Wentworth's vision for Australian railways (letter)by Kevin O'NeillNews Weekly
, March 1, 2008
When the late William Charles Wentworth MP set out to standardise the rail links between all of the mainland capitals of Australia, he produced a slim volume of 37 pages of foolscap size, costing, at a guess, about a half a million dollars.
Many million of dollars have since been squandered on feasibility studies for the Melbourne-Brisbane rail proposal already, with more to come and no decision in sight.
The Wentworth Report is called The Report of Government Members Rail Standardisation Committee
This slim volume was all that was needed to convince Parliament and the people of Australia that the work should go ahead, and the job was started and completed with the support of all parties in Parliament.
At present there are two main route proposals for the Melbourne-Brisbane trunk rail route.
However the eastern route via Albury cannot use double-stack containers, nor can the Melbourne-Sydney route through Albury.
This guarantees in advance the failure of the Melbourne-Brisbane rail route through Albury.
With the need for double-stack containers' superior capacity on the one hand, and the threat of rail curfews in urban areas on the Albury route on the other, the western food-bowl route through Shepparton is the outstanding preference.Kevin O'Neill,
Progressive Rail Association,