Light rail Stage 2A to be wire-free as approvals process moves to next phase

Ian Bushnell 18 February 2020 185
Stage 2A light rail

A render shows the wire-free Stage 2A light rail leg at the intersection of the raised London Circuit and Commonwealth Avenue. Images: Supplied.

The 1.7 kilometre extension of light rail from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park via London Circuit will be wire-free, in part to preserve the heritage vistas to the Parliamentary Zone.

The ACT Government has revealed more details about the project as it moves to the next approvals phase, with the Commonwealth deciding that both Stage 2A and Stage 2B across Lake Burley Griffin and on to Woden are controlled actions, as expected.

The confirmation that Stage2A will be wire-free means that new and existing light rail vehicles will need to be fitted with onboard energy storage with regenerative braking capability.

According to the EPBC documents lodged with the Commonwealth last July, a traction power substation, connected to the system at Commonwealth Avenue, will also need to be built in Commonwealth Park.

The ACT Government says grassed tracks are also proposed on the Commonwealth Avenue median.

London Circuit near Edinburgh Avenue

This image shows the tracks in the middle of London Circuit near Edinburgh Avenue.

While there will be extra costs in going wire-free, Transport Minister Chris Steel says an advantage will be that Stage 2A will take up less space as the tracks will be narrower and built in the middle of the road.

“As Light Rail Stage 2A turns on to Commonwealth Avenue, wire-free running will also ensure that the heritage vistas along Commonwealth Avenue are maintained,” he said.

As previously announced, London Circuit will be raised to be level with Commonwealth Avenue.

Mr Steel said the project was progressing as expected to the next stage of the Commonwealth environmental approval process.

To gain approval, the ACT Government will need to provide further information to the Commonwealth, which has determined that Stage 2A can be assessed by “Preliminary Documentation”, an assessment pathway usually reserved for projects where the impacts are localised and easily predicted.

The more complex Stage 2B through the Parliamentary Zone near areas of national and heritage significance will require a full EIS, as expected. It will need to be wire-free through the Parliamentary Zone, which means there will be wire-free running from the city across the lake to Parkes.

“This decision from the Federal Government reinforces our choice to deliver light rail to Woden in two stages. The process of assessment for Stage 2A means we can get on with the job of extending light rail to Woden sooner,” Mr Steel said.

“We always expected that an extensive EIS process would be required for the more complex stage 2B extension through the Parliamentary Triangle under the Commonwealth environmental approval process,” Mr Steel said.

The City South Station

The City South Station, and the beginning of the grassed tracks on Commonwealth Avenue.

He said the Government was investing in infrastructure now to ensure Canberra did not end up congested like Sydney.

“We are getting on with the job of taking light rail to Woden,” he said.

“We want to build on the success of the first stage of light rail, and this is the next step in the process to take those benefits to Woden.”

Last September, Cabinet approved the business case for Stage 2A and started one-on-one negotiations with the operator of Stage 1, Canberra Metro, for it to design and build the project.

The cost of Stage 2A is subject to those negotiations but the overall cost of Stage 2 has been put at $1.6 billion.

Last week, $31.4 million was allocated in the Mid Year Budget Review for Stage 2A design work, and Chief Minister Andrew Barr said contracts would be signed this year, with construction expected to start in 2021 and the first passengers boarding in 2024.

Stage 2A is seen as a springboard for the more challenging Stage 2B across the lake to Woden, and will include three new stations and add an estimated 2500 to 3000 passengers to the system.

City West, on the corner of Edinburgh Avenue and London Circuit near the ANU, is expected to be the most popular station, with City South servicing the new residential areas of West Basin, and the southern terminus important for major events in Commonwealth Park and by the lake.

It will require extra rolling stock and the Government is in talks to acquire four more light rail vehicles.

The Public Transport Association of Canberra (PTCBR) has welcomed progress on the approvals processes, as well as Federal Government support for the development of advanced battery technologies for light rail vehicles.

PTCBR Chair Ryan Hemsley said the Federal Department of the Environment has mapped a clear path forward for Light Rail Stage 2 by identifying the assessment processes.

