AusRAIL, Market Sectors

News in brief ‘ 2-8 March 2011

QR National re-opens Rolleston line
QR National last night re-opened its flood-damaged Rolleston coal line.

The 106km branch line off the Blackwater rail system in Central Queensland has been closed since December 24 due to significant damage caused by major flooding of the Comet River.

QR National has worked closely with Xstrata to expedite recovery and reconstruction work required for the line.

The line services Xstrata’s Rolleston coal mine and the cost of repair work has been funded by Xstrata.

The Rolleston line is the final major recovery work to QR National’s coal network following the floods that inundated extensive parts of the network in central Queensland in December and January.

No rail deal for Hancock with FMG
Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has reportedly failed to negotiate a land access deal with Fortescue Metals Group for the company’s Roy Hill development which includes a 72km rail alignment connecting the mine to an approved railway at Port Headland.

Hancock is now seeking environmental approval for the rail alignment, despite already being given the sign-off by the Western Australian and Federal Government for the company’s original 320km Roy Hill railway line in November, the Western Australian reported. The original alignment runs 7.5km through FMG’s Christmas Creek iron ore mine.

Not reaching agreement with FMG means Hancock has had to replace a 41km portion of the Roy Hill railway with a longer 72km Bonney Downs deviation to bypass Christmas Creek, the Western Australian reported.

ARTC mainline reopened
ARTC’s mainline between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie reopened last Thursday after a heavy downpour of rain on February 23 between Rawlinna and Nurina (500kms east of Kalgoorlie) closed the line.

MTM fined $1m
Metro Trains Melbourne has reportedly blamed heavy rain in February for causing 500 cancelled services for the month. It is the first time that Metro has failed to meet contractual minimum standards for punctuality of trains and the number of cancellations, with the delays costing the company $1m.
Metro chief Andrew Lezala&nbsp said storms had caused extensive damage to trains and infrastructure.

Gold Coast Rapid Transit full steam ahead
Aurecon’s Early Enabling Works (EEW) team completed the bored piles (a type of foundation structure) associated with the first light rail station for the Gold Coast Rapid Transit (GCRT) project.

The EEW project commenced the installation of the 518 piles in mid-August 2010 and was completed by mid-February 2011, what Aurecon sais was a remarkable achievement considering the total length of 7015 lineal metres of piles installed and logged. Pile lengths varied between 3.5 m and 24.5 m, and pile diameters ranged between 750 mm and 1500 mm, with both laterally and vertically loaded piles included within the project.

Aurecon’s role, in addition to the detail design of the structure and associated roadworks, was to inspect the completed excavation and to certify the geotechnical condition (and thus bearing and skin friction capacity) of each pile. This required a team of geotechnical personnel to be onsite throughout the piling process, including night shifts.

The $949m GCRT project includes the design and delivery of a 13km light rail system, 16 stations and depot facilities between Southport and Broadbeach, on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

TRAINWORKS: Australia’s newest and biggest rail experience
The most comprehensive display of railway history in Australia will open to the public on April 3.

Trainworks at Thirlmere, New South Wales includes:
&bull Exhibition Building with the steam machine, theatrette and caf
&bull Workers Walk showcasing the many professions that make the railways work
&bull Great Train Hall with 60 items of rolling-stock from the Governor’s carriage to the slag pot
&bull Landscaped forecourt for weddings, parties and
&bull First new Roundhouse in Australia for 50 years where you can see the locomotives and carriages being maintained.

Trainworks Limited is a not-for-profit company with specialist professional skills and experience in tourism and promotion to manage the facility. The New South Wales Rail Transport Museum is the volunteer based organisation that will continue to maintain the track and provide the train rides.
Trainworks will be open to the public on 3 April 2011.