Gold Coast update

 
  Dazzagc Station Master

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  Gaz170 Junior Train Controller

Location: Gold Coast
The line is now electrified for the entire length, although as far as I understand no tram has made it to Broadbeach yet.
  allambee Chief Train Controller

I haven't been following this project but I heard the other day via a industry source that the project has gone over $200 million over budget (and still growing) for the McConnell Dowell and Bombardier Transport JV.
  Dazzagc Station Master

Testing Trams will be from north surfers paradise to broadbeach very soon.
  Gaz170 Junior Train Controller

Location: Gold Coast
There is currently a car stuck on the light rail bridge over the Nerang River. Looks like they tried to drive over and got to where the sleepers start and the continuous concrete trackbed finishes and got stuck. Emergency crews and media in attendance.

Edit -media photos show they got a bit further than I thought.

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/traffic-reports/car-stuck-on-light-rail-bridge-at-southport-after-woman-accidentally-drives-along-tracks/story-fnl6qvfc-1226853311836
Gold Coast Bulletin
  Dazzagc Station Master

Today the trams had been through Broadbeach! testing to broadbeach from next week.
  Gaz170 Junior Train Controller
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Very good news!
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Images from yesterday’s Southport tram study mentioned in my previous post.

Temporary cross over laid on top of the concrete tram rails just north of the Nerang River Bridge. Image from car by passenger. Cokley Image 24JAN2014 https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwaDRaTEtlSlUxSW8/edit

Tram on Nerang St crossover Cokley Image 24JAN2014 https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwbTNlbS1ZLWlDX0U/edit

Crossover signal Cokley Image 24JAN2014 https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwOWo0QTlNQjVZV00/edit

Crossover point blades Cokley Image 22JAN2014 https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwSGVPRDlleU9VdmM/edit

Crossover Nerang St Cokley Image 24JAN2014 https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwVVo5T0YxUUtIZ1k/edit
petan

The temporary tram cross over laid on top of the concrete rails just north of the Nerang River Bridge was not there recently so “presumably” were removed when tram operations extended south of the bridge. The tram unloading ramp that was stored next to the Queen St cemetery has gone.
  Gaz170 Junior Train Controller

Location: Gold Coast
The headline in the paper says it all
"Groundhog Day! Another car stuck on tram bridge"
story here http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/car-stuck-on-light-rail-bridge-after-elderly-driver-travels-500m-along-tracks-at-southport/story-fnj94idh-1226914076722
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

By the outfit that guy is wearing he must think he is Captain Cool of the pensioners.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
The discussion on cars driven by distracted drivers on tram lines is over at http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1913170.htm#1913170
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Ummm.... I don't quite understand this one. The first trams arrived over twelve months ago, testing has been underway according to the goldlinkq website, but there is no banner proclaiming opening day (checked today 17/6/2014). Has the whole thing gone belly-up?? Surely it should be ready.... What is it that I do not understand?
3l diesel

3l diesel, I note many of your posts are Sydney or southern NSW related so maybe you are not aware the local Gold Coast media is asking much the same questions, so you are not alone on that matter. Apparently it is not just the tram vehicles themselves that have to be certified as ok. Some mention in local media about ability maintaining the timetable. I also note one of your posts mentions your hobby of  http://www.geocaching.com/ so be assured we local geocachers have several caches already in place near the tram route waiting for tourists such as yourself to discover and add some extra interest to your Gold Coast holiday if you come this way.
  Simbera Train Controller

Seems like they're imposing an extremely strict testing regimen that covers not just safety but also punctuality: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/gold-coast-light-rail-services-still-have-no-start-date-despite-months-of-testing/story-fnj94idh-1226959463543

And, well, good on 'em. It's a refreshing change to see a government so keen to do the job properly the first time, rather than half-doing it and having to fix it later.

