Goulburn East

The existing alignment out of Goulburn has a minimum radius of 600m, yet it should be possible to increase to 1000m or possibly 1500m with only small modifications to the existing corridor. Geography, other transport corridors and existing development impose substantial constraints beyond this; any faster deviation will be very expensive and should therefore be deferred until higher-speed operations are required.

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Bungendore to Mt Fairy

North of Bungendore, the line encounters rolling countryside with a few substantial hills that must ideally be avoided. There are fewer sections of the existing alignment with minimum radius under 1000m (the smallest radius at which 200km/h is possible with tilting trains). We are therefore able to use the existing…

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Goulburn approach

The final sector on the Canberra Line is the run into Goulburn, a major regional centre for which access is a priority. The existing line diverges from the Main Southern Line just south of the city, however existing radii are tight at approximately 240m. There are several options for high-speed entry…

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Mulwaree Valley

This is what Hot Rails is all about – twenty-two kilometres of near-straight, near-flat railway corridor just begging for some trains that can really take advantage of it. We don’t need to do anything to this alignment – just upgrade and duplicate the existing track, put in some decent fences…

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Canberra Metro

How do you solve a problem like Canberra Station? It’s in completely the wrong spot, and they went and built a lake and a few suburbs between the existing line and the city centre. How do we get there without resorting to a tunnel?

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Bridges and Viaducts


After tunnels, bridges and viaducts are the second-most expensive line-item in the most of the various proposals for Australian high-speed rail. Here we will provide estimates for cost-per-kilometre of standard bridge types, as well as rail-specific cost-functions for major bridges that require unique specification. AECOM13 estimates The 2013 high speed rail…

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Track geometry


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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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


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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