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Author Topic: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane  (Read 8651 times)

Offline Lapdog Transit

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What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« on: March 27, 2010, 11:12:55 PM »
Just for reference.
Its just a bit of history repeating...





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« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 11:14:36 PM by tramtrain »
“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” — Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2010, 11:15:33 PM »
Bring Trams Back!!!!!!!!!

Offline Lapdog Transit

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2010, 11:25:09 PM »
Look, went all the way South to Garden City, all the way East to Belmont, Coorparoo and Carina, and North to Chermside...
The busway network is still catching up...

Even more telling: Look at the dots in the Brisbane river.
They are ferries

West End had three ferry terminals. Now there are proposals to build a new ferry stop in West End, it is being touted around like some revolution... truth is we are still in 1961 catching up... (Ok, so the CityCats vehicles are far superior than what they had in 1961, but in terms of network for its time...)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 12:04:38 AM by tramtrain »
“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” — Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Posts are my independent commuter view- not RailBOT's or other party.

Offline nikko

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2010, 05:29:37 AM »
Trams were great but that was then and this is now.
I think what we are doing now is renewing the old PT routes of the 1950s/60s, updated with 21st century technology and intergrating with greater Brisbane.


Online ozbob

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2010, 05:56:13 AM »
At one point the Brisbane trams were carrying more than 160 million passenger trips per year,
more than the today's total of rail and bus combined ...

<sigh>

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Online ozbob

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2010, 12:38:21 PM »
http://www.lrta.info/Facts/facts134.html

MAY 2002  LIGHT RAIL - A NEAR MISS FOR BRISBANE

INTRODUCTION

For about the last 50 years Brisbane (Queensland) has seen some dramatic changes to its once very efficient urban transit system, changes that many would have considered as without understandable transport logic. For example, that low concession fare and certainly convenient tram journey across the city centre (North Quay to Valley) is now a distant memory. The tram stops of the day were easy to locate and the trams even easier to access, in other words a modern passenger-friendly tram system and certainly the envy of the other state capitals. Brisbane's major mistake was not taking heed of that well known American slogan: "If it ain't broke don't fix it".

THE BEGINNING OF THE END

Despite a very modern fleet of trams, with vehicles with technical developments constantly under construction in the workshops, plans were being quietly developed to replace them. Although this would be no easy task because of the many recent high quality extensions and continual track upgrades in solid concrete, the "writing on the wall" attitude was beginning to seep through to the public. Fuel was also added to this policy from most of the other state capitals by their strong pro-bus activities. This was summed up very aptly by one of Australia's leading transport publishers: "The political climate now tends to discourage tramway development, and advantage was taken of the destruction by fire of Paddington Depot to curtail tramway services, despite the fact that financial results heavily favoured the trams" (1).

THE LOSS OF PADDINGTON DEPOT

Before the disastrous fire in 1962, little had happened to alert the public that moves to eliminate the trams may already have started. The conversion of the Cavendish Road tram route for instance to trolley bus operation was a somewhat innocuous move which seemed to stir only local residents. Three important results came out of it though: it put an end to the plans of that period to extend the route, gave the former tram passengers a new route into the city that avoided a major shopping complex, and proved that redundant electrical equipment following tramway abandonment could be readapted to suit trolley buses.

This fire and resultant loss of 65 trams polarised City Council members who after much debate reached a compromise agreement: 8 new trams would be built and 4 tram routes would be abandoned. So few trams were saved from the fire because of the old depot's timber construction, its base of very high wooden supports and the speed that the flames spread. A book dealing with the historical record of Australia's tramway systems saw this fire not only as a loss of a depot and many trams but the start of a real run-down of the tramway system: "The Paddington disaster was a heaven-sent opportunity for the anti-tram lobby" (2).

THE FINAL "WHISTLE"

With all the changes to the normal and well-established pattern of tram services enjoyed over many years, the inevitable happened and passenger numbers started to "flag". This provided a justifiable reason for bringing in consultants and it came as no surprise that their recommendations had an air of finality about them. A "terminal" diagnosis permitted a new bridge across the Brisbane River to be completed without tram tracks, surely, a short-term saving with long-term implications. Brisbane's tram system finally closed during April 1969 and although this marked the end of an era it could well be thought of as the start of today's traffic chaos.

