Sydney to Canberra high speed train

 
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
...
As I indicated before BC land is larger than Al Marktum in Dubai
Like eddy was, you are overstating the area of the Badgerys Creek site by a factor of ten.

It's not a mega-airport site, hence even when it eventually gets fully developed (only two main runways, but with better lateral separation than Mascot's aligned pair), total demand in the basin will still be such that I expect Mascot to still be a very significant airport.
donttellmywife
Planned for about 2025, "Western Sydney Airport" (WSA) will have an initial terminal and associated infrastructure (3700m runway) would be designed to accommodate up to 10 million passengers and 63,000 aircraft a year, a similar size to Adelaide Airport today.

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  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
I am interested if the people of Sydney would prefer the sale of the Badgerys creek site to fund a fast rail to Canberra airport as I suspect it is just the big end of town pushing it.
eddyb
I note that Canberra airport has shown no interest in expanding to do this role on ABC in 2015:

Canberra Airport's managing director Stephen Byron has applauded the Federal Government's decision to make Badgerys Creek the site of Sydney's second airport.
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/1663530/labors-second-airport-to-take-off/
eddyb

I'm not sure a regional Tasmanian newspaper is your best source Very Happy
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

I note that Canberra airport has shown no interest in expanding to do this role on ABC in 2015:

Canberra Airport's managing director Stephen Byron has applauded the Federal Government's decision to make Badgerys Creek the site of Sydney's second airport.
Jim K
At first I could not work out why but then I realised that with an airport at BC there would never be a fast rail to Canberra as people would all fly Badgerys creek to Canberra airport.
  Speedbird1 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Wyee
I have measured the site on Google Earth, and I can confirm the area it will occupy is equal to 1,797 Hectares.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I note that not one airline has put up its hand to fly to Badgerys Creek. Before we talk about fast trains let's make sure that airlines will fly there. There are plenty of expensive airports built around the world that are white elephants.
I do think Can era and Williamtown are much better options and would really kick start both economies at the same time taking pressure off Sydney.
fernhill
Canberra and Williamstown are not viable alternatives for Sydney. They are viable alternatives for people living in there respective areas and could not cope with being Sydney's second airport. Badgery's creek as mentioned before has a much larger population catch then Avalon ever will. For most of Melbourne. Tullamarine is just as easy as Avalon to get to and this is why so few planes fly from Avalon. Neither airport has a train line to it. Badgery's creek on the other hand will provide much easier and quicker access to air travel to west, north west and any suburb not on the East Hills train line.

Badgery's creek could actually end up being popular with regional airlines as well because of it's close proximity to Liverpool and Westmead hospitals. Both of these hospitals are destinations for people from regional areas in emergency situations.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Back to rail though, if a faster SYD-CBR connection is made, this may free up slots at SYD which could be used for other flights (both International and Domestic) and delay the growth of (or need for) Badgerys.  But I wouldn't expect this to be material.  Any HSR link (to CBR) is viewed as being far too expensive for what it would deliver.
james.au
Not true, in that there are so few actual Sydney to Canberra flights that the free slots created wouldn't make a difference to Sydney's issue. Sydney to Melbourne vhst could achieve this situation but that would cost way too much tax payer money to achieve what Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin and Tiger currently do at significantly faster travel time.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Back to rail though, if a faster SYD-CBR connection is made, this may free up slots at SYD which could be used for other flights (both International and Domestic) and delay the growth of (or need for) Badgerys.  But I wouldn't expect this to be material.  Any HSR link (to CBR) is viewed as being far too expensive for what it would deliver.
Not true, in that there are so few actual Sydney to Canberra flights that the free slots created wouldn't make a difference to Sydney's issue. Sydney to Melbourne vhst could achieve this situation but that would cost way too much tax payer money to achieve what Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin and Tiger currently do at significantly faster travel time.
simstrain
Hence i said I expected that the effect would be immaterial...

