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does a train use more engery than a plane as it goes faster ?


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#251 Catalina Park

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 04:31

Would fruit really need a high speed trip from Sydney to Melbourne? A truck can do the trip overnight, a train can do the trip overnight. Is there any benefit?

I grew up in Katoomba from the late 60's. Back then nearly everything had to travel by rail. It was the law.
It used to take two weeks to get a delivery of beer 65 miles from Sydney to Katoomba by rail. This is two weeks from placing an order to receiving the order.
In 1973 when beer was allowed to come by road they could place an order on Monday and receive it on Thursday. The truck would load in Sydney one day and unload the next day.
By the 90's they could order the beer one day and get the delivery the next day.

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#252 johnny yuma

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 00:40

Would fruit really need a high speed trip from Sydney to Melbourne? A truck can do the trip overnight, a train can do the trip overnight. Is there any benefit?

I grew up in Katoomba from the late 60's. Back then nearly everything had to travel by rail. It was the law.
It used to take two weeks to get a delivery of beer 65 miles from Sydney to Katoomba by rail. This is two weeks from placing an order to receiving the order.
In 1973 when beer was allowed to come by road they could place an order on Monday and receive it on Thursday. The truck would load in Sydney one day and unload the next day.
By the 90's they could order the beer one day and get the delivery the next day.

Road transport of fresh fruit and veg. would always trump HST for the same reason it trumped beer delivery to Katoomba. Too much handling and delays going
from source to mouth,although the Death Wish attitude of N.S.W.G.R. in the old days didn't help,to say the least.Have seen photos of some impressive National Railways
efforts in the past though,like trains of EH Holdens going to Perth slung sideways across the decks to get more on.Ah,that was when Australians were patriotic car buyers.

However fruit eg Cherries flown in from Washington State in the Pacific Northwest can be landed and sold in our Winter at about the same price as the cherries
Australia produces in Summer,and I understand the best Cherries from the Orange area in NSW off the Mt Canobolas slopes end up in Japan during their winter.
Cherries are a high value for weight product,so can't apply to Watermelons or Chokos I'd imagine ! :)

Edited by johnny yuma, 22 April 2013 - 00:41.


#253 Wuzak

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 00:54

However fruit eg Cherries flown in from Washington State in the Pacific Northwest can be landed and sold in our Winter at about the same price as the cherries
Australia produces in Summer,and I understand the best Cherries from the Orange area in NSW off the Mt Canobolas slopes end up in Japan during their winter.
Cherries are a high value for weight product,so can't apply to Watermelons or Chokos I'd imagine ! :)



There may be another part to that equation - subsidies.

I can't say if cherries from the US are subsidised, but it is possible.

#254 johnny yuma

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 03:20

There may be another part to that equation - subsidies.

I can't say if cherries from the US are subsidised, but it is possible.

..they do have a lucky ideal place to grow them,in a rain shadow east of The Cascades Mts,
with an old army-built dam on the rainy side of the Ranges, so has frost to set the fruit,irrigation before the fruit
appears,and no rain when the fruit is ripe for picking and will suck up rainwater and split if does rains.

#255 bigleagueslider

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:16

I live in southern California, and I buy lots of fresh produce from places like Chile, Brazil, Honduras, etc. I can buy grapes, oranges, bananas, etc. year round, at a decent price. And these fruits are transported by air freight in the off-season.

#256 johnny yuma

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:47

I live in southern California, and I buy lots of fresh produce from places like Chile, Brazil, Honduras, etc. I can buy grapes, oranges, bananas, etc. year round, at a decent price. And these fruits are transported by air freight in the off-season.

We get California grapes in Australia too in our winter,has only been happening a few years. Aussie Dollar high a factor ?

Can't see a HST being run from USA to South America,so enjoy the Jetplane fruit while you can !

#257 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:11

[quote name='johnny yuma' date='Apr 18 2013, 12:31' post='6232359']
The whole shebang, Brisbane/Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne $114 Billion Australian 2012.Which
pretty much means forget it,as it is stated Government would have to provide the finished product,and
only then would a private operator probably make money.


Mercy, mercy! When I first came to Oz it was known as being able to get things done.

Now we have governments and people that find all things except the absurd to be too hard.

