Showing stories from August 2014

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Inefficient rail line holding back north west QLD minerals province

Posted Friday, 1 August, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[b]A north west Queensland mayor says the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line is falling into disrepair and holding back the region's economy.[/b] Cloncurry Mayor Andrew Daniels estimates repairs to the rail line could triple the volume of mining and agricultural product sent to the port of Townsville each year. "It could go from eight to 30 million tonnes, and that would lead to more confidence in the region and more jobs."

Dust causes evacuation of Bowen Hills station and delays to rail network

Posted Friday, 1 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]DUST, of all things, has sparked an evacuation at Bowen Hills train station this morning, creating delays throughout the rail network in the state’s south east.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]It is understood the station was evacuated around 7:20am after dust from a nearby construction site came through the office air vents.[/font][/size][/color]

Courier services delivering boost to rail sector

Posted Friday, 1 August, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

The first special trains for e-commerce freight delivery services between Shanghai and Beijing will start running on Friday, marking the initial step of opening up rail services to commercial clients, China Railway Corp said Thursday. CRC has reached an initial agreement with courier service providers and postal services authorities that the fast trains for e-commerce freight delivery may extend to the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and Bohai Rim, according to the 21st Century Business Herald. The report also said that SF Express, one of China's largest courier services, contracted the first fast freight delivery train between Beijing and Shanghai.

Christchurch rail services long overdue

Posted Friday, 1 August, 2014 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

[b]There were serious flaws in the assessment which led to the rejection of a northern rail transport option for Christchurch, writes CHRISTOPHER KISSLING.[/b] The Greater Christchurch Northern Rail - Rapid Assessment (GCNRRA) was released recently and the rail option that would temporarily reinstate rail commuter passenger services to alleviate road traffic congestion on the city's northern access has been voted down. There are serious flaws that flow from the assessment's restricted brief. The most obvious is the cost of support infrastructure. Cost kills this temporary proposal. Perversely, $10 million is regarded as too expensive but $300m-$400m for two motorway bypasses is judged acceptable.

Councils unite in push for more daily trains

Posted Saturday, 2 August, 2014 by nozza99 in Victorian Rail News

FIVE daily rail services are needed to meet commuter demand, according to six south-west councils behind a campaign to improve the Warrnambool-Geelong line.

Grim future: Railway group runs out of steam

Posted Saturday, 2 August, 2014 by GeoffreyHansen in Queensland Rail News

WITH grim looks on their faces, Southern Downs Steam Railway volunteers looked on as their future went up in steam yesterday. The troubled steam locomotive 971 has been pulled off the track indefinitely ahead of a booked-out tour to Wallangarra after volunteers discovered a dangerous internal steam leak.

Victoria's $1 billion per kilometre road - who wouldn't rail against that?

Posted Sunday, 3 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Guess which road in Australia is shaping up to cost $1 billion per kilometre to build? Read on. The most spectacular sharemarket float of the modern era is indubitably BrisConnections. This one really went through the roof, if you happened to be hanging upside-down with your ankles strapped to the ceiling. BrisCon had three instalments, you see. Those who bought into the float still had another two $1 payments to make. One investor famously went bargain hunting when the stock was one-tenth of a cent. Forking out $47,923 for 48 million shares, he soon discovered that, as this was a partly paid stock, he was up for a cool $96 million. The class action lawsuit from litigation funder IMF finally arrived this week. Proceedings were filed against Arup, the consultant that concocted the exuberant traffic estimates for the underlying project, Brisbane's Airport Link.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 2/8/2014.

Posted Sunday, 3 August, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 90 sightings for this week; this is one sighting more than last week making a total of 3347 sightings for this year to date On day 214 last year we had recorded 3631 sightings. This is 284 sightings less that at the same time last year.

Rail corridor approval peeves producers

Posted Monday, 4 August, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

CLERMONT district cattle producers have been left less than impressed with the approval of the $16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine and the associated rail corridor cutting through some of central Queensland's best bullock-finishing country to the port of Abbot Point, near Bowen. Local landholders Eddie and Tricia Dennis, Old Twin Hills, have deep concerns about the rail line that would dissect their properties, and cause flooding and erosion. "We really are not impressed, and although I haven't read through the environmental conditions, we have no confidence the government will enforce them," Mrs Dennis said.

Five years of searching and no help saving our steam train

Posted Monday, 4 August, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

RAILWAY volunteers are still steaming at the ears, as they step up their campaign to secure a serviceable diesel locomotive to back-up their broken down steam train. Members of the Southern Downs Steam Railway have been left furious after five years of searching for a diesel locomotive has again fallen on deaf ears, this time leaving the group off the tracks indefinitely. A tour to Wallangarra had been scheduled for tomorrow, but was cancelled on Thursday after a steam leak forced the group's popular steam train off the tracks. Southern Downs Steam Railway president Peter Gregory said he was frustrated by the situation.

Logic industrial hub on track to a rail terminal

Posted Monday, 4 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WODONGA Council is in advanced discussions with the Victorian government about wooing a rail terminal operator to the Logic industrial hub. A rail connection has been a critical element of Logic since its inception nearly a decade ago. Even though a rail terminal has been built at Ettamogah, the council has never given up of creating one at Logic to service the freight needs of tenants. Wodonga mayor Rod Wangman declined to comment on the deal. The Border Mail app-roached the office of Victorian deputy premier and Rural and Regional Development Minister Peter Ryan for comment, but it failed to respond.

Rail line is Imbil lifeline

Posted Monday, 4 August, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

SYMON Duggan is an Imbil businessman and he is waiting for a train. So is the rest of the tourism-dependent Mary Valley town. "Ted Mitchell's absolutely right," the Imbil Railway Hotel licensee told The Gympie Times yesterday. "The Rattler has to come to Imbil." A former Mary Valley Heritage Rail manager, Mr Mitchell says he is concerned at reports that the $2 million in State Government funding allocated to resurrect the train will not get it all the way to Imbil. He predicts the Rattler will "die" within 12 months if the line is repaired only to Dagun or Amamoor.

An open challenge to the current Victorian State Government

Posted Monday, 4 August, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

It was very heartening to see Premier Denis Napthine say that the government is keen to increase passenger train services in Regional Victoria. Up until this now, the people of regional and rural Victoria have been bombarded with promises, reports and possibilities of this actually occurring. Not one new service has in fact been opened by this government after nearly four years of talk.

Rail trail is not public transport

Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

It’s so lovely to cycle around the shire. How can anyone seriously consider a rail trail part of a public transport solution? It is so ridiculous, it is difficult to find words for it. I have talked to hundreds of people while petitioning for a light rail integrated transport option in the region, who do not see cycling between towns as their idea of public transport.

Rail's reopening is a boost for Bathurst

Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by newsbot in Asciano

THE first train load of local logs bound for China pulled out of Asciano’s Kelso rail terminal yesterday afternoon. PF Olsen general manager Pat Groenhout said it was very exciting to see the culmination of two years of hard work. He added the reopening of the train line will also create opportunities for other industries in the region.

MP says still time for Galilee Basin rail corridors rethink

Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

[b]A central Queensland LNP backbencher says there is still time for the State Government to reconsider controversial rail corridors in the Galilee Basin.[/b] The Member for Gregory, Vaughan Johnson, last month claimed he had convinced the Premier to rethink the routes of rail lines linking Adani's Carmichael coal project to Abbot Point. However, Campbell Newman said the proposed corridors would not be changed. Mr Johnson says he will continue to pressure his own Government.

Wheatbelt heritage rail precinct behind schedule

Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Shire of Dowerin says despite a heritage rail project running overtime, it is unlikely it will run over-budget.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In January last year, the WA Government invested $1.25 million to build the heritage precinct, to run through towns from Northam to Dowerin.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]So far about 500 metres of the track has been laid.[/font][/size]

Proposed Mexican rail line short on details

Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, 'Nimbus Sans L', sans-serif]An announcement last week that a Chinese consortium would build a rail line connecting a planned port on Mexico’s Pacific Coast to a manufacturing hub along the U.S. border was heavy on fanfare but short on details.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, 'Nimbus Sans L', sans-serif]The Mexican state of Chihuahua in a statement announcing the deal didn’t outline the cost of project, when construction would be completed or what railroad would operate the line linking the yet-to-be-built port in Nayarit to San Jeronimo. It also isn’t clear whether the line would ultimately interchange with Union Pacific Railroad’s line and its nearby new $400 million intermodal terminal, as the state of New Mexico is just beginning to consider whether a rail bypass project is feasible. Chihuahua’s economic development office didn’t respond to a request for more information on the project inked in Beijing.[/font][/size][/color]

Thailand wants to expand rail network to link India and China

Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

Thailand's military junta has said that it wants to widen the country's railway tracks and expand the network to form transport links with important markets in India and China. The chief of the junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) General Prayuth Chan-ocha has said the NCPO's working plan includes initiatives to repair existing one-metre wide tracks and construct new 1.435 meter wide tracks in parallel.

