focus on the government's policy priorities. Dr Stone says the rail group has completed its job of making preliminary investigations into high speed rail and it's now up to local politicians and businesses to push for the project.

Norfolk Southern launches daily rail service between Port of Charleston and Upstate

Posted Thursday, 14 November, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

Railway operator Norfolk Southern today kicked off a daily rail service for moving cargo between Charleston and S.C. State Ports Authority’s new rail yard in the Upstate, officials said today. The train service allows companies to transport shipping containers to and from SPA’s so-called inland port, a nearly 100-acre facility that opened weeks ago near Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

Putin pushes rail link through N.Korea

Posted Thursday, 14 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in South Korea pushing a pet project for a new trading route linking Asia and Europe by rail that requires prying open North Korea. The ambitious scheme envisages an 'Iron Silk Road' uniting the rail networks of South and North Korea, and connecting them to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway. But it faces huge political obstacles, given the volatility of inter-Korean relations and the international community's struggle to contain the UN sanction-laden North's nuclear ambitions. Speaking to a South Korea-Russia business conference during his one-day visit on Wednesday, Putin acknowledged the difficulties but said they were outweighed by the project's potential advantages.

Coalition committed to rail in regional Victoria

Posted Thursday, 14 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

I may assure Scott Ramsay (Letters, November 5) that the Victorian Coalition government continues to be a strong supporter of rail and public transport. In Ballarat, the Coalition government acted to place a $176 million order for eight further X'Trapolis suburban trains for Metro, which will provide work for Ballarat's valued tradespeople.

Labor pushes for rail lease vote

Posted Thursday, 14 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

THE Labor Party is hoping the lease agreement between the State Government and Brookfield Rail will be tabled in parliament. On the back of recent calls for details of the lease agreement for a publicly-owned asset in Tier 3 rail lines, Member for Agricultural Region Darren West has written a letter to the Estimates and Financial Operations Committee (EFOC) calling on the information to be tabled in parliament. The move could lead to a vote in parliament over the disclosure of lease details, which would also raise questions for regional Liberal and National party members over which way they would vote. "I have written to the committee asking for the (Transport) Minister to table the current lease including the revised performance standards," Mr West said.

Queensland Rail safety hit by red light running, passenger falls at stations

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE number of incidents in which trains have gone through red lights in southeast Queensland has increased in the second half of this year prompting an urgent safety message to train crews. Despite instructions to take extra care, red light running problems have persisted with two more incidents this week. Yesterday, a Beenleigh-bound train went through a red light between South Bank and Park Road, almost colliding with another train. On Wednesday, another breach was recorded at Glasshouse Mountains. Last week an incident on the Shorncliffe line resulted in controllers intervening to stop a train that went through a red light, putting it in the path of another locomotive leaving Sandgate.

Stronach alights with rail vision, photos

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

FRESH from travelling on some of the best light rail systems in Europe, Keith Stronach all but wants to rip out Newcastle’s heavy rail line with his bare hands to ensure the city gets its own touch of European transport class.  ‘‘I want to starting pulling the old line up, if they gave me the job tomorrow, I’d do it,’’ says the prominent beachside and city developer.

Intermodal Rail Traffic Hits New High

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

No signs of economic sluggishness here. Intermodal rail traffic notched another new seven-month high as year-over-year growth came in at 6.3% for the week ending Nov. 9. This brings the 12-week moving average to 5%, which is the highest reading we've seen since early April.

The cheap new way to use Europe's trains

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

Throw out everything you know about using trains in Europe – it's time to start again. Big changes to the way rail journeys are priced and booked mean huge savings for travellers but we need to get our heads around a new order.

Fears merger a risk to rail

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Rail News

LAKE Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison is concerned the federal government’s decision to scrap its High Speed Rail Advisory Group is a backward step for the future of the region’s infrastructure. Last week the government moved to scrap or merge more than 20 advisory bodies, with the group charged with advising on the implementation of high-speed rail not escaping the axe.

Is oil-by-rail boom an accident waiting to happen?

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

Tick, tick, tick. The countdown to another rail accident is already on. A 90-car derailment last week in Alabama is only the latest in a series of train wrecks unfolding across North America. The next one, as promised by a dangerous combination of lax regulations and booming traffic, is just around the bend. Fracking may be paving the way towards energy independence for North America, but that doesn't mean Big Oil has the infrastructure in place to move all that new oil around the continent. Whether British Columbians on the Pacific coast or Nebraskans in the corn belt, the public doesn't want new pipelines running through their backyards. Rail, of course, has come to the rescue, regaining a prominence for the oil industry that it hasn't enjoyed since early last century. The number of barrels being moved by rail has soared on both sides of the border. The extra traffic has certainly been a boon for the bottom line of railways. Investors in rail stocks, though, would be wise to take a long look at whether the good times will keep rolling.

Rail boss invited to region

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

BORDER rail passengers could have the chance to take their issues about trains directly to the head of the Australian Rail Track Corporation John. The invitation was issued when Ms McGowan met Mr Fullerton and rail officials in Canberra. “They were reluctant to give us deadlines but to all intents and purposes it looks like they’re trying really hard, but don’t want to lock themselves in to a deadline,” she said last night.

Stats show we're behaving better at rail crossings

Posted Saturday, 16 November, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

MOTORISTS and pedestrians are heeding warnings and increased penalties on the state's 1300 train level crossings according to the annual findings of Queensland's Rail Safety Regulator. Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the figures showed that the Newman Government's election promises of better planning and better infrastructure were delivering improvements, including reductions in near misses and boomgate strikes involving drivers and pedestrians.

