Labor leader Anthony Albanese has pledged to begin 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 domestic aviation “golden triangle” between the capitals of NSW, Victoria and Queensland is considered one of the most lucrative in the world.
Qantas’ service between Sydney and Melbourne is considered the world’s second-largest revenue generator on its own, grossing over $ 1 billion a year before COVID.
âIf I am elected prime minister, I want ours to be the first government to launch work on the high-speed train,â Albanese said.
âMy vision is for the high speed train that connects Brisbane to Melbourne. Under a Labor government that I lead, the High Speed ââRail Authority will make the Newcastle to Sydney corridor, which includes stops on the central coast, its top priority.
âWe will start with a rapid rail corridor, but we will plan and build the high-speed rail crossing.
“A faster train would see journey times from Newcastle to Sydney reduced to just two hours, and once the high-speed train was 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.
Fast train service in Australia has been put on hold for decades. In 2013, the Rudd Labor government calculated the cost of a Brisbane-Melbourne-Sydney high-speed rail link to be $ 114 billion.
Currently, train journeys between Newcastle and Sydney are 2 hours 30 minutes, with FlyPelican serving the route in the air in just 40 minutes. Flights from Sydney to Melbourne take around 1.5 hours.
In Japan, the last N700s 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 by rail of just over 700 km, high-speed trains could theoretically cut train times to just two and a half hours.
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