Showing stories from July 2013

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Harris Park station platforms closed after landslide, Hyde Park fig tree tumbles in big wet

Posted Monday, 1 July, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

SATURATED Sydney started showing the effects of the record rains which have soaked the soil in recent weeks with the collapse of a railway embankment onto the railway station at Harris Park and a huge fig tree toppling over in Hyde Park yesterday. Shortly before 6pm last night an embankment at Harris Park station collapsed due to heavy rain and at approximately 8.40pm another segment of the embankment wall collapsed onto the station. Parramatta local area command Acting Inspector James Littler said nobody was injured and it was believed nobody was on the platform when the embankment fell.

All change as RailCorp is disbanded

Posted Monday, 1 July, 2013 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

It is the day everything changes on Sydney's train system - or, depending on how you look at things, the day very little changes. RailCorp is disbanded. In its place are two new organisations, with some new executives, new uniforms, and according to the minister, new approaches to moving people about and telling people how they are doing it. ''It's really two years of work that has got us to this point and we still have a lot to do,'' Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said of the operating companies, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains that, from July 1, take the place of RailCorp and its brand CityRail.

NRE Introduces More Multi Engine N-ViroMotive Locomotives into Australia

Posted Monday, 1 July, 2013 by bevans in Asciano

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The US based locomotive manufacturer and supplier, National Railway Equipment Company (NRE), is pleased to announce that it has won a contract to supply seven Multi Engine N-ViroMotive locomotives to Australian rail operator, Pacific National, an operating division of Asciano Limited, for operation in the BlueScope Port Kembla Steelworks.[/font][/size][/color]

Wimmera Container Line, Qube fail to reach decision on freight terminal

Posted Monday, 1 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]NEGOTIATIONS between Wimmera Container Line and Qube Logistics have failed, with no decision being reached.[/font][/size][/color]

Regional rail link on cards

Posted Monday, 1 July, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

THE National Railway Company (NRC) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will soon come up with a joint partnership with regional railway companies to overcome challenges rail transport has faced in the past. [left]NRC representative Beatrice Mbuyi Ngongo said the joint partnership in the Southern region would create easier transportation of tonnage from one country to another.[/left] [left]Ms Ngongo who was speaking at the ongoing International Trade Fair said her company has already started transporting its tonnage from DRC to Durban in South Africa hence its plans to enter into joint partnership with the regional’s railway companies.[/left]

City's shares eyed for rail

Posted Monday, 1 July, 2013 by JimYarin in New Zealand Rail News

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says Auckland will have to look at selling assets to fund its share of the $2.86 billion underground rail link. Auckland Council wants to fund its half of the project through rates rises, road charges or a combination of both, but Mayor Len Brown has ruled out selling shares in Auckland Airport and Ports of Auckland.

New trams arrive, but not on schedule

Posted Monday, 1 July, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The first of 50 new trams capable of carrying more than 200 people was unveiled at the Preston tram workshop on Monday, about seven months behind schedule. The new trams are the cornerstone of an $800 million project to boost Melbourne’s tram network. They were ordered by the former Brumby government. The new tram will be used on route 96 between East Brunswick and St Kilda, one of the city's busiest. But it is not expected to make its first run until October, because it must first complete about 100 kilometres of test runs.

One last ride on loco hero

Posted Monday, 1 July, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Cairns Airport is shuffling queues, junk food, expensive shops, security checks, airconditioning and overly bright lights. It's a pleasant enough airport. But it's still an airport; it's a factory for movement. If travel was ever about freedom and a sense of escape, then airports have long ago ceased to be about travel. Ah, but trains. Trains are different. The first steam engine, the progenitor of today's trains, was patented by Scottish engineer James Watt in 1781. The first passenger jet airliner lifted off in 1948. That should tell us something right there. Different eras. Different sensibilities.

Extra rail gate delays off agenda

Posted Tuesday, 2 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

ADDED delays at Adamstown and Islington level crossings are off the agenda for now after the state government's decision to abandon the planned Cobbora coalmine near Mudgee.

Belair rail line to reopen, Transport Minister Chloe Fox announces

Posted Tuesday, 2 July, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

THE Belair rail line will reopen on July 14, after more than six months of closure. Transport Minister Chloe Fox announced today the rail line timetable would be updated with trains travelling every 15 minutes between Blackwood and Adelaide and extra services in the morning and evenings.

New Marion Railway Station pedestrian underpass threatens significant trees

Posted Tuesday, 2 July, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A TREE believed to be more than 100 years old will likely be felled to make way for a pedestrian underpass at Marion Railway Station. The river red gum is one of 23 significant trees along the track, between Warradale and Edwardstown, expected to be felled as part of works to electrify the rail line.

New era for rail network in NSW

Posted Tuesday, 2 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says she doesn't have a cost figure for the rebadging of the state's rail network, including new staff uniforms.

It's a record. FOREVER

Posted Wednesday, 3 July, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in International Rail News

It is 75 years today that LNER A4 class locomotive Mallard broke the world speed record for a steam locomotive. And that record still stands today.

El Zorro's creditors owed millions

Posted Wednesday, 3 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

CREDITORS of EL Zorro Transport are believed to be owed well in excess of $10 million. The rail company closed its doors early last month and was placed in external administration by El Zorro Transport director Ray Evans on June 14. A creditors meeting was held in Melbourne last week, with the appointment of the administrator a central issue. Reports from the meeting indicate Cargill is owed more than $6 million – with counter claims by El Zorro against the grain trader – Victorian Government rail authorities owed more than $3 million, Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia about $2 million, former employees $1.4 million and the Seymour  Rail Heritage Centre more than $1 million. One former employee, who did not wish to be named, said a string of country motels were owed an average of about $5000. She said the list of creditors was "pages and pages and pages''.

Surprise porn show at China rail stop

Posted Wednesday, 3 July, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

A MAINTENANCE worker surprised passers-by near a Chinese railway station when he started watching a banned porn film, not realising his computer was connected to a giant screen, state media said. The worker, identified only by his surname Yuan, was supposed to repair the screen, on a building near the main railway station in Jilin in northeast China, the Global Times reported. But when he began playing "The Forbidden Legend: Sex and Chopsticks", hundreds of local residents stopped to watch as well, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Brockman, Aurizon ink rail deal

Posted Wednesday, 3 July, 2013 by JimYarin in Rail News

Brockman Mining Ltd has entered into a partnership with Aurizon Holdings Ltd to develop and operate the infrastructure required by the group for its Marillana and Ophthalmia projects.  In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Brockman said it had entered a three-year partnership with Aurizon, with the key objective being the development and implementation of a long-term rail haulage and port solution for transporting and exporting Brockman's iron ore.

Vic rail tunnel must be priority: Albanese

Posted Wednesday, 3 July, 2013 by MikeyJackson in Victorian Rail News

A metropolitan rail tunnel must be the priority for Victorian transport because other rail projects cannot go ahead without it, federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says. In the latest round of a long-running slanging match between the federal and state government on transport funding, Mr Albanese said rail projects like the Melbourne airport link and the Doncaster rail line could not go ahead without the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel. But Victorian premier Denis Napthine, who argues the East West road link is the state's top priority, said on Wednesday Victoria is being discriminated against when it comes to federal transport funding.

Solution offered on Doncaster dilemma

Posted Thursday, 4 July, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

A plan to build a railway line to Doncaster at a cost of up to $11 billion is so costly that the proposal risks being permanently shelved. But it could be rescued with two major changes, the state's public transport lobby group says. Responding to the Napthine government's Doncaster rail study, released in March, the Public Transport Users Association argues the study's proposal to terminate the rail line at the Doncaster Park and Ride bus interchange should be scrapped. The line should end instead at Westfield Doncaster, one of Melbourne's largest shopping centres and an area earmarked for future growth, the association says.

Judge raps rail claims

Posted Thursday, 4 July, 2013 by JimYarin in Tasmanian Rail News

A RETIRED Melbourne civil engineer has vowed to continue his David and Goliath battle with the State Government for a fair price for his 90-year-old share in the Emu Bay Railway Company. Terry Croft's single debenture share in the old West Coast Melba Flat line railway, issued in London in 1925, threatened to derail the Government's purchase of the state's rail network from Asciano in 2009. Mr Croft inherited the share from his mother, Irene Mussen.

