Vale Bryan Nye OAM

The rail industry is mourning the loss of one of its greatest champions this week, following the passing of former Australasian Railway Association chief executive, Bryan Nye OAM.

Nye headed the ARA from 2003 until his retirement in 2015. The ARA published the following on Monday afternoon:

ARA Chairman Bob Herbert AM, the ARA Board, CEO Danny Broad and staff are saddened to advise industry of the passing of former CEO, Bryan Nye OAM, who headed the ARA from 2003 until his retirement in 2015.

Bryan had been battling Motor Neuron Disease since 2014 and sadly lost his battle in the early hours of Monday 12 September 2016.

Bryan headed the ARA during a time of great change. Australia’s rail industry is the beneficiary.

He had a long and distinguished career in rail, working tirelessly to promote the industry and its role in the Australian economy. During his 12 year tenure as CEO, he was a determined advocate for transport reform; actively promoting passenger, freight, light rail and high speed rail throughout Australia and internationally.

When he joined ARA in 2003, he relocated the office to Canberra, uniting industry to work cohesively on common issues. He established the ARA’s credibility within the industry and government alike, sharing his passion and vision for rail’s long-term growth and transformation.

In 2005, Bryan established the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB), guiding the industry to harmonise practices and establish national standards. He led a long campaign for a national rail Regulator, culminating in the establishment of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator in 2013 and, through the ARA and UGL, Bryan was instrumental in establishing the TrackSAFE Foundation.

In 2014 Bryan was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in recognition for his services to the rail industry and the business sector.

Bryan was admired by the rail industry family, respected by government and bureaucrats alike and loved by the ARA staff. As well as being an inspirational leader, he was a father figure for many ARA staff members and greatly respected by all.

He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife Claudia, his children Aaron and Naomi and his seven grandchildren.

Condolences to Claudia and the Nye family can be sent via ara@ara.net.au.

Brisbane’s Central station to get $67m makeover

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was on hand to announce a $67 million makeover for Brisbane’s busiest railway station on Monday.

Palaszczuk on September 5 announced a three-year program of works which would support 750 jobs and revitalise the historic station, which was first built in 1889.

“Central station is a gateway to the Brisbane CBD with up to 140,000 passengers travelling through the station every day,” the premier said, “but the major transport hub hasn’t undergone a large-scale renovation since the 1990s.”

The upgrade will leave the station with a new roof, which will extend over the Edward Street end of the concourse.

It also includes a modernisation of the platforms, including ceiling, wall and floor treatments and lighting, level entry boarding, extended cover on platforms 2/3 and 3/4, and new passenger information displays and seating.

New lifts will be installed, along with an additional escalator from the concourse to ANZAC Square, to reduce congestion during peak periods.

And the station’s staff facilities will also be revamped, with refurbished offices, communications rooms and first aid areas all on the cards.

“This upgrade will deliver a fresh new look, and make it easier for passengers to access and move around the station,” transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.

“The Central station upgrade is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to cater for growth and build the railway service we need for the future.”

Australasian Railway Association chief executive Danny Broad. Photo: RailGallery.com.au

AusRAIL plenary speakers announced

An impressive selection of speakers have been announced to present their ideas, opinions and insight during the Plenary conference sessions at this year’s AusRAIL Conference and Exhibition, which will take place in Adelaide on November 22 and 23.

Rail Express is the official media partner of AusRAIL, the Australasian Railway Association’s annual exhibition and conference.

You can download your copy of the AusRAIL 2016 brochure here. The following schedule has been announced (subject to change):

 

Day 1 – November 22, 2016

7:30 Registration and morning coffee

9:00 Welcome and opening remarks: Danny Broad, CEO, Australasian Railway Association (ARA)

9:10 Market outlook for Australia: Adrian Hart, Senior Manager, Infrastructure and Mining, BIS Shrapnel

9:40 The customer’s customer: Rail’s role in delivering expectations and improving the customer experience: Chris Brooks, National Transport Manager, Woolworths Limited

10.00 Making rail more competitive and profitable by introducing barcoding to better control inventory and assets: Maria Palazzolo, Chief Executive Officer, GS1 Australia

