KBR joins Sydney’s largest metro rail project

John Holland has selected KBR to provide engineering design and construction support services for the Glenfield south and Leppington portion of the South West Rail Link (SWRL) project in New South Wales.

John Holland was awarded the $550m contract for design and construction of the SWRL between Glenfield south and Leppington in December last year.

KBR will provide permanent way design, overhead wiring design and communications systems design for this portion of the project and will also provide construction phase services support to the project delivery team.

“KBR’s involvement in the SRWL project builds upon our extensive expertise in rail systems and we are pleased to add to our growing portfolio of large-scale rail infrastructure projects,” KBR Infrastructure and Minerals president Colin Elliott said.

The SWRL is currently the largest metropolitan rail project under construction in NSW and addresses issues of reliability and passenger growth on Sydney’s metropolitan rail network and population growth in Sydney’s south-west.

It is being delivered by the NSW Government’s Transport Construction Authority.

John Holland is delivering 10.5km of new twin track electrified rail line from Glenfield to Leppington including new stations at Edmondson Park and Leppington and a train stabling facility at Rossmore.
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Builders shortlisted for Regional Rail Link

Despite announcing a cost blowout of up to $1bn on the Regional Rail Link (RRL) earlier this month, the Victorian Government has gone ahead and shortlisted bidders for two major work packages for the project.

The decision to go to market to find contractors to build the RRL followed a government review of the project and what public transport minister Terry Mulder said was “significant budget pressures” and the deferral of $500m in federal funding.

The shortlisted bidders for the Footscray to Sunshine package are Synergy Rail (Abigroup, Coleman Rail, John Holland, AECOM and GHD), and Thiess, Balfour Betty, Parsons Brinkerhoff and SKM.

Key features of the work package include:

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Approximately 7.5km of two new dedicated tracks “at grade” for RRL between Footscray to Sunshine

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Redevelopment and modification of Footscray station

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Modifications to Sunshine station and

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Two new grade separations at Anderson Road, Sunshine.

Federal minister for infrastructure Anthony Albanese said the work package was a “complex section” of the RRL, and would help transform Melbourne’s inner western suburbs by providing better public transport connections and services.

The shortlisted bidders for the Train Control and Systems package are Invensys Rail and John Holland, and UGL and Manidis Roberts.

Key features of the work package include:

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Modification to existing train control systems and the creation of a new train control system for the RRL corridor

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Creation of a new generation computer based signalling system for the RRL corridor

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Installation of approximately 45km of fibre optic cable to support the new train control systems and

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Installation of new passenger information systems to new stations and upgrade of existing systems at existing stations that are being modified by the project.

Albanese said the package of works would lead the Victorian rail industry in the development o fnew standards and technology and provide significant opportunities for the professional development of graduate engineers and apprentices.

The RRL could take an extra two years to complete after the government claimed ealier this months that the former Labor Government had been between $700m and $1.1bn short in its costings and had failed to adequately cost basic elements of the project including rolling stock, station platforms, signalling, land acquisition and the removal of level crossings

“Funding and scheduling challenges still exist, but the government will consult with industry and stakeholders about opportunities to optimise scope and achieve savings in order to address these issues,” Mulder said.
&nbsp

Project profile: Middlemount

The Middlemount Early Rail Alliance is delivering an electrified rail spur from the South Goonyella Line to the Middlemount mine in central Queensland.

&nbspThe Middlemount Coal Rail Spur project involves the planning, statutory approvals, design, construction and commissioning of the spur line. The alliance is a consortium between Middlemount Coal, John Holland and GHD.

Works being delivered by the alliance includes:

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Approximately 16.8km of single track spur line with two train capacity at the balloon loop and a bad order siding

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Civil works such as the undertaking of earthworks and construction of: drainage systems, bridgeworks, access roads, fencing and other civil engineering requirements

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The construction of a track coupler unit and associated traction power systems infrastructure including any works required to integrate the new and existing power systems

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The installation of a 25kV overhead traction wiring system for the length of the project including the integration with the junction mainline and

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Roadworks, including a new two lane road over rail bridge and associated 1.5km realignment works where the rail spur crosses the existing Middlemount Dysart road.

GHD have responsibility for concept and detailed design of rail civil, structures, track and systems, geotechnical investigation and engineering, planning and approvals and environmental including verification of construction works.

John Holland has project delivery and management accountability including procurement, programming of works, and construction.

The alliance participants worked jointly on design approvals and stakeholder management.

A spokesperson for John Holland told Rail Express that the alliance continues to seek best practice delivery methodologies and has had a number of major successes.

“Highlights include a value for money target of delivering the project at no more than 85% of the agreed TOC through measures such as construction productivity gains through waste reduction, improvement on proposed methodologies, design improvements in detailed design and actively seeking innovation from site personnel, subcontractors and suppliers,” the spokesperson said.

Due to the climatic nature of the Central Queensland region, the alliance has also ability fast tracked stages of the project to avoid the wet season (November to April) and ensure the successful delivery of the project.

“Planning therefore considered and included measures such as ensuring necessary approvals were obtained early in the program, and allocating additional resources to drainage and earthworks for completion of the majority of the work ahead of the wet season,” the spokesperson said.

Other innovate programming includes flexible construction sequencing which utilises multiple stockpile sites to allow rail systems work to commence in areas as they become free as opposed to a continuous rolling work front.

“With this careful planning the project was running perfectly to schedule until the Queensland floods and impact of cyclone Yasi. Following these events, the alliance is working with the client to establish an alternative program to complete construction as early as possible following the severe weather conditions,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Gloucester Coal last Thursday upgraded the reserve estimate for the Middlemount project by 68% to 96 million tonnes, underpinning plans to increase production following commencement of operations in the December quarter.

Middlemount is a 50:50 joint venture between Gloucester and Australian coal producer Macarthur Coal in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Gloucester also advised that the capital cost of the project had risen to $500m, up 25% from earlier estimates, due mainly to creek and pipeline relocations required to access additional reserves, the impact of prolonged wet weather and a rise in construction costs, Gloucester said.

Middlemount is expected to produce a mix of 70% semi-hard coking coal and 30% low volatile pulverized coal injection or LV PCE coal used in steel making.
&nbsp

News in Brief ‘ 16-22 March 2011

Bidders for GCRT facing difficulties
The consortiums competing to build Queensland’s Gold Coast Rapid Transit have reportedly been experiencing problems with their bids for the project.

The Queensland Government last month told two bidders: the GC Connect consortium, including John Holland, and Move GC, including Leighton Contractors, that there were problems with their bids, with reports that the third consortium, GoldlinQ, may also be facing difficulties considering its sub-contractor is Downer EDI, whose Waratah train contract has been besieged by problems, the Sunday Mail reported.

Federal opposition commits to Moorebank
The Federal Opposition’s director of policy Mark Roberts has reportedly committed the Opposition to building the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.

“The Moorebank Intermodal Terminal has been subject to numerous planning and economic studies. It is the Coalition’s preferred site for Sydney’s intermodal freight terminal,” Roberts reportedly wrote to a group of concerned local residents.

He acknowledged the very vocal local opposition to the project in saying the developers of the project need to ensure they have addressed all community concerns about the development, including noise and environmental concerns.

OPR update
Murchison Metals continues to move the Jack Hills Expansion project (JHEP) and the Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) project forward, funded by the company’s US$100m&nbsp bridge finance facility announced at the end of 2010.

The facility is with Resource Capital Fund V L.P., a resources-focused private equity fund.

The feasibility study for OPR is due in the June quarter this year.
Murchison received a vote of confidence last week with the Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia (EPA) recommending the Oakajee development.

The EPA determined that development of the proposed 45 million tonnes per annum Oakajee port, 24 kilometres north of Geraldton, and associated heavy-haulage railway extending 570 kilometre north-east to the Jack Hills iron ore project, could be managed to meet the EPA’s objectives.

South West Rail Link update
New South Wales premier Kristina Keneally has celebrated the completion of one million hours of work on the South West Rail Link.

