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TOOT TOOT! Light Rail the Universal Panacea!

By johnboy - 27 November 2013 26

Simon Corbell is blowing his own steam whistle on the virtues of his consultation for the planned Capital Metro line between Gungahlin and Civic.

And my golly gosh won’t it fix a load of things:

“Capital Metro is not just about moving people. It is a catalyst for realising the vision of a sustainable, modern and creative Canberra. Revitalising Northbourne Avenue and the City Centre will bring a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits to all Canberrans.

“Light rail is proving a powerful tool to revitalise and reshape cities. It is not just a form of transport; permanent tracks in the ground provide business certainty, encourage investment and connect people and places. Capital Metro is important in delivering other Government priorities such as the City Plan and City to Lake projects,” Mr Corbell said.

Sadly it won’t mow my lawn or gratify me sexually, but it seems to have everything else covered!

What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
TOOT TOOT! Light Rail the Universal Panacea!
milkman 3:02 pm 30 Mar 14

dungfungus said :

HiddenDragon said :

After yesterday’s meeting of Treasurers, there’s now the cheerful prospect that useful assets will be flogged off, with a Commonwealth bonus, to pay for this.

Here’s a different perspective on the merits of light rail for Canberra, and this from a blog which tends towards the progressive in its views:

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/03/a-textbook-example-of-infrastructure-pork/

Another story this week, about light rail in Sydney – serving a much larger population, and funded by a Government with very much deeper pockets – made an interesting contrast to what is planned here.

There is a lot of common sense in that macrobusiness.com link.

They’re wrong a lot, though.

HiddenDragon 12:34 pm 30 Mar 14

dungfungus said :

HiddenDragon said :

After yesterday’s meeting of Treasurers, there’s now the cheerful prospect that useful assets will be flogged off, with a Commonwealth bonus, to pay for this.

Here’s a different perspective on the merits of light rail for Canberra, and this from a blog which tends towards the progressive in its views:

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/03/a-textbook-example-of-infrastructure-pork/

Another story this week, about light rail in Sydney – serving a much larger population, and funded by a Government with very much deeper pockets – made an interesting contrast to what is planned here.

There is a lot of common sense in that macrobusiness.com link.

Indeed – it was refreshing – based on an understanding of Canberra, but with a broader perspective from a site which (despite what some might assume from its name) is most definitely not a dry, hard-right haven for those who think that government should be as small as possible and that untrammelled markets hold all the answers.

Aside from the points which have been repeatedly made about construction and running costs, and inflexibility of routes, this plan locks us in to existing technologies – which is something to think carefully about for those who seek to defend it by saying that it is a smart, visionary solution for the coming decades.

gooterz 4:44 pm 29 Mar 14

The riotact has more value to me. So it must be worth at least a billion

dungfungus 4:23 pm 29 Mar 14

HiddenDragon said :

After yesterday’s meeting of Treasurers, there’s now the cheerful prospect that useful assets will be flogged off, with a Commonwealth bonus, to pay for this.

Here’s a different perspective on the merits of light rail for Canberra, and this from a blog which tends towards the progressive in its views:

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/03/a-textbook-example-of-infrastructure-pork/

Another story this week, about light rail in Sydney – serving a much larger population, and funded by a Government with very much deeper pockets – made an interesting contrast to what is planned here.

There is a lot of common sense in that macrobusiness.com link.

banco 1:09 pm 29 Mar 14

dungfungus said :

I really hope that the Capital Metro plan was, as suggested by many, a last minute political fix for ACT Labor to form a minority government following last year’s ACT Legeslative Assembly election because if it goes ahead, no matter what type of financing is involved, the costs (losses) will be underwritten by you know who.
Perhaps the front page article in the same paper with Andrew Barr admitting to the parlous state of the Territory’s finances is a subliminal message that the Capital Metro project will not proceed. Indeed, it is not mentioned amongst the other white elephant projects that will require financing (stadium, convention centre etc.) and while Barr will claim the light rail will be funded buy a PPP I think this is absolute fantasy.
If I am wrong, prepare for a duplicate of our $100 million a year plus subsidised public bus system. An “Action on Rails” folly.

I think it’s clear that Labor privately realises that building this thing would be an economic disaster which is why they keep thinking up new ways to delay actually building it. It’s like a carrot on a stick that they hold out for the economically illiterate greens voters.

HiddenDragon 11:36 am 29 Mar 14

After yesterday’s meeting of Treasurers, there’s now the cheerful prospect that useful assets will be flogged off, with a Commonwealth bonus, to pay for this.

