Showing stories from May 2014

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Rats likely cause of fire that sparked train delays across Melbourne

Posted Thursday, 1 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

More train delays after overnight fire. Commuters are being warned to expect delays on four major train lines on Wednesday afternoon while repair work continues on a substation that caught fire at Richmond station.

Premier Denis Napthine had 'direct involvement' in Midfield Meat expansion

Posted Thursday, 1 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Premier Denis Napthine had a ''direct involvement'' in helping pave the way for the expansion of the food processing operation led by wealthy businessman Colin McKenna, who co-owns a racehorse with the Premier. So say confidential Warrnambool council documents, obtained by The Age, which also reveal that the government pressed the council to assist the expansion of Mr McKenna's food processing operation, Midfield Meat. The council report, dated February 10, refers to a meeting between Mr McKenna and Dr Napthine late last year. It then notes: ''Council has been requested by the Midfield Group and state government to assist with the facilitation of the Midfield expansion.''

Rail Crossings on Midland Highway at Newstead have been removed

Posted Thursday, 1 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

This morning  (Thursday, 1 May) the lights and bells on the Castlemaine to Maryborough line at the Midland Highway crossing at Newstead are being removed. This is state sponsored vandalism of publicly owned assets that are held in trust  by the Napthine Government.

Melbourne rail services back on track

Posted Thursday, 1 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=4][font='Times New Roman', sans-serif][b][b]MELBOURNE train services have resumed following a blaze that threw services into chaos.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font='Times New Roman', sans-serif]New cabling has been installed by rail operator Metro and the four lines which were still experiencing major delays during Wednesday evening's peak hour are back to normal.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font='Times New Roman', sans-serif]A Metro spokeswoman says there has been a very small number of cancellations, but otherwise services have resumed to normal on the Frankston, Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sandringham lines.[/font][/size][/color]

Power problem closes light rail between Lilyfield and Dulwich Hill

Posted Thursday, 1 May, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Services on the new light rail extension between Lilyfield and Dulwich Hill were suspended in both directions during Thursday morning's peak hour due to a power supply problem at a substation. The Transport Management Centre (TMC) said there was no forecast for when the power issue, at the the Lewisham West substation, would be fixed and when services would be restored. The power supply issue occurred about 7.30am on Thursday, a TMC spokeswoman said. "Technicians are on site and working to restore services as soon as possible," a spokeswoman for Transdev, which operates the light rail, said.

Maitland rail upgrade considered: Gladys Berejiklian

Posted Thursday, 1 May, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

RE-OPENING old train stations in Maitland and upgrading public transport services are prospective projects under funding consideration, Minister for the Hunter Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed. And a decision about the preferred light rail option for Newcastle CBD is also imminent, with an announcement to be made “in the near future” during another visit to the region, she said yesterday. Ms Berejiklian kicked off her first tour of the region as Minister for the Hunter in Maitland with $5 million in the Coalition chequebook to upgrade the 14 train carriages on the Hunter line.

India train bombs kill woman, injure nine at Chennai station

Posted Thursday, 1 May, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Twin bombs on a train have killed a 22-year-old woman and injured nine other people in India's main southern city of Chennai.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The explosions, which come as India holds its general elections, went off in two carriages on a train arriving at Chennai Central Railway Station this morning.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A 22-year-old female passenger was killed instantly. Two people suffered serious injuries.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]General manager of Southern Railway Rakesh Misra said the blasts were of "minor intensity" in two coaches.[/font][/size]

Sydney transport chaos after two road fatalities, light rail outage

Posted Friday, 2 May, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Police are yet to identify a male cyclist killed in a collision with a bus at Neutral Bay on Thursday afternoon. The Sydney Buses vehicle appeared to have been turning left off Military Road onto Ben Boyd Road opposite the Oaks Hotel shortly after 4pm when it hit the cyclist.

Loddon Mallee Rail Report

Posted Friday, 2 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

If the Minister for Regional Development, Peter Ryan and Minister for Transport, Terry Mulder were worth their salt and the privilege of their office and had a genuine and purposeful commitment to the ambitions, drive and interests of country Victorians. Then they would have taken the report prepared by Professor E W (Bill) Russell, Railing Ahead, Rail Issues and Opportunities and Future – Proofing in the Loddon Mallee Region of Victoria and taken it the next stage with further in depth research and field work and culminating in a strategic and implementation plan being initiated. However, these two mediocre and lethargic ministers would prefer that the report just simply vanished, so that it didn’t disturb their impervious and insular positions.

Culcairn death disrupts XPT train services

Posted Friday, 2 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Train services have been disrupted today after a person died in an incident near Culcairn overnight.  NSW Police said a train had struck a person at the Culcairn railway crossing, on Belfour Street, at 1.45am.

Rail Back on Track praises QR but wants more data

Posted Friday, 2 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]COMMUTER advocates have called on the State Government to release all public transport on-time running data after peak train times showed marked improvements in QR's reliability.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Statistics released by Transport Minister Scott Emerson revealed Ipswich commuters have enjoyed more efficient peak train services over the past two years.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]More than 97% of the Ipswich and Springfield line morning peak services were on time - an improvement of nearly 10% on the Springfield line.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Rail Back on Track spokesperson Robert Dow said the on-time performance for all services give a better idea of how QR is performing. He said other metropolitan public service providers publish all on-time data.[/font][/size][/color]

Public transport announcements may be less than they seem

Posted Friday, 2 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#666666][size=1][font=Roboto, Arial, sans-serif][b]On Tuesday 6[sup]th[/sup] May, the Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien will bring down his pre-election budget. Unlike the horror federal budget to be brought down the following week by Joe Hockey, the Victorian Budget is meant to be full of pleasant vote-catching surprises.[/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#666666][size=1][font=Roboto, Arial, sans-serif]Judging by the carefully timed pre-announcements, the focus is very much on public transport with all manner of new investments being promised. The lack of detail released so far and the evasiveness on timing leaves a great deal of uncertainty about the substance of these promises. The State Budget papers are meant to reveal all, but on recent performance they may leave as many questions as they answer.[/font][/size][/color]

Caroline Springs' wait for a station finally ends

Posted Friday, 2 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

A new V/Line railway station for Caroline Springs in Melbourne’s outer-west will open in 2016, the Napthine government says.

Sydney Trains lost property auction at Pickles Auctions at Milperra tomorrow offers iPads, smartphones and jewellery

Posted Friday, 2 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][b][b]Thousands of dollars worth of goods will be up for grabs at the Sydney Trains lost property auction tomorrow, including several that will make you wonder how they got lost in the first place.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]From ladders to leaf blowers, walking sticks and wheelchairs, the auction is a treasure trove of random items found on Sydney Trains.[/font][/size][/color]

Premier super-sizes toll road

Posted Friday, 2 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#666666][size=1][font=Roboto, Arial, sans-serif][b]On becoming Premier, Denis Napthine leg-shackled himself to building the $6-8 billion East-West toll road, set to be the most expensive traffic jam in the Victorian history.[/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#666666][size=1][font=Roboto, Arial, sans-serif]Then he discovered it’s economically unviable, socially retrograde and environmentally disastrous, not to mention deeply unpopular - among both experts and the public. Every poll confirms that Victorians would prefer investment in public transport. So Premier Napthine spent over three million of our taxpayers dollars advertising it, trying to make it more popular. Instead, hundreds of individuals and groups lined up at its Comprehensive Impact Statement hearings to explain why it should never be built.[/font][/size][/color]

Landmark Water Tower Clock set to return to Spencer Street

Posted Saturday, 3 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

A giant 19th-century clock that was a landmark for generations of Melburnians before being discarded for scrap in the 1960s, will be a city landmark once again

All aboard for major upgrades of Mildura rail line

Posted Saturday, 3 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]NORTH-WEST Victoria will this morning be given the news it has been waiting to hear for more than a decade: the Melbourne-Mildura railway line is to be upgraded and converted to standard gauge.[/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Sunraysia Daily understands that Victoria’s Deputy Premier Peter Ryan is expected to announce the upgrade at the annual conference of the Victorian Nationals in Benalla today.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Mr Ryan’s announcement presages a new era of fast, reliable rail freight in the state’s north-west, and a major boost to the region’s economy – where rail has gone, history shows economic development invariably follows.[/font][/size][/color]

Victorians hit for $1 million a day for rail upgrade

Posted Saturday, 3 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Victorians will have to pay up to $5.2 billion, or almost $1 million a day, for the Napthine government's Pakenham/Cranbourne rail upgrade, the first long-term major privatisation of a key part of Melbourne's rail network. Leaked cabinet documents reveal the government has fast-tracked the multibillion-dollar project – Australia's biggest-ever rail public-private partnership – to ensure contracts are signed ahead of the November state election. Critics, including academics and Labor, have slammed the private-sector proposed upgrade – dubbed ''Project Flinders'' in the documents – as a corporate hijacking of transport planning in Victoria.

Record infrastructure budget targets metro rail and level crossing upgrades

Posted Saturday, 3 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The state Coalition has tied its political fortunes to a budget with record infrastructure spending that will accelerate plans for the long-awaited metro rail tunnel and include more than $1 billion for level crossing upgrades. At the centre of the infrastructure pitch - expected to involve more than $20 billion worth of major projects - will be plans for a realigned metro rail project to dramatically boost the capacity of the network by adding a dedicated line connecting to the City Loop from the east to the city. A key claim will be that three years of prudent budget management have enabled the government to unleash a level of infrastructure spending rivalling the Kennett years, despite economic headwinds. State Treasury is expected to predict strengthening employment, solid economic growth and strong surpluses across the four-year budget period

$14.3m rail upgrade near Ballan expected to speed up train trips

Posted Saturday, 3 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

A passing loop will be built near Bacchus Marsh, with the Ballan station also receiving an upgrade in a $14.3-million investment. Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the plan was originally to build the one-kilometre passing loop near Ballan, as per a 2010 election promise when he was in opposition.  However, Mr Mulder said an extensive review had led to the new location near Bacchus Marsh, close to the township of Rowsley.

More Vic level crossings to be removed

Posted Saturday, 3 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

ANOTHER three Victorian level crossings will be removed under a $457 million blitz. The state government will fund crossing removals at Glen Iris, Blackburn and Ormond in Tuesday's 2014/15 budget, creating about 1000 new construction jobs. Treasurer Michael O'Brien said the three crossings were the worst in the state and their removal would provide relief for more than 80,000 motorists.

Transport campaign incorrectly kills off Zone 2

Posted Saturday, 3 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Taxpayer-funded advertisements promoting the Napthine government's public transport projects have been labelled inaccurate and misleading. The multimillion-dollar Moving Victoria campaign, which includes TV and online commercials as well as a website, details completed and planned road and public transport projects. At the top of the list in the projects section of the Moving Victoria website is "Free CBD trams, cheaper trains and buses", which states that "Zone 2 will be abolished".

Victorian Transport Minister denies knowledge of Castlemaine Railway level crossing removal

Posted Sunday, 4 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

When you have a Transport Minister who when interviewed on radio and asked why the crossings are being pulled up and he says that he doesn't know about it and needs to talk to his staff, we know something is acutely wrong!!! The level of incompetence exhibited by the Transport Minister and Minister for Regional Development defies belief, but then when you observe the lack of calibre of the ministers you find that your opinion of them is quite justified!!

High-rise plan for railway hubs

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Residents of Melbourne's politically sensitive south-east face the possibility of high-rise development at their rail stations including Murrumbeena, under a confidential deal between the Napthine government and a consortium led by the city's private rail operator. The deal for the proposed multibillion-dollar upgrade of the Pakenham-Cranbourne rail corridor - contained in documents leaked to The Sunday Age - includes a specific clause about development around sites identified for level crossing removals. ''Key'' issues to be negotiated with the Hong Kong-based rail operator Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) and its partners include ''exploring value capture opportunities associated with land development at grade separation sites''. The Sunday Age is aware that MTM views the Pakenham-Cranbourne project - including property development - as the first of a series of schemes across the Melbourne network.

Back on track: VFF says rail upgrade great for farmers

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Victorian Farmers Federation says a $220 million Victorian Government budget commitment to upgrading the state’s north-west rail freight network will put farmers “back on track”.

