Sydney to Canberra high speed train

 
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
At a wild guess there would be 500,000 train movements Sydney/Newcastle and another 500,000 movements by car that is still only 1,000,000 movements a year compared to Sydney/Canberra 10,000,000 now.


eddyb
That is a 'wild guess'. The NSW RMS states that the M1 averages 66,000 vehicle movements per day on the M1, a lot more than 1m / year.

The Hume Highway between at Goulburn has a 1/3rd of that...22,000 per year, only a percentage of that would actually go onto the Federal Highway to Canberra.

Even with the 388 airline movements per week from Canberra, Newcastle has about 3 times the amount of people in transit between Sydney than that Sydney to Canberra.

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  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
The last federal HSR is confusing to read. https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/index.aspx
It conlicts stating Stage 1 would be $23b, then it reads later just the CanberraSydney leg would be $23b.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
The last federal HSR is confusing to read. https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/index.aspx
It conlicts stating Stage 1 would be $23b, then it reads later just the CanberraSydney leg would be $23b.
Jim K
But aren't they the same things - isn't stage one building Canberra to Sydney?

(With the intent being that Canberra ended up on its own branch, once the connection to Melbourne was built.)
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

In my opinion


Passengers would only use Sydney/Canberra VFT if it could do the trip in less than one hour.


It would be more economically viable via Parramatta with 20,000 extra passengers a day and a one seat ride Central/Canberra.


It would free up Mascot for more slots to other places.


Once BC is built there would never be a VFT Sydney/Canberra.


Any VFT Sydney/Canberra would have to be driverless, frequent and on a dedicated line.


The big problem is the cost of building and running it and here is an opportunity to develop a smaller profile train similar to that of a car that would only cost half as much for tunnels and bridges and that we could export.



Heavy rail needs to be rid of all bridges, total upgrading of track and even rerouting some sections while being able to carry double stacked containers and 4.3mhigh slot trailers that would be loaded one a minute with a large forklift then dropped on the outskirts of other cities for cheap prime movers to hook up and deliver.



Malcolm wants to support innovation so here is his chance and we could even help our own Terratec http://www.terratec.co/

eddyb
Where are you getting your numbers from eddyb as it just doesn't seem to add up. Building a tunnel under Sydney for a hsr will be extremely expensive and what would it achieve. Your idea of a vehicle the size of a car is also silly as we already have such a vehicle. It is called a car and it dominates the traffic percentage between Sydney and Canberra.

Most traffic between Sydney and Canberra is car traffic and not plane traffic. If you live in western Sydney and need/want to go to Canberra you ain't looking for a plane ticket but the nearest petrol station to fill up. Living in south western Sydney the car can be as little as 2 hours to Canberra. For me at Liverpool it only takes about 2 and a half hours to get to Canberra by car vs 4 and a half by train. The plane doesn't even enter my mind.

Building a new main south alignment and reducing the train travel time to similar or faster for the main south opens up a multitude of options for intercity trains such as services to/from Blacktown, Parramatta and Liverpool to Canberra. It also provides a faster route for freight and would thus make rail more competitive against the truck.

Badgery's creek isn't being built for Canberra. It is being built because Kingsford smith has operational limitations that isn't an issue at BC. It doesn't have an significant nearby housing and the federal government is looking to keeping it this way so as to not repeat the same issue that KS has. Building a hsr from BC to Central is more viable then one to Canberra.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Don't there is need or justification for a HSR between Sydney and Canberra for any reason and this includes BC substitution. Canberra has a population of barely half a million.

However, I do believe the justification is there to throw a few billion at the main south and the Canberra branch for the overall improvement of rail to reduce road traffic and improve freight services. The Canberaa XPL numbers doesn't do too bad when you look at the numbers posted by someone above. I'm sure if it ran 6 times a day it would run with an average of 50% of greater loading for each trip. The bus popularity is driven by lack of trains and the slowness of the train. CBR is only another 80km beyond Newcastle from Sydney and Newcastle gets one train per hour at least. Yes the population of the Central Coast helps justify this. But the population of the Central Coast grew with the electrification extension. When I lived in Goasford in wee short pants, civilisation also most stopped 2km north of the last O/H mast, then grew rapidly when extended to Wyong.

It won't cost a lot of money to get the XPL down to 3.5hr (almost reasonable) and similar to Newcastle.

