Put it this way , when I last spoke to truck drivers at Yass Services Centre around 6-7 years ago they said it took around 9 1/2 hours to drive a B Double from Capital to Capital .
At that stage the XPT was doing the trip in about 11 1/2 hours and typically superfreighters were more like 13-14 hours .
A good run to Junee on a Superfreighter used to take 8 1/2 hours out of Sydney , at that stage the truck launched at the same time is about an hour out of Melbourne . The train is just over half way there .
Nowhere on the Hume is the posted speed less than 110 , or 100 for trucks . There are no tight bends at the foot of any grades .
The Hume is a lot more direct than the southern railway line and nowhere is it single lane .
Now do you all understand why the rail operators are starving on 1% of the available land freight between Sydney and Melbourne .
And that's only taking into account what happens after the train gets moving and rolls out of its terminal.
For a fair comparison, you also need to consider what would happen if the load going by rail was dispatched from the origin at the same time as the truck. The load doesn't get straight on a train, it leaves the origin on a truck for a trip to a rail depot. There's a fair chance this means the load is actually going further away from its destination in this time rather than making progress! It then spends hours sitting in the depot before the train gets moving.
The whole double handling routine is repeated on the destination end, with a net effect of making it likely that door-to-door time is going to be closer to 24 hours than to overnight.
To fix it, regulatory moves will not be enough as they will simply increase prices for goods and lead to a negligible amount of modal shift.
The model used by the railway needs to change completely. Sydney-Melbourne would be a thriving rail route if it was electrified and double-tracked to allow European-style high frequency rolling highway services carrying trucks at 140 km/h.