It has been said on more than one occasion that if the City to Lilyfield
line was extended to Dulwich Hill, the existing fleet of Variotrams would
be able to provide the service without additional vehicles. I suggested the
use of two LRVs with a power unit coupled between as it would result in a
balanced arrangement and would avoid an otherwise unbraked power vehicle
being pushed in one direction. This would be a risky arrangement for
pedestrians on the street section at Haymarket and inadvisable for high
speed non stop operation. Purely demonstration on the railway section could
be scheduled for off peak times. The mobile power unit could have later uses
as an emergency power source, parked in a convenient siding or at the end of
I had considered the use of several refurbished Z series trams from
Melbourne and even a couple of green W6 cars as café trams (sponsored by
Tourism Victoria). I had been earlier informed that all operative Z cars are
needed in Melbourne and others have been used as a parts source for those in
service. Not being low floor should not be a problem if short raised
platforms were built at selected locations and hinged bus-type disability
ramps were fitted to two opposite doorways.
All points used for permanent LRV operation would need raised checkrails to
engage with the hybrid wheels on the Variotrams. The V crossings (frogs)
are standard anyway and dont need alteration. Any vehicles with narrow
tram wheels could not safely access the City to Lilyfield section without
re-wheeling as all points on the PRW sections have wide railway dimension
Most of the railway from Dulwich Hill to Balmain would have been bonded from
its previous electric railway use. The very rusty long time disused rails
would need a clean up for which STM No 134s and/or a repatriated No 11W
(ex 139s ex K 797) could be hired.
Anyhow Where theres a will, theres a way anything is possible -- we
should consider all the technical facts to get the most practical outcome.
PS Dudley- Re Manchester Bury. How do passengers and disabled persons
access the former railway platforms considering that the trams would be
narrower than the previous railway carriages?
On Behalf Of Dudley Horscroft
Sent: Wednesday, 11 November 2009 5:15 PM
Subject: Re: RE: [TramsDownUnder] Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill
This would be very expensive - you would be using 2 LRVs costing some $5M
perhaps in total, perhaps more - for a demonstration, plus
the cost of the genset.
Suggest that if the genset can be fairly low, it could be towed in one
direction and pushed in the other, with the driver having a
good view over the top.
Given that, the possibility arises of refurbishing the Tramway Museum's Z
car, and borrowing this for the demonstration. It is I
think about the only spare modern car available, unless one of the
Variotrams could be used - which presumably could be off peak
only. Could operate Lilyfield to wherever, shuttling up and down a single
line ("one engine in steam" no signalling problems) with
frogs filled in to eliminate the gaps which gave problems with the earlier
trams operating on Sydney's rail lines when transiting to
and from the workshops. Plus point blades locked in position.
Caution - is this section of line long welded or still in short lengths? -
if still in short lengths, there must be adequate bumf
available to explain to Mayors, Councillors, civic Dignitaries and others
that when the line is converted to light rail, to ensure
electrical conductivity the rails will be long welded, and hence the bangs
as the wheels hit the joints will not be heard. Nor will
dipped joints be felt - which I noted on the Manchester Bury line, which
reused the BR rail track virtually unchanged.
And if the tram operates from Lilyfield there is the possibility of
operating a semi-public service with some connecting trams -
perhaps an hourly service, or whatever is possible depending on the time
taken for the run and layover time at termini.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Noel Reed" <noelreed10@bigpond. mailto:noelreed10%40bigpond.com
To: <TramsDownUnder@ mailto:TramsDownUnder%40yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 4:28 PM
Subject: RE: RE: [TramsDownUnder] Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill
> On Wednesday, 11 November,2009 10:19 AM Ted Gay wrote :-
> Building and/or adapting light rail vehicles to diesel power to
> light rail vehicles on the Lilyfield / Dulwich Hill line would be a very
> great waste of money.
> I did not suggest building special LRVs with on-board diesel power. I
> that would be a waste of money to obtain special hybrid LRVs for a
> demonstration only. My idea was to make use of a suitable diesel powered
> alternator of a type commonly used for emergency power at hospitals,
> centres, shopping centres etc to keep power available if the regular AC
> mains power fails for any reason.
> This diesel / alternator power unit would be mounted on a suitable short
> (un-motored) rail vehicle coupled between two conventional 750 volt DC
> electric light rail vehicles. The power unit could initially be leased and
> would be suitably enclosed for soundproof operation. The power unit being
> on a separate vehicle would keep the passenger space free of motor
> and exhaust fumes. 750 volt DC power connections would be made between the
> power unit vehicle and the adjoining passenger vehicles. Multiple unit
> control cabling would be connected between the two LRVs via the power
> The present Metro Light Rail operation has given years of service to
> Lilyfield but this idea is to give the residents of the area between East
> Balmain and Dulwich Hill an opportunity to experience the benefits of
> rail in their districts without the initial heavy expenditure and lead
> necessary to provide the power supply infrastructure - overhead wiring,
> stations etc. Such an approach could well influence the decision makers to
> authorize a trial of this proposal.
> I would envisage a trial shuttle operation between East Balmain (with a
> possible ferry connection) and Dulwich Hill with interchange to the
> MLR route at Lilyfield using tracks which are already existing. Apart from
> the Lilyfield - Dulwich Hill section, there are many apartment buildings
> along the route in the White Bay area which could generate patronage. At
> certain peak times the LRV-Power Unit-LRV combination could operate
> (ahead of the regular all stations LRV) between the City and Lilyfield
> overhead electric power from the city and diesel electric power beyond to
> Dulwich Hill.
> A successful trial of this proposal could pave the way for a similar
> tram-train operation on selected low traffic suburban railways e.g Clyde -
> Carlingford, and generate interest in obtaining on lease or trial a number
> of competitive production model dual voltage 750v / 1500v light rail
> vehicles suitable for use on conventional rail lines with high platforms.
> firm proposal to trial such operation on the existing electrified rail
> could encourage LRV manufacturers to provide samples of their products
> a view to future orders. This then could promote further interest in and
> support the case for low floor light rail vehicles on city streets and
> suburbs without any existing rail infrastructure. The suggested light rail
> vehicles with coupled diesel power unit concept could be applied on future
> suburban heavy rail extensions as an interim arrangement prior to
> of double track, stations and electrical infrastructure.
> Noel Reed. Who was involved in a study group in 1988 which suggested such
> schemes but they were suppressed by the bureaucracy.
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