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Alastair Taylor's picture
#27

E-Class start: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/longer-and-louder-new-eclass-tram-make...

Order of 50 (fully delivered by 2018) with a lot of options: 100.

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Fedsquared's picture
#28

ST KILDA traders and residents have taken to the street to march against proposed changes to Acland St.

About 50 people attended the ``Don't let them kill Acland St'' event this afternoon.
Public Transport Victoria and Yarra Trams want to upgrade Route 96 from East Brunswick to St Kilda to give trams increased on-street priority.
Under the $800 million plan, cars and trams would be separated along the route and new level access stops installed, a new terminus and plaza built in Acland St and car parks along the busy strip removed.

Read more at

http://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/st-kilda-traders-residents-prot...

Here are some 'highlights'. I was going to add some 'humour' to this guy's comments but he does a good enough job of bringing laughs himself.

Quotes courtesy of St Kilda Village Traders Association president Chris Hickey
...
But he said they wanted the new terminus to be near O'Donnell Gardens and not near Barkly St as planned, meaning trams were removed from Acland St.
...
Mr Hickey said the 33m trams were ``humungous'' and left Acland St every four minutes.
``That presents issues for people that are looking to cross the road. Previously trams were leaving every nine minutes. There is just a lot more traffic in St Kilda village as it stands now,'' he said.
...
When asked about the fact that every tram brought up to 200 people to the street, compared to the number of people that could fit in a car, Mr Hickey said: ``For every tram load of visitors that it brings, there is also a tram load of visitors that it takes away.
"The demand for trams in Acland St is not as a great as the demand for trams in say, South Melbourne.''

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gobillino's picture
#29

"When asked about the fact that every tram brought up to 200 people to the street, compared to the number of people that could fit in a car, Mr Hickey said: ``For every tram load of visitors that it brings, there is also a tram load of visitors that it takes away."

This is hilarious!

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Mark Baljak's picture
#30

Test proves Yarra Trams' E-Class trams too power hungry for network

Melbourne's Trams

Further doubts have emerged about whether Melbourne’s tram system can cope with the greater power demands of 50 larger trams that are progressively being put into service, after the system failed an important test.
Six early morning tests in May involving four high-capacity E-Class trams running along a section of Nicholson Street found power problems whenever more than two trams operated at a time.
Yarra Trams has identified the need to build or boost 16 electrical substations around Melbourne so the system can cope with the full order of E-Class trams, and is in a race to secure the land at five sites where more power is needed.
There are currently just five E-Class trams operating, all of them on route 96 between Brunswick East and St Kilda Beach, with the remaining 45 due to be introduced at the rate of one a month from July.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/test-proves-yarra-trams-eclass-trams-t...

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Martin Mankowski's picture
#31

This is a terrible lack of foresight. How was this not considered before now? Its basic Year 12 Physics stuff. I hope they get the land for the substations quickly - it would be a tragedy if this project was delayed because of this. You can already hear the traders using this as another rubbish excuse as to why the Route 96 upgrade shouldn't go ahead.

Makes me wonder if they should have just upgraded the network to 1.5kV DC so that they can share the power infrastructure with the trains. Probably too complex and expensive, but the price of buying more land for substations is gonna blow out quickly too. Especially when it comes time to roll out more new trams when other lines are upgraded.

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drunkill's picture
#32

It has been considered before, there was funding to upgrade the network and not all substations have been upgraded (or new ones built) yet. I think this was more testing to see what capacity they could use the new trams on routes until the upgrades are completed.

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Mark Baljak's picture
#33

New tram super stops prove a bridge to easier access

Melbourne's Trams

A pair of experimental tram stops on Bridge Road in Richmond have been given an emphatic thumbs up in a VicRoads-commissioned study, paving the way for hundreds more to eventually be built throughout Melbourne.
The stops are designed to provide easy access for the elderly, people with disabilities and parents with prams without building platforms that cut off traffic lanes.
Built at a cost of $2.4 million, the twin stops caused confusion when they were unveiled last year, including instances when cars became "beached" between the raised stop and the tram pit.
But a detailed assessment of the stops has found they are a good way to provide easy tram access without taking away lanes used by other vehicles on streets where road space is both shared and scarce.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/new-tram-super-stops-prove-a-bridge-to...

