Kevin Rudd keeps high-speed rail hope alive

 

News article: Kevin Rudd keeps high-speed rail hope alive

KEVIN Rudd has sought to re-energise his election campaign today by announcing a fresh Labor commitment to a high-speed rail line along Australia's east coast.

  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
There is not just bigger model planes to consider, but look at Qantas current 737 fleet then look at whats on the market now with 737-8 and 9 series. Without checking actual numbers, probably 50+ more bodies per plane. Likewise the older 767's.
"RTT_Rules"
With regard to the narrow-body fleet, the problem is that Qantas has standardised on the B738 as its domestic mainline workhorse. While it could certainly get good use out of B739ERs, the fact that it hasn't I think is quite telling. I personally think that the Australian domestic market could probably use the A321 well, but I also think that the nature of the domestic market is that we need a mixture of a workhorse that we can do most of the jobs (additional capacity made up through frequency), and a big gun. Traditionally with Qantas, this has been the B737 and B767.

I'm inclined to think that while the A321 and B739ER could probably be used well in Australia, the economics of standardising on the B738 and A320 seem to have prevailed - nothing wrong with that, of course.

With the wide-bodies, however, we open a whole new can of worms...

The main issue for the bigger planes is lack of dual loading and unloading air bridges, but resolve this which I think we will see and with increasing demand elsewhere in Australia, we will see more larger planes used by Qantas and Virgin in the 2020's for domestic usage, other countries can use 747's for 1hr flights due to demand. The A380 on medium haul routes struggles on economics due to bad turn-arounds unless they can load in similar time to the competition planes. Hence why Emirates built a purpose built terminal for A380's at Dubai as Europe-UAE is a popular medium haul route that has tripple airbridge loading capacity. Basically they can load an A380 is same time as a B737.
"RTT_Rules"
It's not just aerobridges, though that has its role. Cargo loading is also problematic, and these two factors slaughtered the A332 on domestic runs the last time they were put on Cityflyer (they took 80 minutes to be turned around, whereas a B763 could be turned around in 45), before being swapped out to transcon and replaced on Cityflyer with B763s.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
With regard to the narrow-body fleet, the problem is that Qantas has standardised on the B738 as its domestic mainline workhorse. While it could certainly get good use out of B739ERs, the fact that it hasn't I think is quite telling. I personally think that the Australian domestic market could probably use the A321 well, but I also think that the nature of the domestic market is that we need a mixture of a workhorse that we can do most of the jobs (additional capacity made up through frequency), and a big gun. Traditionally with Qantas, this has been the B737 and B767.

I'm inclined to think that while the A321 and B739ER could probably be used well in Australia, the economics of standardising on the B738 and A320 seem to have prevailed - nothing wrong with that, of course.

With the wide-bodies, however, we open a whole new can of worms...

It's not just aerobridges, though that has its role. Cargo loading is also problematic, and these two factors slaughtered the A332 on domestic runs the last time they were put on Cityflyer (they took 80 minutes to be turned around, whereas a B763 could be turned around in 45), before being swapped out to transcon and replaced on Cityflyer with B763s.
Watson374
The issue with the wide bodies was what do you do with them out of peak. A fleet of 737's can shuttle the east coast in peak, then head off to the likes of Hamilton island, Ayres Rock etc for the tourists during the middle of the day and this works out well with hotel arrival/departure times.

But over time with population expansion they could potentially find more use flying to other destintations during the day.

The moral of the story is that in the aviation world, 15-20 years is a generation of planes (at least) and the airlines will attapt to increase the number of bodies per slot rather than loose market share to each other or another mode. Fares may rise to off-set these costs, but the majority of fares at this time are not the super discount fares, rather than people flying at that time because they have to. When I say rise, even another $20-30/ticket would probably open up alot of options if there are 4m a year using the peak slots between Syd and Mel.

The airlines naturally don't want HSR, but they and the airport are privately operated and they are private for a reason, ie the industry is mature enough to develop and grow itself. We should not be trying to solve the private sectors problems with heavily subsidised taxpayer depenent alt means of transport, but assisting the private sector investigate and develop all the options.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The issue with the wide bodies was what do you do with them out of peak. A fleet of 737's can shuttle the east coast in peak, then head off to the likes of Hamilton island, Ayres Rock etc for the tourists during the middle of the day and this works out well with hotel arrival/departure times.

But over time with population expansion they could potentially find more use flying to other destintations during the day.

The moral of the story is that in the aviation world, 15-20 years is a generation of planes (at least) and the airlines will attapt to increase the number of bodies per slot rather than loose market share to each other or another mode. Fares may rise to off-set these costs, but the majority of fares at this time are not the super discount fares, rather than people flying at that time because they have to. When I say rise, even another $20-30/ticket would probably open up alot of options if there are 4m a year using the peak slots between Syd and Mel.
"RTT_Rules"
Yes, yes. That's exactly why the airlines have so many B737s and A320s. I was planespotting this morning and I can honestly tell you that if I never saw a Qantas 737 with winglets ever again in the rest of my lifetime, I wouldn't be missing out on that much. (Unless it's a ZK rego!)

I'm of the opinion that what the airlines need is a smaller wide-body that has a good capacity and reasonably nice premium cabin, so that it's flexible enough to run the golden triangle during peaks, and run transcontinental, trans-Tasman at other times and other medium-haul routes. Traditionally, this was the 767-300ER. The problem is that the lie-flat seat card was played transcontinental.

Anyway...

The airlines naturally don't want HSR, but they and the airport are privately operated and they are private for a reason, ie the industry is mature enough to develop and grow itself. We should not be trying to solve the private sectors problems with heavily subsidised taxpayer depenent alt means of transport, but assisting the private sector investigate and develop all the options.
"RTT_Rules"
EXACTLY
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
Thirdly may I bring you to attention the Chuo Shinkansen set to finish in 2045 (roughly the same time as the Aust HSR if it was to be built). This is the future of rail transport. JR Central is funding it entirely and cost is no barrier to them.
fixitguy
Yup, meanwhile in Japan... they now have 42.8 km of track to play with.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/08/29/business/jr-tokai-resumes-maglev-tests-on-new-section/
  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara
Yup, meanwhile in Japan... they now have 42.8 km of track to play with.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/08/29/business/jr-tokai-resumes-maglev-tests-on-new-section/
fabricator
i like to get my hands on them trains
  MC3801 Train Controller
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
Rudd has proposed it. Therefore it will never happen until he is forgotten.
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
Ugh.

Rather than building a new HSR for trains 300km+, lets spend half that and upgrade existing infrastrucutre for 200km/hr + running and build a smeg load of new freight infrastrucure.

Just what could be done to Australia's existing railway infrastructure for that? A new inland railway, dual tracked, from Melbourne to Katherine, via Mount Isa? Standardisation of the entire victorian railway network? Dual track the Adelaide to Darwin and the Broken Hill to Perth Railways? Standardise the Brisbane to Cairns railway?

If we are going to do something, lets make it realistic. $50 billion or so over a 10 year period could make a massive difference to rail travel and freight here in Australia - change the land scape, so to speak.

It would certainly go a long way to improving productivity, not to mention remove the need for a second sydney airport. Yeah, it might take 5 hours to get from Sydney to Melbourne on a 200km/hr train, but you know what? There are more than enough people that would take it, especially all the concession card holders that would get subsidised travel. It would certainly remove the need for Avalon and a second Sydney airport.

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