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Sex on rails – tram-trains 19 December 2012

Posted by cooperatoby in tram.
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Mate a tram with train and you get a tram-train, it seems obvious enough. They’ve been doing it in Germany – Karlsruhe, Kassel, Zwickau – for ages, and have cottoned on in France (Mulhouse) and Holland (Rotterdam) too. To differentiate it from an interurban (like Swiss mountain railways or the Belgian Kusttram) it uses vehicles that can operate on both systems – a Zweisystem-Stadtbahn. It means more than BR talked about doing on the Penistone line, which is running light railcars on ordinary railway track. It means actually joining the Sheffield tramlines up to the main line to Rotherham, as is now the plan.
tram-train logicThe benefit is that it suddenly opens up a seamless journey from outlying areas into the city centre, as this diagram shows. It is borrowed for educational purposes from my favourite magazine, Tramways and Urban Transit, which in its November edition runs an excellent article by Günter Koch from DB International. He sets out the conditions planners have to take into account.
Not cheaper
• The first lesson is that the aim should not be to save money. If you replace a heavy train with a light one, you have to run a more frequent service to retain capacity. You can run more trains but they have a smaller capacity. The benefit it does bring is shorter headways – i.e. a more convenient service.
• You need stops between 400 metres and 2 km apart as the top speed is 100 km/h, giving a commercial speed of 40-60 km/h. This requires a certain population/employment density.
• The minimum demand for a new line would be 3,000 passengers per day, or 1,500 for converting an existing track. The maximum would be 15,000 ppd – above that stay with an ordinary train.
• You can mix tram with high-speed and goods trains – the Karlsruhe trams share track with the Basel-Amsterdam ICE! – but only over short distances.
• The fastest trains on the lien should only go at twice the speed of the slowest.
• Maximum line length is 35 km which gives a 60-minute journey time.

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Comments»

1. warero - 28 December 2012

Reblogged this on Javmode.


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