Context of new $500m announcement for high speed rail Sydney-Newcastle

 
  alleve Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
Legitimate question - why is HSR in tunnels speed-capped? I've ridden HSR in Japan, China, France, Switzerland and the trains travel at full speeds in the tunnels. What's different about here that means the trains can't travel full speed in tunnels unlike overseas?

It would be faster to stay on the CCN than it would be to change to the metro. Would also be a lot more convenient.
Never took your question as anything but geniune.

Do you know 100% the train maintains its speed as because my experience this isn't easy to tell and I was using a GPS app. In Austria the train was doing 160km/h in the very Vienna tunnels then speeding up to 200km/h out of the tunnel and slowing for other tunnels. The Chunnel Tunnel is limited to 160km/h. T

The best I can find out is that it depends on the tunnel design, including length, longer and older tunnels tend to have lower speeds. he entrances and exits need special design as well.

My understanding why is that long tunnels have multiple issues for HSR is as follows
- Heat, as the train moves through the tunnel the air around the trains gets dragged along and therefore the cooling effect on the motors decreases

- Load/heat, as the train enters the tunnel it must now push alot of air and this created more wind resistance than outside the tunnel and as such the train either maynot have enough power or able to sustain the higher energy demands for extended periods of time again heat could be the limiting factor

-  The piston effect caused by the train needs to be managed for the infrastructure and internal pathways in the tunnel. For example if the there was a station in the tunnel, the station would need full height platform screens or risk creating hurricane type conditions on the platform. Think about it, the train is approaching at 300km/h, there is some loss of pressure around teh train and assume ventilllation, but you are still going to have a +150km/h wind speed into the station. We know what happens in Sydney with the Metro and DD's being a snug fit in their respective tunnels and there are often crossovers.

- Issues mentioned above become more extreme when two trains are running towards each other.

- entering and existing the tunnel at high speed if not designed correctly needs careful planning or it creats a bomb or similar sound effect. Annoying for locals

The Otiro tunnel in NZ. Loaded coal trains face a 1:40 rise for 8km. To make this work there are doors placed at the top so that the train is pushing into the wind which then pushes air around the trains for both exhaust and managing the heat emissiions of the rear engines. I spoke with the driver there at Mt Aruthur station in 2009, he said the trains have two bank engines added to reduce risk of operation. basically keep the train moving at sufficent speed it gets enough air movement, reduce the heat output of the engines and traction motors and risk of engine failure. Otherwise 4 engines would be enough.


So I think yes these issues can be mitigated with larger bore tunnels and other fancy designs, all costing money but unlikely fully eliminated and hence I'm open to correction that there are not long HSR tunnels with trains travelling +200 - 250 km/h. Short distance probably no issue and the defintion of short distance may vary from location to location.

A couple of links I found

https://www.railengineer.co.uk/hs2-way-out-in-front-in-tunnel-design-for-high-speed-rail/#:~=360km%2Fh%20maximum%20speed&text=The%20emission%20of%20micro%2Dpressure,on%20the%20effects%20of%20friction.

https://mdpi-res.com/mwg-internal/de5fs23hm64ds/progress?id=1eKsNlXG0Jz2RxpEAPrh0xwlNaO5SKrKlVwBJwR4VC0,
(I cannot open at work, so hopefully ok)

https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/docs/programs/eir_memos/Proj_Guidelines_TM2_4_2R01.pdf

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-high-speed-railways-often-have-lower-speed-limits-in-tunnels-than-above-ground
RTT_Rules
A couple of them, including Maglev, had speedos in the passenger area. Unless it's lying, the trains maintained a solid 300km/h+ through the tunnels. TGV Lyria didn't have one so I'm not sure on that one.

Overall my feeling on this is that HSR is a waste, but MSR is worth it.

Sponsored advertisement

  ExtremeCommuter Locomotive Driver

@ExtremeCommuter good thing HSR probably isn't happening any time in our lives then. What did you use to make your map?
alleve
Sorry for the late reply, the map was created in paint.net, I converted the existing Sydney Trains map to a .png file to get an idea what size to make the lines, text, and stations.

Definitely a good thing we most likely won't see HSR, but unfortunately we are unlikely to see development outside of Sydneypore either.

I do wonder when the day comes when everyone is living in capsule units in 100 floor skyscrapers that sprawl from the Royal National Park and Kuring-gai National Park, and from the Blue Mountains National Park to the Pacific Ocean, then will they realise that making Sydney into Sydneypore is a bad idea?

All that aside, unfortunately I think any High Speed Rail proposal kills off Newcastle suburban rail, as the higher-ups think Newcastle doesn't need it's own resources, the people there can all just commute to Sydney.
Nah, HSR will revitalise our snail rail network. People need a way to get to HSR stations after all.

Do you know what the average Sydney commute is? About 71 minutes.

Now imagine you can get a nice place at Warnervale for around $500k. Walk 5 minutes to the train station, ride 5 minutes to Wyong HSR, and then 30 minutes into the city office. That's a 40 minute commute.

