Greens want to know where the trains are?

johnboy 13 January 2012 52

toy trains

The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan is wondering aloud where the railways have gone.

Recent responses to questions from the ACT Greens reveal that the ACT Government has not made a submission to the Federal Government’s high-speed rail study and is making limited efforts on local sustainable rail projects.

“Rail is a key transport mode for a sustainable Canberra. But the ACT Government gives us talk and no action when it comes to rail,” said Greens’ Transport Spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA.

“The most recent lack of action by the ACT Government is on high speed rail. Now is a key time for action, given the Federal Government is investigating proposals for an East coast high speed rail network.

“Last year I asked the ACT Government to consult with the Canberra public about possible high speed rail routes in and out of Canberra and the potential locations for a Canberra high speed rail station.

“I also asked the Government to present a proposal to the Federal Government making a case for the prioritised construction of the Canberra stages of the route.

“The ACT Government has not done this and, as of January 2012, it has made no submission to the Federal Government regarding high speed rail.

“I am also very concerned that the ACT Government is failing to progress opportunities for using rail freight.

“The Government’s most recent proposal is to defer any action to a future ‘ACT freight strategy’.

It would seem obvious this government has no interest in rail whatsoever.

UPDATE: The Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese is in the Canberra Times making a rare intervention into local matters and saying any ACT submission would be irrelevant.

FURTHER UPDATE: Chief Minister Gallagher has announced that she is in fact mad keen for a VFT.

The study is being carried out in two phases. Phase 1 was released in August 2011, by the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Minister for Transport. The study identified Canberra on the shortlisted corridors, both the Sydney – Canberra corridor and the Canberra – Melbourne corridor. Possible Canberra station locations include Civic and Canberra Airport. The study also indicated a total cost of between $61 to $108 billion, with 1,600kms of new track.

Phase 2 of this study has only just commenced, with the ACT Government again closely involved through the High Speed Rail Reference Group.

The Phase 2 study will be broader and deeper in the scope of its investigation and analysis. It will consider the preferred corridor and transport products, the medium term travel market, the economic, social and environmental impacts of the recommended program, the most appropriate institutional arrangements, and the implementation plan for delivering the program.

“This Government has put in years of effort into advocacy to other jurisdictions and the Commonwealth,” the Chief Minister said. “The Greens are now trying to play catch up.”

[Photo by foolish adler CC BY 2.0


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52 Responses to Greens want to know where the trains are?
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bitzermaloney bitzermaloney 9:58 am 16 Jan 12

Two points for the Greens:

1. Weston Park (well at least in the short term unless they work out what ‘heritage” actually means); but more seriously,

2. Why are the Greens (and the rest of our city councilors) lobbying the NSW gov to introduce a regular train service between Bungendore and Kingston? Surely a 25-30min train service between the two (on already exisiting track) would be a greatly welcome form of transport for the region?

dungfungus dungfungus 11:11 pm 15 Jan 12

goterz says:The line from alice to darwin is 5 times longer and cost 1.2 billion..
We could easily do it.

The Darwin Alice Springs is not electrified – this is where the cost is with copper now costing about $10K a tonne. Add a lot of steel for carrying the copper wire etc.
I don’t know why this matter resurfacing as a VFT will never be a goer anywhere in Australia unless it is done like the NBN.

gooterz gooterz 10:18 pm 15 Jan 12

The line from alice to darwin is 5 times longer and cost 1.2 billion..
We could easily do it.

Pandy Pandy 8:21 pm 15 Jan 12

switch said :

whitelaughter said :

Combining these two points:
Population grows over time. Suppose we make room for a station/line in a new suburb, use that land as greenspace, and then when population has grown to what is needed to support the line, the railway doesn’t have to buy out existing owners?

Because that’s going to work out so well if we ever do go mad enough to put light rail down the middle of Northbourne, as per WBG’s Grand Plan. Can you imagine the screams about cutting down all those trees that are there now? The GDE ridge moan will appear mild by comparison!

WBG knew nothing of light rail. He had electric buses and heavy rail in the Civic area.

switch switch 11:14 am 15 Jan 12

whitelaughter said :

Combining these two points:
Population grows over time. Suppose we make room for a station/line in a new suburb, use that land as greenspace, and then when population has grown to what is needed to support the line, the railway doesn’t have to buy out existing owners?

Because that’s going to work out so well if we ever do go mad enough to put light rail down the middle of Northbourne, as per WBG’s Grand Plan. Can you imagine the screams about cutting down all those trees that are there now? The GDE ridge moan will appear mild by comparison!

Diggety Diggety 3:02 am 15 Jan 12

General rule of thumb- be very careful of idealogical driven expenditures.

(i.e. The Greens).