Rail trail swamped as floodwaters spread

Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

End of the line for rail option

Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by newsbot in New Zealand Rail News

Ravensdown is no longer using trains for its Napier plant, meaning more trucks will use Marine Parade in spring and autumn ferrying fertiliser from Napier Port. Communications manager Gareth Richards said for the last three years 85 per cent of product shipped from the Awatoto plant was freighted by road or coastal ship and the cessation of rail was an amicable agreement. The farmer-owned co-operative is the only user of the fertiliser carriages and KiwiRail proposed increased charges to cover upkeep. "The issue for KiwiRail and Ravensdown is the very high expenditure associated with the maintenance of ageing rolling stock," he said. "This led to KiwiRail proposing a rail freight rate that was just uneconomic. If more businesses had used the rail freight option over the years, then of course those maintenance costs would have been spread more evenly."

Perth airport rail link from Forrestfield to Bayswater to be sunk underground

Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The West Australian Government is set to announce plans to sink the entire Perth airport rail link underground, with tunnelling to start in the marginal seat of Forrestfield.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The rail link will branch off the existing Perth to Midland line near Bayswater train station, through to the future consolidated Perth airport terminal, which will include domestic and international terminals.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Originally only four kilometres was going to be underground but it is understood the tunnel will now continue from the airport precinct under the Swan River and link up with the railway line in Bayswater.[/font][/size]

Northern Rivers Rail Trail gathers momentum

Posted Wednesday, 6 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

A CAMPAIGN for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail cycle paths from the old Murwillumbah train station to Casino has gathered momentum in the community. Over 2000 supporters of the proposed rail trail flocked to Bangalow on Saturday August 2 for the BBQ and Bluegrass Festival, helping to raise $10,000 for the campaign.

Delivery of seven N-ViroMotive locomotives to Australian rail operator Pacific National

Posted Wednesday, 6 August, 2014 by newsbot in Asciano

Rocky Condello, Director, Australian Operations for the US based locomotive manufacturer and supplier, National Railway Equipment Company (NRE), is pleased to announce that he has commenced delivery of seven N-ViroMotive locomotives to Australian rail operator Pacific National, an operating division of Asciano Limited, for operation in the BlueScope Port Kembla Steelworks.  The first and second locomotives in this tranche, PB1 and PB2 have been delivered on time into Australia, following an order placed in July 2013, with the remaining five units to be delivered over coming months.

Public transport services poorly co-ordinated: Auditor-General

Posted Wednesday, 6 August, 2014 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

Public transport services are poorly co-ordinated, the Auditor-General has found, with little progress on improving public transport across Victoria despite repeated promises from state governments over the last decade.

Vline train between Melbourne and Geelong operates with carriage door stuck open

Posted Wednesday, 6 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A V/line train operating between Melbourne and Geelong did so with one of the carriage doors stuck open.  The carriage an older H set was stuck open en route with a passenger calling for help.

V/Line can’t blame rain

Posted Wednesday, 6 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

WET weather is no excuse for any deterioration of the repaired sections of the North East rail line, a Border MP said yesterday. Member for Benalla Bill Sykes was commenting after mudholes were found in a section of track between Avenel and Violet Town. The stretch had become so bumpy conductors on V/Line services between Melbourne and Albury had been forced to sit down and the train’s buffet car service briefly closed.

Steamrail celebrates in Warragul

Posted Wednesday, 6 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Rail industry reviews prospects for driverless trains

Posted Thursday, 7 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

The [url=]rail[/url] industry has begun a review into using driverless technology to bring automated trains to [url=]Britain’s railways[/url]. Train companies are working with [url=]Network Rail[/url] to look at how and when computer-driven trains might be brought in more widely after the technology is introduced in 2018 on a section of the [url=]Thameslink[/url] commuter line through London.

California Takes Record Volumes of Oil by Rail From Utah

Posted Thursday, 7 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

California, home to two-thirds of refining capacity in the western U.S., brought in a record volume of waxy oil by rail from Utah in June as crude imports from Canada and North Dakota slid. The state, the biggest gasoline market in the U.S., received 2,737 barrels a day of oil by rail from Utah in June, almost twice the volume of the previous month and up from nothing a year ago, data on the state Energy Commission’s website showed yesterday. Canadian oil-by-rail imports dropped 25 percent to 6,669 barrels a day. North Dakota shipments shrank by 34 percent to 4,035. California’s oil-by-rail deliveries are at a seasonal record as refiners in the western U.S., lacking direct pipeline access, use trains to reach surging crude production from shale formations in the center of the country and in Canada. Utah is shipping record volumes of oil by rail as companies use a combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to draw the most waxy oil out of its Uinta Basin since 1987.

Murray Shire to lobby for disused rail line to be re-opened

Posted Thursday, 7 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

The Murray Shire Mayor is calling on the Victorian Government to reinstate a disused rail line in the southern Riverina, to help move grain and rice to port. Tom Weyrich says he has spoken to Victorian MP, Paul Weller, about re-opening the Barnes Creek to Caldwell line, which he says was mothballed around six years ago. Councillor Weyrich says council spends up to $800,000 a year making repairs to local roads, often damaged by large trucks, and believes the line is a realistic alternative.

V/Line’s first solar powered level crossing installed near Bendigo

Posted Friday, 8 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/Line's first solar powered level crossing is being installed at Huntly on the Bendigo to Echuca rail line, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today. "The passive level crossing at Wakeman Road is ready to be upgraded with boom barriers and flashing lights in coming months, with the sun's rays to provide the energy source," Mr Mulder said. The first of its kind for V/Line, the crossing upgrade is being funded under the Victorian Coalition Government's $47 million Fix Country Crossings Program. "Using solar power at remote locations is an exciting innovation that is not only environmentally friendly but could save taxpayers' money," Mr Mulder said.

Cowra rail line: Industry response sought over revitalisation

Posted Friday, 8 August, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

Transport for NSW has welcomed industry response to a tender, which has attracted two private sector proposals, to restore, reopen and maintain 200 kilometres of non-operational railway known as the “Cowra Lines.”  “What’s been proposed, through the Cowra Lines tender, is a market-based approach, and we’re pleased to have received two responses from industry – the Australian Rail Partners Pty Ltd and the Cowra Rail Company Pty Ltd,” said Deputy Director General of Transport for NSW Freight and Regional Development Rachel Johnson.

Residents fear being kicked out of homes for new rail and road corridors in western Sydney

Posted Friday, 8 August, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Residents in Sydney's west fear they might be kicked out of their homes to make way for several major transport projects planned to be built through their suburbs.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Transport for New South Wales organised a meeting on a proposal to extend the South West rail link after residents complained they had not been consulted about preserving a rail corridor from Narellan in the south-west to St Marys in the west.[/font][/size]

DB Schenker gets 100% stake in Logistics arm in Vietnam

Posted Friday, 8 August, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

DB Schenker strengthens its foothold in Vietnam’s logistics arena with the recent acquisition of the outstanding 49% of the shares in its joint venture with Gemadept Logistics. Schenker Gemadept Logistics was formed in July 2007 to provide logistics and supply chain services through an agreement between Schenker Vietnam Company Limited and Gemadept Logistics, with the former holding 51% of shares and the latter with 49% of shares.

Perth train rescue: Man 'amazed' by reaction of commuters who tilted carriage

Posted Friday, 8 August, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A man has recalled the "amazing" moment scores of commuters used people power to tilt a train carriage to free him from the gap between the train and the platform.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The incident in Perth made headlines around the world, and the video has been viewed countless times on social media.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The man, known only as Andy, was boarding the train at Stirling station, on the northern line, on Wednesday morning when he slipped.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]He fell into the gap and one of his legs became trapped up to the top of his thigh.[/font][/size]

Astronomical Amounts of Iron Ore Expected to be Shipped From Brazil

Posted Friday, 8 August, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

Brazilian mining company Vale SA plans to double its iron ore exports to China within five years, Jose Carlos Martins, the company’s head of ferrous metals, told reporters on Thursday. Rio de Janeiro-based Vale is the largest producer and exporter of iron ore, the main ingredient needed to make steel. Martins also said the company plans to export about 400 million tonnes of iron ore a year within five years, nearly 50 percent more than the 270 million tonnes it exported in 2013.

Transit Rides per Capita

Posted Saturday, 9 August, 2014 by JimYarin in International Rail News

Listicles that rank cities according to ill-defined criteria are nearly worthless internet click bait, but as usual [url=]fivethirtyeight brings some rigor[/url] to the process: [quote]The measure used is “unlinked trips,” which counts transfers during the same journey as separate trips. This figure can be converted to “trips per resident” by dividing unlinked trips in 2013 by [url=]2012 population estimates[/url] from the American Community Survey (ACS), yielding a figure that’s neatly comparable among cities of varying sizes.[/quote] Note that these are metro areas, not single municipalities. As you might imagine, New York blows everything else away, much-maligned San Francisco/Oakland is second, and DC is third.  Then it’s a mix of transit cities and college towns. Atlantic City, NJ is last at #290, with 0.5 transit rides per person per year.

Rail trails are on the right track to boost regions

Posted Saturday, 9 August, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

RAIL trail fever is set to sweep through the region with a demand for more money to fill in the gaps. In parliament this week Nanango MP Deb Frecklington pushed the state government for more funding to construct the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, in the Somerset region of the Nanango electorate. The section between Toogoolawah and Moore has been closed since it was damaged during the 2011 and 2013 flood events.

