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Sydney - Newcastle high speed rail

Started by ozbob, January 02, 2022, 00:46:05 AM

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ozbob

Dailey Telegraph --> Sydney to Newcastle in under an hour: Labor's pitch for high-speed rail $

QuoteTravel between Sydney and Newcastle would be slashed to just 45 minutes under a Labor proposal for a high-speed rail line to be unveiled by Anthony Albanese on Sunday.

The opposition leader confirmed he will commit to providing $500 million to the ambitious project in his first budget if Labor topples the coalition at the federal election.

Speaking in the Hunter region on Sunday, Mr Albanese will tell a rally that the 250km/h rail line was needed to serve a population set to grow by 200,000 by 2040.

"We've already outlined how our new High Speed Rail Authority will kickstart this nation building project by updating the business case and building on Labor's work from when we were last in government," Mr Albanese will say. ...
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ozbob

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ozbob

SMH --> Labor promises $500m for Sydney to Newcastle leg of future high-speed rail $

QuoteOpposition Leader Anthony Albanese will promise hundreds of millions of dollars for a fast rail link between Sydney and Newcastle if Labor wins the upcoming federal election as part of a plan to start a high-speed rail network along the nation's east coast.

Mr Albanese, who will unveil the plan at a speech on Sunday in the Labor heartland of Newcastle, said a $500 million down payment for the new link between the regional centre and the country's largest capital city would be provided in his first federal budget. The initial funds would help cover the purchase of land in the corridor, planning and early works but the project would require state government involvement. ...
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ozbob

Sent to all outlets:

RAIL Back on Track Welcomes Newcastle-Sydney High-Speed Rail Link ALP Policy

4th January 2022

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web-based community group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport passengers welcomes the Leader of the Australian Labor Party Anthony Albanese MP's policy announcement of a high-speed rail commitment between Sydney, Central Coast and  Newcastle ( https://anthonyalbanese.com.au/our-policies/sydney-to-hunter-fast-rail ).

High speed rail has long been a dream in Australia.  High speed rail means trains traveling at around 250 km/h or more. This is different from fast rail which are speeds up to 160 to 200 km/h.  There is a place for both high speed and fast regional rail in Australia.

The Sydney - Central Coast - Newcastle proposed high speed rail link is the best first location for a high speed rail project for Australia, without doubt.

A key difference between this and previous high-speed rail policy announcements is that real money - $500 million - is on the table and a viable destination within an achievable range of a capital city is being proposed. High speed rail is expensive, and to complete the project will require many billions of dollars, but $500 million will allow for initial planning, some corridor acquisition and early works. Interest rates are the lowest ever seen, which makes financing for projects like this possible.

For too long, the Australian High-Speed Rail debate has focused on competing with air travel for leisure and business travelers.
Competing with planes for this travel demographic is the wrong focus. The real competitive market is not between trains versus planes, but between trains versus highway lanes and the daily commuter.

Trains are  much safer over long distances compared to driving, where fatigue, congestion, and poor road etiquette from other road users all affects the safety of the journey. High speed rail is much quicker as well.

We look forward to further exciting announcements in this area for the upcoming Federal Election.

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org


Reference

Labor leader Anthony Albanese pledges $500m for Sydney-Newcastle fast rail https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-02/anthony-albanese-pledges-sydney-newcastle-fast-rail-funds/100734900
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ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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achiruel

Sounds like yet another election promise that will go nowhere to me.

The reality is, Australia doesn't have the population density to support proper HSR. Faster rail, yes, in the range of 160-200 km/h. That is what we should be aiming for between places like Sydney and Newcastle and Wollongong (and also Brisbane-Gold Coast/Sunshine Coast).

Gazza

I think Labor have always been onboard with HSR, they just dont get elected or stay in government long enough to implement it.

HSR to Newcastle is definitely the #1 corridor IMO. Only 120km as the crow flies from Sydney (For comparison Bendigo is 130km away from Melbourne)
Central to Newcastle takes 2h40m, SX to Bendigo 1h50m


You pick up the Central coast as well with this line, and you'd have flow on benefits for Port Macquarie and Tamworth, since they would be able to connect with fast services in Newcastle for the final leg.

ozbob

Yo Gazza.  I reckon if this doesn't get up, HS rail will never get up in the land down under ...  :hc
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#Metro

I think the population centres are there for this to work.

It's not so much about density as cities will only have one stop and it definitely won't be generating pax from walk-up.

It's more about cost going exponential above 200 km/hr due to the more stringent engineering requirements for HSR. The terrain and maritime features are also extremely challenging - at certain points the existing railway is crossing bridges, diving into tunnels, climbing hills, skirting cliffs, and running along causeways set in water. Not simple!
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ozbob

#10
Sydney Terminal - Gosford - Newcastle Terminal 

That's all folks!



I would expect some services would be express, no stopping at Gosford.

The Newcastle Flyer could be reborn !   ;)
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Gazza

There have been some interesting discussions on HSR over at Skyscraper city.
One idea that repeatedly pops up is initially having the HSR terminal at Sydney Olympic Park, with passengers then connecting to the new metro to reach the CBD (But it would also be very central for a lot of the Sydney basin)
A tunnel to Sydney Terminal could eventually be built, but you avoid that cost up front.

Likely stops would be a Sydney north parkway station at either Macquarie Park or Hornsby.

Id put the central coast station at Tuggerah with interchange to the current line.
You might also do a parkway station for Gosford next to the Pacific Motorway, given the difficulties of getting into Gosford.

Newcastle would have its HSR station at Hexham, with some trains then branching off down the hunter line and terminating at Newcastle interchange.


