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Light Rail Stage 1 Construction

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Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2018, 08:36:01 PM »
I've checked this today. There is definitely a wire above the Nullarbor Av crossover track.

As for the one at Dickson: still no wire, but it looks as though it will be installed very soon. (All OHW is reportedly due to be completed this week.)

And still at Dickson, the Murdoch St crossing has now been closed with work on the U turn bay underway. No sign of new traffic light poles at this stage.

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2018, 08:48:31 PM »
I'll have to take a closer look next time I am going down Flemmington Road. Hard to have a good gander when driving.

And think it is a bit optimistic for the overhead to be done this week. Next maybe. There is still a short section missing between Condamine Street and Barry Drive, maybe they will install the wire this weekend, and then it takes them a few days to fully fit it off. And also I've come to learn when Canberra Metro say finished they don't ever really mean finished. Mostly yes, but fully, no way.

Take for example testing to Dickson. That is still not even close. But getting there slowly.

And one thing that I find annoying, and I guess bus drivers would too is how the tram track works are all essentially done down Flemmington Road, especially north of Sandford street but the road is still a works zone. It looks like all they need to do is lay down a top layer of asphalt, but nothing what so ever for many a month. I cannot think of any logical reason for it to not have been done by now. And I reckon the thing will open before the end of the year, maybe just maybe, but still plenty of work left to be done on Northborne Ave.

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #52 on: October 10, 2018, 06:03:33 PM »

As for the one at Dickson: still no wire, but it looks as though it will be installed very soon. (All OHW is reportedly due to be completed this week.)

The contact wire over the Dickson crossover was installed today. And they appear to have started putting up the gear they use to pull on new wire on the last section of track without wire. I would imagine they will pull that up this weekend as it goes over two intersections and fit it off next week. It's a reasonably short section too. There are 3 sections from the terminus to Condamine Street.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2018, 11:33:27 PM »
Had a look today from Rte 200 bus, just over 3 weeks since last summary. Not all that much to add now that visible major works are nearly complete.

There appears to have been no progress on paving etc at Gungahlin stop - that wheel barrow has not even been moved since last visit. There was action though at bus stop platform 3 - 5 recently placed large pavers were being jackhammered off. It is surprising so little effort has been made to complete this and tidy the site which is rather prominent to the public.

Overhead: The crossovers at Nullabor Ave and Dickson Interchange are wired.
Despite being in position now for some weeks, there is still work being done at various locations South of the Depot.
It appears operations are still basically in the section Nullabor Ave to Gungahlin. Earth safety connections (temporary conductor from overhead to rail) were in place further South.
The overhead wire is yet to be placed in the section from just North of Girrawheen Ave, South to vicinity of McKay St, but workers in elevating platforms were active, so this final piece cannot be far from placement.

Rails are now all placed and work to place landscaping soil South of Michell is in progress, including sections between the Dickson Interchange and the City. Never-the-less much detail work seems to be still necessary and Capital Metro mentions traffic light work pending.

As other posts have made clear, there is still a lot of obstructing materials, equipment, etc to clear to make way for vehicle testing between the Mitchell and the Dickson Interchange. But workers using blowers and brooms were tidying the track at some locations. A concerted effort in the coming week could still see testing get underway.

LR vehicles were observed as follows:-
Just South of Nullabor Ave on Southbound track 007, 012 and on North bound track 002.
Just North of Nullabor Ave on Southbound track 009 and an unidentified, un-numbered vehicle on Northbound track.
In Gungahlin Station on Northbound track was 004, another vehicle without its number in position.
Returning later, there was a vehicle on the Southbound track just North of the stop near Manning Clark (North).

At Manning Clark (South) station the level crossing departing South is posted for lightrail at 50kph and immediately after the crossing at 70. Will road traffic in Flemington Rd also be restricted to 50 passing the station? Other-wise it seems illogical and also detrimental to achieving the required transit time.

All stations now have roofs up. Stations Dickson Interchange to City are all of the two platform variety. 

 

Offline Busnerd

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #54 on: October 12, 2018, 09:48:46 AM »
Road traffic follow the road traffic signs, not the light rail speed limits, the road speed limits will be 70 on Flemington Rd in both directions, assuming it may drop to 60 for the single lane section after Manning Clark up to Kate Crace Street.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #55 on: October 12, 2018, 10:28:29 AM »
Road traffic follow the road traffic signs, not the light rail speed limits, the road speed limits will be 70 on Flemington Rd in both directions, assuming it may drop to 60 for the single lane section after Manning Clark up to Kate Crace Street.

