Monday, August 28, 2017

LNP go Hyper Loopy

Artists impression of the LNP's transport policy
In yet another example of laughable/destructive public transport policies from the Queensland LNP, today opposition leader Tim Nicholls announced that the LNP would pledge $2.5m towards a business case for Very Fast Train's (VFT) running between the Gold Coast and Bundaberg. It seems that even the Hyperloop concept from Tesla Cars entrepreneur Elon Musk will be investigated as an option.

Despite this investigation into Very Fast Trains, it appears that the LNP are still very cold on Cross River Rail (CRR). This is despite CRR going through countless evaluation processes throughout the last decade to be the best transport solution for SE Queensland. Without CRR (and ETCS signalling), capacity cannot be increased across Brisbane's existing rail network, making new lines such as the Salisbury to Beaudesert corridor (Greater Flagstone), and increasing train services to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts impossible to implement. Also, without CRR, much of Brisbane's CBD including the Queens Wharf Casino and QUT Gardens Point are still a long way from train stations, and transport in Brisbane will grind a standstill. This will make Queensland much less attractive to businesses compared to Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland that are all advancing with building new rail tunnels.

Does Tim Nicholls realise that:
  • For VFT's to run into Brisbane, that new train lines and transport corridors are required, a la Cross River Rail which he so despises? 
  • Due to acceleration and deceleration, that the time savings of VFT within 100km distance e.g. Brisbane to Gold and Sunshine Coats is barely worth the effort, especially given the linear nature of these conurbations requiring multiple stations? 
  • That Hyperloop is not in operation anywhere in the world, and that Queensland isn't too successful at project management recently? (NGR and MBRL, cough, cough)? 
  • That VFT from Brisbane to Bundaberg would cost approximately $100b (based on HS2 costs). 
  • That VFT requires a price premium, which many SE Queenslanders will not want to pay for (e.g. in Japan a similar distance journey on a Bullet Train will cost approximately double that of conventional rail)? 
  • That Brisbane to Bundaberg traffic would not sustain VFT in the slightest? 
If the LNP axe the urgently required CRR to instead investigate travelling at 1000kph in a drain pipe, then they will most definitely be Hyper Loopy! 


  1. I think there definitley is scope for a decent medium speed service in SEQ, since the travel times to the GC are a joke compared to what Victoria and WA get on similar corridors.

    But it is laughable for them to want to do this, then ignore the need for a tunnel to actually get them into the inner city at an acceptable pace.

  2. Medium speed transport to the coasts could be achieved by using tilting trains, adding a 4th track on the Gold Coast/Beenleigh corridor, building the Trouts Rd line as an extension of CRR, and duplication of Sunshine Coast Line. This would be a fraction of the cost of VFT.

    1. Tilt trains are not cost-efficient. 4th track is. Ultra-fast trains MIGHT work - but how about we try the 4th track, with express straight from Gold Coast? Say Helensvale where the tram stop is to central. Then from central to Airport - NO STOPS. The same is true to Sunshine coast. I'm sure that the train running at full speed with no stops would be surprisingly fast without any need for other technology.

    2. I doubt we would see expresses straight from Helensvale as you would then need extra stopping services to serve stations between Coomera and Beenleigh, plus an extra track would be required for the expresses to overtake said stopping services. Same goes for expresses from Central to Airport, two extra tracks would be required for overtaking. Not gonna happen (anyway at a minimum stops would be requited at FV, Bowen Hills, and Eagle Junction for connections).

    3. Yes, but no service should be added in isolation, so I'm not talking about simply adding an additional service, but rather re-designing the faux express with an actual express, and altering surrounding services to shuttle to express stations. For instance - FV shuttle in to Central, then swap to the direct trip with no stops to the Airport.

      Look - I'm the first to admit this is an ill-thought through suggestion, so to be clear, the point I'm trying to make is that I believe current technology trains could be be surprisingly fast if the service and infrastructure was optimised.

      Very Fast Train technology is generally (but not necessarily) incompatible with other rail, higher cost, and/or higher maintenance. These other technologies may be justified but my point is that nobody has proven the case that optimised standard trains aren't more practical.

  3. It really feels like the Lnp will support anything that is not CRR. The flashier the news announcement, the better they think.

    But for this idea, have a look at how much the Lnp are saying they will commit for the study- $2.5 million. Chump change for this project to go anywhere.

    It is just a blatant stall because Lnp has no viable public transport policy to counter Crr.

  4. it's scary because so many white haired oldies will still vote for LNP


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