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Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO, Danny Broad, has welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister that $2 billion will be allocated for fast rail between Geelong and Melbourne, and $40 million for detailed assessments of five additional fast rail corridors.
Danny said: “Fast rail reduces travelling times, facilitating decentralisation of major cities, and revitalising regional centres through effective integrated transport options. It allows commuting like never before.
“Other key benefits include easing of road congestion, and the reduction of road maintenance costs, carbon and other polluting emissions.”
Danny hailed the commitment to create a National Fast Rail Agency to guide the projects, determine priorities, examine financing options and work with communities.
“With the Federal Opposition’s policy for a High Speed Rail Planning Authority, we appear to have bipartisan support for a national agency dedicated to long-term planning of faster rail initiatives. This is a welcome development,” he said.
“Rail projects in Australia have historically been in the province of state governments, resulting in a disjointed and uncoordinated approach to rail investment and decision-making. The difference in rail gauges today is typical of some of our challenges.
“A National Agency will allow long-term planning and corridor acquisition that can work towards fast rail and high-speed rail being realised in Australia.
“Significant rail infrastructure needs long-term planning and robust economic and technical assessment that extends beyond the political cycle. We are beginning to see this bearing fruit.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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