Police to target Hunter rail crossings

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

[b]Hunter Valley police will be targeting risky driving behaviour at level crossings in an operation running for the next two weeks.[/b] Traffic and highway patrol officers in the Hunter Valley will be increasing patrols of level crossings across the region, including at Segenhoe Road and Rouchel Road Aberdeen.

Caroline Springs station will overcrowd trains: Greens

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

THE addition of the new Caroline Springs train station to the Ballarat line will overcrowd carriages and lengthen journey times for commuters, according to Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber.

More grain set to flow through Port of Portland

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

GRAIN exports through the Port of Portland are set to explode after the state government announced plans to spend $220 million modernising western Victoria’s rail network.  The state will spend millions on upgrading rail lines from old broad gauge to standard gauge and building the transformational Mildura rail standardisation link.  The move will bolster rail links between Portland and Mildura.

Hunter Street option could cost rail link

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

THANKS to the Urban Growth Newcastle renewal video  and Property Council pronouncements, the community now knows that the proposals for light rail routes  along Hunter Street could be a recipe to shut the rail line, replace rail services  with buses from Broadmeadow,  build on the rail corridor and not install light rail at all.  The video shows opportunity sites  for tall buildings on the rail line. This could explain the government’s reluctance to consider any proposal, such as ours, which involves using the existing rail corridor for light rail through to Newcastle Station.

Investors cane Aurizon after rail bid

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by newsbot in Aurizon

AURIZON chief Lance Hockridge stresses the rail operator is not about to veer violently off the main line into the riskier business of digging up — as opposed to carting — mineral commodities. Still, the formerly sleepy Queensland coal carter is taking a ballsy punt in its quest to prize away Pilbara rail exclusivity from the big three iron-ore miners. Along with Chinese steel giant Baosteel, Aurizon is jointly bidding for Aquila Resources, which half-owns the stalled West Pilabara Iron Ore Project (WPIOP). If the off-market, $1.13bn cash offer fully succeeds, Aurizon ends up with 15 per cent of Aquila.

Government commits $43m to Melbourne City Loop Upgrades

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

The government is expected to announce tomorrow a $43m investment into Melbourne's City Loop.  Railpage understands the money is to address safety concerns which have been acknowledged for some time as have as yet been addressed by any government.

Building a future beyond rail works

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

On Tuesday, Treasurer Michael O'Brien will unveil the state budget. With an election in six months, Victorians can expect much less swinging of the sharpened axe than is expected in Canberra next week. Here, the public can expect to feel the swish of promises. The Premier, Denis Napthine, and the Coalition will be hoping that voters like what they feel. Infrastructure may be the ugliest word in the language, but on it hinges so much of the state's prosperity. Mr O'Brien has said it ''will be a very big infrastructure budget'', and indeed some projects have already been flagged. Last week Dr Napthine confirmed plans for the building of both stages of the East West Link at the same time. The 18 kilometres of road is expected to cost $18 billion. The government has also taken out of the drawer the promise of a rail link to Melbourne Airport, regional rail improvements, including an upgrade to the Cranbourne-Pakenham corridor, the Metro rail project, with the removal of level crossings, the redevelopment of the Port of Hastings and the leasing of the Port of Melbourne. (The New South Wales government announced last week a deal for the 98-year leasing of the Port of Newcastle for $1.75 billion.)

Knox holds its breath on Rowville rail extension in State Budget

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

AS LOBBYISTS woo the State Government to build the Rowville Rail, one Bayswater resident has revealed local government already delivered rail to Knox – 100 years ago. Transport funding is at the top of the budget wish list, with Knox City Council advocating for [url=]progress on a railway line to Rowville, the extension of a tram service to Knox Central, and improved bus services[/url]. As residents pray for a modern railk extension, Knox historian Ray Peace has uncovered the city’s first rail line opened “with three hearty cheers” on February 12, 1914.

New signalling system to thwart rats, transport minister says

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

[size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A pack of rats may have crippled Melbourne's train network, but work is under way to make sure the rodents can't trigger such problems again, the state's transport minister says.[/font][/size]

Coalition commits to standardising Victorian rail network

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Government says a business case into standardising the freight network from Mildura to Geelong will be completed by the end of the year. The Murray Basin Rail Project will convert existing broad gauge tracks to a standard gauge, bringing rail networks in Victoria's west into line with key freight networks across the country. Construction on the project is expected to be completed by 2018; $41 million dollars in rail maintenance will be spent in the project's first stage for ageing tracks from Mildura to Maryborough and from Hopetoun to Murtoa.

Troy Buswell to explain $14,000 European tour to investigate light rail

Posted Monday, 5 May, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett says Troy Buswell will be required to account for the cost of a trip to Europe where the former treasurer spent almost $14,000 on hotels, airport transfers and fine dining. The trip in August and September last year took Mr Buswell and his then chief-of-staff to the French countryside as part of a study tour to investigate light rail. Mr Barnett says Mr Buswell will have to justify the expenses in a report that will be tabled in Parliament. He says Government travel can be costly.

Man dangling legs off platform hit by light rail train

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A 28-year-old Rahway man who had his legs dangling off the platform at the Danforth Avenue light rail station in Jersey City was struck by a train yesterday morning around 7, according to a NJ Transit spokeswoman.

Call to fix footpath entrance from rail station to Belair National Park, in line with grand entrance

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in South Australian Rail News

AN OVERGROWN footpath leading visitors to Belair National Park from the Belair train station has been left in a “disgusting condition” four years after the State Government spent $1.7 million upgrading the park’s main entrance, it’s been claimed. Roger Hancock said visitors arriving by train, who were likely to be tourists, were being treated as “second-class citizens” because of the degraded and almost inaccessible footpath. The path, which connects the station to Sir Edwin Ave, is surrounded by overgrown vegetation, is uneven and narrow and is almost impassable when heavy rain floods parts of the track.

Rerouted Metro Rail project to top Victorian budget

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Victoria's best state budget coverage is [url=]here[/url] from 3.30pm. All the news that affects you - transport, schools, hospitals, cost of living. With expert analysis from state political editor Josh Gordon, national economics editor Peter Martin and senior business analyst Malcolm Maiden. A multibillion-dollar rail tunnel from Southern Cross Station to South Yarra will be the biggest item in this year’s Victorian budget. The Metro Rail Capacity Project, formerly called the Melbourne Metro, will run via St Kilda Road and Fishermans Bend. This is a radical departure from the original plan, in which the tunnel was to have run beneath Swanston Street with five new stations including at Parkville and North Melbourne. Work will start in 2016, News Limited has reported. A Napthine government spokeswoman labelled the report “speculation”, although Premier Denis Napthine has hinted heavily in the past that the original plans for Melbourne Metro had been torn up for a new route.

Napthine Budget pledge to start rail tunnel dig in 2016

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=4][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]WORK on a rail tunnel between Southern Cross Station and South Yarra will begin in 2016, the State Government will announce.[/font][/size][/color]

Bunbury Street webcam Hits the News!

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Railway Stories

TO the casual onlooker, [url=]Michelle Delaney[/url] might just have stopped at Footscray’s Bunbury Street railway overpass to admire the city backdrop, but her eyes are firmly on the track.

Railway tracks along Nagothane and Roha poorly maintained: railway officials

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Asciano

[color=#444444][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Poor maintenance of railway tracks along Nagothane and Roha section of the Central Railway resulted in the derailment of Diva-Sawantwadi Road passenger train, which claimed 21 lives and injured 124 passengers on Sunday, said railway sources.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#444444][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The engine and four coaches fell off the tracks after derailing between Nagothane and Roha on Sunday. Another coach was partially derailed. While loco pilot of the train, Srinivas Rao and a spare loco pilot Govind Solunkhe suffered minor injuries, assistant loco pilot Deepak Kumar suffered serious injuries. All three are admitted in Kalyan Railway Hospital.[/font][/size][/color]

Fears small business will crumble as light rail wipes out parking on Anzac Pde

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

The South East Light Rail (CSELR) project’s own David and Goliath battle is pitting mum and dad businesses against the might of a $1.6 billion State Government project which promises to revitalise the area. For the small family businesses which dot Anzac Pde at Kingsford and Kensington the price of progress is a threat to their very ­existence. [url=]Related: 10 things you need to know about light rail[/url] [url=]Related:: Council debates rescue plan[/url] The battle they are facing is enormous – their businesses will be in the middle of a construction zone for five to six years and when the project is complete there will still be no parking for their customers, with Anzac Pde to be made a clearway.

Darling-central walkway will be Sydney’s ‘high line’

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

WORK has commenced on a bold new pedestrian thoroughfare that will link Darling Harbour and Central Station. Running through Pyrmont and Ultmo, the Goods Line is being built in two stages. The north line is approximately 250m long and extends from the Ultimo Rail underbridge to the Powerhouse Museum and the Goods Line South runs from the rail underbridge through to Railway Square.

State budget 2014: Major road and rail projects worth $24b to transform Melbourne

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

In an election year budget, the Napthine government has picked up on the public mood and gone all out on transport spending, pledging that up to $24 billion will be invested in major new road and rail projects that will transform Melbourne. The showpiece of this year's budget is the "Melbourne Rail Link", a 7.5 kilometre tunnel from South Yarra to Southern Cross Station that the government says will deliver a 30 per cent boost to rail capacity, carrying 35,000 extra passengers per hour on 30 extra train services. With $830 million committed over the next four years, starting with a modest $40 million in this budget, the Melbourne Rail Link is scheduled to open in 2023, Treasurer Michael O'Brien said. "Melbourne Rail Link will be the biggest expansion of the rail network since Henry Bolte created the City Loop," Mr O'Brien said.

Clock ticking on tunnels at major rail artery, Amtrak warns

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

The lifespan for the rail tunnels connecting [url=]New York City[/url] to [url=]New Jersey[/url] could be up in less than 20 years, creating a transportation crunch for one of the busiest rail corridors in the world, [url=]Capital New York[/url] reported Monday. "I'm being told we got something less than 20 years before we have to shut one or two down," Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman said last week at the Regional Plan Association's conference." Something less than 20. I don't know if that something less than 20 is seven, or some other number. But to build two new ones, you're talking seven to nine years to deliver, if we all decided today that we could do it."

Six wounded in knife attack at southern China rail station

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

Six people were wounded in a knife attack at a railway station in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Tuesday, police said, the latest in a series of such assaults that have raised jitters around the country. Police gave no reason for the attack, but China's nervousness about Islamic militancy has grown since a car burst into flames on the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October and 29 people were stabbed to death in March in the southwestern city of Kunming. The government blamed militants from the restive far-western region of Xinjiang for both those attacks. Resource-rich and strategically located Xinjiang, on the borders of central Asia, has for years been beset by violence blamed by the Chinese government on Islamist militants.

Aurizon closer to Pilbara rail dream with Aquila bid

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

AUSTRALIA’S largest freight rail operator, Aurizon, could ­finally get the foothold in Western Australia’s rich iron ore ­region it has been chasing if the bid for Aquila Resources succeeds. Aurizon is set to emerge with a 15 per cent stake in the target and spearhead the infrastructure arm to be spun out of the company if the $1.4 billion bid takes off. Aurizon has made no secret of its desire to break into the lucrative iron ore space in Western Australia’s iron ore region that is dominated by the majors, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, and fears of future demand cooling has not altered its strategy.

19 Sydney rail stations to get a clean-up

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

NINETEEN railway stations across Sydney will be part of a $22 million refresh program. Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says Asquith, Berala, Blacktown, Bondi Junction, Burwood, Caringbah, Carramar, Chester Hill, Granville, Gymea, Hurstville, Kogarah, Lidcombe, Martin Place, Parramatta, Penrith, Redfern, St Leonards and Strathfield stations will all get a deep clean.

