Newcastle light rail down Hunter St will be wireless

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 20 Apr 2017 10:14
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I like the idea of a wireless tram network meaning no overhead network fabulous for Newcastle.  This should also reduce the maintenance on the network as the overhead will not require management and renewal.

I wonder if the NSW Government or the company involved in the deployment have considered fuel cell technology?

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-16851

Newcastle light rail down Hunter St will be wireless

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  apw5910 Chief Train Controller

Location: Location: Location.
Newcastle light rail down Hunter St will be wireless
bevans
I think it will also be tramless, run on rubber tyres and asphalt paving...
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I like the idea of a wireless tram network meaning no overhead network fabulous for Newcastle.  This should also reduce the maintenance on the network as the overhead will not require management and renewal.

I wonder if the NSW Government or the company involved in the deployment have considered fuel cell technology?

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-16851

Newcastle light rail down Hunter St will be wireless
"bevans"


Any part of a system relying on batteries in the tram itself will need to be fairly short as there is little room in a tram for large scale battery installation, yet the draw a substantial amount of power.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

This tram route is only going to be 2.6km's. More then short enough for the wire free operation.
  kitchgp Junior Train Controller



Newcastle light rail down Hunter St will be wireless
"bevans"



As posted elsewhere:
3 million kilometres???? It's only 17,000Km from Newcastle (NSW) to London.

Given that the Newcastle system will only be 2.7Km, this is hardly an indicator for future extensions (if they ever happen, which I doubt). What are these changes costing? Is this a hangover from April 1?
  X Class Locomotive Fireman

Going wireless is important for preserving the city's heritage the transport minister says.  If the city's heritage is worth preserving , then the heavy rail should have been kept in place.
  gordon_s1942 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Some time ago I saw a series of pictures taken in the UK of Trams using both overhead and inground pickups alternating between the 2 as required.
Some of the pictures showed the earthworks required to run the both the rails and the pickup trough and it is quite massive to say the least.
Unlike the electric trolley bus that uses long poles to make contact and allowed the Bus to move left and right of the catenary I cant see this being used for a ground pickup on a 'Tram' as the contact surface would need to be below ground level to prevent anyone coming in contact with it.
  Matthew Junior Train Controller

I like the idea of a wireless tram network meaning no overhead network fabulous for Newcastle.  This should also reduce the maintenance on the network as the overhead will not require management and renewal.
bevans
The trams will be significantly more expensive, and more expensive to run.

I've seen's CAF ACR system in operation in Seville in Spain. Great if you want your trams to run at little more than walking pace and spend 90 seconds at every station getting a 'top up charge', even if there is no one getting on or off at that station.

Admittedly the Seville operation is down a pedestrianised street and they will claim the slow speed is for 'safety', but trams run higher speeds down pedestrianised streets the world over.

CAF are also supplying battery trams to Kaohsiung in Taiwan. Not yet in commercial service. This will be the one to watch.

http://www.caf.net/en/productos-servicios/soluciones-integrales/casos-estudio/tranvia-kaohsiung.php

The reason Kaohsiung went 'wire free' is they get several typhoons a year and figured the extra cost of battery operation would be worth it against having to rebuilt the overhead several times a year.

Wirefree in Newcastle is just blowing out the cost of both the trams and the subsequent operation to stoke politicians egos.

Don't get the idea that wirefree is saving the 'cost of building and maintaining the overhead'. The trams cost more, cost more to run and maintain. The stations all need 'charging infrastructure' which will put very 'lumpy' loads on the power supply network which will probably need upgrading to cope with the peak loads. The electricity people will charge a premium for supply due to the sudden peaks in load.

The city of Nice even had two (Alstom) trams damaged when their battery packs caught on fire.They only have a short section where the trams cross a historic square 'wirefree'. Batteries need proper maintenance too.

Tramway overhead can be quite unobtrusive if done well and there is plenty of experience about for little maintenance overhead wires require.
  Matthew Junior Train Controller

I cant see this being used for a ground pickup on a 'Tram' as the contact surface would need to be below ground level to prevent anyone coming in contact with it.
gordon_s1942
Look up Alstom's 'APS' which is currently in operation in Bordeaux, Dubai, Rio and shortly Sydney.

