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Fixing the Sydney to Canberra rail link is both achievable and affordable. And no, you don't have to resort to science fiction.
Many countries in Europe have shown it is possible to lay, and maintain, an ordinary main line that can cope with speeds up to 200km/h (230km/h in Portugal).
On Australia's curved alignments, that can be exploited by adopting tilting trains.
The snag then becomes getting from Sydney Central to Macarthur. That also is soluble. We need to adopt thinking introduced in Japan decades ago.
Fast trains overtake slower ones at key nodes (that happens on traditional lines and on the world-famous Shinkansen routes). In that suburban distance, maybe one could suffice; three would be plenty.
The end result: two hours and 30 minutes for a very modest investment, an average of about 120km/h.
Roderick Smith, Surrey Hills, NSW - former Rail News Victoria editor
This article first appeared on www.canberratimes.com.au
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