Route 96 upgrade and suggested diversion and extension

 
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I have read the brochures for the upgrade of route 96, and have some ideas.

First let's start with the terminus, either move it to Victroria street or prohibit direct right turns (as opposed to hook turns, P-turns and round-the-block) into Blyth street, if the latter maybe extend it right into CERIES. Then with the rest of Nicholson street East Brunswick,1 easy acess stops are planned, I would say that the platforms should not be inclined sideways (the edge no higher than the sidewalk) contrary to what is illustrated in the diagram, and the tram track be dipped slightly. I also suggest a partial or full road closure barrier across Summer street, to ease provision of a platform stop and allow for longer ramps. On the north side of the intersection with Brunswick road and Holden street,2 and both the north and south sides of the intersection with Glenlyon road, right turn bays between the tram tracks seem like a good idea.

As for the wider part of Nicholson street, all stops strangely enough, are intended to have centre island platforms. But since separate centre island platforms with in some cases be provided on each side of the intersection, one for up trams and the other for down trams, why not just stragger the side island platforms and slew the tracks around them?

1Does this section of road being narrower than the Fitzroy section of Nicholson have something to do with the cable tram having terminated just south of the Inner Cirle railway and North Fitzroy station.
2This road and a number of other cross streets have different names on each side of Nicholson. For example Pigdon street west of Nicholson is Scotcher street east of it, Richardson Street to the west and Reid to the east, Fenwick street to the west and Church to the east, Lee street to the west and York to the east, Princess street to the west and Alexander Parade to the east, Elgin street to the west and Johnson to the east, and lastly, Carlton street to the west and Moor to the east.

Onto Acland street, I see they are trying to make it into a mall, so I would recmmend concept 1 with terminus C, with dipped tram tracks which wolud provide direct access to buisinesses at the terminus. Also, should route 96 ever be diverted and extended to Brighton beach along the former electric street railway alignment?

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  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
CERES has become quite a significant destination in its own right though largely on the weekends.  The existing terminus is not far outside the Government's own 400m advisory maximum distance from public transport for residential zones and major destinations.  Having once lived near that area I had thought the logical extension was to East Coburg then along Bell Street to Coburg Station.  This effectively replaces the top end of the 1 or offers that better connectivity at its northern end as well.  As things stand there could be significant delays at the Sydney Road / Bell Street intersection but if tram priority were to be created there and at the corner of Bell and Nicholson for what would be a right turn then all should be well.

At the southern end I am aware of the contentious plans to turn Acland St into a traffic-free mall which certainly doesn't sit well with a fair number of local people.  It is the local people who carry most "clout" because it is they who vote in (or vote out) those who make these decisions.  If Acland St were turned into a trams-only mall the risk is that - as with Bourke St in the City - there would be frequent minor skirmishes with pedestrians who wander seemingly unaware of the existence of the trams.  A very few deliberately impede them by walking along the tracks and refusing to get out of the way.  Deliveries to commercial premises might also be an issue just as it is in Bourke St mall.

South of St. Kilda there isn't one obvious possible extension.  Traffic patterns diffuse across numerous streets and there is no large and popular destination.  Brighton Beach or Sandringham arguably fit the bill but both are already well served by train and have reasonable local buses.  I would argue that Acland Street should remain the terminus and not Luna Park or some other nearby alternative.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
CERES has become quite a significant destination in its own right though largely on the weekends.  The existing terminus is not far outside the Government's own 400m advisory maximum distance from public transport for residential zones and major destinations.  Having once lived near that area I had thought the logical extension was to East Coburg then along Bell Street to Coburg Station.  This effectively replaces the top end of the 1 or offers that better connectivity at its northern end as well.  As things stand there could be significant delays at the Sydney Road / Bell Street intersection but if tram priority were to be created there and at the corner of Bell and Nicholson for what would be a right turn then all should be well.
Gwiwer
Oh, yes, I thought of that extension too, an interresting concept.

At the southern end I am aware of the contentious plans to turn Acland St into a traffic-free mall which certainly doesn't sit well with a fair number of local people. It is the local people who carry most "clout" because it is they who vote in (or vote out) those who make these decisions. If Acland St were turned into a trams-only mall the risk is that - as with Bourke St in the City - there would be frequent minor skirmishes with pedestrians who wander seemingly unaware of the existence of the trams. A very few deliberately impede them by walking along the tracks and refusing to get out of the way. Deliveries to commercial premises might also be an issue just as it is in Bourke St mall.
Gwiwer
But since Acland street is quite narrow, then, especially given its narrowness, making it into a mall would really help businesses along the route, deliveries would be delt with the same way as in Bourke street mall. To me it seems a goot idea.

