Sydney-Melbourne in three hours on 350km/h, $200bn bullet train

By David Flynn , July 14 2016
Sydney-Melbourne in three hours on 350km/h, $200bn bullet train

It's the Aussie bullet train which would let you travel between Sydney and Melbourne in under three hours, hurtling along a dedicated high-speed line at speeds up to 350km/h.

The cost? A whopping $200 billion.

The pitch? Built by a private consortium and funded by land development along the 900km rail corridor, it wouldn't cost tax-payers a red cent.

That's the ambitious vision of Melbourne-based Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA), which today unveilled its grand vision to the public.

In addition to its hubs at Sydney and Melbourne, and a spur line to Canberra, CLARA plans to establish stations at eight new 'inland cities' along the route near regional towns such as Goulburn, Yass Valley and Shepparton.

Land at each of the eight 'greenfield development' sites has already ­been secured by CLARA under option agreements signed with land owners.

This would trigger a sale "on condition that we pass the regulatory milestones that we need, which is basically having a mandate from the state government in return for us to provide the rail and civil infrastructure,” says CLARA chairman Nick Cleary.

“They (the new cities) will be stand-alone, sustainable, smart and designed from the Internet up," built to a compact scale with "a design focus is on liveability and connectivity."

The development of those cities would provide a financial funnel through which CLARA would pay for the high-speed lines, trains and stations, with land bought for $1,000 per lot could be transformed into housing developments worth up to $150,000.

CLARA is positioning the high-speed network as both a work of nation-building infrastructure and "a decentralisation program."

“The train allows for the cities to be viable, and the cities make the train viable," Clearly explains.

"Imagine living over 200km from the CBD of Sydney or Melbourne and being able to commute to the city inside 30 minutes. That is the game changer that High Speed Rail offers."

World's best fast train tech

CLARA has shortlisted three "world's best" high-speed rail technologies.

Japan's Super Conducting Magnetic Levitation Train "remains the most advanced and fastest HSR option in the world today", the group says of the 500km/h bullet train, which at that speed would see a non-stop Sydney-Melbourne service of just under two hours.

France's TGV also gets a guernsey, operating "at the highest speeds in conventional train service in the world" by clocking a standard 320km/h on many routes.

China's burgeoning HSR network, which now spans over 19,000km of track, uses trains which "can reach operational speeds of up to 380km/h, although all trains have had their operating speed reduced to 300km/h."

Photo gallery: China's Beijing-Shanghai bullet train

Building the Aussie bullet train network

Turning farmland into superfast rail lines would be done in stages.

The proposed leg from Melbourne to the Shepparton region – costed at $13 billion and involving two new 'second-tier cities' near Strathbogie and Shepparton – first cab off the rank, "with the high speed rail connection and first stage of the new cities online within a decade" according to CLARA.

Attention would then turn to the NSW side of the network, with the line spearing south from Sydney as a further six new cities were developed, with the aim of the full Sydney-Melbourne line being operational by the 2040s.

CLARA has already met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is believed to be enthusiastic over the self-funding project.

However, Turnbull is be the latest in a line of Prime Ministers to back a high-speed link, stretching back to Bob Hawke.

The route has barely changed, although the technology has certainly advanced – but the ever-skyrocketing costs and concerns over economic viability have brought the project off the rails each time.

“I understand the scepticism, but this is a different proposal,” allows former Victorian premier Steve Bracks, who sits on CLARA's high-powered and well-connected advisory board.

“It is a regional development project as much as it is a rail project. I think it deserves consideration because the public benefit would be enormous.”

“Rather than it being a thought bubble from federal or state governments it is coming directly from the private sector," adds fellow CLARA advisor and former NSW premier Barry O'Farrell, " and the bald fact is that only the private sector can deliver and pay for a project of this size."

What would an Aussie bullet train look like?

In 2011, the Melbourne branch of Australian design firm Hassell revealed concept plans for a superfast 400km/h train.

