Melbourne-Sydney fast train a top Labor priority

 

News article: Melbourne-Sydney fast train a top Labor priority

A fast train linking Melbourne and Sydney in less than three hours will be among the top infrastructure priorities of a Shorten Government.

  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Yes, but only replacing existing sleepers on existing alignment .

Lots of work happening between Parkes and Narromine.

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  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

From my understanding they have already spent the $77 billion from reading the article I linked. In any case the cost should be looked at in comparison to metro in Sydney which was $8 billion for 36 kilometres. When you extend that cost out to 800km's for Sydney to Melbourne you get $177 billion. That isn't taking in to account that vhst by it's nature cost significantly more then metro.
simstrain

Yes...of course and it will go out to tender.

Moreover aeroplanes are highly polluting and as you have already stated, flights every 30 mins do nothing for carbon pollution whereas a HST can operate completely free of air pollution.

Moreover as it's largely a greenfields project there won't be the expense of residential land acquisition to budget for, hence your $177 Billion is a probably a shocking over-estimate, moreover the cost would be stretched over several budgets and the airlines themselves may well have an input into the infrastructure.

California also has the San Andreas fault and the Techahapi pass to contend with:

https://www.google.com/search?q=tehachapi+pass+railroad+map&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=09C1cXQPlTaGmM%253A%252CIpUKdUz_g-3m8M%252C_&usg=AI4_-kSF_uFv880RTH1PVd3h8MEs1Fhm9Q&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjezLrA0ergAhXDTX0KHV7CAV0Q9QEwAnoECAIQCA#imgrc=09C1cXQPlTaGmM:

Our proposed HST is a whole new ball game and it won't be undertaken like any other project that's currently on the drawing board.

Mike.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

I agree that we should at least reserve a rail corridor for future HSR, but it would still be many decades off until Australia's population reaches at least 40 to 50 million.  However, I think it's a myth that it would encourage people to relocate to regional cities and commute to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane on a regular basis.  The fares without subsidies would be unaffordable for all but the wealthy.  People making occasional trips is a different matter.

In the meantime, it would be more economically feasible to upgrade the existing interstate rail network to MSR standard up to 200km/h for both passenger and freight.  The National Highway network between Melbourne and Brisbane will be upgraded to dual carriageway standard for completion next year.  It's now time that the focus is shifted to upgrading the existing rail corridor via Sydney in addition to the Inland Rail project. This would have far more benefit for regional towns and cities along the route.
  John E Station Master

You will be doing well to get a freight train close to 200km hour!
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

There are a lot more pressing infrastructure projects than HSR. We still haven't got an NBN that works for everybody, it's way over budget and time, The NDIS is a mess and incomplete, The projects to provide renewable energy in a reliable fashion are still being argued over at a concept stage and the Inland Rail Project has the staggers. Now some pollie wants to start another money sink hole that will be over budget, under resourced and stuffed around. We should complete what are already money sink holes before starting another.
Gee, I bet the Bradfield scheme will be the next thing to be resurrected as an election promise.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

You will be doing well to get a freight train close to 200km hour!
John E
Sorry, I wasn't suggesting that freight trains would travel at that speed, but would benefit from a straighter alignment allowing higher average speeds.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Has a sleeper been laid on the Melb/Bris freight line yet,
yes
arctic
Killjoy
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
There are a lot more pressing infrastructure projects than HSR. We still haven't got an NBN that works for everybody, it's way over budget and time, The NDIS is a mess and incomplete, The projects to provide renewable energy in a reliable fashion are still being argued over at a concept stage and the Inland Rail Project has the staggers. Now some pollie wants to start another money sink hole that will be over budget, under resourced and stuffed around. We should complete what are already money sink holes before starting another.
Gee, I bet the Bradfield scheme will be the next thing to be resurrected as an election promise.
neillfarmer
Quite right, and the NBN is a case in point.  What was originally planned, metaphorically speaking, as a four lane highway was morphed by a change of government into a dirt track.  There is no guarantee that the same would not happen with any future project.

(And the NBN certainly does not work for everyone .....  not even available yet at my place.)
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

You will be doing well to get a freight train close to 200km hour!
John E
BHP had a good crack late last year. Very Happy
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes, but only replacing existing sleepers on existing alignment .

Lots of work happeining between Parkes and Narromine.
SinickleBird
Need to start somewhere. Is it better to fix/upgrade the existing alignment first or build the greenfield track into the existing goat tracks?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
There are a lot more pressing infrastructure projects than HSR. We still haven't got an NBN that works for everybody, it's way over budget and time, The NDIS is a mess and incomplete, The projects to provide renewable energy in a reliable fashion are still being argued over at a concept stage and the Inland Rail Project has the staggers. Now some pollie wants to start another money sink hole that will be over budget, under resourced and stuffed around. We should complete what are already money sink holes before starting another.
Gee, I bet the Bradfield scheme will be the next thing to be resurrected as an election promise.
Quite right, and the NBN is a case in point.  What was originally planned, metaphorically speaking, as a four lane highway was morphed by a change of government into a dirt track.  There is no guarantee that the same would not happen with any future project.

