IRJ - September 2011 - (Page 8)
Australian high-speed rail study released
John Hoyle Regional editor
STUDY commissioned by the Australian government estimates that construction of a high-speed railway along the country’s east coast from Brisbane to Melbourne via Newcastle, Sydney and Canberra would cost between $A 61bn and $A 108bn ($US 67.03bn$US 118.68bn). The first stage of the study, which was commissioned by the Australian government and conducted by an Aecomled consortium, states that a new 1600km, 1435mm-gauge railway would cater for train
speeds of up to 350km/h and offer journey times of around 2h 50min between Sydney and Melbourne, or Sydney and Brisbane. It calls for acquisition of land to secure future highspeed rail corridors to allow staged construction of the line which is projected to carry around 54 million passengers a year by 2036, around half of which would have flown between Sydney and Melbourne on the world’s fifth-busiest air corridor. Suggested fares for the route vary from $A 99-$A 197 for a Melbourne - Sydney journey, and $A 75-$A 177 for a Sydney - Brisbane trip.
Despite the results of the study, Australian transport and infrastructure minister, Mr Anthony Albanese says that Sydney will still need a second airport because highspeed rail will not solve all the of its transport issues. However, Mr Bryan Nye, CEO of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), says that the high-speed rail line should defer the need for a second airport and that high-speed rail must happen in Australia (see page 64). The government has invited tenders for the second and final stages of the study which are due to be completed next year.
Arenaways files for bankruptcy
TALIAN open-access operator Arenaways filed for bankruptcy on August 4, casting doubt over the future of its Turin - Milan service and the summer tourist trains from Germany and the Netherlands run in partnership with foreign operators. Turin - Milan services were suspended on August 1 and had not resumed at the time of press. Arenaways has struggled to make these trains viable after a ruling by the Italian regulator precluded it from serving intermediate stations, as this was judged to abstract revenue from Trenitalia regional services. Euro Express Train Partner, Netherlands, has reached an agreement with the receivers to continue operating the motor rail service from ‘s-Hertogenbosch to Alessandria and Livorno. DB Autozug initially chose to seek an alternative Italian operator for its trains from Germany, although it too has decided to continue with Arenaways until the end of the summer season. The Piedmont region and the province of Alessandria have promised ƒ50,000 and ƒ20,000 respectively to help keep Arenaways afloat through the remainder of the summer holiday period, which is economically important to the region. Arenaways is likely to be sold by November, and its founder and CEO Mr Giuseppe Arena says he is willing to buy back the company if he can find a business partner, suggesting a foreign operator may be suitable for this role.
FRA allocates more funds for new trains
HE Federal Railroad Administration will allocate an additional $US 336.2m to California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri to purchase American-built trains as part of continuing efforts to improve the United States’ inter-city passenger fleet. The latest allocation takes the total received by these five states and Washington state to $US 782m which will be used to purchase 33 locomotives and 120 double-deck passenger coaches. The trains will be designed to operate at more than 110km/h on inter-city corridors in these six states and in Indiana and Oregon. States will be expected to match the federal investment, with a request for information expected by the end of the summer.
Bombardier unveils Swiss double-deck mock-up: Bombardier has produced a mock-up to test the interior design of the 59 double-deck trains which Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) ordered last year (IRJ June 2010 p4) at a cost of SFr 1.86bn ($US 2.36bn). Mr Stéphane Wettstein, managing director of Bombardier Transportation, Switzerland, and Ms Jennine Pilloud, head of SBB’s passenger division, are pictured in front of the mock-up. The first train will enter service in 2014.
Dar es Salaam - Kigali project fast-tracked
ANZANIA’s foreign affairs minister Mr Bernard Membe says that construction of the $US 5.3bn Dar es Salaam - Kigali railway will begin in the second quarter of 2012, after Tanzania and Rwanda agreed to fasttrack the five-year implementation of the project. The African Development Bank has funded the study for the project which is intended to increase trade between the two countries. The project involves rehabilitating the 970km Dar es Salaam - Isaka line, and constructing a new 494km line from there via Keza to Kigali. A 197km line from Keza to Musongati in Burundi is also planned.
IRJ September 2011
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.