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Its a sleepy little town
3,882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·,5936,15162631%5E3122,00.html

Rival inland rail link proposed
Richard Owen

HIGH-SPEED trains would whiz passengers and freight between Brisbane and Melbourne overnight under an alternative $3.1 billion inland rail project to be show-cased at a conference later this month.

The local government-backed Great Australian Trunk Rail System rivals Everald Compton's front-running Australian Transport and Energy Corridor proposal, which has already won endorsement from various private sector players including Chris Corrigan's Patrick Corp.

However, Queensland stands to gain significantly under both plans.

The Brisbane-to-Toowoomba leg of GATR's proposed 1650km route would cost an estimated $1.1 billion and similarly incorporate a tunnel under the Great Dividing Range exiting at Highfields.

According to GATR's business plan, express trains travelling at up to 240km an hour along its open-access "steel tollway" would complete the trip overnight in just 14 hours – about half the time envisaged using ATEC's longer 1800km route – while slower freight trains would take 20 hours.

"The development of an inland rail network which can provide rail freight transmission in 14 hours between Melbourne and Brisbane, will enable overnight distribution along the east coast which will facilitiate major new logistics centres and freight villages as well as improve the cost structures of product distribution," GATR's business plan asserts.

GATR, chaired by former Queensland Rail chief executive Vince O'Rourke, estimates the project would take five years to build and another four years to start making money. However, the network was expected to be generating a return on equity of 46 per cent within 10 years and have repaid all debt within 35 years.

Other shareholding directors include John Waugh, former chairman of the Waggamba Shire Council centred on the Queensland border town of Goondiwindi, and Parkes Shire Council general manager Alan McCormack, Narromine shire councillor Des Edwards from the NSW Riverina district, Barry Donaldson of the Progressive Rail Association and investment banker Michael Goetz.

Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, who has pledged $1.8 billion to upgrade the existing network, announced a feasibility study last month into possible routes for a new inland line as part of his goal as Transport Minister to push more freight off the roads and on to rail.

GATR's proposal – designed to meet the Federal Government's Auslink criteria – involves construction of 806km of new heavy duty standard gauge track and an upgrade of 844km of existing track and infrastructure which would involve negotiations with the Australian Rail and Track Corp, VicTrack, Patrick Corp and Queensland Rail.

Parkes, which would become a major freight hub on any inland rail route to bypass Sydney's congested lines, is a key backer of GATR's proposal dating back to 1989 when several local governments first teamed up to work on the plan. Parkes Shire Council has invited Mr Anderson to give the keynote address later this month at a one-day conference where the GATR project will be showcased to delegates from 35 local government areas along the proposed route.

Mr Waugh said GATR's "meticulously researched and costed business plan" had been sent to leading Australian and international banks to gauge interest in providing debt funding to augment a mix of private sector equity and government financing.

"We've sought the best advice and weren't going to go public with this project until we got things right," he said.

"We're not putting up anything that can't be substantiated.

"This is not something out of Disneyland because we have just copied what's happening in Europe and the US where rail is paramount."

GATR envisages a route not too dissimilar from ATEC's through Parkes, Moree, North Star, Inglewood, Millmerran and Toowoomba.

But according to an the business plan, the GATR network aimed to maximise the economic benefits of an inland east coast freight service by adopting the most direct route possible.

ATEC's proposed 1800km route had an estimated transit time of 25-30 hours while the existing 1970 km east coast trip now takes took 35-40 hours to traverse.

"The network proposes to charge access fees based on the spped required for transit," the GATR document explains "This will see high-speed freight rail and passenger rail charges reflecting the infrastrucutre cost and economic benefits of high-speed rail deliver."

Champagne Socialist
12,702 Posts
Sif sit on a train to Brisbane for 14 (8.5) hours, even if it does travel @ 240kph (1700km / 200kph (200kph = rough avg speed) = 8.5 hours, not 14, GG Courier Mail!).

