High speed rail in Australia - much studied and slow to start
High Speed Rail or HSR with electric passenger trains operating at speeds of 250km/h or more is now operational in 11 countries and has been under recent consideration in Australia for future operation between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane. The paper outlines HSR studies in Australia and conditionally quantifies the potential reduction of aviation fuel use at up to 0.5m litres per annum from the introduction of HSR by 2020 in Australia with a reduction of external costs at $540m per annum by 2020. In addition, HSR in Eastern Australia by 2020 could allow for some 300 slots to be released at Sydney Airport. The paper also notes the option of major upgrades to the existing East Coast interstate mainline track with rail deviations to facilitate Fairly Fast Passenger Trains at speeds of up to 200 km/h.