Footscray rail noise fears prompt forum

Posted Friday, 5 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE state government’s handling of a rise in noise levels along Footscray’s rail corridor has come into question with residents calling for more transparency in how the issue is tackled.

Call for Gippsland to get high-speed rail stops

Posted Friday, 5 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A Gippsland industry group is calling for the Federal Government to build high-speed rail stops in Gippsland instead of north and north-east Victoria. The Federal Government has just completed phase two of its study on building a high-speed rail link between Melbourne and Brisbane.

Coalition won't fund WA rail project

Posted Friday, 5 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A coalition government wouldn't fund urban rail projects in Western Australia and would instead back roads, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has confirmed. The WA Liberals revealed during their state election campaign earlier this year that they hoped the Commonwealth would pay 80 per cent of the $1.89 billion airport rail link project and 50 per cent of the $1.8 billion MAX light rail project. In April, Mr Abbott appeared to dash Mr Barnett's hopes by saying his party had "no history" of funding urban rail.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 6/7/2013

Posted Sunday, 7 July, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Times New Roman]There were 146 sightings for this week. This is 30 sighting more last week, making a total of 3164 sightings for this year to date. On day 187 last year we had recorded 3125 sightings. This is 39 sightings up on the same time last year.[/font][/color][/size]

Train carrying oil explodes in Quebec town of Lac-Megantic

Posted Monday, 8 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

AT least one person is dead and many more are reported missing after a train carrying crude oil derailed in Quebec, Canada, sparking explosions and a major fire. Up to 1000 people in the small town of Lac-Megantic were forced from their homes in the middle of the night as the blaze ripped through the town centre. Witnesses say the eruptions sent residents scrambling through the streets under the intense heat of towering fireballs and a red glow that lit up the night sky. Quebec provincial police Lieutenant Michel Brunet has confirmed one person has died.

Airport slams rail bypass proposal

Posted Monday, 8 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Canberra airport management has fired a blistering complaint to the federal government over the plan to terminate the high-speed rail line on the north side of Canberra. Managing director Stephen Byron is scathing of the proposal to build a terminal near Civic, effectively snubbing the airport's commitment to build a $140 million station within 300 metres of the new air passenger terminal.

Rail track cleared in Sydney's west

Posted Monday, 8 July, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

Trains are running again on all lines through a western Sydney station, a week after a collapsed wall dumped tonnes of debris onto the tracks.

Oil shipments in focus after Canadian train disaster

Posted Monday, 8 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

The deadly train derailment in Quebec this weekend is set to bring intense scrutiny to the dramatic growth in North America of shipping crude oil by rail, a century-old practice unexpectedly revived by the surge in shale oil production. At least five people were killed, and another 40 are missing, after a train carrying 73 tank cars of North Dakota crude rolled driverless down a hill into the heart of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where it derailed and exploded, leveling the town center. It was the latest and most deadly in a series of high-profile accidents involving crude oil shipments on North America's rail network. Oil by rail - at least until now - has widely been expected to continue growing as shale oil output races ahead far faster than new pipelines can be built. Hauling some 50,000 barrels of crude, the train was one of around 10 such shipments a month now crossing Maine, a route that allows oil producers in North Dakota to get cheaper domestic crude to coastal refiners. Across North America, oil by rail traffic has more than doubled since 2011; in Maine, such shipments were unheard of two years ago.

A tale of two rail lines: Altona slumps while Werribee soars

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Two rail lines diverge in Altona North; some take the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. Four years of patronage data on Melbourne's railway stations reveals that while passenger numbers have soared on the Werribee line, they have collapsed on the Altona Loop line that branches off it. Between 2008 and 2012 - a period when public transport patronage grew in Melbourne - passenger numbers at the Altona Loop's three bayside stations fell 30 per cent, data released by Public Transport Victoria shows.

Traralgon rail line on track for myki ticketing

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The controversial myki ticketing system will be introduced on the Traralgon train line from today. The smart card system is already being used on Latrobe Valley buses and is being progressively rolled out on regional trains.

Brooklyn Man Electrocuted After Urinating on Subway’s ‘Third Rail’

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

A man is dead after urinating on the third rail of a Brooklyn subway track Monday morning, the [url=]New York Daily News reports[/url]. Police say the victim, Matthew Zeno, 30, and his 26-year-old friend (whose name was not released) were looking for a place to relieve themselves after leaving a bar. At around 3:10 a.m., they ended up on the tracks of a G train stop in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. As he paused to urinate, [url=]Zeno[/url] accidentally touched the third rail and was zapped with 625 volts of electricity, according to the New York Police Department and the New York City Fire Department, local NYC news website [url=]DNAinfo reports[/url]. When Zeno’s friend tried to help him, he received a much milder electric shock. Both men were sent to Woodhull Hospital, where Zeno died of a heart attack and his friend remained in critical, yet stable condition as of Monday morning.

Memorandum signing significant milestone for rail line

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Expressions of interest for reviving the Blayney-Demondrille rail line can now be called for following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between five regional councils.

'Last-ditch' pitch for valley's brown coal

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Napthine government will try to drum up interest in the vast but carbon-intensive brown coal reserves of the Latrobe Valley through a direct sales pitch to big mining companies. More than a year after it sought expressions of interest in opening up new coalfields in the valley, the government is turning to active promotion of 13 billion tonnes of unallocated brown coal, including to overseas companies. ''This coal resource has been spoken of for decades as being a clear competitive edge [for Victoria],'' said the Deputy Premier and State Development Minister, Peter Ryan. ''We intend to find out the reality of that. That is why we are casting the net as widely as we are and in the way that we are.'' But critics of new coal allocations see the cranked-up sales pitch as an acknowledgement of a dearth of significant commercial interest in brown coal.

Alannah MacTiernan attacks the opposition over its lack of support for public transport

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

LABOR candidate for Perth [url=]Alannah MacTiernan[/url] has launched a comprehensive broadside against the "primitiveness" of the Coalition's attitude to urban planning and what she says is a lack of policy to increase productivity and wealth in major cities. Ms MacTiernan, a former West Australian state planning minister and the Mayor of the town of Vincent, said the Liberals did not understand that to function properly growing cities needed a highly efficient public transport system.

Pilbara rail deal possible: Atlas

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Junior iron ore producer Atlas Iron has insisted that a recent flurry of deals between small iron ore players in the Pilbara has strengthened its ability to secure a deal to transport its iron ore, according to [color=#333333][font=inherit]The Australian Financial Review[/font][/color]. Atlas Iron chairman David Flanagan said deals such as those involving Brockman Mining, Flinders Mines and Fortescue Metals Group and Aurizon have opened-up opportunities for Atlas to exploit third-party infrastructure opportunities.

Oil-by-rail up in Illinois too

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Crude oil has long been transported by rail, but volume has spiked significantly in recent years, driven in large measure by increased shale production through hydraulic fracturing.  Last year, railroads moved 234,000 carloads of crude oil through the U.S., up from 9,500 carloads in 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads. A single carload is equivalent to 600 to 700 barrels of oil. The trend is accelerating, with shipments up 166 percent during the first quarter of 2013 over the same period last year, according to the rail association.

Commuters urged to plan for rail shutdown

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by Mouse in Western Australian Rail News

Transport Minister Troy Buswell has urged Perth commuters to take time to plan around a rail shutdown to allow final work on the new Fremantle rail tunnel as part of the Perth City Link project. Mr Buswell said the tunnel work was pivotal to the Perth City Link project which sinks the Fremantle rail line, reconnecting the city centre with Northbridge for the first time in more than 100 years.

Light rail project boosting Gold Coast coffers

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The CEO of the Gold Coast Light Rail says the project has injected $170 million into the local economy and it will not carry its first passenger for another year. Phil Mumford says 80 per cent of workers employed on the $1 billion first stage, between the Gold Coast University Hospital at Parklands and Broadbeach, live on the Gold Coast.

Ravenshoe Rail's 'Capella' off track again after fire tube blows

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

It was supposed to be a day of celebration, thanking volunteers to their hard work in helping get Ravenshoe Heritage Steam Railway back on track. Instead, the town's iconic blue locomotive, Capella, blew a fire tube and ended up stranded 300 metres from Log Gully Bridge on Saturday.