Let's see; Canberra says $114 billion for 1900 km of rail system. This is only $60 million a km. France is well known for having an efficient industrial system, hardly any labour perks, long working hours per week, efficient trades people etc and they are currently constructing a new 300km HSR line. Costs are $12 million per km all up including trains and all.

And Western Australia is really known to be a low cost construction area and they recently finished a rail system at $22 million per km including a center city tunnel portion and bridges, stations, rail equipment and the lot. Admittedly not HST but the HST costs are not terribly different from conventional passenger rail systems.

Canberra's role should be limited to making the right of way available to private enterprise and then stand back to see who wants to take the construction and operating cost risk. I am sure that there will be some takers but if there are none then so be it.

Regards



#258 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:11

[quote name='johnny yuma' date='Apr 18 2013, 12:31' post='6232359']
The whole shebang, Brisbane/Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne $114 Billion Australian 2012.Which
pretty much means forget it,as it is stated Government would have to provide the finished product,and
only then would a private operator probably make money.


Mercy, mercy! When I first came to Oz it was known as being able to get things done.

Now we have governments and people that find all things except the absurd to be too hard.

Let's see; Canberra says $114 billion for 1900 km of rail system. This is only $60 million a km. France is well known for having an efficient industrial system, hardly any labour perks, long working hours per week, efficient trades people etc and they are currently constructing a new 300km HSR line. Costs are $12 million per km all up including trains and all.

And Western Australia is really known to be a low cost construction area and they recently finished a rail system at $22 million per km including a center city tunnel portion and bridges, stations, rail equipment and the lot. Admittedly not HST but the HST costs are not terribly different from conventional passenger rail systems.

Canberra's role should be limited to making the right of way available to private enterprise and then stand back to see who wants to take the construction and operating cost risk. I am sure that there will be some takers but if there are none then so be it.

Regards



#259 Greg Locock

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:29

Canberra's role should be limited to making the right of way available to private enterprise and then stand back to see who wants to take the construction and operating cost risk. I am sure that there will be some takers but if there are none then so be it.

Not arguing, but no private operator will put in 10 years of construction before seeing a payback. BHP used to regularly indulge in that sort of antic and almost managed to blow itself up.

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#260 GreenMachine

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:37

Canberra's role should be limited to making the right of way available to private enterprise and then stand back to see who wants to take the construction and operating cost risk. I am sure that there will be some takers but if there are none then so be it.


Let's not allow a small thing like the Constitution stand in the way ... that is a State responsibility Joe. The AG can throw money at it, the rest is up to the States. Looks like the receipe is for government to pay for it, then hand it over to the private sector to try and operate it at a profit. There is form here, look at the last time the AG spent money on a 'visionary rail' project and where did that go - it can't even cover operating costs.

As for those cost comparisons, you may be right but I would want to ensure that they were on a like-for-like basis. However, if it can be done cheaper, I have not heard any of the urgers speak up.

The only way this is going to fly is if fuel prices soar, and airline travel becomes much more expensive; even then, you need to factor in that energy price into the operating costs of the HST.

#261 Wuzak

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:46

Let's see; Canberra says $114 billion for 1900 km of rail system. This is only $60 million a km. France is well known for having an efficient industrial system, hardly any labour perks, long working hours per week, efficient trades people etc and they are currently constructing a new 300km HSR line. Costs are $12 million per km all up including trains and all.


Agreed. The price per km seems high.

The tunnelling will cost more, though in relation to overall length I would think not very long.

A newspaper article attacked the report saying that the train would be pure fantasy. One of the things it cited was a 67km tunnel under Sydney. Only having a cursory glance at the report I could only find a reference t 67km of tunnels in Sydney (so not necessarily just one).

The opposition, of course, piped up and said "we can't afford it". Yet in recent days the Australian Automobile Association has asked for $100bn over 10 years for transport infrastructure - almost entirely devoted to roads. Presumably this is over and bove the billions the government will spend on roads each year anyway.

What disturbs me about the reports estimations is that it would take so long! 15 years before construction commences - what's that about?


Canberra's role should be limited to making the right of way available to private enterprise and then stand back to see who wants to take the construction and operating cost risk. I am sure that there will be some takers but if there are none then so be it.


I disagree. The Federal Government is in a unique position to benefit from constructing the tracks, stations, etc.

