News & Discussion: O-Bahn

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ml69
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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1381 Post by ml69 » Thu May 24, 2018 9:00 pm

rubberman wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:09 pm
claybro wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 1:37 pm
What you are all describing are work arounds to accomodate bloody great concrete tracks down the middle of Port Road. Given tram tracks can be laid flat into any surface - even grass as is the case in Vic Sq. and trams can carry more passengers, in longer vehicles, I just don't get the desire to have an Obahn on Port Road, or anywhere else for that matter.
Well, yes. If someone wanted to go to all that trouble, they might as well just put in a tramway.
Why even talk about trams and Obahns down Port Rd when we have a perfectly good but under-utilised rail line ...it just needs to be electrified with some minor stops removed, and some more modern station facilities.

Trams and Obahn are slowed down by intersections, the rail line is not.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1382 Post by SBD » Thu May 24, 2018 9:39 pm

Eurostar wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:43 pm
A simple tway style busway could be a suitable replacement for the north east busway. To extend to Golden Grove why not use one of the sides of the median strip for the tway.
What's the maximum permitted speed for two-way operations on that road? Maybe it's camera lens distortion, but that looks awfully tight to be meeting a bus doing 80km/h or more coming the other way.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1383 Post by Eurostar » Thu May 24, 2018 11:07 pm

SBD wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 9:39 pm
Eurostar wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:43 pm
A simple tway style busway could be a suitable replacement for the north east busway. To extend to Golden Grove why not use one of the sides of the median strip for the tway.
What's the maximum permitted speed for two-way operations on that road? Maybe it's camera lens distortion, but that looks awfully tight to be meeting a bus doing 80km/h or more coming the other way.
I have rode bus along the tway, they are able to drive a good speed, the traffic lights favoured buses too. Bus stations are simple too

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1384 Post by rubberman » Fri May 25, 2018 10:00 am

ml69 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 9:00 pm
rubberman wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:09 pm
claybro wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 1:37 pm
What you are all describing are work arounds to accomodate bloody great concrete tracks down the middle of Port Road. Given tram tracks can be laid flat into any surface - even grass as is the case in Vic Sq. and trams can carry more passengers, in longer vehicles, I just don't get the desire to have an Obahn on Port Road, or anywhere else for that matter.
Well, yes. If someone wanted to go to all that trouble, they might as well just put in a tramway.
Why even talk about trams and Obahns down Port Rd when we have a perfectly good but under-utilised rail line ...it just needs to be electrified with some minor stops removed, and some more modern station facilities.

Trams and Obahn are slowed down by intersections, the rail line is not.
For heavy rail to work, it needs at the extreme at least 2km between stops. Under that distance, light rail is cheaper, quicker and more flexible. So, unless enough stops are removed to make station distances 2km or, preferably more, trams and O Bahns make sense. So far, so good. No disagreement.

The problem comes when the stations get shut down. Howls of outrage mean the stations are reopened, and we are back to square one.

At the moment, the Port and Grange lines run with tram stop spacings mostly, but with slower heavy rail costs. Heavier equipment, slower acceleration, signalling that is required for heavy rail operation, but not needed for trams makes it grossly uneconomic. Electrification won't solve any of that. In fact, the economics are so bad, no economist would ever recommend throwing more money at it.

The best would be elimination of all stations with less than 2km spacing.

If that can't happen, the next best is a tramway or O-Bahn.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1385 Post by claybro » Fri May 25, 2018 10:54 am

rubberman wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 10:00 am
ml69 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 9:00 pm
rubberman wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:09 pm


Well, yes. If someone wanted to go to all that trouble, they might as well just put in a tramway.
Why even talk about trams and Obahns down Port Rd when we have a perfectly good but under-utilised rail line ...it just needs to be electrified with some minor stops removed, and some more modern station facilities.

Trams and Obahn are slowed down by intersections, the rail line is not.
For heavy rail to work, it needs at the extreme at least 2km between stops. Under that distance, light rail is cheaper, quicker and more flexible. So, unless enough stops are removed to make station distances 2km or, preferably more, trams and O Bahns make sense. So far, so good. No disagreement.

