Talk:High-speed rail in Australia

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Currently this article uses a mix of terminology to refer to high speed rail - HST, HSR, VFT, VHST, VHSR and their longhand equivalents are used more or less interchangably. Given that the title of the article uses "high-speed rail", I propose that all generic instances be replaced by "HSR" or "high-speed rail" (also applying to derivatives, such that they become "high speed railway", "high speed rail line", "high speed rail system" etc). Specific instances of other usage should be retained, such as when refering to the late 1980s "Very Fast Train" project, or the Arup study on "Very High Speed Trains". Comments?--Yeti Hunter (talk) 02:21, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

FAC to-do list[edit]

  • Well written - some paragraphs need work, general structure may need changing. Work on this last of all after structure has been fixed.
  • Comprehensive - Well on the way; possibly dwells too much on East Coast corridor / VFT style proposals? But these are the only likely candidates for true High-Speed rail in Australia; just ensure article deals breifly with the (lack of) HSR in the rest of Australia. Need to describe proposed corridors in greater detail, talk more about opposition on environmental and NIMBY grounds.
  • Well researched - good mix of news, scholarly articles and engineering reports. Need to check for dead links and fix where possible, specify page numbers in large reports where appropriate.
  • Neutral - only possible issues would be with reasons for failure of past proposals, and possibly the inclusion of dubious proposals (melbourne maglev???). Generally ok as stands.
    • Some editors have expressed a wish for more focus on alternative proposals. Subject to WP:WEIGHT, this is being attended to.--Yeti Hunter (talk) 03:48, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Stable - not subject to any edit wars at present. Green tickY
  • Lead - still requires some work to concisely summarise article.
  • Structure good mix of headings, but overall structure may require changing (primarily to make it clear that the East Coast VFT is only one proposal, albeit the only proposal which has been seriously considered).
  • Consistent citations - Many web citations require titles and access dates
  • Media - Good mix of media; possibly include image of Shinkansen or TGV as example technology? Careful not to make article crowded.Green tickY
  • Length - Currently ok. Green tickY

Please discuss your thoughts and help out! --Yeti Hunter (talk) 02:11, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Couple of thoughts

  • I think the background section would be improved with some deeper history of rail in Australia - particularly the eastern melb-syd-bris routes. Even a few sentences would be good.
    • This is not a History of Rail in Australia. It is about HSR. Which has never been built. More History is irrelevent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by David bluetongue (talkcontribs) 12:34, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
    • I think the issue that Peripitus had with the lack of history has been resolved - the current history gives enough background without going into irrelevant detail.--Yeti Hunter (talk) 21:08, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't think that railpage should be regarded as a reliable source - though I think that the information they present is certainly reliable (bit of a conundrum that)
  • The material in the lead is partly unique and not a summary of the article.

I'll try to do some more work on this later in the week - Peripitus (Talk) 11:18, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Agree with expanding the background section, perhaps linking to a "main article" (History of rail transport in Australia). Also think the structure should be reworked a bit; as it stands it looks like the East Coast VFT article. Perhaps include a section looking at the East Coast corridor in detail (which includes all current sub-headings), then add sections for other intercity proposals, urban and commuter proposals, existing and proposed medium speed services (often incorrectly marketed as "high speed"), opposition and political positions. I will rearrange it this weekend if agreed that this is a good layout.--Yeti Hunter (talk) 04:43, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
It might be worth mentioning somewhere in this article that when New South Wales chose to introduce the New South Wales XPT back in the 1980s that it was a re-engineered version of what actually was high-speed rail - the British Rail's High Speed Train was the basis of the design. It was only because of changes from the UK design, such as lower gearing, and presumably insufficient stretches of straight main line, that Australia didn't get HSR at that point. I don't feel qualified to add this myself as I know nothing about the Australian railways scene. --Peeky44 What's on your mind? 17:15, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Discussion on routes[edit]

(NOTE: thread refactored --Yeti Hunter (talk) 03:13, 18 February 2011 (UTC))

Routes do not cover any engineeringly achievable routes !

Sydney to Newcastle route runs through thick Sandstone. It's only been mentioned to help local politicians with their own transport issues.

Demographics are not covered. Who benefits from the trains?

Ticket prices not covered.

Viable routes not covered.