Keneally said workers had undertaken part of Stage One of the South West Rail Link, including a new 700-space commuter car park at Glenfield and a 112-space car park at Seddon Park. Work is also under way on the northern and southern flyovers which will connect the South West Rail Link to the existing CityRail network.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Gladys Berejiklian said the link had tripled in cost from $688m in December 2004 to $2.1bn in February 2010.

Introducing the Rail Plus Smart Tab
Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, and Rail Plus, the only dedicated international rail specialist general sales agent in Australia, have signed an agreement which will see Rail Plus’s extensive catalogue of rail content integrated into Amadeus’ award-winning front office solution, Amadeus Selling Platform, using Amadeus’ smart tab technology.

The Rail Plus Smart Tab, the first development of its kind in this market, will integrate rail content directly into the agent’s front office work environment, bringing multiple benefits to Amadeus users.

&quotRail is an increasingly attractive option for both leisure and business travellers and Rail Plus will continue to lead the way in making it easier for agents to search and book international and domestic rail journeys,” Rail Plus chief exectuive David Stafford said.

.

Contract awarded for Perth City Link

John Holland, in alliance with GHD and Perth’s Public Transport Authority (PTA), will deliver the $360m Perth City Link rail project.

The rail project is a key enabling component of the overall Perth City Link project and will prepare the 13.5 hectare site for redevelopment.

The rail component involves sinking the Freemantle railway line between William Street and Lake Street/King Street to reconnect Perth CBD with the Northbridge entertainment precinct.

John Holland said that it expects revenues of $310m from its share in the alliance, and will also upgrade Perth station as part of the works.

John Holland Western Region general manager Adam Harry said the company’s ability to provide a vertically integrated approach to the project’s delivery, combining local knowledge of its civil engineering business with specialist rail and tunnelling businesses will provide a significant advantage in understanding the management of interface issues.

“Our longstanding relationship in delivering projects for the PTA means we understand the importance of maintaining operation of transport services during the delivery of this project,” Harry said.

The overall project is expected to attract more than $3bn of private investment in the local economy, including the additional construction of residential, commercial and retail zones, public spaces and living opportunities including Transit Oriented Developments, encouraging a a vibrant mixed-use precinct.

Planning and design works will begin immediately and construction is scheduled to commence later this year, with completion expected in 2014.

John Holland and GHD have had extensive experience in delivering projects together across Australia under an alliance contracting model.
&nbsp

News in Brief ‘ 12-18 January 2011

Major disruptions to Tasmanian rail freight services
Severe weather and flood damage on Tasmania’s North West Coast over the past few days has caused extensive damage to sections of TasRail’s railway network, resulting in major disruptions to Tasmanian rail freight services.

TasRail confirmed on the weekend that a large section of a bridge at Railton had been washed away, though train services resumed late Monday.

Heavy storms and floods had also damaged large sections of track on the Western line, particularly a 20km area east and west of Railton, and sections of the network between Deloraine and Devonport.

Train services operating on the Melba Line have been disrupted by a landslip that occurred near Ridgely yesterday morning. TasRail crews are working to stabilise the area and repair track infrastructure.

TasRail chief executive&nbsp Damien White said damage to some parts of the network is extensive, and delays to rail freight services are unavoidable.

Builders shortlisted for Regional Rail Link
Three consortiums interested in building the new passenger rail line between Deer Park and West Werribee for Victoria’s $4.3bn Regional Rail Link have been shortlisted.

The shortlisted consortiums are:

&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Abigroup Thiess JV
&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Fulton Hogan, John Holland &amp Coleman Rail JV and
&bull&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Leighton Baulderstone JV.

Each of these joint ventures will now develop and submit fully costed proposals, with the final contract expected to be awarded in late 2011.

The successful consortium will be required to lay 25km of new track separating Geelong trains from metropolitan trains and removing a major cause of congestion and delays.

They will also be tasked with building new stations at Wyndham Vale and Tarneit as well as a bridge over the Werribee River and grade separations including the Deer Park Bypass so as to avoid the need for any new level crossings.

Beijing’s new maglev line
Beijing has begun construction of its first magnetic levitation line a 10.24km section of a new maglev railway line called the S1.

The new line, to extend from Shimenying in Mentougou district to Pingguoyuan in Shijingshan district, will reportedly use a low and medium-speed magnetic levitation technology and can run at a maximum speed of 105kp/h, according to ebeijing.gov.cn.

Completion of construction is targeted for the end of 2013

VIC grain supplies disrupted by flood
Victorian grain supplies will be disrupted as flooding affects railways and the quality of unharvested grain will also be affected by rain, GrainCorp reportedly said.

According to analysts, the cost of heavy rains that soaked Victoria after 12 years’ drought may not be known for weeks.

&nbsp

Missing link gives Port of Melbourne better interstate access

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> The "Missing Link" project to improve the connection between the Port of Melbourne and the interstate freight network opened on Monday. </span> <p><span class="Apple-style-span"> </span></p> <p>Federal infrastructure and transport minister Anthony Albanese desribed it as a major milestone in infrastructure.</p> <p>The final stage to the project involved duplicating the dual gauge track between Sims Street Junction and the port, building 18 new turnouts, installing new signalling and completely reconstructing the Melbourne Operations Terminal, he said.</p> <p>The ARTC has also built a new line between North Dynon and the port.</p> <p>The federal government has kicked in $20m, the state government $13.3m and the ARTC $6.5m for the work.</p> <p>Victorian public transport minister Martin Pakula said upgrade will have spin-off benefits for the City’s urban rail network.</p> <p>&quotIn short, the new and duplicated rail lines will allow both passenger and freight traffic to coexist in a more efficient manner than was previously the case,&quot he said.</p> <p>ARTC chief executive David Marchant said the new rail infrastructure will pave the way for a more flexible operating environment at South Dynon and increase yield, capacity, efficiency and reliability of the rail network.</p> <p>&quotIn simple terms, it will allow more freight to be moved faster,&quot he said.</p> <p>The project was delivered by the ARTC and its partners South Improvement Alliance, consisting of John Holland, MVM and O’Donnell Griffin.</p><br />

