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Light rail to cross the lake to Woden next: Greens, ALP

Charlotte Harper 2 September 2016 102

Shane Rattenbury and Andrew Barr

Canberra’s light rail network will be extended by 11km from Civic to Parliament House and along Adelaide Avenue to Woden if Labor or a Labor-Greens coalition is re-elected next month.

Both Labor and the Greens have announced today that they will sign contracts during the next term of Government to extend the line, already slated to run from Gungahlin to Civic, to Woden in the key Legislative Assembly electorate of Murrumbidgee.

Neither Labor nor the Greens have a sitting member among their candidates for Murrumbidgee, though former Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur is running for the seat. The anti-light rail Canberra Liberals Leader Jeremy Hanson and his colleague Giulia Jones are the only sitting MLAs running in the electorate.

The other options previously under consideration for Stage two, Russell and the Canberra Airport, Civic to Belconnen, and Civic to a Parliamentary Triangle loop, remain in the works for the future.

Is Woden via Parliament and Adelaide Ave the right choice for Stage 2 of light rail?

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Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the route to Woden created “a north-south spine” for public transport in the ACT and was one of five priority stages of the planned light rail network, with Gungahlin to the city under construction and extensions to Belconnen, Canberra Airport and further into the Parliamentary Triangle to be built next.

He noted that stage two got the light rail project “across the lake”.

“Buses, bikes, and walking routes and later stages of light rail will feed into this spine, making it even easier for Canberrans to get where they need to go,” Mr Barr said.

Light rail Stage 2 to Woden

Mr Barr said announced recently that almost all ACT public servants working in health-related areas, some 1000 workers, would move to the Woden Town Centre given its proximity to The Canberra Hospital. The Federal Department of Health and Ageing’s central office is also in Woden, along with IP Australia and several smaller Federal agencies.

ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury said the second stage to Woden would create a spine that connected the city’s north and south in line with the Greens’ commitment to deliver light rail right across the Territory.

“The Greens are already looking forward to future stages, including actively considering an extension into Mawson.

“There are great benefits in bringing light rail to the south of Canberra, including fantastic opportunities to revitalise the Woden town centre with vibrant urban development that comes with light rail.

“By 2040 we expect thousands more people travelling from Woden towards the City in the morning peak and employment in the Parliamentary Triangle is expected to dramatically increase between now and 2041. The Greens believe that every Canberran should be able to travel to and from work easily, affordably and without having to sit in traffic for hours.

Mr Rattenbury said light rail was about making life in Canberra better so that people didn’t end up stuck in traffic every day, and setting the growing city up for the future.

“The ACT Greens have campaigned for light rail for over ten years, and I am pleased that the Labor Party recognises the benefits that a Canberra-wide light rail network. And who knows, twenty years down the track the Liberals might just come out in support of it too,” the Greens Leader said.

Canberra Liberals transport spokesman Alistair Coe said the announcement today was “further proof” that Mr Barr and the rest of the ACT Labor government were out of touch with the priorities of Canberrans.

“Just like the current proposed route from Gungahlin to the City, this extension to Woden is the wrong direction for Canberra on so many fronts and will continue to drive rates through the roof,” Mr Coe said.

The Shadow Transport Minister noted the extension was “completely uncosted” and said “significant problems getting a tram over Commonwealth Avenue Bridge” were likely to blow out costs.

“Given Canberrans will have to pay $1.78 billion for stage one if ACT Labor is elected, this extension will further push the ACT into dangerous, unchartered financial waters. On a stroke of the pen by Andrew Barr, light rail costs could blow out by billions of dollars and residents will foot the bill,” Mr Coe said.

Pictured are Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury and Labor Leader and Chief Minister Andrew Barr at Majura Solar Farm last week and a map that shows Stage 2, and below, an earlier map showing the contenders for stage two and future potential extensions of the light rail network.

Light rail future


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102 Responses to Light rail to cross the lake to Woden next: Greens, ALP
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justin heywood justin heywood 8:05 pm 17 Sep 16

creative_canberran said :

So you’ll burn a couple of hundred million cancelling contracts because of ideology?
Face it, Phase 1 is locked in….

‘Burn’ the money? Hardly.

They could swallow the loss, not build the thing, and STILL save enough to have free buses for at least decade*

That measure alone would benefit more people, get more cars off the road, actually help the environment AND save digging up Northbourne.

