Sydney to Canberra high speed train

 
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

Eddy -

You're looking in the wrong place. I live in the west and get the train to Canberra quite often. In fact; I'm in Canberra at the moment - so let me make this easy for you.

Sod your Parramatta idea. Fix the alignment of the current line. It is easier to get to Central than it is to route something through Parramatta.
s3_gunzel
I suppose it depends on where you think the centre of Sydney is in 50 years and that depends on how big individuals think  Sydney will be then.



Even if Parramatta is not the centre I still think any north and south VFT would go via it as it is an easier route.



In my opinion upgrading the present line is throwing good money after bad and it really needs a short driverless train that can  leave Sydney CBD to Canberra every 10 minutes for a one hour trip otherwise people would use other forms of transport.



The whole idea in my opinion is to do what Barry O'Farrell wanted to do and give BC airport a big miss.

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Eddy -

You're looking in the wrong place. I live in the west and get the train to Canberra quite often. In fact; I'm in Canberra at the moment - so let me make this easy for you.

Sod your Parramatta idea. Fix the alignment of the current line. It is easier to get to Central than it is to route something through Parramatta.
I suppose it depends on where you think the centre of Sydney is in 50 years and that depends on how big individuals think  Sydney will be then.



Even if Parramatta is not the centre I still think any north and south VFT would go via it as it is an easier route.



In my opinion upgrading the present line is throwing good money after bad and it really needs a short driverless train that can  leave Sydney CBD to Canberra every 10 minutes for a one hour trip otherwise people would use other forms of transport.



The whole idea in my opinion is to do what Barry O'Farrell wanted to do and give BC airport a big miss.

eddyb
Even if Parramatta is closer to the centre of Sydney it isn't where the tourists are going. People want to go into the Sydney CBD to see the Bridge, Opera House and Harbour. Fixing the existing line doesn't necessarily mean fixing the line but building new alignments like what has happened with the hume and pacific highways a bit at a time over 50 years. A driverless train on it's own path is as stupid as a vhst line as it doesn't do anything about freight. Single purpose rail lines are useless outside of the main cities in Australia. Fixing the alignment of the existing line will improve passenger travel times for nsw trainlink services as well as for freight.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
"Common sense will inevitably prevail"  You are a lot less cynical than me Mikey, I'm more in the always back self interest camp.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE


I am interested if the people of Sydney would prefer the sale of the Badgerys creek site to fund a fast rail to Canberra airport as I suspect it is just the big end of town pushing it.

your a bit of a ........... and a bit out dated on the topics you post.

for starters the airport has started and the big end of town own the Airport.
Err no it hasn't...they've built a road to somewhere near the proposed airport.

From the spiel for the link you posted...

Already over 300 jobs have been created as the first road projects of the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan are now underway. The roads package and proposed airport would create up to a further 7,600 jobs during construction...

Moreover, look at the white elephant that Avalon, around 65Km south west of Melbourne has become regards daily scheduled passenger aircraft.
Nobody in Melbourne or inner west for that matter wants to drag their a$$es down to Avalon and the 200,000+ population of Geelong can barely if actually sustain it. BC would inevitably become the same.

Will 'the big end of town' be slipping mega$ to the airline companies to switch allegiances and use their money pit as a viable alternative to Sydney Question

Common sense will inevitably prevail...

Mike.
The Vinelander
A few differences,
Avalon is off to side of Melbourne and will not fall within the Greater Melbourne foot print for decades. Geelong a fast growing welfare hub will not be a huge feed for any airport.

BC is on the edge of Sydney which is only growing west towards the airport and has 2m people now within 45min drive and only this slow because the roads are not up to it.

Tulla is a 24hr airport and does not suffer from excessive congestion, 7hr closure curfew or max flights per hour curfew, unlike Mascot. Tulla has room to grow, unlike Mascot. Tulla is not the main airport for domestic and international flights, unlike Mascot.

