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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There was quite a lively debate about trams in central London, so lets start a thread specifically for general UK and Ireland tram discussion.

There are currently 6 tram systems in operation in the UK and 1 in Dublin.

Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool)

http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/02/91/84/2918404_24448544.jpg

LUAS (Dublin)

http://s0.geograph.org.uk/photos/20/95/209515_304d19af.jpg

Metrolink (Manchester)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ae/No_3001_Manchester_Metrolink_tram.jpg

Midland Metro (Birmingham)

http://www.jewelleryquarter.net/wp-content/uploads/a-metro-tram.jpg

NET (Nottingham)

http://railforthevalley.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/41081690_nottingham_bbc_416.jpg

Supertram (Sheffield)

http://www.freefoto.com/images/2033/13/2033_13_6---Stagecoach-Supertram--Sheffield_web.jpg

Tramlink (London)

http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/01/44/08/1440854_df48cdf2.jpg

Scotland has one system under construction, the infamous Edinburgh Tram Network - the first part of the first line is to be completed in 2014, the rest has been shelved due to costs - thankfully they seem to be on track now that Transport Scotland has taken over.

Edinburgh Tram (Edinburgh) [Under Construction]

http://www.twodoctors.org/myimages/constitutionsttram.png


Feel free to discuss the pros and cons of modern light rail/tram systems, as well as weather trams have been a success in your city.

Manchester, Dublin and Nottingham seem to be getting on well with their systems and have already started constructing new phases, but were there problems similar to Edinburgh during the first phases?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Hopefully we can get the Edinburgh Trams completed as quickly as possible, Transport Scotland are doing a very good job by the looks of things. Hopefully people will soon forget about the problems the construction caused and enjoy the benefits of light rail so that Glasgow can get it's own system to modernise the existing expansive suburban network and link new areas to the rail network.

Now, if only we hadn't dug up all the lines in the first place. We'd have some of the largest networks in the world already in place!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Aye!


I used to live in Dublin many years ago when I was a wee kid. I vaguely remember using it's 'DART' system, which is comparable to Glasgow's inner city Suburban lines.

I love the name 'Luas', it's Irish for 'Speed'. It'd be nice if they named Scottish systems in a similar way ('Luath' is the Scots Gaelic equivalent of 'Luas', and in Glasgow, the Glaswegian for 'Tram' was 'Caur').
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here is another Edinburgh map. The majority of the black line is off-street, from the Airport to Haymarket is on tram only routes, some of which runs on converted bus-rapid-transit line.

The majority of the red line is off street, taking advantage of old railway embankments (now cycle paths) and seaside footpaths, and there is a section of on street running along Leith Walk, through Leith Harbour and past Ocean Terminal.

 

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For me these systems work best when they can run fast on a dedicated spine and then street run through the last mile or so of a city centre. This gives the best compromise between journey times and accessibility. The Midland Metro (Birmingham & Black country) is being extended in exactly this way through Birmingham City centre (but not yet as far as 5-ways shown on the map). Both Line 1 and the proposed Line 2 through Dudley are predominantly on former rail track beds with only limited sections street running.
 

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If Glasgow ever did have a light rail system, it would be exactly that. It would run on rail lines currently used by heavy rail and make use of abandoned tunnels, with a single track city centre 'loop', as Glasgow has plenty of one way streets in the city.

It would essentially be a mixture of Suburban Metro, Subway and Tram, and with most of the track already in place, it would be a massive system.
 

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the state and number of metro/ trams in the UK is pretty crap in comparison to the likes of France, Germany and Spain, is there any particular reason or are most councils just happy to accept an over dependency on buses?
 

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the state and number of metro/ trams in the UK is pretty crap in comparison to the likes of France, Germany and Spain, is there any particular reason or are most councils just happy to accept an over dependency on buses?
Seems just to be better for them in the short term. And also partly to do with the deregulated bus companies.

In Glasgow, we had a plan to have a Manchester Metrolink type system running East-West through the city. The deregulated bus companies of the time (1994 this was) found some old law which basically ended up with the Tram system being scrapped.

Had deregulation not happened, we'd have a large light rail network by now, and I'd imagine this is the case in many other places.
 

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That or local authorities in the UK do not have the autonomy to spend money on schemes such as light rail like on the continent.

If the civil servants in London don't think you scheme is the best use of money it won't happen, no matter what the local council / population may think.
 

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Thankfully transport is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and Transport Scotland have found a Glaswegian Light Rail system to be favourable. The only problem is, they are currently spending money on the Forth Road Bridge replacement, the Edinburgh-Glasgow Rail Enhancements and the Edinburgh Trams.

Also, I read that the City of Galway in Ireland is looking into a light rail system called 'Gluas'. I'll try find some more info. I used to live there when I was much younger, and Light Rail is definitely something that will help with the city's growth.
 

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That or local authorities in the UK do not have the autonomy to spend money on schemes such as light rail like on the continent.

If the civil servants in London don't think you scheme is the best use of money it won't happen, no matter what the local council / population may think.
it is a shame that, really need to sort our priorities out. let's take Munich as an example, a 2 million population ( at most) with a 13 line tramway, 3 line metro and a lesser equivalent of the RER compared with birmingham, population of 7 million with a poorly funded 1 line tramway and a whole load of bus operators
 

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Munich, the capital of Bravaria, one of the richest parts of Europe with enormous local tax raising powers that they can spend on what they like.

Brum (population about 2m, never 7m and certainly much smaller than Munich) has no such local tax raising powers, has to beg for every penny of spending from the DfT.

Simply not comparable, the German councils can do whatever their priorities are with regards spending, the UK cities have to sell the idea to the DfT and beg for money.
 
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