Hassell dubbed its creation the Australian High Speed Vehicle or A-HSV, in a nod to Australia's iconic Holden Monaro HSV high-performance car.

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 and bars originally planned for the Boeing 747 before the commercial reality of fitting a maximum number of bums on seats took hold.

Does Australia need a high-speed rail network? Can we afford to build it, or can we afford not to built it? And would you choose high-speed rail over flying for trips between Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra?

Share your thoughts with your fellow Australian business travellers in the comments box below.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter:  we're @AusBT

David

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 229

If it's not SC Maglev then it's not worth it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 303

Dreaming, it will never happen!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2014

Total posts 215

I cannot see how 200 billion is viable. How many years to get your money back?

I cannot see it happening we just dont have the population movemnet to support it.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

No thanks, a plane is just fine.  And I can only imagine the cost of a ticket...

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

And anyway, by the time it gets built, and not even comparing to other countries, 350kmh is just way too slow.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 388

is ita meglev train? Should be like the Shanghai Maglev Train @ 430km/h. 350kl/h is to slow

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

here we go again. ANOTHER 'vision' for high speed rail in OZ. I look forward to the subsequent 'feasability studies', 'environmental impact studies', 'public concerns studies', 'quality of life studies', 'any other studies that can possiblity be created studies'. i hope CLARA have factored in the COSTS OF ALL THESE STUDIES.  oh and lets not forget 'local/state/federal politicians with all their seperate agendas, which prohibits them from working TOGETHER to achieve ANYTHING LOL . sorry for the cynical post, but whenever 'visions' like this pop up, I cant help but think of the ABC series UTOPIA, which is scarily closer to reality than it should be!. gotta love democracy, but i suppose it is the lesser of 2 evils ;)

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I love your post :-) Sorry, no plus from me – I stop using that pathetic “rating” system quite a while ago.

17 Jun 2011

Total posts 66

We certainly have the passenger numbers...

30 Jun 2011

Total posts 50

You certainly can grab a Shinkansen from Tokyo to Sapporo.  For a journey time of 4.5 hours and a one-way ticket cost of $176 you can enjoy high-speed rail.  So, the plane or the train?

05 Oct 2015

Total posts 12

You can take the the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Fukuoka, but it's not competive, hence the air passenger numbers above.

The shikansen has just reached Hakodate, but disappointingly (for the Hakodate locals), the travel time exceeds the magic 3? hours under which the train historically beats flying, and tourist numbers multiply.

Sapporo is still to be connected to the Shinkansen.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Dec 2012

Total posts 20

Just another Utopia Episode,

https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jl9hTlkXXc

Oh good God. Are we doing this again?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 304

I'll believe it when I see it. As long as the "private" consortium doesn't go bust and then require the government to bail it out.  People often forget how vast Australia is compared with countries that have a more condensed population over a smaller area. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

It particularly annoys me how people are very quick to label Australias public transport as bad.  

With a population density so low coupled with vast distances, there is never a way to subsidise enough to make it affordable.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 304

Exactly. Take Taiwan's HSR for example. Private consortium backed by the government. Over 10 years later, the project is still losing money. Although very convenient for the general public, the downside of a money losing project ultimately becomes the governments problem to bail out.  Now people say add more stops and will benefit the country and more people can use it, well that defeats the purpose of express as the train doesn't fulfill its full speed potential. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

And Taiwan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world...

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Instead of CLARA developing 8 new one horse town stops that no one would get on or off at, they should draw a line from Sydney to Melbourne including Canberra and tunnel directly where need be through mountains. It would be much shorter and quicker. Honestly, I can never see it happening, our infrastructure here is hopeless, Government or Private ,they are kidding themselves if they think this will ever happen. Just imagine all the site visits to the places that already have them, these will take 10 years to visit and report, and then a near extinct breed of frog or bird will be found to have their dwindling habitat right in the path line of the speeding bullet, and guess who will win. I did an XPT to Sydney 4 weeks back, so called first class, it was a disgrace, the train was filthy, (recycled 1950's Southern Aurora carraiges), I could see black smoke belching out of the deisel electric engine everytime we struggled up a rise in the tracks, and to top it off we were all dumped off at wet oldGoulburn and bussed into Central.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 763