The large international airlines (read Emirates and a few others) are telling the Australian govt to open Mascot 24hr or build a new one as servicing Mascot is adding costs to the airfares for people using Sydney. If you don't believe me, look up the price for flying on Etihad, Emirates or Qantas flying from Melbourne or Sydney to UAE.

Qantas once said long time back it would fill in Botany Bay over relocation, Qantas international would relocate tomorrow! The issue with any 2nd airport is no one wants to be first as you loose all your connections to other airlines and usually ground services are still lacking.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE


In my opinion upgrading the present line is throwing good money after bad and it really needs a short driverless train that can  leave Sydney CBD to Canberra every 10 minutes for a one hour trip otherwise people would use other forms of transport.




eddyb
So are building something to solve a genuine problem or simply use a govt subsidised usual technology to get people out of self funded air transport?

Based on current flight details between Syd and Can, (I think) a 60min train service (maybe 30-45min in peak) is more than sufficient if it can break 2hr CBD to CBD. As the Canberra train can replace the Interurban services south of Moss Vale and major stops between Campbelltown and Moss Vale, then there will be more than sufficient users.

The Canberra branch is a huge opportunity to save 30-40min
The South main 45min
Above will get you down to 3hr at best
Passage through Sydney is where there needs to be some serious work done.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Once the sw metro takes over the bankstown line then there is scope to provide a faster service out of Sydney with slewing of tracks to seperate interurban and suburban illawarra services. But along the east hills line the XPT really doesn't take that long to get to Campbelltown anymore. Most of the time that could be made up is between Macarthur and Goulburn.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Once the sw metro takes over the bankstown line then there is scope to provide a faster service out of Sydney with slewing of tracks to seperate interurban and suburban illawarra services. But along the east hills line the XPT really doesn't take that long to get to Campbelltown anymore. Most of the time that could be made up is between Macarthur and Goulburn.
simstrain
Fair point

Current trip is 4hr and 18min total

48min to Campbelltown
1hr 6min to Moss Vale
50min to Goulburn
1hr 22min to Queanbyan
16min to Canberra station

You'd probably get 5-10min nth of Campbelltown if you tried even half arsed.

I'd close Canberra Station and relocate to the terminus to the Airport (6km) and built to max speed alignment allows (ave 100km/hr) = 5min, save 11min

Canberra branch, 96km for 82min. Distance wise its not too bad compared to the crows (81km), probably find about 5km saving as the railway seems to have been built on the curvy ACT - NSW border. So 91km at an average speed of 140km/hr = lets say round up to 40min, 42min saved.


Fortunately (and this is my whole argument against HSR) this time saving will also apply to the XPT to Melbourne, South Main commuter services and all freight from Sydney west and south so the return is huge.

169km of track, by road is 142km. So say its cut back to 150km long at an average speed of 130km/hr for 160 capable trains + stops = 70min, save 46min

Thats about 99min saved not counting Sydney suburban, but this only brings it down to about 2hr 50min
  apw5910 Chief Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Canberra branch, 96km for 82min. Distance wise its not too bad compared to the crows (81km), probably find about 5km saving as the railway seems to have been built on the curvy ACT - NSW border.
RTT_Rules

Actually, the border follows the curvy railway alignment - the railway came first.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Current trip is 4hr and 18min total

48min to Campbelltown
1hr 6min to Moss Vale
50min to Goulburn
1hr 22min to Queanbyan
16min to Canberra station


169km of track, by road is 142km. So say its cut back to 150km long at an average speed of 130km/hr for 160 capable trains + stops = 70min, save 46min

Thats about 99min saved not counting Sydney suburban, but this only brings it down to about 2hr 50min
RTT_Rules

This is something I've done quite a bit of (armature) work on recently.

I think sub 2:30 Syd-Canberra is reasonably possible, and sub 2:00 with additional deviations (that extra 30min roughly doubles the cost).  This needs a peak running speed >200kph IMHO.

