Bees in Their Own Hive

 
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
I just got back from a trip to Europe, and among many other things, I saw some rather familiar trams in Mulhouse!

[bigimg]http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/hs071.snc6/168101_496175024002_525099002_6221514_1729774_n.jpg[/bigimg]

[bigimg]http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs800.ash1/169029_496175134002_525099002_6221517_4013681_n.jpg[/bigimg]

As a matter of pure coincidence, I managed to catch tram number 01 of the "C2" class. [/img]

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  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
I saw some rather familiar trams in Mulhouse!
"tomohawk"

They don't look familiar to me: there isn't any graffiti scratched into the windows. Twisted Evil
  LamontCranston Chief Commissioner

Do they operate exclusively in a dedicated lightrailway like that or mixed with traffic?
  richardlu_yy Chief Train Controller

Location: Singapore
I'm quite sure I saw a photo somewhere with a Mulhouse Citadis on the streets, very good photo indeed. Though they run services like light rail stopping at all stops, so the ones in Melbourne had to have stop buttons installed.
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
When I look at the thread title, all I can think of is Eddie Izzard.



Edited in response to Myrtone's patronising reply below.  People make mistakes - but most people don't get hairs in their asres about it...
  712M Chief Commissioner

Do trams/cars drive on the other side of the road in Mulhouse? Were there any modifications to the cab for the change?
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
The network varies between light rail, signalled light rail, and on street.

As is the case throughout France, trams and cars drive on the righthand side of the road. I didn't travel to the end of the line, but at least at Gare Centrale (Central Station) the trams terminate in a balloon loop. Presumably there must be at least some dead-end tracks on the network otherwise the trams would not have cabs at each end.
  Morbo Locomotive Driver

Presumably there must be at least some dead-end tracks on the network otherwise the trams would not have cabs at each end.
"tomohawk"


There are 'dead-ends' at all the other termini on the network. The route and alignment - a very large proportion of which is in grassed reserve (like the 109 at Box Hill) can be traced on Google Maps (aerial photos in France seem to be a little more up to date than those in Australia).

Note that Mulhouse has recently implemented tram-trains between the city and the town of Thann, about 22km away to the northwest. Tram-trains run on tram lines (at 750V DC) as far as Lutterbach and then switch to run on the existing heavy rail line (at 25kV AC) with conventional train services. The extension uses new Siemens dual-voltage vehicles (not Citades). More details here.

This I think is the fourth implementation of dual-voltage tram-trains in Europe, after Karlsruhe, Saarbrucken and Kassel in Germany.
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
Yeah I rode one of them. They were OK. The section I was on also used the Citadis. They claimed to be the first tram-trains in Europe. Whether or not that's true is another story!
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
Fantastic pics, very well done!

They certainly are a beautiful tram, with a very distinctive paint job. Its amazing how much they stand out, regardless of the weather, and in contrast to the regular Yarra Trams Mk4 livery.

Here are some pics I took early last year at about this time - shows the range of conditions they are built to withstand! They were taken of 2008 at the railway station. I had about 20 minutes between change of trains, and raced out hoping to get some pics - with luck!




  Morbo Locomotive Driver

Yeah I rode one of them. They were OK. The section I was on also used the Citadis. They claimed to be the first tram-trains in Europe. Whether or not that's true is another story!
"tomohawk"


Nah there's quite a few now, including some dual electric/diesel technology. Karlsruhe was the pioneer back in 1992 - trying to solve the problem of having a railway station miles away from the centre of town by through running services onto the tram network. Google for loads of references to it; here's a pocket history though. Saarbrucken followed in about 1999 (which interestingly crosses the border into France). Arguably, the Sunderland extension of the Tyne & Wear Metro in 1999 was the third - although it's called a 'metro' the rolling stock is strictly speaking light rail (and very light weight - so was quite a challenge to set up systems/approvals to share tracks with heavy passenger and freight trains) There's considerable interest Europe-wide - indeed I worked on a feasibility study a few years back to extend the Manchester Metrolink over heavy rail lines out to the southeast (tunnels and viaducts made it extremely expensive to fully segregate the light- and heavy rail systems) which is still being considered.

