Future of the Belair Line

 
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
I agree with Ian.

With just a handful of trains anywhere near full now trams would easily fit the bill and give direct access to the city centre.    The few full services could be catered for by running either more trips, or coupled units.

Sponsored advertisement

  Halo Chief Train Controller

Can they run wires for light rail? Last I heard the tunnels couldn't accommodate heavy rail wires.

Would light rail be able to pull up the hills at a speed to keep to the timetable? Would probably help if we switched to 750v as we are no longer running vintage 600v trams.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Can they run wires for light rail? Last I heard the tunnels couldn't accommodate heavy rail wires.

Would light rail be able to pull up the hills at a speed to keep to the timetable? Would probably help if we switched to 750v as we are no longer running vintage 600v trams.
Halo
The 2 tunnels could be third rail with change-over sections before and after the tunnels, or battery-electric trams that use conventional overhead for both traction and to charge the batteries for the short run through each tunnel could be used.

I would assume that trams, or light rail vehicles, would have a timetable tailored to them so gradients shouldn't be a problem, and in any case are a lot less than encountered elsewhere.   Powering every axle should help.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@kipioneer Might not need to do that since the tram would likely be low-floor thereby having a greater clearance at the top.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Can they run wires for light rail? Last I heard the tunnels couldn't accommodate heavy rail wires.

Would light rail be able to pull up the hills at a speed to keep to the timetable? Would probably help if we switched to 750v as we are no longer running vintage 600v trams.
The 2 tunnels could be third rail with change-over sections before and after the tunnels, or battery-electric trams that use conventional overhead for both traction and to charge the batteries for the short run through each tunnel could be used.

I would assume that trams, or light rail vehicles, would have a timetable tailored to them so gradients shouldn't be a problem, and in any case are a lot less than encountered elsewhere.   Powering every axle should help.
kipioneer
I thought the days of hanging wires in tunnels was over, its now fixed contact beam for the pano, as per the Sydney Metro.  Needs far less space to hang in and longer life.  Does it work for 25kVA? I'm sure it does, but is there enough clearance available?????
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Can they run wires for light rail? Last I heard the tunnels couldn't accommodate heavy rail wires.

Would light rail be able to pull up the hills at a speed to keep to the timetable? Would probably help if we switched to 750v as we are no longer running vintage 600v trams.
Halo
Considering that the Rhaetian Bahn's  Bernina Express comprises one articulated electric rail motor pulling at least four trailer cars each weighing 23 tonnes up grades as steep as 1 in 14 (the adhesion limit) powered from a 1000Vdc overhead a typical Adelaide tram set would have no trouble on the Belair line grades.

At up to 1000Vdc the clearances in tunnels are minimal  particularly if a contact beam was used. The relatively low voltage reduces the possible touch potential dangers under fault conditions to rail workers on the adjacent ARTC controlled tracks compared with 25kVac.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Can they run wires for light rail? Last I heard the tunnels couldn't accommodate heavy rail wires.

Would light rail be able to pull up the hills at a speed to keep to the timetable? Would probably help if we switched to 750v as we are no longer running vintage 600v trams.
Considering that the Rhaetian Bahn's  Bernina Express comprises one articulated electric rail motor pulling at least four trailer cars each weighing 23 tonnes up grades as steep as 1 in 14 (the adhesion limit) powered from a 1000Vdc overhead a typical Adelaide tram set would have no trouble on the Belair line grades.

At up to 1000Vdc the clearances in tunnels are minimal  particularly if a contact beam was used. The relatively low voltage reduces the possible touch potential dangers under fault conditions to rail workers on the adjacent ARTC controlled tracks compared with 25kVac.
steam4ian
Is there any possibility that the old Sleep's Hill tunnels could be re-activated if the overhead lines in the double-tracked tunnel are a problem?
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Can they run wires for light rail? Last I heard the tunnels couldn't accommodate heavy rail wires.

Would light rail be able to pull up the hills at a speed to keep to the timetable? Would probably help if we switched to 750v as we are no longer running vintage 600v trams.
Considering that the Rhaetian Bahn's  Bernina Express comprises one articulated electric rail motor pulling at least four trailer cars each weighing 23 tonnes up grades as steep as 1 in 14 (the adhesion limit) powered from a 1000Vdc overhead a typical Adelaide tram set would have no trouble on the Belair line grades.

At up to 1000Vdc the clearances in tunnels are minimal  particularly if a contact beam was used. The relatively low voltage reduces the possible touch potential dangers under fault conditions to rail workers on the adjacent ARTC controlled tracks compared with 25kVac.
Is there any possibility that the old Sleep's Hill tunnels could be re-activated if the overhead lines in the double-tracked tunnel are a problem?
don_dunstan
What about the mushrooms?
A bigger problem Don is that the two viaducts at the southern end of the tunnels went long ago.
ARTC share easements around Australia with 25kVac and 1500Vdc systems so the problem is only in the minds of SA rail transport people who have not always proved to be the sharpest knives in the drawer.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Is there any possibility that the old Sleep's Hill tunnels could be re-activated if the overhead lines in the double-tracked tunnel are a problem?
What about the mushrooms?
A bigger problem Don is that the two viaducts at the southern end of the tunnels went long ago.
ARTC share easements around Australia with 25kVac and 1500Vdc systems so the problem is only in the minds of SA rail transport people who have not always proved to be the sharpest knives in the drawer.
steam4ian
I think the mushrooms have left the tunnels, Ian - they went to a purpose-built facility.