News in brief ? 20-27 October 2010

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> </span> <h3>New trains needed repairs before use</h3> <p><span class="Apple-style-span">Eighteen trains for Melbourne delivered in the past year had a series of faults that had to be repaired before the trains were put into service, The Age reported this week, quoting union sources.</span></p> <p><span class="Apple-style-span"></span>Fourteen of the trains are already running on Melbourne’s network, allowing Metro to devise new timetables and to retire temporarily over summer seven older Hitachi trains that have air conditioning only in the driver’s cabin.</p> <p>French engineering giant Alstom manufactured the latest X’Trapolis trains in Poland and assembled them in Italy at a cost of $14.4m each.</p> <p>However, the head of Alstom’s transport division in Australia, Jean de La Chapelle, told the newspaper the list of issues raised in reports from train drivers to Metro did ”not reflect the status of the trains as they are today”.</p> <p>Metro spokeswoman Geraldine Mitchell said the trains were tested intensively.</p> <p>”Any legitimate faults, such as cracked and scratched windscreens, a pantograph fault, or minor wiring problems are fixed before the commissioning phase continues,” she said. ”No train enters the network until it has passed all safety requirements.”</p> <p>Rail, Tram and Bus Union locomotive division president Terry Sheedy said the quality of the workmanship is progressively deteriorating with each train and each takes longer to prepare for service.</p> <p>The state has ordered another 20 trains from Alstom, each costing $17.1m but they will be assembled in Ballarat.</p> <p>The new trains are the first with digital communications. Metro is upgrading old trains to the modern system.</p> <p>&nbsp</p> <h3><strong>First train runs on Tolls Cambodian venture</strong></h3> <p>&nbsp<span class="Apple-style-span">The Toll Group is back in the railway freight business with the reopening of a 118-km line between the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh and Touk Meas in Kampot Province.</span></p> <p>Toll Royal Railways 55% owned by Toll and 45% by Cambodias Royal Group has a 30-year concession to run the nations rail system, which is being rebuilt with finance from the Asian Development Bank, Australia, Cambodia, Malaysia and OPEC.</p> <p>The running of the first train last week was a step towards links with the port at Sihanoukville in the south next May and with Thailand in the north by 2014.</p> <p>The rail service will lower freight costs and open up the region to regional and global trade.</p> <p>"It’s going to create jobs it will lead to economic growth it’s going to help Cambodia with its exports by making access to the port more competitive," Australias charge daffaires in Cambodia Fiona Cochaud told Radio Australia.</p> <p>Toll Global Logistics chief executive Wayne Hunt told the Ph<em>om Penh Post</em> that trucking operators had already lowered tariffs in preparation for competition with the rail service.</p> <p>"Bringing rail freight in as an alternative, youll find other transport will bring down their costs," he said. "Traditionally, rail would be 10% to 20% cheaper than truck."</p> <p>Meanwhile, the final project is a railway between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam something both governments say they will do. This would close the gap in the pan-Asian railway and provide rail links between Singapore and Scotland.</p> <p>&nbsp</p> <h3><strong>John Holland in joint bid for Abu Dhabi railway project</strong></h3> <p>Australias John Holland has joined a Leighton Holdings Middle East associate in a new joint venture bidding for the first phase of the United Arab Emirates rail network.</p> <p>It is puttng its experience of railway construction in harsh outback conditions to use with the Advance Rail Group (ARG, formed) with the 45% Leighton-owned Al Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG).&nbsp</p> <p>Union Railway plans a 1,500 km rail link to connect the UAE with Saudi Arabia in Ghweifat and Oman at Al Ain.</p> <p>The first phase, expected to be completed in 2013, is a 264-km line connecting the Shah natural gas field southwest of Abu Dhabi city with the oil and gas facilities at Habshan and with Ruwais port.</p> <p>Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the state energy producer, plans initially to transport sulphur on the route.</p> <p>Passenger services will be added later.</p> <p>The complete network connecting the seven emirates is expected to be completed in 2017</p> <p>ARG is reported to be looking also at rail network expansion in Turkey and Jordan.</p> <p>&nbsp</p> <h3>East west loop at Tintinara completed</h3> <p>The lengthening and upgrading of the passing loop at Tintinara&nbsp on the east-west rail corridor between Melbourne and Adelaide has been completed.</p> <p>The $5.4m project involved extending the existing loop by 800 metres to cater for 1,500 metre trains as well as installing mainline turnouts and new signalling technology.</p> <p>Federal infrastructure and transport minister Anthony Albanese said the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) had also received stimulus money to extend and upgrade another six passing loops on the Melbourne-Adelaide line.</p> <p>In less than two years the ARTC has completed two of these projects, with work well advanced on four others, he said.</p> <p>ARTC chief executive David Marchant said the modernisation of the corridor was progressing well, with completion of the seven new longer passing loops expected to further cut transit times, expand the lines capacity and make rail even more competitive.</p> <p>ARTC Services Company delivered the project in partnership with Transfield.</p> <p>&nbsp</p> <h3><strong>Critics rail at Jolimont track cover-up</strong></h3> <p>A Chicago-inspired vision for Melbournes Federation Square East suggests a cultural precinct and public space over the Jolimont rail yards that connects the citys art and sport institutions.</p> <p>Major Projects Victoria has modelled its urban renewal design on Chicago’s Millennium Park, a big tourist project that covers rail tracks.&nbsp</p> <p>The new design provides space for performances and exhibitions, as well as better linking the area north of the Yarra River to the Southbank precinct.</p> <p>However, state opposition leader Ted Baillieu dubbed the proposed redevelopment as nothing more than a tiara on top of the car park while entertainer Barry Humphries decried public space as "for bogans walking around, eating and smoking".</p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p>

News in Brief ? 15-21 September 2010

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> </span> <p><strong>QR National pre-registration announced</strong><br />The Queensland Government last Sunday announced pre-registration for local investors looking to buy into QR National. Details of the pre-registration can be accessed at <a href="http://qrnshareoffer.com.au" target="_blank">qrnshareoffer.com.au</a></p><p>The initial public offering is expected to raise between $3bn and $4bn, with the government to retain a 25-40% stake in the company, with no other individual shareholder able to hold more than 15% of the company, it was reported.</p><p><strong>ACCC consults on revised Hunter Valley rail access</strong><br />The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has begun public consultation on a revised Hunter Valley rail network access undertaking submitted by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).</p><p>ARTC originally submitted a proposal to the ACCC in relation to the Hunter Valley network in April 2009, but withdrew that application in April 2010. The ACCC received ARTC’s revised application on 7 September 2010.</p><p>The deadline for submissions on the current consultation is 11 October 2010. A Consultation Paper and other related information are available on the ACCC’s website:<a href="http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/945831" target="_blank"> www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/945831</a><br /><br /><strong>Survey work to start on $1.15 billion Moreton Bay Rail Lin</strong>k <br />Survey work on the $1.15bn Moreton Bay Rail link will begin late next month.<br />The project team for the rail link is now mobilised and starting late October there will be workers on the ground carrying out preliminary survey work.</p><p>“After decades of promises and planning, the Bligh government has worked with the Gillard government and the Moreton Bay Regional Council to make the Moreton Bay rail link reality,” transport minster Rachel Nolan said.</p><p>Moreton Bay is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, with the population set to increase by over 40% over the next 20 years.</p><p>Preliminary modelling indicates that in 2016, when the Moreton Bay Rail Link opens, it will be used for over 20,000 trips per day.</p><p>Community consultation will begin in November. The project team will continue work to finalise the design of the project in readiness for a construction start date in 2012 with the first trains to start operations in 2016.<br /><strong><br />MTM buys Mimcom software</strong><br />Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) has agreed to buy enterprise work and asset management software from Mincom, it was reported.</p><p>MTM reportedly said the software would help it “streamline preventative maintenance and management of its fleet of 150 trains, 211 train stations and 830km of track” and assist in workforce planning.</p><p>The MTM consortium comprises Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation, John Holland Group and UGL Rail.</p><p><strong>Coal exports jump at DBCT in August</strong><br />By Sineva Toevai<br />An improvement in the supply chain helped boost the amount of coal shipped from North Queensland’s Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) by 12% in August. </p><p>Coal shipments from the world’s third-biggest coal terminal rose to 5.7mt in August from 5.1mt in July and the terminal loaded 61 ships compared with 48 in the previous month.</p><p>DBCT terminal manager Greg Smith attributed the increase volumes exported to the reopening of inloading and outloading facilities that were shut for maintenance in July and a better flow of coal from the mine to the terminal.</p><p>“Rail ran very well in August,” Smith said, comparing it to July when the dedicated coal rail line was shut for more than 100 hours.<br /><strong><br />Railway monument to honour fallen rail workers</strong><br />Victoria’s Department of Transport is seeking names for inclusion on a memorial honouring Australia’s rail workers. The Australian Railway Monument has been established in Werris Creek, New South Wales to acknowledge the major contribution made by the railway industry, its employees and contractors to Australia’s development and in particular, those who gave their lives in the course of their work.</p><p>“We are seeking your help and invite you to send us details of family and friends who were killed while on duty, or killed as a result of injuries sustained on duty on the railways in Victoria, including employees of railway organisations or contractors in the state, dating back to 1853,” public transport minister Martin Pakula said.</p><p>Specifically, the department is seeking information including: the name of the person, their employer and occupation, the date and description of their accident, where it occurred and the person’s date of birth.</p><p>For Victorians, visit:<a href="http://www.transport.vic.gov.au/history" target="_blank"> www.transport.vic.gov.au/history</a> for further information about the Australian Railway Monument project and to submit details of employees for Victoria.<br />For information on the monument visit: <a href="http://www.australianrailwaymonument.com.au " target="_blank">www.australianrailwaymonument.com.au </a><br /><br /><strong>Port Macquarie winery stocks Japananse high-speed train</strong><br />Port Macquarie’s Cassegrain Wines has sold over a million bottles of wine to Japanese bullet trains. The winery’s sales to the Central Japan Railway Company (CJRC) have reached the equivalent of 1,266,957 full bottles of wine since its first shipment in February 1996.</p><p>CJRC operates the Shinkansen high-speed train between Tokyo and Osaka, as well as conventional rail lines covering Nagoya and the Central Japan region.</p><p>Cassegrain is the only wine sold on board. <br />&nbsp</p>