There are three spots on the Canberra branch of 3-5km with 240m curves: Sth of Tarago, just west of the defence HQ and in the Molongolo Canyon.  Deviations around the first two are low hanging fruit.  The Molongolo Canyon would need a 3km tunnel: part of the last 30 min.  

The other piece of low hanging fruit is the Hilltop Loop line.  It's straighter (less than 20 curves vs more than 40 on the current alignment) and shorter (by 5-7km IIRC), at least on the pre 1890 alignment.

I'm no big fan of running the Canberra rail to the airport.  It only makes sense if the rail line was explicitly intended as a partial replacement for SYD-CBR air services, or for Canberra Airport to be Sydney's overflow.  The Canberra airport's access is way too car oriented and too far away from anything else (bar the airport precinct's big box shops).  It'd be less inconvenient just to terminate the service at Queanbeyan IMHO.  If the rail is just a competing mode, the terminus is better (or at least no worse) where it is.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

If you can get the service down to 2 hours and 30 minutes by train central to canberra then you have the ability to capture capacity from the car and possibly even the plane. The only problem is that Canberra doesn't really have any decent public transport so building a new line to the airport might be a good idea if the Canberra light rail goes to airport.
  PDCL Chief Train Controller

I ran the numbers on this a few years back when DJF01 and I amongst others where having a bit of a foam session over redeploying and replacing the XPT fleet.

Basically  the tl:dr is if you can get a 2hr Sydney Central to Kingston (Canberra) run on a roughly hourly frequency you would replace the air service (given general experience elsewhere in the world).

To do it I was working on the basis of clapping out the entire XPT fleet at their max service speed of 160km/h between Revesby and Canberra and running a 2 and a bit tier service (1 direct, 1 stopping Moss Vale and Goulburn and a peak variation on this).
As has been pointed out above the real issue with this is the Canberra Branch, as you can generally justify rebuilding the Main South to handle the 160km/h running as part of upgrades to improve freight.

What you do past Goulburn though is expensive and only benefits a few passengers as there's no freight to Canberra anymore.
Every now and then there is a half mention of building an entirely new line into Canberra, presumably from about Gunning straight south...maybe if you can get some logistics companies on board that might by a viable prospect?
Otherwise, if you can convince someone to build a sort of HSR test track you could build the proposed Canberra branch of the HSR system and connect it to an upgraded main south?

From memory I took a pretty similar approach to DJF01 in that I did some curve easing on the existing line and stumped for an expensive tunnel/deep cutting deviation around Molonglo Gorge.
That way you can also look at a Canberra-Queanbeyan-HQJOC-Bungendore-Tarago-Goulburn regional commuter service and possibly tempt back some freight to maybe squeeze out something vaguely resembling a viable looking line.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
What you do past Goulburn though is expensive and only benefits a few passengers as there's no freight to Canberra any more.
PDCL
Incorrect, Espee Rail Services runs a weekly containerised scrap metal train. Launched last year.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

I'm no big fan of running the Canberra rail to the airport.  It only makes sense if the rail line was explicitly intended as a partial replacement for SYD-CBR air services, or for Canberra Airport to be Sydney's overflow.  The Canberra airport's access is way too car oriented and too far away from anything else (bar the airport precinct's big box shops).  It'd be less inconvenient just to terminate the service at Queanbeyan IMHO.  If the rail is just a competing mode, the terminus is better (or at least no worse) where it is.
djf01
I had a look later on and the railway could also be diverted from Bungendore to go north of the Pine Forest and direct into the airport saving about 10km and alot of slow alignment.

Why go to the airport? and this applies to all regional centres and its nothing to do with replacing air services. Fact is the Airports these days are generally the biggest terminal for people moving and hence have carparks, car rental services, buses and taxis and often hotels near by etc etc. In the case of Fyswick, I've caught trains in suburbia with more services surrounding the station, Killara and Waitara stations come to mind.

