High Speed Rail or HSR with electric passenger trains operating at speeds of 250km/h or more is now operational in 12 countries and is again under consideration in Australia. The paper outlines earlier HSR studies in Australia and Sydney airport issues. It briefly considers aviation fuel use on the 10 top routes of the Melbourne-Sydney and Sydney-Brisbane corridors (some 571 million litres in 2009) and conditionally quantifies the potential reduction of aviation fuel and greenhouse gas emissions that could result from the introduction of HSR in Australia. The paper includes some observations of the current debate in Britain whether to proceed with further HSR. It also notes the option of major upgrades to the existing East Coast interstate mainline track with rail deviations as appropriate. This is to facilitate not only Fast Freight Trains but also Fairly Fast Passenger Trains at speeds of up to 200 km/h.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/plaird/9/