Tram square speed restrictions

  Djebel Train Controller

Aided and abetted by beer, a question arose while I was browsing the various threads on here.

Do tram square speed restrictions apply to trains that don't have pantographs?  For example, do the Long Island steel trains face a speed restriction when crossing the tram square at Glenhuntly?

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  hbedriver Deputy Commissioner

The issue is not so much the overhead line wiring as the track. Tram wheels are very different profile to rail wheels, and cannot comfortably cope with large gaps, so the rail wheel is ramped up so it rides on the flange instead of the tyre.

The whole square arrangement takes an awful lot of pounding, and is high maintenance. Inspection of these squares reveal broken rails and rough weld repairs. The “normal “ speed design is 30kmh, but rare to see this for long before long term speed restrictions apply.

One engineer got praised and promoted for his re-design of the square at Glenhuntly; that one was really smooth for the first two weeks, then seemed as bad as any of the others.

At least level crossing removals fix these, one of the few real benefits to rail operations.
  Djebel Train Controller

Thank you for that.  It was basically my question: is the speed restriction track or OLE based?
  historian Chief Commissioner

The tram square at Glenhuntly is buggered - which may have been a small factor in doing the grade separation.

From a post on Twitter:

The tram track runs from right to left; the ends of the rails are not supposed to be sticking about 3 to 6 cm in the air.

The railway rails are continuous through the crossing. The tram rails are consequently cut into short sections to fit in the five foot and six foot. This is the westbound tram track and trams cross the railway from right to left. I suspect that the impact of trams (especially their unsprung weight of wheelset and motor) coming off the crossing off the picture to the right has, over time, forced down that end of the short section of rail and this end up. The eastbound track is similar, but not as bad, and a mirror image.

The drops certainly cause trams to bang and bounce their way across the crossing, and it wouldn't take much to cause a derailment.

There is also what looks (and sounds) like a complete vertical crack through one of the rails in the Up (rail) line. If you listen carefully as an Up train goes over the crossing there is an almighty bang as each wheelset goes over a point about a metre before the crossing.

The crossing as a whole is coming up for its 10 year birthday, so it hasn't done badly.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
I bet 7 News would love that story...

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