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Oz_Paul

High speed rail in Australia

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Takahama Trainwatcher

As someone struggling to afford a house in Australia's most expensive city, I see great value in easing that burden by connecting it to Wollongong which, according to the news the other night, is now Australia's 3rd most expensive city (apparently more expensive than Brisbane).:sleepy3:

The NSW premier has just been in Japan looking at the Shinkansen. Predictably, high speed rail in Australia was talked up. Closer than ever, they said. I remembered this thread and thought, "should I post?" Nah. Same old, same old.

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Ochanomizu

Hello,

It was actually "closer than ever" back in the 1970's when wages in Australia were much lower.

There will never be high speed rail in Australia.

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velotrain
1 hour ago, Ochanomizu said:

There will never be high speed rail in Australia.

Hopefully that will be nationally accepted before too many billions are spent.

However, some residents seem skeptical of the rationality of their government.

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Khaul

Never say never. Both Sydney and Melbourne are nearing 5M and growing faster than pretty much any city in the West. They also have decent and improving public transport which would help to get people to the HST stations.

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Takahama Trainwatcher
2 hours ago, Khaul said:

Never say never. Both Sydney and Melbourne are nearing 5M and growing faster than pretty much any city in the West. They also have decent and improving public transport which would help to get people to the HST stations.

We're getting a new international airport in Sydney. There is presently no commitment for funding or a decision on a route for a rail link to it. There is a philosophy around that the rail link can be decided upon and built once the airport is established. This is the kind of foresight that gives me so much faith in the high speed rail network coming to Australia.

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Khaul

Rail links to airports in Europe have most of the time been afterthoughts, or they have gone through endless deliberation and changes, ie rail access to Barcelona El Prat T1. Australia is not unique in that. Given population increase and high income high speed rail will just become economically viable to a private firm to build not so long in the future. It will happen then.

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marknewton
21 hours ago, velotrain said:

However, some residents seem skeptical of the rationality of their government.

The mob currently occupying the Treasury benches in Canberra barely qualify to be described as a government. And there's nothing rational about them. They want to spend upwards of $120 million on a postal survey to settle their internal divisions and conflicts. So yeah, you could say I'm "skeptical". Who wouldn't be?

But regardless of which party is in government here, HSR is a furphy. It'll never happen. The only serious discussion on the topic has revolved around tax breaks and concessions for private enterprise partnerships.  

As Takahama Trainwatcher mentioned, there's a new airport being built at Badgery's Creek which could have been served by an extension of the recently built Leppington branch of our suburban railway. The only sign of activity on that project is a "scoping study", whatever that's supposed to be. Like HSR, it'll never happen.

Cheers,

Mark.

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Ochanomizu

Hello,

 

I have has a look at the 2013 report for HSR in Australia.

 

The first problem is 80km or so of tunneling around the Sydney CBD.  It appears to me the government is too scared to put HSR above ground in built up areas.

 

I'm surprised at the location of the Sydney station.  I think Parramatta is a better location, with an express line spur into the Sydney CBD.

 

Regional stations are not near regional local rail.  I looked at two locations in particular.  Southern Highlands station is closer to  an airport than a local railway station.  Meanwhile, north of Sydney, a station is proposed midway between two regional centres: Maitland and Newcastle.  When I looked at the location on Google Maps, there were just 3 houses within walking distance of the proposed station.  These strange decisions tell me the people making them don't know what they are doing.

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velotrain
On ‎9‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 8:59 PM, Khaul said:

 Given population increase and high income high speed rail will just become economically viable to a private firm to build not so long in the future. It will happen then.

 

It's hard to imagine there would be enough demand to fund the annual operational and maintenance costs, much less pay for design and construction.

I'm not trying to put a damper on anyone's enthusiasm, just my take on the apparent situation.

A private firm wouldn't have eminent domain, so couldn't put together the requisite land parcels, etc.

 

 

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Takahama Trainwatcher

 

7 hours ago, Ochanomizu said:

It appears to me the government is too scared to put HSR above ground in built up areas.

7 hours ago, Ochanomizu said:

 

Meanwhile, north of Sydney, a station is proposed midway between two regional centres: Maitland and Newcastle.  When I looked at the location on Google Maps, there were just 3 houses within walking distance of the proposed station.  These strange decisions tell me the people making them don't know what they are doing.

 

These "strange decisions" are entirely consistent with government thinking. Consider Newcastle. It is not just fear of putting HSR above ground into built up areas. In Newcastle they have removed heavy rail from the built up area in the centre of the city (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/end-of-the-line-for-newcastle-rail-after-government-wins-key-vote-20151015-gk9nqy.html). Seen in the light of this kind of thinking, the reluctance to put HSR anywhere near a city centre should not come as a surprise.

 

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Khaul
23 hours ago, velotrain said:

 

It's hard to imagine there would be enough demand to fund the annual operational and maintenance costs, much less pay for design and construction.

I'm not trying to put a damper on anyone's enthusiasm, just my take on the apparent situation.

A private firm wouldn't have eminent domain, so couldn't put together the requisite land parcels, etc.

 

 

 

Sydney to Melbourne is one of the most traveled air routes in the world. There is probably enough demand to cover operational and maintenance costs as it happens in similar busy corridors both in Japan and in Europe. The bid deal is the huge upfront cost of building the infrastructure. Even if a decent return on the investment is expected the risk of putting it all together may just be too high. So yes, anything will need help from the federal and state governments... PPPs are messy and don't always work as intended but there is some scope to make things happen, methinks.

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ben_issacs

Folks, 

I don't reckon that Australia now has the technical capabilities to run a high speed line between Melb. and Sydney!

Look at Melbourne-Albury. 

Mud holes that never seem to be fixed, 50 km/hr speed restrictions, etc.

Yes, I know that in W.A. and other places here heavy duty railways are operating, but their techniques don't seem to rub off on the railways of Victoria, NSW and SA.

Unless the track maintenance was improved vastly, the high-speed trains would spend most of their time in the ballast!

And, as previously noted, insufficient population density to justify such a line.

Japan's Tokaido Line, Tokyo, pop. about that of Australia. Osaka, not much less, then there is Nagoya, plus other cities, probably a total population of about 40-50 million along a 600 km stretch.

Melb-Syd, total population say 12 million, Nothing much in between. distance about 900 km., the bods just ain't there!

Also, as our governments seem to reckon that rubber tyres are better than steel ones, roads are more favoured than rails!

Regards, 

Bill, Melbourne.

 

 

 

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