Long-term vision for faster rail between Canberra and Sydney

Start time: 12:00pm AEDT. Exploring the economic viability of a new route.
Long-term vision for faster rail between Canberra and Sydney


The program of this webinar covers the following topics:

  • Status of existing transport planning initiatives and investigations.
  • Whether both centres and their regions could realise significant benefits and economic opportunities through progressing faster rail?
  • What the likely upgrades to track, infrastructure and rolling stock look like to make rail an attractive and effective transport option for the corridor?
  • Future transport infrastructure and services should be channels to deliver social outcomes, resulting in meaningful engagement, connection with Country and community at the centre but how do you go about future proofing these social sustainability opportunities?
  • Are the conditions right for the project to move ahead – for example, new demand for regional development after COVID-19?



Phil Potterton, CMILT

Director, Economic Connections Pty Ltd

A Canberran, mostly continuously since 1975, Phil is a transport economics and policy consultant and researcher. Recent consulting projects include: advice to the National Faster Rail Agency on opportunities to enhance the transport investment appraisal framework to better reflect benefits and costs of faster passenger rail projects; development of the ACT Government’s draft freight strategy; and Infrastructure Australia’s Northern Australia Audit. Formerly a senior Commonwealth public servant, Phil headed the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics in the 2000s. Publications include “The case for fast rail to Sydney”, Canberra Times, 16 July 2020, with Economic Connections co-director, Dr Anthony Ockwell.


Peter Thornton FIEAust FCILT(Ret) MICE CPEng NER
Principal of Transportation Associates Pty Ltd

Peter is the Principal of Transportation Associates Pty Ltd and is a leader in infrastructure and transportation consulting based in Sydney, drawing on his skills in engineering, environmental planning and project economics. He has directed more than 100 investigations into most aspects of transportation for the private sector, Commonwealth and State Governments. After a number of Sydney - Canberra HSR feasibility studies for both NSW and the Commonwealth, Peter co-led the Capital Rail bid in the Sydney-Canberra VHST Tender in 1998; advised the Commonwealth of the cost of the SpeedRail bid in 1999; led the Commonwealth’s East Coast Very High Speed Train Study in 2001; co-directed Fast Rail and Tilt Train studies for TfNSW in 2014-2016 and more recently undertook independent review for INSW on a Sydney-Canberra fast rail business case.


Cara Wood

Manager, Community and Place, Transport for NSW

Cara has twenty years of facilitating social outcomes across sectors. From non-profit in environmental and disability advocacy to government and industry, leading stakeholder engagement for large-scale commercial and mixed-use projects for Lendlease. Cara has delivered corporate strategy with a focus on front end governance and mixed methodologies, to secure place-based and meaningful opportunities for community capacity, skilling, social procurement and connection with the Country.

Her modus operandi at Transport for NSW continues to be about facilitating rich, inclusive and enduring place outcomes, working in partnership with the Country and community. To Cara, the world moves in incredible ways because good people are agile and open the door for others.


Event Date Time
02 / 02 / 2022 12:00 pm–01:30 pm
Registration Closes
02 / 02 / 2022 12:00 pm
Member Rate
Technical Society Member Rate
Student Member Rate
Non-Member Rate
Event Contact
  • Contact:
    Engineers Australia Member Services
  • Phone:
    1300 653 113
  • Email:
Maximum CPD Hours