Top 10 EU busiest air corridors
1. Toulouse to Paris, 680km (2.3m, numbers are 2014 unless stated)
2. Mardrid to Barcelono, 620km (2.3m, dropped from 3.1m 2011 assume to be because of introduction of HSR)
3. Nice to Paris, 930km (2.0m) We will do this in June this year.
4. Oslo to Trondheim, 500km, (1.9m)
5. Catania to Rome, 800km (1.8m)
6. Berlin to Munich, 600km (1.8m)
7. Oslo to Bergen, 462km (1.7m)
8. Frankfurt to Berlin, 550km ( 1.7m)
9. Munich to Hamburg, 775km, (1.6m)
10. London to Dublin, over water so it doesn't count.
Many of the above routes have HSR and all have MSR. However when you look at the average speeds for many of the HSR services, the average speed from end to end including Paris to Marseillie (775km in just over 3hr or 225km/hr) is far lower than required for Syd to Mel to be competitive with air.
Madrid to Barcelona is probably one of the higher average speeds at 2:30hr for 620km, but still only 250km/hr. Note southern Spain is mostly desert with few obstacles.
Overall most of EU's +300km/hr services operate on relative flat terrain, like Northern Vic, not like the NSW coast which is one continuously long mountain range for 1500km and the reason why the current route is so bad compared to Vic, especially the 200km surrouding Sydney.
Basically a +300km/hr for Sydney to Melbourne service is not comparable to EU and you should not expect the same outcome.
I've caught HSR from Paris to Geneva (3hr), first 90min was great and fast, last 90min I felt like I was on the XPT headed up the NSW NCL
If you are flying domestically with no luggage and checked in on line, its direct to security and the gate check in. I can tell you before self check in's. (My dad when he was working would never arrive at an Australian airport more than 30min prior to the departure time. No queues as they always call through flights that are close to boarding so why line up. Arrive 30min before, called to front counter, then you get express security check straight to gate as most pax are already on the plane, remove the other persons O/H luggage from your spot above your seat and sit down.)
The location of the airport is irrelevant, so what if BKK is 50km out, the train trip takes as long as driving to Tullamarine, time is the critical factor and yes if HSR was built there would be stops at Tulla, SW Sydney etc. there would unlikely be only CBD to CBD as I highly doubt we have the critical mass for too many different types of services.
Its also interesting to note that the majority of countries with HSR are also HSR technology providers and their respective networks are more political driven than practical. Penetration to non HSR technology providing countries is very rare and often then is a political background. Taiwan is probably the exception.
Paris to Brussels is 320km (1:20hr by HSR or average speed of 240km/hr), 50km more than Syd to Canberra. MSR would have also been very successful only adding 10-15min to the trip for probably alot less capital.
MSR Syd to Can is a must, for numerous reasons and some of it purely political as why is the Nations Capital so badly connected by PT to Sydney, the main gateway to Australia only 270km away?