Morrison wants to start building East-coast HSR (in parts)

 
  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
This whole thing is a thought bubble because both parties are scared of the public voting for Clive 'aged 5' Plamer and the ads that he has been running for the last 12 months about building HSR. Using that catch cry "If you build a 300km/h Fast Train, it means that everyone can move 300km from the CBD, and it will only take an hour to get to work.".

Plus it also sounds sexy and appealing to the public.

Sponsored advertisement

  simstrain Chief Commissioner

To everyone saying HSR needs to make money at least on its operating costs, that’s not the status quo, which suggests to me there’s no need for it to be an expectation into the future. For example, V/Line makes back only 1/6 of its operating expenditure; Metro about 1/4 to 1/3 from memory; and that doesn’t even begin to account for capital works.

I am pretty certain you would find a similar story in all the other states with passenger rail. Voters seem quite comfortable with it so why should they think any differently about HSR?
potatoinmymouth

Not to that extent they won't. It is one thing to pay about $3-5 billion each year in tax money. It will be quite another when that number is $20 billion or more a year. You also need to remember that vhst rail needs to be constantly maintain and the track has to be perfect. It can't be the same quality as victorian or ARTC track or else the trains would derail at 250+ km/h. with it being a solely passenger rail line it won't be making any money from freight either.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
A few comments/questions

- the pro-HSR club rarely if ever quote costs and fares, just potential benefits. A very much build it and look what will happen, but don't worry about the price

- If its about pollution, is this the best project in Australia in dump $100B on to reduce pollution, how about commuter rail as a starter.

- HSR won't stop Badgery's Creek Airport from happening as the HSR only affects a small part of the total Mascot airport usage and BC is being built to help solve the curfew issue.

- EU has trains that run through and between cities generally, bigger and closer than Australia, ie much higher traffic density

- No one has yet built a HSR that can sustain the speeds required in Australia to be competitive with air over 200-300km

- The construction costs often flown around by HSR pro-proponents are really pie in the sky stuff when we have multiple railway projects both in Sydney and now Melbourne and budgeted for Inland, yet the complexity of these projects is actually less than HSR.

- People quoting HSR will be an alternative to the existing interurban commuter rail clearly have not comprehended the station distances, the time taken to get to a station unless you just so happen to live near one and the fact the HSR is likely to avoid built up areas for cost and practicalty reasons to enable the HSR to maintain an attractive S-M travel time.

- The HSR time to Melbourne is marginal with air, to Brisbane its no where near the ball park. So HSR is very much unlikely to be viable up the NSW north coast and there is insufficient coastal population to support it.

- The XPT is subsided to $65 economy ticket to Melbourne, the actual cost is around $200. Only a few hundren thousand use this train annually thus the total subsidy is a few $10's of millions. If 10m use the HSR and the subsidy is $50, thats still $500 mpa subsidy. What govt department is ready to take a $470m budget cut? and if so why can they not do it now?

-
France has 65m and a TGV network of 2800km over multiple lines radiating out from Paris to the coast or across borders that serves the bulk of the main population centres in between.

Aust has 25m and a propose HSR network of similar distance and ignores SA, NQ, WA and Tas, hence politically there will be a "but...whats in it for me?


So in summary for me,
- The project is far to marginal in travel time vs Air,
- Construction cost beyond Australia's ability to fund
- Doesn't serve enough of the population
- Doesn't solve a problem that already has cheaper and often more practical alternatives
- Requires an ongoing subsidy that is beyond reasonable
- Risks of becoming another Sydney ESR cluster project as costs rise beyond crude estimates
- Will avoid the regional centers that many claim it will benefit
- Will have a frequency that will be a fraction of existing air services
- Does not prevent the construction of BC airport
- Ignores the fact that Europeans drive small cars with high priced fuel compared to Australia's family holiday culture.

So while I support HSR in principle, cost, risk and practicality wise I just don't see it stacking up
RTT_Rules

Have you advised our political leaders of your opinion...because that's where it may count.

Mike.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
To everyone saying HSR needs to make money at least on its operating costs, that’s not the status quo, which suggests to me there’s no need for it to be an expectation into the future. For example, V/Line makes back only 1/6 of its operating expenditure; Metro about 1/4 to 1/3 from memory; and that doesn’t even begin to account for capital works.

