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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think some of the terminology is not understood by a great many people who post on this board so I copied this from Jarbury's Auckland Transport blog.

This one is the new line in Seattle.

http://vimeo.com/12743827

Key points:

-there is no limitation in Light Rail to it being a single body or single articulated body vehicle. This is an Australianism this idea.

-you can have limited street running however this should not limit performance of the vehicle. It is pointless having a new PT solution to avoid road congestion if it is also caught up in it (this point is somewhat lost on Victorians)

-this form of Light Rail makes a virtue of using tight curvature and steep grades to better penetrate the urban landscape. This is a key point of difference between LR and HR and is again lost on many commentators.

-the body is much larger than typical Australian tram bodies.

I distinguish Light Rail from Light Metro (where bodies like this are in use on completely segregated, mostly underground lines but where the trackwork is similar eg tightly curved and steep) and Pre-Metro (where you are building a Metro but migrating to it using an existing tram network, as in Brussels).

I see Seattle style operations conquering the poor performance of Melbourne tramways in the SE (using Dandenong Road, Kingsway, St Kilda Road, St Kilda Railway and Fitzroy St medians in different combinations). And a parallel set could be developed around Peel St, Flemington Rd and Mt Alex Rd all the way to Airport West, provided a suitable Ascot Vale bypass could be found.

It goes without saying that Anzac Pde could also be a good place to use this type of system as well. And a more useful connection to Five Dock built than that useless Dulwich Hill thing.

Finally, this would be the thing for Tonsley and beyond, lots of body and bulk but agile enough for the Flinders Section, and could mount the Glenelg line flyovers at a pinch.
 

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Great video, love the mention of how the grade separation works for them, GCRT should take note, the huge amount of at-grade crossings will see it snail along.
 

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Rabid Furry Skier
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I have pointed out before about how the trams here that run in the median strips are usually given very little, if any traffic light priority. From what I see in the video, it looks like the traffic lights shift their sequence around the tram so that when it reaches the intersection, it will have a green light with minimum delay.

Why can't they at least attempt to start something like that here? We talk about extending it all the way to Knox in its existing format (no doubt mocked by people here for being a bus on steel wheels), so why not just make it a proper light rail like in the video so that it now actually is useful for people wanting to go to Camberwell? Last time I used it, it was painfully slow from Bridge Road to Springvale Road while watching, yes, buses overtake the tram! :nuts:
 

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derp
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Thanks Riccardo - I definitely think the meaning is lost in many arguments because the terminology used is often ambiguous or incorrect used. The metro v cityrail arguments are another classic example.
 

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How could the Seattle line be considered anything but light rail though? It has all the indicia of light rail - low platforms, small loading guage, tramway signalling (at least there's no sign of railway interlocking) etc.

The question is, having spent USD2.4 billion, how much more would a heavy rail line have cost and would it have delivered better outcomes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How could the Seattle line be considered anything but light rail though? It has all the indicia of light rail - low platforms, small loading guage, tramway signalling (at least there's no sign of railway interlocking) etc.

The question is, having spent USD2.4 billion, how much more would a heavy rail line have cost and would it have delivered better outcomes?
It definitely is light rail. But by Australian standards, it is 'heavier' than what passes for light rail here - often naught better than a street tramway. Even our 'heaviest' light rail to Glenelg and Lilyfield uses flimsy little cars in single car formats.

And we have had some big vehicles visit Victoria, but get used on the legacy street tramway network at slow speeds.

Parts of the Victorian network that have more potential eg the Dandenong Rd and Kingsway medians, end up with overcrowded Zs running dreadful frequencies.

As for the money, I would ask what were the objectives of the system before passing judgement. Heavy rail is also a waste if it is not working at full pelt most of the day, and an efficient system should be striving for 20,000 to 50,000 pax per direction per hour per line.

If that is unlikely to be achieved, then a cheaper light rail system might be a better investment in urban growth.
 

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can I just have a whinge about the trams through the city of Adelaide, and that at 3 important intersections, the trams are given the last traffic light sequence, and if you happen to pull up just after this sequence, it can put 5-10 mins extra on travelling from South to West Tce. Its pretty rediculous that cars have preference over the trams, including cars on turning arrows, and that because the trams get the last sequence, they then miss the lights at the next intersection when the car traffic is now atleast 3 blocks ahead. Infact its fucking rediculous caus a light rail system should be quick and have preference, one would think.

And TA still cant work out that in the summer holiday months patronage rises by atleast 20% to Glenelg so why cant they run extra trams, ie like last Saturday when people were left stranded at so many stops

Infact Im pretty sure that in the H days there used to be a summer and winter timetable for the Glenelg tram, as well as all H's doubled up during summer, because they were aware of the increased use. Im stunned that TA still have 15 min intervals on Sat. I wouldnt recommend anyone to take the tram on a summer Sat to Glenelg, its torture
 

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Citadis Rider
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I think we are pretty well-set for the Gold Coast, at least. 750v DC current, provision for 45 metre multi-section trams, dedicated DDA compliant stops adjacent to new and denser development, high-speeds, good signalling priority where it is necessary to cross general traffic, no shared running, a good corridor linked by strong demand at both ends and in both directions at all hours of the day.

In short, none of the crap that any of the other Australian systems have to compromise on with legacy infrastructure and governments too beholden to fixing the roads to do anything about it.