The problem comes when the stations get shut down. Howls of outrage mean the stations are reopened, and we are back to square one.

At the moment, the Port and Grange lines run with tram stop spacings mostly, but with slower heavy rail costs. Heavier equipment, slower acceleration, signalling that is required for heavy rail operation, but not needed for trams makes it grossly uneconomic. Electrification won't solve any of that. In fact, the economics are so bad, no economist would ever recommend throwing more money at it.

The best would be elimination of all stations with less than 2km spacing.

If that can't happen, the next best is a tramway or O-Bahn.
Agree with all of this Rubberman. Obahn to be properly done though would require full grade separation, if not, the bus would need to leave the guideway at each level crossing and re enter the guideway on the other side, slowing it down to the point where it would be better just to have the bus transit lanes without the track at all. The crossings could still I suppose be controlled by boom gates to prevent red light runners colliding with a bus at the crossing. Heavy rail as you point out is currently overkill on the OH line. By far the cheapest option would be to rip out the rail, put in 2 bus lanes along the corridor and let the Semaphore/West Lakes and Grange buses enter the bus lanes at say Woodville. Only problem with this is, commuters beyond Glanville really get a raw deal, as the buses will be way more crowded, way slower, and way less comfortable. With heavy rail not really economically viable, I think this is why the former government was exploring tram options for this corridor, as it fits somewhere between the two.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1386 Post by Llessur2002 » Fri May 25, 2018 11:09 am

rubberman wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 10:00 am
ml69 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 9:00 pm
rubberman wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:09 pm


Well, yes. If someone wanted to go to all that trouble, they might as well just put in a tramway.
Why even talk about trams and Obahns down Port Rd when we have a perfectly good but under-utilised rail line ...it just needs to be electrified with some minor stops removed, and some more modern station facilities.

Trams and Obahn are slowed down by intersections, the rail line is not.
For heavy rail to work, it needs at the extreme at least 2km between stops. Under that distance, light rail is cheaper, quicker and more flexible. So, unless enough stops are removed to make station distances 2km or, preferably more, trams and O Bahns make sense. So far, so good. No disagreement.

The problem comes when the stations get shut down. Howls of outrage mean the stations are reopened, and we are back to square one.

At the moment, the Port and Grange lines run with tram stop spacings mostly, but with slower heavy rail costs. Heavier equipment, slower acceleration, signalling that is required for heavy rail operation, but not needed for trams makes it grossly uneconomic. Electrification won't solve any of that. In fact, the economics are so bad, no economist would ever recommend throwing more money at it.

The best would be elimination of all stations with less than 2km spacing.

If that can't happen, the next best is a tramway or O-Bahn.
Sounds good in principle, but when you start to look at the logistics of closing stations things get a little complicated.

For example, applying your 2km rule to the OH line would see Bowden retained (rightly so, given that it is brand new and serves a TOD) but Croydon closed in favour of West Croydon. But both of these stations serve retail strips – Croydon’s being significantly busier than West Croydon’s. So do you close a brand new station which serves a busy retail strip, or keep that one and close the other?

Either way, both are closer than 2km to Kilkenny so that would have to go – but, when the debacle over the old Bianco’s concrete works is resolved that leaves a sizable chunk of land a few km from the CBD which would be perfect for a mini TOD (especially if and when the adjacent O-I glass bottle factory and John Shearer factory eventually sell up their sites for development, which I would be surprised if they didn't within the next 10-20 years or so) – losing that station would make any development of these sites far less attractive and I would imagine that Charles Sturt would be very keen to retain it for this reason.

If you do keep Kilkenny for its TOD potential then Woodville Station is only 1.5km away but that not only serves a main road with medium density development potential as well as Woodville High School, the Civic Centre, retail strip etc but is also an interchange station for the Grange line.

St Clair is only 1km from Woodville but that services the new housing development, of which the station formed a significant part of the masterplan (and is one of the few stations which genuinely does service a shopping centre and supermarket).

