The statistics for Adelaide don't bear you out I'm afraid. 2.5 to 3 million ppa is a bus service. You don't typically build a new tram line for that, but the Adelaide tram has been vindicated by the large demand on it as a city circulator further north. The Glenelg line is a legacy inheritance for which I don't really blame the trams - the corridor obviously hasn't had any city planning intiatives or rezoning and no growth has occurred to feed the tram. It's good that it's there though, because they have a mass transit system already in place should they decide to encourage development of the corridor. Better than letting the city sprawl to distant suburbs requiring new railways, bus lines and motorways.
I still think that the line should be turned up Colley Terrace at Glenelg to tap into the big development that *has* occurred, terminating preferably in a balloon loop in Wigley Reserve for future capacity, or at the very least a two-track stub. They also need to beef up the average speed along the ROW to compete with the bus - route 265 from Colley Terrace via the parallel Anzac Hwy is typically at least 5 minutes faster than the tram to King William St. and it runs in mixed traffic all the way, unlike the tram. That clearly indicates that there's something wrong with the tram's operation which is mostly on ROW on that section.
Traffic lights are Adelaide's biggest problem, making it the slowest of the new lines in Australia. The typical 13 km run of these lines (Glenelg to City West section in Adelaide's case, end to end for the others) should take just over 30 minutes at a maximum speed of 60 km/h using proper acceleration and deceleration and typical dwell times of 10-25 seconds in a similar operating environment (this is all from international survey work I did for a paper several years ago).
Gold Coast reaches the goal posts (33 minutes?), it's pretty good and still has lots of future capacity available, so I agree with you Richard that not much needs to be done there. IWLR in Sydney has got to the stage that it now does the journey in 35-37 minutes, but that's on private ROW with traffic lights being barely a factor, so the variation indicates that they have a problem with passenger exchange at stops when there's a crowd due to too-few doors on the trams, plus they're not taking advantage of the trams' performance capabilities.
Adelaide's run-time is currently at a very slow 44 minutes, with a best time of 41 minutes in the small hours. Obviously the run through the CBD is extremely slow, but on the ROW/Jetty Rd section it takes 26 minutes to get the 10 km from Glenelg to South Terrace, which indicates things are bit slow even here. There is obviously slow running in Jetty Rd but they should be able to compensate for it on the ROW where they’re allowed to run up to 70 km/h I believe. Like IWLR, no doubt they're also not taking advantage of the trams' performance.
If it’s any consolation, they’re presently planning for CSELR to take about 35 minutes for 8.5 km, which would clinch for it the double distinction of probably being the slowest and most expensive tram line in the world.
---InTramsDownUnder@..., <tressteleg@...> wrote :
I presume that the first paragraph refers to Glenelg.
Observations of this line from time to time is that it is nowhere near the underutilised tramway that some people seem to think that it is.
What steps might need to be taken to alleviate any peak overloading, I do not know but one thing I seemed to notice in the city is that the pm peak is over and done with in 15 or 20 minutes, hardly a cause for panic. Maybe they have no spare trams to add another, and barely worth it for just one round trip.
Something like a scissors crossover at the beach terminus would be a good idea so that a tram arriving before the one in front departs does not block Jetty Rd.
It seems to me to be a loopy idea to take the trams out of Jetty Road because it is full of shops which passengers actually may want to get to. So what if several hundred metres run at less than normal line speed? Fixing traffic lights would speed trams very much more and at negligible cost.
As for the Gold Coast, the line is nowhere near capacity.
While loadings at many times of the day are very respectable, apart from when special events such as when the car races are held, there is always room for somebody else to fit a board without delay.
I have ridden the line around 8 AM on several occasions and thought that the loadings were light for that time of day. Loadings pick up later in the day when all the tourists get out of bed.
Having had practical experience with tramway operation, it would be foolish to cut recovery time any further. Delays are not caused by people trying to get aboard, but rather traffic lights, which do in fact give the best tram priority by far in Australia. Nevertheless they do delay trams for a number of seconds here and there along any journey.
I was certain that the journey time was 33 minutes but now it is certainly 34 minutes, 24/7. That gives three or four minutes to change ends at each terminus and my observations are that rarely does a tram depart late due to its late arrival.
Just leave it alone – it works fine as it is.