There is effectively a 3rd rail down the middle of the tracks that supplies the power.

IMHO the main problem with it is once you install it, all future trams you buy have to come from Alstom. At least with battery trams charged from overhead, you can buy someone else's tram model when the time comes to replace/extend.
  kitchgp Junior Train Controller

There are plenty of examples of aesthetically pleasing centre-pole overhead wiring. For instance:

King William Street, Adelaide (modern):
https://railgallery.wongm.com/adelaide-trams/E104_7935.jpg.html

Dandenong Road, Melbourne (old-style):
http://www.railpage.org.au/pix/trams/W2.604.jpg

You can use Street View in Google Earth to view others such as Fitzroy Street, St Kilda or Burwood Highway, Burwood in Melbourne. I don't know Newcastle's old tram system, but if it had centre-poles these could have been used as a model.

It is interesting that NSW now has three different tram systems; for a total route distance of less than 30 km. Trams from one system can't operate on another, nor can heritage trams (leaving out the 600/750V problem). For example, it is not possible to borrow a couple of extra trams for special events such as the Supercars in Newcastle or run heritage trams between Circular Quay and Darling Harbour. So much for economies of scale. At least they're standard gauge.
  Matthew Junior Train Controller

For example, it is not possible to borrow a couple of extra trams for special events such as the Supercars in Newcastle
kitchgp

Having seen how expensive it is to move a 30m long tram on the back of a truck, rollingstock transfers between disconnected systems is not going to happen for short term loans even if they were 100% identical trams. Might worth the cost of a transfer if the tram was being loaned for 6months to cover heavy overhauls of the local fleet or something, but for a special event over a few days or even a week, the costs of moving make this pretty much a non starter.
Moving a 5 segment CAF Urbos 3 to Newcastle and back could cost a 6 figure sum. How many buses could you hire for a week for $100,000 ?
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
I like the idea of a wireless tram network meaning no overhead network fabulous for Newcastle.  This should also reduce the maintenance on the network as the overhead will not require management and renewal.

I wonder if the NSW Government or the company involved in the deployment have considered fuel cell technology?

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-16851

Newcastle light rail down Hunter St will be wireless


Any part of a system relying on batteries in the tram itself will need to be fairly short as there is little room in a tram for large scale battery installation, yet the draw a substantial amount of power.
In this day and age its not hard for a tram to have at least 1km of low speed operation on a battery
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
I cant see this being used for a ground pickup on a 'Tram' as the contact surface would need to be below ground level to prevent anyone coming in contact with it.
Look up Alstom's 'APS' which is currently in operation in Bordeaux, Dubai, Rio and shortly Sydney.

There is effectively a 3rd rail down the middle of the tracks that supplies the power.

IMHO the main problem with it is once you install it, all future trams you buy have to come from Alstom. At least with battery trams charged from overhead, you can buy someone else's tram model when the time comes to replace/extend.
Matthew
I watched the Dubai one being built outside my building and even the viaduct is wireless, the whole line is apart from the yard where they have O/H and the trams have a pano for use in the yard only.

As they have to dig up the road to move services and lay track, the power cables get installed then.

The 3rd rail is only live for short section less than a tram length long. It get energised only as the tram passes over it. Dubai is obviously very sandy and they system after 3 years of operation over 13km of track seems to be robust. While rain is rare, flooding storms are usually once or twice a year.  

The issue with this technology is cost and until Dubai committed to it, it was unproven as the sole means of power for the whole "network". Earlier installations having had the ground contact sections later reduced due to poor reliability. The Gold Coast was supposed to be wireless but they bailed at the last minute.

Considering the size of Newcastle line phase 1 and likely limited extension options, wireless is a common sense approach to minimise the need to have to deal with O/H issues such as clearances. The trams such however have pano's for future use if extended to areas where O/H is not an issue and offer lower cost.
  kitchgp Junior Train Controller

Might worth the cost of a transfer if the tram was being loaned for 6months to cover heavy overhauls ......
"Matthew"


or, say, two trams colliding.

It's a measure of how costs are hidden in the privatised system when you have a total fleet of less than 50 trams (Newcastle 6?, CSELR 30, IWLR 12) consisting of 3 different types. Melbourne got stuck with an extra type (either C or D1, take your pick) as a result of the initial Yarra Trams/Swanston Trams privatisation fiasco.


