$108m for high-speed rail

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A HIGH-speed rail network connecting Canberra to Sydney and Melbourne could cost up to $108m to build.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese today released an implementation study which suggested two possible rail corridors that include Canberra.

Corridors include; the Hume Highway and Princes Highway corridors between Sydney and Canberra, via Southern Highlands and the Hume Highway corridor between Canberra and Melbourne, via Riverina, Murray, and with a potential route option via the Goulburn Valley.

Mr Albanese described the study as, “the first step towards progressing the vision of a modern, high-speed rail network connecting two-thirds of Australians and providing a new foundation for a low carbon, high productivity economy.”

“For many Australians, high-speed rail would be an attractive alternative,” he said.  “Imagine boarding a train in the centre of Sydney – no racing to the airport, no delays, no lost luggage, no taking your shoes off – and then being whisked at 350 kilometres per hour, arriving three hours later in the heart of either Brisbane or Melbourne.”

Based on the preliminary work the high-speed rail would involve laying more than 1,600 kilometres of new standard-gauge, double-track.

The high-speed rail is expected to achieve speeds of up 350 kilometres per hour and journey times as low as three hours from Sydney to Brisbane, and just 40 minutes from Sydney to Newcastle.

To view the full report visit, www.infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/index.aspx.

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