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Chic Henry and the tram to nowhere?

Mike Jeffreys 19 April 2016 110

light rail artist impression

I’ve had a couple of long conversations with Summernats’ Chic Henry, who is tossing up whether to run in the 2016 ACT election.

He told me that the Liberals want him to stand but one of the reasons he hasn’t yet committed is his age. If he were fifteen years younger he’d have no hesitation, but as it is he’s unsure.

He will make a decision by September or October to leave himself time to do what’s needed, including grass roots pre-election work like knocking on doors.

Chic has quite a lot to say about the light rail plan and the possible closure of EPIC:

“There is more value in promoting the very notion of electric cars, trucks and buses in Canberra to support the clean future.

It was moving along for a while and stalled and as usual, unless people of some consequence drive it, it dies. The late Chris Peters had that vision.

A tram to the airport is wasted effort. There is not likely to be enough housing to support it and as for increased tourist visits, the sun may rise in the west before that time.

Canberra airport has great value as a freight hub especially if a VFT is to ever come to us. On another subject, the MAGLEV Consortium had the best plan, as it was to go towards the Snowy Mountains as a route to Melbourne. Good value in that.

If the proposed light rail for Canberra is to be built, the Community deserves to be shown the extent of the network, especially the proposed corridors. Without doubt, we can expect that Civic will be the hub from which all lines will radiate, with connections to Woden and the Valley, Belconnen and Gungahlin of course.

Consideration must be given to the Parliamentary Triangle, Russell, the Airport, Fyshwick and maybe even Queanbeyan.

These corridors and the supporting bus networks must be presented if we are to believe that the Canberra Community could realistically catch the light rail instead of using their cars.

Such corridors will naturally include bridges, overpasses and possible a tunnel somewhere as well as the resumption of specific real estate.

For example, a line through or close by to the Triangle going towards the Tuggeranong Valley will face two major obstacles, the first being our precious lake and the second, the hill on which Parliament House is built.

Let’s consider the bridge, the cost, the land and the public outcry. Right now we are hearing that the cost of Stage 1 is $800 mil or thereabouts.

Guaranteed it will go north of that and it’s on relatively flat ground.

Imagine what the next stage/s will cost.

We are hearing that EPIC may close and the land dedicated to housing. It is without doubt, valuable real estate but where will EPIC be then located?

What might be the cost of such relocation plus the cost of a suitable patch of ground?

Seriously, it is inconceivable that Canberra does not have a showground, especially one as amazingly multi-purpose as EPIC.

We are led to believe that we, as a community, have above average intelligence.

It is immensely important to visualise the future for town planners, so why not give us the big planning picture with reasonable costing and a time frame.

Just maybe, we might get it. Sadly though, we must suffer the political games that parties play.

The late Martin Luther King once said, ‘I have a dream’.

Chic Henry, proud Canberra resident, says ‘I have a fear. A fear that Capital Metro Stage 1 may be the tram to nowhere as the only stage ever built’”.


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110 Responses to Chic Henry and the tram to nowhere?
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dungfungus dungfungus 11:24 am 04 Mar 15

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

Trams and light rail don’t fit well with Canberra. There’s never going to be the harmony and acceptance we see in older, more densely-populated cities. And why should we even bother, when we’re shortly going to see electric cars, self-driving cars, ride-sharing systems make personal transport much more efficient than the current model?

You forgot the flying car.

You simply can not build enough roads for people driving individually to widely located destinations.

The bigger it gets, the more people, the more cross connections, the more complex and congested. It breaks down and you get the problems Canberra has now got. Which are not going to go away.

It is ludicrous that Canberrans, in such a small city, spend such inordinate amounts of time trying to get somewhere else. It is also costly in time wasted, fuel and infrastructure.

Lonsdale Street shows where we are all headed. No more 3-4 car households, smaller family units living in apartments and enjoying the city lifestyle within walking distance.

