New trams to be built mostly in Melbourne

 
  themetptc Junior Train Controller

Location: Ballarat

It increasingly appears that the model chosen is actually a three car Flexity Swift, not the Flexity 2 expected/promised/discussed. (Queue many a surprised face). From what I understood, the Flexity 2 was the preferred option due to its ability to handle tight curves, largely due to its 'combino like' short sections. At this stage, I am unable to get any further info, but thinking about the bogie position of the proposed flexity Swift, but I can't help but wonder wether the solution is a fourth set of bogies (i.e. 2 at each end, and one at the pivot point for each bogie), similar to the B class.

Looking at images available, I am reminded very much of the B class trams, and can't help but wonder if this was a selling point - as in "Well, its just a largely updated version of the B class that are very reliable in your network. All low floor, of course!"
"msilsby"


Yes, the Bombardier announcement on their website contradicts the governments artist rendition which is also on the Bombardier site.  All images and drawings I have seen show a Flexity Swift tram to be very much a low floor version of the Melbourne B class, with the same bogie arrangement but just a different centre articulation arrangement.  Whereas the artists renditon of the new tram is very much a Flexity2 inspired update of the Flexity Classic running in Adelaide.

So, the question remains which is right and which is wrong and what will we really end up with?

Sim.

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  bramt Deputy Commissioner


It increasingly appears that the model chosen is actually a three car Flexity Swift, not the Flexity 2 expected/promised/discussed. (Queue many a surprised face). From what I understood, the Flexity 2 was the preferred option due to its ability to handle tight curves, largely due to its 'combino like' short sections. At this stage, I am unable to get any further info, but thinking about the bogie position of the proposed flexity Swift, but I can't help but wonder wether the solution is a fourth set of bogies (i.e. 2 at each end, and one at the pivot point for each bogie), similar to the B class.

Looking at images available, I am reminded very much of the B class trams, and can't help but wonder if this was a selling point - as in "Well, its just a largely updated version of the B class that are very reliable in your network. All low floor, of course!"
"msilsby"


Yes, the Bombardier announcement on their website contradicts the governments artist rendition which is also on the Bombardier site.  All images and drawings I have seen show a Flexity Swift tram to be very much a low floor version of the Melbourne B class, with the same bogie arrangement but just a different centre articulation arrangement.  Whereas the artists renditon of the new tram is very much a Flexity2 inspired update of the Flexity Classic running in Adelaide.

So, the question remains which is right and which is wrong and what will we really end up with?

Sim.
"themetptc"


Here is a Flexity Swift tram in Portugal that looks the same as the artist impressions of Melbourne's new tram. Same wheelset layout, segments etc, its basically a longer Flexi classic. http://www.bombardier.com/en/transportation/products-services/rail-vehicles/light-rail-vehicles/flexity-light-rail-vehicles/porto--portugal?docID=0901260d8000cbea
This tram is infact 37m long, and yet is still only 3 segments with 4 wheelsets! This allows this particular model (which has no doors in the centre section) to have 100 seats! You could never get that efficiency in a 5-segment snake.

More photos of Portugal on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1325014@N24/pool/ There's even pics of the cab, and in one of the night shots you can see the wheels. Because the wheels are quite close to the ends or the articulation, overhang on curves is minimised.

Note that this system also runs the Eurotram, which paid a visit to Melbourne in 2003. OT: Why did it come here?
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
I gather the new trams will end up on the 96 just like the others? Let me guess, Malvern will end up with the remaining A classes once the Zeds take a one-way trip to Sims Metal... and despite having A classes capable of 70km/h on the 109 (albeit an A class is a rare sight down there), you'll still be stuck going from Camberwell to Malvern/Prahran at 20km/h!

Not complaining though, at least I have 36 Citadii waiting at Box Hill and 38 new bouncy X'Trampolines all to myself, while the graffiti-ridden beer-and-vomit-smelling EDI Comengs end up back on their M>Train lines once again! Very Happy

Still wouldn't mind seeing a Siemens at Ringwood though, despite the seats having bubblegum and large stains all over them...
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
Bramt you've fallen for another of Bombardier's porkys. Don't know about the size of tram orders "in history" but Bombardier was claiming that the Toronto order (204) was the largest current order when in fact the largest current order is Skoda's 250 for Prague. Since then toronto has placed another order and no doubt Bombardier's resident Dr Goebbels, whoever he is, will add the two together to form the "largest" tram order in the history of mankind. Alstom obviously has this character's twin brother working in its publicity department announcing to all and sundry the release of the "world's first" low floor pivoting tram bogie, ignoring the existing Skoda development (which also includes an entire tram to go with it, relegating the Citadis somewhat to the technological stone age).