Oil shipments by rail have increased 28,000 per cent since 2009

Posted Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A whopping 28,000 per cent increase in the amount of oil shipped by rail over the past five years is coming under the microscope following the deadly rail blast in Quebec. Canada’s railways have made a determined push to cash in on the country’s crude-oil bonanza, painting themselves as a cost-effective alternative to politically unpopular pipelines like the proposed Keystone XL.

Minister keeps lips sealed as monorail trains removed

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

The process of tearing down Sydney's monorail will start next month, but the Transport Minister will not yet say what the space made available by its removal might be used for. Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, who on Monday handed over the receipts from the monorail's final weekend to five charities, said the monorail trains would be removed from their stabling this week. Two of the carriages from the now dormant monorail line, which closed on June 30, will be housed in Ultimo's Powerhouse museum. But the rest will go the way of the monorail's track, pylons and stations, to be dismantled, recycled for scrap or used for landfill.

Quebec disaster death toll jumps to 13, some 37 still missing

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

The death toll in Quebec's oil train disaster jumped to 13 people on Monday and police said about 37 more people were missing, a sign the derailment and explosion could be the worst accident in Canada since the Swissair crash of 1998. Police said they estimated a total of around 50 people were either dead or missing after the gigantic blast destroyed dozens of buildings in the centre of Lac-Megantic early on Saturday.

Coast railway stations ‘to stay’ amid rumours of cutbacks

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 by Raildave in Queensland Rail News

THE State Government has denied rumours it is planning significant cutbacks to some Sunshine Coast railway stations. The Sunshine Coast Daily received reliable information that there were plans to reduce the staff hours at the Nambour station so that it would no longer be open 24 hours a day.

Metro trains go down wrong tracks

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

For the second time in a week, a Metro train has gone down the wrong tracks. Around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, a train that was marked as an Orange Line train went down the Blue Line tracks. Blue and Orange line trains share a track for portions of the system but they split apart at Rosslyn. The Blue Line heads south to Franconia-Springfield while the Orange Line heads west to Vienna. The train stopped at Arlington Cemetery and passengers were off-loaded and rerouted on another train, according to Metro spokesman Caroline Lukas.

Rail line shelved as bypass route

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 by MikeyJackson in New South Wales Rail News

Councillors voted unanimously this week to reject the disused Canowindra rail line option as a short term heavy vehicle bypass route, opting for the recommended Southern Ring Road corridor.  Councillor Jack Mallon abstained from voting, citing his ownership of land affected  by the proposed bypass route.  The Canowindra Rail Corridor option surfaced as a short term possibility earlier this year, with community feedback at the time stressing the need to move heavy vehicle traffic from the main street as soon as possible.

While the rail shutdowns will cause chaos on the surface, what's happening underground?

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by MikeyJackson in Western Australian Rail News

At 7pm on Friday the Fremantle line will close for five days, while final work is completed on the rail tunnel that will sink the line from Milligan Street to Perth station and pave the way for the City Link project that will join the CBD with Northbridge. "Working with live rail is a risky business," says Anderson. Building the tunnel amongst the maze that is Perth's busy central station, where all five metropolitan service continued to operate, has had numerous challenges.

Rail chief blames engineer for deadly train inferno in Quebec

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A lone engineer failed to set brakes properly on an oil-laden train that derailed and exploded in a small Canadian town, the rail company's head said. The train derailed on a curve and exploded into a huge fireball on Saturday, destroying the centre of the town of Lac-Megantic in Quebec province. The death toll from the incident continues to rise, with 20 people confirmed dead and a further 30 still missing.

Criminal probe in Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train derailment

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by MikeyJackson in International Rail News

CANADIAN authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the fiery wreck of a runaway oil train as the death toll climbed to 15, with dozens more bodies feared buried.            Quebec police inspector Michel Forget says investigators have "discovered elements'' that have led to a criminal probe. He gave no details but ruled out terrorism. Tangled debris and gas leaks hampered rescue workers' search for bodies three days after the crash on Saturday that incinerated much of Lac-Megantic's downtown and raised questions about the safety of transporting oil by rail instead of pipeline.

Underground rail systems a necessary part of sightseeing

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by bevans in Railway Stories

AS MUCH as I dislike using the metro or underground, there is no denying their efficiency in getting you around quickly in a clogged city. People will warn you never to use an underground rail system in a large city - the threat of having your wallet being nicked in the crush or having an unsavoury armpit in your face (think I'd rather have my wallet stolen) - but if you're careful it's the quickest and easiest way to travel. Try sitting in the traffic in Paris, Rome or London in a taxi with the meter ticking over and you'll soon get over your aversion to underground rail travel.

Trains resume on Fremantle line

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Trains have resumed on the Fremantle line after a technical fault forced its closure this morning. The train line was shut down for 1.5 hours.

New CBH Group trains arrive in Esperance port zone

Posted Thursday, 11 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[b]For most grain growers, a train out-loading wheat wouldn't be much of an unusual sight.[/b] But for about 40 farmers who gathered at the Grass Patch CBH recieval site, 80km north of Esperance yesterday, it was a bit of a novelty. It was the first time the co-operative's new trains had started moving grain on rail in the Esperance port zone.

Northbourne Avenue to be dug up for construction of city's light rail

Posted Friday, 12 July, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The construction of the first stage of the Capital Metro light rail network will require all of the road surface on Northbourne Avenue to be dug up and replaced. The project would also require the installation of new electricity substations every 2 kilometres along the 12-kilometre route from Civic to Hibberson Street in Gungahlin. A report by consultants URS Australia prepared for the ACT government in April 2012 assessed options for the installation of light rail or rapid bus transport along the city to Gungahlin corridor. The government decided to proceed with the construction of a light rail system along Northbourne Avenue, onto Flemington Road to Hibberson Street. The report said the construction of light rail infrastructure in the Northbourne Avenue median strip would require the entire road to be excavated.

Queensland Rail shells out average $779 a day for cabs for stranded commuters

Posted Friday, 12 July, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THOUSANDS of rail commuters given free cab rides to continue their journey has cost taxpayers an average of $779 a day. Queensland Rail paid taxi companies $285,000 last year to get commuters to where they needed to go after 2500 trains were cancelled. The single biggest cab fare paid by Queensland Rail was a $400 trip from Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast to Brisbane Airport during a major network disruption on October 22. The figure was up nearly 40 per cent on the previous year, but Queensland Rail say a concerted efficiency drive has slashed the spending on cabs to $77,538 in the first six months of this year.

The heart of Sydney': plan to redevelop three-kilometre rail corridor

Posted Friday, 12 July, 2013 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

The rail corridor between Central and Eveleigh will be built into high rises and the space over rail lines will be developed as the state government calls for global investment to create a "new heart" for Sydney. Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said the government would call for expressions of interest from around the world for the project that would develop up to one million square metres of space and create thousands of new jobs and homes.

Risks of One-Man Rail Crews Debated in Wake of Disaster

Posted Friday, 12 July, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

The train hauling millions of gallons of crude oil that slammed into a Canadian town got there with a crew of one -- staffing permitted by law though opposed by labor leaders who’ve warned of the risks. The union representing workers at [url=]Montreal[/url] Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd. fought the company policy that allowed a solo operator to drive and park the train for the night and says the disaster points to the dangers of manpower cuts.

French Train Derails, Killing 7

Posted Saturday, 13 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

At least seven people were killed and dozens more injured today when a packed passenger train carrying nearly 400 people derailed and careened into a station outside Paris, authorities said. Officials did not say whether the deaths were among those only aboard the train or on the platform at Bretigny-sur-Orge station. Images of the scene show the train nearly severed in half, the station's metal roof caved in, and gnarled metal and debris strewn across the site.

Transport companies suck $2.6 billion

Posted Saturday, 13 July, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

Victorians paid more than $2.6 billion last financial year in subsidies to the state's public transport operators, less than a quarter of which made its way back into the public purse through fares. And the multibillion-dollar bill to taxpayers - already more than $10 billion - is forecast to grow in coming years, defying the predictions of those who spearheaded the system's privatisation 15 years ago. Victoria's public transport system was privatised in 1999. Then premier Jeff Kennett predicted at the time that subsidies would steadily fall to the extent that public transport would eventually generate revenue for the state - $18.5 million a year ($28.05 million in 2013 dollars) by 2013-14, he said.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 13/7/2013.

