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Online ozbob

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High Speed Rail
« on: December 27, 2009, 10:28:11 AM »
Canberra Business Council Submissions

High Speed Rail for Australia October 2009- Update on June 2008 Submission

Click --> here!  External PDF
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 06:39:39 PM by ozbob »
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Offline #Metro

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2009, 04:51:20 PM »
Quote
Financing options including the roles of the public and private sectors. As stated earlier, high speed rail stalled in Australia because there was not a clear understanding between the public and private sectors on what their respective funding contributions should be. The range of financing models used overseas should be examined.

Hmm. I'm a bit wary. What has changed since the 1980s? Can they compete with Jetstar which does the same thing for $79?
The reason given above, well the truth might be closer to "the costs simply outweighed the benefits enormously".

The costs and benefits vs alternatives (second Sydney/Brisbane Airport) or opportunity costs were not given.
Nor was a ballpark. Nor did they link the the previous studies.

High speed freight might be an idea though. That hasn't been examined at all.

I'm tempted to recommend that the money (billions) rather be cut into block grants and bid for by the states to improve their own passenger networks. We sure could do with that cash for a whole range of QR Projects, city rail tunnel and upping the frequency right now.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 05:11:47 PM by tramtrain »
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Offline O_128

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2009, 05:20:43 PM »
the study isnt comparing prices with todays prices. think about when fuel becomes more expensive plus other things like the ETS and its very likely air tickets go revert back to 1990s prices.im guessing that the way this will be pushed through is by emphasising on the freight aspect which will make more money.
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Offline Mozz

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2009, 06:10:07 PM »
From where I sit I see the benefits of high speed rail over planes include (just from the top of my head no research done here):

City centre to city centre (planes fly into places outside of city)
Greater timetabling accuracy over planes
More environmentally sustainable (electricity over petroleum)
Less influenced by bad weather
Phone and internet connectivity over the duration of the journey
More comfortable seating arrangements
If it breaks down you just get off.....
Less noise pollution?

There is a wiki on high speed rail here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail

Personally I would love to see a high speed (350kph+) rail:

Sydney to Melbourne
Sydney to Canberra
Sydney to Brisbane

What do others think

Offline #Metro

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2009, 11:00:55 PM »
Quote
the study isnt comparing prices with todays prices. think about when fuel becomes more expensive plus other things like the ETS and its very likely air tickets go revert back to 1990s prices.im guessing that the way this will be pushed through is by emphasising on the freight aspect which will make more money.

Possibly. But IIRC people can opt to offset their carbon for their flight for something like $5-$10.
An ETS would simply make that voluntary payment compulsory. The uncertainty in the ETS and air ticket prices is uncertainty that must also be incorporated into the project proposal. Not having an ETS  or knowing how airlines will react is a big risk because if it doesn't get through or they modify it unfavorably to rail then this billions-of-dollars project could be money wasted.

And if you waste billions, you will be booted out of parliament for sure.

There needs to be a proper justification under different scenarios (business as usual, high airfares, high carbon cost ETS) to figure out how high airfares must be or how expensive carbon must cost to break even or be competitive with the case for rail.
The business council has not provided that.

Environmental: Points on for less carbon emissions, but points off if the route has to run through National parks, forests or other threatened areas.

Precedents:
QR's tilt train runs with very large subsidies ($900/passenger IIRC?) governments don't like that.
Concorde, a supersonic aircraft was simply not viable and shut down despite being able to fly faster than sound.

Lets see the numbers case before we rush to buy the latest, expensive toy!
NB: There is a Melbourne Maglev somewhere down in them links....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail_in_Australia
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/stories/s222532.htm
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Offline Emmie

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2009, 06:04:20 AM »
I think it's significant that this proposal comes from the Canberra business council.  Sydney to Canberra is obviously the first route to be considered for high speed rail.  The road between Sydney and Canberra is choked with highly paid commuters every weekend, the distance between the two cities isn't very great, Sydney airport can't cope with the current number of flights (and should prioritise international flights as a result), etc.