That said, it does strike me as odd that a totally grade-separated, brand-new light railway is struggling to meet punctuality targets when it doesn't have to deal with the real-life variable of passengers. Makes me think the timetabling standards have been set too high - if they struggle now, what'll happen when you throw passengers into the mix?
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
That said, it does strike me as odd that a totally grade-separated, brand-new light railway is struggling to meet punctuality targets when it doesn't have to deal with the real-life variable of passengers.
Simbera

Sorry, not a totally grade-separated light railway as shown by the level crossing smashes already recorded.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Seems like they're imposing an extremely strict testing regimen that covers not just safety but also punctuality: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/gold-coast-light-rail-services-still-have-no-start-date-despite-months-of-testing/story-fnj94idh-1226959463543

And, well, good on 'em. It's a refreshing change to see a government so keen to do the job properly the first time, rather than half-doing it and having to fix it later.

That said, it does strike me as odd that a totally grade-separated, brand-new light railway is struggling to meet punctuality targets when it doesn't have to deal with the real-life variable of passengers. Makes me think the timetabling standards have been set too high - if they struggle now, what'll happen when you throw passengers into the mix?
Simbera

The problem with "trying to get it right first time" is that when designing and building anything but the ___VERY___ simplest system is that its virtually impossible to think in advance of everything that can go wrong. This makes building such a system VERY expensive. Examples to look at here are most NASA projects up to aprox the Viking space craft. It would be safe to say its nearly always better to build a system from an initial design and then have a decent testing and shake down period, this makes it simple to find the bugs and correct them.

This is probably why current public works programs are so expensive, the governments want a garrunteed out come but want the private companies to take all responisbilty (Dennis Napthine in an interview with ABC radio Melbourne's Jon Fane). The companies in order to acheive this will put a real decent contingency fee on top of there bid in order to cover any circumstances that may crop up that they have not thought of in a advance.

woodford
  Simbera Train Controller

Sorry, not a totally grade-separated light railway as shown by the level crossing smashes already recorded.
petan


Sorry, you're right. There are level crossings, however am I correct in saying that they do not mix with traffic that is going in the same direction as them?

Possibly "segregated" or "on it's own right-of-way" was the way I should have phrased it.

The problem with "trying to get it right first time" is that when designing and building anything but the ___VERY___ simplest system is that its virtually impossible to think in advance of everything that can go wrong. This makes building such a system VERY expensive. Examples to look at here are most NASA projects up to aprox the Viking space craft. It would be safe to say its nearly always better to build a system from an initial design and then have a decent testing and shake down period, this makes it simple to find the bugs and correct them.

Well yes, that's true, but there are also some pretty clear cases of governments cheaping out on things that clearly could have been done right the first time. Some things may be unpredictable, but that's not always the reason.

However by the sounds of it, that's the way this has been done. Build it to the design, have a decent testing period, then fix the bugs. Which I agree is a good thing.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Possibly "segregated" or "on it's own right-of-way" was the way I should have phrased it.
Simbera

Yes Simbera and I have my image to show you are correct Smile   I am tired of the dill brains who drive their cars and claim they did not see the big long yellow tram after they hit the tram at the street crossings Sad

[img]http://i311.photobucket.com/albums/kk478/petanoz/Tram%20Gold%20Coast%20modern/Cross-over-tram_zps32f1c75d.jpg[/img]
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
ahhh, now there is a community spirit alive and well!! As I say in most of my logs "thanks for the hide". Can I recommend my "A Lockley Story" earthcache if you are down in a more southern location (Blue Mountains). I doubt you would be disappointed.

Anyway, it seems we wait with bated breath for the light rail to take passengers. Perhaps they should take fare paying passengers before the official opening with the caveat that the system is "still under test" to properly soak it for bugs before declaring "officially open"...
3l diesel

3l Diesel, interesting cache Smile

Can Sydney and Melbourne folk tell us what happens when their modern era trams break down along the route, please? This question is to give us some idea of what to expect if the inevitable occurs and one of the Gold Coast trams does suffer a breakdown away from the depot. I also am curious of the rate/ frequency of these sort of events with modern technology and what type of items cause the trams to stop eg vehicle or overhead? If vehicle; propulsion or other parts of the vehicle?
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
It depends on how much they want to spend.