Want to know where you can get that kind of commute in Sydney? It's a pretty small area, and house prices are in the millions.

https://app.traveltime.com/search/0-lat=-33.88233&0-lng=151.20646&0-title=Central%2C%20Parker%20Lane%2C%20Haymarket%2C%20Sydney%2C%20Council%20of%20the%20City%20of%20Sydney%2C%20New%20South%20Wales%2C%202000%2C%20Australia&0-tt=40

Of course not everyone is going to have a 40 minute commute, but with a combination of HSR and connecting snail rail, Newcastle and the Hunter will be able to compete with Sydney’s outer suburbs for commute times, which will drive more people to live here and push up demand for rail services.
epicanova
In a perfect world maybe, but in reality if HSR commuter rail ever went ahead, they would just pop a giant commuter car park on the edge of Newcastle, and if the line ran through to Brisbane, I do fear the existing line from Fassifern to Newcastle Intg will be converted to a cyleway.

And the 75% of commuters who can't find a space in the commuter car park will be forced to drive the entire way.

The average Sydney commute might be 71 minutes, but most employers when hiring via internet application (which is usually the sole method of application for millennials), automatic filtering software cuts out applications beyond a certain distance away from the workplace, and I imagine this is the driving distance given most employers also use similar filters for car ownership, so even if a faster trip is theoretically possible via HSR, it won't help people who need to use it actually get jobs.

Even Transport for NSW requires it's employers to reside within a certain distance of work, they say it's for fatigue management, but I'm sure everyone has their reasons, so if the company building the high speed rail doesn't let their own employees use it, what hope is there for everyone else?

So what we are really saying is the rest of the taxpayers should fund your commute so you don't have to pay for $1m house. Now in some regards I support HSR to increase the available amount of land around Sydney, however who pays? The fares would not even come close to Sydney Trains 35% cost recovery.

EDIT: Once there is a 40min commute from Waranvale, then waste the house prices rise to similar levels of the 40min commute of today.
RTT_Rules
Yes, due to flawed and just simply corrupt government policies that has forced house prices to $1m, the government who takes billions in income tax owes the people something so they don't need to buy a $1m house!


Things like Sydneypore (only having one market/liveable city in NSW and it's 8m+ square km of land), no housing variety (your choices are either $1m house of unit with expensive strata, nothing else), and giving incentives to investors are all at fault of the government and they owe the people something since they take load of tax out of their fortnightly pay and expect them to pay a fortune twice-per-pay in weekly rent.

Also, if a 40 minute commute from Warnervale is going to sent house prices to Sydney prices, doesn't that prove we need more than one market than just Sydney!

Seriously, are we are state with 801,150 km2 of land? or are we a city-state? It's Sydney, not Sydneypore, why do we only have one liveable city?

Sydney's problem isn't that we are running out of land. It is that we have so many empty properties in the hands of the wrong people and a government who has been destroying public housing spaces like no tomorrow to help there mates out. The other issue is foreign ownership of residential property driving prices up so far that owning a home is now an impossible dream.
Remove the word foreign and you're more on the money. Investment properties in general are a problem, not just the ones belonging to people overseas
alleve
@simstrain and @alleve , you two are both spot on, investments, whether foreign or local, are bad for the housing market.
If we are happy to buy trains from China, why don't we copy China with their one-child-policy, but replace the word child with house!


Investments combined with Sydneypore and no housing variety have created the perfect storm in housing unaffordability.
  alleve Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
@ExtremeCommuter good thing HSR probably isn't happening any time in our lives then. What did you use to make your map?
Sorry for the late reply, the map was created in paint.net, I converted the existing Sydney Trains map to a .png file to get an idea what size to make the lines, text, and stations.
ExtremeCommuter
Cheers
  epicanova Station Master

Hi all, there's a lot to reply to and I'll try and get to them soon. I'll start with these comments:

Legitimate question - why is HSR in tunnels speed-capped?
alleve


Two main issues:

1. Tunnels increase air resistance, thus more energy is needed to maintain speed.

2. Air pressure and aural discomfort generally increases with speed, which if it gets too bad can cause hearing damage. Study on HSR through tunnels here.

None of this means you can't run at high speed through tunnels, you just need to spend more alleviating the issues (i.e. larger tunnels, better trains), so there is a clear relation between viable speed and cost. This might be too high for a line like Sydney-Newcastle, so we could end up with slower trains to save money.

if HSR commuter rail ever went ahead, they would just pop a giant commuter car park on the edge of Newcastle
ExtremeCommuter


There was talk in the 2014 Beyond Zero Emissions report (a follow-up to Labor's 2013 report) which had stations far outside of the CBD. The singular Central Coast station was near Ourimbah, and the Newcastle station was near Hexham.

That we have Labor talking about multiple stations at Wyong and Gosford, and NSW Liberal manoeuvring towards a station at Wyong, seems to put this idea to bed. And if there is budget for a station at Wyong, surely we can afford an inner-city station for Newcastle, which has double the population?

Running new track to Broadmeadow is doable. To the south, it runs nice and straight to Adamstown, at which point you can either reclaim a couple km of the Fernleigh Track, or tunnel for a couple km, to escape the urban sprawl. Add a couple more tunnels under Whitebridge and Blacksmiths/Swansea, and you have a clear, smooth run to Wyong.