PS: These trams don't need overhead wiring:
https://vicsig.net/index.php?page=trams&number=1042&class=-
  Matthew Junior Train Controller

I watched the Dubai one being built outside my building and even the viaduct is wireless, the whole line is apart from the yard where they have O/H and the trams have a pano for use in the yard only.
RTT_Rules

In Dubai, money is no object. They wanted hitech. They got it. Their trams have ATO as well, full speed supervsion and autobrake into the station (to ensure accurate stopping for the platform doors.





The issue with this technology is cost and until Dubai committed to it, it was unproven as the sole means of power for the whole "network". Earlier installations having had the ground contact sections later reduced due to poor reliability..
RTT_Rules

The track I inspected closely in Duabi shows signs of segments failing to turn off and the protection fuse blowing. It leaves a tell tail trace of carbon scoring on the safety segment.
The fitting of traction batteries allows the trams to get past a failed segment till the techs can get out there to look at it. This hides the problem better than the initial installation back in Bordeaux in France.

The real reliability figure of APS are a trade secret.

Also APS doesn't allow regeneration of braking energy to the line. The energy can only be saved if the trams have batteries (and the batteries are not already fully charged).



The trams such however have pano's for future use if extended to areas where O/H is not an issue and offer lower cost.
RTT_Rules


The Newcastle proposal is CAF ACR. The trams top up their battery charge at each stop by raising their pantograph to a short conductor rail above the track in the station. This makes all stops a minimum 90seconds long regardless of the passengers getting on or off.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Might worth the cost of a transfer if the tram was being loaned for 6months to cover heavy overhauls ......


or, say, two trams colliding.

It's a measure of how costs are hidden in the privatised system when you have a total fleet of less than 50 trams (Newcastle 6?, CSELR 30, IWLR 12) consisting of 3 different types. Melbourne got stuck with an extra type (either C or D1, take your pick) as a result of the initial Yarra Trams/Swanston Trams privatisation fiasco.


PS: These trams don't need overhead wiring:
https://vicsig.net/index.php?page=trams&number=1042&class=-
kitchgp
Think this is a bit short sighted.

CSELR will use a longer tram than the IWRL because the patronage is alot heavier. Newcastle is basically an island 200km north that has no need to be interchangeable with the Sydney CBD system and again designed for Newcastle, not Sydney and is a very short 2.7km line. They could almost get away with no providing seats.

Melbourne even before privatisation has a number of different models of trams.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
I watched the Dubai one being built outside my building and even the viaduct is wireless, the whole line is apart from the yard where they have O/H and the trams have a pano for use in the yard only.

In Dubai, money is no object. They wanted hitech. They got it. Their trams have ATO as well, full speed supervsion and autobrake into the station (to ensure accurate stopping for the platform doors.





The issue with this technology is cost and until Dubai committed to it, it was unproven as the sole means of power for the whole "network". Earlier installations having had the ground contact sections later reduced due to poor reliability..
The track I inspected closely in Duabi shows signs of segments failing to turn off and the protection fuse blowing. It leaves a tell tail trace of carbon scoring on the safety segment.
The fitting of traction batteries allows the trams to get past a failed segment till the techs can get out there to look at it. This hides the problem better than the initial installation back in Bordeaux in France.

The real reliability figure of APS are a trade secret.

Also APS doesn't allow regeneration of braking energy to the line. The energy can only be saved if the trams have batteries (and the batteries are not already fully charged).



The trams such however have pano's for future use if extended to areas where O/H is not an issue and offer lower cost.

The Newcastle proposal is CAF ACR. The trams top up their battery charge at each stop by raising their pantograph to a short conductor rail above the track in the station. This makes all stops a minimum 90seconds long regardless of the passengers getting on or off.
Matthew
"Money is not object in Dubai", complete rubbish. They operate to a budget like everyone else and unlike Australia and other western countries they do not have income tax, GST, corp tax etc to draw from. Everything must be funded by revenue. Yes one of the few trams in the world with platform doors due to the heat, so they need other systems to make it work. Also the legal system forces some of what you indicated.

Yes Dubai is very much about hi-tech as they feel it helps move them from an emerging to a developing economy and they like to show off and get noticed.