Asciano Expands East Coast Operations with Acquisition of Mountain Industries

Posted Sunday, 17 November, 2013 by bevans in Asciano

Asciano Limited (ASX: AIO) has today finalised the acquisition of Newcastle-based integrated logistics company Mountain Industries Pty Ltd. The acquisition supports Asciano‟s strategy of further developing the capabilities of its Ports & Stevedoring division and further deepens its existing footprint in strategic locations on Australia‟s east coast. The investment will aid the development of Australia‟s first „pit to port‟ logistics capability in Australia‟s key resources and export markets, particularly at Kooragang Island, New South Wales.

China Railway commissioned the first section of Kunming-Singapore line

Posted Sunday, 17 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

The first 150-km of the [url=]Kunming-Singapore rail line[/url], one of Asia’s longest rail lines, which will connect China with Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore, have been officially commissioned.

State government announces combined rail, bus river tunnel

Posted Monday, 18 November, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The state government says its replacement for the Cross River Rail system is a “once in a generation” and “city defining” project. The LNP has announced a $5 billion dollar combined bus/train tunnel, merging Cross River Rail with Brisbane City Council's Suburbs 2 City bus plan. The 5.4 kilometre Brisbane Underground tunnel will run from Dutton Park in the south, past new stations at Woolloongabba, George Street and Roma Street, to Victoria Park in the north.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 16/11/2013

Posted Monday, 18 November, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 101 sightings for this week.  We have seen 21 sightings on the B/G this week. We saw 13 PN grain trains. On the S/G we have seen 80 trains. We have seen three PN grain trains.

NSW light rail moves towards reality

Posted Monday, 18 November, 2013 by 9034 in Tram and Light Rail News

NSW'S transport minister admits that building Sydney's light rail network will be difficult and disruptive, but residents and businesses will get a say.     The 12km network linking Circular Quay to Central and the Sydney Cricket Ground, Randwick racecourse, Prince of Wales Hospital and the University of NSW in the city's east is expected to generate 10,000 jobs and add $4 billion to the state's economy.

New Brisbane underground

Posted Monday, 18 November, 2013 by 9034 in Queensland Rail News

A TRAIN and bus tunnel will be built under the Brisbane River as the Newman government's cut-price alternative to the defunct Cross River Rail project. The $5 billion Brisbane underground will link Dutton Park and Bowen Hills by a 5.4-kilometre tunnel by 2021.

End of the line for rail bridge

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE Mount Morgan Railway Bridge will be demolished but its fate could prompt ongoing maintenance on other icons in the town, according to Camille Steinberger. The Mount Morgan Promotion and Development project officer said the decision reinforced the need for the sub-committee formed to focus on the preservation of the town's other historic icons and historically important areas. "It is sad news, especially when you consider the bridge is more than 100 years old and that some of the community's relatives helped to build it," Ms Steinberger said. "As a curved bridge, it was quite unique for the area and it's disappointing for many to see the condition it is in."

City Loop trains briefly stopped after trespasser in tunnel

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Trains were briefly stopped from running through Melbourne's City Loop because of a trespasser on the tracks on Monday afternoon. A spokeswoman from Metro Trains said a person had been spotted in the City Loop tunnel at about 3pm on Monday. For a short time, all trains travelling the City Loop were diverted to Flinders Street Station as police hunted the trespasser.

Ayr rail freight depot loss sparks fears of more closures

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Aurizon

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) says it fears freight company Aurizon could close more regional depots after its decision to shut down the Ayr railway station in north Queensland. The depot, south of Townsville, is expected to be closed early next month but the company says it is subject to consultation with its six employees. Aurizon says there will be no forced redundancies. RTBU spokesman Les Moffitt says it will be a sad day for the Burdekin when the site is closed.

Labor pledges to remove 50 dangerous level crossings as part of congestion-busting transport plan

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by michaelgreenhill in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Opposition has released what it describes as an ambitious but conservative plan to relieve congestion on the state's roads. If it wins government next year, Labor says it will lease out the Port of Melbourne to a private operator. Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews says that will provide the money to pay for the removal of 50 of Victoria's most dangerous level crossings.

Big rain in the Hunter affects NENW rail passengers

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Unprecedented rain in the Hunter region caused lengthy delays for rail passengers heading in and out of the New England North West on Monday. A small, moisture-packed east coast low dumped between 100mm and 200mm across the Lower Hunter region, flooding rail lines between Muswellbrook and Newcastle and forcing passengers onto buses. The northbound [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=3]CountryLink XPLORER was stopped at Broadmeadow, while the southboundXPLORER [/size][/font]that left Moree and Armidale was stopped at Muswellbrook.

Hunter Valley rail network closed

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

The Australian Rail Track Corporation has shut down the Hunter Valley rail network for its quarterly track works for the next three days. Buses are replacing passenger services throughout the network until Friday when normal rail services are scheduled to resume. 111 jobs have been logged with the network of over 800 kilometres of track from Newcastle to Gunnedah and out to Ulan. ARTC spokeswoman Jane Lavender-Baker says the work is routine, planned 12 months in advance, and designed to allow all who use it to carry out necessary maintenance work.

Minister misses the point on Victorian rail services

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

IN REPLY to Mr Ryan's obsequious letter about how good the Coalition government is doing with the rail revival. Mr Ryan, does the politician's two-step diversion of smoke and mirrors and completely ignores the context of my letter.

Rail inquiry on track: Hobbs

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

IDEAS from interstate and overseas will be investigated as State Parliament's transport, housing and local government committee begins an inquiry into options for improving rail use by agricultural and livestock industries in Queensland. Committee chairman and Warrego MP Howard Hobbs says it will be a massive job, citing the cost differences between using road and rail as one of the challenges facing the group. "It seems companies are more interested in carting coal than cattle, agricultural products and general freight," he said.

