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Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in Oz

General Transport Discussion not specific to one state

Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby Linto63 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:42 am

tonyp wrote:I suspect you mean "irresponsible"? :wink:

Last night's bus was returning to depot empty. I think these guys would be among Australia's most experienced artic drivers, some of them doing it for 20 years or more. These buses are pushers (rear engine driving rear wheels).
Oops! :oops: Doesn't matter whether there are passengers on board, other motorists / pedestrians are at risk. In this era of data loggers, I would be surprised if any driver would be foolish enough to do so though.

tonyp wrote:My experience on deckers on two continents over the decades and including the new B Line is that they're always slow to move along. Electric deckers are a lot better though.
I would say over all its line ball, down to the power of the individual model, a decker is certainly a fare bit lighter.
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby tonyp » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:50 pm

Linto63 wrote:Doesn't matter whether there are passengers on board, other motorists / pedestrians are at risk. In this era of data loggers, I would be surprised if any driver would be foolish enough to do so though.
I would say over all its line ball, down to the power of the individual model, a decker is certainly a fare bit lighter.

There was no exceeding of speed limits or speed advisorys involved so I don't see what the problem is. It shows that an artic can be driven like an ordinary rigid single-deck bus, whereas a double decker has to take into account the laws of gravity. They may be OK in a straight line (as long as no sudden change of steering angle is involved and that should be taken into account), but they have to slow right down on curves. These things affect the service speed.
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby Tim Williams » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:05 pm

I have been in Singapore for over one week, travelling on as many different types/configurations of buses as possible - after I return home I will put together some information about the varoius buses in an (hopefully) unbiased series of comments. Singapore is interesting for transport in general, and buses in particular as contracted urban buses number approximately 5,500 of which nearly 2,200 are double deckers. I am not sure of the number of artics on the road at present, but within a couple of years their numbers will dwindle to 40.

Singapore has a lot of full low floor buses and I will put some information about that, a little later - I do believe there are pluses with low-floors, but there are some negatives as well.

I am sure that you all know that there is some wonderful equipment here, including over 1,000 Mercedes Benz Citaros, and they are great machines. On the double decker side, there are over 1,400 Volvo/Wright Geminis in service - so why would you not want to visit this place?????
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby tonyp » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:03 pm

Tim Williams wrote:I have been in Singapore for over one week, travelling on as many different types/configurations of buses as possible - after I return home I will put together some information about the varoius buses in an (hopefully) unbiased series of comments. Singapore is interesting for transport in general, and buses in particular as contracted urban buses number approximately 5,500 of which nearly 2,200 are double deckers. I am not sure of the number of artics on the road at present, but within a couple of years their numbers will dwindle to 40.

Singapore has a lot of full low floor buses and I will put some information about that, a little later - I do believe there are pluses with low-floors, but there are some negatives as well.

I am sure that you all know that there is some wonderful equipment here, including over 1,000 Mercedes Benz Citaros, and they are great machines. On the double decker side, there are over 1,400 Volvo/Wright Geminis in service - so why would you not want to visit this place?????

I look forward to reading your observations Tim. Linto63 has already given me information on fleet propertions in Singapore and it seems, from your information too, that double decks constitute about 42% or so of the fleet. Now, cities like Prague and Vienna previously mentioned, have about 45-50% artics in their fleets, yet I haven't seen them described as "artic cities". On a consistent basis, therefore I wouldn't describe Singapore as a double deck city, even though they're obviously very significant as a mainstream bus - it's just as much a decker city as Vienna and Prague are artic cities. It still seems to me that the UK, Ireland and Hong Kong are the only surviving large jurisdictions where deckers are overwhelmingly the mainstay of city transit fleets.

I've been reading all sorts of information from everywhere since we last wrote and I'm darned if I can find anywhere else in the world on this scale, but on the other hand a lot of systems that have got rid of deckers since the war and numbers that have since acquired some in small numbers for targetted niches of their overall operation, but not as their mainstream vehicle type. I still maintain the assertion that deckers have failed to take off seriously as city transit vehicles but have remained in a holding pattern comprising the few cities/countries that traditionally continue their use and a continuing niche output of very small numbers relative to the overall world production of city buses, including a very much larger number of artics.