Once you get one line up and running - the TGV in France began with a line between Paris and Lyon - then you can expand to Melbourne.

But the distances are great, and the density of Australia's population will be a problem.  Despite that picture of the TGV in the submission carrying the post, I can't see it as a viable option for freight.  What freight needs to travel at 200+ kph?  How old is that photo anyway?  Whatever happened to email?


Offline O_128

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2009, 07:50:43 AM »
By the time the rail is built here we will probably be looking at 400kph travel times. Also though this is way to early to even talk about about routes. would the best route to brisbane not be via the gold coast? though it would have to be grade seperated and not just connect to the gold coast line. Also it is probably best if each city got a city station but also a station at the airports.
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Offline frereOP

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2009, 03:04:36 PM »
The definitive costing model for high speed rail in Australia was carried out by the VFT (Very Fast Train) consortium headed by Dr Paul Wild in the late 70's early 80's.  The Sydney - Melbourne VFT line via Canberra and Cooma was fully costed and was extremely expensive.  On a simple cost/revenue basis, the project was not viable.  That project included high speed freight and trains were to run every hour with a 3 h trip time between Sydney and Melbourne.

However, the cost/benefit analysis they did went way beyond the simple cost/revenue basis and included a whole range of non-related issues that when added up showed that from a national perspective, not only was the project viable, it was revenue positive for the nation as a whole.  The project relied on freight as well as passenger services to be viable (like the Eurostar "Eurotunnel Shuttle" services) and the ancillary benefits included:-

  • reduction in the number of long distance haulage trucks burning fossil fuels on the Hume Highway along with their maitenance and running costs,
  • reduction in road trauma caused by heavy vehicles and a corresponding reduction in the associated health and rehabilitation costs to the nation,
  • reduction in road damage caused by heavy vehicles (1 semi-trailer = 50,000 cars!) and the savings in road maintenance,
  • and a whole range of other similar inclusions

The proposal was for a feeder service network to deliver freight to the rail head in the same way that air freight is handled.  That freight would be loaded onto the train and would be at the other end in 3 hours where the process was reversed.

The VFT never eventuated because of the huge building costs (estimated at A$8 Billion at the time if I remember correctly), but it means that we are all now paying those ancillary costs which are essentially hidden.  The same arguments exist today.

High speed lines between Newcastle and Sydney and Sydney and Canberra should be the first to be reconsidered in light of these kinds of issues.  Such services will only ever compete with air so long as trip times (city centre to city centre) are comparable or less because of their reliance on business travel.  In Japan, this seems to be about 4h maximum (Tokyo to Osaka) which could preclude Sydney - Brisbane and possibly Sydney - Melbourne high speed rail being competitive with airlines over the entire line.

Online ozbob

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2009, 03:14:09 PM »
Welcome frereOP.  Sorry about the server issues earlier but seems OK now, running along as fast as a VFT!   :)

Yes, I agree Sydney - Canberra is a good route for a very fast train project. 
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Offline O_128

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2009, 03:35:02 PM »
The first china high speed rail route from Wuhan to Guangzhou travels at 350kpm and cost only 19 billion and is a similar length of sydney to melbourne. A ticket cost only $75. The answer is simple. Stuff australian builders bring over the company that built the line in china and let them bring there own builders. The 50 billion that the government is saying this will cost is completly ridiculous.
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Offline Emmie

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2009, 04:17:13 PM »
If you want to stuff Australian builders, O_128, you'll need to stuff Australian property owners as well.  The Chinese can build low cost because they don't pay market rates for resuming land, not just because they pay workers less.

It would be politically impossible to build it on Chinese principles.  The left wouldn't accept labour costs at Chinese rates; the right wouldn't accept property resumptions on Chinese rates.

It's still worth doing, but it would be more sensible to look at European comparisons.

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2009, 05:44:44 PM »
For interest China VFT slide show

Power Point Show click here!  PPS 1.6MB
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Offline #Metro

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2009, 06:34:36 PM »
Quote
If you want to stuff Australian builders, O_128, you'll need to stuff Australian property owners as well.  The Chinese can build low cost because they don't pay market rates for resuming land, not just because they pay workers less.