Agreed - probably the refusal to consider electrifying the Belair line has more to do with not wanting to spend the money more than anything.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The old tunnels are privately owned, used as a storage facility.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Just putting it out there.

What is the elevation of Belair station?

why I ask is because a 3 - 3.5 km tunnel branching off past Lynton curving under most of the existing route would solve alot of problems that were stated above.

(yes I know it won't happen)
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Just putting it out there.

What is the elevation of Belair station?

why I ask is because a 3 - 3.5 km tunnel branching off past Lynton curving under most of the existing route would solve alot of problems that were stated above.

(yes I know it won't happen)
RTT_Rules
Belair is at about 305m, and Mitcham is at about 75m from memory, Shane. Funnily enough, this question was asked in 2008, an answer wasn't given then but some resources where pointed out. Such as NatureMaps (http://spatialwebapps.environment.sa.gov.au/naturemaps/?locale=en-us&viewer=naturemaps)
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

http://location.sa.gov.au/viewer/ - includes line measurement tool.

Lynton is at 112m, Belair at 306m.

You could get the length needed to do it if you had it ascend past Belair and then switch back to come into Belair from the east. It would get even easier if you went straight to Pinera and abandoned the present Belair station, building a footpath along the present route from the station to connect to St Johns and Belair National Park.

A S-Bahn style EMU would happily go up a 4% grade at a decent speed.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Or we could just take the sensible approach of terminating the teams at Blackwood.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Er, that would be trams - which this time as a joke my phone auto corrected to ‘trans’...
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

That still doesn't solve the problem of the big circuit around Bellevue Heights.

Just to be clear, I do accept that tunnelling to allow a direct approach to Belair and then going down towards Blackwood is not realistic.

Electrification (partial or full), duplication, truncation and conversion (to trams or O-Bahn or whatever) are all options that will be too politically difficult to get done. I fully expect the Belair line to keep on muddling on for quite a while - including a strong chance of another life extension project for some of the diesel fleet around 2030 or so.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Or we could just take the sensible approach of terminating the teams at Blackwood.
Aaron
A lot of cyclists and day-trippers do use the train to get to the entrance of the Belair National Park though - very popular on the weekends so I've noticed.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
http://location.sa.gov.au/viewer/ - includes line measurement tool.

Lynton is at 112m, Belair at 306m.

You could get the length needed to do it if you had it ascend past Belair and then switch back to come into Belair from the east. It would get even easier if you went straight to Pinera and abandoned the present Belair station, building a footpath along the present route from the station to connect to St Johns and Belair National Park.

A S-Bahn style EMU would happily go up a 4% grade at a decent speed.
justapassenger
I'm thinking Thredbo Ski rail type train but not steep enough to need rack and pinion and terminate in a tunnel under the population centre, doesn't have to be Belair station as such.

3.5km of grade at 1:40 from Lynton is 90m, so you'd be at 200m elevation. Just need to be on a valley side so not to need a 110m long escalator to get out.

(yes, again I know this won't happen)
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Er, that would be trams - which this time as a joke my phone auto corrected to ‘trans’...
Aaron

Why Blackwood, only 3 stops to go. As I posted before, its barely 10min longer by train compared to car from Belair to the city.

Are there any station patronage figures available?
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Pretty sure the hills line predates the 1920s and the arrival of the large steam locomotives.

Also, what is ABOVE a railway station makes remarkably little difference if having a subway is your objective. The sole reason for subways and tunnels is to avoid what is above - there is almost no other reason for employing them.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Please note that most of the traffic on the line is generated at Blackwood and Coromandel. Belair is an embarrassment.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Well much of the station’s catchment is a national park; koalas not being generally known for the high dependence on PT.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Please note that most of the traffic on the line is generated at Blackwood and Coromandel. Belair is an embarrassment.
steam4ian
But in terms of tourism it's not a bad thing for it to terminate the extra few kilometers at Belair, not very much further and the main entrance to the park. If a visitor asks you for an interesting train trip then it's pretty much the only one I'd recommend.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

There are enough other stations on the Adelaide Metro system which are far more deserving of closure than the three after Blackwood that you can compile a top ten.

1. Kudla
2. Nurlutta (should be marked on RAAF maps as a target)
3. Marino Rocks
4. Warradale
5. Torrens Park
6. Greenfields
7. Gawler Oval
8. Midlunga (I don't blame you if you wonder where the hell that is and assume it's somewhere near Noarlunga)
9. Woodville Park
10. North Adelaide
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

smeg, I got to ten without fitting in Lonsdale and Christie Downs! Told you it was easy.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: