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


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?


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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