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Light Rail Stage 1 Construction

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Offline triumph

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Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« on: November 14, 2017, 06:35:34 PM »
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 triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2017, 11:48:22 PM »
Progress noted today

The 'spreader' arms to support the contact wire have been attached to many of the masts, ready to be swung into position.
The first section of concrete track slab between Flemington Rd and the City has been placed just N of Barry Dr.
The point where the track approaching Sandford St veers to the center of Flemington Rd is now visible.
Whilst track slab work in Flemington Rd is very advanced, there are still many small gaps and missing sections.
Work has begun on concrete platform construction at several stops.

The works have resulted in a rough bit of the S bound side of the Federal Highway. The back section of a bendy bus I was in bucked like a rodeo bronco when the bus, travelling at a gentle speed, crossed it. . The sudden, unexpected motion caused my head to whip to and fro and body to move forward of the seat back and then slam painfully hard back into it. The violence was far beyond what I would consider acceptable for passengers in a public transport vehicle.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 12:03:49 PM »
Had another look on Monday from a rte 200 travelling Gungahlin to City.

There are now many more overhead support poles in place North of Mitchell. There seem to be 3 sizes. Spreaders are attached to most of the poles with some deployed into position, it being noted that some poles have brackets to which dual spreaders about a metre apart are attached. A ram like piston is attached to some spreaders, presumably something to do with contact wire tension. As yet no contact wire is in place.

In the same section two stops already have platform roofs in place and the site of a track to track crossover is identifiable.

Work on the Federal Highway/Northbourne Ave section is now in full swing with sections of track in place, including the curve from the Federal Highway median into the S side of Flemington Rd. Never-the-less, there is still much work to be done over the whole length and, if the amount of pipes and pre-fab access pits stored here and there is any guide, still much below ground surface work too.

The slightly raised surface of street crossings mentioned in posts is noticeable - as this is a work in progress, the final finished surface level of the streets may ease the perceived 'hump' effects on traffic. 

The bus I was on travelled from Gozzard St via Efkarpidis St, Kate Crace St, Anthony Rolfe Ave, and Manning Clark Cresc to reach Flemington Rd.   


Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 01:56:23 PM »
The slightly raised surface of street crossings mentioned in posts is noticeable - as this is a work in progress, the final finished surface level of the streets may ease the perceived 'hump' effects on traffic. 
Some intersections are more raised than others. Along Flemington Road they appear perfectly level with the adjoining roads.

The problem at Macarthur/ Wakefield is the extent of the slope across the intersection. It's certainly more than anywhere else. I don't know if much can be done to remove the hump effect there. They just need to slow down the traffic.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 03:08:06 PM by Barry Drive »

Offline Bus 400

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2018, 09:28:03 PM »
Just noticed today, a crossover has been installed just north of the Nullarbor Avenue stop. This will allow northbound trams to turnback & head back south.


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Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 04:44:04 PM »
Another look today from a route 200 bus revealed that the installation of the overhead contact wire has started in Flemington Rd in the vicinity of Manning Clark Cresc and will probably continue along Flemington Rd quite rapidly. Never the less support poles installation in Mitchell is incomplete, including the Depot junction area. Further into the Depot poles are in place but no contact wires are yet visible. The various comments in the media about vehicle testing starting at the end of the month seem a trifle over enthusiastic.

At the Gungahlin terminus (visited on foot), the platform roof is in position and the scissors crossover at the end of the station has the rail with prefabbed point and crossing work laid out in position ready for installation. It appears the crossing work is being done by Nugroup Rail Solutions. Near the terminus, work for the bus interchange and Hibberson St shared area is in full swing but appears to have a long way yet to go.

The work on formation for the track between Dickson and the Barton Highway is now well defined and N of the Barton, most of the track slab has been laid. The section past EPIC to the Depot junction has the last remaining significant gaps in slab construction. North of Mitchell the work is now nearing the final stages with even some landscaping and tree planting evident! S of Dickson is the main area of activity for civil works with plenty of stockpiles pipes, etc still evident. Track slab laying has progressed but there is still considerable length still to do.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 05:39:23 PM »
The various comments in the media about vehicle testing starting at the end of the month seem a trifle over enthusiastic.
Previous reports suggested testing would take place between the depot and Gungahlin. It is my understanding that initial testing will occur within the depot grounds, with on-track testing to commence later. (Once the track is operational to GTC.)

I have also noticed some further progress with traffic light installation. There now appear to be some T light signals, albeit covered up.

Offline Sir Pompously

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2018, 07:28:23 PM »
Poles were up at the depot junction but were removed a little while ago, with some concrete dug up around where they were. Also, one of the trams looked lit up the other day when heading past the depot (seemed as though the lights were on) so I assume static electrical/systems testing is taking place.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 11:28:22 PM »
Was at a function today involving Light Rail people and learnt the following:

The Mercedes Unimog vehicle has been delivered.

