Transport POlicy study - RMIT

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Re: Transport POlicy study - RMIT

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:45 am

DavidS wrote:I think the loop was a disaster, putting all the lines on 4 tracks and screwing up Flinders St.

No, I still remember the old days - express trains that got to Richmond in double-quick time then sat in the yards at Flinders St waiting........ waiting........


DavidS wrote:I would agree that the W class trams do load and unload much quicker. There are a number of factors: wide doors, only 2 steps, but one of the biggest factors was that we used to not have to wait for the doors to close to get moving. When I drove trams, mainly W class, we would be opening the doors as we got into the stop and closing them while we moved off.

The W class I'm thinking of had no doors at all, just a canvas weather screen on the centre-road side. You could just jump on and off almost at will But I must admit the new low-floor, multi-car tams have some excellent features and probably load almost as quick.
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by BNA » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:23 pm

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Re: Transport POlicy study - RMIT

Postby DavidS » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:23 pm

The old days? My train goes straight to Flinders St and sits around in the rail yards, nothing has changed.

I used to work at the last depot willing to run the W class trams without doors, they were fine. But these days if someone fell out they would sue.

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Re: Transport POlicy study - RMIT

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:49 am

DavidS wrote:The old days? My train goes straight to Flinders St and sits around in the rail yards, nothing has changed.

DS


And will always be a problem, trying to jam too many trains into too few platforms at the terminal. Only takes one going defective in the morning peak and you can be down a platform for 10m waiting for techs to get it moveable enough to shunt out or rejoin service. I have the same problem at SSS, the shortening of all the country platforms and yard rationalisation that came with the rebuild can be a killer in the mornings. :(
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Re: Transport POlicy study - RMIT

Postby il padrone » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:19 pm

Mulger bill wrote:the shortening of all the country platforms

Shortening? Have you ever tried to walk out the length of those platforms? They often put two or even three trains on one platform.
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Re: Transport POlicy study - RMIT

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:20 pm

il padrone wrote:
Mulger bill wrote:the shortening of all the country platforms

Shortening? Have you ever tried to walk out the length of those platforms? They often put two or even three trains on one platform.

Walk? Me? I'll have you know that the signalmen at Spencer St have an electric buggy and driver on exclusive 24 hr standby :P

Yes, shortened. To accomodate the southern concourse passenger access to all platforms instead of the tunnels and to cram as much retail in, all country platforms except Pl01 had between 20 and 35 metres chopped off. Pl01 was almost halved. The addition of Pl8south, or 8 1/2 as we call it because it's halfway to Flinders St has been limited help.
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Re: Transport POlicy study - RMIT

Postby DavidS » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:42 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
DavidS wrote:The old days? My train goes straight to Flinders St and sits around in the rail yards, nothing has changed.

DS


And will always be a problem, trying to jam too many trains into too few platforms at the terminal. Only takes one going defective in the morning peak and you can be down a platform for 10m waiting for techs to get it moveable enough to shunt out or rejoin service. I have the same problem at SSS, the shortening of all the country platforms and yard rationalisation that came with the rebuild can be a killer in the mornings. :(


Aah progress, great isn't it?

Didn't they get rid of platforms 12, 13 and 14 at Flinders St? How is it going to work better with less platforms.

Actually your story reminds me of the changes which happened on the trams when I was working as a driver (early 90s). Back then most of the trams were W Class. What happened when a W Class tram broke down? Did you have to wait for the breakdown truck? No, W class trams could push each other. If one end of the tram malfunctioned an inspector could drive it in reverse from the other while you ran the brakes at the front. If the brakes failed you had a hand brake (20 tonnes, hard work). If you broke a pole ($75 at the time) you could use the other pole, there's only one pantograph and they were a lot more expensive. All progress I suppose.

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Re: Transport POlicy study - RMIT

Postby il padrone » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:37 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Yes, shortened. To accomodate the southern concourse passenger access to all platforms instead of the tunnels and to cram as much retail in, all country platforms except Pl01 had between 20 and 35 metres chopped off. Pl01 was almost halved. The addition of Pl8south, or 8 1/2 as we call it because it's halfway to Flinders St has been limited help.

Really? It's funny how in the old days of Spencer Street I don't ever recall walking as far along a platform as I do at Southern Cross. Maybe the illusion created by a centre subway as opposed to the current platform-end access.

