News & Discussion: Trams

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Westside
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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4456 Post by Westside » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:54 pm

AndyWelsh wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:11 pm
I lived in Gungahlin, Canberra before moving to Adelaide which is where their new tram starts and stops. It probably still is one of the fastest growing suburbs in Australia and they’ve had the luxury of being able to turn lots of empty space into high density living right next to the new line e.g through Gungahlin and down into Harrison and Mitchell.

Maybe that could explain the higher patronage over our own?
Oh that's absolutely why it's well patronised. They also did not invest in the wide roads in Gugahlin that you find elsewhere in Canberra with the knowledge that this would one day be a public transit corridor.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4457 Post by Westside » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:41 pm

rubberman wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:00 pm
Westside wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:56 pm
Note also that the first stage of light rail saw more than 2.2 million trips in the first 6 months. From what I can determine, that's about the same as the Glenelg tram does in a full year (not counting the free trips in the city)! Invest in good infrastructure and it does pay off. Yet people still look at it as a 'white elephant' :wallbash:
It's not a white elephant. It's merely twice as expensive as it needs to be, and a third slower than it should be.

With the money they spent, they could have had twice the length of tramway, and much faster travel times.

That's different from it being a white elephant.
I'd like to clear up a couple of misconceptions you've made, which may stem from general misinformation.

Firstly on price, as it's a PPP, we won't know for sure, but the budget was $707M and that figure was reduced because construction wasn't finished by the contracted deadline, so the consortium missed out on the first payment or two. They built a new light rail system from scratch, including 12km of track, 13 state of the art stations (much better than most of Adelaide's stations), 14 new trams, a stabling facility, all of the substations and other infrastructure required to power and maintain operations. All for around $700Mill. That's not bad, considering some of the recent expenditure in Adelaide. That $700 Mill has proven to improve the trips of 2.2 million passengers in 6 months. How much would it take to realise that benefit on the half a dozen or so road projects we have approved so far?

Secondly, on travel times. It takes the tram 24 minutes to travel those 12km. It stops at every stop, yes, but I've rarely been on a trip where it hasn't been required to stop at every stop anyway. As it runs parallel to traffic, the tram is bound to travel at the same speed as the traffic surrounding it. That's roughly 50/50 60km/hr and 70km/hr. It also has priority over traffic lights, so it literally only stops at the stations. So I'm not sure how by any measure it can go any quicker. The acceleration on these trams is great. They get up to speed quickly, and unlike the city portion of the Adelaide trams, they don't trundle along at 40km/hr through the city. What it has done has significantly reduced travel times from the existing bus route. The route it replaced regularly took over 50 minutes during peak, and that was an express service with fewer stops. So saying it's too slow is a bit of a farce.

Anyway, I've had my say. Try it out when you can. You'll find it is actually a really positive experience and most of the negative press received about it are those who haven't seen the effect it's had for themselves.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4458 Post by rubberman » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:57 pm

Westside wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:41 pm
rubberman wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:00 pm
Westside wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:56 pm
Note also that the first stage of light rail saw more than 2.2 million trips in the first 6 months. From what I can determine, that's about the same as the Glenelg tram does in a full year (not counting the free trips in the city)! Invest in good infrastructure and it does pay off. Yet people still look at it as a 'white elephant' :wallbash:
It's not a white elephant. It's merely twice as expensive as it needs to be, and a third slower than it should be.

With the money they spent, they could have had twice the length of tramway, and much faster travel times.

That's different from it being a white elephant.
I'd like to clear up a couple of misconceptions you've made, which may stem from general misinformation.

Firstly on price, as it's a PPP, we won't know for sure, but the budget was $707M and that figure was reduced because construction wasn't finished by the contracted deadline, so the consortium missed out on the first payment or two. They built a new light rail system from scratch, including 12km of track, 13 state of the art stations (much better than most of Adelaide's stations), 14 new trams, a stabling facility, all of the substations and other infrastructure required to power and maintain operations. All for around $700Mill. That's not bad, considering some of the recent expenditure in Adelaide. That $700 Mill has proven to improve the trips of 2.2 million passengers in 6 months. How much would it take to realise that benefit on the half a dozen or so road projects we have approved so far?

Secondly, on travel times. It takes the tram 24 minutes to travel those 12km. It stops at every stop, yes, but I've rarely been on a trip where it hasn't been required to stop at every stop anyway. As it runs parallel to traffic, the tram is bound to travel at the same speed as the traffic surrounding it. That's roughly 50/50 60km/hr and 70km/hr. It also has priority over traffic lights, so it literally only stops at the stations. So I'm not sure how by any measure it can go any quicker. The acceleration on these trams is great. They get up to speed quickly, and unlike the city portion of the Adelaide trams, they don't trundle along at 40km/hr through the city. What it has done has significantly reduced travel times from the existing bus route. The route it replaced regularly took over 50 minutes during peak, and that was an express service with fewer stops. So saying it's too slow is a bit of a farce.

