AusRAIL, Market Sectors

News in Brief ‘ 4-10 May 2011

First ship loads at Abbot Point coal berth
A small handymax vessel was yesterday the first ship to receive coal from the new Abbot Point coal terminal.

Abbot Point, which is managed by North Queensland Bulk Port’s and located north of Bowen, is undergoing the largest government-funded port expansion Queensland has seen.

According to marine infrastructure minister Craig Wallace, the berth and the adjacent existing berth will more than double the current export capacity from 21m &nbsptonnes per year to 50mtpa.

The Queensland government recently signed a $1.8bn 99 year agreement to lease the terminal to a subsidiary of Indian group, Adani.

Two new coal terminals being developed at the port by BHP Billiton and Hancock Coal could&nbsp potentially increase overall coal export capacity to 110mtpa, with the scope to increase to 160mtpa, Wallace said.

Source: Lloyd’s List DCN –

RISSB update
The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) has announced its projects commencing in Financial Year 2001-2012.

The proposed projects are:

&bull&nbsp&nbsp &nbspEarthworks – (AS 7635)
&bull&nbsp&nbsp &nbspStructures – (AS 7636)
&bull&nbsp&nbsp &nbspPoints and crossings – (AS 7642)
&bull&nbsp&nbsp &nbspRolling Stock Fire Safety Standard (including Spark Arrestors) – (AS 7529)
&bull&nbsp&nbsp &nbspRolling Stock Audible Warning Devices&nbsp – (AS 7532)

Codes of Practice
&bull&nbsp&nbsp &nbspECP Braking – Code of Practice
&bull&nbsp&nbsp &nbspType Approval of Signalling Equipment – Code of Practice

Australian Network Rules and Procedures (ANRP) Changes

The projects will now go through an approval process with state and territory governments for endorsement before the project list is then approved by the RISSB Board in July. This is necessary because governments’ provide 50% of RISSB’s budget for developing standards, rules, codes and guidelines.

Growth for UGL Rail
UGL managing director Richard Leupen last week confirmed the company’s rail division had been awarded over $800m in new passenger and freight projects with blue chip customers since June 2010.

“Furthermore, the pipeline of opportunities in both rail passenger and freight markets continues to gather&nbsp momentum with over $3bn in weighted and qualified opportunities across the rail sector,” he said.

Indigenous arts transform Tilt Train
A Queensland Rail Tilt Train has been transformed by 301 metres of Queensland Indigenous artwork into Australia’s longest moving canvas.

Each side of the Tilt Train’s seven carriages now features artwork by Aboriginal artist Judy Watson and Torres Strait Islander Alick Tipoti.

Watson is a descendent of the Waanyi people of north-west Queensland and is best known for her work exploring Aboriginal heritage and hidden history and, more recently, the environmental impact of climate change and human influences on the ecology.

Tipoti’s is strongly connected to the stories of his home of Badu Island and his work reflects the proud history of the Torres Strait Islander people and includes imagery of the spirits of his ancestors, the Zugubal, with their traditional headdresses, masks, drums and weapons.

The Queensland Government has selected the artists for the second Indigenous art Tilt Train: Josiah Omeenyo from Lockhart River and a collective of 25 artists from Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre in Cardwell. Work on the second Indigenous art Tilt Train is expected to begin later this month.

The government has invested $750,000 in the Indigenous art Tilt Trains through art+place Queensland Public Art Fund. The project has been jointly delivered by Arts Queensland and Queensland Rail.

Obama’s plan to attack US trains
Reports have surfaced that the recently deceased Osama Bin Laden had plans to attack US trains.

The BBC reported that documents found at Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistan home suggest he was planning attacks on the US including on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, with at least one plan aimed to target America’s rail route.

The New York Times reported officials in saying that the documents included a handwritten notebook from February 2010 that discusses tampering with tracks to derail a train on a bridge, possibly on Christmas, New Year’s Day, the day of the State of the Union address or the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

There was no evidence of a specific plot.