Two NSW bureaucrats spend $200K to meet contractors in Europe building light rail system

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 14 Feb 2018 13:18
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Really?  Would have been cheaper to fly to Melbourne and see how we build them down here.

Two NSW bureaucrats spend $200K to meet contractors in Europe building light rail system

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  Matthew Train Controller

Really?  Would have been cheaper to fly to Melbourne and see how we build them down here.

Two NSW bureaucrats spend $200K to meet contractors in Europe building light rail system
bevans

Nope - TfNSW project managers have made it quite clear they are building a 'modern light rail' system and Melbourne has those old fashioned tram things so there is nothing to learn from Melbourne.

They actually said this to a room full of engineers at the presentation I went to. The audience was remarkably restrained Smile
  apw5910 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Really?  Would have been cheaper to fly to Melbourne and see how we build them down here.

Two NSW bureaucrats spend $200K to meet contractors in Europe building light rail system
bevans
In the 1930's Jack Lang said you could have had all that guff for the price of a postage stamp, when his heads of departments raved about attending conferences overseas. And now we have the internet...
  kitchgp Chief Train Controller

I doubt Melbourne much cares. Given the project here is well advanced in construction and the equipment finalised, what are they inspecting overseas?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
I doubt Melbourne much cares. Given the project here is well advanced in construction and the equipment finalised, what are they inspecting overseas?
kitchgp
Nothing I suspect. Probably taking a very expensive holiday.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I really don't see the point of them going over to europe aside from checking out how the french made rolling stock is going. I am not sure why they have to get treated so lavishly at our expense as well. Just put them up in a budget motel should be all that they need.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Really?  Would have been cheaper to fly to Melbourne and see how we build them down here.

Two NSW bureaucrats spend $200K to meet contractors in Europe building light rail system

Nope - TfNSW project managers have made it quite clear they are building a 'modern light rail' system and Melbourne has those old fashioned tram things so there is nothing to learn from Melbourne.

They actually said this to a room full of engineers at the presentation I went to. The audience was remarkably restrained Smile
Matthew
Well go to the Gold Coast then? Seriously they have a modern light rail system.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I really don't see the point of them going over to europe aside from checking out how the french made rolling stock is going. I am not sure why they have to get treated so lavishly at our expense as well. Just put them up in a budget motel should be all that they need.
simstrain
I think it's called a "Junket" and our political rule of thumb is a "junket" is an overseas trip, not a domestic one
.
After all some things just can't achieve on the telephone or a video link can they? Rolling Eyes
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

With reckless spending like that on these two NSW bureaucrats. I really don't want to hear the NSW government complaining about not being able to give train drivers a pay rise unless they believe that these 2 are more worthy then our train drivers.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Melbourne doesn't have a proper light rail system, I think they were better off going to Europe for ideas.

When tram stops are sometimes closer together than the two cabs of an E class tram, when we let cars have priority at level crossings (e.g. 96/109 "light rail", compared to otherwise identical heavy rail level crossings) as well as letting cars stop in the right hand lane on top of the tram tracks so they they can turn right (because hook turns haven't been enforced outside the CBD in sixty years aside from about two locations), and when trams are up to half an hour apart off-peak, we don't have a light rail service at all. Half of the tram network doesn't even go further out than 5-10 kilometres from the city, mostly terminating in the middle of nowhere decades after suburban sprawl has moved well and truly beyond the end of the tram lines, forcing everyone onto buses because there is no other alternative. We have nothing more than an old-fashioned tram network designed for an old-fashioned city where sprawl and population growth was never considered.
  Matthew Train Controller

Melbourne doesn't have a proper light rail system, I think they were better off going to Europe for ideas.

When tram stops are sometimes closer together than the two cabs of an E class tram, when we let cars have priority at level crossings (e.g. 96/109 "light rail", compared to otherwise identical heavy rail level crossings)
Heihachi_73

Melbourne is right up there with the best in the world. Sure they have problems, but every operation has problems., especially ones that are old like Melbourne. Melbourne can renew and build the track at a speed most operations only dream of.
Sydney just took 2 x 4 week closedowns of the existing light rail to rebuild one intersection. Melbourne would have done that in a week, maybe two. And the 'complex' preparation would have been done around the running service to minimise the time needed for actual route closure.