The substation for power supply near Gungahlin is expected to be completed in about a fortnight and that will enable powering up the overhead for a section N of Nullabor Ave which is expected to be completed about the same time.

Testing of light rail vehicle at the depot has started. 'Dynamic' (assumes means vehicle will be in motion) testing is expected to be started in May, initially at night, using the powered up overhead (with transfer from the depot using the Unimog to move the vehicle).

There is apparently a joking feeling in some quarters that it should be called a landscaping project rather than a light rail one. This arises from the need to use some 1,250 trees and circa 1,000,000 plants, together with very strict National Capital Authority requirements for tree spacing and placing in Northbourne Ave, which has resulted in quite some services relocation needs. It seems that trees in some paved areas will have caverns under the paving and filled with appropriate materials to nourish and support the trees.


Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2018, 10:17:30 PM »
Had a look to day from a route 200 bus. The following are from quick notes I made en route.

S of Girrahween some slab with rails ready to place noted.

Between Girrahween and Wakefield the track slab has been laid for about half the section at the Wakefield end.

Wakefield to Antill: The bedding for the track slab is nearing completion.

Antill to Barton: Preparation of slab underway in first half with track slab placed in second half.

Barton to Flemington: Some slab still to do but well advanced. Some railing?

Flemington to Sandford: Slab largely complete with some rail laid/ready to place. The creek has been bridged.

N of Sandford track laying is nearly complete with some rail still to place in slab (mostly seen on City bound side). It is very hard from the bus to observe whether rail is in the slab slots or not but appears to be mostly installed.

Overhead contact wire is in position N of Wells Station Dr. Few poles to S though.

Station roofs are installed at Wells Station, Nullabor, Mapleton, Gungahlin term. Also the frame is on site at the City end.

Landscaping is in various stages, some parts advanced, N of Nullabor.

Overall, the whole project seems to be visibly well and truly past halfway mark.

Much effort is evident, with a concrete pour in progress at 5pm! at the Gungahlin terminus.

A road side trailer sign near Gungahlin glimpsed from the bus seemed to be announcing vehicle testing at nights this week.

Earlier this month I walked from Central Station to Circular Quay via George St and, though some track is constructed, I was surprised at the amount of work still to do on Sydney's current light rail project. The site is very constrained within the centre of George St and a visible shemozzle compared with ACT's light rail works. An interesting aspect is the centre 3rd 'rail' strip for power supply between the tracks (no overhead in City). It seems technology operates to keep it 'live' only beneath a light rail vehicle. Later had a look out Randwick Way at Alison Rd. There is completed rail and overhead work here, but again there is still activity in the corridor and I didn't get the overall completion impression implied in the media. According to the media there is very serious wrangling between Government and Contractor on time to complete and additional costs. My impression is that the ACT project is going, in comparison, very smoothly.

At the Gungahlin Place terminus I found it now just barely possible to very briskly cross Gungahlin Place on the 'walk' sign. But, dear me, what a congested arrangement for the buses.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2018, 07:29:49 PM »
I don't believe any rail has gone in along Federal Hwy, other than at the Flemington intersection.

With testing either underway or about to start, the northbound ("down") track is fully laid (or just about to be) from the depot to Gungahlin.

Also, the shelter for Phillip Av is now up.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 07:54:28 PM by Barry Drive »

Offline Bus 503

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2018, 09:18:46 AM »
Does anyone know what the big objects are that are on top of the track slab near the Cooyong Street intersection?
They are square-shaped with a triangular cut-out on one side.

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2018, 10:57:50 AM »
Does anyone know what the big objects are that are on top of the track slab near the Cooyong Street intersection?
They are square-shaped with a triangular cut-out on one side.

Fairly sure those are the roofs for the LR stop shelters - possibly for all the stops along Northbourne.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2018, 10:50:47 PM »
Yet another look today from a route 200 bus.

There were two light rail vehicles in the compound between Manning Clark Cr and Kate Crace St, parked next to each other. Also the roof is up at the nearby station.

Light Rail Construction have announced that these vehicles are 'known as' LRV003 and LRV001, with  LRV003 (first to testing) to now participate this week in Unimog recovery testing, and the newly arrived at the test site LRV001 will undergo near static testing. Perhaps the fleet number allocation speculated in the Fleet Wiki will not occur - reasonable as the Light Rail is a separate entity to ACTION. Also indicated is the extension of track available for testing from Nullabor Ave to Well Station Dr.