I am pretty certain you would find a similar story in all the other states with passenger rail. Voters seem quite comfortable with it so why should they think any differently about HSR?
Certainly something needs to be done to considerably slow development in the major cities of South Eastern Australia. A fast train (WETMB)* is a major plank in the quest for connectability, which is required to encourage people to move out into the regional areas (along with affordable housing, quality jobs, education, medical care, water, sewerage, plentiful electricity, and fast reliable broadband).    

With a need for affordable housing, and a growing resistance for urban dwellers having their suburbs turned into concrete hi-rise jungles, the fast train argument changes from 'we can't afford to do this', to 'we can't we afford not to do this...

What PIMM refers to above may well be how it happens.

*WETMB = what ever that may be
Lockspike
Surely faster regional rail on the hub and spoke model would be cheaper and more useful for this purpose? People living in Bendigo don't need to get to Sydney or Brisbane - they want to get to Melbourne for work, sport, medical etc.

You make regional living more attractive by providing connectivity to the nearest capital city.

BG
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

To everyone saying HSR needs to make money at least on its operating costs, that’s not the status quo, which suggests to me there’s no need for it to be an expectation into the future. For example, V/Line makes back only 1/6 of its operating expenditure; Metro about 1/4 to 1/3 from memory; and that doesn’t even begin to account for capital works.

I am pretty certain you would find a similar story in all the other states with passenger rail. Voters seem quite comfortable with it so why should they think any differently about HSR?
Certainly something needs to be done to considerably slow development in the major cities of South Eastern Australia. A fast train (WETMB)* is a major plank in the quest for connectability, which is required to encourage people to move out into the regional areas (along with affordable housing, quality jobs, education, medical care, water, sewerage, plentiful electricity, and fast reliable broadband).    

With a need for affordable housing, and a growing resistance for urban dwellers having their suburbs turned into concrete hi-rise jungles, the fast train argument changes from 'we can't afford to do this', to 'we can't we afford not to do this...

What PIMM refers to above may well be how it happens.

*WETMB = what ever that may be
Surely faster regional rail on the hub and spoke model would be cheaper and more useful for this purpose? People living in Bendigo don't need to get to Sydney or Brisbane - they want to get to Melbourne for work, sport, medical etc.

You make regional living more attractive by providing connectivity to the nearest capital city.

BG
BrentonGolding
Agreed BG; I apologise if that didn't come through (I didn't want to introduce too many ideas in the one post). The Fed Gummint current idea is fast train (FT) Bris - GC, N-S-W, and Melb - Shep. Would there ever be anything beyond that?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Surely faster regional rail on the hub and spoke model would be cheaper and more useful for this purpose? People living in Bendigo don't need to get to Sydney or Brisbane - they want to get to Melbourne for work, sport, medical etc.

You make regional living more attractive by providing connectivity to the nearest capital city.

BG
Agreed BG; I apologise if that didn't come through (I didn't want to introduce too many ideas in the one post). The Fed Gummint current idea is fast train (FT) Bris - GC, N-S-W, and Melb - Shep. Would there ever be anything beyond that?
Lockspike
Sorry Lockie, we were sort of at cross purposes there. Certainly if the plan was only for the hub and spoke services listed by you above they yes, I agree with you. However I don''t think they can be taken in isolation, any such development would surely have to be designed and built with future East Coast HSR Mel > Bris in mind otherwise risk being a white elephant if a seperate East Coast HSR were to be built at a later date requiring a rebuild or different alignment.

We have previously seen and discussed the CLARA plan http://www.clara.com.au/the-clara-plan.html and it has as it's stated objectives to open Mel > Sydney HSR in stages with the first being, wait for it, Mel > Shepparton and Sydney > Canberra!

I wonder where Sco-Mo got his idea from.......

BG
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

To everyone saying HSR needs to make money at least on its operating costs, that’s not the status quo, which suggests to me there’s no need for it to be an expectation into the future. For example, V/Line makes back only 1/6 of its operating expenditure; Metro about 1/4 to 1/3 from memory; and that doesn’t even begin to account for capital works.

I am pretty certain you would find a similar story in all the other states with passenger rail. Voters seem quite comfortable with it so why should they think any differently about HSR?
Certainly something needs to be done to considerably slow development in the major cities of South Eastern Australia. A fast train (WETMB)* is a major plank in the quest for connectability, which is required to encourage people to move out into the regional areas (along with affordable housing, quality jobs, education, medical care, water, sewerage, plentiful electricity, and fast reliable broadband).    

