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Inner West Light Rail observations

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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:56 pm

boronia wrote:Patronage has doubled but only about 5% increase in services?

Well they've left themselves unable to meet the demand with the limitations on capacity of that restricted Dulwich Hill terminus and not having enough fleet availability.

The 2018 financial year patronage will be of interest. Gold Coast looks like it's hitting the 10 million mark this year. These figures indicate the huge latent demand for these services that could not be met by bus capacity - as everybody knew back in the 1950s, but sheer political and bureaucratic bloody-mindedness took our street transport down a path to disaster anyway. However much many people like to have a go at Gladys, her determination to reinstate trams in the face of then-intense opposition was and is admirable. It's just a pity that TfNSW has let her down badly on the execution, but they're learning - at great expense. Her vision will be vindicated in the long term.

Who'd have thought that this recycled goods line meandering past back fences to nowhere in particular would end up moving many times more people than the busiest bus route in Sydney? It does demonstrate that trams have a great power to attract. There's virtually never an unsuccessful new tramway project anywhere in the world. The frustrating thing is that the bus industry could have fought back for at least some of the potential territory but has never had the will or sophistication to do so in Australia, in spite of making a lot of vocal claims about it. That's why I get really frustrated sometimes!
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Swift » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:27 am

Modern light rail is like a middle class teenage girl with average girl next door features -automatically popular. :twisted:
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Aurora » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:07 am

I think that most of the IWLR runs along the old Goods line separate from car traffic is a particular reason for its popularity. I'm not convinced CSELR will be as reliable.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:18 am

Aurora wrote:I think that most of the IWLR runs along the old Goods line separate from car traffic is a particular reason for its popularity. I'm not convinced CSELR will be as reliable.

Unfortunately IWLR hasn't been that reliable over the years despite it being in its own ROW. Transdev seems to have chronic problems keeping it on time for whatever reason. CSELR should be well time-managed via the traffic light cycles and not sharing with mixed traffic. We've yet to see the RMS coming to the party effectively. Time will tell.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby swtt » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:21 am

boronia wrote:Patronage has doubled but only about 5% increase in services?


But the actual capacity used before was probably very low.

Has there been an increase in the number of LRVs when the older vehicles were replaced?
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:11 pm

swtt wrote:
boronia wrote:Patronage has doubled but only about 5% increase in services?


But the actual capacity used before was probably very low.

Has there been an increase in the number of LRVs when the older vehicles were replaced?

Seven back then (effectively six after one cannibalised) and 12 now, 200+ passenger capacity both types - but it's still not enough! It's worth bearing in mind that Gold Coast kicked off with 14 x 300+ passenger trams on a pretty similar 13 km line with typical headways down to 7.5 minutes. GCLR is carrying its patronage growth comfortably, IWLR is splitting at the seams. In contrast to Qld DoT's positive and professional attitude when planning GCLR, IWLR is a classic example of what you get when you get a grudging old bus-centric transport bureaucracy without its heart in it (only doing it because it was told to do so by the politicians) and cynical that anybody will ever use it - thus minimalist planning and design input into it. Completely predictably, the chickens have now come home to roost and I think those bureaucrats have now woken up with a shock.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby moa999 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:15 pm

Population density over some of that GC route is much higher.
Its also frankly full to capacity over some sections in peak periods.

People here have previously posted some pretty simple suggestions how they could improve capacity without spending big $s on Dulwich Hill end, but there seems no desire to do anything either by the operator, TfNSW or particularly RMS
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:31 pm

moa999 wrote:Population density over some of that GC route is much higher.
Its also frankly full to capacity over some sections in peak periods.

People here have previously posted some pretty simple suggestions how they could improve capacity without spending big $s on Dulwich Hill end, but there seems no desire to do anything either by the operator, TfNSW or particularly RMS

The line capacity of Gold Coast is much much greater. All they need to do is increase the size of the fleet as demand grows. For IWLR the line capacity is starting to max - unevenly, as it has huge capacity at the Central end and very restricted capacity at the Dulwich Hill end and not much potential for short-working along the line. If they can double the track at Dulwich Hill terminus, they can buy more trams and thus increase the capacity.