I've also been reading up on the history of deckers in Sydney, drawing on both Greg Travers' work and my father's work as an engineer involved in both double deckers and the new post-war single deckers in Sydney. As you probably know, there was a big uptake of deckers on British chassis/local bodies in Sydney from the 1930s. These mostly worked in a support role to the trams as feeders or on routes where there wasn't a tram or rail service. They seemed to do the work quite decently for a time, until the overturns started occurring and there were a number of these right up to the 1970s.

My dad's first job was with stability testing and the outcome was some constraints on drivers and a reduction in service speed. However, two particularly bad accidents in the late 1940s caused a complete rethink and embracing of the American single-decker bus design (I think similar happened in Adelaide), which my dad was also involved in adapting the design to Sydney and the British chassis that were to be used. Both of these accidents were on Manly-Warringah long-distance services. One involved an overturn of a fully-loaded (70 passengers including standees) peak service with very many injuries. The other was off-peak but overturned on a hill and went over a cliff upside down, resulting in several deaths and many injuries. Those incidents sounded the death knell for deckers in Sydney and there were no more orders, the last deckers entering service in 1955 iirc and the remaining chassis already delivered being bodied as single deckers.

The next venture into deckers was the Atlanteans in the 1970s which resulted from a desire to provide more seats on long-distance services and thus economise on the number of buses required for such services. The union, as is known, did that one in as they were not prepared to operate them without a conductor. Then they got caught up in the door disputes that came with OMO, building up to a head in the 1970s and early 80s. Basically, all OMO buses including the Atlanteans were only allowed by the union to use the front door only and it was not until the 80s that a second door was allowed to open for exit only. The artics, which were introduced as the higher-seating solution after the Atlanteans, also suffered from this, either being ordered with only two doors or, when fitted with three, only being able to open two of them (I think that might still apply in Sydney?).

In recent times, the Premier when she was transport minister announced the reintroduction of deckers for long-distance routes only where there was low passenger turnover en route and this is the way it has happened to date. The current Minister Constance is now saying ambiguous things that differ from that, implying the end of artics and so on, and it remains to be seen which way this will head. Knowing the way these things work internally, I assume there are the usual warring camps within TfNSW and the RMS has probably been nagging about the "road space" taken up by buses at the cost of their precious private cars. Anyway, this is a sort of potted history in Sydney.
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby Tim Williams » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:17 pm

Yes, Thanks Tony,

I will look into this in detail after I am back in dear old Adelaide! I am also trying to take photos of the low floor, rear floor areas of the buses and will put it altogether. It is interesting that no matter how good a transport system is, in the end the passenger experience comes down to the quality of the bus driver/operator and this afternoon here, I came across one of the worst - the driver's braking was so violent, a poor old lady screamed in panic, as she was propelled off her seat. All very unneccessary because the driver was travelling way too fast and he didn't anticipate a traffic light change, with a young boy just about to cross the road.
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby tonyp » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:35 pm

Tim Williams wrote:Yes, Thanks Tony,

I will look into this in detail after I am back in dear old Adelaide! I am also trying to take photos of the low floor, rear floor areas of the buses and will put it altogether. It is interesting that no matter how good a transport system is, in the end the passenger experience comes down to the quality of the bus driver/operator and this afternoon here, I came across one of the worst - the driver's braking was so violent, a poor old lady screamed in panic, as she was propelled off her seat. All very unneccessary because the driver was travelling way too fast and he didn't anticipate a traffic light change, with a young boy just about to cross the road.

