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Offline ozbob

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Article: Light rail on a roll around Australia
« on: July 27, 2011, 07:18:24 PM »
From Rail Express click here!

Light rail on a roll around Australia

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Light rail on a roll around Australia
by Rail Express — last modified Jul 27, 2011 03:06 PM
— filed under: Weekly Top Stories

Light rail is returning around the globe as a favourable solution to the increasing pressure on public transit systems – and heavy rail networks - as the numbers of urban commuters grow.

By Francis Dwornik*

As predicted in a 2010 ‘Global Strategic Business Report’ report by US-based, market research report company, Global Industry Analysts (GIA), the global light rail could reach US$7.5bn by 2015.

According to the Australasian Rail Association (ARA): “Light Rail should be at the forefront of transport planning.”

It estimates that there is currently around 400 systems operating across 50 countries – and with 100 new projects in the pipeline.

In Australia, the news ‘around the nation’ is looking promising on light rail, and the trend must be supported.

Announced this month in Perth as part of the Western Australian Government’s Public Network Transport Plan is the introduction of a light rail system for Perth’s central, northern corridor to Mirrabooka.

In the Gold Coast, the Light Rail Transit project’s Stage One, due to open in 2014, will comprise 13km, connecting Griffith University and the new Gold Coast University Hospital to Broadbeach. Stations will be spaced around 800 metres apart.

And also causing great excitement within the industry was the release by the NSW Government in Sydney this year of its draft study into the proposed multi-million dollar 10km light rail extension to Dulwich Hill. Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of this year.

The works will take existing city services from Lilyfield along a disused rail line, an adoption which has already been successfully made by Victorian transport authorities.

This inner-west line is part of the proposed $500m light rail expansion plans for Sydney, including a new link between Central Station and Circular Quay.

In other recent developments, Adelaide opened new extensions to its light rail system in 2010, and other new lines are underway.

In 2008 the South Australian Government announced an unprecedented $2bn investment over ten years decade in Adelaide's public transport network to create a vibrant, state-of-the-art system providing faster, greener, more frequent and efficient services for train, tram and bus commuters.

This biggest single investment ever by a state government in public transport is now delivering a host of initiatives including new trams and tramlines, and an upgraded, extended and electrified rail network.

Following the highly-successful tram extension from Victoria Square in the city through to City West and the Entertainment Centre, the government plans to provide rail services using tram-trains which can operate on both the train and tram networks to West Lakes and Semaphore by 2018/19.

The 30-year plan for greater Adelaide has identified a number of potential mass transit corridors, including train, tram, city tram loop and rapid bus transit, all of which are subject to feasibility studies and funding availability.

In Hobart, a business case study is due to be completed on a proposal for a light rail line to run between Hobart’s CBD and the northern suburbs.

Melbourne, of course, has Australia’s most extensive light rail network – news on upgrades, extra rolling stock and more frequent services to this network would be welcomed.
The advantages of light rail are clear: it’s a clean and green technology – running off a city’s electricity grid.

It is also reasonably easy to design and install, and at a much lower cost per kilometre than the construction of road or heavy rail corridors.
Light rail is not the same as a tram network or a rail network.

It can use tramway rolling stock but on dedicated rail corridors – it can also shift between dedicated light rail corridors and traditional tramway corridors. This means light rail is not subject to any roadway restrictions, such as is experienced by trams.

In the case of Melbourne’s network, for example, its Routes 96 and 109 are partly light rail on the sections of dedicated former-railways corridors on which they operate.

It also means that diverting patrons away from roads, onto light rail, can dramatically reduce the number of road vehicles, and the associated issues of heavier carbon emissions and accidents.
Speed, along these dedicated light rail corridors, is also advantageous compared to roads in urban areas, with rolling stock able to travel at up to 110km an hour.

Light rail must be considered where there is a requirement to transport high numbers of passengers quickly, using frequent services.

Its unusual high capacity and speed range can be achieved via a relatively low investment.

However, a scaling up of urban light rail networks nationally – as is happening – must be thoughtfully integrated with all other passenger transport networks.

For example, central business districts can be ‘fed’ by new light rail routes, with patrons encouraged to park their cars outside city boundaries.
Where it is difficult to introduce other new transport options, light rail can also be considered because of its ‘lighter infrastructure’ footprint.

In Hong Kong, supplementing its world-leading MTR heavy rail network is an extensive, dense light rail (MTR LRT) network in the north-western district.

In another leading example, France also has a comprehensive light rail network, which extends to its use in provincial cities.

* Francis Dwornik is general manager of Pacific Services Group Rail division. PSG is a national electrical engineering provider.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Offline O_128

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Re: Article: Light rail on a roll around Australia
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 07:41:37 PM »
Once again Brisbane is behind the ball, Though for once I don't blame the state give (well I do in that busways should be light rail but it won't be to hard to do that anyway) We have to basically completely upgrade our entire rail system, build roads that as much as people hate we actually need them. And to top it off we are the only state that has to build public transport for effectively 2 cities not just our capital, I fear that when the gold coast light rail is a massive success the city will be asking for billions of dollars to expand there own network.

The city of Brisbane Itself seems to have 5 main transport issues that I feel are needed yet no money

1. CRR
2. Rail system constraints upgrades ( duplications, etc)
3. trouts road/ SC lines ( No point duplicating the SC line when we won't be able to run enough trains there)
4. Adelaide st bridge ( Victoria bridge can't take sun shades let alone light rail, yet oddly enough the old bridge could) and busway light rail conversion plus the high capacity routes 130,140 and 150 would make sense to upgrade)
5. Bus upgrades and rerouting (not really lack of money but lack of will)

And something I have just been playing around with but probably needed in the next 30-40 year is a proper completely grade separated metro. Ive mainly been considering 2 lines. A north south and an east west line. The east west line would start at cannon hill not morning side due to being close to murrarrie where adequate stabling could be built and would have stations at Cannon hill, bulimba, teneriffe, new farm, Albert st, west end, UQ and indooroopilly. The second would be chermside, lutwyche, Kedron, exhibition, albert st, buranda and then follow the South east busway. Effectively this would convert the busway north of the hospital and south of buranda into a rail line while the inner portion of the busway would be retained for light rail and to allow the eastern busway and inner northern busway to function and act as an inner city bypass for buses, Of course this is decades away from even a business case.
6.
5.
"Where else but Queensland?"

Offline ozbob

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Re: Article: Light rail on a roll around Australia
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 03:08:44 AM »
One of the reasons for the resurgence of light rail around Oz and internationally (except for Brisbane of course) is the looming fuel shortages.   Electric rail - light and heavy will be the sustainable transport mode moving on as we generate electricity from renewable sources.  The Gold Coast Light Rail will I think cause a bit of re-think concerning Brisbane, particularly as fuel prices take off and carbon pricing starts to impact.
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Offline O_128

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Re: Article: Light rail on a roll around Australia
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 08:35:31 AM »
One of the reasons for the resurgence of light rail around Oz and internationally (except for Brisbane of course) is the looming fuel shortages.   Electric rail - light and heavy will be the sustainable transport mode moving on as we generate electricity from renewable sources.  The Gold Coast Light Rail will I think cause a bit of re-think concerning Brisbane, particularly as fuel prices take off and carbon pricing starts to impact.

Totally agree, the way we are going in 30 years anything further than 15km from the CBD will look like detroit does today.
"Where else but Queensland?"

 

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