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The Forum > General Discussion > Does anyone care about trains any more?

Does anyone care about trains any more?

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The NSW government is in the process of replacing the existing XPTs, Xplorers, and Endeavour railcars. These are used on regional routes in NSW, and a couple of interstate routes (Melbourne and Brisbane).

As things stand, the replacements will not allow any improvement in travel times. I have been trying to push the goverment to obtain tilt trains, which could reduce journey times without requiring huge investment in track. On the route to Armidale, the reduction could be almost three hours.

But no one seems to care. Although I have a reasonable hit rate with letters to newspapers, this drops to zero when I mention trains. Even the Armidale Express newspaper seems uninterested. Posts to relevant Facebook groups go unanswered.

So what is the problem here? Have people heard so much about trains over the years, and seen so little progress, that they just don't believe, and consequently can't be bothered?

Is the government only interested in promoting big ticket items, such as "Fast Regional Trains" which are actually only aimed at increasing Sydney's commuter catchment area, and which will probably be determined to be uneconomic anyway, which means they won't cost anything?

It's a shame, because if we accept that high speed trains in Australia won't happen in the forseeable future, and probably never as regards smaller regional centres, then we could gradually improve the existing services, to the point where they would actually be faster than going by road, certainly more comfortable, and a lot safer.

But, as I said, no one (well, no one apart from me), seems to care.
Posted by Sylvia Else, Saturday, 1 June 2019 12:06:21 PM
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Sylvia,

You're up against NSW; Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong.

See the recent 'success' story of Driverless Trains in Sydney, the big success is that the Government has got rid of some more jobs.
Posted by Is Mise, Saturday, 1 June 2019 9:31:56 PM
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What makes you think the reduction in journey time on the Armidale line could be almost three hours?

And why do you accept that high speed trains in Australia won't happen in the foreseeable future?
Posted by Aidan, Sunday, 2 June 2019 1:39:55 AM
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For the cost of one high speed train we could probably get 10 new lines & more reliable service over a wider area. If you feel a need for speed, fly !
Posted by individual, Sunday, 2 June 2019 7:41:14 AM
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You got it right, Sylvia - only three people so far care "care about trains".
Posted by ttbn, Sunday, 2 June 2019 9:36:47 AM
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Aidan, I used Google Earth to determine the radius of every significant curve on the track between Hornsby and Armidale, and 318 of them. Then I created a simulation program that took into account the capabilities of tilt trains in Europe, together with the acceleration and braking performance of the diesel VLocity trains from Victoria, and assumed that the new trains would stop at the same places as the existing trains. The time from Hornsby to Armidale comes out at 4 hours 43 minutes, instead of the current 7 hours 32 minutes.

Not all of this is down to the tilt train. I've also assumed that trains will run at the speeds they're capable of, up to 160km/h, which appears to be the standard that the Australian Rail Track Corporation are maintaining track to. The NSW government would have to chip in on the maintanance of the track they're responsible for beyond Werris Creek, and there are some issues to do with level crossings, but nothing that cannot be dealt with over a period of time if the will exists.

As for why I don't believe we'll see fast trains in NSW, a fast train has to reach Sydney, or the traffic can't justify it, but the Sydney basin is very difficult when it comes to trains - in every direction, the topography is horrible, and a fast train would require large numbers of cuttings, embankments, tunnels and bridges, which pushes the cost sky high. This is one reason we see endless studies, but no actual construction. I've no doubt that the current " NSW fast rail network" proposal will be another that never gets past the study phase. "Study" is government code for "We want you think we're doing something, but we've no intention of paying for it."
Posted by Sylvia Else, Sunday, 2 June 2019 11:36:36 AM
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Well lets hope we never see very fast trains in Oz. We have enough loss making government funded enterprises now. Very fast trains would scoop up billions in running costs in Oz, very little of which would ever be returned in earnings.

The airlines do a pretty good job in fast long distance travel, & it is their money, not tax payers at risk.