State government's new rail, bus and ferry timetables continue to attract criticism

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A COMMUTER forced to catch four trains in just 48 minutes to get to work, and a school having to start 10 minutes earlier are among thousands of complaints about the state government's new rail, bus and ferry timetables. The new integrated timetable, now starting its fourth week of operation, means waiter Philip Waters has to change trains three times to make a journey that used to be easy, direct and take him just 20 minutes. Timetable complaints like this flooded into The Daily Telegraph after it reported last week that more than 70 per cent of the 800,000 workers who live in western Sydney are forced on to clogged roads because there has not been enough government investment in public transport.

Alabama rail line reopens after crude-train derailment

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

An Alabama railway line has reopened 10 days ago after the fiery derailment of a train hauling North Dakota crude oil, operator [url=]Genesee & Wyoming Inc[/url] said. The repaired line resumed service on Sunday, the company said in a posting on its website. "Removal of damaged railcars, site environmental remediation, and the comprehensive investigation to determine what caused the derailment are ongoing," it said.

Metro rail link: Labor promises a start

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

State Labor is preparing to up the ante on public transport with a promise to spend $300 million to begin the metro rail link if it wins the November 2014 election. The funding, to finish planning, design and early works for the $9 billion project, will be announced this week as part of Labor's long-awaited transport blueprint, which is also expected to include plans for a road to the west to provide an alternative to the overburdened West Gate Bridge.

Rail trails boss gives our tracks the tick

Posted Wednesday, 20 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE disused Northern Rivers railway would make a brilliant rail trail. That was the verdict of Rail Trails Australia vice president Steven Kaye who was given a guided tour of the disused track on Saturday. Mr Kaye inspected a section of the 132 km Casino to Murwillumbah railway line between Murwillumbah and Bangalow with Northern Rivers Rail Trail Inc (NRRT) Secretary, Steve Martin. "The disused Northern Rivers railway is an unbelievable opportunity, it could be a brilliant rail trail," My Kaye said."You've got everything here; you've got the beautiful small towns and you've got the tourism."

Rail groups call for equitable treatment under ERF

Posted Wednesday, 20 November, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is asking the government to consider modal equality under the proposed Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) scheme. CEO of the ARA Bryan Nye said there were considerable synergies between the intent of the ERF and the current Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program, which would help do away with unnecessary regulatory burden. “The ARA strongly supports the integration of these mechanisms to prevent duplication of obligations that may lead to an additional compliance burden for business,” said Mr Nye.

Save Our Rail calls for inquiry

Posted Wednesday, 20 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE Save Our Rail group says it hopes an inquiry will be held into the government’s plans to remove heavy rail from Newcastle. It has confirmed its petition of about 11,000 signatures against the plans will be debated on Thursday as expected.

Essendon Model Railway Group - launches mini Buncam/Model Railcam

Posted Wednesday, 20 November, 2013 by bevans in Railpage Australia News

Essendon Model Railway Group has launched a model railway webcam which is now online at Railpage. The camera is a model of the Bunbury Street Railcam which has been in operation for over 2 years.

Residents revive push for regional rail link

Posted Wednesday, 20 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

There is a renewed push in central Victoria for the State Government to build a regional rail link from Geelong to Bendigo, via Ballarat. Earlier this year, the Government's $2 million feasibility study on developing the train line found it was too expensive. However, Carisbrook engineer Noel Laidlaw did his own analysis that showed the line could be built for much cheaper.

Petitions fight to save AvonLink rail service

Posted Wednesday, 20 November, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The members for Moore and Central Wheatbelt will present two petitions to State Parliament today, calling for the AvonLink rail service to remain open. The AvonLink runs between Perth, Midland, Toodyay and Northam. In August, the Government announced the service would be cut by the end of the year and be replaced by a twice-daily bus service.

Axe set to fall on rail station

Posted Wednesday, 20 November, 2013 by JimYarin in New Zealand Rail News

Kaiwharawhara railway station looks destined for the scrapheap after regional council officers decided the cost of saving it could not be justified. Structural engineers say repairing the station's heavily corroded pedestrian overbridge will cost at least $550,000, but could easily top $2.4 million. Greater Wellington regional councillors will vote tomorrow on whether to repair, replace or scrap the 63-year-old structure, which was closed in June because of extensive corrosion.

Commuters still face train delays

Posted Wednesday, 20 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne commuters can expect serious delays after a chaotic day on the city’s train network. At 7pm, major delays still were being reported for the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines after a string of dramas that included a car straying onto a level crossing. Minor delays were also being experienced along the Cragieburn, Sandringham, Upfield, Werribee and Williamstown lines. The day of drama began when a woman was hit by a train at West Richmond station just before 1pm.

Melbourne Central station flooding closes key City Loop station

Posted Thursday, 21 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Excessive flooding has forced the closure of one of the city's busiest train stations during peak hour as Melbourne's rail network woes continue into a second day. Metro Trains spokeswoman Larisa Tait said that Melbourne Central station would be closed on Thursday morning until further notice because of safety concerns caused by “excessive flooding” at the station. “It is possibly a burst water main or broken pipe,” she said.

Irregular rail service

Posted Thursday, 21 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

I am no longer a regular commuter and until now I have not bought into the rail dispute. But last Tuesday I took the train from Kogarah to Kings Cross at 11.40am and arrived and 12.05pm. It was a fast train and I was quite happy with the journey time. However, coming home at 4.10pm I could not take the Cronulla train so had to wait a bit longer.

