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High-speed train built 'in two decades'

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A high-speed rail line between Sydney and Melbourne could be finished in just over 20 years, allowing travel between the two cities in less than three hours, according to a multimillion-dollar study commissioned by the federal government.

But the rail line would cost about $50 billion and require long tunnels into the heart of Sydney, says the study, to be released on Thursday by the Federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese.

The study, which looked into the prospects for an east coast high-speed rail network linking Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, says the first part of the line to be built should be between Sydney and Canberra.

Invitation to respond to the report: Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese.

Invitation to respond to the report: Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese. Photo: Mick Tsikas

If construction and planning approval were accelerated, this line could be running by 2030, allowing passengers to travel between the two cities in 64 minutes. Extending high-speed rail to Melbourne would take another five years and push the cost of the line to $50 billion. If it was ever extended north to Brisbane the cost of the project would rise to $114 billion.

In a release, Mr Albanese said he would start public consultation on the high-speed rail report on Thursday, and would invite responses to the report until the end of June.

27 comments

  • Yep, with those time frames Australia will continue to lag about 30 years behind the developed world. Rest assured, however, that it will never happen under a Coalition government.

    Commenter
    Brenda Loots
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 7:43AM
    • Just get on and build it!!!!

      Commenter
      Lesm
      Location
      Balmain
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 7:45AM
      • & pay for it with WA mining money!

        Commenter
        FastJimmy
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        April 11, 2013, 7:51AM
        • Two decades, is a joke. That equates to 15years of politicians blaming each other when HSR has been on the books for the past two-three decades.

          The Chinese are building a high speed rail line every year, why don't we just get them to build it. 457 visas all round.

          It can work out cost neutral if we fire all state governments and cancel their super.

          Commenter
          Scott
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          April 11, 2013, 7:51AM
          • Mr Albanese, this debate should have been started two decades ago!

            Commenter
            Andreas
            Date and time
            April 11, 2013, 7:54AM
            • Judge Politicians on what they have achieved and not what they promise - there have been 3 comprehensive studies regarding a high speed train along the East coast since 1979 with no progress!

              Commenter
              George
              Location
              East Melbourne
              Date and time
              April 11, 2013, 7:54AM
              • Three words: Cart. Before. Horse.

                The current XPT train between Sydney and Melbourne is capable of speeds up to 160 km/h, but rarely ever reaches anywhere near that speed because of the woeful state of the current track, which hasn't ever seen a serious upgrade.

                We could have a decent, moderately fast train between Sydney and Melbourne for far less cost if the sharp curves of the current track were realigned and the long stretches of single track were duplicated.

                Commenter
                Vaughan
                Date and time
                April 11, 2013, 7:54AM
                • Build it and they will come! As long it is at least equivalent to the travel time and price by plane then it will be popular. Just make sure the stations are in the city centre and not in the middle of nowhere!

                  Commenter
                  Sam
                  Location
                  Melbourne
                  Date and time
                  April 11, 2013, 7:54AM
                  • it will NEVER happen. this is a red herring coming up to an election. this country is broke and doesnt now and never will have the money to build it.
                    the only things australians will be getting over the next 20 years are a major gst increase more income tax increases and more pain for motorists at every level. point to point speed checking australia wide.

                    Commenter
                    smilingjack
                    Date and time
                    April 11, 2013, 7:56AM
                    • Of course we should just get on with it! Anthony must have been reading my recent blogs! If it takes twenty years to complete, that will still put us eighty years behind Japan, but then I suppose we have to start somewhere.While he is on the job why not re employ the guys sacked by General Motors Holden and put them on as conductors on the trams in Melbourne? Sack Miki and make people use old fashioned money to buy a "ticket to ride" Consider employing some Indians who know how to run a railway "on time" all the time. (No riding on the roof !)

                      Commenter
                      Creeker
                      Date and time
                      April 11, 2013, 7:57AM

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