Blue Mountains Tunnel proposal

 
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
A 50km double track rail tunnel has been proposed to bypass the steep and curve infested Blue Mountains, and bring the western plains closer to Sydney. Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of the Tesla electric car, has been asked to quote a price.

See: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sounds-like-a-bargain-elon-musk-quotes-to-build-tunnel-through-blue-mountains-20190117-p50ru7.html

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  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Wasn't there a proposal about 100 years ago for a line to go up the Colo Valley and tunnel under Darling Causeway...
  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Elon Musk, zzzzzz
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sign him up and give him a chance.  If NSW wont bring him in to do the Melbourne Airport Link and continue for Metro 2!
  viaprojects Train Controller

A 50km double track rail tunnel has been proposed to bypass the steep and curve infested Blue Mountains, and bring the western plains closer to Sydney. Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of the Tesla electric car, has been asked to quote a price.

See: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sounds-like-a-bargain-elon-musk-quotes-to-build-tunnel-through-blue-mountains-20190117-p50ru7.html
awsgc24

it's not a rail tunnel system... more of a car transport system...
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

There are environmental reasons why this is not going to happen.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Wasn't there a proposal about 100 years ago for a line to go up the Colo Valley and tunnel under Darling Causeway...
apw5910

I think you'll find that system was actually built: here Smile
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

Yawn... I mean boring.....

What happens east of Penrith? Whatever trains come out of the tunnel have to join the Sydney Network traffic....

If this pipe dream goes ahead, Elon should ensure that the V Set Replacements can fit through his tunnel.

A better idea would be for Elon to work out how we can all levitate to our destinations, individually....
  safeworking Station Staff

Location: Bungendore
Judging from the picture, only cars and light vans would fit in the tunnel and any vehicles would need guide wheels fitted to use it.  With these limitations plus the electric vehicle-one limitation mentioned above, the freight carrying viability of this proposal is going to be very poor.  The development claims for the Central West look rather threadbare.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
There was talk a few decades back of a tunnel for road traffic, 50km long or something like that. Not long after there was 1 or 2 road tunnel (and rail) fires in EU that killed more than a hand full. Proposal disappeared into the never never.

Long road tunnels are a safety nightmare, hence why the Channel Tunnel is rail and still look what happened to that early on! Even without a onboard vehicle fire you have the smog/CO2 issue to deal with itself is a high cost issue to manage.

It may happen one day, but the only vehicles allowed in will only be electric.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
It's hardly a proposal; more like an idea that someone dreamed up in the bath.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

electrically powered flying cars and trains is what we want.
  RedEyeExpress Locomotive Driver

Location: Melbourne
But a flying train wouldn't need rails, which means it wouldn't  be a train Laughing
  Travelling Hooker Locomotive Fireman

Location: Follows the weather up and down the coast
"What happens east of Penrith? Whatever trains come out of the tunnel have to join the Sydney Network traffic.... "  ANR

Which is a good point. The mountain's trains crawl between Penrith and  Blacktown. It was comical watching the Indian Pacific on SBS the other night. They got stuck behind an all stops just like every other train. I could have walked to Parramatta faster.

  simstrain Chief Commissioner

"What happens east of Penrith? Whatever trains come out of the tunnel have to join the Sydney Network traffic.... "  ANR

Which is a good point. The mountain's trains crawl between Penrith and  Blacktown. It was comical watching the Indian Pacific on SBS the other night. They got stuck behind an all stops just like every other train. I could have walked to Parramatta faster.

Travelling Hooker
Of course the IP was slow since it is a tourist train and isn't in a hurry to get anywhere and it isn't a Sydney train service and so doesn't get priority.
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
The big bottleneck is between Penrith and St Marys. It has been a while now but I often cursed when my Mountains train missed its path and crawled through Werrington and Kingswood. Worse in the morning because I worked in Bankstown and had connections to make.  Quadding that section was always high on my wish list.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
That tunnel, if it gets dug, will be the longest in Australia, and, of course, accessible to double-decker trains.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
That tunnel, if it gets dug, will be the longest in Australia, and, of course, accessible to double-decker trains.
Myrtone
And the official opening will be done by the Tooth Fairy.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Realistically, why do we need such a tunnel?

