BZE and The Project - Zero Carbon Australia High Speed Rail


Why are we still waiting for high-speed rail between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane? Guardian, March 11 2016


Infrastructure summit: High-speed rail and what investors want AFR June 16 2016

High-speed rail line ‘within a decade’: government The Australian, April 12 2016



Report Launch

ABC Lateline, Nov 29, 2013

SCOTT BEVAN, PRESENTER: The high-speed rail debate is getting back on track with the Federal Government vowing to sound out state leaders and the Opposition planning a private members bill to protect the East Coast rail corridor. And as Jake Sturmer reports, a new study has found that a high-speed rail network would be billions of dollars cheaper than first thought.

JAKE STURMER, REPORTER: Sydney Airport, Australia's busiest. Many of these jets are bound for Melbourne. It's the fifth-busiest flight route in the world.

For decades, governments have talked about easing the pressure with high-speed rail between Brisbane and Melbourne. Now, Warren Truss has decided to bring it back to the table one more time.

WARREN TRUSS, TRANSPORT MINISTER: I need to talk now to the states about their willingness to engage in the project. The next stage will clearly be to identify a corridor. That's not a simple matter of just drawing a line on a map.

JAKE STURMER: New analysis from clean energy consultancy Beyond Zero Emissions argues the network would cost $84 billion and could pay itself off in 40 years. That compares to the previous government's high-speed rail study, which put the cost at $114 billion.

STEPHEN BYGRAVE, BEYOND ZERO EMISSIONS: It's a lot cheaper to run and a lot cheaper to build because of the reduction in tunnelling and bridge-building that's required along the route that we've selected.

JAKE STURMER: The report was done in conjunction with a German aerospace centre which used Australia as a case study for modelling a next-generation rail network. The centre has done comprehensive analysis of Germany's transport network, renowned for its efficiency, and applied its findings to Australia.

SIMONE EHRENBERGER, GERMAN AEROSPACE CENTRE: We also did a quite detailed calculation of the actual routes, of where the tracks are going within cities. We considered the exact city axis to the stations.

JAKE STURMER: The origins of railways, wagonways, are thought to have developed here in Germany to transport ore from mines. That was almost 500 years ago and a lot's changed.

These German researchers are developing the next-generation train with the goal of making it even faster and more energy efficient.

JENS KONG, GERMAN AEROSPACE CENTRE: In the real train, we'd have here the doors, the passenger would enter the (inaudible) in this direction and this would be the floor.

JAKE STURMER: In Belgium, Europe's top transport officials have thrown their support behind high-speed rail in Australia.

KEIR FITCH, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Rail, particularly for densely-populated areas, has the great advantage that you can move large number of people in and out of cities quickly and efficiently on it.

JAKE STURMER: But back in Australia, the man who helped with the sums for the previous government's study believes even today, the numbers still don't stack up.

DAVID GREIF, INFRASTRUCTURE ANALYST: Even just Sydney to Melbourne is $50 billion-odd, and flipping through the newspapers, one doesn't get the impression there's a spare $50 billion around at the moment.

JAKE STURMER: It seems the prospect of high-speed rail remains as contentious as ever.

Jake Sturmer, Lateline.

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