Anyway - apols for being way OT - but encouraging that this technology is being rolled out even further now - and a glimmer of hope for Adelaide's grand plans.
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
I wonder if they may be interested in selling more of their bumblebees?

Perhaps the GFC (Global Financial Crisis), which is causing the French to cut back quite a bit on everything, they may now be surplus a few more bumblebees, of which we could snap up?
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
Well I know Mulhouse weren't going ahead with at least one network extension for which additional trams were being bough for - this is part of the reason we were able to buy the five we already had. I think there was some discussion of Melbourne possibly getting more, especially as Mulhouse now has their tram-train working with the 12 new Siemens Avanto trams.

Some more info on the tram-train operations at http://www.railwaygazette.com/nc/news/single-view/view/mulhouse-tram-train-enters-service.html.

On a slightly different note, I see that paris is ordering more Citadis (Citadi?) for a new tram line. 19 new 5 section C2's for 50 million Euro's - or about $AU3.6 million each. One has to wonder that if Melbourne had put in a large enough order, would we have gotten a similar price, even allowing for local content? Going by this price per vehicle, it means that our 'drive away' figure effectively includes 10 years of maintenance for $2 million per vehicle, which does seem like quite a good deal to the manufacturer!

http://www.railwaygazette.com/index.php?id=44&no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=12724&cHash=90f4edd3fd
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
As is usual for transit these days there are both audio and visual annocements, but in Mulhouse the latter have musical themes, could this idea be copied elsewhere?
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
The musical jingles are awful. It's just French wankerie, really! Stick with announcements.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Get used to it, it's better than just annoncements, the only thing nearly as good (I'm sure Tonyp would like this one) is to accompany annoncements, but only if the chime is different for each line.

And I also note the stopping all stations style service, there is no stopping on demand. System wide compulsrory stopping is not and never has been attractive in Melbourne, or, as far as I know, other Australian cities except Sydney. I'll be mentioning this thread on another (North American) rail-discussion site because of it's international nature.
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
Get used to it, it's better than just annoncements, the only thing nearly as good (I'm sure Tonyp would like this one) is to accompany annoncements, but only if the chime is different for each line.

And I also note the stopping all stations style service, there is no stopping on demand. System wied compulsrory stopping is not and never has been attractive in Melbourne, or, as far as I know, other Australian cities except Sydney. I'll be mentioning this thread on another (North American) rail-discussion site because of it's international nature.
"Myrtone"


I used the tram system there. The announcement music is stupid. Compulsory stopping works perfectly fine there given the station spacing. Have you caught trains outside of Melbourne?
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I used the tram system there. The announcement music is stupid.
tomohawk

I learnt about it from a google video I saw a while ago. I am more creative than you, aren't I? The announcement music may actually be helpful to some people, to understand why read Thinking in pictures. It seems like a great idea because you hear music on public transport in different areas, I'll send a PM explaining it.

Compulsory stopping works perfectly fine there given the station spacing. Have you caught trains outside of Melbourne?
tomohawk

Trains, no I'm thinking of street transit. I said it is and always has been unattractive in Melbourne, not Mulhouse.
  scrat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Fitzroy North
I catch the 96 on a regular basis, and hate the music, even when you press the next stop button it plays a tune, really bloody annoying! Obviously a audio cue is required, but as the name of the next stop is also announced, the music is completely redundant and just plain annoying.

Compulsory stops may not work in Melbourne because our stops are too close together. But in my travels across Europeland I don't think I encountered one system that had on demand stopping (in most cases including the buses). With decently spaced stops compulsory stopping makes a lot of sense.