[train nut hat on] not recycled carriages, but made new for the XPT in the early 1980s :). However - yes, the XPT is well past its use-by date. It only exists to keep NSW voters and pensioners happy. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

[level 2 train nut hat on]

Seconding what tronixstuff has already said, but also:

  1. The Southern Aurora only commenced operations in 1962, using new rolling stock; in the 1950s, passengers still needed to change trains at the break of gauge at Albury (as Victoria uses Irish broad gauge and New South Wales uses standard gauge).
  2. From 1962 to 1986, the NSWGR Southern Aurora ran in parallel with the standard gauge VR Spirit of Progress (which from 1937 to 1962 was a broad gauge service to Albury only). Due to falling patronage, in 1986 they were amalgamated into the Sydney/Melbourne Express, which ran until 1993, whereupon the XPT took over.
  3. All of the XBR First sitting and buffet cars and some of the XL First sitting cars date back to the original XPT build of the early 1980s, when the Wran Labor government was trying to look like it cared about country trains; however, some of the XL First sitting cars and all of the XAM First sleeping cars only date back to the 1993 fleet expansion, when the Greiner Liberal/National government was trying to look like it cared about country trains.

The XPT exists in this state of life-support limbo because regional voters would scream if the state government was to even think of touching the status quo, no matter how many times the numbers crunched in Sydney prove the wretched thing is useless and should have been put out of its misery years ago. Labor won't cut it, because it would threaten their hold on regional marginal seats; and the Liberals won't cut it, because the Nationals would raise hell. The net result is that the unsustainable status quo will continue to clatter on until the thing eventually claps out and the government of the day can finally write the whole sordid enterprise off.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1227

Why is there wind whipping the hair of the models in the last picture?  At speeds of up to 350km/h I seriously hope the windows of the train will be closed.

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

I think there's already a problem with the onboard climatic control system...

30 Jun 2011

Total posts 50

Really some of the silliest design images put forward for a train anywhere.  2-across seating plus some benches?  They are kidding, Shinkansen is six-across, our reality would be 8.  The Ottomons are nice though - just the place for a pair of filthy feet to rest upon.  The only realistic thing is everyone staring at their phones/devices, searching for Pokemon' most likely.  As much chance of finding one as this is of getting built!

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

CLARA seems to have forgotten the straps for standing people to hang onto for those hair pin bends and emergency stops enroute.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1227

"The only realistic thing is everyone staring at their phones/devices, searching for Pokemon' most likely."

LOL!! So true.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

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I just noticed too....the 'designs' have obviously been come up by a Greeny - windmills in 3 of the pics (which would power about 3m of track).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

350km/h in 2040.

Are you kidding me? Japan, China and Europe would probably have much faster trains and even America might get the Hyperloop. The cost is already insane and with anything like this you can bet the cost will be over budget and they will get the government in bed to pay for shortfalls. Immense waste with very little to gain when it's completed.

I think we just have to admit that Australia's demographics don't make HSRs viable as much as hate having to say that

06 Dec 2013

Total posts 10

Australia's travel demographics do make it viable. Remember that the flight route between Sydney and Melbourne accounts for more passengers than the 2 busiest routes in the US added together. Even Sydney to Brisbane is busier than the US's busiest flying route.

Even if there is the money and the will for this to happen, as long as top commonwealth civil servants and politicians continue to receive QF Chairman's lounge access, this project will never be realised.

A viable express service linking Melbourne, Canberra,Sydney and Brisbane will kill QF's domestic business model.

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Surely this new Train Set will come with glittering Lounges in Sydney Canberra and Melbourne at least, and at least a cafe bar at the 8 one horse towns on the way.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2011

Total posts 39

Yet another pipe dream.  I fear I will go to my grave having never seen a HST in Australia.

