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First positive signs from HSRA

In case you missed it, there is a good very good article from The Guardian interviewing Tim Parker, the recently appointed CEO of the High Speed Rail Authority.

He is well aware of the poor progress to date, with comparisons to Utopia. He says he is a builder, and will get things done. So far he's off to a good start, having let the contracts to do deliver a business case and a product definition report for the Brisbane-Melbourne line by the end of the year.

He wants to deliver a true "working railway" where people start their working day on the train with a good enclosure, steady and not rocking around, and with full wifi.

His focus is on Sydney-Newcastle in line with the government's priorities, but does not rule out Sydney-Canberra or even Canberra-Goulburn for concurrent construction. However he says the line should travel into Sydney's Central Station so that it can become an iconic station like St Pancras in London and Gare du Nord in Paris.

It's encouraging to hear his enthusiasm and confidence. But as he says, land needs to be preserved to provide a corridor in and out of cities. Until that occurs, high speed rail is still a pipe dream.


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