For one, private companies couldn't afford the payback period for the tacks themselves - if the tracks could ever actually get paid back.
The government, on the other hand, benefits form the increased economic activity. More payroll tax, more GST, more company tax, etc. They also don't need to make a profit on the lines in a short period.

The trains and operations could be contracted to private firms. It is the operations side of the railway that is seen to be viable by the report, and thus would be the most attractive area of the project for private enterprise.

#262 Wuzak

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:58

Let's not allow a small thing like the Constitution stand in the way ... that is a State responsibility Joe. The AG can throw money at it, the rest is up to the States. Looks like the receipe is for government to pay for it, then hand it over to the private sector to try and operate it at a profit. There is form here, look at the last time the AG spent money on a 'visionary rail' project and where did that go - it can't even cover operating costs.


Which "visionary rail project" is that?


The only way this is going to fly is if fuel prices soar, and airline travel becomes much more expensive; even then, you need to factor in that energy price into the operating costs of the HST.


Or if competition is reduced.

Guess what - Virgin is buying Tiger, is planning to push itself upmarket to compete with QANTAS and then have Tiger do the discount thing. There will be less competition in the skies in the near future.

Power prices are set to drop in the next few years when the fixed carbon price is indexed to the European one. I believe fuel is exempt from carbon pricing (maybe it shouldn't be, but that is another matter entirely.

I'm sure that the report that was recently released factors in all operating costs of a HST. Including energy prices.



#263 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:02


Not only is the proposed Australian HSR as studied is based on a touch of cost unreality lets look at timing of it being fully operational 52 years from now in 2065.

In 1863 private enterprise companies started constuction of a railway to open up the settlement of the American west. This involved over 1900 miles, yes miles not km but to make it easy for some that is over 3000 km. This involved 11 tunnels and a topography much more rugged than Brisbane-Melbourne. It also meant that all construction materials for the west to east construction needed to be shipped by boat to the west coast. The rail technology being installed was virtually identical as we still use now for HSR.

They completed the track and opened the system to traffic six years later in 1869. That is a train system from Council Bluff Iowa to Oakalnd Ca, with no infrastructure to help in between. One would guess that there wasn't any automated track laying stuff back then. Spikes were driven by two man teams with hammers.

One might say that this is a bad comparison as the HSR is not yet ready to start construction and there needs to be some front end work. Well, the first survey work leading to the rail to the west was gazetted in 1853, 16 years before completion.

We have certainly progressed haven't we! :(

Regards



#264 Wuzak

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:57

Not only is the proposed Australian HSR as studied is based on a touch of cost unreality lets look at timing of it being fully operational 52 years from now in 2065.

In 1863 private enterprise companies started constuction of a railway to open up the settlement of the American west. This involved over 1900 miles, yes miles not km but to make it easy for some that is over 3000 km. This involved 11 tunnels and a topography much more rugged than Brisbane-Melbourne. It also meant that all construction materials for the west to east construction needed to be shipped by boat to the west coast. The rail technology being installed was virtually identical as we still use now for HSR.

They completed the track and opened the system to traffic six years later in 1869. That is a train system from Council Bluff Iowa to Oakalnd Ca, with no infrastructure to help in between. One would guess that there wasn't any automated track laying stuff back then. Spikes were driven by two man teams with hammers.

One might say that this is a bad comparison as the HSR is not yet ready to start construction and there needs to be some front end work. Well, the first survey work leading to the rail to the west was gazetted in 1853, 16 years before completion.

We have certainly progressed haven't we! :(

Regards


Private enterprise did build the US railroad. But it was the US government that effectively funded it through government bonds (per mile completed) and land grants (and not just for right of way). As there were two competing companies, one coming from the West and the other from the East, there was a race to collect the financial rewards.

Flat track was worth $16,000 per mile. Using this that equates to between $272k and $30.8m per mile, depending on how you measure it.

$30.8m/mile is competive with today's HSR costs (ie France and Japan), though they didn't have to run the power cables, and it was only a single line.

#265 GreenMachine

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 10:08

Which "visionary rail project" is that?

Alice - Darwin.


Or if competition is reduced.

