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Inner West Light Rail observations

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:54 am

A 13 minute frequency equates to 18.5 services over 4 hours. A 12 minute frequency provides 20 services. There is no identifiable "extra trip".

This could be achieved by tightening up the timetable a bit, and not require any extra trams.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:42 am

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/cru ... 4zz8q.html

'Crush capacity': The worst time to get on Sydney's light rail
Matt O'Sullivan
By Matt O'Sullivan
27 August 2018 — 12:00am

The number of passengers enduring “crush capacity” on Sydney's inner west light rail line or being left behind on platforms will worsen unless the Berejiklian government buys more trams to boost the frequency of services, “sensitive” documents warn.

And even if new trams are bought, it will be up to three years before they are running on the line because of the length of time it takes to procure and commission them.

The "sensitive" documents warn of "most, if not all, services" reaching "crush capacity" by 2021 without trams running every six minutes during peak periods.

The confidential government reports, obtained by the Herald using freedom of information laws, warn the existing fleet of 12 trams will “likely not meet forecast patronage growth” over the next two years, and commuters will “require alternative transport options” along parts of the rail corridor.

“Patronage growth shows that by 2021 most, if not all, services will be at crush capacity under the current eight-minute headway arrangement,” one of the documents states.

They reveal that buying four extra trams will be only a short-term fix. An upgrade to parts of the line will be needed before service frequencies can be raised to meet longer-term demand.

Patronage on the 12.8-kilometre light rail line between Central Station to Dulwich Hill has surged by more than 260 per cent from 3.9 million trips in the 2013-14 financial year, to more than 9.4 million in 2016-17.

And modelling by the state's transport agency forecasts patronage to grow by 8 per cent annually over the next three years, due mainly to high-rise apartment developments.

It predicts a 47 per cent surge in patronage during the peak-hour period by 2021 to almost 4400 people, and 73 per cent by 2031 to nearly 5200.

A “final business case” outlining the need for more trams, completed late last year, warns that “without a short-term increase in capacity, customer experience will fall due to increased wait times between services and over-crowding”.

“There is a significant risk that the current fleet size cannot accommodate the forecast growth in demand ... without a significant fall in customer experience,” it states.

While it got a better rap from commuters than other public transport, the light rail line had a “noticeable downturn in customer satisfaction over the past 12 to 18 months”.

“The deterioration in customer experience is expected to accelerate if these problems are not addressed,” the report marked “sensitive” states.

The existing fleet of 12 trams allows a maximum frequency during peak periods of one service every eight minutes, which the reports warn is “quickly becoming inadequate”.

At present, the “worst service outbound” is the 8.10am tram from Central Station, while the most heavily crowded in the opposite direction is the 8am from Dulwich Hill.

The main peak-load periods in the mornings are eastbound from Lilyfield to Pyrmont Bay between 7.45am and 8.30am, and westbound from Central Station to Pyrmont between 7.45am and 9am.

Under the “potential short-term” fix, buying four new trams would allow a service to run every six minutes. That would be the “maximum level that can be used on the existing infrastructure”.

But to meet demand beyond 2024, “all long-term scenarios” will need extra track to be laid near Dulwich Hill, power supply and stabling yards upgraded, and investigating whether trams that will be used on the $2.1 billion CBD and South East light rail line can also run passengers services on the inner west line. The latter is stymied by “contract limitations”.

The length of platforms on the inner west line, as well as the stabling yards, also restrict the introduction of longer trams to carry more passengers.

A confidential briefing note for Transport Minister Andrew Constance in August last year said the purchase, delivery and commissioning of new light rail vehicles would take a “­mimimum of two-three years, and there is no identified funding stream currently”.

Transport for NSW said in a statement that the business case for new trams had yet to be finalised and was subject to further review.

“Once the business case has been finalised the infrastructure improvements for the longer term planning will be considered by the NSW government,” it said.

The agency has refused to release to the Herald under freedom of information laws two reports – a draft “strategic business case” and an “economic appraisal” – which outline proposed “capacity enhancements” for the inner west line.


