Could a driverless, elevated rail solve Australia’s transport woes?

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 21 Aug 2016 18:11
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The concept is not new but could it scale to levels which deem it mass transit?  I guess you could call the skyrail building under the Andrews's government as a mass transit above ground system in parts?

Could a driverless, elevated rail solve Australia’s transport woes?

Sponsored advertisement

  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Perhaps we should solve the problem where Siemens trains don't know whether they are at Jacana or Flinders Street first upon which Siemens/Metro/PTV have been working (or not) for years and years.

How could anyone have faith in such a system the way the show here works?

Bet the proponents don't intend to use their money or land for the test track. Perhaps they should leave it alone for a while (the test track I mean) .
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
Adding a new type of public transport system that does not use or connect to existing infrastructure is bound to fail. Look no further than the Sydney Monorail. Too much attention is paid to this former CEO of the state transport department. While he was employed by the Government he was outspoken on quite a few political matters that really were best left for politicians to debate. Now that he is no longer employed by the Government he seems to get a lot of his opinions in the press even though everyone has an opinion, etc.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Adding a new type of public transport system that does not use or connect to existing infrastructure is bound to fail. Look no further than the Sydney Monorail.
nm39
Really?   An excellent example of an automated rail system running independently of any other rail infrastructure can be found in the extensive metro system in Vancouver, Canada.

It is largely elevated, and where it is not, it is underground.

The likewise excellent Gautrain system between Johannesburg and Pretoria was new construction rather than using existing commuter tracks.    I understand the operation to be largely autonomous with a driver only for safety.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I fully expect that this is just Hook's latest effort to keep his relevance up ahead of contesting the 2018 state election for the Liberal Party.

Adding a new type of public transport system that does not use or connect to existing infrastructure is bound to fail. Look no further than the Sydney Monorail.
nm39
But was that actually a serious public transport project? I always thought it was only ever intended as a novelty for tourists, although I guess it could have been a serious project which the spin doctors revised as a tourist project only once it failed.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
I fully expect that this is just Hook's latest effort to keep his relevance up ahead of contesting the 2018 state election for the Liberal Party.

Adding a new type of public transport system that does not use or connect to existing infrastructure is bound to fail. Look no further than the Sydney Monorail.
But was that actually a serious public transport project? I always thought it was only ever intended as a novelty for tourists, although I guess it could have been a serious project which the spin doctors revised as a tourist project only once it failed.
justapassenger
The Sydney Monorail was originally built in 1988, and operated by TNT as part of the Darling Harbour Redevelopment. It was always a Tourist thing, and was never under Government control until they bought it in 2012 and closed it down a year later. Whilst Driverless, there was always a 'door operator' in the leading cab. I do admit to using it a few times for commuting when it was raining, but walking from the Pyrmont end of the Bridge to Centrepoint took around the same time as the Monorail trip, which was a one-way anti-clockwise loop.

As to Driverless systems, there are many Driverless Metro systems about - some of Singapore, Japan, Seoul, Hong Kong, all of the Taipei MRT to name a few.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
The concept is not new but could it scale to levels which deem it mass transit?  I guess you could call the skyrail building under the Andrews's government as a mass transit above ground system in parts?

Could a driverless, elevated rail solve Australia’s transport woes?
bevans
For something like the Flinders Uni site why not use a system like the Ultra PRT in use at Heathrow airport?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF1RVbnzPfs
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Adding a new type of public transport system that does not use or connect to existing infrastructure is bound to fail. Look no further than the Sydney Monorail.
Really?   An excellent example of an automated rail system running independently of any other rail infrastructure can be found in the extensive metro system in Vancouver, Canada.

It is largely elevated, and where it is not, it is underground.

The likewise excellent Gautrain system between Johannesburg and Pretoria was new construction rather than using existing commuter tracks.    I understand the operation to be largely autonomous with a driver only for safety.
kipioneer
Agreed. A system can be separated in its entirety from other system, as long as an interchange between the two is provided.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
And who's gonna pay for it? There isn't exactly a lot of money floating around now after blowing it all on the hospital.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
And who's gonna pay for it? There isn't exactly a lot of money floating around now after blowing it all on the hospital.
mclaren2007
The money was just not blown on the hospital though there are several other things money was blown on as well, the O Bahn extension to save 3 minutes or there about's, a $40m dollar footbridge across the Torrens, and plenty of other things that the Govt here could have saved a heap on if is was not to win votes at the next election.
  Lt. Commander Data Station Master

Location: Stobie Poll City (Adelaide).
The only bad thing about the Torrens River footbridge is that it's not wide enough - it is extremely popular with people going from the trams, buses and railway station to Adelaide Oval.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
This state does not need a driverless system.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
This state does not need a driverless system.
greasyrhys
Why not?

While we have a rail system that interacts with pedestrians and vehicles at grade then no, but a new system, underground or elevated, yes.

A railway is just a horizontal lift and they have been driverless for decades.
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
This state does not need a driverless system.
Why not?

While we have a rail system that interacts with pedestrians and vehicles at grade then no, but a new system, underground or elevated, yes.

