Melbourne-Sydney fast train a top Labor priority

 

News article: Melbourne-Sydney fast train a top Labor priority

A fast train linking Melbourne and Sydney in less than three hours will be among the top infrastructure priorities of a Shorten Government.

  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Another reason voting ALP for the coming federal election as we will finally get a project up that has been talked about almost as long as the Melbourne Airport Link.

So many benefits will flow from this project including the start of longer distance electrification across state boundaries.

We will see towns  between Sydney and Melbourne flourish with people moving into enjoy the lifestyle of a regional centre with easy access to Sydney or Melbourne. Think about Albury and its place in the centre of the network and how you could get and take the fast train to Sydney for the day and Melbourne later in the week.  With NBN now more available working from home and doing business in either capital is a real possibility with the project.

If the airlines were really smart they would link FF programmes like BA has in the UK.


Melbourne-Sydney fast train a top Labor priority

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  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
“Among the first actions.. will be to restore the High Speed Rail Authority”.

That means they will create a handful of public sector jobs, and a letterhead.

More campaign promises.

It would be nice to be able to a take a high speed train journey to Melbourne. Unlikely in my lifetime - i’m 60 already.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Albanese has always said the ALP will do it and they will and they need to.  The country needs leaders to build big and solid and get on with making this country great again.  Se have a series of whimps in federal parliament who have not delivered infrastructure in so long even when Costello was in and they had 100's of billions from the mining boom.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
It would be nice to be able to a take a high speed train journey to Melbourne. Unlikely in my lifetime - i’m 60 already.
SinickleBird
I'd like do it in the opposite direction, but you reckon you won't see it? I've got no hope at 78.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Another reason voting ALP for the coming federal election as we will finally get a project up that has been talked about almost as long as the Melbourne Airport Link.

So many benefits will flow from this project including the start of longer distance electrification across state boundaries.

We will see towns  between Sydney and Melbourne flourish with people moving into enjoy the lifestyle of a regional centre with easy access to Sydney or Melbourne. Think about Albury and its place in the centre of the network and how you could get and take the fast train to Sydney for the day and Melbourne later in the week.  With NBN now more available working from home and doing business in either capital is a real possibility with the project.

If the airlines were really smart they would link FF programmes like BA has in the UK.


Melbourne-Sydney fast train a top Labor priority
x31
Reality check
- 7 years of previous ALP govt and they didn't progress it any further than Howard

- Creating an authority for a project still 1-2 decades away is hardly rocket science, but hell if you want your taxes to fund 6 figure salaries to sit in offices in Canberra to work on a this pipedream, go for it!

- electrification for HSR across the state border doesn't help freight or commuter and not required for either + existing regional services.

- towns flourish ? So you want to build $100B worth of infrastructure so rich people can commute to Sydney/Melbourne. Might be worth a look at HSR fares OS before buying your country estate at Yass, Wagga or Albury. Hint look at the current interurban fares for either Sydney or Melbourne which are heavily subsidised by up to 75% or more and then ask yourself what a 400km fare will be on something that cost $100B to build and only for long haul pax and will not have anywhere near the same level of subsidy?

- HSR will NOT have stations in these towns as it will by-pass most of them and stations of HSR will be on average once every 100 or more km. So between Sydney and Melbourne we are talking about half a dozen locations for which you may have 30min drive just to get to the station.

- Didn't need NBN to work from home, broad band off my phone was fine and what I use when travelling. Before the era of the smart phone I had a satellite dish for the internet on my acreage and I and my wife frequently worked from home.

- Airlines may or may not choose to link themselves, however as the net effect of even the most ambitious East Coast HSR on the airlines is minimal. The only service at high risk from HSR is Syd-Can and to a lessor degree Mel-Can. Syd-Mel is borderline at best.

- Finally Costello didn't have 100's of Billions to play with. The govt surplus was around $20-30B a year for only the last few years of Howard Govt and rightfully they dumped much of the surplus after retiring govt debt into the Future Fund to pay for the unfunded Fed govt employee Super scheme which had been set up, but contributions not fully paid, rather deferring to future budgets. Obviously this was such a wrong move the first thing Rudd did as PM was put Coestello in charge of the  Future fund and continue to make contributions even borrowing money from China during the GFC when the govt when into deficit.

