AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Canberra’s vision for rail ‘dismal’: Engineers Australia

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Engineers Australia (EA) delivered a dismal view of Canberra’s future vision for rail infrastructure, with rail receiving an ‘F’ rating in the engineering group’s annual report card on infrastructure in the territory, delivered last week. </span> <p>By Jennifer Perry<br /><br />EA’s assessment of rail in the ACT found it to be of “major concern”.</p><p>“The ‘F’ rating is based on the fact that there is no clear vision for the future of rail services in the ACT at any level – heavy rail, light rail or high speed rail,” chair of EA’s ACT report committee Rolfe Hartley said.</p><p>Recommendations of the report included the need to transform the ACT’s transport systems over the long-term by better coordination between the ACT Government and National Capital Authority on “complementary demand management measures”, encouraging landfill and development along transport corridors, and setting aside corridors for mass transport routes and intercity high speed rail.</p><p>Hartley reportedly called for the government to start thinking about light rail as part of an overarching ACT transport network plan and said that while EA recognises that Canberra’s current population density does not support a light rail system at present, at some point in the future it “most likely will”.</p><p>While the majority of infrastructure sectors are currently of good quality in the ACT, some flaws are appearing and there are concerns about matching the needs of the territory’s population growth.</p><p>“Timely infrastructure”, including rail, was needed to meet Canberra’s population growth,&quot Hartley said.</p><p>“Action is needed now to maintain standards, avoid any slippages and to address areas that need major changes for the future of a city approaching its 100th birthday.&quot</p><p>The report also stated that the ACT has benefitted from high quality infrastructure that existed prior to self government, but much of that infrastructure is reaching the end of its life or is reaching its capacity.</p><p><br />&nbsp</p>