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A FUTURISTIC high-speed rail proposal that would slash commute time between Geelong to Melbourne to 17 minutes was launched yesterday to stimulate discussion on a way forward for the state’s rail services.
Outlining the $16 billion proposal at the World Engineers’ Convention in Melbourne that would link high-speed rail between Geelong, Werribee, Melbourne and Dandenong, the Megarail consortium said intracity fast rail would transform the way people live and work.
“Urban and intracity high-speed rail is an innovative application of a proven technology which offers significant benefits to commuters, governments, investors and the wider community. It solves multiple problems simultaneously – planning, congestion and environmental – and does so in a way which is highly efficient and cost-effective,” RMIT’s school of engineering lecturer Peter Stasinopoulos, part of a consortium pushing the unfunded proposal, said.
“Australia is the world leader in urban sprawl. She is well placed to pioneer urban high-speed rail.”
The consortium which also includes transport planning firm AWTY Transport Consulting, Philip Norman & Associates and Monash University said peak hour services would run every 10 minutes, and 16-car trains were part of the proposal to accommodate expected demand “with all passengers seated for comfort, productivity (ability to work while commuting) and safety.”
“Property acquisition costs are expected to be minimal, since the intention is to primarily utilise existing rail corridors, incorporating underground rail lines through metropolitan suburbs and above ground rail lines in open, regional areas,” the consortium says.
It is envisaged trains would run at a cruising speeds of 350km/h and travel times of 17 minutes between Southern Cross Station and Geelong, and 10 minutes from Melbourne to Dandenong.
The consortium predicts 160,000 passengers per day would use the service which would stop at Avalon Airport
“The inclusion of Avalon Airport on the MegaRail service will also support a genuine second airport for Melbourne, giving people living in the western and southeast regions rapid access to Avalon’s domestic air services and its new international services with train travel times of only eight minutes from Werribee, 19 minutes from Melbourne and 31 minutes from Dandenong.”
The paper also reported other benefits of the project, including significantly improved housing affordability and employment opportunities; improved access to health, education and other services; increased tourism access and improved mental health and psychological benefits.
This article first appeared on www.geelongadvertiser.com.au
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