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Parramatta light rail

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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby tonyp » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:19 pm

Carlingford and Rogans Hill lines were built as goods lines to take rural produce down to the city. They both started with a general intention to head towards Dural but neither made it.

Rogans Hill line also had a life as a tram line and part of this will be retraced by the new tramway, together with part of the Sydney Ferries Ltd tramway route eastwards through Camellia.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby ed24 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:23 pm

The real shame is that this line is becoming light rail when it should have been connected to Epping and Chatswood 10 years ago.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby Campbelltown busboy » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:26 pm

ed24 wrote:The real shame is that this line is becoming light rail when it should have been connected to Epping and Chatswood 10 years ago.
I think it could of been connected to Julia's proposed Epping Parramatta rail link witch was a promise that she made during the 2010 federal election campaign but nothing happened after the funding got diverted to the North West rail link
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby boronia » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:40 pm

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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby mandonov » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:47 pm

https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/news-a ... eat-street

The way the press release is worded indicates that the guarantee is just for Eat Street/Church Street, meaning other sections may begin next year.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby mandonov » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:29 am

Channel Ten reporting on an announcement this fortnight: https://tendaily.com.au/news/australia/ ... s-20181206
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby tonyp » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:54 am

https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/news-a ... SmZPFNGJgs

Edit: I initially missed the announcement about the two sections of 2 km each of wire-free. If they are going to use the CAF system, which I imagine they will, it will be very slow. This one a is classic case for in-motion charging, but you can bet that CAF won't tell TfNSW about any technologies superior to or cheaper than theirs and TfNSW won't do the research. The beauty of in-motion charging, apart from keeping the vehicles on the move, is that all the tech is on board the trams. There is no special infrastructure needed (= therefore less profit for the supplier).
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby Glen » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:15 pm

tonyp wrote:Edit: I initially missed the announcement about the two sections of 2 km each of wire-free. If they are going to use the CAF system, which I imagine they will, it will be very slow.

What is the "CAF system" you speak of ?
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby tonyp » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:04 pm

Glen wrote:
tonyp wrote:Edit: I initially missed the announcement about the two sections of 2 km each of wire-free. If they are going to use the CAF system, which I imagine they will, it will be very slow.

What is the "CAF system" you speak of ?

Flash charge of capacitors at every tram stop - resulting in a 45 second dwell at each stop.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby boronia » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:23 pm

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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby mandonov » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:56 pm

tonyp wrote:Flash charge of capacitors at every tram stop - resulting in a 45 second dwell at each stop.

CAF claim less than 20sec though. It really depends on what system they go for: battery storage that's recharged on the running line and at the terminus; or the capacitor system like Newcastle is using that flash charges at stops.

If there is full traffic light priority then they can probably get away with the former which will result in no change to dwell time.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby tonyp » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:05 am

mandonov wrote:
tonyp wrote:Flash charge of capacitors at every tram stop - resulting in a 45 second dwell at each stop.

CAF claim less than 20sec though. It really depends on what system they go for: battery storage that's recharged on the running line and at the terminus; or the capacitor system like Newcastle is using that flash charges at stops.

If there is full traffic light priority then they can probably get away with the former which will result in no change to dwell time.

CAF don't have an in-motion charging system, only the system involving recharge at every stop. It's not a big deal on a tiny line like Newcastle but it is a big deal on a long line.

CAF's claims and reality are different matters. Real-life evidence from both Spain and Newcastle testing shows a dwell of about 45 seconds. TfNSW has an alarming tendency to lock itself into single manufacturers and what that manufacturer offers, since TfNSW apparently lacks the independent or in-house advice that enables it to find the best solutions. There is plenty of information out there on all this - on the internet, in English and all. When you look at the levels of analysis done in equivalent newbies like USA and UK, TfNSW's approach is completly irresponsible.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby mandonov » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:53 pm

I can see the 20 second claim possibly being applicable to the ground based system. It takes a shoe much less time to lower then raise than it does for a pantograph to do the opposite.

Wire free is obviously the future of trams (even if the 'trackless' fad becomes a thing), it's just a matter of the technology moving fast enough. A benefit of the Newcastle, and now Parramatta systems is that the actual physical infrastructure is negligible; just a fancy bar at the stops with a relatively small power supply. In the way those cities could theoretically switch to a different battery/capacitor powered solution, the CBD light rail will be hamstrung by the need to use APS.

