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Gunnedah divided by mining

The rail line that serves local mines runs through the middle of the northeast NSW town - population 12,066 - taking up to 14 minutes to pass through the level crossing that splits the town's houses from the shops.

Problem is, trains could soon be running every 17 to 19 minutes, leaving just three to five minutes for the townsfolk to cross from one side of the tracks to the other.

Forecasts show that by 2020 cars will be banked up for kilometres - and could eventually block the nearby Oxley Highway.

New government documents put a concept plan to tender to design a second rail overpass to ease the town's woes which, left unaddressed, would leave Gunnedah in "complete gridlock".

Read more »Tags: coal

News » New South Wales Rail News 43 views | Posted 49 minutes ago by bevans

Rail-delivered frac sand will move faster through upgraded HOST terminal

Trains hauling sand used in extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation soon will have the ability to unload five times faster thanks to a $20 million upgrade at the Horseheads (NY) Sand & Transloading Terminal (HOST).

Owned and operated by Carriage House Partners and RLB Holdings, HOST is in the final stages of constructing a 90,000-square-foot transloading building, scheduled to be completed by October 8. HOST also broke ground in September on a second 90,000-square-foot transloading facility to be opened in 2013, and both buildings are designed for the storage of sand. When completed, these new facilities will allow Norfolk Southern trains to unload 100 freight cars within 48 hours.

Read more »Tags: host usa

News » International Rail News 40 views | Posted 1 hour ago by bevans

Trains stopped on rail line with power lines down

A power failure has cut train services on Perth's northern line between Leederville and Whitfords.

The Public Transport Authority's spokesman David Hynes says overhead power lines are down at the Stirling Station.

He says he does not know what caused the power lines to collapse.

Read more »Tags: perth

News » Western Australian Rail News 64 views | Posted 3 hours ago by bevans

Federal appeals court panel temporarily halts work on Alaska rail extension

UNEAU, Alaska -- A federal appeals court panel has halted work on a railroad extension project in south-central Alaska, pending a full hearing on the case.

Monday's decision is a win for conservationists, who argued that they -- and the natural environment -- would suffer irreparable harm without an emergency stay on construction of the Port MacKenzie rail extension.

"As noted above ... this is a classic environmental emergency," attorneys for the petitioners said in a court filing last month seeking the stay. "The bulldozers have already arrived and project construction is underway or imminently so."

Read more »Tags: alaska

News » International Rail News 55 views | Posted 4 hours ago by bevans

Disappointment over rail line closure

Yesterday's confirmation of mothballing or closure of the East Coast line is unsurprising but extremely disappointing according to Alan Dick, Chairman of the Hawke's Bay Regional Transport Committee.

He says the decision by Kiwi Rail, but sanctioned by the Government, will have serious consequences for the future of the Hawke's Bay and Gisborne/East Coast economies, which are closely linked and interdependent.

"It means a loss of transport choices and competition. Road transport freight costs will inevitably go up. Wairoa and Gisborne exporters will face difficulties and extra costs in connecting to container export ports in Napier and Tauranga and to the wider national rail freight system," says Mr Dick.

Read more »Tags: gisborne nz

News » New Zealand Rail News 71 views | Posted 5 hours ago by bevans

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News in brief

Chatswood will cope with rail link passengers: minister

The Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, has dismissed concerns raised by her own department that Chatswood station will not be able to cope with an influx of passengers transferring off the north-west rail link.

The Herald this morning revealed analysis showing almost half of passengers in the morning peak hour would not fit on connecting services to the city because of the need to change off the north-west rail link at Chatswood.

The analysis was conducted by consultants from the engineering firm Arup, at the request of the Transport Projects Division within Ms Berejiklian's Transport for NSW.

But speaking on 702 ABC Sydney this morning, Ms Berejiklian said the analysis was based on incomplete information.

Underground rail would be magic: Kennett

MELBOURNE needs to start planning for an underground rail system, former premier Jeff Kennett says.

Twenty years after being sworn in as the 43rd Victorian premier, Mr Kennett nominated building an underground rail network and working with the private sector on urban infrastructure as the two greatest renewal opportunities for the state.

"If I was able to wave a magic wand even now, I would start the planning for an underground rail system," he told the Australian Property Institute Pan Pacific Congress in Melbourne on Tuesday.

"It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but I can assure you when you look back in 50 years, or 100 years, whatever you pay today would seem cheap.

NSW premier rules out 4% train fare rise

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has ruled out allowing a recommended 4.4 per cent increase in Sydney rail fares, saying he won't support any price hike without a "demonstrable" improvement in services.

In a draft report released on Tuesday, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recommended fares begin increasing from January next year, with 4.4 per cent average increases yearly from January 2013 to December 2015.

However, Mr O'Farrell said without service improvements he would not support a fare increase for Sydneysiders above inflation.

"What we've said repeatedly is we'll only agree to CPI increases (if) there is a demonstrable improvement in rail services," Mr O'Farrell told reporters.

At least 20 Injured in AMTRAK derailment

HANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Two cars and the locomotive of an Amtrak train carrying about 169 passengers derailed Monday after colliding with a big rig truck in California's Central Valley, authorities said. At least 20 passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries, authorities said.

The 12:25 p.m. crash occurred when the driver of the tractor-trailer carrying cotton trash failed to yield and hit the train, authorities said. The impact pushed the two passenger cars and the locomotive off the tracks south of Hanford, a farming town.

The train traveled about 600 feet after the collision before hitting a switchback and derailing, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Harris.

North West Rail Link gets green light

The North West Rail Link has been given planning approval by the State Government - which says work can get underway in 2014.

The rail line will link Chatswood on Sydney's north shore - with the Hills district in the northwest - and will include eight new train stations.

The Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced last night that overarching planning approval had been granted for the entire project - including two 15 kilometre tunnels and the four kilometre skytrain section.

She says the project's approval comes with certain conditions, including requirements to consult with local councils on mitigation measures where community and council facilities are impacted by construction.

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