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Old June 17th, 2007, 10:11 AM   #1
gappa
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MELBOURNE | Tram

Melbourne is host to one of the world's most extensive Tram/Streetcar networks (the largest outside of europe and largest in the English speaking world). Covering a track length of 245 kms, 1813 tram stops, 27 main routes and serviced by over 500 trams. It also contains the busiest section of Tramway in the world, Swanston St.

Network map from http://www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au/v...itan_trams.gif:


There are six different versions of tram running on the network. These include - the W-class:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...wtram3.jpg.JPG


The Z-class:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._Melbourne.jpg


The A-class:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...c_newtram2.jpg


The B1/2-classes:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...70/B2_2117.JPG


The D1/2 or Combino-class:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...class_tram.jpg


And the C or Citadis-class:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...wtram1.jpg.JPG


Also unique (as far as my sources can confirm) to Melbourne is the restaurant tram. The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant has run since 1983 using refurbished (lots of shock absorbers) W-class trams, each seating 36 dining patrons.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Restaurant.jpg


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Old June 17th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #2
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Here's some of my own photos of Melbourne's trams.

First up is a speeding tram on Melbourne's premier boulevard, St Kilda Rd. PICASSO is reflected in a jumble on it's front door:
image hosted on flickr


Here we see a Citadis tram stopped at one of Melbourne's new 'super stops'. These are basically mini train platforms in the middle of the road, so as to eleminate a hight difference between the tram door and those wishing to get on. Especially handy for the elderly or infirm:
image hosted on flickr


These two fine specimens are sitting on Swanston St infront of the Town Hall. Swanston St is the busiest section of Tramway in the world, with nine tram routes passing along it's lenghth:
image hosted on flickr


A large D2 Combino-class tram on a wet Melbourne day. Of interest is the all over advertising, which covers many of Melbourne's trams:
image hosted on flickr


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Old June 17th, 2007, 10:45 AM   #3
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Good work. I've also seen this tram, which I gather is only a visitor:



One of the free City Circle trams, which give the tourists a running commentary on the CBD:



Heavy traffic in Swanston St., alluded to above:



Many Melbourne trams sport advertising or artwork:





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Old June 17th, 2007, 11:15 AM   #4
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Many of those trams look like bus on steel wheels. Nice pictures, though. That green and yellow streetcar looks like the one we have in Seattle's waterfront streetcar. It's the same color, but slightly different design.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 11:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoias View Post
Many of those trams look like bus on steel wheels. Nice pictures, though. That green and yellow streetcar looks like the one we have in Seattle's waterfront streetcar. It's the same color, but slightly different design.
The one in Seattle is probably a W-class. Three of Melbourne's W-class trams are used there, maybe it's an earlier design? The W-class is the most iconic of Melbourne's trams - having been used continuously since the 1920's!
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Old June 17th, 2007, 09:43 PM   #6
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How many km of tram are in Melbourne and are any of these line rapid transit LRT like DART, CTrain, Hiwartha etc?
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Old June 18th, 2007, 01:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2 View Post
How many km of tram are in Melbourne and are any of these line rapid transit LRT like DART, CTrain, Hiwartha etc?
Ok, do you mean route or track kms? For track km's there is 249 km of double track, so 498 km track length in total. That's the third largest track amount in the world. As for route length, this is more difficult as a lot of routes share track. I've been unable to find any reliable figure but it's bound to be above 249 kms.

And none are anything like the LRT that you've got in Vancouver. Most tram routes share roads with other vehicles, which makes this impossible. There are a few sections of completely grade seperated track (mainly old train routes converted to light rail) but these do not comprise whole routes. For a better comparison check out Toronto's streetcars.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 01:32 AM   #8
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Here you can see a to scale representation of Melbourne's tram trackage. This is courtesy of http://www.vicsig.net/trams/infrastructure/tram.gif:

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Old June 18th, 2007, 09:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gappa View Post
It also contains the busiest section of Tramway in the world, Swanston St.
I can be wrong, but according to my calculations there's one even more busy street in Basel, Switzerland. To compare: I was taking under consideration morning rush (7AM-10AM) and checking the maximum number of trams per hour. Here are the results (line/number of cars). First goes Swanston Str., Melbourne: 1/8, 3/6, 5/6, 6/7, 8/9, 16/5, 64/6, 67/7, 72/6, together 60 trams/hour. Steinenberg Str., Basel: 3/8, 6/8, 8/9, 11/8, 14/8, 15/8, 16/9, 17/6, together 64 trams/hour. Even if this is right, Yarra trams are still very impressive and I really enjoy this thread. Keep up the good work
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Old June 19th, 2007, 01:27 AM   #10
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Excellent thread. I always loved Melbourne's trams when I was growing up in Australia.