$500m on the Canberra branch would achieve alot and a $2B billion on the main south would achieve alot for alot of rail traffic.

Save 1hr each trip and the same 2 XPL's can do one more trip per day.
RTT_Rules
A v set to Broadmeadow is 2 hours 28 minutes at it's fastest from Central. A XPT or Xplorer is about 12 minutes faster at 2 hours and 16 minutes. This is a lot closer to the travel time of a car and without the hassle of having to deal with Sydney traffic or to find a car parking spot makes it a lot more competitive then the equivalent trip to Canberra. So fixing the main south to get it closer to car travel time will make the train a more viable proposition.

3.5 hours is simple but I think there is enough scope to get that trip down to 3 hours at least and possibly even faster. There is a lot of winding railway on the main south that slows the trains considerably. The new alignment doesn't need to have any stops between Macarthur and Goulburn but it could have an exit like the hume highway does to connect to the current line at Aylmerton. This could easily allow 2.5 hour services from Central while providing an express to the southern highlands towns nearby.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

Jim K



You are right with your car numbers which makes it over 20m per year. http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/about/corporate-publications/statistics/traffic-volumes/map/index.html



My wild guess was just doubling the number who travel by train so it looks like they need a VFT to there too and that could use the same subway station at Parramatta as the southern VFT and it would be just as economically viable.



This is a great link  http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/about/corporate-publications/statistics/traffic-volumes/map/index.html



But it does not have the traffic on Picton road and I think they are trying to hide how it should be Hume standard.



As there already is 20,000 people at Parramatta who would use a VFT to the CBD why not go via there  as it is only 5 km more.

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simstrain


There is already 20,000 people at Parramatta who would make a VFT  subway viable to Sydney CBD so all I am suggesting is to go via there as it is only 5km further.


A train half the cross sectional area would only have half the weight per metre requiring half the strength to support it and need half the diameter tunnels to do the same speed due to that which means also it would only use half the power at 300kph than a conventional HSR when on the surface.


I agree for your circumstances a car may be best as Canberra is very spread out but as you say later for those who want to miss Sydney traffic or will have trouble getting a park in Canberra a VFT would be the shot especially if it can get there in half the time of a car.



A train can never get freight from Sydney to Melbourne door to door overnight so it can never compete with trucks.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

The last federal HSR is confusing to read. https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/index.aspx
It conlicts stating Stage 1 would be $23b, then it reads later just the CanberraSydney leg would be $23b.
Jim K

From page 4 of Appendix 4: of said report:
https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/files/HSR_Phase_2_Appendix_Group_4_Cost_and_program.pdf



$18bil (in 2012 $)
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Who is paying for this one?
I thought the country was broke.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Who is paying for this one?
Junction box

You.  Who else would it be Wink?
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
Who is paying for this one?
I thought the country was broke.
Junction box
Easy... no one. It won't happen! "Sydney Western Airport" will remove the need for a train (apparently).
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Jim K



You are right with your car numbers which makes it over 20m per year. http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/about/corporate-publications/statistics/traffic-volumes/map/index.html



My wild guess was just doubling the number who travel by train so it looks like they need a VFT to there too and that could use the same subway station at Parramatta as the southern VFT and it would be just as economically viable.



This is a great link  http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/about/corporate-publications/statistics/traffic-volumes/map/index.html



But it does not have the traffic on Picton road and I think they are trying to hide how it should be Hume standard.



As there already is 20,000 people at Parramatta who would use a VFT to the CBD why not go via there  as it is only 5 km more.

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simstrain


There is already 20,000 people at Parramatta who would make a VFT  subway viable to Sydney CBD so all I am suggesting is to go via there as it is only 5km further.


A train half the cross sectional area would only have half the weight per metre requiring half the strength to support it and need half the diameter tunnels to do the same speed due to that which means also it would only use half the power at 300kph than a conventional HSR when on the surface.


I agree for your circumstances a car may be best as Canberra is very spread out but as you say later for those who want to miss Sydney traffic or will have trouble getting a park in Canberra a VFT would be the shot especially if it can get there in half the time of a car.



