Showing stories from September 2013

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Train collision paralyses key S. Korean rail route

Posted Sunday, 1 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

SEOUL (AFP) - A collision between a bullet train and a local passenger train on Saturday paralysed a key South Korean rail artery, transport officials said, but there were no serious injuries. The high-speed train was rammed on its side by the local train as it was travelling through Daegu railway station, the transport ministry said in a statement.

Derbyshire volunteers hold signal box vigil to mark rail crash

Posted Sunday, 1 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Volunteers on a Derbyshire heritage railway plan to hold an overnight vigil in a signal box to commemorate the centenary of a train disaster. The signal box at Butterley Station was formerly situated at Ais Gill - the site of a crash between two locomotives on 2 September 1913. Sixteen people died in the crash on the Settle to Carlisle line. The Midland Railway Trust, which is holding the event, said the disaster led to important safety changes.

Locomotive rides the rail

Posted Monday, 2 September, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

IT HUFFED and puffed as it pulled into Wagga station on Saturday. More than 2000 excited passengers lined the platform throughout the day, ready for the rare, one-day opportunity to take a step back in time and board a steam train in the city.

Student tweets for rail solution

Posted Monday, 2 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

BORDER V/Line passengers waited an hour-and-a-half yesterday for a train that never came, instead forced to take buses two days after train services were supposed to be up and running.

Rates exemption for rail corridor 'anti-competitive'

Posted Monday, 2 September, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

The Gladstone council in central Queensland says the State Government is giving haulage firm Aurizon a leg-up by exempting it from paying council rates. Council chief executive Stuart Randle says under the Local Government Act, owners of rail corridors do not have to pay rates on the land.

Call to improve rail services to Gatwick and Stansted to relieve Heathrow

Posted Monday, 2 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

It argues that the pressure on capacity at Heathrow would be relieved if there was better rail access to other airports serving the capital. It makes its case in a submission to the Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, which is examining Britain’s future airport needs. Research commissioned by the assembly found that 47pc of runway slots were available at Stansted, 51pc at Luton and 12pc at Gatwick — unlike Heathrow, which is 99pc full.

Level crossing safety is a shared responsibility

Posted Monday, 2 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A car can weigh anywhere between 1.5 to three tonnes. A VLocity commuter train weighs more than 285 tonnes and when travelling at 120kmh it can take up to 800 metres to come to a complete stop. With Rail Safety week beginning today motorists and pedestrians are being asked to think of the potential consequences of risky behaviour around level crossings. Latest Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) incident statistics for the last three years reveal that, on average, a car is struck by a train every month and three pedestrians a year die at level crossings across the state. In addition, more than five pedestrian and motorist near misses are reported every week. Andrew Doery, TSV Director, Rail Safety, says it’s up to motorists and pedestrians to make safety their top priority at level crossings. "Every time you engage in risky and impatient behavior at railway level crossings, you put your life in danger. "Do the right thing and stay on the right side of the tracks. Pay attention to warning devices, such as flashing lights, warning bells and boom gates, and always check for trains before crossing," Mr Doery said.

Portuguese millipedes suspected in Clarkson train collision

Posted Tuesday, 3 September, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

HUNDREDS of tiny millipedes could be behind the collision of two trains on the Joondalup line that left six people injured this morning. The two trains collided at the Clarkson train station about 6.40am. The collision occurred between a moving train and a stationary train which was taking on passengers going to Perth. PTA spokesman David Hynes said the transport body was talking the matter very seriously and a full investigation into the incident was already underway. “It was low speed (the collision),” Mr Hynes said.

East-west link: Reveal costs of projects, says Eddington

Posted Wednesday, 4 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Infrastructure expert Sir Rod Eddington has called for maximum transparency to allow the public to make up its own mind about major transport projects such as Melbourne's east-west link. Asked about the Napthine government's decision to keep the business case for the road secret, the Infrastructure Australia chairman said he hoped to reach a point where governments were prepared to release detailed costings to allow independent scrutiny.

Modally agnostic Eddington declines to put road over rail

Posted Wednesday, 4 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

INFRASTRUCTURE Australia chairman Rod Eddington has declared he is "modally agnostic" when it comes to transport, and believes large cities can't function without the right mix of road and rail. Sir Rod told transport industry leaders at a business lunch in Melbourne the debate was more complex than simply road versus rail. Asked what he made of the difference between his "modally agnostic" position and the Coalition's prioritisation of various road projects, Sir Rod said he was reluctant to weigh into politics four days from a federal election. "On a serious note, I think the first point is that the PM and the federal government will decide how they want to allocate federal funds across the board," he said. But Sir Rod said many of the decisions about whether road or rail projects got built first rested with state rather than federal governments.

Rail breakthrough at Cowra

Posted Thursday, 5 September, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW Government is calling for private sector Registrations of Interest (ROI) to restore, operate and maintain the disused Blayney and Demondrille rail line. And Young’s mayor Stuart Freudenstein is hopeful.