Higher airline prices will help the HST, but that is a red herring. The response of the airlines to a raid on their market by the HST is very predictable - airline ticket prices will be slashed, leading to HST ticket prices being depressed, leading to losses/unpritabilty, leading to ... :cry:

The HST is targetted at the airlines main market, and most profitable - Sydney-Melbourne, and to a lesser extent Melbourne/Sydney-Brisbane. They will not give that up without a serious fight; I don't know how the financial modelling has addressed the airlines response, but they better have gone deeply into competitive behaviour.

In 1863 private enterprise companies started constuction of a railway to open up the settlement of the American west.

In case you haven't noticed Joe, this is not the American Wild West, and we have progressed. That is such a false analogy it does you no credit.

Building big infrastructure in a Western democratic country is not for the faint hearted, and I say that as having been on the inside of that sort of thing for the last 10 years of my working life. I am not endorsing the numbers you criticise, but it is a lot easier to throw rocks than it is to try and do it (or even to try and understand how those numbers came about).

Edited by GreenMachine, 25 April 2013 - 10:09.


#266 Wuzak

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 12:31

Higher airline prices will help the HST, but that is a red herring. The response of the airlines to a raid on their market by the HST is very predictable - airline ticket prices will be slashed, leading to HST ticket prices being depressed, leading to losses/unpritabilty, leading to ... :cry:


Slashing prices is unsustainable for the airlines. Already Tiger Airways has gone bust with discount fares.

With the government's backing I'm sure the HSR could drop prices to compete, plying the long game.


The HST is targetted at the airlines main market, and most profitable - Sydney-Melbourne, and to a lesser extent Melbourne/Sydney-Brisbane. They will not give that up without a serious fight; I don't know how the financial modelling has addressed the airlines response, but they better have gone deeply into competitive behaviour.


The Sydney-Melbourne is the most important market for the airlines - but is it the most profitable? I would imagine the margins for that route would be the smallest.

In any case, the experience in other countries is that HSR can capture a significant share of the market dispite being more expensive. I guess it is about comfort and convenience.

Edited by Wuzak, 25 April 2013 - 12:33.


#267 GreenMachine

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:21

Slashing prices is unsustainable for the airlines. Already Tiger Airways has gone bust with discount fares.

Precisely my point - the interloper is attacked.

With the government's backing I'm sure the HSR could drop prices to compete, plying the long game.

I doubt government would provide pricing support on top of all that capital expenditure.

The Sydney-Melbourne is the most important market for the airlines - but is it the most profitable? I would imagine the margins for that route would be the smallest.

It is the quantum of profits that count, not the margins on seats.

In any case, the experience in other countries is that HSR can capture a significant share of the market dispite being more expensive. I guess it is about comfort and convenience.

Yes, there will be some traffic, almost regardless of price. But enough? - not in my opinion.

#268 Wuzak

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 14:35

Some numbers.

Virgin made $23m profit last year.
Qantas made $250m loss last year.
Flight Centre (airline ticket retailer) made $200m profit last year.

Now, QANTAS have been adding capacity in the Sydney_Melbourne route. Virging has not.

#269 Wuzak

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 14:45

Precisely my point - the interloper is attacked.


If they are truly an interloper.

QANTAS has, in the past, shown interest in operating HSR between Sydney and Melbourne.


I doubt government would provide pricing support on top of all that capital expenditure.


I should think that the Government would like to see the HSR succeed after spending that much money on the infrastructure. Pricing support would be a small amount in comparison.


Yes, there will be some traffic, almost regardless of price. But enough? - not in my opinion.


Well, the experience in Europe, particularly France, is that HSR captures a very high proportion of inter-city travellers, despite being more expensive. I believe some routes aren't even run by airlines because their share was so low it was uneconomical.

The report suggests 50% of the Sydney-Melbourne travellers would opt for the train. Slightly less for other routes in the system.

The projected ridership is around 80 million per year (including commuter sections).

#270 GreenMachine

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:17

Last words on this subject from me:

I am (to state the bleeding obvious) a skeptic on HST in Australia, pending some breakthrough that magically turns around the economics. For political reasons its demise will probably be the death of a thousand cuts (aka studied to death), rather than the more brutal, but ultimately kinder, swift thrust.

