Ad Met goings on -

 
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Disappointing experience on the Obahn the other day; none of the outbound screens were working at Klemzig or Paradise (what's the point of having them?) and I only realised at the last moment that the bus I was on didn't go straight to TTP and swapped. Also the noise at speed on the articulated buses is really unimpressive - on the standard single section buses I noticed things are fine but for some reason the vibration on the artics when going up the hills in particular is very strong.

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  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
The old high floor buses had modified axles to ensure a smooth ride along the track. The fleet that operates along the O'bahn today is just rubbish purchased at the cheapest price that was available as a result of the tender, and they have had no such modifications. Quite a few accessible bus chassis types have been trialed on the O'bahn, and the government for some reason seemed to just basically give up and order off the shelf vehicles.

In the last 8-9 years, they have been subjected to many engine/diff/gearbox issues and there have been at least 2 in the last 3 years that I have personally observed as being unsuitable for use due to issues with the rear axles, and vibrations from the gearbox. Also, quite a few O'bahn buses have developed severe axle wear.

A rumour I heard indicated that it could be one reason why Broadspectrum left the scene very recently, as they were losing a lot of money due to the cost of repairs to the existing O'bahn fleet.

One common cause of excessive noise from inside the vehicle are the differentials. At least one bus has even had a computer failure or something wrong with the electronics (recently), leaving the bus to remain stranded with no way out for the innocent paying passengers. Several have caught fire with passengers aboard, which has on at least two occasions sent the respective vehicles into very early retirement.

All of this will inevitably reoccur over the years to come if the current fleet remains operational without any modifications.

I know this is going off topic, but it should answer your question.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The old high floor buses had modified axles to ensure a smooth ride along the track. The fleet that operates along the O'bahn today is just rubbish purchased at the cheapest price that was available as a result of the tender, and they have had no such modifications. Quite a few accessible bus chassis types have been trialed on the O'bahn, and the government for some reason seemed to just basically give up and order off the shelf vehicles.

In the last 8-9 years, they have been subjected to many engine/diff/gearbox issues and there have been at least 2 in the last 3 years that I have personally observed as being unsuitable for use due to issues with the rear axles, and vibrations from the gearbox. Also, quite a few O'bahn buses have developed severe axle wear.

...
ARG706
Thanks for a detailed explanation. Going up hills in the back of an articulated bus its almost impossible to speak to the person next to you - the noise is terrible. I have commented before that it sounds like corrugation on the tracks but as you say its actually the fact that these buses are not specifically engineered for the Obahn.

As an aside I noticed today (in the pouring rain) that the South Road Torrens to Torrens project is looking close to done; apparently opening in two months time. I for one am looking forward to it as a regular user of Sth Rd.
  normangerman Junior Train Controller

A few photos from today














Remnants of the old pedestrian subway from the old station
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Thanks for the photos - took me a moment to work out that it was the Oaklands level crossing removal!

Drove the Port Expressway today and interesting to see how far they've come with the Northern Connector - they're getting close to putting bridge beams in and most of the excavation for the interchange appears to have been done.
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
Thanks for a detailed explanation. Going up hills in the back of an articulated bus its almost impossible to speak to the person next to you - the noise is terrible. I have commented before that it sounds like corrugation on the tracks but as you say its actually the fact that these buses are not specifically engineered for the Obahn.
don_dunstan

If you put in a complaint about the noise, then the company will be forced to look into and respond to it. This doesn't mean that the cause will be rectified, but if enough complaints go through and get looked at, it may get media attention and hence force the mechanics to fix it.

I don't recommend catching any of the articulated buses along the O'bahn though, due to the potential safety risks.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Thanks for a detailed explanation. Going up hills in the back of an articulated bus its almost impossible to speak to the person next to you - the noise is terrible. I have commented before that it sounds like corrugation on the tracks but as you say its actually the fact that these buses are not specifically engineered for the Obahn.

If you put in a complaint about the noise, then the company will be forced to look into and respond to it. This doesn't mean that the cause will be rectified, but if enough complaints go through and get looked at, it may get media attention and hence force the mechanics to fix it.

I don't recommend catching any of the articulated buses along the O'bahn though, due to the potential safety risks.
ARG706
Hmm... would you care to elaborate?
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
Hmm... would you care to elaborate?
don_dunstan

It's simple. It's like a heavy vehicle operating at an RPM that is well above the safe rpm on the tachometer. This ideology refers to the state that the O'bahn fleet has gotten to as a result of almost substandard design in more than one way.

Whilst I do not wish to badmouth the manufacturer, the O'bahn would have been better off with 1960s Daimlers than these death traps.

