30-year Transport Plan

 
  don_dunstan Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Adelaide proud
As for not coupling busses? Wtf? We can't couple our trams either so how is that a problem?
Aaron
Citadis are designed to be coupled; the do this regularly in other locations (such as Paris).  I'm not sure if the ones Adelaide have possess the necessary equipment to do that but presumably they could be retrofitted.  Not sure about Flexcity.

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  mm42 Chief Train Controller

Again: Why are trams slower and more crowded than trains?
The trams we have are not long distance vehicles but more suitable vehicles are available: the Los Angeles Gold line comes to mind.
kipioneer
I have travelled on the LA Gold Line, and it is a pleasant ride. The seats are padded and the windows clear enough to see the view.  But what confidence do we have that light rail vehicles like this would actually be used on the Port line ?  If constrained to the current CBD tram stops, they would need to be similar to the current trams.  

However if the Bowden tunnel were built, a new type of light rail vehicle could be ordered that is not constrained to the loading guage and platform height of the CBD tram stops.  These would travel express from Bowden and terminate at Adelaide Railway Station.  The Bowden tunnel proposal completely separates the Port line from all others, so it could operate at a different guage, voltage and platform height from the rest of the train system.  It could instead have the same rail guage and voltage as the tram system, so the current trams could operate on the line (eg from Bowden to Westlakes).  There would be no need for dual-voltage tram-trains, because there would instead simply be 2 types of light rail vehicle - a comfortable fast long-distance vehicle with high seating capacity, and a short-distance vehicle with a higher standing capacity.

Decisions on such a system are well into the future, because for at least the next 5 years there will be little money for uncommitted investments in the PT system.  The Labour government committed $150m over 3 years (ie to June 2016) to electrification as far as Salisbury. At this rate, the most favourable scenario would be electrification to Gawler by June 2018.  With a  Liberal government, it could well take longer.  In addition to the track electrification, the PT budget needs to cover the purchase of 66 A-City train carriages at about $3m each (~$200m total). Given the long timeline before any substantial investments can be made in the Port line, is it not better to proceed with the Bowden tunnel plan ? This would provide certainty to developers in the Bowden TOD, and get major construction completed before residents start moving in.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I have an even better idea - leave the Port/OH line with the fit for purpose rail line it already has, and upon which taxpayers have already lavished many millions on refurbishing in the last few years.

If money is limited (which it was last time I checked) then it should first be spent on building new infrastructure for public transport and active transport, areas not well served should not have to be deprived because the infrastructure improvements they deserve got sacrificed for the sake of tearing down other public transport infrastructure that already works.
  62440 Chief Commissioner

I echo some comments above about why converting OH line to trams is a bad idea and as a user of the line I don't want it, nor do I want the 12 month closure that would be required.
The Torrens underpass is needed now, it is a national project and a federal high priority. On the day it opens there will be a 20% increase in freight train productivity with the lift from 1500 to 1800m.
Getting rid of Park Road level crossing was needed long ago.
Bowden village is based around a Subiaco type station and is a TOD, not a tram stop on the fringes.
If you want trams then my thoughts are to continue along Port Road, go to Woodville station, then tram to Grange with a spur to West Lakes. Stations between Woodville and Bowden could have reduced service with the service on Port Road.
There is plenty of corridor to get to Port Adelaide and interchange with the station before heading to Semaphore.
If it is decided to shut the Bowden to Torrens and replace with a connection to the tram line, that will be years off, if ever.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

In my opinion Grange would be better served by an extension of a Henley Beach tram route along Seaview and Military Roads than the continued use of the current scenic route via Woodville.

The West Lakes route would work best if it had a connection to the heavy rail line at Woodville before carrying on to Centro Kilkenny and east along Regency Road to at least a junction with the Prospect tram route and maybe further to Klemzig and Oakden. Arterial routes will always be important for business and education users in the city, but cross-suburban routes ought to be considered to allow more non-arterial journeys to have viable public transport options.
  don_dunstan Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Adelaide proud
I really like the idea of re-establishing the Adelaide tram network with those basic 'spines' they were talking about in the report, it's just that I don't know where the money will come from.

