Victor P Taffa
Modern Tramways like all forms of technology has advanced and are a far cry from the days of what were supposedly slow and cumbersome means of Transportation that were abandoned in favour of a pneumatic, oil filled bus.
As with heavy Railway Lines throughout New South Wales and the rest of Australia Government’s are loathe to Upgrade, Expand, Electrify, Duplicate these vital pieces of infrastructure so that Regional Towns and Cities can be linked and in many cases brought back to life.
Railway corridors allow for Water Pipelines and Broadband Cables to be provided at a price many Billions of Dollars cheaper to meet the needs and challenges that Australia faces over the next 50 years.
The New South Wales Government is quite happy to have Buses built lock, stock and barrel in Sydney and New South Wales but when it comes to Railway Rolling Stock it is a different matter. Currently Railway and Tramway Rolling Stock is simply imported into Australia and assembled in New South Wales.
All Railway and Tramway Rolling Stock should be built lock, stock and barrel in New South Wales and in other States or Territories of Australia.
Community Benefits and Concerns
- Provide a fast user friendly environmentally responsible mode of transport for the 21st Century.
- The Tramway Depot/Maintenance Centre will service the new network sitting alongside the newly installed RailCorp Railway stabling facilities at Broadmeadow. This improvement to RailCorp operations will also complement the newly installed and long overdue Glendale Interchange.
- The operator of the existing Sydney Light Rail Line could apply through a Public Tender Process to operate the entire network given the way in which the Light Rail Line now successfully moves people.
- Tracks will be dual operation set in mass concrete.
- Raised Super Stops as the case at Flinders/Swanston Street Melbourne Stop will be laid out with tram tracks on either side of the platform.
- Raised Super Stops allows mothers with strollers, the elderly and disabled to use the new trams easily with low floor entry.
- The workings of the tramcars are set in the roof of the vehicle.
- Road Rules will not require alteration or a return to the days when all traffic had to stop when a tram stopped. This is largely because the platforms will be island formation and make for a faster movement of passengers when alighting or disembarking.
- Traffic signalling will have T signals as per the case in Sydney where the Tram line crosses George Street and Darling Drive.
- Island platforms are a safer means for passengers alighting and disembarking instead of boarding from the street curb.
- There will not be a need to install Central Tram Fairways down the middle of Streets given the modern island nature of the Raised Super Stop.
- The need for Bus Lanes in Hunter Street or any other Street stops people from parking legally to go to the shops.
- The Newcastle System has potential to be extended however this should not be at the expense of Heavy Rail expansion.
WORTH PLACE CROSSING:
- The Worth Place Crossing will be reinstated for Tram movements and Pedestrians. This would not be a crossing for vehicles as this would lead to congestion on Hunter Street. This crossing will be laid in mass concrete.
- The overhead Railway and Tramway wires while of different voltage would be individually protected by modern safety systems.
- The installation of a Tram/Train crossing at Glebe Road Adamstown will allow for safer conditions for motorists as the case is now given the curved nature of the approach of Glebe Road to the crossing.
- In addition to the widening and upgrade of the Adamstown Crossing is for a Roundabout to be installed at the busy and dangerous intersection of Glebe Road/Park Avenue/Court Street. Traffic Lights at this intersection would be impractical given the timing of the Boom Gates at the Level Crossing.
- Both the Worth Place and Adamstown Crossings will be upgraded significantly and the four intersecting standard gauge tracks would be laid in mass concrete.
- Tramway Junctions will be operated by the driver and not require Conductors to get out of the tram and flick the points with a metal pole.
Melbourne currently has four Tram/Train Crossings* these being at:
- Glenhuntly Road Glenhuntly
- Glenferrie Road Kooyong
- Riversdale Road Camberwell
- Burke Road Gardiner Still in use – note tramway closed during construction of SE Arterial (now Monash Freeway) Burke Road overbridge.
*Courtesy Hawthorn Tram Depot Website.