Bramina Bramina 1:25 am 15 Jan 12

“Recent responses to questions from the ACT Greens reveal that the ACT Government has not made a submission to the Federal Government’s high-speed rail study and is making limited efforts on local sustainable rail projects.”

Katy tweeted on Friday explaining that the ACT government didn’t make a submission to the reference group because it is on the reference group:

gooterz said :

$100 Billion was for the full network and going into well built up areas.
BRISBANE TO MELBOURNE.is 1945 km.
Canberra to sydney is 280Km so 15% of the distance.
Likely it would include Goulburn so the cost to the ACT would be like $5 Billion if the work was split 3 ways.
Numbers would also go up as air flight becomes more and more expensive, no doubt it will get a carbon/flight tax

If I recall correctly, the $100 billion figure was an upper limit with all of the bells and whistles such as a stop in Wollongong – but that is unlikely. The lower limit for a bargain basement option with stops in the outer suburbs (e.g. Paramatta) was $60 billion. I think a reasonable figure would have been about $80 billion.

Pandy Pandy 1:10 am 15 Jan 12

Spain the model of VFTs? Ummm are they not practically broke? Something about living beyond your means.

But sure, build the VFT. The private sector can just like they built the airlines. Oh they wont? Not even Virgin Rail? Mmmmm they must know something we don’t.

whitelaughter whitelaughter 8:26 pm 14 Jan 12

Jethro said :

I would suggest the trains are in cities with suitable population sizes and population densities to justify the cost of having them.

gooterz said :

Of the 100 Billion quoted for a high speed link from brisbane to melbourne, 90% of the funds went to the last 10 Km of track upto the cities! (much harder to put track where things are in the way)
If you took highspeed rail into sydney CBD and out the other side, you’d have to tunnel it in costing billions!

Combining these two points:
Population grows over time. Suppose we make room for a station/line in a new suburb, use that land as greenspace, and then when population has grown to what is needed to support the line, the railway doesn’t have to buy out existing owners?
=============================
Some ignorant questions:
1) can a VFT line be used for other trains, trams etc? If so, then building the 1st few miles and using that as a tramline would be comparitively expensive (I assume that the VFT line is more expensive than normal track) but allows the line to start making a profit while still be constructed.
2) How much more expensive is it to put a line 3-4 metres above the ground? A train/tram line at the height could run down the middle of Northbourne ignoring the lights, but obviously it has to be cost/effective.
===============
Oh, of interest: I decided to check how much it would cost to go from Canberra to Queanbeyan and/or back by train – was told at the station that they’re not *allowed* to sell tickets, that Deane’s Buslines has a monopoly! (Something that I would have thought was both illegal and unconstitutional, given it’s restricting trade across a State border).

arescarti42 arescarti42 6:23 pm 14 Jan 12

IrishPete said :

It’s not the population in the cities at each end that’s important, it’s the amount of travel between them. Melbourne-Sydney is widely described as the second busiest air route in the world.

This is the thing. Being dispersed or low density or having small cities is totally irrelevant, what matters is the number of people traveling between them. Almost 7 million people a year travel by plane between Melbourne and Sydney, making it the second busiest air transport corridor in the world. That’s a massive amount of market share that could be captured by VFT.

dungfungus dungfungus 12:18 pm 14 Jan 12

beh1972 said :

Lets get on to what is really important…

What brand of model trains are in the photo? That’s not Hornby or Lima track, is it Fleichmann?

The photos are probably ones of the toy train set the Greens have in their city office. Amanda Bresnan wears the conductor’s cap and Shane Rattenbury chains himself to the coal train.

dungfungus dungfungus 12:14 pm 14 Jan 12

gooterz calculates:
“40,000 Canberrans a year x 10 Trips x 2 Both ways x $70 = $56,000,000
40,000 Sydney siders a year x 10 Trips x 2 Both ways x $70 = $56,000,000

So for the next 10 years -> $100 Million a year in revenue from passengers alone!

Payback over 15 years.. could be about $2 Billion to spend (if you include freight).

I don’t think you have factored in the cost of rolling stock, running costs (including carbon tax) etc.
If you are looking for a model, do some research on the wages and working conditions of Greek train drivers.

johnboy johnboy 10:26 am 14 Jan 12

The train station needs to be moved BACK to Civic I think you mean?

http://the-riotact.com/when-the-railways-ran-all-the-way-to-civic/13479

IrishPete IrishPete 9:49 am 14 Jan 12

It’s not the population in the cities at each end that’s important, it’s the amount of travel between them. Melbourne-Sydney is widely described as the second busiest air route in the world.