Have a good trip back Tim. I've been to Singapore once, but too tropical for me. I'm not a person who likes humidity, I can't stand anywhere north of Wollongong! :lol:
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby Tim Williams » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:37 am

I have taken interior photos of various full low floor bus types in Singapore, will post with some notes, when I get some time, hopefully this week. After various discussions on full low floor types and DD's v.s Artics etc., I found that this added an extra dimension to the bus riding in Singapore. I will put down my thoughts (without any hard and fast conclusions) when I post the photos - all very interesting to me!
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby tonyp » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:59 am

In terms of this double-decker vs single-decker debate, my attention has been drawn to this article about one of the early experiments with double-decker trams in Sydney (page 3):

https://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/ ... 201991.pdf

The trial didn't last long for reasons long-understood and still relevant. From the accounts of the extreme late-running mentioned in the article, the experiment must have caused the operating staff great consternation, considering that trams ran as close as 18 second intervals through the city!
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby Tim Williams » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:02 pm

It is interesting, but those old style high floor trams were not fast loaders/unloaders even in single deck form. I have just returned from Hong Kong and they love their rather traditional double deck trams, to the extent where the classic style, in an updated interior form has been maintained and the millennium style abandoned. The trams have rear entrance and front exit (pay as you exit), with 2 staircases. Whilst the stair cases small, curved and generally not the best, but they are of fairly modest dimensions with 2 and 1 seating - not large numbers, so loadings /unloadings are not too bad - but in any event(as said) the locals love them.

By contrast the buses are getting larger and where possible and loadings are large, 12.8 mtrs deckers are used. They seat 63 seats upstairs (almost the same as total seating for the original length Routemaster!), 35 downstairs + 48 standing - with the usual 2 doors + 1 staircase. Whilst the locals are very adept at moving on and off the these buses quickly, movings up and down the stairs does have an impact on dwell times, but there seems to be little alternative. The road space in Hong Kong is limited, as it is in Singapore, but to a lesser extent and both places have large and consistent loadings. Artics are not allowed in Hong Kong and are being phased out in Singapore.

By contrast both HK and Singapore run efficient, profitable, high capacity metro train services, all single deck, lots of underground sections and have long trains (11 coaches in HK's MRT) with longitudinal seating and loads of standing areas which are fully used.
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby jibb » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:27 pm

I didn't see 1 Artic during my recent visit to Singapore. Most of their main roads are very wide,thus buses move very quickly,with short dwell times at stops. Mind you their frequencies are excellent,so this ensures buses are not overloaded.
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby tonyp » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:56 pm

What do you mean those single deck trams weren't fast loaders/unloaders Tim? The average dwell time of Sydneys trams was 8 seconds! As the article says, inserting the two double deck cars amongst them was disastrous. I understand that Sydney Tramway Museum has plans to restore/replicate one of those double deck cars, even though they were unrepresentative out of a fleet of several hundred single deck cars moving 150 million people a year at that time.

What is the average dwell time of Hong Kong's double deck trams and buses?
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby Bus Suggestions » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:00 pm

jibb wrote:...Tower Transit(part of Transit Australia Group) has an all green fleet with lots of new buses.

Thought they were with Transit Systems?
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby Tim Williams » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:09 pm

The buses in Singapore have a much easier life than in Hong Kong - the roads in HK are often much narrower and incredibly congested androugher and the topography can be really challenging there. In both the southern part of HK Island and parts of the New Territories the roads are very narrow and incredibly hilly - nothing is like that in Singapore.

Artics in Singapore are becoming rarer, but SMRT bought 40 full low floor MAN/Gemilangs a couple of years ago and they will be around for about 15 more years - places to see and ride on them are at Woodlands, Choa Chu Kang and I think Yishan interchanges; it is well worth the effort as they are great buses. Each place is a MTR (railway) station as well as a bus interchange, so they are very easy to get to.
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby jibb » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:13 pm

Bus Suggestions wrote:
jibb wrote:...Tower Transit(part of Transit Australia Group) has an all green fleet with lots of new buses.

Thought they were with Transit Systems?

My mistake you are correct-thanks for bringing this to my attention.
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby tonyp » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:32 am

A bit of further background on those experimental double-deck trams in Sydney. Like the railways at the time, Australian tramways had become very much oriented to the USA in seeking design solutions, as UK solutions were proving to be inappropriate to Australian operating circumstances. However, there were politicians in the various legislatures who were very strong on "Empire preference" and their influence led to the staff in the various operations having to go to some lengths to prove that the British technology and ideas were inappropriate. In the case of the Sydney tramways, the two particular examples were the original steam motors and later the electric cars.