Architects' impressions of Wickham rail interchange

Posted Saturday, 9 August, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

IT’S been called The Big Shed, The Big Carport and even The Wickham Worm, but whatever the case, the state government’s draft design for the Wickham rail interchange continues to raise eyebrows. While much of the Newcastle community has given the design a ‘‘can do better’’, many of the city’s architects say the design is not the problem. At least one says the planned transport hub is ‘‘majorly flawed’’ and should never be plonked next to the city’s busiest traffic intersection.

'Sneaky' two-hour myki change buys you less travel time from Sunday

Posted Saturday, 9 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Two-hour myki fares will be crunched on Sunday to exactly two hours' duration from when a passenger touches on, giving Victorians less travel time before they must pay more for an all-day fare. Currently, two-hour fares expire at the end of the hour, meaning a ticket can last as long as two hours and 59 minutes. Public Transport Victoria posted a note on its website on Friday morning but has made no other public announcement, sparking accusations that it has not given the public proper warning of the important change.   Sunday also marks the start of on-the-spot fines, when fare evaders can pay $75 immediately or be slugged $217.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 9/8/2014.

Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were only 78 sightings for this week; this is 12 sightings less than last week making a total of 3425 sightings for this year to date On day 221 last year we had recorded 3739 sightings. This is 314 sightings less that at the same time last year.

Report on Main North Line to be completed before Rail Trail discussions continue

Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The New England Rail Trail group says it's going through the process of seeking all the information needed to secure the case for the conversion of part of the Main Northern Rail Line north of Armidale to a Rail Trail.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The group has been working for several months to gain support for the Rail Trail for walkers and cyclists, from Black Mountain to Ben Lomond.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]David Mills met with Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian earlier this week to discuss the proposal.[/font][/size]

Perth Airport rail link to start in 2016 and be finished by 2020, says WA Premier Colin Barnett

Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

THE cost of the State Government’s much vaunted Forrestfield-Airport Link has blown out by $300 million, with Premier Colin Barnett revealing today the cost will be $2.2 billion. Addressing the Liberal state conference Mr Barnett confirmed the project would start in 2016 and be finished in 2020. It will see a rail line head east from the Midland Line near Bayswater Station then tunnel under the Swan River and Tonkin Highway before reaching the airport and going on to Forrestfield. The rail project, which was put at $1.9 billion during the state election, will take the form of twin bored tunnels and will become the longest section of underground rail in Perth.

Perth airport rail link: FIFO workers concerned about connecting flight times, survey shows

Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Claims that the planned underground airport rail link from Bayswater to Forrestfield will be a boon for fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers have been called into question.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Taxpayer-funded research has revealed FIFO workers' concerns about whether it will actually get them to Perth's airport in time for their early morning flights.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The ABC has obtained a copy of the research, dated March 2014, which was conducted to gauge FIFO workers' views.[/font][/size]

Bring back trams to Geelong CBD, says Tony Ansett

Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by bevans in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]GEELONG councillor has called for a feasibility study to reintroduce trams to Geelong, with the first stage to be a line running from the Geelong Railway Station to Eastern Park.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Cr Tony Ansett said the Gold Coast was getting trams in the form of light rail, Newcastle was also getting trams, and several other cities either have trams or light rail services.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]He was speaking after the State Government announced it would be committing $80,000 towards a $120,000 feasibility study into returning trams to Bendigo.[/font][/size][/color]

Transport minister cool on extra south-west trains

Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by nozza99 in Victorian Rail News

PASSENGER demand for the Warrnambool train service is not strong enough for extra services, according to Transport Minister Terry Mulder.

Community members get an early look at the Moreton Bay Rail Link project, due for completion in 2016

Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]THE jokes about its 100-year history still linger, but the long-promised Moreton Bay Rail Link is fast taking shape.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Lucky members of the community along with local school students were given a tour along the path of the Rail Link today from Kippa-Ring to Petrie.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Recent good weather has allowed the $1 billion project to remain on track to be delivered on time, with tracks expected to be delivered to the site within the coming months.[/font][/size][/color]

CQ rail site for GrainCorp

Posted Monday, 11 August, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

GRAINCORP has commenced the purchase of a 50-hectare greenfield site east of Emerald in Central Queensland, with plans to build a centralised grain rail logistics terminal. The ASX-listed grain-handling company which was subject to a failed takeover bid from US giant Archer Daniel Midlands last year, has proceeded to rationalise its storage and handling facilities across Australia.

China To Dispatch 5000 Workers To Kenya For Rail Construction

Posted Monday, 11 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

VENTURES AFRICA – News from the Kenya Railways Corporation suggests that the China Road & Bridge Corporation will send in 5,000 workers to work on the standard gauge railway. Kenya signed a Sh314.2 billion deal with China for the construction of the Mombassa‐Nairobi railway in May, 2014. The deal is to be executed in phases starting with the standard gauge railway project which is to cover 609.3km from the port of Mombassa to Nairobi.

Sisterhood keeps the rail rolling

Posted Monday, 11 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]MORE than 50 apprentices are being recruited to bolster NSW’s rail maintenance program, with a call for more women to join the ranks.[/b][/size] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Madeline Haseltine, a former legal secretary and now a third-year apprentice fitter, has urged other women to consider a career as a rail tradesperson. Ms Haseltine, from Wetherill Park, said joining Sydney Train’s maintenance crew was the best decision of her working life.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the trainees are also part of a commitment to build the state’s skilled workforce.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Ms Berejiklian said more than 1000 people had applied for apprenticeships across a range of fields including telecommunications, electrical and diesel mechanics.[/font][/size][/color]

Finishing the line: Connecting Cairns and Townsville by rail

Posted Monday, 11 August, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, Lucida, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Today, Cairns is well connected to the world, but there was a time when the only transport to and from Cairns was by boat. We look back at the day the final piece of the railway between Townsville and Cairns was opened, and the beginning of a new era for north Queensland.[/b][/font][/color]

Transit workers not consulted over rail line closure's effects

Posted Monday, 11 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]THE truncation of the Newcastle rail line is less than five months away, but hundreds of state transit employees have no idea how the change is going to impact on them.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]In the venomous debate that surrounds cutting the line, the future of approximately 300 staff who work on it has received little attention.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Steve Turner from the Rail, Train and Bus Union said staff had received ‘‘no consultation’’ from the state government, despite their lives being ‘‘extensively disrupted’’ by the decision.[/font][/size][/color]

Byron rail group to fight against bypass

Posted Monday, 11 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Residents of Butler Street in Byron Bay are preparing to fight to save their street from becoming a bypass after a majority of Byron shire councillors voted against a proposal to use the rail corridor instead. A motion at last Thursday’s Byron Shire Council meeting by Cr Duncan Dey requested written confirmation from the state government to ‘make land permanently available within the multi-modal rail corridor’.

Man loses leg after being run over by train

Posted Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

A young man who sustained a serious leg injury when he was struck by a train at Dubbo remains in the city's hospital. The 18-year-old's right leg was severed below the knee during the incident that happened on Saturday morning. Shortly after 7am on Saturday, the man was struck by a train in central Dubbo, NSW Police reported. Emergency services were contacted a short time later.

Derailment at 'The Rock' on Southern NSW

Posted Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 by newsbot in Asciano

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Open Sans, Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It has been reported on Railpage it appears that an 81 class operated by Pacific National has dipped forward in The Rock Railway Yard and is off the rails while attaching to a branch line grain consist (4x 48 class) from the Boree Creek Branch.[/font][/size][/color]

Child in stroller blown onto London rail tracks

Posted Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

British Transport Police have released harrowing images of a child in a stroller being blown by tunnel wind onto London subway tracks and a woman leaping to the rescue moments before a train arrived.

The Truth About Obama’s High-Speed Rail Program

Posted Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

The New York Times has declared President Barack Obama’s high-speed rail program a failure. “Despite the administration spending nearly $11 billion since 2009 to develop faster passenger trains, the projects have gone mostly nowhere,” America’s paper of record [url=reported]reported[/url] Aug. 6—in its news pages, not its opinion section. The story quickly rocketed into Republican talking points and conservative op-eds as fresh evidence of presidential haplessness. But it’s wrong. The administration hasn’t spent anywhere near $11 billion. The projects haven’t gone mostly nowhere. There are legitimate questions about the high-speed rail initiative—and the administration’s hype has outstripped its ability to deliver in an era of divided government—but the public debate over the program has been almost completely detached from the reality on the ground

Work on track for better rail

Posted Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Major rail work has been in full force at Gunnedah Railway Station this month, as part of a six-month track upgrade project.[/font][/size][/color]

Reprieve for Mallee rail

Posted Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 by bevans in South Australian Rail News

It is unlikely rail lines in the Mallee from Loxton to Tailem Bend and Pinnaroo to Tailem Bend will stay open for more than 12 months.

