Queensland UTC +10
Terms of use Privacy About us Media Contact

Links

Author Topic: Relative costs of rail per kilometre - WA and the rest  (Read 2298 times)

Offline Emmie

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 214
Relative costs of rail per kilometre - WA and the rest
« on: March 26, 2009, 05:59:50 PM »
Hi All - you may be interested in the following article that appeared today in the Crikey.com.au newsletter.  It's written from a NSW perspective - but the same story is true for Queensland.  Why can't we have something equivalent to the Perth to Mandurah system, complete with feeder buses??

Why rail projects in NSW cost three times as much as they should
Gavin Gatenby, co-convenor of public transport advocacy group EcoTransit Sydney, writes:
NSW Premier Nathan Rees has his hand out for billions in federal funding for Sydney public transport projects, but the gurus at Infrastructure Australia should be asking some hard questions because something seems terribly wrong with the cost of rail construction in NSW.

I was in Perth recently, so I took a ride down to Mandurah on the city?s new southern rail line. It?s a 72 kilometre, 45 minute trip to the coastal growth centre where the trains are met by specially fitted shuttle buses that whisk you to the waterfront precinct in five minutes. It was all very nicely done and the engineering standards are high. As a longstanding and very frustrated Sydney public transport campaigner I could only envy Perth?s achievement.

A few days later I had a couple of chardonnays with Alannah MacTiernan, WA?s shadow minister for strategic infrastructure who was, while minister for planning and infrastructure in the last Labor government, responsible for pushing the project through in 48 months.

"Congratulations Alannah! Spiffy line," I said. "What did it set you back?"

"About $1.3 billion," she replied.

Either I?d misheard her, or she was losing it. Conditioned by the NSW experience, I was certain nobody could build rail that cheap.

Later, I got Alannah to dig out the final cost figures, and it turns out that the Mandurah line actually came in for $1.22 billion. The Sandgropers got a double track rail line for $17 million a kilometre.

This was a revelation. I was reminded of a remark by former NSW Transport Minister John Watkins when EcoTransit Sydney met with him in August last year: "One thing I?ve learned in this job is that everything to do with rail is a lot more expensive than you think it?s going to be."

Indeed. When the go-ahead for NSW RailCorp?s proposed 13 kilometre line to Sydney?s south-west growth centre was announced in June last year (characteristically, it?s since been indefinitely deferred) the estimated cost was $1.36 billion -- more than the price of the Mandurah line. How could a simple 13 kilometre project over unchallenging greenfield terrain with just two new stations, a stabling yard, reconstruction of Glenfield station and connections to the Southern Line possibly set the taxpayer back $106 million per kilometre?

Offline SteelPan

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 704
Re: Relative costs of rail per kilometre - WA and the rest
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2009, 02:31:29 PM »
Much rail in Australia, certainly NSW and QLD, is SHOCKINGLY EXPENSIVE.  But, in those two states, you are dealing with major over-priced, over-egoed and out-of-date rail establishments.  Empire supporting does not come cheap!  :-w
If urban rail was a sports stadium - there'd be a station on every corner!  Keep it LOUD for Pro-Rail!  :pr

Offline O_128

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2591
Re: Relative costs of rail per kilometre - WA and the rest
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2009, 05:34:43 PM »
Why not actually tender the rail projects interstate and over seas instead of giving projects straight to trackstar alliance. also how come it takes something  like 50mins to get to beenleigh on a gold coast train which is only 40KM am i  missing something or a Perth trains faster
"Where else but Queensland?"

Offline stephenk

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1397
  • Location: Land of reality
Re: Relative costs of rail per kilometre - WA and the rest
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2009, 07:32:34 PM »
Why not actually tender the rail projects interstate and over seas instead of giving projects straight to trackstar alliance. also how come it takes something  like 50mins to get to beenleigh on a gold coast train which is only 40KM am i  missing something or a Perth trains faster

The Beenleigh Line (and much of the CityTrain network) has many sharp curves, which reduces the average speed. Thus it is no surprise that the Mandurah Line which was built with large curve radii to modern standards will have a much faster average speed.
Evening peak service to Enoggera* 2007 - 7tph
Evening peak service to Enoggera* 2010 - 4tph
* departures from Central between 16:30 and 17:30.

Offline mufreight

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2994
Re: Relative costs of rail per kilometre - WA and the rest
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2009, 04:57:23 PM »
Mario, must go on the defence of Trackstar Alliance, they can only build or rebuild what they are instructed and funded to do.
The inflated cost are a result of the many levels of bureaucracy involved in such projects in this state, all of whom seem to have to justify their existence by requiring reports, evaluations and assessments, often duplicated by consulyants and all of which cost both time and money and are frequently duplicated again as the project moves from one level of authority to another.
Due to this overkill for the sake of political expediency the actual construction costs might well be only half of the total costs of a project.
As an indication of the disparity in costs compare the costs of the construction of 13.7km of new double track on the Caboolture to Landsborough project with the costs of the construction of the 4 km section of double track from Robina to Varsity Lakes of $324,000,000 with the cost of construction of 13.7km of double track between Caboolture and Beerburrum which I understand has been in the vicinity of $298,000,000
Both projects have been carried out by Trackstar as is the Corinda to Darra project, there is no question as to the standards of the work carried out and by being carried out by contractors based within Australia there is a considerable ecenomic benefit to the state which effectively reimburses the state some of the costs of these projects.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 05:33:01 PM by mufreight »

 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 


“You can't understand a city without using its public transportation system.” -- Erol Ozan