Bring back the Wonthaggi train

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

THIRTY-SIX years since the last train rolled out of Wonthaggi, a group of locals are starting to dream of returning the railway service to Bass Coast’s regional centre. The residents, who want people to start talking about the possibility, say a train service would be the focal point of any future growth in Wonthaggi with benefits spreading around the Bass Coast. They believe the train would not only benefit local commuters travelling to and from Melbourne, but would also attract people, business, tourism and infrastructure to the area and creating many jobs. In June last year, Wonthaggi was identified as one of four regional growth centres by the Victorian government. The Regional Growth Plan estimates that Gippsland’s population could grow by almost 200,000 by 2041 and acknowledges that Bass Coast and Baw Baw, more specifically Wonthaggi and Warragul-Drouin, are expected to grow fastest over the next 30 years.

Billions will be wasted on Rail Link: Opposition

Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The Melbourne Rail Link project will build three new stations, add dozens of extra peak-hour trains, and put twin tunnels under the Yarra River. The original Melbourne Metro plan had a tunnel going under the entire city and also put four new stations around the CBD. Opposition transport spokeswoman Jill Hennessy said Premier Denis Napthine had ripped the heart out of the proposed Metro project.

Southern Cross will become Melbourne’s main rail station, with four new lines linking Melbourne’s outer suburbs

Posted Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

COMMUTERS will travel on four new superlines linking Melbourne’s outer suburbs as part of Melbourne Rail Link. Southern Cross will become Melbourne’s main rail station after the works have been completed. Victorians will have to wait at least nine years before they can use the $11 billion rail link that includes a train line to the airport.

Concern over new route for Melbourne Rail Link

Posted Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Public transport expert Professor Graeme Currie says while he's 'delighted' with the funding announced for the Melbourne Rail Link he's also 'a little worried'. The budget [url=]provides funding for the Melbourne Rail Link[/url], which has been realigned to run from Fisherman's Bend to South Yarra, along with an airport rail link. "It's good to see a big infrastructure spend," says Professor Currie. "We've been going backwards in Victoria last three years."

State Government starts to secure land for North West Rail Link extension to Badgerys Creek

Posted Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

THE State Government will start securing land for a rail link from Rouse Hill to Badgerys Creek, but it won’t be open by the time the new airport is completed. Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the government would secure the rail corridor through Marsden Park now to avoid a repeat of the high costs to buy land for the North West Rail Link. The connection would likely go from the final North West Rail Link station at Cudgegong Rd through Marsden Park to link up with the existing Western line and then the airport at Badgerys Creek. NewsLocal along with The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph launched the Fair Go For The West campaign last month. Securing a commitment from the Federal Government for a second airport was a key objectiveof the campaign.

Infrastructure needs science, so who put the politicians in charge?

Posted Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

The recent productivity commission [url=]report[/url] into public infrastructure left the most important policy question unasked, namely: if there were better ways for planning and building transport infrastructure, would anyone actually be interested? Australians have become addicted to the political theatre that surrounds transport and planning. By contrast, successful jurisdictions overseas have placed infrastructure into a condition of mundane, plodding progress. To do this, they’ve taken infrastructure planning and financing out of the hands of politicians by-and-large, and have never looked back.

New rail plan to boost Pilbara iron ore miners

Posted Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 by newsbot in Aurizon

AURIZON’S plan to build a multi-user rail line through the Pilbara could benefit iron ore miners such as Fortescue Metals, Flinders Mines and Iron Ore Holdings. The three companies have iron ore projects in the west Pilbara region of WA, where rail operator Aurizon intends to link Aquila Resource's deposit to the proposed Anketell Port, near Cape Lambert. Yesterday, Chinese steelmaker Baosteel and Aurizon announced a plan to kickstart the stalled $10 billion West Pilbara Iron Ore port, rail and mine project with a $1.42 billion takeover of its major stakeholder Aquila.

Finances holding back light rail-heavy rail connection

Posted Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson says the Queensland Government is working to connect the new light rail network to the existing train system but no plans have been finalised. Mr Emerson says he has written to Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate to ask if the council can contribute.

Rowville rail closer to reality as State Government prepares to release feasibility study

Posted Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

THE Rowville rail is finally one step closer with the long-awaited Stage 2 of the feasibility study to be released within weeks. This is according to Kim Wells, Scoresby MP and Minister for Police and Emergency Services, who said this stage outlined where the rail would run and what needed to be done to get the project on track - including any possible land acquisition.

Glencore Xstrata cuts back on coking

Posted Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 by waynes in Rail News

Glencore Xstrata has started cutting back coking coal production in Australia and will focus more on its thermal coal mines, in a sign that the rush to increase exports is starting to sort the wheat from the chaff in the Australian coking coal industry. A collapse in coking coal prices has been exacerbated in recent times by a flood of new production in Queensland, where the likes of BHP Billiton, Anglo American and even Wesfarmers have been increasing exports of the steel ingredient. The tough environment has prompted Glencore to cut back its coking coal operations in favour of focusing on its thermal coal operations in New South Wales. The Swiss miner saw coking coal production in Australia fall 17 per cent during the March quarter, and said that was linked to; ''a decision to move away from certain high cost mines and areas ... and focus on higher margin thermal coal production.''

V/Line buffet has no food

Posted Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 by waynes in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A SICK worker led to the closure of the buffet on Albury-Wodonga’s V/Line service yesterday.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]V/Line shut the service for the run between Seymour and the Border for the 7.10am train from Southern Cross station.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A spokeswoman said food and drinks were available from the buffet car for the stretch between Melbourne and Seymour.[/font][/size][/color]

Budget money tipped to flow

Posted Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 by waynes in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]BENDIGO should fare well in Tuesday's State Budget, says La Trobe University Bendigo political expert Ian Tulloch.[/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Mr Tulloch said both Bendigo state seats were marginal and likely to attract significant announcements.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]“We must remember this is an election year in Victoria,” he said, “and we usually see a number of innovative and generous policies introduced in the budget before an election.”[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]“Both Bendigo seats are marginal, and I think if the Coalition government is anticipating trying to take one of those seats at least off Labor, you would expect a bit of pork barreling.”[/font][/size][/color]

Light rail loop for 120,000 people expected to live and work between South Melbourne and Fishermans Bend is the next big plan

Posted Thursday, 8 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

A LIGHT rail loop serving 120,000 people expected to live and work between South Melbourne and Fishermans Bend is being considered to link into the new-look metro rail system unveiled in the state Budget. A major tram-train interchange called Montague will be developed in South Melbourne as part of the $11 billion new Melbourne Rail Link project announced on Tuesday. The hub will service a new underground line running up to Southern Cross in one direction and to Domain and South Yarra in the other. The Herald Sun can reveal that transport planners are looking at how the Montague interchange, to also take in the current 109 tram line to Port Melbourne, could link into a significant tram loop around Fishermans Bend expected to cost hundreds of millions.

Aurizon proposes heavy maintenance restructure

Posted Thursday, 8 May, 2014 by newsbot in Aurizon

Aurizon today commenced consultation with employees on proposed changes to rollingstock maintenance operations in Queensland, as part of the company’s transformation program announced in mid-2013 to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency across numerous facilities and to focus on its core business of rail freight.

$16 billion Carmichael coal mine and rail gets green light

Posted Thursday, 8 May, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

[color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]DEPUTY premier Jeff Seeney has just announced the green light for the $16b Carmichael Coal mine and rail project  north of Clermont.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#4a4e47][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mr Seeney made the announcement in State Parliament a short time ago.[/font][/size][/color]

Multibillion rail plan botched, says Labor

Posted Thursday, 8 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian government hails its $11 billion Melbourne rail link as a game-changing project that will transform the state for decades. But the Labor opposition says it is a plan which is botched, ignores areas of need and is part of a desperate bid by the government to cling to power at the November election. The government is staking its re-election bid on the record $27b infrastructure expenditure in Tuesday's budget, which includes a rail link to boost capacity, a train line to the airport and building the second stage of the East West Link road project.

Rail tunnel plan based on 'common sense'

Posted Thursday, 8 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The State Government prepared no thorough business case before committing to a revamped route for Melbourne's city rail tunnel, instead relying on "common sense". Planning Minister Matthew Guy made that startling admission on Thursday under questioning about why the government had dumped plans for a rail tunnel linking Parkville with South Yarra in favour of one that creates a new train station at Montague, near South Melbourne. The government says the new station will service the planned new mega suburb at Fisherman's Bend, despite being kilometres away from that location. The opposition has claimed the plan is the result of last-minute panic from a government trying to save its electoral skin.

First class tickets for new NSW Trains being considered

Posted Thursday, 8 May, 2014 by seb2351 in New South Wales Rail News

Residents of the Blue Mountains, Illawarra, central coast and the Hunter can expect to be able to buy "premium" train tickets with better seats and food and drink when new carriages are delivered from 2018. The carriages are also likely to have seats that face only in one direction, and will not have three-in-a row seating configuration.  NSW Premier Mike Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said on Thursday the government would spend about $2.8 billion buying about 65 new intercity trains for travel around Sydney and between neighbouring regions.

Napthine's rail tunnel plan has no business case

Posted Friday, 9 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The Napthine government’s decision to rip up several years’ planning work on a rail tunnel through Melbourne’s CBD in favour of a new route through South Melbourne was hatched less than six months ago and has no supporting business case. Planning Minister Matthew Guy made the startling admission on Thursday that there is no business case for its $11 billion Melbourne Rail Link, which includes an underground rail line with stations in Southbank and Domain and a link to Melbourne Airport. Mr Guy said on ABC Radio that “common sense was the best business case”.

Did Peter Ryan mislead the public or is he merely unable to keep up with his day job?

Posted Friday, 9 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

In Ararat at the recent launch of the Coalition's announcement to upgrade the Mildura railway line Denis Napthine stated in response to a question of the return of passenger rail services to Mildura highlighting the two issues were not linked. He said the project to upgrade the line to Mildura was not linked to the return of passenger services as Victoria's passenger rolling stock was Broad Gauge with the exception of the Sydney train.

Brisbane train journeys slower than in 1980, says rail veteran

Posted Friday, 9 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

It takes 11 minutes longer to catch a train from Ipswich to Brisbane Central now than it did in late 1980, an experienced train safety expert says. Retired Brisbane train driver Larry Matters spent 20 years as a Brisbane train driver, before spending 10 years as the lead examiner for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. In that position he investigated a series of serious train accidents, including the fatal Tilt Train accident at Bungoo in North Queensland in November 2008. He has written an article for the March 2014 Railway Digest, questioning why 11 minutes have been added to the journey over the past 34 years. It took 49 minutes to travel from Brisbane Central to Ipswich in late 1980 when electric trains started.

$2.8 billion rail replacement to finally give all Sydney trains air-con … by 2024

Posted Friday, 9 May, 2014 by bevans in Cityrail News

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has revealed the state government will sink $2.8 billion on a “next-generation” fleet of intercity trains that will make all state trains air-conditioned for the first time. After decades of getting to work literally in a lather, the major investment will finally relieve the discomfort faced by multitudes of peak hour commuters stuck in so-called ‘sweat boxes’ that have long acted as a deterrent to using public transport. Although the NSW government has been introducing air-conditioned trains to the Sydney regional network since 1981, commuters have still faced a seemingly random schedule of different legacy carriage sets that may or may not be air-conditioned, making the prospect of turning up to work dry a game of roulette. After years of complaints, the NSW government wants to eliminate that commuter frustration once and for all by buying 65 new “state-of-the-art” intercity trains for its NSW TrainLink service – including about 520 brand new carriages that will run passengers between Sydney and the Central Coast, Newcastle, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.

Rail industry stoked over Victoria’s $11 billion Melbourne Airport Rail Link pledge

Posted Friday, 9 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian government’s decision to go big on its commitment to funding new key railway projects across the state in its annual Budget in the run-up to the state election is picking up plenty of plaudits from the transport infrastructure sector, with peak body the Australasian Rail Association fully backing the renewal of spending. The ARA this week threw its support behind the Napthine government’s Budget commitment of $24 billion to transport infrastructure projects, which includes $14.5 billion allocated to some of the state’s highly anticipated railway projects. The big ticket that item that the government is pushing to voters is a commitment to build the Melbourne Rail Link at a total cost of $11 billion, which Minister for Transport Terry Mulder said is Victoria’s “biggest investment ever” in the metropolitan rail network. After its completion, the Melbourne Rail Link will provide another transport artery between Melbourne’s central business district and Tullamarine Airport, which is 23km outside the city centre.

