MonoCab VRT Rapid Transit System


High Speed Rail:-

The Australian Government is currently considering a High Speed Rail (HSR) track between Brisbane and Melbourne.

The proposal to build a High Speed Rail track between Sydney and Melbourne was first mooted in the mid 1980s but was never been found to be financially viable in the three studies undertaken between 1986 and 2001.

AECOM Australia Pty Ltd and its Study Team (sub-consultants Grimshaw, KPMG, SKM, ACIL Tasman, Booz & Co and Hyder) submitted its Phase 2 report to the Government in April 2013.

This report estimated the construction cost at $64 billion for the Brisbane - Sydney track and $50 billion for the Sydney - Canberra - Melbourne track, a total of $114 billion.

In this report, they state:-

 "Governments would be required to fund the majority of the upfront capital costs."


"The potential to attract private finance is limited. An expected return of at least 15% would be required at this stage of project development to be attractive to commercial providers of debt and equity to major infrastructure projects.  HSR would fall well short of this.".

Given the current state of the Australian Government's finances, it will be a challenge for it to find the money required.

AECOM's projected construction schedule is:-

 Sydney-Canberra  2027-2035
 Canberra-Melbourne  2032-2040
 Newcastle-Sydney  2037-2045
 Brisbane-Gold Coast  2043-2051
 Gold Coast-Newcastle  2048-2058

In other words, it will be over 44 years before you can travel on HSR between Brisbane and Melbourne, presuming, of course, that there are no delays as is usual with Government projects of this size and complexity. 

Most of us will be dead by then.

In contrast, the estimate for equivalent MonoCab VRT track for Brisbane-Sydney is $4.7 billion and for Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne is also $4.7 billion, a total of $9.4 billion.

The MonoCab VRT track returns a healthy profit for all segments WITHOUT any Government subsidies for either construction or operation.

This makes MonoCab VRT a viable proposition for private enterprise.  All the various Governments have to do is pass the necessary legislation to allow track constuction.

Although MonoCab VRT is virgin technology, it is anticipated that a Brisbane-Melbourne MonoCab VRT track would be operational well before 2027.  The driver for this will be the healthy financial returns available to the private sector.

The MonoCab VRT tracks will generally be constucted along existing highways, utility easements and the like.  Acquisition/resumption of land will seldom be required.

There will be no major earthworks or drainage works required.  In general, the only earthworks required will be the excavation for the column footings.   

One aspect of HSR that hasn't had any attention by the media is the noise level of the trains as they pass.  Overseas experience shows that the noise levels, measured at 25 metres from the track, are in the range of 86 - 97 dB(A) dependent on the particular train/track combination and the train's speed (250 - 350 km/h).  Ear protection is a requirement in industrial situations when the noise level exceeds 80 dB(A).

Noise levels from MonoCab VRT will be much lower.  All vehicles have pneumatic tyres that run on a steel rail.  The wheels are fully enveloped by the vehicles' body work, hence any noise is contained and can be controlled by appropriate insulation.  As the tracks will generally be constructed along existing highways and arterial roads, it is expected that the MonoCab VRT vehicles will not increase existing traffic noise levels.


Safety of HSR is another concern.  A significant portion of the track will be constructed at ground level.  Consequently, it is possible that people and animals will gain access to the track regardless of fences and the like that may be erected for protection.

Our understanding is that there will also be level crossings which could produce an extreme result as depicted in this news item.

This is interesting as rail providers are generally working towards getting rid of level crossings.

It should be borne in mind that a six car HSR train weighs in the vicinity of 300 tonnes and has steel wheels running on steel rails.  When travelling at 300 km/h, it takes a significant distance to stop.

MonoCab VRT has none of these problems as the track is a minimum of five metres above ground.  There is no interaction with people, animals or road vehicles.  Braking performance will be similar to road vehicles.

Maintenance costs of the HSR track are significant.  The track alignment, vertically and horizontally, has to be kept within very tight tolerances to prevent a high speed derailment.  Just imagine the damage a 300 tonne train travelling at 300 km/h would do if it derailed.

Information from Spain indicates that this maintenance cost is in the order of $115,000/km per year. 

The estimate for the MonoCab VRT tracks is $7,000/km per year.






During public displays of our MonoCab VRT model, we conduct a written survey (name, address and comments). We also ask respondents two questions:-

Would you like the MonoCab VRT rapid transit system in your community?

The Response:-

YES - 99.42%

We also ask them to rate the system out of 10:-

Average rating = 9.54/10

You Can't Get Much Better Than That!!