AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Investors lining up for high speed rail

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Bryan Nye, chief executive of the Australasian Railway Association, says he’s confident overseas investment is ready and waiting to fund a $114 billion high speed railway on Australia’s east coast. </span> <p>Nye was cited in regional paper the Border Mail, saying funding was there for the high speed network the context for the Border Mail was that such a railway could have a stop in Albury-Wodonga, linking the area with businesses in Melbourne via a one-hour trip.</p><p>Nye addressed council members, including some from Albury and Wodonga, earlier this month, according to the Border Mail.</p><p>“There are enough overseas investors interested in investing in high speed rail in Australia to make it happen today,” he was quoted. “I know this to be the case from recently travelling in Asia.”</p><p>According to Nye, Chinese, Japanese and Korean investors are prime targets for Australian high speed rail funding, having already funded high speed rail in their countries, leaving them looking to invest elsewhere.</p><p>“The Japanese have negative interest rates and an interest rate of 1% is nearly double what they get now,” he reportedly said.</p><p>“What I am trying to do is get the councils to agitate and advocate to make it happen,” he continued. “The biggest impact will be on regional Australia. There is no reason why Albury-Wodonga shouldn’t be a city of two million people. If you are travelling at 380km/h you are only an hour away from Melbourne.”</p><p>The idea seemed popular with Border Mail’s readership.&nbsp The top-voted comment on the online version of the story, “I’ll throw in $10 to get it started,” was welcomed by another reader: “I’ll match you dollar for dollar&hellip”</p><p>Another reader wrote: “This is a great project that we should all get behind. Imagine being able to work in Melbourne and travel home to Albury in an hour, or your children being able to stay in Albury while they go to University [in Melbourne]? This would make decentralisation a reality.”</p><p>Nye told the council meeting that there was no reason the federal government couldn’t preserve a corridor for the rail line and call for expressions of interest for potential builders.</p><p>“Melbourne either becomes a city of 8.5 million people or we build up regional Australia where it is cheaper to do so,” he was quoted. “Melbourne and Sydney are suffering massive congestion issues.</p><p>“I certainly know of interest not only from Asia, but also Europe &hellip there is no doubt it would be viable and government studies show that. Even if we start today it would still be 10 years away, but councils have an incredibly important role in this.”</p>