A train can never get freight from Sydney to Melbourne door to door overnight so it can never compete with trucks.

eddyb
A vft doesn't have to be a dedicated line and we can't waste money on sole purpose railways in this country, especially 6 billion on tunneling under Sydney. Build the alignment south of macarthur to goulburn and use it for passenger and freight purposes. That is more then worth the $5 billion dollars (according to the above numbers) and with it linking into the existing Sydney system it opens up many options for regional travel into Sydney. Not to mention it would also take 2 and a half hours of the Sydney to Melbourne trip as well.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Build the alignment south of macarthur to goulburn and use it for passenger and freight purposes. That is more then worth the $5 billion dollars (according to the above numbers) and with it linking into the existing Sydney system it opens up many options for regional travel into Sydney.
simstrain

The report doesn't include a grade profile, but the track specification is for a ruling grade of 1:40, but allows up to 1:28 in "exceptional circumstances" for "up to 6km".  It is highly unlikely the HSR route would be suitable for freight, even though the Syd-MLB ruling grade is currently 1:40 anyway.

Also, Glenfield to Canberra would be closer to $12bil.  Hard to say what Macarthur to Canberra would be.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
The last federal HSR is confusing to read. https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/index.aspx
It conlicts stating Stage 1 would be $23b, then it reads later just the CanberraSydney leg would be $23b.

From page 4 of Appendix 4: of said report:
https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/files/HSR_Phase_2_Appendix_Group_4_Cost_and_program.pdf



$18bil (in 2012 $)
djf01
But note this is present day infrastructure construction cost alone and excludes any contigency, development costs, inflation or rolling stock purchase, unlike the $23 billion figure.
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
Why put billions on the taxpayer when you just get a private company to build an airport and privately owned airlines to transport people.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

Why put billions on the taxpayer when you just get a private company to build an airport and privately owned airlines to transport people.
Jim K
But you would have no problem with a privately owned and run high speed rail if there was sufficient demand to make it an economical prospect with no pilots,cabin crew, ground crew,airport charges and no possible oil shocks.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Why put billions on the taxpayer when you just get a private company to build an airport and privately owned airlines to transport people.
But you would have no problem with a privately owned and run high speed rail if there was sufficient demand to make it an economical prospect with no pilots,cabin crew, ground crew,airport charges and no possible oil shocks.
eddyb
and theres the problem Eddy, it never will be!

Airlines might have all those people, but rail has similar, maybe even more per person moved which may indicate why its so expensive and world wide struggles to be cash flow positive moving people.  Rail is also not disconnected from oil shocks.

Jim,
What I proposed was an overall upgrade of existing track supporting existing and expanded services including all freight to the far west and south of Sydney, commuter rail and regional rail to places other than Canberra.
  billybaxter Chief Commissioner

Location: Bosnia Park, Fairfield
High speed rail is losing the check in time advantage over airlines now, thanks to security concerns. Eddy, how would you deal with security on this service? Although with the 5 minute headways, I'm presuming it's a 'turn up and go' deal, not booked seats, which makes things a bit easier. Even then, 20 minutes before departure seems the minimum if you and your bags need to be checked before entering the platform. All stations would need the same procedure to enter the dedicated platforms too, or somebody with evil intents could just get on wherever the security is the most lax. This would make the service useless for Sydney - Parramatta passengers, who seem to be part of your plan. I'm also wondering about the seats. Are you thinking of something aimed at the suburban legs or the long distance passengers? They're not really the same. Have a look at how passengers in Sydney and Melbourne love using country trains for suburban legs and the reaction this gets, and you'll see the sort of problems that arise. The only solution to this I can see is separate trains and separate platforms for the suburban and inter city services, with no possible access between them. All very complex, and expensive.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
There is no value spending billions at unusual technology for CBD to Parammatta users, there is some work that needs to be done on the main west as we have previously discussed that will help speed up trains by up to 5min or so and long term allow greater capacity which is more frequency.

A train to CBR will also never run via Paramatta as it adds time and the route is currently more congested.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
Why put billions on the taxpayer when you just get a private company to build an airport and privately owned airlines to transport people.
But you would have no problem with a privately owned and run high speed rail if there was sufficient demand to make it an economical prospect with no pilots,cabin crew, ground crew,airport charges and no possible oil shocks.
and theres the problem Eddy, it never will be!

Airlines might have all those people, but rail has similar, maybe even more per person moved which may indicate why its so expensive and world wide struggles to be cash flow positive moving people.  Rail is also not disconnected from oil shocks.

