Author Topic: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction  (Read 257 times)

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Offline triumph

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Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« on: November 14, 2017, 06:35:34 PM »
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It is rather difficult to observe construction of Light Rail stage 1, due to its location in the middle of busy roads with activity mostly remote from easy pedestrian access. The most convenient viewpoint I have found is from the high rear seats of a route 200 bus, but this certainly doesn't allow for much photography or watching of activity.

One opportunity I happened on, was viewing the concrete track extrusion machine in action adjacent to an accessible car park next to Hibberson St on City side of Hinder St. Fascinating to see how quickly it advanced leaving behind fully formed concrete track complete with slots for installation of rails. Presumably there was laser guidance to keep the work accurate. Never-the-less there were some half dozen workers with trowels, etc touching up the surfaces and ensuring the slots were clear. Counting both directions, the mind boggles at the thought of some 24km of touching up by hand.

So far most above ground activity and effort seems to be in Flemington Rd with noticeably less obvious day to day action in Northbourne Ave.. The range of machinery in use and the sheer volume of work entailed is amazing. And not just machinery, when viewed from the bus, there are often many workers on foot, kneeling, etc doing detailed stuff. No wonder the cost is high.

Noticed today is that some 'overhead' support poles have been installed, and part of the depot entrance track including points and crossing work is in place.

The appearance of 'overhead' supports seems to confirm that, despite being on the cusp of self contained power supply and the apparent adequate daily battery life of bus710, that abandonment of 'overhead' power supply in favour of batteries is not yet a reliable viable option in the eyes of Capital Light Rail/Transport Canberra. 

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 10:32:01 AM »
Don't forget all the lanes inside the depot - that would add to length of manual touch up work.

From what I can tell, not all of the track will be laid using the track machine. At points (such as outside the depot), the tracks will be laid onto a concrete bed and then back-filled with concrete.


Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 08:32:18 PM »
Another perspective is on offer for the Light Rail works. Go to
http://www.canberra-metro.com.au/news/join-us-light-rail-construction-tour
for details about tours at noon on Wednesdays until Christmas. Canberra Metro say 'To make a booking call 1300 208 824 or email cbr.communications@canberra-metro.com.au'.

I, along with three others, did this tour last Wed, finding, for me, the main advantage being the presence of the construction superintendent who was very knowledgeable. The minibus basically followed the route from Gungahlin to Dickson and back with no getting off and no depot access, both due to works congestion and the complexities of OH&S for visitors outside of the minibus.

As far as simply viewing generally, the rear of an ACTION bus, as previously reported, is a good option.

Adding to my previous post, we were told the concrete extrusion machine forms the slotted concrete track at a rate of 1.2m a minute. Another snippet: the compound used to fix the rail within the slot costs more than the rail! Not surprising really as it is expected to durably provide vibration and noise damping, electrical insulation, fixing of the rail to resist it moving from expansion/contraction and traction forces, and tolerate Canberra's ambient temperature range which is the greatest for any current Australian Tram/Light Rail system.

I enjoyed the tour and found it very worthwhile.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 11:06:34 PM »
The Depot entrance track layout is now apparent. There is a full double track junction with entrance from/exit to both Gungahlin and City and double track continuing into the site.

Can't make up my mind about this. It takes 10 vehicles to run the peak hour schedule, thus there should never be a demand for more than two vehicles each service operating interval (minimum 6min) to enter/leave the site. (Surely there is no intention to run to/from the Depot for crew changes?) So a simple turnout into the depot and an adjacent crossover between the main lines should suffice. This requires 3 points and no track intersections. The set up installed has 6 points and 3 track intersections (not to mention more complex overhead and control). Given the proximity of the double tracks, it is probably not a protection against the fleet being bottled in by a derailment in the junction zone. Gilding the lily or a wise eye to the future when more stages are implemented?

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 05:39:25 AM »
I haven't payed too much attention to this whole lightrail thing, mostly cause I feel it's a waste of time, resources and money, and those poor tree :'(, but aside that and among the discussions about it that I have been reading of it over these past few months, there's still something that doesn't seem quite right to me.

I have a basic understanding of how trams work and know that the turning radius is rather limited due to the concertina and carriages length compared to articulated buses.
There's that, but from what all the signs say I've worked out at the busiest time there's going to be at least 4-6 active lightrail services running at the same time up and down Northbourne/Flemington, but from what I've seen, it looks as though there are two tracks (excluding whatever is being used to with the depot) and only the signs of the trams using the two tracks meaning they use the same track but in the opposite direction after each terminus like where it use to at Lilyfield in Sydney. ([EDIT] although that's apparently changed to Dulwich Hill since I was last there). So unless there's a loop like at Central Station or something plus the use of Vernon Circle, I don't quite get how this could work.

Can someone please explain this for me. Possibly with pictures and photos even


Also while I think of it, shouldn't the 'Canberra Metro' topic be under the 'Other Transport' subheading cause it kinda fits there better than under 'Discussion'? just a thought.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 05:47:37 AM by Sylvan Loves Buses »

Offline Busfanatic101

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 07:53:44 AM »
I have a basic understanding of how trams work and know that the turning radius is rather limited due to the concertina and carriages length compared to articulated buses.
There's that, but from what all the signs say I've worked out at the busiest time there's going to be at least 4-6 active lightrail services running at the same time up and down Northbourne/Flemington, but from what I've seen, it looks as though there are two tracks (excluding whatever is being used to with the depot) and only the signs of the trams using the two tracks meaning they use the same track but in the opposite direction after each terminus like where it use to at Lilyfield in Sydney. ([EDIT] although that's apparently changed to Dulwich Hill since I was last there). So unless there's a loop like at Central Station or something plus the use of Vernon Circle, I don't quite get how this could work.

Can someone please explain this for me. Possibly with pictures and photos even
The LRVs should be bidirectional, with a driver's cab at each end. This eliminates the need for them to turn at each end - all they have to do is switch tracks. Take a look at the Gold Coast G:link for an idea of how this might look.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 07:55:25 AM by Busfanatic101 »

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 01:26:16 PM »
Had a look at a video, I understand now, there's a lane switch just after each starting point.
All cleared up now, thank you.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 01:27:14 PM by Sylvan Loves Buses »