But to your point, there are approx 20 flights on QF and 15 flights on VA on a normal day.  The ones that matter for SYD-CBR are really the morning ones as that is when SYD is slot constrained (from 12-6 its pretty wide open and then it begins to tighten again in the evening as carriers get their flights out before curfew to meet their banks in the middle east and arrive at their destinations in the morning).  Freeing up half a dozen morning slots and a couple in the evening isn't going to make a wildly significant difference at all.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Back to rail though, if a faster SYD-CBR connection is made, this may free up slots at SYD which could be used for other flights (both International and Domestic) and delay the growth of (or need for) Badgerys.  But I wouldn't expect this to be material.  Any HSR link (to CBR) is viewed as being far too expensive for what it would deliver.
Not true, in that there are so few actual Sydney to Canberra flights that the free slots created wouldn't make a difference to Sydney's issue. Sydney to Melbourne vhst could achieve this situation but that would cost way too much tax payer money to achieve what Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin and Tiger currently do at significantly faster travel time.
Hence i said I expected that the effect would be immaterial...

But to your point, there are approx 20 flights on QF and 15 flights on VA on a normal day.  The ones that matter for SYD-CBR are really the morning ones as that is when SYD is slot constrained (from 12-6 its pretty wide open and then it begins to tighten again in the evening as carriers get their flights out before curfew to meet their banks in the middle east and arrive at their destinations in the morning).  Freeing up half a dozen morning slots and a couple in the evening isn't going to make a wildly significant difference at all.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Is it worth spending $20billion to free up half a dozen flights on a 300+kmh hsr or for a fraction of that cost could you build some new alignments south of menangle to help provide better freight and passenger services.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Is it worth spending $20billion to free up half a dozen flights on a 300+kmh hsr or for a fraction of that cost could you build some new alignments south of menangle to help provide better freight and passenger services.
simstrain
Im not sure I am saying that they should spend $20bn on HSR anywhere in what I've written here .... or ever.  I am not a believer in HSR in Australia.  Up to 200km speed on very select routes, maybe, but the business case has to be done properly and stack up.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Is it worth spending $20billion to free up half a dozen flights on a 300+kmh hsr or for a fraction of that cost could you build some new alignments south of menangle to help provide better freight and passenger services.
Im not sure I am saying that they should spend $20bn on HSR anywhere in what I've written here .... or ever.  I am not a believer in HSR in Australia.  Up to 200km speed on very select routes, maybe, but the business case has to be done properly and stack up.
james.au
I'm not saying you did. I'm saying in general is it worth spending that much on a single purpose railway or could a smaller amount of money fixing the multi purpose main south be much more beneficial.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Is it worth spending $20billion to free up half a dozen flights on a 300+kmh hsr or for a fraction of that cost could you build some new alignments south of menangle to help provide better freight and passenger services.
Im not sure I am saying that they should spend $20bn on HSR anywhere in what I've written here .... or ever.  I am not a believer in HSR in Australia.  Up to 200km speed on very select routes, maybe, but the business case has to be done properly and stack up.
I'm not saying you did. I'm saying in general is it worth spending that much on a single purpose railway or could a smaller amount of money fixing the multi purpose main south be much more beneficial.
simstrain
Ok that clears it up then.  We are in general agreement!
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
I note that Canberra airport has shown no interest in expanding to do this role on ABC in 2015:

Canberra Airport's managing director Stephen Byron has applauded the Federal Government's decision to make Badgerys Creek the site of Sydney's second airport.
At first I could not work out why but then I realised that with an airport at BC there would never be a fast rail to Canberra as people would all fly Badgerys creek to Canberra airport.
eddyb
Correct. Canberra's airport biggest business is passengers from Sydney. (388 flights/week, almost double of any other route)
Put people on a HSR then that is a big market gone. Mr Byron also knows that to make Canberra the new '2nd airport' would be a failure.... If I am flying from MEL>SYD (the busiest route), I want to actually go to Sydney, not Canberra and catch a train. I dont want to even go to "Sydney Western Airport" either, I want to go to Sydney.

No one of importance really supports a HSR to Canberra. Pollies make noise about it as it may win some votes, but that is about as far as it will ever go.