The days of railway stations being in the centre of regional cities is over and Canebrra station is no where near the centre to start with, so only to be gained moving to the airport. I'd do the same for Gladstone, Qld which I think would only benefit as the station is on the edge of the city and everyone lives away from the station and closer to the airport and the line runs past the airport.

Additionally Canberra rail yard is quite large and open for redevelopment and doesn't need a moderately used railway terminus to make things more complex in their planning.

As for the actual location for the station at the airport, across the road was fine with easy elevated pedestrian access to the airport facilities. You don't need much track wise, for a 1hr train frequency. A single platform, no shunting so no extra track work and a storage siding back from the station where convenient.

We arrived at Canberra by air 2 years back and left by rail hiring a car from the airport and then return to the same then got lumped with a costly taxi fare to go railway station and mad me think had we done the right thing when you add the extra time to the trip.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta

I'm no big fan of running the Canberra rail to the airport.  It only makes sense if the rail line was explicitly intended as a partial replacement for SYD-CBR air services, or for Canberra Airport to be Sydney's overflow.  The Canberra airport's access is way too car oriented and too far away from anything else (bar the airport precinct's big box shops).  It'd be less inconvenient just to terminate the service at Queanbeyan IMHO.  If the rail is just a competing mode, the terminus is better (or at least no worse) where it is.
djf01
I had a look later on and the railway could also be diverted from Bungendore to go north of the Pine Forest and direct into the airport saving about 10km and alot of slow alignment.

Why go to the airport? and this applies to all regional centres and its nothing to do with replacing air services. Fact is the Airports these days are generally the biggest terminal for people moving and hence have carparks, car rental services, buses and taxis and often hotels near by etc etc. In the case of Fyswick, I've caught trains in suburbia with more services surrounding the station, Killara and Waitara stations come to mind.

The days of railway stations being in the centre of regional cities is over and Canebrra station is no where near the centre to start with, so only to be gained moving to the airport. I'd do the same for Gladstone, Qld which I think would only benefit as the station is on the edge of the city and everyone lives away from the station and closer to the airport and the line runs past the airport.

Additionally Canberra rail yard is quite large and open for redevelopment and doesn't need a moderately used railway terminus to make things more complex in their planning.

As for the actual location for the station at the airport, across the road was fine with easy elevated pedestrian access to the airport facilities. You don't need much track wise, for a 1hr train frequency. A single platform, no shunting so no extra track work and a storage siding back from the station where convenient.

We arrived at Canberra by air 2 years back and left by rail hiring a car from the airport and then return to the same then got lumped with a costly taxi fare to go railway station and mad me think had we done the right thing when you add the extra time to the trip.
RTT_Rules
I don't agree with this, particular given it is being expressed as a general principle.  

Airports have attracted those services because people were going to the airport to travel somewhere.  If significant volumes of passengers (i.e. don't use existing Australian regional services as an example) are going to a train station to travel somewhere, then the area around the train station will naturally develop similar services.  (More so, in fact, given the simple presence of an airport actually prevents some forms of development that would otherwise be naturally associated with a transport hub.)

Place the train station where it makes sense for your intending passengers, subject to the usual cost/benefit trade-off.

There are serious constraints (noise, surrounding terrain) and very different cost drivers (you want a big flat area) when considering where airports can be located.  It is very unlikely that the best location for a train station is going to look anything like the best location for an airport.  Rail has a considerable advantage in its ability to deliver passengers closer to their ultimate destination, particularly for terminus stations, it would be silly to throw that away.

(This applies even if the rail service was seen as a replacement for Canberra - Sydney air services - people don't catch a plane from Sydney to Canberra to go to the airport - they almost universally want to go somewhere else.  So it is that somewhere else, in a collective sense, that should inform the decision around the location of a rail station.)