Inward a.m. peak 2016:
IWLRcapacity-inwardam.JPG
IWLRcapacity-inwardam.JPG (256.73 KiB) Viewed 3476 times


Outward a.m. peak 2016:
IWLRcapacity-outwardam.JPG
IWLRcapacity-outwardam.JPG (243.47 KiB) Viewed 3476 times


All this was predictable a decade ago. Typical TfNSW stuff-up. Also, if they get a proper journey-time on CSELR they would actually have enough spare Alstom trams (30 metre sets) to add to IWLR but of course they've gone and got the wheel profiles etc incompatible. There are really too many cars for the typical needs of CSELR (even allowing for maintenance downtime) and too few for IWLR.

I would also love to have the opportunity to ride some of those more crowded services and check the dwell times at stops as the lack of doors in the CAFs would also be letting them down.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby mandonov » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:07 am

Both Canberra and Newcastle's light rail lines were the perfect opportunity to piggy back on local CAF orders. :roll:

I could see the ultimate infrastructure solution chosen being a branch to White Bay. That would mean the Pyrmont core could have a headway of 3 min, with the respective branches having a headway of 6 min. The line south of Lilyfield really doesn't need anything more frequent than 6 minutes for the foreseeable future. Though that could be another underestimation.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:18 pm

I have been watching the apartment construction around Lewisham, still more going up and obvious patronage generators. Probably similar around other stops. So things aren't going to get better anytime soon?
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby mandonov » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:14 pm

Nowhere near as intensive around other stops, as Lewisham West is in the centre of what used to be industrial land. Arlington has a couple developments but that's about it.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Swift » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:58 pm

boronia wrote:I have been watching the apartment construction around Lewisham, still more going up and obvious patronage generators. Probably similar around other stops. So things aren't going to get better anytime soon?

Mass demolition programme required. Vladimir Putin's help required to bomb them like in Syria. He would be doing us a favour, or better, lock up the developers and put a stop to immigration for 20 years.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Daniel » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:21 am

Thanks for another over the top irrelevant post. Can we stick to sensible transport discussion?
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Stu » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:09 pm

Considering that the up direction is busy between Lilyfield to Pyrmont Bay and the down direction between Central to Pyrmont, would it be at all possible to have head off services commence from Lilyfield heading to Central and then a short working from Central back to Lilyfield?
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby moa999 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:33 pm

Per the leaked document that forms part of the SMH article - not under the current contract, and we all know how much private operators love variations

https://www.scribd.com/document/3869316 ... rtcilelink
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:25 pm

Note that the options in that document do not include the benefits of speeding up the services (esp traffic light priority) to increase the frequency without increasing the fleet, or putting extra demand on in frastructure.

And as it was written 12 months ago, there might have been the possibility of recovering a couple of Vario's for re-use?
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby gilberations » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:08 am

Surely the solution is simple:
Introduce dulwhich Hill to Lillyfield short workings and Central to Wentworthville Park short workings
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby grog » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:25 am

moa999 wrote:Per the leaked document that forms part of the SMH article - not under the current contract, and we all know how much private operators love variations

https://www.scribd.com/document/3869316 ... rtcilelink


The interesting thing is that they don’t seem to indicate that there is much barrier to operating CSELR vehicles on the IWLR - I wonder if this is what we will see in the short term to get us to 6 minute frequency?
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:51 am

grog wrote:
The interesting thing is that they don’t seem to indicate that there is much barrier to operating CSELR vehicles on the IWLR - I wonder if this is what we will see in the short term to get us to 6 minute frequency?

Don't see why not, they can be run as individual 30 metre cars, they don't have to be run as coupled sets. It apparently boils down to some technical issues of compatibility as TfNSW did not seem to oversee the two projects as parts of one "system" and has allowed some incompatibilities to creep in between IWLR and CSELR. I understand that these revolve around wheel profiles and clearances with platforms. TfNSW's learning curve is a real pain in the butt to have to live with during the process of reintroduction of tram systems in NSW.