I am not even convienced that SWA will actually be built. I was there in the mid 1990s when the Labour governemment started to dig up the soil and Little Johnny Howard came in and put a stop to that.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I note that Canberra airport has shown no interest in expanding to do this role on ABC in 2015:

Canberra Airport's managing director Stephen Byron has applauded the Federal Government's decision to make Badgerys Creek the site of Sydney's second airport.
At first I could not work out why but then I realised that with an airport at BC there would never be a fast rail to Canberra as people would all fly Badgerys creek to Canberra airport.
Correct. Canberra's airport biggest business is passengers from Sydney. (388 flights/week, almost double of any other route)
Put people on a HSR then that is a big market gone. Mr Byron also knows that to make Canberra the new '2nd airport' would be a failure.... If I am flying from MEL>SYD (the busiest route), I want to actually go to Sydney, not Canberra and catch a train. I dont want to even go to "Sydney Western Airport" either, I want to go to Sydney.

No one of importance really supports a HSR to Canberra. Pollies make noise about it as it may win some votes, but that is about as far as it will ever go.

I am not even convienced that SWA will actually be built. I was there in the mid 1990s when the Labour governemment started to dig up the soil and Little Johnny Howard came in and put a stop to that.
Jim K

If there is a hsr to Canberra. It isn't a worry to the airlines because they will just replace the Canberra flights with Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide flights. The question is should the federal government pay out a multitude of billions of dollars on a single purpose railway or is it better to spend significantly less building those hsr alignments south of Menangle on the main south to make all rail traffic better off.

While from Melbourne you may not want to go to Western Sydney. People in western Sydney may need/want to go to Melbourne and we have a significant population base to make BC viable. For Sydney visitors we have to deal with a long trip from Melbourne airport into the city. If an appropriate train service is available then BC will be no worse and maybe better then Tullamarine.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

In my opinion


Passengers would only use Sydney/Canberra VFT if it could do the trip in less than one hour.


It would be more economically viable via Parramatta with 20,000 extra passengers a day and a one seat ride Central/Canberra.


It would free up Mascot for more slots to other places.


Once BC is built there would never be a VFT Sydney/Canberra.


Any VFT Sydney/Canberra would have to be driverless, frequent and on a dedicated line.


The big problem is the cost of building and running it and here is an opportunity to develop a smaller profile train similar to that of a car that would only cost half as much for tunnels and bridges and that we could export.



Heavy rail needs to be rid of all bridges, total upgrading of track and even rerouting some sections while being able to carry double stacked containers and 4.3mhigh slot trailers that would be loaded one a minute with a large forklift then dropped on the outskirts of other cities for cheap prime movers to hook up and deliver.



Malcolm wants to support innovation so here is his chance and we could even help our own Terratec http://www.terratec.co/
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Don't there is need or justification for a HSR between Sydney and Canberra for any reason and this includes BC substitution. Canberra has a population of barely half a million.

However, I do believe the justification is there to throw a few billion at the main south and the Canberra branch for the overall improvement of rail to reduce road traffic and improve freight services. The Canberaa XPL numbers doesn't do too bad when you look at the numbers posted by someone above. I'm sure if it ran 6 times a day it would run with an average of 50% of greater loading for each trip. The bus popularity is driven by lack of trains and the slowness of the train. CBR is only another 80km beyond Newcastle from Sydney and Newcastle gets one train per hour at least. Yes the population of the Central Coast helps justify this. But the population of the Central Coast grew with the electrification extension. When I lived in Goasford in wee short pants, civilisation also most stopped 2km north of the last O/H mast, then grew rapidly when extended to Wyong.

It won't cost a lot of money to get the XPL down to 3.5hr (almost reasonable) and similar to Newcastle.

$500m on the Canberra branch would achieve alot and a $2B billion on the main south would achieve alot for alot of rail traffic.