Malaysian High speed rail project on track

Posted Thursday, 21 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

PROPOSED talks have been scheduled next month between Malaysia and Singapore to get the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail link project back on track, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri said here. She said the talks, which had been initially set for October, were postponed to next month. “Negotiations on the high speed rail link project between Malaysia and Singapore will centre on technical and legal issues including financing and policies,” she said when answering a question raised by Wong Chen (PKR-Kelana Jaya).

Save Our Rail wants parliamentary enquiry following petition debate

Posted Thursday, 21 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Segoe UI', 'Lucida Grande', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif]Save Our Rail’s petition with over 11,000 signatures will be debated in the NSW Parliament on Thursday 21st November.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Segoe UI', 'Lucida Grande', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Segoe UI', 'Lucida Grande', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif][b]“This is a signature event,” according to Joan Dawson Save Our Rail President.[/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Segoe UI', 'Lucida Grande', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif]“Here we have a significant number of people willing to provide home details and sign a legal document to support retaining and improving the heavy rail line direct to Newcastle Station. Not only that, this is an opportunity for our local parliamentary representatives, Sonia Hornery and Clayton Barr to outline accurately the dire consequences of cutting the rail line and to correct misinformation that has been presented to this Parliament”.[/font][/size][/color]

Melbourne Central station open for evening peak commute

Posted Thursday, 21 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne Central station has temporarily reopened for the evening peak after flooding closed the city loop station for most of the day. The station, one of the city's busiest, was shut after water cascaded through the ceiling and flooded all four platforms before the morning commute on Thursday. Metro Trains spokeswoman Larisa Tait said services had resumed at the station at 4pm after cafe stores in the Melbourne Central shopping complex above the station had agreed to turn off their water supply.

Cities with rail-to-airport connection boost hotel revenue

Posted Thursday, 21 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

WASHINGTON, DC - Several American cities have a secret weapon to attract business travelers and lucrative meetings and conventions – a rail line to the airport terminal. According to a study released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the U.S. Travel Association, hotels in cities with direct rail access from downtown to airport terminals receive nearly 11 percent more revenue per room than hotels in cities without a rail airport connection.

Canada orders more disclosure on hazardous rail cargoes

Posted Thursday, 21 November, 2013 by newsbot in International Rail News

Canada will require railways to start telling municipalities what goods they have been transporting through their jurisdictions, but the government acknowledged that such data would not have prevented the July derailment that demolished the heart of a Quebec town, killing 47 people. Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said on Wednesday her directive on railway disclosure met a request made by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities after a runaway train carrying crude oil exploded in the center of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July.

Underground Domain station to improve rail travel, reduce tram load

Posted Friday, 22 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Public Transport Users Association said Labor's transport alternative falls short of solving Melbourne's transport woes, but delivers some benefits for Stonnington residents. Last Tuesday Labor announced [url=]Project 10,000 - the transport policy [/url]it will take to the next election, committing itself to the construction of the Melbourne Metro Rail project. The project involves a doubling in size of the City Loop, connecting the Sunbury rail line at South Kensington to the Dandenong rail corridor at South Yarra. It also includes the construction of five new underground stations, two in the CBD, at Arden, Parkville and Domain.

Metro rail link: Labor promises a start

Posted Friday, 22 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

State Labor is preparing to up the ante on public transport with a promise to spend $300 million to begin the metro rail link if it wins the November 2014 election. The funding, to finish planning, design and early works for the $9 billion project, will be announced this week as part of Labor's long-awaited transport blueprint, which is also expected to include plans for a road to the west to provide an alternative to the overburdened West Gate Bridge.

Toyota pushes for dual-track rail

Posted Friday, 22 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

The Thai unit of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp recommends the government focus on dual-track trains for its 2-trillion-baht worth of investments, downgrading costly high-speed train projects from the top priority. Suparat Sirisuwannangkura, senior vice-president of Toyota Motor Thailand, said dual-track trains would reduce the country's logistics costs more than high-speed trains, citing developments in the US.

New rail timetable causing commuter parking shortages

Posted Friday, 22 November, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

The Northern Illawarra Chamber of Commerce has raised concerns the new rail timetable introduced just last month is jamming carparks in Thirroul and reducing the number of parking spaces available to day shoppers and residents. Under the timetable morning commuter trains to Sydney leave from hub stations at Wollongong, Thirroul, Helensburgh and Waterfall.

Elderly man lucky to survive train terror after falling under a train at Central Station

Posted Friday, 22 November, 2013 by 9034 in Cityrail News

AN elderly man escaped with only minor injuries after falling under a train at Central yesterday.     The man lost his footing and fell between the second and third carriages and onto the tracks as the Cronulla-bound train pulled into the platform about 4.35pm. The driver stopped the train immediately as bystanders rushed to the man's aid, He was freed by emergency servies personnel and taken to hospital with a minor head wound.

MP up-beat about saving AvonLink rail service

Posted Friday, 22 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

he Member for Moore, Shane Love, says he is hopeful about the future of a rail service that is set to close at the end of next month. In August, the Western Australian Government announced it would replace the AvonLink with a bus service, citing low patronage and high operating costs.

Cool new trains on track for comfort

Posted Friday, 22 November, 2013 by 9034 in New South Wales Rail News

NEARLY every train running in Western Sydney during weekends this summer will be air-conditioned.     And, by the end of June next year, air-conditioning will be available on about 95 per cent of the city's whole Sydney Trains' fleet. Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said yesterday that close to 90 per cent of city commuter trains are now air-conditioned, up from about 70 per cent when Labor was in power in NSW.

Rail Trail moving along

Posted Saturday, 23 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

ANOTHER major milestone has been achieved along the Warrnambool to Koroit Rail Trail. The quest to further beautify the rail trail and make it more user-friendly has resulted in the planting of 1000 trees by volunteers in 2013.