There are specialist vehicles out there that can be used to rescue or tow a defective tram.

In most cases, however, another tram simply tows the defective tram back to the depot. In Melbourne, there are locations across the network where the defective tram can be 'stashed' for later rescue by the breakdown crew, who rock up in their truck with the tow bar. As many modern trams have the function to couple, it is possible that anyone may be able to do this, however such a function is generally done by the mechanics, as there is usually a requirement to bypass stuff to get the tram moving.

If you page back a few pages on the vicsig 'latest photos' page (http://www.vicsig.net/photos/latestphotos), you can see a couple of Melbourne C2's coupled for towing.

As for how regularly they break down, well, they don't usually break down to a schedule - sometimes you can go weeks without a break down, other times, you have multiple break downs on the same day within minutes of each others. With the size of the GC network, I would be surprised (short of a power surge or something like that) if there was ever more than one tram defective, and I would expect a breakdown rate of one every couple of months once the network has been running for a while, and all the bugs are ironed out.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
It depends on how much they want to spend.

There are specialist vehicles out there that can be used to rescue or tow a defective tram.

In most cases, however, another tram simply tows the defective tram back to the depot. In Melbourne, there are locations across the network where the defective tram can be 'stashed' for later rescue by the breakdown crew, who rock up in their truck with the tow bar. As many modern trams have the function to couple, it is possible that anyone may be able to do this, however such a function is generally done by the mechanics, as there is usually a requirement to bypass stuff to get the tram moving.

If you page back a few pages on the vicsig 'latest photos' page (http://www.vicsig.net/photos/latestphotos), you can see a couple of Melbourne C2's coupled for towing.

As for how regularly they break down, well, they don't usually break down to a schedule - sometimes you can go weeks without a break down, other times, you have multiple break downs on the same day within minutes of each others. With the size of the GC network, I would be surprised (short of a power surge or something like that) if there was ever more than one tram defective, and I would expect a breakdown rate of one every couple of months once the network has been running for a while, and all the bugs are ironed out.
msilsby

Thanks as that Melbourne experience is really what I was seeking Smile
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Trams between Southport and Broadbeach been at a standstill since Saturday as a result of a broken water main near the light rail tracks http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/trams-at-a-standstill-due-to-burst-water-main-and-traders-in-the-dark-about-launch-date-for-the-glink-public-transport-system/story-fnj94idh-1226974542036
  Dazzagc Station Master

OFFICIALLY LAUNCH 20 JULY 2014  Free travel day.



Passenger service begin on 21 July.



  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Newspaper headline; Gold Coasters young and old to ride the light rail for the first time and celebrate, including 72-year-old Danny Sheehan who was the last to ride heavy rail in Southport.      

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/gold-coasters-young-and-old-to-ride-the-light-rail-for-the-first-time-and-celebrate-including-72yearold-danny-sheehan-who-was-the-last-to-ride-heavy-rail-in-southport/story-fnj94idh-1226994035762

Danny has told me the tickets in his hand in that image are; Sth Bris -Southport 4985 of L series, and the Southport-Sth Bris ticket 2112 of N series, so multiply 9999 by the number of alphabet series and you will see they are quite high numbers. Danny was on the Ch 7 news last night and check again tonight as he was invited onto the ceremonial tram today. He also did a very informative extensive interview on the ABC radio about the last rail day at Southport [30JUNE1964] a couple of weeks ago.

Danny’s history of the QR South Coast Line is included in Alan Arundell’s “The South Coast Railway”, Water Street Productions, Brisbane, 2011 http://railshop.com.au/prod78.htm

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