Why can't they just get on and build the bloody thing.  We have talked about it long enough.  Yes, it will be expensive.  But Oz is a big country, we need this infrastructure now and for the future (like our dead and buried NBN), but no-one has the foresight and vision.

We don't need anything fancy, just a modern comfortable train, two classes to cater to the price conscious.  The money needs to be spent on the tracks, so that we can take advantage of newer train technology down the track.

350km an hour initially is fast enough, and we can improve on that as demand grows, and it is generating revenue.  At that speed, we should be able to do Melbourne-Sydney, city centre to city centre in around 2 hours.  That beats the plane hands down, with far less hassle - though we will still need security screening of course.

 

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

I've never been security screened on any of the DB ICE's in Germany, and I've done most of the ICE network.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Demographics and geography are stopping Australia from having HSTs. Europe has population of 740m so they have the taxes and the demand for HST. Australia doesn't have the population to warrant HSTs. 

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I LOVE to see it, but I am not holding my breath – I surely die before it happens. If it  happens at all in current century.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2013

Total posts 137

If Shepparton, Albury, Canberra and Wagga all had 500,000, you could do it in stages. Starting communities basically from scratch will be too hard. A tax-payer funded hsr network including Geelong, Wollongong, Newcastle and GC would be more useful. Japan almost bankrupted the country when they started theirs, so I'm not sure shareholders will have the stamina required. 

I propose a monorail instead

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2405

Nah, it's more of a Perth idea... :P

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 446

I don't get that one.  The only monorail I am aware of is in Queensland.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 May 2015

Total posts 2

Great idea if it's financially viable. Travelling at 300km/h by train in China recently... quiet, smooth, comfortable, convenient and cheap! Bring it on.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

And they look cool too!

16 May 2011

Total posts 4

I would love to see it happen but not expecting it in my lifetime. 

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 191

keep dreaming what a joke-another 25 years?? be real it would be great news if it would happen in the next 5 years but 25? The whole world might be blown up by than frankly dear I don't give a damn!

when China and japan and a lot of EU nation have  current rail system that is capable to go over 200km this country is less than 3-rd world in comparison.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Dec 2013

Total posts 16

1, renew the airports.

2, better pubic transit access to the airports. 

3, more flights, or bigger planes for both FSC and LCC.

this is enough to cover the demands.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jul 2016

Total posts 1

I cannot believe the negativity and cynicism this article has attracted. To start picking on the design of the seating.....?!

Of course we can do it, if we want to. This is great that there are some visionaries prepared to look at it. We need people like this in Australia - not the nay sayers who continue to hold us back.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jul 2016

Total posts 3

I agree with Paul.  Lots of cynicism which is somewhat the attitude which has caused the delay in the first place.

One could constantly repeat "we don't have the population" but with the demographic of the East Coast being our highest concentration of population - especially Sydney - Melbourne - it's very viable!

If one of the early proposals incorporating Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne had been started, the 2nd Sydney airport debate wouldn't have been an issue... Canberra International Airport, could've taken the overflow, with a 45 minute hop to Sydney centre (which is going to be faster than Badgery's Creek).

Train is the future - high speed - lower fuel costs - less invasive.  Why isn't Australia looking at becoming a world leader, instead of a poor follower?

Wasn't there once a similar argument about one of the world's MOST iconic buildings... the Sydney Opera House?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jul 2016

Total posts 1

I fuly support a high speed rail connection between Melbourne and Sydney BUT 8 stops defeats the purpose.  I would say Melb Central to Melb Airport ( similar to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhoff to Frankfurt Airport) and the Albury/Wodonga Yass/Canberra through to either Campnbelltown or Parramatta and the to Sydney Central.  Of course this doesn't alow for a sufficient funding of infrastructure costs  by the creation of new "cities" along the proposed route but I doubt that these would attract sufficient traffic commuting to either Melbourne or Sydney.  However IF it did there would be a requirement for many additional trains.  