Discussion Requested - but anything falling outside Government propoganda is cut out. Nice--— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The routes detailed in the article have been published by reliable sources, and it was noted that many areas pose significant engineering challenges. An analysis of potential ticket prices was done by one of the studies (Arup??) but to dwell on it too much would verge into WP:CRYSTAL and WP:OR territory. Demographics and benefits could certainly use some expansion - feel free to help. I have already noted above that the page does dwell too heavily on the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane route. If you have any reliable sources regarding the Noosa / Penrith routes, it would be great to have them added to the article. --Yeti Hunter (talk) 03:13, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Like these: and --Yeti Hunter (talk) 04:30, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

The article says: "Though Australia has no large mountain ranges, such as in Japan or Europe, the engineering challenges involved in constructing an east coast high-speed railway are formidable. The most direct route between the major destinations is also the most mountainous, and no route can avoid the Great Dividing Range altogether. High Speed railways require very long radius curves (generally greater than 5 km) and low gradients (generally no greater than 1.5%)"

Generally the TGV does gradients up to 3.5%, the German ICE up to 4.0%. A High Speed only railway can achieve much steeper gradients as railways with freight trains can do! For 300km/h maximum speed on a High Speed only railway the ICE needs curves with a minimum radius of 3350m, not 5000m...

And on an completely new High Speed railway for a speed of 350km/h you should have an average speed of more than 240km/h (with 320km/h TGV does an average speed of about 260 - 280km/h, CRH with 350km/h has an average speed of more than 300km/h) This means the HSR travel times given in this article with over 4 hours for both Melbourne-Sydney and Sydney -Brisbane are unlikely long. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:16, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

I agree, but that's what that particular study claimed. Reading the study, it seems that as it was outside the scope of the study to determine accurate corridors, they simply whacked the current corridors into their HSR simulators and quoted the results. Ludicrous methodology, but I think that's where the four hour number comes from. The maximum grade comes from the 2001 study, which noted that steeper grades are easily crested over short stretches, say 4km, if the train is at high speed already.--Yeti Hunter (talk) 12:26, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Assessment Comment[edit]

This article has been re-assessed in reaction to the request in WP:Trains. After looking at it, I felt it has a lot of useful content which is very well written. But I feel it could be sorted a bit more well. The article seems to be just more than an article on the history of HSR in Australia. Some more information on the Infrastructure could be added, if possible. I strongly suggest a history section which can include the 'Background', 'Past Proposals' and 'After 2000' sections of the present article. It is equally necessary to merge the 'Medium speed services' section into the 'Background' section, of-course, retaining the heading to a sub-heading. I have placed the and sections under 'Challenges', because they are similar. With this effort it can be, for sure, rated B. --SharadbobTalkC 12:42, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I disagree. This article is currently riddled with absurd, contradictory and fantasist drivel. So 99.9% of the 11 million current road vehicle trips between Sydney and Canberra will switch to a fast train ? Err, no.Eregli bob (talk) 13:04, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure where those road statistics came from. As far as I know, the only verifiable stats from a reliable study are to do with air travel diversions, which a study predicted to be 98% between Canberra and Sydney (pretty much like Paris and Brussels, for which there is now no scheduled air service due to the TGV). Feel free to mercilessly cull uncited factoids.--Yeti Hunter (talk) 23:06, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
I would favor an upgrade of the rating, this should at least be B or better GA, but C is not adequate as quality rating.--Bk1 168 (talk) 21:21, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I think C is about the right rating. There is still too much reliance on superficial newspaper articles and report summaries, leading to shallowness in discussion of – for example – economic, environmental and engineering aspects. SCHolar44 (talk) 06:24, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

2011 HSR Report[edit]

As the recent government report has been released (, there is much to be updated within this article, on current cost/patronage/viability estimates. Dusk 13:20, 4 August 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bbbbrain2000 (talkcontribs)

Page move[edit]

Regarding the good-faith page-move performed by User:hsraus - I oppose the move (for the time being), because the article is presently about HSR Australia-wide (eg, Perth and Melbourne proposals, TransWA, QR). Given the article length, we could probably create some new forks for some of the more notable individual proposals like VFT, Speedrail, etc, but even then this page should stay at High-speed rail in Australia, IMHO. We might as well discuss the move here before making any more page moves - move reverts are annoying to implement and we might as well only do it once, if at all.--Yeti Hunter (talk) 11:03, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

hsraus contributions page is quite confusing, what is happening? the article is about the whole of australia - it should be high speed rail in australia - using locations in the title is just very confusing, and misleading SatuSuro 11:26, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

2013 High speed rail report[edit]

With the release today of the phase two high speed rail study, this atricle could use an overhaul. I suggest that the main focus of the article should be the state of the current research, condensing or tidying up the historical information.

The header picture could also do with an upgrade. (talk) 00:15, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

The new study does demonstrate that consensus is developing ever more strongly around the "Country Vic / NSW Coast route", and we can probably change the "proposed route" section to reflect the most recent report. The best part of the new report is that it provides ample information on predicted ridership and expenses, something the current article lacks. I have no time to do this now, maybe later. I think I still have the SVG of the main image on my computer somewhere - maybe I'll update that.--Yeti Hunter (talk) 00:34, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Addition of findings of 2013 High speed rail report, and editing existing text that as a consequence is out of date[edit]

This is advance notice of some additions that will bring the article up to date. I expect to implement them in the next week, ie by about 28 August 2013.

