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Old January 29th, 2013, 09:31 PM   #221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
University interchange: note the triple sidings for shunting.

Interesting that they never build a turning loop at University, considering how many lines end there. This system doesn't seem very efficient to me. Do you have any loops at all in Melbourne?

Here one example to show you what I mean:
http://maps.google.com/?ll=47.364219...01206&t=h&z=20
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Old January 29th, 2013, 11:12 PM   #222
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Interesting that they never build a turning loop at University, considering how many lines end there. This system doesn't seem very efficient to me. Do you have any loops at all in Melbourne?

Here one example to show you what I mean:
http://maps.google.com/?ll=47.364219...01206&t=h&z=20
An interesting suggestion, but no, there are no return loops on the Melbourne Tram system. I would question your asertion re. ineffiecency as a result.

This is the north end of Swanston St ... two lines run beyond it.

The three sidings between the running lines enable trams to be despatched appropriately ...which, unless you had 3 parallel loops around a balloon loop,
you could not do. Some of these trams take an hour or so to get to their destinations ... From here, even if they have arrived late, they can be set off in the appropriate sequence.

Interestingly, most metropolitan trains in Melbourne (as against trams) run through a loop as you describe, although 5km or more in length. Many Skyscraper city freaks here think that loops should be removed ... to enable straight-through running. The shot you've posted re. the tram system indicates why not: In Swanston St., massive transit to the south, not so much to the north.

Last edited by Yardmaster; January 29th, 2013 at 11:27 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 01:15 AM   #223
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A few shots bumped up of Melbourne's trams for those with limited bandwidth but good eyes: from three years ago in this thread.

Flinders Street Station: this is where all the action is:

Flinders street runs East-West through here, beside the station:



And Swanston Street, allegedly the busiest tram route in the world, crosses it, running north south:







One block- 10 chains- 200 metres- up the road is Collins Street, also heavily trafficed by trams. Various routes use different types of vehicles: you're more likely to see these "B" class trams here.

Before and after shots: the city is being equipped with raised platforms with shelters and electronic signage.



Most Collins Street services run to St. Vincent's Plaza: this is a double junction where some services terminate.



The Swanston street trams mostly terminate at Melbourne University:



The City Circle route uses heritage "W" class trams: travelling on this service is free.



Some more little photos of Melbourne's Tram network. There seem to be heaps of W-Class trams here, and you may spot the odd photo revised. Remember, it's all at least three years old.

Firstly, that north-south axis (allegedly the busiest in the world):

At Flinders Street Station (crossing the River Yarra over Princes Bridge):



Domain Interchange, about 3km south: Left: platform 3, right: platform 1.



Opposite direction: towards Melbourne & RMIT Universities:



The Uni terminus was previously covered: quite a site, with 9 sets of points.

Next, a trip around the City circle, which we can all have for free:

At Flinders Street station:



This is a rather long station, so the next stop is outside the station too. The Elizibeth Street services fron the North-West suburbs terminate here.



_______________________________________________________

Further down Flinders Street: the City Circle tram has a recorded commentary running, which will point out the Immigration Museum (former Customs House) and the Rialto along here; this building is now complete, but rose on the site of our former glorious fish market: we cross two tramlines, both hugging the Casino: one leads to St. Kilda and Port Melbourne, the other to Domain Interchange.



____________________________________________________

Around the bend, it's a totally different landscape: Docklands.



The "City Circle" has been modified a couple of times since it was implemented in the 1990's: first to "Harbour Esplanade" (formerly Cowper Street) and then to "Docklands Drive" (formerly Dudley Street). I must say the thing that mostly struck me about the former Cowper Street was all the broken glass in the windows on the left, & all the barbed wire around the docks on the right: things have changed for the better.



Your free trip around the Melbourne CBD by tram is an interesting one ... apart from the all the historic buildings it passes (and a few shopping centres!) in the 6 km or so of the journey, you encounter 16 junctions or crossovers with other tramlines ... the route back is by Latrobe Street, on top of the City Underground.