China is considering a high-speed railway going across Siberia and Bering Strait to Alaska, Canada and the United States, making

Posted Friday, 9 May, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

In a not so distant future, the report says, one might take the train between the two countries on a high-speed line straddling two continents. With a proposed average speed of 350 kilometers per hour, passengers would be able to make the 13,000-kilometer journey in less than two days.

$2.8 billion continues commitment to Rail in NSW

Posted Friday, 9 May, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has applauded today’s announcement of a $2.8 billion investment to deliver around 65 trains or 520 carriages for NSW TrainLink intercity services.

45 Hunter jobs to go in Pacific National cuts

Posted Friday, 9 May, 2014 by DesL in Asciano

ABOUT 45 Hunter rail jobs will be lost as rail company Pacific National cuts almost 200 jobs from its national business. At the same time, Pacific National’s main rival, Aurizon (formerly Queensland Rail) has announced 480 job cuts in Queensland, while iron and steel company Arrium (formerly OneSteel) has confirmed that 20 per cent of its Waratah workforce, or 120 jobs, would be cut by June 14. Industrial downturns, especially in the coal industry, are behind the job cuts.

You’ve complained, cursed and despaired - now myki to be fixed

Posted Sunday, 11 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

EXCLUSIVE: MELBOURNE’S myki woes could soon be fixed with plans to radically shake up the system that could see mobile, SMS and casual day tickets available for commuters. The State Government will spend more than $13 million over the next three years in a worldwide search for a better operating system to run the only ticket in town. There are no plans to put the myki train, tram and bus ticketing system on the scrap heap, but rather look for “innovative technologies” to end passenger pain.

Transport plans: are we being routed?

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

The Coalition won office partly due to voter dissatisfaction with the former government's performance on public transport. But it was slow to realise the political importance of improving rail, tram and bus infrastructure. Now, with an election looming, it's come back with shock and awe, promising to commit an unprecedented $24 billion on new transport infrastructure. The centrepiece is a new rail tunnel designed to counter growing rail capacity problems in the CBD.

Troy Buswell caught plagiarising big sections of report justifying travel

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

BIG sections of Troy Buswell’s research report justifying his expensive taxpayer-funded trip to Europe and Asia to study light rail last year are plagiarised from public websites and brochures. A simple check using ­Google reveals many parts of the disgraced former treasurer’s 20-page report have been lifted word for word from the internet. Mr Buswell, who resigned as WA treasurer after revelations he had smashed into four cars in Subiaco while driving home in his ministerial car from a February wedding, supposedly spent three months working on the research paper – which was handed in one month overdue. Some of the plagiarism is so blatant he did not even bother to update facts. For example, he refers to Bombardier being part of a consortium “selected in May” to build the Gold Coast light rail system, when it should be May 2011.

‘Oldest railway station in the world’ threatened by Network Rail plans

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

The Liverpool Road railway station in Manchester, dating from 1830, is the oldest surviving mainline station in the world.

Beyond Zero Emissions finds high-speed rail service sensible and feasible

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

IMAGINE boarding a train at Brisbane’s Roma Street at 9am and getting off at Sydney’s Central Station at noon. Imagine living near the beach on the Gold Coast and commuting to work in Brisbane’s CBD within 20 minutes. Both could be a reality in little more than a decade, according to a new report which says high speed rail is not only achievable and affordable, but essential to Australia’s future. Detailed research by Melbourne University’s Energy Institute, think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions and the German Aerospace Center, concludes that a 1799km network linking Brisbane and the Gold Coast to Sydney and Melbourne could be operating by 2025.

Standardisation of the Geelong to Mildura Line

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The standardisation of the Geelong to Mildura rail line proposed by the Napthine Government and the funds identified to be made available for the conversion and the construction of new rail link between  Murtoa and Hopetoun are significantly insufficient. The financial standardisation will also remove any opportunity to  reinstate a passenger service to Mildura, which the community has been demanding for 30 years. Speaking to colleagues and community leaders they would prefer the passenger service over the standardisation. The Premier has publicly stated that there wouldn’t be a passenger service to Mildura, while the Deputy Premier stated his endorsement of a reinstated passenger service when he opened the Mildura Airport. The whole plan is  inadequately thought through by the fact that no strategic and technical plan has eventuated and is beginning to have the appearance of an erratic,  unprincipled and  undisciplined decision.

China signs mega east Africa rail deal

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

East African leaders and China formally signed agreements on Sunday related to the construction of a new multi-billion dollar railway to run from the Kenyan port of Mombasa to Nairobi and on to neighbouring states. The deals were signed in Nairobi on the last stage of an Africa tour by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, although Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, had already signed up to the deal during his state visit to Beijing last year. “The costs of moving our people and our goods ... across our borders will fall sharply,” Kenyatta told a news conference with the Chinese and African leaders on Sunday. The existing narrow gauge railway in Kenya was built in the 19th century and only runs to Uganda whereas the faster new line is designed to go on to Rwanda and South Sudan and is aimed at cutting the hefty costs of trade between east African nations.

Car stuck on light rail bridge after elderly driver travels 500m along tracks at Southport

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

AN ELDERLY driver has become the second motorist to get stuck on the light rail bridge after driving more than 500m along the tram tracks this morning. The driver became confused at the intersection of Ada Bell Way and entered the tracks driving past the tram station along the corridor until his car tyres wedged in the tracks trapping him.

Aurizon looks to dump outdated workplace deals

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by newsbot in Aurizon

[color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif][b][b]RAIL operator Aurizon is looking to abolish workplace agreements that ban it from forcing staff into redundancies, as the company moves to cut another 480 jobs from its workforce.[/b] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif]Aurizon said today it would apply to the federal Fair Work Commission to terminate 14 existing enterprise bargaining agreements in Queensland.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif]The company wants to remove legacy conditions linked to the its past as a Queensland government-owned enterprise, including a ban on forced redundancies or relocations and free rail travel for employees.[/font][/size][/color]

New Melbourne development linked to CBD by rail

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

A precinct dubbed “Australia’s largest urban renewal project” will be connected to the Melbourne city centre via rail, the Victorian government announced last week. The Fishermans Bend area, on a peninsula to the south west of the CBD, will be the largest urban development site in Australia’s history, according to planning minister Matthew Guy. "The precinct expands Melbourne's capital city zone by more than 50 per cent and is expected to eventually accommodate around 25,000 jobs and in excess of 40,000 residents,” Mr Guy said. At 240 hectares, the new zone will be larger than any of the Melbourne CBD’s existing developments, such as Southbank or Docklands. It will also be 10 times the size of Sydney’s Barangaroo project, according to Mr Guy.

Flooding in Shenzhen cripples rail link from Hong Kong to Guangzhou

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

Travel chaos struck amid torrential rains in Hong Kong and the worst flooding to hit Shenzhen in six years, crippling an intercity railway to Guangzhou and grounding flights. The disruptions continued today as the first Hong Kong-bound train, Number T801, schedued to depart Guangzhou at 8.19am was cancelled due to the weather, the MTR Corporation said. But other trains on the line would not be affected. At Chek Lap Kok airport, a total of 333 flights were delayed and 14 cancelled up to 9pm last night. Moments after, the red storm warning signal was hoisted, indicating rainfall exceeding 50mm an hour.

Councils hail rail upgrade

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The group’s chairman, Cr Mark Byatt, said the $220 million funding promise was “great news for the state of Victoria, particularly regional Victoria”, but said this investment was “just the beginning” of what was needed to support the rail network.  “The Alliance of Councils for Rail Freight Development have long advocated for upgrades to this line and this is an outstanding outcome,” he said.

Light rail a winner from lease of Newcastle port

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Tram and Light Rail News

The New South Wales Government has announced it will lease the Port of Newcastle to a consortium of financial investors for 98 years in a $1.75bn deal, of which $340m will be spent on the revitalisation of the Newcastle CBD, including the proposed new light rail.

Wollongong Council calls on NSW Govt to improve rail infrastructure

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Wollongong Council has hosted a debate on the future growth of Port Kembla and in particular the need for appropriate rail links to the port.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Councillor Vicki Curran's motion for the council to oppose the ongoing expansion of the port until the appropriate infrastructure is in place was eventually lost.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Councillor Curran called on councillors at Monday night's meeting to oppose port expansion plans until it receives a detailed plan for sufficient rail and road transport infrastructure.[/font][/size]

GST changes 'could better fund rail'

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The commonwealth could better support Victorian public transport projects by changing the way grants for rail and road are treated under the GST, the state treasurer says. Michael O'Brien said Victoria missed out on billions due to discrimination in the current arrangements. 'When it comes to GST distributions, commonwealth grants to states for rail are treated very disadvantageously compared to commonwealth grants for roads,' Mr O'Brien told a Committee for Economic Development Australia event on Tuesday.

Maldon Dombarton rail project given the red light

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The organisation managing the Maldon to Dombarton rail project in the Illawarra says there is no immediate need to build it.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Transport for New South Wales provides analysis and forecasting of demand across the freight transports network.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It's also in charge of the planning and pre-construction design work for the Maldon to Dombarton project.[/font][/size]

Jackson County supports rail study to restore Sunset Limited

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

PASCAGOULA -- Jackson County supervisors decided Monday morning to join the Southern Rail Commission's effort to study whether expanding passenger rail service along the northern Gulf Coast is feasible or economical. The Board of Supervisors voted to send a letter of support for the commission's plans to apply for a $1 million federal planning grant through the TIGER program -- Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery. The idea is to encourage daily passenger rail service again along the Gulf Coast.

50 rail cars derail in Minnesota, spill coal

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

No one was injured and no major environmental damage was done when 50 westbound BNSF Railway cars derailed and spilled coal late Sunday in central Minnesota. Crews were busy at work Monday to clear a massive mess of twisted metal and coal after the cars derailed at about 11:48 p.m. Sunday in Sylvan Township, west of Pillager, which is about 13 miles west of Brainerd, the [url=]Bemidji Pioneer reported[/url].

Burdekin Shire Mayor urges more rail loading facilities for farmers

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Burdekin Shire Mayor Bill Lowis says rail infrastructure in the region needs to be replaced so farmers can transport their stock more safely.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A Queensland Government rail inquiry today will look at what farmers returning to the rail network need to consider.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Councillor Lowis has been asked to appear before the inquiry and says farmers in his region have given up transporting their goods by rail.[/font][/size]

Struggling Russian Railways Drops Foreign Rail to Save Costs

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

Financially struggling Russian Railways has cancelled all foreign rail purchases, instead opting to rely on a recently modernized rail mill in western Siberia in an effort to drive down overall costs. The state-owned corporation, responsible for running and maintaining Russia's expansive rail network, ceased foreign rail purchases in January and began placing its orders with domestic suppliers Evraz and Mechel.

Then and Now: Great Northern’s Hillyard rail yard

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

In the 1880s, Spokane was becoming the premier rail hub of the West and tycoon James J. Hill wanted it on his Great Northern line to the coast. The first GN train rolled into Spokane in May 1892, starting a long association between the company and the city. Because Hill was trying to catch up to the Northern Pacific and others, he needed a right of way through Spokane. He dropped hints that he could drop shipping rates if he was given the land and rights of way he needed. Although he eventually got the land, the shipping rates, which made everything more expensive in Spokane, never came down. But Hill went on to build a new station on Havermale Island downtown. Another clever dodge was the placement of the extensive rail yard outside city limits to avoid city taxes. The yard would become the biggest rail shop west of the Mississippi, including a 20-stall engine house and shops to repair engines and rail cars. The Hillyard shops produced the largest and most powerful steam engine to date, the R-1 Mallet, based on the designs of Swiss inventor Anatole Mallet. Between 1927 and 1930, 26 were built there.

