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A leading European train manufacturer says it will fund a $2.5m trial to prove a passenger rail service between Mount Barker and Adelaide is viable.
Talgo, known for its production and distribution of high-speed trains, is calling on the State Government to grant its support for a passenger rail trial to prove an express service could be run within 45 minutes, opposed to the Infrastructure SA’s 71 minute estimate.
The 26 minute reduction is based on modelling of Talgo’s rolling stock on the Australian Rail Track Corporation line.
Talgo’s Elena Garcia, with engineers Edwin Michell, former SA transport department bureaucrat Luigi Rossi, and Talgo’s head of business development Jesus Rodriguez at the Adelaide Showground stop in Wayville. Picture: Matt Loxton
Head of business development Jesus Rodriguez said the trial would come at no cost to the Australian taxpayers with funds to be obtained via Fondo para la Internacionalización de la Empresa, a grant scheme managed by the Spanish State Secretary for Trade.
“The first step will be to get the local government involved, in this case, the South Australian government and once we get (the letter), we will get the proposal to the Spanish embassy...to get the green light (and) get the funds that we need for this trial,” Mr Rodriguez said.
“There will be a pool of projects that we will be competing with but we are quite positive that we will be valued and that we could get this funding from the government of Spain.
“We have done similar successful trials in other countries, including the United States, Russia, Kazakhstan and India...and now we want to come to South Australia.”
Mr Rodriguez said Talgo would deliver the project in partnership with former SA transport department bureaucrat Luigi Rossi and aerospace engineer Edwin Michell.
EMU Talgo is a totally flexible and adaptable train that can run at up to 160 km/h and benefits from Talgo’s unique technology. It is the type of tilt train that could be purchased by the State Government should the trial be deemed a success. Source: Talgo
The duo have been campaigning for fast trains since 2018 and recently presented Infrastructure SA with a $150m rail proposal between Mount Barker and Adelaide.
“A lot of people have been working on this proposal for a long time and we are now in discussions with the ARTC to gain access to the freight corridor for the purpose of this trial,” Mr Rossi said.
“For now, however, what we really need is to get the letter of support to enable Talgo’s funding application to proceed.”
Opposition transport spokeman Tom Koutsantonis said Labor would back the trial should it win the election.
“Labor is prepared to see if this technology can work, especially since the Talgo trial would be at no cost to the taxpayer.”
Transport Minister Corey Wingard said a detailed proposal had not yet been received.
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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