Anyway, I've had my say. Try it out when you can. You'll find it is actually a really positive experience and most of the negative press received about it are those who haven't seen the effect it's had for themselves.
Hi,

The specific cost saving that could halve cost is the use of open ballast vs the concrete slab. As the Glenelg line shows, it is quite practical. Further, open ballast track can be topped with turf, or other covering appropriate for the area. Surely a consideration in the national capital?

In terms of speed, because it runs on its own right of way, it is not bound to road speeds.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4459 Post by Norman » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:39 pm

Regarding patronage figures, the trams in Adelaide carry about 9.4m people per year, including free travel. I don't have any figure breakdowns regarding free travel, but do note that network-wide there were 9.8m free trips.
This includes free trips to sports and entertainment events across all modes and the Adelaide Connector services.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4460 Post by Westside » Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:43 pm

rubberman wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:57 pm

Hi,

The specific cost saving that could halve cost is the use of open ballast vs the concrete slab. As the Glenelg line shows, it is quite practical. Further, open ballast track can be topped with turf, or other covering appropriate for the area. Surely a consideration in the national capital?

In terms of speed, because it runs on its own right of way, it is not bound to road speeds.
The Glenelg line is essentially a heavy rail line with light rail cars and stations. It runs on its own right of way with boom gate controlled intersections. The Canberra light rail is far from that. It is essentially the same as the entertainment centre line but trust me, runs much faster than that! It runs in the median strip for 80% of the journey and has 25 traffic light controlled intersections to cross. I'm not sure where thus fanciful notion of a faster speed is coming from but I know no road authority that would allow a tram to travel 80km/hr down the middle of Port Rd. They certainly won't be doing so here.

As for open ballast, yes it may be cheaper, but half the cost of the track laying is not half the cost of the project. Besides, no modern city wants the visual pollution of an open ballast track nor the desire to fence off a huge scar through the middle of it's main thoroughfare just to provide what's needed for a little bit cheaper and a little bit faster. Besides, the proof is there. People have embraced it. Time to move on to the next stage.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4461 Post by rubberman » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:48 am

Westside wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:43 pm
rubberman wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:57 pm

Hi,

The specific cost saving that could halve cost is the use of open ballast vs the concrete slab. As the Glenelg line shows, it is quite practical. Further, open ballast track can be topped with turf, or other covering appropriate for the area. Surely a consideration in the national capital?

In terms of speed, because it runs on its own right of way, it is not bound to road speeds.
The Glenelg line is essentially a heavy rail line with light rail cars and stations. It runs on its own right of way with boom gate controlled intersections. The Canberra light rail is far from that. It is essentially the same as the entertainment centre line but trust me, runs much faster than that! It runs in the median strip for 80% of the journey and has 25 traffic light controlled intersections to cross. I'm not sure where thus fanciful notion of a faster speed is coming from but I know no road authority that would allow a tram to travel 80km/hr down the middle of Port Rd. They certainly won't be doing so here.

As for open ballast, yes it may be cheaper, but half the cost of the track laying is not half the cost of the project. Besides, no modern city wants the visual pollution of an open ballast track nor the desire to fence off a huge scar through the middle of it's main thoroughfare just to provide what's needed for a little bit cheaper and a little bit faster. Besides, the proof is there. People have embraced it. Time to move on to the next stage.

A few things need to be said here.

For much of its length, the Canberra light rail runs in a corridor that is well separated from traffic...much like the Glenelg line and completely unlike the line to the Entertainment Centre where trams run directly adjacent to traffic. Anyone doubting this can check it quite clearly on Google maps.

Next, I know that aesthetics are a matter of taste, but what has been laid down in Canberra is a strip of reinforced concrete. By what aesthetic standard is open ballast track a "scar" as you put it, and reinforced concrete somehow better? Please explain.

I would then say again, that other cities in this situation put geotextile over the ballast, with only the rails visible, then put turf or some other covering over the geotextile, so that in a few months, the track between stops is almost invisible except for the rails. Far better than a concrete slab imho.
20190817_143249_copy_1612x1209.jpg
The photo above shows what can be done. The Prague Transport Company operates trams, buses and a Metro through the national capital, and the scene depicted is just outside Hradčany castles, (the Presidential Palace and significant cultural icon). Why cannot Australia do as well? Of course, it doesn't have to be European grass in Australia, it could just be Australian wild grasses which grow and die seasonally.

