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Fastrack Australia Reports

Freight paper

June 2023

This report examines how high-speed rail can benefit freight movement as well as passengers in the East Coast. It includes up-to-date information on overseas and local developments in rail freight, as well as data on road and rail freight movement between Sydney and Melbourne.


The report also provides a detailed analysis of how high-speed rail can accommodate fast freight trains as well as high-speed and fast passenger trains between the two cities. This can allow rail to handle 50% of future intercity freight as well as interstate, regional and commuter passengers.

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May 2023

Three key factors are needed to ensure the benefits of faster connectivity are optimised for Canberra and the Capital Region:

  1. An active network of local stakeholders.

  2. Expansion of the light rail network to integrate new urban areas.

  3. Completion of development projects in key economic sectors .

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HSRA Paper Cover_edited.jpg

The staged implementation of high speed rail can power the growth of Australia.  Countries around the world have upgraded existing conventional rail networks with high speed rail to promote regional growth and economic development. 

This paper develops an approach to progressively realise regional economic benefits in the Sydney-Melbourne corridor by incrementally implementing sections of high speed track and rolling out new faster rolling stock.   

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January 2023

Earlier Reports

East Coast Higher Speed Rail (2021)

A presentation by Garry summarising why HSR is needed now and a proposed implementation strategy for Brisbane-Sydney_melbourne HSR line

High Speed Rail – A New Approach (2021)


A detailed report by Garry examining the need for high speed rail in Australia, the recent developments in rail that will influence the way it is implemented, the rationale for an integration with conventional rail, the need to build up to faster services in stages, and why it should be started now.

Population Trends and Decentralisation Options (2021)


A detailed report by Garry ​examining the population trends in Australia to develop projections for the east coast high speed rail corridor.  It proceeds to examine the potential for decentralisation in the corridor after the Covid pandemic including demographic groups to be targeted, and the capacity of the high speed line to cater for the proposed growth.

​High Speed Rail for Regional Growth (Mar 2021)

A comprehensive report by Ross outlining the strategy to implement high speed rail for regional growth in Australia, along with summaries of the key references and examination of the role of the Australian Government, regional cities, and the rail industry to make it successful.

Other reports of relevance

Recent reports that provide more insight to the regional settlement and economic development impacts that flow from faster rail connections, particularly the implementation of new high speed rail lines.

Fast Train Project Macro Economic Assessment July 2020

An independent assessment by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research of the state-wide economic impacts that implementation of a fast regional commuter rail network would have on settlement patterns, economic growth, fairness and opportunity in Victoria.

Reimagining Australia's South East (2020) 

A study prepared by SGS Economics and Planning for the Committee for Melbourne recommending that better planning of land use, more integrated and efficient transportation networks and better-aligned laws and regulations along the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane corridor would deliver a major boost to Australia's gross domestic product by 2050.

China’s Experience with High Speed Rail Offers Lessons for Other Countries (2019) 

A comprehensive study by the World Bank into the planning, business model, construction, financing and economic viability of high speed rail in China.  China has built the largest high-speed rail network in the world.  Its impacts go well beyond the railway sector, include changed patterns of urban development, increases in tourism, and promotion of regional economic growth.

High Speed Rail Study in Australia (2012)

The main report by AECOM from its strategic study of a high speed line between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

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