Waverail Questions & Answers

December 18, 2009

What will you say to the family who loses one of theirs on the light rail system?

Filed under: Uncategorized — schiltec @ 10:06 am

by Michael McBride — 18Dec09 as a comment on https://waverail.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/54/#comments

We are in a 3 dimensional world and it’s time that we looked at our overall environment, safety must be crucial to any system. Unfortunately for proponents of light rail I have just one question to ask. What will you say to the family who loses one of theirs on the light rail system? It is statistically proven to be at 3.49 deaths per 1,000,000km.


An authority answer to this must rest with safety regulater. Of influence are (a) details of corridor segregation and (b) the traffic rules and enforcements applicable. All we can do is quote our values (speeds, kinetic energy and stopping distances) for appraisal.

As an indication only, a comparison with traditional trams shows:-

  1. (Unsegregated) Waverail proposed top speed is 39km/h which is around 40% less than traditional tram. Kinetic Energy is thus only around 35% and stopping distance less than half. As with other tram systems, Waverail’s top speed is reduced in certain hot spots and in downhill sections.
  2. The Waverail system demands that the absolute right of way is rigorously enforced by heavy fines on infringements. This helps accident prevention.
  3. A Waverail car’s brake system is expected to be of an automotive ‘instant response’ type, not a rail type air brake. This is expected to be possible because (a) Waverail cars are lighter and (b) the brakes are hardly ever used on a regular basis.

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