I cannot se it succeeding without a strong government involvement.  Finally it would be necessary to leapfrog high speed rail and implment maglev trains.  The analogy here being that Australia has the opportunity to "piggyback" on this developing technology.  Think of the countries which wwere able to bypass the copper cable telecoms and leapfrog to wireless as an example.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Jul 2016

Total posts 1

I must admit that I remain skeptical re the hype.  I cannot see either Sydney or Melbourne, anytime in the foreseeable future, allowing several hundred tonnes of metal to travel at 300kph+ through their outer suburbs (even if the project procures land 100m either side of the tracks).  What this means is that the quoted times are probably point-to-point rather than a true projection of travel time.  It would take (let's say) 30 minutes to travel out of an exclusion zone and 45 minutes (allowing for the braking process) to enter the other exclusion zone (and I'm overlooking any stops between SYD and MEL, such as CBR) then the 600k+ (allowing for exclusion zones of 50k) inbetween would take about 105 minutes (at an assumed 350kph). Add the exclusion zone limitations and you are potentially looking at 180 minutes (and, as mentioned, more if other stops are added).  Whilst it may not be as comfortable as what is projected for the train, in my opinion flying will remain the preferred method for many business travellers if the prices are comparable.

29 Jun 2015

Total posts 1

This would be brilliant if it happens. Sooner the better however, couldn't they look to upgrade the current line? I know there are currently plenty of curves on NSW side, but its pretty straight on the VIC side. Rebuild some of the curves out and put a pendolino tilting train on it. At least to get the current trip down to 4.5 hours which is nice and a brand new comfortable train, could really pick up some business. Pendolino is a high-speed tilting train manufactured by Alstom Ferroviaria. It travels at a top speed of 250km/h on the conventional tracks, eliminating the need for specially laid tracks. The high-speed train is named 'Pendolino', meaning small pendulum in Italian, due to its mechanism to tilt at the bends.......This would be easier and much less expensive, and quicker to do.  And actually wouldn't be too much longer then flying considering you give yourself an hour to get to the airport, another 40 min to check-in, wait and takeoff, if on time, another 90 mins in the air, wait to pick up bags, wait in taxi queue and sit in traffic which can be another 90 mins, and your up to the time of a tilt train.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Nov 2014

Total posts 24

The Sydney to Melbourne distance of 706 km quoted by mmaxwell is airport to airport. The train track distance city centre to city centre is given in the plan as 917km and it may be even longer when the final route is chosen.

The train speed is quoted as up to 350km/h. The Chinese have had to reduce the maximum speed on their fast trains from 360 to 300 km/h for safety reasons. Are we going to build a superior train to the Chinese taking into account that cost rises dramatically with speed?  To achieve a travel time of 3 hours the average speed would need to be 300km/h. Even in Japan, the average speed of their trains over long distances is around 200km/h. Which would make the travel time 4.5 hours.

As has been raised before, the major problem with the high speed train would be the suburban entries to the cities where special fast tracks and right or ways would be extremely expensive and there would be a temptation to use existing train routes and slow tracks, which would add another half hour at each end. Can you imagine the political fall out if tens of billions were spent carving a track through the suburbs, compulsorily acquiring houses, causing noise pollution when the urban transport system is crying out for investment.

Therefore in practice we are looking at a travel time of 5.5 hours. It won't compete with air travel for same day business trips.

As for the proposal to develop inland cities along the route, where will they get the water? The available water in the Murray-Darling basin is fully committed.

Forget about Maglev. It is fiendishly expensive.

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

I was stuck on the XPT heading to Sydney 4 weeks back when it stopped dead for 45 minutes waiting for the Melbourne bound XPT to pass on the still SINGLE track. Oh boy, do they have a long way to go.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jul 2016

Total posts 3

The Chinese have had to reduce the maximum speed on their fast trains from 360 to 300 km/h for safety reasons. Are we going to build a superior train to the Chinese taking into account that cost rises dramatically with speed? 

