Western Australian Rail News

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Posted 4 days ago 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.

Posted Wednesday, 2 July by newsbot

In a desperate move to rally support from their city counterparts, dozens of farmers and truck drivers from around southern Western Australia gathered at the doorsteps of Brookfield Rail and the Transport Minister's office in Perth to protest Tier 3 rail closures.

More than 500 kilometres of track was shut down this week as a result of what farmers claim to be inaction by Brookfield Rail, which leases the lines, and the State Government, which owns them.

Many grain growers fear the rail closures will result in a less efficient transport system and will cost farmers more to transport their grain to port.

Posted Tuesday, 1 July by newsbot

Despite rigorous efforts to negotiate continued access, the remaining Tier 3 rail lines in Western Australia's grain belt have been placed into care and maintenance.

The closure of more than 500 kilometres of track is feared to cause what some farmers are calling a 'trucking hell' on country roads.

"We're at a watershed moment in the transportation of our bulk commodities," said Cam Taylor who farms south-west of Tambellup.

He made a submission to last week's public hearing on the inquiry into the management of WA's freight rail network before the Economics and Industry Standing Committee.

Posted Friday, 27 June by JimYarin

Lanco Resources wants to export up to 12 million tonnes of coal each year from Griffin Coal's Collie Basin operations.

The facility will require dredging up to 1.9 million cubic metres at the port and blasting 20,000 cubic metres of rock.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob approved Lanco's proposal on a number of conditions, including a requirement to monitor dolphin populations and not conduct blasting activities during dolphin calving periods from October to May each year.

Lanco's executive general manager David Trench says the company is happy to comply with all environmental conditions.

Posted Friday, 27 June by newsbot

WA-owned and operated rail transport and logistics company Intermodal Group has had a record-breaking month at the North Quay Rail Terminal (NQRT) at Fremantle’s InnerHarbour, processing more than 10,000 containers for both import and export in May.

This is the highest volume recorded by the group since it commenced operations at NQRT in 2007.

Approximately 80% of volumes currently received at NQRT are transported by Intermodal’s rail service from its Forrestfield Intermodal Rail Terminal (FIT). Intermodal is the exclusive operator of the NQRT to Kewdale-Forrestfield rail corridor. The remaining 20% is from the Kalgoorlie and Kwinana line services, are operated by other providers.

Posted Thursday, 26 June by newsbot

IT IS hard to imagine paying for a service and not knowing what you're getting in return for your money.

But that's exactly what CBH has been forced to do.

I wouldn't be too keen on pre-paying my rent without first knowing how many bedrooms there were in the house and on which street it was located.

I wouldn't hand over cash to Telstra without knowing which phone plan the sales assistant intended to sign me up for.

Posted Monday, 23 June by JimYarin

Yesterday in Perth I was accosted by a comically bright super-sized character of indeterminate sex, questionable body odour and garish tribal tattoos down its wide, flabby arms.

The gang of large fluorescent teletubbies demanded to see my train ticket as if I’d already committed a crime.

Being a transit officer must be a tough job.

So I handed over my Myki card, no Go card, oops wrong state, Opal card - I didn’t have my Perth Smartrider on me.

Posted Friday, 20 June by newsbot

Community concerns are mounting in Bruce Rock as the deadline for the closure of tier three rail lines in the Eastern Wheatbelt approaches.

Shire president Stephen Strange says residents are worried that, when CBH stops shifting grain by rail on June 30, there will be a dramatic increase in truck traffic in the region.

Mr Strange says the backlog of grain in the Muntadgin, Narembeen and Bruce Rock bins will mean there will be 80 extra trucks each day on local roads.

Posted Thursday, 19 June by newsbot

Tier 3 railway lines in Western Australia, responsible for transporting grain to port, are due to be placed into care and maintenance at the end of June.

Despite intense lobbying from regional shires and farmer groups, grain that was transported by rail will be transported by road beyond the end of the month with railway manager and operator Brookfield Rail continuing its controversial rail closures.

Last year it closed its York to Quairading and Merredin to Trayning lines.

Posted Tuesday, 17 June by newsbot

Struggling iron ore miner Karara fears inadequate regulation of WA's freight rail network will curtail development of the industry in the Mid West.

Karara chief executive Dale Harris is involved in tough negotiations over an access agreement with Brookfield Rail which has an exclusive lease over the State-owned network.

Mr Harris said Karara - a joint venture between Gindalbie Metals and China's Ansteel - was effectively flying blind in negotiations with a monopoly supplier of vital infrastructure.