The overhead contact wire installation activity has now reached as far S as Randwick Rd and one track further towards Epic with final fixing etc still in progress back to somewhere a bit N of Sandford St. The wiring with support spreaders/cables is still to be installed into the depot. Most of the route has poles between the track, but the curve S of the depot has the poles on the outside of the curve with spreaders on one side only extending over both tracks.

The section from the depot to the City is the major location of works, with finishing, detail, and station works still proceeding in the section to the North. Nearly all the concrete slotted track slab has been placed S from the depot to City with short sections at some intersections and stations still to be constructed. In some locations rail is stockpiled or laid out ready for insertion but little seems to be actually inserted (it is hard to tell from the bus).

A new item noted is the start of installation of wire rope type traffic safety fence, this, together with plantings, will tend to inhibit pedestrians crossing the tracks at random (I recall at an early consultation an assurance being given that random crossing by pedestrians would be possible!)

My impression remains of much industry and effort being expended with a strong focus which reflects well on the consortium and Transport Canberra. The big question is whether this will see completion for the forecast entry to service. Apart from serious unforeseens, achieving this may well be down to the weather and attitudes of any independent certifiers involved. 

 

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2018, 11:39:02 PM »
Now that the works are out of the ground, a weekly visit reveals regular progress.

Today, from a route 200 bus, I noted that the two light rail vehicles are now stabled in the temporary fenced enclosure just on the City side of the intersection of Flemington Rd and the Manning Clark Cresc and near Hamer St.

Landscaping is almost complete N of Wells Station Dr except near stations.

Between Well Station Dr and Epic, overhead installation detail work is still in progress, and, though poles are in place, the Depot access is still to have any overhead installed.

In general, the slotted concrete track slab is complete except for small gaps near some road crossings and stations S of the Depot. As usual, it is hard to see where rail has been installed in the slots. Rail ready for installation was noted between Flemington Rd and Phillip Ave. and S of Macarthur Ave.

CAF says they offer Urbos 111 range in 3 widths 2.3m, 2.4m, and 2.65m - does anyone know for sure which width is supplied to Canberra's system?

 

Offline Buzz Killington

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2018, 09:46:00 PM »
Re the track installation, there was a post on Canberra Metro Facebook in the last day or two which mentioned 53% of the track rails had been installed, which equates to a little over 6km.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2018, 11:48:00 PM »
That seems about right as rails are in North of Depot and internally in the Depot.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2018, 12:12:30 PM »
CAF says they offer Urbos 111 range in 3 widths 2.3m, 2.4m, and 2.65m - does anyone know for sure which width is supplied to Canberra's system?
Urbos *100 (refers to 100% low floor).

For absolutely sure? No. But I'm fairly certain it's 2.65m. All the interior photos make it look like it's wider than a bus.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2018, 09:38:13 PM »
Noted from a rte 200 trip yesterday.
Two light rail vehicles as before, but one parked in new location S of Mapleton Ave. (Should be three according to publicity but only noticed two).
Overhead wiring S of Well Station Rd to Epic appears visually complete but crews were still doing detail work.
Erection of overhead within the depot access has (at last) been started, so the ability to operate light rail vehicles under there own propulsion from the depot all the way to Gungahlin is probably only 2 to 3 weeks away (with the caveat that substations are/will be complete.)
Erection of overhead support poles has extended from EPIC to Phillip Ave..
As usual, couldn't determine where rails were in the slots, but noted some laid out ready for insertion.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2018, 10:50:02 PM »
Tracks have started to be laid along Northbourne Avenue - just after Barton Hwy intersection.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2018, 11:59:32 PM »
The Metro Construction site on 30th July reported that Light Rail vehicles are now operating under power from the Depot (near Sandford St). Does anyone know when the first such movement too place?

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2018, 09:20:14 PM »
Been a while since I had an opportunity to have a look.
Today LRV001 was seen (from on foot) operating on the City bound track between just N of Mapleton Ave and the temporary storage area N of Nullabor Ave. It was accelerated then braked and, after a longish pause, the action then repeated.
LRV003 was parked in storage area on the other track.
The Mapleton Ave - Manning Clark Cr traffic crossover of Flemington Rd was closed to traffic but still available for pedestrians. Two traffic control guys were supervising. Learnt they think it is the 2nd day of daylight LRV operations and, that despite barriers, signage, cones, etc., they still needed to deal with motorists attempting to use the closed part.
When last seen the overhead installation was in progress as far as epic and poles in position to Phillip Ave.. The overhead is now strung to near the Barton Highway with stringing preparation as far as Swinden St stop. Poles are placed to Antill St. plus one beyond.
Did not have good view from fullish bus (643), so no chance of seeing rail installation progress but there appearto still be a small gap near Macarthur Ave.

