The need for speed

Monday 10 Sep 2012

HASSELL designs new high speed rail network for Australia

The Australian High Speed Vehicle (A-HSV) responds to current national debate in Australia on the potential benefits of high speed train travel for housing affordability, sustainability, regional economics and social connectivity. Inspired by the brute lines of the iconic Australian speed machine, the 1960s HK Monaro car, the A-HSV reflects its Australian context, presenting an alternative low-carbon, safe mode of transport for future travel between Australian capital and regional cities.

The A-HSV project was initiated by a small team at HASSELL keen to explore creative infrastructure and transport ideas that influence architecture and urban design, while remaining suitable for the Australian environment. The team aimed to broaden the Australian public's understanding of the positive impact a high speed train network can have on communities by bringing them closer together. Additionally, the reduction in travel times between cities would address other national issues such as housing shortages by dispersing employment centres away from the capital cities and reversing economic decline and high unemployment in regional areas.

Understanding the engineering behind high speed train design required research of existing high speed train examples, as well as research into the social, environmental and economical impacts that result from the development of High Speed Rail.

Our desire was to use a collaborative multidiscipline approach to design a sustainable conceptual alternative to road and air travel in Australia. Beyond designing an aesthetically pleasing train, we embraced the opportunity to capture the imagination and ignite a debate about transportation. The scheme has received wide media coverage and HASSELL hosted a lively debate between industry leaders on the benefits of high speed train travel between Australian cities.

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