News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

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Llessur2002
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by Llessur2002 »

It's worth remembering that at 20km the OH line is half the length of the Seaford and Gawler lines (and will obviously never be extended) so speed isn't necessarily as important an issue as it might be on the longer lines.

As a frequent user of the line the overall speed doesn't bother me at all - frequency, reliability and a dedicated corridor are much more important. A busway would be far less attractive to me because as soon as it hit the edge of the city and lost its dedicated corridor then it would be subject to all of the delays and traffic that generally makes the bus a much less attractive option than rail. I'd likely spend just as long crawling from the Morphett Street bridge to the heart of the city as I would between my local stop and the city's edge.

A bus option might speed things up marginally for users travelling the length of the line but for everyone whose journey starts at a midpoint (I'd argue the majority of users) it would likely extend their travel time. The sole purpose of the Seaford line isn't moving the population of Seaford and its immediate surrounds into the city. Nor is the Gawler line there just to enable an easy commute for the population of Gawler. Why should the OH line be configured to only provide maximum benefit to the relatively small population of the Lefevre Peninsula? I'd also argue that over the coming decades the population along the portions of the line between Port Adelaide and the city is likely to grow at a much faster rate than that of its outer reaches.

If a tram can do the same job at a lower long-term cost then that's great but to replace a rail service with a service which spends any part of its journey fighting with traffic on a normal road would be a considerable step backwards and would have to be pretty special to increase overall patronage. I'm an avid PT supporter but even I tend to avoid taking the bus due to the fact that I can never be 100% sure that on any given trip traffic or roadworks aren't going to significantly extend my travel time. Rail has far more certainty about it - plus its quieter and smoother.

If the line in its current form is genuinely uneconomical to run then perhaps a better option for the OH line would be to replace with light rail as far as the Port and service the Peninsula with express buses to the city? Dedicated buses could be run when cruise ships dock either direct to the city or shuttles to the tram. The Grange line could be replaced with a tram spur to West Lakes.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by rubberman »

Llessur2002 wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:07 am
It's worth remembering that at 20km the OH line is half the length of the Seaford and Gawler lines (and will obviously never be extended) so speed isn't necessarily as important an issue as it might be on the longer lines.

As a frequent user of the line the overall speed doesn't bother me at all - frequency, reliability and a dedicated corridor are much more important. A busway would be far less attractive to me because as soon as it hit the edge of the city and lost its dedicated corridor then it would be subject to all of the delays and traffic that generally makes the bus a much less attractive option than rail. I'd likely spend just as long crawling from the Morphett Street bridge to the heart of the city as I would between my local stop and the city's edge.

A bus option might speed things up marginally for users travelling the length of the line but for everyone whose journey starts at a midpoint (I'd argue the majority of users) it would likely extend their travel time. The sole purpose of the Seaford line isn't moving the population of Seaford and its immediate surrounds into the city. Nor is the Gawler line there just to enable an easy commute for the population of Gawler. Why should the OH line be configured to only provide maximum benefit to the relatively small population of the Lefevre Peninsula? I'd also argue that over the coming decades the population along the portions of the line between Port Adelaide and the city is likely to grow at a much faster rate than that of its outer reaches.

If a tram can do the same job at a lower long-term cost then that's great but to replace a rail service with a service which spends any part of its journey fighting with traffic on a normal road would be a considerable step backwards and would have to be pretty special to increase overall patronage. I'm an avid PT supporter but even I tend to avoid taking the bus due to the fact that I can never be 100% sure that on any given trip traffic or roadworks aren't going to significantly extend my travel time. Rail has far more certainty about it - plus its quieter and smoother.

If the line in its current form is genuinely uneconomical to run then perhaps a better option for the OH line would be to replace with light rail as far as the Port and service the Peninsula with express buses to the city? Dedicated buses could be run when cruise ships dock either direct to the city or shuttles to the tram. The Grange line could be replaced with a tram spur to West Lakes.
My concept for the bus would be that it would use the existing corridor right to the ARS, and then continue. If you wanted it to terminate at ARS, then that is possible. So, no on-street running anywhere if you want. It terminates close to where it does now, but perhaps enhanced by travelators and/or lifts to Morphett Street etc. However, you can also do that with a stop at ARS, PLUS then continue over Morphett Street to Currie and Grenfell. People in Currie and Grenfell no longer need walk to ARS, be that for the Outer Harbor line or the other lines. There would now be a bus direct to the ARS from Grenfell/Currie IN ADDITION to present arrangements.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

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Where would you envisage the buses running into/through ARS on a dedicated corridor? After Torrens junction I suppose you could theoretically replace the OH lines with a guided busway but where to after that? The only realistic place I can see for buses to drop off and turn around again would be the area behind the rowing clubs - in which case that's 10 minutes of walking required just to get to North Terrace or another 10 minutes in traffic to get over the Morphett Street bridge and as far as ARS via a through bus in peak hour.