(And if you aren't expecting significant volumes of passengers, then any discussion around significant line improvements, etc, are just as delusional as eddy's tripe.)
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I had a look later on and the railway could also be diverted from Bungendore to go north of the Pine Forest and direct into the airport saving about 10km and alot of slow alignment.
RTT_Rules

That's a very interesting idea.  I think the biggest problem with is bypasssing Queanbeyan and hence Eden-Monaro Smile.


Why go to the airport? and this applies to all regional centres and its nothing to do with replacing air services. Fact is the Airports these days are generally the biggest terminal for people moving and hence have carparks, car rental services, buses and taxis and often hotels near by etc etc. In the case of Fyswick, I've caught trains in suburbia with more services surrounding the station, Killara and Waitara stations come to mind.
RTT_Rules


I'll pay the hire car comment.  The two patronage models I developed suggested a patronage of between 0.6mil and 4mil rail trips between Canberra and Sydney.  Currently there a 1.1mil air trips.  Rail would need terminal infrastructure in it's own right.

That said, I think rail and air have different terminal requirements though: air being far more demanding.


The days of railway stations being in the centre of regional cities is over and Canberra station is no where near the centre to start with, so only to be gained moving to the airport.
RTT_Rules


I'm a bit ambivalent about it, but as far as I can see one of the issues with Canberra airport is the lack of supporting services and poor transport integration.  

The other point I'd make is about feeder services.  Canberra Airport is harder/further from every other satellite centre in Canberra bar Gungahlin.  And a feeder bus servicing Gungahlin would be better off connecting at Goulburn that Canberra in any case.


people don't catch a plane from Sydney to Canberra to go to the airport - they almost universally want to go somewhere else.
donttellmywife

In the reverse direction this is not quite so true.  While Mascot is the ultimate destination of very few, the opportunity for air-rail mode substitution is very high.  The extent to which would largely be determined by whether or not the rail service goes via Sydney Airport.
  PDCL Chief Train Controller

What you do past Goulburn though is expensive and only benefits a few passengers as there's no freight to Canberra any more.
Incorrect, Espee Rail Services runs a weekly containerised scrap metal train. Launched last year.
LancedDendrite

My apologies, there is a huge freight demand on the line of 1 service per week, totally enough to justify keeping the line open, much less the expensive upgrades being discussed...
Good to see there is at least something running though, would be nice if they brought back the fuel train as bringing it in by road has added about 15-20c a litre to the bowser price.

As to putting the station at the airport, makes enough sense, there is reserved land there and airport's owners have already offered to front the ~$140mil and build an integrated twin platform terminus for a HSR, you could probably convince them to do it as part of a regular line upgrade that cements it as the location for an eventual HSR terminus.
Canberra's also a fairly small place, while there duplication of services over two sites in terms of hire cares etc, it makes sense to leverage the City's existing facilities as RTT suggests.

In terms of the alignment, going north of the Kowen pine forest via wamboin presents somewhat unfavourable terrain, as well as higher property acquisition costs.
My thought has been to roughly follow the current alignment between Bungendore and HQJOC, then turn NW through the middle of the pine forest.
There is a narrow gully through the Kowen escarpment and conveniently placed hill adjacent, that could allow you to get away with just some cuttings and a big bridge/viaduct rather than a long tunnel.
It would also suit a northerly approach to the airport and link in with the ACT government's preserved HSR corridor and the Airport's proposed station siting.
Give or take it's about a 20km run to the proposed airport station as opposed to 25km to Kingston on the current alignment.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

With the light rail planning to go to the airport it could provide a good public transport connection to plane or train. The train could also continue through to Kingston. The current Canberra station is actually quite close to Manuka oval, Parliament house and the tourist area of Canberra. A station at the airport could connect the northern side via light rail and the station at kingston can connect to the policitcal and tourist area.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

I believe you would be nearly as dead at 100 kph as 300kph so perhaps a HST could be driverless on a dedicated line.

