High Speed Rail, as the name suggest, is a rail network which operates at a sustained speed in excess of 200 – 250KM per hour. Original lines were left in place to handle local Freight Services. With a profusion of ports, highly developed coastal shipping and the later growth of road and air freight, railways were, and remain, largely a passenger operation.
We can see this, the competition and cooperation between Air Travel and Bullet Train in the World for today’s transportation. And then the domestic air freight Australia market is very high at the moment. So, can high speed rail replace air travel?
Such a network would be operable with the highest efficiency on the east coast, connecting regional centres and capital cities including Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong, the Southern Highlands, Albury and Melbourne. Late in 2010, the Gillard Administration conducted a thorough study to determine the benefits and viability of introducing a HSR system connecting the fore mentioned areas along the East Coast. It was determined that the cost of a new HSR system, whilst carrying many advantages for the nation, would cost less than a third of the billions of dollars spent maintaining degrading roads over the last 20 years.
Our country is currently facing challenges in maintaining competitiveness on an international level, securing long term economic growth and providing transport in an increasingly environmentally conscientious world. Among the issues facing Australian transport are: Our clogged air ways; with over 2.5 million passengers filling one of the busiest air corridors in the world, running to both Sydney and Melbourne, Australia is in desperate need of an environmentally friendly and efficient alternative. A high speed rail system, operating at low cost, low emission and high speed would reduce the number of vehicles needed in the air, and give Australia the solution it needs. CO2 output; Per capita, Australia pours out one of the highest levels of carbon into the atmosphere in the world. Car travel alone contributes 87% of all transport carbon, an this is a figure that needs to be addressed with an effective national strategy of alternative transportation. By reducing the number of vehicles on the road, a HSR system would be a big part of the solution to this problem.