Connecting communities along Australia’s east coast
Consistent with previous studies, we consider that there is a strong case to be made for a high-speed route in Australia, especially along the east coast.
We propose the development of an ultra-high-speed transport project for Australia, using Hyperloop, from Geelong, in Victoria to Newcastle. in New South Wales.
The proposed route also encompasses connections to Port of Melbourne and Port Botany as well as the airports at Avalon, Tullamarine, Canberra and Sydney. This is to take advantage of Hyperloop’s container freight carrying capabilities.
Cruising at speeds in excess of 1,000 km/h, using Hyperloop, means intermediate trips on the proposed route take minutes rather than hours. By connecting cities and regional centres into one contiguous region, Hyperloop will effectively create a single “ribbon of places” along Australia’s east coast.
Supporting metropolitan and regional development
The connectivity and speeds Hyperloop provides new opportunities to connect and support sustainable growth for cities as well as regional centres along the East Coast corridor.
Growth pressures in cities, especially Sydney and Melbourne, can be released by connections to exiting, and potentially new, intermediate locations and regional centres, with less commuting time.
Successive governments have supported the concept of developing regional centres. The Riverina/ Wagga and Albury/Wodonga, and other regional centres are proof that the concept does deliver in terms of development and sustainability. What is missing from the model is access and connectivity to underpin their continuing growth as alternatives to metropolitan locations.
Relieving metropolitan road congestion
The freight capability of Hyperloop has the ability to remove significant volumes of heavy vehicle traffic off road freight transport routes. It also presents a significant opportunity to transform the issues affecting Australian freight operations, especially in metropolitan areas around ports and airports.
The airports in Sydney and Melbourne are reliant on road-based transport. The arterial corridors, which support access to the major population, employment, transport and freight distribution centres in both cities, are heavily congested. We believe widening of the Tullamarine freeway (as an example) in Melbourne will only alleviate the congestion issue for the next 5 to 10 years.
Further, the road freight task is evolving with a shift towards Class 2 Heavy Vehicles (7 to 9 axles). As a consequence, there is growing demand for more trucks needing to operate on authorised routes at higher mass limits.
Alleviating port capacity constraints
We consider that a Hyperloop transport solution for container freight, combined with new inter-modal infrastructure, will address land side port capacity constraints in Melbourne and Sydney.
In Sydney, Port Botany is at capacity – the ability of the port to tranship containers is currently higher than the ability of the land transport system to clear the cargo from the terminals and adjacent container depots. The Port of Melbourne, Australia’s largest seaport operation for handling containerised freight is facing capacity limitations – failure to address constraints will require the development of new port facilities at another location.
Addressing air corridor congestion and airport capacity
Hyperloop provides relief from growing air congestion along the Sydney to Canberra to Melbourne air corridor – one of the busiest air corridors in the world. It allows a transfer from airport slots along the route, at better than air speeds, releasing runway slot capacity at both Sydney and Melbourne airports.
More significantly, given its capability to cruise at speeds ofin excess of 1,000 km/h, Hyperloop provides a unique opportunity for Canberra Airport to grow in terms of domestic and international traffic. It also allows Sydney Airport to link with Canberra Airport and a new Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek. It will also provide the opportunity for Canberra to position itself as hub for international passengers and airfreight to develop as a major integrated multi-modal freight and distribution hub.