Perth City Link project update

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Rail works on Perth’s $600m City Link project that is set to develop the “heart of the city” by sinking the railway line and Wellington Street bus station are one step closer to beginning. </span> <p>City Rail Joint Venture (Brookfield Multiplex and Laing O’Rourke) and Perth City Link (John Holland and GHD) have been shortlised for the project’s rail works component.</p><p>Transport minister Simon O’Brien said the next assessment stage was crucial to robustly define the project’s scope and competitively assess the two proponents.</p><p>“In late December, the two proponent groups will provide the Public Transport Authority with their detailed documentation for the major works to sink the Fremantle line between William Street, and Lake and King streets,” O’Brien said.</p><p>The sinking of the railway line will ultimately reunite the retail district of Perth’s CBD with the Northbridge entertainment precinct, opening up expanses of public and commercial space.</p><p>“Sinking the railway literally underpins the vision to redevelop 14ha between Perth and Northbridge – something which has been talked about for more than 100 years,” O’Brien said.</p><p>The urban renewal and regeneration project is a collaboration between EPRA, the City of Perth and PTA.</p><p>The 13.5 hectare project is bounded by the Mitchell Freeway, Roe Street, Wellington Street and the Horseshoe Bridge and currently houses an &quotuninviting mix&quot of services, car parks, rail and bus infrastructure. Framed by busy roads, the area has become a physical barrier in the centre of the city.</p><p>Sinking the Wellington Street Bus Station and the Fremantle rail line from Perth station to Lake Street will prepare the site for redevelopment. Based on a start time of early next year, the sinking of the line is expected to be completed by 2014.</p><p>The Link will play a key role in addressing transport and infrastructure issues by removing remove the “great divide” between Northbridge and the CBD and once completed, will create a vibrant mixed-use precinct.</p><p>The alliance contract will be awarded in March 2011. The rail project is scheduled for completion in 2014. The sinking of the Wellington Street Bus Station is due for completion in 2016.</p><p>The Federal Government has committed $236m towards the cost of the project.<br />&nbsp</p>

Revival of Sydney’s South West Rail Link

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Work is progressing on Sydney’s South West Rail Link (SWRL) that was brought back to life in the NSW Government’s Metropolitan Transport Plan, released in February. </span> <p>The $2.1bn rail link involves the construction of more than 11 km of new twin track from Glenfield to Leppington and is scheduled for completion in 2016.<br />Minister for transport David Campbell last week announced the short list of tenderers for the rail track extension between Glenfield south and Leppington.<br />“The short listing for the Glenfield South to Leppington rail component of the SWRL is down to three contenders…[Leighton Abigroup Joint Venture, John Holland, and Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction]…with the announcement of the successful contractor to be made later this year,”&nbspCampbell said.<br />The contract covers the design and construction and includes new stations at Edmondson Park and Leppington commuter car parking at both stations and a train stabling facility at Leppington.<br />The SWRL is being constructed by a number of separate contractors who are each working on different components of the broader project.<br />Works already&nbsp underway or complete include:<br />&bull A rail flyover to the north of Glenfield Station which will link the new line between Glenfield and Leppington to the East Hills Line<br />&bull Services relocations to enable new track at Glenfield<br />&bull The Glenfield Station upgrade<br />&bull A new multi-deck commuter car park and<br />&bull The Seddon Park commuter car park, opened last year.<br />The government’s <em>Metropolitan Transport Plan</em> saw the controversial on-again off-again Sydney Metro scrapped, with a total of $50.2bn&nbspto be&nbspspent on transport which Keneally saysis backed up by a 10-year funding guarantee. <br />&nbsp</p>

News in Brief ? 28 April – 5 May 2010

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> </span> <p><strong>Asciano delivers mixed bag in March quarter </strong><br />By Sineva Toevai<br />Asciano’s container operations had a flat March quarter but its coal haulage division performed relatively better with an increase of 33% from the same period last year. <br />In the three months ended March 31st, Patrick Container Ports delivered a 1% increase in container lifts&nbsp to 435,000 with Melbourne (+7%) and Brisbane (+1%) reporting gains while Sydney (-2%) and Fremantle (-5%) posted declines, Asciano said.<br />Contracts in Queensland and healthy demand in New South Wales boosted Pacific National’s coal haulage to 4.42bn net tonne kilometers in the March quarter from 3.32bn net tonne kilometers a year earlier.<br />Meanwhile, Asciano’s Pacific National Intermodal unit hauled 5.29 net tonne kilometres, up 10% from last year.<br />Source: Lloyd’s List Daily Commercial News – <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lloydslistdcn.com.au">www.lloydslistdcn.com.au</a><br /><strong><br />Growing federal criticism of QR</strong><br />Federal finance minister Lindsay Tanner has reportedly joined a growing list of Federal government ministers who have criticised the Queensland government’s sale of QR’s below rail assets, in warning that the sale could result in similar competition concerns to those facing Telstra. Tanner’s comments follow similar statements by federal infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese and federal resources minister Martin Ferguson, however QR chief executive Lance Hockridge rejected comparisons of the sale to Telstra on the ABC’s <em>Lateline </em>program last week <br /><br /><strong>Milestone reached in modernisation of East West rail corridor</strong><br />Another key milestone in the modernisation of the East West rail corridor has been reached with the newly upgraded passing loop at Bolivar becoming operational last week. <br />The $4.5m project extended the length of the passing loop to 1,800 metres in order to be able to cater for much longer trains (see attached map).<br />The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) received $23m in federal funding to build four new passing loops as well as extend the Bolivar loop on the line between Adelaide and Kalgoorlie. ARTC completed four of these projects in a little over 12 months.<br />ARTC chief executive David Marchant said ARTC is pushing forward with its plans to upgrade the East West corridor and make rail more competitive, with the new passing loops expected to cut transit time and expand capacity on the line between Perth and Adelaide.<br />“As Australia recovers from fallout from the global recession we’re determined to make the interstate rail network a value adding asset within the national transport logistics system. Already 80 per cent of the freight that moves between Australia’s east and west coasts travels by rail,” Marchant said.<br /><strong><br />UAE’s&nbsp $69bn public transport investment</strong><br />The UAE is reportedly planning to invest $68bn in public transport projects in Abu Dhabi in the next five years with plans to include more than 40 metro stationsand&nbspa $7bn 131km-long underground metro monorail track project.<br /><br /><strong>ATC update</strong><br />Australian Transport council (ATC) ministers have “reconfirmed” that the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) position that the improvement of safety is a “central point” to COAG reforms and the current rail safety standards will be maintained through the establishment of the National Rail Safety Regulator. <br />“Furthermore, the annual work program, reporting and consultation for the National Rail Safety Regulator will ensure that each jurisdiction’s rail safety issues are addressed,” the ATC said in a statement.<br />ATC ministers “welcomed” the confirmation of plans to ensure that further development of all these reforms will include the Rail Safety Reform Project Office’s establishment of a reference group.<br />ATC also endorsed new National Guidelines for Integrated Passenger Transport and Land Use Planning for reference to Local Government and Planning Ministers Council for counter endorsement.&nbsp These Guidelines will support the essential contribution of Transport Ministers to the development of capital city strategic plans by 2012. <br /><br /><strong>South Morang Rail Extension alliance announced</strong><br />The alliance that will deliver Victoria’s $650m South Morang Rail Extension project was announced on April 29th.<br />John Holland and Aecom have joined the Department of Transport, Metro Trains and VicRoads will design, deliver and manage works to include 18,000 concrete sleepers, 12 km of overhead wiring and another 12 km of new track.<br />“This project will improve access to public transport for the Whittlesea growth corridor and improve capacity and reliability for passengers who currently use the Epping train line,” public transport minister Martin Pakula said.<br />The alliance will now start work on the detailed design and community engagement process with major construction scheduled to commence later this year.<br />The South Morang Rail Extension Project is part of the government’s $38bn Victorian Transport Plan (VTP).<br /><br /><strong>Final upgrades for Nth QLD most dangerous level crossings</strong><br />The final upgrades on eight of North Queensland’s most dangerous<br />train level crossings have been completed, it was reported. <br />The Queensland Rail Level Crossing<br />Taskforce’s work has included engineering upgrades at 66 level crossings across Queensland, an education process for the state’s truck drivers and work with Queensland Police, it was reported.<br /><br /><strong>BHP Billiton gets nod as Abbot Point developer </strong><br />By Sineva Toevai<br />The Queensland Government has named BHP Billiton as preferred developer of the new X80 coal terminal at Abbot Point. <br />BHP Billiton Metallurgical Coal president Hubie van Dalsen said the company expected strong export growth from its metallurgical coal resources in the Bowen Basin.<br />“The new Abbot Point Coal Terminal is a key element in our growth plans,” van Dalsen said.<br />BHP will now enter into detailed discussions with the Queensland Government to negotiate construction of the terminal, he said.<br />Source: Lloyd’s List Daily Commercial News – <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lloydslistdcn.com.au"><u><font color="#000000">www.lloydslistdcn.com.au</font></u></a><br /><br />&nbsp</p>

