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Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

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Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby marcnut1996 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:05 pm

https://www.9news.com.au/national/what-is-a-trackless-tram-from-liverpool-to-badgerys-creek-new-airport-sydney-news/519fc12c-01a6-4526-bcc7-08ae53d3bd02
'Trackless' trams could be heading to Western Sydney for new airport link

Trackless trams could soon be whizzing along the streets of Western Sydney.
9News has obtained exclusive animations of what the technology would look like.
Liverpool Council wants to use the system to connect their city centre to the new airport at Badgerys Creek.

If the plan gets the go ahead, it will be first transport of its kind in Australia.
Trackless trams are a hybrid between a bus and a train. They don't require tracks or overhead wires and instead have wheels and travel on the road.
The autonomous trams are operated by a steering system which uses laser and GPS, but there will be a driver on board in case of emergency.
Passengers can look forward to a much smoother and quieter ride as the trams run on electricity.

If the plan gets the go ahead there will be a dedicated tram corridor running 19 kilometres down Hoxton Park Road and Fifteenth Avenue.
The journey from Liverpool to Badgery's Creek would take just 30 minutes.
Liverpool Council says some widening of roads will be required but because the project mainly uses existing infrastructure, it will be cheaper and less disruptive than building light rail.
The Transport Minister says he's interested in the technology and wants to learn more.
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby Newcastle Flyer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:34 pm

Translated:
"Longer articulated buses designed to look like trams to hide that they are buses COULD soon be travelling along the streets of Sydney's west."

30 minutes from Liverpool to Badgery's Creek?
And how fast can a railway (metro or not) do it in?
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby tonyp » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:52 pm

Erm ..... Capacity?
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby Passenger 57 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:01 pm

I'm amused the spin doctors have had to revert back to using the word "tram" again because trackless light rail is a much more obvious oxymoron.

Does this mean we may see new buses that are longer than 12.5m again and we just won't call them buses or that TfNSW won't be involved in this proposed project?

I've no object to anything that improves the comfort of a standard Sydney Bus. If vehicle lives up to all the hype Prof. Peter Newman of Curtin University has given the Chinese CRRC ART (Autonomous Rapid Transit) vehicle it could be something.
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby moa999 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:38 pm

Or EV Double Deckers.
Wellington already has some in service.
Albeit a somewhat limiting 130km range, though they can fully charge in under 10min

https://urban-transport-magazine.com/en ... w-zealand/

Seems closest to the recently opened Nantes e- Busway which uses 24m bi-articulated buses (interestingly called HESS lighTram 25)
And flash at stop charging (similar to Newcastle Light Rail)

https://urban-transport-magazine.com/en ... ted-buses/
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby tonyp » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:02 pm

All solutions in search of a problem. Plus they obviously haven't sighted the heavy vehicle axle load regs. I don't know if they've actually researched the potential market, but Liverpool-Badgerys Ck wouldn't be a major corridor to the airport and would probably be served quite adequately by artics at the most. If they want to make something special of it, they can build a branch of the T Way along the route.
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby tonyp » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:12 am

The smoking gun:

https://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/counci ... artnership

Liverpool progresses trackless tram with Curtin University partnership
Liverpool City Council and Curtin University today announced a joint research partnership in Western Sydney on trackless trams – driverless, rechargeable electric vehicles guided by GPS that can operate at a fraction of the cost of light rail.
Curtin University will undertake world-leading research for Liverpool on the opportunity that trackless trams present as a new form of public transport in Australia.
“We are leading the way when it comes to future thinking. No other local government in Australia is doing this,” Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said.
“Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport will be a digital airport. We are its gateway city and we need efficient, environmentally friendly transport options to get people to the airport during its construction and operational phases.
“This research partnership will hopefully be the first of many steps towards an innovative rapid transit corridor between the new airport and our CBD.”
Curtin’s research will particularly focus on the potential to link Liverpool’s CBD and the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport by trackless tram along the Fifteenth Avenue corridor.
The study will look at the steps required to get the technology to Western Sydney and the potential of a trackless tram for high-quality development in this part of Western Sydney.
Curtin University will use Liverpool as a case study for what might be possible with innovative public transport technologies.
The study will be led by world-renowned sustainability expert Professor Peter Newman AO and will draw on cutting-edge research occurring in Australia and around the world.
The study will occur over the next 12 months and represents a critical next step as Liverpool City Council takes the lead on delivering high-quality public transport for Western Sydney.
Liverpool City Council’s aim is to ensure a high-quality, rapid public transport connection for passengers, workers and local residents when the new airport opens in 2026.
With the right technology and careful design, this project has the potential for a 20-minute trip from Liverpool City Centre to the new airport. It will be a powerful transport spine for commuters in Liverpool’s current and emerging suburbs.
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby boronia » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:25 am

"No other local government in Australia is doing this". How does it compare with what Brisbane is proposing for its "Metro"?
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby moa999 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:09 am

boronia wrote:"No other local government in Australia is doing this".