What these corporate behemoths fail to recognise when making false claims for themselves is that when they come to deal with customers (like Sydney coming up) we are likely to treat any claim they make on behalf of their products with profound scepticism. I don't recall Comeng talking up its products with a load of porkys.

Re above posts perhaps I can suggest that Bombardier itself doesn't know what tram it is supplying to Melbourne?

You guys need to check up the Bombardier product catalogues. There are no 100% low floor Bombardiers with pivoting bogies. Indeed there are no 100% low floor Bombardiers as they at least have (as their pix show) nice little trip-me-up plinths between the seats. To me 100% low floor means 100% in the passenger area, like the Sydney Variotrams. 100% means 100%.

msilsby the UK systems are new light rail where the minimum curve radius is likely to be greater than 25 degrees which the fixed bogies become more acceptable on. 20 degree curves or less they damage the track (and themselves) no question. It is up to the operator to accept a tolerable level of damage/maintenance. One factor that would determine this is whether a tight curve has 6 trams an hour going round it (as in many low-traffic newstart systems) or 60 trams an hour.
  Tremere Train Controller

Citadis style seat mounts eh? Something to do with making a traditionally 70% low floor design 100%?

.. or the artists impressions are BS and we are getting a 70% low floor like the rest of the Swift series.
  712M Chief Commissioner

I gather the new trams will end up on the 96 just like the others? Let me guess, Malvern will end up with the remaining A classes once the Zeds take a one-way trip to Sims Metal... and despite having A classes capable of 70km/h on the 109 (albeit an A class is a rare sight down there), you'll still be stuck going from Camberwell to Malvern/Prahran at 20km/h!
"Heihachi_73"


Where would an A class get to 70km/h on the 109? The light rail isn't that fast, and I think that low floor trams should be used 100% on the routes with a good number of platform stops.

It would also be good to run routes 19, 86 and 112 with 100% B1/B2 trams.
  scrat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Fitzroy North
Myrtone, this link may be more helpful than the article at the start of this thread.

And at least someone is looking at the really big issues regarding new trams, stuff cost and cornering ability;
THE government has ordered 50 new trams from Bombardier (''Dandenong plant to build 50 trams'', The Age, 28/9).

Are these trams to have retractable blinds on the windows? These blinds used to be universal in Melbourne trams, until the various Combino and Citadis trams were introduced, which lack them.

I am a regular user of the 96 tram route, which like some other lines runs the new trams (without blinds) almost without exception. For much of the summer, commuters on these lines are twice daily stuck in direct sunlight, which is not only unpleasant but is also a potential contributor to the risk of skin cancer and vision impairment.

Surely installing these blinds could not be overly expensive compared with the cost of the rest of the tram. Even installing blinds on existing trams that lack them would be worthy of consideration.

The same applies also to trains manufactured since Comeng stopped getting the contracts.

Samuel McMahon, North Carlton
"The Age"

http://www.theage.com.au/national/letters/election-result-a-big-win-for-urgent-action-on-warming-20100928-15vqh.html

Liam.
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
Blinds are just one more thing to be vandalised, unfortunately.

As for exactly which tram is being supplied, Tonyp has it right - It is interesting to note in a number of the media statements, there is talk about the 'design' being done in Melbourne. Maybe they haven't worked out a final design yet, and just have the fancy pics for publicity purposes!

As for Malvern getting A class trams, the idea is that Malvern will become a Combino only depot - although I am not sure what this will do in regards to space (Is there enough? Is there space left over?).

Either way, I wouldn't expect anything to change for at least another few years, as it won't be until the end of 2013 that there will be any additional rolling stock available to be able to start retiring stuff.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
What a neurotic dummy. You can't get skin cancer through glass.  Rolling Eyes and I doubt anyone has had their eyes damaged on a tram trip.

But I also live in North Carlton and regularly catch the No. 96. I agree that window blinds on trams would be nice, but Mr McMahon piles the hyperbole on so thick that I doubt anyone will take the slightest notice of him.
  LamontCranston Chief Commissioner

glass protects you from Ultraviolet radiation? And it does not magnify sun glare?
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
The curse of overall advertising film will solve all this. After that, windows can be dispensed with altogether.
  themetptc Junior Train Controller

Location: Ballarat


Re above posts perhaps I can suggest that Bombardier itself doesn't know what tram it is supplying to Melbourne?
"tonyp"


I tend to agree, specially as it was said that design will be done in Melbourne, indicating no official design yet, just a lot of ideas.


