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© Ross Coster [Hut News Aug 2015]


In April 2013 the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development released a report entitled:High Speed Rail Study Phase 2 Report. This report details the route, stations, speeds, costs and patronage of the proposed network.

The graphic I like the most is the one that shows travel times and the number I am most interested in is the Sydney to Melbourne travel time.

High speed rail times

At present, to get from Sydney CBD to Melbourne CBD by air, you need to:

  • Catch a train from Central to Domestic Airport (9 minutes)
  • Arrive well before your flight (45 minutes)
  • Fly to Melbourne (80 minutes)
  • Wait for your luggage at the carousel (20 minutes)
  • Catch a taxi to Melbourne CBD (26 minutes)

Total travel time is 180 minutes, or 3 hours!

For 80 of these minutes you are crammed into a tiny seat, unable to use your Mobile phone or the Internet, and exposed to noise levels that make concentration or conversation difficult. If and when the High Speed Rail (HSR) network is built, the trip can be done in comfort and relative quiet, with continuous Mobile Phone and Internet access, watching beautiful scenery flash by, and be 16 minutes faster than flying!

24% of all passenger movements at Mascot Airport are to and from Melbourne.

If we allow the Western Sydney Airport to be built we are effectively giving up on the HSR network forever, as no future Government will risk the financial impact on both Mascot and Western Sydney Airports of the HSR.

The time to build the HSR link to Canberra and Melbourne is now!

The HSR can reduce travel times to Canberra and Melbourne, reduce noise impacts on Sydney residents, promote development in Regional areas along the route, and allow people to travel in comfort and in contact with the World.

The HSR can be run on electricity from renewable sources, produce little or no pollution, contribute nothing to greenhouse gas emissions, and not burn precious oil-based fuels.

Flying between Sydney and Canberra or Melbourne, and eventually between Sydney and Brisbane, would no longer make sense with HSR in place.

We need this infrastructure program to start now, be built soon, and the money that was going to be spent at Badgerys Creek used to build a better, faster, safer, quieter, more convenient form of travel on these busy routes.