It's time to act on fast rail

 

News article: It's time to act on fast rail

Chief Minister Andrew Barr's statement that "the immediate focus should be on making the train faster and not on developing a high speed network" in reference to the future of the Canberra-Sydney rail link.

  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
SYDNEY to Canberra is the logical choice for the fast rail for an intercapital pair. 

Geelong to Melbourne for intrastate.

It's time to act on fast rail

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  C2 Locomotive Fireman

High speed to Geelong is as redicilious as ebikes and healthy people driving scooters. White Noise!
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
High speed rail to Geelong is the most ridiculous thing in the history of the universe especially when you consider the current travel time.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
High speed rail is best used on a long route serving many travellers, where time saved over conventional rail can be measured in hours.
Melbourne to Geelong might save 5 minutes which is as useful as giving a bicycle to a fish.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Melbourne to Geelong just needs more capacity and extra tracks that are separate to the RRL. Sharing the RRL with Bendigo and Ballarat trains is a joke.

As for Sydney to Canberra a new alignment would fix the speed thing and the guy that commented on this as outdated thinking is a fool. We don't have the money to waste on vhst projects which needs to be going towards sorting out our water issues during times of drought.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Melbourne to Geelong just needs more capacity and extra tracks that are separate to the RRL. Sharing the RRL with Bendigo and Ballarat trains is a joke.

As for Sydney to Canberra a new alignment would fix the speed thing and the guy that commented on this as outdated thinking is a fool. We don't have the money to waste on vhst projects which needs to be going towards sorting out our water issues during times of drought.
simstrain
Re the MLBN - Geelong comment except to ask what is the distance between the two Locations? From my view the cost for fast train could be met as you say with extra tracks, thing is what population base is there between Werribee and Nth Geelong?

To really make a fast train service viable even to Canberra, it must have a new alignment, and that would be very much making few stops overall, and getting new alignments would need to be somewhat radical and perhaps providing the new alignment with prospects of future higher speed upgrades. Stops should also be limited as well.

Once out of Campbelltown the line should go as close as possible to the Hume Hwy, the next stop would Moss Vale with the new line skirting Mittagong and Bowral to the Eastern side of the existing line, and connecting to the existing station between MV and Berrima jct.  After leaving MV it should go direct through the Penrose state forest, then direct through Brayton and to Towrang, ideally then with a new aligning of the line from the south of Towrang Station, to the Northern end of the Murrays Flat straight, that would require a new rail bridge over the Wolllondilly River.

The line to QBN in the main could be more readily upgraded as far as Tarago as its relatively straight overall, between there and Bungendore.  The biggest re-alignment on the next section would be move the line closer to Kings Hwy and go through the pine forest there, doing away with the old Brooks Banks Tunnel.

I know your not fussed on too high a speed train service Sims but in the areas of where the line can be built to allow for speeds up to 200Km/h it could be a fair game changer for travellers, depending on the number of pax services provided, the line can and should be allowed to operate priority fast freight services. The big areas where these trains will be hampered would be in the suburban network, especially in the primary two peak times.

As an aside, I found in a box when unpacking an old info handout that covered the line from Sydney to Albury, promoting the old Inter capital exp, its in A 4 formant and a fold over item that shows the line and areas of interest, being small and over 3 sections, it really shows the jagged drunken snail trail that is the Main South line, a look at it really makes one realise there is a fundamental need for a progressive upgrade of the whole of the line, with new alignments.  Even an upgraded old alignment would make a difference.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
yay, yet another thread on fast rail in australia....... yawn.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
yay, yet another thread on fast rail in australia....... yawn.
BrentonGolding
Very true but this is far better post because it is full of acronyms.

What is it about Geelong - someone there must have the negatives on some one. Perhaps some people here on RP even.

Bloody hell, it's all of about 50 miles which is covered in less than an hour How sad, too bad, never mind.

Heaven forbid that Geelong passengers, err customers, err guests (whatever they are called today) should have to share their infrastructure with the peasants from Ballarat, Wyndam Vale or Bendigo. They need a dose of Dandenong, Frankston or Craigieburn reality which take damned near the same time to do half the distance in an airless crush loaded stinking Comeng.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

The ideal method for speeding up Geelong services would be to electrify it for EMUs to take over when the Vlocity sets are life expired.

Until that time rolls around, it’s quite a decent service which needs little done to it.
  cityrail-rulez Chief Train Controller

Stuff fast rail, high speed rail bullcrap!
Campbelltown to Canberra via Goulburn rail electrification needs to be done, it's been in the books for far too long! Eliminate a few curves on the Main Southern, North Coast, Main West and Broken Hill lines "There's your start to high speed there" WHY build another railway network when it's already THERE? If Queensland Rail can eliminate curves on their North Coast line and probably other main lines in Queensland making trains a lot faster WHY not NSW?