As an aside, one way to get this built would be to get together the teams consultants and advisors associated with the failed PPP infrastructure projects (the ones who, desperate to win the success fees inflated their traffic and revenue figures to ensure they did win) and get them to put together a proposal which would be attractive to those investors with more money than sense. It has worked before, so surely it would work again?

Oh, a word to the wise - check your superannuation fund investment strategy, check it closely ... ;)

Edited by GreenMachine, 28 April 2013 - 02:17.


#271 Wuzak

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:41

It won't happen because there is no political will to make it happen.

And the likely next government won't even invest in commuter rail.



#272 johnny yuma

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:47

Johnny Y

I will only dip in here and now to point out that the HST Study that I had a role in was in the 19 nineties and we spent $10 million of 90's dollars over nearly three years ti find out that the Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne was a money maker for private enterprise.

It required no Govenrment money other than to make right of way availble on long term lease. The big time companides unerwriting the study poured that money into it because it did look good!!

As for governments and GST, If you look at GST takings in Oz since GST inception, they have risen at a compounded rate of 7% annually. If the Government can't budget successfully with that kind of growth there is something wrong with it, not us. We haven't seen annual revenue growths os 7% and yet we are expected to still pay our bills and taxes without increasing our debts!!!

Regards

Joe

Hmmm bet the Fed Govt is glad they didn't start an HST project last year ! Penny Wong and Wayne Swan are already in more strife than Speed Gordon with our recently-discovered (!!) defecits. Looks like
there is something wrong somewhere,and it's more than you,me or the government.

Edited by johnny yuma, 29 April 2013 - 01:50.


#273 Wuzak

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:19

Hmmm bet the Fed Govt is glad they didn't start an HST project last year ! Penny Wong and Wayne Swan are already in more strife than Speed Gordon with our recently-discovered (!!) defecits. Looks like
there is something wrong somewhere,and it's more than you,me or the government.


Bet the construction industry would be glad for the work (the first actual physical work could/should be the upgrading of the train stations).

#274 desmo

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 14:01

When governments fund projects, jobs aren't created. Ask any austerian, they'll tell you.

#275 johnny yuma

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 02:50

When governments fund projects, jobs aren't created. Ask any austerian, they'll tell you.

Pink batts in roofs ?

#276 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:33


The Federal Government should keep its nose out of the HST project's execution and operation. Private enterprise will make it work efficiently if the project is doable and will drop it like a hot penny if there isn't an honest dollar to be made from it.

Unfortunately, there is one thing that can not be accomplished without Federal Government oversight. That is making the rail right of way available This function is way beyond private enterprises capabilities. If the right of way was only within one state then state government can accomplish it. Unfortunately, there are four regional governments involved Brisbane through Melbourne, assuming that ACT land rights are not federal, a fact that escapes me at this time and I can't be bothered to spend the time to research as the Feds have to take the lead anyway to herd the others in a timely fashion.

This is not differently than the US federal Government acted in the 1800s regarding land right of way.

Private enterprise will make sure that the costings and scheduling meets world best practice ir-respective of what government funded brains trust seem to want to find. The costings and schedule contained in the recently published government study are so far from best practice as to boggle the mind as I tried to prompt people into realising in recent past postings.

Regards



#277 Wuzak

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:51

Joe, I fail to see how building a HST would make sense to private industry.

It may be cheaper, and be finished more quickly, but surely the return on investment would take too long to be palatable for shareholders, if it makes a profit at all.

The government, on the other hand, benefits from increased economic activity.

It could be that the government buys the land for right of way and then tenders the project to private industry to design and run the project, but still be funded by government. That may be cheaper and completed earlier than projected.


#278 desmo

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 14:14

I wonder what our road, port and airport infrastructure would look like if it were left to private enterprise and a more or less immediate profit (honest dollar) was a necessary condition for a project going forward? It'd probably resemble Somalia's, as would our overall standard of living.

#279 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 14:56

Wuzak

The TGV financials are a matter of public record in France and they make money. Enough that they are happy to extend the sercvice into new areas. When we did our study that I have mentioned in some detail in various parts of this thread we had quite a satisfactory return on investment after making some assumptions as to what kind of a right of way arrangement we would likely to get from governments.