To the north, once you get through the Hamilton Junction, the track is fairly straight, and largely quadruple track. It wouldn't be challenging to run HSR along this corridor to either Sandgate or Hexham, at which point it breaks off, crossing the Hunter River towards Brisbane.

I do fear the existing line from Fassifern to Newcastle Intg will be converted to a cyleway.
ExtremeCommuter


Lines don't get shut down for no reason. First they need to spiral downwards, with smaller trains, lower frequencies, which then cause lower ridership etc. While there is a clear loss of patronage north of Wyong, you can easily find these trains fairly full in peak hours. Get the train from Newcastle Intg at 3pm and you'll find hordes of school kids using it.

It's impossible for HSR to accommodate the 14 stations between Wyong and Newcastle without severely compromising speed, and thus wasting billions, so there will always be a need for snail rail on this corridor.

Hell, the entire purpose of the Fassifern-Hexham freight bypass is to address congestion on the Main North to Hamilton Junction. This tells me the goal is to run more snail rail services along the corridor, not less.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
A couple of them, including Maglev, had speedos in the passenger area. Unless it's lying, the trains maintained a solid 300km/h+ through the tunnels. TGV Lyria didn't have one so I'm not sure on that one.

Overall my feeling on this is that HSR is a waste, but MSR is worth it.
alleve
How long were the tunnels?

Maglev I'd expect, very different technology and part of the reason it costs a fortune.

Agree
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Air pressure and aural discomfort generally increases with speed, which if it gets too bad can cause hearing damage. Study on HSR through tunnels here.
Excellent point. If the train cabin air system isn't sealed or sealed well, then two trains approaching each other in connected tunnels could be dramatic on ears.

The only HSR we have taken has been Mar-Paris, Geneva to Paris (and VV) and Paris to London, but I don't recall anything.
  alleve Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
How long were the tunnels?
RTT_Rules
Don't know, but they lasted quite a while
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
How long were the tunnels?
Don't know, but they lasted quite a while
alleve
Ok, no worries, fair enough, point taken and noted.
  epicanova Station Master

Another quick point I want to add, the idea here isn't to just "let everyone be part of Sydney" because of the housing market or whatever. It's an extrapolation of the existing network, where almost all lines lead directly to Central. The only real exception is the Hunter Line which is mostly intended to serve Newcastle.

  • The intercity Central Coast Newcastle Line, South Coast Line, Blue Mountains Line all go to Central.
  • The regional Southern Highlands, Southern Region, Western Region, North West Region, Northern Region all run to Central.
  • Even services like some CCN/SCL runs and the T5, which stop at stations outside Central, are just one transfer away from Central.


Our rail system is based around the idea that everyone wants to visit Sydney, so it makes sense that a HSR or MSR line would be an extension of this philosophy, where speed simply changes how much you can practically do in Sydney. Instead of traveling from neighbouring cities for the occasional day trip, you can commute daily with the right speeds.

Also, yes, some commutes are already practical, such as the 90 minutes from Gosford/Wollongong to Central. The problem is that this relies on you living next to the train station, otherwise you need to factor in driving/park and ride, or using other transport to reach the station. Add in living further out, i.e. Newcastle, Nowra, plus away from major transit stations, and it quickly becomes impractical.

I also want to talk internet access as it factors into my definition of "acceptable commute". I think 90-120 minutes is fine if you have internet access, so you can get work done on the train. If there's no internet access, it's more like 60 minutes. And as anyone who's caught the train from Newcastle to Sydney will know, a large chunk of the trip is in mobile blackspots, so you're stuck with reading a book, listening to music etc.

Internet access will take HSR from being "competitive" into being outright preferable for a lot of people. You can't do work while you're driving to the office from your place at Gosford, but you can if you take the train, and for any decent workplace this will mean you can get home sooner. The combined time savings would make it better than living in the city proper in terms of work-life balance.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

EpicanNova, that BZE report is completely unreliable. It was done by people pushing an agenda with no reality in pricing for construction in Sydney and probably done by the same people who said the southern freight line was only going to cost $70 million. For example the area in the map is by itself likely to cost $8 billion at least. A massive bridge over or a tunnel underneath the hawkesbury river.

This area has already been heavily cut in the construction of the motorway that I'm not really sure how much more the local wildlife could handle and so from an environemental position this project will be extremely detrimental to the environment. A mostly tunnel route would be necessary then and so that $8 billion Sydney to Newcastle cost is more likely to be $50 billion.

Also elevation is an issue if you are going to try and follow the M1 as at Ourimbah you are at 37m and then the climb to Somersby ends at 221m. Tunneling will be needed for any HSR into Sydney from the north and that means it is going to be extremely expensive.
  epicanova Station Master

Tunneling will be needed for any HSR into Sydney from the north and that means it is going to be extremely expensive.
simstrain


If you read the report you will see extensive tunnelling and alignment has been factored in through Sydney and across the Hawkesbury, which is what lends it relevance to this thread.

You are correct that it has a clear agenda, which is to build stations on the periphery of regional cities to cut costs. This is thankfully incompatible with the funding announced for track quadruplication and more platforms, suggesting Wyong station will service high-speed trains.