It would be politically impossible to build it on Chinese principles.  The left wouldn't accept labour costs at Chinese rates; the right wouldn't accept property resumptions on Chinese rates.

Lol! The inelegant truth!

If they want it so badly, perhaps they could pre-fabricate as much as they could, then ship the whole thing to the nearest port and then lay it. Made in China!

Or for $19 billion, invent machines to automate most things.

 ;D Ha ha ha, still laughing about that response...so true.

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Offline O_128

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2009, 06:39:10 PM »
Quote
If you want to stuff Australian builders, O_128, you'll need to stuff Australian property owners as well.  The Chinese can build low cost because they don't pay market rates for resuming land, not just because they pay workers less.

It would be politically impossible to build it on Chinese principles.  The left wouldn't accept labour costs at Chinese rates; the right wouldn't accept property resumptions on Chinese rates.

Lol! The inelegant truth!

If they want it so badly, perhaps they could pre-fabricate as much as they could, then ship the whole thing to the nearest port and then lay it. Made in China!

Or for $19 billion, invent machines to automate most things.

 ;D Ha ha ha, still laughing about that response...so true.


we may aswell it would still be cheaper than letting australians build it.
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Online ozbob

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2009, 08:02:17 AM »
From the Brisbanetimes click here!

China unveils world's fastest train

Quote
China unveils world's fastest train
December 30, 2009

China has unveiled what it bills as the fastest rail link in the world -- a train connecting the modern cities of Guangzhou and Wuhan at an average speed of 350 kilometres an hour.

The super-high-speed train reduces the 1069 kilometre journey to a three hour ride and cuts the previous journey time by more than seven and a half hours, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Work on the project began in 2005 as part of plans to expand a high-speed network aimed at eventually linking Guangzhou, a business hub in southern China near Hong Kong, with the capital Beijing, Xinhua added.

"The train can go 394.2 kilometres per hour, it's the fastest train in operation in the world," Zhang Shuguang, head of the transport bureau at the railways ministry, told Xinhua.

Test runs for the service began earlier in December and the link officially went into service when the first scheduled train left the eastern metropolis of Wuhan on Saturday.

By comparison, the average for high-speed trains in Japan was 243 kilometres per hour while in France it was 277 kilometres per hour, said Xu Fangliang, general engineer in charge of designing the link, according to Xinhua.

Beijing has an ambitious rail development programme aimed at increasing the national network from the current 86,000 kilometres to 120,000 kilometres, making it the most extensive rail system outside the United States.

China unveiled its first high-speed line at the time of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 -- a service linking the capital with the port city of Tianjin.

In September, officials said they planned to build 42 high-speed lines by 2012 in a massive system overhaul as part of efforts to spur economic growth amid the global downturn.

The network uses technology developed in co-operation with foreign firms such as Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom.

AFP
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Offline O_128

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2009, 08:16:16 AM »
From the Brisbanetimes click here!

China unveils world's fastest train

Quote
China unveils world's fastest train
December 30, 2009

China has unveiled what it bills as the fastest rail link in the world -- a train connecting the modern cities of Guangzhou and Wuhan at an average speed of 350 kilometres an hour.

The super-high-speed train reduces the 1069 kilometre journey to a three hour ride and cuts the previous journey time by more than seven and a half hours, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Work on the project began in 2005 as part of plans to expand a high-speed network aimed at eventually linking Guangzhou, a business hub in southern China near Hong Kong, with the capital Beijing, Xinhua added.

"The train can go 394.2 kilometres per hour, it's the fastest train in operation in the world," Zhang Shuguang, head of the transport bureau at the railways ministry, told Xinhua.

Test runs for the service began earlier in December and the link officially went into service when the first scheduled train left the eastern metropolis of Wuhan on Saturday.

By comparison, the average for high-speed trains in Japan was 243 kilometres per hour while in France it was 277 kilometres per hour, said Xu Fangliang, general engineer in charge of designing the link, according to Xinhua.

