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Recent Articles/Opinions For and Against Canberra’s Light Rail

By rommeldog56 - 21 November 2014 77

These relatively short recent articles/opinions are certainly worth a read – what ever your pre disposition to the Light Rail :

Against“Fantasy: The case for light rail in Gungahlin”

For “Public transport report boosts case for Canberra light rail, ACT government says”

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Recent Articles/Opinions For and Against Canberra’s Light Rail
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dungfungus 10:29 am 11 Mar 15

An great example of how politicians use the “committed to” phrase as an escape clause.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-10/wa-premier-denies-lying-about-light-rail-to-win-second-term/6297130
Um, aren’t Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell “committed” to an Canberra light rail?
I wonder if they have taken notice of the reasons Colin Barnett has put the Perth project on hold.
Perhaps they are now “considering” (another great escape word) their options of re-election.

dungfungus 7:40 am 04 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

An insight into how one of the global companies bidding for the Canberra light rail does business:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-fines-alstom-record-772-074030341.html

I expect the ACT Government will look the other way.

This is the latest on the dilemma that Capital Metro Agency faces if they are serious about probity in the tender process.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/alstom-assets-ordered-frozen-brasil-100501259.html
Read the last paragraph of this liked article.

rommeldog56 4:00 pm 03 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

An insight into how one of the global companies bidding for the Canberra light rail does business:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-fines-alstom-record-772-074030341.html

I expect the ACT Government will look the other way.

It’s going to be hard for the ACT Government to consider Alstom as a light rail consortium contender following more revelations about the way they do business.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/poland-charges-five-latest-alstom-110234853.html
Where are the ACT Liberals on this?

It just gets worse, doesn’t it.
Today it is revealed that Adelaide’s $20 million tram extension from Victoria Square to Morphett Street is riddled with serious defects that can only be remedied by major reconstruction.
The builder concerned is Coleman Rail is being sued for compensation by the SA State Government. Coleman Rail is part of the Connecting Canberra consortium (Alstom Transport Australia are also in this consortium).
The faults started emerging in 2011 and the SA Government received a report in June 2013 from GHD about the problems. The government suppressed this and details are only now emerging.
Read all about it here:http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/state-government-confirms-parts-of-tram-network-to-be-rebuilt-as-secret-report-reveals-threat-of-damage-to-major-power-cable/story-fni6uo1m-1227173153209
Mr Barr, Mr Corbell, would there be anyone in Canberra that knew about this?

Well, I assume that part of the tender evlauation process by Capital Metro/ACT Gov’t will include “referee comments” from previous Light Rail projects that the consortia and/or its members have undertaken.

Instances such as this in Adelaide, would surely count against this consortia big time.

I wonder if that means that 4 consortia bidders for the Gunners-Civic Light Rail, will now become 3 ? Is that enough to get a value for money outcome for ACT Ratepayers.

wildturkeycanoe 3:09 pm 03 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

An insight into how one of the global companies bidding for the Canberra light rail does business:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-fines-alstom-record-772-074030341.html

I expect the ACT Government will look the other way.

It’s going to be hard for the ACT Government to consider Alstom as a light rail consortium contender following more revelations about the way they do business.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/poland-charges-five-latest-alstom-110234853.html
Where are the ACT Liberals on this?

It just gets worse, doesn’t it.
Today it is revealed that Adelaide’s $20 million tram extension from Victoria Square to Morphett Street is riddled with serious defects that can only be remedied by major reconstruction.
The builder concerned is Coleman Rail is being sued for compensation by the SA State Government. Coleman Rail is part of the Connecting Canberra consortium (Alstom Transport Australia are also in this consortium).
The faults started emerging in 2011 and the SA Government received a report in June 2013 from GHD about the problems. The government suppressed this and details are only now emerging.
Read all about it here:http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/state-government-confirms-parts-of-tram-network-to-be-rebuilt-as-secret-report-reveals-threat-of-damage-to-major-power-cable/story-fni6uo1m-1227173153209
Mr Barr, Mr Corbell, would there be anyone in Canberra that knew about this?