Palace On Wheels: Glorious Rajputana Revealed in a Nostalgic Voyage

Posted Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 by kunvar in International Rail News

[justify][size=3]Palace on Wheels is the only luxury train that has been giving its service since 1982 and has completed its 35 years. There are many features that make this luxury train better or different from the other luxury trains that are operating in the India. The name “Palace on Wheels” was derived from its royal back-ground of the coaches. A new meter gauge air conditioned Palace-on-wheels was introduced in 1990.[/size][/justify]

Ryan needs to explain electorate rail stance

Posted Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

I CALL on the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Development, Peter Ryan, who is the Legislative Assembly member for Gippsland South, to provide clarity on his stance about the issue of reopening the South Gippsland railway line to Leongatha.

Independent MP calls for probity audit in wake of ICAC

Posted Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

The Independent Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper has called for a probity audit of key decisions behind Newcastle's revitalisation in light of ICAC allegations. The state government is involved in a partnership with developer GPT in revitalising the CBD. The project is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

WestConnex adviser 'engineered' traffic numbers on Lane Cove Tunnel disaster

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Other Transport News

Why do traffic forecasters get it so wrong?  In the case of the Lane Cove Tunnel, which opened in 2007 with about a third of the predicted traffic volumes, the Supreme Court heard one suggested answer on Monday: forecasters come up with traffic figures based on their business needs, not what happens on the road. Those figures are coming back to hurt the forecasters, two of the biggest names in the business, that are facing a $144 million lawsuit by aggrieved investors. AMP Capital Investors, the manager of two funds that lost when the tunnel went into receivership within three years of opening, is suing Parsons Brinckerhoff and Booz Allen Hamilton, both of which have since won numerous lucrative contracts from the state government.

Late arrivals plague Warrnambool rail service

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

PUNCTUALITY of passenger trains on the Warrnambool line is still running below target with the latest V/Line figures being the second worst in regional Victoria, but reliability remained among the best. Eighty per cent of services for July ran on time, but one-in-five fell short of the 92 per cent benchmark which is to be within 10 minutes 59 seconds of schedule at the end of the journey. Punctuality on the Warrnambool line has long been an issue with most service arrivals running late. September 2013 was the last time a service met target.

Rail survey not surprising

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A REPORT focused on transport needs for regional Victoria and its 10 largest cities has identified the dissatisfaction felt by North East rail commuters as the highest in the state. Passengers on the North East line to Wodonga and Wangaratta scored their experience at 2.54 and 2.53 out of 10 respectively, half that of the satisfaction rate in Bendigo and Ballarat. It’s a result that’s not surprising to Border commuters and Wodonga rail campaigner Bill Traill.

CN Rail train derails in northern B.C.

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A CN Rail train derailed Tuesday morning approximately 145 kilometres northeast of Prince George. Operations on the line were suspended at around 6:15 a.m. PT, after 11 out of 127 cars on the train came off the tracks. No injuries were reported.

John Robertson casts doubt over Newcastle rail plans

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

NSW Labor opposition leader John Robertson says the decision to rip up the rail line has ‘‘a real cloud over its head’’ after yesterday’s spectacular resignation of Liberal MPs for Newcastle and Charlestown, Tim Owen and Andrew Cornwell. ‘‘There are real questions in my mind and I’m sure the minds of many as to what the real motivations where of this government making this decision,’’ he said. ‘‘In the end this is a decision that’s a lazy decision that enhances the interests of the developers.’’

Perth airport rail link plans not costed by Treasury, Transport Minister Dean Nalder reveals

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The West Australian Government announced plans to sink the rail line to Perth airport without official costings by Treasury, the Transport Minister has revealed.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Last week the WA Government revealed its plan to sink the entire airport rail link at a cost of $2.2 billion, which was $300 million more than forecast.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The project was a key Liberal Party promise in the lead up to the 2013 election, and the Government pledged it would cost $1.9 billion and be built by 2018, later pushed back to 2020.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Originally only four kilometres was going to be underground.[/font][/size]

Liberals vote against light rail spending

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

If the ACT government eventually abandons plans for a light rail line from the city to Gungahlin, taxpayers will still foot a bill of about $60 million, opposition transport spokesman Alistair Coe said on Tuesday.  Liberal members voted against the $23.5 million in funding in this year's budget to get the project to an ''investment-ready'' stage, as Mr Coe warned the 12-kilometre tram line, the largest-ever capital works project in the territory, was at risk of cost blowouts and delays.

High Speed Rail Construction Costs Cut By a Third

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A new report released by the World Bank claims that China has managed to reduce the cost of building high speed railway networks by as much as a third as a result of the standardisation of building processes, in tandem with the economies of scale achievable in the country as a result of its size.

Maharajas Express Journey: Splendors, Majestic Beauty and Myriad Colors of an Ancient Land Unleashed

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by kunvar in International Rail News

[size=3][font=Calibri, sans-serif]TheMaharaja’s Express, a journey that takes you through the splendours of aglorious land in a truly royal settings kingdom after kingdom the luxury train lets you explore the empires that shaped the history of the land, of kings who were more artists than rulers and of forgotten cities, unearthed in all theglory.[/font][/size]

Rail observations unfairly dismissed

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

REGARDING Peter Wiseman's comments in Web Words on Tuesday, July 29. He labels Bill Collier's letter ("Conviction, courage in short supply'', July 26) as a rant and daft comments.From his attack, it’s quite apparent that Mr Wiseman has no concept of the rail industry.

North East V/Line passengers most dissatisfied in state: report

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

A NEW RACV report shows V/Line passengers in the North East are the state’s most dissatisfied. The Regional Growing Pains report released yesterday outlines the road, public transport, walking and cycling projects needed to support population growth across regional Victoria and its 10 largest cities. The satisfaction rate among passengers who share the same train line for V/Line services to Wod- onga and Wangaratta was half that of those surveyed from other places.

Rural freight off the rails

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by Michelle12 in Queensland Rail News

RAIL services to the agricultural sector were shambolic, unreliable and seriously inefficient - jeopardising plans to double the future growth of an industry that made $11 billion last year, a State Government inquiry has found. Network provider Aurizon, accused of favouring coal over cattle and grain haulage, had resorted to transporting subsidised agricultural product by truck to ports "because it was cheaper", State Parliament was told.

Aurizon in talks to sell Colin Rees Transport (CRT Group Holdings) to Qube Logistics

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in Aurizon

Railpage understands Aurizon is close to signing a deal with Qube Logistics to offload its holding Colin Rees Transport or CRT acquired in June 2005. Railpage has learnt of the deal in recent days. CRT Group was an intermodal transport company in Australia, founded in 1954 as Colin Rees Transport. The company was acquired by QR National in June 2005. At the time of acquisition by QR National, now Aurizon, was in the top 10 logistics companies in Australia with a turnover of $80 million, and moving over 600,000 tonnes of freight a year.

Labor promises more trains from Geelong

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Geelong train commuters could get off-peak services to Melbourne every 20 minutes by the middle of next year. Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said should his party win the November 29 election, his government would add 22 more services to the timetable each week day.

Greens push for $60 million east west tram link from North Melbourne to Richmond

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

THE GREENS want to create a new tram line direct from North Melbourne train station to Richmond by filling in gaps in the network. But the State Government said it would simply duplicate an existing bus route. The tram would run mainly along established tracks on Victoria Parade, but two sections of new track would have to be built at an estimated cost of about $60 million. The 2.1km of new track would be built between North Melbourne station and Errol St, along Dryburgh, Spencer and Hawke streets, and on Victoria St, between Spring and Swanston streets. Greens candidate for Melbourne Ellen Sandell said the new route would be “the real East West link that Melburnians want and need”.

Galilee Basin coal rail line approved by Queensland government

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

[color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif][b][b]QUEENSLAND has approved a railway linking what will be one of the world’s biggest coal mines to a port on the Great Barrier Reef coast.[/b] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif]Continuing development of the Galilee Basin, the state government has backed the construction by Indian company Adani of a 300 km rail line from its proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland to the coal port of Abbot Point.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif]Queensland’s endorsement comes only two weeks after Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt gave approval for the development of the mine itself.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif]The Carmichael project is a massive operation involving both an open-cut mine and an underground mine. At full capacity it would be capable of providing 60 million tonnes of coal annually.[/font][/size][/color]

Grain train derails near Dalwallinu

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

AUTHORITIES have confirmed a train derailment occurred about 8.30pm, half a kilometre from the CBH Dalwallinu site on Monday night. Local residents heard the deafening sound of crumpling steel echo across town. Shire of Dalwallinu works manager Louka Shopov said he and his wife heard the noise of the crash, followed by emergency sirens.

Flaw in airport rail link timetable

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

The Barnett Government has made no provision for extra early morning and late night train services when the new $2,2 billion airport rail line opens in 2020. First trains typically begin at 5.30am and last trains depart at midnight, so rail services would not be available for many airline passengers with early departures or late arrivals.

All aboard centenary of rail

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

EVENT organisers of the April 2015 Wauchope Centenary of Rail are busy coordinating a series of rail excursions to raise money for next year's momentous celebrations. An open invitation is extended to the community in conjunction with the Wauchope Chamber of Commerce to travel via rail to Gloucester, Kempsey and Coffs Harbour on the XPT and Wauchope CPH Rail Motor Rail on Friday August 29 and Saturday August 30.

