As Crikey anticipated yesterday, not merely did the government go big on the Train to Nowhere in the budget -- $8.4 billion over seven years -- but treated it as an equity injection, which means it is in the capital budget and doesn't affect the budget deficit.

That's $8.4 billion that could be spent on any number of both regional and urban infrastructure projects with higher -- in some cases much higher -- benefit:cost ratios than the lousy 1.1 that the government claims. When even the proponents of a project admit they can only dodgy up the numbers to get to just over breakeven, you know a project is a dud. Especially rail.