*Action makes around $25million from ticket sales.

dungfungus dungfungus 6:42 pm 17 Sep 16

creative_canberran said :

MarkE said :

Please give Phase 1 of the light rail a good chance to publicly fail before borrowing more money to waste on Phase 2. When people see 90% of your light rail carriages nearly empty, like Canberra’s buses, there will be a real public objection to squandering more money on Phase 2.

You never did explain where all the money is coming from to fund light rail. Where are you going to make the cut backs to fund it? Health? Education? Police? Or massive hikes in rates, fees and charges?

If the Liberal Democrats have balance of power after the election we will support the Canberra Liberals in cancelling the whole thing.

Mark Ellis is a Liberal Democrats Candidate for the seat of Kurrajong – http://www.ldp.org.au

So you’ll burn a couple of hundred million cancelling contracts because of ideology?
Face it, Phase 1 is locked in, agree or not it’s happening. And in 20 years it will probably be useful, Labor’s mistake was building it now. But it makes no sense to cancel something and cost many millions to cancel something that will inevitably be useful.

Have you calculated the 20 year holding costs on a $2 billion stranded asset?

There is an old but true saying and that “your first loss is your best loss”.

Masquara Masquara 5:43 pm 17 Sep 16

The election is a matter of a few weeks away, but it looks – from the fences going up along the Northbourne median strip – as though Labor is hell-bent on cutting down as many trees as they can ahead of election day. So not cool.

creative_canberran creative_canberran 4:29 pm 17 Sep 16

MarkE said :

Please give Phase 1 of the light rail a good chance to publicly fail before borrowing more money to waste on Phase 2. When people see 90% of your light rail carriages nearly empty, like Canberra’s buses, there will be a real public objection to squandering more money on Phase 2.

You never did explain where all the money is coming from to fund light rail. Where are you going to make the cut backs to fund it? Health? Education? Police? Or massive hikes in rates, fees and charges?

If the Liberal Democrats have balance of power after the election we will support the Canberra Liberals in cancelling the whole thing.

Mark Ellis is a Liberal Democrats Candidate for the seat of Kurrajong – http://www.ldp.org.au

So you’ll burn a couple of hundred million cancelling contracts because of ideology?
Face it, Phase 1 is locked in, agree or not it’s happening. And in 20 years it will probably be useful, Labor’s mistake was building it now. But it makes no sense to cancel something and cost many millions to cancel something that will inevitably be useful.

justin heywood justin heywood 10:34 am 17 Sep 16

MarkE said :

Please give Phase 1 of the light rail a good chance to publicly fail before borrowing more money to waste on Phase 2. ..

The whole ‘Phase 2’ presentation is just clever politics.

It implies the still-contentious ‘Phase 1’ is already fait accompli and that it was all a part of some grand, visionary strategy, instead of the quick political fix it was. It also shifts the debate onto the new route, instead of focussing on the oddity of a gold-plated line out to Gunghalin.

Thus those opposed to the ludicrous $1billion tram to Gunghalin can now be accused of ‘lacking a vision for Canberra’ etc etc, and It throws a few vague hopes to those living or working at Woden.

All for the cost of drawing up a map and calling a presser.

MarkE MarkE 12:16 am 17 Sep 16

Please give Phase 1 of the light rail a good chance to publicly fail before borrowing more money to waste on Phase 2. When people see 90% of your light rail carriages nearly empty, like Canberra’s buses, there will be a real public objection to squandering more money on Phase 2.

You never did explain where all the money is coming from to fund light rail. Where are you going to make the cut backs to fund it? Health? Education? Police? Or massive hikes in rates, fees and charges?

If the Liberal Democrats have balance of power after the election we will support the Canberra Liberals in cancelling the whole thing.

Mark Ellis is a Liberal Democrats Candidate for the seat of Kurrajong – http://www.ldp.org.au

rommeldog56 rommeldog56 10:51 am 14 Sep 16

JC said :

The reality however there is a lot of money in planning, design and advance procurement that is spent before you see one bit of dirt moved. Light rail no different.

Yes. Obviously. But what is the cost, including all the preliminary works and investigations. What is the cost of Stage 2 from Civic to Woden ? How will the tram cross the Lake ? No one knows – apparently, and yet ACT Labor has said that they WILL sign contracts before the 2020 election !!

