Ned, 18, SA

“I wish the government understood how important railways can be and how they can continue to change the world. Railways are what began globalisation but just because they might not be driving it now does not mean that they are obsolete. Railways can be useful both in an urban and regional context, both from an economic and social perspective, but Australia’s rail network is in serious need of an overhaul. In a regional setting, rail connections mean that freight can be easily transported in bulk, whilst also allowing a level of mobility that only road vehicles can better, and even then only minimally. Railways are the sustainable option, being easy to run off of renewable sources, something which planes simply cannot offer, and cars cannot compete on over long distances. In urban areas, railways take cars off the road, again proving a more sustainable choice, as well easing the burden on a congested roads system, something which neither buses nor cars can do. Furthermore, public transport is incredibly important to both young people and older people, who may often not have the option of driving, giving them mobility and independence they otherwise would not have.

Australia’s rail network is no where near up to standard. It should not take 11 hours to get from Adelaide to Melbourne; trains should be able to travel significantly faster than an average speed of roughly 75km/h. It cannot possibly cost more to run a train service than it does to run an air service, and yet trains tickets are often more expensive than airfares. There should be a way to travel with more speed and comfort than a car or a bus, without the expense and hassle of a plane; and that way is the railway.”