“Is there a chance the track could bend?”
“Not on your life my Hindu friend.”
If only this was a laughable matter….

Masquara 2:59 pm 03 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

Mr Barr, Mr Corbell, would there be anyone in Canberra that knew about this?

Mr Barr, Mr Corbell (fingers in ears): “La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la”

dungfungus 2:21 pm 03 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

An insight into how one of the global companies bidding for the Canberra light rail does business:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-fines-alstom-record-772-074030341.html

I expect the ACT Government will look the other way.

It’s going to be hard for the ACT Government to consider Alstom as a light rail consortium contender following more revelations about the way they do business.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/poland-charges-five-latest-alstom-110234853.html
Where are the ACT Liberals on this?

It just gets worse, doesn’t it.
Today it is revealed that Adelaide’s $20 million tram extension from Victoria Square to Morphett Street is riddled with serious defects that can only be remedied by major reconstruction.
The builder concerned is Coleman Rail is being sued for compensation by the SA State Government. Coleman Rail is part of the Connecting Canberra consortium (Alstom Transport Australia are also in this consortium).
The faults started emerging in 2011 and the SA Government received a report in June 2013 from GHD about the problems. The government suppressed this and details are only now emerging.
Read all about it here:http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/state-government-confirms-parts-of-tram-network-to-be-rebuilt-as-secret-report-reveals-threat-of-damage-to-major-power-cable/story-fni6uo1m-1227173153209
Mr Barr, Mr Corbell, would there be anyone in Canberra that knew about this?

wildturkeycanoe 8:41 am 02 Jan 15

“Apparently, Canberra has to follow that in order to “grow up”. All the ACT Government and their consultants did was to make the overseas model/experience fit the Canberra requirement – not vice versa. Thats just because they wanted it – perhaps as a legacy or a monument to their era in Government ?”

And here I was thinking that “growing up” meant making responsible fiscal decisions, not boasting about the length of one’s track.

dungfungus 11:58 am 01 Jan 15

This is one way to avoid “price fixing” which is common on large infrastructure projects. Simply get two different contractors to do half the job each and buy rolling stock direct from another supplier.
“French City Celebrates Light Rail on the Cheap
Officials in Besançon, France cut the ribbon Aug. 30th on the city’s new, 14.5-km tram line, launching two days of “modest celebrations” to mark the completion of a line built to prove French light rail doesn’t have to cost so much.
The 31-station line had a price tag of €254 million ($335 million U.S.), the International Railway Journal reports. That works out to €17.5 million ($22.9 million U.S.) per km, and is in line with city officials’ goal of achieving cost savings of one-third over the typical French light rail project.
The municipality of Grand Besançon achieved its goal by standardizing station and equipment design. It also saved on the cost of the trams by soliciting bids from more builders; CAF, a company new to the French market, got the nod for those.
Railway Gazette International reports that the line was split in two for purposes of construction, with each section built by a different consortium of European companies.”

rommeldog56 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

rommeldog56 said :

Masquara said :

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

An insight into how one of the global companies bidding for the Canberra light rail does business:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-fines-alstom-record-772-074030341.html

I expect the ACT Government will look the other way.

It’s going to be hard for the ACT Government to consider Alstom as a light rail consortium contender following more revelations about the way they do business.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/poland-charges-five-latest-alstom-110234853.html
Where are the ACT Liberals on this?

John Hargreaves is notably silent on this issue!

ha……just in time for the “donations” to ACT political parties to be uncapped too !

In fairness to John H, he has commented on previous tram threads on Riotact. As I recall, he said he was dubious about the tram at the begining, but went for a ride on one overseas, so is now a converted supporter.

