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Inner West Light Rail observations

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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:59 pm

A good video posted to Youtube that reveals what is going on with these "overloaded" trams - just more TfNSW incompetence after all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3_wQrsiPAY&t

The trams aren't even fully loaded yet are sent off leaving people behind. The reason can be seen in the tram at around the 5 minute mark - not enough doors. TfNSW has deleted two double-doors per side from the specification for this CAF tram model and the results can be clearly seen. A one-minute dwell and no problem with the way the crowd is trying to board (so stop blaming the customers), it's the lack of doors. Yet the turnip on the PA is urging them to board as quickly as possible. Now who is the cause of that TfNSW?

With the same ineptitude on the buses (and double deck trains for that matter), one wonders if somebody high up in NSW transport administration ran into a door when they were young and has been trying to take revenge on them ever since by blocking them or getting rid of them. It's Transport 101 stuff and they can't even make it past that first professional hurdle.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Frosty » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:21 pm

^Probably when they first ordered the CAF trams they were prioritised seating over doors/standing capacity. At least with SELR trams will have maximum doors & minimal seats.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:26 pm

Frosty wrote:^Probably when they first ordered the CAF trams they were prioritised seating over doors/standing capacity. At least with SELR trams will have maximum doors & minimal seats.

I think they just lazily reproduced the specification of the Variotrams, ignoring the fact that that was basically just a tourist service, and had no forethought about growth. From the job they do on the buses and trains, they also seem to have no idea in general about managing passenger flows on a large scale and absolutely no understanding of system capacity. The loss of expertise since the end of the former tram system is epic.

Yes fortunately the Alstom trams are better-equipped but I imagine that the impetus for that came from Alstom.

I note that Canberra and Newcastle have also replicated the Sydney CAF specification. This probably won't matter too much in Newcastle for quite a while but I think in Canberra it will come to bite them on the tail.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:35 pm

I caught a tram that day, and noticed that some pax were denied boarding although there was plenty of room inside.

I think the problem here is there is a constant flow of people coming out of the concourse and if they waited for every straggler, the tram would never leave.

Having more doors will not solve this problem.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Frosty » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:39 pm

tonyp wrote:
Yes fortunately the Alstom trams are better-equipped but I imagine that the impetus for that came from Alstom.

I note that Canberra and Newcastle have also replicated the Sydney CAF specification. This probably won't matter too much in Newcastle for quite a while but I think in Canberra it will come to bite them on the tail.


The Alstom tram specification probably came out after some local hysteria that trams would be full from day one.

Maybe the peeps at Transport Canberra involved in the light rail are ex-TfNSW people , if the Canberra trams don't work out surely we could use them. Though it would be interesting if Sydney & IWLR had Bombardier E-Class trams of Melbourne.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:55 pm

boronia wrote:I caught a tram that day, and noticed that some pax were denied boarding although there was plenty of room inside.

I think the problem here is there is a constant flow of people coming out of the concourse and if they waited for every straggler, the tram would never leave.

Having more doors will not solve this problem.

I agree that there has to be a cut-off to keep it on time, but it appeared in that video that the people left behind were people already alongside the tram waiting to get on. The doors are exactly the problem because more of them means that you get everybody on board more quickly. People in that video were milling around the outside of the few doors like water backing up down a drain. Gosh it reminds me of NSW bus services - like the Gong Shuttle! At least the tram is sort-of evenly loaded, not that solid mass down the front half and daylight through the back half of the bus.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby moa999 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:36 pm

Tonyp,

You've made that claim a number of times (and while I agree the Sydney one should have double door) as noted Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane have the one door versions as well as most of the foreign Urbos3 installations I can find on google
- Edinburgh, Midlands, Bescanon, Oslo, Freiberg, Kansas


The only all double doors I can find are Budapest, Nantes, Kaoshing Taiwan, Oslo and Lichtenstein

So I suspect it's an option and comes with a seat trade-off.

Being positioned at one end of the vehicle there is also an argument that the door should have less people using it than other doors
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:59 pm

I'm actually referring to the doors in the second module from each end. Typically there are two double doors per side in each of these modules, but in Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra they've opted for one. Double doors in the end modules is a beneficial option but in this case if there are sufficient doors elsewhere, perhaps it's not so critical. In that video though there were plenty of people trying to cram through the end doors.

Ideally, a tram or bus on heavy, high turnover service like this (and IWLR is now very busy even by world standards) should have one set of double doors per five metres. Seating is not as critical on shorter services like this.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby grog » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:10 pm

Could additional doors be retrofitted to that second module if desired?
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:04 pm

grog wrote:Could additional doors be retrofitted to that second module if desired?

It would be a complete rebuild of the module, they wouldn't consider it worthwhile.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby gascoyne » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:01 am

I caught a tram to Central yesterday Tue 27 June, arriving about 1430. We paused at Capitol Square, with the driver announcing we had to wait a minute because of a tram in front of us. Incorrect - there were TWO trams in front of us. The first left Central down the ramp to Pitt St just as we were turning onto the Castlereagh St ramp. And when we got to the Central unload point, the second was waiting in the departure position.