Imagine the following situation:

A bus starts bursting out flames, but at the same time the electronics fail. It is a full standing crush load, so very little maneuverability. It is essentially the same scenario as something that was reported through FB or somewhere else recently where passengers were trapped in a bus for over 40 minutes or something for the above reason. It is due to the way the vehicle is assembled, and there is no backup method for escape. I haven't heard the full details of what occurred in the recent situation, but it wasn't pleasant for the passengers.

So essentially the passengers are trapped in a small box with no way out whatsoever, excluding physically smashing the windows. The media finds out about it, patronage levels drop for a bit, and then not long after, back to the status quo.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Thanks for an interesting comment; had occurred to me before that the Obahn is terrible in terms of evacuation points in the event of an emergency, particularly bad at some points along the route where the ground might be a long way down from the level of the track. What are you supposed to do, wait for the fire brigade to come and get you or jump and hope you don't break your leg?

Certainly don't recall the original Mercedes Obahn buses having anything near the same problems with vibration but then as you say they were custom-engineered for the track.
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

ARG706's explanation also explains why O-Bahn's went out of favour , namely the modifications required to an off the shelf bus chassis that over time resulted in higher first cost and higher maintenance.

Therefore one alternative is to construct a bus only road to mimic the advantages the the O-Bahn provides, being a dedicated bus only route specifically designed to expedite individual buses over a multi bus route corridor.

The downside of this is the very few cities have a suitable corridor, Adelaide being one of the few who do. Thank you for the detailed explanations,

Regards, Radioman.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Not sure if anyone has already posted this but the complete Gawler electrification has now been funded by both state and Commonwealth governments: Barossa Herald -

Stage Two will electrify the remainder of the line from Salisbury to Gawler, install a new signalling system, build a new electricity feeder station at Kilburn, and purchase new electric rail cars.

The State Labor Government committed $242.5m towards Stage Two while they were in power in 2017, subject to the Federal Government providing the remaining $220 million.

Light MP Tony Piccolo told the Barossa Herald that the federal funding was a long-time coming and the business case had eventually stacked up.

Good to hear its going to be completed all the way to Gawler now.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I reported the Stage 2 funding three pages back.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I reported the Stage 2 funding three pages back.
justapassenger
Didn't see that sorry.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

No probs. There isn't really anything much in the way of information on the Stage 2 work to be discussed yet.

Still no news on either of the two dormant rail-related projects in Adelaide - Flinders Link and the new station access bridge at Goodwood.

You might be interested to know that the T2T section of the North-South Motorway has had its projected opening date pushed back to the second weekend of October. The next layer of bitumen was being applied on the northbound lanes when I went over there today. They are doing a proper multi-layer surface with proper curing time allowed between each layer, and the result of taking that extra time (generally only available when building a new road) will be the second-best tarmac surface in the state behind only the track at The Bend Motorsport Park.

The Darlington project will have a significant milestone on Friday night when the second of three bridges built off-site will be rolled down the hill to be installed at the Darlington end where it will eventually serve as the onramp carrying northbound traffic from Main South Road onto the North-South Motorway. Building of the third one (carrying northbound traffic exiting Main South Road and the North-South Motorway over to Ayliffes Road) is well underway, and is visible from above if you're coming down Shepherds Hill Road.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
For the second time in recent weeks someone drove onto the OBahn - (ABC);

The Volkswagen Golf became stuck on the guided busway at Darley Road, just north of Paradise Interchange, about 4:00am.

A tow truck removed the hatchback about 7:20am.

Bus services resumed about 8:00am after using regular roads instead of the O-Bahn for more than two hours, causing traffic issues as hundreds of extra buses took to North East Road.


All those buses on North East Road must have been making peak hour unbearable for motorists!
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

They dodged a bullet (or got lightly grazed by it) if they were able to get it going again by 8am.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Wasn't able to post the story as it was "subscriber content" but the Marshall government is apparently investigating tunnels to complete the South Road project south of the Torrens and ultimately towards Tonsley where the new overpasses etc are currently being completed as justapassenger mentioned earlier. I would imagine that they'd be looking at some kind of cut and cover? Bored tunnels would be much more expensive, wouldn't they.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

For sure.

I suspect that the intention of the Marshall government will be to find out it is too expensive and to leave solving it for another day.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
For sure.

I suspect that the intention of the Marshall government will be to find out it is too expensive and to leave solving it for another day.
justapassenger
Cut and cover would be the cheapest way to go but the issue on South Road is that you'd have to probably close it completely for months on end while the trenches are dug and a new road built on the top. The alternative which I believe has been explored previously by Weatherill was the construction of a long roadway on pylons but people go crook about the visual impact. My guess is that this method (elevated roadway) would probably be cheapest of all though.

Bored tunnels will cost big $$$ and I really don't think Marshall will want to go that way when they find out the cost.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Cut and cover would be the cheapest way to go but the issue on South Road is that you'd have to probably close it completely for months on end while the trenches are dug and a new road built on the top.
don_dunstan
Big problem there.