People need to keep in mind government is just as skeptical about the project as everyone else, hence the funding in the NSW budget being conditional on the federal govt matching it. If they do then that's already 10% of the line done, and it's much easier to keep the ball rolling once it's already moving.

A mostly tunnel route would be necessary then and so that $8 billion Sydney to Newcastle cost is more likely to be $50 billion.
simstrain


That's around $3-400 million per km? Sorry but those numbers aren't at all in line with real world figures. Again read the BITRE report, even the Channel Tunnel worked out a little over AU$100 million/km, and that’s an outlier. Every other system studied cost under $75m/km.

For comparison, Japan’s Tokyo-Nagoya maglev works out around AU$250 million per km.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
EpicanNova, that BZE report is completely unreliable. It was done by people pushing an agenda with no reality in pricing for construction in Sydney and probably done by the same people who said the southern freight line was only going to cost $70 million. For example the area in the map is by itself likely to cost $8 billion at least. A massive bridge over or a tunnel underneath the hawkesbury river.

This area has already been heavily cut in the construction of the motorway that I'm not really sure how much more the local wildlife could handle and so from an environemental position this project will be extremely detrimental to the environment. A mostly tunnel route would be necessary then and so that $8 billion Sydney to Newcastle cost is more likely to be $50 billion.

Also elevation is an issue if you are going to try and follow the M1 as at Ourimbah you are at 37m and then the climb to Somersby ends at 221m. Tunneling will be needed for any HSR into Sydney from the north and that means it is going to be extremely expensive.
simstrain
Won't be a tunnel across the Hawesberry nor is it needed.

Line would likely come down the hill mostly in tunnels with a few exposed areas then bridge across the river, a tunnel would require the line to start the decline a few km further back and basically be in a tunnel from Mt K to Wondabyne, which wont' happen.

I agree on the impact on what is a national park and there will be significant opposition to anything that is too high impact, however rail is far less disruptiive that building a road. Could you imagine what is required to widen the F3?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Another quick point I want to add, the idea here isn't to just "let everyone be part of Sydney" because of the housing market or whatever. It's an extrapolation of the existing network, where almost all lines lead directly to Central. The only real exception is the Hunter Line which is mostly intended to serve Newcastle.

  • The intercity Central Coast Newcastle Line, South Coast Line, Blue Mountains Line all go to Central.
  • The regional Southern Highlands, Southern Region, Western Region, North West Region, Northern Region all run to Central.
  • Even services like some CCN/SCL runs and the T5, which stop at stations outside Central, are just one transfer away from Central.


Our rail system is based around the idea that everyone wants to visit Sydney, so it makes sense that a HSR or MSR line would be an extension of this philosophy, where speed simply changes how much you can practically do in Sydney. Instead of traveling from neighbouring cities for the occasional day trip, you can commute daily with the right speeds.

Also, yes, some commutes are already practical, such as the 90 minutes from Gosford/Wollongong to Central. The problem is that this relies on you living next to the train station, otherwise you need to factor in driving/park and ride, or using other transport to reach the station. Add in living further out, i.e. Newcastle, Nowra, plus away from major transit stations, and it quickly becomes impractical.

I also want to talk internet access as it factors into my definition of "acceptable commute". I think 90-120 minutes is fine if you have internet access, so you can get work done on the train. If there's no internet access, it's more like 60 minutes. And as anyone who's caught the train from Newcastle to Sydney will know, a large chunk of the trip is in mobile blackspots, so you're stuck with reading a book, listening to music etc.

Internet access will take HSR from being "competitive" into being outright preferable for a lot of people. You can't do work while you're driving to the office from your place at Gosford, but you can if you take the train, and for any decent workplace this will mean you can get home sooner. The combined time savings would make it better than living in the city proper in terms of work-life balance.
epicanova
All lines lead to Sydney CBD because historically there wasn't alot else. Sydney has far more satilite CBD's than the other capitals where their rail networks are pure hub and spoke. Sydney started to move away from the central CBD decades ago, but its not that apparent until you start digging deeper. ie look at the NWRL Metro, feeds commuters from the NW suburbs to the employment centre of the ECRL region.

We now have Paramatta starting to stretch its legs and we will see going forward the rail network having more lines branching out from Paramatta over the next 20 years.

However today, the current network is still aligned with most commuter traffic requirements taking people to the CBD or the major employment hubs such as Nth Sydney, Chatswoof, ECRL, Hornsby Paramatta etc, also just look at the road system.

I don't think internet access is of a huge benefit and I don't think people are "stuck". The blackspots I've noticed are short in duration. Few people work on the train, more likely sleep or do their own thing.

For me the commutable distance is up to 90min (and I used to do 2-2.5h in Sydney when younger). Beyond that with a 10h day from arrival to departure from office, the day is just getting too long. Yes that door to door commute time I'm referring too. I do 1h today driving, its in Dubai traffic so higher speed, busy but usually free flowing roads, wife does 90min, but now only 4 days a week, 5th day at home and sometimes other days. Its very tiring and we have twice placed an end date on this and these expired for various reasons, but the 3rd end date is fixed.

In Sydney commuting was less tiring for me on the train even as it was longer as I would get up to 2h a day sleep on the train and for me if you are signing yourself up for long commutes, it will be by rail or car pool so you can get a reasonable amount of sleep. However its really best avoided.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Tunneling will be needed for any HSR into Sydney from the north and that means it is going to be extremely expensive.