Labor joins Maitland's voice to halt rail cut

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

The call to delay the truncation of Newcastle rail line has become louder after NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson joined a growing chorus of questions about whether there was corruption involved in the government’s ­decision.

Ballarat train line one of the worst for safety incidents

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

THE Ballarat train line experiences one of the highest rates of safety incidents in Victoria. Research by Transport Safety Victoria reveals there have been 34 hits or near hits between V/Line trains and either motor vehicles or pedestrians on the Ballarat line in the past five years. The statistics come as V/Line and Victoria Police join forces to promote Rail Safety Week. V/Line chief executive Theo Taifalos said he couldn’t contemplate why people risked their lives near railways.

Rail line tender response welcomed by Transport for NSW

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Transport for NSW has welcomed industry response to a tender, which has attracted two private sector proposals, to restore, reopen and maintain 200 kilometres of non-operational railway known as the "Cowra Lines".[/font][/size][/color]

Greens call for a new study into local rail

Posted Thursday, 14 August, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

CAMPBELLS Creek, Newstead and Carisbrook have at least one thing in common - a deteriorating, disused rail line. The Victorian Greens and the Rail Revival Alliance believe this rail line can "revitalise" the small towns between Castlemaine and Maryborough. Greens candidate for Bendigo West John Brownstein visited the former Campbells Creek train station on Wednesday, now an overgrown, littered pile of dirt. Mr Brownstein said a recent $2 million state government report had overstated the cost of rehabilitating the 55 kilometre track, which came in at up to $290 million.

ICAC: Gladys Berejiklian, Brad Hazzard shrug off Newcastle rail line questions

Posted Friday, 15 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]TWO ministers have batted away questions of whether they met with Jeff McCloy or Hilton Grugeon before decisions to remove the heavy rail line and install light rail.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Transport and Hunter minister Gladys Berejiklian and former planning minister (now Attorney General) Brad Hazzard told State Parliament yesterday that they had consulted "widely" before the decisions were made.[/font][/size][/color]

Rail inquiry findings delayed

Posted Friday, 15 August, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

THE tabling of a parliamentary inquiry’s findings into the management of WA’s freight rail network has been delayed. The Economic and Industry Standing Committee report into current lease arrangements and management of the WA freight rail network comprising Tier 1,2 and 3 lines was due to be released tomorrow, but now looks as though it will be tabled by October 16. Farm Weekly believes the deferral is due to the high volume of evidence, and its complex nature, which required more time to consider.

Chinese rail workers 'paid $NZ3/hr in NZ'

Posted Friday, 15 August, 2014 by bevans in New Zealand Rail News

[color=#2b2b2b][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][b][b]NEW Zealand's Labour party and the rail workers' union are demanding answers to claims Chinese workers brought to the country to fix asbestos-contaminated locomotives were paid as little as $NZ3 ($A2.79) an hour.[/b][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#2b2b2b][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]LABOUR'S Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union say they have written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise asking for an urgent probe into the allegations.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#2b2b2b][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The Chinese engineers were brought to New Zealand to remedy asbestos found in Chinese-made locomotives. The work was done at KiwiRail's Lower Hutt workshops.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#2b2b2b][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]"My understanding is that a number of Chinese railway engineers dealing with the asbestos issue are being paid well below the minimum wage," Mr Mallard said.[/font][/size][/color]

Rail line from Australia's largest coal mine to Abbot Point gets Queensland Government approval

Posted Friday, 15 August, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

The Queensland Coordinator-General has signed off on the rail line that will connect Australia's largest coal mine to the port of Abbot Point, near Bowen. The 300-kilometre line will transport coal from Adani's proposed $16 billion [url=]Carmichael mine,[/url] about 160 kilometres north-west of Clermont. Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says the conditional approval is a key decision to 'unlock' the resource-rich Galilee Basin. "Construction such as this will have some impact, but we have to mitigate those impacts wherever we can identify them." The conditions imposed by the Coordinator-General relate mainly to groundwater and protections for flora and fauna.

Swiss train crash: Recap updates as railway boss hails ''guardian angel'' after 140 passengers escape alive

Posted Friday, 15 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A passenger train derailed into a ravine in a mountainous region of southeastern Switzerland after a terrifying crash. Eleven passengers were injured after three train carriages came off the tracks near Tiefencastel, a village less than 30 miles northwest of the ski resort St. Moritz earlier today. Miraculously though, no one was killed. One of the passenger carriages fell more than 30ft into a ravine after the train came off the tracks ahead of a tunnel. Five people were seriously injured while another six sustained slight injuries. Among those injured were two Japanese nationals and one Australian, according to Swiss police. There were 140 people on board the train when the accident occurred following heavy rain in Switzerland overnight.

No Room at the Bin for Grain Amid Buffett’s BNSF Rail Jam

Posted Friday, 15 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

With the start of the spring-wheat harvest in Arnegard, North Dakota, a week away, the bins on Bob Wisness’s 11,000-acre farm are half full with last year’s crops that have been stranded by a train traffic jam. “With the railroad situation the way it is, it almost looks hopeless as far as catching up” for storage capacity normally at least 90 percent empty at this time, said Wisness, the president of the [url=]North Dakota Grain Growers Association[/url]. BNSF Railway, owned by [url=]Warren Buffett[/url]’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and[url=]Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP)[/url]struggled with “greater-than-normal” demand from shippers of coal, oil and Midwest crops, the [url=]U.S. Department of Agriculture[/url] said last week in a [url=]report[/url]. Record-high grain and soybean harvests anticipated this year may exacerbate the squeeze in silo space.

A journey Aboard Deccan Odyssey- The Blue Luminous on Rolling Wheels

Posted Saturday, 16 August, 2014 by kunvar in International Rail News

[color=black][size=2][font=Verdana, sans-serif]Deccan Odyssey has introduced its 10 new journeys thatmake their guests more comfortable in travelling. People across the world can take these packages and can enjoy visiting the Incredible India. In this they have made packages starting from 3 days/2 nights to 7 nights/8 days. In this 80 guests can travel at a time.[/font][/size][/color]

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 16/8/2014.

Posted Sunday, 17 August, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 81 sightings for this week; this is three sightings more than last week making a total of 3506 sightings for this year to date On day 228 last year we had recorded 3838 sightings. This is 332 sightings less that at the same time last year.

Why Can't the United States Build a High-Speed Rail System?

Posted Sunday, 17 August, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

[size=3][font=Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][color=#000000]Virtually every wealthy nation in the world has invested in a high-speed rail network—with the striking exception of the United States. From Japan [/color][color=#000000]to France[/color][color=#000000], even from Turkey to Russia[/color][color=#000000], trains travel through the country at speeds of 150 miles per hour or above, linking city centers and providing a desirable alternative to both air and automobile travel. Meanwhile, outside Amtrak's 28 miles of 150-m.p.h. track in rural Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the American rail network is largely limited to speeds of 110 m.p.h. or less. There are few reasons to think the situation will change much in the coming decades.[/color][/font][/size] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]So why has the United States failed to fund and construct high-speed rail?[/font][/size][/color]

Ship hits Fremantle rail bridge, 20,000 homes blacked out

Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

A SEVERE thunderstorm forced a cargo ship to break its mooring and smash into the Fremantle rail bridge overnight. The storm, which hit the city just before 10pm last night, brought heavy rain to much of the South West and the city, and blacked out 20,000 homes. Destructive winds were recorded in the South West, with Busselton Jetty recording a gust of 120km/h at 7.30pm. More than 30 State Emergency Service and 20 Career and Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service personnel from Bunbury, Australind and Harvey units worked through the night responding to calls for help from storm damage.

Call to rethink rail tunnel

Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

The Mercury has received numerous emails and posts on its website and social media pages from people who want heavy rail to continue into Newcastle CBD. Many are concerned that the rail cut will affect commuters from Maitland and the wider Hunter more than Newcastle residents because of a lack of alternative public transport beyond the city and the increasing cost of petrol. Francis Young took to the Mercury’s website and suggested the government build an underground rail tunnel between Wickham and Newcastle stations rather than rip up the line.

Maitland information session on rail cut

Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Maitland residents can learn more about the state government’s plans to cut the heavy rail line into Newcastle today. The Review of Environmental Factors involved with establishing the Wickham transport interchange is on display at Maitland library. A public information session will be held at Maitland Town Hall today between 3pm and 7pm for discussion of the REF, which is open for community feedback. The REF includes information about the future interchange and plans to reduce the impact of construction on commuters.

Aurizon on target for 75% Operating Ratio in FY15 with strong full-year performance and increases cost-out target to $250 – $300

Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014 by newsbot in Aurizon

Aurizon has reported Statutory Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) of $465 million for the year ended 30 June 2014, down 32% against FY2013 ($685m), due to one-off impairments that were previously advised to the market during the year. These comprised transformation-related asset impairment costs ($190m), other asset impairment costs ($127m) and Voluntary Redundancy Program costs ($69m). Aurizon has reported a 13% increase in Underlying EBIT of $851m for the full year (FY13: $754m). This was largely due to stronger volumes (record tonnages in coal, network and iron ore), the continued ramp up in contracted tonnes from the Goonyella to Abbot Point Expansion (GAPE) and transformation benefits ($129m). This was also despite lower Network access revenue capped under the UT4 transitional tariff arrangements.