What they want is a blank cheque from ACT voters/Ratepayers. “Trust us”. Its just more BS from ACT Labor/Greens.

ungruntled ungruntled 7:51 pm 09 Sep 16

Nilrem said :

Leon said :

The Labor Government’s August 2012 submission to Infrastructure Australia estimated that bus rapid transit would deliver more than nine tenths of the benefits of light rail at less than half the cost. Labor rejected the report’s findings, committed to light rail, and kept the report secret until nine months after the 2012 election. The Greens naively believed that building light rail to Gungahlin would cost less than the Majura Parkway.
For a tiny fraction of the cost of extending light rail to Woden we can extend Adelaide Avenue’s transit lanes to Civic and Woden. Transit lanes carry more traffic than light rail lines. They can reduce congestion more effectively, because they also encourage car drivers to become car passengers.
Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris refuses to consider transit lanes, despite admitting that the Government has two secret transit lane reports.
Labor has now committed to extend the light rail to Woden.
How many secret reports does the Government have, that conclude that investing in buses offers greater benefits than investing in light rail?

Leon, by adopting this line you are playing into the Liberals’ hands. And guess what? If they get in there won’t be more buses. Just more and more and more cars.

Nilrem, On what do you base this comment? On what evidence do you say that the buses will not happen & cars will simply proliferate?

Mordd / Chris Richards Mordd / Chris Richards 1:49 pm 09 Sep 16

ME: All funds “raised” from these fines should go to fund free public transport for all students in the ACT 18 years or younger, studying at school, college, tafe, etc….
WTC: The funds should, but I can guarantee you I know exactly where they would end up and it would not at all be related to transport.

– You are probably right, but I am an idealist, and actually doing that would make it palatable to most of the public. I presume that you didn’t object to the idea itself though that you agree camera enforcement like I suggest would achieve the desired behaviour if required though, if the bridge lane was a shared lane except in peak? (presuming the weight issue is solved, that’s a separate argument though).

ME: So the bus will win this race by a whopping 37.5 seconds. I imagine most people likely wouldn’t even notice the difference.
WTC: But to bring the government it’s “value added benefits” along the route and to be within easy reach, the tram will need to stop along this section to pick up and drop off passengers a number of times. This will add much more time to the trip, thus not being an express service anymore. Buses can do both, drive straight through to give passengers from Woden a quick trip into town and other buses stop to pick up those along the route. The tram is inflexible and that is its biggest drawback.

– Adding 2-4 stops along this section could work, I have thought about this, but it would likely require pedestrian bridges built at each stop, or a pedestrian tunnel under the road, how else do you get people safely into the median where the LR will run otherwise? We do seem to cope perfectly well at the moment not having stops along there. I have heard ppl calling for an extra stop at Wanniassa shops of the 300 route busses there for 20 years now, but I have never heard anyone suggest we need to put stops in along Adelaide Ave or Yarra Glen for the 300 busses before, please correct me on this if I am wrong and this is something people have been asking for. If those stops were added with the expensive access ways added along with them, this would add some travel time to this section of the route yes. But would the benefits not then outway the slightly longer travel time, if we did indeed then open up that route to all those people living either side of that roadway section. I have always though there should at least be a nearby stop on that 300 bus for the Mint itself and the soccer fields there if nothing else.

ME: http://nickstravelbug.com/portugal/trams-in-lisbon/ – see 3rd picture down. (you insist on calling it a tram, so I am answering your question for the moment with… a tram… ours will still be light rail though).
WTC: Really? That is not even a sensible comparison. The CAF Urbos 2 series of trams can only climb gradients of 6 to 7 degrees incline, nowhere near what is in that picture. It is difficult to say what that Parliamentary area is, or the bridge itself, but possibly close to exceeding its designed parameters.

– Sorry, I am not a vehicle mechanics person or an engineer or close on either, thus I didn’t try to answer your question, just did some quick googling, found that, and wondered how close an answer that was. I honestly don’t know what the gradient abilities of the vehicles we are using it, so I am happy to take your statement on that as fact. You just reinforced my point though that ours is Light Rail not a Tram and that there are big differences between the two, so thanks for that! Anyway, does it need to go up that gradient to parliament? Wouldn’t a stop at the lights just before that hill suffice really? It might be *nice* to ponder the concept of it going up that little hill, but realistically, it’s not actually that important to achieve.