Alliance-style contracting gains pace

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> The use of alliance-style contracting is gaining momentum both in Australia and globally for large scale infrastructure projects. </span> <p>By Francis Dwornik*</p><p>Why is this model, which emerged originally in the oil and gas industries, now proving so successful?<br />Alliancing is proving superior to the traditional design and construct (D&ampC) tendering process because it is co-operative and outcome specific rather than budget driven. An alliance contract requires a number of civil and/or state partners to pool their resources and knowledge to deliver detailed, large scale projects to budget and on time.<br />Rather than producing a fixed budget price and details of delivery prior to selection of contractors, as in traditional D&ampC, the alliance sets a delivery date and budget and a managing board (comprising different alliance members) that project manages the delivery for optimal results. The client is a member of the alliance to facilitate the combined decision making processes and assist with the flexibility that is the hallmark of the process.<br />Alliancing is not a copyright idea, it is a method of delivering programmes and projects that can be used on every major project under consideration in Australia. In recent years the rail sector has adopted alliancing strategies to pursue many opportunities. It is also used in mining and water projects. <br />O’Donnell Griffin recognised the opportunities with alliancing several years ago and have embraced an alliancing model for most of our major national rail infrastructure projects. <br />ODG presently has general managers seconded to three alliances: the $1bn South Improvement Alliance (SIA) the $1bn Novo Rail Alliance in Sydney and the recently announced $265 m Sunbury Electrification Alliance in Victoria.&nbsp We have also recently signed a joint venture partnership with Hong Kong engineering company Kum Shing.<br />The South Improvement Alliance (SIA) – involving the Australian Rail and Track Corporation (ARTC), with ODG, John Holland Group, MVM Rail, Kellogg Brown and Root and Aurecon – has invested $1 billion upgrading existing rail corridors between Sydney and Melbourne. <br />The Novo Rail alliance, set up to upgrade Sydney’s urban rail passenger network, comprises ODG, Laing O’Rourke and Aurecon, and the owner participant RailCorp. The Sunbury Electrification Alliance is to be run by the joint venture of ODG and Laing O’Rourke, and the Department of Transport and its rail operators.<br />Optimal results with large scale programmes such as SIA are delivered as the alliance is able to constantly update on technology and budgets for an improved outcome.&nbspAnother critical element of a project of that scale is that resources are secured at the start of the alliance as a result of the breadth and depth of the partnerships’ resources pools. This is of great importance due to the pressure on human and material resources in this new infrastructure-focussed age.<br />Project management skills also are maximised due to the level of industry knowledge that can be gleaned from the many different divisions of these high-level companies. <br />As can be seen, this also makes alliancing a dynamic, interactive form of public and private relationships.<br />There is no doubt that alliancing produces the best outcomes in these large projects, with best value of money, the ability to be flexible and adapt along the way, while still meeting budgets, and with trillions of dollars to be spent in the global infrastructure market in coming decades, its foothold is simply set to strengthen.</p><p>*Bringing over 27 years of experience in the Australian and international rail sector to his position as rail engineering director with O’Donnell Griffin Rail, Francis Dwornik plays a key role in the development of specialised rail business for O’Donnell Griffin and is widely recognised as a powerful advocate of the need for rail infrastructure to be significantly boosted nationally to relieve pressure on both passenger and freight networks.<br />&nbsp</p>

Bidders announced for Gold Coast rapid transit

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> There has been strong domestic and international interest in Queensland’s $1.7bn Gold Coast rapid transit project, with six consortiums coming forward to bid for the for the project’s first stage. </span> <p>By Jennifer Perry</p><p>“The submissions are from a range of international light-rail operators, Australian and international financiers, vehicle builders and construction companies,” transport minister Rachel Nolan said.<br />Noland said the government is looking for a long term partner “with the right mix” of experience, vision and innovation to operate, maintain and construct the high capacity light rail system.<br />Construction of the 13 kilometre, Stage One corridor from Griffith University/the new Gold Coast University Hospital&nbspto Broadbeach is scheduled to begin operations in 2014. When completed, the 40 km light rail project will link the Gold Coast to Coolangatta on the Queensland-News south Wales border.<br />The project has received $1bn in public funding including $464 from the state government and $120m from the Gold Coast City Council. One of Infrastructure Australia’s (IA) nine ‘priority’ projects announced in 2009, the project also received $365 million in federal funding from the Building Australia Fund (BAF).<br />The public private partnership has been touted as a “test case” for Federal Government funding for other infrastructure projects across Australia as the commonwealth reportedly seeks a return on its investment.<br />The expressions of interest for the project’s First Stage will be evaluated by the project team in the coming months before the Queensland Government announces a shortlist of companies&nbspthat will progress to the detailed bid phase.<br />The six consortia for the Operator Franchise PPP are:<br />.gcSMaRTmove: Ansaldo STS Australia, SMRT International, Thiess, Mitsui &amp Co, Royal Bank of Canada.<br />.GC Connect: MTR Corporation, John Holland, ITOCHU Corporation, Royal bank of Scotland.<br />.MoveGC: Veolia Transport Australasia, Alstom Australia Holdings and ALSTOM Transport SA, Leighton Contractors, Macquarie Capital Group.<br />.GoldlinQ: Keolis SA, Downer EDI, Bombardier Transportation Australia, McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust), Plenary Group<br />.KirraKink: TransdevTSL, Acciona SA, CAF, Mitsubishi Corporation, Seymour Whyte, Capella Capital.<br />.SNC-Lavalin Australia: SNC Lavalin Australia, BMD, Thales, Verhehrs Consult Dresden-Berlin GmbH.</p><p>&nbsp</p>