Posted Sunday, 14 July, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Times New Roman]Gheringhap Sightings w/e 13/7/2013.[/font][/color][/size] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Times New Roman] [/font][/size][/color] [size=3][color=#000000][font=Times New Roman]There were 143 sightings for this week. This is three sighting les last week, making a total of 3307 sightings for this year to date. On day 194 last year we had recorded 3243 sightings. This is 64 sightings up on the same time last year.[/font][/color][/size]

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 13/7/2013

Posted Sunday, 14 July, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 143 sightings for this week. This is three sighting less last week, making a total of 3307 sightings for this year to date. On day 194 last year we had recorded 3243 sightings. This is 64 sightings up on the same time last year.

Metro rip-off sees 100,000 commuters missing out of ticket compensation each month

Posted Monday, 15 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

UP to 100,000 rail commuters a month are missing out on compensation when Metro trains fail to meet performance targets. Hundreds of thousands of commuters are not being reimbursed for millions of dollars' worth of tickets because they are unaware of their entitlements or do not want the hassle of going through the complicated claims system. With Metro trains failing over a total of 21 months since the operator took control in late 2009, a zone one passenger could have missed out on about $135 worth of ticket credits. A commuter from zone two to the city could have been shortchanged about $200. Critics have slammed the compensation system as a convoluted public relations stunt.

Cressy Railway Centenary

Posted Monday, 15 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail Events

The Official Opening of the Gheringhap – Cressy – Maroona Railway took place at Lismore on 8th August 1913. It was an important development for Geelong, the western plains, grain growers in the Wimmera and the Victorian Railways. The railway had been constructed over a three year period. Goods and passengers were carried on sections of the railway as they were constructed, but it was in August 1913 that construction was completed and the full line available for public services. The centenary of the Opening will be celebrated in August 2013. This Society initiated celebrations in June 2007 to mark the 150th anniversary of the railway between Geelong and Melbourne and in April 2012 for the Geelong & Ballarat Railway 150th. Community organisations, individuals, local and state government and rail businesses are encouraged to participate in displays and events to celebrate the occasions.

West Footscray Station footpath changes from Sunday, 21 July 2013

Posted Monday, 15 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

On Sunday 21 July, footpath access to West Footscray Station, underneath Geelong Road, will be closed between 6am and 10pm. The footbridge over the railway line will remain open and access to the station will still be available from Cross Street and the Sunshine Road car park (via a temporary ramp). Access across the railway corridor is also available at Victoria Street, and Middle Footscray and Seddon railway stations remain open.

Bridge collapse sends cane train into creek

Posted Monday, 15 July, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A sugar mill in far north Queensland has defended the condition of its rail lines, after a cane train plummeted into a creek yesterday. The 40-tonne locomotive was going across an old wooden bridge which gave way, sending the train into a creek at Gordonvale, south of Cairns. Police say the bridge was about 150 years old.

Union concerns over future rail job losses

Posted Tuesday, 16 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union says more than 600 rail manufacturing jobs could be lost in the Hunter if the industry is not given assurances for the future. The union says U-G-L's work on the OSCAR project and Downer EDI's Waratah trains contract is nearing completion. The state government has not issued any new contracts for train carriages despite announcing last year the proposed North-West and South-West rail links.

Footy fans pass rail closure test

Posted Tuesday, 16 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Public Transport Authority shouted the message loud and clear, and the people of Perth listened. The first test of the biggest rail shutdown in Transperth's history came yesterday as more than 39,000 football fans descended on Patersons Stadium for the West Coast and Fremantle derby. After the game, an extra 116 buses took fans to Perth, Claisebrook and Fremantle. Within minutes of the final siren, the queues for these buses were more than 100m long, but moving quickly. In the hours leading up to the game it seemed most fans had planned ahead, with many praising Transperth for its handling of the shutdown and the public awareness campaign. Subiaco and Leederville were buzzing as people arrived with hours to spare.

Rail line washout

Posted Tuesday, 16 July, 2013 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]KiwiRail staff and contractors have been battling snow, hail, sleet and rain as they work to restore a section of rail line washed out at Ormondville.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The land under the rail track just north of the historic Ormondville viaduct began to subside early on Sunday morning as a result of four days of continual rain, a KiwiRail spokesperson told Hawke's Bay Today.[/font][/size][/color]

No word yet on light rail extension

Posted Tuesday, 16 July, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The CEO of the Gold Coast light rail project says he expects to know more within months about the possibility of extending the line and linking it to heavy rail. Phil Mumford says the Queensland Government and the city council are working on a concept study that could determine the route for stage two. He says early results are expected towards the end of this year.

'Sick' French rail system blamed for fatal crash

Posted Tuesday, 16 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

FRANCE'S national rail company, SNCF, came under attack yesterday for running a "sick" network after a loose piece of metal was blamed for the country's worst train crash in a quarter of a century. Rail stations throughout the country observed a minute of silence for the six people killed when a crowded passenger train from Paris to Limoges came off the tracks as it went through a station 25km south of the capital on Saturday (AEST). Dozens of passengers among the 385 people on board were hurt, nine seriously. A crane was deployed at the crash site yesterday to lift overturned carriages amid concern that other victims might be inside. A senior SNCF official said the crash happened after a metal bar that linked two rails in the points near the station had become disconnected. This had prevented "the normal passage of the wheels of the train". [b]The inter-city train, not one of France's high-speed TGV services[/b], veered off the track at 140km/h as it entered Bretigny-sur-Orge station, where it was not scheduled to stop. Carriages smashed into each other, some were overturned and one crashed on to the platform.

Save Our Rail yesterday determined to keep on track to ensure Newcastle and the Hunter

Posted Tuesday, 16 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Save Our Rail yesterday determined to keep on track to ensure Newcastle and the Hunter benefit from any funding decisions with the best possible transport outcome. The Minister for transport in her ABC interview last Friday said she “couldn’t wait to get down and dirty in the planning” for Newcastle and also indicated that no feasibility study had been undertaken for the light rail suggested in the budget. When asked about a Wickham truncation Gladys Berejiklian was non-committal as to the location of an interchange/ terminus.

Rail body backs station at airport

Posted Tuesday, 16 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Australia's peak rail body has strongly supported Canberra Airport's claim to host the high-speed rail station. Building the station at the airport would save $700 million by removing the need to build a long tunnel under Mount Ainslie, the Australasian Railway Association says in its response to the phase II study into high-speed rail in Australia. It says overseas experience shows the importance of locating stations to link with existing transport modes. It also predicts the take-up by passengers on the Canberra-Sydney line will be greater than forecast by the government study. ''Between Paris and Brussels, for example, HSR [high speed rail] has completely replaced air travel,'' it says.

Ballarat rail station plans up for debate

Posted Tuesday, 16 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Ideas for the future development of the Ballarat railway station will be discussed at two public workshops today. The Victorian Government and the council have contributed funds to develop and implement the Ballarat Station Master Plan.

Hope for answers to long-running coal train dust concerns

Posted Tuesday, 16 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

As the State's Chief Scientist looks at flaws in a recent report on Hunter dust emissions, a local epidemiologist says he hopes a new study will clear the air on the real impacts of coal trains in the region. [url=]Newcastle's Coal Terminal Action Group[/url] says it is about time the community had definitive answers.

New York City man fatally electrocuted by 'third rail' as he jumps onto subway tracks

Posted Tuesday, 16 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A man waiting for a New York City subway lost his cell phone on the tracks Monday afternoon and then lost his life trying to get it back. The straphanger was reportedly waiting for a train at Manhattan's Christopher Street stop when he dropped his phone and jumped down onto the tracks to retrieve it. When the man made contact with the electrified 'third rail' he was killed.

Government dithers on Northern Rivers rail decision

Posted Wednesday, 17 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

NORTHERN Rivers residents are tired of waiting for the NSW Government to make a decision about the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line. In April the government released The Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study assessing the viability of returning trains to the Northern Rivers. As a result, transport project director Tim Poole and the State Government had intended to "consider the findings" and "finalise the Northern Rivers Regional Transport Plan" sometime this year.

