A superfast train with a top speed of 350km/h (200km/h in residential areas)? Colour me interested. We've been hearing about a potential east coast high speed rail service for years now, but today, the federal Transport Minister released the first phase of a $20 million study that examines the up to $100 billion project. Yes, that's billion.
That's pretty hefty, but the study is investigating both private and public financing options. I love the sound of a high-speed train, but I wouldn't want his to turn into an NBN-like debate, or a road toll-style failure. On that point, the study so far predicts demand would be high enough to make the project feasible. Particularly between Sydney and Newcastle where a 40 minute commute would cost $16.50. SMH reports that Melbourne to Brisbane would cost between $75 and $197.