“Following the success of Stage 1, we call on the ACT Opposition to outline their plans for bringing light rail to Woden ahead of the Territory Election later this year,” he said

Mr Hemsley also said a recent Commonwealth grant had been awarded to a consortium developing fast charging batteries for light rail vehicles.”

The Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science recently announced a grant of $1.6 million to a consortium proposing to develop an ‘Advanced Nano-engineered Battery for Fast Charging Catenary-free Trams’. Total project expenditure is expected to be $5 million and consortium members include the CSIRO.

“This project has the potential to benefit light rail systems across Australia as well as in the ACT by reducing charging times at stops and lowering the lifetime costs of wire-free running,” he said.


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185 Responses to Light rail Stage 2A to be wire-free as approvals process moves to next phase
Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 6:28 pm 17 Feb 20

Such a pity we don’t get the funding from the Federal Government that places like Perth gets for transport & roads. 6 lane roads, bridges fly- overs & a seamless connection for train & bus transport

Billy Watson Billy Watson 4:29 pm 17 Feb 20

Isn’t a fable free tram just like a bus (minus tracks of course). So why not just use a bus that looks like a tram and do away with the tracks ?

maxblues maxblues 4:20 pm 17 Feb 20

Instead of just being wire-free, why not go one step further and be track-free. This technology has already been invented. It is called a BUS.

Anne Willenborg Anne Willenborg 4:19 pm 17 Feb 20

Maria Greene this must make you very happy. Sharpen your pen🤪🤪🤪

Noel Benjamin Noel Benjamin 3:49 pm 17 Feb 20

What an abuse and miss allocation of (financial) resources, when other social services and infrastructure like health, community housing, et al, are being run into the ground. This government's focus on grandiose schemes at the expense of maintaining and improving existing services and social infrastructure has to condemned..

    Elroy Jones Elroy Jones 6:02 pm 17 Feb 20

    Or, they could do what the voters have mandated and build it across the entire city.

    Ben Van de Bron Ben Van de Bron 10:56 pm 17 Feb 20

    Noel Benjamin those things are being upgraded as well so what’s your point

    Noel Benjamin Noel Benjamin 11:16 pm 17 Feb 20

    Ben Van de Bron Read the reports by the former head of the ACT Treasury and articles by John Stanhope, and you may get my point.

    Michael Taylor Michael Taylor 1:40 pm 20 Feb 20

    The bottom line is "why" we have an excellent bus service to woden and surrounds. Forget the cost, how monies could be spent elsewhere. Once again why?

Bill Arnold Bill Arnold 3:44 pm 17 Feb 20

Should have all been wire free from the start

Alexandra Lamb Alexandra Lamb 3:22 pm 17 Feb 20

Do we know if this has had any impact on reducing cars yet?

    Rainer Busacker Rainer Busacker 8:03 pm 17 Feb 20

    Not likely. Canberrans love their independence, that's why there are so many multi car households. The only way to reduce car traffic in Canberra is to eliminate parking places, which the govt has been doing or trying to do for years

    Just look at suburban streets around Civic.

    Sarah Emmerson Sarah Emmerson 8:29 pm 17 Feb 20

    Alexandra Lamb one of my friends says it has decreased his drive by about 15 minutes. However one questions if that was just comparing it to when he put up with road works

    Tegan Smith Tegan Smith 11:02 pm 17 Feb 20

    Rainer Pensionato the current light rail route sees more than 10,000 boardings per day. Surely a significant portion of that is commuters who used to drive.

    Robert Woodrow Robert Woodrow 11:58 am 18 Feb 20

    Sarah Emmerson does your friend live in Cooma or Yass ?

    Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 5:59 pm 18 Feb 20

    Alexandra Lamb it would have since people can go straight from Gunahlin to Civic.