Offline Stan butler

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The roofs on the LR shelters?
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2018, 05:49:30 AM »
I noticed the top of the roof of the light rail shelters yesterday (they are on the ground on Northbourne and not yet installed).  Anyway, the thing that struck me is that the top of the shelters are actually concave and they donít seem to have any drainage holes in them. Meaning, they may collect water etc.

But I havenít noticed any drainage pipes or anything on the already installed roofs along Flemington.  So what will happen when it rains?   Will the top of the shelters simply collect water and then overflow?

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2018, 11:51:57 PM »
Another look today from route 200 buses.

'T' traffic lights in use from and including Nullabor Ave to Gungahlin. Noted 2 aspect signal lights provided on each side and at each end of the Gungahlin Terminus 'scissors' crossover.

3 light rail vehicles were just S of Nullabor Ave with a 4th at the compound between Nullabor Ave and Mapleton Ave. Later noted that 2 had moved N of Nullabor Ave.

Landscaping appears nearly complete N from Sandford St, and wire rope safety fencing has been installed at more locations.

Station roofs are up at Alinga St; Elouera St; Dickson Interchange; Swinden St; Phillip Ave; EPIC and Racecourse; Well Station Dr; Nullabor Ave; Mapleton Ave; Manning Clark North, and Gungahlin Place. It was noted that no workers were active at Gungahlin Place Station, which was a hive of activity on previous visits. They seemed to have left in a hurry as a wheelbarrow, partly full of dirt and paving mortar, was abandoned on site. Stations at EPIC and Dickson are double platform type. I think I spotted a crossover just S of Dickson Interchange. There is another just N of Nullabor Ave which, with the Depot, would give 3 opportunities for short running and provide 4 opportunities for creating temporary/emergency single line sections (though using the depot would be complex). A forum post mentioned roof drainage. I didn't see anything specific, but this is so basic that surely it is provided for - possibly by downpipes hidden within the support structures.

Rails were laid out ready from Elouera St to Morphett St and appeared installed further N.

Overhead has reached Antill St from the N with detail finishing still to be done. Overhead support poles are installed S to at least Ipima St. Looking at the overhead structure, at several crossroads the support is by wires strung across from poles on either side of the road rather than centre poles. It appears to me that the centre poles are not placed centrally in some places, as the spreaders are different lengths on either side of the pole. Also at all but one pole, the spreaders are at the same height. It is not obvious why that one exception should occur. Likewise, what criteria decided the pole diameter choice. As no consistency in the 2 diameters in use was apparent. 


Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2018, 11:23:27 PM »
Additions to yesterday's post.

The site of the unequal height spreaders is just N of Nullabor Ave.

Forgot to mention there were some workers wearing full protection white cover clothing of the sort similar to that used in hazardous/sterile laboratories, etc. Wondered what process being carried out required this? My first thought was that it might be to do with the glue used to fix the rail in the slot, but the manufacturer's brochure shows installation in progress pictures with workers clad in normal work clothes.

Incidentally, at an inspection a while back, we were told the rail fixing compound (glue) is called Corkelast. Googling this produced edilon)(sedra as the manufacturer. For more detail go to www.edilonsedra.com and look for brochure on edilon)(sedra ERS  Embedded Rail System.

It is extraordinarily difficult to find technical details on anything. Probably because no one involved thinks anyone might be interested and also due to the widespread nature of specialities and subcontractors involved in the project. A previous example mentioned what is the width (out of several available) of the light rail vehicle? Other examples include the types and varieties of brakes, motors, and motor control equipment of the light rail vehicles; also the rail size, treatment and supplier (the media reported specially treated from Europe, I believe it to be VoestAlpine, who have a large number of standard catalogue sizes and steel treatments); and an explanation of the visible aspects of the overhead system and of earth return current arrangements to minimise stray small curents in the ground which can cause cathodic corrosion in nearby metallic assets.

In the absence of easily accessible factual data, there is much scope for false assumptions/beliefs which basically is not good.


Offline Bus 503

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2018, 09:52:50 AM »
Later this week they started putting in the overhead wires south of Antill Street/Northbourne Avenue.
That section has also had the rails placed in the track slab (not just sitting on top) but further south on Nortuborne the rails remain on top.



Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2018, 10:54:08 PM »
The view from rte 200 buses today.

Rails: Laid out generally from Elouera St to Wakefield and substantial lengths to Morphett St. Appear to be installed elsewhere in slots with fixing compound being inserted S of Antill St. The white protective coated team seems to be doing this. The white is now very grubby.
Still a few small gaps in slab to be done.

Definitely a crossover south of Dickson Interchange.

