The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, has released the report for phase one of a two phase strategic study into a high speed rail network on the east coast of Australia. The study is looking at potential routes from Brisbane southwards to Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, as well as the economic viability of such a network.
The phase one report establishes indicative corridors, options for station locations, high level costs, and forecasts about patronage, and some comparative analysis of potential social and regional development impacts.
Trains travelling at up to 350 kilometres per hour (218 mph) could deliver passengers from Sydney to Canberra, the nation’s capital, in just one hour, compared to up to four hours now.
Australia’s east-coast corridor is currently serviced by air, motorway and regional rail and coach, with train and road trips between Sydney and other major centres taking 10 hours or more.
The Sydney-Melbourne flight corridor is the fifth-busiest in the world and Sydney-Brisbane is the 16th-busiest.
A more detailed analysis (including analysis of financial viability) will be carried out in phase two, which is expected to be completed around mid 2012.
The study can be found on following link: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/index.aspx
(Source: Australian Government : Department of Infrastructure and Transport)