I'm sure like every system in the world its not perfect and has maintenance requirements. Makes sense to have battery back up for 3rd rail in ground to ensure 100% reliability of the system.

The trams in Dubai operate so slowly that for my mind regen is almost pointless but I'm sure always an option. I also struggle to see how you cannot regen into the line, but if you have a battery and you use this as both back up but acceleration boost then that works too. As trams run on DC and usually short sections of barely a few km and hence potentially no other tram is using the power, the on board battery would seem a better place to dump the energy. The computer can ensure than the battery is never 100%, thus enabling at least 1-2 regen's which will be used after the next stop.

The Newcastle option requiring a 90sec stop seems a bit dumb to me. Surely there are other ways such as short sections of inground 3rd rail at every stop or where practical including the stops.
  Matthew Junior Train Controller

The Newcastle option requiring a 90sec stop seems a bit dumb to me. Surely there are other ways such as short sections of inground 3rd rail at every stop or where practical including the stops.
RTT_Rules
Alstom offer a battery tram product that uses a variant of APS to charge the battery.
I suspect going forward Alstom will have more success with this variant than a 100% APS system as APS is expensive to build.

Has more or less the same problem time wise - the APS shoegear as to deploy, get enough charge to be worthwhile and retract again.

Bombardier is offering inductive charging. Has the advantage of no moving or wearing parts. Has the disadvantage of significantly lower power transfer efficiency.

One thing about all these 'wire free' options is they also have lower transfer efficiency than the humble overhead wire. For a given route profile, APS, battery and others all use more power to move the same tram and passengers the same distance.

I suspect battery / inductive charging may even be worse on a 'mine to user' basis than a good diesel bus.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
The Newcastle option requiring a 90sec stop seems a bit dumb to me. Surely there are other ways such as short sections of inground 3rd rail at every stop or where practical including the stops.
Alstom offer a battery tram product that uses a variant of APS to charge the battery.
I suspect going forward Alstom will have more success with this variant than a 100% APS system as APS is expensive to build.

Has more or less the same problem time wise - the APS shoegear as to deploy, get enough charge to be worthwhile and retract again.

Bombardier is offering inductive charging. Has the advantage of no moving or wearing parts. Has the disadvantage of significantly lower power transfer efficiency.

One thing about all these 'wire free' options is they also have lower transfer efficiency than the humble overhead wire. For a given route profile, APS, battery and others all use more power to move the same tram and passengers the same distance.

I suspect battery / inductive charging may even be worse on a 'mine to user' basis than a good diesel bus.
Matthew
Like many things in this world its gets down to cost vs need. The battery/induction maybe more suitable to locations where tram use is marginal and or stringing up O/H is not going to happen. I know in track 3rd rail is not cheap, but you have to dig up the road anyway.

Battery technology is getting cheaper all the time, so I suppose this could win out more frequently with time. Rail co-efficient of friction is pretty low and trams are not renown for their speed and hence air friction so with on board charging collecting the bulk of the braking energy you probably need to supply only 35 to 50% of the traction power overall.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

There are plenty of examples of aesthetically pleasing centre-pole overhead wiring. For instance:

King William Street, Adelaide (modern):
https://railgallery.wongm.com/adelaide-trams/E104_7935.jpg.html

Dandenong Road, Melbourne (old-style):
http://www.railpage.org.au/pix/trams/W2.604.jpg

You can use Street View in Google Earth to view others such as Fitzroy Street, St Kilda or Burwood Highway, Burwood in Melbourne. I don't know Newcastle's old tram system, but if it had centre-poles these could have been used as a model.

It is interesting that NSW now has three different tram systems; for a total route distance of less than 30 km. Trams from one system can't operate on another, nor can heritage trams (leaving out the 600/750V problem). For example, it is not possible to borrow a couple of extra trams for special events such as the Supercars in Newcastle or run heritage trams between Circular Quay and Darling Harbour. So much for economies of scale. At least they're standard gauge.
kitchgp

All of Sydney's new light rail vehicles will be 750vdc and have overhead with 1 section where a third rail is needed that could easily have a pole inserted if needed. Trams will be technically able to transfer from the IW to the CSELR but enough rolling stock is being ordered so that this will never need to happen outside of transfers for maintenance at lilyfield.