Yanchep rail on hold

Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

The Barnett Government will not extend the Joondalup rail line north of Butler before it completes the airport-Forrestfield link and the MAX light rail projects, Transport Minister Dean Nalder says. It means that a mooted extension of the northern line to Yanchep will not happen before the middle of the next decade.

Mernda rail extension plans on the drawing board

Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Plans for a new rail line in Melbourne’s booming outer north are quietly being drawn up by the Napthine government, just three months out from a state election in which transport issues are tipped to swing many votes. The plans, which are at a very early stage, involve extending the South Morang rail line eight kilometres north to Mernda on Melbourne’s suburban fringe. Fairfax Media understands potential locations for three new stations are being assessed, as well as whether land owned by government corporation VicTrack could be sold to developers to offset the construction costs. Planners with state authority Public Transport Victoria have consulted planning officers at the City of Whittlesea about the proposal. The terminus for the new line would likely be built next to the planned Mernda town centre, a grassy paddock that will eventually become a commercial hub for tens of thousands of people.

East coast fast-rail link back on track

Posted Tuesday, 19 August, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

THE push for an east coast, high-speed, rail link has received a boost, with the Abbott government holding a series of high-level meetings with Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and French rail companies in Australia and abroad. Trade Minister Andrew Robb said the talks had included discussions on financial models to make the project viable, despite its hefty estimated price tag of $110 billion and the government’s fiscal constraints. Renewed interest in the project comes as Central Japan Railway Company declared Japanese tunnelling methods could strip 20-30 per cent off the projected cost. The company, Japan’s most profitable high-speed rail operator, has also revealed that Japanese government lender JBIC is prepared to bankroll construction if Australia shares the risk.

Commuters take to Facebook as Seaford rail service falls behind despite fast new trains

Posted Tuesday, 19 August, 2014 by newsbot in South Australian Rail News

THE Seaford rail line is riddled with problems, including express services that are always late and congested carriages, commuters say. Noarlunga Line Commuters Facebook Group administrator Sarah Thomas said members posted daily complaints about the line, which was extended from Noarlunga to Seaford in February. “It could just be teething issues but I don’t think that is completely the case,” Ms Thomas said. She said she was meeting was Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan next week and would call for a review of the line’s timetable to ensure trains ran on time. Dave Dickinson, 40, said he worked three days a fortnight from his McLaren Vale home to avoid the three-hour round train trip into the city from Seaford.

Rail Trail opposition continues

Posted Tuesday, 19 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

The Save the Great Northern Rail Group says it'll meet with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall in a week's time, to discuss a rail capacity report that's being done on the line north of Armidale. The group, chaired by Rob Lenehan, says it's concerned the conversion of the disused line into a Rail Trail would prevent the line being used productively into the future. He says a study underway into the capacity of the line will only be worthwhile if it's done right.

Rail trail costs a concern for neighbouring council

Posted Tuesday, 19 August, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

SOMERSET Regional Council mayor Graeme Lehmann does not share South Burnett Regional Council mayor Wayne Kratzmann's enthusiasm for rail trails. Mayor Lehmann fears maintenance costs of completing the Moore and Toogoolawah section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail could become a burden. If the Somerset section of the rail trail is finished it will cover 125.5km making it the longest out of the 21 existing trails in Queensland, and it would cost about $500,000 a year to maintain. Mayor Graeme Lehmann has enraged some groups with his hesitation to apply for funding that was made available for rail trails.

Elizabeth and North West Rail Link staff get ready for tunnel-boring task at Bella Vista

Posted Tuesday, 19 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

North West Rail Link project director Rodd Staples praised all involved in bringing “Elizabeth” safely to the site of the Bella Vista construction site. Elizabeth was in the headlines for the wrong reasons when trucks carrying ­tunnel-boring machine equipment were grounded by police after not complying with their permit.

Review of Western Australia's grain freight network delayed for two months

Posted Tuesday, 19 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

Farmers will have to wait another two months before they see a report examining the state-owned grain freight network and its recommendations for the future of grain transport by rail. tier three rail lines. A report by the Economics and Industry Standing Committee which has been investigating the lease arrangement between Brookfield Rail and the State Government, was due to be released today. But the Upper House committee will now deliver their report on October 16, 2014.

Colin Barnett government ignored Fremantle Traffic Bridge danger

Posted Tuesday, 19 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

Sustainability expert Peter Newman says it's “pathetic” Fremantle Ports depends on bridges that are at risk of collapsing if struck by a vessel.  A [url=]cargo ship crashed into the Fremantle rail bridge[/url] in the early hours of Monday morning after coming lose from its moorings during a storm. Trains from North Fremantle to Fremantle have been cancelled while engineers assess the structural damage.

High-speed rail: Australia could build network for $30 billion less, according to Beyond Zero Emissions

Posted Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

IT could be faster than flying, good for the environment and be our next great “nation-building exercise”. But does Australia have the wherewithal to make an idea as big and expensive as high-speed rail a reality? Climate change think tank[url=] Beyond Zero Emissions will present a report in Brisbane tonight [/url]that advocates for Australia to take up this major infrastructure challenge.

Queensland waste management company Transpacific grounds entire national fleet of 2800 trucks after double fatal smash at bottom

Posted Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 by newsbot in Other Transport News

A QUEENSLAND truck company has taken its fleet of 2800 vehicles off the road after a horror double fatal smash involving one of its trucks. Queensland waste management company Transpacific announced the voluntary grounding in the wake of the collision, in which a truck smashed into three stationary cars at the Cross Rd/Glen Osmond Rd intersection about 1.15pm. A Hallett Cove man, 56, died shortly after the crash and an Ingle Farm woman, 41, who was driving one of the cars, has died overnight in hospital. Two others[url=] — including the truck driver — are still fighting for their lives and remain in a critical condition[/url] at Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Commuters in the dark on shutdown of Epping-Chatswood rail line

Posted Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

Train users across Sydney’s north should know in the next few months how long the Epping to Chatswood rail line will be out of action during construction of the north-west link. The Epping to Chatswood  line, which opened in 2009, could be shut down for months so it can be upgraded to accommodate the new train line to Rouse Hill being built by the Baird government. But Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has not confirmed the length of time the line will be closed, saying it is a matter of negotiation with the new operator of the north-west rail link. Those negotiations, Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday, should soon be completed.

Labor would give rail its proper place: Albanese

Posted Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

Shadow infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese is already mapping out policy for a future Labor government, challenging in particular the priority Tony Abbott has given to roads and stipulating greater collaboration between levels of government. He says in a speech to an infrastructure conference in Melbourne today that a returned Labor government would invest in urban rail to ensure cities have better public transport. This would drive productivity.

Pair promote rail safety message

Posted Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Aurizon

BROOKFIELD Rail and Aurizon visited the Avon region last week to promote safe behaviour around the rail network as part of Rail Safety Week. Three visits covered the York District High School, Northam Clontarf Academy and Northam Senior High School last Wednes day. Rail safety ambassador Jonathan Beninca suffered a traumatic rail incident when he was a teenager which left him in intensive care with the loss of his arm, leg and several fingers, changing his life forever.

Trust plans 1000 rail land graves

Posted Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

UP to 1000 graves would be added to Wodonga’s cemetery on former railway land, under a plan that has the city’s council’s backing. The Wodonga Cemetery Trust is negotiating with VicTrack to buy land at the northern end of the graveyard that dates back to 1861. The council has issued a planning permit for the land. Cemetery trust chairman Allen Cummins said it was hoped the deal was done before the state election in November.

Supporters swarm to 'Save our Rail'

Posted Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

RECENT ICAC revelations have brought the great debate surrounding rail line truncation in Newcastle back to life.  A ‘‘meet and greet’’ turned into a low-key rally on Wednesday August 20 when politicians, lobby groups and members of the public met at Newcastle Station. More than 100 gathered at the station to discuss the rail’s community benefits.  Gavin Gatenby, co-convenor of EcoTransit Sydney said any mandate that may have existed to cut the rail line had evaporated in light of ICAC’s findings.

Darwin and Adelaide likely export hubs for Queensland uranium

Posted Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Northern Territory Rail News

The resurgence of uranium mining in Queensland is gaining momentum, and talk is growing about the economic opportunity that could provide for ports in neighbouring states and territories.

Upper Hunter commuters holding out hope rail line won't be cut

Posted Thursday, 21 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

A keen inland surfer who makes regular treks into Newcastle is warning of chaos once the inner-city rail line is cut. The NSW Government plans to cut Newcastle's heavy rail line at Wickham on Boxing Day, despite calls for the project to be halted in light of damning Independent Commission Against Corruption allegations. Around 100 people rallied for the reversal of the rail line decision yesterday.

Reaction to Maldon-Dombarton rail plan

Posted Thursday, 21 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

Stakeholders across the region were pleased to hear the private sector would be approached to build the Maldon-Dombarton rail line. Cunningham MP Sharon Bird has campaigned for the line to be built for almost a decade. "I am very pleased to hear that the NSW government is approaching the private sector in an effort to get the rail line built," she said. "This is in stark contrast to the Abbott government who recently ripped $50 million of seed funding for the Maldon-Dombarton line from the budget."