Incidentally, the whole subway still exists - such a shame it cannot be used for access. It's damned awkward work lugging a loaded touring bike along to the distant end of the platform then up two escalators and down another long one - as we've just done this afternoon.
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Re: Transport POlicy study - RMIT

Postby il padrone » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:40 pm

DavidS wrote:Actually your story reminds me of the changes which happened on the trams when I was working as a driver (early 90s). Back then most of the trams were W Class. What happened when a W Class tram broke down? Did you have to wait for the breakdown truck? No, W class trams could push each other. If one end of the tram malfunctioned an inspector could drive it in reverse from the other while you ran the brakes at the front. If the brakes failed you had a hand brake (20 tonnes, hard work). If you broke a pole ($75 at the time) you could use the other pole, there's only one pantograph and they were a lot more expensive. All progress I suppose.

Yeah, but I'd guess the old W-clas trams broke down a bit more often than the modern Bumblebee jobbies ?? :mrgreen:
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Re: Transport POlicy study - RMIT

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:25 pm

il padrone wrote:Incidentally, the whole subway still exists - such a shame it cannot be used for access. It's damned awkward work lugging a loaded touring bike along to the distant end of the platform then up two escalators and down another long one - as we've just done this afternoon.


Yep, service vehicle access only now, with swipecard. I used to be able to get from the box to any platform without having to cross tracks.I s'pose the management didn't want the honeypot spending too much time in public view.

I'm not fond of the new layout as it's more oritented to the commercial side than transport operations.
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Re: Transport POlicy study - RMIT

Postby DavidS » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:01 pm

il padrone wrote:
DavidS wrote:Actually your story reminds me of the changes which happened on the trams when I was working as a driver (early 90s). Back then most of the trams were W Class. What happened when a W Class tram broke down? Did you have to wait for the breakdown truck? No, W class trams could push each other. If one end of the tram malfunctioned an inspector could drive it in reverse from the other while you ran the brakes at the front. If the brakes failed you had a hand brake (20 tonnes, hard work). If you broke a pole ($75 at the time) you could use the other pole, there's only one pantograph and they were a lot more expensive. All progress I suppose.

Yeah, but I'd guess the old W-class trams broke down a bit more often than the modern Bumblebee jobbies ?? :mrgreen:


If my experience is anything to go by you would be very wrong.

When I worked on the trams there was a list of the number of trams which were needed for the morning peak and the number of trams in each depot. The depots running W Class trams had less spare trams because we needed less spares.

You have to understand something about the W Class trams. They have been modified now but when I drove them there were 4 circuits on the whole vehicle: motors (2 circuits), lights, and compressor. Therefore, only 4 things to go wrong. Everything except the motors and lights ran off compressed air: the brakes, sand, windscreen wipers, doors, everything ran off compressed air (bell was mechanical). Compressed air is brilliant, it can leak like crazy and still work fine, try that with hydraulics. In addition, everything on a W Class tram was designed to be replaced. There is no lifespan for a W Class tram, everything has a maintenance schedule and about every 20 years they would go back to Preston where they were made (and you could drive them there because there were tracks in the front door) and the motors are rewound, canvas roof replaced etc. Those things were literally designed to last forever, which is why Seattle bought a pile of 1920s W Class trams and they run them today and they are fine. Compare this to something like a bumblebee and you have a monstrously complicated vehicle with hundreds of circuits, computer control, hydraulics which when they fail the brakes lock on etc. W Class trams, properly maintained (which they weren't when I drove them) are incredibly reliable at any age. The irony is that we will be throwing out the A, Z (sooner the better, they're crap), B, C and bumblebees before the 1920s W Class trams have reached the end of their useful life. It is such a pity we got rid of the Ws as they were so well designed (one flaw: no heating!).

I should add one more thing. Some years ago there was a controversy about the brakes on W Class trams. Apparently there was a problem with the self adjusting mechanism. When I heard that I thought, the what? The brakes were adjusted overnight manually when I drove them The idiots running the trams spent thousands on self adjusting brakes just so they could have maybe 15 less staff. Really stupid for 2 reasons: the manually adjusted brakes clearly worked better, and the guys who adjusted the brakes would also eyeball the tram to see if anything was about to go wrong - preventative maintenance.

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