If you read the report you will see extensive tunnelling and alignment has been factored in through Sydney and across the Hawkesbury, which is what lends it relevance to this thread.

You are correct that it has a clear agenda, which is to build stations on the periphery of regional cities to cut costs. This is thankfully incompatible with the funding announced for track quadruplication and more platforms, suggesting Wyong station will service high-speed trains.

People need to keep in mind government is just as skeptical about the project as everyone else, hence the funding in the NSW budget being conditional on the federal govt matching it. If they do then that's already 10% of the line done, and it's much easier to keep the ball rolling once it's already moving.

A mostly tunnel route would be necessary then and so that $8 billion Sydney to Newcastle cost is more likely to be $50 billion.


That's around $3-400 million per km? Sorry but those numbers aren't at all in line with real world figures. Again read the BITRE report, even the Channel Tunnel worked out a little over AU$100 million/km, and that’s an outlier. Every other system studied cost under $75m/km.

For comparison, Japan’s Tokyo-Nagoya maglev works out around AU$250 million per km.
epicanova
Channel Tunnel was more than that and thats in 1990 dollars. Project was around $300m/km

The 50.5km long Channel tunnel, located on the English Channel in the UK and France borders, is the longest undersea rail tunnel in the world. It connects Folkestone in Kent, UK, to Coquelles in Pas-de-Calais, France. The tunnel was opened for operations in 1994 after nearly six years of construction and cost $14.7bn. It recently won the Global Engineering ‘Century Award’ by the international federation of civil engineering consultants, FIDIC.

The two terminals are linked by three tunnels, including a 9.3km underground tunnel in UK, 38km undersea tunnel and 3.2km underground tunnel in France. In addition there is a service tunnel which allows access to maintenance and emergency rescue teams. The three rail tunnels have a diameter of 7.6m, whereas the service tunnel has a diameter of 4.8m. A total of 11 tunnel boring machines (TBM) dug the tunnel, which runs 40m below the English Channel.

NWRL is a good indicator of the cost of building recent long tunnels in Australia.

Also remember unlike the Europeans the contracts for the construction workers in Australia especially NSW are influenced by the close by coal mining industry and mining industry in general.

The NSW govt does not have the revenue to fund HSR., hence its commitment to HSR (usual election year statements) is commitment by the feds as this is a win win election approach.
- Publically state it supports HSR,
- Publically provide a token amount of money to support yet another study
- Which is conditional on a fed govt from the other side which has a major budget black hole,
- Feds also won't want to actively supporting an opposition state govt in the final year before their election
- Feds have no finacial abililty to co-fund HSR construction in this decade, they need to both close the gap in the budget and start throwing larger $ at the defense force and thats without considering other factors such as growing welfare costs, while at the same time they actively support a reduction in income taxes and Corp taxes.
  epicanova Station Master

Channel Tunnel was more than that and thats in 1990 dollars. Project was around $300m/km
RTT_Rules


Oops my bad, I misread. Smile It was referring to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (or HS1).

Anyway I went back and dug up Albo's speech:



https://youtu.be/f4Moj913WaY?t=883

He states he will be continuing from Labor's Phase 2 study in 2013, so let's take a look at that.

A few interesting figures:

Table ES-6: Risk-adjusted HSR program costs ($2012, $billion)

For Newcastle-Sydney:

Project development - $1.7 billion
Construction - $17.2 billion
Total capital costs - $18.9 billion

Figure ES-9: HSR program average construction costs per route-kilometre in staging order ($2012, $million)

Central Coast to Sydney - $185 million/km
Newcastle to Central Coast - $43 million/km

Table ES-7: Staging of the preferred HSR system

Stage 3: Newcastle-Sydney

Built track - 134 km
Risk-adjusted cost - $18.9 billion
Cost per km - $141 million

Feds have no finacial abililty to co-fund HSR construction in this decade
RTT_Rules


I disagree. Our debt is forecast to peak just shy of $1 trillion, and of that, $19 billion is about 2%. It's really a drop in the bucket for the benefits it will bring.

You also need to factor in emissions, and HSR will play a significant role in emissions reduction by gradually supplanting air traffic on the Melbourne-Brisbane corridor. That includes financial consequences, such as short term rising cost of flights due to the fuel economy, and long term sanctions if we don't meet emissions targets.

Edit…

I managed to source the full Phase 2 report.

It does have a Newcastle station out near Cameron Park, along with a singular Central Coast station at Ourimbah. A little scary, but again, this is contradicted by Labor’s pre-election statement discussing stops (plural) at Wyong and Gosford.