Battery's are forever, but a proprietary third rail is not. Much of the delay in George Street is because of the deep foundations and insulation needed to deal with the ground based power source. It's no wonder TfNSW is no longer keen on Alstom's solution, or even Bombardier's Primove.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby tonyp » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:05 pm

In-motion charging is available and proven already and requires no infrastructure other than the existing overhead wire over the wired sections, so there will be no infrastructure to wastefully abandon in future, writing off the investment.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby mandonov » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:10 pm

Interesting, who supplies it? I'm guessing it's not a manufacturer that Aussie agencies interact with much.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby tonyp » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:05 pm

At the least, Skoda and Vossloh-Kiepe that I know of. It can be fitted to pretty much any manufacturer's tram or electric bus and EU competition laws would ensure that, but in Australia manufacturers would be pushing hard to insist on their own proprietary solutions. In-motion charging with progressively improving range has been available in Europe for more than a decade.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby matthewg » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:29 am

mandonov wrote:Battery's are forever, but a proprietary third rail is not. Much of the delay in George Street is because of the deep foundations and insulation needed to deal with the ground based power source. It's no wonder TfNSW is no longer keen on Alstom's solution, or even Bombardier's Primove.


Even the track outside the APS zone has insanely thick concrete slabs - I don't think the APS rail has had much impact on the depth of the track slab. Alstom just has an extremely 'robust' standard for the track to stop their heavy footed trams from breaking it.
Also I think Sydney has been 'had' buy Ausgrid. I would be betting if their own budget was paying for it, Ausgrid would have found far cheaper ways of meeting their safety requirements. But they were not paying, so they laid on the rules in the name of 'safety'. This is going to come back and bite em when they have to pay for something themselves in the future, so they 'optimise' and someone says 'hey, what about xyz you said was needed for the CESLR ?'.


APS is expensive, but even now, it's probably one of the more capable 'wire-free' solutions - it has far less impact operationally that these 'flash charge' ideas do and can cope with relatively high power demands (grades and strong airconditioning) that battery/capacitor systems can't deal with.

The high losses of the inductive coupling system that Bombardier was pushing (Primove) was always going to make that one a hard sell.
Even APS has considerably more loss than the 'simple' overhead wire system.

Battery/supercapacitors are a great innovation, but they are being deployed in such as fashion as to cripple trams operationally. A stop every km that has absolute minimum station stop of 45-50 seconds. There goes a quick and efficient service.
And running in summer with the air conditioning on minimum power to ensure the tram makes the next stop is going to go down well too. At least APS can keep the HVAC running at full strength all the time.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby matthewg » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:38 am

tonyp wrote:At the least, Skoda and Vossloh-Kiepe that I know of. It can be fitted to pretty much any manufacturer's tram or electric bus and EU competition laws would ensure that, but in Australia manufacturers would be pushing hard to insist on their own proprietary solutions. In-motion charging with progressively improving range has been available in Europe for more than a decade.


Fitting a 3rd party 'autonomous operation battery/capacitor' pack would not be a simple operation. These power systems need to be intimately integrated into the rest of the power systems. It's not a matter of slapping a battery pack on the roof and off you go.
A Skoda or Vossloh-Kiepe battery on an Alstom, Bombardier or Siemens LRV would be a major bit of engineering requiring close co-operation and access to each other's intellectual property.
They might on paper be required to co-operate under EU competition rules, but in actual practice, I suspect it would be frightfully expensive and any such project would run late and over budget as the partners accuse each other of withholding vital information needed to complete the project.

Like all those standards that incorporate patented technology. It might say 'fair and non-discriminatory access' in the documents, but exactly what 'fair' means is somewhat open to interpretation. As long as they overcharge every one equally for access to the patented technology, they have met 'non-discriminatory access' part and the could argue overcharging everyone equally is 'fair' :-)
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby moa999 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:40 am

Interestingly this CAF install in Zaragoza, Spain has ground based charging at stops.
The connection process looks a lot quicker.

https://youtu.be/GeNatDKjTYw

From this page it appears CAF offers both capacitors and batteries
https://www.caf.net/en/ecocaf/nuevas-so ... entech.php
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby tonyp » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:30 am

Cab videos of the Zaragoza tram indicate that the ground-located recharge stop (whoa to go, which is what really matters) with the lowered shoe takes about 30 seconds. CAF's disingenuous claim about its Freedrive battery/capacitor system would relate to the time that current is actually being collected. Yes, the shoe seems to be quicker to lower and raise than the pantograph which would explain that time difference, which makes one wonder why they didn't adopt the ground recharge for Newcastle. Unfortunately, however, that's still tying the tram down at a stop for twice as long or more than a typical stop dwell. Cost-wise, it involves having to have infrastructure that in-motion charging doesn't (on the basis of the system having overhead wires for sections in any case). The only way you could justify these flash-recharge systems is if the system doesn't have overhead wires at all - and that would be a pretty short system. Like Newcastle.

