$200b fast rail is 'potential trainwreck'

 

News article: $200b fast rail is 'potential trainwreck'

Transport experts have dismissed the latest plan to build a fast rail system between Melbourne and Sydney as a potential "financial trainwreck" that fails the economics test because of high costs.

  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Perhaps if we develop the superfast train then what it would save on construction and running cost may make a profit.


With only four terminating stations you may add a couple of billion on for that if you wish.


I used to work at Douglas park 500m below ground and 300m below sea level and it would not be too hard to drive below any coal workings  from Parramatta if need be.


Most problems with tunnelling are  when you are close to the surface with creeks, water table, soft ground or infrastructure.


Some people may freak out but I can assure you it would be no more scary to some than in a plane that may fall out the sky.


I cannot see cars going 800kph
eddyb
Eddy,
Before proposing such schemes there are three things that must be considered without even looking at rock samples

1) Cost comparison with other similar projects? A few posts up I showed how far out you were compared to other projects both completed and detail costed. $32B wouldn't get you to Campbelltown.

2) What do others do? No one builds tunnels under flat terrain with low to zero population above and no one uses such technology nor is there even one proposal for such technology over such a distance.

3) What is the problem you are trying to solve? So far not one person has ever answered this in RP when I've previously posted it. The best I can get is people want a govt subsidised railway to undercut the profitable airline industry at the expense of freight and interurban and suburban commuter.

Regards
Shane

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  eddyb Chief Train Controller

Shane


1) As I have pointed out before to you NWRL tunnels alone only cost $33m per kilometre in good rock and the ski to follo line only cost US $1.2b for 40 kilometres in the deepest and hardest rock in the world and is 10m diameter requiring twice the rock to be cut and transported.


2) There are a few proposals for a lot further than that and I believe the most likely one would be the European undersea one The proposed A pre-feasibility study carried out for Hyperloop One by accounting brand KPMG and nordic firm FS Links Ab says that the futuristic transport system could travel the 310 miles (500km) between capital cities Helsinki and Stockholm in just 28 minutes. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/is-elon-musks-hyperloop-coming-to-europe-092654707.html


3) At present Sydney and Melbourne could have a bit of pressure taken off them by connecting Albury and Canberra with a superfast train that is faster and cheaper than a plane Sydney to Melbourne while paying for much of it with the value capture in these two intermediate cities also I do not believe jet fuel will remain cheap.


4) I think hyperloop is too complicated and people would not accept up to 5g but a dead straight shuttle train yes.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
I cannot see cars going 800kph
eddyb


That's because they're going too fast! Wink
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I cannot see cars going 800kph
That's because they're going too fast! Wink
Graham4405
omg
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Shane


1) As I have pointed out before to you NWRL tunnels alone only cost $33m per kilometre in good rock and the ski to follo line only cost US $1.2b for 40 kilometres in the deepest and hardest rock in the world and is 10m diameter requiring twice the rock to be cut and transported.


2) There are a few proposals for a lot further than that and I believe the most likely one would be the European undersea one The proposed A pre-feasibility study carried out for Hyperloop One by accounting brand KPMG and nordic firm FS Links Ab says that the futuristic transport system could travel the 310 miles (500km) between capital cities Helsinki and Stockholm in just 28 minutes. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/is-elon-musks-hyperloop-coming-to-europe-092654707.html


3) At present Sydney and Melbourne could have a bit of pressure taken off them by connecting Albury and Canberra with a superfast train that is faster and cheaper than a plane Sydney to Melbourne while paying for much of it with the value capture in these two intermediate cities also I do not believe jet fuel will remain cheap.


4) I think hyperloop is too complicated and people would not accept up to 5g but a dead straight shuttle train yes.
eddyb
As I and others have said those tunnels costs don't add up and only 1/4 of the total project cost and I suspect you will find similar trying to get to Melbourne especially through areas where the rock is along way down. Just the core test drilling could easily hit $100m plus on such a large project.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

Shane


1) As I have pointed out before to you NWRL tunnels alone only cost $33m per kilometre in good rock and the ski to follo line only cost US $1.2b for 40 kilometres in the deepest and hardest rock in the world and is 10m diameter requiring twice the rock to be cut and transported.


2) There are a few proposals for a lot further than that and I believe the most likely one would be the European undersea one The proposed A pre-feasibility study carried out for Hyperloop One by accounting brand KPMG and nordic firm FS Links Ab says that the futuristic transport system could travel the 310 miles (500km) between capital cities Helsinki and Stockholm in just 28 minutes. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/is-elon-musks-hyperloop-coming-to-europe-092654707.html


3) At present Sydney and Melbourne could have a bit of pressure taken off them by connecting Albury and Canberra with a superfast train that is faster and cheaper than a plane Sydney to Melbourne while paying for much of it with the value capture in these two intermediate cities also I do not believe jet fuel will remain cheap.