I also don't think there is much speed advantage from having on demand stopping as people are stupid and press the button at the last moment, and the driver can't always (mainly at night) see if there are people at the stop from far enough distance, so go through the stops slowly (being prepared to stop at the stop) anyway. Any tram drivers wish to comment on this?

Liam.

P.S. Great shots tomohawk!
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
Demand stopping works when your stops are close together, lightly used, or mainly used during peak times. It does have one main advantage in that where you have a high service frequency, it allows trams to skip stops and avoid bunching up. This also allows loadings to be more evenly spread (this could be resolved by using modern larger trams with a greater capacity!).

Removing 25 - 30 % of the stops would go a long way towards justifying this, as would higher density living along tram routes.

The big pickle in moving to such a system is that the network - particularly during off peak times and on sunday to wednesday nights - can be very lightly used at times.

Also, from a motorists perspective, it would add to their travel time and possibly increase (wether real or perceived) congestion around tram stops.

One way to get around this would be to make the system demand stopping during weekends and off peak times, however this would lead to much passenger (and possibly even driver) confusion about wether the tram is going to stop or not.

Ideally, the best way would be to simply make all platform stops compulsory stops - that way in areas where you have mainly non-platform stops and very low loadings, you wouldn't have a problem, and areas like the City and St Kilda Road where there is high and consistent loadings, you would be always stopping.

As previously mentioned, I believe that the main downside of such a change would be a general slowing of tram speeds, as at the moment, if one tram is closely followed by another tram with the same destination, it may skip that stop. It might not sound like much, but it allows loading to be spread over more trams, as well as trams to keep moving. Making platform stops compulsory stops would increase the likelihood of trams bunching up together, especially around the city and other high frequency areas.

There are other issues, but either way, it is unlikely to be changed across the network any time soon. Certain areas might one day benefit from this - such as if all St Kilda road services were replaced by high frequency large trams operating a shuttle service, with other services feeding into it. This is a scenario that has been discussed internally for quite a while, and it is something that (apart from the 'inconvenience' of passengers having to change trams) would lead to a lot of network efficiencies, as well as (if done properly) ultimately a better passenger experience.
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
Well I know Mulhouse weren't going ahead with at least one network extension for which additional trams were being bough for - this is part of the reason we were able to buy the five we already had. I think there was some discussion of Melbourne possibly getting more, especially as Mulhouse now has their tram-train working with the 12 new Siemens Avanto trams.

Some more info on the tram-train operations at http://www.railwaygazette.com/nc/news/single-view/view/mulhouse-tram-train-enters-service.html.

On a slightly different note, I see that paris is ordering more Citadis (Citadi?) for a new tram line. 19 new 5 section C2's for 50 million Euro's - or about $AU3.6 million each. One has to wonder that if Melbourne had put in a large enough order, would we have gotten a similar price, even allowing for local content? Going by this price per vehicle, it means that our 'drive away' figure effectively includes 10 years of maintenance for $2 million per vehicle, which does seem like quite a good deal to the manufacturer!

http://www.railwaygazette.com/index.php?id=44&no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=12724&cHash=90f4edd3fd
"msilsby"


Thanks for that post.

The first link did not work, could you resend that.  Also can you provide a link to/for anything on the cutback to Millhouse system.  Am keen to know how many trams they are now surplus by.
  Speed Minister for Railways

With on-demand stopping already established, there is little to be gained in abolishing it.

Some people call for on-demand train stopping too, arguing that some stations don't necessarily collect or set down passengers. This is unlikely to be true for suburban stations but it does reflect people's perceptions.

If you were to add stops where nobody was collected or set down, people would complain about a tram or bus stopping unnecessarily.