Would tilt trains be that much better than the current offerings, & would they attract the extra custom required to cover the extra cost, let alone their whole cost? It's hard to say. The tilt trains in Qld are a great success with passengers, but no help to the taxpayer. They offer a good travel experience, but are hard to get a seat on, as they are full of pensioners taking their free rail trip.

Perhaps the NSW regional lines would not be as successful as the Qld Cairns line in attracting free tourists, & could earn a living with real paying passengers. Have you looked into the demand for rail travel in these areas Sylvia?
Posted by Hasbeen, Sunday, 2 June 2019 12:33:22 PM
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I share the view we should have fast trains
The recent NSW move to driverless trains on the Sydney network seems to be good
Just as the red rattlers went today's trains will too, good thread
Posted by Belly, Sunday, 2 June 2019 1:09:26 PM
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If the private sector can't make a profit with such utopian schemes, then governments have no business giving it a whirl with taxpayer money, just because some wankeroo likes the idea.
Posted by ttbn, Sunday, 2 June 2019 1:36:10 PM
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Hasbeen, the financing of railways has always been a problem, everywhere. They're pretty much incapable of being self supporting. Sydney Trains needs an injection of about $billion 1.3 per year, compared with ticket income of $billon 0.77 per year (2016-2017). NSW Trains, which covers the non-suburban "Intercity" services as well as the regional services, does worse, needing a subsidy of $million 650 on ticket revenue of $million 124.

These subsidies are justified partly out of considerations of social equity, providing transport to those who cannot, for whatever reason, use a car, and partly because they reduce the demand for road transport, and therefore reduce the expenditure required on roads and the costs of congestion on those roads. There are also side benefits, such as a reduction in road trauma, and the social and financial costs that arise.

Indeed, this creates a dilemma for governments - if they improve services, those services will be used more, and the subsidy costs will rise.

In deciding whether the government should finance an improvement in regional rail services, one cannot therefore just look at whether it's financially viable - because it almost certainly is not. But if NSW is not just to consist of Sydney and its commuter suburbs, and the rest, then regional NSW needs to be better connected than it now is, and if that means that regional NSW gets a bigger slice of the subsidy pie, then so be it.

In practice, of course, the government is more likely to be looking at where the votes lie. Regional NSW does itself a disservice by voting so strongly for the National Australia Party, because the government looks at the results, and concludes that money spent on those places is wasted because they'll vote for the Nationals regardless.
Posted by Sylvia Else, Sunday, 2 June 2019 1:43:57 PM
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I can't help thinking that gradually building a Monorail system would be the most viable option all up.
1; free up more land,
2; no need for bridges,
3; no rail crossings,
4; no train collisions
5; other vital services such as cabling could be built-in
6; hardly any environmental damage
7; no impact from flooding
8; limit the need for tunnels
9; de-railing largely eliminated
10; more enjoyable for passengers
Cost would probably be no more than traditional rail in the long run.
Posted by individual, Monday, 3 June 2019 7:53:51 AM
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That's fine Sylvia, but aren't you just building another group, paying more tax to provide fast rail to a very limited percentage of the bush, while leaving that group the majority with nothing for the extra taxes.

We saw that here in Queensland when Goss was premier. He cut passenger rail services to many country towns, as uneconomical, which they were. They also carried very few passengers. This left many small towns with no transport facilities at all. None with in the town, or out of town.

He also cut the practise of a passenger car on freight trains. The railways hated having to run freight trains to a time table, & welcomed the move.

It is all a bit chicken & egg really. Not enough custom to justify the current expenditure, but would better trains attract more custom.

