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Well here we go with the rash promises and big dollar splurges to try and sway the voters to follow them in the upcoming state election in November. At this stage the Coalition have come up with the $19 billion high speed rail link.
On hearing this I had to have a chuckle thinking that Matthew Guy must be in fairy land.
This proposal coming from a party that has been anti rail for many years, you would have to ask is he for real.
They had a Transport Minister in Robert McClellan who was proposing one regional line for Victoria joining Melbourne and Geelong, not another line in the State.
Then they saw the axing of the Railway Commissioners replacing them with a board made up of their mates from the car and transport industry, resulting in the removal of freight off the tracks onto the roads.
Then there were the closures of a number of country services and stations which resulted in the death of a lot of country and regional towns. The lack of track maintenance saw the system deteriorate dramatically.
If that wasn't enough, under the leadership of Jeff Kennett there was the wholesale fire sale of our public transport system where everything went to private enterprise.
While our system is far from perfect the present government has restored some of the system back and made some things safer, there is still a lot more that can be done.
Instead of importing these jigsaw puzzles and putting them together here, we should be manufacturing our own rolling stock like we had done for many years in our workshops and created employment.
The questions I would put to the leader of the opposition are:
How does he propose to make these times as it appears to be a little light on information?
How many stations will these trains stop at?
Are they going to put the second track back?
What frequency will they run and the capacity of patrons they will be able to carry?
He has stated that he will buy these faster trains, but has any thought or a feasibility study been carried out to see if the velocity trains that now operate at 160 kmh are able to increase their speed?
This proposal all sounds well and good, but I believe that to run something like this it really needs to be a complete new infrastructure separate to what is there.
But it's going to cost more than $19 billion to implement. Overseas countries have spent huge amounts of money and they are running trains anything up to 150kmh faster that what the coalition is offering.
I don't think that I will see anything like this proposal in my time as there doesn't appear to be any support or direction towards rail coming from the Federal Government either,
Ivan Kitt, Bendigo
This article first appeared on www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au
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