Showing stories from September 2014

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Local train maker cut out of the loop in Napthine government's multibillion-dollar rail boost

Posted Monday, 1 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

Scores of manufacturing jobs in Ballarat - which covers two of Victoria's most marginal seats - are under threat after a local train builder was quietly culled from the shortlist to make 25 new trains for Melbourne. Two Asian rail giants remain in the bidding to build the trains, putting about 70 jobs in Ballarat under threat. Labor and transport experts have criticised the highly secretive tendering process - part of the multibillion dollar upgrade of the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail lines under a public-private partnership - for its lack of probity and for putting local jobs under threat. Contracts are due to be signed by September 30 as the Napthine government races to lock in the project before the November election.

'Black hole of Melbourne' likely to swallow another vision for Jolimont rail yards

Posted Monday, 1 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

Premier Denis Napthine dubs it "the black hole of Melbourne" – the former Jolimont rail yards. Over at Major Projects Victoria, they call the site Federation Square East. And they should probably get first dibs on naming the project, because the department has been spending your money advising desperate state premiers on how to reannounce plans for the site since at least 2008. In those days it was Labor in power outlining its vision for the site. A [url=]story[/url] that year featuring then premier John Brumby ran on page one of the Herald Sun, where it was predicted "a stunning new development will cover the Jolimont rail yards".

Fremantle trains to resume from tomorrow morning after rail bridge cleared for service

Posted Monday, 1 September, 2014 by bevans in Western Australian Rail News

TWO weeks after a storm put it out of action, the Fremantle rail bridge is now fit for use. The Public Transport Authority says Fremantle trains will resume normal operations from the start of services this morning. The bridge was this afternoon cleared fit for service after it was hit by a cargo ship during a storm on August 17.

Temora railway station to be restored and reused with a $100,000 govt grant

Posted Wednesday, 3 September, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

We have a major announcement today to release to the public that will see a historical NSW railway station be restored and reused.  This morning the Temora Shire Council was infomed by the Member for Murrumbidgee, Adrian Piccoli that the historic Temora railway station has been approved for a $100,000 government grant. This grant money will be spent on cleaning, repairing and customising the railway station so it can be reused by the local residents and local community groups.

Over 300 locomotives pass through Bailey Yard shops on an average day

Posted Wednesday, 3 September, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

Ever since railroads began crisscrossing our nation in the 1800s, North Platte has been a hub for rail traffic. When the transcontinental railroad was completed from Omaha to Sacramento on May 10, 1869, North Platte was halfway between, making it a perfect location for a repair facility. And in 1867, the Union Pacific Railroad took advantage of the location and built shops to repair engines and rail cars in North Platte.

High-speed rail upgrades between Chicago and St. Louis

Posted Wednesday, 3 September, 2014 by bevans in International Rail News

The state of Illinois will spent $102 million to build a bridge over the Kankakee River along with other improvements as part of high-speed rail upgrades between Chicago and St. Louis. Gov. Pat Quinn announced the funding on Sunday. The bridge will be built near Wilmington.

Murtoa-Hopetoun freight rail line revamp on track

Posted Wednesday, 3 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

A local council says upgrades to the Murtoa-Hopetoun freight rail line are progressing well. The $10 million project was announced in the state budget earlier this year as part of a major overhaul of Victoria's rail network. It includes the replacement of sleepers and level crossing works between Murtoa and Hopetoun. Yarriambiack Mayor Andrew McLean says the works are not disrupting trains that use the line.

Sunshine Coast rail commuters urged to take fare cut over more services

Posted Wednesday, 3 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A commuter advocate says Sunshine Coast rail passengers could save about $300 a year if they choose a fare cut the Queensland Government is offering.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Government says a $30 million saving from the repeal of the carbon tax will go back into public transport.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It is giving commuters the choice of either a 5 per cent fare cut or an increase in train services.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Jeff Addison from Rail Back on Track says commuters should access the Government's website to express their views.[/font][/size]

Impact overwhelming - Commuters find extra travel time a major issue

Posted Thursday, 4 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

Some Castlemaine commuters are finding the extra travelling time on the Bendigo line so overwhelming that they are talking about moving back to Melbourne. The rail issue was raised as a matter of urgency at last week's Mount Alexander Shire Council meeting. Mayor Michael Redden has since written to Transport Minister, Terry Mulder, to seek an urgent meeting to discuss timetabling, allocation of rolling stock, the operation of the Footscray hub and service improvements on the Bendigo line.

Inland rail link could ‘put us on map’

Posted Thursday, 4 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

THE option of the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail route coming through the west of Warwick is back on the table, opening up carriage-loads of possibilities for our region. Federal Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott met with Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss Tuesday night to put forward "the more viable option" of using an existing corridor which comes through Warwick instead of the current preferred route through Millmerran. "This is Australia's most ambitious rail project and it will significantly improve freight movements - including agriculture and coal - within the Maranoa," Mr Scott said.

CFMEU accused of declaring war on rail contractor

Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

A CFMEU official threatened to declare “war” on the $140 million Mitcham rail separation unless a contractor hired a union-approved delegate, a court statement of claim alleged. Joe Myles, a CFMEU organiser, is accused of telling the contractor he would send 100 men to blockade the crucial project. The Fair Work Building and Construction inspectorate has taken action against Mr Myles and the CFMEU in the Federal Court for allegedly breaching the Fair Work Act.

Citizens want governments to listen

Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Maitland people are urged to attend a rally in Newcastle on Saturday calling on state and local governments to give citizens a better hearing.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]([i][b][u]Note:[/u][/b] I'll add that it is not only for Maitland people, it's for anyone that is concerned, and deals with several issues, including the rail line[/i])[/font][/size][/color]

Talks start for rail freight hub

Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by Bethungra in New South Wales Rail News

A FREIGHT hub has been mooted for Armidale Railway Station in a bid to push freight off the road and on to rail.