Light rail vehicles 010 S of Nullabor Ave, and 011 N of Nullabor Ave moving S with destination displayed as 'Dickson Interchange'. The provision of the cross over and the destination signage suggests that short running City to Dickson Interchange has been provided for. Whether it will be routine is yet to be revealed. The fleet numbers were applied to the end modules of each unit at a point near the articulation concertina near the top of the side. This indicates that a decision has been made to go with a 3 digit only fleet number on the vehicles. How documentation will reflect this (eg LRV***) is yet to be seen. (Personally, I don't like the modern fad, driven by computers, of including leading zeros.)
2 more vehicles were parked at the original compound site between Manning Ave and Kate Crace St..

Overhead installation between EPIC and Antill St looks nearly complete but at points all along there are bits still dangling such as thin wires, and one or two pulley sheaves. S of Antill St installation to Wakefield St is underway. I had commented previously on what appeared to be some asymetric pole placement. On closer inspection, I don't think this is the case (my apologies). It is visually tricky from the side due parallax distortion and as the contact wire side support stays vary from same side to opposite sides with the wire position above the track  varied to avoid the wire contacting the pantagraph in the same spot all the time. Some spreaders consequently are of unequal length too. Thus, overall, the erroneous visual impression of asymetric pole placement is easy to get.

Progress to expected opening date seems to be 'on track' except for station building construction which appears to be less advanced.     

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2018, 08:56:46 PM »
The provision of the cross over and the destination signage suggests that short running City to Dickson Interchange has been provided for. Whether it will be routine is yet to be revealed.

Hard to know how common it will be. But I make of it what you like but what has been installed is different to the original plans. The original plans showed a centre turnback track on the Northside of the Dickson stop. As you mention this is now a crossover, a single one if I am not mistaken south of the Dickson stop. It will allow a tram to terminate on the north bound platform and cross over to return to the City. I would think if stage 2 goes ahead running some Woden services short to Dickson would be more usefull compared to short running City to Gungahlin trams. Then again in peak some empties to allow bus interchange at Dickson might be the go.

And I know the depot is close by, but I am surprised there is not more provision at EPIC to terminate and redirect trams back towards the city for special events. Gather they can use the depot to do this if needed, or maybe they know there are not enough trams to allow too many EPIC specials. They may also be thinking of the future when EPIC and the race course may well be housing!

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2018, 12:06:33 PM »
The contract doesn't require City to Dickson runs, which may be why the turnback/siding wasn't built. Should Stage 2 go ahead it might be able to be built then.

Perhaps they will schedule City to Dickson as end of peak services - and maybe even Gungahlin to Dickson as well. When dropping from 6 minute headway to 10 minutes at the end of peak, the tram to go out of service can do a final run to Dickson then deadrun to the depot. It's possible that the reverse may be done when bringing trams back into service for the evening peak.

Meanwhile, the overhead has been completed as far south as Wakefield/Macarthur. Canberra Metro have mentioned that testing to "Dickson" will commence soon.

Does anyone know what will happen at the Morphett and Murdoch intersections? Can't tell from what's been built so far.

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2018, 12:27:19 PM »
I donít believe the public ally available version of the contract goes into specific details about runs and possible short running.

As for the Morphet and Murdoch Street intersections they are getting lights. The one difference is Murdoch street vehicles can do a U turn or turn into Murdoch street. I assume that is so buses can leave the interchange and head north.

The NCA website has a link to some detailed plans (as mentioned some things have changed) and those plans have traffic light details including phasing etc. interesting read actually and comparing to what is being constructed.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 12:52:52 PM by ajw373 »

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2018, 10:55:25 PM »
Turning back at Dickson Interchange, as has been pointed out, is a little contradictory. On one hand the destination is available on the vehicle's destination suite, but on the other hand, the physical layout doesn't support simple turning back to the City. The stop is a two platform arrangement, so either passengers need to change platform for returning City services, which is confusing for passengers; or the vehicle, after setting down, has to be shunted across. This shunting is not very convenient. Arriving from the City in the N bound platform to set down, a reverse movement (towards the City) is then necessary to change to the Southbound track, then another reversal to the North along the Southbound track is necessary to reach the Southbound platform. Will the crossover have powered turnouts or be manual? Will signals supporting the movements be provided? The  answer to the signal question when observed in due course will indicate if any routine use is contemplated.

Contract requirements have been mentioned, and letters to Times editor have suggested that the light rail will prove to have inadequate capacity (a bob each way here, we don't need a 'tram' but demand will exceed capacity.....). This raises the question of whether the stops (particularly the terminals) have track layouts that would enable adaptation (without track re-locations) of the stops to suit longer 7 unit light rail vehicles, or even 9 unit ones now offered by CAF, or coupled 5 unit sets? Hopefully, Transport Canberra and the Consortium have looked ahead on this.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2018, 11:12:38 PM »
Yesterday, another route 200 trip.