Financing of the construction of the Newcastle Tramway system will come from a variety of sources similar to the funding formula for the long overdue expansion requirements of the New South Wales Railways.
- Commonwealth Funding Assistance
- State Government Funding Assistance
- Private Consortium Involvement and Possible Operation
- Raised Super Stops to include advertising
- Railway/Tramway Bonds guaranteed by the NSW Treasury
- Railway/Tramway Lottery administered by the NSW Government
- Tramway Trust Fund administered by the NSW Department of Transport
The operation of the tramway system and contracts for the advertising at Raised Super Stops will be open to public tender.
Melbourne’s Tramway operations were funded and managed by various local councils such as:
- Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust
- Hawthorn Tramways Trust
- Melbourne, Brunswick and Coburg Tramways Trust
- Fitzroy, Northcote and Preston Tramways Trust
- Footscray Tramway Trust
- Northcote Municipality Cable Tramways
This situation ceased to exist when the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board (MMTB) was formed following the passing of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Act 1918 through the Victoria Parliament. By 1920 most of the Tramway Trusts were transferred to the MMTB.
Given that tramways overlap council boundaries easily it is the NSW Department of Transport who is best placed to administer the Tramways Trust Fund in consultation with the NSW Treasury.
The NSW Fahey Liberal/National Government commenced construction of Sydney’s current Light Rail line. NSW Premier Bob Carr opened the Central-Wentworth Park Line in 1997 and the extension to Lilyfield was completed in 2000.
The Newcastle Tramways would have 6 different routes operating in each direction and numbered for ease of patronage. Each route will have a line colour associated for ease of use and each of the Raised Super Stops will be numbered with signage that will also indicate the cross-street at which the stop is nearest to. Next Tram Time running will be indicated electronically on signage at each stop as is the case in Melbourne.
The full list of Routes with Stop Numbers can be found on www.isput.com.au The maps are easily downloaded in PDF version.
Routes 1 will commence from the Broadmeadow Tram Depot/Maintenance Centre and is as follows:
Route 1-Services the John Hunter and Mater Hospitals, University of Newcastle, Bar and Merewether Beaches via Wharf Road and Shortland Esplanade. Both of these roads allow for Panoramic Views of the coast and headlands. Speed restrictions would allow passengers time to take in the breathtaking aspects that Newcastle has to offer.
Routes 2 will commence from the Broadmeadow Tram Depot/Maintenance Centre and is as follows:
Route 2-Services both the new and old of Newcastle via Hannell Street and Honeysuckle drive. Worth Place Crossing will reinstate one level crossing that will reunite the City of Newcastle. Restricting access of this reinstated crossing to trams and Pedestrians will not ensure that traffic congestion becomes an issue on Hunter Street. This route also services Tighes Hill TAFE and will go through the Hunter Street Mall as is the case in Bourke Street Melbourne and this will in turn reinvigorate the CBD. Rather than creating many terminus throughout Newcastle all tram routes start and finish at the Tram Depot. Route 2 also services the Beaches and Racecourse.
Routes 3 will commence from the Broadmeadow Tram Depot/Maintenance Centre and is as follows:
Route 3-Services both Energy Australia Stadium and the No.1 Sports Ground when major sporting fixtures require a large volume of people to be moved quickly Route 3 also extends to Civic Park, Bar Beach and operates close to Hamilton TAFE.
Routes 4 will commence from the Broadmeadow Tram Depot/Maintenance Centre and is as follows:
Route 4-Services Energy Australia Stadium, Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle Railway Station, Beaches area, Hamilton TAFE and compliments Route 3.
Routes 5 will commence from the Broadmeadow Tram Depot/Maintenance Centre and is as follows:
Route 5-Services the inner parts of Beaumont Street, Beaches areas, Adamstown and the Racecourse.
Routes 6 will commence from the Broadmeadow Tram Depot/Maintenance Centre and is as follows:
Route 6-Services both Energy Australia Stadium and the No.1 Sports Ground while connecting with Newcastle Railway Station.