The argument for fast rail between Adelaide and Melbourne is surprisingly strong, having a higher benefit-cost ratio than the much more expensive east coast proposals.
When one engineer accuses another of having his sums wrong by a factor of 50, you can be sure that one of them has said something silly.
The Turnbull government has today issued a call for faster rail proposals – the prospectus is practical, serious and foreshadows some form of government assistance. Hot rails is optimistic that this will elicit some interesting concepts from the private sector.
It’s one of the best budgets for regional and commuter rail in recent decades, among other things pledging $20 million for multiple business case studies, to focus on linking large cities to regional Australia. Hot Rails likes this idea, but thinks the government should consider supporting a larger number of more affordable studies.
Spanish train manufacturer Talgo’s medium-speed rail proposal is the latest development in the regional rail debate in Australia. While their claim of 2 hour travel between Sydney and Canberra is unlikely, even just making the train competitive with car travel would completely change the travel market between these two cities. Hot Rails explains why.
The CLARA plan for high-speed rail, costing $200 billion and creating eight new inland cities, depends on unrealistically large numbers of houses being sold for unrealistically high prices while interest rates stay unrealistically low. Hot Rails is not impressed…
Melbourne’s CBD isn’t quite as hard to access as Sydney’s, but it’s still no walk in the park. The Macedon Ranges on the west and the Kinglake Ranges on the east restrict northern access to a single corridor; all plausible alignments pass roughly through Heathcote Junction. We look at the four most promising corridor options.
Beachside resorts at Victor Harbor? Food and wine tours to Coonawarra? Possibly even an innovation hub at Port Augusta, powered by solar thermal or 3rd-generation nuclear? Fast rail could put it all on Adelaide’s doorstep, far easier and cheaper than proposals in the mountainous Eastern Seaboard.
We use a variety of different sources to estimate the captured and induced demand for the proposed regional high-speed rail link, and find much higher ridership than projected by previous studies due to serving a large number of regional stations.
Value capture is an essential part of the funding model for any realistic high speed rail proposal, but mis-selling the idea can be fatal to public opinion. Hot Rails discusses the critical difference between “positive” and “negative” value capture.