Leon Arundell Leon Arundell 2:59 pm 17 Feb 20

What should the government be trying to achieve?
* We have a record proportion of people driving cars to work, mainly because the government is failing to provide reasons (such as transit lanes) to travel as car passengers.
* A quarter of our streets have no footpaths to support the 22% of our trips that we walk or cycle.
* The government plans to spend another billion dollars to convert 10 km of the public transport network (which services only 3% of our trips) from diesel and gas fuel and rubber tyres to electrical power and steel tyres.

    astro2 astro2 9:19 pm 17 Feb 20

    “What should the government be trying to achieve?” A mass transit public transport system between the city and major population centres via a light rail system that links these centres via major transport routes. A system that allows for the growth of the national capital of an emerging middle ranking power, not a 1970’s provincial backwater.

    chewy14 chewy14 9:31 am 18 Feb 20

    Astro,
    except that the light rail will be far slower than the existing public transport on the stage 2 route.

    So why on earth would you pay billions of dollars to actually reduce the current level of service, when it isn’t needed?

    And there’s no evidence that Canberra actually needs a mass transit public transport system yet, the same level of service could be provided for a fraction of the cost, the exact same as with stage 1. There’s a reason why the stage 1 business case was so woeful and didn’t receive any funding from Infrastructure Australia and it’s the same reason why no business case for stage 2 has been released. Because it doesn’t stack up.

    Proper planning and infrastructure delivery would have been to allow for upgrades to a higher capacity system when (and if) it is needed in a few decades time.

    But that wouldn’t allow the government to announce shiny new things for the easily bought to fawn over along with keeping the Greens happy.

    astro2 astro2 5:57 pm 18 Feb 20

    Unlikely that light rail stage 2 would be “far slower” than a bus stuck n peak-hour traffic. It certainly hasn’t been the experience with stage 1. The evidence that Canberra needs a mass transit system is pretty clear from the growth of the city and projections over the next decade or so. Best to leave town planning up to the town planners. If you’re wondering why Canberra didn’t get a guernsey in Commonwealth funding there are a number of reasons not related to the feasibility of the the project (with 1.3 million boardings so far people are obviously voting with their feet.) There’ll still be a few naysaying nellies right into Stage 4, 5 etc – raging in their nursing homes, shaking their feeble fists and rattling their wheelie walkers…the rest of us will have long moved on. Wonder how long the Sydney Harbour Bridge critics carried on for….oh and those awful trains going over the Bridge….always something to rant about I guess.

    chewy14 chewy14 11:00 pm 18 Feb 20

    “Unlikely that light rail stage 2 would be “far slower” than a bus stuck n peak-hour traffic”

    Unlikely hey?

    And you base this off what?

    Hopes? Dreams?

    The light rail vehicles have a top speed of 70km/hr.
    The R4 bus currently takes 18 minutes on this route. Mooted time for the light rail on this route is around 25mins or similar to the Stage 1 route and will necessarily have to include additional stops where currently the bus is an express.

    And if the light rail vehicle isn’t “stuck in traffic”, a bus doesn’t have to be either. You just provide it with its own lane.

    “The evidence that Canberra needs a mass transit system is pretty clear from the growth of the city and projections over the next decade or so.”

    Sorry, that isn’t evidence. It’s a baseless claim backed up by not a shred of data, showing such a need. And laughably, you’ve even agreed with me that it isn’t needed yet. As above, opportunity costs matter.

    The public transport cost -benefit for stage 1 of light rail was 0.3. And that’s on the highest density transport route in the ACT. All actual evidence says your claim about the ACT needing light rail is wrong.

    “If you’re wondering why Canberra didn’t get a guernsey in Commonwealth funding there are a number of reasons not related to the feasibility of the the project”

    Like?

    This is hilarious, now you’re claiming an independent infrastructure assessment body is somehow corrupt for not assessing this project as worthy.

    Evidence? Zero.

    “Wonder how long the Sydney Harbour Bridge critics carried on for”

    LOL, 1/3 of which was paid for by value capture land taxes and had a far more defined need.

    Honestly, this is fish in a barrel stuff. Try harder.

    chewy14 chewy14 6:59 am 20 Feb 20

    “Unlikely that light rail stage 2 would be “far slower” than a bus stuck n peak-hour traffic”

    Unlikely hey?

    And you base this off what?

