The spectre of the VFT rises again

johnboy 28 September 2009 51

[First filed: July 14, 2009 @ 10:16]

The Canberra Times brings word that dreamers on the North Canberra Community Council and the Canberra Business Council are optimistically trying to kick start a national debate on a high speed inland rail line linking Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne.

Apparently they’ve got some un-named local business people muttering about maybe providing some sort of support in future. Not that the combined investment power of the entire Canberra business community could come within 400 miles of funding such a project even if they were inclined to do so, which they are not. They’d just really like to make some money from the taxpayers paying for it.

Canberra’s market for rail transport doesn’t even justify electrified rail services, something most of the rest of the developed world knocked over forty years ago. (yes I realise that if there was a faster service people might choose not to fly or drive)

It should, however, be noted that the Chief Minister is making encouraging noises:

    ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says a very fast train linking Canberra to other major cities on the eastern seaboard is not a pipe dream but inevitable.

But check out this statement for an idea just how blue sky this lot is:

    Other interests such as the North Canberra Community Council have suggested the airport should be kept out of the equation and a very fast train taken into the heart of the city.

So they want to cut Canberra in half and build an overpass for every single road crossing this sucker? You can’t do level crossings for very fast rail lines.

It’s well worth noting that countries with successful high speed rail services already had extensive rail networks and all share high population densities.

Very Fast Train

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51 Responses to The spectre of the VFT rises again
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S4anta S4anta 12:36 pm 14 Jul 09

I think you might find that the rationale for this is not for passenger transport.

There is quite sound reasoning for rail infratsructure to be used for the transport of goods, rather than road/air based freight. If the system is good enough it will eventually lead to lower costs to market which means lower price at point of sale.

Think greenhouse & carbon footprint costs, resealing of roads, bleh, bleh bleh.

Having a terminal point at the airport ties in with the whole frieght hub idea for Canberra airport for int’l goods coming into the Sydney market.

Going off on tangents about people moving is a too smaller scope on this one methinks. Rail infrastructure is a hell lot more than just passengers and train nerds looking at puffing billy.

Digga Digga 12:35 pm 14 Jul 09

Where are the greenies on this? What is the embodied energy/carbon impact to manufacture, build, operate this vs. air travel/cars for the next 20 years? How can they guarantee usage at a level/adoption rate that would offset the huge impact in constructing it in the first instance? Would your “green appeal” entice you to buy a comparatively expensive ticket vs. jumping on one of Qantas’/Vrigin’s $69 one-way fares? To Sydney and back for under $150 if you pick the right flights? Money vs. a better world. Hmm.

chewy14 chewy14 12:22 pm 14 Jul 09

Too much money, too little benefit.

unless the Federales pay for all of it of course, then it would be a great idea.

RandomGit RandomGit 12:22 pm 14 Jul 09

Underground, in a brave new world, with just a handful of men, they can start all over again.

harvyk1 harvyk1 12:18 pm 14 Jul 09

It’ll probably never happen (and certainly not in the foreseeable future). Look at the fuss that was put up for a few KM’s worth of road with the GDE. Your talking about building a rail system which is approx 30 times the length, going across state lines, and through various councils which may or may not get benefit from it (lets face it, it’s not going to do the run from CBR – SYD in 2 hours if it has to stop every couple of minutes), not to mention the expense of such a project, and if it’s not an improvement on current airline options (in price, speed city center to city center and capacity) it’ll be looked upon as a giant waste of money.

johnboy johnboy 12:03 pm 14 Jul 09

Actually in China the outraged locals are pretty good at rising up with stout sticks and beating the crap out of the bulldozer drivers.

The extension of the Shanghai maglev in fact is currently held up due to residents along the route taking resolute and direct action against it.

ant ant 12:00 pm 14 Jul 09

You’d be OK with a fast train going through your backyard then, punkarella?

punkarella punkarella 11:48 am 14 Jul 09

This will not happen in my lifetime. Too much interstate red tape, and no doubt protesters worried about the train going thru there back yard, noise complaints etc.. the list of possible problems is endless. Now in a China they wouldn’t have even consulted the people, they would have just rocked up with bulldosers and given you 2 mins to get your stuff. I have to say, that’s how you do it!

timgee2007 timgee2007 11:48 am 14 Jul 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Although at an hour, it would be viable to live in Canberra and commute to Sydney for work.