Car ownership is down. That is why the car industry is in such trouble. The clear trend in Australia and many countries now is only one car, or no car, and to get around a smaller area using public transport.

The days of cheap, plentiful energy with no consequences, are over.

You are not going to go back to the “Good Ole Days” of Federal waste and Canberra a fraction of its present population. What happens when we are half a million people with the same inappropriately dated town plan and infrastructure?

I don’t know which planet you have been living on but it is certainly not Canberra.
Canberra is the easiest place in the world to travel by car – this is the dividend of designing a city where the private car is the principal method of transport.
Sure, there are short periods of congestion but no gridlock.
I don’t know where you got the idea that car ownership is falling either. Travel by Action buses has certainly declined but I don’t think more people are commuting by bycicle.
And petrol hasn’t been cheaper for years due to the abundance of the stuff.
Unfortunately the morally vain people who run Canberra want to change all that. They are due for an early retirement.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back VYBerlinaV8_is_back 11:07 am 04 Mar 15

Despite all the debate I still haven’t heard any arguments as to why we shouldn’t be taking a step back and examing the actual problem.

Surely what needs to be considered is who has to go where, and how to get them there. I’d be in favour of a major investment into dedicated busways linking the city, gungers, woden and tuggers and then running the service using existing or new buses for a while. Then, when we really understand the demand and usage patterns, start upgrading these inter-town links to rail (light or otherwise).

This ‘build it and they will come’ crap is just ludicrous. A change of this magnitude needs to be analysed, designed and deployed in stages, or it just ends up being an underutilised waste of money.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 10:29 am 04 Mar 15

dungfungus said :

Well said.

…and I absolutely refuse to pay for the white elephant that is YOUR stretch of road.

I’m never going to use it.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 10:25 am 04 Mar 15

Skyring said :

Trams and light rail don’t fit well with Canberra. There’s never going to be the harmony and acceptance we see in older, more densely-populated cities. And why should we even bother, when we’re shortly going to see electric cars, self-driving cars, ride-sharing systems make personal transport much more efficient than the current model?

You forgot the flying car.

You simply can not build enough roads for people driving individually to widely located destinations.

The bigger it gets, the more people, the more cross connections, the more complex and congested. It breaks down and you get the problems Canberra has now got. Which are not going to go away.

It is ludicrous that Canberrans, in such a small city, spend such inordinate amounts of time trying to get somewhere else. It is also costly in time wasted, fuel and infrastructure.

Lonsdale Street shows where we are all headed. No more 3-4 car households, smaller family units living in apartments and enjoying the city lifestyle within walking distance.

Car ownership is down. That is why the car industry is in such trouble. The clear trend in Australia and many countries now is only one car, or no car, and to get around a smaller area using public transport.

The days of cheap, plentiful energy with no consequences, are over.

You are not going to go back to the “Good Ole Days” of Federal waste and Canberra a fraction of its present population. What happens when we are half a million people with the same inappropriately dated town plan and infrastructure?

watto23 watto23 10:19 am 04 Mar 15

HiddenDragon said :

No reflection on Chic Henry, but by next October, there’ll be plenty of Canberrans ready to vote for the proverbial drover’s dog if he, she or it promised to stop the trams.

Why didn’t they vote against them at the previous election then. The Labor party took this policy to an election.

dungfungus dungfungus 10:19 am 04 Mar 15

Skyring said :

rubaiyat said :

There has been little or no forward thinking in Canberra’s planning since Burley Griffin was undermined by the bureaucrats and there was no thought to future transport other than cars, cars and more cars. Now is the time to do some real planning. Canberra is starting to grow up as it reaches critical mass as the de facto capital of southern New South Wales, without a workable transport plan it is going to get in serious trouble.

Transport is the key to the next leap forward, along with planning for higher development, and the elimination of stamp duty and social services assets tests, so householders can let go of their suburban homes without being punished.