Labor reminds voters of Cross River Rail pledge

Posted Thursday, 5 September, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Labor has made a last-ditch attempt to win over Brisbane voters by reminding locals only it will fund Brisbane's underground rail project, the Cross River Rail, if it wins the federal election on Saturday. It was not Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese doing the heavy pitch to voters on Thursday. It was state opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor's candidate for Brisbane Fiona McNamara who took up the fight to the LNP over the $4.8 billion project, outside Parliament House in Brisbane. "If Tony Abbott gets elected on Saturday I believe that Cross River Rail is dead and buried," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Palace on Wheels journey out its first commercial trip from Delhi

Posted Friday, 6 September, 2013 by kunvar in International Rail News

[color=#121212][size=2][font=Georgia, serif]Much awaited refurbished royal journey started Wednesday evening with 34 guests on board with all new facilities like spa, gym ayurvedic massage to make the voyage more comfortable with royal touch.[/font][/size][/color]

Rail operators lament roads rule

Posted Friday, 6 September, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

RAIL operators have slammed the Coalition's plans to dump federal funding for urban passenger rail projects including the cross-river project in Kevin Rudd's home town Brisbane in favour of roads. They say a lack of rail funding would undermine the economic growth the Coalition says it wants to kick-start. The plans to scrap funding for key rail projects also threatens to spark a showdown with conservative states, Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson saying neither side had come up with a suitable funding deal for the project and Victoria vowing to continue to try to secure funding for the Melbourne Metro project. In its costings, the Coalition expects to save $453m by dumping Brisbane's cross-river rail. The project has also been pushed by Liberal MP for Brisbane Teresa Gambaro. Mr Emerson added Queensland would get a "fair deal" on federal roads including the Bruce Highway and Gateway Motorway because the Coalition had promised a funding split of 80:20.

Tonsley rail upgrade in Coalition firing line

Posted Friday, 6 September, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said the Coalition's plan to scrap the Tonsley public transport project if it wins government this weekend would put 250 jobs at risk. The planned $32 million upgrade in Adelaide's southern suburbs would duplicate the rail line, improve two stations and add a park-and-ride facility and a bus interchange.

Five people taken to hospital after truck collides with train in Geelong

Posted Saturday, 7 September, 2013 by 9034 in Victorian Rail News

A TRUCK has clipped a train causing five people to be taken to hospital this morning.   The collision happened at Freshwater Creek, south west of Geelong, just after 9.30am. The five passengers have been taken to Geelong Hospital for observation.

No money for Perth airport rail link in Liberal's plans

Posted Sunday, 8 September, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

IT is official - WA Premier Colin Barnett will not receive one cent for his promised Perth $4 billion rail projects if Tony Abbott wins Saturday's federal election. Mr Abbott, who has [url=]released a list of infrastructure projects he will fund if elected Prime Minister,[/url] has not included funding for a [url=]light rail and airport link project in WA.[/url] This is despite Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd allocating $500 million towards these rail projects. [url=]Instead, Mr Abbott will provide $615 million to build the Swan Valley Bypass and $686 million to finish the Perth Gateway project.[/url]

State threatens to sue Coalition over funding cuts to rail project

Posted Sunday, 8 September, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

SOUTH Australia's Labor administration has threatened to take legal action against a Tony Abbott government over its plan to dump a state rail project. Budget documents released by the Coalition revealed plans to scrap $4.6 billion in public transport funding, including $31.5 million in federal funding committed towards upgrading the Tonsley rail line. South Australian Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis yesterday likened the cuts to a "declaration of war". "Unlike the rest of the states who support Mr Abbott's cuts to infrastructure, he's in for a fight in South Australia," Mr Koutsantonis said. "This state government will not go down quietly. "We're going to fight for these jobs, we're going to fight for this investment in public transport." The government would seek advice on its legal avenues to overturn the Coalition's commitment to cut the funding because contracts with suppliers were signed before the election was announced, he said.

Light rail has dealt some a heavy blow

Posted Sunday, 8 September, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

IT'S no secret - I love trains. I've had a passion for Australian rail since I was a little kid, to the point where my mum once grew worried about this all-engrossing fixation as all I ever did was sit and draw steam locomotives. "Why don't you draw the Harbour Bridge or a farm or something else…" she'd ask. Why would you want to draw a farm when you can draw trains? All those wheels and tracks and engines and carriages…But nowadays, my love of trains in waning - trains are now out to destroy my family.

Queensland Rail Citytrain services on time more often, but running more red lights

Posted Monday, 9 September, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

A BIG improvement in the on-time running of trains in southeast Queensland has come as figures reveal more trains now run red lights. Since the LNP won government in March 2012 and [url=]brought in new chairman Glen Dawe[/url], on-time running in peak periods has improved from 92.8 per cent of services to 96 per cent.

Rail freight transport line to Europe ready

Posted Monday, 9 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Turkey is preparing to a combined railway project to transport goods from Anatolia to [url=]Europe[/url] with a ceremony to take place on Sept. 8. The Great Anatolian Logistics Organization (BALO) project, which has been realized with the contribution of leading local business organizations, aims to facilitate trade to and from [url=]Europe[/url]as well as reduce freight transportation costs.  According to the scheme, the container freights of Anatolian exporters will be picked up from their doors and collected at logistics centers of the Turkish State Railways (TCDD), to be brought to Band?rma port in the northwest with block trains.