Federal funds for link at risk

Posted Wednesday, 17 July, 2013 by bevans in Other Transport News

The Napthine government left out crucial information about the east-west link when it submitted its business case to Infrastructure Australia last month, prompting the federal authority to seek more details. The lack of detail about the $6 billion to $8 billion toll road's economic credentials risks stymying the project if the federal Labor government is re-elected. On Tuesday, Premier Denis Napthine used his government's release of detailed designs on where the six-kilometre road will run to make a direct pitch to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. He said the case for the road was now undeniable and called on Mr Rudd to match Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's promise to put in $1.5 billion.

Solution for rail is go underground

Posted Wednesday, 17 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

WITH approximately $420 million on offer for the light rail proposal has anyone stopped to think that there is enough money to put the track underground from the other side of Wickham to Newcastle Station?

Riding the Sunlander Passenger Train in Queensland by Voldemort

Posted Thursday, 18 July, 2013 by bevans in Railway Stories

[justify][color=#000000][size=3][font=Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]On June 29, 2013, I rode the Sunlander from Townsville to Brisbane. I had been up to Townsville to visit a friend who was posted there in the armed forces, his wife and their baby daughter.[/font][/size][/color][/justify] [justify][color=#000000][size=3][font=Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]After a whistestop tour of Townsville, which I thought was a surprisingly handsome city with Castle Hill providing great views of the surrounds (I wish I had the time to go to Magnetic Island!), I was driven to the simple and yet modern looking Townsville Station half a mile south of the town centre. This was where all passenger trains in both directions up and down the coast departed, as well as the twice-weekly Inlander bound for Mt Isa. [/font][/size][/color][/justify] [justify][color=#000000][size=3][font=Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The platform seemed quite busy with a large number of people from various backgrounds waiting for the train with their luggage and children. However, everyone was basically standing or sitting on the platform, I don't even know whether there was a waiting room. In true American cut-price style, the station is open only for an hour before train departures (five weekly to Cairns, five weekly to Brisbane, and two weekly to Mt Isa).[/font][/size][/color][/justify]

Commuters hailed as heroes for jumping onto railway tracks at Richmond station

Posted Thursday, 18 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

TWO commuters have been hailed heroes for jumping onto railway tracks to rescue a woman as a train approached. The victim fell from the platform at Richmond railway station on Tuesday about 9.15am as horrified people waiting for a train looked on. Security footage shows two men jump down to help as the woman, who is believed to have had a fever, lay motionless. One of the rescuers, Sohan Senanayake, said he looked up at a screen and saw there was one minute until the next train would arrive.

Rail body slams Abbott's $6.7bn Bruce Highway pledge as a train wreck

Posted Thursday, 18 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Australia’s peak rail group has hit out at the Coalition’s promise of $6.7 billion in funding to fix the Bruce Highway in Queenslad, labelling the promise a short-sighted quick fix that squibs real commitment by the government to rolling out integrated transport infrastructure. Australian Rail Association chief executive Bryan Nye has hit out at the big ticket spend on bitumen as an “old-fashioned approach to infrastructure funding,” claiming that it will “stifle productivity and efficiency in the transport sector and ultimately disadvantage the Australian people.” The broadside from the rail infrastructure lobby comes as the Opposition leader attempts to spell out a vision for Australia that goes beyond attacking the Labor government’s performance.

Trains halted after two people are hit on Werribee and Pakenham lines

Posted Thursday, 18 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Two people have been hit by trains in separate incidents on Melbourne’s rail network on Thursday. One woman has been confirmed dead, with a Victoria Police spokeswoman saying a woman had died after being struck by a train between Yarraville and Seddon stations, on the Werribee line. The incident is not being treated as suspicious. Shortly before midday another person was hit by a train on the Pakenham line between Dandenong and Berwick. All trains to the area have been suspended and bus services are being arranged, according to Metro Trains.

Confronting rail safety warning

Posted Thursday, 18 July, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

QUEENSLAND Rail has brought a confronting safety campaign to the Gold Coast, unveiling a shock display at Robina station yesterday, as a chilling reminder of the risks faced by people who enter the rail corridor or cross tracks illegally. Frustrated with thousands of railway trespass incidents each year, the company is warning `not everyone makes it across the tracks'. Queensland Rail Acting Chief Executive Officer Jim Benstead said the campaign highlighted the possible deadly outcome of trespassing on the Queensland Rail network through a graphic display of a coffin made out of railway sleepers.

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese highlights urban rail as key election issue

Posted Thursday, 18 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says he expects urban rail to be a key issue for West Australian voters at the coming federal election. Mr Albanese today helped to open the latest stage of the Perth City Link project, which is jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments. He used the event to attack the Coalition Leader Tony Abbott's preference for funding roads, instead of rail.

Rail operator to make more job cuts

Posted Friday, 19 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

[left]RAIL operator Aurizon will cut more jobs under plans to make $230 million in cost savings and productivity gains over the next two years. [/left] The company formerly known as QR National will launch a second voluntary redundancy program in the coming 12 months, after accepting about 750 redundancies in its previous restructuring efforts. The company has shed about 1,600 positions since it was privatised by the Queensland government in 2011.

Undetected problems ATSB Investigation

Posted Friday, 19 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Following an investigation into the partial separation of an express passenger train, the ATSB is reminding rail operators of the need for effective inspection regimes and to ensure that rail components meet service requirements. The investigation was initiated in August 2011, after a scheduled Melbourne to Sydney express passenger train (XPT) partially separated as it passed over a dip in the track near Broadmeadows, Victoria. The train suffered a total loss of power and was unable to continue its journey, coasting for a short distance. Initial inspection of the train suggested that the electrical disconnection was a result of the leading power car decoupling from the carriages; but it was clear that the power car and carriages stayed close together because the brake lines remained connected.

Oil by Rail Is Here to Stay

Posted Friday, 19 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Fracking has been a boon to railroads not just because of a huge jump in crude-by-rail shipments—from nearly nothing to 300,000 annual carloads in half a decade. Railroads have also booked rapidly growing revenues delivering "frac sand"—used in hydraulic fracturing of wells. Last year trains moved at least 200,000 carloads of frac sand. In Wisconsin alone, more than 100 frac-sand mines now are operating. Then there's the downstream traffic boom: chemicals, plastics, natural gas liquids.

It's a long wait to do the Bolte crawl

Posted Friday, 19 July, 2013 by bevans in Other Transport News

Average morning peak travel times on CityLink have slowed to a sub-20km/h crawl over the Bolte Bridge, making it Melbourne's equal-worst stretch of freeway. Speeds on the toll road are as slow now each weekday morning as they are on the Eastern Freeway between Chandler Highway and Alexandra Parade. A new $6 billion to $8 billion toll road is being pursued as the fix for chronic congestion on the Eastern Freeway but no plan has been announced to remedy CityLink's epic jam.

August appeal for Zig Zag reopening

Posted Friday, 19 July, 2013 by viaprojects in New South Wales Rail News

Lithgow's Zig Zag Railway will next month make an appeal to be allowed to operate again, after being shut down because of safety concerns.

Less costly Rail Revival

Posted Saturday, 20 July, 2013 by Blinkey in Victorian Rail News

The cost of making a Bendigo to Geelong passenger rail service a reality should cost less than $100 million — not the $760 to $935 million suggested in a recent report released by Public Transport Victoria, a local engineer says.

Express from the U.S.: ‘Transformer’ shoulder ballast cleaner to hit the tracks

Posted Saturday, 20 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

One of the most up-to-date rail track maintenance machines in Australia, dubbed ‘the Transformer’ by Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) staff, will soon be hitting the tracks between Melbourne and Sydney, ARTC announced today. The $10 million dollar, state-of-the-art, LORAM Shoulder Ballast Cleaner is currently in testing in South Australia after safe delivery from Minnesota, the United States last month. The almost 100 metre-long shoulder ballast cleaner is expected to be in operation along the Melbourne – Sydney rail corridor in late August following completion of the testing and commissioning process.

French probe suspected sabotage of Areva rail line

Posted Saturday, 20 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

French police are investigating the suspected sabotage of a rail track used to transport nuclear material and which caused the derailment of a locomotive the same day as a fatal passenger train accident, officials said on Friday. No link has been found between the July 12 derailment of the slow-moving locomotive near the central city of Limoges and the derailment several hours later of a train in Bretigny-sur-Orge just south of Paris which killed six people and injured dozens.