South of St. Kilda there isn't one obvious possible extension. Traffic patterns diffuse across numerous streets and there is no large and popular destination. Brighton Beach or Sandringham arguably fit the bill but both are already well served by train and have reasonable local buses. I would argue that Acland Street should remain the terminus and not Luna Park or some other nearby alternative.
Gwiwer
But there did used to be a tramway (owened and operated by VR). Brighton beach is "well served" by the Sandringham line, but it does not go through St. Kilda. The street raliway provided a link between them. The local buses are still buses, not trams, or even trolleybuses, yet they still follow fixed routes.
  scrat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Fitzroy North

As for the wider part of Nicholson street, all stops strangely enough, are intended to have centre island platforms. But since separate centre island platforms with in some cases be provided on each side of the intersection, one for up trams and the other for down trams, why not just stragger the side island platforms and slew the tracks around them?
Myrtone
Consistency, the engineers don't want the loading side to keep swapping, they investigated islands alla High Street in Nicholson Street north, but found the road to not be wide enough. The duel side islands will be about 5.5m while the single side ones will be about 3.1m, the advantage of having such wide centre island platforms is that the whole platform can be used in each peak period.

Liam.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
So side platforms will be needed along Nicholson Street north, and most stops along Nicholson street south are already staggered, so if we really want consistancy, let's just use staggerd side platforms throughout.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Also, are tram signals going to be added to Port Junction as part of the upgrade, and maybe at crossovers along both light rail lines?
  scrat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Fitzroy North
Not in anything I've seen. Not really needed anyway, line of sight and procedures work well.

Liam.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
But this time I wasn't suggesting block signalling, but signalling to control conflicting movements at junctions, that's a different matter. Even if line of sight working is sufficunt, it can still be worth signalising tram juctions, in this case, Port Melbourne trams would have a clear signal whenever St. Kilda beach trams have a green one and vice versa. As far as I know, many of the word's tram systems still have signals at juctions even if trams are driven on sight. If more than one tram is still allowed through on a green light, it still counts as drive on sight.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

If everyone practised the compulsory stop at Port Junction there is no real danger in conflucting movements.  You are stopped anyway regardless of the presence of another tram on the neighbouring line.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
But signal protection of conflicing movements would be sure to eliminate the need for the compulsory stops, except at facing points, but the mandation of stopping at facing points really needs a good review.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

The compulsory stop is only momentary.  With a set of signals you would either proceed without having to stop (but you can't exceed 15 km/h through the diamond crossing and trailing points anyway, so you really don't save much time), or have to stop for the signal to change, which would be at least 10 seconds.
    Compulsory stop at facing points is an industrial practice for all modes of rail transport, as long as the points are driver operated.  The position of point blades needs to be confirmed by the driver in a stationary state.  You can only eliminate it if you upgrade the network to a type of central based control measure, which is hardly compatible with the Melbourne network with large portion on shared road surface.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Well, here's another idea, have separate platforms for Port Melbourne and St. Kilda beach trams. As far as I know, our tramway network is the only one in the develope world which has the stop and precede-through-facing-points rule, even though driver operated facing points are common on tramways elsewhere in the world. And why do we have switch position signals? To indicate the position of the point blades, if they only go halfway, the horizontal bar will remain lit.
  Citadisboi Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Well, here's another idea, have separate platforms for Port Melbourne and St. Kilda beach trams. As far as I know, our tramway network is the only one in the develope world which has the stop and precede-through-facing-points rule, even though driver operated facing points are common on tramways elsewhere in the world. And why do we have switch position signals? To indicate the position of the point blades, if they only go halfway, the horizontal bar will remain lit.
Myrtone
I've always thought that the St Kilda Beach and Port Melbourne trams should be seperated at Port Junction a la Domain Interchange - also, how about putting in a seperate siding for the Restaurant trams and moving the stop a bit further down from where it is now.

Oh that's right, logic, State Government and public transport...they never really seem to go together do they?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Well, here's another idea, have separate platforms for Port Melbourne and St. Kilda beach trams. As far as I know, our tramway network is the only one in the develope world which has the stop and precede-through-facing-points rule, even though driver operated facing points are common on tramways elsewhere in the world. And why do we have switch position signals? To indicate the position of the point blades, if they only go halfway, the horizontal bar will remain lit.
Myrtone

    The triple aspect points lantern is only a subsidiary measure to sight confirmation.  For comparison although most points on railways operate under centralized control, a small portion of driver operated points (e.g. inside depots and maintenance centres) are also compulsory stops.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
What would be the point of a points lantern if it's only a subsidary measure? As I said, there are driver operated points on tramways in other parts of the world which are not compulsory stops, therefore than rule needs to be given a good review.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

From my understanding if the position of the point blades is different to the intended direction of travel, you would need to reduce to 10 km/h between the single and double white discular studs where the detector loop is laid.  Also if the tram in front is traveling to a different direction the second tram would need to stop before the triple white discular stud until the previous tram clears the points.  Otherwise the control zone of the V-tag points would regard both trams as one entity and will not change the points for the second tram.
    Before anything changes, it's always the driver's responsibility to confirm point blades before proceeding.  I don't think the rule is likely to change because no one is willing to shoulder the responsibilities in case any accidents occur after the decision to alter the rules is made.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
It appears that Port Junction is the only sight controlled junction on the network, apart from crossovers and some, but not all depot entrances. I believe that signal control is typical of tram junctions elsewhere in the world, including crossovers on reserved sections.
  benjiMD Beginner

I've always thought that the St Kilda Beach and Port Melbourne trams should be seperated at Port Junction a la Domain Interchange - also, how about putting in a seperate siding for the Restaurant trams and moving the stop a bit further down from where it is now.

