Signalling and Control

http://anomonny.deviantart.com/art/High-Speed-Train-343343903

Signalling and Control includes the systems set up to ensure safe operation of multiple trains, track switching, scheduling, and related systems. Some estimates also include “communications”, with expenses such as wi-fi basestations that allow on-board internet connectivity. AECOM13 calculates signalling on a unit basis, rather than a per-km basis, which…

Continue reading

Stations

AECOM13 manages to spend $7.1 billion on new and (in my view) largely unnecessary stations (compare this cost to the actual track, at only $6.6 billion). How, and more importantly why it comes to this conclusion is not the aim of this post to discuss. The Hot Rails strategy, in line…

Continue reading

Track geometry

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/Concrete_sleeper_1638.JPG

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…

Continue reading

Configuring the track

http://unsplash.com/post/89277659664/download-by-jose-martin-ramirez-carrasco

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…

Continue reading

So what is a “hot rail” anyway?

http://unsplash.com/post/71169964532/download-by-kholodnitskiy-maksim

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…

Continue reading