ME: bus breakdowns are not comparable to light rail potential to break down. tram breakdowns are not even that comparable, as this is light rail, not a tram.
WTC: Nonetheless, the LR as you call it, will stop the entire line from moving passengers if it breaks down or the power goes out. Buses can be towed away or simply circumvented and replaced with backup buses to keep the timetable ticking along. The tram becomes a road block to the rest of the fleet who cannot go around.

Our vehicles do have onboard battery storage, enough for “short to medium” distances without receiving direct power, thus the ability to run with overheard lines taken out on some sections. I am not sure, but this might be enough most of the time to get the vehicle to a spot where it was less out of the way till power was restored. Both a break down and a power outage like this are very low odds though, maybe a once a year occurrence at best, with the redundancies built in with both.

dungfungus dungfungus 8:50 am 09 Sep 16

JC said :

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Meaning? Unless you have a PROPOSAL and money funded to investigate the proposal how do you solve engineering issues such as the bridge crossing? And don’t you need to announce proposals to be able to fund said development work? Don’t do that and you then have secret projects that oppositions would then dearly love to find and use agai at you at election time.

There is no issue of chicken and egg or secrecy (at least, yet) in relation to stage 2.

The ACT Labor/Greens Govt has said that it WILL sign stage 2 contracts and I think, COMMENCE WORK before the 2020 election.

Unlike for stage 1, they haven’t even bothered to provide a cost estimate for stage 2. Not even “subject to engineering reports, business case/BCR being sufficiently positive (which, like that for stage 1, will be fudged to be), a full costing, an environmental impact statement, permission from the authorities who approve planning across the bridges/Parl. triangle,” etc, etc. ie. Disclaimers. Unlike for stage 1, they haven’t even bothered to provide a cost estimate.

No. This ACT Labor/Greens Govt is so arrogant and confident in their electoral future here and that they know that ACT Ratepayers will underwrite the contracts regardless, that they don’t have to worry about those formalities. ACT Labor/Greens will just sign contracts and commence construction before the 2020 election, regardless. It is a blank cheque to be funded by already hard pressed ACT Ratepayers.

It will be much, much cheaper for the Lib’s now to tear up the stage 1 contract. That will be a cost, but now will be much, much cheaper than ploughing on with stage 3, 3, 4, etc.

Actually, the cost of tearing up the contract should not be much judging by the work (or more the lack of it) done to date.

Typical Liberal view point. Bit like how Labor dragged the chain and spent heaps of money on NBN with little to show. The reality however there is a lot of money in planning, design and advance procurement that is spent before you see one bit of dirt moved. Light rail no different.

Yes JC, they are still struggling to complete that “Northbourne Ave. underground services audit and relocation cost report” but a least they have constructed a couple of cardboard trams.

JC JC 7:48 am 09 Sep 16

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Meaning? Unless you have a PROPOSAL and money funded to investigate the proposal how do you solve engineering issues such as the bridge crossing? And don’t you need to announce proposals to be able to fund said development work? Don’t do that and you then have secret projects that oppositions would then dearly love to find and use agai at you at election time.

There is no issue of chicken and egg or secrecy (at least, yet) in relation to stage 2.

The ACT Labor/Greens Govt has said that it WILL sign stage 2 contracts and I think, COMMENCE WORK before the 2020 election.

Unlike for stage 1, they haven’t even bothered to provide a cost estimate for stage 2. Not even “subject to engineering reports, business case/BCR being sufficiently positive (which, like that for stage 1, will be fudged to be), a full costing, an environmental impact statement, permission from the authorities who approve planning across the bridges/Parl. triangle,” etc, etc. ie. Disclaimers. Unlike for stage 1, they haven’t even bothered to provide a cost estimate.

No. This ACT Labor/Greens Govt is so arrogant and confident in their electoral future here and that they know that ACT Ratepayers will underwrite the contracts regardless, that they don’t have to worry about those formalities. ACT Labor/Greens will just sign contracts and commence construction before the 2020 election, regardless. It is a blank cheque to be funded by already hard pressed ACT Ratepayers.

It will be much, much cheaper for the Lib’s now to tear up the stage 1 contract. That will be a cost, but now will be much, much cheaper than ploughing on with stage 3, 3, 4, etc.

Actually, the cost of tearing up the contract should not be much judging by the work (or more the lack of it) done to date.

Typical Liberal view point. Bit like how Labor dragged the chain and spent heaps of money on NBN with little to show. The reality however there is a lot of money in planning, design and advance procurement that is spent before you see one bit of dirt moved. Light rail no different.

