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Australian government releases high-speed rail study

08-04-2011 14:08 BJT

SYDNEY, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Australian Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese on Thursday released the first stage of a feasibility study into a high-speed rail network connecting cities in eastern states of the country.

The study found it could get passengers from Sydney to Brisbane in three hours for as little as 75 AU dollars (80 U.S. dollars) and tickets between Sydney and Melbourne could cost 99 AU dollars (105 U.S. dollars)

It said the network linking Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne could cost as much as 100 billion AU dollars (107 billion U.S. dollars), with train speeds reaching 350 kilometers an hour.

The Australian Government said the network would be able to carry around 54 million passengers a year by 2036.

"This is the most serious study that has ever been undertaken into high-speed rail," Albanese said.

He said the Government would take another 12 months to conduct the next stage of the study.

The high-speed rail study was welcomed by Australian industry groups.

Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) president Dyan Currie said high-speed rail was good nation-building transport infrastructure.

The IPA said it was "a realistic and feasible option" for the country's east coast.

"It's in everybody's interest that Australia gets it right on high speed rail," IPA Chief Executive Brendan Lyon said in a statement on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the New South Wales Premier said investment in fast rail is the way to go.

"I'm sure that a national building project like this that involves Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Commonwealth governments is do-able if ... there's a commitment from premiers," he told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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