There are just so many things any society can afford to provide to any citizen at a loss. I saw figures recently that the top 10% of earners pay 56% of the taxes, & the bottom 40% pay no net tax, receiving more in subsidies than they pay. I'm not sure about this, as there was no reference to things like GST & fuel excise, but it does mean we are subsidising too many for too much money. We hear a lot about sustainability today, but this level of public welfare is definitely not sustainable in even the moderate term, & will hasten a crash, the one Belly is talking about.
Posted by Hasbeen, Monday, 3 June 2019 9:07:33 AM
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Monorails are an excellent means of transporting goods, especially within a warehouse, and that's where they should be left.
http://www.materialhandlingtech.com/products/overhead-cranes-monorails/
Posted by Is Mise, Monday, 3 June 2019 9:22:27 AM
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Dear Sylvia,

Growing up in Sydney, working and studying in the city,
and living in the outer suburbs, trains and buses
were a part of my daily life. Then on week-ends,
trains and ferries took me to the beaches that I loved.
I can only imagine what a difference having access to
trains would make to the lives of people living in
rural areas. Worth every cent. I can still recall travelling
by train to Melbourne for holidays. So much fun.

So in answer to your question - " Does anyone care about
trains any more?" I do!

WE need that connection between city and country - and
country people need it even more. Train journeys are more
than just getting to places. They connect us as human beings.
I'm still hoping to also make a journey on "The Ghan" one
day to see inland Australia. Also, one day - I shall take
a trip on the Siberian railway - who knows.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 3 June 2019 10:18:27 AM
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cont'd ...

I should add that - I now live in Melbourne and that
the Melbourne transport system - sucks. Getting to work
from the suburbs to the city by train is a night-mare
during peak hours - especially early in the mornings
when the trains stop in between stations for ages and
nobody can get off. Fast trains may be the answer to
those kind of problems. Worth a try. In any case out train
system here in Melbourne does need a major overhaul.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 3 June 2019 10:24:10 AM
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Sydney's metro rail has had half a million users and they love it
Like Foxy rail has my vote and in time we will get very fast trains and a freight system that takes even more trucks off the road
Posted by Belly, Monday, 3 June 2019 11:57:00 AM
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Hasbeen to be clear, Iím not proposing the building of a fast train link to places like Armidale, just that the existing train service should be brought into the 20th (not 21st) century. Steam trains routinely ran at 145km/h in the UK, and I was riding 160km/h electric trains in the early 1960s.

The existing regional fleet is being replaced anyway. Iím just suggesting that some extra money be spent on buying tilt-trains instead, and then, over time, that where the track is not currently capable of supporting the tilt-trains running at the speed theyíre capable of on curves, that the track be upgraded. In practice, on the part controlled by ARTC, that may well not involve doing anything. It may involve spending money on the part controlled by the NSW government, mainly because the track has suffered from lack of maintenance in the past.

The tilt-trains would not have a higher maximum speed that the XPTs (160km/h), though the XPTs rarely run at that speed now (and possibly not at all due to financial issues - the relevant government entity refused (i.e. said they wouldn't) to tell me). XPlorers were always limited to 145km/h, but there are places where they still run at that speed, even before they reach Broadmeadow on the run from Hornsby. So Iím definitely not talking about a radical speed increase, just extending the length of track that the trains can run at their nominal maximums.

Of course, one could take a different view, that government has no business being involved in transport, and that all the subsidies should be removed. That would almost triple the ticket prices in metropolitan Sydney, and quintuple ticket prices outside it. Passenger traffic on the latter would pretty much cease, I suspect, and a huge proportion of the metropolitan passengers would transfer either to private vehicles, or to buses.

On the plus side, it would end any further discussion of fast rail to Newcastle, Wollongong and Bathurst, allowing those centres to avoid becoming Sydney commuter suburbs.
Posted by Sylvia Else, Monday, 3 June 2019 12:07:22 PM
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Individual,

Fast monorails are an attractive concept, but the only country that has built one (China, using German technology), has not built any more despite the government not having the problem of having to justify itself to voters.

Monorails remain extremely expensive to build, in part (probably large part), because the track itself is an active part of the system, unlike the passive steel rails of conventional railways.

Even if it takes less maintenance in the long run, that appears to be insufficient to offset the much higher capital cost, or we'd be seeing more of them built, especially in places with governments not constrained by the limited time horizons imposed by elections.

