Waverail Questions & Answers

December 18, 2009

Reduced journey time is best obtained by better junction priority, grade segregation and acceleration.

Filed under: Uncategorized — schiltec @ 1:17 am

by p on Railpage Australia Forum Trams and Light Rail 17Dec09 http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11354415.htm 


Trams are now around for 110 years and delivery speed has increased from 10km/h to around 20km/h; and that includes ‘partially segregated systems’. These are sometimes called light rail by people for whom the vernacular meaning of tram is unsettling. You can continue dreaming and limited incremental improvement can sometimes be achieved.  But it does not change the basics.

The convenient way out of this is: declare that this is grade segregated and not a tram! Call it Light Rail or boldly Rapid Transit. [ See Gold Coast Rapid Transit http://goldcoastrapidtrans.wordpress.com/].  This however, at 20km to 25km/h is plain deception. Even the Waverail version of trams may not qualify for ‘Rapid transport’; after all, all it’s doing is 40km/h.

Acceleration is another sore of ‘modern’ trams.  Fast acceleration, besides inconvenient, requires, over the whole cycle, more electric energy for the same amount of kinetic energy produced. Thus, fast acceleration is an energy waste and is diametrically opposed to the word of the day. And the wasted energy does not stop there but comes back to haunt as a major source of noise. So much that even metros have a problem. For noise sensitive urban road transport, acceleration simply must be kept as low.  On top, fast acceleration requires excessively strong and expensive electrical supply systems. All in all, to increase acceleration is a dead end strategy.

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