Rival Rail Service Launches for Refrigerated Freight

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A new competitor to refrigerated trucking officially launched Monday with the start of TransCold Express, a hub-to-hub refrigerated boxcar service, running in both directions between Wilmington, Ill., and Selma, Calif. Operated by multi-mode third-party logistics provider McKay TransCold, it is reportedly the first refrigerated boxcar unit train connecting the Midwest and West Coast in over half a century. TransCold Express will haul products such as vegetables, fruit, cheese and butter from California to the Midwest and carry meat, eggs, cheese, butter, finished goods and dairy creamers westbound. The service takes four days to reach the Midwest from California. Service operations claim they can move freight the same speed as by truck and depending on the circumstances, a shipper could save between 5% and 15% percent by using the boxcar service versus trucking.

Road, rail and sea freight all helped in Budget

Posted Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Federal Government will cut shipping costs, upgrade links to ports and make a start on the 'inland railway' from Brisbane to Melbourne.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]And all states and territories will share in highway upgrades funded by the Budget's $50 billion infrastructure package.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss says the rate of the Protection of the Sea levy will drop by three cents a tonne from July, saving ships visiting Australian ports about $9 million a year.[/font][/size]

Concerns rail cutback will mean more trucks

Posted Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 by newsbot in South Australian Rail News

CONCERNS have been raised that more grain will be trucked into Port Lincoln by road after Viterra cut its trains from two to one. As of this month, Viterra has only one train operating out of Port Lincoln and city councillors are worried about the potential impact on local roads. Councillor Jim Papzoglov said he had heard the company was reducing its trains from two to one longer train and raised concerns that this could mean trains running longer hours and, or, more road trains bringing grain into Port Lincoln.

Victorian premier defends rail link

Posted Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[color=#2b2b2b][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]VICTORIAN Premier Denis Napthine says the government properly considered the Melbourne rail link the billion dollar centrepiece of his budget.[/b] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#2b2b2b][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Dr Napthine said the rail link will significantly boost capacity across the rail network, and rejected suggestions the government tried to make last-minute changes to ensure south-eastern suburbs remained connected to the city loop.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#2b2b2b][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]"We've had a long and considered process of proper consideration, proper evaluation of this project, to deliver a better outcome for the people of Melbourne and Victoria," he told a budget estimates hearing on Tuesday.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#2b2b2b][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Dr Napthine said the southeastern lines of Cranbourne and Pakenham remained connected to the city loop under the project, with stops at Flinders Street and Southern Cross, but passengers would need to change trains to get to other parts of the city.[/font][/size][/color]

Federal budget 2014: Rail Link misses out on infrastructure spend in Victoria

Posted Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

A week after the Napthine government handed down its election year budget, the federal budget had few infrastructure surprises for Victoria. Confirmed was $1.5 billion in funding for the second stage of the East West Link from the Port of Melbourne to the Western Ring Road. There was no funding for Premier Denis Napthine's planned $8.5-$11 billion Melbourne Rail Link project from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross, South Melbourne, Domain and South Yarra.

Rail revival row: MP says Mildura passenger train still on the table

Posted Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

MEMBER for Mildura Peter Crisp has refuted claims by the Rail Revival Alliance that the $220 million standardisation and upgrade to the Mildura-Geelong rail link would remove any opportunity to reinstate a passenger service to Mildura.

Hope for rail study to boost freight sector efficiency, safety

Posted Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Central Queensland researchers say a new study could pave the way for coal trains spanning several kilometres.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Engineers at CQUniversity are stress testing draft gear units, which act as shock absorbers between wagons.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The State Government is paying half of the $1.9 million study, which is expected to lead to efficiency and safety gains within the coal freight sector.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Researcher Peter Wolfs says it may be the largest study of its kind in the world.[/font][/size]

Vandals accused of holding Sydney trains to ransom

Posted Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 by waynes in Cityrail News

Western Sydney teens are exploiting train drivers' professional ethics to hold trains to ransom while they vandalise the carriages. The revelations come in the wake of disturbing video which shows three hoodie-wearing teenagers risking their lives by running onto tracks between Granville and Harris Park on Monday afternoon.

Train surfers 'idiotic', says railway boss

Posted Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 by waynes in Cityrail News

The boss of Sydney trains has vowed to beef-up the security on the city's network as more teenagers share videos of themselves risking their lives performing the dangerous act of train surfing.

Sleepers' hidden threat

Posted Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 by waynes in Victorian Rail News

A Latrobe Valley resident believes they have been exposed to hazardous chemicals, after using ex-railway sleepers as firewood, which are highly toxic when burnt. Flynn resident Andrew Symons said V/Line workers upgrading the railway between Traralgon and Bairnsdale told residents the sleepers could be taken once works had ceased. Mr Symons said many community members had taken the discarded wooden sleepers to use as firewood.

Ore Train derails in Western Australia

Posted Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Open Sans', Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Today train number 4413 loaded with iron ore derailed between Bonnie Vale and Stewart halting all rail traffic on the line. Approximately 3 to 4 km's of track has been damaged. Railpage is not aware of any injuries to the train crew.[/font][/size][/color]

Teenager attempts to tag moving train

Posted Thursday, 15 May, 2014 by waynes in Victorian Rail News

A teenager attempted to spray paint a moving train in Brunswick on Wednesday. Two teenagers alighted the Upfield service at Anstey station after having words with a passenger just before 5pm.

Graffiti vandal made bankrupt after failing to pay clean-up bill

Posted Thursday, 15 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

A GRAFFITI gang member has been made bankrupt after refusing to pay a court ­imposed $25,000 clean-up bill.

Daniel Andrews noncommittal on rail standardisation

Posted Thursday, 15 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

PLANS to standardise freight rail from Mildura to Geelong could fall by the wayside if Labor is elected to power. Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews was noncommittal on the Coalition’s $220 million plan to standardise freight rail from Mildura to Geelong announced in last week’s state Budget. The Weekly Times understands Labor is unlikely to implement the plan in what is mostly safe Coalition territory if it wins the November poll. Mr Andrews said the previous Labor Government had made “significant investments around freight rail”.

Rail, coal and sugar history on show at Station Square

Posted Thursday, 15 May, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

STATION Square Shopping Centre will take you back in time to a year of rail, coal and sugarcane on the Fraser Coast. The centre is commemorating the arrival of the Prince Consort and Sultana Vessels 150 years ago, and St James, Glamorganshire, Tim Whiffler and Great Queenslander 140 years ago in conjunction with the Maryborough Historical Society and Maryborough Family Heritage Institute's Immigration Celebrations this weekend. Maryborough has a fascinating history which Station Square Shopping Centre management said it was pleased to share with the public and thanked the Maryborough Historical Society for supplying the images.

Kalgoorlie-to-Perth Prospector cancelled by freight derailment

Posted Thursday, 15 May, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

THE Kalgoorlie-to-Perth Prospector train service has been cancelled due to a freight train derailment near Coolgardie. The Prospector has been replaced with coaches after a derailment near Coolgardie damaged the tracks. Prospector services in both directions (Kalgoorlie to Perth and Perth to Kalgoorlie) will be replaced by coaches today and tomorrow and possibly over the weekend.

Freight train derailed: buses head out from Kempsey

Posted Thursday, 15 May, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A freight train derailment is causing chaos on rail lines north of Kempsey.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Passengers travelling on NSW TrainLink services in the state's north are encouraged to allow "plenty of extra travel time" after the freight train derailment near Raleigh.[/font][/size][/color]

Standardisation of the Mildura - Geelong Rail Link

Posted Friday, 16 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

I was pleased to see the announcement to the re-vitalising of the Mildura rail corridor which was reported in the Media. The Transport Minister announced $41M for the much needed repairs to the Mildura and Hopetoun rail lines and additional $180M for the standardisation of the Mildura, Sea lake and Robinvale lines. In addition, a standard gauge link to be build either between Donald and Minyip or Hopetoun and Woomelang or the reopening of the existing Maryborough to Ararat standard gauge line to be completed by 2018. The basic problem with this plan is that the $221M is not nearly sufficient to complete the standardisation of the rail line.

GrainCorp says it is willing to invest in improving the rail network to allow more efficient grain movements

Posted Friday, 16 May, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

GRAINCORP has announced it is looking at investing in rail infrastructure to improve efficiencies in getting grain to port terminals. And it is expecting to announce the closure of inefficient silos before harvest begins this year. Speaking at the release of the company’s half-yearly profit results today, GrainCorp executive chairman Don Taylor said the agribusiness was willing to invest in rail but preferred co-investment with governments. Mr Taylor welcomed the investment by the Victorian Government to standardise the Mildura and Hopetoun rail lines but said it was “not without its challenges”.

Coolgardie train derailment shuts track

Posted Friday, 16 May, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

The Office of Rail Safety is investigating a freight train derailment near Coolgardie. A spokeswoman for Brookfield, which manages the railway, said the 146-carriage train carrying iron ore derailed about 40 kilometres west of Kalgoorlie at 11am on Wednesday. No one was injured. Five carriages had toppled onto their sides and another eight had derailed but remained upright, she said. Representatives from freight operator Aurizon and Brookfield are also on site investigating the circumstances of the derailment.

Public pressure seen as vital in passenger rail return

Posted Friday, 16 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Liberal Party's convenor for roads and transport in Victoria says there needs to be public pressure for passenger rail to return to Mildura.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Both Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and the Member for Mildura Peter Crisp have characterised the Coalition's decision to standardise Mildura's train network as a 'first step' in returning its passenger service.[/font][/size]

VicRoads KO's 'lite' rail changes on Dandenong line

Posted Friday, 16 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

A low-cost Metro proposal to fix six level crossings along Melbourne's most congested railway line was rejected by the Napthine government for a more expensive plan to remove just four crossings, because VicRoads opposed the idea. But Melbourne's rail operator is continuing to push the government to fix more of Melbourne's 170 or so level crossings using its cheaper ''lite'' grade separation model, which it has costed at about $34 million per project. By comparison, the recently-announced Main Road level crossing removal in St Albans will cost a record $200 million. Leaked cabinet documents seen by Fairfax Media reveal that Metro put to the government a $466.8 million plan to fix six level crossings on the Dandenong line, as part of an unsolicited proposal to upgrade the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines.

Melbourne Rail Link could require compulsory land acquisitions

Posted Saturday, 17 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Compulsory land acquisitions could be necessary to build the Napthine government's controversial new Melbourne Rail Link, but land owners will not be consulted until advanced designs are finished. A parliamentary inquiry into the state budget heard on Friday from Transport Minister Terry Mulder that once advanced plans to build the new tunnel rail link from South Yarra to Southern Cross via the Domain and the Montague section of Fishermans Bend are complete, the government could begin to have discussions with the community about possible land acquisitions. He also confirmed that the government had a “comprehensive preliminary” business case for the new route, which was unveiled in last week's state budget. Only parts of the business case will be released because of commercially sensitive material.

The Budget’s forgotten rail freight

Posted Saturday, 17 May, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

The peak industry body for rail in Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s budget announcement to invest $39billion into infrastructure, but has expressed utter disbelief over the drastic decrease of almost 70 per cent in funding for rail over the next four years. Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO Bryan Nye OAM said although he welcomed the $2.7billion for rail, it was a mere drop in the ocean compared to the $26.8billion for roads in the forward estimates and that the future for federal funding for rail was looking bleak. “This Budget is a reflection of the Federal Coalition Government’s attitude towards infrastructure funding, which unfortunately is roads, roads and more roads,” said Mr Nye. “This Budget has shown a drastic decrease in planned funding for rail transport over the next four years, with the federal government’s investment in rail decreasing by 42 per cent come 2015 and almost 70 per cent come 2018.

Rail protesters to march on Parliament House

Posted Monday, 19 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Disgruntled commuters and public transport advocates will march on Parliament House to protest plans to truncate the Hunter line and redevelop the Newcastle waterfront.

Rail project business case will not be released: Mulder

Posted Monday, 19 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Victoria's Transport Minister Terry Mulder says the full business case for the planned Melbourne Rail Link will not be made public.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The $11 billion project includes a new rail tunnel from Southern Cross station to South Yarra, a line to the airport and two new railway stations at Domain and Fisherman's Bend-Montague.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It will be built through a public-private partnership and construction will begin in 2016.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Labor has demanded the Government release the business case for the project to justify why it dumped its predecessor, the Melbourne Metro project.[/font][/size]

State Government silent on claim Manningham is missing out on rail link because the area votes Liberal anyway

Posted Monday, 19 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[b]THE State Government ­neglected several key transport projects for Manningham in the Budget because the area is a Liberal heartland, a councillor says.[/b] Cr Stephen O’Brien said the Napthine Government’s decision to fund certain Doncaster Area Rapid Transit and rail projects over others was aimed at winning marginal seats. “Warrandyte and Bulleen are pretty safe liberal seats,” he said. “Poor old Doncaster (Rail) seems to be forgotten.”