Maybe all tram scepitics should travel overseas for a ride so they too can ignore the obviously flawed business case/benefits costs ratio (only 1:1.2) and the fact that the Fed’s here won’t contribute any funding for it (unlike most of the tram systems overseas that i have looked at).

What is it with everybody wanting J.H’s opinion on everything? Does he add any more weight to an argument for some reason? I honestly take everyone’s opinion equally and if they want to contribute or don’t want to, it’s their own prerogative.
As for traveling on a tram overseas…why bother, just go to Melbourne where there’s plenty. In my opinion it was mediocre and no different to a bus ride.

Wildturkeycanoe : Re JHs opinions. Unfortunately, its probably just bait. JH is a “normal” person these days, so his opinion is of equal weight.

Re tram rides overseas Vs Melbourne. True. But we continue the Australian/Canberra cultural cringe – the business case for the light rail contains many references to the overseas experience. Also, the pro light rail brigade regularly cite the overseas experience.

Apparently, Canberra has to follow that in order to “grow up”. All the ACT Government and their consultants did was to make the overseas model/experience fit the Canberra requirement – not vice versa. Thats just because they wanted it – perhaps as a legacy or a monument to their era in Government ?

Here’s an idea. Perhaps the tram carriages and tram stops should be “named” after Katy Gallagher, Shane Rattenbury, Simon Corbell, Andew Barr and every Labor MLA who voted for it – then Ratepayers will be constantly reminded of who made the decision to go ahaed with the Light Rail as the impact on the Territory’s budget gets worse and worse and ACT Gov’t fees, changes and our Annual Rates increase to cover the cost.

That “comrade” naming the stations suggestion sounds a bit “Soviet” but that’s the way we are going.
Remember we already have the “Great Hall (of the people)” on Capital Hill in recognition of the communist revolution in China.
Ah, communism. A society where everybody has nothing and wants to share it with everyone else.

dungfungus 11:38 am 01 Jan 15

Some feedback on what is happening in the USA:
“Second Thoughts on Rail Transit
The year now drawing to a close was marked by several high-profile setbacks for rail transit projects either well underway or on the cusp of groundbreaking. The most notable of these was the Arlington County Board’s vote to cancel the Columbia Pike streetcar project shortly before work was scheduled to begin in earnest on the project. Officials in neighboring Fairfax County, who were counting on the streetcar to spark redevelopment of a commercial district at the county’s eastern edge, were particularly upset with the decision.

Voters in several other U.S. cities this year also rejected measures to increase taxes or expand taxing districts in order to build or extend light-rail lines based on arguments over cost. In Austin, a defeat was attributed (similarly to Arlington) to a campaign that argued the project “costs too much and does too little.”

In Kansas City, the rejection of an expanded streetcar taxing district has been interpreted as a protest from East Side residents dissatisfied with paying high taxes for lower-quality services in their predominantly black community despite the fact that the extensions proposed would have served the East Side. Supporters of light rail in both cities are now regrouping to consider whether and how to advance the projects.

rommeldog56 11:33 am 01 Jan 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

rommeldog56 said :

Masquara said :

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

An insight into how one of the global companies bidding for the Canberra light rail does business:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-fines-alstom-record-772-074030341.html

I expect the ACT Government will look the other way.

It’s going to be hard for the ACT Government to consider Alstom as a light rail consortium contender following more revelations about the way they do business.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/poland-charges-five-latest-alstom-110234853.html
Where are the ACT Liberals on this?

John Hargreaves is notably silent on this issue!

ha……just in time for the “donations” to ACT political parties to be uncapped too !

In fairness to John H, he has commented on previous tram threads on Riotact. As I recall, he said he was dubious about the tram at the begining, but went for a ride on one overseas, so is now a converted supporter.

Maybe all tram scepitics should travel overseas for a ride so they too can ignore the obviously flawed business case/benefits costs ratio (only 1:1.2) and the fact that the Fed’s here won’t contribute any funding for it (unlike most of the tram systems overseas that i have looked at).

