17 October 2007

ACT Light Rail Public Meeting Wed 17/10

| Felix the Cat
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The next public meeting of ACT Light Rail will be on at 19:30 on Wednesday 17th October 2007 at the New Griffin Centre, Genge Street, Civic. At this meeting the Group will be under taking a workshop to canvass Light Rail options for the proposed Territory Plan amendments for the new town centre of Molonglo and intensive redevelopment of the East Lake area. Feedback and input from this workshop will be used as a basis to lodge a formal response to the ACT Government.

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Can we please have some feedback on how the meeting at the Tuggeranong Community Council went last night? Did Hargraeves dig in to his pockets to fund a feasability study of light rail to Bungendore?

Nope! But it would be good if we put up our new rail maps for Canberra as was shown on State Focus somewhere on our website.

You don’t need a bus travelling from Gungahlin to Woden if there is a rail system that delivers the same portability.

The only bus network you will need is the one to deliver a passenger to the rail network, and the one to take them from their rail destination.

Are you guys entirely sane over there in the light rail coalition ?

Come off it Maeliner, even the light rail coalition knows you have to invest in a substantial upgrade of the bus network to feed this very expensive infrastructure; unless there is a tram travelling past within 400 metres of every Canberran household.

As a model city, the Canberra display village and socio-economic testbed is meant to be showing the larger cities of Australia (Syd,Melb,Adelaide,Perth etc) how to do things greener, more economically, showcase design etc etc.

In this circumstance, does it really compare at cost per million per distance to install if the onsell of this technology is then uptaken by the major cities ?

How on earth can it compare to the massive expenditure the Government went through to install the ‘National ‘ series of monoliths around Canberra ?

Let’s face up to the fact we are living in a cutom-built modern city, and get with the times. To be frank, I think the savings they would make by rendering the associated bus routes obsolete would maintain whatever network they put in to replace it.

Well the likes of the light rail coalition do not care what it costs. They willspin you stories of how property prices will go up; all livable cities have them so must we; roads costs a lot, so bugger spending the money on the roads and build it instead; it is a sacrifice worth taking.

And cranky spinoff? Calagary has light rail. How many people go there just to ride it?

Vic Bitterman10:38 pm 17 Oct 07

Well said cranky.

Springfield Monorail anyone?

Can anyone provide/extrapolate/establish any sort of potentially accurate numbers of punters using these trams (or whatever) over the course of a normal day?

Strikes me that passenger numbers would need to be substantial over a wide daily time period to justify the massive expense required to provide the service.

I would bet money that any and all succesful tramway/light rail systems anywhere in the world rely on considerably greater, and far more densely located, populations to survive.

There is certainly an aura to light rail, and even a potential tourist spinoff, but please do the sums before sadeling us with a white elephant.

mmm, but you have to admit that the trees on the northbourne nature strip are a significant part of the streetscape. I wouldn’t like to see them removed, that’s for sure.

The Limestone medium strip, on the other hand, seems to have a lot more room for light rail without removing the trees there – perhaps an alternate route of Ainslie Av / Limestone Av then Wakefield (on-road) / Macarthur to Belco and Majura (on-road) / Cowper / … to Gunghalin should be considered?

The govt is happy to get rid of tree for important projects when they want to – eg Aged Care multi story going up in Ainslie.

Once there were treeshttp://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u133/sar409/Adelaide%20tram%20extension/HPIM6660.jpg



Extent of track works:

Grassy Centre:

Advertiser, Feb 13 wrote: ‹ Contract ›

Council says no to removing 35 trees for the tram extension

Jessica Leo

Adelaide City Council has taken what may be a last stand against the State Governments plans to extend the tramline by voting against the removal of 35 trees earmarked as casualties of the $31 million project.

Last night’s meeting carried a motion from Councillor Anne Moran to spare the trees, although she later addmitted the ‘non endorsement’ of the tram extension would not stop the State Government going ahead with the project. “The loss of the trees is really a deal breaker and the straw that broke the camel’s back” she said. “I’m very happy. Whiles it’s (the Government’s) project and we can’t stop it, now we are reflecting the public voice”.

You are wrong Jonathon and Benmac.

There are pictures from Adelaide of trees being chopped down to make way for the light rail. And those trees were some distance from the track. Those tracks with grass in between required digging 1 metre into the ground and installing concrete footings and drainage.