Newcastle rail line necessary for progress

Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by Newcastle Express in Opinion

Keeping the rail line is all about progress. The economic development and social life of Newcastle has always rested on the activities of the Hunter Region, the largest regional economy in Australia. As the accessible ocean port, Newcastle has long provided the doorway to Sydney and the rest of the world. However, a healthy economy is a diverse one. Numerous national and international studies show that better access to public transport ­contributes to higher socio-economic status and provides some insulation against economic downturns as the population is able to move more easily between different industry hubs as ­industries change.

Proposal puts onus on freight rail operators to clean up act

Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Freight rail operators would have to be licensed for their environmental impacts, under a proposal from the state environmental regulator. The Environment Protection Authority is calling for public submissions on a proposal to impose new regulations on the operators of freight rail, including coal haulage companies. It would require them to operate under an environment protection licence, which would have enforceable conditions added to it where necessary.

Rail investigators to follow new national guidelines

Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Rail News

WHETHER it's a misalignment in a metro station or a signalling issue out bush, rail incident investigators will soon follow the same national benchmarks to ensure they do not happen again. Queensland Professor Bert Biggs, who led the development of a national curriculum for rail incident investigators, said the role of a rail investigator differed across operators and states, ranging from minor incidents to major crashes causing death. He said the industry had been lacking an accepted standard of minimal training to perform rail incident investigations but the national curriculum - formed through consultation with operators - was now being accredited.

Record Melbourne public transport performance continues

Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

For the 28th consecutive month, more than 90 per cent of Metro’s trains were on time, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today at Parliament station.  “Metro’s performance results for August 2014 show that 92.8 per cent of metropolitan trains were on time, with the punctuality on every train line better than the same time in 2010,” Mr Mulder said. “The punctuality of the Frankston line, the worst performing line under Labor, was 90.7 per cent in August compared with 69.7 per cent in August 2010. “This is further evidence that the $376 million the Victorian Coalition Government invested in rail maintenance and renewals in 2013-14 has paid off.

Passenger train consideration

Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

DEPUTY Premier Peter Ryan was unfortunately poorly briefed before writing his letter of August 16.  Since Mr Ryan accused us of “failing to mention Labor’s broken Mildura rail promise”, we respond with some facts:  Fact 1: Mr Ryan was himself a part of the Kennett government when it decommissioned our train. (Can he explain why Swan Hill’s less viable service was retained?).  Fact 2: The Labor government’s broken rail promise was exacerbated by (a) the massive deterioration of the line during the Kennett government; (b) having to buy the lease back for $134m, and (c) having to spend $73m to repair Pacific National’s damage.

Newcastle rail line truncation: Gladys Berejiklian bills test drilling as strongest commitment yet that light rail will proceed

Posted Saturday, 6 September, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

EARTH test drilling on the route of the proposed light rail service in Newcastle will begin this weekend, state transport minister Gladys Berejiklian announced on Thursday. The minister also announced that a team of two Newcastle-based companies had been selected from a state tendering process to undertake the project’s environmental assessment.

Meteo-tsunami caused ship to crash into Fremantle rail bridge

Posted Saturday, 6 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

Strong currents created by a meteo-tsunami caused a container ship to break its moorings and crash into the rail bridge in the WA port of Fremantle, researchers say. The ship's stern rope snapped during a storm on August 17, causing it to swing out into the port and into the bridge, damaging one of the piers and overhead wiring. A second cargo vessel also broke its moorings and hit a refuelling vessel docked near the bridge, which was then closed for 12 days during inspections by structural engineers.

Four firies, police hurt as fertiliser truck explodes damaging railway line

Posted Saturday, 6 September, 2014 by bevans in Queensland Rail News

EIGHT people have been injured after a truck, carrying 50 tonnes of fertiliser, crashed and exploded 30km south of Charleville overnight. The Cunnamulla Road between Charleville and Wyandra was closed to all traffic after the truck roll-over at about 9.50pm on Friday night. Police say the roll-over occurred near a bridge heading towards Wyandra. Police said on Saturday that Facebook reports that two people had died were not correct. They said four firefighters, one police officer and three civilians sustained non life threatening injuries. They were all taken to the Charleville Hospital.

Four Illawarra road, rail projects make priority list

Posted Saturday, 6 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]There were no surprises when representatives from the Illawarra's four councils gathered to list the region's infrastructure priorities, with four long-awaited road and rail projects making the list.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]At a "round table" organised by Kiama MP Gareth Ward on Thursday, council officers from Wollongong and Shellharbour and the mayors of Kiama and Shoalhaven met to form a collective wish-list when the government divides up its $20 billion poles and wires privatisation fund.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]They agreed the F6 freeway, Albion Park bypass, Berry to Bomaderry bypass and South Coast rail line were top priorities.[/font][/size][/color]

Pakenham line train passengers left on platform as V-line blamed for Metro Trains Melbourne rescheduling

Posted Saturday, 6 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

SHOCKED commuters on the Pakenham line were left standing on the platforms at Narre Warren and Hallam stations this morning as their city-bound train raced past them on its way to Dandenong. Passengers boarding the train at Berwick were luckier. As the 7.28am pulled into the station, commuters were advised the train would run express to Dandenong and then follow the normal timetable schedule to the city.

Rail workers set to decide between better pay and job security

Posted Sunday, 7 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Cityrail News

What would you give up for a decent pay rise? Thousands of rail workers across Sydney and NSW will be asking themselves that question over the next week as they vote on whether to give up one of the more generous and unusual conditions retained by public sector workers for an above-inflation pay deal. In six months of negotiations, government representatives have insisted they will not allow two long-standing clauses to remain in the next workplace agreement signed with rail unions. These clauses in effect, guarantee a rail worker a job for as long as they want it, provided they play by the rules and do not want to leave.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 6/9/2014.