Vic govt looks to fasten East West plans

Posted Monday, 9 September, 2013 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIAN Premier Denis Napthine will ask incoming prime minister Tony Abbott about bringing forward the second stage of the East West Link. Dr Napthine is scheduled to have a telephone conversation with Mr Abbott on Monday where he will outline an agenda for Victoria. The premier says the government is looking at opportunities to bring forward stage two of the $8 billion road project, to which the federal coalition has pledged $1.5 billion. "Tony Abbott has said that he wants to be an infrastructure prime minister," Dr Napthine told reporters on Monday. "We want to make sure that if we can work with the federal government to get the maximum benefit from the full East West Link sooner rather than later, let's do it." The Victorian government is going through the expressions of interest for stage one of the project, which would connect the Eastern Freeway to Melbourne's western suburbs.

Coalition puts Cross River Rail back on the table: Emerson

Posted Monday, 9 September, 2013 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

Queensland's transport minister says the state will have more money to spend on major projects like Cross River Rail with Tony Abbott as prime minister. Scott Emerson says the state government will consider funding projects such as the $5.2 billion underground rail project in Brisbane.   Mr Emerson says Labor wanted states to pay 50 per cent of funding for federal roads. However, the coalition will reintroduce the traditional 80 per cent Commonwealth federal road funding.

Truck drivers' 'arms race' frustrates police

Posted Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 by JimYarin in Other Transport News

Truck drivers are becoming more sophisticated in their attempts to illegally tamper with speed limiters, raising concerns that authorities will never get on top of the dangerous practice. Despite waging a war on rogue operators in the past 18 months, police have watched the tampering escalate from truck drivers tinkering with a vehicle's pulse wheel to installing highly technical electronic devices to manipulate the speed limiter, a mandatory device that stops heavy vehicles from travelling over 100 km/h. Highway Patrol Commander Stuart Smith said they are even pulling over speeding trucks and finding laptops in the cabin with bootleg software that dials into the engine management system to re-wire the limiter. ''We call it the arms race, '' said Roads and Maritime Services director of customer and compliance Peter Wells. ''As soon as we discover it, they're off finding a new, clever way of doing it.''

Barnstorming Barnaby ready to battle the miners, fight for rail

Posted Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 by JimYarin in Rail News

[b]OUTSPOKEN Nationals frontbencher Barnaby Joyce has vowed to protect prime farm land from mining and coal-seam gas, and ensure that an inland railway line connecting Brisbane and Melbourne is built by 2026.[/b] Mr Joyce made the transition from the Senate to the lower house in strong form, winning the seat of New England with 54 per cent of the primary vote. With the absence of a strong independent rival, he got a swing of 29 per cent. He dismissed speculation that he would become a rival to party leader Warren Truss, saying that the party needed Mr Truss's deep experience. The trained accountant likened winning the lower house seat vacated by retiring independent Tony Windsor to taking over a practice. He wanted first to make sure that he had his files, business structure and staffing in place so that he could serve the client base and fight for regional issues. The most important local issues included building a dam, an airport expansion, improved frontline health services, new mobile phone towers and expanding the live-cattle trade.

Sydney's new light rail system will feature futuristic wire-free trams to ensure clutter-free street

Posted Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 by JimYarin in Tram and Light Rail News

[b]EAT your heart out, Melbourne - Sydney's new light rail system will feature futuristic wire-free trams to ensure that George St stays clutter-free.[/b] Using the latest "zip-charge" technology popular in Europe and Asia, our transport revolution will be free of Melbourne's "visually intrusive wire jungles".

Dandenong fault triggers long rail delays on Cranbourne, Pakenham lines

Posted Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Commuters on two train lines in Melbourne's south-east face long delays after an equipment fault at one of the city's busiest train stations. Passengers on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines face delays of up to half an hour, Metro trains has warned, after a fault with track equipment at Dandenong station. The Cranbourne line branches from the Pakenham line at Dandenong station. Trains in both directions are affected.

Invest in buses instead of rail

Posted Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WHY are we spending so much time and money on high-speed rail when we can’t even get slow speed rail working effectively. Rail commuters seem to spend more time travelling in buses than on the rail system.

Campbell Newman reveals plan for underground rail and bus network to ease traffic woes

Posted Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Dubbed the Brisbane Underground, the rail and bus network is in the final stages of planning by the Newman Government as a cut-price alternative to the now defunct Cross River Rail. The tunnel will join the south side of the river with George Street and include underground stations in the city. It is understood the project will be paid for by the State Government and the private sector. Premier Campbell Newman said the Brisbane Underground proposal would cost "billions" of dollars less than Cross River Rail, which had an initial price tag of $8 billion.

Passengers able to tweet or text for a taxi under new scheme

Posted Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 by bevans in Other Transport News

[b]CABBIES turning up to the wrong address could be a thing of the past under new technology launched today.[/b] Passengers will be able to book a taxi via a tweet in what 13CABS calls a world first. It says the CABSTOP program, to be launched at the Victorian Taxi Association conference, is the quickest and fastest way to book a taxi, with passengers SMSing or tweeting a unique code rather than ringing a phone number and being on hold. 13CABS marketing and client services manager Simon Purssey said the taxi network had been working with Monash City Council for 18 months to put up CABSTOP signs featuring a unique code at prominent places across the municipality, including Chadstone Shopping Centre and Monash University.

