Zero Carbon Australia High Speed Rail - Report Launch

Sydney: Wednesday, 30 April, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, UNSW Chemical Sciences building, Kensington, NSW. Click here to book tickets.

Please join us at this premiere event. Our high-speed rail research director Gerard Drew will speak alongside leading rail experts and political leaders. Be among the first to see this ground-breaking research launched. 

Guest speakers Geoff Kettle (Mayor of Goulburn), Brian Nye (CEO, Australasian Railway Association), Phillipp Bergeron (DLR German Aerospace Centre), Phil Potterton (GHD), Jean Jammet (SYSTRA), and John Black (Emeritus Professor, Transport, UNSW).

The launch will be an opportunity to engage with key figures in the debate about transforming how Australians move.

The HSR Project is a collaboration between Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), and the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute.

The key findings are summarised here.

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

Exhibit 1: This shows average air fare yields for non-business travellers (bargain hunters), which is to say the average of all fares paid by this category of air passenger. It shows the average fare between Sydney-Brisbane for example to be approximately $55, and Melbourne-Brisbane approximately $95.

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.

Media Release: Badgerys Creek airport no solution for transport problems

An airport at Badgerys Creek is a patch job which does not address the fundamental constraints on Australia's economy, according to the publisher of the recent study into high-speed rail, Beyond Zero Emissions.
 
Media release, Beyond Zero Emissions, April 15 2014
For immediate release
 
"High speed rail has been shown by our report to dramatically reduce domestic air traffic at Sydney airport as well as addressing deeper deficiencies in our current transport infrastructure", said lead researcher Gerard Drew.
 
"Infrastructure is sorely needed but when we contemplate spending large sums of money in this day and age on long lived infrastructure we really must consider the needs of the future: the livability of our cities, the development of regional Australia and the reduction of our greenhouse gas emission."
"These issues will remain even if an airport is built at Badgerys Creek," said Mr. Drew.
 
"In fact, when we realise that high speed rail is still needed, the second airport will end up a mothballed relic."

High Speed Rail from Melbourne to Brisbane departing!

Beyond Zero Emissions' high speed rail (HSR) research director Gerard Drew talks about the successful launch of the HSR Report on 9 April 2014. The HSR Project is a collaboration between Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), and the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute.

Interview

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All on board the high speed train

Sara Phillips, ABC Environment

Conditions have never been so favourable for high speed rail to gather the support it needs to start rolling out some tracks.

WOULDN'T IT BE WONDERFUL to be able to step on a train at Southern Cross in Melbourne and step off at Central Station in Sydney just three hours later. On the train would be WiFi, so you could do some work or update your Facebook status (I'm travelling at 300km/h!). You could maybe pop into the dining car for a cuppa around Albury-Wodonga. All this for less than the cost of an airfare, fewer greenhouse gases, and of course, without the associated taxis to and from the airport and waiting times at the airport.

Ah, high speed rail. Australia has fantasised about it for decades. But despite general enthusiasm for the idea somehow it's never quite made it into reality.

The principal reason in the past has been cost. Successive governments or private consortia have done the maths and got cold feet.

But the latest offering from environmental think tank Beyond Zero Emissions claims that high speed rail can be built in Australia at less cost than others have estimated, with a payback time of 40 years.

High-speed rail from Melbourne to Brisbane could be completed by 2025

Two-year study says 1,799km rail system could be built for $84bn, $30bn less than previous estimates

Oliver Milman, The Guardian, Wednesday 9 April 2014

A high-speed rail network stretching from Melbourne to Brisbane could be completed by 2025, costing $30bn less than previous government estimates, a new study has found.

The two-year analysis, compiled by climate change think tank Beyond Zero Emissions, found that a 1,799km high-speed rail system could be built between Melbourne and Brisbane, via Canberra and Sydney, within 11 years at a cost of $84bn.

The project would generate $7bn of operating revenue in the year 2030, the report found, despite tickets being cheaper than air travel. This means the scheme’s initial outlay would be repaid by 2040.

Media Release: Australian high-speed rail line could be running by 2030

High speed rail linking Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane would reduce carbon emissions and provide a profitable and popular service, according to research which will be released next week.

Climate change think tank Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) is launching the new report on the potential for high speed rail in Australia in Melbourne on Wednesday April 9, and Sydney on April 30.

According to BZE CEO Stephen Bygrave “the research shows that high speed rail can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport, in addition to the regional development and economic benefits previously identified.”


The report, a collaboration between BZE, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the University of Melbourne’s Energy Research Institute, has been two years in the making.

The report recommends an alignment broadly similar to the government's recent study, connecting 12 major regional towns, and the cities of Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

“Regional travel in Australia is highly concentrated in the east coast corridor, generating some of the busiest flight paths in the world as well as significant traffic on our main interstate highways”, says lead author, Gerard Drew.

Fly by rail: 5 reasons fast trains have an Aussie future

By Stephen Bygrave, Climate Spectator

What goes up must come down. At least in the case of airplanes, that's true. But as airplanes keep going up, so do greenhouse gas emissions – these emissions stay in the atmosphere and do not come down.

High speed rail, on the other hand, is on the up and up, and can run without contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Europe has had high speed rail since the 1960s. China, Japan and Korea all have high speed rail. India has this year announced it is investigating the feasibility of building high speed rail.

Click to book your free seat at the Melbourne launch on April 9


Australian governments have for over 30 years toyed with the idea of building a high-speed rail line on the east coast, and there are finally moves underway to set aside the corridor in which a system could be built. This follows the previous federal government’s $20 million high speed rail implementation study which found a significant economic benefit to Australia returning $2.30 for every $1 invested.

Think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions has just completed a two-year study into HSR in Australia which shows that rail can not only dramatically reduce transport emissions, but also be built for $30 billion less than the most recent government study.

McArdle 'plain wrong' on energy says Howard adviser

By Bill Hoffmann, Sunshine Coast Daily

THE architect of the Howard Government's Renewable Energy Target has dismissed as just plain wrong claims by Queensland Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle that it was a handbrake on the Australian economy.

Stephen Bygrave, now head of Beyond Zero Emissions, said Mr McArdle was also wrong in his claims that the contribution of renewable energy during the recent Victorian heatwave was very unreliable. 

Mr McArdle yesterday issued a press release claiming the days of Queenslanders subsidising energy sources that "were not commercially viable" should be declared over by an Abbott Government panel that will review the Renewable Energy Target.

It was seen as a direct assault on renewable energy strategies of successive past federal governments.

Just under 28% of all homes in his Caloundra electorate have solar panels on their roofs, the highest rate of take up in the state and one of the highest in Australia.

When climate solutions are seen as a threat not an opportunity

BZE's CEO, Stephen Bygrave, writes:

2014 is shaping up to be a big year on a range of fronts. The Renewable Energy Target, which I helped to design in the late 1990s, is under review. The carbon price, which I was also involved with, is under threat. There have been a number of ill-informed statements by the Prime Minister and the government about renewables not being effective unless the "sun is shining and the wind is blowing". Climate change solutions are being viewed as a threat not as an opportunity.

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