Either way, I still think that it's a fallacy that somehow shaving 10 minutes off a 20km train ride for a handful of suburbs will somehow improve patronage. There are only two things that will have a significant effect on PT usage in Adelaide - building lots more TODs right next to existing transport routes and, more importantly, a *significant* hike of car parking charges in the CBD. Tinkering with services and shaving off a few minutes here and there will not attract many more people than already using the existing services.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

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Llessur2002 wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:25 pm
Where would you envisage the buses running into/through ARS on a dedicated corridor? After Torrens junction I suppose you could theoretically replace the OH lines with a guided busway but where to after that? The only realistic place I can see for buses to drop off and turn around again would be the area behind the rowing clubs - in which case that's 10 minutes of walking required just to get to North Terrace or another 10 minutes in traffic to get over the Morphett Street bridge and as far as ARS via a through bus in peak hour.

Either way, I still think that it's a fallacy that somehow shaving 10 minutes off a 20km train ride for a handful of suburbs will somehow improve patronage. There are only two things that will have a significant effect on PT usage in Adelaide - building lots more TODs right next to existing transport routes and, more importantly, a *significant* hike of car parking charges in the CBD. Tinkering with services and shaving off a few minutes here and there will not attract many more people than already using the existing services.
If only the car parking levy had succeeded during the Labor years. It was only modest and largely supposed to fund park'n'rides, but it would've been a useful income stream for PT investment as well as a price signal against commuter traffic.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by rubberman »

Llessur2002 wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:25 pm
Where would you envisage the buses running into/through ARS on a dedicated corridor? After Torrens junction I suppose you could theoretically replace the OH lines with a guided busway but where to after that? The only realistic place I can see for buses to drop off and turn around again would be the area behind the rowing clubs - in which case that's 10 minutes of walking required just to get to North Terrace or another 10 minutes in traffic to get over the Morphett Street bridge and as far as ARS via a through bus in peak hour.

Either way, I still think that it's a fallacy that somehow shaving 10 minutes off a 20km train ride for a handful of suburbs will somehow improve patronage. There are only two things that will have a significant effect on PT usage in Adelaide - building lots more TODs right next to existing transport routes and, more importantly, a *significant* hike of car parking charges in the CBD. Tinkering with services and shaving off a few minutes here and there will not attract many more people than already using the existing services.
In my previous comments, I've referred to my opinion that the loss of the Outer Harbor line as heavy rail is only one competent Minister for Transport away. By that I mean a couple of things. First, it has to save money, and I think a busway will do that, certainly when the question of replacing existing diesels comes up. Given that high possibility, the second point comes up as to how it would be sold. Now, to you, ten minutes isn't important. Fine. However, to many people getting up in Winter, ten minutes saved is a vote winner. You give ten minutes extra sleep in in the morning to enough people, you'll get their votes. Yes, people here like heavy rail, but out there in voterland, if you put heavy rail against buses AND a saving of ten minutes, I guarantee most people wouldn't care. Further, if it was a case of busway and save ten minutes, or increase taxes and not save time to force people into trains? Well, it would be quite an interesting exercise to see how to spin that politically.

As for access. If the bus stop were by Morphett Street, and there was a travelator going into the heart of the ARS, the arrival time at the ticket gates would be almost the same because the trains go at 5kph along the platform. Walking along a 4kph travelator at 4kph makes it faster in fact.

Again, while the ALP is beholden to rail unions, and the Liberals don't care, heavy rail is safe.

However, if you put saving 10 mins of extra sleep in the mornings to voters, your answer shouldn't be to tax car users to force them on trains.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

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rubberman wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:20 pm
In my previous comments, I've referred to my opinion that the loss of the Outer Harbor line as heavy rail is only one competent Minister for Transport away. By that I mean a couple of things. First, it has to save money, and I think a busway will do that, certainly when the question of replacing existing diesels comes up. Given that high possibility, the second point comes up as to how it would be sold. Now, to you, ten minutes isn't important. Fine. However, to many people getting up in Winter, ten minutes saved is a vote winner. You give ten minutes extra sleep in in the morning to enough people, you'll get their votes. Yes, people here like heavy rail, but out there in voterland, if you put heavy rail against buses AND a saving of ten minutes, I guarantee most people wouldn't care. Further, if it was a case of busway and save ten minutes, or increase taxes and not save time to force people into trains? Well, it would be quite an interesting exercise to see how to spin that politically.