Melbourne Metro supported but dropped for Melbourne Rail Link

Posted Monday, 19 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

The original Melbourne Metro - a nine-kilometre tunnel from South Kensington to South Yarra with five stations in the CBD, Parkville and North Melbourne - was being strongly backed by the state government just a year ago, with Transport Minister Terry Mulder indicating engineering issues around Swanston Street had been resolved, new documents reveal. The February 2013 letter, from Mr Mulder to then treasurer Kim Wells, said the business case for the multibillion-dollar project had been completed and a comprehensive impact statement would be completed by the end of 2013.

Troy Buswell’s light rail study trip cost us $70,000

Posted Monday, 19 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]TROY Buswell’s light rail “investigation” across Europe and Asia last year cost WA taxpayers nearly $70,000.[/b] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Nine months after the disgraced former Treasurer, his then chief of staff Rachael Turnseck and two other public servants spent two weeks overseas, [i]The Sunday Times[/i] can reveal the trip cost $68,443.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The costs for Mr Buswell, who resigned as WA treasurer after revelations he had smashed into four cars in Subiaco while driving home in his ministerial car from a February wedding, and Ms Turnseck alone was $46,891.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]They were joined on some legs of the trip – which took in places like Dubai, Switzerland, France, United Kingdom, China and Hong Kong – by Public Transport Authority managing director Mark Burgess and Department of Fisheries director-general Stuart Smith.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][i]The Sunday Times[/i] revealed earlier this month that the dinner for one meal in France enjoyed by Mr Buswell, Ms Turnseck and Mr Burgess was $780.[/font][/size][/color]

Historical railway pop up museum

Posted Monday, 19 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=2][font=itc_avant_garde_gothic_stdBk, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The pop-up museum at South Kensington railway station is an initiative of the Regional Rail Link: City to Maribyrnong River Project. The suburbs of Kensington and around have a large number of residents who have lived in the area for many years and proudly associate themselves with its culture and history Through this initiative the project wants to provide the members of the community an opportunity to learn about the diverse rail history of South Kensington and its surrounding areas.  [/font][/size][/color]

Renewed hope for Taree UGL rail plant from NSW train strategy

Posted Monday, 19 May, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A massive investment in new trains for the greater Sydney region has brought hope for the mothballed UGL rail facility in Taree.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The State Government has announced plans to buy 65 new trains "off the shelf" at a cost of $2.8 billion.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) said it is disappointing the trains are not being designed in Australia but there is potential for new assembly and maintenance work.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Secretary Tim Ayres said the Taree's UGL Rail facility would be perfectly suited for that.[/font][/size]

Just $1m of promised $40m spent on Sydney train station security upgrades

Posted Tuesday, 20 May, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

The NSW government has spent just $1 million out of a promised $40 million on a program to improve safety at Sydney's train stations. It has also cut the number of staff that monitor security cameras at the city's stations. In her early months in government - and while in opposition - Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian repeatedly emphasised the level of crime on Sydney's train system and promised she would spend $40 million on a ''park and travel safety program''. The program was to have paid for extra CCTV cameras and lighting improvements at stations.

Rail workers see red over loss of staff car parks

Posted Tuesday, 20 May, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Rail Union is warning that the New South Wales government's decision to allow commuters to park in staff spaces at the Hunter's railway stations will affect the punctuality of the rail network.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says 900 new car parking spots that were previously off limits to the public will be made available over the next 18 months.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In the Hunter, it will create 39 extra public car parks at Newcastle station, 19 at Hamilton, five at Maitland and Morisset, 4 at Broadmeadow and Fassifern and 2 at Telarah.[/font][/size]

Fears over demolition of Newmarket railway station

Posted Tuesday, 20 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

Metro Trains plans to partially demolish one of Melbourne's classic inner-suburban red brick railway stations.

ALP calls for more Services on the Maryborough Line

Posted Tuesday, 20 May, 2014 by Blinkey in Victorian Rail News

ALP Candidate for Ripon, Daniel McGlone call for additional services on the Maryborough line

Build dual gauge track at little extra cost

Posted Tuesday, 20 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

The North West Rail Alliance is mistaken to state that Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Member for Mildura Peter Crisp have said that the return of the passenger train is a “likely” result of the building of the standard gauge line between Mildura and Geelong.

Light rail tram gets stuck on overpass at Glebe

Posted Wednesday, 21 May, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

Light rail passengers were left stranded at Glebe after the tram on which they were travelling became stuck on an overpass about 6pm. Passengers had to disembark from the front door and onto the track after one of the doors opened while the tram was in motion and became wedged on the side of the bridge. A light rail employee said a new driver had accidentally opened the doors before the tram had pulled into the station.

French rail company orders 2,000 trains too wide for platforms

Posted Wednesday, 21 May, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

PARIS (Reuters) - France's national rail company SNCF said on Tuesday it had ordered 2,000 trains for an expanded regional network that are too wide for many station platforms, entailing costly repairs. A spokesman for the RFF national rail operator confirmed the error, first reported by satirical weekly Canard Enchaine in its Wednesday edition. "We discovered the problem a bit late, we recognise that and we accept responsibility on that score," Christophe Piednoel told France Info radio.

Drug dealers use rail system: claims

Posted Wednesday, 21 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Drug dealers regularly use Victoria’s regional rail system including V/Line’s Ballarat line to traffic illicit substances, police sources say.

Ryan says rail return comments not contradictory to Premier

Posted Wednesday, 21 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Victoria's Deputy Premier has defended his position on the return of passenger rail to Mildura, during a grilling from Labor at yesterday's budget estimates hearing. Peter Ryan called the standardisation of Mildura's freight rail network a crucial first step in returning passenger services to Mildura, when it was announced this month. This is somewhat in response to [url=]previous Railpage reports[/url] where the Premier and his Deputy were at odds over the return of passenger services to Mildura.

Why the train sometimes beats a plane

Posted Wednesday, 21 May, 2014 by railblogger in International Rail News

Think of travelling for business and for most people it's airports rather than train stations that spring to mind. That's especially so in Australia, where a "high-speed train" is one that skips a few suburban stations on the morning commute. In all likelihood, we'll never see an Aussie bullet train barrelling between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Give back rail car parks

Posted Thursday, 22 May, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

Just days after the NSW government handed over 38 staff parking spaces to the public at Wollongong station, Noreen Hay wants them returned. The Wollongong MP has cited issues of safety for staff members at night and also suggested the presence of asbestos in one parking area. On Tuesday, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced 1200 rail staff car parking spaces across the state would be handed over to the public. On the South Coast, the tally was 98 spaces - 38 of which are at Wollongong station.

Light rail plan for Newcastle complete: Minister confirms

Posted Thursday, 22 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The New South Wales Transport Minister has confirmed she will soon be releasing details of the route a new light rail line will take through Newcastle's inner city.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Gladys Berejiklian says there is no need to delay the plans, amid calls from community groups and the Opposition Leader, John Robertson for the entire CBD redevelopment to be put on hold while the ICAC examines a political donations scandal.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Ms Berejiklian says there will be no change from the existing timetable for work to start on the removal of the existing heavy rail line before the end of the year.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"The government will soon be in a position to announce the preferred route, plus a detailed timetable," she said.[/font][/size]

Council to confirm Port Lincoln grain rail plans

Posted Thursday, 22 May, 2014 by JimYarin in South Australian Rail News

GRAIN handler Viterra and rail operator Genesee Wyoming will be asked to confirm their plans for bringing grain into Port Lincoln by rail.

Werribee and Williamstown Line trains delayed as truck hits rail bridge

Posted Thursday, 22 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Services on the Melbourne Metro Train Lines of Werribee and Williamstown have been delayed due to a truck hitting a rail bridge in the Footscray area.  Metro Trains advises the bridge will be inspected for damage.

Coalition to blame for loss of faith in regional rail

Posted Thursday, 22 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

THE Napthine government is riding on the crest of a wave about how they have been improving the regional rail system.

Fresh call on V/Line graffiti vandals

Posted Thursday, 22 May, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

V/LINE has made a fresh appeal for information yesterday on an Albury graffiti attack on one of its trains after arrests were made over similar incidents in Melbourne. The rail service operator said several people had been arrested over attacks on V/Line trains in the city.

Rail project goes off the rails because of lack of maintenance

Posted Thursday, 22 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars have been wasted on a Victorian railway line that may never again carry passengers. After the State Government spends its recently promised $41 million fixing the Mildura to Geelong freight line in the next year, that will add up to more than $113 million spent on the track in the past decade. Or almost $200,000 a kilometre. Such necessary and expensive efforts to keep one of the state’s busiest rail links operational are due to that fact that little is spent on maintenance. It is the biggest wish of those applauding the latest announcement — this time do the job right and put some money aside to look after it.

Rural communities press for the return of passenger trains

Posted Thursday, 22 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[b]MANY  rural Victorian communities hope their passenger rail services could be restored as a pre-election sweetener.[/b] The State Government has floated the possibility even though the Budget failed to include any further spending on passenger train extensions. The Budget’s big-ticket item was $220 million to upgrade and standardise the Mildura to Geelong freight line. Leongatha, Mildura, Horsham, Cobram and Wonthaggi have maintained noisy campaigns for their rail services to be returned.

V/Line goes offline yet again

Posted Thursday, 22 May, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

HUNDREDS of V/Line passengers were forced to travel by bus yesterday and Monday night after the radio communications system broke down. A spokesman said a fault in the radio the driver uses to talk to train control was picked up about 5.30pm on Monday. The Albury to Southern Cross train on Monday afternoon stopped at Wodonga and transferred passengers to coaches. Melbourne passengers had four coaches at Southern Cross Station and one at Seymour.

Pakenham/Cranbourne line to shut down for five weeks

Posted Thursday, 22 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

MELBOURNE’S busiest train line will be shut down for up to five weeks while a problem level crossing is removed. Majority of passengers on the Pakenham/Cranbourne line may also be forced to stand when new high capacity trains are introduced as part of the $2.5 billion update to the Dandenong rail corridor. Leaked cabinet documents obtained by Channel 9 reportedly revealed that the new trains, set to cost almost $5 million, would contain seats for just 40 per cent of the planned passenger load. Spokeswoman for Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder, Larissa Garvin, told the Herald Sun the trains would “be bigger, longer and have wider doors to help people get in and out quicker”. She would not comment on the reduced number of seats.

Shocking CCTV shows man high on drink and drugs jump onto rail tracks forcing train to stop

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A man high on drink and drugs was jailed for this shocking moment of madness – when he jumps on to a railway line and halts a train. CCTV shows the train driver narrowly missing moronic Nathan Barker, 21, as he grinds to a emergency stop. Barker delayed 12 services for 90 minutes by dancing around on the tracks at Bentley station, south Yorkshire. The CCTV footage shows his senseless behaviour, endangering himself and passengers, as he signals a Doncaster to Leeds train to stop.

Fare evasion costs public transport users millions, Rail Back on Track says it’s time to scrap paper tickets

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

Fare evasion is costing honest public transport users in south east Queensland more than $25 million a year. According to TransLink, so far this year, a total of 1472 customers have received a Penalty Infringement Notice for fare evasion at train stations in the inner-city, Ipswich/Rosewood and Springfield train lines. Commuters were nabbed between January 1 and May 13, 2014. Train stations with the highest number of fines include Roma Street (183), Central (154), Goodna (124), Ipswich (100) and Milton (70).