That was my point. Why constrain Light Rail to 50 across the level crossing (presumably with thoughts for traffic/pedestrian safety) if the adjacent parallel road traffic continues to be subject to a 70 speed limit? Not much difference to being hit by a truck cruising through at 70 to being hit by a light rail vehicle cruising through at 70. As I said, illogical.

In the location mentioned in earlier post, the proximity of the stop to the crossing tends to render the 50 limit irrelevant for stopping services. (If, as has been mentioned previously, all public services are to stop, even if no passengers are to get on/off, it might just be reasonable that non-stop non-public services are slowed to match expectations of normality.)

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #56 on: October 12, 2018, 10:54:42 AM »
That was my point. Why constrain Light Rail to 50 across the level crossing (presumably with thoughts for traffic/pedestrian safety) if the adjacent parallel road traffic continues to be subject to a 70 speed limit? Not much difference to being hit by a truck cruising through at 70 to being hit by a light rail vehicle cruising through at 70. As I said, illogical.

In the location mentioned in earlier post, the proximity of the stop to the crossing tends to render the 50 limit irrelevant for stopping services. (If, as has been mentioned previously, all public services are to stop, even if no passengers are to get on/off, it might just be reasonable that non-stop non-public services are slowed to match expectations of normality.)

The speed limit signs are an aid to the driver, hence why they are so close together in parts. Don't try and read too much into them or somehow try and correlate them to standard road rules. Two different things and for two different reasons.

And I have no doubt what so ever that the speeds vehicles will be travelling at along the whole route has been reflected in the total running time.

Offline Busnerd

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #57 on: October 12, 2018, 08:57:13 PM »
Think of it from a rail point of view, a lot of 'level crossings' or in this case, intersections with road traffic, generally have lower speeds, as these are areas more likely of having an accident with road traffic or pedestrians, no doubt the lower speed limits across intersections would be in place to allow the vehicles to stop faster, but like you've said, a lot of stops are right before or after intersections so they wouldn't be doing 50 there anyway.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #58 on: October 13, 2018, 11:01:48 PM »
As of lunchtime today the contact wire was deployed along the remaining section in Northbourne Ave. It is presently still in some of the pulley sheaves but work was being carried out on attaching it to the spreaders.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #59 on: October 19, 2018, 09:08:42 PM »
Canberra Metro, in an update, says the overhead was completed last weekend. Near enough, it appears complete, when viewed casually, but a close look revealed tags dangling down and main cables at a support pole do not seem to be connected yet.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #60 on: October 20, 2018, 10:07:24 AM »
Also this week, it looks like the final segment of track was laid - just north of Ipima St.

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #61 on: October 23, 2018, 08:24:52 PM »
Canberra Metro, in an update, says the overhead was completed last weekend. Near enough, it appears complete, when viewed casually, but a close look revealed tags dangling down and main cables at a support pole do not seem to be connected yet.

Their idea of complete is a little bit on the liberal side. Complete, maybe looks complete, but as you mention still much to be done when you look closely.

They have 10 weeks until years end. I have a feeling their statement that the line will open in December 2018 will, like "complete" have a rather rubbery meaning. Maybe only open from Gungahlin to Mapleton Ave for example.

And they still do not appear to be even close to running tests south of the depot. North of the depot to Mapleton Ave it does look they they have finished, except for the stops, but I am yet to see any test running between the depot and Mapelton. Anyone know if they swap out the test trams under their own power now or still use the unimog?

And on the Federal highway going by what they have done this week it looks like they have some conduit problems. They have dug up one side of the freshly planted garden bed and are laying new power and data conduits and pits, and there was a special duct camera van on Northborne Ave. I'm betting some of the conduits have been damaged. Also interesting is along Flemmington Road, south of the depot and along the federal highway they have attached a conduit to the side of the slab and have run a optical fibre cable in it. Again wonder if some of the ducts in the slab have become damaged.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #62 on: October 24, 2018, 12:52:01 PM »
Meant to post this earlier, but I forgot:


Although, I now have my doubts even about construction being complete by December.

Canberra Metro have now advised the Rudd / Bunda St permanent traffic arrangements will take effect from next week. I don't travel past there regularly, so I assume the intersection modifications and traffic lights are nearly completed.

The Swinden St intersection is nearing completion, although I haven't heard when it will be open for traffic. (Presumably, the U-turn bays on the Northbourne Ave service roads will be worked on once Swinden is open for through traffic.)