That study was carried out by a consortium of three of the more reputable companies in the Oz top 100. Its cost estimates and schedules were quite in line with real numbers from current modern experiences. Return on owners equity in the order of 15 to 20% makes it quite a tidy risk valued investment. The three companies I quote were/are quite big enough to carry the project with pocketbooks adequate to find bank consortia debt finance on top of owner's equity.

My take on that one is from my boss of the time being one of the three co-chairman of the project. My boss used me as his sounding board in directing the work and making continual go/no go decisions and guiding the technical direction. The biggest challenge on this latter issue was in keeping the deep techie types feet to the ground. For example, given free rein they would have been designing a new train from scratch which would have burnt gross dollars and years even getting to the working prototype stage.

Desmo, you are partially correct and partially wrong in your comments on private enterprise and Somalia.

You are certainly correct in matters where governments have turned over monopolies to private ownership. A terrible example is the private ownership of airports in Oz now being run to very greedy decision making protected by government granted monopoly without a control mechanism. A better example is our privately owned airlines that are forced to balance costs versus reasonable service to publicly compete. Worldwide, the trucking industry is a wondefull example of private enterprise using public facilties, (our tax payer funded roads), and returning to governments through licenses.

While an HST would in one sense be a monopoly it would be in open competition with airlines, bus lines and public autos. The TGV shows good profits in open competition and grabs very significant percentages of total traffic within well defined travel time confines. I published earlier the experience formulas for finding usership. The fact that Oz is sparsely populated between strategically located cities. The grouped cities are every bit as big as those which feed high speed trains wherever they are applied.

The best ports are those that have been government developed for common use things like things like harbour and land based product specific facilties are privately built on leased land. Probably the best electricty system in the world is found in the US which is about 97% privately owned with stock market listed companies with a tight regulatory framework which ensures open competition and shareholder returns.

Regards

Edited by Joe Bosworth, 30 April 2013 - 14:59.


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#280 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:01

The existence of positive externalities doesn't mean that private enterprise investment is going to be zero; it just means that it's going to be less than socially optimal. Zero investment is just one of the possible less-than-optimal outcomes.

#281 johnny yuma

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:54

I wonder what our road, port and airport infrastructure would look like if it were left to private enterprise and a more or less immediate profit (honest dollar) was a necessary condition for a project going forward? It'd probably resemble Somalia's, as would our overall standard of living.

Most public infrastructure has been built by private enterprise for quite a while.They are the
contractors who tender to do works for all levels of government.However what seems to be lacking now
is expertise and energy on governments' behalf to keep an eye on the works as they progress,and any cost
over-runs.Once government agencies lose the ability to design or supervise works,they are at the mercy
of unscrupulous contractors.You can bet John Bradfield knew exactly what was going on when the Sydney
Harbour Bridge was being built,and everyone saw him there on site regularly.Now government operatives
are too nervous to take to the field in case there's a problem ! Ever wonder why those highway projects
take so long ?And cost so much? Like the widening of the MI north of Hornsby--I swear it took longer than
the initial construction ! Ditto the M2 widening--still not finished.
Building HST infrastructure quick enough to get some trains rolling and get the money coming in
is going to make Snowy Scheme look like making sandcastles.

#282 desmo

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 04:33

Well public involvement is certainly no guarantee of anything, that's for sure. People can and will screw up no matter who is in charge. But large public infrastructure generally just cannot happen without significant public investment, and without that infrastructure nobody makes any money--even the private sector.

#283 bobcat

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 02:12

As an aside I remember reading somewhere (and I can't find attribution...) that when the Concorde rumbled slowly over central London on its way into Heathrow it was burning fuel at 40 gallons per mile. While in supersonic cruise, at 60K feet it was way more efficient at 15 gallons per mile.

#284 bobcat

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 02:15

Oh, and for every extra pound of payload, it had to carry an extra pound of fuel.



#285 GreenMachine

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 03:28

Jet engines are like that. In fact, any engine that can work at altitude will work better at altitude than low, because of the reduced drag due to the thinner air at altitude.

And, yes, there are no free lunches in aviation, if you want to carry more, the aircraft has to work harder, and therefore uses more fuel.

#286 bobcat

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 18:14

(Also the fact that as a slender delta, Concorde was flying on the 'backside of the drag-curve" at low speeds with huge amounts of induced drag)

#287 gruntguru

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 23:28

Jet engines are like that. In fact, any engine that can work at altitude will work better at altitude than low, because of the reduced drag due to the thinner air at altitude.