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Alastair Taylor's picture
#34
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Mark Baljak's picture
#35

Tram route 96 freeway struggles as opposition mounts

A plan to turn Melbourne's busiest tram route into a flagship light railway is struggling to launch as residents and traders along the line fight moves to allocate road space at the expense of parking and car lanes.
Communities in the left-leaning inner suburbs of Brunswick East, Carlton North and St Kilda have gone against type and dug in against Napthine government plans to sacrifice parking spaces for super stops in a bid to create Melbourne's first tram freeway.
The grassroots campaign against the route 96 project scored a big win on Wednesday when Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder announced in Parliament that he had deferred an important part of the project until next year.
Mr Mulder said he had "put on hold" government moves to gain a heritage permit to build a new platform tram stop in Fitzroy Street, until Public Transport Victoria completes a new traffic study. In so doing, Mr Mulder implicitly rejected the findings of a previous study based on just two days of traffic analysis.
The platform stop would go almost directly in front of the driveway of the St Kilda Primary School where, by its own count, three in four pupils are driven to school. Residents, traders and the school's principal Jennifer McCrabb all told Fairfax Media the new stop would create a dangerous bottleneck.
"People will take risks to get into the school so it will be a lot less safe for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists," Ms McCrabb said.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/tram-route-96-freeway-struggles-as-opp...

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Mark Baljak's picture
#36

Tourism & Transport Forum calls for Melbourne's slow tram network to catch up with the times

The 75 new trams that the Coalition has promised to buy in its next term will spend most of their time sitting in traffic unless a serious effort is made to speed up Melbourne's tram network, one of the world's slowest, a transport lobby group says.
Melbourne's trams have an average speed of 16km/h, dropping to just 11km/h in the CBD.
Industry group Tourism & Transport Forum said the government would get more value out of its promised new trams – costed at $1.07 billion – if it made the tram network more efficient.
"Melbourne's tram network is one of the city's great assets but its potential is not being fully realised," forum chief executive Margy Osmond said.
She said Melbourne's trams could play a much bigger role in moving people around the city if they were not so slow and compromised by traffic congestion.
Eighty per cent of the city's tram network shares the road with other vehicles, and Melbourne's trams spend more time stopped at traffic lights than trams in many other cities.
"A key problem is that Melbourne's trams spend 17 per cent of their journey time at traffic lights," Ms Osmond said.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victoria-state-election-2014/tourism--...

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Martin Mankowski's picture
#37

We definitely need to upgrade more of our routes to 'light rail' - ie separation of cars and priority at traffic lights.

Project 96 is definitely a step in the right direction. Probably the only good idea thought up during the current government's term (actually, it was a PTV idea rather than Terry Mulder's, but close enough...) and they still managed to botch it. They let what is a great and necessary plan, that will address the problems mentioned in the article, get hijacked by traders and their ridiculous claims that people need to drive to their front door or they're stuffed. Whilst their claims are baseless, its a perception thats been allowed to fester, to the point where even the wider general public are now skeptical of this idea. The government should have spent more time addressing the traders concerns and selling this to the public, rather than wasting millions on a campaign to advertise a freeway we dont need and an airport rail line that wont happen for decades.

And they wonder why they are gonna be a one term government in a few weeks!

Gee I hope Labor expand this plan. Our transport network would be truly world class if we can get our trams/light rail right.

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Alastair Taylor's picture
#38

Where's Sheko when you need him?

He had some great videos of the Swiss tram priority system in action when he was over there earlier this year.

Basically works with the traffic lights crossing the street with tram line turning red when the trams are approaching - tram slows, but doesnt come to a complete stop.

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Alexander Sheko's picture
#39

Yeah that's right - it means basically no stopping where the tram has clear priority (i.e. against a small/medium traffic route), although there might be a stop where it crosses another tram line or a major road. On the whole, though, "tram priority" means a lot more than it does in implementing Vicroads' Smartroads Operating Plans here in Melbourne, where pedestrian/bike/bus/tram priority doesn't often seem to put a dent in the priority afforded to private motor vehicles.

The interesting story with Zurich is that there was a proposal in the early 70s to build a Metro/U-Bahn similar to many German cities at that time, so that space currently used by buses/trams on surface roads could be given over to cars. The proposal was rejected at referendum (all proposals involving above a certain level of government expenditure must be approved by plebiscite) and there were a range of measures implemented to improve the efficiency of public transport services.

I can share the video but it's on my laptop at home and I'm at work atm.

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Alastair Taylor's picture
#40

Yes, please do when you can!