Small distance but a big cost to switch broad gauge rain lines to standard gauge

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]IT SEEMS such a small distance, 16.5cm, about the length of a pen.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]That’s the difference between the broad gauge which plagues Victoria’s rail network and the standard gauge which almost everyone else uses.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]There are three lines where the busy Mildura to Geelong line passes through Maryborough.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The broad gauge ends here as the standard gauge takes off to Ballarat and then reverts back to broad through to just before Geelong.[/font][/size][/color]

Group plans to exert pressure over rail timetable

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

A NEW community group wants to exert pressure in the lead-up to the state election for a reversal of train service cuts at St George railway stations. Restore Our Rail said its message to Liberal MPs Mark Coure (Oatley) and John Flowers (Rockdale) was "fix the timetable or find a new job". Spokeswoman Tazeen Ali said it would bring together residents angered by the slashing of services and elimination of peak period express trains at Rockdale, Kogarah, Mortdale, Beverly Hills and Kingsgrove railway stations.

Long rail journey ending

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

THE NSW government promised action on Newcastle’s controversial inner-city transport links, and it has moved another step closer to delivering on that promise. A new heavy rail terminus and transport interchange will be built at Wickham, just west of Stewart Avenue. Light rail will travel on the old heavy rail corridor as far as Worth Place before diverting down Hunter Street and – bypassing the Mall – into Scott Street as far as Pacific Park.

'Hybrid' light rail route to go on train line & Hunter Street

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

NEWCASTLE’S light rail system will run down the heavy rail corridor then shift to Hunter Street and Scott Street to arrive near the beach at Pacific Park, under a ‘‘hybrid’’ route the state government has selected. The infrastructure subcommittee of cabinet endorsed the route on Wednesday night. It was was one of three options put on public exhibition earlier this year. “Newcastle residents and businesses said they want access to the waterfront, more public domain and the option to extend the light rail in the future,’’ Planning Minister Pru Goward said.

Canberra Liberals call for light rail plans to be dumped in wake of budget cuts

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

[b]The Canberra Liberals are calling on the ACT Government to abandon its plan to build light rail in the wake of federal budget cuts.[/b] Chief Minister Katy Gallagher expects the budget will slash $240 million in health funding from the ACT over the next four years. Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson disagrees with those figures but admits Canberra is in for some lean fiscal times. He says plans to build a $614 million light rail network between Gungahlin and Civic should be dumped. "Now is not the time to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a tram track between the city and Gungahlin that we simply cannot afford, that this city does not need and for the vast bulk of Canberrans are going to miss out on," he said.

Light rail decision draws mixed reactions

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

HUNTER business and community leaders have reacted with mixed views to the announcement of Newcastle’s light rail route.

Students dared to surf on Melbourne train

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A schoolgirl caught on video train surfing in Melbourne this morning has admitted it was a stupid thing to do. The teenager was with a friend when they were filmed clinging to the back of a train bound for Williamstown.

Farmer fears traffic catastrophe after cattle fences cut near train line and Barwon Heads Rd

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]VANDALS are putting lives at risk by repeatedly cutting farm fences at Marshall and letting cattle on to a busy road and train line.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Dick Wylie said there had been seven attacks on his gates and fences in the past 18 days.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]His Norcott Rd property borders Barwon Heads Rd, Horseshoe Bend Rd and the V/Line train line heading in and out of Geelong.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]And, with close to 80 head of cattle weighing more than a tonne each, he fears it is only a matter of time before a motorist is killed or passenger train derailed.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]“There’s going to be a very serious accident over this soon,” Mr Wylie said.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]“We’ve had problems here quite a few times but it’s really getting bad because they’re hacking at the fences with wire cutters.[/font][/size][/color]

'Too dangerous' to pay on-the-spot public transport fines with cash

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Fare evaders will not be able to use cash to pay on-the-spot fines during a 12-month trial after transport bodies deemed it too dangerous for both passengers and train inspectors. Last year, the state government passed legislation giving fare evaders the option to pay a $75 fine immediately by cash, credit or debit card, rather than the full $212 in a bid to fight fare evasion. But several risk assessment reports from government and transport bodies concluded that carrying cash could not only pose a risk to ticket inspectors, but also passengers, who could be injured by armed attackers. A Metro Trains report revealed that ticket inspectors faced an "increased threat of robbery and assault" if forced to carry cash on trains.

Queensland Government’s internal education video, Social Media Man, labelled ‘patronising’

Posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

Meet Social Media Man, the star of a cringeworthy and “patronising” Queensland Government video teaching their employees about the dangers involved with engaging in social media. The caped cartoon character, also known as Garry, flies around Queensland to spread the educational message. A spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources and Mines – the department responsible for the video – described it as “a simple internal communications tool” to benefit staff across several departments.

Business support for light rail

Posted Saturday, 24 May, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

BUSINESSES along Hunter Street are unanimously optimistic about the planned CBD light rail line. While a number of store owners are concerned about the fate of Newcastle’s heavy rail, most are hoping the new infrastructure will improve business in the city.

Light rail to run 'every 10 minutes': Gladys Berejiklian

Posted Saturday, 24 May, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]THE Newcastle light rail system will start west of the Stewart Avenue level crossing and run on dual, parallel lines in both directions, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said on Friday.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The parallel lines allowed the system to provide rail services ‘‘at least every 10minutes’’, but the hours of operation for the service are yet to be determined.[/font][/size][/color]

Adelaide’s train commuters feeling the squeeze

Posted Sunday, 25 May, 2014 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

TRAIN travel on one of Adelaide’s key public transport services is so popular people are being turned away, prompting urgent calls for more trains and increased carriages to meet demand. The State Government — which has invested heavily in the public transport system it champions — is now being challenged to provide places for commuters on the Gawler line or see them hit the roads and compound the city’s peak-hour traffic deadlock. Numerous commuters complained about carriages being so crowded they were unable to board trains this week.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 24/5/2014.

Posted Sunday, 25 May, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 105 sightings for this week; this is five sightings less than last week. We saw 26 sightings on the Broad Gauge. This total included 20 PN Grain trains.

Budget spending on roads tipped to send states off the rails

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's insistence on funding only roads and not public transport will encourage state governments to prioritise highways at the expense of railways, the Commonwealth's top infrastructure adviser has said. The advice from Infrastructure Australia, set up to provide high-level guidance on major projects, skewers the Coalition's claim that by helping states pay for motorways the federal government can also help them free the cash for public transport projects. "Were the Australian government to fund only certain types of infrastructure projects, those types of projects would become relatively more attractive to the state than other projects," says the Infrastructure Australia advice.

Stepping up for rail passengers

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Hopefully we will not see any further misleading advertisements etc. leading up to this year’s state election alluding to such. I stand by my comments regarding the recent radio interview on ABC Local News by Premier Denis Napthine. Anyone with access to a computer can view this and make up his or her own mind. Peter Crisp stated in this paper on May 14 that there are a number of steps along the way to achieving the return of a passenger train to Mildura.

Rail Tram and Bus Union plans protest over 'harsh' management of tram drivers

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

Melbourne tram drivers will rally outside Yarra Trams headquarters at noon on Monday to protest against recent sackings and what the union claims is increasingly harsh treatment by management. The Rail Tram and Bus Union also fears staff or a member of the public could be electrocuted after two incidents in recent weeks in which a tram became insulated, or "live". In April, a maintenance employee received an electric shock at the Brunswick depot. Another tram became insulated on Commercial Road outside The Alfred hospital on May 18, although it was safely removed. An urgent notice to Yarra Trams staff, signed by union tram and bus division secretary Phil Altieri, calls on them to join Monday's planned rally to "make a stand" against “bloody minded, unnecessary and unwarranted sackings”.

Three areas where rail-link delay investigators need to do some digging

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

The appointment of Mr Justice Michael Hartmann to head the independent expert panel reviewing the delay in the express rail link project raises its status a peg or two. Putting one of our top judges on the job - a non-permanent member of the Court of Final Appeal, no less - means we can expect a meticulous examination of all the relevant issues and a final report which clearly sets out the findings. The expert knowledge of the other two members will be blended with a good helping of common sense and a sense of justice. It also raises the possibility that the panel will go back to the drawing board and examine some pretty fundamental decisions about the project at the outset. They, after all, sowed the seeds of the situation we now find ourselves in. I can think of three: first, the decision to site the terminus in West Kowloon; second, the decision to set a 2015 target date for completion; third, the decision not to close a major road in the urban area to allow a thorough site investigation. To a degree, these decisions were in conflict with each other.

Teen found dead near rail tracks

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

[color=#3f3f3f][size=2][font=georgia]NASHIK: A 17-year-old boy was found dead along the tracks near the Nashik Road Railway Station and his family on Sunday claimed that he was murdered.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#3f3f3f][size=2][font=georgia]Though railway police suspected that the boy was run over by a train, his family ruled out any chance of suicide. They urged the Nashik road railway police to investigate the case.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#3f3f3f][size=2][font=georgia]The railway police found the body of Prasad Kumavat, resident of Hari-Krishna Society on Nashik Road at around 6.40am on Saturday, lying a couple of km away from the railway station. The railway police had registered a case of accidental death.[/font][/size][/color]

In North American rail towns, some try to stop oil trains

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

Albany, New York Sheriff Craig Apple assured a room of concerned citizens that county emergency crews were prepared to handle an oil-train accident involving three or four tank cars. Firefighters have been training to combat railcar fires with foam, and evacuation plans are detailed in a 500-page emergency response plan, Apple told residents in a May 12 address. But he was blunt about the potential impact of a larger derailment: "Look, let's face it, there's going to be mayhem."

Minister listens up on rail

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

MEMBERS of a local rail advocacy group are quietly hoping for change following a meeting with the state’s transport minister. Southern Tablelands Rail User Group (STRUG) president Greg Price and member Jane Suttle had a 40-minute hearing with Gladys Berejiklian and Goulburn MP Pru Goward in Sydney last Thursday. They also spoke to the Minister’s rail adviser in a separate meeting. Mr Price said he was happy with the reception but acknowledged it was now a case of “wait and see.” “We got our case across,” he said.

New Passing Lane To Improve Efficiency, Flexibility For Victorian Rail Traffic

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by newsbot in Rail Events

The commissioning of a new passing lane north of Melbourne this month will bring improved flexibility to interstate rail services operating between Melbourne and Sydney, Australian Rail Track Corporation acting Executive General Manager Interstate, Tony Frazer said today. Commissioning works for the 6.8 kilometre, Passing Lane 1 between Keilor East and Donnybrook (also known as the Tullamarine Loop) will take place between 10 and 21 May. Commissioning includes the final installation of track circuitry and signalling control systems as well as testing and certification of the signalling systems required to enter the loop into service. “It’s great to be commissioning new rail infrastructure that will help further enhance the productivity and efficiency of rail services operating between Melbourne and Sydney,” Mr Frazer said.

Melbourne East West Link: Federal Opposition questions 'shonky' funding arrangement

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by newsbot in Other Transport News

[b]The second stage of Melbourne's East West Link will receive $1 billion in federal funding this year, despite the lack of a business case to justify the project, a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra has heard.[/b] Victorian Senator Stephen Conroy has described the funding arrangement for the project, to be built in two stages and estimated to cost up to $8 billion, as "shonky". The Commonwealth has committed $3 billion to the project, including $1 billion towards the second stage this financial year.

The share of rail transit from China to EU via the Common Economic Space will experience a tenfold increase

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

The share of rail transit from China to EU via the Common Economic Space (CES) will experience a tenfold increase with the establishing of the integrated transport and logistic company of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, stated Danial Akhmetov, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of Eurasian Economic Commission, during the IX International Conference “TransEurasia 2014″, organized by the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Wheatbelt to host inquiry into grain freight rail network

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A parliamentary inquiry into WA's grain freight network will soon start taking evidence in the Wheatbelt.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Economics and Industry Standing Committee will examine the 50-year lease arrangement between the State Government and rail line operators, Brookfield Rail.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Some of the state's tier two and three grain rail lines have been forced to close while loads on others have been restricted due to their dilapidated state.[/font][/size]

At least 40 killed as express train hits stationary freight train in northern India

Posted Tuesday, 27 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

An express train ploughed into a parked freight train in northern India yesterday, killing at least 40 people and reducing cars to heaps of torn and twisted metal. The express passenger train was travelling at high speed and slammed on its brakes in an attempt to stop, but it hit the train sitting on the tracks near a railway station in Uttar Pradesh state, district magistrate Bharat Lal said. Six of the cars on the express train derailed, with one car with unreserved seating taking the brunt of the impact and accounting for most of the 40 deaths so far counted, senior police officer Amrendra Sainger said. "It has been reduced to a mangled iron mesh," he said.

