Why the $20 million train ticket could get you a ride to the moon
The next stage in space exploration could be a train ticket.
The Federal Government is set to release a new national rail service to be developed to link Australia’s biggest cities and regional areas, starting next year.
In a speech on Tuesday, Transport Minister Scott Emerson said a new system of regional rail would provide commuters from Melbourne and Canberra the opportunity to travel to the International Space Station.
“We are making a big step forward,” he said.
Rail service will cost $20 billion.
A train ticket is already available from Melbourne to Canberra, while a trip on the new train system will cost about $20 per passenger, with a maximum price of $40.
It will link Melbourne with Canberra in the east, Canberra to Darwin in the west and Darwin to Adelaide in the south.
Emerson said the new system would also link Canberra to Sydney and Perth with Darwin.
He said the project was set to cost $7.7 billion.
The project will cost more than $100 billion, but it is set for a much faster completion, with the first train to connect Sydney and Melbourne due to leave the A$1.3 billion facility at the end of 2020.
Construction of the new railway system, which will be called the InterRail Rail Link, will begin in 2021, but the full program will be completed in 2024.
This will be the largest railway project in Australia’s history, with one in every five trips taking place on the network.
It is also set to provide a much cheaper way to travel.
When it is completed, the Interrail Rail Link will have a population of just 1.7 million people and the cost will be $7 billion, Emerson said.
The Government is also expected to announce an increase in the national budget for the first time since 2019.
It will bring in $4 billion for the rail project over the next four years, up from $3.4 billion.
Emerson, who is also a member of the Victorian Government, said the Government had made a commitment to investing $10 billion over four years into the project, which he said would provide the Australian people with better services on a cost-effective basis.
Under the Labor Government, which took power in 2014, the Government spent $5.6 billion in infrastructure spending, mostly for road construction and the construction of major infrastructure projects, Emerson told reporters on Tuesday.
“We have invested in roads, we have invested to the tune of $2 billion in rail and rail upgrades,” he added.
“So what we have done is invested in infrastructure.”
The announcement comes after a year of uncertainty for rail infrastructure in Australia, as the Federal Government failed to deliver on its pledge to invest $100 million in a new rail system between Canberra and Darwin.
The Government was criticised by the Victorian government for not having a clear plan for the future of the project and the government has since pledged to “roll out” the InterTrain Rail Link project.
Despite the delay, Emerson is confident the project will be a success.
“I think we have a really good, solid and reliable project on track, and the Government has made an extraordinary commitment to invest in infrastructure in this country,” he told ABC radio.
Key points: A new rail line is being developed for Canberra and Melbourne, with Melbourne’s link to the Space Station expected to cost around $20bnFederal Government says a train line will cost around A$7.8 billion, the cost of the intercontinental rail line currently being developedIn a series of tweets on Tuesday morning, Emerson announced that construction of the rail line would begin in 2024, but that the project would cost more $10bn than initially planned.
“The InterRailRailLink will enable a train journey from Melbourne’s CBD to Darwin’s CBD, connecting these two centres for a direct connection to the station,” he tweeted.
“It will connect Melbourne to the Airport, the Central Coast, Darwin and the Gold Coast.”
“The Federal Rail Commission estimates that construction will cost up to $20,000 per passenger.”
Emerson has previously said the InterSpace rail project would be built for $7,000 to $10,000, with about a third of that being spent on the line itself.
Last year, he said a train between Melbourne and Adelaide would cost about A$2.4 million per passenger.
He also said that a train from Darwin to Sydney could cost about AU$5.2 million per person.
Topics:travel-and-tourism,travel-health-and‐safety,transport,travel,united-statesFirst posted October 11, 2020 08:07:23More stories from Australia