Thursday, August 08, 2013

Plan for Australian High Speed Trains

The Greens party have released "Building High Speed Rail: 21st Century Infrastructure" (The Greens, 5 August 2013). This proposes a dedicated High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) with a budget of $664M for preliminary work and a $570M environmental impact study. Two lines would be investigated (Sydney - Canberra - Melbourne and Sydney - Newcastle - Brisbane). The trip times appear based on the best current in service technology with Sydney to Melbourne at 2 hours 44 minutes.

Mr. Anthony Albanese, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, released the High speed rail study phase 2 report, 11 April 2013. However, the ALP government has no proposals to implement high speed rail. Insetad Mr. Albanese is proposing to build a second airport in Sydney (which would not be needed with a high speed rail line from Sydney to Melbourne)

The Greens proposal does not estimate the cost of high speed rail. My suggestion is to fund the project from the increase in land value along the route, building new cities in regional Australia. New cities could be built rapidly, relying on broadband for many services currently provided by bricks and mortar. This would relieve development pressure on Sydney. Also a second airport would not be needed, with passengers changing from aircraft to trains on the busy Sydney -  Canberra - Melbourne air corridor..

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