Canada crude-by-rail exports reach record high of 160,000 bpd

Posted Tuesday, 27 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

Canadian exports of [url=]crude oil[/url] by rail hit a record high of 160,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2014, Canada's National Energy Board says, a more than 50 percent rise from the same period a year earlier. Canada shipped 160,164 bpd out of the country by rail between January and March, a sharp rise from the first quarter of 2013, when it exported 105,632 bpd, the NEB said on Friday. The first-quarter figure was a 7 percent increase from the final quarter of 2013, when 149,479 bpd were exported by rail.

Hindmarsh Shire backs push for passenger rail services feasibility study

Posted Tuesday, 27 May, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Hindmarsh Shire is one of seven councils in western Victoria backing a campaign for a feasibility study to re-establish passenger rail services.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Councils including Horsham, West Wimmera, Yarriambiack and Northern Grampians are advocating for better public transport to support community growth.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]This week, Hindmarsh councillors voted to allocate $4,000 in its budget to contribute to the financial study for trains west of Ararat.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]One of the options under consideration is using a shuttle service to link the existing V/Line service from Ararat via Ballarat to Melbourne on broad gauge.[/font][/size]

Richmond station lined up for major revamp

Posted Tuesday, 27 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

Richmond station, one of the busiest and ugliest railway stations in Melbourne, is being eyed up for redevelopment, with high-density apartments, office towers, shops and a hotel being considered.

Rupert's rail trail: Missing Melbourne cat found in Traralgon

Posted Tuesday, 27 May, 2014 by bevans in Railway Stories

A missing pet cat who disappeared from his West Melbourne home and turned up in Traralgon, about 165 kilometres away, is believed to have hitched a lift with a train. Rupert's owner Bec Gilchrist said she nearly ran her car off the road when she received a phone call from Latrobe City Council to say her ginger cat had been discovered in the Latrobe Valley town, about a two-hour drive from Melbourne. Ms Gilchrist said Rupert, usually an easily-spooked homebody, had run away from her West Melbourne backyard on February 18.

Regional train works ahead of schedule for better rail service

Posted Wednesday, 28 May, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]BALLARAT will see a huge benefit from the Regional Rail Link project, with V/Line trains beginning to use all new tracks from Sunshine into Melbourne in a matter of months.[/font][/size][/color]

Record tonnes railed on the Central Queensland Coal Network

Posted Wednesday, 28 May, 2014 by newsbot in Aurizon

Aurizon recognises the achievement of a record tonnage milestone for the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN), an achievement which demonstrates the Company’s ongoing transformation to a world class transport and logistics operator.

Hastings rail worker electrocuted in fall

Posted Wednesday, 28 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A railway worker was electrocuted when he fell on to a live rail at a train depot. The 46-year-old man, from Hastings, East Sussex, died at the St Leonards West Marina Depot, on the Hastings line, on Saturday. Emergency services arrived at the scene shortly after 03:15 BST. An air ambulance spokesman said the man suffered burns after he was exposed to an electrical current. Sussex Police, British Transport Police (BTP), South East Coast Ambulance Service and the Kent Surrey and Sussex (KSS) Air Ambulance attended the scene.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Posted Wednesday, 28 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

MAJOR track issues that have plagued the Albury-Wodonga train line are expected to be fixed within months, ending a horror run on the much-maligned service.

Vandals strike again at Marshall farm

Posted Wednesday, 28 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[b]POLICE are vowing to catch the culprits responsible for risking the lives of commuters and drivers after crooks again targeted a Marshall farmer’s cattle fences.[/b] Leading Senior Constable Gavin Duncan said police returned to the Norcott Rd property on Monday afternoon after two teens were seen fleeing the scene on off-road motorbikes after fences were slashed. “The message has been circulated through the whole Highway Patrol and members will head out there periodically,” he said. “This does have the potential for injury with livestock escaping and these young thrillseekers need to take a step back and see the risks.”

Waiting for better tram times is like..... waiting for a tram

Posted Wednesday, 28 May, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Tram and Light Rail News

Years of work to improve sluggish travel times around Melbourne has done nothing to reduce the city's plague of late-running trams, with punctuality figures stubbornly hovering at the same low level for a decade.

Coalition Government plans revealed on the privatisation of V/line Rail Services

Posted Wednesday, 28 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Railpage has learnt today of plans rumoured to be under development by the Coalition Government to privatise Vline Corporation Victoria's regional and rural passenger rail and coach network.  Railpage understands the proposed plan would be executed if the Coalition wins the November 2014 election. If undertaken this would again place the operation of Victorian Regional train services into private hands which with the exception of West Coast Rail and Hoys was to many a previous failed venture.   On 29 August 1999 [url=]National Express[/url] took control of V/Line Passenger. It included all country rail operations in Victoria, with the exception of the [url=]West Coast Railway[/url] operated [url=]Warrnambool line[/url] and the [url=]Hoys Roadlines[/url] operated [url=]Shepparton line[/url], previously franchised in 1993. In 2004 operational difficulties hit the two privately operated lines, and they came back under the control of V/Line.

Greens call for rail inquiry

Posted Thursday, 29 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

AN inquiry is needed to establish the impacts that truncating the inner-city section of Newcastle’s heavy rail will have on Hunter commuters, the Greens say. Party transport spokeswoman and MLC Mehreen Faruqi yesterday lodged  a motion to establish a parliamentary inquiry into the issue, including an examination of ‘‘any relationship between the decision-making process and prohibited donors’’. Protesters who are also opposed to the government’s plans to truncate a section of the heavy rail and install light rail gathered outside State Parliament in Sydney yesterday.

Fighting for Tier 3 rail retention

Posted Thursday, 29 May, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance is hopeful the West Australian State Government will listen to appeals to keep Tier 3 rail lines open.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Earlier this year, a parliamentary inquiry was launched into the management of WA's Freight Rail Network.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The inquiry is looking into the management and regulation of Tier 1, 2 and 3 freight lines and whether or not current lease arrangements are appropriate in terms of state development.[/font][/size]

New rail hub opens along border in New Mexico

Posted Thursday, 29 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A sprawling, $400 million railroad hub opened Wednesday in southern New Mexico with the promise of transforming the border area into an international industrial trade zone. The hub is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. and is expected to spur development on both sides of the border with Mexico. Tax breaks and other factors have prompted more than 50 companies to move to the area in recent years.

Minister Simon Corbell defends ACT's light rail

Posted Thursday, 29 May, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

ACT Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell launched a strong defence of the light rail project on Wednesday, calling on Canberrans to think about the good of the city, not what was in it for them. "The frustrating thing about this discussion from my perspective is that this is not just about 'what's in it for me'," he said. "I think everyone in Canberra needs to think broader than what's in it for me – ie, where I live dictates how I feel about the project. The challenge is to say what's in it for Canberra." Under pressure from increasing high-level leaks about the expensive project, Mr Corbell offered an interview to The Canberra Times in which he declared his determination to stay the course.

Liberal president Alan Stockdale helped design rail firm's upgrade plan

Posted Thursday, 29 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Lobbyist, former state government treasurer and current Liberal Party federal president Alan Stockdale played a key role in a multibillion-dollar rail upgrade approved without tender by the Napthine government in March. Fairfax Media has established that Mr Stockdale helped design MTR Corp's Cranbourne-Pakenham rail upgrade, the first project accepted under the Coalition's contentious ''unsolicited proposals'' policy. The policy, unveiled in February, allows the private sector to submit infrastructure proposals, even if they are not government priorities. The government can accept them without a tender process.

Farmers say rail deal no help to grain industry

Posted Thursday, 29 May, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

MORE transparency and accountability in relation to secret terms of Brookfield Rail’s lease, until 2049, from the Public Transport Authority of WA’s freight rail lines was essential for the state’s grain export industry. That was the message, load and clear, from Wheatbelt shire presidents, councillors and farmers to five state MPs on the Legislative Assembly Economics and Industry Standing Committee at its first, and probably only, regional public hearing at Bruce Rock on Tuesday, May 27.

Work under way to improve rail services

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

"RAIL promises have failed to materialise" by Steve Aitkenhead (Letters, May 21) completely ignores the Napthine government’s commitment to better public transport in Bendigo.

No Labor rail commitment

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Labor’s election manifesto, Platform 2014, released this week, offers cold comfort to supporters of the long-running campaign to convert the Mildura-Melbourne line to standard gauge, and to link the upgraded line to the existing standard-gauge line between Hopetoun and Murtoa, giving the grains and minerals industries of north-west Victoria and south-west NSW access to the ports of Geelong and Portland. Platform 2014 describe’s the ALP’s plans for the state’s rural rail freight network in only the broadest terms, and makes no mention of specific projects.

Rail milestone celebrations

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

NEXT weekend will be the final chance for a number of years that residents will be able to experience the grandeur of Kerang's steam and rail travel past. Preparations are continuing for Steamrail's Northern Weekender visit to the Kerang Railway Station on Saturday, June 7 at 6.55am. The R class steam engine and carriages - dating back to the 1910s - will transport more than 60 passengers and crew from Melbourne, Victoria and interstate on a three-day journey throughout the region, with daily stopovers at Swan Hill and Echuca.

Rail crossings upgrades this weekend

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Upgrade work will be undertaken at several level crossings within the Parkes Shire this weekend. John Holland Rail in conjunction with Parkes Shire Council will be carrying out work at crossings on the Newell Highway, Nash Street and Cookamidgera. The Nash Street work is being funded by the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) while the Newell Highway and Cookamidgera projects are being undertaken by John Holland Rail as per maintenance agreements.

Tracklaying begins in Ethiopia for China funded 500km Standard Gauge link

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), one of the two major contractors building the new 740km standard gauge railway from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, has begun tracklaying at Dire Dawa, nearly 500km to the east.

Liberal MP signals the need for tougher engine regulations for rail to reduce particulate emissions

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

Stricter engine pollution regulations should be slapped on trains hauling freight through urban areas, according to a Federal Government MP.   Craig Kelly wants freight locomotives to be required to meet particulate matter standards, which already apply to the trucking industry.   While Kelly says moving freight by rail will use less fuel, he adds that a diesel locomotive emits 20 times more particulate matter than a modern truck engine built in 2006-07.    He says reducing rail’s emissions is important in light of the World Health Organization classifying particulate matter as a carcinogenic.    "If we are going to have these freight rail inter-urban links running through highly urbanised areas where the air pollution is already very high we need to bring in some type of standard to limit those particulate emissions," Kelly says.

Grand freight solution on track

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

THE dream of an inland railway to fast-track freight through the eastern States is alive and kicking, despite the austere federal budget. The inland railway’s most ardent advocate is Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss, who will oversee the injection of $300 million of federal funding to kick-start planning. The inland railway’s project team will meet stakeholders next week – visiting Ipswich, Queensland; Toowoomba, Qld; Narrabri, Dubbo and Parkes. Huge increases are anticipated in the amount freight being transported, especially by road.

Doncaster rail committee extended

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

MANNINGHAM council will continue fighting for Doncaster Rail, voting to extend the Doncaster Rail Advocacy Steering Committee into 2014-15. Cr Paul McLeish said it was with great disappointment they were having to extend it. “This is 14 months after the draft was released and we still don’t have this report released,” he said. “It’s 11 months after the consultation period closed, and still no report released by the State Government.”

Glenreagh Mountain Railway gathering up steam for a reopening

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

PLANS to reopen the Glenreagh Mountain Railway are gaining momentum, but it could be some time before "Betty", aka Locomotive 1919, is puffing proudly down the track again. GMR president Stephen Joyce is driving the vision, along with a small team of dedicated volunteers. Mr Joyce hopes to achieve a tourist railway to rival the Kuranda Scenic Railway in north Queensland. "When you take a drive up the forest tracks, it's magical scenery up there - you can see all the way to Coffs Harbour," he said.

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