What is it with everybody wanting J.H’s opinion on everything? Does he add any more weight to an argument for some reason? I honestly take everyone’s opinion equally and if they want to contribute or don’t want to, it’s their own prerogative.
As for traveling on a tram overseas…why bother, just go to Melbourne where there’s plenty. In my opinion it was mediocre and no different to a bus ride.

Wildturkeycanoe : Re JHs opinions. Unfortunately, its probably just bait. JH is a “normal” person these days, so his opinion is of equal weight.

Re tram rides overseas Vs Melbourne. True. But we continue the Australian/Canberra cultural cringe – the business case for the light rail contains many references to the overseas experience. Also, the pro light rail brigade regularly cite the overseas experience. Apparently, Canberra has to follow that in order to “grow up”. All the ACT Government and their consultants did was to make the overseas model/experience fit the Canberra requirement – not vice versa. Thats just because they wanted it – perhaps as a legacy or a monument to their era in Government ?

Here’s an idea. Perhaps the tram carriages and tram stops should be “named” after Katy Gallagher, Shane Rattenbury, Simon Corbell, Andew Barr and every Labor MLA who voted for it – then Ratepayers will be constantly reminded of who made the decision to go ahaed with the Light Rail as the impact on the Territory’s budget gets worse and worse and ACT Gov’t fees, changes and our Annual Rates increase to cover the cost.

wildturkeycanoe 6:28 pm 31 Dec 14

rommeldog56 said :

Masquara said :

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

An insight into how one of the global companies bidding for the Canberra light rail does business:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-fines-alstom-record-772-074030341.html

I expect the ACT Government will look the other way.

It’s going to be hard for the ACT Government to consider Alstom as a light rail consortium contender following more revelations about the way they do business.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/poland-charges-five-latest-alstom-110234853.html
Where are the ACT Liberals on this?

John Hargreaves is notably silent on this issue!

ha……just in time for the “donations” to ACT political parties to be uncapped too !

In fairness to John H, he has commented on previous tram threads on Riotact. As I recall, he said he was dubious about the tram at the begining, but went for a ride on one overseas, so is now a converted supporter.

Maybe all tram scepitics should travel overseas for a ride so they too can ignore the obviously flawed business case/benefits costs ratio (only 1:1.2) and the fact that the Fed’s here won’t contribute any funding for it (unlike most of the tram systems overseas that i have looked at).

What is it with everybody wanting J.H’s opinion on everything? Does he add any more weight to an argument for some reason? I honestly take everyone’s opinion equally and if they want to contribute or don’t want to, it’s their own prerogative.
As for traveling on a tram overseas…why bother, just go to Melbourne where there’s plenty. In my opinion it was mediocre and no different to a bus ride.

rommeldog56 6:01 pm 31 Dec 14

Masquara said :

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

An insight into how one of the global companies bidding for the Canberra light rail does business:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-fines-alstom-record-772-074030341.html

I expect the ACT Government will look the other way.

It’s going to be hard for the ACT Government to consider Alstom as a light rail consortium contender following more revelations about the way they do business.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/poland-charges-five-latest-alstom-110234853.html
Where are the ACT Liberals on this?

John Hargreaves is notably silent on this issue!

ha……just in time for the “donations” to ACT political parties to be uncapped too !

In fairness to John H, he has commented on previous tram threads on Riotact. As I recall, he said he was dubious about the tram at the begining, but went for a ride on one overseas, so is now a converted supporter.