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 8:21 pm 08 Sep 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

All funds “raised” from these fines should go to fund free public transport for all students in the ACT 18 years or younger, studying at school, college, tafe, etc….

The funds should, but I can guarantee you I know exactly where they would end up and it would not at all be related to transport.

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

– So the bus will win this race by a whopping 37.5 seconds. I imagine most people likely wouldn’t even notice the difference.

But to bring the government it’s “value added benefits” along the route and to be within easy reach, the tram will need to stop along this section to pick up and drop off passengers a number of times. This will add much more time to the trip, thus not being an express service anymore. Buses can do both, drive straight through to give passengers from Woden a quick trip into town and other buses stop to pick up those along the route. The tram is inflexible and that is its biggest drawback.

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

http://nickstravelbug.com/portugal/trams-in-lisbon/ – see 3rd picture down. (you insist on calling it a tram, so I am answering your question for the moment with… a tram… ours will still be light rail though).

Really? That is not even a sensible comparison. The CAF Urbos 2 series of trams can only climb gradients of 6 to 7 degrees incline, nowhere near what is in that picture. It is difficult to say what that Parliamentary area is, or the bridge itself, but possibly close to exceeding its designed parameters.

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

– bus breakdowns are not comparable to light rail potential to break down. tram breakdowns are not even that comparable, as this is light rail, not a tram.

Nonetheless, the LR as you call it, will stop the entire line from moving passengers if it breaks down or the power goes out. Buses can be towed away or simply circumvented and replaced with backup buses to keep the timetable ticking along. The tram becomes a road block to the rest of the fleet who cannot go around.

dungfungus dungfungus 10:10 am 08 Sep 16

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Meaning? Unless you have a PROPOSAL and money funded to investigate the proposal how do you solve engineering issues such as the bridge crossing? And don’t you need to announce proposals to be able to fund said development work? Don’t do that and you then have secret projects that oppositions would then dearly love to find and use agai at you at election time.

There is no issue of chicken and egg or secrecy (at least, yet) in relation to stage 2.

The ACT Labor/Greens Govt has said that it WILL sign stage 2 contracts and I think, COMMENCE WORK before the 2020 election.

Unlike for stage 1, they haven’t even bothered to provide a cost estimate for stage 2. Not even “subject to engineering reports, business case/BCR being sufficiently positive (which, like that for stage 1, will be fudged to be), a full costing, an environmental impact statement, permission from the authorities who approve planning across the bridges/Parl. triangle,” etc, etc. ie. Disclaimers. Unlike for stage 1, they haven’t even bothered to provide a cost estimate.

No. This ACT Labor/Greens Govt is so arrogant and confident in their electoral future here and that they know that ACT Ratepayers will underwrite the contracts regardless, that they don’t have to worry about those formalities. ACT Labor/Greens will just sign contracts and commence construction before the 2020 election, regardless. It is a blank cheque to be funded by already hard pressed ACT Ratepayers.

It will be much, much cheaper for the Lib’s now to tear up the stage 1 contract. That will be a cost, but now will be much, much cheaper than ploughing on with stage 3, 3, 4, etc.

Actually, the cost of tearing up the contract should not be much judging by the work (or more the lack of it) done to date.

rommeldog56 rommeldog56 7:14 am 08 Sep 16

JC said :

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Meaning? Unless you have a PROPOSAL and money funded to investigate the proposal how do you solve engineering issues such as the bridge crossing? And don’t you need to announce proposals to be able to fund said development work? Don’t do that and you then have secret projects that oppositions would then dearly love to find and use agai at you at election time.

There is no issue of chicken and egg or secrecy (at least, yet) in relation to stage 2. The ACT Labor/Greens Govt has said that it WILL sign stage 2 contracts and I think, COMMENCE WORK before the 2020 election. Unlike for stage 1, they haven’t even bothered to provide a cost estimate for stage 2. Not even “subject to engineering reports, business case/BCR being sufficiently positive (which, like that for stage 1, will be fudged to be), a full costing, an environmental impact statement, permission from the authorities who approve planning across the bridges/Parl. triangle,” etc, etc. ie. Disclaimers. Unlike for stage 1, they haven’t even bothered to provide a cost estimate.

No. This ACT Labor/Greens Govt is so arrogant and confident in their electoral future here and that they know that ACT Ratepayers will underwrite the contracts regardless, that they don’t have to worry about those formalities. ACT Labor/Greens will just sign contracts and commence construction before the 2020 election, regardless. It is a blank cheque to be funded by already hard pressed ACT Ratepayers.