Beijing has an ambitious rail development programme aimed at increasing the national network from the current 86,000 kilometres to 120,000 kilometres, making it the most extensive rail system outside the United States.

China unveiled its first high-speed line at the time of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 -- a service linking the capital with the port city of Tianjin.

In September, officials said they planned to build 42 high-speed lines by 2012 in a massive system overhaul as part of efforts to spur economic growth amid the global downturn.

The network uses technology developed in co-operation with foreign firms such as Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom.

AFP

Lets hope the Australian system sources these trains.
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Online ozbob

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2010, 09:05:32 AM »
Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
Media Release  31st of December 2009
http://cecaust.com.au/main.asp?sub=releases&id=2009_12_31_NYE.html

A new year's revolution: Build the high speed Australian ring rail

“In this New Year, Australia must urgently take a lead from the Chinese, and build a high speed rail network to conquer Australia’s ‘tyranny of distance’ and open up vast areas of Australia for future economic development,” Citizens Electoral Council leader Craig Isherwood said today.

Mr Isherwood said that China has just commenced a regular, scheduled train service on the high‑speed railway between central China’s Wuhan and the southern coast city of Guangzhou (formerly, the British Canton). The 1069‑kilometre journey, which used to take 10.5 hours, can be now completed in three hours. The train’s average speed was 350 kilometres per hour, reaching at one point a speed of 394 km/h. For comparison, the average speed for high‑speed trains in Japan is 243 km/h and in France, 277 km/h.

“This would be brilliant technology for Australia!” exclaimed Mr Isherwood.

“In 2010, we need to start building Professor Lance Endersbee’s 1997 proposal for an Australian Ring Rail, which is a rail system to connect Melbourne through inland Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, to Darwin, and then from Darwin to Perth, Western Australia. His proposal means that we could take a trip from Melbourne to Darwin, via inland towns of Shepparton (Vic), Dubbo (NSW), Narrabri (NSW), Moree (NSW), Roma (Qld), Charleville (Qld) through to Darwin, a distance of about 4,000 kilometres in around 11 hours.

“Australia with its large open plains means that, even without improvements in technology, these high speed trains could develop a higher average speed than the Chinese are achieving now. And, we have not even discussed the potential for magnetic levitation train systems which travel even faster!

“Lance Endersbee designed the Ring Rail as a new fast freight system to service the growing trade between Australia and East and Southeast Asia with seven key objectives which would increase the potential for real growth in Australia’s physical economy:

    * Access for Australian traders to the busy Asian maritime network;
    * access for Australian rural industries to Asian markets and supermarkets through regular, fast deliveries to major Asian centres;
    * quicker deliveries by Australian manufactures to Asian industries and markets;
    * rail access to the large oil and gas resources of the Timor Sea;
    * rail connections within the Ring Rail to assist the development of metal smelting and refining (so we don’t just ship raw materials overseas!);
    * the continuing development of northern Australia, with national benefits overall;
    * national integration of economic activity.

“Australian leaders are pathetic on real national building projects”, Mr Isherwood declared.

“In September, Chinese officials said they planned to build 42 high‑speed rail lines by 2012 with a total length of 12,920 kilometres as part of efforts to spur economic growth. When completed the high‑speed rail lines will service areas including about 90% of China’s population. This is part of an ambitious rail development program aimed at increasing the national network from the current 85,295 kilometres to 120,700.”

Mr Isherwood stated, “Building the Australia Ring Rail is a crucially important, genuine nation building step, which must be combined with the other urgent measures I outlined in my 10th December webcast for Australia’s mission:

“We must break from the British Commonwealth and its anti‑development, raw material‑looting policies that have destroyed our physical economy; dump the foreign Queen as our head of state and establish a true republic, and then nationalise our huge raw materials deposits; and using major rail infrastructure, establish new farms and industries to export manufactured goods and produce into Asia.”
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Jon Bryant

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2010, 11:33:52 AM »
All for this but we must build the inland rail line first to get our freight off the roads.  This will reduce the deaths on roads and the blinkered belief that we must build more freeways for freight.  Then we can afford to build VFT lines along the coastline.

