Australian Greens Promote High-Speed Rail for Melbourne-Sydney Link

» Long-studied project would cost upwards of A$40 billion and connect the country’s two largest cities in less than four hours. Though ruling Labor Party supported the project, it may not follow through with funding.

Among the long list of countries now moving towards high-speed rail (most recent adherent: Sudan), Australia is remarkable for the number of years it has been seriously considering an investment but repeatedly pulled away because of worries about cost, a dubious distinction perhaps shared only by its Anglo-Saxon peers in the U.S. and Canada.

Repeatedly pinpointed as the nation’s most promising route for fast trains, a 950-kilometer (600-mile) route between Sydney and Melbourne would connect Australia’s two largest cities whose combined metropolitan populations count 8.5 million people. The corridor is already the world’s fourth busiest air link, with about 950 flights a week, and it passes directly above Canberra, the federal capital ideally positioned between

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Kansas City Abandons Light Rail; Australian Rapid Transit Projects In Development

Kansas City abandons light rail for regional commuter system

In November, Kansas City voters abandoned hope for a light rail system by a 44-56% margin. There had been several efforts over the past few years to build a variety of lines, led by community organizer Clay Chastain, who in 2006 won an endorsement from voters for a 27-mile rail system to run throughout the city. In 2008, however, the city council decided on a $1 billion 14-mile north-south line (shown in the plan to the right) that would be sponsored by a 3/8¢ sales tax; voters obviously weren’t interested.

But now the area’s Regional Transit Alliance has decided to replace its light rail plan with a commuter rail system that would run using diesel locomotives on existing tracks. The Kansas City Star reports that Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders sees the commuter rail system as more ambitious

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The Site / The Fight

by Yonah Freemark

yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic (dot) com

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