It will be much, much cheaper for the Lib’s now to tear up the stage 1 contract. That will be a cost, but now will be much, much cheaper than ploughing on with stage 3, 3, 4, etc.

JC JC 6:09 am 08 Sep 16

rommeldog56 said :

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

I don’t know what the bridge plan is……

Nor does Shane Rattenburry or no doubt, does the ACT Gov’t.

But that did not stop them announcing the reprioritisation of stage to to be to Woden instead of the airport.

They said that contracts WOULD be signed before the 2020 Legislative Assembly election. Really, without knowing about the bridge work, whats under the roads, without an Environmental Impact Statement, a business case/Benefits Costs Ratio, engineering reports and most importantly, THE COST to ACT Ratepayers and the impact of that on ACT Annual Rates/Levies.

Its like requesting a blank cheque from ACT Voters/Ratepayers. “Trust us – we will do it, regardless”.

But, at the end of the day, the to and fro, argument and counter argument, means nothing. Its sort of pointless.

Why ?

Because ACT Voters are most likely to vote back the the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t, despite the above and despite their track record.

Thats not the ACT Govt’s fault actually – its the fault of ACT Voters and Ratepayers.

We get the Governments we deserve both Federally and in Canberra.

Gullibility, some sort of pathological fear of changing Government in the ACT and a city where so many people are so well paid that they can apparently absorb the ACT Govt’s 10% avg pa forever increase to Annual Rates/Levies and charges, etc, dominates voting trends.

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Meaning? Unless you have a PROPOSAL and money funded to investigate the proposal how do you solve engineering issues such as the bridge crossing? And don’t you need to announce proposals to be able to fund said development work? Don’t do that and you then have secret projects that oppositions would then dearly love to find and use agai at you at election time.

Anyway for the record I don’t agree with this proposed extension. First extension should have been parl triangle to Kingston. Unlike Flemmington road and Northborne ace there is no development opportunity along Adelaide avr to generate passengers plus unlike Flemmington Road/Northborne ave Adelaide Ave is an express bus corridor. Whereas parl triangle to Kingston has a supply of passengers going to work in triangle plus the higher density housing in Kingston.

Mordd / Chris Richards Mordd / Chris Richards 11:43 pm 07 Sep 16

Arthur Davies said :

The bridge will not safely take the weight of a tram when the rest of the lane is full of traffic. In fact I suspect that they would have to remove some of the existing roadbed to reduce the dead load before putting in tram rails. It is either a dedicated tram lane or a new bridge, mixed traffic is not technically feasible.

I’m not an engineer so I won’t tell you that’s wrong, I will simply ask, do you have any source you can point to that backs that up? I will ask some people, get back to you when I can on the weight issue. It’s a fair point to bring up, would prefer to discuss this aspect with sources not assumptions though.

Mordd / Chris Richards Mordd / Chris Richards 11:40 pm 07 Sep 16

wildturkeycanoe said:

“Canberra drivers haven’t even been able to adopt the concept of sharing roads with cyclists and you think they will welcome a tram? Unless it is segregated from the rest of the traffic, drivers WILL use it even when it is illegal to do so, you cannot stop human nature. People continue to speed through 40 zones, use clearways when traffic is jammed, park in “No Stopping ” zones and txt whilst driving. Signs and markings will not solve problems, sharing the road with a tram will only create them.”

– Fair point – I have a counter then. The bridge is not that long a stretch of road, let’s say 4 sets of camera’s per side, 8 total, and automatic fine of let’s say random figure $187 for driving in the LR lane during peak times. All funds “raised” from these fines should go to fund free public transport for all students in the ACT 18 years or younger, studying at school, college, tafe, etc….

“There are at most maybe 3 sets of traffic lights or intersections along the route planned, Adelaide avenue has a free run all the way. I do not understand why you would bring that up as a part of the argument.”

– Sorry, I was speaking more network wide there (and gungahlin link specifically), the woden to city portion is actually the only portion that will be mostly devoid of lights though, pretty much everywhere else will have to contend with some sets of lights (airport link the least I would guess, but woden > tuggers/lanyon and city to belco – yeh lights).

