Innovative Synergies

Engineering Dimensionally Alternative Business Analysis 

Innovating Efficient Transport Synergies 



The Rising Price of Petrol

Australia is fast heading into a transport crisis that has the real potential to totally isolate all state capital cities from each other, isolate country centres, and isolate Australia from the rest of the world. 

My mathematical modelling for over a century of price of petrol / diesel shows that the pump price is currently rising at about 9.0 % pa compound.  

  • Pump prices rising by 9 % pa is much greater than the Australian Cost Price Index (CPI)

  • Petrol and Diesel fuelled vehicles will soon become too expensive for road transport

  • Highways and Airports will soon become immense White Elephants

  • Rail Corridors for Fast Freight Rail and Fast Passenger Rail will have to be reserved now 

  • Inter-State Freight will move to Rail well before 2025

  • NSW Transport will have to actively drop Road Highways and create Fast Rail Infrastructure

  • Road and Rail Transport will move from Petrol  / Diesel to Hybrid Electric or fully Electric 

  • Road Freight over more than 50 km will be uneconomical in Australia. 


Rail Being Grossly Under-Utilised and Under-Planned in NSW

With Road Freight fast becoming too expensive to operate inside a decade, there has to be a major rethink to maximally utilise Rail Infrastructure in NSW and in Australia, because Rail Freight has the potential to be more than twice as quick / fast than Road Freight between Capital Cities and the Diesel Fuel used by Rail is about 20% of that used by equivalent loads in Road Freight. 

In NSW, the NSW Transport had a very timid look at Long Term Planning, but missed out on most of the bridging issues to cover the next 25 years.  This submission identified a large number of areas and initiatives totally missed by the NSW Transport. 

The NSW Freight and Ports Strategy Plan (November 2012) is very biased towards maximally utilising Road Freight for all the wrong reasons.  

This submission steps up to envision an innovative economic picture that synergetically utilises an open approach at maximising the energy efficiency of transporting freight while minimising transit times and minimising the importation of diesel fuel.  

By using Vilfredo Parito's 80/20 Principle on the NSW Freight and Ports Draft Strategy 2012, this is what I immediately see:

  • NSW Road Freight highways are in good repair (20), but are extremely expensive to maintain (80)

  • NSW Rail Freight highways are in  gross neglect (80), but can be maintained rather inexpensively (20). 

  • The large majority NSW funding is for Road infrastructure (80) and negligible funding is for Rail infrastructure (20).

  • The overhead of Road Freight infrastructure is far more expensive (80) than the equivalent Rail Freight infrastructure (20).

  • Shipping - Rail Ports (80) are far more efficient (faster) than Shipping - Road Ports (20). 

Economically, it is budgetary and financial suicide to for NSW continue maintaining and building Main Roads, widening Motorways for Road Freight vehicles that interface with Shipping Ports and Intermodal Terminals.

By connecting Port Botany with an efficient (fast) Rail Freight link (20) , then most of Sydney's southern side (M5, M5 Tunnel,  Hume Highway) Road Freight congestion would be totally eliminated (80). 

By constructing a (fast) North - South Freight Rail Bypass in the Sydney Basin (20), then most of NSW interstate Road Freight would move to Rail Freight, making the roads considerably safer and dramatically reducing the NSW Roads budget (80) 

By constructing a (fast) Freight Rail link from Clyburn to Rosehill, (Page 37) linking to the North - South Freight Rail Bypass (20), then most of Sydney's North and West Road Freight (M7, M2, Pacific Highway, M5) would be minimised (80). 

  • Over an comparative distance, constructing a quick dual Rail track (20) would cost far less than an equivalent Road highway (80). 

  • Transport of Road Freight diesel fuel usage is far greater (80) than the equivalent Rail Freight diesel fuel usage (20).

  • Well maintained and well engineered Rail Freight can travel at 250 km/h (80), Road Freight is limited to 100 km/h (20).

  • With direct Freight Transport comparison Road damage (80), is far greater than Rail damage (20)

With the development of Rail Freight technology (20), the transport of Freight for distances greater than say 50 km is faster and greener (80).  

Road Freight is far more efficient (80) for transfer between Intermodal Terminals and Factories / Warehouses and Shops than Rail Freight (20).  

Rail Freight is far more efficient (80) for transfer between Intermodal Terminals and Ports than Road Freight (20). 

To minimise Road congestion (80), Intermodal Terminals must be re-located outside urban areas (20).

  • The intermodal Terminal at Cooks River (80) needs to be inexpensively repositioned to near Menangle Park (20).

  • The major Intermodal Terminal location for the South-west of NSW (80) should be near Goulburn (80).

  • With Fast Rail Freight infrastructure (20), Sydney's second Freight (and Passenger) Port should be near Goulburn (80). 

  • All Mines should have their Diesel Fuel transported as Rail Freight (80) from the Ports instead of by Road Freight (20)

  • Port Kembla (20) should be Fast Freight Rail linked with the Intermodal Terminal near Goulburn (80). 