Takes you past the Royal Mint, the State Library, the Royal Exhibition Buildings, Parliament, the Princess Theatre, The Windsor Hotel, The Treasury Buildiing, The Old Melbourne Gaol, a few gardens of renown, and even the former offices of the Rupert Murdoch's Herald & Weekly Times ... all in those "W2" class trams so prized outside this nation ...



Won't see the old W-Class trams like that around today ... unless you choose to dine on the tram.
Green & Yellow was the traditional colour for trams here ... and red for the trains. After wev'e got over it all- the failed privatization process- with various rebrandings, we'll get back to Green and Yellow: because that's what Melbourne Trams are meant to be.

W Class trams were widely sold off overseas, most notably to Seattle, USA.

Last edited by Yardmaster; January 30th, 2013 at 02:51 AM.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 01:10 PM   #224
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I'd love to see the green and yellow return to our trams, even if it was something more contemporary.

Something like this would be quite welcome. It's a fantasy design - Melb's new trams will not look like this.



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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:19 PM   #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
An interesting suggestion, but no, there are no return loops on the Melbourne Tram system. I would question your asertion re. ineffiecency as a result.
For a single line, the triple sidings seems to be a very smart and cheap solution. Funnily not possible in my city, our trams have only doors on one side.
Now for several lines turning loops are more efficient because turn times are much lower (the tram actually can drive through without waiting) and you only need to build one loop. Also you need less switches, if you have a continouing line you need only two switches, if it is the end of all lines you need no switches at all. In the triple siding solution you need 3 switches each.
Quote:
The three sidings between the running lines enable trams to be despatched appropriately ...which, unless you had 3 parallel loops around a balloon loop,
you could not do. Some of these trams take an hour or so to get to their destinations ... From here, even if they have arrived late, they can be set off in the appropriate sequence.
My statement about efficiency was under the assumption that no dispatching is needed.
Quote:
Interestingly, most metropolitan trains in Melbourne (as against trams) run through a loop as you describe, although 5km or more in length. Many Skyscraper city freaks here think that loops should be removed ... to enable straight-through running. The shot you've posted re. the tram system indicates why not: In Swanston St., massive transit to the south, not so much to the north.
Do you speak about the city loop. Or are there loops at the outer ends as well? I never traveled so one line till the end. I think turning loops make much less sense for trains than for trams, as train have a much much larger turning radius.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 12:19 PM   #226
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For a single line, the triple sidings seems to be a very smart and cheap solution. Funnily not possible in my city, our trams have only doors on one side.
Now for several lines turning loops are more efficient because turn times are much lower (the tram actually can drive through without waiting) and you only need to build one loop. Also you need less switches, if you have a continouing line you need only two switches, if it is the end of all lines you need no switches at all. In the triple siding solution you need 3 switches each.
It is a single line with multiple routes. Trams depart in a different order to which they arrive. In fact it is this reason that a traditional loop would not work, to work the loop needs multiple roads. Have seen that done though and it works well too.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 04:19 PM   #227
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Trams depart in a different order to which they arrive. In fact it is this reason that a traditional loop would not work, to work the loop needs multiple roads.
I totally agree with this. As I said, I wrongly assumed that dipatching was not needed. Just if you don't need dispatching, a loop has a higher capacity.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 06:15 PM   #228
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When you've got eight or so lines all terminating in the same place, it's handy to be able to get them back into some sort of order if some are running late.

Here's another thought or more about Balloon loops.
  • Obviously if your trams only have doors on one side, well, you need to turn them around like that.

  • I'd guess most of these loops are on the outskirts of the city? In Melbourne, even now, the hope is that the line will be extended somewhat further: Commiting yourself to a "balloon loop" sort of seals off any further expansion on that route.

  • Having doors on one side only is obviously more efficient: provided you have balloon loops, or something equivalent ("Y"'s) to turn them around.

  • "Balloon Loops" are very common here: on mineral railways. Australia produces a lot of coal and iron ore, with trains that are turned around, refilled, and directed back to port, just as you thought our trams would be.