“Buses can travel along Adelaide avenue at 80km/h, faster if the government wished them to. The tram can only do 70km/h, if it is to be the same as the fleet used for the Gunners route [The government would be daft to use a different system for this one]. Calling it Light Rail won’t make it go any quicker, certainly no faster than the bus network.
From a technical point of view, can anybody tell me if the tram would be able to go up the incline to Parliament Drive or even over the bridge because if they planned to go around Capital Circle, one lane would need to be shared or made “tram only” to go through the tunnel. Do we indeed know which route it would take, or is that going to be announced after contracts have been signed?”

– You are correct, the bus is faster at 80k along Adelaide Avenue and Yarra Glen. So let’s look at that. I am using Google Maps as my resource, I hope that is accurate enough for you also. This tells me the length along which you can do 80, starting at where the 80 sign as as you start to curve left around parliament house, up until the roundabout that diverges to the hospital or woden shopping centre itself, is 6.3 kilometres, and it says the travelling time is 5 minutes with or without traffic. Going by this, we can easily work out the difference, presuming that both travel at their top speed along this section. So the bus will win this race by a whopping 37.5 seconds. I imagine most people likely wouldn’t even notice the difference.

– As for the question of going up hills, that is an interesting question. How steep would you say this is (see link below) compared to the grade up that hill to parliament there?

http://nickstravelbug.com/portugal/trams-in-lisbon/ – see 3rd picture down. (you insist on calling it a tram, so I am answering your question for the moment with… a tram… ours will still be light rail though).

@gooterz

– the light rail cars have multiple entry/exit doors, the busses only use one most of the time. light rail will load just as fast as busses do or faster if you take into account the difference in maximum carrying capacity.

– 1 breakdown does not break an entire network. stage 1 is not a network, it is 1 link in a network, the first link.

– bus breakdowns are not comparable to light rail potential to break down. tram breakdowns are not even that comparable, as this is light rail, not a tram.

– likelihood of derailment? very low, again, light rail, not a tram. would take a massive amount of force to derail it. in the unlikely event, i am not in the construction industry, but would be surprised if we don’t have a crane somewhere in the city that could do it. and if we don’t then transport canberra will have to buy one I guess won’t they?

– chance of taking out wires? I think they will allow for this in the design phase, you are starting to really clutch at straws now.

dungfungus dungfungus 8:28 pm 07 Sep 16

gooterz said :

Its a tram

Each stop will have to get many more people on and off to make it viable. The speed is slower than bus and the stops will be increased by at least double.
Light rail will get priority at lights so traffic will bank up more in every direction.

When a single tram breaks down the whole network is broken.

How often do you see an action bus break down? How often are the streetlights out. If there is no power or a broken tram buses will need to be diverted from their regular routes to cover. Which means the regular routes will lose regular passengers.

Worst of all if a light rail car derails you have to get in a portable crane. Does canberra have any of these locally? Or would it be a 4 hour trip from Sydney then 2 hours to complete the job. Thats pretty much the whole day for onw tram.

How hard is it to derail a tram? Given we have constant subzero temperatures during winter quite likely.

What about large vehicles taking out the wires… i cant think of any incidents lately except the parks way tunnel.

All these risks (and more) were pointed out at the time but few people displayed any interest or concern.

Nor were they addressed or defended by the government.

It is probable that serious problems are being suppressed (where is the underground services to be relocated audit and costing?)

It’s too late to raise the issues now as the frog has already been boiled (and the Terrirtory taxpayer’s goose has been cooked).

gooterz gooterz 7:22 pm 07 Sep 16

Its a tram

Each stop will have to get many more people on and off to make it viable. The speed is slower than bus and the stops will be increased by at least double.
Light rail will get priority at lights so traffic will bank up more in every direction.

When a single tram breaks down the whole network is broken.

How often do you see an action bus break down? How often are the streetlights out. If there is no power or a broken tram buses will need to be diverted from their regular routes to cover. Which means the regular routes will lose regular passengers.

Worst of all if a light rail car derails you have to get in a portable crane. Does canberra have any of these locally? Or would it be a 4 hour trip from Sydney then 2 hours to complete the job. Thats pretty much the whole day for onw tram.

How hard is it to derail a tram? Given we have constant subzero temperatures during winter quite likely.

