The State Government is doing a simulation study on the use of tilt trains on the Sydney to Canberra line.
Member for Goulburn Pru Goward said Spanish high-speed rail company Talgo is doing a lot of work with tilt trains in India and have offered to conduct a trial in Australia.
“If the simulation study is positive, and it’s confirmed we can get the travel time down to three hours between Sydney and Canberra, Talgo will lend us trains to test run by the end of the year,” Ms Goward said.
“Talgo has done a lot of railway work in India where they have the same problems with aged infrastructure.
“It’s fantastic and it’s happening very quickly. I think this year looks like a turning point for Goulburn. If we can also get the performing arts centre going, it’s all very positive.”
Southern Tablelands Rail User Group (STRUG) representatives attended a forum held by Talgo in Canberra earlier in the year, organised by the Friends of Canberra Sydney Railway.
STRUG spokesperson John Proctor said at that forum Talgo were confident their trains could make the journey in under three hours. The trip currently takes 4.5 hours.
Talgo has various models of trains running at different speeds, including a 220 km/h and a 350 km/h train. Mr Proctor said with the significant curvature in parts of the line the most likely train would run at 220km/h.
“Even the current XPT can travel at 160km/h on straight track, but it has to slow down at the curves – this is where tilt trains have an advantage because they have a low centre of gravity, they operate like a pendulum,” Mr Proctor said.
“By keeping that centre of gravity low they can travel 20 per cent faster around curves than current trains.
“So this is where the improvements in speed could be made on existing tracks. Anything faster than 300km/h would require realigning parts of the track.
“STRUG is excited the government is working with Talgo. We have always said tilt trains were the way to go – along with electrification of the line.”