Just quietly, but forward thinking and good planning has served us very well up until the late Eighties, when suburban density in new suburbs such as Isaacs was increased without corresponding improvements in transport. Self-government came in and long-term plans were sacrificed for short-term rewards. The decentralised model was thrown out, development centralised in Civic, and we now have the transport problems caused by that choice.

To my mind, it’s not a matter of trying to be another Sydney or Melbourne and aiming for a million or two people. Why is this seen as a desirable aim? What are all these people supposed to do? Ride trams all day so as to fill up the seats?

Trams make a lot of sense in cities whose cores were designed and constructed before car ownership became widespread. San Francisco. Melbourne. Vienna, Amsterdam. Gothenburg. Or underground systems such as Paris, London, and Tokyo. Or both, such as Barcelona. There’s little room for cars and a high enough population to make public transport efficient. Gothenburg is the only one of the above cities where I bother to consult a timetable; everywhere else, there’s no point because another tram or metro will be along in a few minutes.

Canberra was never one of those cities. From its earliest days, the “Garden City” ideal ensured that it was going to be low-density. Look at the older suburbs such as Reid or Barton – they have wide streets, quarter-acre blocks, generous nature strips, plentiful parkland, and small houses. Every house had a garage and plenty of parking, on and off street, well before these sort of suburbs became commonplace in (say) Sydney or Melbourne, where terrace houses were the norm for decades.

Trams and light rail don’t fit well with Canberra. There’s never going to be the harmony and acceptance we see in older, more densely-populated cities. And why should we even bother, when we’re shortly going to see electric cars, self-driving cars, ride-sharing systems make personal transport much more efficient than the current model?

Spending a billion dollars on trams is folly. The passenger levels needed to make that expenditure worthwhile are never going to eventuate. Not unless draconian anti-car measures are taken and if they become too onerous, any opposition promising to scrap them will romp home at the next election.

Which is pretty much what I see happening next year. Voters in Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Woden don’t want to pay higher rates for a white elephant that’s of no use to them.

Well said.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 10:05 am 04 Mar 15

Skyring said :

rubaiyat said :

For something more contemporary and hillier, look to San Francisco.

Graz I don’t know about. San Francisco public transport, I’m very familiar with. I have a current Clipper card.

The trams there don’t negotiate any gradients. They run along Market Street and the waterfront past the Ferry Building to Fishermans Wharf. Flat all the way. They use historic streetcars from across the USA and the world. Even a couple of Melbourne trams in the fleet. http://advance.org/articles/second-melbourne-tram-joins-san-franciscos-historic-streetcar-fleet/

Those iconic cablecars climbing halfway to the stars don’t run under their own steam. The wheels aren’t powered. They are cablecars, pulled up those steep hills by cables running under the street surface.

If you are trying to tell me that trams climb up steep San Francisco hills, you are plain wrong.

Thought you’d pick up the furphy of the cable cars.

The trams have to get up the length of Market Street and around the the higher parts at the back of Castro. They do need to go through a tunnel to get to Stonestown, but it is all far from level.

I never claimed they climbed the steep hills but they certainly negotiate a hilly San Francisco. Canberra isn’t a scratch on that.

And I see you side stepped the original up and down Sydney network. Graz I don’t expect you to know, nor the countless other examples in Europe apparently.

Skyring Skyring 8:44 am 04 Mar 15

rubaiyat said :

There has been little or no forward thinking in Canberra’s planning since Burley Griffin was undermined by the bureaucrats and there was no thought to future transport other than cars, cars and more cars. Now is the time to do some real planning. Canberra is starting to grow up as it reaches critical mass as the de facto capital of southern New South Wales, without a workable transport plan it is going to get in serious trouble.

Transport is the key to the next leap forward, along with planning for higher development, and the elimination of stamp duty and social services assets tests, so householders can let go of their suburban homes without being punished.

Just quietly, but forward thinking and good planning has served us very well up until the late Eighties, when suburban density in new suburbs such as Isaacs was increased without corresponding improvements in transport. Self-government came in and long-term plans were sacrificed for short-term rewards. The decentralised model was thrown out, development centralised in Civic, and we now have the transport problems caused by that choice.

