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High-speed rail link between Melbourne and Sydney a possibility

fast train

 

A plan to link Melbourne and Sydney with a new high-speed train line would see the 824km journey slashed from 11 hours to just 3 hours with trains able to travel up to 350km/h. Melbourne based company Consolidated Land and Rail Australia will pitch the idea in a meeting with the Prime Minister on March 17th.

A high-speed rail line would give commuters another viable option to travel between the two major cities and potentially spark some competition between air and rail travel. As it stands, the rail line is not an option for those wanting to travel between Melbourne and Sydney quickly. However the air route between the cities is the 5th busiest in the world. The high-speed line could provide a comparable alternative to air travel in speed and cost for commuters.

In 2012 a federally funded investigation into a high-speed rail line identified five stops between Melbourne and Sydney to be ideal. These were Shepparton, Albury-Wodonga, Wagga Wagga, Canberra and Mittagong. Those areas could see an increase in tourism and business with a connection to a high-speed rail line.

 

fast rail

 

MP for Bennelong John Alexander said that there are “three separate groups who are looking at similar ideas” including Consolidated Land and Rail Australia. "There are a number of groups that are looking at securing their own land at the current price, funding the infrastructure and then paying for it in the uplift of the properties," Mr Alexander said.

This idea is not the first of its kind in Australia, various groups have been proposing high-speed rail lines since the 1990’s. The Howard government was the last to look at such a proposal back in 2000 involving a link between Sydney and Canberra. However the proposal was denied due to the $4.5 billion cost.

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