Volume 11, No. 39, March 23, 2006
WHEN The Ghan rolled into Port Augusta from Darwin in early February – loaded with tanks and armoured military equipment – the locals could have been forgiven for thinking they were being invaded.
Melbourne's looming rail congestion crisis is about to claim it's first victim, with express services likely to be cut. EXPRESS trains on the Dandenong line could be dumped as Connex tries to fight capacity restraints and improve reliability for passengers.
Media Release from the Minister for Transport 30th March 2006
The Transport Legislation (Safety Investigations) Act 2006, which was passed by Parliament last night along with the related Rail Safety Act 2006.
“Victoria’s new Rail Safety Act 2006 is now the model legislation for all other Australian jurisdictions to follow in achieving nationally uniform or consistent rail safety regulation throughout the nation,” Mr Batchelor said.
Take heart small shareholders in Patrick Corporation, an end to the la nina of paper could be at hand.
Chris Corrigan will ask the Federal Court next week to rule that corporate regulator Graeme Samuel and Toll Holdings both overstepped the mark by making a deal to carve up the Toll-Patrick Corp rail business Pacific National.
MOTORISTS could pay more to use the city's toll roads during peak periods under options being considered to ease Melbourne's congestion woes.
Under the proposal, CityLink and the operator of EastLink would charge drivers more during the morning and evening peaks but less in off-peak times.
If the plan was implemented, changes to toll prices would be negotiated as part of the contract between the road operators and the Government.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) says while its revised Hunter Valley Coal Network Improvement Strategy will cost $100 million more than originally planned, it will be money well spent.
Interest groups from Victoria to Queensland will consider joining forces to lobby the Federal Government over the proposed route for an inland rail line linking Melbourne and Darwin.
Privatisation has been a disastrous failure, but the Premier can do something to put transport back on track.
Patrick Corporation will test the limits of the competition regulator's powers this week in a Federal Court challenge to undertakings made by hostile bidder Toll Holdings.
Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) announce a round of consultations with the coal industry on its updated Hunter Valley Coal Network Capacity Improvement Strategy for the next 5 years.
The Member for the western New South Wales state seat of Dubbo, Dawn Fardell, is demanding an investigation into what she calls the "inhumane treatment" of CountryLink passengers travelling from Dubbo to Sydney earlier this month.
There were 133 sightings for this week, which were three sightings more than last week. Making a total of 1742 sightings for this year to date. On day 98 last year we had seen 1304* sightings (* 1 weeks sightings missing March 2005).
Patrick's latest legal challenge to Toll's hostile takeover bid received a substantial setback yesterday, when the Federal Court ruled it would not hear the matter until after the Toll bid is scheduled to close.
Patrick's blitzkrieg of legal action appears designed to frustrate, if not destroy, Toll's bid.
One of the largest rail infrastructure programs in Queensland history is closer to reality with the appointment of constructors Thiess United Group as partners to construct four major projects.
A UN meeting has adopted a resolution on an agreement to construct the ambitious Trans-Asian Railway Network connecting 28 countries from Asia to Europe, paving the way for its signing in November.
THE February announcement by Premier Iemma that the Newcastle rail line would not be closed, was greeted with relief. However, Save Our Rail and other groups are concerned about the Government interest in the Hunter Business Chamber proposal, which would ultimately achieve the same result as the Broadmeadow plan - of closing the line after all.
Helensburgh railway station can descend into chaos during peak morning and afternoon periods as cars, buses and pedestrians jockey for position.
The views of commercial property developers are likely to be sought for ongoing discussions on the future of Mount Gambier's rail lands precinct.
It's 200km shorter, there is no flood plain to cover, the Government owns the land and the infrastructure already exists are just some of the reasons why the New England rail line should be considered for the lucrative Melbourne to Brisbane rail link.
The devil could be in the detail of the State Government's decision to keep the rail line into Newcastle, with rail supporters believing the plan could still lead to the closure of Newcastle station.
The signs don't look good as our car climbs the steep hill to our weekend retreat. The place seems like an industrial junkyard, with odd bits of railway memorabilia strewn across the hillside. Then we turn the corner and see our accommodation. The bemused voice of our three-year-old pipes up from the back seat. "Oh, my goodness. Is this it?"
