General Civil Works

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General civil works refers to all the incidental stuff that needs to be built in order to make the alignment safe, low maintenance, and with minimal impact on other transport corridors or existing development. We will include the following items in this category: Roadworks Fencing Safety barriers Retaining walls Drainage Noise…

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An empirical rough order of magnitude cost function for bridge structures

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Bridges (over water) and viaducts (over land) can be some of the most expensive infrastructure projects in the world, especially for very long spans. The ability to obtain rough order of magnitude (ROM) costings for bridges based on very preliminary specifications is therefore an important tool for the design of any road…

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Track geometry

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One of the primary cost drivers of high-speed rail is the fact that the track must be far straighter and flatter than standard rail lines. In order to achieve this, far more earthworks, bridges and tunnels are required, which are extremely expensive. Hot Rails aims to use tilting trains to achieve high…

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Track costs

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Although the track cost estimates in AECOM13 are reasonable, they are based on just one real-world example from Germany, and additionally are specifically for very high speed track (400km/h). The Hot Rails strategy only requires 200 to 250km/h quality track, for which the required tolerances and material strength is not so…

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Tunnels

http://actu.epfl.ch/news/fast-moving-floods-threaten-tgv-train-lines-5/

Underground transport infrastructure is extremely expensive, and usually comprises the bulk of expense for any high-speed railway through mountainous or rolling terrain. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe the estimate of $75 million per bore-kilometre used in AECOM13 is excessively high. In this post we will look at a range…

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A critique of the 2013 HSR study

The 2013 Phase 2 report into high-speed rail by AECOM took two years and 20 million dollars to complete, and it is a remarkable piece of work, comprising detailed alignment routes, costings, economic analysis and much more. It is easily the most comprehensive HSR study undertaken in this country to date. It’s a…

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Configuring the track

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Australia’s low population density means that the track length per station will be relatively high when compared to European or Asian rail networks. The upshot of this is that capital costs will greatly dominate the total cost of any railway system – the cost of rollingstock will be comparatively minor. Capital…

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So what is a “hot rail” anyway?

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In the jargon of American rail workers, a “hot rail” is a section of railroad over which the passing of a train is imminent; the closer or faster the approaching train, the hotter the rail. Most of Australia’s railways have been cold for decades, and there is no political, business or…

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