Sydney Light Rail Extension

 
  Silver S Set Junior Train Controller

I know they exist, but I think never for sydney

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  Silver S Set Junior Train Controller

I seem to be the only one who posts, but anyway, the overhead is installed viewed from Arlington. A hi-rail was driving rapidly, the track must be finished!
  TrainboyEH Locomotive Fireman

Location: Sydney
Yeah quite a lot of overhead has been installed recently, and the station at taverners Hill is coming along nicely ! Can't wait for a ride along the line on the Urbos 2 !
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Sabotage?  It was the first thing that occurred to me when I read of two major incidents so close together.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
I would hazard a guess that it is a combination of track condition, as well as the condition of the cars. Given the announcement that the ABB Variotrams are to be withdrawn with the introduction of the Urbos 2 cars, it would suggest that the cars are not in the best of condition, after some 15 years of service. Have any of these cars actually been overhauled since the service commenced?

Sydney Tramway Trivia: The dual derailments were described by Transdev as the first since the light rail commenced operation in 1997. That would mean that they would be the first tram derailments in Sydney since 19 February 1961, when R 1740 derailed in Moore Park while on a farewell tour one week before the closure of the original Sydney system.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
15 years is hardly geriatric for a tram - our Z1's here in Melbourne are generally about 40 years old and I regularly catch them.  Maintenance sounds like it could be an issue- but again, why retire trams that are relatively so young, is it because they want the new fleet to be all the same?
  Silver S Set Junior Train Controller

I don't think the variotrams will be withdrawn yet, just refurbished.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I don't think the variotrams will be withdrawn yet, just refurbished.
Silver S Set
That sounds more likely.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
Hopefully, that will prove to be the case - as it is, the fleet is just about fully utilised. It would seem that maintenance is an issue, as today's (15/10) Sydney Morning Herald reports that the relevant sections of track were recently re-railed, while the cars were last re-tyred some six months ago.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/new-track-blamed-for-derailing-trams-20131014-2vixg.html
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
I saw this in today's SMH:

A headline named desire

Your subeditors must be regretting it was the track and not the tyres held responsible for those light rail derailments. I can see the headline now: "A streetcar blames its tyres".

Garth Clarke
North Sydney


All together now - G - R - R - O - A - A - A - N - N ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
Finally, there is a date for the extension of Lilyfield light rail services to Dulwich Hill. Thursday, 27 March, 2014.

http://www.transportnsw.info/en/transport-status/news/2014/l...

This follows the pattern of the previous service openings to Wentworth Park and Lilyfield: Initial running-in, to make sure that all the bugs have been ironed out, followed by a "grand opening" a few weeks down the track.

I went down to Dulwich Hill last Saturday, to get a few shots of the pre-opening test runs. I saw & photographed Urbos2 cars 2110 & 2111 at Dulwich Grove, as well as Variotram 2104. It spent some time at the platform in both directions - the on-board personnel appeared to be checking clearances. So it would seem that the Variotrams may have a new lease on life.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
... So it would seem that the Variotrams may have a new lease on life.
Fred Scuttle

Rumour has it that every tram factory in the world has a long list of back orders and there's (allegedly) no extra capacity available. Thus several Australian cities have bought unwanted trams from European cities that have more than they need.

So if Sydney wants to extend it's sole tram line and not reduce frequencies, then you'll have to keep your old trams running for a while yet.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
Rumour has it that every tram factory in the world has a long list of back orders, there's (allegedly) no spare capacity and a long list of back orders. Thus several Australian cities have bought unwanted trams from European cities that have more than they need.

So if Sydney wants to extend it's sole tram line and not reduce frequencies, then you'll have to keep your old trams running for a while yet.
Bogong

Indeed - particularly as there will be another route added in due course - Circular Quay via George Street & Central Railway to Randwick via Surry Hills & Moore Park. As well as the Urbos cars for the Dulwich Hill extension (10 in all - 4 second-hand & 6 new), it has been projected that up to an additional 25 cars would be required for this new line. I note that the new E class cars are being built (mostly) in Melbourne - maybe Sydney could order some as a run-on from the Yarra Trams order for 50 cars?

