Tramway Raised Island Super Stops

Tramway Raised Island Super Stops

Light Rail Raised Island Platform Stops Moves People Quickly

Victor P Taffa

Sydney at one stage had the second largest Tramway Network outside of London in the British Empire.

Sydney’s Trams moved people like no other in particularly for Sporting Events such as the races at Randwick Racecourse where 90,000 People (Mostly Men with Hats) would be cleared from the 6 Platform Tramway Siding 90 minutes after the Last Race. This Siding resembled a Railway Station complete with an Overhead Footbridge.

What killed the Tramways?

Some of the well known reasons that killed the Tramways are:

  • Universal Ownership of the Motor Car;
  • Traffic Had to stop when a Tram Stopped;
  • Bus Operations;
  • Opposing Industries;
  • Lack of Investment in Updating Network;
  • Trams were said to be ‘Slow’;
  • Trams were said to be ‘Cumbersome’;
  • Sydney’s Narrow Streets;


Flinders Street & Elizabeth Street Raised Side Super Stop

Flinders Street & Elizabeth Street Raised Side Super Stop












What can be done to bring back Trams in a more effective way?

The Tramways had Right-Of-Way on the Streets and when a Tram stopped for Passengers all traffic on the left hand side of the Tram had to stop.

Passengers boarded from the curb. Tram stops as such were designed as what could be called ‘Side Stops.’

Some years ago Melbourne introduced at Flinders Street and Swanston Street Stop a Raised Island Super stop. This stop previously was in the traditional format of 2 Side Platforms with the Tram Tracks running parallel to each other.

When Melbourne built the Raised Island Super Stop at Flinders Street and Swanston Street the Tracks were taken up. The New Island Platform installed and the Tracks re-laid on either side of the Platform.

The benefits of an Island Stop over Side Platform Stops are:

  • Passengers are waiting on an Island Stop rather than Board from the Curb side;
  • Faster Loading/Disembarking of Passengers;
  • Safer movement of people;
  • Traffic can continue to flow while Trams are stopped;

In addition to the Raised Island nature of the Stop are safety fences alongside of the Tram Tracks separating Trams from Traffic.

Melbourne has another Raised Island Super Stop on Swanston Street outside the University of Melbourne.

Future Tramway Extensions for Melbourne could incorporate Raised Island Super Stops instead of traditional Side Stops however given that Melbourne has much wider Streets than Sydney it would be unnecessary and very costly to replace all Side Stops with Raised Island Super Stops.

Flinders Street & Elizabeth Street Tram Stop Signage With Next Time Running

Flinders Street & Elizabeth Street Tram Stop Signage With Next Time Running













The closest Sydney had to a Raised Island Super Stop being the Milson’s Point Tram Platforms that were placed parallel with Milson’s Point Railway Station on the opposite side of the Pacific Highway. This Stop was however wider than a modern Raised Island Super Stop.

Sydney’s Narrow Streets is an issue that will never be overcome however when reintroducing Trams to Sydney and Newcastle the Raised Island Super Stop is the way forward for a modern tramway Network.

Prior to the installation of Tracks the Raised Island Stops would be built and the Tracks then laid alongside.

The style of Stops that the Sydney Light Rail Tram Line from Lilyfield and soon from Dulwich Hill uses is the traditional Side Stop. This style of Stop works well on the isolated corridor and even at Paddy’s Market’s however when an extension to Barangaroo and Circular Quay is considered it will simply be impractical to expect Passengers to board from the curb side.

The old arguments used to abolish Trams in the 1940’s and 1950’s will again be trotted out to the detriment of a modern Tramways.

The need for low-floor entry and raised Platform Stops are features of modern Tramways so the elderly, disabled, strollers and wheelchair users can safely access Trams and are in fact a salvation in the argument for the reintroduction of Trams to Sydney Streets.

Raised Island Super Stops are the way forward and the means to ensure that any new Tramway for Sydney and Newcastle can not only survive but grow.

The old Trams and Side Stops are long gone but what are new are low-floor entry vehicles and Raised Island Super Stops.