This is more like it (top speed in brackets):

Adelaide-Melbourne, 700km 700km/180kph (225kph) = 3 hours 45 min.
Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney, 850km, 850km/180kph (225) = 4hours 45 minutes, 850km/280kph (TGV 300) = 3 hours, 850km/310kph (TGV 350) = 2 hours 45 min.
Sydney-Brisbane, 950km, 950km/180kph (225kph) = 5 hours (950km/280kph = 3.5 hours (TGV 300)).

Adelaide-Melbourne: Tilting, DMU/EMU hybrids arranged: M-TF-TE-B-TE-TE-M.
Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney: TGV stock, EMU, arranged: M-TF-TF-TE-B-TE-TE-TE-M
Sydney-Brisbane: Tilting, DMU/EMU hybrids arranged: M-TF-TE-B-TE-TE-M.

M = Motor
TF= Trailer, First class
TE= Trailer, Economy
B = Buffet.

DMU/EMU hybrids (Brisbane and Adelaide) so as to reduce the cost of building the infrastructure, using catenary at both ends (less diesel fumes in built up areas), tilting so as to maximise speed through Adelaide Hills and Great Dividing Range removing the necessity to build TGV-calibre track.

Adelaide - Melbourne intercity stopping pattern: Adelaide Central, Murray Bridge, Bordertown, Horsham, Ararat, Ballarat, Melbourne Southern Cross. And local services picking up where requested (Tailem Bend, Nhill, Warracknabeal, Stawell, Dimboola, etc)

Sydney - Brisbane stopping pattern: too many to count, this is where the bulk of the traffic on the route will come from, linking all the Northern NSW centres & high-speed services between Central Coast and Newcastle - TGV not warranted.
Intercity Express: Sydney Central, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Murwillumbah, Gold Coast, Brisbane Roma Street.

Melbourne - Canberra - Sydney TGV because it's where the bulk of the inter-capital traffic will occur and the most heavily populated corridor.
Stopper services: Melbourne Southern Cross, Seymour, Wangaratta, Albury, Gundagai, (Branch from Wagga Wagga to) Canberra, Goulburn, Mittagong, Sydney Central.
Intercity Express services: Melbourne Southern Cross, Albury, Canberra, Sydney Central.

Champagne Socialist
12,702 Posts
Perfect for The Overland and the frequently stopping (~50km between stops) Queenslander route (3.8meg):

Perfect (even better if the faster Spanish (AVE) version) for the Capital corridor (5meg):


7,796 Posts
240km an hour sounds like JetTrain, the new gas turbine train by Bombardier. I posted about this technology a while ago but the thread is gone. It is the perfect technology for Australia's vast distances as you don't have to run overhead wires and it is much cheaper per Kilometer than other High speed trains.

It's not as fast as the latest electric high speed trains but I think it is the only realistic and economically feasible high speed rail technology for Australia.


Champagne Socialist
12,702 Posts
It still requires major track upgrades to cruise at 240kph (which I bet it would be spec'd at 225 (140mph)). But having said that, any major inter-capital upgrade would likely be so as it could handle trains fanging down the line at around 200kph.

These would be an even better cost effective solution especially for Adelaide-Melbourne, Sydney-Brisbane even in the configuration you see here (just have a higher frequency of them on the Sydney-Brisbane route):

Class 220/221 'Voyager', Tilt, DMU, 200kph max, also by Bombardiér.

Its a sleepy little town
3,882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Rail-link groups urged to work together

A advocate for an inland rail expressway linking Melbourne and Brisbane says there is no need for competition amongst different groups offering proposals for the link.

The Federal Government last month announced a multi-million dollar feasibility study into the proposed rail line, which is expected to pass through southern Queensland.

Everald Compton, the chairman of the Australian Inland Rail Expressway Project, says about five different groups have proposals on where and how the corridor should be built.

He says there is only going to be one rail-link, so all groups should work together.

"There's four or give groups out there who have expressed interest in the track and they all realise that we're going to have to get together," he said.