10.20 Morning tea and official exhibition opening

11.00 Australia’s transport challenge: Prioritising investment to meet the growth of our cities: Marion Terrill, Transport Program Director, Grattan Institute

11.20 Road-Rail Pricing: Achieving a shift from debate to reality: The Hon John Anderson AO, Chair, Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI)

11.40 FORUM – Investment and innovation: How can we fast-forward change in the freight game

  • Facilitator:Nicole Lockwood, Chair, Freight and Logistics Council WA
  • John Fullerton, CEO, ARTC
  • Marika Calfas, CEO, NSW Ports
  • Paul Larsen, CEO, Brookfield Rail
  • Greg Pauline, Managing Director, Genesee & Wyoming
  • Clare Gardiner-Barnes, Deputy Secretary, Freight, Strategy and Planning, Transport for NSW
  • Alan Piper, Group General Manager Sales & Commercial, KiwiRail

12.30 Lunch – served within the exhibition Sponsored by ARTC

2.00 Afternoon technical streams: Click here for the technical stream schedule

5.30 – 7.30 AusRAIL 2016 Exhibition Networking Drinks Sponsored by McConnell Dowell

 

Day 2 – November 23, 2016

8:00 Welcome coffee

9:00 Welcome and opening remarks: Danny Broad, CEO, Australasian Railway Association (ARA)

9:10 FEDERAL OPPOSITION ADDRESS: Anthony Albanese MP, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Cities and Tourism

9:30 ARA CHAIRMAN’S ADDRESS: Bob Herbert AM, Chairman, Australasian Railway Association (ARA)

9:50 Morning tea

10.30 FORUM – Women in rail

  • Facilitator: David Irwin, CEO, Pacific National
  • Sue McCarrey, CEO, The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator
  • Emma Thomas, Director-General, Transport Canberra and City Services ACT
  • Naomi Frauenfelder, Executive Director, TrackSAFE Foundation
  • Luba Grigorovitch, Victorian Branch Secretary, RTBU
  • Rowenna Walker, Global Service Leader, Rail and Mass Transit, Aurecon
  • Jenny McAuliffe, Executive General Manager People, ARTC
  • Sinead Giblin, Director of Operations, Northern, Jacobs

11.30 Young Rail Professionals Innovation Pitching Competition

12.00 Lunch

1:30 INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Wheels of fortune: MTR’s Value Capture Model: Terry Wong, Head of Australian Business, MTR Corporation Limited

2:00 A tale of two cities – Metro in Sydney and Melbourne: Rodd Staples, Program Director, Sydney Metro, Transport for NSW

2:40 Afternoon tea – served within the Exhibition

3:10 FORUM – Technology, social media and big data: Embracing change to improve the customer offering

  • Facilitator:Prof Graham Currie, Chair of Public Transport and Director, Public Transport Research Group, Institute of Transport Studies, Monash University
  • Howard Collins, Chief Executive, Sydney Trains
  • Andrew Lezala, CEO, Metro Trains Melbourne
  • René Lalande, Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation
  • Loretta Lynch, Managing Director, Gold Coast Light Rail, Keolis Downer
  • Kevin Wright, Chief Operating Officer, Queensland Rail
  • Michael Miller, Acting CEO, Downer Rail
  • Paul Gelston, Chief Operating Officer, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, South Australia

4.30 Close of conference

7:00 AUSRAIL 2016 GALA DINNER Sponsored by Downer

Greens welcome plan for Surry Hills light rail stop

State member for Newtown and Greens MP Jenny Leong says the future-proofing of Sydney’s CBD and South East Light Rail project for a stop to be built in Surry Hills is a win for the local community.

CBD coordinator general Marg Prendergast recently announced plans to move power lines underground in Surry Hills and future proof a possible light rail stop at Wimbo Park as part of construction set to begin in the area on September 2.

Prendergast said the overall scope of the Surry Hills work included a significant upgrade of the Devonshire Street corridor.

“We’ve developed a number of plans for local improvements that will benefit the Surry Hills area for years to come, from putting the existing powerlines underground to great new ‘pocket parks’ flanking Devonshire Street,” Prendergast said.

While light rail planners opted for the cheaper catenary power supply option (i.e. overhead wires) down Devonshire Street, Prendergast said moving the existing suburban power lines underground will help de-clutter the street.