I do have a few questions though. The number of stops Melbourne quotes at 1813 is a bit misleading (I think) for as far as I know, many stops in Melbourne are half stops. They tend to be numbered as they go down a street, and one stop (say No.46) may only service traffic going Northwards, whilst a tad bit further down the street would be stop No.,47 that handles the South bound trams. In most other cities, the stops have names and this would include both directions and often both directions in a perpendicular intersection - so one stop here would have 4 "separate" stops in Melbourne.

I hope I'm being clear here.

The size of Melbourne's tram network today is impressive, although in the past, when most cities had trams, even today's size would have been dwarfed by the large ones of the world, found in places like London and surprisingly, the US - American cities had some of the largest tram networks in the world.

That said, sadly many of these cities lost their massive tram networks. In some cases like Germany (which still has one of the most prolific number of networks in the world) they not so much lost them, but downsized them as many lines were replaced by subway lines. In others, London lost it's great tram network, but it replaced it with the incredible Route Master Buses (which sadly have just started to disappear). But most US cities totally destroyed their grand networks.

Melbourne's 3rd place does vary a bit as some of it's competing cities increase their network, and then Melbourne jumps ahead again etc. At the moment, I think it's actually in 4th place. A few years ago, it was down to 6th, but has crept up again.

I have this list: (It was for European tram networks and I added Melbourne into it)
Sankt Peterburg: 692km (possibly track length, not route length)
Moskva: 418.8km
Milano: 287km
Melbourne: 249km
Katowice: 245km
Vienna: 240km
Sofia: 222km
Bruxelles: 205km
Köln: 188.5km
Berlin: 187.7km
Budapest: 156km
Bucuresti: 155km
Leipzig: 152.6km
Oslo: 152.5km
Karlsruhe: 149.9km
Düsseldorf: 146.3km
Göteborg: 144km
Kyiv: 139.9km
Basel: 139km
Amsterdam: 138km
Kharkiv: 132.2km
Dresden: 129.6km
Den Haag: 128.1km
Beograd: 127.3km
Prague: 125km
Torino: 123km
Riga: 123km
Warszawa: 119km
Lodz: 113km
Zürich: 108.9km
Odesa: 108.9km
Nizhni Novgorod: 100km

Katowice and Vienna could very well jump ahead at any stage, but then again Melbourne is probably also extending it's network.

Finally, the Melbourne restaurant car is an excellent attraction when in the city. However, it isn't unique in the world.

Here in Frankfurt we have the Applewine Express, it isn't quite the same as it is more a tram-pub than a tram restaurant. It concentrates on the drinking side more than the eating side.

Helsinki also has a pub tram, but I guess this is different to a Restaurant one. (although another website I checked it on called it a Restaurant tram??)

Zurich has a full restaurant tram, this one is an Indian restaurant: http://www.proaktiva.ch/tram/zurich/...0307&year=2007

The city also has a Fondue tram: http://www.proaktiva.ch/tram/zurich/...hp?item=101006

Geneva also in Switzerland has a Restaurant Tram.

Anyway, You probably get the point :O)

Enough of this from me. As I said, I love the Melbourne tram network, and look forward to more photos and information from you.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 03:35 AM   #11
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Thanks guys! It's always great to get new facts and figures, even if it proves me wrong.

In regards to the tram stops you're quite correct in saying that Yarra Trams counts one stop as two. Sometimes the stops are directly opposite on the road but often they are seperated, sometimes by hundreds of metres. Still they should be counted as one IMO. The new 'super stops' though, are counted as one stop - I think.

Great to see more restaurant trams out there. The one in Melb provides unlimited drinks with your meal, but a travelling pub sounds like a great idea.

Wow! 64 trams an hour in Basel, impressive. Maybe you should tell Yarra Trams their information is wrong.

There's an old map floating about showing the proposed extensions to Melb's tram network from the 50's. If they were all implemented then Melb's system would be about twice the size it is today. Unfortunately the Freeway put paid to that.
All of Oz's major cities had tram networks, but most of them tore them out in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Only Melbourne and Adelaide have trams left, and Adelaide has only one line (which is being expanded, yay). Oh and Sydney has recently installed a modern light rail line.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 06:10 AM   #12
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WOW, Melbourne really has a lot of streetcar types- not to mention it almost looks like it could be somewhere in Europe- Nice pics. thanks!