What about large vehicles taking out the wires… i cant think of any incidents lately except the parks way tunnel.

chewy14 chewy14 7:22 pm 07 Sep 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

Arthur Davies said :

I recently spoke to Shane Rattenbury at the Dickson shops re trams etc. I asked him how they intended to cross the lake, as the Metro Chief Engineer at the time, advised me that the trams can cross the lake ONLY IF ONE LANE OF TRAFFIC IS CLOSED EACH WAY (will do wonders for the traffic flow!). Or a new bridge would be needed at quite some cost. He had no idea what solutions were available let alone which one is included in the scheme, “we haven’t got down to that detail yet”. Like almost all of the planning, they commit without doing any real planning or costing etc.

Adelaide avenue is a very good main traffic route, i.e. it is located well away from residences so it protect them from noise, air pollution, physical danger etc. A case of excellent planning in the past. However virtually all the people in this area are too far from the tram route for it to be useful to them. Another case of you pay for it even though you cannot practically use it, a bit of an equity problem? Other modes of transport, buses initially, then electric autonomous cars, overhead rapid transit etc can all get into the existing suburban community centres, BUT TRAMS CANNOT AS THEY CANNOT NEGOTIATE NARROWER STREETS. So are we looking forward to high rise apartments along the edges of Adelaide Av as for Northbourne? Stunning silence from the Govt, “haven’t thought about that”, “we don’t want you to know”.

Coming technology will turn the trams into a “stranded asset” long before the end of the contract period, about 22 years away. As for past pp tollways, the contract will have a clause in it which guarantees that they they will continue to be paid even if patronage does not meet expectations, or even if the trams are closed down & the rails quietly rust away. Why else does the govt refuse to publish the contract & let us all see the implications?

The whole idea is not so much a thought bubble as a thought drool.

I don’t know what the bridge plan is, but can the light rail lane not be a shared LR + car lane during normal times, and during peak times, a LR only lane. This wouldn’t be that different to get used to than going 40 in school zones, or the time limited 60k limit in the 80k zone near Mawson on Athllon Drive, or how you can’t stop along certain routes during clearway times, etc… It might be a bit weird at first but ppl would get used to it fast, and it could be clearly sign marked. This solves most of the problem. In peak, it would make it worse initially for cars, and then encourage people to consider catching the faster tram instead and get less worse over time as people transitioned.

Yes the light rail will have some more stops than current express buses it will displace, but it won’t be lots more, it will be a few more. The slightly added time will not be that significant, especially with the traffic light priority system for the light rail. Remember, this is NOT a TRAM, it is LIGHT RAIL, which is significantly faster than your average TRAM. We need to stop referring to it as a tram altogether, as it is not, it is light rail which is different.

The north of Canberra around Gungahlin is expanding fast, so many suburbs there already, more being built, parcels of land being released, this long term infrastructure is needed now. The alternative is completely redoing a large part of the road and adding dedicated bus only lanes and extra car lanes at some point along with lots more busses, add all that up and the costs come very close to the LR costs for a less desirable solution that doesn’t add the same amount of land capture value which is the key to LR being the right solution.

As for the costings to Woden, it will not be cheap, long term infrastructure is not cheap by definition, but long term it is good value and good for Canberra. Stage 2 is announced and makes sense for a few reasons already discussed. Stage 3 will most likely be Russell + Airport Link hopefully announced in the next Governments term, and hopefully Stage 4 of Tuggeranong and Belconnen can be done taken to the 2020 election as a commitment. The more the network is built out, the more functional it becomes overall, and the more sense it makes put together than pieces alone, and the more busses it frees up to service specialised routes not currently covered.

Now this is pure spin.

This is not a long term infrastructure project with identified long term benefits that would justify the costs. The first stage has a cost benefit ratio of 0.4 (a number which incorporates long term value) as a pure public transport project. It only becomes viable (just) if you include the uplift from massive urban intensification along the route which must occur at the same time.

The exact same rationale applies to this stage except it will be even more expensive and doesn’t have the same logical intensification options as stage 1.
They’ve said the second stage contracts will be signed before the next election with construction soon after.

So where exactly will the demand come from for high density units along Adelaide Avenue when Northbourne Avenue intensification is supposed to be a 20-30 year project to make the first stage viable?They would be actively cannibalising the same development demand.

There is no predictions of even possibility of the required growth in population to sustain this project as a “value capture” excercise, the upfront capital and lost opportunity cost would clearly outweigh the long benefits. It’s a pipedream, an enormously expensive pipedream that we’ll be footing the bill for generations if it actually gets built to their current timeframe.

Plan for it by all means but just don’t build the thing now.

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