Brisbane High Speed Rail

Recently, High Speed Rail (HSR) has been mooted to connect the Gold Coast, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. This was not considered in the then Government’s 2013 HSR Study. Its route to Brisbane was inland via Ipswich, with a spur line from Brisbane to the Gold Coast. It did not connect with any airports. This is clearly inadequate.

The VFT2 concept for HSR by P J Knight envisages a route from NSW via the Gold Coast and Coolangatta Airport to Brisbane’s Roma St Station and on via Brisbane Airport to the Sunshine Coast. The primary aim of HSR is no longer an interstate railway. It is a means of distributing the doubling of population of the cities of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne into the regions, in this case to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

The advantage of the concept is that, through the sale of dwellings over trenches dug next to suburban rail for HSR for about 30km in both sides of the major cities into and out of their CBDs, the total cost of the project is paid for within the 10-year construction period. The cost is not recovered from higher fares over 40 years of operation.

The concept includes Fast Freight Rail (FFR) constructed next to HSR at the same time from Melbourne and Sydney to Acacia Ridge intermodal distribution centre. It would halve the interstate cost and distribution time of road freight. It would also connect Acacia Ridge to the Port of Brisbane in a trench next to the existing tracks with dwellings built above which would cover the cost of this section of FFR track. FFR would connect the major cities and the new cities of up to 1m built on the HSR line within 1 hours commuting time to CBDs. HSR/FFR would connect with Canberra and later with Adelaide.

The self-funding VFT2 concept for HSR/FFR built soon before the population increases too much is commended as a framework for either a Commonwealth Government or a private consortium project.

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