Melbourne-Sydney fast train a top Labor priority

 

News article: Melbourne-Sydney fast train a top Labor priority

A fast train linking Melbourne and Sydney in less than three hours will be among the top infrastructure priorities of a Shorten Government.

  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

those numbers are still wrong. sydney metro is what you need to be looking at. It ain't silly figures because much of the vhst is going to have to have tunnels and mega bridges and viaducts exactly like the north west metro. It is extremely applicable to compare the north west metro with a Sydney to Melbourne VHST especially when you have to add in the higher complexity needed for vhst track. Oh and you have to buy the trains as well.
simstrain
Sure, an HST alignment would require massive earthworks. But it would also include long sections of surface rail - which brings down the average per-km cost.

As I said, find me a figure in a reliable source that compares even remotely with yours. Until then, I'm afraid I'll be taking the word of professional public servants and academics over that of someone on Railpage.

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  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
US $77 Billion was for whole Los Angeles to San Francisco/Bay Area route. The scaled back version is from Merced to Bakersfield, which have populations of approx 100k to 500k. I'd imagine this segment would be far less expensive e.g. less than $20 billion. The original busget for the full LA to San Fran route was around $40 Billion - a massive cost blowout.

There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from the California debacle that should be taken into account when considering high speed rail in Australia. There are a lot of similarities including:
- LA to San Fran is a similar distance that Melbourne to Sydney is. Both have large pooulations with comparitively small populations in between.
- The terrain is often mountainous, greatly adding to the complexity and cost of building to high speed rail standards.
- Acquiring land for the rail corridor can be
expensive and time comsuming.
- Acquiring funds for the project can be a dog fight between the states and the feds.

In saying all that, I hope there is a future for high speed rail in Australia. Unless the total time between Melbourne and Sydney is less than 2 and a half hours, HSR is unlikely to replace air travel (likely Maglev).

Conventional HSR with stops along the way should be cheaper to build and help develop more regional centres. A total trip time of 3 and a half hours will still be relatively competitive with Air Travel.

From my understanding they have already spent the $77 billion from reading the article I linked. In any case the cost should be looked at in comparison to metro in Sydney which was $8 billion for 36 kilometres. When you extend that cost out to 800km's for Sydney to Melbourne you get $177 billion. That isn't taking in to account that vhst by it's nature cost significantly more then metro.
simstrain
Also from the article you linked shows the cost of the current section under construction is 18 billion. Its clear the 77 billion is an estimate for the whole line. Quote from the article below, emphasis mine.

Newsom did not provide a cost estimate when he announced his plan to focus on a Bakersfield-to-Merced rail line. If no new problems emerge, the cost will run about $16 billion to $18 billion for structures, electrical lines, train stations, signals, a heavy maintenance facility and bullet trains, according to the rail authority’s business plan and technical cost documents. Meanwhile, it can count on roughly $15.1 billion through 2023 to build the Central Valley system, though it could collect more money in later years or the Legislature could increase funding.
LA Times
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

there isn't going to be any surface rail. vhst doesn't do surface rail and when you look at europe and japan there vhst systems are always up on high banks to go over roads because as I said there can't be any level crossings. So even in this flat area there will still need to be significant earth works.

Sydney to junee is going to need such cuttings, tunnels and bridges and if a more direct route via gundegai is taken then there will be more distance where cuttings, tunnels and bridges are needed. Only a very small distance is going to be at surface level.

check out this video -https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=HQIwHLiaYDw&NR=1 to show you what it will be like between Sydney and Melbourne. Ain't any ground level track like what you see in Victoria since to keep farmers happy this track will have to go over driveways and little diverted creeks.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

there isn't going to be any surface rail. vhst doesn't do surface rail and when you look at europe and japan there vhst systems are always up on high banks to go over roads because as I said there can't be any level crossings. So even in this flat area there will still need to be significant earth works.

Sydney to junee is going to need such cuttings, tunnels and bridges and if a more direct route via gundegai is taken then there will be more distance where cuttings, tunnels and bridges are needed. Only a very small distance is going to be at surface level.

check out this video -https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=HQIwHLiaYDw&NR=1 to show you what it will be like between Sydney and Melbourne. Ain't any ground level track like what you see in Victoria since to keep farmers happy this track will have to go over driveways and little diverted creeks.
simstrain

The first minute or so of that video you posted shows long stretches of track that required little to no earthworks.