    The light rail vehicles have a top speed of 70km/hr.
    The R4 bus currently takes 18 minutes on this route. Mooted time for the light rail on this route is around 25mins or similar to the Stage 1 route and will necessarily have to include additional stops where currently the bus is an express.

    And if the light rail vehicle isn’t “stuck in traffic”, a bus doesn’t have to be either. You just provide it with its own lane.

    “The evidence that Canberra needs a mass transit system is pretty clear from the growth of the city and projections over the next decade or so.”

    Sorry, that isn’t evidence. It’s a baseless claim backed up by not a shred of data, showing such a need. And laughably, you’ve even agreed with me that it isn’t needed yet. As above, opportunity costs matter.

    The public transport cost -benefit for stage 1 of light rail was 0.3. And that’s on the highest density transport route in the ACT. All actual evidence says your claim about the ACT needing light rail is wrong.

    “If you’re wondering why Canberra didn’t get a guernsey in Commonwealth funding there are a number of reasons not related to the feasibility of the the project”

    Like?

    You are now claiming that an independent infrastructure assessment body is corrupt for not assessing this project as worthy.

    Evidence? Zero.

    “… the Sydney Harbour Bridge critics carried on for”

    1/3 of which was paid for by value capture land taxes and had a far more defined need because the only alternative at the time was a ferry.

    No rants, evidence based logic.

    You should try it.

    astro2 astro2 7:39 am 20 Feb 20

    Oh dear, it’s pretty obvious you haven’t caught a bus from Woden in the City in peak hour for a while, your estimated time frames would need a little updating. The reason why Stage 2 is the next stage of light rail roll out is because of the increasing traffic along the route. Comparing buses with a “dedicated” laneway to a fast smooth right rail on a real dedicated laneway (i.e. one that cars can’t use) doesn’t really work (and it’s quite funny to see a number of people who wouldn’t use a bus if their life depended on it suddenly becoming bus-worshippers. If you’re wondering why not all projects get funding under Infrastructure Aust, one of the reasons is that the project can be funded in other ways, obviously ACT could afford light rail and its success by any measure without federal funding supports this. Notwithstanding the ALP, if elected in the next federal election, would financially support future light rail stages. As to the number of stops in Stage 2B it’s not inconceivable to have some services running a limited stops route and others an all stops. Light rail in the inner west of Sydney does this very successfully. And, as for, “no rants, evidence-based logic” yep, you should really try it sometime.

    chewy14 chewy14 6:26 pm 20 Feb 20

    “Oh dear, it’s pretty obvious you haven’t caught a bus from Woden in the City in peak hour for a while,”

    Is today a while? I catch the bus on this route every day.

    Try again.

    It used to be 16 minutes but under the new timetable (Which is worse), it’s now 18 minutes.

    These aren’t estimates, it’s the Action timetable and my lived daily experience.

    “The reason why Stage 2 is the next stage of light rail roll out is because of the increasing traffic along the route.”

    Evidence? Haha, oh wait, that’s right, no business case has been released, so you can’t provide anything.

    “Comparing buses with a “dedicated” laneway to a fast smooth right rail on a real dedicated laneway (i.e. one that cars can’t use) doesn’t really work”

    You keep making wild claims but never provide a shred of evidence. Hmmm.

    ” If you’re wondering why not all projects get funding under Infrastructure Aust, one of the reasons is that the project can be funded in other ways, obviously ACT could afford light rail and its success by any measure without federal funding supports this.”

    This is the funniest thing you’ve written to date. Your argument is now that the ACT is too rich and this is why we didn’t receive federal funding on this project?

    Did you miss the recent announcements that our budget deficit has blown out and critical services are being underfunded?

    “As to the number of stops in Stage 2B it’s not inconceivable to have some services running a limited stops route and others an all stops.”

