High-speed rail has been a success in Europe, but is it viable in Australia? Rico Merkert, a lecturer in aviation management and logistics at Sydney University outlines the pros and cons.
Dr Rico Merkert is a senior lecturer in Aviation Management and Logistics at the University of Sydney. He argues that while there are many positives to the federal government's plans for High Speed Rail, there are many hurdles in the way before it ever becomes a reality.
For trips under 400km, the travel time doesn't differ all that much to flying. And the longer trips - including the proposed Sydney to Melbourne route in under three hours - may be hindered by communities on the way demanding a stop of their own.
While the environmental benefits are also often cited, there are also some hidden environmental downsides - not to mention cost.
Merkert proposes that, as the European example shows, high-speed rail complementing air travel may be the more viable option, if it ever happens in Australia.
What do you think? Do you agree with Dr Merkert - and would you like to see high-speed rail down Australia's East Coast?