In any case, you seem to think you know how things work in Europe or Japan, so why can't you provide me with a source showing HST costs on the order of A$200 million/km? Spoiler alert: it doesn't.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
there isn't going to be any surface rail. vhst doesn't do surface rail and when you look at europe and japan there vhst systems are always up on high banks to go over roads because as I said there can't be any level crossings. So even in this flat area there will still need to be significant earth works.

Sydney to junee is going to need such cuttings, tunnels and bridges and if a more direct route via gundegai is taken then there will be more distance where cuttings, tunnels and bridges are needed. Only a very small distance is going to be at surface level.

check out this video -https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=HQIwHLiaYDw&NR=1 to show you what it will be like between Sydney and Melbourne. Ain't any ground level track like what you see in Victoria since to keep farmers happy this track will have to go over driveways and little diverted creeks.
simstrain
Are you kidding?  The overall majority of the route would be on the surface.  Even then, it's not going to be viable.  Because of our sparse population and long distances between major population centres, it could never stack up. It would be far more economical to upgrade the existing interstate rail network to Medium Speed rail standard, just has the National Highway network has been upgraded.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
there isn't going to be any surface rail. vhst doesn't do surface rail and when you look at europe and japan there vhst systems are always up on high banks to go over roads because as I said there can't be any level crossings. So even in this flat area there will still need to be significant earth works.

Sydney to junee is going to need such cuttings, tunnels and bridges and if a more direct route via gundegai is taken then there will be more distance where cuttings, tunnels and bridges are needed. Only a very small distance is going to be at surface level.

check out this video -https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=HQIwHLiaYDw&NR=1 to show you what it will be like between Sydney and Melbourne. Ain't any ground level track like what you see in Victoria since to keep farmers happy this track will have to go over driveways and little diverted creeks.

The first minute or so of that video you posted shows long stretches of track that required little to no earthworks.

In any case, you seem to think you know how things work in Europe or Japan, so why can't you provide me with a source showing HST costs on the order of A$200 million/km? Spoiler alert: it doesn't.
potatoinmymouth
Through the 'burbs of Syd and Mel it will be easily $200m/km if you want to do the run in 3h. This number is easy to confirm, just look at the cost of any of the current suburban railway line projects where a ROW doesn't exist. Most likely parts will be a tunnel to save on the practical and political fall out of cutting a trench with a 10 foot wall through suburbia.

Remember the problem with tunnels it slows HSR, so you don't want too long a tunnel.

The Chinese built their HSR on a viaduct almost everywhere.

The Japanese have large amounts on high embankments.

Australia will not be building HSR on the ground with a 4 foot sheep fence with LX. Every existing farm gate will be entitled to a access, if not raising the railway, they will get a bridge.

The French had the luxury of using existing lines for last few km as the time wasn't that critical and they have a high amount of intermediate travel. Australia doesn't have this luxury apart from Syd-Can. Syd-Mel is right on the competitive limit against air. It does not have the luxury to simply go around anything and its unlikely to get to the CBD's or existing Terminal railway stations on any of the major cities for this reason. ie expect a terminus closer to Parramatta than Central as the inevitable short cuts and cost cutting come in.

Regional costs will be around $25-50m/km over flat terrain through rural areas.
  coit Locomotive Driver

Location: Weston,NSW
The first high speed line should be between Newcastle and Woolongong.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The first high speed line should be between Newcastle and Woolongong.
coit

The first thing would be to spell Woollongong correctly... Cool

M.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

there isn't going to be any surface rail. vhst doesn't do surface rail and when you look at europe and japan there vhst systems are always up on high banks to go over roads because as I said there can't be any level crossings. So even in this flat area there will still need to be significant earth works.

Sydney to junee is going to need such cuttings, tunnels and bridges and if a more direct route via gundegai is taken then there will be more distance where cuttings, tunnels and bridges are needed. Only a very small distance is going to be at surface level.

check out this video -https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=HQIwHLiaYDw&NR=1 to show you what it will be like between Sydney and Melbourne. Ain't any ground level track like what you see in Victoria since to keep farmers happy this track will have to go over driveways and little diverted creeks.

The first minute or so of that video you posted shows long stretches of track that required little to no earthworks.

In any case, you seem to think you know how things work in Europe or Japan, so why can't you provide me with a source showing HST costs on the order of A$200 million/km? Spoiler alert: it doesn't.
Through the 'burbs of Syd and Mel it will be easily $200m/km if you want to do the run in 3h. This number is easy to confirm, just look at the cost of any of the current suburban railway line projects where a ROW doesn't exist. Most likely parts will be a tunnel to save on the practical and political fall out of cutting a trench with a 10 foot wall through suburbia.

Remember the problem with tunnels it slows HSR, so you don't want too long a tunnel.