Additionally, during the mining boom was not the time for the Australian Govt to start such a major construction project such as this, the damage to the economy would have been horrific.

This is nothing more than a election propaganda. They will not start construction in the next term or two of govt, they simply do not have that sort of money, its not viable privately and there are far more issues to deal with. The govt has only just managed to come into surplus and a fragile one at that facing a potential down turn in the national and global economy placing that surplus at risk. The Feds are indebted to nearly $400B or what ever but basically 41% of GDP.  

I believe the project was previously expected to start in the early 2030's and not before and take over 20 years to complete, ie join Brisbane to Melbourne. So yes, its highly unlikely that some here will ever be around to see it. Personal opinion is that the timeline is probably correct and suited to Australia and demand. The corridor should be identified and protected and that the initial focus should be to have MSR up and running to Canberra before 2023 and Newcastle by 2025 which enables all existing services to share the same upgraded tracks thus diluting the cost amongst multiple services including freight. HSR can build off the back of these projects within 10-15 years and have an existing half decent regional network to help boost the ridership.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Every time I see a proposal for some railway engineering feat, I think back to my days in the  Melbourne High School Railway Club ( 1955-1958 ) which was when the idea of roofing the Jolimont Yards first appeared. It has popped up on a number of occasions since ( at decent intervals, mark you!), and is no closer to starting than it was 60-odd years ago.

Never mind, if anything is actually put in place for this fast rail idea, it will be in the best traditions of Sir Humphrey Appleby, with highly paid members forming a committee which might possibly report in a decade or so, and the report will say, "It's very expensive."

One is not born cynical, but cynicism is easily learnt with the quality of politicians we have.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

what does a vhst get us? We don't have the population and this will cost $100 billion to build and does nothing for freight traffic. It will be more expensive then the planes that already operate and so will not achieve nation building status. The California project is running out of money and is being scaled back to only 270 kilometres in length from it's original 840km distance. It has gone through US$77 billion and so what in the heck makes anybody think it will be even remotely viable here.

https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-plan-challenges-20190303-story.html
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

so essentially US$77 billion for a rail line the equivalent from Sydney to Canberra.
  John E Station Master

US $77 Billion was for whole Los Angeles to San Francisco/Bay Area route. The scaled back version is from Merced to Bakersfield, which have populations of approx 100k to 500k. I'd imagine this segment would be far less expensive e.g. less than $20 billion. The original busget for the full LA to San Fran route was around $40 Billion - a massive cost blowout.

There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from the California debacle that should be taken into account when considering high speed rail in Australia. There are a lot of similarities including:
- LA to San Fran is a similar distance that Melbourne to Sydney is. Both have large pooulations with comparitively small populations in between.
- The terrain is often mountainous, greatly adding to the complexity and cost of building to high speed rail standards.
- Acquiring land for the rail corridor can be
expensive and time comsuming.
- Acquiring funds for the project can be a dog fight between the states and the feds.

In saying all that, I hope there is a future for high speed rail in Australia. Unless the total time between Melbourne and Sydney is less than 2 and a half hours, HSR is unlikely to replace air travel (likely Maglev).

Conventional HSR with stops along the way should be cheaper to build and help develop more regional centres. A total trip time of 3 and a half hours will still be relatively competitive with Air Travel.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Today's news cites scope as Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne but original scope for this thread is Melbourne to Sydney.

Which scope is it?
  michaelgm Deputy Commissioner

Today's news cites scope as Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne but original scope for this thread is Melbourne to Sydney.

Which scope is it?
x31
Doubtful that even the youngest reader here will travel on any HST in this country, so the scope is irrelevant.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

I am afraid I share your optimism Michaelgm. For any intercapital pax, the plane cannot be beaten.

We need to fix the current infrastructure and  better interconnect regional cities with each other. Sydney is overcrowded and city dwellers need another reason to pack up and get out.

Any such VFT would not see Albury.

It would straight line from Canberra down to Bombala and into Victoria bypassing the main south.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

I guess if Victoria can afford a 50 billion rail loop. Australia can afford a high speed railway.