The Newcastle trams will be the same basic LR design with the exception of fast recharge points at stations instead of overhead wires along a measly 2.4km's of track. Not sure what your point is but there isn't enough room on the new Newcastle light rail line to need extra LR vehicles from Sydney, even for a special event that is going to fail.

Heritage trams don't matter because aside from the STM's scrubber they will never run on the Sydney light rail system and there was never any intention of that ever happening. If you want heritage trams then go to the tramway museum. Sydney is not Melbourne and looking back is not our thing.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
I was thinking at 2.4km it would have to be one of the world's shortest tram lines, but Gmunden in Austria is the world's shortest at 2.3km, however they plan to add another 230m.
With just 6 stops for Newcastle, they shouldn't need to recharge at each stop for 90sec. For 4 mid way stops that's 4min extra added to each direction. At 2.7km I would have expected a trip time of 8min, they are adding 4min more or 50%. Are they simply trying to pad out such a pathetically small line?

Surely for a 8min trip a big enough battery can be fitted, then recharge at the terminus. Maybe a recharge at one of the bigger midway stops?

I know they are looking to expand further but really.....
  tezza Chief Commissioner

It's induction charging for Newcastle at every stop, not raising a pantograph to the wire for a recharge. The time needed for induction charging will be 20 seconds per stop
  kitchgp Junior Train Controller


CSELR will use a longer tram than the IWRL because the patronage is alot heavier. Newcastle is basically an island 200km north that has no need to be interchangeable with the Sydney CBD system and again designed for Newcastle, not Sydney and is a very short 2.7km line. They could almost get away with no providing seats..
"RTT_Rules


The same model of tram is available in different sizes, eg D1 (3-section) and D2 (5-section) classes.


Melbourne even before privatisation has a number of different models of trams.
"RTT_Rules


The other classes were the result of evolution and the cycle of replacing older trams, whereas the C and D1 class were bought at the same time, by two different companies, Yarra Trams and M>Trams (nee Swanston), for the same purpose. Instead of buying 74 trams in one order, two smaller batches of 36 (C ) and 38 (D1) from different manufacturers, Alstom and Siemens respectively, were purchased. Apart from foregoing the savings of a larger initial order, Yarra Trams, now the sole operator, are stuck with the ongoing extra costs, eg maintaining a separate parts inventory and documentation, driver training, etc, of an additional unnecessary class.
  c3526blue Deputy Commissioner

Location: in the cuckoos nest
Whoops,

I misread the thread title as "Newcastle light rail down Hunter St will be useless"

My bad, LOL.

Quote:-

RTT_Rules

Newcastle is basically an island 200km north that has no need to be interchangeable with the Sydney CBD system and again designed for Newcastle, not Sydney and is a very short 2.7km line. They could almost get away with not providing seats...."

..........or trams!  MMLOL

Happy laughing (or should that be crying?),

John

PS; Another bad idea from a bad government.  Bring back Barry.  It has all been going downhill since he left with his bottle of Grange Hermitage.
  kitchgp Junior Train Controller

................
It is interesting that NSW now has three different tram systems; for a total route distance of less than 30 km. Trams from one system can't operate on another, nor can heritage trams (leaving out the 600/750V problem). For example, it is not possible to borrow a couple of extra trams for special events such as the Supercars in Newcastle or run heritage trams between Circular Quay and Darling Harbour. So much for economies of scale. At least they're standard gauge.
"kitchgp"

...........Trams will be technically able to transfer from the IW to the CSELR but enough rolling stock is being ordered so that this will never need to happen outside of transfers for maintenance at lilyfield.

The Newcastle trams will be the same basic LR design with the exception of fast recharge points at stations instead of overhead wires along a measly 2.4km's of track. Not sure what your point is but there isn't enough room on the new Newcastle light rail line to need extra LR vehicles from Sydney, even for a special event that is going to fail.................
"simstrain"


Might worth the cost of a transfer if the tram was being loaned for 6months to cover heavy overhauls ......
"Matthew"


or, say, two trams colliding.

It's a measure of how costs are hidden in the privatised system when you have a total fleet of less than 50 trams (Newcastle 6?, CSELR 30, IWLR 12) consisting of 3 different types.......
"kitchgp"

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