She added: “Sections of the community continue to call for a second Surry Hills stop on the new light rail network, and while our planning work didn’t identify demand for a stop at Wimbo Park, off Bourke Street, we have listened and will do the groundwork to ensure any further addition of a stop there is not prohibitively expensive or disruptive.”

The Greens are convinced the stop will be needed sooner rather than later with a high demand for better public transport accessibility in the area.

“If the Government recognises there’ll be a need for the stop in the future, why not minimise disruption and cost and deliver it now?” Leong asked on August 24.

“Along the rest of the route, a station has been planned at the top and bottom of every hill – but not in Surry Hills.

“Building a second stop at Wimbo Park now will fix this anomaly and improve accessibility for locals, particularly the elderly, parents with prams and anyone with a mobility issue.”

Elsewhere on the future light rail route, the transfer of materials excavated from the CBD and Moore Park has almost all been moved to the site of the new Lilyfield maintenance depot, where the ground level must be raised to ensure the depot is above the flood zone.

Construction of buildings at the depot – which will still remain within 10.5 metres of the original ground level – will begin in October.

Delegates at AusRAIL PLUS 2015. Photo: RailGallery.com.au

AusRAIL technical speakers announced

An intriguing mix of speakers have been outlined for the four streams that will make up the technical portion of this year’s AusRAIL Conference, which will take place in Adelaide on November 22 and 23.

Rail Express is the official media partner of AusRAIL, the Australasian Railway Association’s annual exhibition and conference.

After a plenary session on the first morning of this year’s event, the AusRAIL Conference will split into four technical streams: the RTSA Stream, the RTAA Stream, the IRSE Stream, and the Rail Suppliers Stream.

The following schedules have been announced (subject to change):

 

RTSA Stream

2.10 Opening remarks from the Chair: John Watsford, Rail Engineering Consultant

2.15 Australia’s first fully automated trains for passenger rail – how Sydney Metro has selected and will implement train control technology: Geoff Bateman, Sydney Metro Manager Civil Works Underground Infrastructure, Transport for NSW

2.40 Modernising light rail infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing city: Mike Ford, Senior Track & Civil Design Engineer, Jacobs; Les Kulesza, Principal Advisor, Network Development, Yarra Trams

3.05 Perth’s urban rail renaissance: Dr Philip Laird, Honorary Principal Fellow, University of Wollongong

3.30 Afternoon tea served within the exhibition

4.10 Opening remarks from the Chair: Bill Laidlaw, Rail Engineering Consultant

4.15 The Waratah Train PPP – 10 years on, and going strong: Owen Hayford, Partner, Clayton Utz

4.40 Integration of multi-mode passenger information for regional train and coach operations: Mark Wood, General Manager Communications – Electronics, 4Tel; Tony Crosby General Manager – Services, 4Tel

5.05 Rolling stock fire safety: A global view: Lachlan Henderson, Fire Engineer, Metro Trains Melbourne

 

RTAA Stream

2.10 Opening remarks from the Chair: David Bainbridge, Director Strategic Projects, Scott Lister

The RTAA have selected the following 8 papers to be prepared for their technical stream, 6 of these will be selected after review to form the final program:

Next generation of high performance turnout renewals: Matthias Mannhart, Director Rhomberg Sersa Technology, Sersa Maschineller Gleisbau; Henrik Vocks, Manager Technical Services, Rhomberg Rail Australia

Turnout grinding: Why and how: Simon Thomas, Application Engineer, Speno Rail Maintenance Australia

Non-ballasted track forms: A survey of global best practices: Maneesh Gupta, Technical Director, AECOM Australia

Future on rail: Economocal ecological track maintenance: Rainer Wenty, Manager Strategic Marketing and Roman Wiesinger, Executive Assistant, Plasser & Theurer

Advances in tamping technology: Roger Grossniklaus, Marketing and Sales Director, MATISA Materiel Industriel

Hydraulic Tamping: A Glimpse into the Future: Sam Botterill, Managing Director, System7 Australia

Sudden death, early retirement or merely a midlife crisis: The performance of SC 47kg/m rail in ARTC’s Interstate Network: Nick Petticrew, Rail Performance Manager, Interstate Network, ARTC