Cameras at Huntingdale train station removed for footage review as dumping continues

Posted Saturday, 20 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

METRO Trains has admitted CCTV cameras installed to capture illegal rubbish dumping at Huntingdale Railway Station have been removed as issues at the station continue. In recent weeks, dumping has continued at the station while cameras have been removed for footage review. It comes despite authorities [url=]still being unsure who is able to fine people caught on camera[/url] dumping rubbish. Rubbish has been dumped at the site for years, and the pile grew to be about 50m in length after items were dumped in the railway station's gravel carpark [url=]over the Christmas and New Year period[/url].

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 20/7/2013

Posted Sunday, 21 July, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 111 sightings for this week. This is 32 sighting less than last week, making a total of 3418 sightings for this year to date. On day 201 last year we had recorded 3355 sightings. This is 63 sightings up on the same time last year.

Camera trial bid for safer level crossings

Posted Sunday, 21 July, 2013 by Amraks in Tasmanian Rail News

MOUNTED CCTV cameras are about to be trialled and could soon be installed at many level crossings in Tasmania to capture near misses that continue to traumatise train drivers.

Luring Brisbane rail commuters to Gympie

Posted Monday, 22 July, 2013 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

MORE than 130,000 Queensland Rail commuters were greeted by Gympie Regional councillor Julie Walker and Destination Gympie Region staff at Central Railway Station in Brisbane this week as part of a campaign to promote the region as a holiday destination. Council staff distributed a full-colour holiday guide and information about getaway packages and promotions for our regional food industry at events such as Gympie Gold Regional Produce, during the two day blitz this week. Cr Walker said the council supported a wide range of initiatives to promote the Gympie region and jumped at the chance to take part in Queensland Rail's initiative to promote long distance rail travel for holiday-makers.

Investigation after two trains collide at Norwich railway station

Posted Monday, 22 July, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

A Greater Anglia passenger train struck an empty, stationary East Midlands train in Norwich. Photograph: Alamy An investigation has been launched after two trains collided at a railway station in the early hours of the morning. Eight people received minor injuries when a Greater Anglia passenger train, travelling from Great Yarmouth, struck an empty, stationary East Midlands train as it arrived into [url=]Norwich[/url] at about 12.15am on Sunday. They were taken to hospital and have now been released. There had been a total of 31 people on board the train arriving at the station, which was "travelling at very slow speed", a Greater Anglia spokesman said.

Aurizon's biggest shareholder warns on Pilbara rail line: report

Posted Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

The United Kingdom hedge fund that own the largest stake of Aurizon Ltd has cautioned the Australian group from constructing a new rail network in the Pilbara, saying the drop in commodity prices made returns on the investment required unsure, [color=#333333][font=inherit]The Australian Financial Review[/font][/color] reports. According to the newspaper, Philip Green, partner at The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI) – which holds an 11 per cent stake in Aurizon – said there was no guarantee of returns on investment infrastructure in the long term, particularly as junior miners in the area risk going under if iron ore prices soften as expected.


Posted Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

Dramatic security video obtained by 7News has captured some amazing escapes by Sydney rail passengers who strayed too close to platform edges. Transport bosses say they were lucky not to be killed. Some footage shows a man wobbly on his feet, as he leans for support on a moving train.

Rail hub shift is still in limbo

Posted Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THERE is still yet to be movement on the proposed relocation of Griffith's rail freight terminal into Leeton shire.

Public transport preferred to east-west link, survey reveals

Posted Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

RACV members say better public transport is the best way to fix Melbourne's congestion woes - despite the fact the lobby group has been pushing fiercely for the controversial $8 billion east-west link. A survey has shown the most pressing traffic issue for the group's members was congestion, and many respondents believed the best way to address that problem was by improving trains, tram and bus services. The survey results contradict the transport and motoring giant's strong advocacy of roads projects. RACV's general manager of public policy Brian Negus presented the results of members' transport-related concerns at the recent Northern Business Achievement Awards, The Melbourne Times Weekly Review reports.

Lilydale trains delayed after woman struck, killed at Ringwood East

Posted Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A woman in her 60s has been struck by a train at Ringwood East railway station with major delays expected in both directions on the Lilydale line. Metro Trains announced buses will be operating between Ringwood and Mooroolbark in both directions with a rail service to continue between Mooroolbark and Lilydale.

Flinders Street visions 'exciting, inspirational'

Posted Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Six bustling new visions for Flinders Street Station have been hailed as exciting and inspirational by industry and historical experts. Dean of Architecture at Melbourne University, Professor Thomas Kvan, said the major design competition would help Victorians imagine how the under-utilised and neglected space could be transformed.

Get on board these tracks to nowhere

Posted Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 by 9034 in Railway Stories

ENTER at your own risk. These rail journeys take their passengers into Australia's most hostile and remote areas.   The good news is that you won't need to pack your Crocodile Dundee knife and swag. In fact, these rail journeys allow their passengers to experience Australia's most remote and hostile lands from a position of comfort and safety.

Railway opened up opportunities for early Bay settlers

Posted Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]WITH rail travel not a particularly relevant form of travel in Hervey Bay any more, it is remarkable to think of the difference it made to the early settlement and growth of the area.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]As Hervey Bay Historical Society president John Andersen recollects, the railway opened up some excellent opportunities for early settlers.[/font][/size][/color]

Smaller stations are biggest losers in new rail timetable

Posted Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

There will be few if any extra train services in Sydney at weekends when a new timetable is introduced in October, despite the city's rapidly worsening weekend road traffic. An internal Transport for NSW analysis of the October timetable, which has not yet been released, shows there will be a slight increase in the number of trains through Sydney on weekdays and a small increase in the average speed of trains as more express services are introduced. But commuters at some smaller stations in the Blue Mountains, Hunter and south coast will miss out in the October timetable, when their stations get skipped by more trains. And the level of weekend service will remain the same across the city, even though Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has claimed the new timetable had been rewritten ''from scratch''.

Union Pacific will try to restore massive 'Big Boy,' one of largest steam engines ever built

Posted Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

CHEYENNE, Wyoming — Union Pacific Railroad says it will try to restore one of the largest steam locomotives ever built to operating condition. The railroad said Tuesday it reached an agreement to acquire a "Big Boy" locomotive from the RailGiants Train Museum at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. It will be moved to Union Pacific's Cheyenne shops, where the railroad maintains other operating steam locomotives.

Stronger Fortescue firm on Pilbara rail sale

Posted Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

FORTESCUE Metals Group's efforts to rein in its $US12.1 billion ($13.06bn) debt position have received a boost, with the falling Australian dollar, cooling mining services costs and the fruits of its latest expansion helping to improve the miner's performance. The strengthened financial position detailed in Fortescue's latest quarterly report enhances the ability of chief executive Nev Power to stick to his pledge to sell a minority stake in the company's Pilbara rail and port infrastructure only if "full value" can be realised for the asset.

Tenders called for the next stage of the Maldon to Dombarton rail link

Posted Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Separate tenders have been called for environmental and engineering services for the Maldon to Dombarton Rail Link, with both tenders to be awarded before the end of next month. The successful tenderer for the environmental services contract will prepare an environmental impact assessment outlining the potential impacts of the proposed project, based on ecological, heritage and other field studies that have already been undertaken. For the engineering services tender, the successful team will use earlier technical work to develop detailed tunnel, bridge and track designs to be included in a future construction contract.

Yarra Mayor calls for urgent meeting with Premier

Posted Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Yarra City Council has sought an urgent meeting with the Premier and Minister for Public Transport and Roads following the State Government’s release of design plans for the East West Road Link showing the project will rip through the historic suburbs of Clifton Hill, North Fitzroy, Collingwood and Parkville. “Yarra City Council will do everything it can to support our community who are in shock and disbelief at the Premier’s alarmist announcements and authoritarian decision making," said Yarra Mayor Cr Jackie Fristacky. “The community deserves an explanation for why this government is determined to proceed with stage one of the East West Road Link without genuine community consultation, a proper business case and detailed traffic analysis.”