HNW, be cheapeer just to convert one of the traffic lanes to bus only.

We have laws in Canberra about tree damaging activities and how the root zone under the drip line *at least* is not to be disturbed with construction activities. Imagine if that was done on Northbourne Avenue. Most of the trees in the center would basically be damaged beyond repair, because the drip line of those trees would be over your nice recessed tram tracks.

Maybe you should consult a professional arborist about this.

BTW that 1.8km Adelaide extension cost $31 million.

hairy nosed wombat4:51 pm 17 Oct 07

Has anyone considered an O-Bahn system similar to SA for down the middle of Northborne?

Electricity allows you to use regenerative braking, and is cheap to transport to the ACT.

Gungahlin Al1:00 pm 17 Oct 07

Kramer trying to fit two bus lanes down the middle of Northbourne would likely result in a lot of trees going. So buses would likely be limited to one way only – a “tidal” system could work reasonably.

But rail doesn’t need the same clearance, so two-way tracks would fit, and is I suspect why the trees have always had a gap left down the middle.

But I would think the biggest difference between rail and buses is that rail imposes a commitment on the government and future ones. Outright dropping of services like occurred here last Xmas and resulted in so much disruption couldn’t happen like that to a core rail service.

On overhead powerlines, I agree that they are ugly (although the Adelaide ones are quite low profile). But why electric anyway? Because it’s clean? It isn’t necessarily so. Electricity just shifts the pollution somewhere else.

I’m sure CNG powered rolling stock would be viable, would remove the need for powerlines and the therefore reduce the construction cost stacks. No hazardous in-track power supplies. And CNG engines can be very quite – the CNG buses in Brisbane are so quiet they have an unhealthy habit of sneaking up on your when you’re walking along the edge of the footpath! Much quieter than the Action CNG buses…

Canberra is designed for it, lets embrace it and bring it to fruition. Major Town Centres and the Parliamentary Triangle serviced by LR while buses service the suburbs feeding the LR. While I am unable to attend the meeting I sincerely voice my total support for the project.

The Bordeaux tram system doesn’t use overhead power lines:
But it isn’t reliable and is expensive…

Trams are much much nicer than busses.

A nicer ride.
Nicer to look at.
Easy to see where the trams goes, and where the tramstops are – reliable routes.
Less pollution.

I like the idea of trams down Northbourne too. The only problem is those gum trees drop a fair bit of debris.

Offtopic but this page is a perfect example: Has anyone else noticed that the “Ads by Google” below are now advertising the Canberra.iPrime competitor site? 😐

Overhead powerlines for ground level trams, up the naturestrip & the length of Northbourne?
I agree with Kramer, ugly ugly ugly.

But regrading the naturestrip down to street level or lifting the street level to naturestrip height (and removing the advertising planter boxes) for the tram to move the length of it is probably some kind of heresy under WBG’s plan.

Jonathon Reynolds10:30 am 17 Oct 07


– Grade separated traffic will always be quicker than buses in the general traffic flow.

– You won’t get the NCA allowing the middle of Northbourne being allowed to be “paved”, but minimal intrustion with tracks (and perhaps overheads) are a possibility.

– If the LR vehicles are hybrid then you could have that stretches of track without any overheads (in sensitive areas such as across Anzac Pde)

– O&M of Light Rail is cheaper than buses.

You can carry more passengers per vehicle on light rail than on an equivalent bus. The “ride” for passengers is also more pleasant than that of a bus.

– But you will still need buses as an effective feeder service for an integrated Light Rail system.

Those adelaide ones don’t look too bad actually.

BTW – overhead power cables = ugly ugly ugly

If you are going to have light rail or trams at street level, travelling amongst the traffic – then why not just run busses? Surely it’s a hell of a lot cheaper?

Jonathon Reynolds9:46 am 17 Oct 07

If those are your photos can we use them (appropriately accredited) on the ACT LightRail page please?

They succinctly prove the point that you could put light rail down the middle of Northbourne with minimal tree disruption.

At first I wasn’t sure about the whole light rail issue, but after going to melbourne for the first time really opned my eyes. Something similar to what they have got in the way of trams would be perfect for Canberra. A tram running down the centre of Northbourne for instance for be good for Canberra’s transport woes.

And they won’t even have to spoil the look of the nature strip. Adelaide has recently upgraded their light rail while still keeping the city looking good.


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