If this is possible then a carriage could do a one hour trip from Sydney CBD to Canberra via a station at Parramatta every 5 minutes.

I am interested if the people of Sydney would prefer the sale of the Badgerys creek site to fund a fast rail to Canberra airport as I suspect it is just the big end of town pushing it.

This is what the Greens think of the smelly concept. http://greensmps.org.au/content/speeches-parliament/badgerys-creek-airport-will-hurt-residents
eddyb
My original post was for a dedicated train line for a one hour trip between Sydney and Canberra to remove the need for BC airport.

Unless it is a one hour trip people will continue to use other forms.

In my opinion it is a big enough ask to have driverless trains at 300kph and you would not want any branches or other trains of any sort.

As the object is to reduce demand on Mascot a Canberra airport station is essential.

Parramatta has 20,00 people per day travel to the CBD so to put a stop there makes it economically viable as well as a one seat ride for those going CBD to Canberra airport.

As Penrith council will only accept BC on condition that they have the same operating hours as Mascot and Mascot goes 24/7 then who will use BC.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I believe you would be nearly as dead at 100 kph as 300kph so perhaps a HST could be driverless on a dedicated line.

If this is possible then a carriage could do a one hour trip from Sydney CBD to Canberra via a station at Parramatta every 5 minutes.

I am interested if the people of Sydney would prefer the sale of the Badgerys creek site to fund a fast rail to Canberra airport as I suspect it is just the big end of town pushing it.

This is what the Greens think of the smelly concept. http://greensmps.org.au/content/speeches-parliament/badgerys-creek-airport-will-hurt-residents
My original post was for a dedicated train line for a one hour trip between Sydney and Canberra to remove the need for BC airport.

Unless it is a one hour trip people will continue to use other forms.

In my opinion it is a big enough ask to have driverless trains at 300kph and you would not want any branches or other trains of any sort.

As the object is to reduce demand on Mascot a Canberra airport station is essential.

Parramatta has 20,00 people per day travel to the CBD so to put a stop there makes it economically viable as well as a one seat ride for those going CBD to Canberra airport.

As Penrith council will only accept BC on condition that they have the same operating hours as Mascot and Mascot goes 24/7 then who will use BC.
eddyb
You could probably set up three complete versions of Badgerys Creek, from scratch, for the cost of building your rail line to Canberra.  Even after building such a rail line, chances are that a new secondary airport located in the Sydney Basin itself would still be more convenient for the majority of intending passengers.  

These days, at 300 kph, a train is effectively driverless, even if there is someone sitting in a seat at the front of the train.  At that speed it basically isn't safe to rely upon humans for basic train control.

It matters little what conditions Penrith council, or any local government, place on the project.  They have no practical authority in the matter.
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
I believe you could make CAN airport into a 24/7 luxury resort with a HST to SYD... but it still won't attract airlines or their passengers. Cheaper airlines may take up the deal but only if sweetners are added to their bonus such as cheaper landing costs etc... but then they only get the 'cheap' passengers (like me).

Avalon is a classic example. It is only an extra 15 minutes on the bus from MEL CBD than Tullamarine but even with cheap airfares it still does not attract passengers. (yes, the last trip to MEL I booked was via Avalon... saved about $60 than go via Tullamarine)

Badgerys Creek will be just another Avalon. Penrith City Council is only one of many councils affected. Blue Mountains is totally against BC but Fairfield, Liverpool (who look like being merged anyway) and Blacktown are all for BC with less conditions as they believe it will attract employment and investment.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

You could probably set up three complete versions of Badgerys Creek, from scratch, for the cost of building your rail line to Canberra.  Even after building such a rail line, chances are that a new secondary airport located in the Sydney Basin itself would still be more convenient for the majority of intending passengers.  

These days, at 300 kph, a train is effectively driverless, even if there is someone sitting in a seat at the front of the train.  At that speed it basically isn't safe to rely upon humans for basic train control.

