Proposal for a $200B high speed rail in Australia

Travel News 15 Jul 2016

According to Australian Business Traveller, the Aussie bullet train which would let you travel between Sydney and Melbourne in under three hours, along a dedicated high-speed line at speeds up to 350km/h.

There is talk of that it would be built by a private consortium and funded by land development along the 900km rail corridor.

This ambitious vision belongs to Melbourne-based Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA), which today unveilled its grand vision to the public.

In addition to its hubs at Sydney and Melbourne, and a spur line to Canberra, CLARA plans to establish stations at eight new 'inland cities' along the route near regional towns such as Goulburn, Yass Valley and Shepparton.

Land at each of the eight 'greenfield development' sites has already ­been secured by CLARA under option agreements signed with land owners.

The development of those cities would provide a financial funnel through which CLARA would pay for the high-speed lines, trains and stations, with land bought for $1,000 per lot could be transformed into housing developments worth up to $150,000.

CLARA is positioning the high-speed network as both a work of nation-building infrastructure and "a decentralisation program."

Turning farmland into superfast rail lines would be done in stages.

The proposed leg from Melbourne to the Shepparton region – costed at $13 billion and involving two new 'second-tier cities' near Strathbogie and Shepparton – first cab off the rank, "with the high speed rail connection and first stage of the new cities online within a decade" according to CLARA.

Attention would then turn to the NSW side of the network, with the line spearing south from Sydney as a further six new cities were developed, with the aim of the full Sydney-Melbourne line being operational by the 2040s.

CLARA has already met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is believed to be enthusiastic over the self-funding project.

However, Turnbull is be the latest in a line of Prime Ministers to back a high-speed link, stretching back to Bob Hawke.

The route has barely changed, although the technology has certainly advanced – but the ever-skyrocketing costs and concerns over economic viability have brought the project off the rails each time.