The operator only does what TfNSW says. I think TfNSW is genuinely interested in modifying Dulwich Hill but will have to get funding. RMS is not really involved with IWLR except perhaps assisting with better traffic light priority at the city end.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Swift » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:35 pm

Perhaps they should make a link from Lilyfield to the cruise terminal at White bay and have the services alternate between the branches so every LRV only serves the busiest section to Central. Everything seems so reactionary in the IWLR's execution. The message I get from tNSW is "be grateful you have this good service provided by TNSW. Complaining is futile."
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby gilberations » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:52 pm

Swift wrote:Perhaps they should make a link from Lilyfield to the cruise terminal at White bay and have the services alternate between the branches so every LRV only serves the busiest section to Central. Everything seems so reactionary in the IWLR's execution. The message I get from tNSW is "be grateful you have this good service provided by TNSW. Complaining is futile."



Whilst this would be a great idea, I believe the better option would be to ensure better connections of trains at dulwhich Hill so as to encourage travel in the other direction.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby grog » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:52 am

I think they want to do both as part of the transport strategy. It’s a question of when! They need to do Dulwich Hill double tracking ASAP, but at least by the time they do Sydney Metro Southwest. They need to do the extension to The Bays by the time Sydney Metro West opens there.

There is no reason why they couldn’t run a 2 minute (or less) headway service shutting between those 2 metro stations to act as a super feeder for the development in between.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:39 am

gilberations wrote:
Swift wrote:Perhaps they should make a link from Lilyfield to the cruise terminal at White bay and have the services alternate between the branches so every LRV only serves the busiest section to Central. Everything seems so reactionary in the IWLR's execution. The message I get from tNSW is "be grateful you have this good service provided by TNSW. Complaining is futile."



Whilst this would be a great idea, I believe the better option would be to ensure better connections of trains at dulwhich Hill so as to encourage travel in the other direction.

On the few times I have been to DH, I noticed that trains in both directions arrived about the same time as the LR, so anyone interchanging has a 10-15 minute wait for the next services. But the long walk between the two platforms takes care of part of that time.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:09 pm

boronia wrote:On the few times I have been to DH, I noticed that trains in both directions arrived about the same time as the LR, so anyone interchanging has a 10-15 minute wait for the next services. But the long walk between the two platforms takes care of part of that time.

The metro with its closer headways will fix that.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby moa999 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:30 pm

tonyp wrote:
boronia wrote:On the few times I have been to DH, I noticed that trains in both directions arrived about the same time as the LR, so anyone interchanging has a 10-15 minute wait for the next services. But the long walk between the two platforms takes care of part of that time.

The metro with its closer headways will fix that.
And new bridge/concourse.

I don't see DH being the LRs major issue, although not ideal, there isn't much room for another platform or loop that would have comparable access to the heavy rail/metro.

At the moment in peak it's 8 minutes between services with a 3min turnaround at DH (other times mostly 10/4)
Should be able to do a 6minute headway as is with 3min turnarounds.
Position a spare driver at DH and you can probably cut turnaround to 2min, 5min headways.


More benefits from pushing RMS to give traffic light priority in the Chinatown/Haymarket end which allows you to run more service per hour with the same number of sets.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:36 pm

Like any transport operation you need recovery time at at least one of the termini. A second platform is not only in order to reduce headways but to enable some recovery time to be built into the timetable to soak up any late running. At the moment, the timetable basically has no recovery time anywhere, so things go pear-shaped very easily.

It's difficult at George St but there's really no obstacle to having full traffic light priority at Darling Drive, Pitt and Castlereagh Sts.
Last edited by tonyp on Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Tonymercury » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:36 pm

moa999 wrote:

More benefits from pushing RMS to give traffic light priority in the Chinatown/Haymarket end which allows you to run more service per hour with the same number of sets.