It also seems to me now that the decision to cut the Dulwich Hill terminus back from two tracks to one was nothing more than an attempt to save costs by a transport agency that was in denial about the level of patronage that can be attracted to a tram system. The big cost at Dulwich Hill was that of excavating a cliff to make way for an additional track. However, nobody has ever said anything about the obstacle on the other side of the track, the railway building that I believe is something to do with the signalling system. Whatever is in there, I wonder how much of that is to be redesigned for the metro and thus whether the building will actually be needed in the long term? Indeed whether it can be even trimmed back as it would not be necessary to demolish the whole building to obtain the space for the extra terminus track. It seems to me that they have been very lazy on this, at a great operational cost.

Also bear in mind that GCLR has been running very successfully with 6-7 minute headways with a single-track stub terminus at each end (and still at one end since the Helensvale extension opened), but it has had full traffic light priority, which is an unsubtle hint that one would think TfNSW might pick up on. All the answers are known in advance, it's waiting for the fog to lift at TfNSW that's the excruciating bit.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:00 pm

grog wrote:
moa999 wrote:Per the leaked document that forms part of the SMH article - not under the current contract, and we all know how much private operators love variations

https://www.scribd.com/document/3869316 ... rtcilelink


The interesting thing is that they don’t seem to indicate that there is much barrier to operating CSELR vehicles on the IWLR - I wonder if this is what we will see in the short term to get us to 6 minute frequency?

On pages 8 and 9 there are mentions of "interoperability issues" of running Citadis on IWLR, without actually spelling them out.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby moa999 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:37 pm

Although reading between the lines it seems to be the preferred option in the short term.

Certainly doesn't seem to be any issues that a new fleet type would mean all the existing stops need to be upgraded to meet tighter disability standards, as some here have suggested previously.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Frosty » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:56 pm

I'm surprised they didn't mention like ripping even more seats out of existing fleet or having additional bus services that parallel the corridor.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:57 pm

Did the trams recently get new/upgraded lighting? I note that its more of a fluorescent colour from what I saw yesterday, whereas I'm used to remembering it as "yellow", like the M set's interior lighting
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby matthewg » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:32 pm

Jurassic_Joke wrote:Did the trams recently get new/upgraded lighting? I note that its more of a fluorescent colour from what I saw yesterday, whereas I'm used to remembering it as "yellow", like the M set's interior lighting


It may be simply that someone in the procurement of parts didn't realise that lights come in different 'colour temperatures' and ordered a box of higher colour temp lamps (bluer) than the original 'warm' version.

More than once I've been on a train where it's obvious that lamps have been replaced with ones that have a different colour rating, with some lamps being 'cool white' and the others 'warm white'.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Swift » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:50 pm

NSW transport planners (a term I use very loosely indeed) seem obsessed with laboratory lighting like it equates to being more modern. The S sets used to feel like they were lit by 17th century chandeliers compared to now. Try getting shut eye in the early hours. Tyrants!
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:31 pm

LED lighting is the best standard now. I don't know how many NSW public transit vehicles still have fluoro but it can't be got rid of too soon. Look at the difference between the restful LED lighting in the refurbished Aldi stores and then walk into the pulsating, headache-inducing bright nightmare of a Coles etc and you understand the difference. I love the Volgrens with their LED strips, with full lighting only coming on when the doors are in use.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby neilrex » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:30 am

If the most crowded trams are outbound from Central early in the morning, how is this caused by apartments ? Sound more like people who work in Pyrmont trying to get to work.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:51 am

neilrex wrote:If the most crowded trams are outbound from Central early in the morning, how is this caused by apartments ? Sound more like people who work in Pyrmont trying to get to work.

Yes, significant journey to work destinations in Pyrmont/Ultimo. You also find this in the opposite direction in am peak with many of those on the outer end of the line (residential) disembarking in Pyrmont/Ultimo rather than going through to Central.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby swtt » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:37 pm

Time to rename it to the L1 Pyrmont Line.

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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby gascoyne » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:22 am

There was a torn large plastic bag hanging from the catenary on the Down line between Fish Market and John St this morning. Presumably it fell down into the cutting somehow. They were aware of it. It was still there on my return trip, about an hour later.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby neilrex » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:36 pm

How about a useful bus service to and from Pyrmont, to provide an alternative to the tram ?
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