Train on fire at Snowtown South Australia

Posted Thursday, 21 August, 2014 by freightgate in South Australian Rail News

A goods train is on fire near Snowtown South Australia. Firefighters are monitoring a potential chemical hazard in Snowtown, after being alerted to a smouldering drum of hydrochloric acid on a freight train. A 1000 litre drum of hydrochloric acid is smouldering as it was transported on a freight train. Not much heard from train radio, but plenty from CFS channels, Dangerous good train burning near Snowtown from what I understand from what I've heard it is a chemical fire "various acids" with adjacent cars containing Urainium.

Intermodal Freight Centre re-opening considered

Posted Thursday, 21 August, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Bowen locals offered first go at Adani jobs

Posted Thursday, 21 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The chief executive of Indian mining giant Adani has stuck by his commitment to give locals first crack at the 10,000 jobs that will be created by the company's mine, rail and port projects.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Sandeep Mehta fielded questions at a heated community meeting in Bowen last night.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The mainly pro-development crowd from Bowen often drowned out Whitsunday tourism operators and Mackay-based green groups, who are concerned about the dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Whitsunday Regional Residents Association's John Barnes says locals welcomed Adani's pledge to begin construction next year.[/font][/size]

Airport rail use projections 'inflated'

Posted Friday, 22 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

The Barnett Government has been caught out using inflated patronage projections for its airport-Forrestfield rail link relative to previously published patronage projections for other rail projects. Transport Minister Dean Nalder last week released a summary of the airport rail project that contained projections that the line’s three stations would have 20,000 “daily trips generated” when it opened in 2020 and 29,000 “daily trips generated” by 2031. But all previous projections for public transport projects in Perth – including for the Government’s MAX light rail project – have been on the basis of “daily passengers boardings”.

Regional rail trail ‘premature’, unlikely to be supported

Posted Friday, 22 August, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

A rail trail between Kandos and Gulgong is unlikely to be supported by the State Government, Mid-Western Regional Council was told on Wednesday.  The State Government announced $110 million in  funding for regional tourism projects such as rail trails in its state budget earlier this year, raising hopes that a trail for pedestrians, cyclists and horseriders could be developed in the Mid-Western Region. Rail Trails for NSW will hold a workshop in Sydney on Monday, August 25, to compile a submission to the government.

New bulk grain export terminal to be built in Geelong

Posted Friday, 22 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A BULK grain export terminal will be built in Geelong to provide a competitive new export pathway for grains in south-eastern Australia. Bunge Australia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bunge Limited today announced plans for the facility, with construction to begin later this year. The terminal will bring up to 100 jobs to the area during construction. Eight to 10 permanent and five casual staff will be employed once the facility is operational. Bunge general manager Chris Aucote said the company aimed to develop a modern, low-cost and efficient facility.

New CQ rail facility to create 200 jobs

Posted Friday, 22 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

More than 200 new jobs are set to be created in Central Queensland following a decision from Queensland's Coordinator-General that will ensure new infrastructure needed for a major mine expansion can be built. The Coordinator-General's decision will allow the construction of a new rail load-out facility to support Cockatoo Coal's $313 million Baralaba Expansion project.

Inland rail ‘nothing short of transformational’ for agriculture, says deputy PM Warren Truss

Posted Friday, 22 August, 2014 by newsbot in Rail News

THE  inland railway will be “nothing short of transformational” for the agricultural sector, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has told industry leaders. The infrastructure minister told a National Farmers’ Federation forum on Monday that the infrastructure linking Melbourne and Brisbane would provide a competitive freight price with road.

Train crash at Altona leaves nine injured

Posted Friday, 22 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Nine people were injured when two trains crashed near the Maidstone Street crossing in Altona at about 7pm on Friday. Police say a passenger train travelling east, towards the CBD, had stopped near the crossing when a Geelong train smashed into it from behind. Nine of the 60 passengers on the suburban train sustained minor injuries. There were no passengers on the Geelong train, but the driver and conductor also had minor injuries.

Fremantle rail bridge to remain closed for another week

Posted Saturday, 23 August, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Fremantle rail bridge will remain closed until at least September, after it was damaged in a storm. A cargo ship hit the bridge on Sunday night and it has been closed since then. The rail bridge is on the main commuter line between Fremantle and Perth. Replacement buses have been running to take commuters between Fremantle and North Fremantle train stations where they can then catch a train to the city.

Airport rail moves fewer people

Posted Saturday, 23 August, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The Perth-Forrestfield airport rail link is the most expensive public transport project that will carry the fewest number of passengers per taxpayer dollar expended on infrastructure, an analysis by The Weekend Westreveals. The Barnett Government's centrepiece public transport project, an 8.5km twin-tunnelled rail line from Bayswater to High Wycombe, featuring three stations, will cost $2.2 billion and generate 14,500 passenger boardings per day by 2031.

Update: Nine injured in train collision at Altona crossing

Posted Saturday, 23 August, 2014 by Jack Le Lievre in Victorian Rail News

Nine people have been injured in a collision between two trains at Altona in Melbourne's west. Police said an eastbound passenger train was stopped near the level crossing at Maidstone Street when a Geelong train, also travelling east, collided with the rear of the stationary train at around 7:00pm (AEST) on Friday. Seven people from the passenger train and the driver and conductor from the Geelong train all suffered minor injuries. Four of them were taken to hospital with back pain and whiplash.

Private sector could help fund WA's rail fleet, says transport head Reece Waldock

Posted Sunday, 24 August, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

The private sector could be used to fund plans to double the size of Western Australia's train fleet, according to the Department of Transport's director-general. Transport Minister Dean Nalder announced last week the WA Government was taking the first formal steps towards acquiring a new generation of trains. The project would deliver a minimum of 50 six-car trains over a 10-year period, doubling the size of the Transperth fleet.

TRAINS and Polar Bears on webcam

Posted Monday, 25 August, 2014 by Rodjenks in Railpage Australia News

Polar bears and passenger trains on the same web cam. Churchill, northern Canada is reputed to be the polar bear capital of the world The town is accessible only by air or train. A webcam shows both bears and trains

Nostalgic trip on board old rail motor

Posted Monday, 25 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

It seems nostalgia for rail travel is alive and well after a large crowd turned out at Bathurst Railway Station yesterday morning to ride the rails on a rare vintage 1920 diesel rail motor.  By 10am 100 people had lined the platform, looking eagerly down the track for the little train that would carry them to Newbridge and back.  A large number of children came along with parents and grandparents, all excited about the two-hour journey.

Murrumbeena Rail Cafe to be demolished for rail corridor project

Posted Monday, 25 August, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

A MUCH-loved coffee kiosk at Murrumbeena station will be demolished as part of a redevelopment. Darren Goldman’s Rail Cafe, a small, stand-alone wooden box, will go as part of the Cranbourne Pakenham Rail Corridor Project. And while a State Government spokeswoman says Mr Goldman could lease a new kiosk to be built at the ­station, he’s still worried.

Save Hunter Rail: Get on board

Posted Monday, 25 August, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A newspaper’s job is to advocate for its readers when they need it most. The[/font][/size][/color][url=][color=#0c41a4][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Singleton Argus[/font][/size][/color][/url][color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif], The [/font][/size][/color][url=][color=#0c41a4][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Scone Advocate[/font][/size][/color][/url][color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif], [/font][/size][/color][url=][color=#0c41a4][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Cessnock Advertiser[/font][/size][/color][/url][color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif], [/font][/size][/color][url=][color=#0c41a4][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Muswellbrook Chronicle[/font][/size][/color][/url][color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif] and [/font][/size][/color][url=][color=#0c41a4][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Dungog Chronicle[/font][/size][/color][/url][color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif] have pledged to stand with [/font][/size][/color][url=][color=#0c41a4][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The Mercury[/font][/size][/color][/url][color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif] to fight for the chance to vote on one of the region’s most crucial infrastructure decisions in recent memory.[/font][/size][/color]

V/Line launches cost-cutting program to save $20 million

Posted Monday, 25 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

A UNION has claimed that V/Line will be hit hard by a $20 million cost-cutting drive. The public transport operator has been ordered to find the savings after shaving a similar amount off its bottom line last year. Management consultants have been called in to identify inefficient work practices and examples of waste as part of a month-long trial that started this week. In a memo to staff, V/Line boss Theo Taifalos said he wanted everyone to focus on three things over the next year.

V/Line operates a lean, hungry service as buffet service shut down

Posted Monday, 25 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

V/LINE’S Melbourne-Albury trains have not had a buffet service for three days in the past week, forcing passengers to buy food elsewhere. The latest V/Line saga will be raised with the company’s North East manager by Wod-onga’s V/Line rail campaigner Bill Traill at a meeting tomorrow. “Obviously it’s unsatisfactory,” he said.