Just a matter of spreading it out over a few stages and upgrading the existing services as well.
Like upgrading the existing regional railways, would definitely make the project more economically sound.

Nothing fancy like the over expensive Maglev or the thought bubble Hyperloop. Just standard high speed rail.
It doesn't need to super super speedy, it just needs to be 1) Reliable, 2) Frequent. If it can run more frequent than the airliners, it would be still attractive, even if it take a couple hours more in commute.

Yes some tunnels and elevated structures would be needed. And also property acquisitions.
But it's for the next generations. And the population has changed dramatically since the Howard years.

There will be demand for it. It's just hope the government do what they say will do. I guess that will be answered if the government is given a chance to run again. Both parties have been faulty about keeping to their word.

I'm just optimistic that at least this time this high speed link is built, cause I guess it's about time already. We've waited long enough.
Yes it's just my opinion, nothing factual here, sorry. I'm just excited for it.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Accept the route would still to be agreed but I do not agree at all the service would not be used.  This is a major project for the country and can see the service being very very popular.  I also like the idea of Australia then having a national passenger rail organisation is long overdue and has to happen.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I guess if Victoria can afford a 50 billion rail loop. Australia can afford a high speed railway.

Just a matter of spreading it out over a few stages and upgrading the existing services as well.
Like upgrading the existing regional railways, would definitely make the project more economically sound.

Nothing fancy like the over expensive Maglev or the thought bubble Hyperloop. Just standard high speed rail.
It doesn't need to super super speedy, it just needs to be 1) Reliable, 2) Frequent. If it can run more frequent than the airliners, it would be still attractive, even if it take a couple hours more in commute.

Yes some tunnels and elevated structures would be needed. And also property acquisitions.
But it's for the next generations. And the population has changed dramatically since the Howard years.

There will be demand for it. It's just hope the government do what they say will do. I guess that will be answered if the government is given a chance to run again. Both parties have been faulty about keeping to their word.

I'm just optimistic that at least this time this high speed link is built, cause I guess it's about time already. We've waited long enough.
Yes it's just my opinion, nothing factual here, sorry. I'm just excited for it.
True Believers
Have you seen the frequency of the Syd Mel flights with QF and Vermin? If yon ran a 500 person train that frequent you would be running less than 10min frequency in peak and no more than half full at best.

Price wise, I think you will be a tad shocked and be quickly looking up Qantas.com.au

The point is its less than 3h CBD to CBD via air, HST is going to struggle just to match it and there are no guarantees it will even start-finish in the traditional City Centre stations of Sydney's Central and Mel's Southern Cross.

It maybe there for generations, but if its a hole in the taxpayer pocket just to run it, why are we making another hole building it. The private sector won't touch it without a subsidy, is this not a warning?

We are not ready, the ALP have no plan to start construction in at least the next two-three terms, read their own studies from the past, do not get caught up in the hype.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Accept the route would still to be agreed but I do not agree at all the service would not be used.  This is a major project for the country and can see the service being very very popular.  I also like the idea of Australia then having a national passenger rail organisation is long overdue and has to happen.
x31
There is a big difference between something being used and being used at levels that make it viable.

There are other major projects for the country that would be even more popular.

Australia doesn't need a HST to merge the various state run regional rail services. The feds divested themselves of this previously and have no interest in going down this path again, its also hardly a national service when it barely touches 3 states.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
“Among the first actions.. will be to restore the High Speed Rail Authority”.

That means they will create a handful of public sector jobs, and a letterhead.

More campaign promises.

It would be nice to be able to a take a high speed train journey to Melbourne. Unlikely in my lifetime - i’m 60 already.
SinickleBird

Our probable PM after the May election, Bill Shorten is also a resident of Victoria.

He is fully aware of the Victorian government keeping all of its 2014 election promises and Anthony Albanese will in all likelihood be the Infrastructure Minister in the likely event of a Shorten Labor government in a few months.