4) I think hyperloop is too complicated and people would not accept up to 5g but a dead straight shuttle train yes.
As I and others have said those tunnels costs don't add up and only 1/4 of the total project cost and I suspect you will find similar trying to get to Melbourne especially through areas where the rock is along way down. Just the core test drilling could easily hit $100m plus on such a large project.
RTT_Rules
Shane
I am trying to find out how much these extra costs would be and think the steel pipe may be $2b
The core tests may be a lot more than you suggest so perhaps $1b
And have asked this mob how much the track would be in this pipe http://www.maglevboard.net/en/contact
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
[quote=eddyb][color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]There are many people who would like a HSR Sydney to Melbourne but there are those who object by saying there is no need as a plane is quicker so what I suggest is an 800kph superspeed train similar to a hyperloop but far simpler.[/quote][/font][/size][/color]
[color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]300-400km/h HSR would easily compete with air.[/font][/size][/color]

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]You only need to match them at similar cost to take a majority of market share - anything more is economically inept.[/font][/size][/color]

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][quote=eddyb][/font][/size][/color][color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]It states here that the 30 kilometres of tunnels were done for $1.15b or $38,333,333 per kilometre [/font][/size][/color][url=http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/tunnelling-contract-north-west-rail-link][color=#0066cc][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/tunnelling-co...[/font][/size][/color][/url][color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif] so a single tunnel Sydney to Melbourne would not be much more than the $32b.[/font][/size][/color]
[/quote]
Not how costings work.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

You are wasting your breath RTT. The costs he quotes at $33million a kilometre would only be for the tunnel and not the track, signalling, hvac and safety systems that would also be required and would most likely triple that $33m per kilometre. He is only counting one part of the construction and not the whole cost. The nw metro is supposed to cost $8.3billion or something like that.

He also isn't taking into account that the price of hsr tunnel is higher then the price of a metro tunnel because of the need for larger tunnels to offset the higher speeds and issues like tunnel boom for a train travelling at 300km/h.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
You are wasting your breath RTT.
simstrain
I came to that conclusion about eddyb four years ago.

EDIT: I've been on Railpage Australia for ten years and counting. Brb, meltdown.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Just past 12years, ouch!
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

You are wasting your breath RTT. The costs he quotes at $33million a kilometre would only be for the tunnel and not the track, signalling, hvac and safety systems that would also be required and would most likely triple that $33m per kilometre. He is only counting one part of the construction and not the whole cost. The nw metro is supposed to cost $8.3billion or something like that.

He also isn't taking into account that the price of hsr tunnel is higher then the price of a metro tunnel because of the need for larger tunnels to offset the higher speeds and issues like tunnel boom for a train travelling at 300km/h.
simstrain
Not even Shane knows how much the on costs would be with Maglev and this is the email I received today.

Dear Edward Barnett,



There is no quick answer to your question. Many aspects must be taken into account. All this needs an academic debate and intensive discussion.

To assist you to find an answer, we would suggest to join the MAGLEV2016 conference in Berlin in September http://www.maglevboard.net/en/maglev2016 , as there will be many experts and academics working in your field of interest. There will be several Hyperloop experts and representatives that would give you an answer from their respective point of view.

The Hyperloop system still needs a lot of research.



Best regards,



The International Maglev Board

Organizer of MAGLEV 2016

http://www.maglevboard.net




Also there would be no need for a tunnel greater than 6m diameter because it would be almost a vacuum.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

You are wasting your breath RTT.
I came to that conclusion about eddyb four years ago.

EDIT: I've been on Railpage Australia for ten years and counting. Brb, meltdown.
Watson374

This is not the first time I have mentioned that it is a waste of energy to discuss such things with eddyb. Much like Myrtone, his discussion rarely seems to have any validation in reality.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
You are wasting your breath RTT.
I came to that conclusion about eddyb four years ago.
This is not the first time I have mentioned that it is a waste of energy to discuss such things with eddyb. Much like Myrtone, his discussion rarely seems to have any validation in reality.
simstrain
There may be a trace of reality if you look hard enough.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
You are wasting your breath RTT.
I came to that conclusion about eddyb four years ago.
This is not the first time I have mentioned that it is a waste of energy to discuss such things with eddyb. Much like Myrtone, his discussion rarely seems to have any validation in reality.
simstrain
There may be a trace of reality if you look hard enough.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Also there would be no need for a tunnel greater than 6m diameter because it would be almost a vacuum.
"eddyb"
Yep - a train running in a near vacuum - one slight bit of damage to the train, we have a catastrophic decompression and people die. An aircraft can dive to a lower altitude for air; a train can't. Oxygen masks have only a limited useful time.
Similarly, any damage to the tunnel or air seals thereof, and air will be coming in at supersonic speed.

