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Australia’s East Coast Could Finally Be Getting A Super-Fast Rail Link

In places like Europe and Japan, you can travel to places that are thousands and thousands of kilometres apart within hours, thanks to their lightning fast rail link systems. Then, you have Australia where it takes you the same amount of time to get to somewhere that is literally in the same state. For example, it takes roughly the same amount of time to travel by train from Sydney to Newcastle as it would from London to Paris.

Thankfully, this could soon change.

This week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the NSW Government’s proposed Fast Rail Network Strategy, which would see a four-hour train trip (or three-hour drive) to Canberra cut down to just one hour. This is just one of four routes the speedy east coast rail network, with plans to create links between regional cities within 300 kilometres of Sydney.

nsw rail

Image: NSW Government

The northern route would allow you to get from Sydney to Newcastle in 45 minutes,  continuing on to Port Macquarie. Meanwhile, the western route would bolt down to Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange and the South Coast route get you to Wollongong in 30 minutes and Nowra in 45 minutes.

So, what kind of witchcraft would allow this to happen? To reach these destinations so rapidly, the new train network would need to operate around 75% faster than current NSW trains – and run at over 250 kilometres per hour. Japan’s current Shinkansen trains travel at 320 kilometres per hour.

In order for the new rail network to go ahead, Ms Berejiklian and her party would need to be re-elected at the polls on March 23, 2019. Then, a detailed planning and infrastructure process would take place, before the existing regional rail links are upgraded and finally, the new high-speed rail is built.

Here’s hoping it all goes off without a hitch (and less plagued by setbacks than the current light rail project in Sydney) because it would be an absolute game-changer for regional travellers and commuters.

(Lead image: NSW Government)