Posted Sunday, 7 September, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

We saw nine sightings on the Broad Gauge. This total included two PN Grain trains. We saw 84 sightings on the Standard Gauge. This total included 16 PN Grain trains.

Light rail won't eventuate: resident

Posted Monday, 8 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Tram and Light Rail News

In a letter to the Mercury, Bruce Matthews argued there were no concrete plans for transport into the city, aside from a commitment from the state government to close the train line permanently from Boxing Day. “Nor have contracts been let or called for, for the trams or the infrastructure for them, overhead wiring and track-laying,” he wrote.  “This means that they will not appear for many years, if at all.

Fears the 760 trees to be cut down for the light rail line through Sydney’s CBD won’t be replaced as promised by NSW government

Posted Monday, 8 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Tram and Light Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]FEARS are growing that hundreds of trees to be ripped out to make way for the light rail line to the eastern suburbs will not be replaced as promised by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the state government.[/b][/size] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Critics say they have not been provided with planting plans for the replacement trees.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian and Ms Moore have repeatedly said the 760 trees will be replaced, in other parts of the city, by a larger number of trees.[/font][/size][/color]

CityLink founder warns 'wrong way, go back' on East West Link

Posted Monday, 8 September, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

It was the turn of the 1990s, Victoria's economy was as lank as Kurt Cobain's hair and civil engineers were scratching around for work. Alan Hale and his colleagues at Acer Wargon Chapman used their ample downtime to draw up plans for a toll road and tunnel beneath the Yarra that would cure Melbourne's chronic north-south traffic woes. Interviewed by The Age in August 1991, Mr Hale spruiked the benefits of the proposed road, which would later become CityLink, declaring it would create thousands of jobs and remedy the congestion that had turned King Street and Swanston Street into veritable car parks.

Tunnelling starts on North-West Rail Link

Posted Tuesday, 9 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Cityrail News

Tunnelling has begun on the $8.3 billion North-West Rail Link, the largest public transport project in the country. At a ceremony in Bella Vista in north-west Sydney on Monday, Premier Mike Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian marked the start of work on 15 kilometres of twin tunnels, the longest ever built in Australia. The start of tunnelling fulfils an election promise by the government to have machines in the ground in 2014. However, it also means that the controversial decision to build the tunnels too small to ever run double-decker trains is now locked in.

China builds influence, one railway at a time

Posted Tuesday, 9 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in International Rail News

President Xi Jinping's trip to India and Sri Lanka later this month gives China a chance to not only expand its influence in South Asia, but also further boost exports of its railway technology.

XPT death: Man dies after being removed at Cootamundra

Posted Tuesday, 9 September, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

POLICE are investigating the death of a man who was removed from a passenger train at Cootamundra on Tuesday morning. Police received a report of a man behaving aggressively on the Sydney to Melbourne XPT about 3am. The man was removed from the train by railway staff when it stopped at Cootamundra railway station. "He became unconscious on the platform and CPR was initiated by officers when they arrived," a NSW Police statement said.

Ararat police arrest three people close to train compound

Posted Tuesday, 9 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

ARARAT Police may have prevented another graffiti attack on Ararat's V/Line trains following a bust last week. At about 12.15am last Thursday morning Ararat Police inspected two South Australian-registered vehicles at the Ararat Railway Station close to the compound where the V/Line trains are housed. As a result of the search conducted on the vehicles police discovered approximately 40 cans of spray paint, a balaclava, a cordless angle grinder, bolt and wire cutters, disposable gloves and a mobile phone containing a large number of photographs depicting graffiti images.

Work starts Murtoa, Warracknabeal and Hopetoun rail freight line

Posted Tuesday, 9 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

WORK has started on a $10 million upgrade of the rail freight line between Murtoa, Warracknabeal and Hopetoun. The update is part of the first stage for the Murray Basin Rail Project. Public Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder said the State Government re-opened the Dimboola to Rainbow line as part of a partnership with GrainCorp.

Lend Lease consortium chosen to build first stage of East West Link toll road

Posted Tuesday, 9 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

A consortium headed by construction giant Lend Lease has been chosen as the preferred bidder to build the $8 billion first stage of Melbourne's East West Link toll road. The East West Connect Consortium also includes Lend Lease's financing arm Capella Capital, and infrastructure companies Acciona and Bouygues. It will negotiate with the State Government on the final design of the eastern stage of the project, with a contract due to be signed next month. Project opponent Anthony Main is warning of more public demonstrations.

New benchmarks for rail incident investigators to improve rail safety

Posted Wednesday, 10 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Rail News

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Rail safety will be improved across Australia as operators move to adopt the first national benchmarks to ensure the competency of rail incident investigators.[/font][/size][/color]

Our rail system is third-world

Posted Wednesday, 10 September, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

OUR family has been on holiday in Italy travelling on Trenitalia, the national train service.

Victorian govt defends rail link ads

Posted Wednesday, 10 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

SIGNS for an airport rail link have gone up at Melbourne's major railway station, but passengers will be waiting a while to catch its first train. THE city-to-airport train ride will take just 25 minutes, according to the "Moving Victoria" advertising at Melbourne's major Southern Cross Station. But with construction to begin in 2016, and expected to take a decade, the first train to use the new line won't arrive until 2026.

Derailment causes major delays on Sydney rail network

Posted Thursday, 11 September, 2014 by bevans in Cityrail News

Authorities have warned there were "major delays" on Sydney's rail network on Thursday evening as commuters headed home from work. The Transport Management Centre (TMC) said there was congestion on multiple rail lines after an empty train derailed at Central earlier in the day. "Passengers on the T1 North Shore, Northern & Western Line, the T2 Airport, Inner West & South Line and T3 Bankstown Line are advised to allow plenty of extra travel time," the TMC said in a statement. Passengers travelling on the Central Coast & Newcastle Line, Blue Mountains Line and South Coast Line were also affected, the TMC said.