Hopefully Australia would have checks and controls in place to prevent the corruption in China which caused significant sections of train track to be laid using inferior materials - but at a price of superior steel.  This eventually dictated speed reductions as they couldn't tell which sections were compromised - so speed on all sections was reduced.

The initial Chinese concept and designs were appropriate, unfortunately, poor control compromised the eventual track product.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jul 2016

Total posts 3

It's sad when a proposal suggesting developing Australian regional infrastructure meets such negativity.  

Nobody is suggestion eradicating the option of flying.  The suggestion is to offer an alternative option. Even at 4 hours Melbourne centre <> Sydney centre, with the advantage of increased luggage allowances, train is a very viable option.  Especially as there are already transport links in place to each central rail station.  Canberra, of course, becomes an even more viable option.

I say YES. Start now as the longer we wait, the higher the cost.

22 Jun 2016

Total posts 16

Hey people, stop and think of the time frame of this project! The Japanese Meglav which is at this time the top of the choices for H.S.R. Will be redundant by the time CLARA'S project commences, and what the future train's speed and internal design will be, can only be guessed.

Me thinks the rail option may be an excellent option from a City central position, in comparison to say an out of central city airport. 

You can bet top rated business lounges would be par for the course.

 

 

 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Sep 2013

Total posts 177

 

I think I will pony up $6K to buy half a dozen of those units of land, and then cash them for $1M - bonus!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Jul 2016

Total posts 13

This has the potential to be a great nation building project! Before getting all jittery over the cost, pricing, loyalty program and seating arrangements, we need to think about what we are trying to achieve with our nation and cities and whether we can do this better. Last time I checked, Infrastructure Australia had a string of projects worth multiple billions, designed to (hopefully) make our big cities work better as they become even bigger behemoths. Is this the right approach? Or should we consider moving that growth somewhere else? What the CLARA proposal does is precisely that - and along the way allows people to enjoy a better lifestyle. I spent a few days in Sydney this week and to put it midly, getting around was a lousy arduous task, that will only get worse. We need to rethink Sydney and Melbourne expansion and think regional. Alternately we can lock the doors and get out the birth control and leave things just as they are.

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 65

Firstly I am heavily pro HSR, would love to see it soon and believe it can do wonders for regional areas.

I agree that anything longer than 3hrs point to point is unlikely to put a dent in the business air traffic but should still have a significant impact on the leisure traffic.

However, I feel that even a 3hr city centre to city centre will only work IF:

And this is the bit all the discussion has been missing:

+ the price is right

+ the frequency is right

Flights today leave every 15 minutes in peak time. If the train only goes every 2hrs I could be better off catching a plane.

Today it is often more expensive to catch the 11hr train then it is to fly. The price needs to be competitive to encourage demand and ensure that if I live in one of those inland cities I am not paying $50 a day to commute into Melb/Sydney as that will again defeat the purpose.

So unless we know that it can be built and operated with the appropriate frequency and at a competitive price, I fear that it will not be successful.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2016

Total posts 37

Unless the price is affordable, and cheaper than flying, HSR won't fly.  We've done feasibility studies before (millions of taxpayer dollars) with end result the same - a great idea, nation building for sure, but price of ticket too expensive for average punter.

16 Jul 2016

Total posts 1

The "think smallers" wouldn't have built the harbour bridge.

06 Dec 2013

Total posts 10

An interesting reason for the original higher Chinese speeds comes from fact that the original HSR was based on trains received from Japan. Typically Japan will benchmark and test their trains well above their operating speeds (e.g. N710 between Osaka and Hakata/Fukuoka to Kagashima was test for over a year in all seasons up to a speed of 450km/h). When the trains were handed to China, they came with operating specifications which included a recommeded maximum of 300km/h. When a country that has been operating high speed train and ahead of the curve since 1964, you should listen. Instead, they found that the trains "could" operate at much higher speeds. This resulted in Wenzhou crash, in which one of the trains was a CRH2 which is basically an E2 from Japan, which is only meant for a max 275km/h.
Japan has had 52 years of fatality free high speed train service. They also have discipline and systems in place that would be hard for other countries (including Australia) to replicate.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Nov 2014

Total posts 24

The proposed high speed limk would not be able to accommodate freight trains.