Oh that's right, logic, State Government and public transport...they never really seem to go together do they?
Citadisboi

That would be amazing! I think they should just move that shelter inside the depot by the east entrance there. How poor is it that we have service trams being held up by restaurant trams.
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

It appears that Port Junction is the only sight controlled junction on the network, apart from crossovers and some, but not all depot entrances. I believe that signal control is typical of tram junctions elsewhere in the world, including crossovers on reserved sections.
Myrtone

The junction of the 109 and 48 at Kew Junction isn't signallised for trams either. There are pedestrian crossing lights just beyond the diverge on High St and Barker's rd, but if the lights are green, 109s give way to 48s (in both directions).
The exit of shunts #2 and #3 at Melbourne University and the entrance/exit to the Elizabeth st, Collins St, Waterfront City & rt 75 scissor termini are also sight controlled (disregarding traffic lights controlling conflicting road vehicle movements, as opposed to shunt movements).

Most tram operations in central Europe use the same white line indicators (that Melbourne uses as point position indicators) as tram traffic signals. They use other arrow-type lights as point indicators.
  scrat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Fitzroy North
The junction of the 109 and 48 at Kew Junction isn't signallised for trams either. There are pedestrian crossing lights just beyond the diverge on High St and Barker's rd, but if the lights are green, 109s give way to 48s (in both directions).
The exit of shunts #2 and #3 at Melbourne University and the entrance/exit to the Elizabeth st, Collins St, Waterfront City & rt 75 scissor termini are also sight controlled (disregarding traffic lights controlling conflicting road vehicle movements, as opposed to shunt movements).

Most tram operations in central Europe use the same white line indicators (that Melbourne uses as point position indicators) as tram traffic signals. They use other arrow-type lights as point indicators.
bramt

The sidings at Mills St, Simpson St, and Dudley St are also controlled by sight to my knowledge (in the case of Mills St so is the curve into Danks St). I'm also pretty sure that Acland St/Carlisle St/The Esplanade; and Park St into/out of Fitzroy St are also controlled by sight (again, to my knowledge). I still question the need for adding more complexity if there is no problem; there is no point implementing a solution for which there is not problem.

Liam.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

The junction of the 109 and 48 at Kew Junction isn't signallised for trams either. There are pedestrian crossing lights just beyond the diverge on High St and Barker's rd, but if the lights are green, 109s give way to 48s (in both directions).
bramt

Cotham Rd.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
The junction of the 109 and 48 at Kew Junction isn't signallised for trams either. There are pedestrian crossing lights just beyond the diverge on High St and Barker's rd, but if the lights are green, 109s give way to 48s (in both directions).
The exit of shunts #2 and #3 at Melbourne University and the entrance/exit to the Elizabeth st, Collins St, Waterfront City & rt 75 scissor termini are also sight controlled (disregarding traffic lights controlling conflicting road vehicle movements, as opposed to shunt movements).
bramt


This is a junction between two tramways in the road, it can only be signal controlled if the intersection itself is signal controlled. In fact it puzzles me that the intersection of Cotham Road and High street isn't signal controlled given the overall volume of traffic, inculding but not limited to trams.

Re:sidings at Mills St, Simpson St, and Dudley St

First of all, these are all sidings, not junctions between two routes, so get less traffic than Port Juction. I think the one in Dudley street is light controlled. As for the Mills street junction, unfortunately you have trams facing give way signs, same is the case up at the intersection with Canterbury road, but there are signals, unlit most of the time, which ensure that trams (being the only vehicles on the road that must follow tracks, and unlike other vehicles on the road, except buses, follow fixed routes, and are timetabled) have priority over other vehicles.

Last time I checked, there were signals installed at the intersection of Park and Fitzroy streets, these usually being unlit.

So in a nutshell, all junctions where routes diverge except Port Juction and at the sight controlled intersection of High Street and Cotham road are signal controlled, as, to my knowledge, are similar trams junctions elsswhere in the world. So I don't see what's so special about Port Junction such that signals won't need to be installed when they are fitted at all other junctions where routes diverge, with one other exception in Kew, on a street running section.

I do believe that newbuild systems do tend to put singals at all junctions, including crossovers, even on line-of-sight sections.

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