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Friday, June 21, 2024

‘Decades of debate’ threaten high speed rail

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The Australasian Railway Association has said that ‘decades of debate are threatening to destroy the chances of Australia securing a high speed rail network and the desperately needed alternative to Sydney’s only airport’.

The Association said the ‘do nothing’ approach will see Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane-Gold Coast grow into ‘mega cities crippled by congestion and governments will continue to struggle to provide the necessary infrastructure to support them’.

Bryan Nye, Australasian Railway Association CEO says it is not an ‘either or’ proposition but both should be on the table.

“I’ve read the Government report on the need for a second Sydney International Airport and it’s clear that airport capacity constraints need to be addressed to meet expected growth in international flights,” said Mr Nye.

“However, what is missing from the current debate is the impact and benefit of a high speed rail network connecting our East Coast cities.

“World experience shows that a 350km/hr high speed rail link between Sydney and Melbourne with a travel time of 2hrs 50 min would see 60 percent of travellers change to rail,” said Nye.

“The Sydney to Canberra distance would see high speed rail become the dominant mode of transport on that leg,” continued Mr Nye.

“This shift to rail would free up the desperately needed air paths and runway slots into and out of Sydney’s airport.”

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