It matters little what conditions Penrith council, or any local government, place on the project.  They have no practical authority in the matter.
donttellmywife
I think that the 17,000 hectares would bring in $20b which I believe would be enough to build it.

You may be right in Penrith council not having a say in the matter but maybe their voters could have the politicians worried but as you say many people in other areas are on the dole and would welcome it particularly if they did not know what they were in for.

An interesting thought I had the other day is that as I probably will not be around when it operates in 20 years perhaps it should only be people under a certain age should decide.

Your experience was from Melbourne CBD but my mate goes to NZ and he catches the plane to Tullamarine to go to NZ as it costs him more in a taxi between airports.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
You could probably set up three complete versions of Badgerys Creek, from scratch, for the cost of building your rail line to Canberra.  Even after building such a rail line, chances are that a new secondary airport located in the Sydney Basin itself would still be more convenient for the majority of intending passengers.  

...
I think that the 17,000 hectares would bring in $20b which I believe would be enough to build it.
...
eddyb

The airport site area is only 1700 hectares.  That might get you a billion or so if you sold it, which, as others have said, might pay for the design and other up front studies for your train line, but won't be enough to get anything built.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

I think that the 17,000 hectares would bring in $20b which I believe would be enough to build it.
...

The airport site area is only 1700 hectares.  That might get you a billion or so if you sold it, which, as others have said, might pay for the design and other up front studies for your train line, but won't be enough to get anything built.
donttellmywife
You are right and I believe the HSR to Canberra would cost 8 to 10 billion for a 50 minute trip.

I did read it would cost about the same to set it all up as to build the HSR line but that was by Canberra airport so they may be biased.

Canberra Airport is the only curfew-free airport within reach of Sydney and provides the potential for night-time services which cannot be accommodated in Sydney, in particular international LCC services and overnight freight services. It is important that Canberra’s 24 hour unrestricted curfew-free status be protected.

Page 357 http://web.archive.org/web/20130625214804/http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/sydney_av_cap/files/sydney_aviation_capacity.pdf
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

Airports have attracted those services because people were going to the airport to travel somewhere.  If significant volumes of passengers (i.e. don't use existing Australian regional services as an example) are going to a train station to travel somewhere, then the area around the train station will naturally develop similar services.  (More so, in fact, given the simple presence of an airport actually prevents some forms of development that would otherwise be naturally associated with a transport hub.)

Place the train station where it makes sense for your intending passengers, subject to the usual cost/benefit trade-off.

There are serious constraints (noise, surrounding terrain) and very different cost drivers (you want a big flat area) when considering where airports can be located.  It is very unlikely that the best location for a train station is going to look anything like the best location for an airport.  Rail has a considerable advantage in its ability to deliver passengers closer to their ultimate destination, particularly for terminus stations, it would be silly to throw that away.

(This applies even if the rail service was seen as a replacement for Canberra - Sydney air services - people don't catch a plane from Sydney to Canberra to go to the airport - they almost universally want to go somewhere else.  So it is that somewhere else, in a collective sense, that should inform the decision around the location of a rail station.)

(And if you aren't expecting significant volumes of passengers, then any discussion around significant line improvements, etc, are just as delusional as eddy's tripe.)
donttellmywife
For Canberra (one of the most decentralised car focused cities in Australia), the railway station is not in the CBD, nor anywhere else of major benefit for anyone except the very few who may use the train and live within 500m of the station, ie the absolute max distance you might want to push wheeled baggage.

How many people catch the local bus service for long distance travel or indeed the airport? If anything the LR will get to the airport long before the railway station (if ever) even if 250k users a day were to suddenly start arriving by train.

The reality is today most regional railway stations are in lifeless areas of old CBD's with few services outside due to the low level of rail services, despite usually being in the old centre of town. The reality also today that most major regional airports have some sort of services including car hire, buses, cafe's etc due to the frequency of flights and the waiting time required.

