Saturday, June 11, 2011

Da trains and trams

Melbourne has a new tram map. It has been a long time coming so it is a damn shame that there are some glaring errors and some things that could have been done differently to more truly represent the real life situation. Getting a new map right can't be easy, but wasn't it shown to many people for comment first? I think the new map is ok, apart from what are fairly minor errors, but still, errors. Have a look, it is very pretty.Link
It looks like Sydneysiders are finally going to get their new Waratah trains. What a farce that became. Who is to blame for extensive delays and cost overruns? Both the previous government and EDI Downer who built the trains. Is it just so difficult to build a train? Train construction happens around the world and there has been more than a century of experience.

Here is one of those whacky proposals for Melbourne's trams that will quickly be forgotten. Remember a previous one? All suburban trams that use St Kilda Road will terminate once the tram reaches St Kilda Road and passengers will need to transfer to shuttle trams.

There is an argument that to relieve tram congestion in Swanston Street, some trams should be diverted along other Melbourne Streets. Marvellous, redirect trams to where people don't want to go. The Swanston Street/St Kilda Road trams are already overcrowded. How is having less of them going to help there? Ah, yes that Footscray to Caulfield rail tunnel will help. How is it progressing? Half dug yet is it?

Another part of the plan is for new track to be laid in Park Street, South Melbourne and a tram run along Park Street through South Melbourne. How many years have I been hearing about the construction of the missing link in Park Street? It will be echoing in my ears when I am on my deathbed.

And the very latest pie in the sky? A tram along Hoddle Street and Punt Road. I am beyond even laughing.

I am not sure if Sydney caught it from Melbourne or Melbourne from Sydney, but aren't we just so fed up with grandiose announcements and then nothing.

Later Edit: Some of the problems with the new tram map can be found here.


  1. arrgh,hope it doesn't change before middle of july,i'm coming to melbourne for the first time and have my train/tram trips mapped.

    as for sydney trains, red rattlers!!! must be easy to knock some of them up!

  2. OMG can you imagine how awful Punt/Hoddle would become? I drive the St Kilda end almost every day and that section is bad enough without throwing a tram into the mix.

  3. Ha! You want the grandiose! I just want Swanston Street sorted. The shops are cheap and nasty tourist souvenir places and it isn't a pedestrian mall anyhow.

    By there way, there is no particular tram congestion in Swanston Street. Except for peak hour ...when people have to get to work and don't want to be diverted.

  4. Yes, the tram map is nicer, but shame about the errors.

    My assumption is that although it's proposed there be less routes along Swanston St, they'd be served by bigger trams.

    Hoddle St tram? I don't see it as a priority. It's not as if the motorists driving there are going from Clifton Hill to Richmond or St Kilda, nor could they all park at Clifton Hill and catch a tram. They're coming from further out where there's little or no PT.

  5. IWBY, I can safely say there won't be any change by July. Hmm, most people head north for our winter.

    Fen, just a silly idea that should not have even made it to press.

    Hels, I think Doyle's plan for the street will work. But it will be the end of 2012 before it is finished. Domain Interchange is certainly a congestion point and Swanston/Franklin/Victoria Streets can be. That will be alleviated somewhat when a super stop goes in and the intersection is modified.

    Daniel, thanks. I was trying to remember where comments about the map were all together and that is it. Fewer but larger trams in Swanston would require rather a lot of new trams and where are the old smaller ones to go? I have heard it argued that a heavy or even light rail in the Doncaster direction would remove a significant amount of traffic from Hoddle Street. I don't know about that.

  6. Oh, I think Adelaide takes the cake for grandiose announcements. (A new hospital on contaminated ground).
    "WE" have been trying to come up with decent proposals for our Victoria Square since last century!
    As for our trams...well, if they worked properly they'd be fine. If their airconditioning worked they'd be even better. Mind you, we only have a couple.

  7. River, I don't know about the hospital. Is there anything really wrong with Victoria Square? I will cast a critical eye when we visit. I understand improved air con was retro fitted to the original new trams and is it not ok now? The new ones surely should be ok.

  8. Saw one of the Warratah trains yesterday. It was running a test run on the airport line in Sydney. I almost got on by mistake, but got shooed away by one of the guards.

    If anything we need a proper underground metro system, not a quasi metro Footscray - Caulfield tunnel.

  9. Ben, pity you didn't get on the train. I can see the headlines in the Daily Tele now. Melburnian the first to ride in our new trains. A proper metro system would be ideal, but I'll be dead before we see one. You may well be too.


Before you change something, find out why it is the way it is in the first place - unknown.