Started by ozbob, October 17, 2009, 19:33:24 PM
Quote from: #Metro on October 03, 2018, 00:17:32 AMWhat will Bob Katter say?
QuoteRAIL services between Mackay and Bundaberg have been cancelled as dangerous fires threaten homes across Central Queensland.Queensland Rail has confirmed the northbound tilt train service will terminate at Bundaberg, with reports many travellers were urged to consider getting off at Caboolture or Nambour.The southbound Spirit of Queensland has also been impacted by today's unprecedented fires and will only operate from Townsville to Mackay. A QR spokesman said it was unknown how long the natural disaster would affect services, and it was unknown whether travellers would be able to be taken by bus.One traveller said the Caboolture train station, south of the Sunshine Coast, was earlier packed with affected customers no longer able to head north.Those onboard the northbound train were told at this stage people affected could stay on the train overnight before the situation was reassessed tomorrow morning. Anyone affected by the cancellations has been urged to visit the Queensland Rail Travel website for updates.Multiple towns across Central Queensland have been ordered to evacuate and an emergency has been declared at Gracemere. The Bruce Hwy has been closed near Mount Larcom as a fast-moving fire travels towards the town.
QuoteThe Mt Isa railway will reopen to freight on April 29, three months after it was badly damaged by flooding.Queensland transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey on Wednesday praised the work of more than 400 Queensland Rail staff and contractors, who collectively have worked 160,000 hours over the past 10 weeks to repair infrastructure between Oorindi and Hughenden.More than 200 sites across 300 kilometres of the rail line required repairs, including from Hughenden to Richmond, Maxwellton to Nonda, and Tibarri to Oorindi, where the network suffered significant flooding, washouts and erosion.Over 47 kilometres of track and 38 bridge abutments were damaged, requiring more than 120,000 tonnes of ballast to repair.Bailey said the Mt Isa line was one of the state's most important freight routes, playing a critical role connecting the region's industries and communities."When the line experienced this catastrophic event, the Palaszczuk Government made its repair a top priority," the minister said."Every resource has been made available to accelerate recovery works, and I'm pleased to announce Queensland Rail expects to reopen the full length of the 1000km Mount Isa line from Monday April 29. I'd like to extend my sincerest thanks to all involved in making sure the Mount Isa line could be repaired as quickly as possible."Queensland Rail boss Nick Easy said final repair works are underway between Nonda and Quarrels."Final works to be completed over the next week include ballast train drops and resurfacing, while final inspections and test trains have run the line, prior to the track reopening," Easy said.The rail line has been deviated at Nelia, while remediation works continue at the location where a minerals train was swamped by the floodwaters during the major weather event which shut the line."Staff and contractors have gone above and beyond for what was a momentous challenge to get freight moving again in the state's north west," Easy said. "There were many local contractors who travelled to site from Townsville, Ingham, Rockhampton, Cloncurry, Richmond, and Mount Isa to assist our crews with a range of works including earthworks, traffic control and crane hire."I thank and congratulate everyone involved for getting the job done on time and to a high standard."
QuoteA CRITICAL rail link between Townsville and Mount Isa is set to reopen just 11 weeks after a monster monsoon washed out track and bridges over a 300km section of line.It comes as community leaders warn the Townsville economy is at significant risk if action is not taken to fix the State-owned line's complex operating and ageing infrastructure issues.Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey announced yesterday the line would reopen slightly ahead of the schedule on April 29.Mr Bailey said more than 400 Queensland Rail staff and contractors had worked 160,000 hours to repair a line critical to the region's industries and communities."When the line experienced this catastrophic event, the Palaszczuk Government made its repair a top priority," Mr Bailey said."Every resource has been made available to accelerate recovery works."More than 200 sites across 300km of the rail line required repairs, while over 47km of track and 38 bridge abutments were damaged, requiring over 120,000 tonnes of ballast.Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said final repairs would be completed over the next week."At Nelia, the rail line has been rebuilt on a deviated route to allow trains to pass through the area while remediation works continue," Mr Easy said.Mr Easy said the dedication of a taskforce and crews, despite difficult working conditions, ensured communities were connected as quickly as possible."Staff and contractors have gone above and beyond for what was a momentous challenge to get freight moving again in the state's north west," Mr Easy said.Civic leaders, including Richmond Mayor John Wharton and Traeger MP Robbie Katter, have repeatedly criticised the complex pricing nature of the rail line, operated by Queensland Rail, as an impediment to industry with companies forced to truck ore to the port.Townsville Enterprise is calling on the next federal government to bring their state counterparts and businesses to the table to figure out how to sustainably operate, fund and invest in the rail line.Mr Katter has said there are threats looming for Townsville from the development of a Mount Isa to Tennant Creek rail line, providing a new link for mining producers to the port of Darwin and to Asian markets.
