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Inner West Light Rail observations

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby BroadGauge » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:13 am

Swift wrote:This is what the Dulwich Hill end looked like at the start of the decade.

I remember 11 years ago getting this shot near the Lewisham West stop, with an 80 class sitting around in the siding: https://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=244768

These days, to borrow a photo from Wikipedia, it looks a bit more like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lewi ... h_2014.JPG
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Swift » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:43 pm

Broadguage wrote:I remember 11 years ago getting this shot near the Lewisham West stop, with an 80 class sitting around in the siding: https://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=244768

These days, to borrow a photo from Wikipedia, it looks a bit more like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lewi ... h_2014.JPG

I had no idea there is a stop situated there. In all the years seeing that goods railway underneath from the train above, I thought how useful it would be for passenger trains, especially with overhead in place and finally we got it in this unexpected form and the patronage proved my hunch right.
Great picture. It didn't take long for vegetation to take hold after that.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Daniel » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:49 am

Extra trams to ease crowding on Sydney's inner west line still years away
By Matt O'Sullivan
July 2, 2019 — 12.00am

Sydney commuters will have to wait at least another two years before new trams are likely to be running on the inner west light rail line to help reduce passenger crowding.

Internal documents obtained by the Herald under freedom of information laws show Transport for NSW intended to "undertake direct negotiations" in about the middle of last year to buy new trams.

But almost a year on, the government agency has yet to strike a deal with French company Alstom or Spain's CAF to purchase four trams, which would increase capacity of the light rail line by up to 1200 passengers an hour during morning and evening peak periods when overcrowding is worst.

The documents detailing potential "short-term enhancements" show that even if a deal is signed, it will take 18 months before all four trams are delivered.

The plan to increase the size of the existing 12-strong fleet remains unfunded despite a considerable amount of preparatory work by transport officials over the past two years.

Patronage on the 12.8-kilometre line from Central Station to Dulwich Hill soared from 3.9 million journeys in the 2013-14 financial year to just over 10 million in 2016-17. In the following 12 months to June last year, passenger journeys rose to 10.26 million.

The extra trams will allow the frequency of services to be increased from one every eight minutes during peak periods to one every six minutes, and those at other times of the day to be boosted from a service every 13 minutes to every 10 minutes.

"If the existing fleet of 12 [light rail vehicles] is not supplemented by the proposed additional four [trams], supply will not meet the forecast demand beyond early 2021 and the customer experience will further erode," the internal documents state.

"Crowding is being experienced during weekdays, especially at peak times. Crowding-related customer complaints represent approximately 67 per cent of all complaints on the [line]."

Transport for NSW said in a statement that additional modelling from the network operator was needed to determine the "long-term operational and maintenance costs" associated with increasing the frequency of services by adding four new trams.

"Transport for NSW has also sought further technical clarification prior to determining which of the two shortlisted vehicle suppliers would provide the best value for money," it said. "The final business case will be completed once these matters have been determined and it is anticipated that the four new light rail vehicles could be in operation in 2021."

Funding for the extra trams will not be allocated until the final business case is approved.

The purchase of four trams is deemed only a "potential short-term fix" and, to meet demand beyond 2024, extra track will need to be laid near Dulwich Hill, power supply and stabling yards upgraded, and "contract limitations" overcome so that trams used on the $2.7 billion CBD and South East light rail line can also run passengers services on the inner west line.

French company Transdev operates the inner west line, and will run trams on the new 12.8-kilometre line from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kingsford in the south-east when it opens.

Alstom is the supplier of trams for Sydney's light rail line, while CAF's trams run on the inner west line and Newcastle's new light rail line, which opened in February.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby moa999 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:18 am

Wonder what the contract limitations are?
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Linto63 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:49 pm

moa999 wrote:Wonder what the contract limitations are?
Possibly that the contract with Alstom states the Citadis can only carry passengers on the CBDSELR and a variation needs to be negotiated.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby STMPainter2018 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:01 pm

moa999 wrote:Wonder what the contract limitations are?

This is might explain things more: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/why ... xida4.html

And needless to say, I'm not happy. They coulda had SIX extra trams had they given the old Variotrams their mid-life overhaul and kept them in service. But NOOOO.... they just HAD to get rid of them all even though they were a far better vehicle than what we’ve currently got! And now we have only one left and it’s in a museum! At only 22 years old! And I’m helping take care of it (visit the Sydney Tramway Museum btw)!
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Linto63 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:27 pm

The price of leasing new rolling stock has come down significantly in recent years, hence in Europe stock that would now normally be up for a mid-life rebuild is being scrapped. Birmingham and Manchester are cities that chose to replace late 1990s built stock with new builds in recent years.

IIRC there was originally an option in the contract with CAF for 6 more trams that was signed before the Newcastle line was on the horizon, but when this surfaced, the option was taken up for that project.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby moa999 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:37 pm

STMPainter2018 wrote:This is might explain things more: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/why ... xida4.html


That's not a contract limitation though.

That's a poor clickbait-esque article (written as if it's more like they are different gauges) which fails to explain that it's mostly disability requirements (and I suspect a matter of millimetres in most cases).

