End of the golden triangle? Labour’s new plan for high-speed rail – Australian Aviation
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has pledged to start work on a high-speed rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne if his party wins the federal election.
He said his government would initially prioritize a fast rail link between Sydney and Newcastle, before upgrading it to an even faster service that would cut journey times to just 45 minutes.
Australia’s aviation ‘golden triangle’ between the NSW capitals of Victoria and Queensland is considered one of the most lucrative in the world.
Qantas’ service between Sydney and Melbourne alone is considered the second highest revenue earner in the world, bringing more than $1 billion a year before COVID.
“If I am elected prime minister, I want ours to be the first government that actually starts working on high-speed rail,” Albanese said.
“My vision is for a high-speed rail linking Brisbane to Melbourne. Under a Labor government that I lead, the High-Speed Rail Authority will make the Newcastle to Sydney corridor, which includes stops on the central coast, its first priority.
“We will start with a rapid rail corridor, but we will plan and build for the move to high-speed rail.
“A faster train would reduce journey times from Newcastle to Sydney to just two hours, and once the high-speed train is operational, that journey would take just 45 minutes.”
Albanese added that Labor would set aside $500 million in its first budget to start acquiring land.
A fast train service in Australia has been cut for decades. In 2013, the Rudd Labor government calculated the cost of a Brisbane-Melbourne-Sydney high-speed rail link at $114 billion.
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Currently, train times between Newcastle and Sydney are 2 hours 30 minutes, with FlyPelican serving the airborne route just 40 minutes away. Flights from Sydney to Melbourne, meanwhile, take around 1 hour 30 minutes.
In Japan, the latest N700 high-speed train entered service last year and has an operating speed capped at 285 kilometers per hour.
With the current distance between Sydney and Melbourne via rail being just over 700km, high-speed trains could theoretically cut journey times to just two and a half hours.
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