Railway industry takes Abbott to task as new freight rail section opens

Posted Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has expressed serious concern over the Coalition opposition’s continuous support of upgrading and building new roads whilst ignoring the needs of rail. ARA CEO Bryan Nye said he was disappointed in the short-sighted, quick-fix approach the Coalition opposition is promoting as its solution to address state-based infrastructure issues, with Tony Abbott announcing a commitment of $6.7 billion to fix the Bruce Highway. “Australia as a nation is facing increasingly serious economic, social and environmental problems with traffic congestion clogging our roads, transport emissions choking our urban environment, fuel prices spiking and the continued growth of our major cities,” said Mr Nye.

Rail industry welcomes confirmation of NSW rail projects

Posted Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has commended the NSW Government for delivering one of the most comprehensive state budgets for the rail industry this nation has seen. While no new projects have been announced, the budget promised spending on a number of projects. ARA CEO Bryan Nye said the rail industry has long been calling for greater investment in passenger and freight rail infrastructure throughout NSW, with Sydney at risk of grinding to a halt in the near future if congestion-busting projects were not given the green light. “[The Budget’s] funding commitments for key rail projects will not only ease Sydney’s congestion, but will trigger the much needed shift of moving people and freight off the overcrowded and bottlenecked roads and on to the more efficient and environmentally sustainable tracks,” Mr Nye said.

Cameron's railway investment claims more 1950s than Victorian

Posted Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

The civil service has admitted that repeated claims by the Cabinet that the government is investing more in the railways than at any time since Victorian era are in fact as inventive as the Victorian period itself. The prime minister and five other cabinet ministers – including the chancellor George Osborne, the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, the Treasury chief secretary [url=]Danny Alexander[/url], and two transport secretaries – have all made the same boast at various points in the past 18 months. Alexander's claim, during the Spending Review announcement on 27 June, piqued the curiosity of the Labour MP and Victorian historian[url=]Tristram Hunt[/url], who wrote to him asking for the historical and statistical basis of the assertion.

Transport infrastructure: Focus on Victoria

Posted Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

It’s been an interesting few months for transport in Victoria with debate on both sides of politics unravelling different perspectives on the needs of Victorian residents. Federal transport Minister Anthony Albanese has committed funding for the Melbourne Metro rail link, while Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has committed funding for the controversial East West Link. Transport experts will be dissecting these options at the Victorian Transport Infrastructure Summit to be held in September to see which projects should really be given the go ahead.

Council and residents rally against new Melbourne toll road

Posted Thursday, 25 July, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Melbourne residents are sending a clear message to the state government that money wasted on an east-west toll road will severely impact the city’s ‘liveable’ status and penalise future generation of Melburnians. From 6.30 pm on Thursday night, hundreds of people are expected to gather at Fitzroy Town Hall for the official launch of the  ‘Trains Not Toll Roads’ campaign. The launch will feature guest speakers including Alannah MacTiernan, Dr Sophie Sturup, Mayor Jackie Fristacky and MC Rod Quantock.

Dozen's killed as train derails in northern Spain

Posted Thursday, 25 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

At least 56 people have been killed and more than 70 injured after a passenger train derailed outside the northern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela. All 13 train carriages carrying 218 passengers plus crew left the tracks and four carriages overturned completely. Images from the scene showed crumpled metal and smoke billowing from the wreckage. The train derailed shortly before 9pm local time as it sped along a curve in the tracks approaching the cathedral city of Santiago de Compostela, in Spain’s northwestern region of Galicia. It was not immediately clear what had caused the crash but some passengers reported hearing an explosion before the train derailed. Spain’s Interior Ministry, however, quickly dismissed a terrorist attack as the cause of the derailment.

Public Transport Authority warns of another rail shutdown

Posted Thursday, 25 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Public Transport Authority has warned parents and students to make sure they are prepared ahead of another rail shutdown planned for next week. The Armadale, Midland, and Thornlie lines will not be affected, however, the Joondalup line will stop at Leederville and the Mandurah line at the Esplanade.

Rail upgrade means heavier trains on route

Posted Thursday, 25 July, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The rail-line between [url=,_New_South_Wales]Broken Hill[/url] and [url=]Whyalla [/url]will be able to carry heavier trains more efficiently now a $300 million upgrade is complete. Work on upgrading the track to 60kg a metre rail on the 700km track started three years ago. It should make the ride smoother for Indian-Pacific passengers.

Adelaide rail line closure extended for extra work

Posted Thursday, 25 July, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

A rail line closure in Adelaide's southern suburbs has been extended until November, so more track upgrade work can be done. The Tonsley line has been closed since January and was due to open again by September. But the South Australian Government has decided to keep the line closed for several extra weeks to allow its duplication as part of the Tonsley Park public transport project.

Inland rail on want list

Posted Thursday, 25 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

THE logistics industry wants a new inland rail line to carry goods faster, a second Sydney airport, and a much toughened Infrastructure Australia, a federal government advisory body. The demands are in an election priorities document developed by the industry body, the Australian Logistics Council. An inland rail route for freight is listed as "key priority 1" in the document, [url=]The Australian Financial Review[/url] reports. "Woolworths are now using a lot more rail out of Melbourne to Brisbane than they were even three years ago," said ALC chief executive Michael Kilgariff, who argued that food manufacturing businesses could be a major beneficiary – "fast-moving consumer goods, but also stuff that comes in through the port".

Barnett 'in bid to avoid rail scrutiny'

Posted Thursday, 25 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Colin Barnett was yesterday accused of distorting the pre-election caretaker conventions to avoid scrutiny of publicly-funded rail projects. The criticism from Notre Dame University political analyst Martin Drum came after the Premier backed his department's ruling that during the caretaker period, the $3.7 billion rail projects were Liberal Party promises and not Government decisions. _The West Australian _has sought access under freedom of information laws to correspondence to, from and within the offices of Mr Barnett and Transport Minister Troy Buswell on the MAX light rail plan and airport link.

Go Card tricks to keep costs down revealed

Posted Thursday, 25 July, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Commuters should carry a spare Go Card, make quick lunchtime trips and avoid paper tickets to trick the fare system and save money, say public transport advocates. The advice was issued by the Rail Back on Track group on Wednesday in an attempt to “educate citizens” on the steps they could take to “minimise the impacts of savage fare increases”. Spokesman Robert Dow said once the public realised how they could “extract massive amounts of free travel”, the government might take steps to alter the fare structure. Public transport fares increased by 7.5 per cent this year, and will increase by that much in 2014 under the Newman Government.

Government saves 1800 MHz spectrum for rail

Posted Thursday, 25 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Federal cabinet last night signed off on a decision to reserve valuable 1800 MHz spectrum to modernise Australia’s rail infrastructure, rescuing $500 million in investment state governments had already made in the project. The GSM-R project aims to harmonise Australia’s hodge-podge radio signalling system into a unified system. It will spare freight trains the need to carry different equipment to cross state lines, bring massive improvements in safety coordination as well as benefiting passenger services. The ARA’s spectrum licenses underpinning the project were due to expire in tranches from 2013 and 2015 — with rail authorities facing having to potentially pay billions competing at auction with mobile carriers to renew the licenses.

Network Rail chief Sir David Higgins to depart next year

Posted Thursday, 25 July, 2013 by DesL in International Rail News

The highly regarded Higgins, an Australian engineer, took over from Iain Coucher at Network Rail after earning plaudits as head of the Olympic Delivery Authority until 2011.

Camera captures horrific Spanish train crashing as driver reportedly admits to speeding at 190km/h

Posted Friday, 26 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A SECURITY camera has captured the moment when a Spanish train crashes into a wall, as one of the drivers admits to speeding. The train flew off the tracks as it reportedly tore at twice the speed limit around a bend in northwestern Spain, killing at least 80 passengers and injuring more than 140 in the nation's deadliest rail disaster since 1944. The footage shows the train rounding a bend, making a turn to the left underneath a road overpass.

Trucks getting stuck under rail bridges at a rate of one a week

Posted Friday, 26 July, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

NOT even the installation of laser detectors has been enough to stop trucks getting stuck under rail bridges at a rate of more than one a week in the past year. Footage provided by Transport and Main Roads shows how flashing warning signs at sites in Indooroopilly and Corinda are being ignored by truck drivers - with dire consequences. In the 12 months to June 30, the number of rail bridge strikes almost doubled - jumping from 33 the previous year to 60 - resulting in more than 200 train service delays or cancellations. The increase came despite the addition of infrared laser detectors at eight of the most at-risk locations to read the height of approaching trucks and issue a warning.

