Monday, July 28, 2008

Canberra Light Rail Proposals

Just had a call from a company asking if I knew who to talk to in Canberra about light rail proposals. The only people I know of with a serious proposal for trams in Canberra were the Federation Line. But there appears to have been no progress with that for several years.

This was a very modest proposal for a tourist tram in central Canberra, which seemed well thought out and would require the minimum of capital works. It would service some office staff and shoppers as well as tourists.

There is also ACT Light Rail. This seems to be a relatively recent group which has been active in late 2007. They do not appear to have a specific project proposal.

The ACT Government has proposed a light rail system linking Civic to the Airport, Parliamentary Triangle and major town centres, at a cost of "around $1 billion". They also proposed this could like to a future fast train to Sydney.

The ACT Government doesn't appear to have done a serious assessment of light rail, but instead is just putting in an ambit claim. The one billion dollars would be enough to run a line between two of Canberra's town centers, but not between them all.

One option might be to expand the Federation Line's proposal around Civic out to the Airport. This could service defence offices and offices at the airport itself.

Recently I visited Turkey and Greece and saw their impressive public transport facilities. However, those depend on having densely packed apartment blocks. The same infrastructure would be prohibitively expensive in Canberra's suburbs. About the best which could be hoped for is more bus lanes and reserved ways waiting for newer technology.

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Blogger Ben said...

you use the density argument but I have seen reports at the Environment Centre at ANU that shoot that down in flames.Other cities with the same density as Canberra have light rail.

June 04, 2009 5:32 PM  

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