As for access. If the bus stop were by Morphett Street, and there was a travelator going into the heart of the ARS, the arrival time at the ticket gates would be almost the same because the trains go at 5kph along the platform. Walking along a 4kph travelator at 4kph makes it faster in fact.

Again, while the ALP is beholden to rail unions, and the Liberals don't care, heavy rail is safe.

However, if you put saving 10 mins of extra sleep in the mornings to voters, your answer shouldn't be to tax car users to force them on trains.
Obviously other than through opinion polling there is no way of proving one way or the other but I disagree that a mere 10 minute saving in exchange for the replacement of a rail service with even the most glitzy bus service would be anywhere near a guaranteed vote winner. I suspect even a guided busway direct to ARS will be seen as a downgrade by many average voters and would easily be spun by the opposing political party as such. Plus, the 10 minute saving would likely only apply to a handful of users travelling the full distance of the line. Time savings would rapidly diminish closer to the city to the point that some shorter journeys would be extended as shown by the various light rail studies that have been conducted for the line. I suspect also most people would factor in the extended period of time the line would need to be closed for the conversion before getting too excited about a small daily time saving.

I've never seen taxes increased or decreased due to the implementation (or not) of a single infrastructure project - it would therefore be very difficult or impossible for a government to use that as a direct incentive for swaying opinions. Even if this did happen, once the savings were distributed between every SA tax payer you'd likely be talking a very small handful of dollars per year - hardly a great bargaining chip.

Even if voters were somehow swayed by the general nicety of knowing that they're saving the public purse a few dollars despite not actually seeing the benefit in their own pay packet, I doubt a 10 minute travel time saving will be enough to encourage many current non-PT users out of their cars. An extra $10 per day on parking costs will do that no problem at all.

Apply the same logic to the Gawler line with perhaps a 25 minute time saving for a significant number of users then perhaps your argument stacks up a little more (in my opinion of course).

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

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Llessur2002 wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:07 pm
rubberman wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:20 pm
In my previous comments, I've referred to my opinion that the loss of the Outer Harbor line as heavy rail is only one competent Minister for Transport away. By that I mean a couple of things. First, it has to save money, and I think a busway will do that, certainly when the question of replacing existing diesels comes up. Given that high possibility, the second point comes up as to how it would be sold. Now, to you, ten minutes isn't important. Fine. However, to many people getting up in Winter, ten minutes saved is a vote winner. You give ten minutes extra sleep in in the morning to enough people, you'll get their votes. Yes, people here like heavy rail, but out there in voterland, if you put heavy rail against buses AND a saving of ten minutes, I guarantee most people wouldn't care. Further, if it was a case of busway and save ten minutes, or increase taxes and not save time to force people into trains? Well, it would be quite an interesting exercise to see how to spin that politically.

As for access. If the bus stop were by Morphett Street, and there was a travelator going into the heart of the ARS, the arrival time at the ticket gates would be almost the same because the trains go at 5kph along the platform. Walking along a 4kph travelator at 4kph makes it faster in fact.

Again, while the ALP is beholden to rail unions, and the Liberals don't care, heavy rail is safe.

However, if you put saving 10 mins of extra sleep in the mornings to voters, your answer shouldn't be to tax car users to force them on trains.
Obviously other than through opinion polling there is no way of proving one way or the other but I disagree that a mere 10 minute saving in exchange for the replacement of a rail service with even the most glitzy bus service would be anywhere near a guaranteed vote winner. I suspect even a guided busway direct to ARS will be seen as a downgrade by many average voters and would easily be spun by the opposing political party as such. Plus, the 10 minute saving would likely only apply to a handful of users travelling the full distance of the line. Time savings would rapidly diminish closer to the city to the point that some shorter journeys would be extended as shown by the various light rail studies that have been conducted for the line. I suspect also most people would factor in the extended period of time the line would need to be closed for the conversion before getting too excited about a small daily time saving.

I've never seen taxes increased or decreased due to the implementation (or not) of a single infrastructure project - it would therefore be very difficult or impossible for a government to use that as a direct incentive for swaying opinions. Even if this did happen, once the savings were distributed between every SA tax payer you'd likely be talking a very small handful of dollars per year - hardly a great bargaining chip.

