Not slowing down in its need for speed, China has recently been urging New South Wales to overhaul designs for the second Sydney Harbour rail in order to accommodate a high-speed rail line, but reactions down under are currently mixed.
Original plans for the new railway, which already costs $7 billion AUD, involve building two single-deck tunnels 6 meters in diameter. But China Rail wants the new Sydney Metro to spend $250 million AUD extra for one larger 16-meter-diameter tunnel that could accommodate two decks, one of which would be for the high-speed line.
China Rail’s ultimate goal is a 150km high speed line from the north of NSW to the south-west, a project that would be worth $25 billion AUD.
As China Rail’s Australian partner, the Centurion Group is in favorr of it: “It would be a crying pity not to have future-proofed infrastructure,” said chief executive Patrick Yu, warning that another railway tunnel isn’t likely to be organized for a decade.
China Rail also has the approval of Christian Democrats leader Reverend Fred Nile, who personally wrote to NSW Premier Mike Baird on the matter.
Previously, Nile had specifically organised a seminar at the NSW Parliament so that the company could give presentations — but presumably none of those company execs were Muslim.
On the other hand, China Rail is yet to win over Transport for NSW, who aren’t enthused about building lines deeper underground to accommodate wider tunnels. “The new twin metro railway tunnels under Sydney Harbour are being designed to be as shallow as possible on either end of the harbour to make it easy for customers to get into and out of stations as quickly as possible,” said a spokesman, stressing that “the whole point of Sydney Metro is to deliver fast, frequent, convenient services for customers.”
By Pinky Latt