Velocity is even more important. The closer the aircraft velocity is to the exhaust jet velocity, the higher the thrust efficiency.

(Think about a stationary aircraft with the engine running - work is being done stirring the surrounding air but work done on the aircraft = zero therefore thrust efficiency = zero.)

That is why jet engines for subsonic aircraft operate with very high bypass ratios. For a given engine power, the higher mass flow of a high bypass engine means lower exhaust velocity and a closer match to the speed of the aircraft.

http://www.concordesst.com/weight.html

Some interesting Concorde data - eg more than half the takeoff weight is fuel!

#288 Kelpiecross

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 13:24

Velocity is even more important. The closer the aircraft velocity is to the exhaust jet velocity, the higher the thrust efficiency.

(Think about a stationary aircraft with the engine running - work is being done stirring the surrounding air but work done on the aircraft = zero therefore thrust efficiency = zero.)

That is why jet engines for subsonic aircraft operate with very high bypass ratios. For a given engine power, the higher mass flow of a high bypass engine means lower exhaust velocity and a closer match to the speed of the aircraft.

http://www.concordesst.com/weight.html

Some interesting Concorde data - eg more than half the takeoff weight is fuel!


I have to admit that I always find this a little hard to picture in everyday terms. (Note that I am not saying I don't believe it - I just don't quite understand it). For example, I always picture a spaceship (or plane or whatever) flying along at 500mph firing a cannonball out the back at 500mph - the cannonball after it emerges is then stationary relative to its surroundings - I would think logic would say that seeing no velocity is imparted to the cannonball, no "push" is exerted on the spaceship. (But to answer my own question I suppose the important thing is that the plane has accelerated the cannonball to 500mph relative to itself).

I think another reason jet engines are more efficient at high speed is that the forward speed of the plane adds to the compression ratio of the compressor - the SR71 bypassed its compressor completely at high speed to prevent "over compression" and too high a turbine temperature after the fuel was burned. I think this excessive compression is why jet fighters etc. are limited to less than Mach 2.

#289 Tony Matthews

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 17:15

I think this excessive compression is why jet fighters etc. are limited to less than Mach 2.

Appart from the ones that exceed Mach 2.  ;) There are various ways of slowing the air to avoid over-compressing it, I think the biggest problem is high fuel consumption - higher that at fast 'loitering'.

#290 bobcat

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 19:19

Actually, high compression ratios are best for thermal efficiency. With cleverly controlled intake ramps, slowing supersonic airflow to subsonic before entering the engine/fan face the air is already compressed before it enters the engine to be further compressed. Concorde's Olympus engine ran at a crazy but very efficient 80:1 compression ratio, at 60,000 feet where the air is getting pretty thin.

The Rolls Royce Trent hanging off an Airbus has a compression ratio of 35:1 which is a very efficient way of turning fuel into energy.

Meanwhile, a train slogs along at sea level and the the amount of power to push it along increases as the cube of the speed. (I once worked on a high-speed train project an was told that the aero drag penally of ventilated discs spinning on multiple wheel axles was "10%"...)



#291 gruntguru

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 00:21

For example, I always picture a spaceship (or plane or whatever) flying along at 500mph firing a cannonball out the back at 500mph - the cannonball after it emerges is then stationary relative to its surroundings - I would think logic would say that seeing no velocity is imparted to the cannonball, no "push" is exerted on the spaceship. (But to answer my own question I suppose the important thing is that the plane has accelerated the cannonball to 500mph relative to itself).

Think of the simple case where the cannonball is half the total weight of the aircraft (or perhaps the aircraft is broken into two pieces by an explosion). The aircraft is flying along at 500 mph. After the explosion each piece will to be travelling at 500 mph relative to the centre of mass which itself remains travelling at 500 mph relative to the ground. The back piece will be stationary relative to the ground and the front piece will be travelling at 1000 mph relative to the ground.

This is actually a good illustration of my point. 500 mph is actually the most efficient speed for firing the cannonball because it ends up with zero kinetic energy. This means all the energy that was used to fire it has gone into increasing the kinetic energy of the aircraft. The disadvantage is the small amount of energy used - you would need to fire a lot of cannon balls to keep the aircraft flying. This is not a problem for jet (turbofan) engines because the stuff being ejected is mostly air (plus a tiny bit of fuel) so doesn't have to be carried (like cannonballs) as payload in the aircraft.