They manage a complex network and mostly get it to work - including a pile of historical constraints by mixed running.

Sydney isn't without stupid stop spacing either - the distance between the Town Hall and QVB stops is about 230m. The trams will be running in 67m long coupled sets. The stops are 3 car lengths apart. Yet further down the hill, a stop was deleted due to the grade and the apparent difficulty of providing disabled access on a sloping platform. (No one mentions how said disabled people are supposed to get to the next nearest stop - a long run up a sloping footpath!)


And as for intersections, today's SMH has an article on the cumulative delays due to traffic lights on the new line - 7-9 minutes from Kensington to Circular Quay. If they implemented priority for the trams, the 8-minute saving would allow an extra service to run without needing extra equipment, but traffic management in NSW (and Australia in general) prioritises the number of vehicles through intersections not the number of people. Many schemes in Sydney have tried to implement bus priority and bus light preemption but the roads people have always pushed back and even when considerable money was spent on equipment (transponders and the like), never allowed to go into 'production' by the road department as it might delay single occupant cars and lower the total number of vehicles through intersections even though by prioritising the buses, the number of people through the intersection would increase.

They can study all the European systems they like - but the new French systems, while they look pretty, are not examples of tight running. I doubt they went somewhere with a legacy network like Melbourne and looked at how they solved problems and got their running times down.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Sydney just took 2 x 4 week closedowns of the existing light rail to rebuild one intersection. Melbourne would have done that in a week, maybe two. And the 'complex' preparation would have been done around the running service to minimise the time needed for actual route closure.
Matthew

Again with this crap.

The first shut down was for the complex preparation. Identifying and moving electricity, communication, water, gas, sewerage and other active and old and unused infrastructure from colonial times that lay underneath Sydney streets. Lets not also forget the old and rotted nearly 60 year old tram tracks which had to be removed as well. Nothing in Melbourne is even remotely comparable to what is happening in Sydney.

The second shutdown was for the new light rail intersection and in case you hadn't noticed the Sydney system is being laid to a much higher quality then what you have in Melbourne or anywhere else in this country. Fully leveled and rubber encased to reduce vibrations. Sydney light rail also had the luxury of not having to rush the construction of the intersection to make sure it is done right.

Back to the topic of this thread, my problem with these 2 bureaucrats is the fact that Alstom should be bringing this knowledge to Australia and there should be no reason for 200k to be spent on useless fact finding trips which in reality is nothing more then a holiday for these 2.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Melbourne has old and rotted 60-year-old tram tracks too, I rattle over them on a daily basis and the ancient welds between the rails dip up to 2 centimetres in some cases (e.g. Burwood to Camberwell on the 75, and most of route 16, the latter being notable for also having one of three tram-train level crossings, which is the roughest part of the trip by far). Good thing the Comeng (Z/A/B) trams are tough, if they ran a plastic fantastic Citadis on the 75 or 16 I'm sure it would disintegrate after a year or two! Our Combino trams (which also run on the 16) had to be reinforced due to cracking at the seams on Melbourne's goat track of a network.
  kitchgp Chief Train Controller

Wouldn’t the Inner West Light Rail do? $20,000 per one-week trip for two singles seems excessive. 10 such trips over 18 months also seems excessive. But those sort of costs are easily hidden when you have four different systems, ie IWLR, CSELR, Newcastle & Parramatta.
  nswtrains Deputy Commissioner

Wouldn’t the Inner West Light Rail do? $20,000 per one-week trip for two singles seems excessive. 10 such trips over 18 months also seems excessive. But those sort of costs are easily hidden when you have four different systems, ie IWLR, CSELR, Newcastle & Parramatta.
kitchgp
$200K is chicken feed in the overall picture and not worth making a fuss about. More would be spent on photo copy paper in a year.
  kitchgp Chief Train Controller

I guess it depends on one’s perspective. To the upper-echelon, used to dealing in tens of millions, it would seem a paltry amount (pun intended) whereas the average poultry farmer would be able to feed a lot of chickens with it and it would probably mean a profit over 2 – 3 years rather than a loss.

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