Offline O_128

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2010, 12:44:08 PM »
All for this but we must build the inland rail line first to get our freight off the roads.  This will reduce the deaths on roads and the blinkered belief that we must build more freeways for freight.  Then we can afford to build VFT lines along the coastline.

I agree but why not just have spurs off the main line to the major cities then.
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Offline #Metro

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2010, 02:47:14 PM »
Er what?
What are people's opinions with the Adelaide-Darwin rail line that cuts through the middle of the country.
What happened with that project, and demand for their services. If anyone has info on that could they post it, it might be a good yardstick to compare with.
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Online ozbob

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2010, 08:29:02 AM »
From the Courier Mail click here!

Our leaders are loco

Quote
Our leaders are loco
Article from: The Courier-Mail

Mike O'Connor

January 10, 2010 11:00pm

INFRASTRUCTURE - it will be the mantra of the decade to come. Politicians' speech notes bubbling with promises to build it, buy it, or, in the peculiar case of Queensland, sell it.

The road toll will also spawn endless pontification by our elected leaders, which we will be able to watch on television monitors in airport lounges as we wait for delayed flights after shuffling through full body scanners and having our hand luggage searched.

There is, however, a partial solution to these woes, one that would happily fall within the "nation building" philosophy so beloved by our leaders, one that would be as successful as it would be popular.

The Chinese know it and are building them all over the country, the Americans are playing catch-up and spending billions to get a program in place, while the Europeans and Japanese have appreciated their worth for decades. They are high-speed trains. Australia is crying out for a service linking Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne although, given that we are incapable of building a light rail link between Queen St and West End, it would be a brave soul who would dream of boarding a train in Brisbane and arriving at Sydney's Central Station five hours later.

Instead, we will be forced to endure the killing fields of the Pacific and Hume highways and the crush, frustrations, inefficiencies and pure discomfort that now so often attend air travel.

It would be a grand and challenging scheme but one that other countries have accepted as essential to their continuing prosperity and economic development.

So why not us?

Last month, China opened a high-speed rail line between Wuhan and Guangzhou. It travels for 1068km, roughly the distance between Brisbane and Sydney, and was built over four years at a cost of about $16 billion. The train has been timed at 394km/h but at more moderate operational speeds, the journey takes four hours.

Over the next three years, China will build 42 high-speed passenger lines covering 13,000km and at the end of the year will open the jewel in the crown, a 1318km line between Beijing and Shanghai which will cut the journey time from 14 hours to five.

A few months ago, I boarded a train in Madrid, Spain, and two hours and 40 minutes later alighted in Barcelona, having covered 620km.

Sitting in my pre-booked first-class seat sipping a glass of local wine as the Spanish countryside rolled by, I glanced up at the digital speedometer in the cabin which sat stubbornly at 299kmh before finally clicking over to 300km/h and staying there.

There was no queuing, no cab rides to distant airports. Just a short trip to the station, where I walked on board, put my suitcase in a rack where it was accessible during the journey and then settled back and enjoyed the scenery.

There are now 13 countries running high-speed rail networks and 11 more with programs under development.

As Prime Minister Kevin Rudd lectures the electorate on climate change, he would do well to note data released by the International Rail Union, which represents train operators, showing that high-speed trains are 550 per cent more energy-efficient than planes, 430 per cent more efficient than cars and 300 per cent more so than buses. Also, planes emit 425 per cent more CO2 and cars 350 per cent more.

The IRU also points out that there are significant social advantages, such as fewer road accidents and less air and noise pollution.

High-speed trains are not an innovation. They've been running in Japan for 45 years and France for 30 years. But successive Australian governments have looked the other way, a blinkered approach surely applauded in the boardrooms of trucking and airline companies.

Philippe Mellier, the head of Alstom Transport, which is one of the world's leading train manufacturers, says high-speed trains are the way of the future.

"The fundamentals are going to stay for the long term – energy security, the environment and the need to contain the (economic) crisis," Mellier says.