This submission did not cover the West or North, nor the North-West of NSW, but it was very clear to me that over several decades, the NSW Rail Freight infrastructure has been "let go" (20).  Horrendously expensive Road Freight has replaced (80), what is really low maintenance, low overhead and efficient Freight Transport Infrastructure between all Intermodal Terminals and all Ports.  

Road Freight vehicles must not transfer Freight to/from Sea Ports, nor between Intermodal Terminals.


Fast Rail Sydney Basin Bypass Corridor

Currently, most Road Freight on the East Coast of Australia travels through the Hume Highway / Sydney's M7 / M2 / M3 / Pacific Highway.  The section through the Sydney Basin (Casula to Hornsby) typically takes truckies about 70 to 120 minutes. 

Because the Freight Rail system was based on Sydney Central, the tight turns in Sydney's metropolitan lines makes through Rail Freight slower than Road Freight.  This proposed Freight Rail Corridor would enable Freight Rail to traverse the 37 km length in an almost straight line, so speeds well in excess of 150 km/h would be highly practical and very safe, cutting the Road Freight time to less than 15 minutes, or saving 55 to 105 minutes respectively.  

The more recent road-based proposal to build a road tunnel highway off the southern end of the F3 Freeway connecting Sydney to the north is yet another futile and expensive attempt to "fix" Road Freight congestion in the northern end of Sydney (Hornsby / Wahroonga the Pacific Highway and Pennant Hills Road).  

My proposal in this submission

  • Joins three rather under-utilised heavy rail track sections with  two almost straight 4 km tunnels

  • Free-up the Enfield / Strathfield - Auburn Network and Switch congestion

  • Creates an almost straight path rail freeway across the Sydney basin between Campbelltown to Hornsby  

  • Takes less than 15 minutes to traverse this 37 km of Rail track between Casula and Hornsby 

  • Opens the Australian east coast for relatively high speed "Quick Freight Rail" facilities.  

  • De-congests Pennant Hills Road, the F3, the and the Pacific Highway of "long distance" Road Freight vehicles.  

  • De-congests the Pacific and Hume Highways of "long distance" Road Freight vehicles.  

  • Provides the missing link rail commuter "Outer Northern" loop Hornsby - Pennant Hills - Carlingford - Telopea - Dundas - Rose Hill - Clyde - Lidcombe - Strathfield - Central - North Sydney - St Leonard's - Chatswood - Gordon - Hornsby.  

  • De-congests Epping station so that the recently approved North-West Rail Link can comfortably connect with Epping station from Strathfield and from Chatswood.   


Making Port Botany a Highly Efficient Sea / Rail Port

Although Port Botany is one of Australia's biggest Sea Ports, the associated Road Freight greatly really congests Sydney's Arterial Road system of Motorways and Main Roads.  

This document shows how Port Botany could be far more efficient in transferring Freight and Bulk by connecting with a dual fast Rail Freight line over Mascot and run along the East Hills line to through Wolli Creek and Campbelltown to a proposed Road/Rail Intermodal terminal at Menangle Park.  

The associated Road Freight would no longer congest Sydney's Arterial Road system of Motorways and Main Roads.   

In response to the NSW Draft Master Transport Plan 2012 - my proposal provides a ready solution to the land-locked Port Botany Shipping Freight Terminal.   

This Heavy Transport Shipping Terminal is basically not rail connected.  

This rail-disconnected terminal the PRIME CAUSE of the immense road freight / commuter/ light commercial traffic problems in the Sydney Basin and Sydney's North and South (Road) Freight Corridors

My strategy is to properly connect Port Botany to the existing rail network by 

  • Including the second rail line from Port Botany to the south end of Mascot

  • Straighten the tight bending dual tracks in south Mascot 

  • Run an almost straight land bridge over the south end of Mascot (which is largely vacant land, parking lots, light industrial and some housing) 

The second part of my Innovative Synergy is to: 

  • Branch these Rail tracks near Qantas/Airport Drive 

  • Make a near-straight Dual Rail Bridge to join with the East Hills line near Wolli Creek

  • Branch just west of Sydney Airport, before Arncliffe station to directly link into the South Coast Line.  

The immense positives of this proposal to Connect Port Botany by a "Quick Rail Freight" infrastructure include 

  • Direct connectivity with the South Coast (via Hurstville), 

  • Direct connectivity with the Southern Corridor (via the East Hills Line), 

  • Considerably free up the M5 and Hume Highway

  • Direct connectivity with the Western Corridor via Lidcombe - Parramatta - Penrith, and 

  • Direct connectivity with the Northern Corridor (via the earlier proposed Sydney Basin Rail Link, connecting via Lidcombe - Clyde)

  • Avoid the Strathfield "U" turn and avoiding the Epping Line.  

