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.
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.
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.
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…
The last sector before we reach metropolitan Sydney presents few design difficulties, or at least no more so than the adjacent Hume Highway. A couple of bridges and moderately deep cuttings are all that is needed to bring the high-speed railway back to the Southwest Rail Corridor, where the prevailing radius is about 1800m.
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.
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?
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…
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…