Port of Melbourne pricey: exporter

Posted Thursday, 11 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Rail News

POTENTIAL investors in the Port of Melbourne should not assume export volumes will remain at current levels as rising costs will force exporters elsewhere, logistics group Qube Holdings has warned. Qube will next week re-route a train that transports containers of paper, grain and rice six days a week from NSW's Riverina region. The train, which is operated by Qube, has been exporting containers out of the Port of Melbourne, Australia's biggest container port. But Qube now plans to send the train to the Port of Botany because the Sydney port's charges are lower. The Port of Melbourne charges about $112 for every 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container exported, while the Port of Botany charges only $76.

Manningham Council continues its fight for a rail line to Doncaster

Posted Thursday, 11 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

MANNINGHAM Council has not given up the fight for Doncaster Rail, despite the State Government’s delayed release of the final phase one Doncaster Rail study. Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder’s spokeswoman, Jess Maguire, said the phase one final recommendations report had been received by government for consideration and the response to the findings, including details of further work to be undertaken, would be released in the coming weeks. Phase two of the study is said to include more detailed planning on heavy rail options or consider alternatives. Koonung Ward Cr Stephen O’Brien, who replaced Cr Jennifer Yang as a Doncaster Rail Advocacy Steering Committee member, questioned the report’s significance.

Wollongong should forget about high-speed rail

Posted Friday, 12 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Rail News

Illawarra commuters can forget about a high speed – or even medium speed – rail link passing through Wollongong, according to a University of Wollongong academic. Instead, the focus should be on cutting 30 minutes from the Wollongong-Sydney train trip. Professor Philip Laird delivered a talk at the university on Wednesday night where he discussed the merits of medium speed rail over high speed. High speeds involves trains travelling more than 250km/h while medium speed is in the range of 160km/h to 240km/h.

Aurizon draws plans for new WA rail, port

Posted Friday, 12 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Aurizon

[color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif]Australia's largest freight operator has received exclusive rights to develop the rail and port infrastructure for a major Pilbara iron ore project in which it is a partner.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif]A newly signed infrastructure agreement for the $10 billion West Pilbara Iron Ore project gives Aurizon until January 2016 to devise a commercially viable plan for developing a new deep water port at Anketell and 280 kilometres of rail linking the project to the port.[/font][/size][/color]

Bendigo line poised to unite over Regional Rail Link concerns

Posted Saturday, 13 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

THE City of Greater Bendigo has joined a neighbouring council in requesting a meeting with the state government following a spate of Bendigo line commuter concerns. The concerns were the subject of an urgent motion of business put forward by Councillor James Williams at Wednesday's council meeting.  It follows a similar motion at a recent Mount Alexander Shire Council meeting which resulted in its mayor, Michael Reddon, writing to Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder about the need to discuss timetabling and other service improvements on the Bendigo line.

Anketell's $7bn port and rail deal signed

Posted Saturday, 13 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Western Australian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]A deal to build a $7 billion port and rail complex in Western Australia's Pilbara, which could become the biggest port in Australia, has been signed off.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The West Pilbara Iron Ore Project will include a deep-water port at Anketell and a new railway network.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Australian transport and logistics company Aurizon will have exclusive rights to develop the infrastructure, with the first exports planned for 2017.[/font][/size]

Parked rail cars near Great Falls to be removed soon

Posted Saturday, 13 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in International Rail News

[color=#333333][size=2][font=arial, sans-serif]The string of oil tank rail cars parked along Flood Road south of Marketplace on a little-used track for about 10 days is empty and expected to be moved within several weeks, BNSF Railway and Calumet Montana Refining officials said.[/font][/size][/color]

Greens offer rail solution

Posted Saturday, 13 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Victorian Rail News

The Greens will ensure V/line’s plan to increase running times, passenger capacity and service reliability on the Bendigo to Melbourne rail line is costed, funded and implemented, so we don’t end up with a public transport crisis along this line in a few years’ time.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 13/9/2014.

Posted Sunday, 14 September, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 85 sightings for this week; this is eight sightings less than last week, making a total of 3859 sightings for this year to date. We saw only seven sightings on the Broad Gauge. This total included no PN Grain trains.

BREAKING: Newcastle rail line inquiry

Posted Friday, 19 September, 2014 by Newcastle Express in Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The NSW Upper House has supported a motion to establish a parliamentary inquiry into a number of contentious planning decisions in Newcastle.[/font][/size][/color]

The true cost of Metro skipping stations

Posted Friday, 19 September, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Opinion

I wanted to write today about the Napthine government's terrific move to turn a rundown railway station in Brunswick into a place the community will be proud of.

Epping to Chatswood line to be shut for months for north-west rail link

Posted Friday, 19 September, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in New South Wales Rail News

The Epping to Chatswood rail line will be shut for months under the terms of a $3.7 billion contract signed this week for a private operator to run the adjoining north-west rail link to Rouse Hill.

Security to conduct train toilet searches as terror threat raised

Posted Friday, 19 September, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Queensland Rail News

Queensland Rail staff will be required to check toilets on trains entering Brisbane city for suspicious items as it continues its response to the raised terror threat alert.

ICAC fallout leads to parliamentary inquiry (includes Newcastle Rail decision)

Posted Saturday, 20 September, 2014 by Newcastle Express in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The people of Maitland will finally have their voices heard after a parliamentary committee to ­investigate planning decisions in Newcastle, including the rail cut, was established.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]([i][b]ADD:[/b] This parliamentary link at [/i][/font][/size][/color][color=#333333][font=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][size=3][i][url=][/url] shows what amendments were passed, and not passed. Scroll down to [b]Select Committee on the Planning Process in Newcastle & the Broader Hunter Region[/b])[/i][/size][/font][/color]

Injured Metro train drivers 'being intimidated'

Posted Saturday, 20 September, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

Metro is forcing train drivers to attend company-endorsed medical clinics for work-related injuries, leading to claims staff are being intimidated and threatened with disciplinary action if they choose their own doctors instead.