There was an article in the Addy the other day saying that Prospect Rd traders are desperate for the State Govt. to go ahead with the tram line as far as Regency Rd but again, they don't even have the money to complete the Gawler electrification so something like a new tram line will be a long way off.  The only possible exception (as I mentioned earlier) might be something you could actually make money out of like an airport-city tram link with a public-private surcharge? Or they could just go ahead and build it in the hope that the numbers are sufficient.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

My challenge for the weekend will be to try and do the same amount of stuff that you find in the 30 year so-called plan inside 30 years on Cities in Motion 2 - without money cheats Very Happy
  Tallboy-Lemond Station Master

I echo some comments above about why converting OH line to trams is a bad idea and as a user of the line I don't want it, nor do I want the 12 month closure that would be required.
The Torrens underpass is needed now, it is a national project and a federal high priority. On the day it opens there will be a 20% increase in freight train productivity with the lift from 1500 to 1800m.
Getting rid of Park Road level crossing was needed long ago.
Bowden village is based around a Subiaco type station and is a TOD, not a tram stop on the fringes.
If you want trams then my thoughts are to continue along Port Road, go to Woodville station, then tram to Grange with a spur to West Lakes. Stations between Woodville and Bowden could have reduced service with the service on Port Road.
There is plenty of corridor to get to Port Adelaide and interchange with the station before heading to Semaphore.
If it is decided to shut the Bowden to Torrens and replace with a connection to the tram line, that will be years off, if ever.
"62440"


How long  do you think the shutdown would be to build a 1 km tunnel through the parklands will take? unless the parkland authority and the fed environment department change their tune, there is buckleys it can be built off line. that combined with a separate shutdown to build the South road rail overpass. might be more on the bus than train in the next five years if it doesn't go to light rail.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
How long  do you think the shutdown would be to build a 1 km tunnel through the parklands will take? unless the parkland authority and the fed environment department change their tune, there is buckleys it can be built off line. that combined with a separate shutdown to build the South road rail overpass. might be more on the bus than train in the next five years if it doesn't go to light rail.
Tallboy-Lemond
Unlike the Goodwood underpass, there is plenty of room to work.

Multiple options
1. Build the new track/tunnel next to the existing one.
2. Build temporary track around the construction site, and build on current alignment.
3. Prefabricate concrete walls/tunnels and drop into place.
4. Build sections of tunnel at a time, backfill and restore track.

The best option is actually 2,3 and 4, I'll explain.
Use 2 for the section though the parklands, use 3 and 4 for the section parallel/under ARTC track, use 3 or even a cast on site bridge pushed into place for the Park Terrace level crossing. Use whatever method is the most cost effective for everywhere else.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Considering the density of development along the Port corridor and the usefulness of the present CBD as a transport hub one has to wonder if heavy rail is still the right answer for the Outer Harbour line.

I well recognise the slow transit time from Hindmarsh to North Terrace by the present tram does not stack well against heavy rail from Bowden. However the tram time could be improved with priority at traffic lights. The tram serves much more of the CBD than the train which is stuck to a terminus appropriate to the 1856 steam age.

Back in the 1930s the Glenelg train was replaced by a then modern interurban light rail system and in comparative terms is even more viable now than it was in 1930.
In overseas cities I have visited, what have obviously been steam railways have been converted to light rail and are fast and popular using mix of street rail (with the local trams) and dedicated (old steam) ROW. Often these systems are in direct competition with the heavy rail and still flourish.
The features of the vehicles are, electric traction generally low voltage dc, street level entry, multiple unit capability, all the communications mod cons, a good turn of speed on the open track.

All this is to say that taking the Port Line as heavy rail under the SG line is a waste of money. Converting it to light rail with vehicles I have described from OS is better value.
Initially the line can be diverted onto the present Port Road alignment at Bowden. As traffic, both road and rail demands, and money becomes available a new alignment off Port Road can be provided. The new alignment could go up Currie street and then continue along a convert O'Bahn.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.

All this is to say that taking the Port Line as heavy rail under the SG line is a waste of money. Converting it to light rail with vehicles I have described from OS is better value.
steam4ian
I agree completely with Ian's comments in this posting.