Maybe the cost of one could be justified as a link to the new Sydney airport, but I'm sure it won't happen. For longer routes, especially low traffic routes, it just doesn't work financially.
Posted by Sylvia Else, Monday, 3 June 2019 12:16:43 PM
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Yeah well, up front cost scares many who want to see a profit before construction begins.
Let's just look at the land requirements. All the train stations & tracks in place now take up an enormous amount of land.
Imagine the rail running overhead, leaving so much land for much needed AND profitable parking space.
It'd have to be a 30 or so year project to gradually morph with the existing system but gradually taking the old system out.
A project like this requires vision & patience not be cast aside by instant gratification & no plans for the future.
Employment opportunities, reduced environmental impact etc would be the eventual outcome.
Alas, so many are just so hung up on maintaining status quo, especially the progressives !
They can't see what manufacturing for such & building such a project would do to the Australian economy & society. Maybe it's because too many would benefit instead of just the normal few ?
Posted by individual, Monday, 3 June 2019 2:31:11 PM
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Sylvia our metropolitan rail systems are basically a means to deliver workers to a central point, the inner city. As inner city workers are in general the highest paid workers in the country, I can see no reason the lower paid workers, generally required to provide their own transport to workplaces not serviced by the rail network, or even a public bus service, should have to subsidies the transport of the more wealthy workers.

In consideration of this I believe all tax payer funded transport should be full cost recovery, & can see no way subsidised public transport is equable.
Posted by Hasbeen, Monday, 3 June 2019 6:56:10 PM
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I doubt that the Very Fast Train as per France will ever be achieved in
Australia. The country is too big to make it economic.
Small countries like France and Germany can just afford it.
The fares could never be as low as air fares.
What we need is the fast enough train.
The tracks were laid in the 19th century using horses and scoops.
The track could be relayed say between Campbelltown and Goulburn as a
first step. This would take, at a guess an hour of the time to Goulburn.
There is a hidden advantage in that freight would be a lot
faster and would not have to be hived off into the middle of the night
as it is now. So more on time freight and faster passenger carriage.
It would need track relaying to higher standards as per the UK.
I do not see tilt trains being an answer, more customer comfort, sure,
but the centrifugal forces are just the same and limit speed.
NSW Rail has conducted 200 Km/hr trials using the XPTs south of Wagga
quite successfully, but they had to put guards on every level crossing.

I can't see it happening when we cannot guarantee electricity.
Posted by Bazz, Monday, 3 June 2019 11:26:59 PM
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I have no doubt we will get fast trains in the bush
They may even come because of the costs of other forms of transport and the infrastructure they need
Just because we do not use them does not say others will not freight alone holds promise for cost effective fast trains
Posted by Belly, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 8:08:36 AM
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The situation could change dramatically if aviation fuel becomes tight
in supply. There is no immediate likelihood of that in the near future
but as the tight oil in the US declines further then demand will shift.
Look ahead 10 years and there will be changes of that nature.

Of course the greenies could get control of the government and any
transport would be under threat.
Big money needed whichever way we go.
Posted by Bazz, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 10:08:33 AM
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Bazz, trains become uncomfortable on curves at speeds much lower then the speeds at which there's any danger of the train coming off the track. Tilt trains exploit this by making the higher speeds comfortable. It does mean that the safety margins are reduced, so tilt trains need protection against excess speed.

Level crossings are a hazard at higher speeds, which is presumably why guards were used during tests. But the risks can be addressed, so level crossings should not be seen as a permanent obstacle.