Maybe all tram scepitics should travel overseas for a ride so they too can ignore the obviously flawed business case/benefits costs ratio (only 1:1.2) and the fact that the Fed’s here won’t contribute any funding for it (unlike most of the tram systems overseas that i have looked at).

rommeldog56 5:52 pm 31 Dec 14

KentFitch said :

miz said :

. . .Frankly, if Paul Malone thinks it is doomed, it is.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/caberras-light-rail-will-be-a-costly-failure-that-sets-back-public-transport-20141227-12dc52.html

Maybe there is a better way to supply good quality public transport for Canberra that doesn’t cost the earth. Although commercial autonomous cars are still slightly over the horizon, so many industry participants, commentators and governments would have to be so wrong for them not to viable by 2020. A fleet of shared electric autonomous vehicles solves the cost and range problems of privately owned electric cars. They offer 24×7, on-demand, door-to-door service at a fraction of the cost of public or private transport.

Simulations performed by Columbia Uni’s Earth Institute [ http://sustainablemobility.ei.columbia.edu/files/2012/12/Transforming-Personal-Mobility-Jan-27-20132.pdf ] seemed to good to be true, so I built one for Canberra: http://www.projectcomputing.com/resources/cacs/index.html

You can run it in your browser (unless you have an old version of IE) and change the model’s assumptions yourself. Apologies to residents of Wright and Coombs – I didnt have population information for your suburbs.

I’m far from a light-rail “hater”, but it doesn’t seem to solve any problems for Canberra, and hence is a diversion from a fruitful discussion focussed on personal mobility, transport infrastructure, urban planning, social inclusion, congestion and pollution.

Interesting stuff, KentFitch – thanks for the info. Most interesting, given that the ACT Gov’t seems hell bent in locking ACT Ratepayers into a 20-30 year public private partnership contract for an inflexible tram solution that is already neigh on 100 years old (but, dressed in a modern skin) ! IMHO, it beggers belief really. We certainly need a mass transport system, but a tram is not it.

Masquara 2:20 pm 31 Dec 14

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

An insight into how one of the global companies bidding for the Canberra light rail does business:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-fines-alstom-record-772-074030341.html

I expect the ACT Government will look the other way.

It’s going to be hard for the ACT Government to consider Alstom as a light rail consortium contender following more revelations about the way they do business.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/poland-charges-five-latest-alstom-110234853.html
Where are the ACT Liberals on this?

John Hargreaves is notably silent on this issue!

KentFitch 1:58 pm 31 Dec 14

miz said :

. . .Frankly, if Paul Malone thinks it is doomed, it is.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/caberras-light-rail-will-be-a-costly-failure-that-sets-back-public-transport-20141227-12dc52.html

Maybe there is a better way to supply good quality public transport for Canberra that doesn’t cost the earth. Although commercial autonomous cars are still slightly over the horizon, so many industry participants, commentators and governments would have to be so wrong for them not to viable by 2020. A fleet of shared electric autonomous vehicles solves the cost and range problems of privately owned electric cars. They offer 24×7, on-demand, door-to-door service at a fraction of the cost of public or private transport.

Simulations performed by Columbia Uni’s Earth Institute [ http://sustainablemobility.ei.columbia.edu/files/2012/12/Transforming-Personal-Mobility-Jan-27-20132.pdf ] seemed to good to be true, so I built one for Canberra: http://www.projectcomputing.com/resources/cacs/index.html

You can run it in your browser (unless you have an old version of IE) and change the model’s assumptions yourself. Apologies to residents of Wright and Coombs – I didnt have population information for your suburbs.

I’m far from a light-rail “hater”, but it doesn’t seem to solve any problems for Canberra, and hence is a diversion from a fruitful discussion focussed on personal mobility, transport infrastructure, urban planning, social inclusion, congestion and pollution.

dungfungus 8:20 am 31 Dec 14

dungfungus said :

An insight into how one of the global companies bidding for the Canberra light rail does business:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-fines-alstom-record-772-074030341.html

I expect the ACT Government will look the other way.

It’s going to be hard for the ACT Government to consider Alstom as a light rail consortium contender following more revelations about the way they do business.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/poland-charges-five-latest-alstom-110234853.html
Where are the ACT Liberals on this?

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