Cheltenham is only 600m from St Clair but that station services the Port Adelaide football ground which would be a blow for SANFL games and for the development plans Port Adelaide have for this site.

Alberton is the first station along the line that I can't see an immediate argument for keeping but I know very little of its patronage, the local area etc.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1387 Post by claybro » Fri May 25, 2018 11:32 am

Llessur2002 wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 11:09 am
Sounds good in principle, but when you start to look at the logistics of closing stations things get a little complicated.

For example, applying your 2km rule to the OH line would see Bowden retained (rightly so, given that it is brand new and serves a TOD) but Croydon closed in favour of West Croydon. But both of these stations serve retail strips – Croydon’s being significantly busier than West Croydon’s. So do you close a brand new station which serves a busy retail strip, or keep that one and close the other?

Either way, both are closer than 2km to Kilkenny so that would have to go – but, when the debacle over the old Bianco’s concrete works is resolved that leaves a sizable chunk of land a few km from the CBD which would be perfect for a mini TOD (especially if and when the adjacent O-I glass bottle factory and John Shearer factory eventually sell up their sites for development, which I would be surprised if they didn't within the next 10-20 years or so) – losing that station would make any development of these sites far less attractive and I would imagine that Charles Sturt would be very keen to retain it for this reason.

If you do keep Kilkenny for its TOD potential then Woodville Station is only 1.5km away but that not only serves a main road with medium density development potential as well as Woodville High School, the Civic Centre, retail strip etc but is also an interchange station for the Grange line.

St Clair is only 1km from Woodville but that services the new housing development, of which the station formed a significant part of the masterplan (and is one of the few stations which genuinely does service a shopping centre and supermarket).

Cheltenham is only 600m from St Clair but that station services the Port Adelaide football ground which would be a blow for SANFL games and for the development plans Port Adelaide have for this site.

Alberton is the first station along the line that I can't see an immediate argument for keeping but I know very little of its patronage, the local area etc.
All of which points to the reason why the former government wanted to do away with heavy rail here in favour of light rail with more destinations. so in the context of this discussion, it then comes down to either Obahn or light rail. Obahn in our understanding of the term is not really suited here for the reasons already discussed...too many work arounds to make it work properly as intended. Given what has happened so far though, we will possible only get new trains and electric wires with exactly the same format, in the hope commuters are attracted to the shiny new trains, of which there is no evidence so far.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1388 Post by Archer » Fri May 25, 2018 11:45 am

Does the "2km rule" still hold true for electrified heavy rail? I understand particularly with the diesels and their slower acceleration that this is a reasonable minimum distance between stations for operation efficiency. However, the electric trains can accelerated faster. How much, if anything, does this change the equation?

Would electrifying the line provide enough advantage for heavy rail to become an acceptable option with the station spacing, even if it is only just?

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1389 Post by ml69 » Fri May 25, 2018 11:20 pm

Archer wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 11:45 am
Does the "2km rule" still hold true for electrified heavy rail? I understand particularly with the diesels and their slower acceleration that this is a reasonable minimum distance between stations for operation efficiency. However, the electric trains can accelerated faster. How much, if anything, does this change the equation?

Would electrifying the line provide enough advantage for heavy rail to become an acceptable option with the station spacing, even if it is only just?
Many rail lines in Sydney and Melbourne have stations far closer than 2km apart (particularly within 15km of the CBD), is anyone suggesting these should be converted to light rail?

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1390 Post by rubberman » Sat May 26, 2018 10:36 pm

ml69 wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 11:20 pm
Archer wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 11:45 am
Does the "2km rule" still hold true for electrified heavy rail? I understand particularly with the diesels and their slower acceleration that this is a reasonable minimum distance between stations for operation efficiency. However, the electric trains can accelerated faster. How much, if anything, does this change the equation?

Would electrifying the line provide enough advantage for heavy rail to become an acceptable option with the station spacing, even if it is only just?
Many rail lines in Sydney and Melbourne have stations far closer than 2km apart (particularly within 15km of the CBD), is anyone suggesting these should be converted to light rail?
I guess the point is whether you are happy to put up with the slow speeds...and high costs.

