Gold Coast update

 
  Gaz170 Junior Train Controller

Location: Gold Coast
Just got home from riding the trams.  A quarter of the Gold Coast has been out today by how packed they were.  Told 12 of the 14 trams were running, 2 kept in case of breakdown.

Had to wait for ages at Broadbeach to get another tram back North, the queue was like Disneyland.  Be interesting to see how many people use them once you have to pay.

Very nice, as long as you can get a seat.  Will upload some photos later.

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  Gaz170 Junior Train Controller

Location: Gold Coast
http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Gaz170/library/Gold%20Coast%20Light%20Rail%20Opening%20Day

Some photos of the first day.  Noticed the trams seem to be running about 1/4 full now.
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

There appear to be very few Gold Coast correspondents on Railpage.  Look across at SkyScraperCity, and there's good news about it exceeding patronage expectations.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=672554&page=260
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
There are some good Gold Coast Tram videos here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq6KGCsiIFo&list=UUIGkLKNiycVXqf57KCXifqg
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
It is a shame they haven't done something to reduce the visual impact of all that concrete.

Also, bloody long trams!
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
It is a shame they haven't done something to reduce the visual impact of all that concrete.
"msilsby"

Would you prefer black bitumen and rubber tyred people movers belching black clouds of carbon monoxide and whatever else?

Also, bloody long trams!
"msilsby"

Light rail is a "Mass Transit System"
  Glinklrvo Beginner

Hello all, I am a light rail vehicle operator (LRVO, tram driver) for this project be happy to answer any questions if people have them
  woodford Chief Commissioner

It is a shame they haven't done something to reduce the visual impact of all that concrete.

Also, bloody long trams!
msilsby


Hmmmmmmmmm, Melbourne has 250 kilometres of double tram track a large percentage of this is embedded in concrete, whats the problem.

As to the long trams, may be they have seen Melbourne and decided that packing trams like  a sardine tin was not the most comfortable way of running trams so then ordered decent trams from the first blow.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Hello all, I am a light rail vehicle operator (LRVO, tram driver) for this project be happy to answer any questions if people have them
Glinklrvo

What if any road rules have been put up to make the trams life easier.
In Melbourne in General trams have priority in most instances, you are not allowed to pass a tram stopped at a tram stop and in the centre of the network at intersections with lines on both roads car drivers have to do a "hook" turn, ie a right hand turn from the left hand side of the road so as not to block either set of tram tracks.

Hows the frequency, again in Melbourne even in the outer reachs of the network one does not have to worry about a timetable as the  most time between trams is around 5 to 8 minutes. Note the trams in Melbourne do run to a timetable.

The latter question begs the question, hows the service being excepted in the gold coast and whats the likely hood of any of the planned extensions happenning

woodford
  Glinklrvo Beginner


What if any road rules have been put up to make the trams life easier.
In Melbourne in General trams have priority in most instances, you are not allowed to pass a tram stopped at a tram stop and in the centre of the network at intersections with lines on both roads car drivers have to do a "hook" turn, ie a right hand turn from the left hand side of the road so as not to block either set of tram tracks.

Hows the frequency, again in Melbourne even in the outer reachs of the network one does not have to worry about a timetable as the  most time between trams is around 5 to 8 minutes. Note the trams in Melbourne do run to a timetable.

The latter question begs the question, hows the service being excepted in the gold coast and whats the likely hood of any of the planned extensions happenning


1. Considering most of the GCLR is segmented track with only about 300m being shared track trams have right of way on the alignment with all qld road rules being the same as before system being put in so if motorist obey all road rules then they have no issue it's just the few silly people who do illegal uturns or proceed on a red arrow who have cause collisions with the trams so far.

2. Tram frequency is 15min headway 5am-7am then 7.5 min headway 7am-7pm then back to 15 min headway 7pm-12am mon to Thursday, Friday is same untill 12am where it drops back to 30min headway till 5am Saturday where it goes to 15 min and then at 7am goes 10 min headway for weekends if that makes sense.

