High-speed rail from Sydney to Brisbane

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When Irene's not finding reasons to go globetrotting, with a camera almost permanently fixed to her face, she's reading up on all the latest gizmos and gadgets or trying her hand at adventure sports.

A train trip from Sydney to Brisbane could take as little as three hours on a 350km/h high-speed rail link, a federal government study has said.

A line linking Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne would cost between $61 billion and $108 billion to build, and would involve laying 1600km of new track.

"Imagine boarding a train in the centre of Sydney — no racing to the airport, no delays, no lost luggage, no taking shoes off — and then being whisked 350 kilometres per hour, arriving three hours later in the heart of Brisbane or Melbourne," said Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.

The option to travel by train will have fewer security and portable technology restrictions compared to air travel. Passengers won't be told to turn off electronic devices, they will be able to make and receive phone calls and surf the internet.

The Federal Government has released the first stage of a $20 million implementation study into high-speed rail.

It expects speeds of up to 350km/h, which would see train travel times between Sydney and Brisbane slashed to just three hours — down from the 14 hours it takes now.

Train travel from Sydney to Newcastle would be cut to 40 minutes from two hours.

The study estimates one-way fares of $75 to $177 from Sydney to Brisbane.

Equivalent three-hour trips from Sydney to Melbourne would cost $99 to $197, and $16.50 for daily commuters from Sydney to Newcastle.

About 54 million passengers could be carried each year by 2036 — half of which would have flown between Sydney and Melbourne, the world's fifth-busiest air corridor.

Each full train carrying 450 passengers would take an equivalent 128 cars off the road.

Albanese said that the high-speed rail would reduce carbon pollution, ease road and airport congestion and better integrate regional and metropolitan communities.

"For many Australians, high-speed rail would be an attractive alternative," he said in a statement.

The study was announced ahead of the August 2010 election, and was pushed by the Australian Greens.

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Ian Grant posted a comment   

Samuell1! "Carriage(s)" is a bit quaint in the
21st century - goes with spoked wheels,
varnished woodwork and ladies with big
hats, perched bolt-upright on buttoned leather seats. "Railcar(s)" is more fitting to start with, then by continuing in context with
"car(s)" we'll'know you're not talking about
Commodores or Falcons!


TomD1 posted a comment   

Nice to see that once again the east cost gets billions in funding for a rail line. Perth has a fledging PT system, although it would not be capital city to capital city, a rail line like this From Perth south to Bunbury and north to Geraldton would be great for the areas it will travel through and too. Better yet, they could help extend the metro rail lines, something which will cost WA billions of dollars our government simply cannot justify spending. Cmon Feds, get over your petty arguments with the Liberal State and share some of the national transportation funding.


AlanV posted a comment   

Is there a way where people can formally show support for this? I am one hundred per cent behind this and want to go a little further than just 'liking' or hash-tagging something.


Irene Mickaiel posted a reply   

Hi Alan,

The chief exec of the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Brendan Lyon (who is a member of the Federal Government's expert steering group on high-speed rail), has said that they are in the second phase of the study of high speed and they will "begin to assess the economic merit and fundability of individual High Speed Rail segments".

So at the moment, there doesn't seem to be much that you can do, as they're still doing studies on how to get it done correctly and "future proofing".



SamuelI1 posted a comment   

There needs to be a quiet carriage, somewhere where no talking/texting on mobile phones or people listening to excessively loud music are allowed

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