Re: High floor and rotating trucks
  Tony Prescott

--- InTramsDownUnder@..., John Hudson <huddo@...> wrote:

> Hi Tony and Matthew,

> It's official, the Gold Coast are indeed getting flexity 2's.

> Bombardier press release, partly posted by a lister from a media article.




> There will be some sharp corners in the street though, the turn from

> Nerang st to Scarborough St in Southport outside The Cecil hotel is

> more than 90 degrees. Bombardier say they keep the wheelbase short to

> assist turning corners. The whole tram is made up of quite short

> sections, some with just two windows so having the each bogie section

> turn with the bogies might not be a big problem. If the Flexity 2 is the

> way of the future then other Australian systems might adopt them also

> eventually.


The Queensland government would have had no role (nor any expertise) in selecting the most appropriate tram for the system, it was left to the consortium/manufacturer. But I get the impression there are hardly any sharp corners on that line and where there are they may be able to keep the radius above 25 degrees (depending on street width). The Flexitys should be fine.

It depends on how much stress the curves get. If there are only 5 or 6 fixed truck trams an hour you might only need to replace the tracks say (speaking hypothetically) every ten years or so. If there are 50 trams an hour or more (which is the case on many European systems) you might be looking at track replacement (and the disruption and cost that goes with it) every three years. Traversing points is another issue.

The Flexity 2 is technologically the way of the past, not the future, but it is uncomplex and economical to produce for the market available to it (including naive Australian governments that are unable to make critical appraisals of technology but are willing to pay higher prices than home-market operators), so this type of tram will persist on the market for some time. They will shorten the modules and wheelbases as much as they like but it does little to mitigate the fundamental unsuitability of the technology.

And this tram will be imported - whether there are any local input factors in manufacture depends on political demand and I don't think the Queensland government has made any noises in that direction. Of course Bombardier will provide local maintenance which is a far more important long term factor for the local economy than the one-off hit of manufacture (after which all the staff are back at Centrelink!).

Tony P