To my mind, it’s not a matter of trying to be another Sydney or Melbourne and aiming for a million or two people. Why is this seen as a desirable aim? What are all these people supposed to do? Ride trams all day so as to fill up the seats?

Trams make a lot of sense in cities whose cores were designed and constructed before car ownership became widespread. San Francisco. Melbourne. Vienna, Amsterdam. Gothenburg. Or underground systems such as Paris, London, and Tokyo. Or both, such as Barcelona. There’s little room for cars and a high enough population to make public transport efficient. Gothenburg is the only one of the above cities where I bother to consult a timetable; everywhere else, there’s no point because another tram or metro will be along in a few minutes.

Canberra was never one of those cities. From its earliest days, the “Garden City” ideal ensured that it was going to be low-density. Look at the older suburbs such as Reid or Barton – they have wide streets, quarter-acre blocks, generous nature strips, plentiful parkland, and small houses. Every house had a garage and plenty of parking, on and off street, well before these sort of suburbs became commonplace in (say) Sydney or Melbourne, where terrace houses were the norm for decades.

Trams and light rail don’t fit well with Canberra. There’s never going to be the harmony and acceptance we see in older, more densely-populated cities. And why should we even bother, when we’re shortly going to see electric cars, self-driving cars, ride-sharing systems make personal transport much more efficient than the current model?

Spending a billion dollars on trams is folly. The passenger levels needed to make that expenditure worthwhile are never going to eventuate. Not unless draconian anti-car measures are taken and if they become too onerous, any opposition promising to scrap them will romp home at the next election.

Which is pretty much what I see happening next year. Voters in Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Woden don’t want to pay higher rates for a white elephant that’s of no use to them.

dungfungus dungfungus 8:35 am 04 Mar 15

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

Mountainous nations in Europe run steep railways, for sure, but not with steel wheels on steel rails. They use racks and cogs.

Carrying a tram line between the spans of the Commonwealth and Kings Avenue bridges would be expensive, and the line would have to be level. Ascending the slope along either avenue in the direction of Capital Hill would be more than is possible for light rail. Unless we go for the racks and cogs, and then we’re talking double the price.

We really are the Can’t Do It Nation!

My Mum’s home town is Graz, where Arnie comes from, and the 80 year trams there have no trouble running out through the meadows and up the hill to Maria Trost without the supposed “zahnzug” you are talking about.

Also go have a look around Newtown and Marrickville in Sydney. You can still see where the old trams negotiated not only steep gradients but also tight curves at the same time. For something more contemporary and hillier, look to San Francisco.

I could design you a simple and elegant triangulated tubular steel support structure fitting between the twin laneways on the bridges that you could swing in place with a couple of cranes.

The objections are just that, along the lines of “bumble bees can not fly” and women have less teeth than men. “Facts” for those who Never, Ever, check.

It was “impossible” or “too expensive” to have dug out the Russell interchange and overpass, or span the mighty Molonglo with the Majura Parkway!

But that’s different! It is for the endless freeways that Never, Ever, have to pay for themselves. Or face public scrutiny but simply slash through the countryside, wiping out all in their path, or crossing it.

“I could design you a simple and elegant triangulated tubular steel support structure fitting between the twin laneways on the bridges that you could swing in place with a couple of cranes.”
The NCA won’t allow that.
The inside lanes of the bridges were strengthened during construction to cater for large earthmoving plant (scrapers) to travel from one side of the future lake to the other when further work on approaches etc. had to be carried out.
A rare bit of forward planning.
Accordingly, a tram track across the bridges on the exiting carriageway is totally feasible.
The wires that have to go with it are not.

Skyring Skyring 12:06 am 04 Mar 15

rubaiyat said :

For something more contemporary and hillier, look to San Francisco.