As far as costs are concerned, I think if I can pick one area where the costs are halved, there's a good chance there's more. But let's look at history here. Electric trams started about 130 years ago. The first trams were fixed bogie trams
like those in Canberra, Sydney, and our Citadis. Then, as it became apparent that fixed bogie trams caused excessive track wear requiring maintenance (listening to you at Rundle Mall corrugations causing very noisy running in the CBD). By one hundred years ago, almost every authority that could switched to swivelling bogie cars to minimise track damage. Except, that with the loss of technical knowledge as trams were abandoned in the 1950s in the West, we are reinventing the wheel. Fixed bogie cars like the Citadis are hard on track. Just check the aforementioned corrugations and the wear on the curves in Victoria Square.

I'd say that the cost of a Citadis or other fixed bogie trams (as in Canberra) is easily double that of a swivelling bogie tram such as the Škoda 15T in the photo once track costs are taken to account.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4462 Post by claybro » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:40 am

Have recently returned from Europe, and have experienced Pragues excellent tram network. Some of the rolling stock is old, but obviously being replaced and all of it travels quickly and efficiently through narrow streets, wide boulevards, and as Rubbermans photo shows... through open grassed track. I would much rather have seen the Port Road track grassed than laid in concrete. One point though.. Australian native grass that dies off annually is not suited as it is a major fire hazard and has no business being planted on road verges, where lazy councils don't maintain it.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4463 Post by Eurostar » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:56 am

(rubberman)
As far as costs are concerned, I think if I can pick one area where the costs are halved, there's a good chance there's more. But let's look at history here. Electric trams started about 130 years ago. The first trams were fixed bogie trams
like those in Canberra, Sydney, and our Citadis. Then, as it became apparent that fixed bogie trams caused excessive track wear requiring maintenance (listening to you at Rundle Mall corrugations causing very noisy running in the CBD). By one hundred years ago, almost every authority that could switched to swivelling bogie cars to minimise track damage. Except, that with the loss of technical knowledge as trams were abandoned in the 1950s in the West, we are reinventing the wheel. Fixed bogie cars like the Citadis are hard on track. Just check the aforementioned corrugations and the wear on the curves in Victoria Square.
I recently used the trams in the City. I prefer the Citadis tram because its comfortable both seat wise and air conditioning wise compared to the Bombardier tram which was uncomfortable seat, muggy. Adelaide is known for having warm and hot summers so why do we not have proper
big windows that can open, the H Type trams might of been old but they kept passengers cool and they had comfortable seats (they could be turned around too).

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4464 Post by SRW » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:56 am

rubberman wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:48 am

I would then say again, that other cities in this situation put geotextile over the ballast, with only the rails visible, then put turf or some other covering over the geotextile, so that in a few months, the track between stops is almost invisible except for the rails. Far better than a concrete slab imho.

20190817_143249_copy_1612x1209.jpg
If this is cheaper at install and operationally then I don't understand why it's not being done? King William and North Terrace would have benefitted immensely from a noise-dampening and heat-relieving turf surface.
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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4465 Post by rubberman » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:03 pm

SRW wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:56 am
rubberman wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:48 am

I would then say again, that other cities in this situation put geotextile over the ballast, with only the rails visible, then put turf or some other covering over the geotextile, so that in a few months, the track between stops is almost invisible except for the rails. Far better than a concrete slab imho.

20190817_143249_copy_1612x1209.jpg
If this is cheaper at install and operationally then I don't understand why it's not being done? King William and North Terrace would have benefitted immensely from a noise-dampening and heat-relieving turf surface.
That makes two of us. I would have thought that the Port Road track would also have benefited.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4466 Post by claybro » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:18 pm

Not only in Prague, but there is grassed ballast tracks even in Melbourne. But god forbid we should get any advise from the Vics.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4467 Post by rubberman » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:39 pm

claybro wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:40 am
Have recently returned from Europe, and have experienced Pragues excellent tram network. Some of the rolling stock is old, but obviously being replaced and all of it travels quickly and efficiently through narrow streets, wide boulevards, and as Rubbermans photo shows... through open grassed track. I would much rather have seen the Port Road track grassed than laid in concrete. One point though.. Australian native grass that dies off annually is not suited as it is a major fire hazard and has no business being planted on road verges, where lazy councils don't maintain it.
My mind was still on Canberra, where the verges to the tramline are deliberately planted with natives. I agree this wouldn't be right for Adelaide.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4468 Post by Patrick_27 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:56 pm

The Colonel Light Gardens tramline use to run along the eastern side of Goodwood Road on its own green strip, similar to the photos above. Adelaide should be doing more of this!

