Second sentence entirely ignores the reality of regional Australia and it's overwhelming influence on politics to make terrible decisions that is a burden on the nation as a whole. A single marginal electorate left out of the final station decision will mean it's a nonstarter. And I can name 3 right now.
Also ignores how hard it is to build infrastructure in Australia today, the entire landscape is full of parasites. As much as I enjoy commenting about American lobbyists and it's negative outcomes, the reality is our lobbyists are infrastructure behemoths who probably do more damage to society keeping the status quo. The entir tender process is broken beyond a few million on offer.
You simply can't build big infrastructure projects in Australia anymore, the entire process has been hijacked by corporations.
Without the political will/ability to do that, I don’t see how a fast train to SYD/CBR is happening.
Sydney-Melbourne is 900 km. This is beyond the outer edge of where rail versus air is highly competitive. By several hours.
Paris-London (500km) is about break even for the air/rail time tradeoff, and there rail takes about 50% share. Barcelona-Madrid is a bit further (600km), and has done really well also although that's a bit of a special case.
San Francisco-Los Angeles is 600km and you can see how poorly that project is going -- which by the way is what this Australian project has the similar feeling of.
So by the time you get to Sydney-Melbourne, you're talking 900 km and > 3 hours difference between the air/rail options and really not favored. Maybe Canberra in the middle helps a little, but the volume of traffic of people choosing this option is just not there.
The Sydney<->Melbourne airway is one of the busiest in the world. That means whilst you do have a lot of people who want the fastest time, you also have a lot of people who just want to get there.
You have tourists and families who are willing to give up time if it means they can get other things. Like easy access to toilets, food, and the ability to move around freely. They will doubly be likely to give up on time if it also lets them save on cost. (Flights seem to average $100-300/adult).
Also, it's at 600km, and I do agree with the GP that my percieved benefit of the train would disappear if it was any further. I.e. it's at the limit of what I consider useful.
You can almost always get more planes going on the busy route.
Meanwhile, in Germany and France nearly 30% of the total cost of rail service is directly covered by the government, and it’s still more expensive than flying.
There is not, simply because the maximum take-off weight is way larger than maximum landing weight - you can't just shuttle around fuel because you can't land the plane when it's loaded. This is also the reason why airplanes have to dump fuel when emergency/unplanned (e.g. due to medical emergency) landing. While the passengers may survive a full weight landing, the plane will incur heavy damage.
Though perhaps that's not the best example - for a really urgent medical emergency where every minute matters, an overweight landing would certainly be considered ahead of wasting precious time dumping fuel. Equally, there are a few more other types of emergencies where you'd want to get back onto the ground ASAP even if that means exceeding the maximum landing weight.
> While the passengers may survive a full weight landing, the plane will incur heavy damage.
At least these days, all aircraft certified under Part 25 must be able to land at maximum take-off weight with a descent rate of 6 ft/s (360 ft/min), which is already at the border towards what would be considered a hard landing (at maximum landing weight, planes need to allow a landing with 10 ft/s / 600 ft/min without structural damage).
So of course you still need to consider whether the changed performance characteristics (approach speed, required runway length, climb gradient for go-arounds, etc.) at MTOW will still allow you to land safely in that specific situation, but fear of "heavy damage" is not something you need to consider.
You might want to bring the plane down a little even more careful than usual, the brakes certainly have to work harder and maybe the plane needs to be inspected afterwards just to be sure, but otherwise you should be fine.
Also not necessarily true, you can't land a big plane with too much fuel.
Wouldn't you then end up using a lot of the fuel just carrying the extra fuel? This cost could negate the tax savings.
Whether not taxing a particular thing is right or wrong is a totally separate issue.
Good enough for me.
