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Meet the Bullet Trainers

By johnboy - 5 October 2012 40

bullet trainers

The Bullet Train for Canberra Party are welcome bright spot in an increasingly turgid campaign and have sent out a release to introduce themselves:

The Bullet Train For Canberra party will field 6 candidates in the upcoming election, with two in each electorate. Our candidates are all new to politics – we readily admit that we have less political experience than Mal Meninga, but we all have a strong desire to see a Bullet Train for Canberra.

After hearing politicians talk about it for over 30 years, and seeing more reports and studies than a University recycling bin, we really had no other choice. So we all chose to make a stand to get a Bullet Train For Canberra, and to see the massive benefits it will bring to the region.

[Pictures courtesy Bullet Train for Canberra]

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Meet the Bullet Trainers
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chuckles 9:06 pm 14 Jun 13

“The frequency that Sydney people will move to Canberra and also bring jobs.”

No thanx gooterz…

Let’s not get carried away now – that proposal would be a negative. Let’s keep Canberra to the left of Federal Politics and quite progressive (except when it comes to rail travel to Sydney of course!).

grunge_hippy 8:37 am 17 Oct 12

My favourite so far from this party was on the Her Canberra website, where every issue can be brought back to the train and how awesome it is….

In Canberra, we have a dire shortage of specialists in many fields including Paediatrics and Oncology. Waiting lists can be so extreme that people are traveling by car and plane to Sydney to have their medical needs fulfilled. A Bullet Train between Canberra and Sydney would provide valuable, viable access to a vastly broader range services and professionals, previously unfeasible for Canberrans needing specialist medical treatments.

So to solve the hospital waiting list crisis, jump on the train to sydney.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA.

Deref 8:14 am 17 Oct 12

Innovation said :

Like many, I would support a medium speed train service to Sydney. Even a two hour trip would make it viable and possibly even give credence to Byron and Snow’s push for the Canberra airport expansion. It’s a shame that the push for high speed means we have nothing better until, if ever, high speed eventuates.

+1 to that – why sacrifice the good for the perfect. I’d definitely use a 2 hour train.

c_c 12:30 am 17 Oct 12

Yeah can someone please tell Shelley that a Bombardier Q400 and a Boeing 737 are not ‘horse and buggy’ and do the job just fine in under 55mins.

Don’t get me wrong, one day I think high speed rail is logically the next step. But it has to be driven by population growth, and until you get the Feds on side and NSW lined up to create a new corridor and make Canberra in essence an outer suburb of Sydney, then this will be still born and a bunch of folks who have no other opinions will waste a seat.

gooterz 10:42 pm 16 Oct 12

How much of that 10 billion is tunneling though the Sydney CBD?

Could we not have a bullet train to the edge of Sydney then change to a metro train. Sooner or later it will be connected to Qld at a cost to Sydney not Canberra.

How far can we get for 2 billion……

lemmem 10:00 pm 16 Oct 12

Havok said :

I’ve asked these lunatics three times via FB who exactly is meant to pay for this and am yet to receive one reply. I’m all for the Bullet Train but I don’t see the whole program being economically viable at this point in time. And especially not the Canberra leg which would be the least cost effective part of the whole network.

Idiots will vote for them because they believe doing so will get them a bullet train. Wrong. This will be a federal government program if and when it happens. And I’d be surprised if it happens within the next 20 years.

Vote for a party that has actually policies, not pipe dreams.

Referring to candidates as lunatics and the people who vote for them as idiots won’t win you many fans, ‘Havok’. Ad hominem attacks may have worked when you were five, however, you need to go beyond insipid name calling if you want people to actually take note of what you’re saying. It’s always interesting that those who seem to ‘know’ all the answers, are the same ones who don’t actually get out there and do something. It is always easier to criticise and whinge I guess. And for the record, you were pointed towards the Australian Government’s study a number of times and told Phase 2, with detailed costing was due out next month. Here it is, if you could be bothered to actually read it… http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/index.aspx

Innovation 7:08 am 08 Oct 12

Out of curiosity I did a quick search of train times in India. I found trains that cover around 500kms with travel times of around 4.5 to 6 hrs whereas Canb to Syd (around 300+kms) is around 4.5 hrs. I know our trains would be in better cond, are safer, would not be as overcrowded, we don’t have the same per capita population and we have good quality alternatives such as buses, cars and planes but (rhetorically) when do our problems cease to be written off as first world ones?

Like many, I would support a medium speed train service to Sydney. Even a two hour trip would make it viable and possibly even give credence to Byron and Snow’s push for the Canberra airport expansion. It’s a shame that the push for high speed means we have nothing better until, if ever, high speed eventuates.