A light rail vehicle (not yet numbered on body) was Northbound approaching Manning Avenue (North). No. 010 was on Northbound (will the terms 'down' and 'up' be applicable?) track, stationary, just North of Nullabor Ave.

Overhead installation had reached South almost to Wakefield Ave. Detail work along the length from the Depot is apparently still in progress, as a crew was working on the overhead near the Depot. Pole installation is just about complete for the rest of the route to the City. Rails were laid out in parts of the blocks Wakefield to Condamine, and Girrawheen to Eloura. So rail placement in the slots is close to completion too.

As previously noted, the main aspect that seems to be less advanced is stop construction. As noted by Barry Drive, test running between the Depot and Dickson is imminent. At this rate of progress, that running could be anticipated to extend to City by the end October.

Offline Busnerd

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2018, 03:31:37 PM »
I had a look at the contracts or designs online recently after a quick google, it seems quite a few of the stops have a provision for platform extensions if required in the future and that the room to do so has been left although it didn't appear by much, maybe one extra module or section of the tram seemed to be all that was catered for. I suppose  without extending the vehicles the other option could just be an increased off peak frequency if required as it doesn't appear a peak frequency could be improved without ordering more vehicles.

Also the metro website update mentioned today that the dickson testing should start this month.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2018, 01:37:39 PM »
Bus 400 sent me a link to an NCA document with intersection designs for Murdoch/Morphett, but also the publicly available contract (link here), Schedule 7 ("Scope and Performance Requirements") answers the others questions I have. Note that the NCA version seems to be more up to date.

Murdoch/Morphett St - will be a coordinated set of lights. The right turn into Morphett will have an extended slip lane but the location is unchanged; a traffic light stop line will be within the slip lane. The bike/pedestrian crossing will be moved slightly south and the Murdoch St right turn will be replaced with a signalised U turn bay which crosses south of the current location. The bike crossing will be located between the two road crossings. The rail line will have a single stop line in each direction.

Now that I know what is being constructed, I have seen the start of the U turn slip lane being built, but no traffic signals have gone in.

Rudd / Bunda St crossing - unlike every other Northbourne intersection, no work has commenced here. The plan is for a new right turn lane northbound allowing turns into Bunda St, but there will be no right turn from Northbourne into Rudd. (So will this be where the first collision will occur?)

Appendix 16 (page 468) describes the requirements for the "Light Rail Vehicles". Without specifying the actual tram make and model, it does state width as "2.65 m nominal".

There is a requirement for a Stop Request signal from the wheelchair bays (in line with the DDA requirements).

Appendix 28 (page 655) outlines the Service Level (i.e. timetable) requirements.
Quote
2.1  General Requirements
(a)  All Services must run over the complete route except for scheduled journeys from and to the Depot for LRVs to enter and leave service. These journeys must be available for use by Customers from the first Stop after the Depot and to the last Stop before the Depot, except for:
(i)  Services prior to First Service that may be required to undertake safety checks. For the purposes of the Payment Schedule, these Services are not Passenger Services; and 
(ii)  Special Event Services as advised by the Territory under section 2.5 (c) that may not run over the complete route.

(b)  An LRV which is in service must stop at all Stops on the Timetable and the doors must be enabled to offer Customers the opportunity to board and alight. 

So as previously mentioned, City to Dickson services are not part of the requirements but terminating services may run from City to Phillip Ave (or EPIC) and Gungahlin to Well Station Dr when the LRV/Tram is being taken out of service and vice versa when a Tram is entering service. Which also means that the turnback tracks are only for emergency use, other than the cross overs at the terminating ends.

Requirement (b) suggests they won't use stop request buttons but will have to halt at every stop regardless of passenger desires.

Online Northside

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2018, 02:56:50 AM »
I had a look at the contracts or designs online recently after a quick google, it seems quite a few of the stops have a provision for platform extensions if required in the future and that the room to do so has been left although it didn't appear by much, maybe one extra module or section of the tram seemed to be all that was catered for. I suppose  without extending the vehicles the other option could just be an increased off peak frequency if required as it doesn't appear a peak frequency could be improved without ordering more vehicles.

Also the metro website update mentioned today that the dickson testing should start this month.

You've answered your own question. The easiest way to increase capacity is to order more vehicles. The capacity the6 would be talking about is during peak where crush loads of passengers already fill the roughly every 3-5 min frequency on the red rapid. I'm thinking that 6 min frequency in peak is going to result in some very full trams!

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #38 on: September 17, 2018, 05:10:41 PM »

Rudd / Bunda St crossing - unlike every other Northbourne intersection, no work has commenced here. The plan is for a new right turn lane northbound allowing turns into Bunda St, but there will be no right turn from Northbourne into Rudd. (So will this be where the first collision will occur?)