Sydney Metro scrapped ? all change in NSW

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Back in October, my column focussed on the ad hoc and inconsistent approach to public transport planning in New South Wales, exemplified by the ‘on again, off again’ North West rail link and planning for a Sydney City Metro no one seemed to want. </span> <p>By Mark Carter</p><p>Five months on and NSW has yet another new premier the City Metro is now history and you wouldn’t have guessed, but&nbspNSW has yet another transport plan.<br />Sydney’s brief flirtation with a Metro, or Underground, started back in March 2008 under then premier Morris Iemma who proposed a $12bn mainly underground railway linking Rouse Hill and the CBD as the alternative to the planned North West heavy rail link.<br />The latter had been originally announced in 1998, but with delays, construction had not started and completion had already been put back to 2017. Iemma also started floating the idea of a West Metro linking Parramatta and the CBD to relieve pressure on the existing Cityrail line.<br />Iemma departed just a few months later, and incoming premier Nathan Rees quickly abandoned plans for a North West Metro, replacing them with the proposed $5bn, 7km City Metro linking the CBD and Rozelle.<br />The West Metro remained on the table and although unfunded, the Federal Government announced in December 2008 a contribution of up to $91m as part of its Nation Building program for pre-construction works for the 25 km route.<br />Despite plenty of criticism from the NSW Opposition and numerous other parties, Rees ploughed on ahead with his Metro plans.<br />Last October two consortia were shortlisted to bid for the Integrated Metro Operations contract for the City Metro project. The successful bidders were the Kujika consortium (comprising Bovis Lend Lease, Downer EDI, Keolis, McConnell Dowell, Thales and financial advisor Plenary Group) along with Met One (Serco, Bombardier Transportation, Laing O’Rourke and Hastings Management) with the contract due to be awarded late 2010.<br />November saw three consortia shortlisted to bid for the Permanent Route Infrastructure contract to submit tenders: Line 1(McConnell Dowell Corp, Abigroup and Obayashi Corp), MetroPrimo (Leighton Contractors and SELI Spa) and a Thiess /John Holland joint venture. Construction was expected to start in mid-2010.<br />How quickly things change. Rees was replaced as premier after just 15 months by Kristina Keneally, and as Rees did with Iemma, premier Keneally wasted no time in reversing the decisions of her predecessor and last weekend she announced the Metro projects would not go ahead.<br />In a press release outlining likely compensation to those affected by the scrapping of the project she gave very little detail behind the decision other than to say, “We’ve listened to the community and made a tough decision&quot.<br />The government says that the resources and funding intended for the City Metro project will now be used on the range of other transport projects announced at the same time.<br /><em>The Metropolitan Transport Plan: Connecting the City of Cities </em>comprises $50.2bn in transport spending which Keneally claims is backed up by a 10-year funding guarantee. The list of alternative projects is impressive, but as is so often the case in NSW, it is hard to see many of them progressing beyond the initial planning stage.<br />The $6.7bn North West heavy rail link is reinstated, but construction is unlikely to start before 2017 – which is at least two elections away – while the $500m price tag for just 10 km of light rail extensions to Dulwich Hill and Circular Quay is considered by some to be highly inflated.<br />The $4.53bn Western Express Cityrail Service will see the main west Cityrail tracks, which currently terminate at Central, extended into new underground platforms at Redfern, Central, Town Hall and Wynyard freeing up capacity on other parts of the network.<br />First of the block is likely to be the previously delayed South West rail link worth $2.1bn and involving the construction of more than 11 km of new twin track from Glenfield to Leppington – scheduled now for completion in 2016.<br />New trains will also be ordered to complement the 626 new carriages currently on order and expand the fleet, with an additional $3.1bn allocated over the next ten years for new rolling stock.<br />Urban planner Dr Garry Glazebrook from the University of Technology, Sydney told <em>Rail Express</em> that the new plan does have some good points, such as scrapping the CBD Metro, which he believes was not a cost effective project, making a start on light rail, and recognising the need to expand the heavy rail network.<br />“However, it is only a 10 year transport plan to match a 25 year land use plan – so there is no clear picture of how Sydney’s transport will develop to match growth in population and employment,” Glazebrook said.<br />“With regard to the specific projects in the plan, the major rail projects won’t commence for five to seven years. And even when finished some time after 2024, we still won’t have the additional rail crossing across the harbour which was promised by 2017 in the Metropolitan Strategy.<br />“Unless Sydney gets more serious about planning, funding and implementing its public transport plans it will fall behind our competitor cities.”<br />While avoiding comment on the merits or otherwise of the City Metro project, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) was scathing in its criticism of the NSW Government’s decision to scrap the project, saying it will damage Australia’s international reputation as a place to do business.<br />“The private sector has invested many tens of millions bidding this project and the government needs to make full restitution of all losses immediately,&quot IPA exectuive director Brendan Lyon said.<br />&quotThe government has generally recognised the need for compensation, but much greater detail about the level of restitution is required.&quot<br />At the time of going to press the final figure was still being calculated, but some estimates suggest it could go as high as $50m including the handing back of $85m of the $91m from Canberra’s contribution to the Metro West pre-construction works.<br />As I have suggested in previous articles, the NSW Government has serious credibility issues when it comes to transport policy and with some serious population growth predicted, for Australia’s Premier city this simply is just not good enough. <br />The debacle of the City Metro project has to be the very last straw. Given the government’s track record on transport planning it is almost impossible to take seriously much of the newly announced Metropolitan Transport Plan.<br />There have to be a much greater, fundamental changes made in the way Sydney’s long-term transport needs are addressed, rather than the current range of poorly thought out, stop-start, band-aid solutions. Some new initiatives that could be pursued have been highlighted in the recent Independent Public Inquiry, Long-Term Public Transport Plan for Sydney, sponsored by the Sydney Morning Herald and others, which I hope to review in a subsequent column.<br />&nbsp</p>

City Metro scrapped ?all change in New South Wales

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Back in October, my column focussed on the ad hoc and inconsistent approach to public transport planning in New South Wales, exemplified by the ‘on again, off again’ North West rail link and planning for a Sydney City Metro no one seemed to want. Five months on and New South Wales has yet another new premier the City Metro is now history and you wouldn’t have guessed, but New South Wales has yet another transport plan. </span> <p>By Mark Carter</p><br /><br /><p>Sydney’s brief flirtation with a Metro, or Underground, started back in March 2008 under then premier Morris Iemma who proposed a $12bn mainly underground railway linking Rouse Hill and the CBD as the alternative to the planned North West heavy rail link.</p><br /><p>The latter had been originally announced in 1998, but with delays, construction had not started and completion had already been put back to 2017. Iemma also started floating the idea of a West Metro linking Parramatta and the CBD to relieve pressure on the existing Cityrail line.</p><br /><p>Iemma departed just a few months later, and incoming premier Nathan Rees quickly abandoned plans for a North West Metro, replacing them with the proposed $5bn, 7km City Metro linking the CBD and Rozelle.</p><br /><p>The West Metro remained on the table and although unfunded, the Federal Government announced in December 2008 a contribution of up to $91m as part of its Nation Building program for pre-construction works for the 25 km route.</p><br /><p>Despite plenty of criticism from the NSW Opposition and numerous other parties, Rees ploughed on ahead with his Metro plans.</p><br /><p>Last October two consortia were shortlisted to bid for the Integrated Metro Operations contract for the City Metro project. The successful bidders were the Kujika consortium (comprising Bovis Lend Lease, Downer EDI, Keolis, McConnell Dowell, Thales and financial advisor Plenary Group) along with Met One (Serco, Bombardier Transportation, Laing O’Rourke and Hastings Management) with the contract due to be awarded late 2010.</p><br /><p>November saw three consortia shortlisted to bid for the Permanent Route Infrastructure contract to submit tenders: Line 1(McConnell Dowell Corp, Abigroup and Obayashi Corp), MetroPrimo (Leighton Contractors and SELI Spa) and a Thiess /John Holland joint venture. Construction was expected to start in mid-2010.</p><br /><p>How quickly things change. Rees was replaced as premier after just 15 months by Kristina Keneally, and as Rees did with Iemma, Premier Keneally wasted no time in reversing the decisions of her predecessor and last weekend she announced the Metro projects would not go ahead.</p><br /><p>In a press release outlining likely compensation to those affected by the scrapping of the project she gave very little detail behind the decision other than to say, “We’ve listened to the community and made a tough decision.”</p><br /><p>The government says that the resources and funding intended for the City Metro project will now be used on the range of other transport projects announced at the same time.</p><br /><p><em>The Metropolitan Transport Plan: Connecting the City of Cities</em> comprises $50.2bn in transport spending which Keneally claims is backed up by a 10-year funding guarantee. The list of alternative projects is impressive, but as is so often the case in New South Wales, it is hard to see many of them progressing beyond the initial planning stage.</p><br /><p>The $6.7bn North West heavy rail link is reinstated, but construction is unlikely to start before 2017 – which is at least two elections away – while the $500m price tag for just 10 km of light rail extensions to Dulwich Hill and Circular Quay is considered by some to be highly inflated.</p><br /><p>The $4.53bn Western Express Cityrail Service will see the main west Cityrail tracks, which currently terminate at Central, extended into new underground platforms at Redfern, Central, Town Hall and Wynyard freeing up capacity on other parts of the network.</p><br /><p>First of the block is likely to be the previously delayed South West rail link worth $2.1bn and involving the construction of more than 11 kilometres of new twin track from Glenfield to Leppington – scheduled now for completion in 2016.</p><br /><p>New trains will also be ordered to complement the 626 new carriages currently on order and expand the fleet, with an additional $3.1bn allocated over the next ten years for new rolling stock.</p><br /><p>Urban planner Dr Garry Glazebrook from the University of Technology, Sydney told Rail Express that the new plan does have some good points, such as scrapping the CBD Metro, which he believes was not a cost effective project, making a start on light rail, and recognising the need to expand the heavy rail network.</p><br /><p>“However it is only a 10 year transport plan to match a 25 year land use plan – so there is no clear picture of how Sydney’s transport will develop to match growth in population and employment,” Glazebrook said.</p><br /><p>“With regard to the specific projects in the plan, the major rail projects won’t commence for five to seven years. And even when finished some time after 2024, we still won’t have the additional rail crossing across the harbour which was promised by 2017 in the Metropolitan Strategy.</p><br /><p>“Unless Sydney gets more serious about planning, funding and implementing its public transport plans it will fall behind our competitor cities.”</p><br /><p>While avoiding comment on the merits or otherwise of the City Metro project, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) was scathing in its criticism of the NSW Government’s decision to scrap the project, saying it will damage Australia’s international reputation as a place to do business.</p><br /><p>“The private sector has invested many tens of millions bidding this project and the Government needs to make full restitution of all losses immediately. The Government has generally recognised the need for compensation, but much greater detail about the level of restitution is required,” IPA executive director, Brendan Lyon said.</p><br /><p>At the time of going to press the final figure was still being calculated, but some estimates suggest it could go as high as $50m including the handing back of $85m of the $91m from Canberra’s contribution to the Metro West pre-construction works.</p><br /><p>As I have suggested in previous articles, the NSW Government has serious credibility issues when it comes to transport policy and with some serious population growth predicted, for Australia’s Premier city this simply is just not good enough.</p><br /><p>The debacle of the City Metro project has to be the very last straw. Given the government’s track record on transport planning it is almost impossible to take seriously much of the newly announced Metropolitan Transport Plan.</p><br /><p>There have to be a much greater, fundamental changes made in the way Sydney’s long-term transport needs are addressed, rather than the current range of poorly thought out, stop-start, band-aid solutions. Some new initiatives that could be pursued have been highlighted in the recent Independent Public Inquiry, Long-Term Public Transport Plan for Sydney, sponsored by the Sydney Morning Herald and others, which I hope to review in a subsequent column.</p><br /><p>&nbsp</p>