Ettamogah rail hub on track for success

Posted Friday, 26 July, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

ETTAMOGAH rail hub has secured one of its most significant contracts since being established in 2009. It has clinched two more weekly services from Albury to Brisbane after securing deals to shift 100,000 tonnes of freight annually from three major locally-based manufacturers, Mountain H20, Norske Skog and Mars Petcare. The hub also operates a freight service for import and export products between Albury and Melbourne, but the additional services to Brisbane was justification of a $10 million investment in the facility by owner Colin Rees.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 27/7/2013

Posted Sunday, 28 July, 2013 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 110 sightings for this week. This is one sighting less than last week, making a total of 3528 sightings for this year to date. On day 208 last year we had recorded 3476 sightings. This is 52 sightings up on the same time last year.

Transport giant Aurizon considers viability of new Pilbara railway

Posted Sunday, 28 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Rail and freight giant Aurizon is continuing to assess the worth of building a new rail line in the Pilbara as it seeks more exposure to Australia's iron ore mines. A new stand-alone, open-access railway in the Pilbara would cost about $10 billion to construct and on current projections would need the support of at least a few miners. Aurizon, formally known as QR National before it was privatised in 2010, has ruled out attempting to buy into Fortescue's existing Pilbara rail line, saying the company has no interest in being a passive minority investor in somebody else's line.

Fed govt boost to Perth Airport rail link

Posted Sunday, 28 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

THE federal government has pledged $3 million to fund planning for a Perth Airport rail link. Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Sunday the money would help get the project to improve links between the airport and Perth's CBD "shovel ready". "Perth is one of Australia's fastest growing cities and its airport will continue to experience substantial passenger growth in the years ahead," he said in statement.

Rail bosses probe peak-hour sex act claim

Posted Monday, 29 July, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Perth transport bosses are trying to trace CCTV footage to back up claims by a commuter that she witnessed a young woman performing a sex act on a man on a peak-hour train.

Train had 'no technical problems': rail firm

Posted Monday, 29 July, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

The train that derailed in northwestern Spain, killing at least 77 people, did not have "any technical problems" and had been inspected just hours earlier, the head of state-owned Renfe railway company said Thursday.

City's main rail corridor plan attracts global developers

Posted Monday, 29 July, 2013 by bevans in Cityrail News

The architecture firm behind the world's tallest building has signalled it wants to develop Sydney's main rail corridor, as the state government fields global interest in a project to remake the central business district's southern edge. Former federal Liberal MP Ross Cameron has also flagged a bid, after his plan to build more than 150 Chinese-made high rises along the corridor was rejected last year. The government will later this year call for expressions of interest to develop underused rail land from Central Station to Eveleigh, including apartment and office towers and structures built over the rail line.

Light rail planning on track for V8s 'handover'

Posted Monday, 29 July, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The consortium building the Gold Coast light rail network says planning is well advanced to accommodate the Surfers Paradise V8 event in October. GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford says meetings are being held to discuss the handover of the site in the lead-up to the Gold Coast 600. Mr Mumford says it is hoped the operation will run smoothly.

Noarlunga rail line to be reopened on schedule, unlike the Tonsley and Belair lines

Posted Monday, 29 July, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

COMMUTERS waiting on the reopening of the Noarlunga rail line have been assured trains will be back on track from September, following delays to both the Tonsley and Belair lines. Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis (pictured) ­announced an eight-week delay to reopen the Tonsley rail line last week but said the Noarlunga line "won't be affected". A Transport Minister spokesman also reaffirmed the reopening of the Noarlunga line. "Work is still progressing on the rail re­vitalisation project in the expectation that diesel rail services on the Noarlunga line will resume as scheduled in September," he said.

Gippsland fight for high speed rail

Posted Monday, 29 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

GIPPSLAND hasn't given up the fight to have a high speed rail route run through its communities. A federal study scratched Gippsland from the list of best route contenders for a rail line between Melbourne and Sydney but the Gippsland Local Government Network has called on the state and federal governments to conduct a cost-benefit analysis into the Gippsland location.  The Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s High Speed Rail Study is currently in phase two where a deviation through Shepparton has been adopted.

Close Mascot, build airport out of city - or high-speed rail

Posted Monday, 29 July, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Modern airports do not belong in the middle of cities and London mayor Boris Johnson is right to call for Heathrow to be replaced with housing (''[url=]Albanese's new airport promise branded an election beat-up[/url]'', July 27-28. The same goes for Sydney. As long as an airport is in Mascot, boosters such as Max Moore-Wilton and Barry O'Farrell will apply pressure to cram in as many planes as possible. But Mr Albanese's second airport wouldn't solve anything. As the recent study he commissioned says, a second airport would be supplementary. Its role would be to enable Sydney Airport to operate at its ''maximum practical operational capacity''.

Spanish train driver charged over rail disaster

Posted Tuesday, 30 July, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

A train driver suspected of causing Spain's worst rail disaster for decades has been charged with 79 counts of reckless homicide and freed on bail. Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, 52, was taken to court on Sunday night and formally accused by an investigating judge of causing Wednesday's derailment just outside the city of Santiago de Compostela. Meanwhile, one of the 168 passengers injured in the crash died in a Santiago hospital today, taking the death toll to 79.

Swiss train collision injures 35

Posted Tuesday, 30 July, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

At least 35 people have been injured, five of them seriously, in a head-on collision of two trains in western Switzerland. The crash happened near the station of Granges-pres-Marnand shortly before 1700 GMT on Monday (0400 AEST Tuesday) on a regional line about 50km southwest of the capital, Bern. It came just days after 79 people were killed in a high-speed train derailment in Spain. Photographs from the Swiss site showed the two regional trains locked together, partly lifted off the tracks by the force of the collision.

Design flaws in rail tankers involved in Quebec disaster first discovered in 1991

Posted Tuesday, 30 July, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

A plan to correct design flaws in the tanker cars coupled to the [url=]explosive runaway train that destroyed the center of a Canadian town earlier this month[/url] won’t be implemented for a year, officials said Monday. As the head of the company involved in the disaster said the freight hauler is contemplating filing for bankruptcy protection and further layoffs, the [url=]Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration[/url] announced it needs another year to apply recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board that would fix flaws first discovered in 1991 that causes the DOT-111 rail car to crack open during collisions and derailments. It is impossible to say when or if the rail-car design changes will occur, said agency public affairs specialist Gordon “Joe” Delcambre Jr.

Industry fights safety retrofit of older rail cars

Posted Tuesday, 30 July, 2013 by JimYarin in Asciano

The oil industry and U.S railroads are resisting the Obama administration’s attempt to boost safety standards for the type of rail car involved in a fiery, fatal explosion in Canada, citing costs and technical challenges. Industry groups say it is impractical to retrofit tens of thousands of existing tank cars used to haul oil, even as they have adopted voluntary standards to ensure that cars ordered after October 2011 meet tough requirements recommended by federal transportation experts following a deadly ethanol train derailment and explosion in Illinois two years earlier. A proposed rule to beef up rail-car safety was initially scheduled to be put in place last October, but it has been delayed until late September at the earliest. Officials blamed the delay on the time it has taken to seek and review petitions from industry groups and the public. A final rule isn’t expected until next year.

Financial noose tightens around U.S. firms at centre of Quebec rail disaster

Posted Tuesday, 30 July, 2013 by JimYarin in International Rail News

The financial noose tightened Monday around companies connected to the deadly Quebec derailment, with a hint that the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway could close shop. The Quebec government issued a lawyer's letter demanding that the railway involved in the Lac-Megantic crash and two petroleum-logistics companies foot the entire bill to clean up the environmental mess, the latest in a series of legal threats since the disaster. This was after the railway chairman had already told a Maine newspaper that he was considering whether the embattled MMA could survive.

Second rail overpass now one step closer

Posted Tuesday, 30 July, 2013 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

GUNNEDAH has moved one stop closer to a second rail overpass with the release this week of the community submissions report.

Regional Rail Link access fears

Posted Tuesday, 30 July, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

BRIMBANK residents fear access to regional train lines won’t improve after Regional Rail Link works are completed.

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