And finally, I've seen work get underway for the traffic lights at Morphett St and the extension of the pedestrian crossing lights from the Dickson Interchange stop.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #63 on: October 24, 2018, 12:57:25 PM »
And they still do not appear to be even close to running tests south of the depot. North of the depot to Mapleton Ave it does look they they have finished, except for the stops, but I am yet to see any test running between the depot and Mapelton. Anyone know if they swap out the test trams under their own power now or still use the unimog?

I have seen trams running north from the Sandford St intersection. My understanding is that the depot is still unpowered (as of last week anyway), but the main track from outside the depot does have power. (If you travel along Flemington Road, you will see the "RED" status signs - this designates that the OHW is live.)

Offline Bus 503

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2018, 09:17:01 AM »
When will testing from the depot to Dickson start? I understood it would begin in mid October but it's past that now and there hasn't been any update from Canberra Metro for a while regarding this. Originally, I thought testing to Dickson would start in mid September but I guess I must have read it wrongly.

Also, now that all the tracks are in and the power poles and wire connected, is there really that much left to do? All I can think of is landscaping, finishing the shelters on Northbourne and adding tram lights to intersections (still not done on Girawheen).

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #65 on: October 27, 2018, 12:13:14 PM »
There's the couple hundred hazardous trees they need to replace, different speed tests at all points of the track and probably the eventual press release.

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2018, 06:17:17 PM »
When will testing from the depot to Dickson start? I understood it would begin in mid October but it's past that now and there hasn't been any update from Canberra Metro for a while regarding this. Originally, I thought testing to Dickson would start in mid September but I guess I must have read it wrongly.

Also, now that all the tracks are in and the power poles and wire connected, is there really that much left to do? All I can think of is landscaping, finishing the shelters on Northbourne and adding tram lights to intersections (still not done on Girawheen).

Overhead isnít connected in all places.

As for what else to do also a heap of Comms and monitoring, thatís whatís running down the fibre cable. And both is where there could be some issues as mentioned above they have been laying new conduits along the Federal Highway and there is a fibre cable in what in hope is a temporary cable running from the depot to as far Antil Street. The conduit is more or less on the surface next to the track along that section.

Then there is testing, testing and more testing.

Offline Busnerd

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #67 on: October 27, 2018, 11:38:54 PM »
For the few questions above, as per how it works in sydney, bus plans are in place for rail disruptions, in that event, sydney trains calls any and every bus company to cover, whatever buses get out there is what replaces the services, if it happens in peak then it's even more of a disaster. Sometimes bus companies will remove them off regular services - such as ones with a high frequency to provide the emergency rail buses, other than that, companies call drivers who are off or will cancel route services to try and get buses in, there is no 'dedicated fleet' to use in a service disruption, different story for planned trackwork though.

As for testing to Dickson, testing to Mitchell hasn't even started yet. There is no 'hazardous trees' that need removing, the main reasons for the delays appear to be those that ajw373 has mentioned being the main ones, besides those dramas, it is mainly smaller issues here and there, or things not being 100% or up to standard that they have to keep going back to make perfect before they will be used.

As for implementation dates, It was always my assumption it will run prior to the bus network coming in, so that people can use it and try it out before their buses are taken away, to have the buses start first would screw things up as you say, meaning they would have to run a temporary 200 from Gungahlin to the City, which given the renaults at fyshwick are still registered, they may be called on to re-enter service to boost the fleet size i order to do this, given that route is only around 30 mins from Gungahlin to the city inclusive of turnaround times and runs at a 15 min frequency, although 6 mins would be requried to match tram timetable, they still wouldn't need too many buses, maybe 10 buses could just make it work.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #68 on: November 03, 2018, 10:19:58 PM »
Comment I have heard is that Canberra Metro is still entertaining hopes of starting operations late January or early Feb. But they also said testing to Dickson to start early to middle of last month. A case of 'hope springs eternal'? Certainly they would be bleeding money paying construction crews, operational staff, etc for no income and thus they do have a very substantial incentive.

In regard to the missed availability payment(s), it is not clear if these are missed for good, or will be recovered by an adjustment to the contracted operation end date. Never-the-less there is still a significant financing cost in the late start to the payments.

Last night the rail grinding machine was hard at work in Northbourne Ave between the City and Dickson. Just why is this necessary? Is it general grinding or just dressing the welded joints (which is undersatndable)? When the rail was delivered the media reported that it had been specially formulated/treated to give a very long life. It is hard to see how general grinding of brand new rail would benefit life expectancy. It might also be expected that manufactured dimensional tolerance quality would be more than good enough to obviate the need for general grinding. Hopefully, it is just spot dressing.

