Western Australian Rail News

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Posted 6 days ago by BenGibbons

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.

The West Pilbara Iron Ore Project will include a deep-water port at Anketell and a new railway network.

Australian transport and logistics company Aurizon will have exclusive rights to develop the infrastructure, with the first exports planned for 2017.

Posted Monday, 1 September by bevans

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.

Posted Saturday, 30 August by newsbot

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."

Posted Sunday, 24 August by bevans

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.

Posted Saturday, 23 August by bevans

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.

Posted Saturday, 23 August by bevans

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.

Posted Friday, 22 August by JimYarin

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”.

Posted Tuesday, 19 August by JimYarin

Sustainability expert Peter Newman says it's “pathetic” Fremantle Ports depends on bridges that are at risk of collapsing if struck by a vessel. 

cargo ship crashed into the Fremantle rail bridge 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.

Posted Tuesday, 19 August by JimYarin

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.

Posted Monday, 18 August by newsbot

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.

Posted Monday, 18 August by bevans

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.

Posted Friday, 15 August by newsbot

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.

Posted Thursday, 14 August by newsbot

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.

Posted Thursday, 14 August by newsbot

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.

Posted Wednesday, 13 August by newsbot

The West Australian Government announced plans to sink the rail line to Perth airport without official costings by Treasury, the Transport Minister has revealed.

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.

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.

Originally only four kilometres was going to be underground.

Posted Sunday, 10 August by bevans

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.

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.

The ABC has obtained a copy of the research, dated March 2014, which was conducted to gauge FIFO workers' views.

Posted Sunday, 10 August by bevans

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.

Posted Friday, 8 August by bevans

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.

The incident in Perth made headlines around the world, and the video has been viewed countless times on social media.

The man, known only as Andy, was boarding the train at Stirling station, on the northern line, on Wednesday morning when he slipped.

He fell into the gap and one of his legs became trapped up to the top of his thigh.

Posted Tuesday, 5 August by bevans

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.

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.

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.

Posted Tuesday, 5 August by newsbot

The Shire of Dowerin says despite a heritage rail project running overtime, it is unlikely it will run over-budget.

In January last year, the WA Government invested $1.25 million to build the heritage precinct, to run through towns from Northam to Dowerin.

So far about 500 metres of the track has been laid.

Posted Wednesday, 23 July by newsbot

Mineral Resources has launched a $70 million rail expansion for its Carina iron ore mine in WA's Yilgarn region north east of Southern Cross.

The new fleet of trains will help lift exports by almost 25 per cent this year.

Launching the expansion, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion praised MinRes for its commitment to the State's resources industry.

Posted Friday, 18 July by bevans

WA's multi-user rail freight network is in the best shape of its life, according to the company which has an exclusive long-term lease over the State-owned asset.

Brookfield Rail made the claim in a winning submission to the Australasian Rail Industry Awards, which included figures showing freight tonnages had increased 113 per cent since privatisation of the lines in 2001.

Posted Thursday, 17 July by JimYarin

CBH has provided feedback to the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) saying that it doesn't want any content in the ERA determination regarding Tier 3 rail lines to be made confidential - and now it's clear why.

Late last week CBH made public its redacted version of its submission made to the ERA on April 7 this year, stating its position on the floor and ceiling price for Tier 3 rail.

Despite some parts of the 44-page document being blacked out for legal reasons, what is made crystal clear in CBH's submission is that there are some huge differences in pricing expectations between CBH and rail provider Brookfield Rail - to the tune of $340 million in some cases.

In its summary, CBH said it had made a proposal for access to certain routes on the railway network managed and controlled by Brookfield under section eight of the Rail Code.

Posted Wednesday, 9 July by newsbot

Farmers drove a convoy of trucks through Perth on Tuesday to demonstrate their opposition to the closure of Tier 3 rail lines the previous day.

The rally, led by WAFarmers president Dale Park and Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance chairman Greg Richards, aimed to show what extra traffic Perth motorists could expect after the lines were closed on Monday, and called on the State Government and Brookfield Rail, which leased the lines, to reopen them.

Posted Friday, 4 July by bevans

The Shire of Perenjori has expressed concerns about increased truck movements as a result of the closure of WA's tier three grain freight network.

The network has been placed on care and maintenance as Brookfield Rail and grain handler CBH negotiate over who should pay to repair the lines.

Perenjori Shire president Chris King says the closure of the Perenjori to Maya line will force farmers to pay more to transport their grain by truck and means roads will become degraded faster.

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