A cost-effective alternative to conventional concrete track slab design and construction: Todd Clarke, Sales Engineer, Elasto Plastic Concrete

 

IRSE Stream

2.10 Opening remarks from the Chair: Trevor Moore, Signalling Standards Engineer, ARTC

2.15 Rail level crossings: Paul Salmon, Professor Human Factors, Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast

2.40 Near misses in remote locations: Investigating rail level crossing incidents in the Pilbara: Dr Anjum Naweed, Principal Research Fellow, Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation

3.05 Level Crossing Power Supply Design for Safety: Ian Maydrew, Signal Engineer Standards, ARTC

3.30 Afternoon tea served within the exhibition

4.10 Opening remarks from the Chair

4.15 Comparison of advanced train control solutions for freight lines in Australia – “Moving Freight Forward”: Dr Brenton Atchison, Engineering Manager, Advanced Signalling, Siemens

4.40 Long term strategy for wayside systems: Deepak Jagan, Wayside Engineering Analyst, ARTC

5.05 Australia’s cities of tomorrow: Light rail as an agent for change: Toby Lodge, Light Rail Sector Lead and Principal, Hassell

 

Rail Suppliers Stream

2.10 Opening remarks from the Chair: Stephan van der Lit, Manager, Industry Engagement, Rolling Stock Development Division, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victoria

2.15 Innovation and sustainability: Daniel Dunoyé, Business Development Expert, System & Infrastructure, Alstom Asia Pacific

2.40 Mastering last minute changes: Rail planning and scheduling for passenger and freight operations: Cameron Collie, National Program Manager – Rail, Quintiq

3.05 The key to success: Fully managing your infrastructure security: Matthew Benn, Business Development Manager, Selectlok Australia

3.30 Afternoon tea served within the exhibition

4.10 Opening remarks from the Chair

4.15 Session to be advised

4.40 Challenges in developing an efficient bridge design for the ETTT Viaduct: Penny Campbell, Structural Engineer, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

5.05 Building a business case for an Energy Storage System (ESS) in a rail network: Caroline Phillips, Area Sales Manager – Transportation, ABB Australia

 

Following the technical streams, the AusRAIL 2016 Exhibition Networking Drinks will take place in the exhibition hall from 5.30 to 7.30pm.

Closed lines to be used for tourism under Tas bill

Tasmanian infrastructure minister Rene Hidding has launched a new bill to enable non-operational rail lines to be used for things like cycle and walking tracks, horse riding and running.

The Strategic Infrastructure Corridors (Strategic and Recreational Use) Bill was tabled by the Hodgman Liberal Government last week.

Hidding says the bill will allow the government to consider alternative uses of non-operational corridors where there is no foreseeable need for rail services, where the alternative use has a demonstrated community benefit and does not preclude future rail use.

One example of alternative use is the North East Rail Trail project, which aims to use the non-operational North East rail corridor, and which the Dorset Council has secured $1.47 million from the Commonwealth Government to develop.

Hidding said the Hodgman Government has also provided in-principle support to the Burnie City Council and the Waratah-Wynyard Council for the development of a coastal cycleway on the Wiltshire Line rail corridor.

The bill has been praised by many, including the Tamar Bicycle Users Group, the North East Rail Trail board, Bicycle Network Tasmanian adviser Garry Bailey, and the Greens.

Photo: Auckland Transport

NZ takes a new approach to transport research

New Zealand’s associate transport minister Craig Foss says the release of a new Transport Domain Plan and Research Strategy better equips the nation’s transport sector to plan for the future.

Foss launched the two complementary documents during an event at Parliament on July 27.

The Transport Domain Plan, available here, is designed to ensure the sector has the right data and information going forward, and aims to make data more visible and easy to use.

The Research Strategy, available here, is targeted at creating investment in the right research for the transport sector in the future. The paper provides a framework for fostering a better research environment; one which emphasises collaboration, maximises the economic and social benefits of the transport system, and minimises harm.

“Each year, central and local government invest over $5 billion in developing, operating and maintaining our transport system,” Foss said.

“This investment relies on a foundation of high quality information.

“The new Domain Plan will ensure the sector has access to more comprehensive data and information, while the Research Strategy will guide investment in research that better meets our future transport needs.”