The NSW part of the route south from Sydney towards Melbourne is particularly bad when it comes to tight curves, and on tight curves, tilt trains don't provide so much benefit. It would involve some expense to improve that route.
Posted by Sylvia Else, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 11:15:38 AM
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Bazz we are more likely to return stagecoach transport than the greens ever winning government
The bush would be better served by trains than current very high freight prices road transport must change because of fuel and distance
Posted by Belly, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 12:13:28 PM
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speeds at which there's any danger of the train coming off the track.
Sylvia Eise,
No such risk in Monorail ! No livestock, no nothing apart from the odd idiot trying to sabotage things. Less cost all up in the mid-long run.
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 2:33:39 PM
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In Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged 1957 she talks a lot about trains- including the view of the public and that of business- passenger transport verses cargo. In Liberal Democracy people expect "the government" to solve the problems- the question is "who is the government"- the government is the people- in many cases the government is an excuse to avoid responsibility -if the people want cheap fast trains to take them to work they need to create the system- those that want trains need to tell the rest of us why and how.

One of the issues of infrastructure such as trains is it is constantly being outgrown by the population- it suffers from a "Malthusian like problem". Before the people that build a pay for the infrastructure get the benefit of it the capacity is utilized- this is one of the basic problems with Liberalism.

Few countries have fast trains over large distances probably because it's hard to make the finances work. The problem with fast trains is they need to stop to pick up passengers or cargo along the route- they also need more sidings. In effect planes (or cars) holding less people often end up being more practical. It's a similar problem to "the last mile problem of telecommunications".

The community in general need perhaps to have a greater understanding of engineering in order to have a better input into the practicalities of community utilities
Posted by Canem Malum, Sunday, 9 June 2019 10:04:13 AM
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There was some discussions about a VFT or Transrapid project in the 80's. I was lucky to talk with some of the engineers.

It's not only the curves on Google Earth that are important but the changes in elevation. From memory costs for tunneling used to be $1M per kilometre- I believe it's much higher now. The Channel Tunnel 40kms cost $6B from memory (initially costed at 2.7B). Any major city would have much more than 40 kms of track grading for a 300 km per hour train. But a train that stopped less would be more viable and would produce noticeable improvements - but still perhaps impractical.

To me the problem comes down to- "too many people".
Posted by Canem Malum, Sunday, 9 June 2019 10:13:29 AM
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Elon Musk has an interesting concept for urban transport in his tunnel projects- he appears to have also researched Tunnel Boring Machines to reduce tunneling costs by an order of magnitude (x10).

But even he doesn't go with trains.
Posted by Canem Malum, Sunday, 9 June 2019 10:18:47 AM
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Canem,
You seem to have far less understanding of civil engineering than you think you do. Many of your apparent problems are really non issues.
Not every train has to stop at every station.
The more people there are, the more economically viable high speed rail is. The initial problem is not too many people, but too few. Indeed high speed trains can be made with such high capacity that they'll be running profitably for decades before more line capacity is needed - and when more is needed, it can be added in a way that improves connectivity as well as capacity.

Rand didn't understand macroeconomics. If she had, she'd have known that government borrowing to fund infrastructure is not a problem.

High speed trains are generally less gradient sensitive than conventional trains. The main reason tunnelling costs went up is that the specified requirements went up. But tunnelling technology is improving rapidly, and Musk's company is far from the only one working to get the costs down.
Posted by Aidan, Sunday, 9 June 2019 1:02:39 PM
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Aiden said-

Comment 1-

Canem,
You seem to have far less understanding of civil engineering than you think you do. Many of your apparent problems are really non issues.

Answer 1- You seem to be challenging me to a test of brute civil engineering strength. Myself I couldn't be bothered pitting myself against you.

Comment 2-

Not every train has to stop at every station.

Answer 2-

In the past perhaps not now as I'm not up on train tech the fast trains needed to slow even if they didn't stop at the station due to the larger clearances required for faster trains.

Comment 3-

The more people there are, the more economically viable high speed rail is. The initial problem is not too many people, but too few. Indeed high speed trains can be made with such high capacity that they'll be running profitably for decades before more line capacity is needed - and when more is needed, it can be added in a way that improves connectivity as well as capacity.

Rand didn't understand macroeconomics. If she had, she'd have known that government borrowing to fund infrastructure is not a problem.

Answer 3-

You probably don't understand Ayn Rand either. If you had you'd understand her comparison between the value proposition between cargo and passengers.