Personally Sydney to Perth should be high speed rail! Saves a lot of time rather than travelling for like a week on the Indian Pacific! But again, you got to eliminate curves in some places EASY AS!!!

Overall the only way Australia would ever see high speed rail is by simply eliminating curves in most areas along any main lines throughout Australia, no matter which state! Of course, there is a sacrifice of never having to see the beautiful steam locomotives on tours ever again! But, I'm certainly willing to make that sacrifice "lets face it, steam loco's had their day on the lines"

It is obvious, that the Australian government will continue to offer high speed rail whenever voting comes up! They use it to s**k us into believing it to keep their voters! Australia really will never see high speed rail surely NOT in our life time anyway!
  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
There’s some nice straight track between Sydney and Perth Laughing
  AheadMatthewawsome Locomotive Driver

Location: Opening Train Lines
I think a good place as well is South East Queensland and the east coast of Queensland would be a great spot.

With fast rail being in the following towns/cites: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Maryborough, Bundaburg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Bowen, Ayr, Townsville, and Cairns.

Sydney to Canberra would be great! The NSW Government is already planning it, and services to: Port Maquarie via Newcastle, Orange, Canberra, and Norwa via Wollongong.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I think a good place as well is South East Queensland and the east coast of Queensland would be a great spot.

With fast rail being in the following towns/cites: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Maryborough, Bundaburg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Bowen, Ayr, Townsville, and Cairns.

Sydney to Canberra would be great! The NSW Government is already planning it, and services to: Port Maquarie via Newcastle, Orange, Canberra, and Norwa via Wollongong.
AheadMatthewawsome
GC is already pretty good, just need to sort out the route south to Kingston mostly, beyond that is not too bad and beyond Beenleigh is perfectly acceptable

Sunny Coast line, similar issue, the inner city section to Northgate is slow, the new corridor nth of Cabulture is fine, just need to extend the realignment to Gympie North. From there to Marybrough there are some issues to also resolve, but beyond is mostly ok apart from about 10 bends along the way to Gladstone.

Nth of Rocky, the corridor is fine to Townsville, the ingham to Cairns is the big problem.
  AheadMatthewawsome Locomotive Driver

Location: Opening Train Lines
I think a good place as well is South East Queensland and the east coast of Queensland would be a great spot.

With fast rail being in the following towns/cites: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Maryborough, Bundaburg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Bowen, Ayr, Townsville, and Cairns.

Sydney to Canberra would be great! The NSW Government is already planning it, and services to: Port Maquarie via Newcastle, Orange, Canberra, and Norwa via Wollongong.
GC is already pretty good, just need to sort out the route south to Kingston mostly, beyond that is not too bad and beyond Beenleigh is perfectly acceptable

Sunny Coast line, similar issue, the inner city section to Northgate is slow, the new corridor nth of Cabulture is fine, just need to extend the realignment to Gympie North. From there to Marybrough there are some issues to also resolve, but beyond is mostly ok apart from about 10 bends along the way to Gladstone.

Nth of Rocky, the corridor is fine to Townsville, the ingham to Cairns is the big problem.
RTT_Rules
Thank you for that advice! I don't live near Queensland, so your advice is great! Thinking about it now, I think it should start with a line from Brisbane to Toowoomba, it needs a rail line again anyways. And then going further north from Brisbane/Gold Coast to Cairns. We can still use the current track that is being used as well, and have new track where needed. And also increase the speed limit where safe.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Thank you for that advice! I don't live near Queensland, so your advice is great! Thinking about it now, I think it should start with a line from Brisbane to Toowoomba, it needs a rail line again anyways. And then going further north from Brisbane/Gold Coast to Cairns. We can still use the current track that is being used as well, and have new track where needed. And also increase the speed limit where safe.
AheadMatthewawsome
Looking at three corridors

Gold Coast
- When it was only open to Robina, Beenleigh was roughly half way and it took 40min to get to Beenleigh and 20min to Robina and today its slower to Beenleigh as they try to fit in more trains but now run into the back of an all stopper.

The bends from Salisbury to Kuraby/Kingston, very slow, to make it worse the govt tripplicated it with plans in future to Quad it.  There is an option I found on that could by-pass this.

At the city end which is also slow, the CRR will knock off 5-10min.

The route south of Beenleigh is +100km/h station to station, so no need for HSR or anything else.

The line however needs to be extended from Varsity Lakes to the airport, seriously govt get on with it. The broke govt needs about $1-1.5B to finish the line but would struggle to deal with increased ridership until de-bottlenecking is complete nth of Kuraby.