Even if voters were somehow swayed by the general nicety of knowing that they're saving the public purse a few dollars despite not actually seeing the benefit in their own pay packet, I doubt a 10 minute travel time saving will be enough to encourage many current non-PT users out of their cars. An extra $10 per day on parking costs will do that no problem at all.

Apply the same logic to the Gawler line with perhaps a 25 minute time saving for a significant number of users then perhaps your argument stacks up a little more (in my opinion of course).
By tax increase, I meant the parking levy you directly referred to.

As for people's acceptance of buses and electoral success. Exhibit A: The O-Bahn. I reckon if you suggested replacing those buses with trains and taking ten minutes longer, you'd be laughed out of the room. But, again, that just circles back to my comments about a competent Minister. Tonkin did it. It could be done again.

I know I won't convince heavy rail fans, but a competent Minister could convince voters just like Tonkin did and all the sad faced tram fans who thought trams were better because...rails...had to face reality.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by Llessur2002 »

Apologies - I read your original statement as there being a tax increase required to keep heavy rail.

I still think it's far from certain that just because the o-bahn is a success that western suburbs residents would be in favour of taking away their rail service and replacing it with a bus service. At the end of the day you'd be removing a service and that would supply ample ammunition to the opposition party to spin whatever contradictory line they wanted.

I'm still highly sceptical whether a (maximum) ten minute saving which is offset probably almost entirely by a further 8-10 minutes of active travel at the other end (even if via a travellator), or being stuck on a bus that suddenly slows to a crawl in peak city centre traffic is enough of a benefit to outweigh the initial disruption and perceived downgrade of service would provide enough of a marketing spin to offset whatever counter argument the opposition party would come up with.

The only time most existing rail users step on board a bus is when they're being used for slow and inconvenient rail replacement services. I don't think it's too far stretched to suggest that trying to sell buses to a rail user is likely to be more difficult than selling rail to a bus user.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by SBD »

The Northeastern O-Bahn has no level crossings between Park Road and Modbury.

To build a busway that doesn't require slowing down to disengage and re-engage the guide wheels would need a lot of level crossing removal work first. I count about six roads and 12 pedestrian level crossings between Adelaide and Port Adelaide - I did not count further on. Boom gates to stop road traffic (as for trains), but also slowing buses to safely re-engage the guide wheels would earn public derision, and I can't think of a reliable way of continuing guide wheels across the road. Maybe the "trackless tram" system could be employed to solve that, but adding more complexity to the system too.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by rubberman »

SBD wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:02 pm
The Northeastern O-Bahn has no level crossings between Park Road and Modbury.

To build a busway that doesn't require slowing down to disengage and re-engage the guide wheels would need a lot of level crossing removal work first. I count about six roads and 12 pedestrian level crossings between Adelaide and Port Adelaide - I did not count further on. Boom gates to stop road traffic (as for trains), but also slowing buses to safely re-engage the guide wheels would earn public derision, and I can't think of a reliable way of continuing guide wheels across the road. Maybe the "trackless tram" system could be employed to solve that, but adding more complexity to the system too.
That's not a problem.

Most of the Outer Harbor line could be a normal bus only roadway, ie it doesn't need to be an O-Bahn as such to get up to speed. The only section that is likely to have to be guided is the section from Bowden through the new underpass and into Adelaide Railway Station Yard as far as Morphett Street. However, if there are others, the start point only needs to be one of the many regular stops where the bus stops anyway, and most people won't notice.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by Llessur2002 »

rubberman wrote:
Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:14 am
That's not a problem.

Most of the Outer Harbor line could be a normal bus only roadway, ie it doesn't need to be an O-Bahn as such to get up to speed. The only section that is likely to have to be guided is the section from Bowden through the new underpass and into Adelaide Railway Station Yard as far as Morphett Street. However, if there are others, the start point only needs to be one of the many regular stops where the bus stops anyway, and most people won't notice.
So without a lengthy and very expensive program of level crossing removal we're simply back to taking away rail services and replacing them with normal bus services so I can't see how it could be effectively marketed as a full O-Bahn style replacement. Retaining level crossings (or perhaps replacing them with signalised intersections) would also presumably limit the maximum number/frequency of buses using the route thus limiting access to the route by buses from suburbs not currently serviced directly by the OH line. Either that or motorists would face increased peak hour delays at level crossings waiting for numerous buses to pass.

I'm not doubting that the economics of such a project would stack up but I strongly disagree that this is a sure-fire vote winner - especially in a half-arsed non fully-guided form. Look at the voter backlash provided by the plan to change a few bus numbers and remove some poorly-patronised stops. The opposition party would have a field day with this.