Here’s a different perspective on the merits of light rail for Canberra, and this from a blog which tends towards the progressive in its views:

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/03/a-textbook-example-of-infrastructure-pork/

Another story this week, about light rail in Sydney – serving a much larger population, and funded by a Government with very much deeper pockets – made an interesting contrast to what is planned here.

dungfungus 10:04 am 29 Mar 14

More propaganda in today’s Canberra Times (two separate articles) about the planned Capital Metro 13km light rail from City to Gungahlin.
Barbara Norman from University of Canberra has supported the project (well, given the ACT Government’s financial support to UC she would say that wouldn’t she) from her perspective as an urban and regional planner in her article and Ross Peake even dares to put some negativity in his article but nowhere is the ugliness of the the poles and wires that will accompany this project mentioned.
The usual phony artist’s impression of two (at least one empty!) trams at the far from vibrant Gungahlin town centre is shown with the overhead catenary (two wires?) being supported again by those invisible sky hooks (where does one buy these ingenious devices?) but no impression of the real supporting stanchions and cross wires that are required in.
Goebells would be proud of this effort.
When Canberrans realize how ugly the infrastructure of poles and wires will be to make a light rail network function there will be a massive public outcry given that Canberra has excelled so much in keeping most ugly and visually intrusive cables underground for so long. The only way this can be avoided is to incorporate a ground level powered third rail which will double the cost of the project. Anyone with any doubts about how light rail will ruin Canberra’a pristine green urban landscape this should check out the photo gallery of the Gold Coast light rail at the following link.
http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/gold-coast-trams-design-flaw-causes-chaos-on-gold-coast-highway/story-fnj94idh-1226864892367
The only person showing any sense in this financially risky fiasco is Alistair Coe who correctly identifies a more sensible first stage as Belconnen to the airport via City and Russell. You don’t have to be a professor of urban planning to work that out do you?
I really hope that the Capital Metro plan was, as suggested by many, a last minute political fix for ACT Labor to form a minority government following last year’s ACT Legeslative Assembly election because if it goes ahead, no matter what type of financing is involved, the costs (losses) will be underwritten by you know who.
Perhaps the front page article in the same paper with Andrew Barr admitting to the parlous state of the Territory’s finances is a subliminal message that the Capital Metro project will not proceed. Indeed, it is not mentioned amongst the other white elephant projects that will require financing (stadium, convention centre etc.) and while Barr will claim the light rail will be funded buy a PPP I think this is absolute fantasy.
If I am wrong, prepare for a duplicate of our $100 million a year plus subsidised public bus system. An “Action on Rails” folly.

house_husband 7:00 am 28 Nov 13

monorail, Monorail, MONORAIL!!!! Doh!

IrishPete 11:49 pm 27 Nov 13

shauno said :

Ive got an idea how about we power this train purely with wind and solar and see how reliable this will be since the greens think we should abandon all coal power and they wont let us use nukes. So let this be a test. No connection to the grid it has to only run from solar and wind directly.

You are saying it should have a wind turbine on the roof? And internal batteries? Not overhead cables or third rail? That’s a hell of a challenge. Maybe you’d rather it was coal powered or nuclear powered. And no connection to the grid. you can shovel the coal or the uranium.

IP

shauno 10:55 pm 27 Nov 13

Ive got an idea how about we power this train purely with wind and solar and see how reliable this will be since the greens think we should abandon all coal power and they wont let us use nukes. So let this be a test. No connection to the grid it has to only run from solar and wind directly.

junglespank 8:45 pm 27 Nov 13

Light rail certainly sounds appealing and I’m sure many Canberrans would try the novelty of it once or twice (with a return ticket) but I wonder how much the bus service would be improved if a few billion were spent on it?

gooterz 8:24 pm 27 Nov 13

When did we legalize marijuana?

IrishPete 7:50 pm 27 Nov 13

maxblues said :

“It is not just a form of transport; permanent tracks in the ground provide business certainty, encourage investment”. With this sort of logic, Oaks Estate should be the most prosperous state in the territory. By the way, which is the ‘wrong side of the tracks’, Queanbeyan or Oaks Estate?

Oaks Estate, because the station is on the other side, and I don’t think you can get to it easily from Oaks. Which might be why it isn’t revitalised. Also might be because there are very few trains and they only go to Kingston and NSW. The only certainty that the tracks on that line bring is that you could certainly sleep safely on the tracks most nights.

Sorry to throw a spanner in the works of an otherwise perfectly formed critique of SR.

IP

Reprobate 5:11 pm 27 Nov 13

“Revitalising Northbourne Avenue and the City Centre will bring a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits to all Canberrans.”

Dear Simon, would you care to nominate, say, 20 of these wonderful benefits for Tuggeranong? After all, we are still (just) among “all Canberrans”…’til the Revolution comes…

BTW I could win a round of buzzword bingo before reaching the end of the first par of this media release – catalyst, releasing the vision, sustainable, revitalising… BINGO!!

maxblues 5:06 pm 27 Nov 13

“It is not just a form of transport; permanent tracks in the ground provide business certainty, encourage investment”. With this sort of logic, Oaks Estate should be the most prosperous state in the territory. By the way, which is the ‘wrong side of the tracks’, Queanbeyan or Oaks Estate?

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