If you have close stops, heavy rail simply can't get up to speed before the brakes have to come on. So, of course it's possible to have stops as close as anyone wants...as long as the speed penalty is acceptable. The problem comes when on the one hand people complain about slow schedule speeds, but on the other insist on small station spacings.

As you point out, many stops in Sydney and Melbourne are far closer than 2km...and people complain bitterly about slow schedules caused by those spacings in large part.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1391 Post by claybro » Sun May 27, 2018 5:17 pm

rubberman wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 10:36 pm
ml69 wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 11:20 pm
Archer wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 11:45 am
Does the "2km rule" still hold true for electrified heavy rail? I understand particularly with the diesels and their slower acceleration that this is a reasonable minimum distance between stations for operation efficiency. However, the electric trains can accelerated faster. How much, if anything, does this change the equation?

Would electrifying the line provide enough advantage for heavy rail to become an acceptable option with the station spacing, even if it is only just?
Many rail lines in Sydney and Melbourne have stations far closer than 2km apart (particularly within 15km of the CBD), is anyone suggesting these should be converted to light rail?
I guess the point is whether you are happy to put up with the slow speeds...and high costs.

If you have close stops, heavy rail simply can't get up to speed before the brakes have to come on. So, of course it's possible to have stops as close as anyone wants...as long as the speed penalty is acceptable. The problem comes when on the one hand people complain about slow schedule speeds, but on the other insist on small station spacings.

As you point out, many stops in Sydney and Melbourne are far closer than 2km...and people complain bitterly about slow schedules caused by those spacings in large part.
Also one of the reasons St Kilda and Port Melbourne were converted to light rail- short distance, close stopping. Could they have converted to an Obahn style busway? ., possibly, but as there are already so many trams in Melbourne it would make no sense. I have used the Port Melbourne light rail.. it is fantastic. The locals love it, except for overcrowding. Interesting to note though, where other Australian cities such as Brisbane are toying with buswsys, they are not guided, as the tracks are deemed an unnessesary expence, and it limits which vehicles can use the track, and yet many Australian cities are re-installing trams/ light rail.Seems worldwide, light rail is still much preferred over guided bus ways. I'm not sure the Obahn track will be replaced in its current form at the end of its life.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1392 Post by Algernon » Thu May 31, 2018 9:25 pm

Llessur2002 wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 11:09 am
rubberman wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 10:00 am
ml69 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 9:00 pm

Why even talk about trams and Obahns down Port Rd when we have a perfectly good but under-utilised rail line ...it just needs to be electrified with some minor stops removed, and some more modern station facilities.

Trams and Obahn are slowed down by intersections, the rail line is not.
For heavy rail to work, it needs at the extreme at least 2km between stops. Under that distance, light rail is cheaper, quicker and more flexible. So, unless enough stops are removed to make station distances 2km or, preferably more, trams and O Bahns make sense. So far, so good. No disagreement.

The problem comes when the stations get shut down. Howls of outrage mean the stations are reopened, and we are back to square one.

At the moment, the Port and Grange lines run with tram stop spacings mostly, but with slower heavy rail costs. Heavier equipment, slower acceleration, signalling that is required for heavy rail operation, but not needed for trams makes it grossly uneconomic. Electrification won't solve any of that. In fact, the economics are so bad, no economist would ever recommend throwing more money at it.

The best would be elimination of all stations with less than 2km spacing.

If that can't happen, the next best is a tramway or O-Bahn.
Sounds good in principle, but when you start to look at the logistics of closing stations things get a little complicated.

For example, applying your 2km rule to the OH line would see Bowden retained (rightly so, given that it is brand new and serves a TOD) but Croydon closed in favour of West Croydon. But both of these stations serve retail strips – Croydon’s being significantly busier than West Croydon’s. So do you close a brand new station which serves a busy retail strip, or keep that one and close the other?