Train line planned for Avalon Airport, no timeline for construction

Posted Saturday, 20 September, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

Plans for a rail link connecting Avalon Airport to Melbourne and Geelong have been released by the Victorian Government but no timeline has been given for its construction. The route would connect the airport to the existing rail line that runs between Lara and Little River. [url=]In 2010 the Coalition promised to start construction of the rail link in its first term,[/url] but has since said the airport would need to increase passenger numbers first.

Hundreds of buses to replace Epping to Chatswood rail line for seven months

Posted Saturday, 20 September, 2014 by newsbot in Cityrail News

A fleet of about 75 buses running hundreds of services a day will be required to replace the Epping to Chatswood rail line for more than half a year when it is shut for works to prepare it for the adjoining north-west rail link. The state government has confirmed it plans to shut the Epping to Chatswood line, which opened only in 2009, for seven months from late 2018 until early 2019. An estimated 14,000 people a day will need to use replacement buses on already crowded roads during this period, before the train line is re-opened with more frequent but smaller trains running on the north-west rail link.

Echuca train line set for $1 million rail upgrades

Posted Saturday, 20 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

The Victorian Government says it will invest in more than $1 million of rail upgrades on the Echuca train line over the next year. Eight bridges between Bendigo and Echuca will be upgraded from timber to concrete at a cost of $730,000, while a further $400,000 will be spent on upgrading bridge decks and undertaking trackworks on the line to Deniliquin NSW, used by SunRice for containerised rice.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 20/9/2014.

Posted Sunday, 21 September, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 98 sightings for this week; this is 13 sightings more than last week, making a total of 3957 sightings for this year to date.

Court Dismisses Palmer’s Rail Challenge

Posted Monday, 22 September, 2014 by newsbot in Queensland Rail News

Clive Palmer’s legal bid to have his Queensland rail corridor proposal re-assessed has been dismissed. Last October the Newman government rejected an application by Mr Palmer’s company Waratah Coal to approve a rail corridor linking mines in central Queensland’s Galilee Basin with the Abbot Point coal port as a significant project. A major reason given for the rejection was that it lay outside two rail corridors identified by the government.

Gold Coast light rail marks 1 million trips

Posted Monday, 22 September, 2014 by newsbot in Tram and Light Rail News

The Gold Coast light rail system has marked its one millionth paid passenger since it opened to the public.

Aurizon's port and rail plan in the Pilbara under question

Posted Monday, 22 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Aurizon

The viability of Aurizon's plans to build a new rail and port network in the ­Pilbara to transport iron ore is being questioned as weaker iron ore prices raise fears over costs. Aurizon's shares have fallen 7 per cent since the start of last month to trade at their lowest levels since December as investors worry about the cost of the company's Pilbara investment and increased capital spending on its ­existing operations. The company told investors at its annual results last month it would lift spending on IT, track maintenance and fleet upgrades to about $600 million annually between fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2017, from $350 million annually, ­giving it less cash to fund new projects.

Flagstaff station to open on weekends

Posted Monday, 22 September, 2014 by railblogger in Victorian Rail News

Flagstaff station will be opened on weekends regardless of who wins the November state election as both major parties made a Sunday pitch for votes on public transport. The City Loop station is currently closed on weekends but Labor on Sunday pledged to open the station if it wins the November 29 poll.

Labor would review Metro's station skipping policy

Posted Monday, 22 September, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Labor says if it wins government in November it will stop Metro's policy of skipping train stations and locking in passengers in order to make up lost time. It follows a warning from Victoria's Public Transport Ombudsman that commuters must be warned before a train switches to express and starts skipping stations. Metro on Monday conceded that some peak-hour services are switching to express and that this was "the wrong decision". Ombudsman Janine Young said customers needed timely information to make informed decisions on whether to board a train or wait for the next one.

Transport planning lost in the politics, says Rowville rail study chief

Posted Monday, 22 September, 2014 by tandan in Victorian Rail News

Planning for new transport projects in Victoria has become hopelessly politicised, the architect of the Napthine government's Rowville rail study and one of the state's most experienced infrastructure engineers says. And the "uncertainty and confusion" created by the Coalition and Labor proposing competing projects, such as the location of Melbourne's next port and the route of a new underground city rail line, have knocked over growing momentum for change in the state.

More trucks on Sydney roads as government fails to hit rail share targets

Posted Monday, 22 September, 2014 by tandan in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW government is failing in its aim of moving an increasing proportion of freight throughout Sydney on rail, leading to more heavy trucks on the road. The development, which Roads and Freight Minister Duncan Gay concedes is a "slight embarrassment", comes amid rapid growth in the volume of goods and commodities being moved through Sydney's container port at Botany. The state Coalition government wants to lift the share of containers moved through the port from 14 per cent to 28 per cent by the start of the next decade. This is a downgrade from the former government's target of 40 per cent, which it never got close to meeting.

Ghost tube stations worth billions go on sale

Posted Wednesday, 24 September, 2014 by Jack Le Lievre in International Rail News

Beneath London's buzzing underground rail network, packed at rush hour, are disused spaces worth an estimated £3.6 billion ($6.6 billion). Transport for London (TfL) is preparing to invite companies to bid to transform the abandoned underground stations into a network of tourist attractions, retail hubs, hotels and museums. It is understood that TfL will announce the beauty parade within the next month.

