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Birth of a railway

By Everald Compton - posted Monday, 15 May 2017


21 years of planning will enable work to commence in July.

However, we still have many opponents. They can’t stop us, but they could cause delays. My job is to sell its positives and there are plenty.


Freight trains will run at 120 kilometres an hour and get from Melbourne to Brisbane faster than trucks.

Freight charges will be slashed as long double stacked trains need only two staff whereas every truck has to have a driver.

Trucks wont go out of business. They will service the freight centres along the way and their drivers will be able to go home every night.

The massive cost of being maintaining highways that are crushed by trucks will be saved and the environment will be enhanced as trains create less contamination than trucks.

New value-adding rural industries will be founded as the horrendous cost of getting products to ports will be reduced. Right now, this is not possible as it costs more to get freight to one of our ports than it does to get it from there to China and USA.

These new industries will cause inland cities to grow, encouraging population to move from our overcrowded capital cities.


I could go on, but let me say this.

There is something seriously wrong with government and politics in Australia when it takes 21 years to get an infrastructure project up. Indeed, it is quite disgraceful that infrastructure has had such a low priority.

But, credit is due to Turnbull for committing an amount which is the largest for a nation building project since the Snowy Mountains Hydro 70 years ago.

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Everald Compton was one of the five contributors to the first edition of On Line Opinion, and in April, 1999 contributed this article Australian Inland Rail Expressway: a century of planning, outlining his plans for the Inland Railway. We're happy to have been a small part of his success.

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About the Author

Everald Compton is Chairman of The Longevity Forum, a not for profit entity which is implementing The Blueprint for an Ageing Australia. He was a Founding Director of National Seniors Australia and served as its Chairman for 25 years. Subsequently , he was Chairman for three years of the Federal Government's Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing.

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