Save 1hr each trip and the same 2 XPL's can do one more trip per day.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

It says there were 8,878.000 people were travelling between Canberra and Sydney in 2011

Table T 3.2 page 57  https://bitre.gov.au/publications/2013/files/INFRA1886_R_BITRE_INFRASTRUCTURE_YEARBOOK_0813_web.pdf


At a wild guess there would be 500,000 train movements Sydney/Newcastle and another 500,000 movements by car that is still only 1,000,000 movements a year compared to Sydney/Canberra 10,000,000 now.


And if pricing was the same as other methods to get there then $50 x 10,000,000 =$500,000,000 per year


So if the feds could lend the money at 2% interest it would pay for itself.


They do not have to borrow the money they just print it and import sufficient willing and eager people to prevent inflation.




Regarding the heavy rail they would have to lift all the bridges to allow double stacked containers.


Fix up all the subgrade and rails properly so that trains can go at least 100kph all the way particularly at the approach to steep hills.



And if they are going to do all that they may as well do it properly and reroute it in parts.



You say it will not cost much to get the train time down to 3.5 hours but it needs to be the same time as a plane for half the fare to capture all the passengers which in turn makes it economically viable.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

$500m on the Canberra branch would achieve alot and a $2B billion on the main south would achieve alot for alot of rail traffic.
RTT_Rules

$500m probably wouldn't achieve much, except perhaps some new - more cost effective - train sets.

$2bil would achieve a sub 2:30 SYD-CBR run (including 10 stops) and - by my models anyway - would achieve a 2:30 transit time and patronage of 6mil per year, though only 1.6mil of that are Syd-Cbr.

I think a sub 2:00 transit would cost between $2.5 & $4bil, and achieve a total patronage of between 2 and 6 mil pa.  It largely depends on how many people would be prepared to stump up $250pw to commute between Canberra and Sydney, but on these numbers it's close to being an outright commercially viable project.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
It says there were 8,878.000 people were travelling between Canberra and Sydney in 2011

Table T 3.2 page 57  https://bitre.gov.au/publications/2013/files/INFRA1886_R_BITRE_INFRASTRUCTURE_YEARBOOK_0813_web.pdf


At a wild guess there would be 500,000 train movements Sydney/Newcastle and another 500,000 movements by car that is still only 1,000,000 movements a year compared to Sydney/Canberra 10,000,000 now.


And if pricing was the same as other methods to get there then $50 x 10,000,000 =$500,000,000 per year


So if the feds could lend the money at 2% interest it would pay for itself.


They do not have to borrow the money they just print it and import sufficient willing and eager people to prevent inflation.




Regarding the heavy rail they would have to lift all the bridges to allow double stacked containers.


Fix up all the subgrade and rails properly so that trains can go at least 100kph all the way particularly at the approach to steep hills.



And if they are going to do all that they may as well do it properly and reroute it in parts.



You say it will not cost much to get the train time down to 3.5 hours but it needs to be the same time as a plane for half the fare to capture all the passengers which in turn makes it economically viable.

eddyb
I'm not proposing to take on the planes, thats a costly VST/HSR approach and to be honest the volumes on the plane are not huge and I wonder how many of those continue to other destinations by air?

3.5hr is half reasonable and a start and I think leads the ability to move away from booked seating trains.

I highly doubt under any circumstances the train would be profitable.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
$500m on the Canberra branch would achieve alot and a $2B billion on the main south would achieve alot for alot of rail traffic.

$500m probably wouldn't achieve much, except perhaps some new - more cost effective - train sets.

$2bil would achieve a sub 2:30 SYD-CBR run (including 10 stops) and - by my models anyway - would achieve a 2:30 transit time and patronage of 6mil per year, though only 1.6mil of that are Syd-Cbr.

I think a sub 2:00 transit would cost between $2.5 & $4bil, and achieve a total patronage of between 2 and 6 mil pa.  It largely depends on how many people would be prepared to stump up $250pw to commute between Canberra and Sydney, but on these numbers it's close to being an outright commercially viable project.
djf01
$500m would build up to 50km of single greenfield track with minimal signally and no passing loops over new moderate terrain for the Canberra Branch.