Maybe because apart from limited contribution to local roads, signs and bus shelters, local government responsibility doesn't extend to transport.

BCC is a little different, albeit the Qld State still funds most of the bus services
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby tonyp » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:35 am

I imagine it is one of those exercises like Waverley's Bondi Light Rail study where TfNSW has asked the local council to do a transport study and the result is then a report that goes to TfNSW for approval, implementation etc. Waverley's report wasn't approved by TfNSW. Liverpool's report will be similarly assessed and either accepted or not. The study is associated with the government's intention to upgrade Hoxton Park Rd and Fifteenth Ave as a link to the airport, including transit lanes down the centre. HP Rd is already widened for its whole length to accommodate this (west of the existing T Way). Fifteenth Ave is through rural land and would be easy to widen.

From the press releases, the report seems to be light on hard facts, like the "buses" are lazily illustrated as a tram on bogies running on roads. If there's no greater level of information than that, TfNSW will reject it. They will certainly ask about this, which so far has prevented anything bigger than a single-artic to run on Australian roads (including Brisbane's proposal which runs on a private ROW only):

https://www.nhvr.gov.au/files/201602-01 ... limits.pdf

The biggest problem to me seems that Liverpool Council hired a consultant who is prejudiced towards one particular solution, whereas this needs an impartial analysis of all options based on forecast demand. My hunch is that normal articulated buses would do this job quite adequately into the forseeable future. However, if they're planning to heavily densify development along the corridor, then they need to go for light rail where the vehicles are expandable up to 70 metre units. There is no indication that these Chinese "buses" are any longer than 30 metres. Of course, if this is what they have in mind, a metro would be more appropriate:

http://www.nysonglines.com/15st.htm

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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby tonyp » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:04 pm

Delving a bit further back to 2018, some more information:

https://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/counci ... ey-airport

That map showing Liverpool located on a "direct line" between the two airports brings to mind the possible solution of extending the proposed extension of the SW metro to Liverpool even further to Badgerys Ck!
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby Merc1107 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:21 pm

Mention of "Curtin University" and "Trackless tram" usually points to the handiwork of Professor Newman, and once again, here he is peddling this idea, which is effectively just an articulated bus.
Why not call it a trackless O-Bahn, Wayless Busway or something like that? :roll: :mrgreen:
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby Passenger 57 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:47 pm

tonyp quoting Liverpool Council wrote:“Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport will be a digital airport.

Doesn't this tell you all you need to know about this scheme.
The study will look at the steps required to get the technology to Western Sydney and the potential of a trackless tram for high-quality development in this part of Western Sydney.

Can real estate developers and potential buyers really be sucked in with a line painted on the road and some nice looking buses?

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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby Geo101 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:06 pm

marcnut1996 wrote:https://www.9news.com.au/national/what-is-a-trackless-tram-from-liverpool-to-badgerys-creek-new-airport-sydney-news/519fc12c-01a6-4526-bcc7-08ae53d3bd02
'Trackless' trams could be heading to Western Sydney for new airport link

If the plan gets the go ahead there will be a dedicated tram corridor running 19 kilometres down Hoxton Park Road and Fifteenth Avenue.
The journey from Liverpool to Badgery's Creek would take just 30 minutes.
Liverpool Council says some widening of roads will be required but because the project mainly uses existing infrastructure, it will be cheaper and less disruptive than building light rail.


You can already get from Liverpool Station to Western Sydney Airport in 29+ minutes according to Google Maps using Moorebank Ave/M5/M7/Elizabeth Dve?

moa999 wrote:If they want to make something special of it, they can build a branch of the T Way along the route


Or just extend it to the M7 and then as above although it already takes 17 minutes to get from Liverpool to Millar T-Way... If using the Moorebank Ave/M5/M7/Elizabeth Dve, you'd already be over half way there!!