I hope the service gaps elsewhere on the system weren't too bad but they would have been noticeable to passengers.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:22 am

The trams seem to be changed over in service regulalrly throughout the day, and the procedure involves sending an empty tram from the depot to Central to take up running, and the original tram to run empty from Central back to the depot.

For some reason, the empty tram follows the service car, so it gets delayed by the unloading. TO me, it would make more sense to run the empty car first, so it can start loading while waiting for the other to arrive.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:26 am

gascoyne wrote:I caught a tram to Central yesterday Tue 27 June, arriving about 1430. We paused at Capitol Square, with the driver announcing we had to wait a minute because of a tram in front of us. Incorrect - there were TWO trams in front of us. The first left Central down the ramp to Pitt St just as we were turning onto the Castlereagh St ramp. And when we got to the Central unload point, the second was waiting in the departure position.

TfNSW should thank their lucky stars it isn't a stub terminus, thanks to the wisdom of the previous-generation tram system. All that could change of course if the Central Station hotel idea goes ahead.

The old system managed to feed slightly more than three trams at a time though here, in the days before the city railway:

Image
(The Pitt/Castlereagh trams were running anti-clockwide in those days)

But yes, everything must have been pear-shaped further along IWLR.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:25 pm

I noticed elsewhere that one of the "reasons" given for restricting boarding at Central was so that there was some capacity for passengers boarding at Capitol Square and Paddy's.

I reality, I have observed that a lot of people get OFF at both these stops, probably more than board. Maybe services need some "first set down" restrictions LOL
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:36 pm

boronia wrote:I noticed elsewhere that one of the "reasons" given for restricting boarding at Central was so that there was some capacity for passengers boarding at Capitol Square and Paddy's.

I reality, I have observed that a lot of people get OFF at both these stops, probably more than board. Maybe services need some "first set down" restrictions LOL

Yes, that was raised in that other forum. I think you're right, the reality is that people getting off free up space for people getting on. Apart from which the trams don't seem to be as full, yet alone "overcrowded" as people make them out to be. One thing about trams is that there's quite a bit of elasticity at the upper end of the capacity spectrum and you can usually squeeze a few more on. Having more doors would help with that too.

I wonder too if getting rid of the marshalls at Central would actually help it work better too - seriously! Sometimes "help" is actually a hindrance, if you get my drift.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:01 pm

I have observed a couple of Sunday morning services from Central where the trams were definitely full, and they were probably justified in denying boarding. But the following service picked up this overload and the subsequent tranche of arrivals, with a bit of space to spare. There are possibly "peaks" shortly after the arrival of intercity services? Even from the suburban platforms, it is easy to pick the dense mobs at regular intervals, followed by lulls.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:10 pm

The service should be more attuned to demand if they can predict waves of passengers coming off trains. It's a bit like how both feeder trams and buses used to have an extra vehicle or more, often short-worked, when a ferry came in. The biggest problem is only having trams every 10 minutes or more, that's rough if you can't get on a tram. They've even stopped providing a complete timetable on the Transport website. For large chunks of the day it just says trams every 8 to 15 minutes. That's a fat lot of help.

This has rapidly become one of the most patronised routes in Australia. Only about four of Melbourne's tram routes exceed it in patronage and not by that much. IWLR has been completely underplanned by a transport administration that obviously didn't expect it to be so successful.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby burrumbus » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:47 pm

And one that desparately needs more capacity-at least from Central to Pyrmont.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:47 pm

"Attuned to demand" is not really feasible when you have trains arriving every few minutes.

Perhaps the wages paid to these marshals would be better directed to putting an extra tram or two into the mix.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:37 pm

They're not really arriving every few minutes (according to timetable at least!) but every 8, 10 or 15 minutes. Still rough if you miss a tram, especially if you have to make a connection.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:09 pm

There are over 100 trains arriving at, or passing through, Central between 0900 and 1100 on Sunday, and potentially bringing tram patronage. They are not arriving at fixed intervals.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:06 am

boronia wrote:There are over 100 trains arriving at, or passing through, Central between 0900 and 1100 on Sunday, and potentially bringing tram patronage. They are not arriving at fixed intervals.

I only mentioned that because you said there are peak waves of passengers off trains, particularly intercity (?).
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby iamthouth » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:33 pm

From https://www.facebook.com/SydneyLightRailProject

June 19 at 8:13 AM Light Rail announcement: The number of passenger journeys on the Inner West Light Rail has more than doubled since opening, from 4.57 million in 2014, to 9.81 million in 2017. Due to popular demand, the Inner West Light Rail between Central and Dulwich Hill has been included as part of the 2018 $15.6 million NSW Budget and will receive, an extra 35 services from August 2018. The increased frequency of services will assist in reducing crowding and wait times for customers during peak periods when it is needed most. Just one of the many benefits of Opal Data where it captures demand and rising trends and helps us adjust services accordingly to stay ahead of growth.


Very good growth and extra services would be welcome.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:12 pm

Patronage has doubled but only about 5% increase in services?
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Swift » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:17 pm

And the worthless oxygen soaking waste dispensing naysayers said that CSELR would be a flop.
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