In the former case, they were obliged to import four British motors from different manufacturers with view to choosing the best among them. However, the tramway management already had their eyes on more powerful American Baldwin motors. Like the electric double deck cars, the underpowered British steam motors caused chaos when trialled in operation and were quickly retired to maintenance duties and replaced with Baldwins. Common sense ruled throughout much of our urban transport history until, unfortunately, British influence crept back into the bus industry later in the 20th century, which is another story.

I would still be very interested to know what the average dwell time of double-deck trams and buses is in Hong Kong!
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby Tim Williams » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:13 am

Hi Tony, I know little about the operation of Sydney's tram system, other than it was very large (over 1,600 trams), operated as 2 separate sections north of Sydney and the main southern section and it ceased in 1961. As far as dwell times are concerned, I simply and perhaps naively assumed that the main R1 type with multiple, but narrow doors, and high floors, would be slow to load and unload and that assumption came from my observations of the old Adelaide H class trams, which were not fast in that area.
By contrast, I would expect "toast racks" with their many entrance/exits to be fast.

I lived in Birmingham UK until I was 11 and they had a very large tram system, 3' 6" gauge operated by very tall double deck, mainly bogie trams. I was too young to really appreciate system, which during my lifetime, was very much in decline with poor track work and vehicles at the ends of their operating life, but there were a couple of really long runs, by UK standards, that ran on reserved track and were comparatively fast and carried enormous loads to a park area that was very popular with the locals at weekends. When the trams finished the replacement buses were no match in terms operational capacity and speeds along uninterrupted track. The tram loadings and unloadings might have been quicker than the buses as their door openings were certainly wider.

Returning to the present, Hong Kong trams are quite small and would not carry really large loads that happen with 12.8 mtr buses. I think it is pretty obvious to say that a crush loading multidoor artic will always load faster than any decker (tram or bus), but Hong Kong and to a lesser extent Singapore simply has not got the road space for artics and both places also have some long routes of say 1.00 - 1.5 hours for which seating seating (not standing) is really necessary. Hong Kong additionally has some routes (on the south of the Island and in the north of the New Territories) which travel along really hilly, sometimes narrow roads with lots of bends where 10.6 mtr, sometimes low height deckers are operated, with few standees.

Singapore is comparatively flat, with mostly larger roads and as we have talked about previously, they are in the process of ordering 100 3 door, twin staircase deckers to, no doubt, reduce dwell times. Hong Kong will just have to live with decker dwell times as they seem to have enormous and ever increasing loads to shift, with their limited road space.

AS also previously mentioned HK's MTR and Singapore's MRT sytems are both modern, extensive and carry huge loads with lots of standees and the dwell times seem impressive for both systems.

If I get a chance, I might do some into this subject of dwell times for both places, as my comments are purely based on observation.
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby tonyp » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:23 am

The R/R1 trams loaded and unloaded quickly because there were also doors at both ends. The even spread of doors ensured that nobody was far from a door and there were no "caves" inside to trap people like in the Adelaide and Melbourne trams.

There was another reason that Sydney trams had short dwell times!

Image

However, nowadays, provided that there are plenty of doors, a modern tram loading on one side only should typically have a dwell between 10 and 20 seconds.
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Re: Why high standing multi door artics will not succeed in

Postby Tim Williams » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:43 am

So, passengers could use both sides - no wonder they were fast. I do expect that could not happen now with all the rules and regulation wrapped around safety! One thing I very keen on now is the step less entrance, either from kerb side to the bus or raised platform to the trams, that speed loadings up!
I will also try and find out some detail on the 2 staircase double decker trials in Singapore - the 3 door evaluation MAN A95/Gemilang has been operating for over 6 months now and must have been deemed a success if 100 production vehicle are coming.
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