Website | Forum | Gallery | Fleet Wiki
ACT Bus Forum

Light Rail Stage 1 Construction

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline triumph

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *****
  • 3631
  • Gender: Male
  • Obscurantist
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

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *****
  • 3631
  • Gender: Male
  • Obscurantist
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

  • ***
  • 4667
  • Gender: Male
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.


Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk


Offline triumph

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *****
  • 3631
  • Gender: Male
  • Obscurantist
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

  • ****
  • 1724
  • Gender: Male
  • My Mom says I'm cool
    • Todd's Photos @ Flickr
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

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *****
  • 3631
  • Gender: Male
  • Obscurantist
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

  • *
  • 466
  • Gender: Male
  • The best bus in the ACTION fleet
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.

Online King of Buses

  • ***
  • 1361
  • Gender: Male
  • Gallifrey Falls No More!
    • My Flickr Account
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

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *****
  • 5816
  • Gender: Male
    • ACT Bus
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

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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

  • *****
  • 3631
  • Gender: Male
  • Obscurantist
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

  • *
  • 143
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbie
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.