Tonsley transport upgrade work uncertain in wake of federal Liberal victory

Posted Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis said he had to make a decision within days whether to continue with the Tonsley public transport project in Adelaide's southern suburbs. The Coalition announced last week it would scrap a $32 million federal commitment to the project. The upgrade includes a duplication of the rail line, improvements to two stations and park-and-ride facilities for commuters. Mr Koutsantonis said the work was well advanced.

Light rail plans on track as trams arrive

Posted Wednesday, 11 September, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The first of 14 trams for the Gold Coast light rail system are being unloaded at the Port of Brisbane. Two of the 43 metre-long carriages that will carry passengers between the Parklands and Broadbeach from next June arrived on a ship from Germany overnight. Spokesman Phil Mumford says it has been an extensive operation to transport the trams to the coast.

Hopes Newcastle grain terminal will ease cost pressures for producers

Posted Wednesday, 11 September, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

East coast grains producers are issuing warnings there needs to be more investment in transport and processing infrastructure in order to keep the industry buoyant. Hunter producers are hopeful the construction of a new grain terminal in Newcastle due to open at the end of this year is a sign of things to come. Grains analyst Mark Martin says Australian producers are facing real pressure from overseas producers. He points to countries such as Russia and the United States as being a real threat to Australia's market, saying each are able to ship grain at a third of the cost locally.

Fischer sees benefits in rail freight expansion plans

Posted Wednesday, 11 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer says a rail line between Mildura and Menindee would not only be a boost for local industries but for Australia's rail freight capacity. Under the current system, containers cannot be double-stacked on trains between Adelaide and Melbourne because of tunnels along the route.

Sydney Rail concept on show

Posted Wednesday, 11 September, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

SYDNEY Intermodal Terminal Alliance's (SIMTA) revised freight rail concept plan is now on public exhibition. The plan was released by the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure last week, and will be on public exhibition until October 21.

Time NOW to move on inland rail project

Posted Thursday, 12 September, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

The enthusiasm for an inland rail link between Melbourne and Brisbane was evident at a special gathering in Moree. Parkes Shire Council General Manager Kent Boyd and Economic and Business Development Manager Anna Wyllie attended the successful Inland Rail stakeholders meeting.

Rail chief pledge on timetable

Posted Friday, 13 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE new CEO of V/Line has vowed to start running country trains on time after admitting the operator had let some passengers down. Former Queensland Rail executive Theo Taifalos said V/Line's performance was weighed and measured twice daily and the statistics spoke for themselves. V/Line has failed to meet its target of running 92 per cent of trains on time on most lines for months on end. In his first broad interview since taking the top job in May, Mr Taifalos said that the operator was working hard to improve services by holding noon meetings every day to review the previous 24-hour performances and to prepare for afternoon peak traffic. "One of the things that public transport organisations do is interact with customers and people at the most emotionally-charged parts of their day - at the beginning and at the end of the day," Mr Taifalos said. "At the moment our on-time running has not been good and there's a multitude of factors for that.

Bribery charge shunts Brockman's rail bid

Posted Saturday, 14 September, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

BROCKMAN Mining's attempt to prove it has the managerial capability to be granted access to Fortescue Metals Group's Pilbara railway has suffered a blow after its Hong Kong-based chief executive, Peter Luk, was charged with bribery offences. Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption said yesterday that Mr Luk, 42, had been charged with "offering and accepting an advantage" consisting of 1.5 million shares in a Hong Kong-listed company, China Mining Resources Group, in 2008. Mr Luk was executive chairman of CMRG at the time. The market value of the shares was $HK330,000 ($46,000).

India's longest rail bridge grossly underutilised

Posted Saturday, 14 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Rajesh Agrawal, Thiruvananthapuram Divisional Railway Manager, has expressed serious concern over the gross underutilisation of the rail corridor linking the Vallarpadam transshipment terminal with Edappally. He was interacting with reporters here on Thursday. India’s longest rail bridge (4.62 km) is part of the 8.86-km-long rail corridor. He said now, only one train plied the rail route, exclusively meant for goods container traffic to and from the terminal, every week. This was mostly because goods transporters preferred to transport containers by road. The rail corridor could be put to optimum use only if at least three to five trains plied the route every day, he said.

The Gold Coast trams are here!

Posted Sunday, 15 September, 2013 by GeoffreyHansen in Tram and Light Rail News

THE first Gold Coast tram has been towed along the tracks into the light rail depot after a two hour journey from the Port of Brisbane early this morning.

Defence bid to control section of the Adelaide to Darwin rail line on one in every five days

Posted Sunday, 15 September, 2013 by JimYarin in Northern Territory Rail News

SOUTH Australia's iconic Ghan rail journey is under threat by a Defence Department bid to control a section of the Adelaide to Darwin rail line on one in every five days of the year. The Advertiser can reveal operators of part of the rail line, Genesee and Wyoming, were told they would have to cancel trains in May because Defence needed the Woomera Prohibited Area for military tests.

