A comprehensive new study of the potential for an east coast high-speed rail line has found that it could be $30 billion cheaper than previous estimates and would pay itself off entirely within 40 years. (The previous 2012 Government study estimated the cost at $114 bilion.)
The study was conducted by Beyond Zero Emissions and the German aerospace centre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. It developed a model of a 1,799-kilometre route, linking Brisbane with Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.
The model proposes peak speeds of 350 kilometres an hour with the journey between Sydney and Melbourne taking tless than three hours, while Sydney to Canberra would take about an hour. By carefully planning the route, the amount of tunnelling and bridge building required was greatly reduced – significantly cutting the cost of the plan.
Dr Joachim Winter, who is in charge of building Germany's next generation train, expressed his support for an east coast high-speed rail network in Australia, saying that "We think it's perfect because you have a concentration of large cities, but not so many people scattered around as Germany. [Australia] is a follower and in a better position than [Germany] had when we started to run this… without knowing everything about the consequences."