* Not that you need to understand Ayn Rand but you could have just asked CM which comment of Ayn Rand he was referring to.

Rand's point I believe is that generally passenger trains pick up along many points along a branch line whereas freight trains pick up at one point and don't need to stop. Also freight trains have few customers compared with the many of passenger trains. These two items add significantly to the costs of passenger trains over freight trains. Rand seems to believe in a user pays model and it's historically difficult for governments to drive such models. Rand agrees however that trains and infrastructure are the circulatory system of the nation. She sees government sponsored infrastructure as unsustainable.
Posted by Canem Malum, Sunday, 9 June 2019 4:45:14 PM
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Also there are some that want to see growth not because it's in the communities interest but for self serving profit. Such as the property developers in the major cities of Australia. Large engineering companies cruise the globe for governments willing to spend money on their services on large projects. From memory they make 10% of the value of the project for consulting on these huge projects (for the Channel Tunnel this means $600M). There seems to be a lack of competition in this space.

Comment 4-

High speed trains are generally less gradient sensitive than conventional trains.

Answer 4-

I agree that fast trains are less gradient sensitive but I was referring to the change in gradient and the inherent centripetal forces at high speed (v^2/r).

Comment 5-

The main reason tunnelling costs went up is that the specified requirements went up. But tunnelling technology is improving rapidly, and Musk's company is far from the only one working to get the costs down.

Answer 5-

My costs here may be a little loose. But if you take $6B / 40 km you get $150M per km for the tunnelling costs on the "Channel Tunnel". The costs will be multiples higher now but not all lines will need as much tunnel. There are also the costs of compulsory aquisition of the land for the rail corridors which need some modifications for the larger radius curves. Also the community impact.

In theory any point less than 150 kms from the city centre should be under 30mins for a 300 kph train- this in theory would imply that cities can be up to 300 kilometres across- but in practice there are practical considerations. Even at 100 kph the city commutes a 100 km diameter city in under one hour- in theory.
Posted by Canem Malum, Sunday, 9 June 2019 4:46:19 PM
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To me its not the speed of the trains that is important for short commute times- but the bottlenecks- I believe most people would like to see more "express trains" but I respect that there may be reasons why the train operators don't. Ayn Rand likes to leave things to market forces- if the train operators don't run a good service then more will drive cars. But everyone seems to be trying to create opportunities to dip into the public pocket- the engineering companies (charging for creating the infrastructure), the government (through increased immigration that demands the infrastructure)- like others have said it's a "comedy of errors".

This is our future we cannot have others drive it for us.

I remember the CEO of P&O (having an IT background) saying to his staff "are you about information or technology".

This is a question we need to ask of those who develop our community infrastructure
Posted by Canem Malum, Sunday, 9 June 2019 4:47:09 PM
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I question the constant strive for speed. Constant & reliable efficiency are far more preferable in my book !
Posted by individual, Sunday, 9 June 2019 6:18:31 PM
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Canem,
1. Such a challenge was not my intention, and I apologise for giving you the impression it was. My point was that if you take the time to learn more about it, you'll find that what appear to be major problems can actually be dealt with very easily.

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G4296G7M1o

If the track is designed for high speeds, the trains won't need to slow down.

3. I did understand the comparison, but i found it largely irrelevant.
Rand saw everything in dollar terms and never even sought to understand opposing views. Her stories are contrived to make her views seem reasonable. What else is there about her that's worth knowing?

Can you comprehend how stupid it is to regard government intervention in "the circulatory system of the nation" as unsustainable?

Branch lines and high speed railways are very different. The former have many stations, often with few people using them. The latter have few stations, usually with many people using each - although some of them will use the branch lines to reach the stations on the high speed line.

Some see our population as a great problem, overloading our infrastructure. But I see it as a great solution, allowing construction of infrastructure which would benefit the communities, but which isn't economically viable without more people.

Cost Plus contracts, where the construction gets a fixed markup on their costs including on cost overruns, are a stupid idea; everyone knows this, so they're rare.
But there are other reasons for inflated costs, and PPP contracts are often economically inefficient and lucrative.