"It is big money – billions and for long periods – and it is highly political. The person taking the decision to buy is often a politician with an electoral mandate lasting, at best, five years and who will never cut the ribbon on the new train.

"You need political courage to say I am going to invest billions and I am not going to benefit politically from the result."

Virgin's Richard Branson is interested in operating a high-speed train and the chairman of Fiat is an investor in the latest generation of the French AGV train.

"You have talented and shrewd businesspeople coming into rail, on the one hand from the airline industry and on the other hand, from the car industry. This is a strong signal," Mellier says.

It is a signal that has been seen and acknowledged by much of the developed world but one which in Australia, with its petty-minded premiers and "next election" federal leaders, is destined to be ignored.
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Offline nikko

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2010, 12:27:50 PM »
Having used the JR network quite a bit while in Japan I can say that high speed rail would be a Godsend.

The best thing about HSR is that unlike air travel, you can connect smaller towns and regional centres along the journey and in a sense creating Transit Oriented Developments on a much lager, national scale. Perhaps we would see a move away from 90% of the Aus population inhabiting 10% of the continent if it were cheap, quick and easy to travel intra and interstate.

Offline #Metro

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2010, 04:39:24 PM »
I would think the Melbourne-Sydney corridor would be first.
But need to see the financial case...
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Online ozbob

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2010, 06:36:02 PM »
From the Railway Gazette click here!

US Center for High-Speed Rail launched

Quote
US Center for High-Speed Rail launched
11 January 2010
California hgh speed train impression.

USA: The American Public Transportation Association has launched a Center for High-Speed Rail, aiming to 'advance and promote high-speed rail in the United States.' Announced on January 8, this will build on the work of APTA's existing High-Speed & Intercity Rail and Legislative committees.

'With the impending announcement by the Obama administration on the distribution of the first federal high speed rail funds, the establishment now of the Center for High-Speed Rail will bring together the expertise of its members and APTA's education and advocacy resources to realise the vision of high-speed rail in the United States', said APTA President William Millar.

In 2006 the High-Speed Ground Transportation Association advocacy group merged with APTA, which has represented the North American public transport industry since 1882.

APTA said it is also working with other industry groups to support high-speed rail, including the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, the States for Passenger Rail Coalition and the International Union of Railways.
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Online ozbob

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2010, 09:54:07 AM »
From the Courier Mail 29th January 2010 page 39

On track for a high-speed future for the east coast



 :-t :-c
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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2010, 01:42:09 PM »
Chris Hale is a must for the Citizen PT Forum.  He is a great proponent of PT and rail in general :-t

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2010, 05:44:58 PM »
From the Brisbane mX 29th January 2010 page one

Get rail up to speed

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Online ozbob

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2010, 06:41:04 PM »
From the Railway Gazette click here!

Obama names inter-city rail projects to share $8bn

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Obama names inter-city rail projects to share $8bn
28 January 2010

USA: President Obama announced the high speed and inter-city rail projects which will share $8bn of federal funding during a visit to Tampa, Florida, on January 28.

States and local communities were able to compete for the money which was announced in April 2009 as part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act $787bn economic stimulus package. It has now been allocated to 13 'corridor' investments for the development of 'high speed' rail infrastructure or start of upgrading with a view to future faster running, plus a series of smaller grants for localised improvements and project planning. Money will go to 31 states plus Washington DC.

The bulk of the money has been allocated to large-scale projects, including high speed lines in California and Florida; there is $1·25bn towards the proposed 270 km/h Tampa - Orlando line, and $2·25bn for California's project to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco at up to 350 km/h

'We're connecting cities that are too close for efficient air travel but - with the highways connecting these cities nearly choked beyond capacity - too far for productive road travel', US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood explained on his blog. 'Cities like St Louis and Chicago. We know that people already want to travel between these cities; we're here to begin making that downtown-to-downtown travel significantly easier, faster, and more productive.'
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Offline frereOP

