tip off

Will High Speed Rail save the cities and develop the regions?

Taking growth pressures off the city fringe while simultaneously developing the regions is one of the key arguments used to support proposals for a High Speed Rail network on Australia’s east coast. But is it a cost-effective way of doing either?

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What are the benefits of east coast High Speed Rail?

The Greens released a report this week claiming an east coast High Speed Rail line would deliver benefits of $48 billion. Trouble is, it would cost much more than this to build and would mainly benefit regional leisure travellers

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Seriously, can Canberra really be Sydney’s second airport?

Barry O’Farrell and Canberra Airport believe High Speed Rail will allow Sydney’s second airport to be located 250 km away in Canberra. Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, reckons the idea is outrageous.

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High Speed Rail: if they’ve got it, shouldn’t we?

It was a hot issue at the start of 2011, but there hasn’t been much discussion of High Speed Rail (HSR) in the public domain since the first phase of the Federal Government’s study was released more than a year ago.

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Would HSR solve Sydney’s airport woes?

The inability of successive NSW and Australian governments to construct a second Sydney airport is taking on the proportions of a national tragedy. The failure to expand Sydney’s aviation capacity isn’t because of technical, environmental or financial difficulties – it’s solely due to political selfishness and opportunism. The new study by the Federal and NSW [...]

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Why is infrastructure so bloody expensive?

In my last post, I looked at the enormous differences in the cost of subways between some countries and cities. The “take home” message is to be careful extrapolating overseas experience to Australia because there is immense variability across projects. A closely related issue though, is the remarkable cost escalation of what on the surface [...]

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Will the price of jet fuel go stratospheric?

Ultimately, the bottom line in discussions about the warrant for High Speed Rail (HSR) always seems to come down to proponents’ certainty that the price of jet fuel will go stratospheric. HSR won’t save time, won’t reduce fares, won’t increase economic activity, won’t promote decentralisation and is an extraordinarily expensive way to reduce carbon emissions [...]

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How important are the regions for HSR?

The exhibit above is one of the ‘money’ graphs from the High Speed Rail study – Phase One report released on Thursday by the Minister for Transport, Anthony Albanese. In my last post, I concentrated on doing a broad but quick response to the report and questioned the wisdom of spending mega dollars on a [...]

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What does the new HSR feasibility study say?

I’ve had an admittedly rushed look at the Executive Summary of the High Speed Rail Study – Phase One, released today by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese. I’ll have a closer look at the full report shortly, but for now here are a few initial thoughts. Today’s report is Phase One. It [...]

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Are we too smart for High Speed Rail?

Fairfax’s on-line publication, The National Times, posted a feature on High Speed Rail (HSR) on the weekend under the heading, Is Australia too big for a high-speed rail network? The paper gives space to four viewpoints: Peter Moore and Stephen Byron are unashamed HSR boosters, Gary Johns is sceptical and Saul Eslake sits on the fence. [...]

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