Either way, both are closer than 2km to Kilkenny so that would have to go – but, when the debacle over the old Bianco’s concrete works is resolved that leaves a sizable chunk of land a few km from the CBD which would be perfect for a mini TOD (especially if and when the adjacent O-I glass bottle factory and John Shearer factory eventually sell up their sites for development, which I would be surprised if they didn't within the next 10-20 years or so) – losing that station would make any development of these sites far less attractive and I would imagine that Charles Sturt would be very keen to retain it for this reason.

If you do keep Kilkenny for its TOD potential then Woodville Station is only 1.5km away but that not only serves a main road with medium density development potential as well as Woodville High School, the Civic Centre, retail strip etc but is also an interchange station for the Grange line.

St Clair is only 1km from Woodville but that services the new housing development, of which the station formed a significant part of the masterplan (and is one of the few stations which genuinely does service a shopping centre and supermarket).

Cheltenham is only 600m from St Clair but that station services the Port Adelaide football ground which would be a blow for SANFL games and for the development plans Port Adelaide have for this site.

Alberton is the first station along the line that I can't see an immediate argument for keeping but I know very little of its patronage, the local area etc.
Part of the efficiencies can be realised by increasing frequencies on the line and implementing stop skipping/express services. Another thing to consider is also all the stops on the entire length of the line. Closing a few inner city lines may be inconvenient, but at the same time greatly improve travel times for those in Port Adelaide and further out. Converting to light rail would just about kill it off as a suitable service for the residents past Port Adelaide.

With regard to replacing it with a bus way, some good reasons against have already been raised. Another one is cost. All analysis I've seen of the cost recovery of the Obahn suggests it ended up costing roughly the same as a heavy rail line would have. So the only benefit really realised from it was its ability to service remote suburban locations and integrate them with the transport corridor in a way that rail can't. The geography of the NW isn't like the foothills, so there's no benefit.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1393 Post by Llessur2002 » Thu May 31, 2018 9:31 pm

It's not just an inconvenience - closing stations close to the city reduces the possiblity of medium density housing developments popping up along transport routes in the inner suburbs - exactly where we need them.

Plus, why should non-bus PT be exclusively for outer suburbs? That's not how it's done in many cities worldwide.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1394 Post by Algernon » Thu May 31, 2018 9:41 pm

Llessur2002 wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 9:31 pm
It's not just an inconvenience - closing stations close to the city reduces the possiblity of medium density housing developments popping up along transport routes in the inner suburbs - exactly where we need them.

Plus, why should non-bus PT be exclusively for outer suburbs? That's not how it's done in many cities worldwide.
I'm not saying it should be for one or the other. Rather just pointing out that changes you make for the betterment for one part of the line have consequences for the whole line. No changes are a sure win. It's about winning more than you're losing.

Closing inner city stations may reduce the possibility of TODs, yes. But so too at the end of the line. Ethelton/Glanville being examples of medium density development on the corridor. Doesn't have to be inner city to be a TOD.

I've never been a fan of replacing the line with light rail, and perhaps that's my bias as a Port resident. I think the way forward is a heavy rail corridor with some rationalisation where possible, or to keep the stations, more frequencies, and implement additional express services like the F/X buses with first set down further down the line.

Honestly, the only reason half of those inner city stops are still open is because there's such a small population on the lefevre peninsula. If we had a massive TOD built around the Outer Harbour stop then the Govt wouldn't think twice about knocking off stations like Kilkenny and West Croydon. They're so closely spaced that for most residents the other station is still within 800m 'convenient' walking distance.

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Re: News & Discussion: O-Bahn

#1395 Post by jorcoga » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:33 am

Llessur2002 wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 11:09 am
Alberton is the first station along the line that I can't see an immediate argument for keeping but I know very little of its patronage, the local area etc.
Alberton station is one of two on the line (the other being Bowden) that's state heritage listed (not only that - both sides are specifically and separately listed, god knows why)! There's something of a historic retail strip that runs off the station on both sides but most of the shopfronts have been converted to housing - it's the kind of place that'd be hipster central if it were closer in to the city and if you put some effort in you could get quite a nice little niche strip like Queen Street going. There's a beautiful old theatre that's an IGA now and I'd love to see something less depressing done with the space.

There's also Mount Carmel College just around the corner which it'd serve as well.

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