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.

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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.

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