With a need for affordable housing, and a growing resistance for urban dwellers having their suburbs turned into concrete hi-rise jungles, the fast train argument changes from 'we can't afford to do this', to 'we can't we afford not to do this...

What PIMM refers to above may well be how it happens.

*WETMB = what ever that may be
Surely faster regional rail on the hub and spoke model would be cheaper and more useful for this purpose? People living in Bendigo don't need to get to Sydney or Brisbane - they want to get to Melbourne for work, sport, medical etc.

You make regional living more attractive by providing connectivity to the nearest capital city.

BG
Agreed BG; I apologise if that didn't come through (I didn't want to introduce too many ideas in the one post). The Fed Gummint current idea is fast train (FT) Bris - GC, N-S-W, and Melb - Shep. Would there ever be anything beyond that?
Lockspike
Yes, to be clear, my view is that Victoria has more or less solved the transport part of the decentralisation equation, even if not all the politicians can quite grasp this year. The march towards eventual (re)duplication of the four RFR corridors and the present works bringing the Shepparton line to a quasi-RFR standard suggest that the boffins, at least, have realised this.

However, it should also be clear that building a decent train line is simply not sufficient to complete the stated goal of decentralisation. Ever been on a counter-peak Geelong service? Even though the Geelong line is taking a vast number of people off the Princes Freeway every morning, no one is travelling in the other direction. This has been called the "dormitory effect" - without additional land use policy, tax breaks, direct intervention (like moving state agencies to the bush) and so on, the regional cities don't develop in their own right but rather become isolated suburbs of Melbourne, housing a vast number of people who migrate on a daily basis. This is unsustainable.

While I think BG's comment about capital city connectivity is accurate, it should be fairly clear that this is a paradigm that needs to be rethought if decentralisation is to be a success. In my view, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo are at a "critical mass" of population now, such that with some careful policy-making each could become a "self-sustaining" small city that is less reliant on jobs and services in Melbourne.

Now what does any of this have to do with HSR? Well, I'm simply not convinced that east coast HSR will actually help the cause of "decentralisation" in Victoria in the slightest. Quite apart from the fact that it will completely miss the three most significant existing cities, it's just not clear that an expensive (from a fares perspective), relatively infrequent fast train will achieve anything that heavily-subsidised MSR doesn't already. Albury/Wodonga is a possible exception but I'll leave that for another post.

So that leaves inter-capital travel as the most pressing need for east coast HSR. Ironically I think the Western Sydney Airport and the possible development of Avalon as a second commuter airport for Melbourne will make the demand for a train greater, even if it does ease the pressure on the slot capacity of the current route somewhat. Once you take the journey from the absolute sticks to the CBDs into consideration it's pretty clear to me that the business market would be very happy with a 4 hour CBD to CBD journey, and that doesn't even consider the mass migration to and from Canberra that occurs every few weeks.

Is it sufficient justification? Maybe. Would I prefer the feds give Victoria the cash to make its solid rail system outstanding? Definitely.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Yes, to be clear, my view is that Victoria has more or less solved the transport part of the decentralisation equation, even if not all the politicians can quite grasp this year. The march towards eventual (re)duplication of the four RFR corridors and the present works bringing the Shepparton line to a quasi-RFR standard suggest that the boffins, at least, have realised this.

However, it should also be clear that building a decent train line is simply not sufficient to complete the stated goal of decentralisation. Ever been on a counter-peak Geelong service? Even though the Geelong line is taking a vast number of people off the Princes Freeway every morning, no one is travelling in the other direction. This has been called the "dormitory effect" - without additional land use policy, tax breaks, direct intervention (like moving state agencies to the bush) and so on, the regional cities don't develop in their own right but rather become isolated suburbs of Melbourne, housing a vast number of people who migrate on a daily basis. This is unsustainable.

While I think BG's comment about capital city connectivity is accurate, it should be fairly clear that this is a paradigm that needs to be rethought if decentralisation is to be a success. In my view, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo are at a "critical mass" of population now, such that with some careful policy-making each could become a "self-sustaining" small city that is less reliant on jobs and services in Melbourne.

Now what does any of this have to do with HSR? Well, I'm simply not convinced that east coast HSR will actually help the cause of "decentralisation" in Victoria in the slightest. Quite apart from the fact that it will completely miss the three most significant existing cities, it's just not clear that an expensive (from a fares perspective), relatively infrequent fast train will achieve anything that heavily-subsidised MSR doesn't already. Albury/Wodonga is a possible exception but I'll leave that for another post.