  • Free up Pennant Hills Road and the F3 of road freight traffic.  


Enabling Fast Rail Services on the Sydney North Corridor

North of Sydney, the Cowan Ridge is very steep Rail incline.  This proposal suggests a far more gentle gradient starting from Berowra, so that Rail Freight can travel to Gosford without the need of two or three engines.  

As a follow-on from the NSW Draft Master Transport Long Term Plan 2012, an earlier submission by me realised the immense economy of scale by positioning a High Speed Rail Freight link from Campbelltown (Casula) to Hornsby.  

Non-Government feedback about that submission indicated that: 

  • The Northern Corridor from Sydney has a major problem between Cowan and Hawkesbury River stations. 

  • The Rail Gradient is about 1:40, which is very steep, specially for Rail Freight. 

  • Typically, three engines are required to assist hauling freight trains up this section of track.  

  • This is a massive loss of time and totally nobbles the east coast freight rail economy of scale.  

This additional submission to the Master Plan Team  resolves this very steep gradient problem with some highly Innovative Synergies to 

  • Start the rail descent just north of Berowra station, 

  • Immediately cross over the M3 Motorway and 

  • Run in a virtually straight path towards the west of the Hawkesbury River station

  • This section will have an average gradient of about 1:57 instead of 1:40.  

By implementing these Innovative Synergies, then: 

  • Extra Freight Engines would no longer be required for this section

  • Central Coast Commuter and Freight Rail transit times would be slashed

  • Road Safety would be significantly increased

  • This section together with the Sydney Basin Bypass would provide an almost straight rail connection from Campbelltown

  • The Economy of Scale of the Rail Infrastructure could be used to much of its potential

  • The high cost of Road damage caused by Road Freight would be minimised.


Preparing NSW for High Speed Rail Transport (2012)

In September 2012, the New South Wales Government released their NSW Draft Master Transport Long Term Plan 2012, which is about 350 pages long, and as said under here, is still very Roads Oriented.  

The fundamental problem with this Draft Transport Master Plan is that it is focussed on bandaging the increasing symptoms of excessive road damage, primarily caused by Road Freight vehicles.  The CAUSE of the excessive road damage is high use of Road Freight vehicles being used where Rail Infrastructure has not been economically managed and funded; and this Draft Master Plan missed out here too.  

There are no strategies in their Master Plan to prepare for High Speed Rail technology.  

Such preparations outlined in my response should have included the following Innovative Synergies:

  • Convert the Electrified Rail System to 25 kV AC to be in alignment with the developed world.  

  • Regularly Replace and Upgrade the Rail Infrastructure.  

  • Realise that the Geographic Centre of Sydney is virtually Parramatta.  

  • Treble the East Hills line to connect with Port Botany, and Central.  

  • Connect an almost straight Freight Rail from Campbelltown to Hornsby.  

  • Restructure the Rail Freight Paths in the Sydney Basin.  

  • Position an International Airport near Goulburn.  

  • Position an major Freight Interchange near Goulburn

The Draft NSW Transport Master Plan 2012 shows that road improvements since about 1975 have resulted in significant reduction in the number of fatalities!  This response showed that vehicle improvements (Variable Ratio Steering, Computer Aided Vehicle Engineering) are the prime reduction factors for reduced fatality figures since 1975 - despite more Sydney Motorways, a high percentage of road fatalities are excessive speed and fatigue associated collisions.  Road Freight management and Hoons are the major contributors to these "Darwin Awards".


Sydney's Missing Commuter Rail (2012)

In June 2012 the New South Wales Government released a 28-page document about Modernising Sydney's Trains, which seems to be somewhat separate to the extremely heavily Road-oriented NSW Draft Master Transport Long Term Plan 2012.    

While advances in Telecommunications (the Internet) are dramatically restructuring workplaces to be away from Sydney CBD office-centred, the Modernising Sydney's Trains document still sees Sydney CBD in 2031 as still being at least 7 times bigger than any other CBD in the Sydney Basin!   

With the understanding that Parramatta is very close to the geographic centre of the Sydney Basin, it was extremely puzzling that the future plans to Modernise Sydney's Trains, did not move the transport focus into Parramatta, but instead, left Parramatta virtually isolated.

My submission to the NSW Government 

  • Loop the end of the proposed North-West Rail back at Riverstone to form a loop

  • Loop the East Hills Line and Southern Main line as Holsworthy - Casula 

  • Change Rail Line Management to Rail Network Management

  • Really maximise the number of stations with very frequent pickup intervals 

The second part of this submission looks closer provides a sensible cost-effective engineering solution in the Rosehill area to: 

This proposal will provide the necessary rail infrastructure so that commercial businesses can relocate to the Parramatta / RosehHill area and rail commuters can transit with a minimum of station latency in all directions of this soon fast growing geographically central Sydney Basin CBD. 

This proposal did not address Sydney's Northern Peninsula missing rail network. :(