You guys need to check up the Bombardier product catalogues. There are no 100% low floor Bombardiers with pivoting bogies. Indeed there are no 100% low floor Bombardiers as they at least have (as their pix show) nice little trip-me-up plinths between the seats. To me 100% low floor means 100% in the passenger area, like the Sydney Variotrams. 100% means 100%.
"tonyp"


100% low floor is considered by achieving one floor level between all doors and all or part of all seated areas.  As long as you can walk on one floor level from doorway to doorway and doorway to seated area (ie no steps) it is 100% low floor.  Hence why the Citadis is considered 100% low floor even though it has a step to the seated area above the trucks, it is still one floor level to that area and you can walk from one end of the tram to the other on one level.

Sim.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Yes, I'm sure Tony know how the industry defines it that but doesn't accept it as true.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
Thanks myrtone, yes.

It's all about expectation. If someone tells you something is 100% low floor then you expect not to have to step up or down - including to the seats. It will end up a liability issue because I read a forum post from some time ago where someone left their seat in a Melbourne low floor and forgot about (or missed) the step off the bogie plinth and fell against a stanchion cracking their ribs.

Must have been a nice person because they took the blame on themselves and did not put in a complaint. If I had read the post at the time I would have told them to go see their lawyer. It is an issue in Prague with the Skoda 14T and the dropcentre conversions where people are perpetually falling up and down the step, especially in a capacity crowd where you can't see the floor. Internal steps are dangerous.

Leaving the example of the Skoda 15T aside (for a change!) even the Variotram was able to achieve a stepless floor even with bogie boxes in the cabins. Any other manufacturer who can't meet this standard is not trying.
  themetptc Junior Train Controller

Location: Ballarat
It also goes to peoples different interpretation of 100% low floor.  An example is Tonyp's interpretation being one floor level everywehere in the saloon, whereas mine is one floor level in the saloon between doors and in the aisles, but not in seated compartments, 100% low floor access to all areas, with not every area being on the same floor level.
Sim.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
It also goes to peoples different interpretation of 100% low floor.  An example is Tonyp's interpretation being one floor level everywehere in the saloon, whereas mine is one floor level in the saloon between doors and in the aisles, but not in seated compartments, 100% low floor access to all areas, with not every area being on the same floor level.
Sim.
"themetptc"

Bus manufacturers like that definition because those big wheel arches are darn difficult to hide! But trams fit in a hell of a lot more people than buses.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Where would an A class get to 70km/h on the 109? The light rail isn't that fast, and I think that low floor trams should be used 100% on the routes with a good number of platform stops.
"712M"


Already been on a Citadis doing 65-70 on the Box Hill end of things (not the light rail, stops are too close together and it's too short). I don't think the speedometer on the non-driving end lies anyway... Think of what a 4 cylinder sounds like at 6000rpm, that's the noise a flying Citadis makes at full(?) throttle.

I will admit though, I have not been on an A or B class doing 70 on the 109 most likely because of the rarity of this type of tram running to/from Box Hill (although I have definitely gone pretty fast in a B on the outer ends of routes 59 and 75). Usually the trams seem to move a lot faster late at night, but I have also been in a Citadis doing about 40 all the way from Box Hill to Burke Rd, and ending up late (to the point that the connecting 72 tram leaves as soon as I get on instead of waiting the 5 or so minutes).

I my opinion, trams should be able to run system-wide with the exception of the W class, with a lot more platform stops at useful locations outside of the CBD. Currently if you swapped the tram and taxi services around, it would be like if every single taxi outside the casino was a Silver Service one but down in bogan territory Ringwood we would get XF and EA Falcons with about 4 million k's on the clock!
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
Hey guys,

Today they gave out a brochure that had a few more pics of the new (and still to be designed!) trams, plus a bit of info. Nothing new, but there are some pretty pics. One of the interesting ideas on the tram is the "Tram Stopping" below the window at the end of the tram - a feature that I hope very much makes it through! Also, there will be both Audio and visual announcements of stops - an interior scrolling LED sign will announce stops just like the trains.

Notice, as well, the seperate drivers door (with handle), plus the little window in the drivers cab (third pic). May they actually be a decent tram?

You can click on the image for a higher detail one, but be warned, you are taken to Flickr where the images are hosted.










  scrat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Fitzroy North
One bonus I see of the new trams being built locally to a local design is that we will get a prototype. Something we didn't get from the C/D class trams, but we did for previous, locally made trams. Hopefully the prototype will be run enough to find all the little things that don't work properly and make a better quality better suited final design. Like misilsby I say; bring it on! One thing that a lot of other systems have, that I would like Melbourne to have, is a list of connections displayed on the PID as well as the next stop.