Graz I don’t know about. San Francisco public transport, I’m very familiar with. I have a current Clipper card.

The trams there don’t negotiate any gradients. They run along Market Street and the waterfront past the Ferry Building to Fishermans Wharf. Flat all the way. They use historic streetcars from across the USA and the world. Even a couple of Melbourne trams in the fleet. http://advance.org/articles/second-melbourne-tram-joins-san-franciscos-historic-streetcar-fleet/

Those iconic cablecars climbing halfway to the stars don’t run under their own steam. The wheels aren’t powered. They are cablecars, pulled up those steep hills by cables running under the street surface.

If you are trying to tell me that trams climb up steep San Francisco hills, you are plain wrong.

Skyring Skyring 11:43 pm 03 Mar 15

OpenYourMind said :

Then on top of it all we’ve got the impending massive changes that electric cars, self driving cars, telecommuting etc. will bring about.

One of the stated aims of the NBN is to make it easier for telecommuting. Personally I think people will use additional bandwidth for piracy purposes, but Julia Gillard didn’t mention that aspect, so we’ll go with the telecommuting.

I’ll throw ride-sharing and Uber into the mix. I think we can arrange car travel a lot more cleanly and efficiently. Especially if we have self-driving electric hire cars, which we will in a few years.

There’s a lot of room for improvement, and filling that room will remove any need for expensive, inflexible infrastructure such as light rail.

Skyring Skyring 11:33 pm 03 Mar 15

rubaiyat said :

So without calculating the massive cost of all the roads (because no-one seems to have bothered recording them) just the cars are costing each and every Canberran, man woman and child, $44,038 in capital costs, PLUS the running costs.

Most Canberrans own cars. And once you’ve sunk the capital expense into owning one, there’s no point in letting it sit idle. Might as well throw money away.

If we had a public transport system that could handle everyone’s normal transport needs – work, school, shopping, childcare, visiting friends etc. – then we could lose some of the cars.

But we don’t. We have a city that is spread out, designed for large-scale car ownership and use. The tram isn’t going to help with much beyond getting between Gungahlin, Dickson and Civic. Any destinations outside that corridor need a car. Or a well-planned bus system, which is what we don’t have at the moment.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 10:46 pm 03 Mar 15

OpenYourMind said :

You’re missing the point. The car thing aint gonna change. I ride a bicycle, but I accept that Canberra is still a car city by its citizens choice and the very nature of our city. Road spending won’t change.

The light rail will be an expense over and above what we spend on roads – we’ll still spend on roads, that won’t change. Light rail will be of limited benefit to a very small subset of our rate payers. Light rail has a poor business case particularly compared to buses. Light rail can only follow a small patch of land. Light rail will more than likely cost a lot more than the original projection. Our city is in financial strife with the reduction in public servants (i.e. ratepayers), reduction in Govt spending, decentralisation of some government and the Mr Fluffy crisis. Our rates are already increasing at a much higher rate than wage growth.

The current light rail proposal takes people from Gunghalin to the City. People crazy enough to decide light rail is the best choice will still probably need to drive to the station (due to Canberra being spread out), then catch a tram to the city, then catch a bus etc. to whatever their final destination is if it’s not the city.

Then on top of it all we’ve got the impending massive changes that electric cars, self driving cars, telecommuting etc. will bring about.

Light rail is just a bad, bad idea.

We are not totally at odds. I do not believe the Gunghalin line makes sense at all. It is not backed up any visible existing or planned development.

But I do believe Light Rail of some description is inevitable because the roads and cars are not viable in the long term.

I propose the service follows the people and not the politicians.

The first leg of a TRAM network, not light rail, should be from Watson/Dickson down to Civic through Lonsdale Street, reinforcing the inner city development that is already there and steadily growing north.

The tram should be a frequent service, frequent stop curbside service to let people forget about cars and circulate along the restaurants, shops and apartments along the corridor. This spine should then grow out progressively through Civic, running though Garema Place, to the inner south and the Parliamentary Triangle, connecting tourist destinations with Kingston/Manuka/Narrabundah. The network should grow organically as development grows the population en-route.