(And the NBN certainly does not work for everyone .....  not even available yet at my place.)
Lad_Porter
As the costs come in and impacts on cost from politics such as what happened to the Epping-Chatswood Rail line, expect the same to happen for HST.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE

From my understanding they have already spent the $77 billion from reading the article I linked. In any case the cost should be looked at in comparison to metro in Sydney which was $8 billion for 36 kilometres. When you extend that cost out to 800km's for Sydney to Melbourne you get $177 billion. That isn't taking in to account that vhst by it's nature cost significantly more then metro.
Yes...of course and it will go out to tender.

Moreover aeroplanes are highly polluting and as you have already stated, flights every 30 mins do nothing for carbon pollution whereas a HST can operate completely free of air pollution.

Moreover as it's largely a greenfields project there won't be the expense of residential land acquisition to budget for, hence your $177 Billion is a probably a shocking over-estimate, moreover the cost would be stretched over several budgets and the airlines themselves may well have an input into the infrastructure.

California also has the San Andreas fault and the Techahapi pass to contend with:

https://www.google.com/search?q=tehachapi+pass+railroad+map&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=09C1cXQPlTaGmM%253A%252CIpUKdUz_g-3m8M%252C_&usg=AI4_-kSF_uFv880RTH1PVd3h8MEs1Fhm9Q&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjezLrA0ergAhXDTX0KHV7CAV0Q9QEwAnoECAIQCA#imgrc=09C1cXQPlTaGmM:

Our proposed HST is a whole new ball game and it won't be undertaken like any other project that's currently on the drawing board.

Mike.
The Vinelander
So if its about pollution reduction whats better for your dollar

Build a line 800km long cutting a corridor 50m or more wide, most of which is through natural bush and farm land to cater for 4-5m a year who fly.

OR
Spend that $100B plus other contributions towards expanding Australia's cities heavy rail networks and and interurban lines.

A few examples, about 40mpa use the interurban lines around Sydney alone and the goat track corridors could probably double that if their alignments were moderised including boosting freight rail in the process and after spending the $25-35B doing that, you can spend another $10-15B upgrading and expanding Sydney's suburban commuter rail, throw $20B to Brisbane, $30B at Melbourne and a few billion at Adelaide and Perth.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

Yes, but only replacing existing sleepers on existing alignment .

Lots of work happeining between Parkes and Narromine.
Need to start somewhere. Is it better to fix/upgrade the existing alignment first or build the greenfield track into the existing goat tracks?
RTT_Rules
My experience on large projects is that there is an optimum rate of progress on the project, slower or faster increases costs because the planning, managing and manpower is increased to go faster, and slower drags the project out so synergies with various contractors are lost, jobs lack adequate resources and money sunk on the earlier phases does not earn a return until the whole project is complete.
My take on the Inland Rail is that it is moving at a snails pace, so that the millions being invested now are not going to earn a return for years. If the Government were serious about this project some of the tougher nuts in Queensland such as the Toowoomba range should have been shifting dirt by now.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

You will be doing well to get a freight train close to 200km hour!
BHP had a good crack late last year. Very Happy
michaelgm
Find a bigger hill....
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes, but only replacing existing sleepers on existing alignment .

Lots of work happeining between Parkes and Narromine.
Need to start somewhere. Is it better to fix/upgrade the existing alignment first or build the greenfield track into the existing goat tracks?
My experience on large projects is that there is an optimum rate of progress on the project, slower or faster increases costs because the planning, managing and manpower is increased to go faster, and slower drags the project out so synergies with various contractors are lost, jobs lack adequate resources and money sunk on the earlier phases does not earn a return until the whole project is complete.
My take on the Inland Rail is that it is moving at a snails pace, so that the millions being invested now are not going to earn a return for years. If the Government were serious about this project some of the tougher nuts in Queensland such as the Toowoomba range should have been shifting dirt by now.
neillfarmer
I don't get this, what report issued by anyone has stated the Inland rail was needed prior to 2025? This is the timetable I have seen for last 10 years or more, this is the timetable multiple govt's and even more PM's have working towards, not gunzel wishlist. But because some see the Inland not being built to their timetable the project is perceived as not happening.

You are also talking more likely about single site projects. This project is 2000km long. Yes it could be done as in one 2-5 year project but see above.