Edit: WTO definition of subsidies includes "government revenue that is otherwise due, foregone or not collected (e.g. fiscal incentives such as tax credits)". Pdf: http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/24-scm.pdf
Do you have a reference for that claim? Other sources explicitly count tax breaks as a type of subsidy, for instance
"In countries with well-developed tax systems, subsidies provided by reducing companies' tax burdens are commonplace. Examples include tax exemptions (when a tax is not paid), tax credits (which reduce a tax otherwise due), tax deferrals (which delay the payment of a tax) and a host of other instruments. In common language these preferential tax treatments are called tax breaks or tax concessions; public-finance economists refer to them as tax expenditures."
Train was £130 and took an entire day one way.
BA was £200 and you could do a meeting at 10:00 in Edinburgh and be Back in London for 17:30.
If you went via Easy Jet from Luton it was < £40.
Personally I take the train for this journey -- last time I did Cambridge to Edinburgh I paid less than 30 quid for the outbound leg and not much more for the return. And you can get decent prices for first class if you want a little bit more luxury at way less of a premium than the airlines will charge you for that...
And time elapsed is a thing here - at the time internally our internal day rate was £300, externally £600 and our peers in the Big 4 consultancies would be north of 1K (but not as good as us)
At 650 km of distance a 200 km/h train would do it in slightly over 3 hours.
Which makes it even more sad because it should have definitely been cheaper than planes ...
High speed rail is almost never significantly cheaper than flying between major cities, at least in Europe.
Taking the train instead of flying is a popular and relatively cheap activity in Norway. The rail journey, perhaps the Bergen route in particular, is prized for its scenic views. There's even a television program, famously broadcast on national TV, that shows the train journey in real time, filmed from a camera mounted on the front. (You can find it on YouTube. It's great, and it's spawned lots of imitators in places like Switzerland and Turkey.)
Getting to the rest of Europe by rail (via Sweden) is similarly cheap and convenient as an alternative to flying, even if it's slower.
None of these railways classify as high speed, of course.
Isn’t flight industry heavily subsidised, too?
Airlines more directly pay for airports and air traffic control/FAA which covers their infrastructure externalities. https://www.faa.gov/about/budget/aatf/
We really should only be using airlines for intercontinental travel.
Although I must say I like the ending of the series very much. Do you know where it will air?
There already existed a UK show called Utopia, so it was renamed for its initial UK release. The new name was then subsequently used for all its international releases.
Second, unless your economy is completely cut off from the outside world you're going to get leakage away. The builder you're paying to build houses is eventually going to want to show off his wealth by buying an iphone, or some champagne, or a Ferrari.
To look at a more practical example lets look at the wood industry, and lets say that Australia's wood industry is already large enough to actually absorb this increase. The wood industry has the option of selling around the world, but this development has to buy from you. So you can sell them all the rubbish stuff that can't be sold internationally. So what then? The government doesn't want shoddy Australian houses being built so restricts exports of wood. But now the supply of wood products doesn't really match the supply and you've got teak being made into OSB, and your houses are made with high quality Australian wood, but your wood industry has gone down the toilet because the prices paid for OSB are nowhere near the prices paid for solid lumps of teak.
Trade is good. It makes everyone on balance better off, what you propose is cutting off trade from the rest of the world, it's never going to end well.
It is a different kettle of fish if you want to run it as a low cost welfare operation or as a long term strategic skill building exercise. It'd probably make a pretty good welfare operation - soak up a bunch of labour and get them doing something useful but not necessarily of high marginal benefit. We'd still expect it to be a net loss if there was something that the people involved could have done that was not government sponsored, but the economy is looking shaky at the moment so it might be a good idea. This makes sense if in the prior example there is no 80-hours-of-work opportunity/20 leisure option - if you have no opportunities there is no cost.
I don't know if train track construction is a useful long term strategic skill for somewhere like Australia. We'd probably get a lot more out of investing in chemistry and biotech rather than beefing up on people who lay down track.
I didn't realise the plan was to build new cities though to fund it. The trains in Oz are terrible so hopefully they come up with some high speed rail project down the east coast.