    Actually, it is inconceivable because there are only going to be two tracks and a large amount of potential benefit of the project relies on it stopping regularly.

    astro2 astro2 4:42 pm 21 Feb 20

    The Woden to City route often gets caught in traffic going over the bridge which extends the time it takes. i’m not particularly against the R4s, they;re a good service, however they’ll need a very large number as time goes on and Canberra grows, to service demand. Transport Canberra is planing this route around those statistics. I’m also not making any suggestions about Infrastructure Australia in relation to the basis of funding streams for projects; however not every single worthy infrastructure project gets a grant and if Australia relied upon this particular funding stream for all of it’s infrastructure, we’d get very little done. It’s not he Hold Grail of funding. in regards to budget deficits, pretty much every state and territory, and probably the feds too, are facing deficits which are not related to light rail projects. Bushfires, floods, Coronovirus, are all taking their toll. It’s not a relevant argument to opposing the light rail. Finally, in regards to the conceivability of having some services running to all stops and others to limited stops, as I previously mentioned this is already done on the inner west light rail so it certainly isn’t inconceivable. The original article was actually in relation to the 2A/2B split which seems to make sense for the next stage. As both major parties support the continuation of light rail for Canberra, maybe it’s a better idea to turn your mind to considering other aspects such as the best routes for it to travel and where stops should go. Just criticising light rail per se, seems to be not very worthwhile.

    chewy14 chewy14 10:45 am 22 Feb 20

    “The Woden to City route often gets caught in traffic going over the bridge which extends the time it takes.”

    No, it really doesn’t. The traffic is already factored into the scheduled times, you’re just trying to make stuff up. I catch this bus daily, sometimes it’s a few minutes quicker, sometimes a few minutes slower, but very rarely is it delayed significantly.

    And as I’ve already said, theres no reason that a bus can’t be given a right of way in the same fashion as light rail.

    “however they’ll need a very large number as time goes on and Canberra grows, to service demand.”

    Yes, as I’ve said, we might need a mass transit system when this happens in 20 years or so, time is money and making large infrastructure investments before they are needed is extraordinarily wasteful. We should be planning for the future by allowing for the implementation of a system when it’s needed.

    But unfortunately, that doesn’t allow politicians to make big announcements and deliver shiny new things to a gullible and ignorant electorate.

    “however not every single worthy infrastructure project gets a grant and if Australia relied upon this particular funding stream for all of it’s infrastructure, we’d get very little done.”

    Almost all investment grade transport projects get funded, whether through government or private investment.

    The facts are, our light rail was assessed and due to its woeful business case, was rejected for federal funding. Private industry wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.

    The issue with stage 2 is that it is going to be run on batteries which are range limited to a few km’s and are charged at each station (also taking time).

    They can’t run an express route, they don’t have the range, leading to a necessarily slower trip.

    astro2 astro2 8:14 pm 22 Feb 20

    You appear to be contradicting yourself by saying that the R4 doesn’t get caught in traffic, affecting travel times and then saying it does actually get impacted by this. Then, that a bus can be given a right of way but not saying how this would happen along the entire route that R4 travels. How is it given right of way on the Bridge, for example? As to just waiting until the problem becomes worse, then trying to do something about it, that’s not how building infrastructure works. Planners have to anticipate future travel conditions and allow enough lead times to build for infrastructure for those conditions. This has been very successful with the Gungahlin to City route and there is no evidence to suggest it would not be the same for City to Woden. And, no “almost all investment grade projects” don’t get funded by Investment Australia. (Nor, for that matter, do all worthy sports projects get funded by Sports Australia.) Perhaps the best direction from here is to wait until Stage 2 is completed and then give it a go. You may just be pleasantly surprised at how improved your trip is. Certainly the City to Gungahlin trip is much better.

    chewy14 chewy14 10:59 pm 23 Feb 20

    “You appear to be contradicting yourself by saying that the R4 doesn’t get caught in traffic,”

    Ah no, I’m saying the effect is minor. You are saying “stuck in traffic” as a pejorative claim when depending on daily traffic and other factors such as the weather, it is slightly faster or slightly slower than timetables.

    The same actually happens to the light rail as well, although not to as great a degree due to the right of way given to it, which as I’ve said could just as easily be given to a busway.

    “Then, that a bus can be given a right of way but not saying how this would happen along the entire route that R4 travels. How is it given right of way on the Bridge, for example?”

    Um, I specifically said the bus could be given it’s own lane. How exactly do you think light rail is being given its own corridor? Magic?