I've got no doubt that the Variotrams will be running for a few years yet - especially if they're maintained well. Besides, when it comes to tram longevity, Sydney is well experienced - witness the O class! Laughing
  Silver S Set Junior Train Controller

Indeed - particularly as there will be another route added in due course - Circular Quay via George Street & Central Railway to Randwick via Surry Hills & Moore Park. As well as the Urbos cars for the Dulwich Hill extension (10 in all - 4 second-hand & 6 new), it has been projected that up to an additional 25 cars would be required for this new line. I note that the new E class cars are being built (mostly) in Melbourne - maybe Sydney could order some as a run-on from the Yarra Trams order for 50 cars?

I've got no doubt that the Variotrams will be running for a few years yet - especially if they're maintained well. Besides, when it comes to tram longevity, Sydney is well experienced - witness the O class! Laughing
Fred Scuttle

Now 106 years old, some still running in the STM.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
Yup - O 805 of 1908, on loan from Powerhouse, and O 1111 of 1912, both at SPER, Loftus, as well as 141s (ex O 1030 of 1911).

And let's not forget O 1187, also of 1912, at the Oregon Electric Railway Museum, Glenwood, Oregon, USA.

Will any of the modern trams of today survive as long?
  edison Chief Commissioner

Fair point, that there are several O class still running (don't forget the C class) at 100+ years old, but they have been out of revenue service for more than half their lives. Would they have survived if they had remained in service beyond 1960?

Regards

Edison
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
It's not unprecedented - Adelaide's H class probably hold the record for length of service at 70+ years. The only reason they won't run them any longer is some silly nanny state worries about opening windows.

Regarding Melbourne's E-class they may have loading gauge issues that might affect them in Sydney but I'm sure a special order could be done.
  matthewg Train Controller

Regarding Melbourne's E-class they may have loading gauge issues that might affect them in Sydney but I'm sure a special order could be done.
don_dunstan


The Vario's which the system was design along are very wide, but the sections are relatively short. It's going to come down to the swept path of the much longer segments of an E class.

The moment you change the body profile, the cost advantage of 'tacking on to some one else's order' is lost. This is why Adelaide now has 2.4m wide trams instead of 2.6. They got those Felixty trams for a good price as they are basically the Frankfurt tram with a different paint job. The factory just kept going with the same line as they had used for Frankfurt. The only reason the few remaining H class can run is they moved certain items of equipment inwards slightly so they could clear platforms built for the 2.4m wide low floors.

The Dulwich Hill line probably won't need more than the current CAF trams on order. Remember they ordered another 6 on top of the initial 6, so there will be 12 of those Urbos 3. While the order of an additional 6 was supposed to allow them to retire the 7 Vario's instead of refurbishing them, if passenger demand holds up, some or all of the Vario's might stay. (And when the public get wind of how many more seats the old trams have over the new ones....)

While I don't know what the gearboxes and motors are like, body and interior wise, the Vario's are still in pretty good nick. The only glaringly obvious issue from the 'outside' is many of the desto roll mechanism are now broken.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW

The Dulwich Hill line probably won't need more than the current CAF trams on order. Remember they ordered another 6 on top of the initial 6, so there will be 12 of those Urbos 3. While the order of an additional 6 was supposed to allow them to retire the 7 Vario's instead of refurbishing them, if passenger demand holds up, some or all of the Vario's might stay. (And when the public get wind of how many more seats the old trams have over the new ones....)

While I don't know what the gearboxes and motors are like, body and interior wise, the Vario's are still in pretty good nick. The only glaringly obvious issue from the 'outside' is many of the desto roll mechanism are now broken.
matthewg

I've noticed that of late, with the Variotram destination boxes. For example, on Saturday (5/4) afternoon, I saw 2105 in passenger service at Capitol Square displaying "SPECIAL" at both ends. However, I have noticed that 2107 (in green Paddy's Market AOA) is now trialling an electronic display.

As to utilization of the Vario's, I've been told by a couple of people that Vario 2106 has been out of service for some time now - indeed, it has been alleged that it has been stripped to keep the other cars on the road. Can anyone verify this?
  matthewg Train Controller

As to utilization of the Vario's, I've been told by a couple of people that Vario 2106 has been out of service for some time now - indeed, it has been alleged that it has been stripped to keep the other cars on the road. Can anyone verify this?
Fred Scuttle

That's the only one I haven't seen recently, so possibly yes.