As with other kinds of civil engineering, tunnelling can be very profitable when you get it right, but conversely you can lose a lot of money if you get it wrong.

[chunnel comments moved to response 5]

4. Vertical curvature is rarely severe enough to be a limiting factor.
Posted by Aidan, Monday, 10 June 2019 4:42:25 PM
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5. It is silly to base cost estimates of tunnelling under land on a tunnel under water. And there are good reasons why Chunnel costs overran: firstly, preliminary geological investigations had indicated the ground was less fractured (so easier to tunnel through) on one side than the other, but during construction this was found not to be the case. Also the original plans used the cross passages for ventilation, but subsequently it was determined that separate ventilation ducts were needed.

Those weren't the only reasons for Chunnel cost overruns, though. The TBMs were built to cope with the unexpected, but that versatility involved a lot of extra features which made them more difficult to use. By the time the crews had mastered it, the tunnelling was almost finished!

You seem to imagine tunnel costs are on a steep upward trajectory. That's wrong. The huge inflation of the 1970s and '80s is gone. Nowadays tunnelling costs are all over the place, with costs very much dependent on specifications. But there some obvious efficiency gains to be made by better coordinating projects, and Madrid has demonstrated.

Land costs, though, have risen substantially and will continue to do so. Because of that, more tunnelling is likely to be economically justified than was originally envisaged.

>In theory any point less than 150 kms from the city centre should be under 30mins for a 300 kph train
If that's what you think then you don't understand the theory correctly. Acceleration and braking take a few minutes. And it's not just any point; the point has to be a station. And you're assuming the line to be straight, which even for lines in tunnel isn't always the case.

When you simplify a theory to the point of uselessness, it no longer deserves to be called a theory.

Removing bottlenecks is a worthy objective, but has little to do with whether high speed rail should be constructed, except in the rare instances where bottlenecks can be removed by building new high speed lines.
Posted by Aidan, Monday, 10 June 2019 6:19:23 PM
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Canem (continued)
While your P&O CEO makes a good point (people can get so obsessed with technology that they forget its purpose) it's not really relevant here. We know the point of high speed rail - it enables decentralisation, giving people an alternative to the high land costs and dense living conditions of the city. It also reduces our dependence on oil, and frees up runway capacity at airports.

As I see it, there are three much bigger problems with our infrastructure development: lack of coordination, lack of scrutiny, and underestimating their economic significance. Professionally I can solve these problems, but convincing the politicians they even need solving is something I haven't yet been able to do.

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individual,
Constant & reliable efficiency won't be enough to induce large scale decentralisation, nor to make people catch the train from Melbourne to Sydney rather than flying.

There are several very important factors in thransport, but speed is one that can't always be substituted for.
Posted by Aidan, Monday, 10 June 2019 6:26:28 PM
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Monorails have one big problem, a break down closes the line; and are we talking real monorail or an elevated two rail system with guide wheels?
Posted by Is Mise, Monday, 10 June 2019 6:38:41 PM
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I did eventually manage to get a letter about the trains published in the "Armidale Express". Whether it produces any reaction remains to be seen.
Posted by Sylvia Else, Wednesday, 12 June 2019 12:37:42 PM
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nor to make people catch the train from Melbourne to Sydney rather than flying.
Aidan,
it's not just Public Servants who travel, those who want to get there faster will most likely have enough sense to fly !
Posted by individual, Friday, 14 June 2019 9:47:28 PM
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Monorails have one big problem, a break down closes the line; and are we talking real monorail or an elevated two rail system with guide wheels?
is Mise,
I can't force you to warm to the idea but getting pedantic about it is utterly unconstructive also !
Btw, last time I looked Mono meant 1.
Posted by individual, Saturday, 15 June 2019 6:00:05 AM
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a break down closes the line;
is Mise,
What & a normal rail keeps the trains running during a break-down !
Posted by individual, Sunday, 16 June 2019 3:56:15 AM
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