High speed rail in Australia: a case study for a Sydney- Wollongong link

Newman, Matthew (2014) High speed rail in Australia: a case study for a Sydney- Wollongong link. [USQ Project]


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By 2050, it is predicted that there will be approximately 355 million trips completed on the East coast of Australia, requiring further duplication of the Hume Highway and a third airport in Sydney. To help with this 'congestion', a strategic plan was prepared, aimed at how to implement a high speed rail along the eastern seaboard. While the report briefly discusses arguments for and against a Wollongong link, this research is intended to highlight the real need for it.

A socioeconomic analysis was conducted to determine where Australia stood when compared with other countries who already have a successful High Speed Rail (HSR) line. The analysis found that Australia's population density was considerably less than other countries, sitting at 3 people/km2. However, it could be justified that majority of Australia's population lives along the proposed route, whose density is approximately 77 people/km2; 15 people/km2 less than Spain.

Travel demand modelling was performed to establish whether or not a link between Sydney and Wollongong is needed, and if it could be supported. In the first year of service, the modelling found that there would be approximately 8 million passenger trips undertaken, increasing to over 10 million after 20 years of service.

To back up the travel demand modelling, a strategic alignment was designed, and a cost-benefit analysis was undertaken on the alignment to determine the potential cost of the link, and a possible return period on the capital investment. The analysis found that the link would cost approximately $17.6 billion, with revenue from ridership in the first year totalling $212 million. This equated to a return period of 70 years for the link alone, i.e. without consideration of the remaining HSR network.

Based on the analysis performed throughout this project, it was found that a link through Wollongong, linking Sydney and Canberra, is a viable alternative to the route proposed to pass through the Southern Highlands. The link could produce a potential reduction in road traffic by 33% to 58%, whilst increasing ridership on railway by 26% to 44%. It could be a profitable form of public infrastructure within 70 years, and it would create induce travel to the city of Wollongong and surrounding towns.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) project.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Somasundaraswaran, Soma
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 05:07
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2016 05:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: rail; high speed rail; Wollongong; Sydney; New South Wales; Canberra; Australian Capital Territory
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090505 Infrastructure Engineering and Asset Management
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090507 Transport Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400508 Infrastructure engineering and asset management
40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400512 Transport engineering
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/27262

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