As mandonov would be aware, I also follow SCF and I notice today that an engineer there who posts regularly with a stage name starting with "p" declared that CAF is best in the field with wire-free running. Well no, I'm afraid. A clue is to look at those companies with a long and proven background in designing and/or producing trolleybus systems, because that's where the technology has been developed, tested in service and refined. Some trolleybus services in Europe have been running this stuff for well over a decade. They've also used batteries in trams in Europe for years for short distance or emergency requirements. Now, for contrast, review CAF's background. In fact, CAF has just recently acquired Solaris, which bodies trolleybuses (with other manufacturers' tech) and has been developing electric buses, precisely in order to expand CAF's skills and offerings in electric drive technology. CAF is only just starting in the field and so far has only one rather slow, inefficient and costly (both capex and opex) system. It's frustrating to see Australian engineers and agencies not bothering to properly background themselves in these technologies and being somewhat led by manufacturers and accepting their claims at face value.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby jpp42 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:35 pm

I was in Beijing recently and was surprised at the number of electric buses running without their trolleys raised. Maybe only about 25% of the electric buses going past were connected to the wires (electric buses were ver clearly marked, even in English). How does this work - do they just raise the trolley poles when the charge is getting low? Why would they not use the overhead wires even when they were available ? Regardless of the detail it seemed that battery operation was clearly mature in this context.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby matthewg » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:24 pm

jpp42 wrote:I was in Beijing recently and was surprised at the number of electric buses running without their trolleys raised. Maybe only about 25% of the electric buses going past were connected to the wires (electric buses were ver clearly marked, even in English). How does this work - do they just raise the trolley poles when the charge is getting low?
..


Probably the bus has 'thrown a pole' on a dodgy bit of overhead, auto lowered and the driver just continues to the next point the poles can be automatically raised (they put 'hats' on the overhead to guide the trolley head onto the wire) if the battery charge is sufficient, instead of stopping, getting out in traffic and putting the poles back on.

The first time I visited Napoli, most of the trolley buses were spewing out black soot - at some point in their run they had 'lost a pole', the retrievers have automatically lowered the pole and the driver has just switched on the aux diesel and continued on.
At the time the level of maintenance of the overhead infrastructures was at quite a low point, so nearly every bus lost the poles at some point on their route, so most ended up coming into the central station on diesel instead of electric. On a subsequent visit, they had obviously fixed up the overhead - the only trolleys running their diesels were 'off route' on their way presumably to a diesel bus depot for maintenance.

Now trolley buses have decent battery range and the diesel is dispensed with on newer models.

CAF's trams shouldn't need to 'opportunistically charge' every kilometre or so. Skoda battery trams could do the entire Newcastle route with only charging at each terminal
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby tonyp » Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:20 pm

I would think that some Chinese trolleybus systems by now would be using in-motion charging and if the charge is OK it's not obligatory to raise the poles just because a wired section is reached. Well-maintained modern overhead is extremely reliable and dewirements are very rare and in any case don't stop the bus if there's an auxiliary power source. The beauty of in-motion charging is that, if designed thoughtfully, you can get away with having only straight sections of wire and can dispense with all the junctions and crossovers that characterised traditional trolleybus systems. Apart from improving operation, it gets rid of the ugly wiring clusters that some find objectionable on aesthetics grounds.

We are only likely to see CAFs in NSW for the time-being because additional purchases are under an option and they are not competitively tendered. I think that's not a good situation but if its legal then there's nothing to do about it. Alstom has only come in because they were part of a consortium that won a tender. So if you get a single manufacturer, then you're stuck with their "solutions". It seems to me that stops/recharges in Newcastle are only a few hundred metres apart. I wonder if it's really necessary to recharge at every stop or at discretion according to the meter reading in front of the driver?
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby grog » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:23 pm

There were 3 consortiums bidding for Parramatta Light Rail operating contract and each had a different rolling stock supplier. CAF won as part of this tender process, not through any existing options.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Postby tonyp » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:42 am

grog wrote:There were 3 consortiums bidding for Parramatta Light Rail operating contract and each had a different rolling stock supplier. CAF won as part of this tender process, not through any existing options.

Sorry, I was referring to IWLR and Newcastle of course.
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