Country coach services are often worse using 24hr petrol stations or close railway stations or as was once the case in Gosford just a section of footpath near the railway station but not close enough to be within the light up area or under the security of the railway station.

Most regional rail and plane (and coach) uses require similar services. Yes this whole above thread is about improving the railway infrastructure to Canberra to help modal shift from both car, bus and air to rail and thus this would make Canberra Railway station far more popular, however there is significant benefit for all if Canberra railway station was relocated to the airport.

As I indicated above and supported by another user there maybe a better option to run the railway through the Pine Forest to get a faster shorter route into Canberra and thus avoiding the twisty mess via Queanbyan. If you really wanted to you could go via the airport and also retain the existing station terminus, however I don't see much benefit in doing so.

Perhaps Canberra could be a show piece in how to have a single transport hub.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I think that the 17,000 hectares would bring in $20b which I believe would be enough to build it.
...

The airport site area is only 1700 hectares.  That might get you a billion or so if you sold it, which, as others have said, might pay for the design and other up front studies for your train line, but won't be enough to get anything built.
You are right and I believe the HSR to Canberra would cost 8 to 10 billion for a 50 minute trip.

I did read it would cost about the same to set it all up as to build the HSR line but that was by Canberra airport so they may be biased.
eddyb
The HSR phase two report estimated a basic infrastructure cost of around $20 billion, plus around another $4 billion for non-infrastructure costs, for the Sydney to Canberra segment.

When comparing Badgerys Creek with some sort of train to Canberra you need to be very clear around what is being proposed for a particular option, when it is proposed to be built, how much it will cost and who is going to pay for it.

As currently planned, the initial airport to be built at Badgerys Creek will be nothing like the final size of the airport that one day could be at that site.  Initially you might have something like one significant runway, plus some moderate sized passenger and freight terminal facilities and moderate sized connecting infrastructure (e.g. some improved roads).  Further expansion, in terms of the second runway, larger terminal facilities and better connecting infrastructure (such as a rail line) can be deferred until the time that the level of demand makes it worth while.

So if you decide to proceed with the airport tomorrow, you are not spending $10 billion or whatever for a full sized airport (see the Joint Study on Sydney Aviation Capacity for some indicative costs), you are spending more like $2 billion to get something that is big enough for today, but designed to be easily expanded.  Then over the next three decades or so, you spend the difference as demand builds up (or, if demand doesn't materialise - you don't spend anything more).

But if you then consider the Canberra option, to provide a similar level of convenience to passengers you pretty much have to build a full spec, double line, high speed railway, with long tunnels all the way into the Sydney CBD, before anyone is going to consider travelling that far just to catch a plane.  So if you decide to do that option tomorrow... that's pretty much $20 billion that you have to hand over tomorrow (and that excludes spending any money on Canberra airport itself).  Things like rolling stock can then be purchased as demand grows, but the rolling stock cost is a tiny fraction of the infrastructure cost.

But then the kicker... who is going to pay for these things.  

As currently planned, the bulk of the construction cost for Badgerys Creek will be paid for by private investors, who will then recover that cost through landing fees, passenger fees and facility rents.  The state and federal governments will probably have to pay for some of the connecting infrastructure, such as roads (but they could also be made toll roads) and perhaps ultimately a rail line (which might plausibly recover some of its cost through station access charges), and they have already paid for land acquisition, but the bulk of the spend is not the taxpayers problem.

However, in the case of a high speed train to Canberra, it is pretty much accepted that the only way it will be built is if the taxpayer pays for most of it, without any real expectation of recovering their contribution.  Fares paid by passengers on the train are only expected to cover the cost of buying rolling stock, operating the services and maintaining the tracks.  Private investors, such as Canberra Airport, might make some contribution to the cost of some stations, but you are at best talking a few hundred million out of a total infrastructure cost of around $20 billion.

In terms of providing a second airport for Sydney, HSR to Canberra airport, as an option in isolation, just does not make sense.

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