Posted Saturday, 14 June by bevans

The head of WAFarmers will today provide evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into the state's grain freight rail network.

The inquiry was launched in March and is examining whether the State Government-owned lines hamper or facilitate state development.

Posted Wednesday, 11 June by bevans

The future of WA's grain exports has been plunged into doubt as the deadline for the closure of some of the state's key freight rail lines looms.

Rail lines which transport grain to port will likely shut down at the end of this month as WA faces the task of getting the biggest harvest in history - worth an estimated $5.3 billion - to market.

Brookfield Rail and grain handlers CBH have been locked in a bitter dispute over access to Tier 3 lines, which carry about 4 per cent of movements on the State Government-owned rail network.

Posted Wednesday, 4 June by bevans

A CALL has been made for the Public Transport Authority of WA (PTA) to release more information and the secret terms of Brookfield Rail's Wheatbelt rail lease agreement (until 2049) to the public.

For the benefit of the State's grain export industry, Wheatbelt shire presidents, councillors and farmers met with five State MPs on the Legislative Assembly Economics and Industry Standing Committee at what was dubbed its first and probably only regional public hearing at Bruce Rock last Tuesday, to ask for more transparency and accountability.

Posted Tuesday, 3 June by pandem

The West Australian Government is investigating four different routes for a mooted Perth Airport rail link, which the Opposition says means the project will face further delays.

The rail link is to branch off the Midland line at Bayswater train station and connect with the future consolidated Perth airport terminal, which will include domestic and international terminals.

Posted Thursday, 29 May by newsbot

MORE transparency and accountability in relation to secret terms of Brookfield Rail’s lease, until 2049, from the Public Transport Authority of WA’s freight rail lines was essential for the state’s grain export industry.

That was the message, load and clear, from Wheatbelt shire presidents, councillors and farmers to five state MPs on the Legislative Assembly Economics and Industry Standing Committee at its first, and probably only, regional public hearing at Bruce Rock on Tuesday, May 27.

Posted Thursday, 29 May by newsbot

The Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance is hopeful the West Australian State Government will listen to appeals to keep Tier 3 rail lines open.

Earlier this year, a parliamentary inquiry was launched into the management of WA's Freight Rail Network.

The inquiry is looking into the management and regulation of Tier 1, 2 and 3 freight lines and whether or not current lease arrangements are appropriate in terms of state development.

Posted Monday, 26 May by newsbot

A parliamentary inquiry into WA's grain freight network will soon start taking evidence in the Wheatbelt.

The Economics and Industry Standing Committee will examine the 50-year lease arrangement between the State Government and rail line operators, Brookfield Rail.

Some of the state's tier two and three grain rail lines have been forced to close while loads on others have been restricted due to their dilapidated state.

Posted Friday, 16 May by newsbot

The Office of Rail Safety is investigating a freight train derailment near Coolgardie.

A spokeswoman for Brookfield, which manages the railway, said the 146-carriage train carrying iron ore derailed about 40 kilometres west of Kalgoorlie at 11am on Wednesday. No one was injured.

Five carriages had toppled onto their sides and another eight had derailed but remained upright, she said.

Representatives from freight operator Aurizon and Brookfield are also on site investigating the circumstances of the derailment.

Posted Thursday, 15 May by bevans

THE Kalgoorlie-to-Perth Prospector train service has been cancelled due to a freight train derailment near Coolgardie.

The Prospector has been replaced with coaches after a derailment near Coolgardie damaged the tracks.

Prospector services in both directions (Kalgoorlie to Perth and Perth to Kalgoorlie) will be replaced by coaches today and tomorrow and possibly over the weekend.

Posted Wednesday, 14 May by bevans

Today train number 4413 loaded with iron ore derailed between Bonnie Vale and Stewart halting all rail traffic on the line. Approximately 3 to 4 km's of track has been damaged. Railpage is not aware of any injuries to the train crew.

Posted Tuesday, 6 May by newsbot

AUSTRALIA’S largest freight rail operator, Aurizon, could ­finally get the foothold in Western Australia’s rich iron ore ­region it has been chasing if the bid for Aquila Resources succeeds.

Aurizon is set to emerge with a 15 per cent stake in the target and spearhead the infrastructure arm to be spun out of the company if the $1.4 billion bid takes off.

Aurizon has made no secret of its desire to break into the lucrative iron ore space in Western Australia’s iron ore region that is dominated by the majors, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, and fears of future demand cooling has not altered its strategy.

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