I doubt I would vote for a single issue party with a goal that forsakes other options and, even if successful, probably wouldn’t eventuate for another twenty years.

Sandman 7:48 pm 07 Oct 12

And where are the other 2 candidates in the press release? Miss their train?

Sandman 7:46 pm 07 Oct 12

gooterz said :

Increased town size along the route will increase property value, the government could sell the land to private investors to raise funds. If you lived half way, your 30 minutes to Sydney or Canberra.

You know the best way to slow down something really fast? Make it stop a lot to pick up passengers.

As for the mention of containers in another post, I don’t think a 3 tonne shipping container (that’s a 20footer) is entirely conducive to high speed travel. Shipping containers go by regular train, not a $10bn white elephant.

c_c 7:10 pm 07 Oct 12

Very slick ad on TV a minute ago, where Bullet Train for Canberra getting its money from?

breda 5:26 pm 07 Oct 12

Joingler, your post is so full of logical contradictions that I hardly know where to start. But this one will do:

“The Sydney-Melbourne flight path is one of the busiest in the world ranked 4th I last heard. Surely that is evidence enough that a bullet train can be viable. Add stops in Canberra and Albury/Wodonga and it would be amazing. And given how QLD is expanding, extending it up to Brisbane would be worthwhile too.”

So, spending billions of taxpayers’ hard earned dollars to try to replicate an existing service is good, because? BTW, do you seriously thing that a fast train would have departures every half hour, or hour, like the planes and buses do in peak periods? It would cost a fortune, not to mention the logistics and costs of trains coming from elsewhere.

I like trains, a lot. But, whenever the bullet/fast train crowd (and their light rail cousins) are nearby, I reach for my wallet and hold on tight.

Masquara 2:05 pm 07 Oct 12

joingler said :

The Sydney-Melbourne flight path is one of the busiest in the world ranked 4th I last heard. Surely that is evidence enough that a bullet train can be viable. Add stops in Canberra and Albury/Wodonga and it would be amazing. And given how QLD is expanding, extending it up to Brisbane would be worthwhile too.

And seriously, if they win a seat or two what harm is it going to do? They’d probably do a better job than most of the others in at the moment. Please feel free to correct me but I’m sure that the Bullet Trainers would realise that roads like GDE needed 2 lanes from beginning or that $400,000 on public art isn’t the smartest investment. I also reckon that they could help improve ACTION services and maybe provide useful information on what the public health service is like.

I suspect that the planners’ assumption has been that Australia’s growth would take place in the Top End, due to agribusiness and mining booming, and that the south-east corner would never sustain a population big enough to pay for the bullet train.
I think business people will still fly Sydney-Melbourne rather than spend three hours on the train.
I’d LOVE to see a fast train Brissy-Port Macquarie – Newcastle-Sydney-Goulburn-Canberra-Albury-Melbourne – but there would have to be some pretty nassteh road-tolling before people would pay for tickets. Most punters who aren’t on business time will do their sums and take a Murrays bus for $25 rather than spend $150 on the fare to Sydney for a two-and-a-half-hour time saving. Unless a rabid toll is engineered that will make that Murrays option nearly as expensive. Comparisons with fast trains being built in say China need to take account of cultural and historical difference – China doesn’t have a commuter sector accustomed to flying, and the state can subsidise tickets to their heart’s content and charge the subsidy to the peasants. In Australia, it will be user-pays. Japan is no comparison because of the population and distance differences.

While I’d love to see a fast train – I don’t think it will happen unless we introduce “big Australia” (which raises other issues, such as that a Europe-type population density would wreck the south-eastern Australian environment, and frankly I don’t want to share the water).

joingler 11:21 am 07 Oct 12

breda said :

joingler said:

“I have nothing for you but the toll that was meant to cover the Sydney Harbour Bridge costs, wasn’t repaid until the 1980s, around 50 years after it was complete. I highly doubt that anyone now is complaining that the bridge exists. It is a vital part of Sydney. A bullet train between Melbourne and Brisbane that travels through Canberra and Sydney would be a major investment, linking around 10 million people, nearly half of Australias population with HSR.”
—————————————————————
There is no comparison with the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At the time the Bridge was built, the only alternative was a ferry, or a very long detour out west to get across to the north side from the CBD.

A Bullet or other high speed train would be competing with well developed existing services – i.e. private vehicle, conventional rail, air travel and commercial road services which already link those places and provide a lot more flexibility in between – you can’t have too many stops on fast trains or it defeats the purpose. Apart from the astronomical capital costs of land acquisition and construction, there would have to be a lot of passengers lured from road, rail and air to even approach breaking even – and to break even, fares would have to be high.