We can only hope they’ve wisened up… ????
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

There is a huge problem with those numbers epicanova. They are based on overseas numbers or non Sydney numbers and don't include the Sydney tax and excess cost of doing things here. The government thought that the Southern Sydney freight line could be built for $70 million but it ended up costing $1 billion. This is the problem with out of towners doing costing for projects in and around Sydney. The valleys, mountains, rivers in addition to the coal mines are significant barriers for cheap construction.
  alleve Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
NWRL is a good indicator of the cost of building recent long tunnels in Australia.
RTT_Rules

Not even, NWRL was built for small metro trains. HSR tunnels would cost way more because of different tunnel design, wider radius tunnels for the larger trains, etc. @epicanova is massively underestimating costs

Feds have no financial ability to co-fund HSR construction in this decade, they need to both close the gap in the budget and start throwing larger $ at the defense force and that's without considering other factors such as growing welfare costs
RTT_Rules
Last thing Feds should be doing is throwing more money at the defence force, but regardless you're right that we need to close the gap in the budget. I find the sunken cost fallacy that "we're in a trillion debt, that means we can spend just a little more on HSR" to be very unconvincing. When I see a trillion dollars debt, that screams "spend less", not "spend more". This is partly why MSR is the answer, it's a much cheaper solution to a not very pressing problem. NIF was the first step to that, the trains have been specifically designed to go 30km/h faster than the existing stock (45km/h faster when talking about the V Sets).

He states he will be continuing from Labor's Phase 2 study in 2013, so let's take a look at that. A few interesting figures
epicanova

Those figures have no bearing on reality, they're from 2012 and have no relevance on today's construction costs whatsoever, not to mention you'd need to inflation adjust them. Anyway, I think I'd rather have stations at Wyong and Gosford than one at Ourimbah.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
NWRL is a good indicator of the cost of building recent long tunnels in Australia.

Not even, NWRL was built for small metro trains. HSR tunnels would cost way more because of different tunnel design, wider radius tunnels for the larger trains, etc. @epicanova is massively underestimating costs

Feds have no financial ability to co-fund HSR construction in this decade, they need to both close the gap in the budget and start throwing larger $ at the defense force and that's without considering other factors such as growing welfare costs
Last thing Feds should be doing is throwing more money at the defence force, but regardless you're right that we need to close the gap in the budget. I find the sunken cost fallacy that "we're in a trillion debt, that means we can spend just a little more on HSR" to be very unconvincing. When I see a trillion dollars debt, that screams "spend less", not "spend more". This is partly why MSR is the answer, it's a much cheaper solution to a not very pressing problem. NIF was the first step to that, the trains have been specifically designed to go 30km/h faster than the existing stock (45km/h faster when talking about the V Sets).

He states he will be continuing from Labor's Phase 2 study in 2013, so let's take a look at that. A few interesting figures

Those figures have no bearing on reality, they're from 2012 and have no relevance on today's construction costs whatsoever, not to mention you'd need to inflation adjust them. Anyway, I think I'd rather have stations at Wyong and Gosford than one at Ourimbah.
alleve

Agree on NWRL, but its a guide for how under he was quoting.

Defense force, there will be little choice if you want to remain speaking English.

Agree, if MSR can average 150 km/h then its 1h 10min Central to Newcastle. Taregtting trains capable of +300 km/h with all the other limitations that will prevent operations at that speed will not achieve alot more.

What we don't need is to have the fed budget and debt situation replicate the status of Qld where they are carrying nearly $100B debt, have made no attempt to reduce it over the last 10 years and with no real posibilty to reduce it this side of 2030. The interest bill alone is the equivalent of what NSW is spending on its rail projects and we wonder why the best they can do is a CRR light.

Construction costs are under huge pressure from inflation. Hence cost over runs appearing in SW Metro and Western Metro and will do in other states including Inland.

Also consider that all these visionary rail project costs all go up, up, up, up. SELR up nearly 50% and thats without inflation impacts.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Channel Tunnel was more than that and thats in 1990 dollars. Project was around $300m/km


Oops my bad, I misread. Smile It was referring to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (or HS1).

Anyway I went back and dug up Albo's speech:



https://youtu.be/f4Moj913WaY?t=883

He states he will be continuing from Labor's Phase 2 study in 2013, so let's take a look at that.

A few interesting figures:

Table ES-6: Risk-adjusted HSR program costs ($2012, $billion)

For Newcastle-Sydney:

Project development - $1.7 billion
Construction - $17.2 billion
Total capital costs - $18.9 billion

Figure ES-9: HSR program average construction costs per route-kilometre in staging order ($2012, $million)

Central Coast to Sydney - $185 million/km
Newcastle to Central Coast - $43 million/km

Table ES-7: Staging of the preferred HSR system

Stage 3: Newcastle-Sydney

Built track - 134 km
Risk-adjusted cost - $18.9 billion
Cost per km - $141 million

Feds have no finacial abililty to co-fund HSR construction in this decade


I disagree. Our debt is forecast to peak just shy of $1 trillion, and of that, $19 billion is about 2%. It's really a drop in the bucket for the benefits it will bring.

You also need to factor in emissions, and HSR will play a significant role in emissions reduction by gradually supplanting air traffic on the Melbourne-Brisbane corridor. That includes financial consequences, such as short term rising cost of flights due to the fuel economy, and long term sanctions if we don't meet emissions targets.

Edit…

I managed to source the full Phase 2 report.

It does have a Newcastle station out near Cameron Park, along with a singular Central Coast station at Ourimbah. A little scary, but again, this is contradicted by Labor’s pre-election statement discussing stops (plural) at Wyong and Gosford.

