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Sir Rod Eddington's report on Melbourne's inner city transport links has been hailed in most quarters, however all may not be quite as it seems.
The Age 'Diary' article of 23 July below tells all, and maybe it's just as well Sir Rod wasn't paid squillions from the Victorian Government.
Mike, in very, very wet Georgetown Nth Qld.
BY ANY reckoning, Sir Rod Eddington is one powerful pooh-bah. The former British Airways and Ansett chief heads up Kev Rudd's new Infrastructure Australia and is overseeing $200 billion worth of projects nationwide. Eddington is also the bloke behind Victoria's new transport report for the east-west link, $20 billion worth of options to unblock the traffic jams. So it's really comforting to know that ol' Rod's sources are rock-solid.
For example, how about his run-down on "what other international cities are doing" on Page 84? Rod reports that, in Buenos Aires, they had been "losing many passengers during the 1980s" so "the Subte was privatised and is now operated by Metrovias which immediately started refurbishing stations and buying new rolling stock to replace older trains, some of which have been running since the Subte opened." Hmm, that sounds familiar. Oh yes, here it is in UrbanRail.Net, the amateur trainspotter website: "After losing many passengers during the 1980's, the Subte was privatised and is now operated by Metrovias which immediately started refurbishing stations and buying new rolling stock to replace older trains, some of which have been running since the Subte opened." Gosh, that's a coincidence (but at least Rod dropped the superfluous apostrophe in 1980s). And look, it's the same for Rod's listings for Madrid, Shanghai and Beijing — word for word.
UrbanRail.Net is run by dedicated rail freak Robert Schwandl, who calls himself "simply a metro fan" and relies on "hundreds of often anonymous helpers all around the world" to keep his website updated. Comforting to know, as Spring Street considers shelling out $7 billion on new rail lines, it is all backed by such water-tight sources.
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