A proposed rail link between Western Australia's iron ore and Queensland's coal, feeding blast furnaces at each end, has fired interest overseas.
Queensland Rail (QR) is not interested in buying Linfox — but it is talking to the national logistics giant, and others, about strategic partnerships as it steels itself for the fight against a merged Toll-Patrick.
Ivan Venning has countered the positive message portrayed by the South Australian Tourism Comission, claiming South Australia's tourism has dropped to a "new low". And the Liberal stalwart has maintained his attack on Tourism minister Jane Lomax-Smith for the lack of a passenger train service operating to the Barossa.
There were 117 sightings for this week, which were 16 sightings less than last week, due to the Easter holiday. Making a total of 1859 sightings for this year to date. On day 105 last year we had seen 1398* sightings (* 1 weeks sightings missing March 2005).
VICTORIA'S corporate regulator has rejected Pacific National's plan for competition on the state's rail network, accusing the company of overcharging and a lack of commitment to rail quality.
The competition regulator has given its tacit approval to an alliance of second-tier transport operators to compete with the logistics giant that will emerge from the marriage of Toll Holdings and Patrick Corp.
THE Territory's economy took another giant step forward yesterday when the first shipment from a new manganese mine was exported to China from Darwin.
Up to 600,000tonnes of ore a year will be shipped through East Arm Port after being freighted by rail from Bootu Creek, 110km north of Tennant Creek.
Toll New Zealand is putting its TranzAlpine and TranzCoastal South Island railway services up for sale.
Yesterday, Toll NZ announced it was seeking expressions of interest in its two long-distance South Island tourist trains – the TranzCoastal between Picton and Christchurch and the TranzAlpine between Christchurch and Greymouth.
QUEENSLAND Rail has asked Qantas to join a national alliance and will invite P&O to take over management of Brisbane's Acacia Ridge rail terminal as part of its plan to build a major transport competitor to the new Toll-Patrick combination.
South Melbourne's Railway Hotel has an interesting recent history. Back in 2000, the owners of Fitzroy's Builders Arms Hotel sold out to brewing giant Lion Nathan. Shortly after the takeover, the Builders underwent a character change, with the formerly grungy pub denying entry to people who weren't wearing dress shoes.
How tremendous: Deputy Premier and Transport Minister John Watkins has been out inspecting the new Bondi Junction rail works; promises of extra trains to follow, with the new timetable coming in May. Golly, how terriffic.
Tamworth Regional Council is to be asked to lobby for the retention of a pedestrian railway crossing near the Robert Street level crossing in the city's south-west.
Veterans relying on public transport to travel from the Southern Highlands to Sydney for ANZAC Day have been let down by inadequate local train services, according to Member for Southern Highlands Peta Seaton.
There were 105 sightings for this week, which were 12 sightings less than last week, due to the Easter holiday. Making a total of 1964 sightings for this year to date. On day 112 last year we had seen 1495* sightings (* 1 weeks sightings missing March 2005).
CRIME does pay - at least for the state's serial fare evaders. Three out of four fines for fare evasion are not paid and the number of repeat offenders has almost tripled since 2000, a report by the NSW Auditor-General has found.
A heritage train trip to Cobar during the June long weekend (June 10-12) is being planned by the Patterson based NSW Rail Motor Society. The Society which is located near Newcastle, proposes to run two CPH class 'Tin Hare' rail motors to Cobar via the cross country Ulan line.
MEMBER for Avon Max Trenorden has said the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure's track record on the AvonLink service leaves little to look forward to in the Perth to Mandurah rail link.
V/Line advises that there will be no trains running between Ballarat and Ararat until further notice. Coaches will replace all services between these stations.
QUEENSLAND Rail has hired ports giant P&O Ports to run its key rail terminal in Brisbane, deepening their alliance in a bid to challenge the power of the new Toll Holdings goliath in the national freight market.
The Victorian opposition has called for an independent inquiry into a train crash in the state's west in which two people have died.
AAP reports that Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said the collision between the new VLocity passenger train and a semitrailer carrying a load of bluestone at an unprotected level crossing highlighted ongoing safety concerns and called into question the government's plans for high speed services in the area.
The Western Australia Opposition believes more cost blowouts are on the cards for the Perth-to-Mandurah rail line and is calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the project.