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2010, 09:56:23 AM »
There are some options for HSR.  Firstly, the most viable lines need to be built first and this could include less expesive upgrades to existing rail lines.  eg the main southern line between Sydney and Melbourne runs over almost flat gound between Wagga and Seymore.  However, between Sydney and Wagga, it winds endlessly at snail's pace around hills that were too difficult to tunnel though when the line was built between 1850 and 1880 (eg the Bethungra loop as much as an engineering marvel as it was).  Simply straightening out these curves and addressing gradient issues would go a long way to provide potential for much higher speeds using conventional tilt-train (TGV, ICE or Pendalino) technology.   This would also reduce the length of the line by several hundred kilometres (read greenhouse gas savings) especially if the line was electrified from Campbelltown to Melbourne including the spur from Goulburn to Canberra.
 
Tilt trains such as the Virgin's Pendolinos can run at high speed (~250kph) on existing lines and this would be an option for Sydney-Canberra and Sydney-Newcastle for example.  This would be a short term solution pending building dedicated high speed lines linked into the existing rail infrastructure networks (ala TGV and ICE) rather than building an entire dedicated high speed network such as the Shinkansen network.

Offline mufreight

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2010, 08:27:52 PM »
Upgrades for existing lines is a series of compromises and eventually results in a system that is less than optimal and costs far more.
Better to construct from scratch selected sections that are built to the optimal standards such as the entry exit for Sydney with links to the existing system, to exit Sydney at 350 kph instead of the present 75kph average at present as far as Cambletown would greatly reduce the transit times to Canberra as a start.
Slow trains can readily operate over a high speed alignment but not the reverse.
Yes the original concept for the VFT operation between Sydney and Melbourne via Canberra catered for the operation of high speed freight intermodal services and as such it was estimated would have taken almost 50% of then existing freight between Sydney and Melbourne off road.

Offline johnnigh

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2010, 02:33:29 PM »
It's a long forgotten fact that most railway building in the 19th century was done not because shipping goods and people was going to be profitable itself, but because the speculators putting up the money were selling lots of land along the railway alignment. The two continental railroads that spanned the 'wild west' in the third quarter of the 19th C determined where the towns were going to be, and opened up land to farmers that had previously been only worth running cattle on. But also made more money for cattle as they were then able to ship stock to Chicago quickly. That song from "Oklahoma", 'the farmer and the cowman can be friends' skated over some of the conflicts the railways created.

But it was land speculation that made the money! Is anyone surprised?

The Sydney/Melbourne VFT that nearly got up back in the late 1980s/early 90s had either to be given a huge subsidy by the taxpayer or the right to land development within 100m of the track either side (if I remember rightly). The project collapsed when neither was granted.

Offline frereOP

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2010, 09:12:50 PM »
How long is it since a new main line railway was built in Australia?  Yes I know the Adelaide Darwin line was built a few years ago and Bob Hawke's (IIRC) pledge to link all Australian capitals by standard gauge  track (hello Hobart!), but I mean main line (not suburban) linking major population centres?
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 07:45:17 AM by frereOP »

Offline #Metro

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2010, 09:31:38 PM »
NSW http://www.artc.com.au/Content.aspx?p=56
National http://www.artc.com.au/Content.aspx?p=14

Plenty of railways, but mainly for coal and iron ore.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 09:35:07 PM by tramtrain »
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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2010, 05:40:59 PM »
How long is it since a new mail line railway was built in Australia?  Yes I know the Adelaide Darwin line was built a few years ago and Bob Hawke's (IIRC) pledge to link all Australian capitals by standard gauge  track (hello Hobart!), but I mean main line (not suburban) linking major population centres?
Depends entirely on how you define it.  If you are excluding Alice Springs-Darwin, then you could count standardisation of Mel-Adl in the 90s, Ulan coal line in the 80s, Tarcoola-Alice Springs railway in 1980, Mel-Albury standard gauge line in the 60s, Broken Hill-Adl line in the 60s, Casino-Brisbane line in 1930, although that was only really completed with the removal of the Grafton ferry in the 50s, I think.  I can't see any measure which could exclude the connection of Sydney and Brisbane by the coastal route.

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2010, 08:00:21 AM »
From the Sydney Morning Herald click here!