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Martin Mankowski's picture
#41

Yeah would be great to see! Would be interesting to see how it would work in somewhere like Melbourne's CBD because of the many tram lines that intersect with each other, but suspect it would still make a huge difference.

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gobillino's picture
#42

Wouldn't be too hard to define the priority 'premium' routes that get priority of the intersecting routes though - Swanston and William N-S, Bourke and maybe Collins (particularly if it ultimately extends to Fisho) E-W. This limits the number of intersections where you need to balance priority to four. Of course there are arguments as to why you might not be able to provide priority at other intersections for other modes (ie Spencer, King, and maybe Lonsdale for cars/buses)

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Llib's picture
#43

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-13/trams-to-be-king-of-the-road-in...

An interesting article on giving priority to trams on Melbourne's streets and an interesting point that clearways can actually slow down trams not speed them up.

"The traditional thought was that if you have clearways all day then that would be good for cars and trams," he said.

"It turns out that [with clearways] cars overtake trams and can obstruct the tram at the next intersection.

"So having parking provides a gating effect for trams who can then move through the network better."

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Alastair Taylor's picture
#44

Northern route tinkering: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/changes-down-the-line-for-melbournes-t...

Route 8 will disappear from maps and instead the #55 will be extended from Domain Interchange to Toorak.
Route 1 will have its northern parts re-routed along the former route 8 cross-town section to Moreland
Route 6 will be extended from UniMelb to East Coburg (former route 1 northern part).

And apparently the 19 / Sydney road trams will have frequencies reduced as it'll be served entirely by larger D class.

Here's hoping the B class that are taken off route 19 and then moved to 55, 1 and 6 so they're not as reliant on Z class - especially in peaks.

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Peter Maltezos's picture
#45

The # 19 trams along Elizabeth Street - Royal Parade - Sydney Road are the trams I use the most.

As a user of this service, I'll find the reduced frequencies very frustrating and annoying, I would very much prefer a more frequent B class alternative.

It was bad enough that they closed down the Lonsdale, Franklin and Queensberry Street stops and now we have reduced frequencies as well, can it get any worse?

WTF!!! angry

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Aussie Steve's picture
#46

Great to see the re-drawing of some of our tram routes; the creation of more cross-city routes; and the building of new, safer and accessible stops too.

I would like to see more of this type of re-routing happening, especially with the #72 be cut in two and a new north-south route along Glenferrie and Hawthorn Roads replacing the current #16, similar to Chapel Street and Burke Road.

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Alastair Taylor's picture
#47

Speaking of things we'd like to see, and surprised the Greens in the previous election campaign didn't nominate it either, is to have Moreland station grade separated and tram track extended all the way west along Moreland road, south into Pacco Vale Road and then connecting up (triangle) with the existing track at Fletcher Street.

Google says it's, point to point, 3.8 kilometres. It would the cross-town link of the existing 8, new 1 betwene Lygon St and Sydney road to run all the way out to the employment centres in Niddrie/Airport west and link multiple existing radial routes.

If you look at the ID "where people work" maps for Moonee Valley and Moreland you see there's a few thousand people across the small sections which are moving East-west through the North.

That kind of cross-town route would provide double the frequency between Essendon Station and Airport West - Keilor road is a hot bed of new residential development.

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Alastair Taylor's picture
#48

Another thing, the Greens 2014 election proposal for trams on the 57:

Melbourne's Trams

In short it should actually turn east along the old KEilor Road (alongside the Calder FWY) to link up with the existing 59 track thus providing a high quality PT route to the Airport West employment sector.

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Alastair Taylor's picture
#49

While we're on the subject, their #3 extension proposal is just plain weird... why would you want to put Trams on Warrigal Road? Just have it turn south down Chadston Road and into the centre

Melbourne's Trams

All these maps are here: http://greens.org.au/initiatives/vic/fill-missing-tram-links

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Alastair Taylor's picture
#50

This one I entirely support and wholeheartedly agree with - good opportunity to create a much better tram/train interchange at Caulfield station:

Melbourne's Trams

I'd have it terminate in Monash Drive - and perhaps completely remove cars from Monash drive between the roundabout and the station.

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Llib's picture
#51

I believe these tram route changes are good for Melbourne especially with Swanston St losing a service reducing overcrowding while William St can potentially gain a service. The tram route rationalisation along St Kilda Rd was also overdue as there were too many stops in that section.

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