Liam.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
You in for a fight with Tonyp, leave Australia to what it can do best. On a related note, one thing I still don't get. With the Toronto order, the TTC revealed the Siemens bid was over 50% higher than Bombardier's, but when I ask a similar question about the Melbourne order, I'm told the information is never revealed.
  scrat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Fitzroy North
I don't see how having these trams manufactured/assembled in Australia to be a negative, they will simply be built to a plan. Dandenong build the V/locity trains and they're very good, and Australia has a history in building (and at one stage designing) trams and train.

And there are a few positives, money stays in the local economy rather than going overseas (which helps the local economy and the current accounts), there's more scope for localisation and we will have the local workers that know how to build these trams, so therefore fixing them should be cheaper/easier.

Liam.

EDIT: Also, the D class trams don't have any step ups, but that does result in a huge loss of seating space over the bogies. The C's have step up seating, but more seating over the bogies, where as the D's don't have 100% low floor seating but less seating over the bogies.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I don't see how having these trams manufactured/assembled in Australia to be a negative, they will simply be built to a plan. Dandenong build the V/locity trains and they're very good, and Australia has a history in building (and at one stage designing) trams and train.
"scrat"


They are fine with trains but not with on street trams, for reasons that Tonyp has been through many times.

And there are a few positives, money stays in the local economy rather than going overseas (which helps the local economy and the current accounts), there's more scope for localisation and we will have the local workers that know how to build these trams, so therefore fixing them should be cheaper/easier.
"scrat"


And that leaves unexplained why the trains (as far as I know) have a much smaller portion of lower content. If the trains had been built here, we could have got up to something like 90% local content and still had great trains. As Tonyp says, leave Australia to what it can do best. We do not, or should not, need to import Eucalyptus oil or Macadamia nuts, if other countries do, they should import from us, not the U.S. or Portugal. Do we still export uranium?

Liam.[/quote]
  scrat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Fitzroy North
I don't quite see your point myrtone, Dandenong has produced many great trams, but only the Sydney Variotrams since circa 1994. I don't see the value in importing Bombardier trams from Canada rather than building them locally at Dandenong, we may be paying a little more than Toronto, but they are longer, bidirectional, have pantographs, a different track gauge and there are tooling up costs, but how much does it cost to import trams in sections then bolt them back together at Preston Workshop? Keeping in mind that Preston Workshop will be a construction site during the same time. And the tooling up may be a major cost for the first lot, meaning that an upped or subsequent order would be a little less (I don't know, just asking).

They may be made of imported parts, but that just proves my point that they will at least be of the same quality. And by producing locally we can build a prototype that's better suited to our system and to test out and find bugs/fixes in to improve the final product. We can build things well in Australia. Maybe not the trucks and electrical gear, but the bodies and assembly shouldn't be very hard.

Of course we should be importing what others have a local advantage in producing (rice anyone???) and export what we have a natural advantage in, resources, however we can produce good quality rail vehicles, and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be producing these.

Liam.
  LamontCranston Chief Commissioner

I gather the new trams will end up on the 96 just like the others? Let me guess, Malvern will end up with the remaining A classes once the Zeds take a one-way trip to Sims Metal... and despite having A classes capable of 70km/h on the 109 (albeit an A class is a rare sight down there), you'll still be stuck going from Camberwell to Malvern/Prahran at 20km/h!
"Heihachi_73"


Where would an A class get to 70km/h on the 109? The light rail isn't that fast, and I think that low floor trams should be used 100% on the routes with a good number of platform stops.

It would also be good to run routes 19, 86 and 112 with 100% B1/B2 trams.
"712M"

I've been on the 109 a couple times when its been able to go a good distance without having to make stops + no congestion, I don't know if it was doing 70km/h but it was definitely outpacing the traffic.
Problem is though its a very bumpy ride, the concrete between the tracks is cracked and smashed up from all the heavy trucks driving on it.
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
I imagine that the justifications for everything from reducing available bidders to just two, to the decision to go with the Flexity, will never make the light of day. One can only imagine the politics being played out - especially so close to an election (500 new jobs, 50.3% local content, etc).

I am, however, beginning to see that the Bombardier proposal was actually the better of the two - it will be very interesting to see how the new trams handle the track condition and profile we (don't) have here in melbourne. The B class handle the tight curves very well, and I can't help but think of the B class when looking at the bogie arrangement for the new trams.

On another note, one has to also wonder just how much tooling up would be required at Dandenong to make the new trams. Supposedly, they already have a lot of the 'hardware', particularly as they re-tooled in expectation of getting a contract to add a third section to the B class some time ago. They also have the trained up staff to get going - a tram every 5 weeks or so shouldn't be a problem after building the velocities.

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