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The Australian Railway Association has published a report commissioned from Arup which sets out a three-step plan to provide faster, more reliable and more frequent rail services through upgrades to the existing network and the creation of dedicated fast lines.
The Faster Rail Report considers three speed bands: fast rail (160-200 km/h), faster rail (200-250 km/h) and high speed rail (>250 km/h). It recommends that Australia should:
The report makes six recommendations for the successful implementation of faster rail.
1. Develop a long-term national vision:
2. Support better social and economic outcomes for all regions:
3. Establish a policy framework for consistent delivery of faster rail:
4. Establish a governance framework to deliver fast rail:
5. Develop a co-ordinated funding approach:
6. Stage and target investment in rail:
‘With an additional 10 million people expected to move to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane by 2060, faster rail will be essential to support urban renewal in key regional centres’, said ARA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie. ‘Highways in and out of Sydney are already reaching capacity, which means we must invest now in faster rail to support the east coast’s sustainable development.’
Commenting that ‘for too long rail investment has lagged behind road funding and the regional rail network is now below global standards’, Wilkie said ‘it is time to bring Australia up to standard and tap into the new demand for regional development resulting from Covid-19.’
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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