Bus and rail tunnel all show and no substance: transport expert

Posted Saturday, 23 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

A mass transit specialist claims the Brisbane Underground Bus and Rail tunnel is a political stunt that relies on old thinking about transport planning. The state government announced the $5 billion UBAT project as its replacement for Labor's Cross River Rail scheme on Sunday. The 15-metre wide double-decker tunnel will feed both buses and trains from Dutton Park in the south to Victoria Park in the north.

Record receivals show up grain rail line woes

Posted Sunday, 24 November, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

CBH has warned the flood of grain pouring in from the Wheatbelt will expose major shortcomings in WA's rail and road freight network which hinder the multi-billion-dollar export trade. Receival records tumbled again this week with 487,017 tonnes delivered to CBH facilities on Thursday, the most in a single day in the 80-year history of the giant co-operative. CBH chairman Neil Wandel said yesterday the biggest challenge it faced was getting the grain to port over the next 10 months. "Rail is still the safest and best way to move grain," he said. "We have used rail to move record tonnages in the Kwinana zone in the past few weeks but it is still not good enough and we need to increase the efficiency of the rail network."

Rail wagon repair yard rolls into North Sunshine

Posted Sunday, 24 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A $14.6 million rail freight wagon maintenance terminal has opened in North Sunshine. Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said moving the operation from the Dynon Creek rail yards to new sidings in North Sunshine would boost economic activity in the west.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 23/11/2013.

Posted Sunday, 24 November, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 110 sightings for this week. This is nine sightings more than last week.

Mr Premier, we want a Bypass, rail line and ... a prison?

Posted Sunday, 24 November, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE bypass, a rail line to Melbourne and a prisoner work-camp feature on a wish list Mayor Paul Antonio will present at the Community Cabinet this weekend. Premier Campbell Newman and Cabinet members will be in Toowoomba on Sunday and Monday for the year's last Community Cabinet meeting.

Commute time cut under rail fix plan, Pascoe Vale state Labor MP Christine Campbell says

Posted Monday, 25 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MORELAND residents could cut up to seven minutes from their commute under a plan to fix Melbourne's worst rail crossings, says Pascoe Vale state Labor MP Christine Campbell. The Glenroy Rd, Glenroy, Bell St, Coburg and Moreland Rd, Brunswick, rail crossings are among 50 last week earmarked for removal in Labor's alternative to the State Government's East West Link project.

Noarlunga rail services return next week

Posted Monday, 25 November, 2013 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

Rail services on the Noarlunga line in Adelaide finally will resume next week. Delays installing a signalling system pushed a September deadline back and cost the South Australian Government $1 million. The rail regulator now has given the green light for the upgraded system. Substitute buses still run will late on weeknights and on weekends while electrification of the line continues, except during the Ashes Test in early December.

Sinosteel to hold WA rail talks

Posted Monday, 25 November, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Chinese metals giant Sinosteel will hold meetings in Sydney this week aiming to solve the infrastructure bottleneck that has stalled iron ore deposit development in Western Australia,[color=#333333][font=inherit]The Australian Financial Review[/font][/color] reports. According to the newspaper, Sinosteel-owned iron ore deposits inland from Geraldton need to be serviced by a railway line which has not been built.

Aurizon, GVK Hancock progress on Galilee

Posted Monday, 25 November, 2013 by bevans in Aurizon

Aurizon Ltd and GVK Hancock's Abbot point coal terminal development in Queensland’s Galilee basin has progressed with a non-binding financial and governance agreement between the two parties. In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Aurizon said the proposal would provide equity and debt funding – including through third parties – for the projects to reach financial close. “The parties have made further progress over the last few months and have reached alignment on a rail solution and on the commercial terms for the proposed transaction such as governance, timing of milestones, funding and conditions for completion,” Aurizon said.

No rail access for Atlas Iron

Posted Monday, 25 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

The motto of WA iron ore miner, Atlas Iron, is five mines in five years. It has achieved those milestones with a business model based on contractors. But Atlas is facing the same challenges once faced by Fortescue Metals. It needs access to a rail network so it can get its iron ore to port.

Victorian desal plant and east-west link disasters are off the rails. What about Doncaster Rail?

Posted Monday, 25 November, 2013 by bevans in Other Transport News

Secrecy in public policy-making involves the corruption of proper process. Victorians would be horrified if they knew more about the costs of the water desalination contract and the disaster involved in the (apparently bipartisan) determination to enter an equally disastrous contract to build the east-west road link. Here are some things we do know. Unless the major political parties come to their senses, Victorians, either as taxpayers or water users and motorists, will be paying a billion dollars a year for two to three decades for a desalination plant from which we are unlikely to draw water, and for a road link that will shift the peak-hour traffic jam at Hoddle Street to a new traffic jam at Royal Park. The architects of the east-west link have decided in their wisdom to increase the number of lanes each way from two to three. And therefore, the Eastern Freeway ''funnel'' into the tunnel will have its lanes increased from two to three.

Barnett considers halving $2 billion light rail project as coffers run dry

Posted Monday, 25 November, 2013 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

THE $2 billion light rail plan to connect Perth to suburban areas could stop short of the CBD. Informed sources have told The Sunday Times that Premier Colin Barnett is becoming increasingly concerned about extending the light rail through either of the malls on Hay St or Murray St. It comes after Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi's publicity campaign saying the project would "obliterate" foot traffic in the area and affect heritage landmarks. Under the Government's pre-election light rail plan, a 22km network would be built from Mirrabooka to the CBD and then branch out to the western and eastern suburbs.