Driving past Dickson today to the Barton Highway, there is still materials, etc obstructing the track so testing to Dickson still seems to be a few days away.

Likewise the elevating bucket used for catenary work is still on site. 

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #69 on: November 04, 2018, 12:45:31 AM »
They grind the rails to properly profile them. And not just at joints etc it is all along the line.

Offline Busnerd

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #70 on: November 04, 2018, 10:33:59 AM »
Which gives a smoother ride overall, they shouldn't need to be done too often, especially once the LRV's start running over them daily.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #71 on: November 04, 2018, 11:01:04 PM »
They grind the rails to properly profile them. And not just at joints etc it is all along the line.

That is surprising considering modern quality control and that the rails are factory new. What sort of rail faults are you suggesting? Lack of smoothness and profile accuracy in manufacture, or slight misalignments (twists, etc) during installation?

I tend to associate grinding with correction of wear after a considerable period of use, but on reflection do seem to recall the Sydney Tram Museum many years ago lending their rail grinder for some work on a new line (Eastern Suburbs??).

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #72 on: November 04, 2018, 11:32:03 PM »
That is surprising considering modern quality control and that the rails are factory new. What sort of rail faults are you suggesting? Lack of smoothness and profile accuracy in manufacture, or slight misalignments (twists, etc) during installation?

I tend to associate grinding with correction of wear after a considerable period of use, but on reflection do seem to recall the Sydney Tram Museum many years ago lending their rail grinder for some work on a new line (Eastern Suburbs??).

I donít believe the installation method gives a true enough finish hence the need for post installation gridding.

As for the eastern suburbs line yes the tramway museum scrubber was used. It was also used on the SLR when it first opened in the mid 90ís. Whilst scrubbing has an element of grinding it is no where to the same extent as a grinder and for mostly different reasons.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #73 on: November 05, 2018, 08:15:50 AM »
Yeah, not every rail strip is identically perfectly shaped as the next, gotta smooth them out to be just right. ;)

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #74 on: November 05, 2018, 07:11:10 PM »
Yeah, not every rail strip is identically perfectly shaped as the next, gotta smooth them out to be just right. ;)

Profiling is more than just smoothing the tracks out. One very important aspect is getting the correct camber especially on curves.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #75 on: November 05, 2018, 11:14:26 PM »
Yes of course, especially the intersection of Flemington and Federal, must be quite the workout.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #76 on: November 07, 2018, 12:33:42 PM »
Yes of course, especially the intersection of Flemington and Federal, must be quite the workout.

Are you suggesting that the curve is superelevated? Or that the wheel/rail interface requires a different cross-sectional profile on curves?

As traffic has to cross the Flemington Rd/Federal Highway curve, it is unlikely to be super-elevated. With regard to the profile on curves, AJW373 seems to be well informed and perhaps can clarify this some more.

The latest construction progress report for the tram project at Newcastle, NSW mentions rail grinding in all sectors. So local grinding is pretty well confirmed as current usual practice.   

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #77 on: November 07, 2018, 02:26:01 PM »
I don't know? Geez dude, I was only hypothesising. I don't know much about lightrail other than they're fun to ride...

I have few fond memories left of the old Sydney trams with Cadbury Chocolate AOAs from when I was young, don't ruin them for me :'(

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #78 on: November 07, 2018, 03:57:28 PM »
I don't know? Geez dude, I was only hypothesising. I don't know much about lightrail other than they're fun to ride...

I have few fond memories left of the old Sydney trams with Cadbury Chocolate AOAs from when I was young, don't ruin them for me :'(

Sorry. You made a point of the curve at Flemington Rd/Federal Highway needing 'quite a workout'. So I wanted to know more. (We agree on Cadbury's - I have a memory of living for a period within sight of a Cadbury chocolate factory.)

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #79 on: November 07, 2018, 04:27:25 PM »
I don't go that way very often, but I do know that intersection is on a cambered corner, that's why I made that remark. I did go past when the works were putting the tracks in place and again some time after, so I just assumed additional work would be necessary due to the additional stress a cambered turn could/would cause for tram tracks.