Utimately links to the satellite centres can be put in place, as they are ready, using higher speed Light Rail connections with fewer stops because of the larger distances to be covered.

By that point Canberrans should have grown accustomed to trams and so long as they get or will foreseeable get the benefits, they will support them.

All outer areas will be covered by short hall buses into the regional centres.

Planning and the setting aside corridors and space for the connections should be done now, but building the network should be organic, to meet demand. A bit ahead of the development, with denser infill just behind.

There has been little or no forward thinking in Canberra’s planning since Burley Griffin was undermined by the bureaucrats and there was no thought to future transport other than cars, cars and more cars. Now is the time to do some real planning. Canberra is starting to grow up as it reaches critical mass as the de facto capital of southern New South Wales, without a workable transport plan it is going to get in serious trouble.

Transport is the key to the next leap forward, along with planning for higher development, and the elimination of stamp duty and social services assets tests, so householders can let go of their suburban homes without being punished.

rommeldog56 rommeldog56 10:26 pm 03 Mar 15

Postal said :

Chic Henry if you’re reading this, PLEASE run for the election. Anyone else reading this please also run for the election. We desperately need more diversity on the ballot paper as Labor is taking their position for granted and the rot has set in.

Your not wrong re the rot. I think Gallagher took a convenient get out of jail free card befoe that rot really set in.

And now the ACT Gov’t has announced that a noted supporter of the Light Rail has been appointed as Chair of the ACT Heritage Council which will rule over the heritage value of building in the vacinity of the Light Rail (like they did recently on Northborne Avenue). Of course, the ACT Gov’t says that his support of Light Rail had nothing to do with his appointment ! Yeah. Right.

How much more contemptuous of ACT voters/ratepayers can this ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t get !

dungfungus dungfungus 7:14 pm 03 Mar 15

Skyring said :

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

Chic Henry makes some good points about crossing the lake and traversing hills to extend the network. Another bridge over the lake would be expensive and would be necessary as rail vehicles have difficulty operating on gradients steeper than 1 in 30.

It is hard to think of a feasible route from Civic to Belconnen or Woden which does not involve either gradients steeper than this or extensive engineering, such as tunnels.

Making up non-existent obstacles is always a good way of handling a debate.

There is nowhere an impassable gradient anywhere in Canberra. If Austria and Switzerland can cope surely we can.

Light rail can very easily cross the lake between the spans of both the Commonwealth and King George bridges.

Mountainous nations in Europe run steep railways, for sure, but not with steel wheels on steel rails. They use racks and cogs.

Carrying a tram line between the spans of the Commonwealth and Kings Avenue bridges would be expensive, and the line would have to be level. Ascending the slope along either avenue in the direction of Capital Hill would be more than is possible for light rail. Unless we go for the racks and cogs, and then we’re talking double the price.

A tram will easily conquer Commonwealth Bridge from both directions as long as it has power supplied by a catenary.
The NCA has already said there are not to be any overhead wires on the bridges so that leaves several (expensive) options that probably won’t deliver the grunt required.
It won’t happen anyway so let’s not stress about it.
Interestingly, the NCA sees wires and stanchions as ugly so why can’t the rest of you see it too?.

Postal Postal 6:27 pm 03 Mar 15

Chic Henry if you’re reading this, PLEASE run for the election. Anyone else reading this please also run for the election. We desperately need more diversity on the ballot paper as Labor is taking their position for granted and the rot has set in.

OpenYourMind OpenYourMind 6:15 pm 03 Mar 15

rubaiyat said :

Here’s a quick calculation for all you financial wizards out there:

Vehicles registered in ACT in 2014 was 279,352 with an average capital cost of say $30,000.

