FEDERAL Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese today announced that the first stage of the feasibility study commissioned to determine the economic benefits and financial viability of a high speed rail network along Australia's east coast has commenced.
A consortia, led by global consultants AECOM Australia, will identify possible route and station options, providing the basis for determining indicative transit times and construction costs.
This first stage is expected to be completed by the middle of this year.
The study's second stage will determine an optimum route alignment, identify patronage levels, develop cost estimates and investigate financing options.
The government said that the feasibility study aims to build on previous work and will provide the basis for an informed public debate about whether a High Speed rail project is an appropriate response to Australia's future transport needs.
Mr Albanese said the Department of Infrastructure and Transport is in the process of establishing a formal reference group to make sure the views of organisations and state and territory authorities are taken into account.
The AECOM Australia consortia include KPMG, Sinclair Knight Merz and Grimshaw Architects.