Foss says New Zealand faces “significant transport challenges,” but he believes the two documents will help the sector understand those challenges, and how they can be managed.

“The way we travel in 20 years is likely to be very different from the way we travel now,” the minister continued.

“The Domain Plan and Research Strategy provide a new direction for transport research and will help, through high-quality data, ensure New Zealand is ready to meet and embrace changes within the transport sector.”

V/Line train going through level crossing. Photo: RailGallery.com.au

Commuters help regions tap into city-driven growth

COMMENT: Long-distance commuting may help promote the development of regional cities by boosting local populations, skills and incomes, Todd Denham writes.

There is a strong geographic element to the transitions in the Australian economy that our prime minister so frequently refers to. Generally, the old economy, based on manufacturing, mining and agriculture, provided employment and opportunity in regional Australia, whereas the new jobs in knowledge-intensive industries are predominantly created in the centre of our largest cities.

The federal government’s recent Smart Cities Plan states:

Australia’s growth as a knowledge-based economy, and the prosperity this offers, goes hand in hand with the growth of our cities and the regions surrounding them.

But how does this growth in city-centric industries translate to regional growth?
Commuting may provide the answer.

That people travelling from regional areas to work in cities may distribute both financial and population growth was first proposed by Gunnar Myrdal in 1963. This applies particularly when this commuting is associated with the relocation of households from the cities.

More recently, the CLARA proposal bases regional development on high-speed city rail access and attracting commuters to new cities between Sydney and Melbourne.

In Victoria, the flight of city dwellers to picturesque regional cities and towns has received regular media coverage over the past decade. An example is the Northcote North phenomenon: 2006 Census data indicated most of the new residents of Castlemaine had relocated from Melbourne’s inner north.

Rise of the long-distance commuter

Census data also indicate that a significant number of these metropolitan escapees work in Melbourne. In Geelong, 2011 Census data show that more than 11,000 residents of the regional city travelled to work in Melbourne. That was nearly 13% of the city’s resident workforce.

This growth in commuting has occurred across Australia. Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said it’s no longer a steel city but “a lifestyle city” when proposing that Sydney commuters may help offset continued job losses at the local steel plant. He said more than 20,000 of the city’s residents commute to the New South Wales capital each day.

For cities like Wollongong and Geelong, commuting may provide important economic benefits as their traditional industrial strengths decline and even close.

The increase in regional-urban commuting can be seen as not just the result of the increase in well-paid employment towards the centre of our larger cities. Rising housing costs have also played a part.

In a recent interview, a new resident of Torquay said that, for similar prices, it was a choice between the beachside town and a new housing development on the outskirts of Melbourne. Other reasons for regional relocation include friends and family, rural amenity and work arrangements for other household members, but metropolitan housing costs appear to be a significant factor.

What do regions get out of this?

Regional-urban commuters’ access to well-paid employment is an important factor in spreading economic benefits. For example, about 30% of Geelong residents who earned more than $2,000 per week in 2011 worked in Melbourne.

It is also important to note that, in 2011, more than 50% of the Victorian regional-urban commuters had changed their place of residence in the preceding five years: people are moving to commute and bringing higher incomes and families with them. There is evidence to suggest that this additional income may lead to higher regional employment in retail and service industries.

However, research indicates that many people do not continue long-distance commuting for more than a few years. This can be attributed to the links between long-distance commuting and poor physical and mental health, family problems and reduced community engagement.

Economists suggest that when deciding to commute long distances, people are not good at evaluating the non-pecuniary costs of commuting and the higher wages associated with commuting do not fully compensate for these costs.

Regional-urban commuters are more likely to work in the growing knowledge-based industries than their regional counterparts, in the census categories information, media and telecommunications; financial and insurance services; and professional, scientific and technical services.

When commuters tire of the travel, should they continue to live regionally and seek local work, this may be more significant for regional growth than the impact of the additional income. Some of these people may start new businesses closer to home, or provide a labour pool for other businesses in the area.

A survey is under way asking regional-urban commuters about their work and considerations of change. Preliminary results indicate that the main reason people start regional-urban commuting is that their work is not available where they live. Many would work locally if they could.

