These high speed trains will run at a similar speed to that of aircraft, without the hassles of having up to two hours' travelling to and from airports in some major cities of the world.
Mark Tronson, the Footplate Padre and a former train driver and chairman of Well-Being Australia, realises that, eventually, the same security issues will need to be instituted at international train stations as presently exist at airports if our current level of passenger security is to be maintained – or, hopefully, even improved – at railway stations.
Moreover, the political issues between nations can seemingly be overcome for a high speed train track to be constructed in areas that were once deemed 'super secure'. It seems, sometimes surprisingly, that if aircraft can fly over these areas, it can't be too much different from a high speed train track covering the same locations.
Mark Tronson, an author and editor of 16 books about railway anecdotes, finds it interesting that politicians and governments of all persuasions seem to be unopposed to a high speed train, in fact they are jumping over themselves to see it happen. Trains work. Trains have a long history of successfully transporting people and freight. High speed trains have been a feature of life throughout Europe and Japan for thirty years.
Yet, with all this good-will between nations of varying political bents, the notion of high speed trains in Australia remains a pipe dream, even though many people have suggested this option for many years. M V Tronson can remember, as a schoolboy in the 1960s, reading a newspaper item about a proposal for high speed trains running the Sydney – Canberra – Melbourne route.
Every now and then the high speed train issue gets raised. It's almost like an item that gets pulled from the political drawer at a set time, every set number of years. Someone in authority somewhere says, 'Oh, it's time for the high speed train issue to come out of the drawer again', and the topic heats up for a bit, then it gets put back in the drawer.
Now we see the chief executive of the research group CRC for Rail Innovation, David George, saying high-speed rail was a well-established technology and it was time Australia had an in-depth look at using it.
"It must be that time in the decade to pull the high speed train option out of the drawer again," grins Mark Tronson.
The chief executive of the Australasian Railway Association, Bryan Nye, said Australia already had the market for Asian-style high-speed rail, especially in the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane corridor. He said China recently tested a train at 380 km/h and had made a 1000-kilometre journey in two hours 50 minutes.
Nye said "If we could get a Sydney-Melbourne trip to three hours, or just under, it would be worthwhile and competitive,''
"Where have I heard that before?" asks M V Tronson, says Baptist minister and Footplate Padre. If a high speed train actually happens, he says, with tongue in cheek, there won't be time to give the driver a proper bible teaching before we've arrived!
David George goes one further, ''Poland, Saudi Arabia, Morocco are seriously looking at, or introducing high-speed rail.''
That seals it!
Don' these people understand it's a political decision and if decisions of this nature can be made between China, Russia and the European States; then in Australia where international politics is not an issue, then it should be a 'piece of cake'. But it probably won't be done.
Any observer of the brilliant 'Yes Minister' series will appreciate major issues as what colour will the train be, the dark blue and yellow of Victoria or the light blue and red of New South Wales. These types of critical questions will hold up the project for another twenty years.