WHAT a welcome development it is to have a train from Bathurst to Sydney (article in Central Western Daily, August 11).
However calling it a “bullet” is an overstatement. It will take 3.5 hours for 200 kilometres.
A few weeks ago I was riding the French TGV (train grand vitesse) which cruises at 360km/h. Japan has a “bullet train” that travels almost as fast.
Just think of this. We all liked receiving the $900 so-called “stimulus” payment from the government, but for that amount of money we could have built a TGV from Sydney to Melbourne.
Just imagine Sydney Central to Melbourne inner city in 2 hours 15 minutes!
Faster than a plane, and it would do Sydney to Canberra in less than an hour.
Consider how many jobs it would have created, instead of just $900 of consumption spending.
But a project like that would require politicians with vision.
I have some expertise in fast trains. I first became familiar with such things when I was in charge of noise pollution in 1988 and was asked to advise on routes for a Sydney-Melbourne VFT.
When I worked in the RTA Western Region HQ in Parkes 1990-97, I travelled several times per month by air to Sydney and endured the congestion in the skies over Sydney and in the road traffic from airport to city.
I worked with then mayor Robert Wilson and I put a designed, costed proposal to both sides of politics suggesting that Sydney’s second airport be at Parkes with a very fast train to Sydney. I did the costing - even allowing for massive tunnels under the Blue Mountains. It would have been several billion dollars cheaper than Badgerys Creek.
Passenger would embark straight out of the aircraft onto the train, and one hour later be at Sydney Central, having completed customs procedures etc. on the train.
Such a proposal was too visionary for both sides of politics.