all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

26 August, 2013

Fast Lies and Not Very Fast Trains

Hon. Anthony Albanese, the Deputy PM and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, today claimed that all continents—including, he helpfully explained, Europe and Asia—have high-speed rail.
That was a lie.
In Africa, Morocco, Algeria and South Africa are planning to have high-speed rail systems.

In South America, Argentina had plans to have
high-speed rail; Brazil is constructing high-speed rail.
In North America, the USA has high speed rail only if we define high speed as not much above 60 mph—i.e., not very high speed at all.
Only in France and Japan, by the way, do enough passengers use high speed rail to make it profitable.

If Mr. Albanese were to give the $52,000,000 which he’s promising a proposed HSR-investigating authority* to me instead, I can safely promise him that I’ll be able to teleport people between the cities by transporter beam within twenty-five years—with as effective a guarantee as he’s promising high speed rail to the electorate. 
Of course, the Government’s silly proposal proves that the Government hasn’t quite listened to its own NBN propaganda; within twenty-five years no-one will need to travel because 120% of the population will be working from home, seeing their employers or clients on their monitors, having their medicines prescribed online, printing all their technological devices on their 3D printers, growing all their soylent green hydroponically in their basements, and going on holidays in their surround-sound holo-chambers. 

to “finalise station locations and to develop a business case”. 

(Originally posted, piecemeal, to Catallaxy Files.) 

UPDATE I:  at a projected cost of $114,000,000,000, according to the Government, and assuming that the HSR averaged a thousand full fare-paying passengers a day all year (and also assuming—ha!—that the trains cost no more to run after that substantial investment), to pay back 10% of the investment annually, fares (in today’s value) would have to be over $30,000 each.  Currently, a cheaper fare for a trip by aeroplane from Melbourne to Brisbane can be procured for $147.

Yet Another Good Idea 

Though we’d travel more
quickly and far more cheaply
by an aeroplane,

the latest grand plan
from Rudd and Albanese:
a very fast train!

How could such a scheme
ever make any profit?
They cannot explain.

Evidently, the
PM and his deputy
are not very sane.

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