I agree. Many proposals don't however and it's based on congestion and nothing else.
What do you mean? The LAV Barcelona-Perpignan opened in 2013. It's mixed use for passenger and freight trains. It includes a long tunnel under the Pyrenees built and initially run by a private company that went bankrupt. Figures to Barcelona does not have much of a hard topography but the corridor is densely populated and includes a motorway (clogged by heaps of trucks), a national highway and the old double track broad gauge line.The northern Spain section looks ready to go and probably has similar topography as much of the NSW challenges. This is a good example as to what may be required between Albury and Campbelltown.
I'm not sure about "most"..Question for everyone. What's the argument against routing HSR through the middle of Albury?
Most proposals i have seen to date seem to have a station way out at Barnawartha.
But through Albury itself, there's a curve either side of the station (But most trains are likely to stop there right so a tighter curve there is less of a concern?)
Otherwise, north of the town it is definitely nice and straight, and likewise south of the town you could do a nice fast alignment over gateway island and north of the Moloney Dr industrial estate.
Albury seems like one place that could undergo some real development with a good centrally located station in their CBD, and the scoping studies insistence on putting regional stations 20km out of towns seems to deny them the opportunities the capital cities get in terms of having centrally located stations.
I worked that problem through in detail some years ago. This is a small part of what I came up with.^ By the same token, any new alignment from Wagga toward Canberra/Sydney: back to basics, build along the Murrumbidgee River valley as far as Gundagai and then broadly along the Hume (or its median) to wherever the junction for Canberra will be.
Sure there'll probably need to be tunnels through the sides of some hills in the river valley - ditto (including bridges/elevated sections) to alleviate grade problems alongside or in the Hume median. However given the Hume FWY is the only major road between Yass and Gundagai - kind of makes sense to keep the new rail corridor close if not for ease of construction (and moving dirt to where its needed to create cuttings and culverts etc).
By the way, in that concept I posted a few weeks ago, by putting everything on standard gauge north of Wallan (gauge converting the existing Wallan-Seymour for freight and exurban services, the new section from Roxburgh (as you point out) to Tallarook, gauge converting Shepparton and if you re-open the Kyabram-Echuca line - gauge convert it) you'll get critical mass where the new approach to Melbourne is really warranted.What I think should happen is the following..
We can then operate a 200 km/hr class train along the route from Wagga Wagga to Melbourne, using the HSR capable track from Seymour to Craigieburn. In fact you can probably go beyond 200 km/hr is some stretches of track without much effort.
- Build a new HSR standard track from Craigieburn to Seymour
- Upgrade the rail line from Seymour to Albury to 200 km/hr standard
- Upgrade the rail line from Albury to Wagga Wagga to 200 km/hr standard
The next step is to upgrade the Melbourne approach. One can argue for a variety of approaches, but given the likely state of the art in tunneling I think a realistic option is a tunnel from Roxburgh Park to Melbourne - that is 20 km. This doesn't have to be a 300 km/hr tunnel. Rather 250 km/hr is the sweet spot in terms of speed versus cost. Depending on how the airport rail link pans you, you might consider tying into its line and platforms, but that's an option.
In the end game, its a choice between running all trains through Albury (a compromise you'd have to compensate for elsewhere) or simply building a bypass west of Albury and having the best of both worlds. That way you can have high speed trains directly serving Albury-Wodonga and Wagga Wagga, whilst leaving your options open as to whether your main line goes near Wagga or else cuts past Gundagai.