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bullet train

A bullet train in China. Courtesy: AFP

Fast rail is being touted as a way to revitalise regional Victoria and spread population growth across the state.

New analysis has found bullet trains could deliver passengers from regional areas to Melbourne in the time it currently takes to commute from Sandringham or Williamstown.

The Balance Victoria analysis has called for a comprehensive fast rail network to be built across the state over the next 30 years.

Based on trains travelling at 300km/h, the journey from Horsham in the west and Albury in the northeast could take as little as an hour.

The trip from Geelong could be 20 minutes, from Shepparton about 35 minutes and from both Bendigo and Traralgon 40 minutes.

Former deputy premier Pat McNamara, who wrote the report alongside Steve Bracks, estimated a 100km section of rail would cost less than $8 billion.

“We can actually build fast rail to create new regional centres that can be funded by the property uplift,” Mr McNamara said.

“This thing is feasible because of the huge population growth we are experiencing and it will spread that throughout Victoria.

“We think this is a game changer.”

The State Government is spending $50 million for detailed “investigations” and planning for fast rail between Melbourne and Geelong.