So that leaves inter-capital travel as the most pressing need for east coast HSR. Ironically I think the Western Sydney Airport and the possible development of Avalon as a second commuter airport for Melbourne will make the demand for a train greater, even if it does ease the pressure on the slot capacity of the current route somewhat. Once you take the journey from the absolute sticks to the CBDs into consideration it's pretty clear to me that the business market would be very happy with a 4 hour CBD to CBD journey, and that doesn't even consider the mass migration to and from Canberra that occurs every few weeks.

Is it sufficient justification? Maybe. Would I prefer the feds give Victoria the cash to make its solid rail system outstanding? Definitely.
potatoinmymouth
I'm not sure how often you use V/Line PIMM but as a regular user I certainly would not describe Victoria as having "solved" anything. I would give V/Line a C+ if I were marking it, solid but needs improvement. The number of cancellations and service disruptions that I as a regular user encounter is just far too high. Ask anyone unfortunate enough to have been travelling on the Bendigo line yesterday AM. If this was an isolated incident then you could possibly excuse it but it is not, it is all too common.

As for Geelong, I don't use that service but I do see morning Down trains heading out there while I wait for my train at Footscray and they are certainly not full but quite a few do use it. I have met people on the 402 bus headed for Footscray to catch a train to work at the TAC in Geetroit so that is one example of where the decentralization is

The Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo lines would benefit greatly from more reliability, more frequent services and faster speeds in that order. And while the Vic Govmint has begun this work I don't think it is enough and is just tinkering around the edges. If you want true decentralization you need to provide that connectivity both from regional hubs to the state capital and by improving access to the regional hub from locations further out.

Taxpayer $$$ would be far better spent on this as you say above than some silly vote grabbing East Coast HSR. That could come later as the momentum towards real decentralization builds and the demand for it is well and truly building. Sure, future proof "MSR" on the Mel > Shepp or Mel > Albury corridors but that is all you need for now.

BG
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Victoria has done jack smeg to solving this issue. You have just lucked in to having mostly flat land that allows nice and straight rail lines and not that much distance to cover allowing 160km/h and decent travel times. 80% of vline's services are just what we would call intercity in NSW and less then 200km's away or the equivalent to newcastle, lithgow and kiama. Areas all covered by electricity in this state.

As PIMM says all that is being achieved is turning these "regional cities" in to extended suburbs of Melbourne and a vhst will just make this worse for any town connected to such a service.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Yes, to be clear, my view is that Victoria has more or less solved the transport part of the decentralisation equation, even if not all the politicians can quite grasp this year. The march towards eventual (re)duplication of the four RFR corridors and the present works bringing the Shepparton line to a quasi-RFR standard suggest that the boffins, at least, have realised this.
I'm not sure how often you use V/Line PIMM but as a regular user I certainly would not describe Victoria as having "solved" anything. I would give V/Line a C+ if I were marking it, solid but needs improvement. The number of cancellations and service disruptions that I as a regular user encounter is just far too high. Ask anyone unfortunate enough to have been travelling on the Bendigo line yesterday AM. If this was an isolated incident then you could possibly excuse it but it is not, it is all too common.

As for Geelong, I don't use that service but I do see morning Down trains heading out there while I wait for my train at Footscray and they are certainly not full but quite a few do use it. I have met people on the 402 bus headed for Footscray to catch a train to work at the TAC in Geetroit so that is one example of where the decentralization is

The Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo lines would benefit greatly from more reliability, more frequent services and faster speeds in that order. And while the Vic Govmint has begun this work I don't think it is enough and is just tinkering around the edges. If you want true decentralization you need to provide that connectivity both from regional hubs to the state capital and by improving access to the regional hub from locations further out.

Taxpayer $$$ would be far better spent on this as you say above than some silly vote grabbing East Coast HSR. That could come later as the momentum towards real decentralization builds and the demand for it is well and truly building. Sure, future proof "MSR" on the Mel > Shepp or Mel > Albury corridors but that is all you need for now.

BG
BrentonGolding
Yes, sorry BG, I could have made that more clear. Ignoring sims' nonsensical state-baiting below what I was getting at is that Victoria has solved rail-based decentralisation conceptually, even if the current implementation leaves quite a bit to be desired. The point is that even with the crummy, half-baked projects that have been completed over the last 20 years there's been an unprecedented surge in rail use, suggesting that at least something has been got right.

