High speed rail – good for environment and NSW
Could a fast rail system on the east coast reduce domestic air traffic in Sydney and be not only something that this State could afford, but could also profit from? According to a recent study by Beyond Zero Emissions, the answer to these questions is yes.
"High speed rail has been shown by our report to dramatically reduce domestic air traffic at Sydney airport as well as addressing deeper deficiencies in our current transport infrastructure", said lead researcher Gerard Drew.
Beyond Zero Emissions released its High Speed Rail (HSR) study in April, in partnership with Melbourne University's Energy Research Institute, and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).
According to the study, international HSR construction experience shows the project could be completed by 2025 with a 2015 start date for construction, the same time frame announced by the Prime Minister for the second airport at Badgerys Creek.
“By 2025, fast rail could be linking the east coast, relieving pressure on our capital cities and boosting key regional hubs,” Mr Drew said.
At a time when major construction sector job losses are anticipated from the wind up of resource sector investment, HSR offers employment during construction as well as ongoing operation right throughout the east coast. "Infrastructure is sorely needed but when we contemplate spending large sums of money in this day and age on long lived infrastructure we really must consider the needs of the future: the livability of our cities, the development of regional Australia and the reduction of our greenhouse gas emission."
"These issues will remain even if an airport is built at Badgerys Creek," said Mr. Drew. "In fact, when we realise that high speed rail is still needed, the second airport will end up a mothballed relic."