Most of the traffic west of Penrith is headed for the Mountains themselves, ie commuters, day trippers etc.

Freight bound for Perth, Sth Aust, Western NSW etc already goes via Forbes. Not direct but is a few trains a day worth a multiple $B tunnel and no I don't trust Musk's estimate?

The state has higher priorities.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Somewhere in the distant future,
Contract signed, work commences.
Successful bidder phones premier, seeking variation to contract.
Price will need to go up, we've discovered a little bit of rock.

Sir Humphrey, Postpone tooth fairy.
  matthewg Train Controller

That tunnel, if it gets dug, will be the longest in Australia, and, of course, accessible to double-decker trains.
Myrtone
Musk's 'boring company' elsewhere has proposed small profile tunnels that transport small low profile electric 'sleds' that carry cars. Even those are largely 'vapourware', all that's being demonstrated is a short length of tunnel barely large enough to accommodate the few Tesla sedans they took the media for a ride through the tunnel in.

The cost estimate was probably had that short not fitted out and certified test tunnel cost to dig multiplied out by the length.

A tunnel that long large enough to carry even metro trains, fitted out with all the required safety systems to carry people would much much more expensive per k/m.

Musk's a showman.

Not that there isn't a place for showmen. Look at what Isambard Kingdom Brunel achieved in England in the 19th century... Part engineer part showman.
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
Has a track record on and above ground.
What is E. Musk's track record under the ground?

Submarine to rescue people from caves - fail.
Anything else?


Why bother when there is fairly easy access West via Goulburn or via Muswellbrook?
Look at the raging success of the Dombarton tunnel to create wealth. Half a bridge and two portals.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

Putting this 50km nightmare to the side, I have no doubt that Elon is a visionary. However he has the old world economy arrayed against him and will not make it easy for him. The renewable electric revolution is compelling, and probably inevitable, but the oil and gas interests will fight to their death.
  ALCo44 Junior Train Controller

Location: Katoomba, NSW
Wasn't there a proposal about 100 years ago for a line to go up the Colo Valley and tunnel under Darling Causeway...

I think you'll find that system was actually built: here Smile
The proposal was to go up the Grose Valley (the Colo being well to the North of the Darling Causeway) and dated from the original search for a railway alignment across the Blue Mountains in the 1860s. Nothing to do with the Wolgan Valley Railway.

I'm away from my reference books at the moment and am not going to 'shoot from the hip' on the details, but a couple of attempts were made to survey a route, with the proposal eventually abandoned in favour of the route we know due to a number of considerations, including the cost/feasibility of constructing the tunnel under the Causeway.

On the main topic of the thread, I agree with the consensus on Musk's tweet - unproven, and likely wildly optimistic about how much it would cost to build.
  7334 Chief Commissioner

Location: In the workshop wondering why I started 7334 in the first place
The proposal was to go up the Grose Valley (the Colo being well to the North of the Darling Causeway) and dated from the original search for a railway alignment across the Blue Mountains in the 1860s. Nothing to do with the Wolgan Valley Railway.
ALCo44
"Conquering The Blue Mountains" by Mark Langdon and "To The Fertile Plains Beyond" originally written by C. C. Singleton and published long after his demise both refer to the attempts to find  a route up the Grose Valley as part of the original surveys to find a way across the mountains.

Singleton states (page 36) "The Grose Valley Route .......... was discarded firstly because of the three mile tunnel through Darling's Causeway from the Grose Valley to Hartley Vale together with the huge cost of establishing a permanent road bed through the narrow and debris filled Grose Valley."

Langdon states (page 9) that it came to a choice between the route chosen and that through the Grose Valley and that "The route up the southern side of the Grose Valley, upon which so much time and effort had been expended, was deemed impractical.  The head of the Grose Valley was much lower than the valley on the opposite side of the Darling Causeway.  This meant that even with a gradient of 1 in 30 between three and four miles of tunnelling would have been required."

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