Uh yeah – at $100 a seat?

Coulda sworn I read a whole lot of whinging and whining around here about the price of an adult bus ticket going up 80c to $3.80…so as long as the VFT, BFT or Cbr-Syd monorail can get you from city (centre) to city (centre) in under an hour and for less than $3.80, it’ll be a ripper!

(But what about those in Tuggeranong, Belconnnen, Queanbeyan, etc.?)

RandomGit RandomGit 11:42 am 14 Jul 09

Looks like what they are really asking for is a reasonable commute service for pubes who want to live in Sydney. That whole ‘Canberra is just an office’ thing has really stuck.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 11:34 am 14 Jul 09

I still think there’s an issue of cost versus time. If it costs twice as much to take an hour as opposed to two hours, would you really bother? Although at an hour, it would be viable to live in Canberra and commute to Sydney for work.

(Hmmm, wonder what that will do to property values…?)

phototext phototext 11:33 am 14 Jul 09

Lyle Lanley: Well, sir, there’s nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
Electrified,
Six-car
Monorail!
What’d I say?
Ned Flanders: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: What’s it called?
Patty+Selma: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: That’s right! Monorail!
[crowd chants `Monorail’ softly and rhythmically]
Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud…
Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.
Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend?
Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs?
Lyle Lanley: You’ll be given cushy jobs.
Abe: Were you sent here by the devil?
Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I’m on the level.
Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.
Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.
I swear it’s Springfield’s only choice…
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
All: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: What’s it called?
All: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: Once again…
All: Monorail!
Marge: But Main Street’s still all cracked and broken…
Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!
All: Monorail!
Monorail!
Monorail!
[big finish]
Monorail!
Homer: Mono… D’oh!

ant ant 11:17 am 14 Jul 09

I am certain that one of the less public business interests prodding this along is Canberra Airport. A VFT of some sort has been part of their plan from the start, it’s vital to a lot of what they want to do with the airport (the flying bit of the airport, that is).

There’s also some quite detailed plans floating around the bit of the gov’t to do with ACT affairs, with the route already drawn in (and several options), and it comes down Majura Valley, next to the airport and has at least one terminal there.

johnboy johnboy 10:57 am 14 Jul 09

Generally the trains enclose the track, there’s no daylight.

Have a look at the photos on the wiki page.

Peewee Slasher Peewee Slasher 10:51 am 14 Jul 09

I look forward to the VFT (Very Fast Train). If we’re going to consider this technological leap forwards, we should also investigate the BFT (Bloody Fast Train).

The BFT is the VFT with bells on. It should reduce commuting time between Canberra and Sydney to 1/2 hour.

Now, as for the FFT…

deye deye 10:40 am 14 Jul 09

johnboy said :

deye said :

Use a maglev and elevate it, that way you don’t have to worry about cows, kangaroos, wombats, pedestrians or crossings 😉

That 1 centimetre clearance will be much appreciated by ants.

It’s a maglev in the picture.

At a station. It can be whatever height above the ground you want. You wouldn’t want it too high though.

Davo111 Davo111 10:38 am 14 Jul 09

I hope it arrives at a place a little more central than canberra train station. $15 greyhound from jollimont is pretty hard to beat tbh.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 10:37 am 14 Jul 09

The whole point is that it doesn’t have to be as fast as flying (airport to airport), it just just has to be as fast as city centre to city centre. Once you take taxis each way and faffing around at the airport out of the equation, I reckon getting central Canberra to central Sydney in 2 hours would be fine. Canberra to Sydney is what – 250kms? Even with a couple a quick stops a train that could reliably average 160km/h would probably be fast enough.

And if it could be done for reasonable prices (ie less than $100 a seat), it would get a pretty good following. I’d use it over flying any day.

johnboy johnboy 10:30 am 14 Jul 09

deye said :

Use a maglev and elevate it, that way you don’t have to worry about cows, kangaroos, wombats, pedestrians or crossings 😉

That 1 centimetre clearance will be much appreciated by ants.

It’s a maglev in the picture.

deye deye 10:22 am 14 Jul 09

Use a maglev and elevate it, that way you don’t have to worry about cows, kangaroos, wombats, pedestrians or crossings 😉

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