Jim,
What I proposed was an overall upgrade of existing track supporting existing and expanded services including all freight to the far west and south of Sydney, commuter rail and regional rail to places other than Canberra.
RTT_Rules
take care with the terms RTT, "cash flow positive" usually means taking into account only operating expenses and not the interest from construction, by this standard much of the HSR world is not struggling. Just to be clear before everyone jumps on me for being pro HSR (heaven forbid such a thing) I also know the expense of construction must be accounted for. Once built though "cash flow positive" means it can continue to operate without an operating subsidy.

cheers
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

It is true that there are not many privately owned high speed railways particularly with large distances and small populations but some have been built by governments and later sold to private operators.



So like arctic  says it is the initial outlay that kills it and not the running costs but we must not forget the Federal government is giving the land plus $1b to BC and that congestion costs Sydney $10b per year which could be drastically reduced over time by connecting Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle, Sydney CBD and Mascot with a subway hub at Parramatta.



America too has large distances and while they are now trying to build a privately owned HSR they find getting to city centre too expensive and really that is the main advantage of rail.



This could change as America in particular is looking at far cheaper ways of building and running smaller driverless trains that can compete with planes but are not relying on cheap oil that made the French change their fast train over to electricity due to the oil shock.



One thing that struck me is that every person who flies is one less potential HSR passenger with the result that people who cannot afford the plane are stuck with a more tedious mode as there is not the demand to make HSR economically viable.



Numbers are hard to find and trust but I now think there are about 2,000,000 people fly between Sydney and Canberra per year https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_busiest_air_routes_in_Australia_by_passenger_traffic


Car movements on the Federal highway look to me like about 4,000,000 per year.

http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/about/corporate-publications/statistics/traffic-volumes/map/index.html


And train/coach 40,000,000 Page 55 figure 24

http://www.bts.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/79/r2015-03-train_statistics_2014_V1.1.pdf.aspx


Many say why go via Parramatta but the reason is because they will build a fast rail CBD/Parramatta anyway so it would save $3b for the sake of just a few kilometres more plus capturing the passengers to/from Canberra.



My new calculations are assuming it would cost $30b

4% interest plus driverless running costs =$1.5b

Assuming 30m passengers per year @ $50 each = $1.5b
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
...
As I indicated before BC land is larger than Al Marktum in Dubai
Like eddy was, you are overstating the area of the Badgerys Creek site by a factor of ten.

It's not a mega-airport site, hence even when it eventually gets fully developed (only two main runways, but with better lateral separation than Mascot's aligned pair), total demand in the basin will still be such that I expect Mascot to still be a very significant airport.
donttellmywife
I used his number, had no idea what size.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
take care with the terms RTT, "cash flow positive" usually means taking into account only operating expenses and not the interest from construction, by this standard much of the HSR world is not struggling. Just to be clear before everyone jumps on me for being pro HSR (heaven forbid such a thing) I also know the expense of construction must be accounted for. Once built though "cash flow positive" means it can continue to operate without an operating subsidy.

cheers
arctic
I meant cash flow positive in that all operating costs are covered. Interest is covered only if money is borrowed, for example much of the Fed money spent on Interstate is funded, not borrowed.

The numbers I have seen on TGV seem to indicate similar level of funding arrangement as per Concord. The billions in technology development was basically gifted as is the track. The train services however are cash flow positive based on what must be low track fees.

The issue for an Australia HSR is I highly doubt it would be cash flow positive even if the whole thing was built by the feds and "gifted" to a 3rd party operator. Certainly not for the fares quoted in the last report which are lower than even the French pay. I suspect they are simply numbers through about to show its competitive with air travel in time and fares, both of which had minimal foundation and I suspect calculated using less technology than my old mobile phone.

regards
Shane
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
It is true that there are not many privately owned high speed railways particularly with large distances and small populations but some have been built by governments and later sold to private operators.



So like arctic  says it is the initial outlay that kills it and not the running costs but we must not forget the Federal government is giving the land plus $1b to BC and that congestion costs Sydney $10b per year which could be drastically reduced over time by connecting Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle, Sydney CBD and Mascot with a subway hub at Parramatta.



America too has large distances and while they are now trying to build a privately owned HSR they find getting to city centre too expensive and really that is the main advantage of rail.



