Melbourne to Brisbane in six hours
August 4, 2011 2:44 AM Subscribe
posted by acb (50 comments total)
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Australia's federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport has released an initial report into the prospects of building a high-speed rail link joining the eastern states
. The report (which may be found here
) lists a number of potential corridors joining Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, and gives the total cost of building the system at AUD100bn. The resulting system would allow journeys between Melbourne and Sydney (currently the world's fourth busiest air route
) in just under three hours, and Sydney and Brisbane in a further three. Tickets between Melbourne and Sydney would be priced at AUD99 to AUD197, with Sydney-Brisbane tickets being slightly cheaper.
The report offers a number of possible corridors for the line. The Melbourne to Canberra leg would either follow the existing Hume corridor to Albury, then diverting via Canberra, or take a coastal route through Gippsland. North of Sydney, the route would go to Newcastle, and then either go inland through the New England Tableland (not far from the existing Sydney-Brisbane railway line) or take a coastal route, going through Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast. The report recommends the inland corridor between Melbourne and Sydney and the coastal corridor from Newcastle to Brisbane.
This report is the latest instalment in the history of high-speed rail plans in Australia
, and the most detailed so far. While it had been commissioned by the minority Labor government under pressure from the Greens, the proposal now has the support of all major parties. The next phase is a Phase 2 report, due in a year's time; if all goes well, services may be running between Sydney and Newcastle by 2020 and Melbourne and Sydney by 2025. Some commentators
, however, are arguing for the Melbourne to Sydney leg to be built first, for reasons of demand.