(I said earlier that I wouldn't post any more here, but it's difficult to resist something so blatantly obviously dangerous.)
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

Also there would be no need for a tunnel greater than 6m diameter because it would be almost a vacuum.
Yep - a train running in a near vacuum - one slight bit of damage to the train, we have a catastrophic decompression and people die. An aircraft can dive to a lower altitude for air; a train can't. Oxygen masks have only a limited useful time.
Similarly, any damage to the tunnel or air seals thereof, and air will be coming in at supersonic speed.

(I said earlier that I wouldn't post any more here, but it's difficult to resist something so blatantly obviously dangerous.)
Valvegear
As it would be in a tunnel and not suspended in the air the train can be made of sufficiently thick very strong steel so that could not occur.

If there was any breakdown then the tube would be repressurised over sufficient time before a rescue vehicle entered.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
As it would be in a tunnel and not suspended in the air the train can be made of sufficiently thick very strong steel so that could not occur.

If there was any breakdown then the tube would be repressurised over sufficient time before a rescue vehicle entered.
"eddyb"

In a word; Rubbish.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
As it would be in a tunnel and not suspended in the air the train can be made of sufficiently thick very strong steel so that could not occur.

If there was any breakdown then the tube would be repressurised over sufficient time before a rescue vehicle entered.
eddyb
its a pressure vessel of nearly one bar, so there are other lighter options like aluminium, polymer etc

The energy of 1 ATM across a large void is enormous and extremely dangerous and the repressurisation time would be lengthy as and you need to have numerous doors to enable this to occur safely and those doors need to have redundancy against their own failure. I have -1500pa draft system at work in 5m dia ducts, that would such a person across an 0.5m dia opening and kill them.  

Look, I get the concept, trains running in a near vacuum are less limited by speed and compression effects of running in a tunnel. But the technology is a long way to be proven and has plenty of issues, such as cooling the moving parts.

Its not going to happen any time soon and its certainly not going to happen Syd to Mel in our lifetime and I'm not old.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

As it would be in a tunnel and not suspended in the air the train can be made of sufficiently thick very strong steel so that could not occur.

If there was any breakdown then the tube would be repressurised over sufficient time before a rescue vehicle entered.
its a pressure vessel of nearly one bar, so there are other lighter options like aluminium, polymer etc

The energy of 1 ATM across a large void is enormous and extremely dangerous and the repressurisation time would be lengthy as and you need to have numerous doors to enable this to occur safely and those doors need to have redundancy against their own failure. I have -1500pa draft system at work in 5m dia ducts, that would such a person across an 0.5m dia opening and kill them.  

Look, I get the concept, trains running in a near vacuum are less limited by speed and compression effects of running in a tunnel. But the technology is a long way to be proven and has plenty of issues, such as cooling the moving parts.

Its not going to happen any time soon and its certainly not going to happen Syd to Mel in our lifetime and I'm not old.
RTT_Rules

He has been watching too many sci fi shows.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

As it would be in a tunnel and not suspended in the air the train can be made of sufficiently thick very strong steel so that could not occur.

If there was any breakdown then the tube would be repressurised over sufficient time before a rescue vehicle entered.
its a pressure vessel of nearly one bar, so there are other lighter options like aluminium, polymer etc

The energy of 1 ATM across a large void is enormous and extremely dangerous and the repressurisation time would be lengthy as and you need to have numerous doors to enable this to occur safely and those doors need to have redundancy against their own failure. I have -1500pa draft system at work in 5m dia ducts, that would such a person across an 0.5m dia opening and kill them.  

Look, I get the concept, trains running in a near vacuum are less limited by speed and compression effects of running in a tunnel. But the technology is a long way to be proven and has plenty of issues, such as cooling the moving parts.

Its not going to happen any time soon and its certainly not going to happen Syd to Mel in our lifetime and I'm not old.
Some people may be scared so


No fire possible without air.


Because it is not either suspended on high pylons or like a plane it can be made of thick strong steel that cannot rupture.


At the very worst it would only slide along inside the tube until it stops.


