I think I can – high speed rail on the agenda?

I think I can. High Speed Rail on the agenda?



High speed rail and inland rail has resurfaced priorities for investigation by the Australian Government in 2017. The benefits for regional Australia, passenger transportation, and freight are countless, yet the economic benefit may not outweigh the suggested cost of the proposed infrastructure.


Melbourne to Sydney is the fifth busiest air route in the world. Airline travel is expensive, environmentally unsustainable and there are other issues with airport capacity and airport-road connections and congestion.


Australia’s freight is also heavily reliant on roads infrastructure. It is anticipated by 2030, 32 million tonnes or the equivalent of 1.2 million B-Double Truckloads of freight will need to be moved between Melbourne and Brisbane.


Anyone who has leafed through city real estate prices or sat in traffic through Sydney will understand the increasing stress and burden of increasing populations in metropolitan Australia. This is whilst regional Australia including Cessnock City Council is pleading for infrastructure upgrades and investment to create jobs and support population growth.


High speed rail that connects Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney has the potential to open opportunities for regional Australia as an affordable lifestyle alternative to major cities.


High speed rail also delivers the promise of access to better healthcare, universities and training, international airports and most importantly jobs to rural and regional populations.

Higher Speeds proposed across the East Coast


The average speed today between Sydney and Wollongong for example, is 56 km/h over an 82 km long track. According to the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, should these existing rail lines be upgraded speeds of up to 100 to 160 km/h are achievable.


Back in May 2017 the Federal Government announced funding for the development of business cases focusing on delivering high-speed rail links between capital cities and regional Australia. The east coast high speed rail corridor has been touted as a future high-speed passenger rail connection for Australia.


Unfortunately, the development of high speed rail may be cost prohibitive and so proposals are welcomed from the State Government and private sector to help fund improvements or new rail lines. Project proposal deadline was 13 October 2017, with Infrastructure Australia now assessing business cases for detailed project proposals and announcements expected in December 2017.


A separate inland rail proposal is also on the agenda with the Australian Government declaring its commitment to the delivery of Inland Rail in the 2017-18 Budget. Inland Rail proposes a high-capacity freight link between Melbourne and Brisbane through inland regional Australia.


More information on both rail projects is available from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development:


Q If High speed rail connecting Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney is built, will the Badgery’s Creek Airport and associated infrastructure still be needed?


  1. Make high speed rail Brisbane to Melbourne a high priority? For sure! Australia needs much more efficient and sustainable transport systems for passengers and commercial freight along this high volume corridor. Any proper management approach for Australian development would have this in already – what is the hold up? Further, the Badgery Creek airport money could be re-directed into Newcastle International airport development, and with the aid of a fast train service, it would look after mid-north coast , Hunter and Central coast air passengers, while keeping these commuters out of Sydney!! NCL airport exists, there is plenty of flat space for airport extensions and is surrounded by a growing population. Sydney West, Blue Mountains, Illawarra, Canberra and south coast would continue to use Mascot. In fact, with Newcastle airport developed, some of these centres could choose either airport.

    Put tenders out now (must be Australian operated consortiums) and with Chinese, French or Japanese partners the job will be done.

  2. When the M1 was built the pollies espoused the fact it would be big enough for at least 25 rears , crap Politicians have no brains imagination or the will to make sane sensible decisions except those that affect the next election. Bring on 4 year terms. Infrastructure decisions should be made on the benefits to Australia. We need manufacturing jobs and associated employment on major projects built wholly by Australian industry and the workforce.

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