Small bypasses (line straightening) like what happened with the highways will be much more beneficial to the social fabric and cost significantly less. HSR's main hurdle is that it is a passenger only rail system and Australia can not afford this. It needs solutions that will help freight and passenger traffic. Both NSW and Victoria have rolling stock that could allow faster services if level crossings were removed along with duplication and line straightening. The XPT could easily drop 4-5 hours off it's nearly 11 hour service currently provided. That is a massive change in service that could be provided without having to spend $100 billion.Agreed!
And if the price was right (half that of air travel and unfluctuating), I think medium-speed rail could still provide a competitive service with air travel for leisure travellers, espcailly when you consider the cost, hassle, station access fees, and game of whack-a-mole that is air travel.Yes, you're quite correct sims. This matter has already been discussed ad nauseum on other threads and the general consensus seems to be that HSR in the Australian context, and specifically on the East Coast, just isn't viable because of the long distances between capital cities and sparse population densities in between. Australia isn't like Europe or Asia.Funnily enough, the one thing that government refuse to do, provide resources and develop outside of Sydney, is what would make high-speed rail actually viable.
The cost of fares to recoup even partial operating costs, let alone capital costs, would make it totally uncompetitive with air travel, particularly over the longer interstate distances. Forget about a daily commute or even less from regional centres to and from the capital cities. It would require massive subsidies from Federal and State Governments, when little overall benefit would be gained compared with a more modest aspiration, at a fraction of the cost, in upgrading the existing rail network to Medium Rail Standard (up to 200km/h) with curve easing, deviations and track duplication.
This would significantly reduce existing journey times for both passenger and freight traffic and make it more competitive with road coach and freight traffic, which realistically are its major competitors, not air travel. I can see no reason why journey times couldn't be at least halved on some routes. The major beneficiaries would be on intrastate regional journeys between the capital cities and their respective regional centres, which would include cross border trips, i.e. Northern NSW to Brisbane and Southern NSW to Melbourne.
Labor would be well advised to drop HSR from its policy platform and instead focus on MSR.
The new NSW hybrid diesel/electric Regional Train Fleet will enable operation under the wires on the existing electrified network and any future extensions, which at this stage is proposed to Goulburn, Bathurst and Maitland. It could no doubt be extended further in the future.
If Newcastle and Wollongong were provided with resources and made into liveable cities, and likewise Albury-Wodonga were merge into one and expanded into something the size and population of Wollongong and given resources, and likewise Wagga, Port Macquarie, and Coffs Harbour were expanded into the size of Wollongong,
then and only then, not only could we lower the cost of living, but maybe, JUST MAYBE we could justify a high speed train stopping at Melbourne - Albury/Wodonga - Wagga - Canberra - Wollongong - Sydney - Newcastle - Port Macquarie - Coffs Harbour - Gold Coast - Brisbane.
But the current policy of cram everyone into Sydney, charge them $550/week rent, take all resources from other parts of the state, and treat secondary cities like country towns, high speed rail will NEVER be viable.The OP said:This comment seems TOTALLY unnecessary, I work from home and live in Sydney, but I have seen job applications, including those for Transport for NSW claiming that they will priorities those with lower commute times, and when the same people claiming that "High-Speed Rail will give people choice in where they live" and the same people not allowing intercity commuters to work from them, you know something is wrong.
“ Job applications are largely automated and applying for a Sydney job with a regional address will likely get your application automatically spat out!”
This seems like a TOTAL fiction. I work in a relatively high tech professional sector and we absolutely consider applicants from outside Sydney. Have you considered it wasn’t your address that was the issue..
Glad to see your company is not part of the problem, but you can't just assume that the problem isn't there.
Yeah I heard the news: https://newsconcerns.com/perrottets-plan-for-six-city-mega-region/Funnily enough, the one thing that government refuse to do, provide resources and develop outside of Sydney, is what would make high-speed rail actually viable.nsw has started on a plan .. expanding the metropolitan plan .. but would not be placing any bets on fast transport links ..
Will believe it when I see it, everything Perrottet is saying has the potential to make NSW the best thing since sliced bread - unfortunately there is one little problem - there is a state election coming up in March. I'm sure soon after we will be back to normal.
Fast transport links are not the solution anyway as I explained before, people living in Newcastle need to be able to get a job in Newcastle!, not commute to Sydney on a high-speed train in 45 minutes, because it doesn't matter how fast the train goes, the Newcastle resident's Sydney job application has likely already been automatically filtered out based on address.