Inner West Light Rail observations

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BroadGauge
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by BroadGauge »

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

Post by Swift »

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

Post by Daniel »

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.

moa999
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by moa999 »

Wonder what the contract limitations are?

Linto63
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by Linto63 »

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

Post by STMPainter2018 »

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)!
Last edited by STMPainter2018 on Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Linto63
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by Linto63 »

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

Post by moa999 »

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

Post by STMPainter2018 »

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

Post by STMPainter2018 »

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

Post by Linto63 »

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

Post by tonyp »

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

Post by STMPainter2018 »

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

Post by matthewg »

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

Post by Swift »

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).
Last edited by Swift on Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by STMPainter2018 »

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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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by aussiedrum »

I have been making a few YouTube videos of the light rail trams in action in this upload I many focus on the Inner West Urbos 3s around Haymarket ending with the Alstom Citadis X05 Tram under test. Some of you may find interesting, this upload is Part 3 of 6.

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/2RKs88vs8uE

Cheers Aussiedrum.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by STMPainter2018 »

Someone has some feelings about the current IWLR operations. I'm sure some things in this will make gunzels triggered but I can see where she's coming from: https://10daily.com.au/views/a191125dyv ... nLjblwyFGg

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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by tonyp »

I think she must have ridden a bus: "forming a queue', "moving down (the aisle)"? These are characteristics of Sydney's fabulous front door entry buses. Or did she try to board a tram the same way? In any case most of her complaints seem to be about people, not the trams. Bit of a vague ramble.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by Swift »

She has very valid points, particularly the absence of public transport etiquette in this city. Even the average New Yorker out ranks the bulk of Sydney commuters in the thoughtfulness scale.
Refusal to increase capacity is another. Were the Vario trams incompatible with the newer rolling stock or were they just keen to parade these flash new trams and underestimated demand (as usual)?
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by Campbelltown busboy »

Swift wrote:She has very valid points, particularly the absence of public transport etiquette in this city. Even the average New Yorker out ranks the bulk of Sydney commuters in the thoughtfulness scale.
Refusal to increase capacity is another. Were the Vario trams incompatible with the newer rolling stock or were they just keen to parade these flash new trams and underestimated demand (as usual)?
The government should do a major upgrade of the L1 light rail line so the trams that will be used on the new line can be also used on the L1 inner west line
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by mandonov »

tonyp wrote:I think she must have ridden a bus: "forming a queue', "moving down (the aisle)"? These are characteristics of Sydney's fabulous front door entry buses. Or did she try to board a tram the same way? In any case most of her complaints seem to be about people, not the trams. Bit of a vague ramble.
Because that's exactly what happens on the IWLR.

At Central there are queues of people waiting exactly where the doors will open, everyone boards the few doors and clogs the vestibule while the aisles and turntables are completely empty. So when you finally lurch into Capital Square people have to shout to make people move down.

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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by matthewg »

Swift wrote:Were the Vario trams incompatible with the newer rolling stock or were they just keen to parade these flash new trams and underestimated demand (as usual)?
The only thing wrong with the Variotrams was they needed a 'mid-life' overhaul. (Basically, a deep clean, repaint, replace any parts that are giving trouble). The government decided to replace instead of an overhaul then got bloody-minded about bringing them back to satisfy the increase in demand. They were virtually scrapped in secret. (I was there the day the scrapping started, ripping parts off the doomed cars as spares for 2107, and it was made clear I was not to publish the photos I took of the process.)
Given the bloody-minded secrecy, I have a personal suspicion that contract with CAF for the 6 extra cars contained a 'no return of the Bombardier cars' clause.

The tech staff at Pyrmont actually started on the overhauls before the program was killed by management. The cars were then 'run into the ground' with only the bare minimum of maintenance performed while waiting for the new Urbos to arrive.

The relationship between CAF (doing the maintenance) and Bombardier (who had the proprietary parts) was a little strained which didn't help. Pyrmont was always short on certain spare parts for Varios in the CAF era. SImilar tension now exists between Alstom and CAF.

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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by tonyp »

mandonov wrote: Because that's exactly what happens on the IWLR.

At Central there are queues of people waiting exactly where the doors will open, everyone boards the few doors and clogs the vestibule while the aisles and turntables are completely empty. So when you finally lurch into Capital Square people have to shout to make people move down.
OK, yes I've seen the three queues at work (well more accurately three mobs that are filtered down into what should be a two abreast, or at least zipper queue through each door, by marshalls). In the past, in my ongoing door theme, I've said that TfNSW made a huge mistake deleting two doors from the specification of this CAF model, but some who use the trams tell me that it's OK, the trams fill anyway. This is of course counter intuitive as people don't like to get too far from a door and I still don't believe that the trams really fill to capacity. I've since had a conversation with people from Transdev who indicated to me (politely, but the undertones were there) that they were most unimpressed by TfNSW's tramcar design decisions made back in 2011 and it's not what Transdev would have chosen. In the end, TfNSW is artificially constricting capacity, as it does on buses and double deck trains, by having too few doors.

This is science that been around for generations and the ignorance of it in most current Australian transport administrations (and consultancies) is amazing. The other day I was looking at a 1935 IEA paper by FN Maclean, the chief designer of the NSW Tramways and he made this comment:
In view of the disinclination of boarding passengers to proceed into areas remote from a door of public conveyances, particularly blind-end areas, but rather to take a up a position reasonably close to a door, it is highly desirable to provide side-doors both at the ends and centre of a tramcar otherwise the difficulties in heavy loading and unloading, due to crowding and blockage of passage-ways at entrances and in obtaining even distribution throughout the length of the car, are accentuated.
Mass transit experts TfNSW are not, but hopefully a message is filtering through via the overseas inputs of the vehicle designs for CSELR and the Sydney Metro. They need to boot the CAFs off the IWLR and run the Citadis on it. Incidentally, TfNSW is making the same design mistake with the trams for Parramatta and Newcastle (and Transport Canberra has made the same mistake there). Even worse, the CAFs, even though they have end doors, have a poor bogie design that results in loss of seats and those sideways seats where people's feet block the aisle, thus reducing the effectiveness of the end doors. Buses seem to be a lost cause into the indefinite future. The result: Sydney has a fleet of public transport vehicles running around that never fill to capacity and people get left behind by vehicles that are considered "full" when they're not, which is just great at a time when there's a huge upsurge in demand.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Post by moa999 »

Maybe you should ride the IWLR tonyp.

They definitely fill up to crush capacity.
Maybe a little slowly versus one with more doors.
But it's really only two busy stations, one being the Central terminus where time doesn't matter so much, and star city.

And the spec was repeated for Newcastle, and Canberra did the same. There is ultimately a trade-off between doors (particularly when on both sides) and seats/disabled spaces.

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