China to build high-speed rail link to Europe

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China to build high-speed rail link to Europe
NICKY PHILLIPS AND ANDREW WEST
March 10, 2010

THE journey from London to Beijing by rail could take just two days under a Chinese plan to build an international network for trains that can travel almost as fast as aircraft.

Three networks are planned, with the Britain to China route to be extended to Singapore, and built within a decade.

Passengers on a second route would travel to the north of China and through Russia and on to Germany, where the network would join the European railway system.

A third network would extend south through Vietnam, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia, the London newspaper The Daily Telegraph reports. The trains are expected to travel at more than 320 km/h.

''We are aiming for the trains to run almost as fast as aeroplanes,'' a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering said.

Last year China unveiled the world's fastest train, the Harmony Express, which can reach 350 km/h.

High-speed rail networks exist in Japan and Europe, but not in Australia.

The chief executive of the research group CRC for Rail Innovation, David George, said high-speed rail was a well-established technology and it was time Australia had an in-depth look at using it.

The chief executive of the Australasian Railway Association, Bryan Nye, said Australia already had the market for Asian-style high-speed rail, especially in the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane corridor. He said China recently tested a train at 380 km/h and had made a 1000-kilometre journey in two hours 50 minutes.

''If we could get a Sydney-Melbourne trip to three hours, or just under, it would be worthwhile and competitive,'' he said.

David George agreed. ''By the time you've gone to the airport and struggled through the traffic, booked in advance and then sat around, a three-hour journey between Sydney and Melbourne or Sydney and Brisbane starts to look very attractive.''

He said high-speed rail was not just a technology for First World countries.

''Poland, Saudi Arabia, Morocco are seriously looking at, or introducing high-speed rail.''

Australia needed to build extra rail capacity, he said.

''[Our] urban rail networks and many of [our] freight networks need extra capacity.''

A high-speed rail system could be ''transformational'' in terms of its impact, he said.
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Offline ButFli

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2010, 12:00:04 PM »
A flight between Beijing and London is about 10 hours. If the train is "almost as fast as" a plane, why does it take "just" two days?

Offline frereOP

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2010, 10:23:55 PM »
The CRC for Rail Innovation has released a report on the economics of HSR in Australia.  Copies of the report can be downloaded from their web site at http://www.railcrc.net.au/publications/downloads/R1109-High-Speed-Rail-Ausralian-ContextFV.pdf.

It makes great (if not somewhat laborious) reading and provides a balanced analysis of the viability of HSR in Australia.

Offline #Metro

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2010, 11:50:44 PM »
It looks OK.

The distance between Canberra and Sydney is about the distance between Noosa Heads and Tweed Heads.
The European trains seem worthwhile when the routes are short and the times are similar to that of aircraft,
so the Canberra-Sydney proposal might just work. Something like this should be looked at for connecting North Queensland, or upgrades to the Tilt train. Currently, tilt train is rather slow it is about the same speed as QR Citytrain I think.

Actually, I was a bit surprised at the construction costs per km.
But this is all overseas- it would be interesting to see the costs for the australian context.
The report has estimates in the range of 19-48 million/km.

For comparison, the Eastern Busway (Buranda to Coorparoo) is going to cost approximately half a billion dollars ($465.8 million) to travel 1005 meters

Not sure about the other connections proposed though. They don't seem very worthwhile in my mind...

http://download.translink.com.au/busways/eastern/090501_changereport.pdf
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 11:52:57 PM by tramtrain »
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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2010, 10:03:15 AM »
For comparison, the Eastern Busway (Buranda to Coorparoo) is going to cost approximately half a billion dollars ($465.8 million) to travel 1005 meters
Wow, that doesn't sound like good bang/buck.  Remember though that the Varsity Lakes extension cost a similar amount to go about 4.1km mostly above ground (although a 300m tunnel), and several roads.

Online ozbob

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Re: High Speed Rail
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2010, 10:09:13 AM »
High cost for both projects reflects the high price for property redemptions and for the VL extensive works in fixing up old dump site if I recall correctly.
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