No work commenced? Not right they have done quite a lot, and in fact the road surface for the turn lane is there. You can see it when they have the gates open. No gutters as yet. What they have done is mostly behind the wall. And of course at the weekend the overhead went up in this area, quite messy owing to the double crossover.

Here we are certainly doing the overhead works a lot heavier than say in Melbourne especially at crossovers. Here a complete new run of overhead including tensioners and extra support arms are being used, whereas Melbourne they install a 3 way joiner (for want of the technical description) in the overhead and attach the crossing overhead to it.

And looking at Dickson again the other day I am now not 100% sure if the crossover has been installed. The overhead certainly doesn't look like they have installed the crossover contact wire, that said the supports where it should be are different to elsewhere, so maybe still to come.

As for first collision, I am not quite sure why this intersection would be any 'riskier' than any other. That said I would think it would be a good idea to condition people to the no southbound turn and no stop in middle right hand turn well before service starts. Some people drive by habit rather than what they see on the road.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2018, 07:12:29 PM »
I stand corrected.

I actually checked out the Dickson crossover today. Yes, the track is built. But there is no additional overhead wiring. Perhaps it's coming later.

As for the OHW layout, maybe it's because we now use pantographs rather than trolley poles. I also notice they terminate each run of contact wires at regular intervals.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2018, 11:25:38 PM »
As for first collision, I am not quite sure why this intersection would be any 'riskier' than any other. That said I would think it would be a good idea to condition people to the no southbound turn and no stop in middle right hand turn well before service starts. Some people drive by habit rather than what they see on the road.

The last sentence is critical! Taking that into account is fundamental good traffic engineering practice. The most effective way is to alter the visual environment and the traffic layout as much as practical to make it look quite different and so reduce as much as possible, the 'drive to habit'. We have recently seen a crash at the intersection of Barry Dr/McCaughey St intersection said to have been caused by habit combined with a change in traffic light phasing. The worst bad example I was aware of was the reversal of priority of Argyle/Burnett Sts intersection just using ordinary Give Way signs in Hobart some 50 decades ago. (Argyle St had been a long term priority route which even had to be memorised for licence tests.) The crashes were common and even police cars were seen to drive absentmindedly through on the former priority route. Eventually, after a week or so, steps to alter the appearance were taken.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2018, 11:37:27 PM »
As for the OHW layout, maybe it's because we now use pantographs rather than trolley poles.

Melbourne trams have used pantagraphs for at least a decade or so. I understand that even the heritage W class have now been retrofitted as the overhead no longer supports the use of pole shoes/wheels. No doubt current OH & S would have been an issue too.

My personal opinion is that the overhead could have been neater with the poles given some 'architectural' value. To my eye the poles are rather intrusive and plain with excessive unnecessary projecting height giving them an 'unfinished' look. Even just finials would help.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2018, 11:02:28 PM »
Usual Monday inspection from route 200 service.

Prior boarding bus viewed Gungahlin stop from the footpaths. Again no indication of  stop construction proceeding again - paving and conduit work is in midstride. But something has happened. Both tracks have large collision buffer blocks. They appear to be attached to the rail, and have 'anticlimb' plates and a recess where a coupler from behind the vehicle skirt might lodge. The arrangement probably includes collision energy attenuation by the blocks being able to resistantly move back along the rail.

At the station departure end, each track is provided with a 3 aspect signal with the two lower aspect having a '+' shaped pattern visible. Slightly further towards the scissors crossover, as previously mentioned, are the 2 aspect  signals for each track (also at the approach to the crossing from the City end). Trees have been planted in such a way that some of the 2 aspect signals are at risk of being obscured. The crossing is posted at 15kph.

Vehicle 009 arrived on the Northbound track into the station and departed via the crossing on the Southbound track. Vehicle 003 (yet to be shown on the end modules) then similarly arrived and departed. The signals and points (switches, turnouts) were not being operated.

Trivia observed from this:
- the points are 'trailerable' ie they don't have to be set for merging movements, the wheels push point blades aside as necessary. The points into the crossover for departing vehicles were thus just left set full time to divert the vehicle to the Southbound track;
- traditionally trams have a mechanical bell operated by a foot pedal. Our light rail vehicles also have a bell, but with a powered ringer rather than the traditional single rings;
- the vehicles also are equipped with a horn.

Nearly all rails are now in the slots with a short length South of the Dickson Interchange with sections from just North of Wakefield St to just S of Ipima St still to do.

Overhead has been erected from Cooyong St into the City terminus but is still to be erected back to just North of Wakefield Ave.

Offline Bus 503

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2018, 05:51:59 AM »
According to the Canberra Meteo website, the Unimog was supposed to travel to Dickson last night.