The sums have been done many times, and while there are always people who fantasise about it, it simply won’t come close to paying its way, and does not provide anything that is not already available at less cost and with more flexibility for most travellers.

If done right, The Bullet Train will be cheaper than flying but take a comparable travelling time to Sydney and Melbourne once you take into account travelling from airport to CBD. I suppose the big thing is that it’d have to be done right. Governments have a track record of stuffing up major infrastructure so perhaps it is all a pipe dream. I wasn’t trying to compare it to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, just showing an example of how something can take a while to be paid off but still be worthwhile.

The Sydney-Melbourne flight path is one of the busiest in the world ranked 4th I last heard. Surely that is evidence enough that a bullet train can be viable. Add stops in Canberra and Albury/Wodonga and it would be amazing. And given how QLD is expanding, extending it up to Brisbane would be worthwhile too.

And seriously, if they win a seat or two what harm is it going to do? They’d probably do a better job than most of the others in at the moment. Please feel free to correct me but I’m sure that the Bullet Trainers would realise that roads like GDE needed 2 lanes from beginning or that $400,000 on public art isn’t the smartest investment. I also reckon that they could help improve ACTION services and maybe provide useful information on what the public health service is like.

gooterz 11:32 pm 06 Oct 12

Cost of train.. in the billions..

Vs

Cost of Roads including the Iron Price.
Increased tourism of Canberra
The frequency that people will travel to Sydney will increase.
The frequency that Sydney people will move to Canberra and also bring jobs.
If you can get a bullet train to Canberra how many companies are going to setup offices in Canberra instead of Sydney. If they need to meet clients they just take a train in the morning and back at night. Space in Canberra will be much cheaper.
Cost of fuel will increase.
Increased town size along the route will increase property value, the government could sell the land to private investors to raise funds. If you lived half way, your 30 minutes to Sydney or Canberra.

Pandy 8:15 pm 06 Oct 12

What about just dual line electrification of the current line, new alignments and signalling?

breda 2:03 pm 06 Oct 12

joingler said:

“I have nothing for you but the toll that was meant to cover the Sydney Harbour Bridge costs, wasn’t repaid until the 1980s, around 50 years after it was complete. I highly doubt that anyone now is complaining that the bridge exists. It is a vital part of Sydney. A bullet train between Melbourne and Brisbane that travels through Canberra and Sydney would be a major investment, linking around 10 million people, nearly half of Australias population with HSR.”
—————————————————————
There is no comparison with the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At the time the Bridge was built, the only alternative was a ferry, or a very long detour out west to get across to the north side from the CBD.

A Bullet or other high speed train would be competing with well developed existing services – i.e. private vehicle, conventional rail, air travel and commercial road services which already link those places and provide a lot more flexibility in between – you can’t have too many stops on fast trains or it defeats the purpose. Apart from the astronomical capital costs of land acquisition and construction, there would have to be a lot of passengers lured from road, rail and air to even approach breaking even – and to break even, fares would have to be high.

The sums have been done many times, and while there are always people who fantasise about it, it simply won’t come close to paying its way, and does not provide anything that is not already available at less cost and with more flexibility for most travellers.

scorpio63 1:32 pm 06 Oct 12

It should be a three way contribution – A.C.T., N.S.W. and QLD taxpayer contribution in addition to successful marketing aimed at high profile (company wise) Australian investors for the major shares; that is the primary reason it has not been done.

Many people (companies and privately) in Australia have been lobbying, conducted studies and placed pressure on Governments in N.S.W. and the A.C.T. to get the V.F.T. or Bullet Train under way for at least 15 years to no avail to date.

Congratulations Candidates for your selflessness, motivation, determination and of course diligence creating a Bullet Train party for election.

You have my full support personally and at some stage this forthcoming week I would enjoy contributing to your campaign suggesting a couple of innovative concepts you may wish to consider for both the election campaign and down the track when elected.

Deref 12:20 pm 06 Oct 12

So what’s this about that bloke who advertises ambulance chasers?

Havok 11:17 am 06 Oct 12

I’ve asked these lunatics three times via FB who exactly is meant to pay for this and am yet to receive one reply. I’m all for the Bullet Train but I don’t see the whole program being economically viable at this point in time. And especially not the Canberra leg which would be the least cost effective part of the whole network.

Idiots will vote for them because they believe doing so will get them a bullet train. Wrong. This will be a federal government program if and when it happens. And I’d be surprised if it happens within the next 20 years.

Vote for a party that has actually policies, not pipe dreams.

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