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Inner West Light Rail observations

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:00 pm

STMPainter2018 wrote:
boronia wrote:Isn't there a problem with widths? The XO5s are narrower, thus creating DDA problems.

Yes there is that too but that can be easily fixed; add platform gap fillers so the X05s meet the DDA standards. If you look at the door treads on the Citadis cars, the treads are larger on the inner modules with doors than the outer ones. And the sections of the platforms where these parts of the trams stop, is marked as wheel chair access. So with the IWLR, you'd only need to do it on the sections of platform where the inner modules stop. Or else do the whole length of the platform that might be easier. BUT WAIT! I hear you cry, what about the Urbos 3s? Well from what people like Matthew have said, you'd only have to remove the door treads on those so they fit the loading gauge. But anyway, this is all just speculation. If all else fails, TfNSW could add a grandfather clause for X05s on the IWLR. But I doubt they'd do that. This is what happens when you don't have a set standard, sigh.......

Either way they have to comply with the DDA as it currently stands. Perth has a similar problem with its trains. The first years of modernisation (particularly the Joondalup line) were during the first decade of the DDA in the 1990s, then about 2001 iirc the DDA regs were modified which included a tightening of platform gap standards. From my observations in Perth it makes no practical difference as to whether you can ride a wheelchair or scooter over the gap (which is pretty tiny in either case) but the operator is not allowed to claim full current compliance for 1990s clearances. Part of IWLR was built in the 1990s, part of it in the 2000s and CSELR in the current century too. There's probably no practical difference but current compliance is necessary. I'm sure there's not too much work to do.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Linto63 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:09 pm

Not doubting that CAFs are inferior to products from Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens, but that hundreds have been sold to operators throughout Europe, with some placing repeat orders, indicates they fill a need in the marketplace. CAF is known in parts to stand for Cheap as something or another (fiddlesticks maybe?). It's a bit like in the bus market, the cheaper Chinese products do not suit everybody, but based on the number sold they evidently suit some.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Swift » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:13 pm

NSW cheaping out? No!!! As inconceivable as what f word that could be referring to.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:14 pm

STMPainter2018 wrote:Okay I may have cam off too harsh in calling CAF con-artists but I'm sorry, as a Sydney-sider who's ridden the Urbos 3's quite a few times, I think y'all are SEVERLY underestimating how XXX these trams really are, or at the very least, how unsuited to the IWLR they are. You only need to ask the maintenance staff at Pyrmont what these trams are like to work on and they'll tell you straight up it's a nightmare, and how much they miss the Variotrams. And I really disagree Tony; I honestly do believe the Urboses are no better than Breda's unreliable junk. And I'm not just talking about lack of doors and power bogie design and how it affects seating, I'm talking about lack of dampers - Variotrams had 8 and rode very well, Urbos 3's only have two or 3 and unlike the X05s don't have axles in their bogies for support so they rock about and creak all over the place on tight curves etc. - the use of incorrect steel on the wheels so they wear down too quickly, the air-conditioning (or lack thereof) not modified for Sydney climate, the fact that they can't run in a shallow pool of water so the motor power connector becomes completely cooked and they can't get a new spare cause of manufacturing conflicts; I could go on. I really did not appreciate the Variotrams in their time because working on 2107 at Loftus, and knowing the backstory behind it and it's sisters and the care John Dunn put into them to make sure they could run for 30-40 years, really opened my eyes to what a load of cheap junk we got in their place. The Urbos 3's are what the Variotrams COULD'VE been had John Dunn not stepped in. And I will say Tony, I definitely agree that tenders are given to price, and that's ESPECIALLY true of CAF's trams, but I disagree that this is all on TfNSW; CAF takes a share of blame for why we have sub-optimal outcomes on the current Inner West line. Sure they could've been given more doors and better seating had Transport known what they were doing, but that doesn't change the fact that they would've been shoddily built and terrible to maintain. In terms of tram design, CAF are now where ALSTOM where when they introduced the Melbourne C class trams; completely hopeless. Again, this is all just going off their tram products, but I stand by my belief that CAF's trams are crap and they should be removed with a superior product - aka the Citadis cars - as soon as possible. Bottom line cut and dry.

The reason for my note of caution relates to litigious concerns, need I say more? I agree with you that CAF produce a very basic tram, which I expressed in polite words above, and they are succesfully getting major orders for them around the world. This suggests that operators haven't discovered major issues with them. By comparison Bredas soon revealed their faults and were having major overhauls at only a few thousand kms, with some systems giving up and getting rid of them asap (e.g. Manchester). These things can also depend on the operating environment. Variotrams have also had a couple of disasters, usually related to their ability to chew up trackwork (e.g. Helsinki). Instead of asking about performance of the Variotrams, ask about how the tracks have been faring on IWLR since 1997. We both agree that it would be great if the CAFs were replaced by something better, but it's not going to happen and the deleted doors are TfNSW's fault not CAF's.
Last edited by tonyp on Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:18 pm

Linto63 wrote:Not doubting that CAFs are inferior to products from Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens, but that hundreds have been sold to operators throughout Europe, with some placing repeat orders, indicates they fill a need in the marketplace. CAF is known in parts to stand for Cheap as something or another (fiddlesticks maybe?). It's a bit like in the bus market, the cheaper Chinese products do not suit everybody, but based on the number sold they evidently suit some.

Your Chinese buses are a good analogy, but CAFs aren't really cheaper than other trams. It's usually some other aspect of the deal that gets them across the line (plus the client's own low standards).
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:27 am

This is due to substation failure in evening peak yesterday. Unbelievable that they didn't fit the CAFs with batteries to get them to the next stop. Perhaps another "saving" by TfNSW in the contract, on top of deleting a couple of doors.

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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby BroadGauge » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:53 pm

Tonight will be the final night of the overnight shuttles between Central and The Star, and from Sunday the light rail stop there will be closed until further notice.

I presume there must be some special arrangement for the funding of these particular services, as the powers in charge usually aren't so reactive to things changing! Well, I guess it has taken them five days after the casino closed for the service to end, but that's fast in relativity :twisted:

https://transportnsw.info/alerts/details#/6048747
Overnight light rail services between Central and The Star suspended
UPDATED 27 Mar 17:52

Sat 28 Mar 23:00 - Wed 1 Jul 00:00

Details
As a result of the latest directives from the Australian Government around public gatherings, the L1 light rail services operating from 11pm (midnight on Friday) to 6am between Central Grand Concourse and The Star in both directions, will be suspended from 11pm Saturday 28 March 2020.

Daily light rail services will no longer stop at The Star from 6am Sunday 29 March, but all other stops will operate as per normal.

This follows the closure of The Star Sydney casino, restaurant and bars.

These temporary service changes will be in place until further notice.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Fleet Lists » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:09 pm

Which will mean that the bus replacement services mentioned in https://transportnsw.info/news/2020/l1- ... -trackwork will also not proceed I would think.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boxythingy » Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:34 am

That section of line is such a basket-case, closed for all reasons possible
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