3. So far so good for acceptance with the general public seeing 80000 passengers on first day with a free service 10000 more than predicted, from then running about 18500 average daily with around 500 000 first month which is higher than what was expected but not meeting what government had projected of 20000 which was a drop from Intial 40000 but hey it's early days and if that's going off paid trips then I'm sure there would a heap more with fare evaders added in, there's currently a petition funded by a local MP insisting on getting an extension to helensvale heavy rail station in the north ready by 2018 commonwealth games which would be a much needed thing.

Also to add I'm sure it had been known to quite a few people of the business disruption this caused for small businesses over the 3 year construction period but since opening it has been reported on the news that businesses near the current stops are starting to boom with customers and are looking at extending trading hours which is always a good thing to see

Cheers
  Salty21 Junior Train Controller

Location: Canberra
At least the video gives the people in Canberra what they might be getting!
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

Welcome to Railpage, [color=#333333][size=3][font='Open Sans', Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Glinklrvo[/font][/size][/color]!
I wonder if you might be able to explain this sign posted over at TDU:
http://tdu.to/214341.msg?p=1
No U-turns for cars because they could be t-boned by a turning tram. But the track is straight in this location, so how is it different to a car doing a right turn?

I was also wondering if they have sorted out the issues with loud track noise, especially over the long Gold Coast hwy bridge?

What about the issues of poor track insulation and hydrolysis concerns?
  Glinklrvo Beginner

No U-turns for cars because they could be t-boned by a turning tram. But the track is straight in this location, so how is it different to a car doing a right turn?

I was also wondering if they have sorted out the issues with loud track noise, especially over the long Gold Coast hwy bridge?

What about the issues of poor track insulation and hydrolysis concerns?


1. In relation to that sign they may have made up the design after the first collision incident where a car did a uturn on the queen and nerang street intersection where the tram does a right hand turn with cars being able to do a right hand turn in same direction from nerang street onto queen street and after designing it have used the same sign for similar intersections where uturns may be an issue.

2. As for track noise they have placed large tiles (I'm not sure what material) in between the rails of each track to reduce the echoing affect it has from the large unoccupied area under the tram as  the rail is up on plinths on the viaducts.

3. With the track insulation this was a major thing that had to be fixed before revenue as energex had to sign off that they were happy that there were going to be no issues from this without the approval from energex then there would have been no revenue there are still some small works going on with this on the alignment but nothing to be worried about just precautionary measures so to speak.

Hyrdolosis? I'm not sure what you are refering with this as my understanding is this is the seperation of molecules through water?
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
I was also wondering if they have sorted out the issues with loud track noise, especially over the long Gold Coast hwy bridge?
What about the issues of poor track insulation and hydrolysis concerns?
bramt

Some media outlets write as if these issues are new and only refer to the Gold Coast and not part of other tram systems such as Melbourne or Sydney's present day trams. Perhaps Melbourne folk with their extensive tram network might give a factual engineering analysis of how they handle similar tram infrastructure hydrolysis matters?

I assume the above reference "the long Gold Coast hwy bridge" refers instead to the **Nerang River** tram bridge which is parallel with the highway, not over the highway. I sat near there for quite a long while on Saturday arvo and I would not describe it as loud. In fact I only noticed the trams when I looked up and mostly did not notice them. Some of the local media have another agenda.

Non locals might check with the latest Google Earth for the tram route. Non locals can also download the tram route data using overhead aerial images from http://www.goldlinq.com.au/the-route/stage-one/
  Glinklrvo Beginner

It's because it's so watched by the media that any news is news to publish really.

The thing with noise from the bridge is that on a windless night the sound would travel up nerang river to all of the up market residences at paradise waters and when you have old people with a lot of money and nothing to do you would naturally get complaints.  The thing is the viaduct with the same plinth track design that crosses smith street is quite long aswell and is quite a short distance from the Griffith uni village but
You don't seem to hear any complaints coming from them now do you
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

Err, electrolysis, not hydrolysis Smile
This is the corrosion of metal pipes caused by stray currents from the return rail (tram and train) through the ground. Melbourne manages the problem with bonds connecting the affected pipes to the stray current via a resistor, and sacrificial anode metal which corrodes instead of the pipe.
Wongm has a summary in his blog here: http://wongm.com/2011/06/victorian-electrolysis-committee/
In the Gold Coast, as I understand, they have chosen to fully insulate the return rail from the ground, instead of managing the electrolysis.

Also, yes, I was referring to the Nerang River tram bridge.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Those with hand help GPS devices should leave them on for the trip as the resulting trace from some brands can be plugged into Google Earth. Only problem is a short loss of satellites in the hospital tunnel, but apart from that, the complete route has good satellite reception. We found our speed readout enroute was within one KMH of the clearly seen driver's speedo. If you sit on the window end of the front seat you can see the speedo.
  Dazzagc Station Master

Today a stage 2 extension is now released of show off video! comes with 3 station, start from GCUH station to Helensvale via smith motorway on the north side, also on the east side of heavy rail's side.

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/exclusive-state-government-releases-light-rail-extension-proposal-and-opens-expression-of-interest/story-fnj94idh-1227471715452

see the video on the bottom right on the pictures Smile
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
The VIDEO is interesting and the project looks good. (Although it appears to be at least partly a political beat up by the state government so they can give the feds a hard time if they refuse to pay for it.).

But at the far end, the tram line runs right next to the train line through open paddocks between Parkwood and Helensvale stations.

Why is this last bit necessary? It appears to just duplicate the existing suburban train line through an uninhabited area. I'm a Victorian, so I don't know the area terribly well, but this last section looks unnecessarily expensive and quite wasteful to me. Question
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
To my knowledge there is no station at Parkwood, so that last line but would provide training connections at Helensvale as opposed to building a whole new station.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
The area alongside the eastern side of the high way between Helensvale and Smith St is bordered by the Gold Coast Country Club and then a light industrial area. The residential development towards Napper Road will eventually encroach right up to the eastern edge boundary of the corridor. It is amazing how that whole area is being built up.

There was a proposal to build a heavy rail station at Parkwood along with a stub loop to the uni campus, which would have been operationally difficult to run. This light rail with a terminus at Helensvale makes that unnecessary.

A new greenfields heavy rail station would be at least twenty to thirty million to construct. But it is all in the timing: the current urgency relates to construction time necessary to make it ready by the C'Wealth games in 2018. Media coverage is saying a decision is needed 'soon' to enable completion by then. But the politics of the whole situation - with the five Gold Coast state political seats currently held by the Conservatives in opposition - means the State government can hang them out to dry as long as deemed preferable/necessary, with all blame sheeted home to the previous LNP government for not making the decision.
  Draffa Chief Commissioner

But at the far end, the tram line runs right next to the train line through open paddocks between Parkwood and Helensvale stations.

Why is this last bit necessary? It appears to just duplicate the existing suburban train line through an uninhabited area. I'm a Victorian, so I don't know the area terribly well, but this last section looks unnecessarily expensive and quite wasteful to me. Question
Bogong
It won't be open paddocks forever.
That run north of the Uni is going to be a racetrack. Smile
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

It's turned into a fully blown political football match between Annastacia and Tony:
https://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/a/29476975/light-rail-funds-has-qld-premier-seething/
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
The pressure is still on to get federal funds:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/trad-gives-turnbull-government-seven-days-to-agree-on-gold-coast-light-rail-20150921-gjrbff.html

Riddle me this: if it's 700 million (give or take) for a mere seven ks of light rail, why bother? Why not think laterally?

Run the light rail  to a new station near the Smith St exit. A new station and surrounds would be at least fifty million, including road access and all facilities.

At maybe half the distance the cost would still save three hundred million or so than running the trams all the way to Helensvale, alongside the train line.
  Dazzagc Station Master

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