#292 Kelpiecross

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 04:03

Think of the simple case where the cannonball is half the total weight of the aircraft (or perhaps the aircraft is broken into two pieces by an explosion). The aircraft is flying along at 500 mph. After the explosion each piece will to be travelling at 500 mph relative to the centre of mass which itself remains travelling at 500 mph relative to the ground. The back piece will be stationary relative to the ground and the front piece will be travelling at 1000 mph relative to the ground.

This is actually a good illustration of my point. 500 mph is actually the most efficient speed for firing the cannonball because it ends up with zero kinetic energy. This means all the energy that was used to fire it has gone into increasing the kinetic energy of the aircraft. The disadvantage is the small amount of energy used - you would need to fire a lot of cannon balls to keep the aircraft flying. This is not a problem for jet (turbofan) engines because the stuff being ejected is mostly air (plus a tiny bit of fuel) so doesn't have to be carried (like cannonballs) as payload in the aircraft.


Thank you for the reply - both of your points do explain the situation very nicely.

#293 Wuzak

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:53

Actually, high compression ratios are best for thermal efficiency. With cleverly controlled intake ramps, slowing supersonic airflow to subsonic before entering the engine/fan face the air is already compressed before it enters the engine to be further compressed. Concorde's Olympus engine ran at a crazy but very efficient 80:1 compression ratio, at 60,000 feet where the air is getting pretty thin.

The Rolls Royce Trent hanging off an Airbus has a compression ratio of 35:1 which is a very efficient way of turning fuel into energy.

Meanwhile, a train slogs along at sea level and the the amount of power to push it along increases as the cube of the speed. (I once worked on a high-speed train project an was told that the aero drag penally of ventilated discs spinning on multiple wheel axles was "10%"...)


Trains don't need to generate lift.

The amount of power to drive a plane also increases with the cube of speed.

#294 bobcat

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:19


"Trains don't need to generate lift".


Correct. The amount of lift an aircraft has to generate is obviously equal to its weight in level flight, but the lift/drag ratio varies with speed.



"The amount of power to drive a plane also increases with the cube of speed"

Correct. (Eg., 100Hp at 100mph, 800hp at 200 mph....)




#295 GreenMachine

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:10

(I once worked on a high-speed train project an was told that the aero drag penally of ventilated discs spinning on multiple wheel axles was "10%"...)


10%? For brake disks? Seems high to me ... :|

#296 bobcat

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:48

10%? For brake disks? Seems high to me ... :|


Surprised me too. It was Bombardier- ventilated discs work like centrifugal fans, so I suppose if they're on every axle it all starts to add up.

#297 Greg Locock

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 23:52

Surprised me too. It was Bombardier- ventilated discs work like centrifugal fans, so I suppose if they're on every axle it all starts to add up.

I shall ask a bomabrdier engineer tonight - although whether he'll still be speaking english after eleventeen guinesses is a good question.

It seems incredibly high to me, a blower the size of a train wheel rotating at 600 rpm would be hard pushed to absorb 3 hp.

#298 gruntguru

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 01:53

Me too. Even if you add extra drag due to the air ejected from each disc disturbing the airflow around the rest of the train.

#299 Kelpiecross

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:37


Speaking of aerodynamic drag of trains - I have often wondered if the streamlining on some engines like the Gresley A4 and NSW 38 class made the slightest difference to the drag of the train - my guess would be that it made no noticeable difference at all.

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#300 bobcat

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 15:11

Speaking of aerodynamic drag of trains - I have often wondered if the streamlining on some engines like the Gresley A4 and NSW 38 class made the slightest difference to the drag of the train - my guess would be that it made no noticeable difference at all.


Even on high speed trains not much. Most of the drag is parasitic (all the wheels, doors, pantographs, HVAC clutter etc) that are dragged along behind. However an advantage with a pointy nose on a fast train occurs when two pass in opposite directions in a tunnel- it helps reduce the intensity of the converging bow-waves of air in the confined space, and softens that 'whoompf..' when they hit each other's pressure waves.