HIgh Speed Rail

Karl Fitzgerald - the easy economics of high speed rail

Beyond Zero talks to Karl Fitzgerald, an economist, "tax geek" and Project Director at Prosper Australia and Earthsharing. He talks about land value capture and how it can fund the building the high speed rail network from Melbourne to Brisbane, researched in BZE's Zero Carbon Australia High Speed Rail report.

Coffs to Sydney in under 3 hours

By Fi Poole. ABC Coffs Coast, 20 August, 2014

High speed rail could be back on the political agenda with the release of a new report which shows that the network can be built for $30 billion less than previous projections.

Climate change think tank Beyond Zero Emissions presented a report last night in Brisbane, which demonstrated the commercial viability of building a high speed rail network along Australia's East Coast.

The proposed network would connect Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne across a dedicated 1748km route.

The service would include stops at the Gold Coast, Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, the Central Coast, the Southern Highlands, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton.

"We've had high speed rail in Europe for thirty years, it's been in Japan for fifty years and it's going crazy in China," CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions, Stephen Bygrave, told ABC Coffs Coast.

Lismore backs ‘pie in the sky’ high speed rail proposal

By Darren Coyne, Echonet Daily, 10/11/2014

A high-speed rail proposal was last night described as ‘pie in the sky’ but still received backing from a majority of Lismore city councillors.

Cr Simon Clough had put forward a motion to write to the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and relevant ministers supporting the proposal, which is detailed in a report by a German company and its Australian partners.

Cr Clough said the project, estimated to cost $84 billion, would link Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, as well as regional areas including Lismore.

‘Lismore would be the third stop from Brisbane and it would open a wide range of opportunities for this city’, he said.

‘The proposed station would be near the showgrounds and the thing that appeals to me is the renewable energy aspect of it.’

‘It could be built in ten years’, he said.

High-speed rail: Australia could build network for $30 billion less, according to Beyond Zero Emissions

By James Law. From News.com.au

IT could be faster than flying, good for the environment and be our next great “nation-building exercise”. But does Australia have the wherewithal to make an idea as big and expensive as high-speed rail a reality?

Climate change think tank Beyond Zero Emissions will present a report in Brisbane tonight that advocates for Australia to take up this major infrastructure challenge.

Its research finds that a high-speed rail network on Australia’s east coast could be built for $30 billion less than previous projections and the system would be faster, cheaper and cleaner than air travel.

A model system … Japan’s famous bullet train with Mt Fuji in the background. Source: news.com.au

High Speed Rail - all aboard for Brisbane!

This show was broadcast on Mon 1 September 2014

High Speed Rail & Electric Cars

Beyond Zero's Vivien and Jane talk to Brad Shultz, organiser of the Brisbane launch for the ZCA High Speed Rail report. Speakers at the launch will discuss the technical, economic and social issues relating to high speed rail in Australia. Speakers included Stephen Bygrave, CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions, and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters

Moving slowly on Very Fast Trains

By Jon Fairall. The Saturday Paper, Jun 7, 2014.

The case for fast trains has never been stronger, and inaction just drives the cost higher.

The engineering think tank Beyond Zero Emissions recently released a report on the construction of a high-speed railway. The project’s leader, Gerard Drew, told a meeting in Sydney that on his scheme the Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne corridor would be linked by 2030 with trains running at 350km/h and possibly faster.

The study proved such a project could be justified. More importantly, perhaps, it demonstrated it could be financially viable. “High speed rail would halve air travel,” says the group’s chief executive officer, Stephen Bygrave. “It’s faster, more convenient and it will make a profit.” 

On the basis of overseas experience, the study team estimated that, if the line was built by 2030, 65 per cent of people travelling Brisbane–Sydney or Sydney–Melbourne would use the train. Given current projections of the growth of traffic along the corridor, that implies about 68 million passengers a year. 

Beyond Zero Emissions finds high-speed rail service sensible and feasible

Daryl Passmore, The Sunday Mail (Qld), May 11, 2014

A high-speed train, such as this service in China, could put Brisbane within three hours of Sydney within a decade. Source: AFP

IMAGINE boarding a train at Brisbane’s Roma Street at 9am and getting off at Sydney’s Central Station at noon.

Imagine living near the beach on the Gold Coast and commuting to work in Brisbane’s CBD within 20 minutes.

Both could be a reality in little more than a decade, according to a new report which says high speed rail is not only achievable and affordable, but essential to Australia’s future.

Detailed research by Melbourne University’s Energy Institute, think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions and the German Aerospace Center, concludes that a 1799km network linking Brisbane and the Gold Coast to Sydney and Melbourne could be operating by 2025.

“This is a faster, better, cleaner cheaper and more convenient form of travel. It is vital to Australia’s future,” Beyond Zero Emissions CEO Stephen Bygrave said.

Just 20 minutes from the Gold Coast to Brisbane?

By Damien Larkins and Bern Young, ABC Gold Coast.

Travelling from the Gold Coast to Brisbane in just 20 minutes could be a reality by the year 2025, researchers say.

A report from University of Melbourne's Energy Institute Energy Institute says an $84 billion high speed rail (HSR) network along Australia's east coast is the answer.

Australian think tank Beyond Zero Emissions, a part of the energy institute, says HSR is a clean, more efficient and faster way to travel.

Beyond Zero Emissions chief executive Dr Stephen Bygrave says existing networks in countries like Germany, Japan and China are already leading the way.

"It's an idea in Australia, but when you go overseas you see that this is actually a very real technology, a very real prospect," he said.

"The potential in Australia is huge, we're just not making the most of our potential."

Listen to the full interview of Dr Stephen Bygrave on ABC Gold Coast Breakfast with Bern Young. 

Australia's high speed transport solution

By Simon Butler. Green Left Weekly, May 3.

Call it reckless, short-sighted or just “plane stupid”, but the federal government’s decision to press ahead with a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek defies logic.

Along with the noise pollution it will inflict on western Sydney, the airport will spawn a huge amount of extra carbon pollution — something we cannot afford in an age of dangerous climate change.

Sydney does not need another airport because there is another, better way. A high-speed train line linking Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane could reduce air traffic drastically. It could take passengers from Sydney to Canberra, Brisbane or Melbourne in timeframes that are comparable to flying, but with cheaper fares and big cuts in carbon emissions. A new report released by the climate solutions think tank Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) shows how it could be done.

BZE: How we found high speed rail to be commercially viable

By Gerard Drew. The Urbanist (Crikey), April 24, 2014

Guest writer Gerard Drew from Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) explains the reasoning behind the organisation’s contention that east coast High Speed Rail line would cover its operating and capital costs

Guest writer Gerard Drew is Research Director with Beyond Zero Emissions (1):

After 30 years of discussion on high speed rail in Australia, and not a kilometre of track built for it, a cynic might assume that it’s never going to happen. But that would ignore what progress is being made overseas and recent analysis that changes the outlook for high speed rail in Australia.

The Zero Carbon Australia High Speed Rail report was published last week. It is a collaboration between think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute, and the German Aerospace Research Center.

The most important finding in the report relates to fare pricing assumptions associated with the estimation of high speed rail (HSR) commercial revenue. The point of difference is the air fare benchmark used as the competitive price level for HSR. This is a key point I believe was overlooked and misunderstood in the article on The Urbanist on April 15, High Speed Rail: too good to be true?

In the Phase 2 report produced by AECOM et. al. for the previous Federal government (completed in 2013), these air fare assumptions are not explicitly declared in the whole of the 534 page report, nor its 2,500+ pages of appendices, so some confusion is understandable.

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