Saturday, April 06, 2019

Catching a tram in Canberra

It will be a year or more until Sydney's massively over engineered new tram lines open. I think you could run high speed bullet trains on the tram lines without a problem. Officially it is referred to as a light rail, although the fall back name is tram. Of course there was nothing to learn from us down south in 'Mexico' about trams and light rail, Melbourne being a city that has trams and more recently light rail, and has had them since the 19th century. Sydney had to reinvent the wheel and tram line construction, a very expensive reinvention at that.

Nevertheless, the best new light rail/tram award must go to the Gold Coast tram system in Queensland. It is only one line but it fast and efficient and soon to be extended and the priority at traffic lights for the trams over cars is how it should be everywhere.

Somewhat more quietly, Canberra, in our capital city territory has been building its own light rail/tram. It should open on the 20th of April this year. Wow, trams can travel at 75 km/h between stops. But speed is far less important for trams than traffic light priority. There is already planning to extend the line. In my opinion, Canberra desperately needs something like this new tram to get tourists from one attraction to another, including our Federal Parliament House, if not for local commuter use.

Even before the line has opened during tram testing there has been a couple of incidents with cars and pedestrians. I came across this video, produced to educate people about using the new tram system. I thought it would be rather ho hum, and doubted I would watch it through, but I did. Of course it is essentially common sense, but then common sense at times is not so common. I assume the Brumbies is the local Canberra rugby team. I am not sure why eating and drinking is not banned on Melbourne's public transport, as it is elsewhere. I hate the stink of hot food circulating through a tram, never mind the rubbish such as take away coffee cups that are left on trams.

Here is the video. As I said, pretty well common sense.

27 comments:

  1. The safety track record for a system yet to start is abysmal.
    Sadly, the trams WONT get you to the Parliamentary Triangle where most of our attractions reside.
    And the start date is also the date when the woeful changes to our bus system start - like walking a kilometre to the nearest stop, the abolition of most school buses etc, etc, etc...
    I did enjoy the video though, which I hadn't seen.

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    1. PS: I just sent you a couple of photos of the tram being tested.

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    2. Pic received EC. Thanks. The bus changes haven't been softened during the 'discussions'? I must have another look at the route and details.

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    3. The next stage may, just may get you to the attractions. But that is a couple of years away and will require Commonwealth Avenue Bridge to be rebuilt/widened. And the pollies are objecting to having the tram run close to them. Some changes to the bus routes have been made. Teensy weensy ones.

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  2. Trams were a major part of the transport system in Newcastle until the 1950s and a light rail system has now been reinstalled there. Newcastle trains have been terminated at Hamilton causing lots of problems with the commute into the CBD.The historic Newcastle railway station will probably be demolished and apartments built in what was the main public transport corridor into the city.Trams have their place I think but additional to not instead of trains.

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    1. Cheryl, it is a disgrace, as I mentioned back in this post. You may find the comedian hard going, but his bit about the university students and the train station without trains is priceless. https://highriser.blogspot.com/2018/11/newcastle-upon-hunter.html

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    2. Sorry Cheryl. You saw it already and commented.

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  3. I'm waiting for Sydney's new system to provide we car drivers with instructions on when to stop and go at tram stops and also on making right hand turns across tram lines. I suspect a few mishaps lie ahead.

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    1. Victor, I understand that most if not all stops will be protected and there won't be a need to stop. I also think any place where you can legally turn over the tram line will be controlled by turn arrows. That is how it is on the Gold Coast and will be in Canberra, but things do happen with humans in control.

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  4. I'm kind of pleased we don't have trams anymore.

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    1. Margaret, your city is perhaps not big enough to warrant trams, which should come when buses can no longer cope with the or to get people out of cars and move them en masse. There could be an argument for one starting at the University, across the Tamar Street Bridge, through the city and end at Cataract Gorge.

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    2. Sounds like a tourist thing Andrew.
      Be a long time before the total Uni will be moved.

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    3. Well, I may have a vested interest in a tourist tram. I didn't know about the Uni. Local knowledge wins out.

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  5. Thats interesting about trams in Canberra. Wish we had them in Brisbane but we do have a good busway. There were lots if stupid accidents on the Gold coast with car drivers getting onto the tracks by mistake.

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    1. Diane, I was in the mistaken belief that your new Metro was a tram or train system. Instead it seems it just a tunnel for buses.

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  6. Well done Canberra! Speed is also not as important as clean city air. Buses stink :(

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    1. Hels, as our visit to Sydney next week will reinforce.

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  7. I have yet to use the tram in Sydney, but I saw many people waiting for it at Central Station, so I presume it's popular.

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    1. Sami, it is overwhelmed with passengers and very poorly run and there seems little interest in fixing it. We took a trip to the terminus and caught a train back to Sydney.

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  8. I enjoy visiting the cities through the posts of my blogger friends/ :)

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  9. I can hardly wait for more trams in Adelaide. There's been a push for more people to use public transport so almost every time I get on a bus now, we're packed in like sardines.

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    1. Interesting River. I hope someone gives you a seat.

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  10. I watched it through too Andrew and admit to a chuckle here and there 😀

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  11. Stopping for our streetcars is a nightmare. You are not supposed to pass the doors if open, but it is very hard to see and newcomers have no idea.

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    1. Not hard Jackie. It goes wrong here at times with outer suburban drivers and interstate and overseas drivers.

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