Western Line
- 15 yr back the Qld govt surveyed a new corridor to Toowoomba, but the Inland Project sent them very quiet on this and I expect the broke govt is waiting on  the Feds to solve their issues. The problem is the ARTC have no designed the line up the range for Pax traffic in mind apart from being DG, nor will the state get priority running unless they pay for it.

NCL
I rode the RTT for a year every 2 weeks on a Friday night to Gladstone in 2002-3, hence my tag. The RTT project was conceived in an era when Gladstone and Rocky got minimal and expensive air services along with a slow Bruce Highway, times have changed and hence the use of rail has declined and the RTT never I feel achieved its intention and the govt lost interest to further upgrade the line and buy a much needed 3rd set.

At 7h originally Brisbane to Rocky, it was fast by Australian standards, only The Prospector out runs it, but over the years its been slowed by around 30min for reliability and also due to coal traffic growth on Gladstone to Rocky section and also coal traffic making it impossible to sustain the track quality required for operating > 120km/h. Even the realigned and duplicated Cabulture to Beerburum section hasn't helped.

Note: the line from Cabulure to Rocky has been extensively realigned and would have more realignment work done than rest of Oz combined, but still 100km of work to do.

The line Nth to Cabulture, the nth suburban terminus takes just under 1h, the govt has the Trouts road by-pass on the books to make an express run from Nth BRisbane to Sunshine, this needs to be built Quad track to support the local, regional, freight and IU services. This will save around 15-20min or so.

Nearly 3h to Gympie Nth which is only 170km nth of Brisbane and this is with priority running but slowed due to excessive tight bends. Complete the Duplication and realignment to from Beerberum to Gympie Nth needs to be done, on the books but no money and Feds won't pay or contribute as its not deemed part of interstate. This work could save 45min running time.

Gympie Nth to Maryborough West is also slow, full of bends and opposing traffic, relignment is needed but not duplication, perhaps passing lanes,

Mary West to Bundy, this was the frustrating section. Lots of high speed straight track running but frequently slowed due to passing loops with 80/100/120km/h speed limits, where as north of Bundy there is frequent use of passing loops with 160km/h running on the straight point.

Bundy bridge and nth side small section of street running is slow adding 5-10min

Nth of Bundy to Miriam Vale has mix of good but also ugly, some long high speed straights with tight 60km/h bends (one famous one claimed the CTT)

Miriam Vale to Gladstone is pretty good but a few tighter bends need to be removed.

In general, the points passing loop speed should be same as track speed either side or at least no slower than 120km/h.

Gladstone to Rocky, the coal traffic reigns supreme despite the track being duplicated, perhaps a 10km long passing lane in the middle?

All up, I think the existing train could loose 1.5h with the above.

Nth of Rocky, to Townsvile, this section of track was extensively upgraded in 2000's, removing some S bends over bridges etc. However it is still plagued that the CTT must slow to 100km/h to cross a farm gate access road. The speed signs to 100 and back up again are 10m apart but the whole train must pass. This is probably the most viable of corrections needed.

Townsville to Cairns, the cane crossings need to be all replaced with draw bridge to eliminate these painfully slow crossings.

The straighter sections of track need to be converted to concrete sleepers and speed raised to +100km/h running. There is I believe an opportunity to run a local CTT service reverse direction to existing CTT from Mackay to Cairns and return, but track speed needs addressing to cut now the sections times north of Ingham.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I know your not fussed on too high a speed train service Sims but in the areas of where the line can be built to allow for speeds up to 200Km/h it could be a fair game changer for travellers, depending on the number of pax services provided, the line can and should be allowed to operate priority fast freight services. The big areas where these trains will be hampered would be in the suburban network, especially in the primary two peak times.

As an aside, I found in a box when unpacking an old info handout that covered the line from Sydney to Albury, promoting the old Inter capital exp, its in A 4 formant and a fold over item that shows the line and areas of interest, being small and over 3 sections, it really shows the jagged drunken snail trail that is the Main South line, a look at it really makes one realise there is a fundamental need for a progressive upgrade of the whole of the line, with new alignments.  Even an upgraded old alignment would make a difference.
a6et

It's not that I wouldn't like a faster rail service. I just think the government should be looking at spending our money wisely instead of just building something for the sake of it just as the previous federal labor government did with the NBN. A dedicated high speed passenger rail line will just be a black hole that money will be forever sucked in to.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

HS2 is apparently going to cost over 100 billion pounds and so I am feeling a little vindicated when I suggested that a Sydney to Melbourne VHST would cost A$200 billion in other high speed rail threads. Only 550km's vs the 800km's for Sydney to Melbourne.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/johnson-could-scrap-200-billion-high-speed-rail-link-20191209-p53ieb.html

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