As for the train company going broke, well that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – when they go broke, someone else buys it for a song, and the return on investment no longer has to be as high, therefore prices drop. I think this is what happened with the Channel Tunnel between England and France, or maybe it was the train line that goes through the tunnel.

Although the rail lines to places like Cooma and Captains Flat are unsalvageable, the corridors still exist, and that makes reinstatement much cheaper than starting from scratch. I wouldn’t expect a VFT on these lines, but a slow train linking with a VFT at Canberra would certainly take a lot of traffic off the Monaro Highway in winter!

The space and comfort on a train are just incomparable with planes – check in times, security and check in procedures, all make trains much more attractive, and train stations are usually in city centres, cutting out a lot of travel time to and from airports, for business travel at least. Canberra needs to move its train station to Civic, or nearby, if it’s serious about linking up with a VFT. But don’t wait for a VFT – existing trains would probably get more customers now if the station was central.

IP

gooterz gooterz 12:01 am 14 Jan 12

2604 said :

gooterz said :

40,000 Canberrans a year x 10 Trips x 2 Both ways x $70 = $56,000,000
40,000 Sydney siders a year x 10 Trips x 2 Both ways x $70 = $56,000,000

So for the next 10 years -> $100 Million a year in revenue from passengers alone!

Payback over 15 years.. could be about $2 Billion to spend (if you include freight).

Sorry dude, but $100 million a year on an investment of $100bn is a 0.1% return. That’s a rate of return that only makes sense if you’re Stephen Conroy, and one which most people would never want to make if their own money was involved (eg their super).

$100 Billion was for the full network and going into well built up areas.
BRISBANE TO MELBOURNE.is 1945 km.
Canberra to sydney is 280Km so 15% of the distance.
Likely it would include Goulburn so the cost to the ACT would be like $5 Billion if the work was split 3 ways.
Numbers would also go up as air flight becomes more and more expensive, no doubt it will get a carbon/flight tax

2604 2604 11:36 pm 13 Jan 12

gooterz said :

40,000 Canberrans a year x 10 Trips x 2 Both ways x $70 = $56,000,000
40,000 Sydney siders a year x 10 Trips x 2 Both ways x $70 = $56,000,000

So for the next 10 years -> $100 Million a year in revenue from passengers alone!

Payback over 15 years.. could be about $2 Billion to spend (if you include freight).

Sorry dude, but $100 million a year on an investment of $100bn is a 0.1% return. That’s a rate of return that only makes sense if you’re Stephen Conroy, and one which most people would never want to make if their own money was involved (eg their super).

beh1972 beh1972 9:26 pm 13 Jan 12

Lets get on to what is really important…

What brand of model trains are in the photo? That’s not Hornby or Lima track, is it Fleichmann?

gooterz gooterz 9:12 pm 13 Jan 12

Of the 100 Billion quoted for a high speed link from brisbane to melbourne, 90% of the funds went to the last 10 Km of track upto the cities! (much harder to put track where things are in the way)
If you took highspeed rail into sydney CBD and out the other side, you’d have to tunnel it in costing billions!
Canberra will be in the same situation in years to come. Those big tall developements and housing estates are harder to dig under. Its much cheaper to dig a trench/plan around a link than it is to tunnel.

The question is not will it be economical to build it, its a question of how we can afford it as soon as possible. Money will be saved from maintaining the roads, you’d likely be able to cut half the traffic from sydney so spend about half in road repairs and upgrades.

The only real alternatives to rail is nuclear planes or electric cars neither of which anyone would like.
How many people in sydney don’t own a car? Surely the boost in canberra and sydney travel would make it worth it!

The other thing is the freedom to wake up on the day and just make plans i can imagine a lot of shopping trips etc. You can’t do that with a plane if you want to decide on the day you pay the most in airfairs and even then you’d likely have to do it the night before.

40,000 Canberrans a year x 10 Trips x 2 Both ways x $70 = $56,000,000
40,000 Sydney siders a year x 10 Trips x 2 Both ways x $70 = $56,000,000

So for the next 10 years -> $100 Million a year in revenue from passengers alone!

Payback over 15 years.. could be about $2 Billion to spend (if you include freight).

That doesnt include the benifit to the local economy from the increased tourism or the decrease in carbon emissions or decrease in noise from the airport.

bigred bigred 6:43 pm 13 Jan 12

The election campaign begins

dpm dpm 5:24 pm 13 Jan 12

johnboy said :

Or to charge road freight the real cost of road construction and maintenance.

Unfortunately though, since road freight is the only viable option pollies are interested in, they’ll simply pass on the increase in costs to us (in food and parcel costs etc) and it won’t change the amount of trucks on the road – or push a move towards another option. It needs the Govt to be interested in rail too (as no private company could afford to drive the change)…..

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