There was one out of service for some time as they didn't need the whole fleet to run the service, but I couldn't say if it was repaired prior to Dulwich Hill to make up the numbers. All the Varios got new wheels recently and it could have been repaired then, while all the trucks were being cycled through the workshop for new wheels.
I guess it depends on what parts were nicked from it.
  M636C Minister for Railways

I've noticed that of late, with the Variotram destination boxes. For example, on Saturday (5/4) afternoon, I saw 2105 in passenger service at Capitol Square displaying "SPECIAL" at both ends. However, I have noticed that 2107 (in green Paddy's Market AOA) is now trialling an electronic display.

As to utilization of the Vario's, I've been told by a couple of people that Vario 2106 has been out of service for some time now - indeed, it has been alleged that it has been stripped to keep the other cars on the road. Can anyone verify this?
Fred Scuttle


I spent a couple of hours on the line on Sunday.

All the Variotrams had a new, very bright white electronic destination indicator. These showed either "Central" or "Dulwich Hill" in upper case lettering. In one case a car showed "Dulwich Hill" on the rear heading for Central. The Urbos 2 indicators were dull orange LEDs barely visible on an overcast day.

I recall seeing 2106 sitting outside the depot in Darling Harbour last November looking as though it hadn't run in a long time. There were four Urbos 3 cars in there on Sunday. There is a new storage enclosure at Lilyfield.

I rode out to Dulwich Hill on 2109, riding on the transverse seats over the middle truck. The ride seemed harder and there seemed to be more yawing than I recall from Variotrams. I didn't manage to compare both types since my time was limited. The seats themselves are just hard plastic, the blue "cushions" being just coloured plastic.

There seems to be no difference between 2109 from Velez de Malaga and 2111 from Seville. The only thing I could see was that the CAF logo on the glass behind the driver was further left. Does anyone know the renumbering of 2109 and 2110? I believe 2108 is Malaga 002.

Much like a model railway, the trams are running before the scenery is finished. Leichardt West had no exit on the Western side and the exit to the East looked closed to the casual observer.

No Variotrams are yet in the new standard red and white, although one each is in all red and all white with "Hop On" promotional markings showing the route.

M636C
  M636C Minister for Railways

A newspaper article from a few days back commented that the new service was running with very full loads. is this still the case? Has the new extension been a real hit with the locals? Is there a "break even point" on this line where it is easier to catch the tram to Dulwich Hill and then catch the train into the city from there? How do the transit times compare with catching a bus to say George St from one of the tram stops?
3l diesel

The car I caught, 2109, had standing passengers from Central, but emptied out by the Star Casino, although a couple of passengers specifically went to the Fish Markets (strangely enough on different trams in both directions on my trip around midday on Sunday). There were about ten passengers from Fish Markets through to Dulwich Hill, and again returning on another car, with a couple leaving and joining at intermediate stations.

M636C
  NSWGR1855 Deputy Commissioner

The car I caught, 2109, had standing passengers from Central, but emptied out by the Star Casino, although a couple of passengers specifically went to the Fish Markets (strangely enough on different trams in both directions on my trip around midday on Sunday). There were about ten passengers from Fish Markets through to Dulwich Hill, and again returning on another car, with a couple leaving and joining at intermediate stations.

M636C
M636C

It does not take many people to end up with standing room only in these low speed low seating capacity trams.  See my views on tram capacity at http://www.randwicklightrail.com

Basically they are no better compared to buses.

Terry Flynn.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
NSWGR, I'm not sure you really "get" trams and the way they work. While some people are reluctant to cast their gaze south of the border, have a look at how Melbourne's trams rapidly and efficiently shift huge numbers of people to and from special events.

Three different classes of Melbourne trams have a maximum capacity of over 250 people, while even the smaller trams take over 100. They are rostered for special duties to shift tens of thousands of people, not just annual events like the Australian Open tennis and the Grand Prix car race, but on most weekends they shift almost as many people to events like the football and cricket.

Even Adelaide with it's single tram line has also discovered that trams can shift more people faster than a fleet of busses.

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