    “As to just waiting until the problem becomes worse, then trying to do something about it, that’s not how building infrastructure works”

    But that’s the point, there is no “problem” that justifies the cost of light rail as the government’s own figures showed for stage 1.

    “Planners have to anticipate future travel conditions and allow enough lead times to build for infrastructure for those conditions.”

    On current demands, the additional capacity needed from light rail isn’t needed for 20 years, far in excess of infrastructure delivery lead times. You’ve actually made my point.

    “And, no “almost all investment grade projects” don’t get funded by Investment Australia”

    You’re just plain wrong, it truly shows how bad the return on this project is that it didn’t get funded. And stage 1 will have the best return, it only gets worse from here.

    astro2 astro2 9:58 pm 25 Feb 20

    it’s very clear from the usage of R1 that the demand is there and the growth statistics of Gungahlin area require more than just a few extra buses. Nothing against buses, just that all other capital cities (except Darwin and Hobart) need more than just buses to get people around. It certainly isn’t “plain wrong” to say that not all infrastructure projects built in Australia require Infrastructure Australia funding to be built. Not sure why you appear to be so obsessed with Infrastructure Australia, it’s just one source of funding. And it’s not relevant to the current discussion on Stage 2A and 2B of the Light Rail project. It’s quite strange how some people just get so incensed with a project such as light rail. It seems that there’s more to their strident opposition than just a technical or economic arguments.

    chewy14 chewy14 10:19 am 26 Feb 20

    “it’s very clear from the usage of R1 that the demand is there and the growth statistics of Gungahlin area require more than just a few extra buses.”

    If it’s very clear, present the research showing it to be the case.

    The government’s own business case showed that a bus system could provide the same capacity at a fraction of the cost.

    Elsewhere in this article, I’ve shown how you could run around 25 articulated buses per hour on this route during peak periods to provide the same capacity. They would run in lots of 2 at 5 minute intervals and then you could reallocate the spare bus capacity to other routes outside of peak periods. Something that isn’t possible for light rail.

    “Nothing against buses, just that all other capital cities (except Darwin and Hobart) need more than just buses to get people around”

    This is meaningless, Adelaide is the smallest of the major capital cities with 1.2 million people, nearly 3 times the population of Canberra. Along with that, Canberra is not as dense as the other cities due to the satellite town centre design.

    Bigger cities naturally require greater and higher capacity public transport options. Which actually makes my point, we don’t need light rail now, but in 20 years or so we might.

    “It seems that there’s more to their strident opposition than just a technical or economic arguments.”

    Except those are my sole arguments to which you haven’t come close to addressing.

    Infrastructure Australia is critical because they independently assess projects and determine viability outside of political interference.

    Our light rail project didn’t stack up. No private investors would go near it.

    So it seems those who support light rail are the ones doing so despite all technical/economic arguments showing that it isn’t viable.

    astro2 astro2 10:50 pm 27 Feb 20

    You’re still trying to frame this as a bus versus light rail argument. It isn’t. The argument has moved on from whether or not Canberra needs light rail to where it should operate, whether certain sections should be wire-free (in order to appease the aesthetic sensibilities of delicate NCA snowflakes) and where the stops should go. Trying to put off the planning, design and construction of the next stages of the network for another 20 years and expecting them to materialise somehow when we suddenly realise that a better transport system is required wouldn’t be sensible. Again, that’s what city planning does and they do this based on population growth forecasts.

John Da Cruz John Da Cruz 12:45 pm 17 Feb 20

In melbourne they are trying a different stategy to solve congestion, affordable housing and sustainability. It is called a 20 minute neighbourhood.

    Alexandra Lamb Alexandra Lamb 3:21 pm 17 Feb 20

    John Da Cruz the light rail is combined with a strategy of building up density along the rail corridor, in this very low density city, with ground level commercial

    Victoria Edmonds Victoria Edmonds 4:23 pm 17 Feb 20

    John Da Cruz Melbourne already has extensive bus, tram and rail networks.

