It is not just in Australia that rail occupies a pivotal role. Attending the Bentley Systems Year in Infrastructure conference in London was an eye-opener
to what the rest of the world is doing in the rail sector – forging ahead at speed.
As one of the senior Bentley executives pointed out, across of all the world’s major transport projects using building information modelling (BIM) – now mandated by the British Government on all major projects its funds – the value of rail projects was out in front and double the next major category, which was roads. Other categories such as airports and ports trailed well behind.
This makes our efforts to bring the industry up to the 21st century look a little lame. For example, the Inland Rail project is a great initiative by the federal government to make the Melbourne-Brisbane line a viable and realistic alternative to road freight. But the pace at which the project is proceeding is glacial. Why is it taking 10 years to complete? Surely we can do better.
In this issue former federal Labor Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says time is running out to secure land for a high-speed rail (HSR) corridor. He says that even if we don’t proceed for decades, unless we secure the land for a corridor the line may become too expensive to build.
Given the time it will take to complete the Inland Rail project, the chance of an HSR link along the east coast fades into the realm of never-never land. Surely it is time government took the lead and said “Yes, we will build an HSR line” and got on with it.
– TONY DUBOUDIN, editor