$140bn plan to use high-speed rail in urbanising interior Australia

$140bn plan to use high-speed rail in urbanising interior Australia

An international consortium has begun plans to connect the three major Australians cities of Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne by way of a 917-km high-speed rail system. The proposed rail system will be funded by the construction of eight sustainable cities along the route.

The plan is set to offer significant benefits to Australians, 46% of whom live in either Sydney or Melbourne and are faced with the problems of lengthy commutes, congestion, and unaffordable housing.

The group behind the project, Clara (Consolidate Land and Rail Australia), argue that the entire project can be funded by the increase in land values that the project would create, proposing that $900m of rural land could be sold for $140bn (USD) once the new, sustainable, smart cities have been built along the route.

Clara claim that the high-speed rail connection and early stages of the new cities can be complete within five years.

While the project is primarily concerned with sustainable development, Nick Cleary, chairman of Clara, highlighted the central importance of railway infrastructure for the success of the project.

The rail technology providers that Clara will work with are yet to be announced.

(CC image courtesy of Gopal Vijayaraghavan on Flickr)

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