Interesting list Justme- I would have thought that Toronto would be somewhere on that list, especially considering the city's extensive streetcar network- which is growing slowly, but growing none-the-less.

Quote:
The Toronto Transit Commission operates 11 streetcar routes serving 305.8 km.
This would put Toronto at least in the top 5 area wouldn't it?

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Old June 19th, 2007, 06:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p5archit View Post
WOW, Melbourne really has a lot of streetcar types- not to mention it almost looks like it could be somewhere in Europe- Nice pics. thanks!

Interesting list Justme- I would have thought that Toronto would be somewhere on that list, especially considering the city's extensive streetcar network- which is growing slowly, but growing none-the-less.



This would put Toronto at least in the top 5 area wouldn't it?

p5
I think the 300km number may be the length of Toronto's routes, not tracks, but I'm not sure. I've been to T-dot and loved the Streetcars there, very distinctive. It's good to see other North American cities building some too.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 07:37 AM   #14
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^ Sorry, I must add to that the list was for European tram networks only, and I added melbourne. Please forgive me for forgetting to mention that - I'm rather tired at the moment ;O)
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Old June 19th, 2007, 10:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme View Post
Sankt Peterburg: 692km (possibly track length, not route length)
According to Wikipedia, it's now (beginning 2007) only 220 - 230km. Probably 692 km referred to route length in the 80's or early 90's at its peak value.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 12:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
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^ Sorry, I must add to that the list was for European tram networks only, and I added melbourne. Please forgive me for forgetting to mention that - I'm rather tired at the moment ;O)
If that's the case I then hazard that the 300km figure is for Toronto's total amount of track. This would give it a double track length of around 150km and put it at around 11th to 14th on that previous list.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 05:10 PM   #17
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The AOA Keep talking safety tram is a D1. D1s have 3 sections. D2s have 5.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 09:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WotaN View Post
According to Wikipedia, it's now (beginning 2007) only 220 - 230km. Probably 692 km referred to route length in the 80's or early 90's at its peak value.
Interesting. Looks like Melbourne's network has moved up to 3rd place again.

Then again, Many European cities have multiple tram networks within a single metropolitan area (and Melbourne's 245km also extends into the metropolitan area). The list above doesn't include this, and thus cities like Leipzig/Halle had 237.1km a few years ago, which could have expanded today. Although the city proper of Berlin only has 189.4km of tram (route km) within the city boundaries, within the metropolitan area there is a total of 257.9km of trams.

And the Grand Daddy of them all is the massive Rhein Ruhr metropolitan area - Germany's largest with 12.6million people. This covers an area about the size of Sydney's metropolitan area (called the Sydney Statistical Division) and has a staggering 809.7km of route tram network easily the largest in the world at a metropolitan level. These are separate networks but connected via a massive S-bahn network (suburban railway).

There could be plenty more around Europe and the world as well, but I havn't looked into this. As Melbourne (and Australia) tends to think of their cities by their metropolitan boundary's, it maybe worth keeping this in mind.

But of cause, I don't want to turn this great thread about Melbourne's wonderful network into some sort of comparison with others, so I should be quiet about all this here so we can enjoy further great pictures etc.

Sorry for the statistics ;O) I just happened to have spent a large amount of time a couple of years ago researching all this, and by bringing it up, it sort of makes me feel I didn't waste my time ;O)
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Old June 20th, 2007, 03:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
If that's the case I then hazard that the 300km figure is for Toronto's total amount of track. This would give it a double track length of around 150km and put it at around 11th to 14th on that previous list.

Toronto is a little more complicated than that. Route kms will be scewed because there is some sharing of track going on. Total track kms (not mentioned) is a different number again, but can be scewed because there is track that is used by streecars for short-turning and getting around, but is not part of an actual revenue-generating route.




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Old June 20th, 2007, 03:37 AM   #20
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Thanks again everybody.

Cal-t, yep that's a D1, silly me got confused by Mr Barry standing in the way.

Justme, agreed - European systems are by far the largest in the world - although I wouldn't count the Rhur systems as one; they're all seperate from each other. You have to realize that in Australia the cities proper are tiny, much smaller than their North American and European contempories. Melbourne metro is made up of around thirty different cities, the tram system covers around ten-fifteen. If you just used stats from the City of Melbourne then they would be insignificantly small.

KGB, it's very difficult to find solid data on total route length for any city, as it's difficult to calculate due to track sharing etc. I wonder if the statistics include non revenue earning track or not? There would be quite alot of it in Melb too, and knowing Yarra Trams they'd do anything to boost their number to make themselves out to be the biggest/best.
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