Adelaide is also going to be in a good place in a few years, but I don't hold out much hope for anywhere else - including the Sydney CBD, unless they fix the problems MLR has (low speed being one of the main ones).
 

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Yeah, I think the GC light rail will be good, in that it is in an entirely segregated corridor. Level crossings shouldn't be a problem, provided the give traffic signal priority to the LRVs. There probably where a couple of points where grade separation could have been easily and affordably done without ruining the urban environment (crossing Wardoo Street, for example), but in other circumstances, largely would result in either long tunneled sections, or distances of ugly elevated viaducts which ruin the urban environment, and you get the same issues which were seen when a monorail was proposed ("But people can see into my second floor unit.").

Either way, widespread grade separation results in significantly higher costs. I'd rather see an expanded network than full grade separation.
 

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Citadis Rider
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Either way, widespread grade separation results in significantly higher costs. I'd rather see an expanded network than full grade separation.
Exactly. This is the point the 'astroturf lite' people miss (ie we are OK with rapid transit, provided it goes underground through Paradise Waters and we don't lose body corporate common property).

Tunnelling would have wiped out any chance of it being extended north or south for years, whereas now there is every chance we will see services between Helensvale and Burleigh follow on not too long after the initial stages.
 

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can I just have a whinge about the trams through the city of Adelaide, and that at 3 important intersections, the trams are given the last traffic light sequence, and if you happen to pull up just after this sequence, it can put 5-10 mins extra on travelling from South to West Tce. Its pretty rediculous that cars have preference over the trams, including cars on turning arrows, and that because the trams get the last sequence, they then miss the lights at the next intersection when the car traffic is now atleast 3 blocks ahead. Infact its fucking rediculous caus a light rail system should be quick and have preference, one would think.

And TA still cant work out that in the summer holiday months patronage rises by atleast 20% to Glenelg so why cant they run extra trams, ie like last Saturday when people were left stranded at so many stops

Infact Im pretty sure that in the H days there used to be a summer and winter timetable for the Glenelg tram, as well as all H's doubled up during summer, because they were aware of the increased use. Im stunned that TA still have 15 min intervals on Sat. I wouldnt recommend anyone to take the tram on a summer Sat to Glenelg, its torture
Don't forget the right turning traffic on the south half of King William Street and the one track bit at the Convention Centre. There's a fair bit of scope to make the tram line faster. Jetty Road is crap too.

But isn't there a shortage of trams at the moment? I remember reading even with the Citadis trams there is very little scope for extra services because the government wasn't expecting the extension to be so popular. There are four Flexitys still on order that are supposed to arrive this summer, rumour has it.
 

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^^
But isn't there a shortage of trams at the moment?
Shortage of trams = even more reason to improve the timetabled time.

by reducing the timetabled time for a service you increase the number of services you can run with the same trams.

10% faster tmietabled run for each tram = 10% more services that can be run.
 

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Out of interest, why can't the light rail system use 25kV AC?
Probably not economical to.

The extra power wouldn't be required, the advantage of AC over long distances is not really an issue, the inverter or rectifer equipment on the vehicle would take up more space, the overhead infrastructure would need to be heavier duty.

In all I'd say impractical with no real benefit to be gained.
 

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I was under the impression that the Hindmarsh to Glenelg line was already at maximum operational capability during peak hour?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was under the impression that the Hindmarsh to Glenelg line was already at maximum operational capability during peak hour?
You mean because of lack of trams/drivers? Or something about the infrastructure. I seriously doubt the latter. The network is scalable.

Remember too, flexies are not the biggest vehicles by any standard.

I'd love to see Light Rail dominate in Adelaide, with Heavy Rail confined to the 2 long routes. The balance are ideal for Light Rail, and the level crossing question becomes less of an issue if the vehicles are operating on low-speed, able to stop quickly arrangements at each.

Have Adelaide posters here seen the St Kilda and Port Melbourne mini-gates they use at the level crossings?
 

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^^ it really makes you wonder why they don't do the same thing on Dandenong Road/Flemington Road/Royal Parade/Victoria Parade/Kings Way/St Kilda Road and just have semi true light rail on those routes as well.

also given St Kilda Road manages 60 trams an hour in the peak hour I doubt Adelaide has hit its peak yet!
 

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also given St Kilda Road manages 60 trams an hour in the peak hour I doubt Adelaide has hit its peak yet!
It still has to find the peakness.
 

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Rabid Furry Skier
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Have Adelaide posters here seen the St Kilda and Port Melbourne mini-gates they use at the level crossings?
The design of the light rail level crossing here seem to be odd as it often forces the tram to slow down quite a bit (somewhere about 30km/hr) before being given the white T light. For a short line it isn't so much of a problem, but I would hate to experience something like that for a line that is longer than 10kms by having to come to a near stop at every single level crossing along the line.

What is the Glenelg line like when it comes to its level crossings? Does it allow you to go through it without having to slow down greatly?

A couple of minutes could be knocked off the timetable for the small cost of a handful of No Right Turn signs.
I think the government finds that concept too hard to wrap around their head. The idea of giving decent priority to trams (buses to a latter degree) is out of their world and could unbalance the cycle of the world around us leading to disaster and famine. :yes:
 
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