The Chinese built their HSR on a viaduct almost everywhere.

The Japanese have large amounts on high embankments.

Australia will not be building HSR on the ground with a 4 foot sheep fence with LX. Every existing farm gate will be entitled to a access, if not raising the railway, they will get a bridge.

The French had the luxury of using existing lines for last few km as the time wasn't that critical and they have a high amount of intermediate travel. Australia doesn't have this luxury apart from Syd-Can. Syd-Mel is right on the competitive limit against air. It does not have the luxury to simply go around anything and its unlikely to get to the CBD's or existing Terminal railway stations on any of the major cities for this reason. ie expect a terminus closer to Parramatta than Central as the inevitable short cuts and cost cutting come in.

Regional costs will be around $25-50m/km over flat terrain through rural areas.
RTT_Rules
Clearly a tunnel is going to be expensive. I wasn't disputing that. But extrapolating tunneling costs across the entire route is utter nonsense.

For me the HSR question is a lot like the Mildura train. Everyone says they want it, but will anyone actually use it?
  BrianBS Locomotive Driver

The first high speed line should be between Newcastle and Woolongong.

The first thing would be to spell Woollongong correctly... Cool

M.
The Vinelander
From someone who grew up in Wollongong, I'd suggest maybe you learn to spell it correctly too !
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The first high speed line should be between Newcastle and Woollongong.
coit
Then why build HSR, it would never reach high speed, just upgrade the existing line to MSR.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The first high speed line should be between Newcastle and Woolongong.

The first thing would be to spell Woollongong correctly... Cool

M.
From someone who grew up in Wollongong, I'd suggest maybe you learn to spell it correctly too !
BrianBS

You people north of the Murray have funny place names...

M.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The first minute was in a suburban environment and the last bit was on traditional regional track. The fast bits were on highly worked earth, tunnels, bridges and viaducts.

north west Sydney metro wasn't just tunnelling you know. Most of the path from Sydney to the Victorian border isn't going to be on flat land and is going to need lots of bridges, viaducts, cuttings and so the north west metro is appropriate in comparison I believe. South of Campbelltown in the highlands this land is not flat and will require many many bridges just as the hume highway did and this will be the case for a long portion of the route.

There ain't no flat land until junee or if the hume highway route is taken it won't be until south of tarcutta before it becomes flat.

central to tarcutta by road is 422km's.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

https://www.statista.com/statistics/764486/cost-construction-lines-lgv-by-kilometer-la-france/

20 million euros which is about $31 million Australian but then add the Australia tax and you are probably at $50 million.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Then also you have to take in to account is the vhst going to go via the melbourne airport and then how does it get in to the melbourne cbd? melbourne metro tunnel is $11 billion for only 9 kilometres and that is a lot higher then $200 million a kilometre.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking

You people north of the Murray have funny place names...

M.
The Vinelander
You seem to have a few oddly named ones in your backyard Mike, Korweinguboora and Mollongghip are a couple that show up.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
You seem to have a few oddly named ones in your backyard Mike, Korweinguboora and Mollongghip are a couple that show up.
"mikesyd"
In Victoria, we can also lay claim to:
Titwobble Lane (near Wedderburn)
Upotipotpon ( between Benalla and Dookie)
Waaia (NNW of Numurkah)
Nowhere Creek (NE of Elmhurst)
Bung Bong ( W of Maryborough)
Murgheboluc (OK; you pronounce it -near Geelong)
Tittybong (S of Swan Hill) [a group of us were planning the BP Rally in 1970, and this name came up. One of the guys said it was aboriginal in origin and meant Independent Front Suspension.]
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

The first minute was in a suburban environment and the last bit was on traditional regional track. The fast bits were on highly worked earth, tunnels, bridges and viaducts.

north west Sydney metro wasn't just tunnelling you know. Most of the path from Sydney to the Victorian border isn't going to be on flat land and is going to need lots of bridges, viaducts, cuttings and so the north west metro is appropriate in comparison I believe. South of Campbelltown in the highlands this land is not flat and will require many many bridges just as the hume highway did and this will be the case for a long portion of the route.

There ain't no flat land until junee or if the hume highway route is taken it won't be until south of tarcutta before it becomes flat.

central to tarcutta by road is 422km's.
simstrain
We have an excellent freeway between Sydney and Melbourne and plenty of flights to choose from. I just don't see a need for a fast train just now. However, in the future who knows what might be on offer which might make fast trains obsolete. I think we should wait for future developments to an era when air travel is no longer viable and independent road travel no longer exists. This both might happen sooner than you might think. Less than 50 years???
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The above comments are simply ludicrous... Surprised

Let's wait 50 years so we can see where the technology goes.