The Marshall regime is a PR operation, not a government. They would balk at doing that.

There's also the Not Invented Here factor - Weatherill has done trenched roads twice and Marshall would not want his dynamic thrusting government to be seen to be copying a socialist.

The alternative which I believe has been explored previously by Weatherill was the construction of a long roadway on pylons but people go crook about the visual impact. My guess is that this method (elevated roadway) would probably be cheapest of all though.
don_dunstan
It would be the best option overall, whether for the full distance from Tonsley to Thebarton or for two segments of St Marys to Black Forest (passing over Daws Rd, the messy Edwardstown bit, Cross Road and the Seaford line) and then Marleston to Thebarton (passing over Richmond Rd, James Congdon Dr, Sir Donald Bradman Dr, Henley Beach Rd, Ashwin Pde) with the section in between being at surface level apart from dipping under Anzac Highway using the existing underpass.

Not Invented Here also applies to this one, as Rann built the South Road Superway.

Bored tunnels will cost big $$$ and I really don't think Marshall will want to go that way when they find out the cost.
don_dunstan
That's why he's talking about it. He can then back away from it on the grounds of cost, and leave it for the next ALP government to deal with.

As yet there is no announcement on the DPTI Darlington Upgrade website.  Normally there has been timely notice of significant road closures or changes to road layouts on the website.  However yesterday work was certainly taking place on the dollies which are in place under the bridge span.
62430
It's been in big bold letters on the project homepage and signposted locally for a couple of weeks, and there have been multiple posts on all the DPTI social media channels. You might want to Ctrl+F5 refresh the page to clear any previous cached files.

  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It would be the best option overall, whether for the full distance from Tonsley to Thebarton or for two segments of St Marys to Black Forest (passing over Daws Rd, the messy Edwardstown bit, Cross Road and the Seaford line) and then Marleston to Thebarton (passing over Richmond Rd, James Congdon Dr, Sir Donald Bradman Dr, Henley Beach Rd, Ashwin Pde) with the section in between being at surface level apart from dipping under Anzac Highway using the existing underpass.

Not Invented Here also applies to this one, as Rann built the South Road Superway.
justapassenger
At the very least they should consider pylons from Edwardstown all the way to Darlington - it's mostly commercial areas all the way along that part of South Road; perhaps going onto pylons after the tram overpass over all those congested bits at the Seaford line and keeping as slip-roads those areas around Castle-Plaza etc without too much interruption to the businesses or too many acquisitions under the new expressway. I also feel that pylons despite their overall visual impact are a better use of land, there was a lot of land acquired on Torrens to Torrens that they really didn't seem to end up using in addition to the huge areas taken up by the new slip roads (in addition to the new trenched road). Putting an expressway on pylons would be the most efficient use of land and lead to a better long-term outcome IMO.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Some other bright spark drove onto the OBahn yesterday at Klemzig but then managed to reverse off again without incident. Seems to be that we have a wave of these incidents every few years!
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

It's impossible to know how often it happens, remember this is a one paper town so we only find out if Rupert chooses to let us find out.
  62430 Chief Train Controller

Location: Metro Adelaide


As yet there is no announcement on the DPTI Darlington Upgrade website.  Normally there has been timely notice of significant road closures or changes to road layouts on the website.  However yesterday work was certainly taking place on the dollies which are in place under the bridge span.
It's been in big bold letters on the project homepage and signposted locally for a couple of weeks, and there have been multiple posts on all the DPTI social media channels. You might want to Ctrl+F5 refresh the page to clear any previous cached files.

justapassenger
Shortly after posting yesterday I discovered the notice of works on the homepage and accordingly deleted my post.  I had looked on several occasions at the Current Works and Upcoming Activities page and found that the last item was from July 2018.  On the homepage this weekend's works are buried below the project overview, a project interactive map (which needs updating) and a set of navigational icons.

This morning a notice has been posted on the homepage about changes next month at the Ayliffes Rd junction to allow the lowered roadway to be constucted northwards towards Tonsley Boulevard.  See https://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/489005/Darlington_Upgrade_Project_Traffic_Switch_Tonsley_Boulevard_to_Ayliffes_August_2018.pdf
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
With the T2T to Darlington section they have really missed the bus with one huge opportunity. The Seaford Line could have been Cut and Covered between Emerson and Tonsley to allow the expressway to be built on top creating a "Transport Corridor" when the Seaford (then Noarlunga) Line was relaid. I mentioned this at the time to a DPTI Projects Boffin at the time but was told that it would cost too much. I countered with an observation that there would not be the huge acquisition costs of building along the South Rd position. However, now that we have a Liberal Government in place, this might be a possible goer as an argument between Libs and Labor has been the position of this corridor with the MATS Plan having the corridor "mid block".

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