Majura Solar farm puts brake on high-speed rail: Canberra airport

Posted Monday, 16 September, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Canberra Airport says a proposed solar farm at Majura is contrary to plans for a major transport corridor, including a high speed train. The airport criticised the proposed solar farm last week saying glare from solar panels under the northern landing approach to runway 17 could cause flash blindness for pilots. Managing director Stephen Byron said the airport had been consulted and had subsequently supported three other solar farms in the territory, but had not been consulted on the Majura development.

Greens flag rail building in Cowper as important as highway

Posted Monday, 16 September, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

TRANSPORT infrastructure will not fall off the radar as an issue in the Cowper electorate despite the installation of a new Federal Government. While Labor's Alfredo Navarro has signalled pressure will be maintained on The Nationals to fulfil promises on the Pacific Highway duplication, The Greens have reminded supporters they'll continue to lobby for progress on rail development. Pre-election Budget cuts of $4.9 billion to public transport funding announced by Federal Coalition treasurer Joe Hockey on September 5 has angered both parties opposed to the move. And Greens candidate Carol Vernon is urging the importance of rail not be forgotten in the midst of highway lobbying.

Asbestos fears over Pilbara rail plan

Posted Monday, 16 September, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A Pilbara council has raised health concerns about Rio Tinto's plan to build a rail line near the asbestos-contaminated former town of Wittenoom. Rio has submitted environmental documents for a 167km line that would avoid the former townsite, abandoned by all but three residents, but go through the wider Wittenoom asbestos management area. Wittenoom is declared unfit for habitation because of its deadly blue asbestos, mined in Wittenoom Gorge until the late 1960s.

Man killed by train may have had perception skewed through camera

Posted Monday, 16 September, 2013 by 9034 in New Zealand Rail News

A Greymouth train buff killed when he was struck by steam train may have thought the engine was further up the tracks because his perception had been skewed through his camera, a friend says.

Train stations, tree-lined boulevards mooted for Fishermans Bend

Posted Tuesday, 17 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

An extension of the Collins Street tram and two underground train stations could be built at Fishermans Bend as part of a renewal project that will virtually double the size of the CBD. Premier Denis Napthine released the draft vision for Fishermans Bend on Monday, describing it as one of the "most exciting" urban renewal projects in the world. He said over the next 50 years, there would be 80,000 people living in Fishermans Bend and 40,000 new jobs in the area.

NSW Interstate Passenger Service to make way for local Brisbane CityTrain Services

Posted Tuesday, 17 September, 2013 by LegendsofSteam in New South Wales Rail News

More train paths will be opened up for Gold Coast commuters following an agreement between Queensland and New South Wales governments to change the timetable of the interstate passenger train.

Clive Palmer pushes Galilee Basin project despite rail battle

Posted Tuesday, 17 September, 2013 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

[left][color=#444444][size=4][font=Georgia,'Times New Roman',Times,serif]Queensland billionaire Clive Palmer hopes to receive federal government approval by the end of September for an $8 billion mine, rail and port project in the state’s Galilee Basin – despite doubts about his ability to access a rival rail ­network.[/font][/size][/color][/left] [left][color=#444444][size=4][font=Georgia,'Times New Roman',Times,serif]The Queensland Coordinator-General gave conditional approval in August to the rail and mine components of Mr Palmer’s Waratah coal project, which also needs federal approval.[/font][/size][/color][/left] [left][color=#444444][size=4][font=Georgia,'Times New Roman',Times,serif]The coal group hopes to get the federal government “over the line” this month as well, according to Waratah Coal managing director Nui Harris. He said the Coalition may accelerate the process given its promise to prioritise the construction of large-scale projects.[/font][/size][/color][/left]

Council considers need for Maiden Gully rail station

Posted Wednesday, 18 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The Bendigo council will look into whether a new railway station is needed in one of the city's growing suburbs. The council voted last night to endorse a precinct structure plan for the suburb of Maiden Gully, on Bendigo's south-western fringe. The area is expected to become home to more than 10,000 people by 2030.

CCTV footage of rail crossing near-miss should serve as warning, minister says

Posted Wednesday, 18 September, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Footage of a man narrowly escaping death after darting in front of an express train in Brisbane is a reminder of the dangers of ignoring signs and signals at railway crossings, Queensland's Transport Minister says. Scott Emerson says the 20-year-old man is lucky to be alive after he pushed through closed pedestrian gates at Cannon Hill station last month and crossed the tracks in front of a train travelling about 60 kilometres per hour. The CCTV footage posted by Queensland Rail on YouTube shows the man apparently being knocked to the ground by the rush of wind from the passing train.

State Government likely to run Abt railway as search continues for operator

Posted Wednesday, 18 September, 2013 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

The Tasmanian Government is struggling to find an operator for the troubled Abt Railway on the state's west coast. The heritage railway, which closed in April, is likely to reopen in time for summer but without a permanent operator. The tourism venture is likely to be run by the State Government while talks continue with two potential operators. The railway is being refurbished with a $6 million grant from the Commonwealth.

Bus, train collision kills six in Canada

Posted Thursday, 19 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

SCREAMING commuters in the Canadian capital were thrown from a double-decker bus when it ploughed into a passenger train at a suburban crossing, leaving six dead and scores injured. Five people died at the scene - including the bus driver, whose remains were so mangled they could not be immediately formally identified - and a sixth in hospital. Debris and bloody medical towels lay scattered trackside after emergency services mounted a large-scale rescue in a quiet district on the outskirts of Ottawa. Hours after the early morning commute turned to tragedy 10 of the 34 people injured in the accident were still in a serious condition.