I think we're basically in furious agreement here: perfecting the RFR model of commuter-frequency 160km/h services to regional centres within 2 hours of the CBD, by further segregation from suburban services, duplication etc to improve frequency and reliability is easily the best use of taxpayer funds. Actually, I'd prefer that Victoria's portion of the funds specifically be directed to a second south-eastern route of some description to unscramble that rotten egg.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

All that Victoria did was upgrade existing tracks for the most part and run services to cities that aren't that far from Melbourne. This is nice and all but how does it make you the master of decentralisation? Victoria has taken advantage of a good situation but how is it better at decentralisation then the electric services provided in NSW to Newcastle, Lithgow and Kiama?

lets put some numbers to this.

vline in 2016/17 = 19.3 million passengers
nsw trainlink in 17/18 = 46.4 million passengers.

Yes it would be nice to have some nice straight alignments up here but don't be claiming to have solved something that has been done elsewhere first.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
I wish the government would actually try building a high speed line from Sydney to Canberra rather than just talking about high speed rail.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Pork-barrelling at its finest. The first the Victorian and Queensland governments would have heard of the fast-rail is what they read in the newspapers (or on RP).
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

How about a maglev?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I wish the government would actually try building a high speed line from Sydney to Canberra rather than just talking about high speed rail.
GeoffreyHansen
You don't commit to a $100B project on a whim.

Personally I'd rather see them just rebuild the line as MSR, max speed 200-220km/h. Overall travel time is not alot different, a fraction of the cost and 3 x a useful.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
How about a maglev?
ANR
Almost a failed technology!
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
I wish the government would actually try building a high speed line from Sydney to Canberra rather than just talking about high speed rail.
You don't commit to a $100B project on a whim.

Personally I'd rather see them just rebuild the line as MSR, max speed 200-220km/h. Overall travel time is not alot different, a fraction of the cost and 3 x a useful.
RTT_Rules
$100B for a Sydney to Canberra HSR? Smile We could tunnel all the way (and then some) for that amount.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

$100+ billion for sydney to Melbourne. Although Sydney to Canberra would probably be about $40 billion. All that is needed is a nice new alignment between macarthur and goulburn with an upgrade to the canberra branch.

Could start with macarthur to bargo for a start. plus upgrading the track on the melbourne side with level crossing removal could allow 160km/h+ and reducing travel time by 1 hour immediately.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
To everyone saying HSR needs to make money at least on its operating costs, that’s not the status quo, which suggests to me there’s no need for it to be an expectation into the future. For example, V/Line makes back only 1/6 of its operating expenditure; Metro about 1/4 to 1/3 from memory; and that doesn’t even begin to account for capital works.

I am pretty certain you would find a similar story in all the other states with passenger rail. Voters seem quite comfortable with it so why should they think any differently about HSR?
Certainly something needs to be done to considerably slow development in the major cities of South Eastern Australia. A fast train (WETMB)* is a major plank in the quest for connectability, which is required to encourage people to move out into the regional areas (along with affordable housing, quality jobs, education, medical care, water, sewerage, plentiful electricity, and fast reliable broadband).    

With a need for affordable housing, and a growing resistance for urban dwellers having their suburbs turned into concrete hi-rise jungles, the fast train argument changes from 'we can't afford to do this', to 'we can't we afford not to do this...

What PIMM refers to above may well be how it happens.

*WETMB = what ever that may be
Surely faster regional rail on the hub and spoke model would be cheaper and more useful for this purpose? People living in Bendigo don't need to get to Sydney or Brisbane - they want to get to Melbourne for work, sport, medical etc.

You make regional living more attractive by providing connectivity to the nearest capital city.

BG
Agreed BG; I apologise if that didn't come through (I didn't want to introduce too many ideas in the one post). The Fed Gummint current idea is fast train (FT) Bris - GC, N-S-W, and Melb - Shep. Would there ever be anything beyond that?
Yes, to be clear, my view is that Victoria has more or less solved the transport part of the decentralisation equation, even if not all the politicians can quite grasp this year. The march towards eventual (re)duplication of the four RFR corridors and the present works bringing the Shepparton line to a quasi-RFR standard suggest that the boffins, at least, have realised this.