Paris is a good example, where the line through La Defense and Surennes has been converted in this way (as was the Glenelg railway to the then most advanced interurban vehicles rather than trams many years before it), and its tram connection at St. Denis railway station is an example of the interchange which is possible from Woodville to West Lakes. The trams used are very similar to those in our Citadis fleet.

I am also in favour of extending any re-instated Henley North tramline to Grange rather than using the roundabout route via Woodville, thus giving residents on that line access to all the businesses along Henley Beach Road and many more city destinations than the 'Central' Railway station and on to Norwood, as well as a frequent connection along a short spur to the airport.

The much cheaper low voltage DC overhead with suitably placed small modern substations fed by a high voltage line along the route would be preferable for all suburban lines except the Gawler/Seaford spine. Cars similar to the very comfortable heavy fast  interurbans on which I have ridden from Chicago into Indiana and Minnesota which combine reserved track and street running on low voltage single wire overhead prove that this is both possible and not in any way a diminution of standards.

As an added comment, I think that it is long overdue for the approach of trams (or for that matter of commuter buses on busy routes) should begin to change in their favour immediately the driver presses an on board button. The majority of people wishing to proceed should always prevail in this matter, and the car drivers hogging an unfair allocation of limited road space by making unnecessary trips to the city may have a powerful incentive to change to public transport, thus making more room for commercial vehicles and those who really need their cars.
  don_dunstan Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Adelaide proud
The new alignment could go up Currie street and then continue along a convert O'Bahn.
steam4ian
Shh... never speak of converting the O-Bahn.  I got nothing but grief when I mentioned this years ago, some people really love it as it is!

In seriousness though, I like the ideas being discussed around the Port line and I agree with the Torrens Junction underpass being a bit of a waste; my only concern is that people who are regular users of the O/H line may not like the slowness of on-street running from Bowden.  I was surprised myself when I used it last year how slow the trams seem to be down Port Road.
  62440 Chief Commissioner

How long  do you think the shutdown would be to build a 1 km tunnel through the parklands will take? unless the parkland authority and the fed environment department change their tune, there is buckleys it can be built off line. that combined with a separate shutdown to build the South road rail overpass. might be more on the bus than train in the next five years if it doesn't go to light rail.
Tallboy-Lemond
I have some experience in project staging. As with Springvale and Nunawading, you build the new alignment alongside with minimum disruption to services and use temporary deviations to build the dive. During construction use two tracks for Gawler and OH with a temp junction. It can be done with weekend closures with proper planning. There is going to be a closure at some time for Port River Bridge but again, with proper planning and staging, it can be done in a long weekend.
As for the Parklands, the southern half can be built within the rail corridor (it can, I'm not saying it will be) and the section between the ARTC and Park Terrace will be covered over, joining the two parks over the railway.
It seems to be an Adelaide thing to spend years doing jobs in total shutdowns. Railway people from anywhere else are shocked to hear we can have a line closed for two years and the work still not complete.
Not just railways, South Road has been closed for years for Superway, even Rundle Mall has been 9 months so far and looks no better than it did before.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
Shh... never speak of converting the O-Bahn.

Hello Don Dunstan. Having in common being Adelaideans who are spending/have spent considerable periods living in Melbourne and also respect for your namesake Premier who was very highly regarded by my acquaintances when I lived there and they were observing what he was doing over the border to lead Australia in modernization of age-old restrictive conventions and in fostering the arts, I would agree with you about keeping the O-Bahn. My reason is simple. It works, and we have too much else to do to waste money in replacing it until it wears out. THEN we should install light rail entering the city by a tunnel as was originally intended.

I was surprised myself when I used it last year how slow the trams seem to be down Port Road.

Yes they are, as they are in the entire route that is not in reservation. This needs to be corrected by giving trams absolute priority over all other traffic. The old Findon tramline was on a roadside reservation at the edge of the parklands in the Up direction. Ian has suggested such a solution in his posting as a future step, but giving the trams priority is an achievable and not very costly first step which would greatly speed up the journey times through the city.
don_dunstan
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

... but giving the trams priority is an achievable and not very costly first step which would greatly speed up the journey times through the city.
"SAR526"
I agree. We have a very high tech system controlling the traffic lights at junctions in the greater Adelaide area, it would be very easy to add in extra inputs activated by active transponders on the trams to extend or shorten a cycle to get the trams a quicker passage through - such transponders could do double duty for controlling points at junctions.