On track with Manitou ‘ MANIRAIL

Over the years John Holland has introduced new technology and the latest purpose built railway equipment into the Australian market.
The latest such development is the addition of Manitou’s 160ATJ elevating work platform on Hi-rail, known as Manirail.
Whilst elevating work platforms on Hi-rail are not new the Manirail unit has some unique features that give John Holland Rail operators greater flexibility and performance. The Manirail 160ATJ ensures a highly mobile and flexible work crew thanks to its unique drive line solution and other features.
Warren Williams, overhead wiring superintendent for John Holland Rail said, “We looked at several elevating work platforms to solve our access and mobility problems in relation to access to the rail track and after seeing the Manitou and hiring a machine it was clear that it was the only machine on the market that would allow us to drive up and over the track but to also cope with the issue of track ballast.”
The Manirail 160ATJ is fitted with mechanical axles incorporating limited slip differential and differential lock. The system gives the Manirail 160ATJ unparalleled rough terrain performance.
Emmanuel Amandjules, customer service manager for Manitou Australia said, “Manitou is recognised across Australia as the leading manufacturer of rough terrain materials handling and our range of ATJ Maniaccess, elevating platforms are based on the same principles. Not only does our ATJ range out perform any other elevating work platforms in this rail application it also provides greater mobility and
flexibility in all applications.”
The Manirail 160ATJ also incorporates a number of the other design features to ensure that operators are in complete safety at all times. This is especially important when the Manirail 160ATJ is operated with Hi-rail deployed.
“When designing the integration of the Hi-rail system from Arrow Engineering we had to ensure that the platform still complied with all the requirements of AS1418.10,” said Amandjules.
“The advantage of our ATJ range is that it has a Can Bus electrical system as standard and with the Manitou factory in France we were able to design a system that not only tells the machine when on Hi-rail but also limits movements of the boom functions to ensure complete safety at all times.”
The Manirail 160ATJ is design registered in accordance with State Legislation and has Workcover approval, reference EWP 6-118395/09.

Source: The Australian Journal of Mining – www.theajmonline.com.au
&nbsp

News in brief ‘ November 25-December 2 2009

Sydney Metro construction bids submitted
The three consortia shortlisted in August to bid for the Permanent Route Infrastructure contract (PRI) to construct the tunnels and station caverns on Sydney Metro Stage One have submitted their tenders.
Forming the backbone of a future metro network, Stage one will run underground between Central and Rozelle via Town Hall Square, Martin Place, Barangaroo/Wynyard and Pyrmont.
The three consortia are:
.Line 1 – McConnell Dowell Corporation/Abigroup/Obayashi Corporation
.MetroPrimo-Leighton Contractors/S.E.L.I Spa
.Thiess/John Holland JV
The PRI tenders for Stage One will now be assessed, with the winning bid expected to be announced in the second quarter of 2010.
Major construction work for Stage One is expected to start in mid-2010.

John Caldon to head ARTC
By Sineva Toevai
John Caldon has been appointed to a three-year term as chairman and director of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), the Federal Government announced on November 25th.
The former chairman of Rail Services Australia and the Australian Council for Infrastructure Development will replace Barry Murphy, whose retirement will end 11 years of service to the company.
“Mr Caldon brings with him a wealth of experience,” the finance minister, Lindsay Tanner, and transport minister Anthony Albanese said in a joint statement.
“As well as being a chartered accountant, he has previously served on a number of company boards across a range of industries including infrastructure, resources and finance.”
Meanwhile, director, Andrea Staines has been reappointed for another three-year term.
Source: Lloyd’s List Daily Commercial News –www.lloydslistdcn.com.au

Perth’s Joondalup railway to be extended
The Western Australian Government has committed $240 million to extend the Joondalup railway line.
The line will be extended 7.5 kilometres north of the existing Clarkson station to a new train and bus station to be built in the suburb of Butler.
Preliminary earthworks are in place and construction of the station is scheduled to begin in 2011, with passenger services expected to start by the end of 2014.

Work begins on SA’s Noarlunga line
Work began on the first stage of South Australia’s Noarlunga line upgrade on November 27th – the first step towards electrification of the line, which is expected to be completed in 2013.
Upgrade works for the remainder of the Noarlunga line are in the planning stages but are expected to be complete in 2011.

Selectrail secures NZ rail contract
Victorian-based Selectrail, a division of Selectrix Industries, in cooperation with strategic partners, Frauscher, has recently won a major infrastructure project requiring development and delivery of axle counting systems for deployment in New Zealand.
The project is unique in that it required the detection of small wheels such as those used on maintenance vehicles (Hyrail) without modification of the systems outside the scope of the axle counter, the company said in a statement.
“This has been achieved by combining knowledge and experience from existing applications across Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, the company said.
“This is an exciting time for us and our clients. The high level of technical knowledge and experience developed by our Selectrail Division, and the close strategic alliance with Frauscher has resulted in a sound and viable solution for the end user,” managing director David Stuckley said.

