Talgo’s Sydney-Canberra high-speed rail announcement

Spanish train manufacturer Talgo’s medium-speed rail proposal is the latest development in the regional rail debate in Australia. While their claim of 2 hour travel between Sydney and Canberra is unlikely, even just making the train competitive with car travel would completely change the travel market between these two cities. Hot Rails explains why.

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Passenger demand for a Sydney-Canberra fast train

We use a variety of different sources to estimate the captured and induced demand for the proposed regional high-speed rail link, and find much higher ridership than projected by previous studies due to serving a large number of regional stations.

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A new Sydney-Canberra high-speed railway

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.

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Marulan to Wingello

The Marulan sector consists of about half existing alignment and half new alignment around Uringalla. The country is undulating, meaning that significant earthworks and possibly some tunnelling and structures may be required.

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Towrang to Marulan

This sector involves some difficult terrain, with the Wollondilly River winding between hilly country. The eastern part of the alignment approaching Marulan is unproblematic; curves are minimal and there is even a former trackbed on the north side of the tracks that can be reutilised for most of the length.

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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┬áseveral 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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