Train drivers have the toughest job in the country

Posted Thursday, 19 September, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

STRESS. It's public enemy number one - the thing we worry about more than our finances, family, future and relationships. For most people, their jobs are the main source, and it can lead to a variety of conditions from burnout and fatigue, to anxiety, heart disease and diabetes. It also costs a fortune, with an estimated $15 billion lost to the economy each year due to stress-related issues. So what jobs stress us out the most? Statistics from Safe Work Australia based on the number of accepted claims for workers compensation for mental stress-related issues show one job stands out as being particularly hard. Train drivers have the toughest job in the country, according to the data, with 1025 claims made per 100 million hours worked - about 26 times more than the average job for males.

RACV survey: passengers unhappy with Warrnambool rail service

Posted Thursday, 19 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A SURVEY by transport advocate RACV has confirmed that passengers on Warrnambool trains are unhappy with the service. Only 10 per cent of people who participated in the mid-year questionnaire said they were satisfied with the trains.

RACV rates regional rail

Posted Thursday, 19 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

ARARAT train users are the happiest, but those catching the train from Albury or Geelong are very unsatisfied. Motoring group RACV has rated the state's regional trains as part of a statewide snapshot of transport failings. The On Track survey found the top issues for regional commuters were infrequent services, difficulty in parking at their station, trains not on time, lack of seating and security concerns at station carparks.

Loss of rail service looms

Posted Thursday, 19 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

[url="Amtrak"]Amtrak[/url] and state officials are racing to meet an Oct. 1 deadline on a cost-sharing agreement required to avert a rail shutdown in New York. Amtrak this week began notifying employees here and in other states without agreements that service could end on some routes and that their jobs could be abolished. Mayors and congressional representatives also were to be notified, Amtrak said in a letter last month to the [url="Federal+Railroad+Administration"]Federal Railroad Administration[/url]. The cost-sharing agreement is required by legislation Congress passed five years ago. Known as the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, or PRIIA, it requires states and Amtrak to jointly develop a method to share costs for trains on routes of up to 750 miles.

Regional rail link to be complete by end of 2014, six months early

Posted Friday, 20 September, 2013 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

THE $4.8 billion Regional Rail Link should be finished by the end of next year, six months ahead of schedule. And the State Government said Victoria's biggest current infrastructure project had created 500 more direct jobs than anticipated. Premier Denis Napthine said the project would now be "creating nearly 3500 jobs directly" but almost 6000 workers would benefit in total. "It is also creating thousands more (jobs) in the cafes, suppliers and related industries that service the project," he said. "Thanks to our good management, this project will also be delivered months ahead of schedule." To speed the project up, Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder has ordered intensive works along existing rail lines, forcing commuters to catch buses between stations.

Alliance of councils calls for action on freight line

Posted Friday, 20 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

AN alliance of Victorian councils is agitating for state government action on the state’s rail freight network. The Alliance of Councils for Rail Freight Development has called on the government to plan now for standardisation of the broad gauge freight network over the next 15 years.

Councils explore rail Western District shuttle links

Posted Friday, 20 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WESTERN Victorian councils are banding together to advocate for a feasibility analysis for shuttle services linking their regional centres. Staff and representatives from the Southern Grampians Shire and neighbouring Glenelg Shire and Horsham Rural City met in Hamilton yesterday to explore options for passenger rail services from Ararat through Hamilton to Portland and from West Wimmera to Ararat through Horsham.

Derailed station plan exposed

Posted Friday, 20 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A new railway station at [url=]Southland shopping centre[/url] is likely to have few of the amenities voters were promised at the last state election, because the Coalition grossly underestimated the project's cost and is now looking to build it as cheaply as possible. The planned station would be built without the promised waiting room, lifts, bike cage, two-bay bus interchange and drop-off and pick-up zone, according to state government documents. It would also have no public toilets, and just 10 per cent of the platform area would have shelter, although it would have facilities for protective services officers.

Rail users face myki switch

Posted Friday, 20 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Paper train tickets for several V/Line services will be abolished from Monday, with passengers forced to use the myki system. Passengers travelling between Melbourne and Traralgon, Bendigo, Ballarat, and Seymour will have to make the switch. Myki was introduced on shorter regional train journeys this year but longer-haul trips to Mildura, Wodonga and Warrnambool services are still using the paper ticket system.

Iron Knob mining set to resume

Posted Friday, 20 September, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The board of Arrium Mining has approved the resumption of mining at Iron Knob near Whyalla. Preparations are underway to build offices and roads to the area, which has not operated as a full-scale mine since the late 1990s.

Rail Traffic Is Gathering Steam Again

Posted Sunday, 22 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Rail traffic showed more signs of positive economic growth this week as intermodal traffic rose 4.9% compared with the same week last year.  Total traffic was up 3.1% and the 12 week moving average in intermodal rose to 3%.  That’s the highest reading since May of this year.