Ooh, my 1000th post Yay! #noonecares #foreveralone
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 04:28:55 PM by Sylvan Loves Buses »

Offline ajw373

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #80 on: November 07, 2018, 06:31:05 PM »
The curve I was thinking of is where Flemington road does an almost 90í bend heading into the town centre. That is a high speed curve. The right camber there is very important to ensure the track doesnít suffer excessive wear and tear. The track bed design and rail construction and installation should have it covered but there will be slight variations that would need to be sorted otherwise the ride could be a bit rough with higher tracks wear.   

It is less important on slow speed curves like Flemington Rd and Federal Highway because the speed is low anyway and the curve is tight so there is going to be flange on rail contact anyway. 

Elsewhere the actual track surface needs to be angled slightly in, think about 10 degrees thatís the rail profile. From the factory it will be that way anyway but slight variances, eg minor twisting that may not be visible to the eye during installation may throw that out of whack. So making sure that is true is important. We are talking mmís here.

And before some picks me up on it camber isnít actually the correct railway technology. Just cannot think of the proper term at the moment. But same thing as camber just different terminology.

Offline triumph

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #81 on: November 10, 2018, 12:03:22 AM »
Taken route 200 a while ago and again today to have a look.
Now that the track and overhead is done, there is not so much progress to watch.
More paving has been done at Gungahlin terminus and 2 groups were at work there today. Typical of the stage now reached in the project, there is much fiddly detail to be completed. One worker at Gungahlin today kneeling down was masking off various small paving joints and then inserting sealing filler compound into the gaps.

2 LRVs, one on each side, were in the compound between Manning Clarke Cr and Kate Crace St, with 2 more on the N bound track one each side of Nullabor Ave. Obviously not in use as there were workers on the track at both Nullabor Ave and Wells Station Dr and at the Gungahlin Terminus. Didn't notice visually much camber/cant/superelevation on the long curve in Flemington Rd but would need a better look and a spirit level to check properly.

From Sandford St to the South there were groups of workers all along but concentrated mainly at stops, intersections and pedestrian crossing locations. Again much of the work appeared to be detail and finishing but also some substantial looking drainage/pipe work. The obviously incomplete work is stop fitout/detailing/equipping.

Much landscaping has been done over the whole length right to the City with a bogie steer bogie drive heavy water cart patrolling to spray irrigate the new plantings.

There is still material and work in the Depot to Dickson section though it is now much tidier. The Northbourne Ave section Antill St - Barton Highway is to be closed this weekend so perhaps some intensive effort is planned.

As of 30th Oct the Depot overhead was still not energised. LRV013 was inspected by a technical group of visitors to the Depot that day, and today was at Nullabor Ave. Besides the Unimog there is a shunting tractor unit to move LRVs about within the Depot. The Depot maintenance building incorporates jacks to enable whole LRVs to be lifted with very modern and comprehensive maintenance/repair facilities. It appears overhead wiring terminates at bay entries. On the next floor are staff and amenity facilities and a control area looking out over the the general LRV operational area with fit out almost complete. Impressive looking. Turnouts, it was learnt, will be mainly driver controlled with ones not used regularly manually operated. The point being it is a light rail system, not a railway.




Offline Bus 400

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #82 on: November 11, 2018, 07:25:07 PM »
It looked like tracks were being relaid on Flemington Road outside Mitchell Tip yesterday, with the plastic sheet giveaway.

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Offline Busnerd

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #83 on: November 13, 2018, 01:24:26 PM »
The Tram Pictogram sign went up at Manning Clark yesterday, it is integrated with the light pole on the 'ramp' section of the platform, and has two LED lights sticking out either side and a box on top with the sign on it, hoping it will be illuminated also!

Also all stops from Nullarbor to Gungahlin now have the PID screens installed on all platforms, Gungahlin had it's glass panels installed over the weekend, also noted some new speed signs on standard street sign sized poles now on the Nullarbor - Gungahlin section of track, of note, there was a sign near Wizard Street with 65 as the speed limit near the big curve which was 70 prior.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 01:27:28 PM by Busnerd »

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #84 on: November 18, 2018, 04:11:06 PM »
It looked like tracks were being relaid on Flemington Road outside Mitchell Tip yesterday, with the plastic sheet giveaway.
Can't remember the exact location, but saw similar at a mid block crossing location somewhere between Macarthur and Murdoch on Friday.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Light Rail Stage 1 Construction
« Reply #85 on: November 20, 2018, 08:15:38 PM »
I don't know if it will have caused any additional delay with the works, but some idiot crashed their car through the barrier at the City Station this afternoon causing much chaos at the intersection with peak and the buses crossing to and from the Interchange.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 08:18:39 PM by Sylvan Loves Buses »