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Integrated Rail Design for Newcastle Corridor

The HSRA has just released tenders for a range of companies to assist them build the Business Case for high speed rail in the Sydney-Newcastle corridor.

We've been expecting this for some time. So Garry has updated his paper on the Route through Sydney to look at the Sydney-Newcastle corridor in more detail.

This paper explores the importance of high speed rail to link the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane mega-regions with integrated high speed and conventional rail tracks. An integrated rail design enables more, faster passenger services to be offered, and greater flexibility for passenger and freight services to use either track. Increased passenger and freight services will encourage decentralisation and decrease housing pressure in capital cities, which will benefit all Australians.

Adopting an integrated rail design in this corridor means designing the high speed line so that new, faster intercity services can use the high speed line to the Central Coast, and then branch off onto the existing conventional line to service the towns and hamlets along the coast. It also allows the line to be delivered in stages, with each one introducing new services that will open up successive sections of the corridor for growth and development.

This is a critical stage for high speed rail in Australia. The HSRA has to develop a Business Case inside 6 months - a mammoth task. If this Business Case fails to justify investment, then high speed rail could be dead in the water for Australia. So we hope the HSRA listens to us and adopts an integrated design instead of the standalone approach proposed in previous studies.


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