RE: HSR BULK FREIGHT No. 2  Newcastle –  Sydney – Melbourne

 We do appreciate any support for the Inland Rail Melbourne to Brisbane, bypassing Sydney.    However as you might agree:

  1. That relatively minute investment $2.5B, you say has increased to $4B, involves old Technology and filling in all the missing rails for continuous line status.
  2. It would allow to bypass the congested Sydney Freight rail network.

Though we did not start our mission involving the Bulk Freight, its becoming increasingly evident that an opportunity exists here to marry the Futuro HSR Concept with High Speed Bulk Freight along the same completely new dedicated corridor that would then bypass/eliminate the congested Sydney network. This is borne out in our presentation. On this basis, within the Futuro Concept we have identified the rail link between Wagga Wagga and Narrabri, common with our concept, as having very low priority and would be kept at existing technology upgrade but integrated with the Futuro network to the South of Wagga Wagga and to the North of Narrabri, and Wagga Sydney Narrabri in between.

The day I attended the Moss Vale seminar on the HSR in 2013. I asked a question about the validity of having a high speed bulk freight network to which a answer was given back that for bulk freight the high speed was not warranted.  Since then I have attended other Rail conferences eg. Moree in March 2014, where the industry in fact has been calling for a high standard network be built which in fact would see bulk freight trains travel at much higher speeds than the 80km/hr  and in fact be in the order of 190 - 200 km/hr.

Recently, I attended an EOI meeting in Wollongong, by the NSW government, for the completion and operation of the Maldon to Dombarton Railway. The overall feeling of the participants was that it would not be able to operate on its own and needed integration and upgrading of interconnecting components , like Port Kembla end , the Sydney and Sydney SW network and possibly the Newcastle network. This is, indeed, evidence of the Sydney congestion you mentioned, at our meeting, and a sincere requirement by industry for it to be resolved for better productivity.

It became obvious to us after the EOI meeting that a marriage of the MBIR inland rail and the high speed rail for the SE and east coast is definitely something to consider.

What’s happening in Europe and also the US?

The Bulk rail process is becoming more and more a suitable option in the European system, if we look at the next step on the Lyon–Turin HSR there is a slotted night time were Heavy freight will be allowed on the rail line to alleviate the burden of the road and also to reduce the CO2 emission, the report states the following;

The bulk/heavy freight transportation;

LTF (Lyon-Turin Freight) estimates that the historical line saturation will occur between 2015 and 2020, about 3 million trucks will cross the Alps, while the new line will allow:

  • To transfer 1 million trucks per year to rail, which correspond to null the traffic at the Frejus motorway tunnel.
  • To transport 40Mt freights in the 2030. Promoter estimation made on 1991.
  • To transport 20Mt freights in 2020. Promoter estimation made in 1997.
  • The joint SNCF-RFF-FS study of March 2000 estimated via a conservative formula a capacity of 20Mt/year, corresponding to 185 freight plus 66 passengers’ trains daily (251 trains in total).
  • The study performed by Polinomia on May 2004, shown a capacity of 27Mt/year, corresponding to 150 freight plus 70 passengers trains daily, assuming improvement of the line and the electrical power stations.

We are not about asking the Federal Government reversing its program on the MBIR apparently now increased from the 2.5B to $4B.  This capitalisation however only allows the missing links to be built, but does nothing towards raising the level of standards being built.  The motto of the Moree conference was "do it once and do it right". There is an industry call for the Inland rail be built to high standards. These high standards are also harmonious with standards of the HSR. ie. Gradient and Geometry. In discussion with accredited participants a new word description was born "General" HSR rail concept.

Some of this $4B should be redirected to at least fund feasibilities of our concept.

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