High Speed Rail Plan

Australia could have high speed rail from Melbourne to Brisbane within a decade powered entirely by clean renewable energy.

Travelling long distances is an unavoidable part of living in Australia, with approximately 1,800 towns spread thinly over an enormous 7.7 million square kilometres.

Travel is so much a part of our lives. It accounts for one quarter of Australia’s total energy consumption, and 15% of greenhouse gas emissions.

As Beyond Zero Emissions’ High Speed Rail Report (2014) demonstrates, high speed rail between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane would provide clean, efficient, affordable and comfortable transport that would reduce travel emissions and service 80% of Australia’s population who live along the east coast.

Twenty one stations between Melbourne and Brisbane would connect 11 regional centres, paving the way for development.

This report was produced in collaboration with University of Melbourne – Energy Research Institute and German Aerospace Centre.

Key findings

The study’s key findings include:

  • 45% of Australian regional travel is contained within the proposed High Speed Rail network corridor
  • Journey times of less than three hours from the centre of Sydney CBD, to the CBD of Melbourne or Brisbane
  • 60% of Australian population is within 50km of a High Speed Rail station on proposed network
  • Three million fewer domestic passengers at Sydney Airport in 2030 than current levels, removing the need for a second airport in Sydney
  • 40 year capital repayment from operating profits
  • 100% renewable energy powered HSR allows zero emissions journeys
  • Internationally, comparable HSR projects have been delivered in less than 10 years
  • $7 billion estimated fare revenue when fully operational in 2030.

“The High Speed Rail report helps to confirm that this is a transport system which we should be implementing without further delay.”

Dale Budd

Reference Group Member, Commonwealth Government 2010-2013 high speed rail study

“High speed rail is an intergenerational project that will transform our nation…High speed rail must become a reality in Australia.”

Bryan Nye

CEO, Australasian Railway Association

Examples of costs, travel share and other projections throughout the report:

TAKE ACTION

Beyond Zero Emissions is powered by volunteers: engineers, scientists, economists and communicators all contribute their time and expertise to develop and promote climate solutions that support a rapid transition to zero emissions. Can you join us?

Subscribe

Sign up today for the latest news on our projects.

Events

Join us to learn more about our research and meet other industry, government and community leaders.

DONATE

Your tax deductible contribution can fulfil the promise of zero emissions for Australia.

Related reports

Renewable Energy Plan | Beyond Zero Emissions Australia
Renewable Energy
How to repower Australia with clean renewable energy quickly, easily and affordably.
Electric Vehicles Report | Beyond Zero Emissions Australia
Electric Vehicles
The shift to 100 per cent electric vehicles in Australia is feasible and affordable, with many benefits.
Industry Reports | Beyond Zero Emissions
Industry
How industry can reduce emissions, save costs and lead the world.

BEYOND ZERO EMISSIONS

Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) is an internationally recognised climate change think tank, providing independent and ambitious climate change solutions for Australia.

Our flagship research shows how all sectors of the Australian economy can decarbonise, repower and benefit from the transition to zero emissions. These Zero Carbon Australia plans cover renewable energy and electricity; energy efficient buildings; sustainable transport; agriculture, farming and land use; and industry.

Through volunteer-powered research we show that a thriving, zero emissions society is achievable and affordable now, and that Australia can become a renewable energy superpower.