A High Speed Railway station east of Mittagong has been proposed in the Phase 2 High Speed Rail Report released this week by Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese.
While construction of the total Brisbane-Melbourne line is estimated to be completed in 2065, the “earliest possible start” for construction on the Sydney-Canberra section is less than a decade away, in 2022.
Construction on this section, which includes the Southern Highlands station, could be complete by 2030, according to the report. However, the recommended timeframe is construction commencing in 2027, and operations in 2035.
The study points to travel times from Mittagong to Sydney of 29 minutes, and 39 minutes to Canberra.
The Mittagong station site, east of the existing Mittagong Airport, was chosen on the basis of criteria including proximity to existing transport networks, proximity to housing, avoidance of major geographical constraints (like floodplains and steep gradients), and avoidance of significant heritage areas.
The report sets out its reasoning for travelling to the east of the Southern Highlands towns, rather than the west:
The two shortlisted alignments selected for… comparison both run to the east of Mittagong, Bowral and Moss Vale.
Alignments to the west of these towns would have greater impacts on residential areas, including impacts on the towns of Berrima and Colo Vale, as well as Yanderra further to the north, and would require multiple crossings of the Hume Highway. Avoiding these towns would require alignments well west of the Hume Highway and would be less direct than other options.
The proposed alignment then bends westward, passing between the Hume Highway and Exeter before travelling on to Goulburn.
This phase two report follows an initial feasibility study released late last year.
For more information on the report, visit the Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s High Speed Rail page.