Beyond Zero Emissions did an awesome report themselves which had a better design than the original study IMO
https://bze.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/high-speed-rail-bze-report-2014.pdf

ozbob

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verbatim9

#13
Even with the HSR Sydney to Newcastle announcement from Albo, I doubt Queenslanders will be voting for that nor Western Australians. Especially if it will take 45 years to get to Brisbane.

Much prefer fast rail up to 180kph from Brisbane to Gold and Sunshine coasts and Toowoomba by 2030. (With an extension to Byron Bay)

Plus further electrification of the line North of Mackay, getting as much freight as possible hauled electrically.

verbatim9

If they said that we will commit to fast rail electric rail and that fast rail can and will be converted to HSR in the future, then people may vote for that?

verbatim9

In regards to a 500 million outlay. Its not really that much in the scheme of getting HSR off that ground. At least 30 billion will be needed to complete the track from Sydney to Newcastle.

verbatim9

HSR will really suck the funds out of much needed improvements for PT in other areas of Australia.


Gazza

Yes but regional areas need funding too. NSW has been very Sydney Centric with its PT expenditure, except for the chatty little tram in Newcastle.

The current 2h 45 min journey to Newcastle (Which is only 120km from Sydney) is in no way acceptable.

Also, in other countries, HSR does not seem to prevent good transport in cities.

verbatim9

Quote from: Gazza on January 04, 2022, 13:25:10 PM
Yes but regional areas need funding too. NSW has been very Sydney Centric with its PT expenditure, except for the chatty little tram in Newcastle.

The current 2h 45 min journey to Newcastle (Which is only 120km from Sydney) is in no way acceptable.

Also, in other countries, HSR does not seem to prevent good transport in cities.
Other countries have bigger populations supporting economic models for HSR.

Canada is in the same boat as Australia vast distances smaller population.

#Metro

#19
QuoteIf they said that we will commit to fast rail electric rail and that fast rail can and will be converted to HSR in the future, then people may vote for that?

In the case of Newcastle, I think this is very unlikely. Even with fast rail a new corridor will be necessary.

It is unwise to create a fast rail corridor and then upgrade it later to HSR. The HSR needs the wider curves, the shallower grades, etcetera, then it needs to be built like that from day one. Failure to do that will mean having to shut down or disrupt rail operations to splice in new bits of track and signaling - a nightmare.

QuoteHSR will really suck the funds out of much-needed improvements for PT in other areas of Australia.

Some people seem to think that a project - any project - is a good thing. Especially if they mention how it will be an 'economic stimulus for X'.

It is not; Generally the benefits must outweigh the costs and there needs to be some value proposition to it.

A dollar spent on one thing is a dollar that cannot be spent on something else (opportunity cost).

Poor spending decisions not only forgoes value creation, but expensive ones can end up degrading the gov't credit rating, increasing borrowing costs.

The Newcastle line has a clear value proposition - you are paying more to get more, and the benefit is that the trip will be much faster than the previous one.

It is aligned to a daily commuter market so there should be a lot of patronage for it.

On the contrary, it would not make sense at all for someone living in Melbourne to daily commute to Sydney. They could just jump on Zoom and do that or get a plane.

This is why I get very skeptical when I hear of $50 billion proposals for HSR doing MEL-SYD-BNE. We already have planes that fly faster than the train will ever go and that can increase capacity with larger aircraft.
Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.

ozbob

Quote from: verbatim9 on January 04, 2022, 13:05:43 PM
If they said that we will commit to fast rail electric rail and that fast rail can and will be converted to HSR in the future, then people may vote for that?

Nope.  HS rail needs a dedicated ROW built to very high standards,  very large radii on curves and not severe grades.

Fast rail is a different beast.  If you are going to do HS rail it needs to be done from the outset.  Not possible to do a track for 160 km/h and then decide to run trains at 300 km/h on it. 
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ozbob

An interesting comment on our Facebook post:

https://www.facebook.com/RAILBackOnTrack/posts/5277388502275294?comment_id=5277837085563769

QuoteFinally. I'm getting a bit disillusioned with a bunch of gunzels, rail and PT fans that see this as a waste, that a gradual improvement is needed or that this is a slap in the face of Victoria. Finally some good commentary.
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Gazza

#22
I think a logically staged project would be the way to go, so long as each stage is SG with 350 km/h curves.

The other thing to keep in mind is that tunnelling and bridges can be much cheaper when not in a CBD environment, and its cheap when you're not doing underground station boxes in prime real estate.
Perth did 9km of tunnel for 2 bil.....

SYD Newcastle is immediately viable, It's not a long distance, the population is large (498,095 in Newcastle Maitland, 337,284 on the central coast.....700k people puts it ahead of the GC)
SYD to Canberra, again, a logical link given 400,000 live in Canberra, 60k in the Southern Highlands, 20k in Goulburn.

From that point on, you can do projects that make sense locally but could eventually form part of a national system.

Upgrading Craigieburn to Seymour (Via a new deviation over the Great divide between Wallan and Broadford) would be a 70km project. Call it Regional Rail Link 2.
The Albury line is already SG and the Shepparton line could become a shuttle with connections to fast services.



From there you might upgrade Seymour to Albury, 200km, but the present line isn't that windy so you could follow the current.

Ditto, the next 100km to Wagga Wagga.

Now, once you are at Wagga Wagga there's only 160km more to build to reach Canberra Junction, which would be viable by that point with good passenger numbers established on the previous stages.

The last stage would be Newcastle to Brisbane, and Australia would probably have several million extra citizens by that point.


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