RISSB Risk Workshop
The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) are offering interested
stakeholders the opportunity to participate in a risk workshop of the rules and procedures associated with Stage 2 of the Australian National Rules and Procedures (ANRP) Project or the National Rulebook Project as it is more commonly known.
The Stage 2 Rules and Procedures predominately deal with “Train Operations”.
The risk workshop is part of the RISSB ANRP development process and
seeks to canvas and consider the views of a wider audience.
The risk workshop scope will: review draft risk assessments provided for each of the 33 rules and procedures confirm the draft risk ratings for these rules and procedures identify any missing risks or controls associated with the 33 rules and
procedures and identify any additional controls required in the rules and procedures.
The workshop will be held from December 14th to 18th in Sydney.
For more information contact Mark Felstead, RISSB project manager on:
0412 938 425 or mdfelstead@optusnet.com.au

Melbourne’s new transport operators begin
New operators Metro Trains Melbourne (Metro) and Keolis Downer EDI (KDR) began operating Melbourne’s train and tram networks on November 30th.
“Both companies will focus on what we believe, and what customers expect to be the non-negotiables – safety, cleanliness, more services and improved punctuality,” Premier John Brumby said.
“The first of our 38 new trains is undergoing final testing while the second arrived at the Port of Melbourne last week and we’ve started the process to order up to 50 new trams for the network.”
MTM will employ more than 100 extra customer service staff at City Loop stations and major junctions. On top of this 22 more stations will be staffed and MTM will work closely with Victoria Police to cut crime across the network.
Brumby said tram passengers would benefit from a $5 million plan to reinvigorate the tram fleet, beginning with a deep clean of all trams repairing damaged seats, removing graffiti and fixing vandalised doors.
Metro will be bound by tougher performance benchmarks for reliability and punctuality – where a train was formerly defined as late if it was later than six minutes, it will be considered late in the new franchise if it runs later than five minutes behind schedule, public transport minister Lynne Kosky said.
The contracts operate for eight years with a possible extension of seven years based on good performance.

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Melbourne ‘ ringing in the changes

By Mark Carter

However, it will be some time before it becomes clear as to whether these developments will be sufficient to cope with the rapid growth in patronage and Melbourne’s predicted population expansion.Commuter numbers on Melbourne’s suburban rail network have grown faster than in any other Australian city, with around 47 per cent growth over the last four years. In 2008/09 this growth flattened out just a little but the 213.9 million trips for the year still represented growth of 6.3 per cent on the previous year.
And this increase, while modest, occurred on a network where overcrowding on many lines has already been an issue for some time.
While much of the increase to date has been generated by factors such as the higher cost of motoring and congestion issues, even an easing in fuel prices has not appeared to have diminished the travelling public’s enthusiasm for the rail network.
If recent pronouncements on Melbourne’s (and Australia’s) future population numbers are to be taken seriously then the current and future Victorian governments will have little time to catch their breath in planning further improvements and expansion of the existing rail network beyond those already in the pipeline.
Current predictions would see Melbourne’s population grow to around five million people by 2030, reaching around seven million by 2049.
At the end of this month, a new franchise operator will take over the metropolitan commuter rail network and run it on behalf of the state government for the next eight years.
The Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) consortium is built around metro rail operator, Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation, along with rail maintenance provider John Holland Group and rolling stock maintainer United Group Rail.
While there are huge differences between the make up and operations of the Hong Kong and Melbourne commuter networks, one would imagine that MTR’s extensive experience in running the Hong Kong system will serve it well when dealing with Melbourne’s burgeoning passenger numbers.
On an average day, the Hong Kong network will handle around 4 million passengers – somewhere between six and seven times the number travelling daily in Melbourne.
The Hong Kong network includes 211.6 kilometres of rail with 150 stations, including 85 railway stations and 68 light rail stops which compares with Melbourne’s 372 kilometres and 200 stations.
The new franchisee will have a tough job ahead of them as they battle to deal with a system that has lacked investment and has struggled to cope under record passenger numbers.
As part of its franchise agreement, MTM has committed to reducing cancellations by 24 per cent in the first year, achieving a 10 per cent improvement in punctuality, and working towards reducing unplanned infrastructure related delays by 25 per cent over the next two years.
Around new 200 jobs will created, driven by an increase in state funding for rail infrastructure maintenance and a commitment to more customer service station staff.
In a nod towards the often reported skill shortages within the rail industry, MTM says it will establish a training academy and careers centre, based on a similar concept in Hong Kong, with an eye to providing more skilled staff for the future.MTM is also bound by tougher performance benchmarks for reliability and punctuality and will be fined up to $1 million a month for poor performance. Previous franchisee Connex, whose tenure was plagued by rolling stock and infrastructure issues not entirely of its own doing, will be looking on enviously as MTM benefits from the introduction of up to new 70 new trains over the next few years, with the first of the initial batch of 38 new six-car trains from Alstom delivered recently.
Along with extension and duplication of the Epping line to South Morang and electrification Sunbury, two other major infrastructure projects can be seen as planning ahead to accommodate future population growth.
The $4.3 billion Regional Rail Link will involve construction of a 40 kilometre dual track link from West Werribee to Southern Cross Station and provide separation of metropolitan rail lines from those servicing regional Victoria creating much need additional capacity and reliability on both networks. Pre construction planning, design and engineering works will also start soon on plans for a 17 kilometre, two track East West Rail Tunnel Linking Melbourne’s western suburbs and central business district which will create capacity for an extra120 trains during peak hours, equivalent to 84,000 commuters.
Whether all this will be sufficient to alleviate the current strain on Melbourne’s commuter network, while at the same time accommodating future increases in patronage driven by population growth, is yet to be determined.
Nevertheless, there does seem to be some vision in the way the city is planning for its future rail transport needs, the same of which could unfortunately not be said about Sydney?

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Find the leading rail suppliers all under one roof

The exhibition ensures maximum exposure to the very latest industry products, equipment and technical developments. Providing an excellent opportunity to source new suppliers and catch-up with existing ones, the exhibition is also an occasion to network amongst industry colleagues with more than 3,000 visitors expected to attend the exhibition each day.
Most importantly, the AusRAIL PLUS 2009 exhibition is a FREE event – exhibition visitors and conference delegates can attend for free.
The exhibition opens at 10am today and finishes the day with Networking Exhibition Drinks kicking off at 5.30pm. Delegates and exhibitors are invited to meet over fine food and beverages within the exhibition hall with 1200-1800 people expected to attend.
The current economic climate has by no means put a dampener on the AusRAIL PLUS exhibition – it has gone from strength to strength and this year includes more exhibitors than ever.
With more than 200 industry exhibitors showcasing Australian and international rail expertise, this year’s exhibition has seen a record number of international companies involved. With the international recession hitting hard around the world, a number of overseas rail organisations are currently launching, or considering launching in Australia, and have clearly recognised the rare and important opportunities that the AusRAIL PLUS exhibition provides.
After last year’s exceptional results, exhibition seminars will be held over the next three days with exhibition visitors welcome to attend the 12 free presentations to be given by world-leading rail companies. Seminars also provide delegates that are attending the AusRAIL PLUS conference with an alternative to the event’s plenary sessions and afternoon technical streams.
Today’s first seminar will start at 1.30pm – Siemens’ Peter Wagner will be presenting on the electrification of suburban networks. The rest of today’s seminars will be given by representatives from Bombardier Transportation, Downer EDI and United Rail Group.
Wednesday’s presentation, to be given by Ansaldo STS’ Antonio Lancia, will feature an industry first – the company’s Train Conformity Check System. The day’s final seminar, ‘Project optimisation, the benefits of early construction input into project development’, will be presented by John Holland’s Adam Morris.
Thursday’s first seminar starting at 11am, to be given by Laing O’Rourke’s David Howarth, will be a highlight of the day. He will be discussing the management of Australia’s biggest rollingstock project to date – the $1 billion CityRail upgrade.
All visitors are welcome to pick up a comprehensive AusRAIL PLUS exhibition and conference guide that features detailed information on all exhibitors including their products, services and company information, as well as an exhibition floor plan, and a guide to the free seminars.
Visitors can also pick up one of the many national and international industry publications from free ‘pick up points’ throughout the exhibition hall. There’s also time to relax and catch up on the latest news at the Rail Express internet cafe.
Historically, the AusRAIL PLUS exhibition grows by 25-30 per cent biannually and is so popular that it is launched for sale two years in advance, with 50 per cent sold before the doors close on the current show!
Contact Deborah Bocock for more information: +61 2 9080 4348 or deborah.bocock@informa.com.au

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