If we use this analogy, Stephenson's Rocket would never have been invented just in case in 50 years time something better might come along...

Mike.
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Don't forget the VFT or whatever it is called is a dynamic track which would not be shared with conventional freight so grades of 1 in 30 are ok, though with massive vertical and horizontal curve radii. Coping with roads and occupation crossings is a normal part of the process. It would be securely fenced with absolutely no level crossings. In some areas, long viaducts will be needed, in others, not so. Yes, there will be sections in Melbourne and Sydney where 300 km/h will not be achieved, this was recognised back in the 80's. As to population, Sydney and Melbourne are major conurbations with very high travel approaching airline capacity. You also have the national capital ideally located at the third point. Engineering-wise, it is not that complex, political-wise is a whole new ball game, construction would overlap several parliaments and neither would want the other to cut the ribbon. I have travelled on very high speed trains all over Europe which cope with a vast range of systems, you can be on 275 k/h track and then on semaphore signalled jointed track, you can change gauge while the train is still moving. Many if not most destinations are smaller than Sydney or Melbourne. There are no major technical reasons why Syd-Mel via Cbr is not constructable, just economics and politics.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

62440 your first paragraph is why it will fail. If it can't carry freight then it is nothing but a huge white elephant. We don't have the passenger numbers to make it work and citing sydney airport at capacity is futile because Sydney is getting a second airport and that is only costing about $5 billion vs at least $100 billion for any vhst service. If need be the airlines could go to a slightly larger aircraft to overcome capacity issues and with electric cars taking over it surely won't be that long before an electric passenger plane is for sale.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Why we need High Speed Rail between Sydney and Melbourne.

Last night (March 8th 2019) I was booked on a 5.15pm flight from Sydney to Melbourne arriving at Sydney Airport from the CBD via train around 3.45pm. Left my last meeting in Sydney at 3pm walking to Wynyard railway station. The journey on the train taking around 19 minutes but you need to get in and out of the stations also.  

The walk from the Domestic Station at Mascot to Qantas 10 minutes, ticketing, security and through to the Qantas Club is 20 mins arriving at a comfortable seat in the lounge at 3.45pm.

A gin and tonic and then another one 40 minutes.  we are at 4.25pm expecting to board around 4.50pm.  Indeed this happened (I thought QANTAS was on time from the monitors) so looking good and I actually thought for once we would be on our way on time for the first time in 10 flights.

At 5.17pm the door was closed and I was expecting push back and on our way with the cabin steward advising over the PA we expected total flight time of 1 hr and 7 mins. (yeah right)

Cockpit advises we are now delayed due to air traffic congestion into Melbourne. expect push back in 15 minutes.  Finally we are away for a long taxi and more holding 10 minutes+ as we wait to get airborne.  

We head to Melbourne now running nearly 45 minutes late.  The flight should have taken 67 minutes but after landing had taken 2 hours.  Getting out of aircraft and terminal add another 25 minutes.

Total time to take a flight between Sydney and Melbourne including cbd to cbd = 5 hours.

Bring on the High Speed Train.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Total time to take a flight between Sydney and Melbourne including cbd to cbd = 5 hours.

Bring on the High Speed Train.
bevans
Good analysis Bevans but remember, trains do get delayed as well for all sorts of reasons. Just ask anyone trying to get through Footscray last evening!

BG
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Total time to take a flight between Sydney and Melbourne including cbd to cbd = 5 hours.

Bring on the High Speed Train.
Good analysis Bevans but remember, trains do get delayed as well for all sorts of reasons. Just ask anyone trying to get through Footscray last evening!

BG
BrentonGolding

I can imagine we still have issues with V/Line but time and time again delays between Sydney and Melbourne.  High Speed will fix this.  CBD to CBD.  Can't wait.

Finally to rub salt into the wound, all we had for dinner on the flight was a cookie and a piece of cheese.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Total time to take a flight between Sydney and Melbourne including cbd to cbd = 5 hours.

Bring on the High Speed Train.
Good analysis Bevans but remember, trains do get delayed as well for all sorts of reasons. Just ask anyone trying to get through Footscray last evening!

BG

I can imagine we still have issues with V/Line but time and time again delays between Sydney and Melbourne.  High Speed will fix this.  CBD to CBD.  Can't wait.

Finally to rub salt into the wound, all we had for dinner on the flight was a cookie and a piece of cheese.
bevans
Just wait until you get a WOLO on the HSR then - it will suddenly become LSR.

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