Labor announces Mernda rail extension if elected in November

Posted Thursday, 25 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]LABOR will build a rail extension to Mernda in the first term of government if elected in November.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Opposition leader Daniel Andrews made the announcement at the South Morang railway station this morning.[/font][/size][/color]

CBH has win in Brookfield Rail row

Posted Thursday, 25 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Western Australian Rail News

Brookfield Rail says it accepts the umpire's decision and is ready to play on after WA's economic regulator revealed yesterday that it had rejected the company's costs proposals in a bitter row with CBH. The Economic Regulation Authority released a redacted version of its determination on floor and ceiling costs for CBH to negotiate a new long-term deal with BR over access to the State's freight rail network.

North Galilee Basin rail line receives Federal green light

Posted Thursday, 25 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

The North Galilee Basin Rail project has received approval from Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, with 23 conditions. The 310-kilometre rail line will run from the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project, west of Moranbah, to the port of Abbot Point, near Bowen in North Queensland.

Early train breakthrough for Shepparton

Posted Thursday, 25 September, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

Shepparton will receive an extra morning train service to Melbourne next month, following years of lobbying for an increased timetable. The new service will start on October 13, leaving Shepparton at 5.15am on weekday mornings and arriving at Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station at 7.59am. The announcement follows recommendations from the Shepparton Passenger Services Working Group established in July to examine the suitability of current services.

Idle rail workers to be sacked as state government scraps union gravy train

Posted Thursday, 25 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Cityrail News

MORE than 200 idle rail staff will be sacked after the state government scrapped an unbelievable union gravy train that forced taxpayers to stump up $28 million last year to pay workers for doing nothing. Hundreds of roles were axed as Transport for NSW was restructured in 2011 and again last year after RailCorp split in to Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink. But RailCorp’s former enterprise agreement, negotiated by unions and signed off by Labor in 2010, banned all forced redundancies — and hundreds of workers whose roles were junked from 2011 simply refused to leave.

V/Line fails to meet punctuality targets

Posted Thursday, 25 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Victoria's regional train operator V/Line has failed to meet on-time running targets for another year.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]V/Line's contract with Public Transport Victoria (PTV) says 92 per cent of services need to be on-time.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]V/Line has struggled to meet punctuality targets over the past decade.[/font][/size]

Opening date set for Waurn Ponds train station

Posted Thursday, 25 September, 2014 by X'Trapolis-904M in Victorian Rail News

The wait for a new train station in Geelong's south is nearly over.

Derailment of ST24 near North Melbourne Station, Victoria on 11 July 2014

Posted Thursday, 25 September, 2014 by bevans in Rail News

On 11 July 2014, train ST21, a scheduled XPT passenger service, was travelling from Sydney to Melbourne. At Broadmeadows station (about 18 km north of the Melbourne CBD), a pilot boarded the train for the final part of the journey into Southern Cross station. The pilot was required to provide route familiarisation training for XPT drivers who were operating over the newly commissioned section of dual gauge track leading into and out of the Southern Cross station.

Libs launch attack ads based on 'fantasy' rail line

Posted Thursday, 25 September, 2014 by bevans in Victorian Rail News

It is a new train line under central Melbourne and to the airport that won't run for at least 12 years, has no finalised route and has funding for only a fraction of its hefty $11 billion price tag. But that hasn't stopped the Coalition launching an unbranded campaign warning of "Labor's cuts" to rail services - an allegation based on how many more people will travel on a rail line promised by the Napthine government compared to one the opposition is planning. This week, commuters on city and suburban railway stations were handed green flyers that had no Liberal Party or National Party branding on them.

Preparation works begin on Newcastle rail line truncation

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by bevans in New South Wales Rail News

The New South Wales government is pressing ahead with preparation work for the Boxing Day truncation of the Newcastle inner city rail line, despite calls for it to be delayed. Despite calls from the Opposition to put the rail line truncation on hold until after the March election, Transport for NSW is pushing on with the job, releasing the latest details of the project. It says the Novo Rail alliance, of which it is a member, will undertake early works for the Wickham Transport Interchange Project.

Registrations to open in weeks for Maldon to Dombarton rail freight line

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by Raichase in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#25282a][size=1][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay and Minister for the Illawarra John Ajaka today urged investors to put up their hand to finish building the 35-kilometre rail freight line in the Illawarra.[/font][/size][/color]

Report on rail not balanced

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

Residents fighting to save the Newcastle train line say a report advocating that the track be cut at Wickham was not balanced because it did not identify positive aspects of retaining the infrastructure.

All aboard! Qld rail plans historic journey

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Queensland Rail News

IT'S full steam ahead as train buffs from Bundaberg to Mackay get onboard a once in a lifetime opportunity. With a touch of nostalgia and a spot of history, Queensland Rail will celebrate 150 years of staying on track with a commemorative steam train journey across the state next year. The iron horses will whistle up a step back in time when they wend their way through Brisbane, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Ayr, Townsville, Ingham, Innisfail, Cairns and Mareeba from Thursday, January 15 to Wednesday, February 15.

Rail services bumped for AFL grand final commuters

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]PASSENGER services have been bumped up for south-west fans commuting to the MCG from Geelong train stations.[/font][/size][/color]

East West Link stalled amid protester Tony Murphy’s High Court bid

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]THE STATE Government plan to sign the contracts for East West Link has stalled pending the outcome of a High Court bid by protester Tony Murphy.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Lawyers for the Government today gave an undertaking in the High Court not to sign contract before 12pm on Monday.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]This extends undertaking to the Victorian Court of Appeal not to sign before 10am on Monday when the court will give its decision on whether or not reinstate Mr Murphy’s lawsuit against the project.[/font][/size][/color]

Couple busted performing sex acts on train ‘just got carried away’

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by newsbot in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]AN OVERLY amorous couple who performed lewd sex acts in front of children and disgusted commuters on a Melbourne train “just got carried away”, a court has heard.[/b][/size][/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Hurstbridge line passengers copped an unexpected eyeful around midday on December 30, 2013 when the couple — drinking and laughing — engaged in and simulated sex acts just metres from children, with some passengers changing carriages and one anonymously calling police.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font='Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Mother of two Julie Anne Brown, 29, received a good behaviour bond for the overt public display of affection after pleading guilty to outraging public decency and seven other charges at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today.[/font][/size][/color]

Double Headed Steam to Seymour and the Tastes of the Goulburn Festival Saturday 18 October with R707 and R711

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by newsbot in Rail Events

Tour details and booking information is now avaliable for Vintage Rail Travel's 18 October tour to Seymour and the Tastes of the Goulburn Festival with double headed steam locomotives R707 and R711. More information can be found [url=here]here[/url]. One way ticket options are now avaliable, to link with DERMPAV trip.