We can only hope they’ve wisened up… ????
epicanova

There is no finacial advantage to the country in repalcing self funding air transport with heavily subsidised rail transport.

Those numbers are grossly undervalued and now even more so. Look at all the visionary projects that have been built and the cost change as reality sets in.

That extra 2% becomes the last 2% that is eventually paid off and the interest it generated over the years will far exceed the cost of the project. Basically of the proviate sector won't do it, then its probably a money pit and the country doesn't need more money pits right now.

The global airline industry is moving to reduce emissions and will on its own take care of its own emissions. This includes the move to electrication and more sustainable fuels for longer and larger jets as well as the ongoing continous 10% per decade reduction in fuel consumption per passenger mile. We will not face sanctions because of the airline industry. The power section has reduced its emissions by 1/3 since 2010 and will drop another 1/3 (of 2010 data) by early ~2030's, we are on track and the final 1/3 by the early 2040's.

If its built there will be no stop at Gosford or Woy Woy, too complicated, read expensive, there is also no need.
  alleve Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
NWRL is a good indicator of the cost of building recent long tunnels in Australia.

Not even, NWRL was built for small metro trains. HSR tunnels would cost way more because of different tunnel design, wider radius tunnels for the larger trains, etc. [b]@epicanova[/b] is massively underestimating costs

Feds have no financial ability to co-fund HSR construction in this decade, they need to both close the gap in the budget and start throwing larger $ at the defense force and that's without considering other factors such as growing welfare costs
Last thing Feds should be doing is throwing more money at the defence force, but regardless you're right that we need to close the gap in the budget. I find the sunken cost fallacy that "we're in a trillion debt, that means we can spend just a little more on HSR" to be very unconvincing. When I see a trillion dollars debt, that screams "spend less", not "spend more". This is partly why MSR is the answer, it's a much cheaper solution to a not very pressing problem. NIF was the first step to that, the trains have been specifically designed to go 30km/h faster than the existing stock (45km/h faster when talking about the V Sets).

He states he will be continuing from Labor's Phase 2 study in 2013, so let's take a look at that. A few interesting figures

Those figures have no bearing on reality, they're from 2012 and have no relevance on today's construction costs whatsoever, not to mention you'd need to inflation adjust them. Anyway, I think I'd rather have stations at Wyong and Gosford than one at Ourimbah.

Agree on NWRL, but its a guide for how under he was quoting.

Defense force, there will be little choice if you want to remain speaking English.

Agree, if MSR can average 150 km/h then its 1h 10min Central to Newcastle. Taregtting trains capable of +300 km/h with all the other limitations that will prevent operations at that speed will not achieve alot more.

What we don't need is to have the fed budget and debt situation replicate the status of Qld where they are carrying nearly $100B debt, have made no attempt to reduce it over the last 10 years and with no real posibilty to reduce it this side of 2030. The interest bill alone is the equivalent of what NSW is spending on its rail projects and we wonder why the best they can do is a CRR light.

Construction costs are under huge pressure from inflation. Hence cost over runs appearing in SW Metro and Western Metro and will do in other states including Inland.

Also consider that all these visionary rail project costs all go up, up, up, up. SELR up nearly 50% and thats without inflation impacts.
RTT_Rules
Spending more on the defence force is not going to stop us from not remaining speaking English, it is money completely and utterly down the drain. Wasting more money on foreign weapons and redundant subs is not going to make an iota of difference to Australia's power or position in the region, if a major player in the region wants to take a shot at us they will, no matter how much we've spent. If anything, if we want to keep speaking English, we need to stop militarising and start using our brains. Nobody is trying to force New Zealand to speak a different language because they're smart enough not to suck up to the US and get caught in an arms race with the largest economy on earth. Every extra dollar spent on the military would be better spent in another area, or even better not spent at all to reduce the debt.

In the same vein of reducing debt, HSR should not and I believe will not be a priority, no matter how much the politicians go on about it. MSR will be the answer this decade.

MSR realistically won't average 150km/h because the NIF can only reach 160km/h, and naturally will be slowing down for curves, stations, etc. Hopefully the real average shouldn't be much lower, a Central - Newcastle travel time of less than 2 hours would be a minimum. Just things like bypassing the cliffs on the SCO, straightening track after Berowra, general amplification such as double tracking the SCO and passing loops on all lines, etc will create massive service improvements. Wyong quad will be part of this, allowing better frequencies.

@epicanova HSR is a tough one to financially justify at the best of times, let alone now when inflation is causing massive blowouts.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Air pressure and aural discomfort generally increases with speed, which if it gets too bad can cause hearing damage. Study on HSR through tunnels here.
Excellent point. If the train cabin air system isn't sealed or sealed well, then two trains approaching each other in connected tunnels could be dramatic on ears.

The only HSR we have taken has been Mar-Paris, Geneva to Paris (and VV) and Paris to London, but I don't recall anything.
RTT_Rules
the Eurostar trains only travel at 160 km/h through the English Channel Tunnel.
  epicanova Station Master

I find the sunken cost fallacy that "we're in a trillion debt, that means we can spend just a little more on HSR" to be very unconvincing.
alleve


I'll complete the argument then: debt in isolation is not a bad thing. It is in fact necessary for a country to acquire debt as part of its economic growth, which is why debt needs to be looked at in relation to GDP (debt to GDP ratio). Basically this tells us how the debt we're spending is offset by creating more economic output.

