Photo gallery and video: Australia's 400km/h high-speed train concept

By David Flynn, June 8 2011
Photo gallery and video: Australia's 400km/h high-speed train concept

As airlines around the world face increasing competition from superfast train services for short-range travel, an Australian firm has thrown its thinking-cap into the ring with a bullet-train capable of hurtling between cities at up to 400 kilometres per hour – that's almost 250 mph in the old currency.

Created by Melbourne branch of Australian design firm Hassell, the futuristic concept comes ahead of the Federal Government's release in July of a $20 million feasibility study into a national high-speed rail network.

Dubbed the Australian High Speed Vehicle or A-HSV, in a nod to Australia's iconic Holden Monaro HSV high-performance car, running at top speeds on a purpose-built dedicated track the train could sprint between Sydney and Melbourne (which happens to be the world's fourth busiest air route) in less than three hours.

Hassell's out-there imaginings go well beyond the conventional dining car to a convenience store. The double-decker carriages adopt a modern and spacious open-plan design for passengers, along with private berths for business meetings or those who just want to work without interruption.

That said, it reminds us of the spacious lounge areas, bars and even in-flight gyms originally planned for the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 before the commercial reality of fitting a maximum number of bums on seats took hold.

So let's not hold our breath on any government having the sense to invest in high-speed rail to begin with, let alone the end product in some 10+ years' time looking much like these pretty pictures. But as far as pictures go, they're very pretty indeed... as is this two-minute video clip produced by Hassell to showcase their concept train.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


15 Apr 2011

Total posts 580

Not sure what's going to happen with this... If these things are fast enough to match or beat the time it takes to fly, and undercut the price then sure...

Just make sure that there is a sophisticated Business car, with something like an airline lounge with sofas, workspaces, a bar etc. Win the business market and you make this thing viable... You do that through speed and comfort... 

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2540

Agreed - while I don't have high hopes of seeing a national high-speed rail network come about, nor of a three-hour SYD-MEL journey (I think four hours is more likely), a key to this project would be catering to the business-class market - a great carriage with workspace, wireless Internet, decent meals included, maybe even a dedicated taxi rank at the arrival station with cars waiting for only those who can show a biz-class ticket, so that's another time-safer you get for your money. Oh, and a frequent flyer trainer (?) scheme! 


24 Oct 2010

Total posts 177

Yes, well, if the NSW Government can't do a ticketing system a decade on, I don't hold high hopes for Australia's ability to put bullet trains on the tracks, but I would love it if we did!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 502

Oh I thought they were recently plans announced but seems like this has been around for a lot longer than I had thought.

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