Re: DDA compliance and Melbourne trams - VAGO report
  Robert Smith

I saw somewhere else, the cost of adding a low floor section to a B class
was $2m 10 years ago, and was not worth it as they are due for retirement
in the early 2030's

On Saturday, 28 November 2020 at 6:33:48 pm UTC+11 transit...@... wrote:

> A most interesting report. It does answer some questions that have been

> raised in the last couple of days. It gives a total cost for replacement E

> class trams, from which one gets the Cost of an E class is $6.99M/tram (271

> high floor trams with replacements to cost $1.68B). It also gives a cost

> for platform stops, at $1.27M/pair of stops. Whatever, the roll out of

> level boarding stops is way behind what is needed. I am not certain what

> the cost of the elevated track parallel to Sydney road is (who does?), but

> I suspect that it is far more than the cost of replacing all the non-level

> boarding stops. A Stop Rollout Strategy is to be produced by June 2021

> (with luck!) which will cost $3.1M (funded in the 2019/20 budget). At that

> date DOT have to replace 1215 stops (pairs? or singles?) by 31 Dec 2022. I

> foresee the need for an exemption and extension.


> New Trams


> A most interesting section states:


> "DoT demonstrated to us how it plans to replace all high-floor trams with

> low-floor trams by the 31 December 2032 DSAPT deadline. However, achieving

> the target is contingent on DoT receiving sufficient funding to procure

> another 255 low-floor trams (E-Class or Next Generation Tram or a mixture

> of both) to replace 307 high floor trams on the network. DoT purchased 10

> more E-Class trams in 2018 and received funding in 2019 for a further 10,

> which will bring the total to 100 for this type of tram.


> DoT intends to replace 1.2 high-floor trams with one low-floor tram. This

> means that to achieve the 31 December 2032 DSAPT requirement, DoT will need

> to commission 28–30 low-floor trams per year from 2020 until 2029.


> *This rollout is ambitious and is more than double the current delivery

> achievements for the E-Class tram.* The future delivery schedule also

> needs to allow for required manufacturing time frames plus any extra

> testing that may be required for a new class of tram like the Next

> Generation Tram.


> Based on available evidence, it can take three to four years to

> manufacture and commission a new tram, although DoT believes this lead time

> could reduce after the selected manufacturer’s design and production

> processes have matured, allowing for a ramp up in the rate of delivery part

> way through a multi-year build program.


> To get the money required to build 255 low floor trams by 2032 is rather

> like wishing that pigs might fly. We will shortly (?) get 100 E class - it

> has taken 8 years (11/13 to some time in 2021, hopefully) to get 100 E

> class. Deliveries should improve a bit with the guaranteed money for 100

> in the budget, but even so, this means working 2 shifts for Bombardier.


> What the report did not mention was a need to think about replacing the C

> class - 36 trams built 2001/2. While the Z and A and B cars are much

> older, in general they are in 'fair' condition and probably the C class

> should go first (built 2001/2). This means a horrible hole in the

> procurement program.


> I can therefore only return to a solution that I have floated a few times

> before, the lengthening of the A and/or B class. A new middle section for

> the B class could be produced fairly cheaply by any competent bus builder,

> and given the quality of Bustech's single deck buses (using parts made in

> China!) it should be able to do the job. If Z cars are being scrapped,

> there will be plenty of spare bogies for the extra articulation. The B

> class need a thorough overhaul - rather like the current life extension

> they are getting now. This should be able to give anything from 50 to 100

> B3 class trams which would provide a partly low floor tram to last till

> 2050. If W class can still be fixed to to near as new condition, it should

> not be impossible to do the same to B class cars. Yes, I know that the W

> cars had wooden bodies and effectively the rebuilt cars have completely new

> bodies except for the brass fittings, but Melbourne does not have salt on

> the roads which kills steel bodies.


> The A class cars need a low floor extension, by cutting off one end and

> adding a low floor body, and then replacing the end. There would be a

> bogie about half length of the extension, but this does not need to

> swivel. In fact, it would be ideal for the wheels to be under the seats.

> Usual seat spacing for facing seats in Melbourne is 1.5 m, thus seats would

> happily cover the wheels for a 1.8 m wheelbase. Yaw problems as on the C

> class are possible, but these should be eliminated by suitable springs and

> dampers.


> This would give another 50 or so low floor trams and make possible the

> complete provision of a low floor fleet by the 2032 deadline.


> Regards


> Dudley Horscroft.



> On 28/11/2020 3:37 pm, Mal Rowe wrote:


> Victoria's DoT has been criticised in a damning report by the Victorian

> Auditor General for lack of even a plan to meet disability access

> requirements on trams.


> The report is at:



> A pdf of the report is at:



> VAGO says that: "DoT does not have conclusive plans for how it will create

> an accessible tram network, 18 years after DSAPT was established.".


> The attached chart from the report shows what would be required to meet

> the legislated targets of stops compliant by 31 Dec 2022 and trams

> compliant by 31 Dec 2032 compared to current levels of progress.


> There's an interesting comment on p63 of the report: "An interactive

> design process is underway for the Next Generation Tram involving major

> rolling stock manufacturers who are working with DoT to design a tram that

> will be suitable for Melbourne’s network, as well as meet DSAPT

> requirements." In a later paragraph there is reference to the need for

> funding in the 2020-21 budget to allow this to proceed - funding that is

> now presumably in place.


> Mal Rowe - who sees this as a landmark report.