Soft coal market forces rail rethink

Posted Tuesday, 26 November, 2013 by newsbot in Aurizon

The weak coal market has forced promoters of a multibillion-dollar rail project in Queensland to adopt a more limited plan, with common user access, to get it off the ground. The Hancock Prospecting-GVK partnership wants to link several coal projects it hopes to develop in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland to the Abbot Point coal port. But the downturn in steaming coal prices and demand has forced it to scale back  plans amid widespread caution prices and volumes might  remain subdued for some time. As a result, initial plans to develop a dedicated rail line have shifted to establishing an open-access link that will also use an existing rail line along a large part of its route to further lower costs.

Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation launched

Posted Tuesday, 26 November, 2013 by newsbot in Rail Events

AUSTRALIA: The Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation was formally inaugurated at a VIP reception held in Sydney on November 25 to coincide with the opening of the 10th World Congress on Railway Research. To be headquartered in Canberra, ACRI is an independent organisation supported by both the Australasian Railway Association and the Rail Industry Safety & Standards Board. The organisation was launched by Australia's former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, who is to serve as the first Chairman of ACRI. Describing the rail sector as 'a big and vibrant industry with so much potential to unveil', he said it was a pleasure 'to be part of this wonderful new independent research centre', which will cover 'not only Australia, but also New Zealand and Indonesia'.

Inter-island rail freight facing commercial reality

Posted Tuesday, 26 November, 2013 by JimYarin in New Zealand Rail News

These are trying times for KiwiRail's inter-island operation, with the decision not to build a new terminal at Clifford Bay coming hard on the heels of the rail ferry Aratere limping out of service. In short order two central tenets of its turnaround plan have been crippled - the ability to move larger rail freight volumes and improve service times on Cook Strait. While Aratere's absence is a fixable problem, the same cannot be said of a more compelling dilemma facing inter-island rail prospects.

Cameras to keep watch on Townsville rail yard

Posted Tuesday, 26 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail says the installation of surveillance cameras at Townsville's rail yard will better manage train activity. The closed-circuit TV cameras will be solar powered and installed at two locations by about January. Regional director Graham Brown says the use of solar will keep costs down.

High-speed train kills four rail workers in China: Report

Posted Tuesday, 26 November, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

BEIJING: A Chinese high-speed train killed four maintenance workers after a communication failure, state media reported on Tuesday, the latest fatal incident on the country's flagship rail network.  The D28 train was at least 11 minutes behind schedule when it hit five railway personnel maintaining and cleaning the track during what was supposed to be their "working hour window",the 21st Century Business Herald said.

Chinese firms offer to build rail link

Posted Tuesday, 26 November, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

A consortium of two leading Chinese construction companies, China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) and Sinotec, has offered to construct strategic Gwadar-Khunjrab rail link at an estimated cost of Rs250 billion, including Rs160 billion for infrastructure and Rs90 billion for locomotives on electric traction basis in four years on soft-term loan. The offer was made on behalf of the Chinese companies’ consortium by Song Shuan Ping, a representative of the consortium, in a comprehensive presentation before Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique in Islamabad.   The offered loan can be professional, commercial or in the form of grant and will be payable for seven years.

AECOM joint venture in Australia awarded multi-million-dollar Moreton Bay Rail project

Posted Tuesday, 26 November, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

AECOM Technology Corporation (NYSE:ACM), a leading provider of professional technical and management support services for public and private clients in more than 140 countries around the world, announced today that a joint venture between AECOM’s Australian business and Aurecon Design has been awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to deliver a component of the required design services for the US$1.07-billion Moreton Bay Rail project in Australia. Drawing on AECOM’s business experience in Australia as part of the successful Trackstar Alliance, Thiess has engaged the joint venture to undertake the design services contract for civil and structural works, which includes stations, car parks and access roads, as well as the design of rail components.

Bringing in the 'harvest': $300m grains refinery: 500 jobs up front, 75 ongoing

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

STATE government approval is now all that stands in the way of plans to build a $300 million grain refinery west of Tamworth, after environmental assessments proved favourable. If successful, the proposed facility could generate up to 500 jobs during its two-year construction and 75 full-time positions going forward.

Commuters set to board first trains on Richlands to Springfield rail line

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE first trains on the long-awaited rail line set to link Brisbane with one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia will depart on Monday. Services for the new Richlands to Springfield line, a 9.5km dual track, will officially start at Springfield Central Station at 5.39am, bringing to an end the two-year $475 million construction project. Stations at Springfield Central and Springfield will offer commuters a 40-minute trip to Brisbane Central every six to 12 minutes in the morning peak period, and every 30 minutes off-peak and on Saturdays.

Railway workers exposed to asbestos in Chinese-made trains

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Railway workers have been exposed to potentially hazardous asbestos after the deadly dust was found in locomotives brought in from China.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The breach of a 10-year ban on the import of products containing the carcinogenic fibre is not the first incident of its kind.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Unions are now demanding tougher policing of Chinese imports, describing the current asbestos-free certificates as a farce.[/font][/size]

Rail model our role model

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

A proper light rail system can transport us into a new century, as has been achieved in the US city of Portland.

