AusRAIL, Market Sectors

News in brief ? 20 October-3 November 2010

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> </span> <p><strong>Theiss to build $291m Seaford extension</strong></p> <p>The Thiess McConnel Dowell joint venture has won the contract to build Adelaide’s $291m Seaford rail extension and has begun work on detailed designs.</p> <p>The new electrified railway involves a 5.5 km dual track from Noarlunga to Seaford, in Southern Adelaide, a bus interchange at Seaford, a 1.2 km elevated rail bridge over the Onkaparinga Valley and other rail and road bridges.</p> <p>Early work began on the project in March. The new line is scheduled for passenger operation in 2013, Theiss, a Leighton Holdings subsidiary, said.</p> <p><strong><span class="Apple-style-span"></span>High-speed rail study honours deal with Greens</strong></p> <p>High-speed rail is back on the agenda with the federal government commissioning of a $20m feasibility study into the benefits and viability of an east coast network.</p> <p>The first step was the release of the terms of reference, federal infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese said.</p> <p>"The feasibility study will build on previous work by determining the optimum alignment of a high-speed rail network after taking into account the needs of potential users as well as possible engineering, planning and environmental challenges," he said.</p> <p>"As well as determining the route alignment, the feasibility study will provide information which will help guide future public and private investment decisions, including likely demand and an estimated construction cost."</p> <p>Mr Albanese said his department would call for tenders for specialist tasks such geotechnical investigations as well as financial and economic modelling.</p> <p>The first stage of the study will be completed by July 2011 and the second by mid-2012.</p> <p>While Greens leader Bob Brown welcomed the government’s response to its deal to put the feasibility study in place, he said he would like its scope extended to Adelaide and Perth.</p> <p>The terms of reference are at: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p><strong>Dangling wagons delay derailment repairs</strong></p> <p>&nbspWork on clearing the blocked east line of the Melbourne-Sydney dual track near Wodonga could continue through the weekend, Australian Rail Track Corporation spokesman Brad Emery told Rail Express today.</p> <p>Cranes had moved some damaged rail and some repairs had been made to the track where 15 wagons derailed on October 23.</p> <p>"We’re still planning for the removal of two wagons that are hanging off the bridge," he said.&nbsp</p> <p>Freight services are continuing to use the west line and CountryLink passengers are travelling by bus until the wagons and their heavy steel cargo are removed and the east line repairs completed.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the ARTC rolled out 16 individual projects worth $2m in a series of upgrades in the Hunter Valley rail corridor at the weekend as part of its development of capacity on the coal lines.</p> <p>This included work on rails and ballast, the removal of a footbridge and preparations for further work.</p> <p><strong>Vision for Adelaide southern corridor</strong></p> <p>Commuter rail services to Flinders University are suggested in a draft study of Adelaide’s South Road transport corridor.</p> <p>The key proposals include a 15-minute frequency weekday tram-train service along a duplicated Tonsley rail line, which would need two new stations at Sturt Triangle and Flinders Medical Centre.</p> <p>The draft Darlington Transport Study, funded by the federal and South Australian governments, was released for public consultation on Monday after two years of planning and assessment.</p> <p>SA transport minister Patrick Conlon described it as "an exciting vision for what has been one of Adelaides most frustrating spots for motorists, bike riders and public transport users alike".</p> <p>With federal and state funding, a start could be made in 2015-16. he said.</p> <p>There are links to the Darlington Transport Study at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><strong>Pledge to revive planning for Doncaster rail link</strong></p> <p>Victoria’s opposition leader, Ted Baillieu, kicked off the state election campaign with a promise for a $6.5m planning study into Melbourne’s proposed Doncaster rail link.</p> <p>The project to link the northeast suburbs with the city was estimated in 2008 to cost up to $2bn.</p> <p>However, Infrastructure Australia chair Sir Rod Eddington recommended instead a system of rapid transit buses and these were introduced last month.</p> <p>Meanwhile, in Melbourne’s west, two problematic level crossings on Anderson Road near Sunshine station will be removed as part of the state’s largely federally funded $4.3bn Regional Rail Link project.</p> <p>This work, revealed in a new construction package last month, will end delays at boom gates for motorists and improve access to the station as new rail passenger services are rolled out to meet increased commuter demand.</p> <p>&nbsp</p>