It would be a much more sensible to build a 200km/h Melbourne - Sydney - Brisbane freight and passenger rail link. It wouldn't significantly displace  Melbourne - Sydney air travel but would provide good passenger services to inland towns. There would be big advantages for the freight industry if the service could  offer drive-on, drive off  and travel times at least what road trucks would otherwise take, as well as the safety aspect of taking trucks off the road.

As an example of this approach, Switzerland is about to open the new Gottenberg base tunnel which will provide for train speeds of up to 250km/h. A major benefit of the tunnel is that it will take trucks off the overcrowded roads. The drive-on, drive-off trains even include a carriage with a cafe for the truck drivers. The projected usage is 180 freight and 50 passenger trains per day rising to 260/20 in 10 years time. They expect a ratio of more than three times as many freight trains as passenger which makes the idea of a passenger only Melbourne - Sydney route look silly.

 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

People in charge of projects like these are always silly as they always fail to take into account the true cost of building and pass it on to the masses. Wouldn't look to them for anything sensible.

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 118

I do prefer to take the train wherever it is possible, I hate driving, motorways and all the obese people who consider service centres as places of nutrition. . A few months on a work trip, having got sick of the Syd-Mel air shuttle, I did the overnight sleeper on the XPT which was pretty good. Excellent service, city centre arrival locations that are  perfect, and the compartment is spacious. Not cheap so glad it was able to be expensed. Good for the environment too.

However...

Baffled as to why either state govt would replicate infrastructure - that is the major base hospitals in Wagga, Albury as well as the schools, unis etc to fields somewhat further out.

It is very clear that the current NSW (and to be honest the prior state govts of both types) have one interest in regional development and that region is the western suburbs of Sydney.

This will not happen and it shouldn't happen. What should happen is the exisiting alignment of the railway should be realigned in a similar way to that which was done with the Hume Hwy. Railways can work, lets expand on what we have.

22 Jul 2016

Total posts 2

Well i Thinking it Sounds Like quite a Plane  but its going to Cost 200, Billion to Build

it. That Means you Would Have TO Raise 10 Billion in the Frist  Ten years and then hope That Tickit Price and investers will Corver the Remaing 10 Billion and all so

Keep up with Airlines Tickit Prices. i Think if you Wont People to Ride the Train to Sydney then you will Have to be Cheaper then the Airlines and then  by 2040 Hope the Train can Pay for it Self Good Luck Benny Mills

22 Jul 2016

Total posts 2

Opps i got my calculations Wrong Thats 100.00 Billion to Reel in Revene in Ten years. and then Hopefully the Ticket Prices and the Investers will Cover the Other 100.00 Billion by 2040 If They Can Keep up With the Airlines good Luck Guys

cheers Benny Mills

With the aquisition of land for this high speed rail corridor it would be a grave mistake to not build a parallel high speed freight line with the view of this not just been a decentralization program but also a opportunity to remove heavy vehicles off the major highways. Also there should be a vision for spur lines heading west off the Sydney to Melbourne line in respect of NSW with one of the spur lines running from Sydney to the Port of Darwin which would also give Melbourne access to the Port of Darwin as well that been phase 1 and phase 2 been the continuation from Sydney to Brisbane and Brisbane to the Port of Darwin obviously with spur lines. 


If we as a country are serious about decentralization another factor that has to change is that we allow 95% of fresh water flow out to sea that water has to be captured and pumped back into the middle of the country not just for agriculture but for people as well.

It's also crazy that we have a abundance of uranium in this country that we sell to other countries with the condition that spent rods are returned to us to manage yet we don't have nuclear power in this country 


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Sydney-Melbourne in three hours on 350km/h, $200bn bullet train