BRIZTRAM

This was the title given to a 1997 initiative which in its early stages appeared to have some political force behind it (3). A feasibility study by independent consultants concluded that trams were best for Brisbane. This scheme involved a 15km standard gauge network needing 30 low-floor trams. Detailed planning then followed with expressions of interest being invited for financing, construction, operation and maintenance. From the State Government was a commitment of AUD 25m with AUD 65m promised from the Commonwealth Government, which regarded it as part of the Australian Centenary Project. Being proposed as a standard-gauge scheme, it would have been possible to operate a shuttle service with modern replica 4-motor trams, the type so popular right up to the end. This tourist inspired idea was expected to tempt visitors back to run-down areas, but it was abandoned because of its lack of a "futuristic" approach (4).

BRISBANE LIGHT RAIL - A SECOND ATTEMPT

Public consultation started late in 1998 on a replacement scheme for the aborted Briztram project. This new proposal was intended as a 1067-mm gauge system so as to permit through running with Queensland's railway system (5), but precluded heritage tram operation.

Despite calling tenders for this latest light rail project contracts were not awarded when expected, and an announcement during July 2000 revealed that for the second time the project was being dropped. It was thought to be too costly and too disruptive. Having had their bids rejected, the four consortia on the short list indicated that some legal action could follow because of the costs incurred in producing documents in the bidding process.

ARE BUSWAYS THE ANSWER?

The media did not mince words in their comment on transport matters: "The State Government and the Brisbane City Council have been criticised for short-sighted transport planning and for refusing to concede that what has been done to fix traffic problems has actually made them worse" (6).

A strong method of persuasion has been employed to create an incentive for motorists to make better use of the bus services. Two of the four lanes across Victoria Bridge into the CBD have been converted into bus lanes with catastrophic results because of the resulting delays, delays that are now disrupting business (7). The press have suggested that to attract patronage to bus services a passenger should always be sure of safety as well as comfort. At present this is far from being guaranteed because a quarter of the current bus fleet suffers structural defects which cause windows to fall out and bus frames to crack. This will encourage those with cars to continue driving ( 8 ). With current bus patronage down by at least 450 000 fares compared to last year (9) it is fairly obvious that a 100% bus fleet as against a balanced bus and tram network is not the answer.

CONCLUSION

As this fact sheet was being prepared, a well-illustrated letter appeared in Tramways & Urban Transit (10) which covered much of the same ground. Just why Brisbane has taken such an extraordinary transit direction, almost a complete reversal to many towns and cities worldwide, is difficult to understand but it has certainly not gone unnoticed. This became apparent when the UITP held a seminar in Brisbane early in 2002. This seminar gave John Kirk the opportunity to address the meeting and deliver a strong rebuke: "The question is whether or not Governments have the political will to resist the push to build more motorways and bus lanes and invest in a sustainable transport mode : that is, to replace a 1960's road-based network with a 21st century transport solution" (11).

REFERENCES

   1. DESTINATION VALLEY - edited by J Richardson, and published by Traction Publications, 1964 - page 5.
   2. THE TRAMWAYS OF AUSTRALIA - Samuel Brimson, published by P R Books, 1988 - page 78.
   3. Michael Taplin - TRAMWAYS & URBAN TRANSIT - July 1998 - page 260.
   4. RAILWAY GAZETTE INTERNATIONAL - August 2000.
   5. TRAMWAYS & URBAN TRANSIT - February 1999 - page 68.
   6. COURIER MAIL (Brisbane) - 11 March 2002.
   7. COURIER MAIL (Brisbane) - 14 December 2000.
   8. Lachlan Heywood (City Hall Reporter) - COURIER MAIL (Brisbane) 12 March 2002.
   9. COURIER MAIL (Brisbane) - 24 February 2001.
  10. John Elsol - TRAMWAYS & URBAN TRANSIT - April 2002 - page 140.
  11. UITP Seminar - Brisbane - 22 February 2002.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 12:41:10 PM by ozbob »
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Online ozbob

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2010, 12:44:25 PM »

--> Brisbane:  Forty years since the trams went silent
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Offline Lapdog Transit

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2010, 04:12:38 PM »
I'd be a bit careful using Light Rail Now, I think some of their material is not entirely balanced (the same could be said for some BRT sites too).

