The CLARA high-speed rail plan is a forlorn hope

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…

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Getting into Melbourne from the north

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.

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South Australian regional fast rail

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.

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Passenger demand for a Sydney-Canberra fast train

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.

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The promise and perils of “value capture”

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.

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A new Sydney-Canberra high-speed railway

Sydney Central to Canberra Civic in 91 minutes, for less than $5 billion: A new strategy for high-speed rail in Australia which will have it built sooner, cheaper and at no net cost to the taxpayer.

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Metro Sydney

A 10km dual-track tunnel takes us to Central Station at 200-plus km/h – this is the most expensive sector of the railway by far, but by using existing infrastructure to a far greater extent than previous proposals, the total cost to access the Sydney CBD is the lowest of any proposal to date.

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Liverpool

In our look at the possible corridors we could use to access inner Sydney, we identified two possible contenders that could get us to within about 15km of Central Station before we had to go underground. The first was to use the East Hills corridor until Revesby or soon after, and subsequently using a long tunnel (15-17km) to Central. The other main option was to use the Cumberland and Inner West corridors via Liverpool and Cabramatta…

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Glenfield

The existing rail corridor between Campbelltown and Glenfield was rejected by the 2013 government study due to having insufficiently large radius for their unrealistically fast 400km/h design speed. However, the corridor actually has fairly good geometry, with only two curves of relatively gentle radius; the one at Leumeah has radius 1000m, while the one between Minto and Ingleburn has radius 1800m. This is sufficient for tilting trains to achieve 200km/h…

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Getting into Sydney from the southwest

Access to Sydney’s city centre has always been one of the major challenges of previous high speed rail concepts. The density of existing development, the lack of suitable transport corridors and the formidable terrain mean that there is no easy way to access Central Station on a high-speed alignment. There have…

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