Let's look at IMF's fiscal monitor. Among advanced economies, the average net debt to GDP in 2022 is 84.8%. Several countries – Italy, Japan, Spain, France, Portugal, the US – are over 100%. Australia is at 37.5%.

Australia's debt-to-GDP has been pathetically low for a long time. Our net debt to GDP hit -7.3% in 2007 – stagnation from years of underinvestment by the Howard government.

Don't be afraid of $1 trillion in debt, it won't hurt us. What will hurt us is tiptoeing around future investment because we're scared of big mean numbers.

Those figures have no bearing on reality, they're from 2012 and have no relevance on today's construction costs whatsoever, not to mention you'd need to inflation adjust them. Anyway, I think I'd rather have stations at Wyong and Gosford than one at Ourimbah.
alleve


We have no "bearing on reality" for HSR because no comparable project (in terms of time, scope, topology) has ever been built here.

Plus as both the 2013 and 2014 reports demonstrate, there are two stages to the project with wildly different costings. The Sydney-CC section would be largely tunnels, and depending on how that goes politically, shortcuts could be taken to save cost. The CC-Newcastle section is largely greenfield so the costs are much lower.

There is no finacial advantage to the country in repalcing self funding air transport with heavily subsidised rail transport.
RTT_Rules


Nah, the golden age of flying is on its way out. Even when the oil economy settles down, the level of emissions will drive up ticket prices. Aviation won't die entirely, but a weekend flight from Sydney to Melbourne will become a luxury most people can't afford.

The global airline industry is moving to reduce emissions and will on its own take care of its own emissions. This includes the move to electrication
RTT_Rules


And how are they going to do that? Electric planes are still in their infancy, carrying a total of 9 passengers for one hour. It's also much slower at 400 km/hr, getting into HSR territory – would it even make the Sydney-Melbourne trip?

There's no sense waiting around for pie in the sky theoretical solutions when we already have a viable solution ready to go, with the first piece of the puzzle allocated in multiple budgets just waiting for the green light in October.

Bring on the high-speed revolution I say.
  alleve Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
@epicanova I am perfectly aware of how debt works. Our construction market is already overstimulated, and building HSR will not bring us as much economic growth as you hope. Building HSR will increase the debt without the benefit to offset the cost. Govt's proposals for HSR are purely for political reasons, not economic reasons
  epicanova Station Master

Building HSR will increase the debt without the benefit to offset the cost.
alleve


I understand where you're coming from now. Let me rewind a little.

It is true that HSR won't provide immediate benefits to housing affordability. It will probably make it worse in the short term. Though I do believe there are significant benefits to be had, these will be far in the distant future.

However, there is a more immediate issue here, and that is employment.

There are a few key industries driving employment in the Hunter; the biggest ones are health, education, retail, and mining. A big part of reducing our emissions will be transitioning these miners into other industries, and right now, we're not at all prepared.

Health and education are both difficult fields to get into. Plenty of health jobs are inaccessible to non-school leavers. Our education sector is crowded; I've known a few people who have spent years getting their teaching degree, only to end up stuck in retail hell.

In this brief summary of the Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan, you can see the issue. Several areas of Greater Newcastle are projecting their main source of employment will move from industry to retail. You'll also notice the area lacks any significant knowledge economy.

This is where HSR can come into play, allowing Hunter workers to interface with Sydney's booming knowledge economy. It provides a solution for miners to change industry without being tossed into retail hell, where they'll make ⅓rd of their former salary and get abused by bored housewives all day, and where there simply isn't enough jobs for all of them.

Thanks to our big education sector, we already have the facilities for reskilling. We have a large university with multiple campuses, and good access via rail, bus, highway, and tram to the city campus (where I'm currently attending–it's great). It also offers a entry program, called Open Foundation, which basically guarantees entry for mature age students, and those students can then mix on-campus and online studies as needed to finish their degree.

Miners are also a great use case for HSR: many of them already drive long distances to work, so commuting to Sydney won't be a big change for them.

Govt's proposals for HSR are purely for political reasons, not economic reasons
alleve


I don't know about that. I see the hesitance to build HSR as politically motivated, driven by many years of LNP fear-mongering. Budget crisis here, migrant crisis there. We've become a country that is very risk-averse when it comes to spending for growth, even though the risk is based more on a vague feeling of being "too expensive" rather than actually being too expensive.

Like it or not, the population will continue to grow, house prices will continue to swell, and our old carbon economies will continue to decline. Sensible economics would mean dealing with these issues before they become crises; politics would be sticking our heads in the sand and hoping it all goes away.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland














There's no sense waiting around for pie in the sky theoretical solutions when we already have a viable solution ready to go, with the first piece of the puzzle allocated in multiple budgets just waiting for the green light in October.

Bring on the high-speed revolution I say.
epicanova
Viable Solution ready to go ?

Far from It !

What about all the legal battles that would go on for decades by land owner who would fight teeth and nail to prevent a railway going through their back yard, you only have to look at the battles going on with the Inland Railway (going through sparsely populated areas)

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: