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Author Topic: City tram-trains trial unveiled in South Yorkshire - Rotherham / Sheffield  (Read 15901 times)
Btline
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2012, 12:23:25 pm »

It vacates platform 4 at Snow Hill (but there is as yet no commitment to reinstate it for heavy rail) and runs on street for a couple of hundred yards.

I doubt it'll have much of an effect as people wanting the city centre can already get a train to New Street or Moor Street - still quicker. Or the bus which will remain cheaper.

It's not even going to the Curzon Street station on Moor Street.
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eightf48544
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2012, 03:44:38 pm »

Agreed the use of rail lines soley for trams is pointless. However it appears that the Shefield idea is a true tram/train, in other words a vehicle suitable for street running which is also equipped with the necessary AWS TPWS etc to run on heavy rail in amongst other services.

The trouble is up until now "they" DaFT HSE, HMRI have been hung up on the safety issues of having what is in practice a lighter weight road vehicle sharing the tracks with 1000 ton container trains. Forgetting the whole raison detra of railway operation is to keep trains apart in a controlled and safe manner. So provided the tram is equipped with heavy rail signalling then it as safe as any other train on the track.

The only thing I might quarrel about in the Sheffield scheme is that presumably they are ED trams and will on run on diesel power on heavy rail. Personnaly I would like to see the ehavy rail stretch electrified at 25KV to test teh dual voltage concept. Sheffiled northwards is probaly going to be electrified sooner or later in which case  a bit will already be done!
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brompton rail
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2012, 04:26:48 pm »

The freight line from Meadowhall South to Rotherham Central and the line beyond as far as the new tram terminus at Parkgate will be electrified at the same voltage as the whole Supertram Network in Sheffield, and not at 25kv. No tram manufacturers would quote for ElectroDiesel trams for the original Penistone line plan, which helped get it shelved! These will be electric trams, and operated by the tram operator - Stagecoach Supertram - from the existing tram depot.

So, basically, just an extension of the tram network onto heavy rail lines. I can't see that any of the vehicles could be regarded as Pacer replacements. Heavy rail Pacer replacements for non electrified lines (of which there are many miles) will probably require modern lightweight diesel railcars.

Regarding future electrification of the Sheffield - Meadowhall - Rotherham Central - Doncaster / Leeds line is tied up with MML electrification and the DfT seem frightened to make a decision. I doubt that there is any technical reason why tram line voltage and 25kv can be accommodated only the mile or so of shared track north of Central.
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bambam
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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2012, 11:28:18 am »

Ok, quite complicated. Thanks for explaining! Cool

I still can't see why they don't just divert passenger trains onto the freight line. Would this bypass the single track?
Or could they double track the existing line?
Sorry - I'm just against tram in general using heavy rail routes.

The XC Sheffield to Doncaster service is so slow. A bit of investment could really speed things up!

I'm from Sheffield, infact I was on the Meadowhall tram route yesterday.
It will bypass the short piece of single track of the Homes Cord with a much longer one. The tram-train scheme is a great idea because the Meadowhall tram route is a phenomenal success at the moment. The new tram route will link Rotheram's out of town shopping centre, which currently doesn't have a station, Rotheram town centre, Meadowhall, although not the primary Meadowhall stop which is the interchange, South Yorkshire's largest cinema, another reatil park, the arena and Sheffield city centre. Its worth noting that these last four are already on the tram route.

The investment that would be need would be extra tracks as the fast trains every hour are genrally slowed down by the stoppers.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2013, 06:25:33 pm »

From the Doncaster Free Press:

Quote
Train-tram pilot gets a major funding injection

A tram-train pilot project linking Parkgate to Sheffield has moved a step closer with cash set aside by Network Rail to move the project forward.

The operator has committed ^13 million to the South Yorkshire Tram-Trains scheme, as it outlines future investments to the regional rail network.

The tram-train scheme that attracted ^58 million in Government backing last year, will be a trailblazing project.

Three trams an hour are expected to run from Sheffield city centre through the redeveloped Rotherham Central station and on to Parkgate^s retail park.

The pilot will run for two years from 2015 and if successful, it may then be taken up by other cities such as Manchester.

A spokesman for Network Rail said the contract award for the tram-trains, that is led by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, is the next stage in the project, as the final touches are made to the design of the required infrastructure. She said: ^The fine detail of the project is still under discussion but construction work is expected to begin in spring of next year.^

Traders at Parkgate and Rotherham supported the scheme but with reservations, when it was announced last year. The manager of Parkgate shopping centre, Denis Copeland, said it was hoped new people would visit and use the centre by tram-train and leave their cars at home, but on the downside he voiced traders^ fears that Parkgate could instead become a ^park and ride^ facility for Sheffield or Meadowhall.

For commuters from Parkgate and Rotherham to Sheffield, the tram-trains could be a huge bonus, saving money and travel time. There is also a chance that the scheme could be rolled out to Doncaster.

Network Rail plans to spend around ^37.5 billion on the national railway infrastructure by 2019. A line electrification programme is set to transform travel across Doncaster, Rotherham and the Dearne.
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2013, 08:36:18 pm »

I hope this trial is done with the best available design of tram, and not with a cost-saving value-engineered compromise. If not, it will not be a true trial. For all the reservations expressed by Btline and others, I see this as an important step with potential benefits for the greater Bristol area amongst others.

The major problem with the original plans for the old Avon Metro was the cost of laying down tracks all the way from Almondsbury to the City Centre as the first step. We should soon have four tracks to Filton Bank, a project I have been following with interest. That will give at least double the current capacity from Temple Meads to Filton Abbey Wood. Bradley Stoke, UWE, Cribbs Causeway, and most other major destinations in Bristol and South Gloucestershire are within a stone's throw of a soon-to-be-electrified railway line. To take Bradley Stoke as an example, it would need only a short length of track, either street running or segregated, to connect with the railway at Patchway, or near Parkway, or even both. At the other end, an exit from Temple Meads by platform 1 could take the tram-train through the new transport hub on Plot 6, around the Grosvenor Hotel and along Redcliffe Way at the Portwall Lane end, over the Bascule Bridge, along the Grove, then around the Centre and Cabot Circus before returning along Temple Way. There are already aspirations  to close Redcliffe Way to traffic, and the rail bridge over the Avon already has a turn out, which used to serve the line to the docks.

For the price of about five miles of tram track, we could have a true network from the northern end into the city centre. Heavy rail would not be compromised, but would be complemented. That would revolutionise the commute for many tens of thousands in a way the the stupid BRT scheme will not do.

Transport supremo Norman Baker is seemingly so certain the trials will be a success that he has told planning authorities that they can assume it as a fact from 2017 when making decisions.
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ellendune
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« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2013, 08:49:35 pm »

I am assuming that all four tracks between Filton and Temple Meads will be electrified at 25kV ac. How does this work with trams? They seem to use 750V dc?
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bignosemac
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« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2013, 08:58:34 pm »

Dual voltage tram-trains. A proven technology in use in Germany, The Netherlands and France.
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« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2013, 09:20:04 pm »

rip to the oldham loop line  Cry
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eightf48544
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« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2013, 10:53:00 pm »

Dual voltage tram-trains. A proven technology in use in Germany, The Netherlands and France.

Plus ED trams in Kassel standard gauge and Norhausen metre gauge
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trainer
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« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2013, 11:03:00 pm »

Nordhausen is of course a diesel/electric hybrid.  But the point is well made: dual voltage and bi-mode power is used extensively.
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2013, 12:15:43 am »

The Eurostar fleet was built to a tri-voltage standard, with 25KV catenary for France, 3KV DC catenary for Belgium, and 750V DC third rail for England. Some of SNCF's sets were for a time quadrivoltaic, also being able to cope with 1500V DC catenary in parts of the south of France - les Lignes Classiques. The third rail shoes were retracted when not needed, and were removed altogether when HS1 opened.

Not knowing the technical details, but knowing that the Eurostars draw up to 12 MW of power, I'm amazed that they could deal with the 750V system at all. The French and Belgians built high speed lines to the tunnel whilst it was being dug, and so had a state-of-the-art system in place by the time it opened. We did the usual British thing of fannying about having studies, inquiries, second thoughts, changes of government, etc, and made do with our state-of-the-ark Kentish rail network whilst HS1 was built. The limitations of the power system were never exposed because of the limitations of the track - more than 100mph was not possible for either reason. I spoke with an elderly French man whilst I was on holiday in Brittany, who had just returned from a trip to London, starting from Morlaix by TGV to Paris. "Pendant tout le voyage de Morlaix ^ Paris, de Paris ^ Calais, et de Calais ^ Douvres, le train ^tait tr^s stable et tr^s rapide. Mais apr^s..." 'Nuff said. Thankfully in the past now.

With intra-urban systems, I believe, although I am not certain, that the motors are made to work with 25KV AC. Within the mixed environment, where such a voltage would be unacceptably dangerous, the 550 to 750V DC is converted to 25KV AC via an inverter. High voltage AC current is much less prone to loss due to heat and other reasons over long distances, which is one reason the National Grid is now modelled on 400KV. Within the confines of an urban light rail network, 750V works perfectly well. Modern electronics mean that the switch can be done "on the fly" with little or no driver involvement.

So yes, it does work abroad, and would work here in the UK. Even Bristol.
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chuffed
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« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2013, 09:31:15 am »

We will all have to bear with trainer for a little while...since ordering a new diesel/electric hybrid car, he's been a bit one track minded ..... Grin Grin Grin
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eightf48544
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« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2013, 10:44:42 am »

4 track i right Eurostars were/still are the most complicated trains in the World when DC third rail was used there were 8 operating modes. Three were 25kv with signalling TVM for the high speed 2 for the lines either side of the tunnel and the tunnel itself which was the third. If I remember rightly the only difference for HS1 and LGV Nord was the hour difference on the clock! Through the tunnel although 25KV and  TVM signalling the pan was raised 6".

There were also 25KV BR with TPWS and AWS, Belgium 3000 and French 1500 DC o/h and third rail  (I've lost one).

On thrid rail the sets only drew about 4000hp instead of 14 on HSI and LGVs hence the complaint of the slowness of the journey through Kent before HS1.  Even so the power and S&T engineers had to do an awful lot of work beefing up the powere supplies and immunising signalling circuits.   

So it can be done.
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2013, 11:17:46 am »

As a further complication, the OHLE through the tunnel is a lot higher than outside, to take account of the double-deck shuttles. I believe the driver has to lower and re-raise the pantograph before entry and exit.
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