Now we've got the settlement, hopefully we see some sensible variations
(The most obvious one would have been to have the light rail folk build the continuous flow intersection at Anzac/Allison as part of the project, but I suspect that opportunity is now gone)
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby STMPainter2018 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:02 pm

Linto63 wrote:The price of leasing new rolling stock has come down significantly in recent years, hence in Europe stock that would now normally be up for a mid-life rebuild is being scrapped. Birmingham and Manchester are cities that chose to replace late 1990s built stock with new builds in recent years.

That doesn't make it right.

Linto63 wrote:IIRC there was originally an option in the contract with CAF for 6 more trams that was signed before the Newcastle line was on the horizon, but when this surfaced, the option was taken up for that project.

Yes there was. It would've SO much more beneficial for those trams to be used on the IWLR, but they just HAD to close the rail line to Newcastle and build this tin-toy line instead! Sure it may become a useful network in the future but as of now, it's a toy line! Man I'm very mad today...
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby STMPainter2018 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:11 pm

moa999 wrote:That's not a contract limitation though.

That's a poor clickbait-esque article (written as if it's more like they are different gauges) which fails to explain that it's mostly disability requirements (and I suspect a matter of millimetres in most cases).

Now we've got the settlement, hopefully we see some sensible variations.

It still lists limitations that prevents easy passenger operation by the Citadis cars on the IWLR. I just PRAY the current line is modified to the same standards as the CSELR in all areas; track points/check rails, platforms, etc. We NEED a consistent and compatible light rail network across the board so trams in Sydney can operate to their best potential! That way I don't have to hear gunzels complaining about any misgivings online! :lol: Although, I have heard rumblings that they’ve been converting the points and check rails to the same tramway standard as the CSELR during recent trackwork in order for the safe movement of Citadis cars to Lilyfield. But I would need confirmation and evidence from Sydney Light Rail on that.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Linto63 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:48 pm

STMPainter2018 wrote:That doesn't make it right.
So you saw the business case for new build vs refurbished then?
Linto63 wrote:It would've SO much more beneficial for those trams to be used on the IWLR, but they just HAD to close the rail line to Newcastle and build this tin-toy line instead! Sure it may become a useful network in the future but as of now, it's a toy line!
Another one who can't get over the Newcastle line closing. It was more than 4 years ago, time to get over it.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:55 pm

Both Birmingham and Manchester replaced their rolling stock early because those Italian Breda trams were notoriously unreliable and the cost of maintenance and downtime had become unsustainable. This was not the case with the Sydney Variotrams.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby STMPainter2018 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:15 pm

tonyp wrote:Both Birmingham and Manchester replaced their rolling stock early because those Italian Breda trams were notoriously unreliable and the cost of maintenance and downtime had become unsustainable. This was not the case with the Sydney Variotrams.

Exactly! Need I remind people that when 2107 first arrived at Loftus, the overall conversation wasn't "look how much of it isn't working", it was more, "look at how much still works". This beast was built well (thanks John Dunn) and still had a regular service life of 30 years left in it. Oh well, their loss is our gain...
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby matthewg » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:56 am

Linto63 wrote:The price of leasing new rolling stock has come down significantly in recent years, hence in Europe stock that would now normally be up for a mid-life rebuild is being scrapped. Birmingham and Manchester are cities that chose to replace late 1990s built stock with new builds in recent years.

In the UK, where they replaced Breda stock that was never very good from the start.
It is NOT a general trend.


The French are keeping their 20+-year-old TFS trams in service, German systems workshops are stripping down to the frame and reskinning. (Actually, this is considered standard maintenance in areas that snow and they salt the roads, underframe corrosion is rife). Even Melbourne is doing such overhauls to their Z3 class.

Sydney's 'business case' for the Vario replacement almost certainly included getting a half-decent price selling the cars whole as going concern. Instead, they got 3 1/2 years storage fees and paying to have them dismantled and removed.
It was intended that they would be sold and gone to new homes 6 months.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Swift » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:59 pm

matthewg wrote:
Linto63 wrote:The price of leasing new rolling stock has come down significantly in recent years, hence in Europe stock that would now normally be up for a mid-life rebuild is being scrapped. Birmingham and Manchester are cities that chose to replace late 1990s built stock with new builds in recent years.

In the UK, where they replaced Breda stock that was never very good from the start.
It is NOT a general trend.


The French are keeping their 20+-year-old TFS trams in service, German systems workshops are stripping down to the frame and reskinning. (Actually, this is considered standard maintenance in areas that snow and they salt the roads, underframe corrosion is rife). Even Melbourne is doing such overhauls to their Z3 class.

Sydney's 'business case' for the Vario replacement almost certainly included getting a half-decent price selling the cars whole as going concern. Instead, they got 3 1/2 years storage fees and paying to have them dismantled and removed.
It was intended that they would be sold and gone to new homes 6 months.

That's scandalous. It sounds like yhey just wanted to be seen to have flashy new models for pr purposes. How wasteful on three fronts: capacity, cost and the environment (energy for manufacture of a durable product- only to be treated as disposable trash).
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby STMPainter2018 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:03 pm

Swift wrote: That's scandalous. It sounds like they just wanted to be seen to have flashy new models for pr purposes. How wasteful on three fronts: capacity, cost and the environment (energy for manufacture of a durable product- only to be treated as disposable trash).

Yeah pretty much.
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