  • Most passenger carriages on the railways here have an "East End" and a "West End". I think this mainly has to do with paint: which fades more quickly on the nortern- sun facing - side. They can be turned around ... in the yards.

  • Suburban trains in Melbourne regularly run through "The Loop".

  • Trains on the Circle Line in London are reversed from time to time: to compensate on the wear on one side of the wheel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelbourneCity View Post
I'd love to see the green and yellow return to our trams, even if it was something more contemporary.

Something like this would be quite welcome. It's a fantasy design - Melb's new trams will not look like this.



Me too ... but I can only imagine what I cannot see.

Last edited by Yardmaster; February 3rd, 2013 at 06:56 PM.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 07:10 PM   #229
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[*]Trains on the Circle Line in London are reversed from time to time: to compensate on the wear on one side of the wheel.
Not sure where you got that from. The Circle Line isn't a circle. It's a spiral. You have to reverse at Hammersmith. But even back when it was a circle trains would usually terminate somewhere.

Incidentally looking at the huge proportion of high-floor trams in Melbourne, does Australia have any kind of equivalent to the Disability Discrimination Act? A law requiring all vehicles to be low floor by a certain date?
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 07:14 PM   #230
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[*]I'd guess most of these loops are on the outskirts of the city? In Melbourne, even now, the hope is that the line will be extended somewhat further: Commiting yourself to a "balloon loop" sort of seals off any further expansion on that route.
Really?
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Old February 4th, 2013, 03:14 AM   #231
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I had a look at your map via your link ... I think what you should realize is that Melbourne's housing stock is not made up of large apartment blocks, but generally, small independent houses on about .1 of a hectare or less.

There's no room for a tram balloon loop: unless this was planned for in advance: and it wasn't. Note that this is a large, spawling city, with some suburbs more than 50 km from the city centre. A couple of tram-routes reach out to about half that distance and another couple, slightly less. I don't think anyone here's actually concerned about whether they turn round via a loop, or stop & turn back, after all that travelling.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 08:45 AM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
When you've got eight or so lines all terminating in the same place, it's handy to be able to get them back into some sort of order if some are running late.

Here's another thought or more about Balloon loops.

[*]I'd guess most of these loops are on the outskirts of the city? In Melbourne, even now, the hope is that the line will be extended somewhat further: Commiting yourself to a "balloon loop" sort of seals off any further expansion on that route.
Overseas I have seen loops in the city. Budapest comes to mind as one such example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
[*]Having doors on one side only is obviously more efficient: provided you have balloon loops, or something equivalent ("Y"'s) to turn them around.
If you have doors on one side you must have a loop, don't know about them being more efficent, but they do have more seats. The downside is you need a loop to turn them short. But not hard to do.

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[*]Trains on the Circle Line in London are reversed from time to time: to compensate on the wear on one side of the wheel.
Not anymore. The circle line stopped working as a complete circuit about 3 years ago. Trains now run Edgeware road-Notting Hill Gate-Edgeware Road-Hammersmith and vice versa. Not for wear reasons but for scheduling.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 11:41 AM   #233
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The next generation of trams to hit Melbourne's streets. Made by Bombardier.




More photos can be found here:
http://www.theage.com.au/photogaller...electedImage=0
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Old February 4th, 2013, 12:39 PM   #234
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Incidentally looking at the huge proportion of high-floor trams in Melbourne, does Australia have any kind of equivalent to the Disability Discrimination Act? A law requiring all vehicles to be low floor by a certain date?
Yes. The government has been very slow to spend money on procuring new trams for network, however there is a program underway of upgrading the busiest of trams stops to platform stops. Unfortunately, many routes which have upgraded stops are not run with low floor trams, so the process is all rather redundant for the time being.