I have prepared a synopsis of the 2013 report findings, and associated references, which are ready to insert. However, I will wait till I am able to also add coverage of criticism of the study so that I can refer to it in the interests of balance. I am finishing off some research into that at the moment, and expect to have it completed within a few days.

I agree with earlier comments about changes needed to the content of the article and will follow the addition of new text with a major edit of some related sections, which are starting to show their age. For example, I don't see any need for the detailed description in the '2011 High Speed Rail Study (Phase 1) routes’ section, given that it is available comprehensively in the latest project report. In keeping with earlier comments I will also do some restructuring into a more rational flow. SCHolar44 (talk) 09:08, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

As forecast, I have now added the synopses of the phase 1 and 2 reports, placed after the "Background" section (which I haven't yet touched, but will adjust). Completion of the latter report by the Australian Government has rendered a considerable amount of detail in this article out of date, so I have removed it. That said, although very detailed material in the reports themselves is readily accessible I believe that up-to-date replacement text for some of the material I have had to remove could be extracted from the reports. Perhaps another author could make that contribution.
I then placed several other paragraphs that were in a rather loose sequence in chronological order under two new headings: "Earlier proposals and studies for an eastern seaboard route" and "Other, intrastate proposals".
Under the latter heading, I started off with: "At various times, state political parties and others have proposed schemes involving fast trains in other localities that included the potential to achieve speeds above the 200 km/h threshold." I listed them also in chronological order.
This left some final items under the existing heading "Medium-speed services". It comprised an introduction, "Australia has several medium-speed services on existing track that has been upgraded to accommodate faster services and/or tilting technology", followed by five bullet-point paragraphs describing these services. None, however, come within 60 km/h of the threshold for the definition of "high-speed rail". In other countries, these speeds would be humdrum and I can't see any justification for including them in an article on high-speed rail. However, they fit well at the end of the article "Rail transport in Australia" and I have moved the text and photos accordingly.
[Paragraph above is now updated to include the move to the Rail transport in Australia article.] SCHolar44 (talk) 11:12, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Over all, the article as amended is much more up-to-date and probably a better length than the superseded article, which had been over-detailed in parts and certainly outdated. It still needs a bit of tightening, though, and I will return to that task as soon as I can. I should also be able to add fully referenced text on criticisms, which is being prepared.SCHolar44 (talk) 23:09, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Is there any point to trying to improve the article when it is almost immediately reverted to what had previously been acknowledged as needing improvement?[edit]

This article has been acknowledged for a long time (see above and earlier) as rather loosely compiled and needing some work, especially on restructuring. Also, it was becoming rather out of date. On 24 August I bit the bullet and wrote a synopsis of the latest HSR study reports, reduced some detail in earlier text and re-ordered it into chronological order -- fulfilling, I had hoped, the wishes of people who had made the observations but presumably hadn't had time to do the work themselves. I found it strange to see changes made by "hsraus" within 48 hours of these modifications, and by "Clare" soon after. These changes reverted much of the text to that had been criticised for impairing the standard of the article.

For anyone who takes an interest in this page and can give me some guidance, I'd like to explain why I'm confused. I am seeking a non-destructive solution to what I see as a problem.

I want to make clear the fact that I respect, and very much support, the founding Wikipedia principle that anyone can edit material in any article. I probably need to make the basis for my concerns clear, so I'll give some details.

Things I don't understand include the changing of the level 2 heading I composed to head up the summary of the key points in the phase 1 and phase 2 of the current HSR study. I titled that heading "Current eastern seaboard HSR study". Importantly, the subsequent level 2 heading, "Earlier proposals and studies" depended on it (earlier than what? earlier than the current study). However, the heading I inserted was changed (back?) to "HSR on the east coast of Australia", even though the content below it was new and dealt with the current study. May I ask why? The fact is, we don't have HSR on the east coast except for one run on one trial 15 years ago. If the text that follows deals with the current study the heading should say so in the interests of the logical flow of the article.

Two things follow from that: first, the topic of most current interest is the 2011-2013 (so far) government-sponsored study. I bet that's what many of the 133 daily visitors to this article (average for the past three months) have been mainly interested in. Even for those who don't, it's an important topic, so the text should appear under a heading that denotes the current study.

Second, although I retained the QR feat I phrased it as "High-speed rail projects have been under investigation since the early 1980s, but none have [I should have said "has"] yet progressed beyond the planning stage". This has been changed back to "The Australian rail speed record of 210 km/h was set by Queensland Rail's]] Tilt Train during a trial run in 1998". Though the latter is factual, the emphasis is completely different. We need, in all truth, to acknowledge that HSR has not yet arrived in Australia.