$2B on the main south would probably do the following
- Quad complete on East Hills Line to Glenfield
- about 100km of new duplicated track on main south
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

$500m would build up to 50km of single greenfield track with minimal signally and no passing loops over new moderate terrain for the Canberra Branch.
RTT_Rules


True.   Which gets the run time down from 4:20 to 3:50 ish - maybe 3:45.

This is still 45min slower than driving, and still slower than the bus.

Hence this is why I don't think it will achieve much.


$2B on the main south would probably do the following
- Quad complete on East Hills Line to Glenfield
- about 100km of new duplicated track on main south
RTT_Rules


The project design I've been tinkering with involves rebuilding the Hilltop line - mostly on the existing alignment or on the pre-1890 alignment (generally with a min curve radius of 2000m), and sparking one track between Picton and Macarthur, and Mittagong and Goulburn.  This splits the ARTC and RailCorp operations, both becoming single track.  A few deviations to create ARTC crossing loops also creates lengthy stretches of >1500m radius curves and hence >200kph running for appropriate EMU sets.

The capex for this project comes in at ~$1.5bil, and would deliver an hourly service with a 2:30 transit time from Canberra to Sydney.  Operating costs would be more or less what they are now (RailCorp operates 6 trains concurrently to service the highlands and Canberra, including two of the high cost Xplorers).  Yet it would probably have 5-7 times the patronage and corresponding revenue.

To achieve a sub 2:00 transit, more deviations are needed: many more, as well as addressing the Molongolo Canyon.  I think that next 30min would cost an extra $1.5bil

To get sub 90min, that'd need HSR alignment, and from Glenfield to Canberra along the proposed HSR route would be ~$8bil (note to self: I need to go and sort out exactly how much the Syd-Glenfield bit of the HSR project was priced at).  To get sub 60min means completing HSR into Central, and the 80km of single bore below seal level large diameter tunnels (plus new Sydney terminal), and the full $18bil HSR price tag.

Assuming the service isn't too expensive to use, my model suggests a sub 2:00 transit time yields ~20 trips per person (in the catchment) per year, or 400k x 20 = 8mil per year.  Sub 1:30 is 40 trips per year, so 16mil.  Sub 60min is 80 (in my model, Sydney suburban catchments like Campbelltown are around 100) so 32mil per year.  But for this to be right, it has to be cheap enough to use like a suburban train.  Mode substitution (all modes, not just air) isn't anywhere near enough to generate this sort of patronage.  

I think this is the conclusion most HSR studies have come to.  Air traffic substitution alone doesn't justify these projects.

@Eddie, I think the MSR projects make a bit of sense, and they would partially achieve your goal of freeing up slots in Kingsford Smith.  But I doubt even HSR would make enough of a difference to eliminate the need for Badgeries Creek
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

$2B on the main south would probably do the following
- Quad complete on East Hills Line to Glenfield
- about 100km of new duplicated track on main south
RTT_Rules

One more comment on the main south: I think the way to shave 10 off the transit from Central to Campbelltown is to triple Glenfield to Macquarie Fields.  This would allow a scheduled overtake by Syd-Cbr trains and they would be able to jump a whole train spacing in the timetable.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

Sydney/Canberra HSR needs to have all the market to be economically viable and I doubt if it would once Badgerys creek starts to have extra flights on that route or even if they make the existing rail trip faster.



Residents near Badgerys creek will only accept an airport near them if it operates on the same hours as Mascot so if Mascot goes 24/7 then all flights will be at Mascot and for 20 years Badgerys creek would be a white elephant.



I know going via Parramatta means an extra 5km plus a station which all takes time but the 20,000 extra passengers a day there makes the HSR even more economically viable and they will connect Sydney/Parramatta fast rail anyway in my opinion.



Even if it takes one and a half hours Sydney CBD to Canberra if it is half a plane fare it should capture all the market.



A HSV station could easily be built below Central for $500m and would be built anyway for a CBD/Parramatta fast rail.

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