Queensland's own 'Orient Express' emerges from storage at The Workshops Rail Museum at Ipswich

Posted Sunday, 22 September, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

THE most luxurious train ever built in Queensland has re-emerged after a decade hidden away in a dusty work shed while elected officials broker a deal to give the public even greater access. The opulent dark wood and stained-glass [color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Great South Pacific Express [/font][/size][/color]has been mothballed in an off-limits section of The Workshops Rail Museum at Ipswich after the failure of a partnership between the State Government and the Orient-Express company.

G-whiz excitement greets first Gold Coast tram

Posted Monday, 23 September, 2013 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

The Gold Coast light rail system has reached another milestone with the $1.2 billion tram network today given a name. The first branded G-Link tram was unveiled at a ceremony at the Southport depot this morning and Mayor Tom Tate says he backs the branding. "The brand name is G and everyone is thinking what does that mean? I just mean Gold Coasters get on board," he said.

Meat processors want new trade approach to Indonesia and new rail line

Posted Monday, 23 September, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Australia's meat processors are meeting on the Gold Coast this week. Australia produces 4 per cent of the world's beef, or two million tonnes a year, and is the third largest beef exporter. The post-farm gate value of of Australia's beef industry is $11.6 billion, of which 60 per cent is exported to over 100 countries. But over half of the value of sales is on the domestic market. China is becoming an increasingly important export market for Australian red meat. Exports in August reached new highs of nearly 25,000 tonnes, or just under 20 per cent of Australia's total red meat shipments.

Noarlunga rail line delay means free public transport for commuters in Adelaide's south

Posted Monday, 23 September, 2013 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

The Noarlunga train line is to remain closed for as long as another two months. The line in Adelaide's south already been closed for nine months for upgrade work and was scheduled to resume operation by the end of this month. Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis said contractors installing a new signal system were behind schedule. He said the work now was not expected to be finished for up to another 60 days.

Fare evasion up but patronage down

Posted Monday, 23 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The level of fare evasion on Melbourne's public transport system rose 2.5 per cent in just eight months last year, while the number of people travelling on the system fell 2 per cent, figures show. Fare evasion has been worst on the buses, where it almost doubled from 9.1 per cent to 16 per cent between October and May. Meanwhile, bus patronage fell 5.7 per cent for the 2012-13 financial year. The increase in fare evasion was less severe on trains and trams, rising from 8.8 to 9.9 per cent on trains and 10.5 to 11.9 per cent on trams.

Stop piranhas eating your privates in Dumb Ways to Die for Android and iOS

Posted Tuesday, 24 September, 2013 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

In November 2012, Metro Trains Melbourne released a catchy song on YouTube to help raise safety awareness about trains. This 'Dumb Ways to Die' ditty featured cute characters dying in a variety of stupid and comical ways. Lo and behold, it was a huge hit. Since its release, in fact, the video has been viewed over 59 million times. Now, though, Metro Trains Melbourne has taken the campaign one step further, and released an app to accompany the video.

Secret report casts doubt on train plan

Posted Tuesday, 24 September, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Running single-deck trains through Sydney would not allow more people to travel on the train system, says a report commissioned by Transport for NSW and kept secret by the department, contradicting repeated claims by Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian. [url=]The report[/url] was being prepared at the time Ms Berejiklian and her department were drawing up plans to run smaller single-deck trains on the new north-west rail link and on other lines as well. When Ms Berejiklian and Premier Barry O'Farrell announced in June 2012 they would build the north-west rail link as a privately-run shuttle between Rouse Hill and Chatswood, they also said parts of the Illawarra Line and Bankstown Line as far as Hurstville and Cabramatta would eventually be converted to run single-deck trains once a second rail crossing of the harbour was built.

Different rail gauge forces trains onto trucks

Posted Tuesday, 24 September, 2013 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

Toll NQX has been forced to haul five 22-metre trains on the back of trucks from Queensland to South Australia due to differences in rail gauges.  The 129-tonne trains, each worth $6 million, were hauled from Maryborough to Whyalla on five separate 2,200km long truck journeys spanning three states.  Toll NQX manager John Gunning says the trains had to be delivered to South Australia via truck as Queensland has a different rail gauge to the rest of Australia.

Labor fury at rail plan delays

Posted Wednesday, 25 September, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

Colin Barnett's admission that the time line for delivering the Government's big two public transport projects will slip up to another two years is more evidence his "fully funded, fully costed" election pledge was a "lie", the Opposition says. The Premier admitted in a weekend interview that the $1.9 billion MAX light-rail and $2 billion airport rail projects would likely be pushed back up to two years because WA had lost its AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's. The projects were promised to be delivered by 2018 in the election campaign, but the time frame slipped to 2019 in last month's State Budget. Now Mr Barnett says they could be delayed a further two years. He said voters would understand, in the same way that they understood the Government had to push back building the new football stadium after the global financial crisis.

Spain's rail chief charged over crash

Posted Wednesday, 25 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

A SPANISH judge has charged the president of the company in charge of Spain's rail infrastructure and his two predecessors in connection with a train derailment that killed 79 people in July. The three men are among 30 current and former leaders of the company Adif, who were charged over "a serious lack of action" on security issues, under a judicial inquiry into the accident. Current Adif president Gonzalo Ferre was summoned to appear before Judge Luis Alaez on October 10, and his predecessors Enrique Verdeguer and Antonia Gonzalez Martin on December 11, according to the court ruling.