"I'm in Sydney today meeting with one of the other groups who expressed interest in getting involved, they're one of half a dozen groups, and we're all eventually going to get together and get this railway built."

But the Great Australian Trunk Rail group is confident its proposal will be the one accepted.

It is being promoted at a conference in Parkes in central western New South Wales later this month.

Chairman Vince O'Rourke says the $3.1 billion proposal will allow trains to travel faster than under other proposals.

"We believe that the proposal we've developed, and we've done quite a considerable amount of work on this obviously, is the best proposal that's around," he said.

"It's a short corridor, 1,650 kilometres, the most direct route between Melbourne and Brisbane on flat country and we would provide for high speed freight trains and, of course, high speed passenger trains."

Registered Yooser
1,456 Posts
Really hope this one happens.

I like you're thinking tays...but with the state of oil prices atm, I don't see them opting for any DMU's.

The Acela express...Boston<>New York<>Philly<>Washington D.C. in 7 hours :)

i've changed my mind
3,895 Posts
Saturday 7th May 2005

Warwick could get nod on rail route

Warwick has a chance of displacing Toowoomba as a major freight centre on the proposed standard-gauge inland rail line from Melbourne to Brisbane.
The southern Downs city has never given up on seeing the rail line pass through its precinct, and a recent announcement by Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson of funding for a full feasibility study has provided it with new impetus.

The chairman of project proponent ATEC, Everald Compton, said Warwick Shire Mayor Ron Bellingham had been lobbying 10 times more than anyone from Toowoomba.

"Mayor Bellingham has been keeping Warwick’s options very strong," Mr Compton said.

And he is currently being given another opportunity to impress project managers.

Mr Compton said that since John Anderson announced the full feasibility study, the ATEC office had received numerous phone calls from shire councils between Melbourne and Brisbane seeking to have their ideas on the rail corridor taken into account.

"In order to represent all viewpoints, we have written to every shire within range of the most likely corridors and asked them to submit their views."

Mr Compton said ATEC would include those views in a report to the project managers, soon to be appointed by the Federal Department of Transport.

He said 60 mayors had been contacted.

"The initial study recommended a corridor that went from Melbourne via Albury, Wagga Wagga, Cootamundra, Forbes, Parkes, Dubbo, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree, Goondiwindi, Inglewood, Millmerran, Pittsworth, Toowoomba, and on to Brisbane.

"However, it did consider alternative routes which were thought to be worthwhile possibilities."

Mr Compton said Warwick was promoting a New England route, along with a connection to the existing standard-gauge line between Kyogle and Brisbane near Beaudesert.

Toowoomba Chronicle

Its a sleepy little town
3,882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Melbourne to Brisbane rail line through Guyra?
Thursday, 19 May 2005

Independent Member for New England, Tony Windsor met with the New England Local Government Group in Armidale this week to discuss the proposed Inland Rail route from Melbourne to Brisbane and beyond with a view to putting the New England route up as a viable possibility.

The New England Local Government Group is made up of the Walcha, Uralla, Armidale Dumaresq, Guyra, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell and Tenterfield Councils through which runs the existing New England rail corridor.

"I am delighted that the New England Local Government Group has unanimously supported that the feasibility study for the proposed Inland Rail link between Melbourne and Brisbane should also include a thorough investigation of the main Northern line from Werris Creek through Tamworth, Armidale, Glen Innes, Tenterfield and into Queensland at Wallangara.

Whilst the rail line currently only operates to Armidale, the corridor is still owned by the New South Wales Government through to Wallangara on the Queensland border and therefore has the potential to be re-opened and made use of without having to acquire land for use as a rail corridor as would be the case further west.

I will be working with NELG in putting a submission together asking that those undertaking the feasibility study look at the main Northern line as a possible route for the Inland Rail emphasising that it is a shorter route, with an existing corridor and a very stable ground structure compared with the black soils found on the western route.

There is certainly potential and it is important for everyone in the New England to look positively at this opportunity and work together to put our best case forward," Mr Windsor said.
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