Other text that hsraus has reverted is too detailed and inappropriate to the level of the material needed at that point. For example, two paragraphs now start off the discussion of the current Australian Government HSR study. One is "Over 12 million people live in the Sydney-Melbourne corridor" and the other "An Albury resident could be in Melbourne’s CBD in 65 minutes and Sydney’s CBD in 95 minutes". A reasonable response to them would be "So what?" since the sentences are "bare" of context but simply stand there, not even followed up, an inexplicable start to a discussion of the current Australian Government study. And why add two maps of current NSW and Victorian railway lines for Very Slow Trains? It's the equivalent of an article on advanced present-day aircraft having a map of airfields of the 1920s inserted. The maps are simply not relevant, and they are inappropriate.

And so it goes. Material put back in the introduction is a repetition, inappropriately, of text in the discussion. Large swathes of earlier and longer text -- material that has been acknowledged as needing improvement -- have been reinserted.

This leads me to my questions, on which I would genuinely appreciate some answers: first, why -- when the need for a tightening up and re-ordering of the article has been mentioned for such a long time -- does a serious attempt to remedy the situation get reverted within 48 hours with many elements of the earlier disjointed article? Second, what happens next? I expect if I were to make any corrective change it would be reverted again and if I persisted an editing war would start. I don't have the time or interest to get involved in that. Frankly, after taking a fair amount of time to research the latest developments and express them crisply I doubt the usefulness of doing any further work on the article -- if it is going to be reverted senselessly and no-one in the Wikipedia community is bothered about that. Have I just stumbled on a no-man's land, the battlefield remaining after a previous editing war? I'm certainly very willing to be corrected competently, as several people have done with references. I believe that is the spirit of Wikipedia. But the near-mindless reversion of text, especially without taking the trouble to consider the context in which it is placed, is discouraging in the extreme; more so when the need for the changes have been commented on for a long time. Should I just back off?

I would appreciate any constructive comment.SCHolar44 (talk) 07:39, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi SCHolar44, very happy for you to carry on making improvements; I really liked it particularly when the page had the new phase two report route image (rather than this rather dated image that currently stands). As you point out, a lot has changed in the last year as related to this topic and it would be good to reflect in this page. Also I completely agree that the maps of current rail lines in Vic and NSW are irrelevant... I will go and take them out now (had been thinking about it, but in the last couple of weeks my edits have actually just been adding to citations--please take a look under history--I haven't been altering the content or structure much at all, just adding to citations). I had only remember this page because it popped up in my watch-list after your edits and I was doing what I could to help. Clare. (talk) 01:06, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your response, Clare.  :-) It was good to see your citation corrections -- I'm a bit out of practice!
About the HSR preferred alignment map: I removed it because someone contended that it did not come under the new Australian Government policy that the Creative Commons BY licence has been established "as the default licence for public Australian Government information". However, I have now had conirmation from the Department of Infrastructure and Transport that the image can be published under CC-BY Attribution 3.0 Australia. I have sent the information to Wikimedia Permissions and once they confirm receipt I will reinstate the map. SCHolar44 (talk) 23:52, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

I'd welcome comments on my remarks above by anyone else, especially "hsraus", who I can't contact because there is no talk page for her/him.SCHolar44 (talk) 09:59, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Specifications section removed?[edit]

Great, somebody has removed the specifications section. The one that outlined how long the trains and platforms are going to be. Where the main station in Melbourne will be. How much the station in Melbourne will cost. Looking at the High Speed 2 page, it gives a lot of detail on where the stations will be. I think we should put that info back into the Aussie HSR page. Tri400 (talk) 12:03, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Tri400. Which section did you mean? I think this is what the page looked like at your previous edits: Clare. (talk) 00:34, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

It wasn't me, but I can't help but observe that people had for a long time criticised the version os it stood a few months ago on the grounds that it was far too detailed. Things such as length of trains and platforms, and a huge number of similar technical details which others may also consider interesting, are in the High Speed Rail Study Phase 2 Report 2013 (currently reference number 44, which is online and easy to access. This is an encyclopaedia article and as such, detailed technical information should usually be referenced, not included. SCHolar44 (talk) 18:10, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Very Fast Train article[edit]

I have written a draft of a main article for the 1990 Very Fast Train proposal in my sandbox (here); I would appreciate any feedback or additions, especially pictures if anyone has something appropriate. Also, please comment on whether you think the article would be better titled Very Fast Train (which currently links to this article), or Very Fast Train Joint Venture, which relates more specifically to the 1990 proposal. Although no subsequent high speed rail proposal has called itself a "VFT", the name has been used in the media and by the public to describe other projects, and could be considered generic. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. --Yeti Hunter (talk) 01:29, 15 October 2014 (UTC)