Fixing the site

It recently came to my attention that many of the older Hot Rails posts, including all of the original Sydney-Canberra concept alignment sections, were no longer loading properly, either showing just a header image and title but with otherwise blank content, or returning an error message. The bug seems to…

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Peregrine: Australia’s first, forgotten fast rail plan

In September 1975, nearly a decade before the CSIRO’s famous white paper that eventually became the Very Fast Train Joint Venture, the South Australian Railways quietly released the findings of “Project Peregrine” – a proposal to upgrade the rail corridor between Adelaide and Tailem Bend to a modern, mixed-use fast-freight…

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50 years of Overland ridership

A recent article by Cosmos Magazine contained an eye-catching statistic: in the twelve months to June 2023, The Overland carried over 23,500 passengers on its 11-hour run between Adelaide and Melbourne. This may not sound that impressive in and of itself, but it’s a big increase on the pre-pandemic low…

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An independent review of the Adelaide Rail Freight Movements Study

A reassessment of the appropriate study area, and of the likely modal shift, gives a dramatically different result for the economic viability of an Adelaide Hills rail bypass – it’s one of the most important infrastructure projects in Australia.

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The Oldest Named Trains of the World

The named passenger train is a phenomenon that is curiously unique in the transportation world. For road transport, many of the great highways still bear glamorous names, but not generally the journeys made on them. Earlier, in the age of ocean liners, it was the vessels themselves that bore the…

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The Monaro Railway: another scenario for Canberra-Eden rail

One of the scenarios considered in the Canberra-Eden Railway feasibility study was a “passengers only” option, where the railway was only completed as far as Bombala. According to the study, this scenario would have a total financial cost of $1,424 million over 50 years, returning $84.8 million of benefits over…

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Errors in the Canberra-Eden Railway Feasibility Study

This article gives additional detail to the numerous errors discussed in my previous article, Canberra-Eden Rail needs another look. All net-present-value figures assume a discount rate of 7%, the rate used in the Feasibility Study’s central case. Throughout, the Transport for New South Wales feasibility study is referred to as…

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Canberra-Eden rail needs another look

Eden, a small town on the far south coast of New South Wales, could become one of the most important places in Australia. Its natural harbour, Twofold Bay, is one of the finest anchorages in the country, yet its rugged hinterland has kept it isolated from the national freight network.…

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Lake Bathurst Valley

The line winds between hills, road and river in the picturesque Lake Bathurst valley, with the minimum radius of 800m of the first few curves unfortunately not quite meeting our requirements. Despite being wedged between highway and hillside, most of the curves do not turn through a very great angle,…

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