However, it should also be clear that building a decent train line is simply not sufficient to complete the stated goal of decentralisation. Ever been on a counter-peak Geelong service? Even though the Geelong line is taking a vast number of people off the Princes Freeway every morning, no one is travelling in the other direction. This has been called the "dormitory effect" - without additional land use policy, tax breaks, direct intervention (like moving state agencies to the bush) and so on, the regional cities don't develop in their own right but rather become isolated suburbs of Melbourne, housing a vast number of people who migrate on a daily basis. This is unsustainable.

While I think BG's comment about capital city connectivity is accurate, it should be fairly clear that this is a paradigm that needs to be rethought if decentralisation is to be a success. In my view, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo are at a "critical mass" of population now, such that with some careful policy-making each could become a "self-sustaining" small city that is less reliant on jobs and services in Melbourne.

Now what does any of this have to do with HSR? Well, I'm simply not convinced that east coast HSR will actually help the cause of "decentralisation" in Victoria in the slightest. Quite apart from the fact that it will completely miss the three most significant existing cities, it's just not clear that an expensive (from a fares perspective), relatively infrequent fast train will achieve anything that heavily-subsidised MSR doesn't already. Albury/Wodonga is a possible exception but I'll leave that for another post.

So that leaves inter-capital travel as the most pressing need for east coast HSR. Ironically I think the Western Sydney Airport and the possible development of Avalon as a second commuter airport for Melbourne will make the demand for a train greater, even if it does ease the pressure on the slot capacity of the current route somewhat. Once you take the journey from the absolute sticks to the CBDs into consideration it's pretty clear to me that the business market would be very happy with a 4 hour CBD to CBD journey, and that doesn't even consider the mass migration to and from Canberra that occurs every few weeks.

Is it sufficient justification? Maybe. Would I prefer the feds give Victoria the cash to make its solid rail system outstanding? Definitely.
potatoinmymouth

To say 'no one is travelling' counter peak to Geelong is just wrong. The counter-peak travel is increasing on all lines, as is the number of cars on the adjacent freeways, also travelling counter-peak.

Ballarat in particular has acres and acres of greenfields heading along two rail corridors where the growth, potentially could become exponential over the next few years, particularly with an hour or less for the inevitable express services that will be introduced.

Mike.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
$100+ billion for sydney to Melbourne. Although Sydney to Canberra would probably be about $40 billion. All that is needed is a nice new alignment between macarthur and goulburn with an upgrade to the canberra branch.

Could start with macarthur to bargo for a start. plus upgrading the track on the melbourne side with level crossing removal could allow 160km/h+ and reducing travel time by 1 hour immediately.
simstrain
Where is $100+ B coming from for Sydney to Melbourne?
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

The Fed Gummint current idea is fast train (FT) Bris - GC, N-S-W, and Melb - Shep. Would there ever be anything beyond that?
Certainly if the plan was only for the hub and spoke services listed by you above they yes, I agree with you. However I don''t think they can be taken in isolation, any such development would surely have to be designed and built with future East Coast HSR Mel > Bris in mind otherwise risk being a white elephant if a seperate East Coast HSR were to be built at a later date requiring a rebuild or different alignment.
BrentonGolding
Hey! How 'bout we do Geelong - Melbourne in Irish gauge!!!
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
How bout we remember this ship comes out at every federal election.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Since about 1985
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
$100+ billion for sydney to Melbourne. Although Sydney to Canberra would probably be about $40 billion. All that is needed is a nice new alignment between macarthur and goulburn with an upgrade to the canberra branch.

Could start with macarthur to bargo for a start. plus upgrading the track on the melbourne side with level crossing removal could allow 160km/h+ and reducing travel time by 1 hour immediately.
simstrain
I think the $100B Guessament is actually Mel - Syd - Bris with a branch to Canberra.

Personally I don't think its enough to sustain an average speed exceeding 275km/h, which is what is needed.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

$100+ billion for sydney to Melbourne. Although Sydney to Canberra would probably be about $40 billion. All that is needed is a nice new alignment between macarthur and goulburn with an upgrade to the canberra branch.

Could start with macarthur to bargo for a start. plus upgrading the track on the melbourne side with level crossing removal could allow 160km/h+ and reducing travel time by 1 hour immediately.
I think the $100B Guessament is actually Mel - Syd - Bris with a branch to Canberra.

Personally I don't think its enough to sustain an average speed exceeding 275km/h, which is what is needed.
RTT_Rules

$100 billion for Brisbane to Melbourne isn't happening unless it bypasses sydney all together. There is at least $100 billion in just getting in and out of Sydney to the north and south.

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