Anthony Albanese has been advocating for HSR for at least 10 years and this will clearly be his signature project.

https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/publications/high-speed-rail-study-reports/files/HSR_Phase_2-Main_Report_Low_Res.pdf

Mike.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Mr. Mike you have hit the nail on the head, this will be the legacy he leaves us with and will be a project especially close to him.  He will deliver for this country as he has witnessed first had how delivering rail projects is good for political fortunes.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Has a sleeper been laid on the Melb/Bris freight line yet, or are we up to our umpteenth study on how we can cut corners and save money and completely stuff it up
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

US $77 Billion was for whole Los Angeles to San Francisco/Bay Area route. The scaled back version is from Merced to Bakersfield, which have populations of approx 100k to 500k. I'd imagine this segment would be far less expensive e.g. less than $20 billion. The original busget for the full LA to San Fran route was around $40 Billion - a massive cost blowout.

There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from the California debacle that should be taken into account when considering high speed rail in Australia. There are a lot of similarities including:
- LA to San Fran is a similar distance that Melbourne to Sydney is. Both have large pooulations with comparitively small populations in between.
- The terrain is often mountainous, greatly adding to the complexity and cost of building to high speed rail standards.
- Acquiring land for the rail corridor can be
expensive and time comsuming.
- Acquiring funds for the project can be a dog fight between the states and the feds.

In saying all that, I hope there is a future for high speed rail in Australia. Unless the total time between Melbourne and Sydney is less than 2 and a half hours, HSR is unlikely to replace air travel (likely Maglev).

Conventional HSR with stops along the way should be cheaper to build and help develop more regional centres. A total trip time of 3 and a half hours will still be relatively competitive with Air Travel.
John E

From my understanding they have already spent the $77 billion from reading the article I linked. In any case the cost should be looked at in comparison to metro in Sydney which was $8 billion for 36 kilometres. When you extend that cost out to 800km's for Sydney to Melbourne you get $177 billion. That isn't taking in to account that vhst by it's nature cost significantly more then metro.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Adding to what Mike Vinelander said - yes, reforming the HSR Authority is just a stunt in one sense, but another thing we’ve seen in Victoria is that giving a dedicated public service body a big budget and a mandate to do whatever it takes to get the job done can work, and work very well.

Though I do also agree with @wobert that I’d much rather see an Inland Rail Authority set up first instead of leaving it in ARTC’s capable but interminably slow hands.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

X31 and vinelander there is a difference between the lines that run vlocities and what a vhst requires. A VHST requires a quality of rail that Victoria has never ever seen before to run trains at 300km/h. It is also extremely expensive and you can't do you cheap as chips Victorian quality for such a project either. It is going to require the Germans, French or the Japanese to build such a rail line as we have no capability in doing this what so ever.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

you can't do you cheap as chips Victorian quality for such a project either.
simstrain

So we should adopt the NSW approach of “inappropriate transport solutions done in the most expensive way possible, ignoring all proven technologies for undefined NIMBY reasons?”
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Just reading my copy of the VFT Concept Report published in December 1988. Back then it was planned to go via Bombala which caused outcry so the better route via Albury was developed. Back then, they were looking at 6.6M journeys a year and the populations at all locations have more than doubled. The SYD MEL air corridor is in the top half dozen busiest in the world and is approaching capacity. Sydney and Melbourne are hardly country towns, they are major cities with high demand for travel. It was assumed then, and still applies, that a 3 hour city to city trip of 3 hours would generate new traffic as well as soaking up air demand. The VFT was from CBD to CBD, add the trips at each end to check in requirements and it is time competitive at the proposed 3 hour flagship services.
Then look at the route, you have two major traffic generators in Canberra and Albury, you might have to drag all the pollies and hangers on to a train! That is your secondary service. Then you have well spaced centres which would develop at Goulburn, Wagga, Coota, Wang, Benalla for a stopping service which would still get the whole trip in just over 4 hours.
A corridor has been identified, a route was developed in some detail.
The first serious proposal fell over when the private proponents dropped out for other reasons than VFT.
Do I believe it can be justifiable? Yes
Will I be able to travel on it in my lifetime? No way.
Do I believe any politicians who promise to proceed if we elect them? Ha ha ha ha
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
Has a sleeper been laid on the Melb/Bris freight line yet,
wobert
yes

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