A railway is just a horizontal lift and they have been driverless for decades.
kipioneer
Unless you replace that job of driving with a permanent job elsewhere all you are doing is increasing unemployment for a few dollars profit for some rich individual who owns the system.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
This state does not need a driverless system.
Why not?

While we have a rail system that interacts with pedestrians and vehicles at grade then no, but a new system, underground or elevated, yes.

A railway is just a horizontal lift and they have been driverless for decades.
Unless you replace that job of driving with a permanent job elsewhere all you are doing is increasing unemployment for a few dollars profit for some rich individual who owns the system.
nm39
Which rich individuals own a commuter rail system anywhere in the world?     Most are state owned, that is owned by the citizens of that state.
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
This state does not need a driverless system.
Why not?

While we have a rail system that interacts with pedestrians and vehicles at grade then no, but a new system, underground or elevated, yes.

A railway is just a horizontal lift and they have been driverless for decades.
Unless you replace that job of driving with a permanent job elsewhere all you are doing is increasing unemployment for a few dollars profit for some rich individual who owns the system.
Which rich individuals own a commuter rail system anywhere in the world?     Most are state owned, that is owned by the citizens of that state.
kipioneer
The consortium who proposed this do not want to sell it to the Government but get the Government to pay towards it and they will own and run it for their own profit.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
I think upgrading stations and electrifying the whole network are of higher priority.

Has anyone seen Torrens Park, its like a Meccano set.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
The consortium who proposed this do not want to sell it to the Government but get the Government to pay towards it and they will own and run it for their own profit.
nm39
My reading of this is that Flinders University will own and operate the line between the new FMC station and the university, the consortium will build a 1km test track somewhere, and hope the government will take up the idea.

Some form of people-mover between the station and the university seems a good idea.   Just how far it goes, to the Union Building or onwards to the more distant buildings, is a matter for the university.

I recall Hook saying in a radio interview that this was a concept developed somewhere in eastern Europe 20 or 30 years ago and was waiting for some one to take it up.

Immediately the cynic comes to the fore: if this was so good then why has it taken all this time to become a reality?

Then there is a difference between the artist impression images published in The Advertiser and in the artical cited above which shows a much more substantial structure than the very light structure in The Advertiser.

Then there is the inertia of the SA public:  it is new therefore it is bad.

And look at the resistance in Melbourne to putting lengths of existing line onto viaducts.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Has anyone seen Torrens Park, its like a Meccano set.
mclaren2007
I went past Torrens Park today and didn't notice anything wrong with it. It's not pretty, but it's hidden well enough that it isn't an eyesore and appears to be functional enough for the tiny number of passengers who use it.

If people want it beautified, they should consider forming a station adoption group or lobbying the local council to fund cosmetic upgrades. There would be many bus stops more deserving of state expenditure.

If anything, it should be considered for a trial of having trains stop there on request only. The Belair line has trouble with timekeeping due to delays spiralling out of control, and allowing most trains each day to cruise past there could help with introducing a little bit of resilience to the timetable in addition to cutting the fuel/maintenance costs associated with stopping at a station that nobody is using.

I recall Hook saying in a radio interview that this was a concept developed somewhere in eastern Europe 20 or 30 years ago and was waiting for some one to take it up.

Immediately the cynic comes to the fore: if this was so good then why has it taken all this time to become a reality?
kipioneer
Hook could have sped up the development, but only at the unacceptable expense of pulling resources away from the development of an Ekranoplan service between Port Noarlunga and Kingscote.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
Can't disagree there, at least its ugliness is hidden from passing cars.

As for stop on request only, we can't have that because people will complain, just look Millswood. Large amount of money spent on re-opening a station just to satisfy a minority.

The Belair line definitely has its problems that's for sure, and a driverless train definitely won't solve them.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
The only bad thing about the Torrens River footbridge is that it's not wide enough - it is extremely popular with people going from the trams, buses and railway station to Adelaide Oval.
Lt. Commander Data
Yes but $40m for a footbridge though is a bit over the top. Some overpasses etc over things have not cost that much and they are bigger projects.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The only bad thing about the Torrens River footbridge is that it's not wide enough - it is extremely popular with people going from the trams, buses and railway station to Adelaide Oval.
Yes but $40m for a footbridge though is a bit over the top. Some overpasses etc over things have not cost that much and they are bigger projects.
David Peters
It was no surprise that it blew out to $40M, considering the bridge itself is fairly complex and the project included much more than just the footbridge.

The bill incorporated:
  • A large amount of work at both ends, particularly the large scale modification of the western end of the Festival Centre precinct to create direct access not requiring people to grope around the delivery docks to get to the train station,
  • the creation of a new entertainment precinct on the city end,
  • integration into the topography at each end,
  • building foundations for piers in the river,
  • the necessary inclusion of attractive architecture which wouldn't be necessary for a simple road bridge somewhere out in the country.


$30M probably would have been achievable, but then the government decided to bring the construction deadline forward by five whole months once the project was already underway.

I think it was money well spent, considering how it has opened up a whole area which was previously neglected.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: Edith, kipioneer, Pressman

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.