Kimberley Lloyd Kimberley Lloyd 12:23 pm 17 Feb 20

Just had a look at the maps so it will go to the mint but it actually won’t go to the hospital it will bypass the entire Deakin Hospital area

    Paul South Paul South 1:07 pm 17 Feb 20

    Kimberley Lloyd thats planning at its best

    Sherbie Leo Sherbie Leo 2:07 pm 17 Feb 20

    Paul South Baa Humbug only relates to things that matter to him. Let’s hope our aging population remembers all he does for us! Especially the rate hikes!

    Sally Greenaway Sally Greenaway 3:22 pm 17 Feb 20

    Check out further stages planning. I think stage 3 has the hospital in it's route from Weston Creek.

    Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 5:58 pm 18 Feb 20

    Kimberley Lloyd if it goes to the mint it goes near the hospital in Deakin.

Jiv Michael Jiv Michael 11:36 am 17 Feb 20

Does the Act govt really have the cash to complete this project? Not sure what Mr Barr is thinking....🤔

    Michael Godfrey Michael Godfrey 12:13 pm 17 Feb 20

    No, but you any the rest of Canberra supposedly do. That's why they'll continue to raise rates, rego, parking costs, and anything else they can to pay for it. It's coming out of your pocket whether you like it or not.

    Jiv Michael Jiv Michael 12:15 pm 17 Feb 20

    Michael Godfrey i was being sarcastic... lol

    Jiv Michael Jiv Michael 12:26 pm 17 Feb 20

    Steve Kenihan exactly

    Alan Edwards Alan Edwards 12:44 pm 17 Feb 20

    $1.6b all the way to woden? Bargain

    Jiv Michael Jiv Michael 1:05 pm 17 Feb 20

    Alan Edwards deal of the century!😂

    Rainer Busacker Rainer Busacker 7:52 pm 17 Feb 20

    He's not thinking. Just desperate to stay in power.

    Jiv Michael Jiv Michael 8:05 pm 17 Feb 20

    Rainer Pensionato beyond desperate mate. With a forcast budget deficit of -255 mil this year, any thoughts of going ahead with this is a joke. It's just a vote grabbing stunt

Aldo Milin Aldo Milin 11:34 am 17 Feb 20

So stage 2 is going to cost $1,600,000,000!! Wow the ACT Govt has money to burn? Unbelievable...

    Emmac Ph Emmac Ph 2:21 pm 17 Feb 20

    Aldo Milin meanwhile the hospitals are the worst in the country.

    Aldo Milin Aldo Milin 2:34 pm 17 Feb 20

    Emmac Ph Exactly, their priorities do not reflect what most Canberrans want ie. a properly staffed health system that values its citizens rather than treating them with contempt.

    Elroy Jones Elroy Jones 6:06 pm 17 Feb 20

    What are you comparing that figure to?

    Rainer Busacker Rainer Busacker 7:51 pm 17 Feb 20

    Yes our money 🤬. They will do anything to appease the Greens on whom the rely to stay in power 🤬

    John Wilson John Wilson 9:25 am 18 Feb 20

    Hang on .. how many billions have all our precious roads cost, along with attendant infrastructure at destinations and along the way. Just so you can unthinkingly drive your polluting single occupant motor vehicle to wherever your whim carry's you!

    Aldo Milin Aldo Milin 10:19 am 18 Feb 20

    John Wilson That is a spurious argument given the fact that Canberra is the least densely populated major city in this country and therefore travel from one end of the city to the other is grossly inefficient and time consuming using public transport. That is why Canberrans mostly use their own cars. It's not rocket science...

Joe Nugent Joe Nugent 11:11 am 17 Feb 20

Katina Vlandis wire free hey haha

Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 11:07 am 17 Feb 20

Fantastic

John Moulis John Moulis 11:00 am 17 Feb 20

But I thought it wasn't going thru the Parliamentary zone after the NCA stomped on it. So why should we have to preserve their precious "heritage vistas"? Put the wires up and tell the NCA to go to buggery!

    Joe Nugent Joe Nugent 11:11 am 17 Feb 20

    John Moulis wire free is latest tech why would you want out dated infrastructure

    David Johnson David Johnson 11:27 am 17 Feb 20

    Joe Nugent it adds complexity and restrictions. Wired is simplest and cheapest.

