High Speed Rail or HSR with electric passenger trains using steel wheels on steel rails with maximum operating speeds of 250km/h or more is now operational in 12 countries. It is now under review in Australia. The paper considers energy use on the 10 top routes of the Melbourne-Sydney and Sydney-Brisbane corridors and finds that HSR was in place by 2020, HSR could reduce the use of aviation fuel by over 450 million litres each year. External costs and Sydney airport issues are also noted.
Laird, P. (2011). Potential reduction in energy use from a High Speed Rail network in Australia. ATRF: 34th Australasian Transport Research Forum (pp. 1-17). Australia: ATRF.