Gippsland Plains Rail Trail finishing work set to start

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Work to complete the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail is expected to start before Christmas.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Latrobe City Council has agreed to contribute the remaining $84,000 needed to complete the section between Glengarry and Traralgon.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The project had been in jeopardy because the Federal Government refused to commit to funding promised by the former Labor government.[/font][/size]

Rail electrification: Night and weekend works on the Belair line

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Rail electrification requires the installation of major gantry structures across both the passenger and freight lines. Installation of these structures with train services running are complex, dangerous and potentially disruptive as services may be impacted at short notice. To ensure the safety of the staff and the general public, and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure advises that night works and weekend works will be required along the Belair line.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Night works and weekend closures maximise the opportunity for the installation of masts, footings, across-track portals and gantries, cabling and signals. Works are carried out concurrently across the program for construction timeframe efficiencies.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]None of these closures will take place during peak services. They are to facilitate major construction works for electrification, signalling, and the new permanent station at Wayville Showgrounds.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]These works could not have been carried out during the recent closure of the Belair line as work on the new Goodwood Junction and Wayville Railway Station had to be completed to a specific stage before gantries and the pedestrian overpass could be constructed, and signalling implemented. The lifting of steel portals generally involves laying the steel beams across the tracks to lift and stringing long lengths of overhead wire need to be undertaken with no trains running.[/font][/size][/color]

California high-speed rail plans stopped in tracks

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by Speed in International Rail News

A Sacramento judge put the brakes on California's plans to build a bullet train after dual rulings Monday blocked the sale of $8 billion in bonds and ordered the rail authority to rewrite its funding plans for the huge project. Sacramento County [url="Superior+Court]Superior Court[/url] Judge [url="Michael+Kenny]Michael Kenny[/url] ruled that there was "no evidence in the record" to support the [url="California+High-Speed+Rail+Authority]California High-Speed Rail Authority[/url]'s request in March to sell the bonds from Proposition 1A, a $10 billion measure approved by voters in 2008 that allowed the bullet train project to move ahead.

Businesses in Surry Hills fear light rail construction may force them to close down

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by 037291 in Tram and Light Rail News

Surry Hills' popular Bourke St Bakery may not survive the construction on the Devonshire St light rail. While local residents and action groups have expressed alarm at Devonshire St becoming a busy transport corridor, it could be the iconic businesses which may be the ultimate victims with a number of them already saying they may not survive the lengthy construction period. Co-owner of Bourke St Bakery group, David McGuinness said he had doubts the popular Surry Hills venue would be able to stay afloat during construction of the light rail corridor.

Google Street View moves into major airports, rail stations, an Emirates airbus

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by dkaarma in International Rail News

Even the best-laid travel plans can unravel if you mix up your terminals or end up on the wrong platform, but as always, Google is here to make sure you find your way safely across the globe. The search giant now aims to provide you with a preview of your journey by [url=]mapping global transit locations[/url]with its Street View technology. The locations can be viewed on [url=]an interactive world map[/url], which has pins on the all the available locations and links out to them in Street View when clicked. Included in the locations mapped are 16 international airports and over 50 train stations, as well as a cable car station Hong Kong -- which presumably will have you sorted for one end of your journey, but leave you bewildered at the other end.

More Than 3500 Stops Now Connected To Real-Time - Media Release

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

Transport Services Minister Chloe Fox said passengers now using buses in the North Eastern suburbs, Inner Northern and Southern suburbs or any Tram service can access real-time passenger information with more than 3500 stops now connected to Adelaide Metro’s Real-Time Passenger Information system. “Following the successful release for buses travelling through the three O-Bahn interchanges; Klemzig, Paradise and Tea Tree Plaza, the State Government has now connected Real-Time to more than 3,500 stops across the network,” Ms Fox said. “The information shows not only how far away a specific bus is to their stop, but also if that bus is wheelchair accessible.” Using any internet-capable device, commuters can log onto the Adelaide Metro website, access the real-time information and know exactly when their service will be arriving via GPS technology installed in vehicles as part of the Metrocard ticketing system.

Noarlunga line reopening Sunday 1 December

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

Rail services on the Noarlunga line will resume from Sunday 1 December 2013. A new temporary [url=]Noarlunga train timetable [/url]is now available. The temporary Noarlunga train timetable has been designed to reflect customer feedback asking for more frequent and reliable services. It features weekday peak services with a frequency of seven and a half minutes from higher patronage stations* and 15 minutes from other stations.

Tonsley line and Seaford extension

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The Tonsley line and Seaford extension will open in February 2014, following the completion of electrification and works on new infrastructure including the Park 'n' Ride at Clovelly Park.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]This timing also allows for driver training and the addition of more new electric rail cars as they become available.  [/font][/size][/color]

Rail report warns Newcastle could lose billions without better planning

Posted Thursday, 28 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A new report is warning Newcastle's rail industry stands to lose billions to overseas suppliers, unless state rail authorities improve their purchasing plans for new rail stock.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The [url=][color=#310099]report by Deloitte Access Economics[/color][/url] and commissioned by the Australasian Rail Association, suggests Australia's state governments will spend $30 billion on new passenger rolling stock over the next 30 years.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It says by planning now to streamline and make the ordering process more efficient, Australian firms in cities like Newcastle have a better chance of winning more work and protecting local jobs.[/font][/size]

Rail and water agenda for an infrastructure prime minister

Posted Thursday, 28 November, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

I greeted with enthusiasm Tony Abbott's election comment that he wanted to be remembered in history as Australia's Infrastructure Prime Minister. I formed the view that his words were welcomed by many who have genuine concern that our nation has an appalling record of neglected infrastructure stretching back for far more the half a century that has elapsed since the Snowy Mountains Project became a reality. During this time, there has been a steady, but not spectacular, investment in roads and some expansion of ports, but very little spent on railways or water. If the PM can make a difference in these two areas, it will make an enormous contribution to the progress of the nation. There are two huge challenges ahead with railways.

Australian High-speed rail back on agenda

Posted Thursday, 28 November, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Federal Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese will ask parliament to push ahead with plans for a high-speed rail network after slamming the government's lack of support for public transport.The MP for the Sydney seat of Grayndler was a strong advocate for a Brisbane to Melbourne line - via Sydney, with a Canberra branch - which the former government budgeted at $114 billion to be operational by 2065 and carry 84 million passengers a year.

