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Sydney-Melbourne rail electrification project

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The Prime Minister and the Premiers of New South Wales and Victoria today announced that they had accepted arrangements

proposed by officials of the three Governments and the terms of reference for a detailed study of electrification of the

Sydney-Melbourne rail link.

Preliminary investigations and planning will be carried out by

private consultants in liaison with the New South Wales and

Victorian railway authorities. , .

The Commonwealth will meet the costs of the feasibility study,

including the consultancy fees.

A report on the electrification project will be prepared for

consideration by the Governments of the Commonwealth, New South

Wales and Victoria and for decisions at the June 1980 Premiers' Conference and Loan Council meeting.

This report will encompass:

. the type and cost of the fixed works of electrification, and any upgrading or alteration required to the existing

system, including track upgrading, such upgrading to be

designed so as to maximise the future benefits for both, freight and passenger traffic which could flow from the


. the type and cost of electric locomotives and other rolling

stock required to service the electrification;



. the design time required before construction could

commence, the shortest practicable period of construction,

and the possible staging of the project;

. the estimated cash flow requirements; .

.. the estimated savings in liquid petroleum fuel; .

. the financial and operational implications of the proposal

on the New South Wales and Victorian Railways;

. the economic benefits and costs;

. the impacts on employment both during and after construction;

.. the environmental effects. .

A steering committee comprising Commonwealth and State officers

is being formed to overview the study. A short list of consultants

has been finalised. These, consultants are being approached with

invitations to submit formal proposals for consideration by the steering committee.

The consultants are being invited to submit proposals in accordance

with the terms of reference.

The Prime Minister.and the Premiers said that the need for Australia

to conserve liquid fuels and wherever possible to take advantage of its comparatively abundant alternatives had been underlined by recent and prospective increases in world oil prices. Additional state rail electrification programmes are already planned and an'

early decision on the Melbourne-Sydney link is especially desirable.

The terms of reference are attached.

■■Λ· V-


In consultation with the NSW and Victorian Railways

preliminary investigations and planning of

electrifying the railway line between Sydney and

.'A final report is to be available by Friday-,--30th' v

The report is to include the economic benefits and

costs of electrifying this line and advise on the

design'time required before construction could .

■ commence, the shortest practicable period of

• construction, and the possible staging of the

project. ’ ' · : ’· ■

and Commonwealth and State officials carry out


: ~ .·. :

May, 1980.·

Assess the financial and operational implications

of the proposal on the NSW and Victorian Railways. '

Regard should be paid to the findings of the report

submitted to the Commonwealth by the French National

Railways consultant Organisation, Sofrerail, on their

study of rail electrification in Australia, and other

relevant studies. '' .

The investigations should include, consideration of

the following- - ' - ’

(a) the electrical supply system-and particularly

the voltage to be used for electrification;

(b) -requirements for connections with the - power

. ' grid after consultation with the appropriate

■ power authorities; - '

.(c) types of signalling and. communications systems

.· . including alterations to existing systems; · ' ■

. . ■ __________ ' · · . x· ;

(d) justifiable track upgrading arid capacity · ' ·;

improvements of mainline and subsidiary lines / ' · '

including Canberra-Goulburn,' to maximise the

future benefits to freight and passenger · '

. services which could flow from electrification;

(e) necessary terminal facilities■and branch line ·

.interchange facilities;-.'. . . · - · : ·

(f) provision of adequate locomotive and rollingstock

• to meet passenger and freight traffic requirements

after electrification, with regard to numbers, .

. type and cost of rollingstock; ■

(g) estimated future traffic flows;

; · · · · ί ν

'.‘VS· • · ί * .

(h) train operating characteristics such as speeds

• and train size; / . .

(i) impact of electrification on the remainder of

railway operations in NSvi and Victoria including

■ the need to electrify any subsidiary or feeder

lines to obtain full benefits of electrification;

• v

(j) compatibility with existing 1500V D.C. '

electrification systems in Sydney and Melbourne;

(k)' liquid petroleum fuel saxtngs;


during and after construction;

. (m) environmental effects of electrification;

■ · . ; · . . (n) alternative construction programmes and expenditure

1; ■ . . . ’ . . profiles, and estimated cash flov/s having regard' to

fV··; . . . :' ■ " possible staging. . . . . - ■ . , '

' : · ■ ’ · . . ' ■ ' . . . ’ . _ ' . / .

v.; 11 December 1979 · '