The tendency for commuters to find or create local employment as they tire of the time spent in transit is central to understanding how regions can grow through interactions with larger cities.The Conversation

Todd Denham is a PhD Candidate at the School of Global, Urban & Social Studies at RMIT University. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here.

BHP iron ore down despite WA growth

The continued shutdown of BHP’s joint venture Samarco mine in Brazil has resulted in a 2% decline in the miner’s iron ore production in the 2015/16 financial year.

Samarco was closed after a tailings dam collapsed, flooding a small village below, resulting in 19 deaths.

The project was a joint venture between BHP Billiton and Brazilian mining giant Vale.

The loss of Samarco’s production from BHP’s figures was partially offset by a 2% increase in WA iron ore production, but not enough to put it in the growth column.

Overall, BHP produced 227mt of iron ore in 2015/16, down 2%. In the June quarter the miner produced 56mt, down 7%.

Iron ore wasn’t the only business sector the ASX-listed giant saw a production decrease.

The deferral of development activity in its onshore US business resulted in a 6% drop in petroleum production for the mega miner, to 240 million barrels of oil or equivalent.

Lower grades of ore at the Escondida mine resulted in an 8% decline in copper production to 1.58mt.

And divestment of the San Juan Mine, along with unfavourable weather in NSW and elsewhere resulted in a 16% drop in energy coal production to 34mt.

Metallurgical coal was BHP’s only major area of growth, with record production at five Queensland coal mines resulting in a 1% year-on-year rise, to 43mt.

BHP boss Andrew Mackenzie said he expected volumes and costs to improve over the next 12 months as a result of the company’s continued rive to safely boost productivity.

“We can create significant value through further cost reductions, taking advantage of latent capacity in our assets and investing in low-capital projects,” he said.

“These initiatives are expected to grow production by 5% in copper, up to 4% in iron ore, and 3% in metallurgical coal in the next financial year.”

Private plan for $200bn high speed line

A private company has unveiled its plan to build a high speed rail line between Sydney and Melbourne via eight new cities without spending a cent of taxpayer money.

Consolidated Land and Rail Australia, or CLARA, is a private firm which on July 14 announced its plans for eight compact cities between Melbourne and Sydney, all linked by a high speed rail line.

Supported through financing from Australia and the US, the project would rely largely on value capture and uplift derived from developing new cities along the inland route.

In this way, CLARA aims to provide an innovative answer to the question always raised when high speed rail is discussed: how do you pay for it?

“I take the point that it’s been around for a long time: a proposal to build a high speed rail between Sydney and Melbourne,” CLARA co-founder and chairman Nick Cleary told ABC Radio, “but our plan is about decentralisation. It’s actually a cities plan.”

Cleary says the group has negotiated the rights to buy roughly half of the private land it needs to build the rail lines and eight new cities along the route.

A train running express from Sydney to Melbourne would take roughly 110 minutes, while a train stopping at all eight city centres would take 165 minutes between the two.

CLARA isn’t yet specific in its plans for the high speed technology itself – its website discusses magnetic levitation trains in Japan, and more traditional high speed rail networks in France and China – but Cleary is more concerned with land acquisition and government support at this stage.

“This is all about us working collaboratively with government: and there’s three tiers of government that we need to engage with,” he told the ABC.

“It’s about hitting certain milestones which will trigger other parts of those agreements to be released and they’re multi-year option agreements and they give us legal control over the land that we’re talking about.”

Cleary served as vice chairman of the NSW Nationals between 2013 and 2016.

His fellow CLARA co-founder is Jay Grant, a private equity and property specialist who has also worked in government policy development and consulting. Grant is listed as CLARA’s managing director.

 

 

CLARA is also supported by a large advisory board including former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell, former Victorian premier Steve Bracks, recently-departed federal trade and investment minister Andrew Robb, and former US Department of Transportation secretary Ray Lahood.

Bracks also spoke with ABC, saying the private group’s plan would take the financial strain of the project off the government.

“It doesn’t need money from state or federal governments, but it obviously needs cooperation and approval for it to proceed,” Bracks said.

“This is about regional development, decentralisation and the land capture which will occur on the corridor between Melbourne and Sydney.

“And that will pay for the capital cost of the fast rail between Melbourne and Sydney.

“And the fare box, with a large population of Melbourne and Sydney, will pay for the operation.”