Philosopher Raimond Gaita lends support to Castlemaine to Maryborough rail revival

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

ACCLAIMED Melbourne author, academic and philosopher Raimond Gaita has thrown his support behind the Rail Revival Alliance's campaign to revive the Castlemaine to Maryborough rail line. The Rail Revival Alliance has run several nostalgic train trips along the Castlemaine to Maryborough rail line in recent months to celebrate the 140-year anniversary of the line, the most recent being a trip from Castlemaine and Maldon at the end of August. The alliance is campaigning to reopen a number of disused rail links across Victoria.

NSW Opposition says removing rail line an 'act of vandalism'

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW Opposition Leader, John Robertson, says he has written to NSW Premier Mike Baird urging him not to do anything with the Newcastle rail line until after the 2015 state election and that to do so would be an 'act of vandalism'.

The weird afterlife of the world's subterranean 'ghost stations'

Posted Friday, 26 September, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

[color=#333333][size=3][font='Guardian Text Egyptian Web', Georgia, serif]In 1920, construction began on what was to become an important new transportation system for Cincinnati, Ohio. Local voters had given near-unanimous support to a $6m (£3.7m) municipal bond, and despite wartime restrictions and shortages, the project began. Little did the city’s officials know that the system they were building would never carry a single passenger. [/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font='Guardian Text Egyptian Web', Georgia, serif]Five years later, the money had run out, the federal government refused to help and construction was halted. Today, there is an entire six-mile subway system abandoned underneath the Cincinnati streets.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=3][font='Guardian Text Egyptian Web', Georgia, serif]Though Cincinnati’s empty subway is an extreme example, it’s part of a global phenomenon that’s actually quite common. Underground travel has become a familiar routine for millions of urban dwellers, but most commuters are unaware that lurking on the other side of the walls are the remains of abandoned stations, slowly deteriorating. Known as “ghost stations”, they are silent but powerful reminders of forgotten history.[/font][/size][/color]

Underground London: abandoned tube stations and tunnels – in pictures

Posted Saturday, 27 September, 2014 by newsbot in International Rail News

Oxford academic and ‘place hacker’ [url=]Bradley Garrett[/url] has spent years exploring the capital’s hidden depths. He [url=]escaped jail recently[/url] after he was conditionally discharged over conspiring to commit criminal damage during sorties into disused underground tunnels and abandoned stations such as Aldwych. His latest book, Subterranean London, is published by [url defaultattr="58500"]Prestel[/url]

Fortescue fails to block rival’s Pilbara rail access

Posted Saturday, 27 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in Western Australian Rail News

[color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif][b][b]FORTESCUE Metals Group has failed in a legal attempt to prevent a rival from using its Pilbara railway line after the West Australian Supreme Court yesterday ordered it to enter start negotiations with aspiring iron producer Brockman Mining.[/b] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#333333][size=4][font=Times New Roman', sans-serif]Judge James Edelman found Brockman’s application to use Fortescue’s railway line was valid under WA’s railway access code, which is aimed at ensuring third-party access to rail infrastructure.[/font][/size][/color]

Second North West Rail Link tunnel boring machine named after Australia’s first female engineer and architect

Posted Saturday, 27 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in New South Wales Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]FLORENCE will be the name of the second North West Rail link tunnel boring machine.[/b][/size] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]The machine is named after Florence Mary Taylor, Australia’s first female engineer and architect.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]All parts of Florence have arrived in Bella Vista and are being put together so that it can start digging a 9km tunnel to Cherrybrook by the end of 2014.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the name Florence was submitted in a competition, asking for a name of a woman who has made a positive contribution to life in Sydney.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]“Florence Taylor was Australia’s first female architect, structural engineer and civil engineer after completing a draftsman’s course at Sydney Technical College at the turn of the 20th century,” she said.[/font][/size][/color]

New Port Kembla Rail Link Planned

Posted Saturday, 27 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in New South Wales Rail News

The NSW Government’s planned Maldon to Dombarton freight rail line is a step closer, with a callout for private investors this week. Roads minister Duncan Gay and Illawarra MP John Ajaka say the registration of interest process to construct the remaining sections of the 35km line will open on October 13. Submissions will be accepted up until 2pm on February 24 next year.

Council to vote on cycling rail trail conversion

Posted Saturday, 27 September, 2014 by BenGibbons in New South Wales Rail News

Canberra cyclists could have a new place to play not far from the capital, depending on a looming decision from the Palerang Council. Councillors will vote on Thursday whether they will support the establishment of a cycling pathway from Bungendore to Captains Flat as one of the nation's newest rail trails. The trails, which are popular in Victoria, have turned some of the nation's disused railway lines into cycling tourist attractions. Trails can be established by removing the tracks and replacing them with road base or gravel, or potentially pouring concrete to create a smooth pathway.

Gheringhap Sightings w/e 27/9/2014.

Posted Sunday, 28 September, 2014 by GheringhapLoop in Gunzelling Reports

There were 90 sightings for this week; this is eight sightings less than last week, making a total of 4047 sightings for this year to date.