RE: old stock, I actually don't mind the idea of older stock if it's looked after. A lot of Melbourne's older (single-carriage) stock is cleaner and more comfortable than their newer stock.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4469 Post by Haso » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:02 pm

Private operators named for Adelaide's tram network

From July on trams will be run by Torrens Connect, a joint venture between Torrens Transit, UGL Rail Services and John Holland.
Source - https://indaily.com.au/news/local/2020/ ... m-network/

Operators of Melbourne’s metropolitan rail system will run Adelaide’s trams, in partnership with an existing Adelaide bus operator, as part of what the State Government promises is a push for “better, faster and more frequent” bus and tram services.
The Government today announced the successful tenderers to operate Adelaide’s bus and tram network from July, when the eight-year contracts of Torrens Transit and Southlink expire.
Torrens Transit have been granted eight-year contracts to operate the Outer North East, East West and a new Outer North area, while North South – now including trams – will be run by Torrens Connect, a joint venture between Torrens Transit, UGL Rail Services and John Holland.
The latter two firms are part of a consortium operating Melbourne’s passenger rail network.
Hills services will continue be run by Keolis Downer, of which Southlink is a subsidiary.
Torrens Transit is a local arm of Transit Systems, owned by the Sealink Travel Group of companies, which run the Kangaroo Island ferry.
Southlink is a subsidiary of Keolis Downer, which runs trams interstate and is bidding to operate Adelaide’s metropolitan train network under a State Government tender process now underway.
Outer South services will be run by Busways South Australia.
“These new bus service contracts are going to deliver better, faster and more frequent services for South Australians,” said Transport Minister Stephan Knoll.
“In the coming weeks, we will be releasing details about the bus service improvements that will benefit South Australians ahead of a consultation period we will undertake.
“Now the contracts have been signed, we can begin working with the providers to deliver the best possible bus and tram network for South Australians.”
But the Rail, Tram and Bus Union slammed the decision, saying it would fight to keep trams in public hands.
“The people of South Australia know a dud deal when they see it, and this is a complete stinker,” said union secretary Darren Phillips.
“We know from the experience interstate and overseas that private operators seek to maximise their profits by reducing costs wherever they can. Inevitably that means cuts to services and safety.”
Phillips said it was “extraordinary that the State Government could enter into a long-term contract for the private operation of a public service without even presenting a business case to justify the decision”.
The Marshall State Government has failed to meet the most basic and fundamental standards of governance. These days you can’t even get a loan to set up a fish and chip shop without doing a thorough business case. It is clear that the Marshall Government cannot be trusted to manage public assets,” he said.
Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said “privatisation” of public transport would mean cuts to services and higher fares.
“A private operator will be seeking to make a profit,” he said.
“That means they’ll be more interested in increasing revenue and cutting expenditure than providing a quality public transport service for commuters.”
At a press conference later, Knoll was asked about possible job losses and said: “Those issues are being worked through as we speak.”
Sealink Travel Group CEO Clint Feuerherdt said he was “excited to bring their world class innovations to the local market, including high frequency services throughout the term of the contract”.
“We passionately believe that if we make public transport more reliable and convenient, we will attract more passengers on board, which is why we seek to improve connectivity, performance and patronage in all of our contract areas,” he said.
He said the North South region had been “designed as a fully integrated bus and Tram network, where both modes work together – complementing each other”.
“Between high frequency services, and integrated bus and tram outcomes, we will open up new destinations on the public transport network for customers,” he said.
“The new tender has allowed us to bring in our global best practice experience, matched with our local market knowledge and history, to truly create a tailored series of network improvements for Adelaide.
“It’s a very unique opportunity for residents of Adelaide, to have one of Australia’s leading multi-modal transport operators based right here. It means we are not making assumptions or guessing – we know the market, we know transport and we are confident we can continue to improve performance and not just attract more passengers on board, but get them to where they are going safely, and more enjoyably,” he said.
Announcing the tenders in February last year, Knoll said the state’s public transport network needed reform.
“Adelaide’s public transport system is stuck in the 20th century and this new contract is an opportunity to bring 21st technology and service delivery methods to Adelaide to benefit commuters,” he said.
Bus contract tenderers were asked to grow patronage, deliver more and faster services, improve integration with other public transport and cut service delivery costs.
“This new bus services contract is the single biggest lever we have to improve bus and tram services and drive patronage growth,” Knoll said today.
“We know that public transport patronage flatlined under the former Labor Government. More people caught a bus, train or tram 10 years ago than when Labor left Office in 2018.
“That’s why the Marshall Government has taken this opportunity to reinvigorate our bus service network and provide better, faster and more frequent services.”
Image The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

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Re: News & Discussion: Trams

#4470 Post by TorrensSA » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:33 pm

Outer South and Outer North buses are now seperate operators, this will lead to more connecting buses to trains in the Outer North https://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/Announ ... -Australia not sure if Outer South will change too. The train contract will probably go to the consortium Torrens Connect, not sure how it will work to connect Outer South buses to trains though, maybe a new consortium lol. Busways seems an interesting choice, maybe no one wanted that contract lol.

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