I'm also guessing that carpark space for the construction workers at the new airport isn't going to be a big issue, and only a 10 or so minute drive from the M7, so surely most will simply drive?
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby boronia » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:31 pm

You can already get from Liverpool Station to Western Sydney Airport in 29+ minutes according to Google Maps using Moorebank Ave/M5/M7/Elizabeth Dve?
By public transport? Slotting this system into the M5/M7 alignment is going to be a much harder exercise. And I doubt it would have the same passenger catchment - it does not appear to be a non-stop express service.
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby tonyp » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:32 pm

There are two separate parts to this issue. First there is the transitway from Liverpool to the airport. This has been around for a while now. Indeed, Hoxton Park Rd has already been rebuilt with a wider median along its whole length from where the existing T Way turns off it, so it's easy enough to insert the two dedicated lanes the whole length. 15th Av is through rural land, so it's easy enough to widen it incorporating a further extension of the transit lanes. At no time has been it been specified what transit mode is to use this transitway. It should be noted that the Liverpool-Parramatta T Way is designed for conversion to trams if required, so all options are provided for.

Second, it has now come to the time when the choice of mode is being considered and Liverpool Council has been funded to commission a study about this. Unfortunately the commission has been given to a consultant with a specific solution to promote rather than conduct an impartial analysis of all possible solutions, having regard to long-term traffic projections which, in turn, are related to what extent of development is to occur along the corridor under rezoning. So it has all rather jumped the gun, even worse, with a technology that is new and unproven in service. Let's hope TfNSW and the state government retain a level head about this.
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby lunchbox » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:55 pm

Another case of a solution looking for a problem. The Parramatta Road trackless tram study, also carried out by local government, came to nothing. I note that Caen (France) opened its new three-line tram network on 27 July. It replaces the trouble-plagued guided trolley buses, which operated from 2002 until closure in 2017.
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby kypros1992 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:50 pm

throwback of the Audit report from 2005 on the LPT T-way, shame nobody has gone back to looking at bus rapid transit as a potential solution instead looking for the next shiny thing

WSB has achieved a high level of customer satisfaction and strong growth in patronage. Operating losses are reducing, and the chances of the LPT becoming a profitable route in the medium term are promising. The potential for synergies with other planned transitways, and extensions of the current route to link with new growth areas, is also high.


https://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/sites/defa ... 202005.PDF
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby grog » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:16 pm

RMS have proposed side running bus lanes west of the existing T-Way on Hoxton Park Road:

https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/hoxton-park-road/index.html

Justification for side over centre lanes here:

https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/01documents/hoxton-park-road/hoxton-park-road-options-evaluation-report.pdf
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby tonyp » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:43 pm

I have no problems with kerbside bus lanes (which can also be converted to tram lanes if required), provided they have the same quality as the centre lanes, that is completely free of other motor traffic. However, note that the (ex) RMS is up to its old motor traffic-biased tricks by allowing general traffic into the bus lanes for left turns. This should be kept segregated into the next lane on the right and controlled by lights. But of course the RMS doesn't want turning traffic to hold up through traffic. Holding up buses is OK with them.
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby mubd » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:45 pm

And no doubt they'll put red arrows on the left turns to prevent car drivers from running over pedestrians at some of these intersections, too.

Lanes which allow multiple movements through an intersection with different traffic light timings (e.g. a straight and a right) for each movement are terrible - people tend to avoid them because someone ahead of you inevitably will need to stop on a red, while the other lanes for the movement you want to make flow freely through a green.

Kerbside bus only lanes should be fine for intersections with slip lanes, like Hoxton Park Road, but for the other intersections I'd expect trouble.
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Re: Trackless Tram to Western Sydney Airport

Postby boronia » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:03 pm

tonyp wrote:I have no problems with kerbside bus lanes (which can also be converted to tram lanes if required), provided they have the same quality as the centre lanes, that is completely free of other motor traffic. However, note that the (ex) RMS is up to its old motor traffic-biased tricks by allowing general traffic into the bus lanes for left turns. This should be kept segregated into the next lane on the right and controlled by lights. But of course the RMS doesn't want turning traffic to hold up through traffic. Holding up buses is OK with them.

There are some "bus only" kerbside lanes where left turning traffic is confined to Lane 2.
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