Additionally, the Inland rail uses 65% existing SG trackage that is part of the existing Interstate, this project had to precede the Greenfield components mostly because it was needed first.

I believe the bulk of the Greenfield sections of the railway will be built together over 5 years or less as one project and because most of it on its own is useless.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

We shall see RTT, but I can't see the project being finished by the end of 2025, just 6 years away.
I'm not expecting it to be built in the next 5 or 6 years, just making the comment that dragging it out to suit political objectives is not the most cost effective manner to construct it.
My main comment was that we should complete all these high cost initiatives that are presently incomplete (I live 20 km from the centre of Brisbane, still no date for the NBN) before starting on another "nation building" multi billion dollar (HSR) project.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

the vhst has a chance in being a nation destroyer. What do people from the other states think of $150+ billion (at sydney metro prices) being spent on a rail corridor between Sydney and Melbourne. This will do nothing for freight or actually building the nation. Rail is popular in the cities because the cities roads are congested. Nobody is asking for this expensive piece of twoddle from the cities.
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

Another reason voting ALP for the coming federal election as we will finally get a project up that has been talked about almost as long as the Melbourne Airport Link.

So many benefits will flow from this project including the start of longer distance electrification across state boundaries.

We will see towns  between Sydney and Melbourne flourish with people moving into enjoy the lifestyle of a regional centre with easy access to Sydney or Melbourne. Think about Albury and its place in the centre of the network and how you could get and take the fast train to Sydney for the day and Melbourne later in the week.  With NBN now more available working from home and doing business in either capital is a real possibility with the project.

If the airlines were really smart they would link FF programmes like BA has in the UK.


Melbourne-Sydney fast train a top Labor priority
x31
Wow dreaming up a complete unicorn pie in the sky project is going to make you vote for Shorten. Shorten is a pygmy compared to Andrews. I wouldn't trust that one as far as I could throw him.

$70 - $100 Billion on a HSR. You might as well put in a hole and burn it. It is an expensive white elephant and I would rather the Feds give money to the states to help build world class transit system. When we cant even get the Albury Corridor right, the ALP want's to embark on something that has never been attempted in this country. High Speed Rail something that we do not simply have the expertise for. Word of advice for the ALP, consign this idea to the bin and carry on taking the plane. It is much cheaper.

Michael
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Another reason voting ALP for the coming federal election as we will finally get a project up that has been talked about almost as long as the Melbourne Airport Link.

So many benefits will flow from this project including the start of longer distance electrification across state boundaries.

We will see towns  between Sydney and Melbourne flourish with people moving into enjoy the lifestyle of a regional centre with easy access to Sydney or Melbourne. Think about Albury and its place in the centre of the network and how you could get and take the fast train to Sydney for the day and Melbourne later in the week.  With NBN now more available working from home and doing business in either capital is a real possibility with the project.

If the airlines were really smart they would link FF programmes like BA has in the UK.


Melbourne-Sydney fast train a top Labor priority
Wow dreaming up a complete unicorn pie in the sky project is going to make you vote for Shorten. Shorten is a pygmy compared to Andrews. I wouldn't trust that one as far as I could throw him.

$70 - $100 Billion on a HSR. You might as well put in a hole and burn it. It is an expensive white elephant and I would rather the Feds give money to the states to help build world class transit system. When we cant even get the Albury Corridor right, the ALP want's to embark on something that has never been attempted in this country. High Speed Rail something that we do not simply have the expertise for. Word of advice for the ALP, consign this idea to the bin and carry on taking the plane. It is much cheaper.

Michael
mejhammers1

try $150 billion. Sydney north west metro is costing $7.4 billion (originally $8.3) and when you divide that by the 36 kilometres and times it by 800 you get $164.44 billion. Yes it will cost this much because VHST track has to be perfect with grade separation, 25kv overhead, huge bridges, tunnels and cuttings that will be required. Then it will only be able to move passengers which means it will require constant ongoing subsidies since at the prices that will need to be charged it is highly likely nobody is going to take this train.

Invest in building some new straighter alignments that would benefit passenger and freight is the much much smarter option for this country and one that won't bankrupt us.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

High Speed Rail something that we do not simply have the expertise for.
mejhammers1

So we should never attempt to build anything that hasn't been built before in this country? What a ludicrous application of the Not Invented Here mentality.

For what it's worth, JR Central have had an office in Sydney since the Bicentennial attempt at high-speed building. They clearly think it will get off the ground one day. They, with SNCF and DB would form joint ventures with Australian builders if a tender process were announced. The great joy of modern communication is that we can utilise overseas expertise easily (although the British Empire managed to successfully export cutting-edge railway technology to the colonies – making it even more ridiculous that in the 21st century you think it's impossible to adopt a proven technology here.)