Three strikes and you are not out: http://trb.org/publications/circulars/ec058/15_03_Turner.pdf

Some of the former corridors may be suitable for BUZ as there has likely been a 'templating' effect with regards to urban form.
The trams might be gone, but the shops and centres around them have remained...
“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” — Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Posts are my independent commuter view- not RailBOT's or other party.

Online ozbob

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2010, 05:13:18 PM »
Thanks for the link.  Just imagine what the Brisbane tram network would be doing today if it was left intact  ..

Melbourne trams > 200 million passenger trips yearly and surging.  Driving development and social amenity.

Brisbane, time warp ...
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Online ozbob

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2010, 05:41:11 PM »
Check out this --> http://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=77.0

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Offline stephenk

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2010, 08:58:09 PM »
Many of those tram termini are single track. Not good for high frequency. The loop termini are better.

I find it difficult to justify non grade-seperated trams when buses are more flexible and use cheaper infrastructure.
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Offline WTN

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2010, 08:48:25 PM »
I find it difficult to justify non grade-seperated trams when buses are more flexible and use cheaper infrastructure.

But do buses have the capacity?  I'm still wondering how Brisbane's trams carried so many back in the day.
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Offline Lapdog Transit

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2010, 09:15:32 PM »
Quote
But do buses have the capacity?  I'm still wondering how Brisbane's trams carried so many back in the day.

Thanks for the question  :)
I really just intended this as a reference.

I don't think that you could have classed Brisbane's system as 'Light Rail' or 'Rapid Transit'.
However, perhaps the Chermside and Carindale lines could have as they did have their own right-of way.
These have now been turned into car lanes or carparks.

It was more of an inner city suburb, local travel and line haul distribution network, like Melbourne is today.
Its current functions have merely been given over to local bus services which are mostly non-busway services.
I'm talking about routes such as 199, 300, 200, 174, 175, 124, 125, 470 etc.

It would be a false comparison to say "we'll we have busway now" because it ignores the fact that different modes are suited to different applications and situations. We well could have had a situation where the trams remained but the busway installed anyhow.
The better comparison would be to compare LRT against BUZ.

The intention of the Busway is a more railway-like in function. It is there to "fill the gaps" in lower density areas to give rapid transport. In the city and inner suburbs, high capacity becomes more important IMHO as the distances are shorter. The number of light rail proposals put up by government, residents groups and political parties (at least four now and counting) and now a metro proposal highlights the persistent demand for this distinct, specific and niche function: Inner city mass local distribution. This is why a metro proposal has been put forward by Queensland Transport. Although I support it, I would prefer a light rail solution as i think it is cheaper, has good capacity and you can stop locally. Minimal or no tunneling required...

The trams ultimately fell due to competition from the car, the inability to run on the new expressways planned in the Wilbur Smith Report (they were correct partially- think of all the buses that use the Riverside expressway in the morning), the cost was higher to run and they did not stop at the curb like a bus could. The Paddinton depot fire (we still don't know what the cause was) was the icing on the cake.

Although buses are cheaper upfront the service isn't the same IMHO. On a more holisitc whole-of-life basis, LRT might actually be cheaper- as was found out in the Gold Coast analysis. Buses require more operators per pax than light rail.
It is recommended that as the frequency gets very high, it makes more sense to simply increase the size of the vehicle rather than increase the headway- hence the superbuses. LRT with the extra doors is also a plus, as is the vehicle being 100% low floor.
IIRC, none of BCC's buses have more than 2 doors and none are 100% low floor.

At West End during peak hour, there is a bus every 5 minutes. This is pushing the limit in my view.