Metro drivers should be tested for drugs before every shift: union

Posted Monday, 25 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Victoria's Rail, Tram and Bus Union has called for Metro train drivers to be drug tested at the beginning of each shift, claiming the company's safety protocols are too weak. The surprising call by the union follows Metro's release this month of a new risk management protocol for when a train driver runs a red signal. Metro immediately dismissed the union's proposal as "impractical".

ICAC FALLOUT: Newcastle rail line truncation inquiry sought by state greens and Labor members

Posted Tuesday, 26 August, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

GREENS and Labor members of the State Parliament's upper house are pushing for an inquiry into the truncation of the Newcastle rail line, following evidence of alleged illegal donations presented at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Greens NSW MLC Mehreen Faruqi spent several hours with the community group Save Our Rail last Wednesday and was joined by Labor Perth MP Alannah MacTiernan. Several state cabinet ministers have been replaced since the decision to truncate the rail was announced, and Newcastle MP Tim Owen and Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell resigned shortly after taking the stand at ICAC hearings this month. Newcastle lord mayor Jeff McCloy also resigned.

NSW Government asked to release Tumba to Rosewood line to allow rail trail development

Posted Tuesday, 26 August, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

The state government has been asked to release the disused rail corridor between Tumbarumba and Rosewood, so a rail trail can be built in its place. Riverina Highlands Rail Trails says the application was lodged last week, and is set to be discussed at a forum in Sydney today, hosted by lobby group, Rail Trails for New South Wales. The Tumbarumba Shire Council endorsed a feasibility study into the proposal earlier this month, which estimated it could cost $5m to establish the riding and walking paths.

Whittlesea Council confirms Public Transport Victoria contact over Mernda Rail

Posted Tuesday, 26 August, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[b]WHITTLESEA Council has confirmed contact from Public Transport Victoria about a Mernda rail extension.[/b] Mayor Mary Lalios said a PTV project team had liaised with council planners and engineers over the past couple of months to obtain advice about a potential Mernda rail extension. “Council officers have provided information about the current and likely development plans for areas where PTV is considering a rail station, including access requirements and where VicRoads may need to be involved, which will assist PTV in evaluating options,’’ Cr Lalios said.

Government blames Labor for V/Line rail woes

Posted Wednesday, 27 August, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

VICTORIAN Premier Denis Napthine has acknowledged the frustration of North East rail users but placed the blame for service problems squarely at the feet of the former Labor federal government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation. Dr Napthine was responding to a survey highlighting North East V/Line passengers as the state’s most dissatisfied. “We will not rest until we get a much better service for the people of Wodonga and the North East,” he said.

Texas Eyes Japan for High Speed Rail

Posted Wednesday, 27 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

Private company Texas Central High-speed Railway (TCR) is looking to bring high speed rail to the Lone Star state with the assistance of the Japanese company responsible for constructing the world-renowned Shinkansen train system.

North Galilee rail acquisitions begin for 16 landholders

Posted Wednesday, 27 August, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

SIXTEEN landholders between Mistake Creek, near Moranbah, and Abbot Point will soon be approached to begin land acquisition negotiations for the controversial North Galilee Basin rail line. Queensland co-ordinator-general Barry Broe is expected to communicate directly with the 16 private landholders whose properties will be affected during construction of the proposed North Galilee Basin Rail Project, which received State Government approval earlier this month. Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney told Queensland Parliament that securing land was critical to the project to succeed and the co-ordinator-general would update the 16 private landholders on the process ahead.

Hastings port plan to drive up freight costs, report finds

Posted Wednesday, 27 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Freight costs would almost double, potentially pushing up the cost of goods in Victoria, if Melbourne's port operations were shifted to Hastings, new analysis has found. Truck travel hours, greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption would all soar as freight was shifted greater distances on trucks travelling to and from a new container port 80 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, a Victoria University report released on Tuesday argues.      Should the Napthine government's proposed expansion of the Port of Hastings come to fruition, some 4.5 million containers a year would have to be shifted by road and rail to Melbourne's western suburbs, the report by the university's Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics states.

Push to upgrade road and rail networks around new Geelong Port

Posted Wednesday, 27 August, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

THE announcement of a new grain export port at Geelong needs to come with road and rail investment, an infrastructure expert said. Global grain company Bunge announced last week it will build a bulk grain export terminal at Geelong.

Give the Hunter a say on rail line cut

Posted Wednesday, 27 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

The Advertiser has joined its fellow Fairfax Media publications the Maitland Mercury, Singleton Argus, Scone Advocate, Dungog Chronicle and Muswellbrook Chronicle to fight for the chance to vote on one of the region’s most crucial infrastructure decisions in recent memory. Premier Mike Baird has refused to explain why the government will not delay the Newcastle rail line truncation for three months so the issue can be taken to the March election.

Greg Barber confirms Greens will build Mernda rail extension

Posted Thursday, 28 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

THE Greens are the first party to commit to building the Mernda Rail Extension within the life of the next parliament. Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber today confirmed the Mernda Rail Extension, one of two aims of the Access Denied campaign, is a Greens policy commitment to be funded by savings from discontinuation of the unpopular East-West Link.

Increased train services needed, not rail cut, says resident

Posted Thursday, 28 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

The government should increase rail services into Newcastle not remove the line, a young Maitland resident says. Josephine Cross, 20, catches the train to work in the CBD five days a week and often travels by rail from the city to the University of Newcastle to study after work. Being a working student trying to save money, she has decided to rely on public transport and does not own a car.

Uniting Church opposes light rail plan

Posted Friday, 29 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

THE Uniting Church in the Hunter has challenged the NSW government’s light rail route in Newcastle, saying any route other than the existing rail corridor would be a waste of public money. The Church’s regional council has written to Premier Mike Baird, urging a ‘‘rethink’’ of the ‘‘hybrid’’ route announced by the government in May, where light rail would follow the heavy rail route before shifting to Hunter and Scott streets and ending at Pacific Park.

Amtrak, Commuter Train Involved in Minor Collision in South Boston

Posted Friday, 29 August, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

A slow-moving MBTA commuter train bumped into the back of an Amtrak train at a South Boston maintenance facility Wednesday afternoon. No injuries have been reported, and South Station commuters have been told to expect "significant" delays. The incident occurred at a signal stop at the maintenance facility, MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo told BostInno in an email.

Jilalan Rail Yards transformed into a public open space

Posted Friday, 29 August, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

A HILLSIDE piece of land near the Jilalan Rail Yards has been transformed into a public open space where people can get an insight into the coal freight industry. Council's Civil Projects crew completed the project thanks to a long standing partnership between Mackay Regional Council and Aurizon. Mayor Deirdre Comerford is delighted with the finished product and encourages residents to take a drive to Sarina to inspect the new lookout. "This provides a real benefit to the local community for generations to come and is another tangible example of council working with industry to deliver a community asset," she said.

Fischer calls for Port Augusta rail bypass, transfer hub

Posted Friday, 29 August, 2014 by newsbot in South Australian Rail News

A former deputy prime minister says some major rail upgrades are needed at Port Augusta to handle projected freight increases. Author and former politician Tim Fischer has outlined improvements, he believes South Australia needs, at the Roads and Works Conference at Port Lincoln.

Fremantle rail bridge to reopen Monday subject to final assessment

Posted Saturday, 30 August, 2014 by newsbot in Western Australian Rail News

The Fremantle rail bridge is expected to resume train services by Monday morning subject to a final assessment on Sunday, the Public Transport Authority (PTA) says. The PTA's David Hynes said technicians would continue to work through the weekend despite the poor weather. "The weather is something that's not been in our favour," he said. "Not that it inhibits our work because we've had people working pretty much around the clock, but some of the work we need to do there involves setting concrete ... and the weather does not help that."

Rail trail on MP’s bucket list

Posted Saturday, 30 August, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

BALLINA MP Don Page said he is aiming to have funding and legislation for a Murwillumbah to Casino rail trail locked in by the end of November - his last Parliamentary session before retirement. While there are still a few important hurdles, Mr Page said the Northern Rivers Rail Trail project would be the "first cab off the rank" ahead of several rail trail projects in the pipeline for the state. "I'd be hoping that we'd have a fairly firm proposal in front of government within a month or so," Mr Page said. "It's not that complicated, but it does have to be right."

Out-of-sync bus and rail connections hit Maroondah commuters hard

Posted Saturday, 30 August, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]A SCATHING report into the state’s public transport has found that Maroondah residents are forced to endure poor synchronisation of bus and train connections.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Victorian Auditor-General John Doyle released a report earlier this month which found that the state’s public transport services were “poorly co-ordinated” and improvements had been “slow”.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Mr Doyle made nine recommendations, all accepted by Public Transport Victoria (PTV), and also released transport data from May revealing the percentage of connecting weekday services at key stations, including those in Maroondah.[/font][/size][/color]

ACT government rezones land for light rail

Posted Saturday, 30 August, 2014 by Bethungra in Tram and Light Rail News

The ACT government has lodged an application to rezone seven sites on the light rail route to allow for new intersections, substations, a depot and road widening along the 12-kilometre tram line from Gungahlin. The surprise move on Friday afternoon comes before cabinet has made a final decision to go ahead with the project, a decision expected in the next month or two.

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