Having people demand a stop also encourages people to prepare to alight before a tram or bus has stopped. If people know that the doors will open whether they're requested or not, some will wait and then dash at the last minute. When a tram or bus does stop, the driver knows that someone intended to alight (assuming that they didn't press the button accidentally).
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I catch the 96 on a regular basis, and hate the music, even when you press the next stop button it plays a tune, really bloody annoying! Obviously a audio cue is required, but as the name of the next stop is also announced, the music is completely redundant and just plain annoying.
"scrat"


Yes it does play a tune but it is always the same no matter what.

Compulsory stops may not work in Melbourne because our stops are too close together. But in my travels across Europeland I don't think I encountered one system that had on demand stopping (in most cases including the buses). With decently spaced stops compulsory stopping makes a lot of sense.
"scrat"


Maybe request stopping make closer stop spacing more attractive. That's the way we have always done it here, and most other tramways in both North America and Australia have used request stopping for most in part. As I understand it, systems like the Muhouse one are all stoppers because passenger traffic justifies it, with passengers waitng to board and/or wish to alight at every stop nearly all of the time.
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
I get most of my international news from the UK Magazine Tramways and Urban Transit (www.lrta.org) - but unfortunately it is such an awesome magazine that it is in high demand from my colleagues and as such, I don't have the edition that talks about the problems with the planned extension of the Mulhouse network. As such, I can't find any further info on the extensions not built, however I was able to find an image that showed the extensions planned for line one and two. It is at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Reseau_tram-train_mulhouse2011.png. From what I remember, it was largely due to the GFC.

As for info on the tram-train, that article was at http://www.railwaygazette.com/nc/news/single-view/view/mulhouse-tram-train-enters-service.html - if it doesn't work, just go to the http://www.railwaygazette.com and search "Mulhouse tram train". There is also an interesting article on it at
http://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/mulhouse-light-rail-and-tram-train-france-a-template-for-the-return-of-the-interurban/ which discusses it in a slightly different manner!

As for their trams, they have 27 C2's and have 12 Siemens Avanto dual voltage vehicles. Melbourne has five c2's and there are two others circulating elsewhere. These trams were surplus due to not going ahead with the planned extensions of lines 1 and 2. With the addition of the Siemens, there has been talk that additional c2's might be surplus, but nothing is planned at this stage.
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
I get most of my international news from the UK Magazine Tramways and Urban Transit (www.lrta.org) - but unfortunately it is such an awesome magazine that it is in high demand from my colleagues and as such, I don't have the edition that talks about the problems with the planned extension of the Mulhouse network. As such, I can't find any further info on the extensions not built, however I was able to find an image that showed the extensions planned for line one and two. It is at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Reseau_tram-train_mulhouse2011.png. From what I remember, it was largely due to the GFC.

As for info on the tram-train, that article was at http://www.railwaygazette.com/nc/news/single-view/view/mulhouse-tram-train-enters-service.html - if it doesn't work, just go to the http://www.railwaygazette.com and search "Mulhouse tram train". There is also an interesting article on it at
http://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/mulhouse-light-rail-and-tram-train-france-a-template-for-the-return-of-the-interurban/ which discusses it in a slightly different manner!

As for their trams, they have 27 C2's and have 12 Siemens Avanto dual voltage vehicles. Melbourne has five c2's and there are two others circulating elsewhere. These trams were surplus due to not going ahead with the planned extensions of lines 1 and 2. With the addition of the Siemens, there has been talk that additional c2's might be surplus, but nothing is planned at this stage.
"msilsby"


Thanks again for your response.

Could you direct me to a good forum website of which may cover these areas. Like an English speaking Railpage which covers Europe?

As for the two elsewhere, I guess you mean on a network other than Millhouse?

It is interesting to note that two European Cities, one being Millhouse in France and the other in Spain, both have identical tram fleets, both are cutting back their projects.

Adelaide has 6 from the Spanish City (sorry I forgot the name of the city), and Melbourne has 5 from Millhouse.

I understand that a South American city got many of the other surplus trams from the same Spanish fleet that Adelaide got theirs from.

Can not help but wonder if that same South American country got the other two from Millhouse.

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