That’s a capital investment of $8.4 billion dollars mostly either sitting in your driveway or the $30,000 garage to house it (add another $8.4 billion) before it even starts burning fuel, costing registration, insurance and maintenance. You can add a considerable health bill on top of that now.

Virtually all of that money is going overseas.

So what is clear this isn’t a “need” it is an irrational obsession, reinforced by an extreme never ending marketing campaign by everyone who can make a buck out of getting your lard arse in the drivers seat and then selling you diets, drugs and cures to get the lard off. A funeral service when they all fail, or you total the car or someone, with the car.

You’re missing the point. The car thing aint gonna change. I ride a bicycle, but I accept that Canberra is still a car city by its citizens choice and the very nature of our city. Road spending won’t change.

The light rail will be an expense over and above what we spend on roads – we’ll still spend on roads, that won’t change. Light rail will be of limited benefit to a very small subset of our rate payers. Light rail has a poor business case particularly compared to buses. Light rail can only follow a small patch of land. Light rail will more than likely cost a lot more than the original projection. Our city is in financial strife with the reduction in public servants (i.e. ratepayers), reduction in Govt spending, decentralisation of some government and the Mr Fluffy crisis. Our rates are already increasing at a much higher rate than wage growth.

The current light rail proposal takes people from Gunghalin to the City. People crazy enough to decide light rail is the best choice will still probably need to drive to the station (due to Canberra being spread out), then catch a tram to the city, then catch a bus etc. to whatever their final destination is if it’s not the city.

Then on top of it all we’ve got the impending massive changes that electric cars, self driving cars, telecommuting etc. will bring about.

Light rail is just a bad, bad idea.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 6:09 pm 03 Mar 15

Skyring said :

If we had buses running along the route, completely packed and struggling to cope, then light rail might be an answer.

But I invite all to check to largely empty state of buses traveling down Northbourne.

If we had cars running along the route, completely packed and struggling to cope*, then roads might be an answer.

But I invite all to check to largely empty cars traveling down Northbourne at the same time.

The express buses are actually standing room in peak hour.

* Just the driver. Crawling along, swearing at their Yell Back Radio for more money, who cares how much, to be spent on roads.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 5:51 pm 03 Mar 15

Skyring said :

Mountainous nations in Europe run steep railways, for sure, but not with steel wheels on steel rails. They use racks and cogs.

Carrying a tram line between the spans of the Commonwealth and Kings Avenue bridges would be expensive, and the line would have to be level. Ascending the slope along either avenue in the direction of Capital Hill would be more than is possible for light rail. Unless we go for the racks and cogs, and then we’re talking double the price.

We really are the Can’t Do It Nation!

My Mum’s home town is Graz, where Arnie comes from, and the 80 year trams there have no trouble running out through the meadows and up the hill to Maria Trost without the supposed “zahnzug” you are talking about.

Also go have a look around Newtown and Marrickville in Sydney. You can still see where the old trams negotiated not only steep gradients but also tight curves at the same time. For something more contemporary and hillier, look to San Francisco.

I could design you a simple and elegant triangulated tubular steel support structure fitting between the twin laneways on the bridges that you could swing in place with a couple of cranes.

The objections are just that, along the lines of “bumble bees can not fly” and women have less teeth than men. “Facts” for those who Never, Ever, check.

It was “impossible” or “too expensive” to have dug out the Russell interchange and overpass, or span the mighty Molonglo with the Majura Parkway!

But that’s different! It is for the endless freeways that Never, Ever, have to pay for themselves. Or face public scrutiny but simply slash through the countryside, wiping out all in their path, or crossing it.

MERC600 MERC600 4:32 pm 03 Mar 15

I always enjoy looking at the artists impression of how these things look so bloody nice. How could you not have one or two about the place. It makes us look so cosmopolitan, or something.
I did like the recent artists impression where the canopy of trees completely covered the tracks . Made the thing look so ‘dinky’, you know, dainty and nice.
(As they can’t draw trams all day long, do you think they may work for real estate developers.)

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