Railway Digest March 2018 E-Copy

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RD March 2018 Blurb

Perth Stadium Opens
With much fanfare, Perth’s new Optus Stadium was officially opened on Sunday 21 January, by WA Premier, Mark McGowan. While stadium access and tours on the day were available only to holders of pre-booked tickets, the adjacent Perth Stadium railway station was open to all. David Whiteford took advantage of this to take a good look at the new facilities on offer.

Trainline 5: A Summary
Each year the Commonwealth Bureau of Transport, Infrastructure, and Regional Economics (BITRE), and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) co-publish a statistical report on the Australian rail industry called Trainline. The latest edition, Trainline 5, was released in November 2017. As usual, this latest report contains a remarkable array of information regarding the current state of Australia’s rail industry. Author, Rodney Avery, presents a summary of Trainline 5’s key findings.

North West Frontier – Revisited: Part two
At the close of part one of Alan Graham’s tale (in the February 2018 RD) we left him spending time with the FMG port shunters at Port Hedland, after a planned cab ride to Cloudbreak failed to eventuate. Finally, on Friday, Alan has his ride – aboard SD70-716 and SD90-904 hauling 244 empty ore cars – and gains some fascinating insights into the line’s operation.

Where to for intercity passenger rail travel?
Max Michell looks at the outcome, and ponders the future, of the contrasting strategies adopted by NSW and Victoria in regard to longer-distance commuting rail. While NSW has provided significant capacity and improved train quality over a long period, but achieved little in the way of improved train transit speeds since the 1980s, Victoria has taken a more holistic view and improved tracks and infrastructure and acquired progressively better trains, thereby achieving some notable outcomes by Australian standards.

The Byron Bay solar-powered train
In our February issue we reported on the official opening of the ground-breaking solar-powered rail service at Byron Bay, on the NSW far north coast. This month, rail engineer, James Chuang takes a more detailed look at this remarkable operation.