The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has congratulated Barry Broe on his appointment as the CEO of the National Faster Rail Agency and looks forward to working with him to deliver faster rail solutions.
“Mr Broe has a strong reputation of achievement and we welcome his appointment to deliver faster rail in Australia,” said ARA Chairman and Acting CEO Danny Broad.
“There are a myriad of opportunities to improve the capacity and speed of inter-city and regional rail offerings in Australia,” said Mr Broad.
“It will be critical that the Agency, under Mr Broe’s leadership, recognises the need to invest in existing and new lines to stretch Government dollars and provide a faster rail service offering that meets the needs of the Australian population,” he said.
We currently await the release of three Commonwealth business cases for Faster Rail: Brisbane-Sunshine Coast; Sydney-Newcastle and Melbourne-Shepparton. In the last budget the Commonwealth committed $2 billion from 2021-22 for faster rail between Melbourne and Geelong, as well as looking at a number of other business cases.
The NSW Government review of four different faster rail proposals undertaken by Professor Andrew McNaughton is due for release shortly.
However not all faster rail projects require brand new rail lines. Faster rail can be achieved through upgrades and modifications to existing rail infrastructure, such as passing loops, new signalling systems and level crossing removals..
ARA member companies, including all the major rail operators can identify a number of smaller projects that can deliver faster rail solutions without the expense of investing in new rail lines and trains.
The ARA also looks forward to discussions with the Agency about long term plans to acquire the corridor for Brisbane to Melbourne High Speed Rail.
Faster Rail and High Speed Rail will provide improved connections between our cities and regions, assisting to decentralise the Australian population and generate economic development.
Faster Rail, generally defined as rail that travels at speeds of up to 150-250km/h whilst High Speed Rail uses dedicated specialist trains and track to operate at speeds beyond 250km/h.
“We look forward to working with Mr Broe,” Mr Broad concluded.