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Mon September 20 2021

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UK high-speed rail expert takes on Australian role

4 Dec 18 The government of New South Wales in Australia has announced plans to create a fast rail network and has appointed HS2’s Professor Andrew McNaughton to advise.

Andrew McNaughton (not to be confused with the former Balfour Beatty CEO of the same name)
Andrew McNaughton (not to be confused with the former Balfour Beatty CEO of the same name)

The project, which would start in the next term of government, would link regional centres to each other and Sydney. Four potential routes have already been identified and high-speed rail expert

Former HS2 technical director McNaughton now has a part-time role on HS2 as strategic technical adviser. He has been appointed by the NSW government to confirm the most appropriate routes, train speeds and station locations. “The expert will provide advice to Government on what is possible and what would be involved,” said premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The four routes identified by the government are within 300km of Sydney:

  • Northern route including the Central Coast and Newcastle.
  • Southern inland route including Goulburn and Canberra.
  • Western route including Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange / Parkes.
  • Southern coastal route including Wollongong and Nowra.

“In the immediate future, faster rail would see upgrades along existing rail alignments and provide services of at least 200km/h, slashing travel times by one third,” said minister for transport and infrastructure Andrew Constance. “Ultimately, in the long term, high speed rail would see the development of new alignments and lines, providing speeds of over 250km/h, with examples overseas travelling up to 350km/h and higher – giving the potential to cut travel times by up to 75 per cent.”

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