If the Port Line must be downgraded, I think it would be better for the Bowden underground section and underpass project at Torrens Junction to be retained rather than sending the trams along the present flawed Port Road route. Coming out the other side, rather than following the present heavy rail route the trams would stay north of the Torrens to join War Memorial Drive (closed to traffic other than trams and bicycles) for a fast trip through to King William Road and enter the city on the same route as the Prospect trams.

The present Port Road bit could be retained as the terminating section for the inner city loop service, kind of like the Melbourne loop tram terminates on Docklands Drive for the purpose of regulating timetables and crew arrangements. Whatever you do with it, it's not fit for purpose as the innermost section of what is a quite long route.
  don_dunstan Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Adelaide proud
Hello SAR526, I have seen that class of locomotive at the National Rail Museum (523 I think?), really spectacular isn't it, an amazing machine.

In relation to my avatar, I did live in Adelaide for about seven years although as you observed I call Melbourne home now; I do miss Adelaide though - it's a wonderful city and I've come to realise over the years the climate is nicer than Melbourne. Don Dunstan did do a lot of great things for SA but I'm sure there'll be lots of people who beg to differ on this; it's interesting to consider if he didn't have to resign due to poor health Adelaide would almost certainly have a light rail link to TTP instead of the O-Bahn. I lived a few streets away from the O-Bahn when I last lived in SA and it was unfortunate that even though it was so close by there was no way to access it because the nearest station was quite some distance away; that's one of the features about it that I don't personally like because if it was light rail they may have been able to have more stations like the Glenelg line.

It's also interesting you should mention the track wearing out because that issue has been in the media this week.  Noise and vibration have been increasing over the years and although the tracks might be able to be ground down or resurfaced my guess is that the cost and engineering difficulties involved in that process could make it too difficult an option; that article I linked also quotes former Transport SA head Derek Scrafton as saying that it's probably life-expired anyway as it was predicted to only last 30 years or so and it's pretty much met that expectation.

Whatever solution they come up with it's going to involve big $$$$.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

There seems to be a thread of agreement here that the present tram arrangements from Bowden to the CBD leave a lot to be
desired.

I don't recall the Findon tram having a separate reservation off Port Rd so I will leave that to my elder colleague SAR526. I do recall the separate reservation through Colonel Light Gardens and also the tram lines crossing the Torrens on the bridges behind the Brewery.

Justapax alternative city entry also has merit and it does take the Light Rail* right past the Adelaide Oval.

Whilst many here are very depreciating of private vehicles we need to remember that not all journeys are convenient by public transport. I think persons here would be surprised to learn just how few weekday journeys are PT compatible. Throw into the mix multi destination journeys and PT misses out. The Seaford extension is only "justified" by fudge and feel good factors; less than 10% of commutes leaving the Seaford area ended in the CBD.

* Note; I already referring to it as Light Rail.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Stean4Ian I think you will find that the trams did indeed have a separate reservation along part of the current Port Road the section past the Thebarton Police barracks as there was a separate bridge over the railway lines there to the South of the old bridge that remained there till the current bridge was put in. There is some photos possibly by Doug Colquhuon of a tram going over the railway lines there on the way to Findon. Just checked it is on page 77 of the book "Adelaide on the Move" by Christopher Steele and Roger Wheaton. Also at the bottom of that page it appears that the Hindmarsh tram that was on the Northern side of Port Road at this point also was on a separate reservation as well.
  don_dunstan Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Adelaide proud
David/Ian: One of the bridges remains to this day; it's a bike path now and it goes between Holland St and Manton Street just behind the Entertainment Centre. P.78 of Adelaide On The Move 1878-1978 shows a tram going over it when it was a 'tram only' structure.  You can also see it on Google Maps; it's just behind SA Brewing.