ATSB Report - Multiple SPAD by freight train 9837 at Hurlstone Park, NSW on 30 January 2013

Posted Thursday, 28 November, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

On 30 January 2013, Pacific National freight train 9837, travelling from Nowra to Orange, passed signals SM109G and SM115G at stop on the Down Goods line between Dulwich Hill and Hurlstone Park in Sydney. Just prior to this incident a work crew had been working on the track under the protection of Absolute Signal Blocking (ASB). There were no injuries or damage.

High-speed rail link between Barcelona and Paris to be inaugurated on Dec. 15

Posted Thursday, 28 November, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=arial, sans-serif]The leaders of Spain and France have announced that a new high-speed rail link between their countries will be inaugurated on Dec. 15.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=arial, sans-serif]Speaking in Madrid, Spain's Mariano Rajoy and France's Francois Hollande hailed the new bullet train service as a sign of closer ties between the two nations.[/font][/size][/color]

Public Transport Ombudsman reveals skyrocketing number of angry commuter complaints about myki

Posted Thursday, 28 November, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

Complaints about ticket inspectors on Victorian public transport have surged 60 per cent in 12 months, while myki ticketing problems remain the biggest commuter frustration. More than 4300 angry commuters lodged a formal complaint with the Public Transport Ombudsman during the financial year, up from 3555 in 2011-12. Myki-related issues made up almost 40 per cent of them.

Truss appoints Anderson to lead inland rail group

Posted Thursday, 28 November, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Former deputy prime minister John Anderson will don his transport hat again to lead a government-appointed group tasked with progressing the Melbourne to Brisbane inland railway project.  Federal Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss appointed Anderson, a former Nationals MP and transport minister, to chair an implementation group responsible for determining construction priorities and ensuring engagement with the community and stakeholders.

Victorian public has strong doubts about east-west link

Posted Thursday, 28 November, 2013 by bevans in Other Transport News

Just one in four Victorians believe the Napthine government's signature project, the east-west link, is more important than improving public transport. Twelve months before the next state election, an Age/Nielsen poll of 1000 voters reveals just 23 per cent believe building the east-west link road tunnel is a bigger priority than improving public transport, which is the option favoured by 74 per cent of respondents. The poll result will pile further pressure on the Coalition, which is struggling to communicate its policy agenda above the chaos of State Parliament. The 5.2-kilometre east-west link between the Eastern Freeway and CityLink is the biggest project the Napthine government has undertaken. It argues the link is essential to prevent Melbourne being crippled by congestion, and will reduce peak-hour traffic by up to 30 per cent on many notoriously clogged arterial roads. It also argues the road will improve tram travel in the inner north, because five tram routes that intersect with Alexandra Parade will get a better run.

CBH eyes east coast grain assets

Posted Friday, 29 November, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

THE nation's second-biggest wheat exporter, CBH Group, is drawing up plans to acquire grain ports on the east coast should US giant Archer Daniels Midland be forced to divest assets as part of its planned $3.4 billion takeover of GrainCorp. Perth-based CBH revealed yesterday it would closely examine the terminals if they were put on the market as a precondition of federal government approval for the GrainCorp deal. It is believed the Abbott government is weighing up whether to demand that ADM divest some of GrainCorp's assets - including some of its seven grain terminals - as a condition of approving the controversial takeover bid within weeks. CBH, a co-operative owned by more 4000 West Australian farmers, does not have a major presence outside its home state apart from an investment in the Newcastle agriculture terminal in NSW, which is aimed at competing directly with GrainCorp, the nation's biggest agribusiness.

Treasurer Joe Hockey rejects GrainCorp takeover bid by ADM

Posted Friday, 29 November, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Treasurer Joe Hockey has turned down a bid by US grain giant Archer Daniels Midland for a 100 per cent takeover of eastern Australia's biggest grain handler, GrainCorp. Mr Hockey said that the $3.4 billion takeover bid by ADM was contrary to the national interest.

Goods train from Mildura derails at West Footscray 29-11-2013

Posted Friday, 29 November, 2013 by newsbot in Asciano

High-speed rail network $30 billion cheaper than first thought: study

Posted Friday, 29 November, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A comprehensive new study investigating east coast high-speed rail argues that it could be $30 billion cheaper than first thought and pay itself off entirely within 40 years.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The [url=][color=#310099]rail debate is back on track[/color][/url], with the Federal Government vowing to speak to the states about the project and to protect a future corridor for the network.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Melbourne-Sydney flight route is the fifth busiest in the world and for decades governments have been discussing high-speed rail as a solution to ease the pressure on airports.[/font][/size]

Napthine's rail promotion conceals deeper problems

Posted Saturday, 30 November, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

IF THE Coalition government can reopen the Echuca to Toolamba rail line, what is preventing the Napthine government from reopening the Castlemaine to Maryborough rail line and creating the Regional Rail Link from Geelong via Ballarat, Maryborough and Castlemaine to Bendigo? A media release from Premier Napthine and Transport Minister Terry Mulder on Thursday, September 19, 2013, espouses the fact 6000 jobs have been created because of the Coalition government's investment in better rail services.

Transport for NSW slammed for exessive secrecy over north-west rail link

Posted Saturday, 30 November, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The state's information watchdog has hit out at Transport for NSW for excessive secrecy over the $8.3 billion north-west rail link. Transport for NSW has refused to release analysis it commissioned into the impact of terminating the north-west rail link at Chatswood, where thousands of commuters will have to change on to already crowded trains to the city. Fairfax Media requested the analysis last year under the Government Information (Public Access) Act (GIPA), but was refused by Transport for NSW on four public interest grounds. But in a review of that decision concluded last week, the state's Information and Privacy Commission said Transport for NSW had not shown how the release of the information could hurt the public interest.

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