QuoteAhead of the re-opening of the Mt Isa line to freight services on April 29, Queensland Rail has revealed a major silver lining to the 11-week flooding shutdown.According to the State Government, the uninterrupted access granted to repair and maintenance teams following the major flooding event in February, has allowed for improvements to be fast-tracked along the Mt Isa line.Those improvements, once the line is re-opened, could cut travel times between Mt Isa and Townsville by almost an hour, the state's transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey said."QR made the most of the line's closure to deliver large scale maintenance activities such as rerailing and reconditioning works ahead of schedule while crews had unlimited access," Bailey explained."This means QR can now remove previous speed and axle load restrictions on upgraded sections along the line, delivering a significant betterment for the critical North West supply chain connecting industry to the Port of Townsville, supporting the local economy and local jobs."Bailey said the changes meant a saving of up to 50 minutes of travel time for trains moving between Mt Isa and Townsville."This is a great achievement by QR," the minister said, "and means that as services resume, industry will benefit from productivity enhancements made along the entire corridor."
QuoteAustralians will pay more for groceries and other products and the nation's takeovers regime needs to be reconsidered, competition tsar Rod Sims has warned, after a "stunning" Federal Court decision over a vital transport terminal sale.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) tried to block the sale of Auirzon's Acacia Ridge intermodal terminal near Brisbane to fellow freight operator Pacific National, arguing it would give Pacific National an effective monopoly on rail freight into north Queensland.The terminal is a vital part of Australia's transport infrastructure as it is where rail freight can be transferred between NSW's standard rail gauge and Queensland's narrow gauge network, or moved off or onto trucks.But Justice Jonathan Beach on Wednesday said the ACCC failed to convince him that the proposed deal breached competition law.Justice Beach said he would have found in favour of the ACCC if it was not for undertakings Pacific National presented to court on the last day of the trial guaranteeing other operators access to the terminal and fair prices.However the ACCC's Mr Sims said those undertakings - presented to him in 2017 - were "virtually unenforceable", and would not stop the company using its control of the terminal to frustrate other competitors and discourage them from entering the market.We continue to believe that this acquisition is bad for competition in rail freight and therefore bad for Australia."We continue to believe that this acquisition is bad for competition in rail freight and therefore bad for Australia."Mr Sims said that just as another landmark competition court case in 2014 approving AGL Energy's takeover of Macquarie Generation had resulted in higher electricity costs, this deal would result in higher freight costs that would flow through to goods like groceries.The ACCC has another major case on its cards, after blocking a $15 billion merger between the telcos Vodafone and TPG last week. Mr Sims said Wednesday's decision called the effectiveness of current competition laws into question."Australians have just got to think through whether we want to have the concentrated economy we've got or we rethink how we do merger approvals," Mr Sims said."Because, for this decision to get through, I think we've got a problem."Pacific National said it welcomed the court's decision and was pleased that the ACCC had withdrawn earlier claims relating to alleged collusion between individuals involved in the sale.Since the ACCC first blocked the sale to Pacific National, Aurizon has sold its loss-making Queensland intermodal business, which was originally part of the deal, to the trucking giant Linfox rather than shut it down.The ASX-listed Aurizon said it also welcomed the decision, which would allow it to complete the $205 million Acacia Ridge terminal sale. Aurizon's shares closed up 1 per cent on Wednesday at $5.Through the course of the case, some of Australia's biggest companies including Coles, Woolworths and steelmaker Bluescope said they would not be able to use trucks to transport goods into northern Queensland if the Acacia Ridge sale hampered their access to rail.Justice Beach's has not yet released his full reasons for his decision.
QuoteThe Federal Court decision that clears the way for Pacific National to take control of a key Queensland freight terminal will "damage" the case for the federal government's $10 billion inland rail network, according to competition boss Rod Sims.In a scathing assessment of the court's decision to reject the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's move to block Aurizon's $205 million sale of the Acacia Ridge intermodal terminal to its chief rival, Pacific National, Mr Sims said consumers would pay more for groceries as a result. "This is bad for competition and for Australia because we're basically left with a monopoly rail company, in Pacific National, hauling freight containers for Australian businesses," he said."We had 16 company witnesses — Woolworths, Coles, Metcash, BlueScope, Orica — giving evidence pointing out the problems if this transaction went ahead. They all wanted a competitive market in rail freight, and we believe this decision denies them that."The court struck out the ACCC's attempt to block the deal, with judge Jonathan Beach saying undertakings given by Pacific National, guaranteeing third-party access to the terminal, were the key factor in his decision.Handing down his decision in Melbourne on Wednesday, Justice Beach said he would have accepted the ACCC's argument that Pacific National's ownership of the terminal could reduce competition in Queensland's freight industry had it not been for new guarantees around access and pricing given by the rail hauler on the last day of hearings in the case.The $200m deal involved Aurizon selling its terminal at Acacia Ridge in Brisbane, which transfers freight from road to rail and vice versa, to Pacific National. Acacia Ridge is a key asset in the east coast rail network as it sits at the point where two train gauges meet — NSW is standard gauge, while Queensland is a narrow gauge network — as well as being a terminal for the transfer of shipping containers from trucks to rail.Justice Beach will not hand down his reasons for the decision until after he has heard arguments about what, if any, information should be withheld on the grounds of commercial confidentiality.Mr Sims said the ACCC could not say whether it would file an appeal until those reasons were made public, but said the competition regular would scrutinise the decision "very, very closely".Pacific National and Aurizon both welcomed the decision.A Pacific National spokesman said the company would operate Acacia Ridge on an open access basis, saying the company welcomed the Federal Court ruling its acquisition will "not substantially lessen competition".Aurizon welcomed the decision in a statement to the ASX, noting the deal still needed Foreign Investment Review Board approval to proceed.But Mr Sims told The Australian the ruling would cast a shadow over the federal government's massive $10bn Melbourne-to-Brisbane inland rail project.Australia's biggest rail infrastructure project, it has been billed as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make it easier, quicker and cheaper for Victorian, Queensland and NSW farmers to get produce to market, and goods in return. But Mr Sims said the ruling meant Pacific National would have its foot on the network from the outset."This will reinforce the problems. The inland rail network ends at Acacia Ridge, as I understand it, and Pacific National is going to sit there on top of it, controlling it," Mr Sims said. "So it's bad for rail freight now, and I believe it will damage what the inland rail was meant to achieve."Aurizon shares closed up 5c at $5 yesterday.
