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Old January 1st, 2018, 05:57 PM   #301
Wilhem275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrtonos View Post
I wonder how the locals feel about high platforms in their streets.
I don't know how locals feel, but I think it's a great solution. Much better than the dumb trams we get with the low floor obsession.
The ride comfort is better due to proper bogies, there's lots of room on board instead of the awkward designs of low floor trams, and they're probably cheaper to build and maintain.
It also makes you feel much better protected from surrounding traffic, both on board and on the platforms.

The platforms are generally well integrated into their surroundings, the slope don't require a great deal of space:



I noticed that in some places they lowered the tracks instead of fully raising the platforms.



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Old January 1st, 2018, 06:25 PM   #302
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It's a good solution and also friendly to the people on wheelchairs. The only problem are the stops without platforms. They are not accessible for the disabled, and they make it necessary to have automatic stairs on the trams.
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Old January 1st, 2018, 09:12 PM   #303
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It's a good solution and also friendly to the people on wheelchairs. The only problem are the stops without platforms. They are not accessible for the disabled, and they make it necessary to have automatic stairs on the trams.
This is why low floor trams and buses were developed, to get level boarding in such locations.
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Old January 1st, 2018, 09:31 PM   #304
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For a bus it makes sense*, but a tram implies an infrastructure gets built on purpose. A tram stop won't pop up on a random street side without large scale works taking place before.
The only downside of high floor trams is that stops will require a little bit more space on the ground, but it's something you have to do once in a lifetime. Done that, all the rest is everyday advantage under any aspect.

Even for existing networks, it's just more functional to raise the platforms than lower the vehicles. It's what several cities in North Rhine-Westphalen did, and with good success.


*although, for accessibility there's no need to have a fully low floor bus, 2/3 is enough. It just creates horrible powertrain and suspension architectures and steals A LOT of passenger space.
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Old January 1st, 2018, 10:18 PM   #305
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For a bus it makes sense*, but a tram implies an infrastructure gets built on purpose. A tram stop won't pop up on a random street side without large scale works taking place before.
But still, the tram stops are more or less often, depending on the city, located like bus stops, on the sidewalk where there is some distance between the edge of the sidewalk and the tram. Reconstructing (or, practically, building from scratch) all the stops to get them adjusted to high-entrance trams would also be costly. And there would be a problem with the all trams still being in service, where on such stops the passengers would have to jump over the hole with the stairs.

In Karlsruhe, so not far away from Stuttgart, they have normal trams, which are low-floor, and tram-trains, which are, I would say, mid-floor. And to solve the problem of adjusting all those stuff to the passengers on wheelchairs, what they did is they built some stops in such a way that they consist of a low and a high part, one after another. The trams stop at the part with low platforms, the tram-trains at the part with high platforms. However, it's annoying for the normal passengers because it makes the whole stop quite long and it is a lot of walking for them.

And they also have stops on which you board the tram (or even the tram-train) directly from the sidewalk. Karlsruhe has no Street View because Germans are privacy freaks, but I can show an example from Łódź:



And then imagine you have more than 100 tram stops in the city. Some of them have such a form, which would also demand shifting the stop and rebuilding the roadway (it must be narrowed down - and you have the lobby of car drivers which are already angry about narrowing down the streets so that it's impossible to overtake a tram at the stop), some of them are at a track separated from the roadway (on one side of the street or between the roadways) - regardless of that, adjusting them is needed. In a short period. And existing trams will have big problems at them. Elongating the stops and dividing them into a part for old trams and for new high-entrance trams is often impossible due to lack of space. So what you would also have to do is installing folding stairs in the existing trams, which is also costly.

The folding stairs:



Here you can see a situation with a little bit of absurdity - folding stairs in a city which has no high platforms Because those trams were bought second-hand from Bielefeld where they have high platforms (and low platforms in such a form as the one from the photo above too, so folding stairs are a must).
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Old January 2nd, 2018, 11:31 PM   #306
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Quote:
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Reconstructing (or, practically, building from scratch) all the stops to get them adjusted to high-entrance trams would also be costly. And there would be a problem with the all trams still being in service, where on such stops the passengers would have to jump over the hole with the stairs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhelm275
Even for existing networks, it's just more functional to raise the platforms than lower the vehicles. It's what several cities in North Rhine-Westphalen did, and with good success.
I'm afraid you're both missing one important feature. Some streets, regardless if with existing or planned tram, are simply too narrow to introduce high platforms. In such case, platform must be integrated with sidewalk, taking in many cases its entire width. It is almost always possible to raise the sidewalk by some 10-20cm and create safe platform for low-floors, but raising it by 70 or 80cm simply cannot be done, because you are limited by the entrances to houses... I agree with most arguments for high floor vehicles, but they are simply not feasible in most cases.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 03:36 AM   #307
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You point out exactly why low floor vehicles were developed for street transit.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 04:12 PM   #308
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That is true to some degree, there are places where fitting the platform would be a serious problem.
But today in Europe, and especially for new networks, designers don't think even for a minute if high floor is feasible or not.

Low floor was born as a sub-optimal compromise, a necessity in some cases. I don't blame those cases, but I just don't like that is has become the standard.
I don't like that a solution that is still superior under many relevant aspects is regarded as obsolete. It means it's a matter of fashion and not of engineering.

Most of the recent networks I've seen would have had no problems in fitting high platforms. And there's still the Stuttgart solution of lowering tracks, if the situation is really costrained.
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Well, sir, there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail!

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Due to Photobucket f*cking up, most images won't be visibile in my old posts. If you need anything specific, please write me.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 06:21 PM   #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
That is true to some degree, there are places where fitting the platform would be a serious problem.
But today in Europe, and especially for new networks, designers don't think even for a minute if high floor is feasible or not.
If you look at any legacy system of considerable extent, there will always be places where fitting a platform higher than, say, 400mm will be a problem.
This is also the case on many new build street based systems. Designers also don't think about whether unidirectional running or an non-standard track gauge is feasible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
Low floor was born as a sub-optimal compromise, a necessity in some cases. I don't blame those cases, but I just don't like that is has become the standard.
I don't like that a solution that is still superior under many relevant aspects is regarded as obsolete. It means it's a matter of fashion and not of engineering.
Low floor is a necessity in most cases, especially with buses that stop right next to the kerb, and also with trams that stop in the middle of four lane roads.
Level boarding was common on off-street rail of many kinds even before commitment to the disabled and before the low floor revolution. That solution is not considered obsolete, for example, on heavy rail, only on light rail. I don't like it that much either.
It is definitely not a matter of engineering, it may be a market thing, like standard gauge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
Most of the recent networks I've seen would have had no problems in fitting high platforms. And there's still the Stuttgart solution of lowering tracks, if the situation is really costrained.
There are a large number of legacy systems, especially in Europe and Commonwealth of Independent states. Most of these would have problems fitting high platforms. So this has lead to a large market for standardised low floor light rail rolling stock, it's similar with buses.
High platform light rail systems are less common, and so there is no longer much of a market for standardised high floor light rail rolling stock.
And I've seen a number of recent systems which do have street stops in quite narrow streets.

This may well encourage the use of low floor rolling stock even on systems where there are no such space constraints wherever there is a stop. They can share joint venture orders with systems that could not do high floor and borrow vehicles from or lease them to such systems.
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