This is the major bottleneck at the moment.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:15 pm

Tonymercury wrote:
moa999 wrote:

More benefits from pushing RMS to give traffic light priority in the Chinatown/Haymarket end which allows you to run more service per hour with the same number of sets.



This is the major bottleneck at the moment.

You reckon? They're pretty consistent and factored into the journey time in the timetable, whereas the upsets are due to other variable factors along the line, particularly inability to process large loads. When I timed stops etc along journeys a couple of years back, the lights accounted for very little at all. Of course that's not to say that the RMS isn't up to its usual tricks, worsening things by tweaking the cycles over a long period. I did observe recently a tram let through off the station ramp to head west down Hay St, while an eastbound tram that was at the lights at the same time wasn't given a green when it could have been and had to wait through another cycle.

I did the usual trip planning for the young ones again today (great weekend for it, second time running - bustitution and 4 hour+ journeys yet again, school holidays and all!) and yet again the trams to Darling Harbour are still not shown in the journey planner which recommends a 23 minute walk from Central instead. :roll:

I reckon it's the usual TfNSW thing of panic and deperate efforts to put the lid on patronage when it increases out of hand. What a joke they are.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:40 pm

The trams do show up in Trip Planner. Although they usually do not operate to the embedded timetable.

Perhaps your options are not set correctly. If it has stated 23 mins, your max walking time is too high.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Swift » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:49 pm

In my intensely limited experience, IWLR is close enough to tuag. Just guesstimate that leg and add ten minutes.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:08 pm

tonyp wrote: I did observe recently a tram let through off the station ramp to head west down Hay St, while an eastbound tram that was at the lights at the same time wasn't given a green when it could have been and had to wait through another cycle.

I have observed this happening at other traffic lights, Darling Drive and George St. Only the first tram to arrive gets the T light. Particularly annoying as these are locations where Up and Down services are likely to cross.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby Tonymercury » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:49 am

tonyp wrote:You reckon? They're pretty consistent and factored into the journey time in the timetable, .


Just because they are timetabled doesn't mean that they aren't a bottleneck. With proper priority peak headways could be reduced.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:12 am

boronia wrote:
Perhaps your options are not set correctly. If it has stated 23 mins, your max walking time is too high.

I recall that we discussed this before here and the point raised in that discussion is that "least walking" option should be embedded as standard in the journey planner because most people would hardly want to maximise their walking when using public transport. However, I guess the fact that emerges at present is that it's slightly faster to walk to Darling Harbour from Central than to catch the tram. That certainly reflects the issues with the service.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby boronia » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:31 pm

Some Central to DH searches will suggest catching train to Town Hall and walking from there.

I'm guessing that 35 minute walking is a default, because some destinations/starting points could be that far away from the nearest PT connection (you can search to/from street addresses, not just stops/stations). It is bad that the ability to change this, and other choices, is hidden away behind an undefined "options" button. I think that previously this was on the main page.
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby tonyp » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:35 pm

boronia wrote:Some Central to DH searches will suggest catching train to Town Hall and walking from there.

I'm guessing that 35 minute walking is a default, because some destinations/starting points could be that far away from the nearest PT connection (you can search to/from street addresses, not just stops/stations). It is bad that the ability to change this, and other choices, is hidden away behind an undefined "options" button. I think that previously this was on the main page.

Yes, the hidden "options" under the button certainly don't invite a visit during a search compared to other journey planners I've seen where they are up-front. If you want a laugh, try some rural destinations where it will happily encourage you to walk across hills and groves, meadows and dales for hours to reach the nearest bus on the outskirts of town (and that bus is often the next day by the time you get there)!
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Re: Inner West Light Rail observations

Postby jpp42 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:13 pm

Has anyone ever given a clear explanation for why IWLR can't have short working currently? I know there's concern that trams can't reverse efficiently at Wentworth Park, which would be an ideal intermediate terminus due to the heavy patronage starting at the Fish Market. But surely they could turn back at Lilyfield with its storage tracks?
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