    Richard Nolan Richard Nolan 2:55 pm 17 Feb 20

    David Johnson Thats like saying your mobile phone is simpler and cheaper if it wired.

    John Kerry Tozer John Kerry Tozer 8:38 am 18 Feb 20

    Joe Nugent - “...on already out-dated infrastructure...?”

Jason O'brien Jason O'brien 10:58 am 17 Feb 20

Does this mean you will have to get off the overhead wired teams to get onto the non overhead wired trams in the city?

    David Johnson David Johnson 11:27 am 17 Feb 20

    Jason O'brien no. It will be one vehicle throughout.

    Jason O'brien Jason O'brien 12:43 pm 17 Feb 20

    David Johnson you would hope so.

    Geoff Williams Geoff Williams 5:47 pm 17 Feb 20

    Jason O'brien maybe an (expensive) retrofit required. My bet is yes, you will.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 11:56 pm 17 Feb 20

    Geoff Williams why would it be expensive? The vehicles were built with the ability to drop in a battery module at a later date. So basically drop the module, connect the wires and reprogram the onboard control computers.

    John Kerry Tozer John Kerry Tozer 8:36 am 18 Feb 20

    Ashley Wright - I call BS! If it wasn’t going to be more expensive, why haven’t we got it down Northbourne already???

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:12 am 19 Feb 20

    John Kerry Tozer I think you missed my point. Retrofitting the battery packs shouldn’t be expensive. The tram is design for them to be simply dropped in. So the cost is in buying them.

    And the reason it isn’t used all the way to Gungahlin I have explained in a few other parts of this thread. Simply the batteries are designed for short distances with rapid charge top ups at each stop. There gets to be a point where you cannot keep doing rapid top ups and need to do a full charge. Hence the wires.

Russell Nankervis Russell Nankervis 10:40 am 17 Feb 20

Progress!

Ben Jones Ben Jones 10:26 am 17 Feb 20

Raising London circuit to be level with commonwealth ave bridge.

Interesting ... and expensive !

Sarah Burns Sarah Burns 10:26 am 17 Feb 20

Wouldn't it all have to be wired or wire-free to make the connection between the 2 stages (1 & 2)?

    David Malcolm David Malcolm 10:29 am 17 Feb 20

    No. You can have multiple pickups

    Anura Samara Anura Samara 11:08 am 17 Feb 20

    Sarah Burns I think the idea is the same vehicles can adapt to both wired and wire-free travel (eg. with batteries, regenerative braking etc).

    Rainer Busacker Rainer Busacker 7:46 pm 17 Feb 20

    That would require more thought and planning than this govt is capable of. Stage 1 including the reworking of the GDE near Mitchell was just "Pork Barreling " in Gungahlin when Labour's popularity was lagging in that area. Whatch what is going to happen in the run-up to the next ACT Elections.

Stephen Saunders Stephen Saunders 8:46 am 17 Feb 20

Thanks for update! This being (Australia) + (infrastructure), I’d expect a complete city network about 2050. Better 50 years late than never. If only NCDC back then had looked forward to rail, not backwards to roads.

At very best, Morrison and his bullied APS won’t sabotage the Woden link. He’d have us all riding horses and donkeys if he could.

    Kent Street Kent Street 12:15 pm 17 Feb 20

    Here we go again. Let’s use it as a chance to stick it in to Morrison, or Abbott, or Seselja.
    Try to stay relevant while making your case.

    michael quirk michael quirk 1:43 pm 17 Feb 20

    Unlike the Barr government the NCDC made its decisions on evidence. Where is the business case justifing light rail and demonstrating it is superior to alternatves?The lack of transparency and accountability on the project shows the Barr government’s contempt of good governance. There are so many unmet needs in the city that will not be addressed because of the resources devoted to this populist, evidence free project

    JC JC 11:58 am 21 Feb 20

    NCDC evidence based decision making? I am sure if they disagreed with your very strong feelings on the matter your view would be entirely different.

    Jorge Garcia Jorge Garcia 8:51 am 18 Feb 20

    Like

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