Passengers would wait until breakdown crew arrived as there is no urgency to exit.


I calculate normal air pressure would be attained after 5 hours allowing 200m3/s either end through the regulators creating a wind speed of 26kph

The mine I worked in had a 200m3/s fan and we used to regularly use the intake shaft and sometimes the updraft shaft for fire drill
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

By the time we drive dead straight tunnels between cities they will do 800kph


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wlS3HM1C70
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

This is the email I sent to Richard http://www.hyperloopdesign.net/#!about/c1bod

Hi Richard


Just a few thoughts I have that may be of interest to you.


Having once built a very primitive TBM that failed I realise that it is nearly impossible to build anything without the resources.


Yes Maglev is extremely expensive but a video recorder that used to cost a years pay 40 years ago you can now get in a phone for one days pay and a digital watch then would cost a months pay so the thing is once the technology is used prices will drop dramatically.


The hard part is to get Maglev accepted so the economies of scale will kick in so perhaps the Japanese government may work with you people to build a Maglev train in a near vacuum tube as they are going to build their new track 80% tunnels anyway.


To encourage them to do this it could be pointed out that with a Superspeed maglev only a single tunnel will be required with shuttle trains saving them 50% of the build and running cost.


I have floated the idea of a Superspeed train Sydney to Melbourne on a couple of forums as in the future any increase in air traffic would require extra airports built way out of town where a Superspeed train could get you to the city centre saving heaps of time.


Some concerns


Q—What if the train ruptures

A—The train could be made out of thick steel as it is not suspended in the air on pylons or wings.



Q—How long would it take to return the pipe to atmospheric pressure in case of breakdown.

A—If 200m3/s is allowed either end of a section through a regulator it would take 5 hours.



Q—How long would it take to return the 200m x 10m diameter station to atmospheric pressure.

A—Again at 200m3/s it would only take 74 seconds before 1,000 passengers could alight the departure side of the train while another 1,000 would enter the boarding side platform.



Q—Why build an expensive tunnel.

A—A single dead straight tunnel with the same capacity to move people as an elevated twin track HSR would cost the same with greater speeds, less g force and far cheaper running costs.



Q—What if there is ground movement in the dead straight tunnel.

A—The Japanese have earthquake protection on their fast trains so they have a fair bit of experience to draw on.


Regards Eddy
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

Japan wants to sell its maglev to America and is prepared to loan them half the money http://www.wsj.com/articles/japan-revs-up-maglev-train-pitch-to-u-s-1433421916 and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/10555330/Japan-offers-to-lend-US-half-the-cost-of-Super-Maglev-train-between-Washington-and-Baltimore.html


However perhaps China will be the first as it intends to build maglev trains in a vacuum tube that not only allows for bigger trains and smaller tunnels but would go so fast there is really only a need for one dead straight tunnel between towns. https://cleantechnica.com/2010/08/19/1000-kph-620-mph-super-train-for-china/
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

I sent our prime minister a copy of the email I sent to the Japanese prime minister and I hope it gets to him.

Hi


After reading Japan is interested in giving America a loan of half the construction cost of the Japanese Maglev I am wondering if it would be interested in doing similar for Australia.


However in a vacuum tube it would not only use only a fraction of the energy for a 1,000 kph train but construction costs would also be halved as it would only need a single dead straight smaller tunnel for a bigger shuttle trains between cities.


There are 5 million people travel between Sydney and Melbourne each year and that number will only grow in the future so I am suggesting the state of Victoria builds a third from Melbourne to Albury, ACT builds one third Canberra to Albury and NSW builds the one third Sydney to Canberra.


If each state spends $500m per year matched by our federal government then in ten years it would be possible for a person to get between any of these cities in 15 minutes or Sydney to Melbourne with a couple of transfers in one hour.


At present all governments think that planes are cheaper but they will not get a person quickly and cheaply into the CBD of cities and if a vacuum Japanese Maglev can they will discontinue that route leaving a monopoly.


The NWRL tunnels cost A$1.15b for 30 kilometres so Melbourne to Sydney with a concrete vacuum tube inside should cost A$35b and in ten years when it is finished it could have the monopoly of maybe  seven million passengers at $100 each.


Regarding the terminating stations at each city it would only take one minute for them to return to atmospheric pressure after the airtight steel door is closed so people could exit the train from one side and enter the station platform the other.


One other thing is that as the tunnels would be dead straight and there is only one shuttle train in each section it may be rigid to give an even smoother ride with no g force once it gets to speed.


Regards Eddy Barnett
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

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