Perth rail station closed again mid-October for ongoing works

Posted Wednesday, 25 September, 2013 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

PERTH Train Station will be closed once again in mid-October as part of the ongoing Perth City Link project. The Fremantle and Thornlie lines will be completely shut down as part of the closure and other lines will have partial closures. The station will be closed from 10pm on Friday, October 11 to first thing on Monday, October 14 with replacement buses in place. It is also expected there will be several night closures in place over the coming months after the mid-October shutdown.

Venture signs rail deal despite pending legal bid to stop Tarkine mine

Posted Thursday, 26 September, 2013 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

TasRail has struck a deal with a mining company developing an iron ore project in the state's Tarkine region. Venture Minerals expects to begin site works at Riley Creek in coming weeks, after environmentalists lost their bid to stop it. TasRail chief Damien White says from early next year, ore will be carried on an existing line from Rosebery to Burnie. He says the value of the deal is confidential, but shows the industry's need for rail.

Level crossing death prompts calls for clearer signs

Posted Friday, 27 September, 2013 by bevans in Tasmanian Rail News

A Tasmanian coroner has raised concerns about complacency about the dangers of railway crossings and is urging rail authorities to install clearer signs. Coroner Don Jones investigated the death of Robert John Joblin in May last year at WiImores Lane, Longford.

A road less travelled – funding Australia’s urban rail

Posted Friday, 27 September, 2013 by bevans in Rail News

Sydney’s West Connex Motorway, one of Australia’s biggest infrastructure projects, is [url=]not without its downsides[/url] but may provide a potential model on how future urban public transport projects can be financed. The first phase of the $11 billion project has been funded by the NSW government with [url=]the sale of Port Botany[/url]. The failure to properly predict vehicle patronage in the past decade has resulted in a series of [url=]tollway business failures[/url]. So by opting to build the first phase itself, the government can accurately assess patronage estimates and hence toll income, then sell it off to private owners and operators, using the resulting funds to begin the next stage of the system. Across Australia there is a backlog of urban rail projects that are now not in the [url=]Federal knitting[/url]. Perhaps the West Connex model provides a way forward on urban public transport – with some advantages over motorways.

Man killed at Blue Mountains train station after walking on to tracks to fetch hat

Posted Friday, 27 September, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A man has died after being hit by a train while chasing after his hat at a station in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. The man, who is believed to be in his 60s, was hit by a westbound train while he was standing on train tracks at the Valley Heights Railway Station shortly after 6pm (AEST) yesterday. Police say closed-circuit television shows the man walking on to the tracks after his hat was blown off by a gust of wind. Emergency services were called to the station and found the man trapped under the train's back wheels.

3 transformers headed to crippled NY, Conn. rail

Posted Friday, 27 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

NEW YORK (AP) — Officials announced a plan to supply partial power to a heavily trafficked line of the nation's second largest commuter railroad as tens of thousands of commuters took to the highways and continued to scramble for alternative routes after a power failure disrupted service along the line serving the densely populated Connecticut suburbs and New York City. New York-based utility Consolidated Edison was setting up three transformers to try and supply the needed 27,000 volts of power to a high-voltage line that failed Wednesday at a suburban New York[url="Metro-North+Railroad"]Metro-North Railroad[/url] station, Connecticut Gov.[url="Dannel+P.+Malloy"]Dannel P. Malloy[/url] said at a news conference in New York City's [url="Grand+Central+Terminal"]Grand Central Terminal[/url] Thursday evening.

California getting more of its oil by rail

Posted Friday, 27 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

Oil extracted from massive new fields in North Dakota and other states is rolling into California in growing quantities aboard long-haul freight trains, paralleling a surge in crude moving on rail across North America. More than 200,000 barrels of crude per month were imported into California this summer, a fourfold increase from early 2012, according to data compiled by the California Energy Commission. Though the total amount is still small, it marks a little-noticed departure from the state's reliance on its own declining oil patches, the Alaskan North Slope and foreign nations, led by Saudi Arabia.

Rail line project deadline looms

Posted Friday, 27 September, 2013 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

It's the nation-building infrastructure project that has the potential to increase export opportunities, reduce waiting times at NSW ports, while reducing congestion on the Sydney rail network; and all it needs is some private sector investment.

Car and train collide at Rail Crossing in Taupaki Road

Posted Monday, 30 September, 2013 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

At 10.03am this morning Police were called to a report of a car colliding with a freight train at a railway crossing on Taupaki Road, near Waitakere Village. The crash happened on a rail crossing controlled by lights and bells. The female driver of the car and two children who were passengers in the vehicle were all injured. The driver and one of the children were seriously injured , another child received moderate injuries. All three were taken to Auckland Hospital.

California high-speed rail: 52 percent of voters against project

Posted Monday, 30 September, 2013 by bevans in International Rail News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- A new poll reveals California voters are against the bullet train project linking Los Angeles and San Francisco. According to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times survey, 52 percent of voters want the $68-billion project stopped. Forty-three percent of voters say it should move forward.

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