Western Australian Rail News

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Posted 7 hours ago by Bethungra

BROOKFIELD Rail is unlikely to pursue legal action against the WA government for publishing the lease and other critical contract documents underpinning management of the State's grain rail network. 

Brookfield had requested the documents remain confidential when handing them over during the Economic and Industry Standing Committee's inquiry into the rail network's management, which started in March. 

But that request was controversially ignored when the papers were publicly unveiled last week along with the comprehensive 251-page committee report which made 22 recommendations and 35 individual findings.

Posted yesterday by Bethungra

A freak storm caused a cargo ship to break lines and smash into Fremantle Rail Bridge in the space of eight minutes, a preliminary report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau shows.

On August 17 a bollard that was holding all three of the AAL Fremantle's stern lines and two from the car carrier the Grand Pioneer ripped off a wharf at Fremantle Port, causing both ships to swing away from berth.

Posted yesterday by Bethungra

BROOKFIELD Rail chief executive Paul Larsen says the WA government's inquiry into local grain rail operations delivers an "emphatic no" on the key question of whether lease arrangements hamper State development. 

"The question the committee was asking itself to address was: Is there anything in the arrangements of the network, whether it be the lease or the access, that is hampering the development of the State?" he said. 

"I would point to page five of the report which shows the tonnages on the rail network have grown from 30 million tonnes to more than 70mt in the past 13 years which has come about directly as a result of us investing in the network and pursuing those freight opportunities.

Posted 7 days ago by Bulbous

A parliamentary committee wants the Government to attempt to reclaim closed parts of the state's grain freight network, if it cannot otherwise ensure they can be accessed.

The Economics and Industry Standing Committee released its report into the management of WA's freight rail network, which was critical of the state's management of the lines and the lack of transparency around their management.

Posted 7 days ago by JimYarin

CBH and Brookfield Rail have signed an interim agreement to extend the existing rail access agreement as the 2014-15 harvest cranks up.

The deal will ensure access to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 lines of the grain rail network until April 2015.

Tier 3 lines, which were shut down on June 30 this year, will remain closed.

CBH and Brookfield are still to negotiate a longer term access agreement through an arbitrator appointed by the Economic Regulation Authority.

Posted Saturday, 27 September by BenGibbons

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.

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.

Posted Thursday, 25 September by JimYarin

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.

Posted Saturday, 13 September 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.

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