High speed rail: 'I'll believe it when I see it'
A WONDERFUL concept, but essentially a 'pipe dream': That was the majority opinion of readers of The Northern Star when the idea of a high speed rail network crossing the region was touted.
Federal Labor's Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development Anthony Albanese recently introduced a private member's bill to parliament last week calling for the establishment of a High Speed Rail Authority.
Mr Albanese said the HSRA would "advance planning and corridor acquisition for the construction of a high-speed rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra".
When asked on The Northern Star's Facebook page whether local residents would like to see this project in the region, many commenters reacted positively.
"Yes please," Wendy Bithell said.
"Yes now get it done dinosaur trains are bad and NSW train system is over due to be fixed. Full east coast line top to bottom would be great," Gary Meiers said.
"Even QLD has faster trains than NSW, now that's saying something. Just do it!" John Wooldridge said.
"Yes please! We desperately need to get some of the cars off the roads," Karen Lee said.
"Yes, The XPT is slow enough and I will never ever catch a train again where ever I go if it's not in a car it's in a plane. Technology these days and we still got dinosaur trains," Douglas Smith said.
"I would just love to see a train that could run at 160km/hr. The steam age alignment of most of the NSW lines keep people in cars and freight on the highways. A 350km/hr train requires radius curves of greater than 6km diameter ie very straight. Our wildlife in Australia would cause catastrophic damage to a train travelling at this speed. It would either require animal proof fencing for its entirety or be elevated. The Casino to Murwillumbah line has multiple sub 300 metre diameter radius curves keeping us at sub 80km/hrs forever. Now who wants to catch the snail train to work?" Geoff Bensley said.
Others liked the idea in principle, but saw some flaws in the plan:
"Yeah but we can't even maintain the tracks on our existing rail network!" Adam Jeffreys said.
"Nice, but through whose paddock?" Janelle Watson said.
"And to think they will soon be buying a new fleet of XPT's. Better of spending money on the high speed train," Daniel Jonesy Jones said.
"If the fast train is going through Casino if won't be of much use to most of the population of the Northern Rivers which now lives on the coast," David Michie said.
"Flat out getting dual highway which once complete will need upgrading. So to suggest this when we don't even have the rail line any more is absurd," Jen Casey said.
"And the cost of the fare will be? It would make more sense to have an overnight fast freight rail service between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane substantially reducing the road freight traffic and fatal accidents," Ken Smith said.
"It will never happen, our country is not suitable for high speed rail unless it is off the ground, there are no straight lines, just look at our roads," Margaret Chaffey said.
"I will believe when I see it!" Leanne Gough said.