There are 50 new trams on order, which should begin to come online later this year. These will probably be used to improve frequencies rather than replace older trams. As about 350 (if not more) trams are high floor trams, a large order will be needed to finally have a fully compliant tram network - this is many years off and there is not the spare money as the tram network is the poorer cousin in Melbourne (trains are getting the majority of funding as its a busier network).
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Old February 4th, 2013, 07:16 PM   #235
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Obviously if your trams only have doors on one side, well, you need to turn them around like that.
Exactly, also here they have only one cockpit. They can run backward, as there are controlls in the back.
Quote:
I'd guess most of these loops are on the outskirts of the city? In Melbourne, even now, the hope is that the line will be extended somewhat further: Commiting yourself to a "balloon loop" sort of seals off any further expansion on that route.
No not at all. There are several loops in the city, some around a square, some around a block. Some are just in case of accidents or closed lines. Example of such a loop: http://maps.google.com/?ll=47.381239...02411&t=h&z=19
Quote:
Suburban trains in Melbourne regularly run through "The Loop".
I know. If you have luck, it even goes around the way you need to. I never found any system in the direction though. My question was, how do they turn at the other end (outskirts).

Anyway I just wondered why you don't have loops, I think my question was answered: To dispatch and reorder trams.

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The next generation of trams to hit Melbourne's streets. Made by Bombardier.

Nice! They look quite long, but probably it's just the visuals. I don't think Melbourne's network could handle longer trams then the current ones.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 11:14 PM   #236
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I had a look at your map via your link ... I think what you should realize is that Melbourne's housing stock is not made up of large apartment blocks, but generally, small independent houses on about .1 of a hectare or less.

There's no room for a tram balloon loop: unless this was planned for in advance: and it wasn't. Note that this is a large, spawling city, with some suburbs more than 50 km from the city centre. A couple of tram-routes reach out to about half that distance and another couple, slightly less. I don't think anyone here's actually concerned about whether they turn round via a loop, or stop & turn back, after all that travelling.
I don't argue that loop require more space... It sure do. I'm arguing that it doesn't prevent further extension, as you stated earlier.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 10:02 AM   #237
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Anyway I just wondered why you don't have loops, I think my question was answered: To dispatch and reorder trams.
Don't think that is the answer. I think you will find the answer is historic. The re-ordering of trams is unique to the location in the picture above where several routes terminate at the same place. At the outer ends of most lines there is just the one route, so a double terminating road with crossovers is sufficient, even if re-ordering is needed for a tram coming in or out of service.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 12:38 PM   #238
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Anyway I just wondered why you don't have loops, I think my question was answered: To dispatch and reorder trams.
.
The system has never had loops, and I suppose it comes down to the grid layout of the city. I can't see any need to retrofit now, however some terminals could do with an upgrade.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 08:24 PM   #239
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Don't think that is the answer. I think you will find the answer is historic. The re-ordering of trams is unique to the location in the picture above where several routes terminate at the same place. At the outer ends of most lines there is just the one route, so a double terminating road with crossovers is sufficient, even if re-ordering is needed for a tram coming in or out of service.
My question was directed at that specific place, where several lines end. IMO this would make it practical to build a loop, because you only need to build it once, but can use it for several lines.
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The system has never had loops, and I suppose it comes down to the grid layout of the city. I can't see any need to retrofit now, however some terminals could do with an upgrade.
I never wanted to suggest that Melbourne needs loops, I just wondered why it wasn't considered. But I don't think it's the grid layout, I think you overestimate the space such a loop needs.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 08:33 PM   #240
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Exactly, also here they have only one cockpit. They can run backward, as there are controlls in the back.

No not at all. There are several loops in the city, some around a square, some around a block. Some are just in case of accidents or closed lines. Example of such a loop: http://maps.google.com/?ll=47.381239...02411&t=h&z=19

I know. If you have luck, it even goes around the way you need to. I never found any system in the direction though. My question was, how do they turn at the other end (outskirts).

Anyway I just wondered why you don't have loops, I think my question was answered: To dispatch and reorder trams.


Nice! They look quite long, but probably it's just the visuals. I don't think Melbourne's network could handle longer trams then the current ones.
I imagine they'll be the same length as the current Bumblebee Trams, which are on extended loan from some city in France (I forget which one - Toulouse maybe?)

Some lines are better at handling longer trams than others, such as the 96 route (the bumblebee route) which partly runs along reconfigured train tracks and therefore uses old strain stations as stops.

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