This could change as America in particular is looking at far cheaper ways of building and running smaller driverless trains that can compete with planes but are not relying on cheap oil that made the French change their fast train over to electricity due to the oil shock.



One thing that struck me is that every person who flies is one less potential HSR passenger with the result that people who cannot afford the plane are stuck with a more tedious mode as there is not the demand to make HSR economically viable.



Numbers are hard to find and trust but I now think there are about 2,000,000 people fly between Sydney and Canberra per year https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_busiest_air_routes_in_Australia_by_passenger_traffic


Car movements on the Federal highway look to me like about 4,000,000 per year.

http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/about/corporate-publications/statistics/traffic-volumes/map/index.html


And train/coach 40,000,000

file:///C:/Users/Eddie/Downloads/r2015-03-train_statistics_2014_V1.1%20(1).pdf


Many say why go via Parramatta but the reason is because they will build a fast rail CBD/Parramatta anyway so it would save $3b for the sake of just a few kilometres more plus capturing the passengers to/from Canberra.



My new calculations are assuming it would cost $30b

4% interest plus driverless running costs =$1.5b

Assuming 30m passengers per year @ $50 each = $1.5b
eddyb

Building HSR to city centres is costly, very costly. Most European HSR's do not run into the city centres fast, they use upgraded existing corridors and trackage often shared with other trains and hence need to be compatible in some way with normal trains.

the issue for HSR in Sydney is this
- Land is very expensive
- Sydney has an extremely large footprint, 50km!
- There is no reasonable capacity in peak left on the Sydney network for sharing.

Even off peak its nearly 50min to Campbelltown and Hornsby. Yet to be viable you need 3 to 3.5hr to Melbourne and 2 to 2.5hr to Canberra.

Canberra Airport station is ok for HSR, but Brisbane will is like Sydney and will need some serious tunneling AND clearing along the corridor.

The alt is a + 40km long tunnel from each end at $250m/km where trains are knocked back to 160km/hr.

It isn't going to happen and hence any HSR (if built) will not have its major station at Central Sydney, Central Brisbane or Central Melbourne.

The reason there is almost no privately run and fully funded HSR is because they don't make money. Even the Japanese private HSR operators  running through some of the most densely populated areas in the developed world with idea major centre to major centre speeds and distances get significant other incentives to make their trains viable and the fares again are far more (I believe) than the rubbish published by the Aust HSR report.

Syd to Canberra numbers are 1mpa, not 2m.

at best there is about 1000-1500 people a day you can drag off the planes and this is not enough for more than increasing train capacity by double. The target is cars.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

There is no value spending billions at unusual technology for CBD to Parammatta users, there is some work that needs to be done on the main west as we have previously discussed that will help speed up trains by up to 5min or so and long term allow greater capacity which is more frequency.

A train to CBR will also never run via Paramatta as it adds time and the route is currently more congested.
RTT_Rules
This is true for services starting from the CBD but not so true for a service that starts from Blacktown and uses they ylink to head south.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

Shane


Sorry about the 17,000 hectares I read it in a couple of places even Wikipedia I think although I cannot find it now.


Yes land is very expensive and people really hate any disruption in their backyard and that is the beauty of a 160kph subway section between Sydney CBD and Parramatta.



Launch it both directions in sandstone from Olympic park and nobody would even be aware it was being driven.


Yes it would have to be underground until clear of housing towards Canberra and that would be at 160kph too but I am pretty sure it could go CBD to Canberra in 90 minutes which I believe essential to compete with planes.



If they did 15 km of twin tunnels for $1.05b then I think it would only cost $2b to go CBD/Parramatta and $500m for a subway station each end.     http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/tunnelling-contract-north-west-rail-link


So at only$3b CBD/Parramatta including stations with 20,000 people waiting to use it at Parramatta it would surely stack up.


Yes there are only 1m passengers per year fly Sydney to Canberra but I assumed they would want to come back sometime.


It does not have to drag everybody off planes as it only has to get 30m of the 42m travelling that route to make it economically viable.


I know you hate separate lines and tunnels but my opinion a separate line is much safer with driverless and far less trackwork than if freight trains use it.


Lastly BC will be needed in the future but I think a VFT to Canberra could give Mascot another 20 years.

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