QuoteWork will soon be complete on the $21 million project to modernise Bundaberg's rail signalling system and upgrade seven level crossings – part of $305 million in regional rail work going on across Queensland.Queensland transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey noted on September 15 there was a wide range of rail work driving regional rail jobs across the state.In addition to the Bundaberg project, there's the $100 million North Coast line upgrade between Townsville and Rockhampton, which started in July and will support 300 construction jobs.Another $28 million is being spent to replace 18 ageing timber rail bridges between Rosewood and Chinchilla.Then there's a $77 million project to lower 11 historic rail tunnels on the Toowoomba Range to allow for larger container trains, with work expected to finish in early 2020.And between Gympie and Cairns, an $86 million project is replacing 20 timber bridges and supporting 280 jobs."Our rail network is an essential part of the freight supply chain, supporting regional growth and trade through our ports, which in turn means jobs," Minister Bailey said. "We need to keep investing in our rail network so it's safe and efficient for freight and passengers."Bailey also noted the $50 million invested to restore the Mt Isa Line after hundreds of sections of the line were washed out by the flooding event in February."Thanks to their skill and hard work, Queensland Rail's emergency repair team got the line open again in 12 weeks."
QuoteQueensland's government is encouraging coastal residents to visit the state's drought-stricken west with a two-for-one offer on train tickets for regional services.As part of the Year of Outback Tourism initiative, Queensland Rail is offering the sale on all of its western train services.From December 1 until the end of February, the offer will be available for economy seats on The Inlander and The Westlander, as well as economy seats and first-class sleepers on the Spirit of the Outback."It's been a tough year for Queensland's red heart, with natural disasters devastating many rural communities," premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said."Outback tourism is already worth more than $350 million and supports 3700 jobs, and we're continuing to work closely with local governments and businesses, community organisations and festival promoters to ensure these numbers continue to grow."Transport minister Mark Bailey said previous two-for-one sales drove a 30 per cent increase in off-peak travel in western Queensland."I want to encourage mums, dads, couples and carers thinking of a summer holiday to consider this great deal and to visit western Queensland," Bailey said."By visiting our outback towns, people are helping keep local business doors open much longer than they normally would be during summer months."
QuoteA BALLAST train has come off its tracks while travelling between Cambooya and Greenmount.The accident, which occurred near Watts Siding Rd at 1.35pm yesterday, has caused the closure South Western rail line between Cambooya and Greenmount."There were three crew members on board the train, thankfully all three were uninjured," Queensland Rail Head of Regional Jim Benstead said."There have been no impacts to freight operations, however Queensland Rail will continue to liaise with its freight partners should freight services be impacted."Mr Benstead said the train, which consists of two locomotives, 15 loaded ballast wagons and one ballast plough, is reported to be on its side."We understand 10 of the wagons have derailed, with a number reported to be on their side," he said.A Cambooya resident, driving along Watts Siding Rd, snapped a photo of the incident this morning, describing the scene as "a mess".The resident said no roads appeared to be blocked.A Queensland Rail team is on the scene performing an initial assessment.
That explains all the orange, hi viz shirts then Bob!— Annabelle Brayley (@AnnabellBrayley) June 10, 2020
That explains all the orange, hi viz shirts then Bob!
QuoteThe importance of the new rail hub at Morven to the economy of the small south west Queensland community belted by years of drought was emphasised at its official opening on Thursday.Murweh Shire Council Mayor Shaun Radnedge said the multi-million dollar rail freight hub and the investment by federal and state governments had already paid dividends. ...
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