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TRAMS have been stopped from operating on wet city streets this morning because of fears they could run down pedestrians.
Tramline operator TransAdelaide has confirmed that the trams have been stopped before entering the CBD because they are unable to brake in slippery conditions.
Railpage Thread: Flexitys Stopped By Wet Weather (Trams and Light Rail)
Transport Department external relations manager Ross Stargatt said drizzling rain this morning, following a long dry spell, caused "wheel slippage" as oil and dirty residue on the tracks became wet.
"The safety precaution is there because we have got a lot more stops between Victoria Square and City West," Mr Stargatt said.
"If it's harder to stop you've got pedestrians, people potentially crossing the road, trams sometimes have to hit the brakes."
Services had been stopped between South Tce and City West, but not further down the line, because of concerns about pedestrians in the CBD and the ability of trams to stop before hitting anyone crossing the road, Mr Stargatt said.
A "test" shuttle tram will be run through the city and, if this is successful, trams are expected to be running again normally soon.
In the meantime, TransAdelaide is providing shuttle buses in place of the trams and is "sanding'" the slippery tracks .
Mr Stargatt said the problem had nothing to do with the braking systems on the trams.
Once told the stoppage was a safety precaution, passengers had been "reasonably understanding", he said.
As rain swept across the city this morning, commuters and Annesley College girls on a field trip were forced to get off at Victoria Square before shuttle buses could be arranged.
This morning, passengers on the packed tram that arrived at Victoria Square at 9.20am were told by the driver - who apologised profusely - that they would have to disembark at Victoria Square because there were "problems up-track".
Among the passengers was a class of young Annesley College students facing a long, wet walk as they were on their way to an ASSITEJ performance at the Playhouse. One of their teachers said it was the second time this had happened on a field trip this year.
On the previous service, passengers have told AdelaideNow the braking was notably jerky from Greenhill Rd to Victoria Square - it is understood the trams were experiencing braking problems on the wet track.
It is also understood the new Bombardier-class trams have previously had some problems with wheel slipping on the tracks during wet conditions.
(Source: AdelaideNow )
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