At the end of the day the diesels have a couple of decades worth of life left in them yet so it's difficult to say what transport options will be available by 2040 - I personally can't see any government bothering to even think about it until much closer to the time, especially as there's no need to pork barrel this part of the city.
Last edited by Llessur2002 on Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by Bob »

Surely the time must be soon for the State Government and its poster boy department Infrastructure SA, to either shit or get off the pot. PT to and on the LeFevre Peninsula was one to their top 10 priorities to come up with a plan – so far all their reports have been regurgitated waffle and no specific plan.

With a State Election looming early 2022, it’s about time these people released a proper plan with what is going to be done, when its going to be done and how much it’s going to the cost.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by rubberman »

Llessur2002 wrote:
Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:01 am
rubberman wrote:
Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:14 am
That's not a problem.

Most of the Outer Harbor line could be a normal bus only roadway, ie it doesn't need to be an O-Bahn as such to get up to speed. The only section that is likely to have to be guided is the section from Bowden through the new underpass and into Adelaide Railway Station Yard as far as Morphett Street. However, if there are others, the start point only needs to be one of the many regular stops where the bus stops anyway, and most people won't notice.
So without a lengthy and very expensive program of level crossing removal we're simply back to taking away rail services and replacing them with normal bus services so I can't see how it could be effectively marketed as a full O-Bahn style replacement. Retaining level crossings (or perhaps replacing them with signalised intersections) would also presumably limit the maximum number/frequency of buses using the route thus limiting access to the route by buses from suburbs not currently serviced directly by the OH line. Either that or motorists would face increased peak hour delays at level crossings waiting for numerous buses to pass.

I'm not doubting that the economics of such a project would stack up but I strongly disagree that this is a sure-fire vote winner - especially in a half-arsed non fully-guided form. Look at the voter backlash provided by the plan to change a few bus numbers and remove some poorly-patronised stops. The opposition party would have a field day with this.

At the end of the day the diesels have a couple of decades worth of life left in them yet so it's difficult to say what transport options will be available by 2040 - I personally can't see any government bothering to even think about it until much closer to the time, especially as there's no need to pork barrel this part of the city.
I guess that's my point about it needing a competent Minister for Transport. Obviously, if it's a half interested nonentity, then it won't happen. On the basis of recent history, you are right. However, get a Minister with fire in the belly, and a modicum of interest, and all bets are off is my point.

To head that off, the heavy rail needs to stop acting as if it were a tram...but more expensive.

Oh, and I haven't even considered the worst scenario. Scrapping the trains to OH, totally, and selling the land to developers for crappy housing. Conversion to a busway is one of the better outcomes.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by Eurostar »

Whats worked best though for Le Fevre Peninsula the previous set up of buses feeding to trains and having buses to and from the City via Port Road, Arndale and West Lakes or the current setup of most buses running to and from the City i.e 150, 157 and one irregular feeder route. Semaphore which is meant to be one of Le Fevre Peninsula's popular beachside destinations only has 157, irregular 333 or people are forced to walk between Glanville and Semaphore. In this day and age running trains along Semaphore Road is not an option, but Mike Rann's vision of running trams into heart of Port Adelaide and Semaphore makes sense. So do we keep on with status quo or is it time to switch the Outer Harbor Line to a tramline with branchlines say to West Lakes, Grange, Port Adelaide Centre, Semaphore, Largs, Arndale etc.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide Metro Trains

Post by SBD »

Eurostar wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:17 am
Whats worked best though for Le Fevre Peninsula the previous set up of buses feeding to trains and having buses to and from the City via Port Road, Arndale and West Lakes or the current setup of most buses running to and from the City i.e 150, 157 and one irregular feeder route. Semaphore which is meant to be one of Le Fevre Peninsula's popular beachside destinations only has 157, irregular 333 or people are forced to walk between Glanville and Semaphore. In this day and age running trains along Semaphore Road is not an option, but Mike Rann's vision of running trams into heart of Port Adelaide and Semaphore makes sense. So do we keep on with status quo or is it time to switch the Outer Harbor Line to a tramline with branchlines say to West Lakes, Grange, Port Adelaide Centre, Semaphore, Largs, Arndale etc.
That's an interesting concept now that there is no freight on any of the broad gauge network and it is purely used for commuter trains. I wonder if the driver and locals would accept new tram lines built on roads rather than in dedicated rail corridors. Or would they accept losing lanes of roads to create new tram rail corridors to those destinations.

In "the good old days", the Port Adelaide tram network was not connected to the Adelaide tram network. Travel between the two was done on trains. They got close to each other near Cheltenham, but were still a few streets apart.
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