 :-t
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 09:19:09 PM by tramtrain »
“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” — Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Posts are my independent commuter view- not RailBOT's or other party.

Offline ButFli

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2010, 10:21:04 PM »
Bring the trams back to New Farm! Brunswick St is crying out for it!

It will run from down at the river all the way up to Fortitude Valley Station. It would require closing Brunswick St between the Mall and the Station but this is not a big deal. Eventually trams could run all the way to the RBH precinct and provide the much needed train connection to the hospital.

If it is teamed up with a tram on the CityGlider route it will be so good you won't believe it's still Brisbane.

Offline Lapdog Transit

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2010, 11:41:20 PM »
I agree, but there are issues to work out.
Firstly there is the Property Council in the CBD, West End residents and BCC support. Then there is the potential loss of parking on streets with 2 lanes. Then there is financial/economic viability- Adelaide St Bridge issues and why LRT and not just more BUZzes or longer buses. Somehow I think superbuses running New Farm-Valley-CBD will just not cut it in terms of capacity. The demand is there, and every 5 mins to West End in 2010. It gets very full on the New Farm 199 in the morning ... imagine what it will be like in 2016 or 2026.

Actually, I think just having LRT in the city would be better than a standard metro-only system on many fronts for inner city distribution.
You don't hear Melbourne talking about getting a metro system. And they have an extensive rail system and the city loop on top of that, and people still catch the trams.

http://melbourneontransit.blogspot.com/
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 11:51:43 PM by tramtrain »
“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” — Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Posts are my independent commuter view- not RailBOT's or other party.

Offline Lapdog Transit

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2010, 11:47:01 PM »
Tram 199?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjXHpoElG-s


& Frequent
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLMgwWNbKRk
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 11:48:53 PM by tramtrain »
“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” — Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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Offline Lapdog Transit

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2010, 08:37:46 AM »
New Farm appears to have some sort of railway line along Macquarie St  ???
“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” — Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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Offline Whistling Nixie

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2010, 10:38:01 PM »
It would be a false comparison to say "we'll we have busway now" because it ignores the fact that different modes are suited to different applications and situations.
Maybe the CityGlider concept should be rolled out to the rest of the former tram corridors. The "tram-replacement" routes are gruesomely slow and unreliable - even if they're scheduled 10-15 minutes apart on weekdays. Add to these the existing and proposed stretches of the Busway/BUZ network, and you have a pretty good system!

Offline Lapdog Transit

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2010, 11:39:01 PM »
Quote
Maybe the CityGlider concept should be rolled out to the rest of the former tram corridors. The "tram-replacement" routes are gruesomely slow and unreliable - even if they're scheduled 10-15 minutes apart on weekdays. Add to these the existing and proposed stretches of the Busway/BUZ network, and you have a pretty good system!

I agree. Look at the map and look at the services now.
Ashgrove high frequency. Not anymore
Toowong via Milton road. Not anymore.
West End had 3 Ferry terminals

Sometimes I think BUZ is just a bus re-hash of what trams used to do anyway.

“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” — Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Posts are my independent commuter view- not RailBOT's or other party.

Offline stephenk

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2010, 08:43:23 PM »
I find it difficult to justify non grade-seperated trams when buses are more flexible and use cheaper infrastructure.

But do buses have the capacity? 

Easily. Work out the capacity of each tram x frequency, and then apply that to buses.

I would expect that much of these tram carrying statistics are due to higher off-peak travel as a result of lower car ownership.
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Offline Otto

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2010, 09:00:06 PM »


I would expect that much of these tram carrying statistics are due to higher off-peak travel as a result of lower car ownership.

You've hit the nail on the head !!

Back when Trams were running, Car ownership was more or less a luxury that many could not afford.. In todays world, Car ownership is the norm with many familys owning 2 or more cars..
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Online ozbob

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Re: What was: Tram maps for Brisbane
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2010, 05:28:38 AM »
Indeed, my own youth in tram rich inner car-less Melbourne testament to that point.  As cars are increasingly abandoned the true carrying capacity of light rail will once again come to the fore ...  Melbourne is so fortunate that the trams survived.

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