Sydney renewal project at Eveleigh likely to be scaled back

Posted Sunday, 28 September, 2014 by newsbot in New South Wales Rail News

The vision for one of Sydney's biggest urban renewal projects is likely to be scaled back because building towers over busy rail corridors is too expensive and risky. The finding narrows the potential scope, and return to taxpayers, of the massive public land development between Central Station and Eveleigh, touted as double the size of Barangaroo. Developers have also told the NSW government it must shoulder the financial risk of airspace development, a move critics say would benefit private interests over taxpayers.

Have we really dodged the East West Link bullet?

Posted Sunday, 28 September, 2014 by newsbot in Other Transport News

It looks as if Melbourne has dodged the East West Link bullet. Almost. Providing the opinion polls hold up and Labor wins the state election in November, with Greens support in the upper house, the $8 billion first stage of the road is unlikely to go ahead. The main problem is the opposition is reluctant to come out and say unequivocally that if it wins the election it will cancel the contract. Labor is saying it doesn't have to do anything. It is relying on a case to be brought before the Supreme Court in December – after the election – on behalf of the Moreland and Yarra councils.

High-speed rail faces tough climb over Tehachapis

Posted Monday, 29 September, 2014 by Bethungra in International Rail News

No one said it would be easy building high-speed rail over the Tehachapi Mountains. But who knew it would be this hard? Newly released documents show engineers trying to find the most efficient bullet-train route from Bakersfield to Palmdale have encountered unexpected difficulties, including steep grades and a previously undisclosed wetlands protection requirement costing as much as $1 billion.

Train station bins removed in new terror alert security measures

Posted Monday, 29 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

Bins at key inner Melbourne train stations have been removed as part of a range of new security measures across the network. Public Transport Victoria says the transparent bins - first introduced after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks - were removed over the weekend in response to the nation's new high terror alert level. Stations believed to have lost bins include North Melbourne, Flinders Street, Southern Cross, Parliament, Melbourne Central, Flagstaff, Jolimont and Richmond.

Doubters fear signal upgrade won't work on Melbourne's old and complex rail network

Posted Monday, 29 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

A half-billion dollar plan to run trains every two minutes along Melbourne's busiest railway line using cutting-edge high-speed signalling is in doubt because of fears the technology will not work on Melbourne's 19th-century rail network. The government and the consortium behind the project want to lock in contracts by the end of this month, despite alarm from rail experts at the Transport Department that the complex technology installation could lead to a myki-style cost blowout. The move to "21st-century high-capacity signalling" is one of the key features of the Napthine government's $2 billion-$2.5 billion upgrade of the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail corridor, which is used by about 70,000 passengers each weekday. The rail line is shared by Metro, V/Line and freight trains and is among the worst for peak-hour overcrowding in Melbourne.

Metro Trains avoids paying compensation for unreliable services despite a commuter crush and skipped stations

Posted Monday, 29 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

[color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif][b][size=4][b]MELBOURNE commuters are being squashed on trains more often as others are left stranded by drivers skipping stations to dodge fines. But if you’re expecting compensation, forget it.[/b][/size] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]For regional passengers, the news is no better, with V/Line missing all of its punctuality targets.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]Public Transport Victoria’s annual report tabled today revealed Metro met all of its targets, avoiding having to compensate commuters the cost of at least a daily ticket.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=3][font=Guardian Sans', Tahoma, 'Trebuchet MS', TrebuchetMS, sans-serif]But questions have previously been raised about the accuracy of the figures, with Metro drivers being instructed to skip stations to avoid the fines and meet targets.[/font][/size][/color]

Woman's head bashed in racial attack on train

Posted Monday, 29 September, 2014 by JimYarin in Victorian Rail News

A woman has been left traumatised after her head was smashed into the side of train carriage during an apparent racial attack in Melbourne's north. The 26-year-old victim was on an Upfield line train outbound on Thursday night when she was approached by another woman, who began hurling abusive and racist remarks. The woman grabbed the victim by the neck and hair, and forced her head into the wall of the carriage several times. She then pushed the victim off the train as it rolled into Batman Station in Coburg North. Senior Constable Michael Potter said the incident occurred as the train approached the station about 6.55pm on Thursday night.

Train on fire near Granville station in Sydney's south west

Posted Tuesday, 30 September, 2014 by mikado5910 in New South Wales Rail News

A train is on fire near Granville station in Sydney's south-west.

Myki fines fail in court

Posted Tuesday, 30 September, 2014 by Bethungra in Victorian Rail News

Most of the myki fines contested in court have been withdrawn or dismissed, amid claims the government department responsible for the problem-plagued technology is deliberately avoiding legal scrutiny. Since the system was introduced, 109 challenges to infringement notices have been heard in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, and only six people who turned up to court were fined. Another 17 who did not attend were fined. Altogether 71 cases were dismissed or withdrawn, while 15 cases were adjourned. And that, according to figures obtained by Fairfax Media, is even though about 80 per cent pleaded guilty

Trackwork shuts down Hunter Valley rail for three days

Posted Tuesday, 30 September, 2014 by JimYarin in New South Wales Rail News

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]Work begins today on $20 million worth of maintenance and upgrades during a major shutdown of the Hunter Valley's rail network.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The three-day blitz will see 120 projects carried out from the Port of Newcastle, west to Ulan and north to Narrabri.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Passenger rail services are affected with TrainLink Explorers to and from the state's north-west replaced by road coaches and buses servicing stations on the Hunter Line.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Jane Lavender-Baker from the Australian Rail Track Corporation says a number of special projects are included in the works schedule.[/font][/size]

Western councils - Wyndham, Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong

Posted Tuesday, 30 September, 2014 by bevans in Rail Events

[color=#505054][size=2][font=proxima-nova, sans-serif]You are invited to a forum about Western suburbs transport issues in the forthcoming State election. You’ll be able to hear from the major parties and ask questions in a town hall style meeting.[/font][/size][/color]

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