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2018, 06:10:26 PM »
According to the Canberra Meteo website, the Unimog was supposed to travel to Dickson last night.

Judging by the amount of construction hardware on the tracks this morning including curing tents over the tracks adjacent to the Antill street intersection I doubt this run happened.

If it did I doubt it would have went any further south than Philip Ave.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2018, 11:34:40 AM »
Unless it's changed, the website says "preparations to test vehicles down into Dickson will commence on Wednesday night." It didn't specifically say the Unimog will travel Dickson on Wednesday, just that it will be the first vehicle to do so.

A variable message sign does warn of "Tram Testing Nightly" on Northbourne Avenue, but the latest reports from The Canberra Times suggests that's now scheduled for mid-October.

Also, Trams 12 & 13 are meant to be doing brake testing today (and yesterday).

The Dickson crossover now has signals installed. The overhead is unchanged which leads me to wonder whether the trams will be able to switch tracks without the need for a third wire. The tracks are close enough that the pantograph might be able to retain contact. Will only know when it's finished, I suppose.

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2018, 08:23:39 AM »
Unless it's changed, the website says "preparations to test vehicles down into Dickson will commence on Wednesday night." It didn't specifically say the Unimog will travel Dickson on Wednesday, just that it will be the first vehicle to do so.

English is such a wonderful language isn't it? Other than actually running the Unimog down, what preparations would they need to do before testing commences? Taking the meaning of the word preparation to its fullest one could argue the preparations started the moment the whole project was conceived? I do however believe in the more contextual meaning, which to me and the person who posted about the Unimog, which is it was meant to be the Unimog that was going to do a run. Again based on what I've seen I think it will be at least a week before the track allignment is clear enough of regular work for that to occur.

The Dickson crossover now has signals installed. The overhead is unchanged which leads me to wonder whether the trams will be able to switch tracks without the need for a third wire. The tracks are close enough that the pantograph might be able to retain contact. Will only know when it's finished, I suppose.

I've never seen any railway system, heavy or light where the overhead is close enough that a panto could be in contact with two overheads on parallel tracks at the same time. What I am guessing is because it is a single crossover that they will use a more traditional method of installing a wire similar to what is in the picture below. Basically clamp a Y piece on the main through contact wire and then connect a wire in between. And yes I know the one in the picture below is for a trolley wire system (Sydney Tramway museum) but principle much the same.

https://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/tramway/images/MP_Loftus_13-10-21_014a.jpg

https://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/tramway/images/MP_Loftus_13-10-21_039a.jpg

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2018, 09:03:04 PM »
Driven down Flemmington Road a few times in the past week or so. Today around 5pm there were 6 trams out on the tracks. One was getting attached to the unimog (interestingly on the Gungahlin end, so no idea where they were taking it) and two were coupled together.

On Friday afternoon or could have been saturday I saw the rail grinder on the section to the south of the Wollies.

As for the debate about the wire on the crossover near Dickson, I noticed today, but driving didn't have a close look, but looks like the Flemmington Road crossovers near Nullabor Ave stop don't have a wire over the top. Not sure if it is to be done later, or if maybe the trams have a battery pack fitted (which I know is a CAF option) to enable a short off wire cross. Though you would think if that were the case you would think they wouldn't be needed at the terminus crossovers either.

And still looks like it will be at least a week or two before anything can go on the track south of Flemmington Rd. Though the section south of the existing test area does now have the coloured test status signs.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2018, 11:33:31 PM »
Wikipaedia mentions that CAF has an option for supercapacitor fitment to allow for brief operations without overhead. CAF calls it ACR standing for Acumulator de Carga Rapido.

I couldn't confirm this on a CAF website.

Questions are:
How brief?
Is this the wire free system contemplated for Stage 2?
Is the present fleet fitted with the option? (If it is the full stage 2 system, then the present fleet is only fitted for not with.)

On this aspect, the Newcastle, NSW 2.7km new system, which also will use Urbos 3-100, is wire free with charging via 'overhead bars' at stops.   

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #49 on: October 09, 2018, 08:41:14 AM »
The supercapacitor is something a bit different. The Canberra one don't have them fitted but they are modular and can be fitted later. I am talking about standard batteries which are a standard item.

And BTW the Newcastle light rail vehicles are near identical to the Canberra ones. Canberra is also using the Urbos 3 100. The 100 refers to the floor being 100% low floor.

As for if the CAF system is being investigated for Canberra I would say the answer is yes. There are of course difficulties, which will come about regardless of what is chosen. The obvious one is stage 1 is a PPP for Gungahlin to the City only. What happens if a different company gets stage 2? That may mean different vehicles and a raft of other issues integrating the two. If the same company gets stage 2 then maybe not such a big issue.