Sydney north west metro is costing $7.4 billion (originally $8.3) and when you divide that by the 36 kilometres and times it by 800 you get $164.44 billion. Yes it will cost this much because VHST track has to be perfect with grade separation, 25kv overhead, huge bridges, tunnels and cuttings that will be required.
simstrain

I challenge you to find a single reliable source that costs high-speed rail construction at A$205 million/km. BITRE estimates a high end of $110m/km but also suggests a low end of $16m/km.

https://bitre.gov.au/publications/2010/files/other_001_a_profile_of_high-speed_railways.pdf

I will also point out that the BITRE document concludes there is insufficient demand for such a service to be justified. I am similarly unpersuaded and have made my argument previously for a third daily Sydney-Melbourne service and progressive upgrading of the Main South/North East corridor to full double track and alignment supportive of 200km/h passenger operations.

Nevertheless, nonsense arguments being made against high-speed rail are not useful to anybody.
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

So we should never attempt to build anything that hasn't been built before in this country? What a ludicrous application of the Not Invented Here mentality.

Indulge in the faux outrage all you like, but you know what goes on here as regards to any major PT projects in this country never mind to High Speed Rail? The committee responsible for bring the project to fruition will be full of mates of pollies who will have not a skerrig of rail experience. And we will end up with a project badly executed and way over budget.

For what it's worth, JR Central have had an office in Sydney since the Bicentennial attempt at high-speed building. They clearly think it will get off the ground one day. They, with SNCF and DB would form joint ventures with Australian builders if a tender process were announced. The great joy of modern communication is that we can utilise overseas expertise easily (although the British Empire managed to successfully export cutting-edge railway technology to the colonies – making it even more ridiculous that in the 21st century you think it's impossible to adopt a proven technology here.)

Impossible are your words, however, it will be a complete balls up. JR, SNCF and DB will have minimal input. It will be run by Labor and ex Labor party hacks. Man we are struggling to get a low speed conventional rail corridor like Albury right and some think it is a good idea to blow at Least $80 Billion on providing expensive subsidised transport for 5 - 10 million passenger journeys, when the Airlines can handle it without recourse to the public purse. Sorry I do not think that my Children or my Children's children should be paying for this unicorn. Fix the existing corridor to Sydney. Instead of spending at least $80 Billion on a white elephant for the sole use of expensive passenger trains, spend $ 5 - 8 billion on straightening alignments on the existing corridor which is also used by freight.

Michael
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

building the straighter alignment would also mean that all these new regional trains that NSW and Victoria are investing in would become more valuable and would mean that the federal government wouldn't have to invest in rolling stock.

Building a straighter alignment and bringing down the travel time to 5 - 5.5 hours would double the amount of services possible at the very least.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

nobody knows how much high speed rail will actually cost and so you have to go on what projects are currently happening in Sydney and Melbourne. That bitre document was in 2010 and just a thought bubble but sydney metro and melbourne's metro tunnels are real world projects for which you can gather actual costs since very high speed rail will be much more expensive then metro. Those who think it won't be are kidding themselves.

So I stand by my over $150 billion price tag.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

nobody knows how much high speed rail will actually cost and so you have to go on what projects are currently happening in Sydney and Melbourne. That bitre document was in 2010 and just a thought bubble but sydney metro and melbourne's metro tunnels are real world projects for which you can gather actual costs since very high speed rail will be much more expensive then metro. Those who think it won't be are kidding themselves.

So I stand by my over $150 billion price tag.
simstrain
The Stage 2 study came up with $114 billion as a price tag for Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne, or $124 billion adjusted to 2018 dollars. That's $65.2 million/km or $71.4 million/km adjusted.

https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/publications/high-speed-rail-study-reports/

Alternatively, there's this Italian study which is highly critical of the construction of the Italian high-speed network, and produces an upper figure for the Bologna-Florence section of 68 million euros/km (2018 euros) or about A$109 million/km. There were figures as low as 24 million euros/km. Even if we add the "Australia tax" commonly cited by infrastructure experts as 30% we are nowhere near your $205 million/km figure.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967070X17306194

(Am well aware you may not have full access to this article, you'll just have to trust me that I've reported the figures accurately.)

What you are doing is just making an unjustified extrapolation of unrelated data. Of course it will be expensive, and as I said, I'm not entirely convinced it's justifiable. But you do your argument no favours by providing silly figures for it.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

those numbers are still wrong. sydney metro is what you need to be looking at. It ain't silly figures because much of the vhst is going to have to have tunnels and mega bridges and viaducts exactly like the north west metro. It is extremely applicable to compare the north west metro with a Sydney to Melbourne VHST especially when you have to add in the higher complexity needed for vhst track. Oh and you have to buy the trains as well.

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