It's a great book Adelaide On The Move, it's a wonderful memento of Adelaide when it had an efficient tram network. I actually got mine from a box of deceased estate stuff about 15 years ago in Adelaide and it came complete with some scrawled in commentary next to some of the photos - for example on P.39 (St Peters) he's written that he's driving the tram in the middle photo; not sure who the gentleman is but I'm grateful he left this behind for us.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Thanks David, I do recall that bridge. originally the trams tracks went to Henley Beach and Thebarton and beyond.

Henley Beach trams later went over the Bakewell Bridge when that was built.

Do you remember the string of Dog Boxes (side loading) carriages stored in the track that went under the Port Road Bridge?
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
Hi Ian: I specifically said that many people (perhaps a large majority) need their cars, but the number of journeys that end in the CBD car parks and streets is very significant. Remember that Adelaide has more and considerably cheaper car parking spaces than either Melbourne or Sydney, which have populations three to four times larger than Adelaide's.

This is an invitation and incentive, if ever there was one, to drive rather than commute to the city. Even with 'park and ride' facilities at several key stations on the Noarlunga line, the trains were relatively lightly loaded and only at peak periods four cars in length. If even a proportion of those single destination journeys were to be discouraged (hence the present push for a city parking tax), public transport would be more profitable and faster. Road maintenance and traffic control costs would also decrease. Once the trend to light rail, trams and buses began, it would expand greatly as it has in the bigger cities.

The Findon tram line crossed the Torrens on two single line bridges, one of which remains. The last time I saw it, it had the tracks still embedded in its surface. The bridges were accessed by the very narrow Cawthorne and Holland Streets which had room for single lines only. After crossing the railway South Lines on the bridge that has already been mentioned, the pre-Bakewell Bridge connection to Henley Beach ran in reservation on the western side of the railway and turned onto Henley Beach Road. This remained until the end of the trams and was used for some peak hour services direct to the Adelaide Railway Station. The Down Findon line snaked across Port Road and East Terrace to Maria Street, while the Up line emerged from Light Terrace to cross Port Road to the parklands edge reservation and then crossed Port Road again to the double track bridge over the railway. It was a hazard to unwary motorists then and would be downright impossible in today's traffic.

The proposed railway grade separation from Croydon to the parklands edge is very strongly opposed by local residents who claim that the 'village' in Queen Street and other amenities would be destroyed. The deviation onto Port Road (and one of the proposed future parklands reservations) would save a huge amount of money and disruption were the present plans (and the actual tracks) abandoned, as well as keeping the amenities which the present and future residents of the area desire. I repeat: the trunk Outer Harbour and Belair lines should be fast light rail, not trams.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

David/Ian: One of the bridges remains to this day; it's a bike path now and it goes between Holland St and Manton Street just behind the Entertainment Centre. P.78 of Adelaide On The Move 1878-1978 shows a tram going over it when it was a 'tram only' structure.  You can also see it on Google Maps; it's just behind SA Brewing.
"don_dunstan"
Last time I saw that it was fenced off due to structural issues, pending some kind of agreement between the local councils on either side of the river and the state government as to who should be responsible for deciding whether to demolish, repair or replace it.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Last time I saw that it was fenced off due to structural issues, pending some kind of agreement between the local councils on either side of the river and the state government as to who should be responsible for deciding whether to demolish, repair or replace it.
"justapassenger"
That bridge is closed to all traffic, (for something like three years I reckon) it's not fit to carry anything, much less a tram. I very much doubt you'll ever see it open, the next step for that bridge will be demolition not renovation. I recall 'walking' under it not too long before it closed, looking up and being most uncomfortable about my relative position to it. It's not a confidence inspiring structure are the moment, pencil thick (the timber not the lead) cracks in structural members are not cool. Every so often a bunch of residents arc up on Today Tonight or similar saying the bridge ought to be reopened, saying 'nothing is wrong with it'. I really wish for the purpose of the excercise the camera crews would cross the street and film a collection of people walking across it, could make for some scary TV.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

The bridge is now Heritage Listed due to the efforts of Engineers Australia Heritage Branch.

It is an original Sir John Monash design with the same historical significance as the Hindmarsh River railway bridge.

There are move afoot to restore the bridge.
  don_dunstan Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Adelaide proud
God bless Sir John Monash - is there anything that man didn't excel at?

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