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Tue Feb 11, 2014, 11:07 AM

Trolley-Train Hybrid Tackles City Streets, Then Speeds to Suburbs


Trolley-Train Hybrid Tackles City Streets, Then Speeds to Suburbs

By Keith Barry
02.06.14
6:30 AM




The city of Sheffield, U.K. is installing the country’s first tram-train, a public transit hybrid that can serve both the suburbs and a city’s urban core thanks to a special wheel design that can handle both the tight turns and higher speeds.

When it’s complete in 2016, tram-trains will run eight miles along the national rail tracks from Rotherham Parkgate to Sheffield, just like a traditional commuter rail line. But instead of stopping at a station at the edge of the city and forcing riders to switch to local transit, when the train gets to Sheffield’s center — er, centre — it will seamlessly transition onto the existing rails of the Sheffield SuperTram.

Sheffield’s system is a $98 million pilot project to determine whether tram-trains will work in the rest of the U.K. On paper, at least, it seems like a good fit: The tram-train setup not only gives passengers an easier ride downtown, but turns any existing rail right-of-way into a potential light rail system. Maintenance costs are lower for trams, and a tram-train gives transit authorities added flexibility.

Technologically speaking, building a tram-train may not sound like a spectacular feat, but trust us, it is. Even if they’re of the same gauge of track, the two modes often have different signaling and safety standards, and a tram-train must comply with both. .........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/02/tram-train/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wiredautopia+%28Wired%3A+Blog+-+Autopia%29



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Reply Trolley-Train Hybrid Tackles City Streets, Then Speeds to Suburbs (Original post)
marmar Feb 2014 OP
DetlefK Feb 2014 #1
T_i_B Jan 2018 #2
Alex4Martinez Jul 2018 #3
T_i_B Dec 2018 #4
Vogon_Glory Dec 2018 #5

Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2014, 11:50 AM

1. I know exactly where this location is supposed to be.

The building in the background is the police-station of Karlsruhe, Germany. The tram is just crossing a street and entering the southern end of the pedestrian-zone "Marktplatz" (denoted by the change of color of the roadstones) at the very heart of the city.

And the denoted destination "Bad Herrenalb"? That's a town 20 miles away.

From the railway-station of a village to the middle of the city in less than an hour, without changing trains, without driving, without looking for parking-space. (Very popular with teenagers on weekends.)
Is that a suitcase, a wheel-chair, a bike, a baby-carriage? Just take it with you, there's plenty of storage-room.

To be exact, there are a long-range and a short-range version of the trams in Karlsruhe: The short-range version only cycles within the city. The long-range version connects towns and villages up to 30 miles apart.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Jan 13, 2018, 09:14 AM

2. The platforms at Rotherham train station are being extended for this project

The big problem currently facing this project the stretch of single line track just outside Rotherham station. Not much room for essential work to put extra tracks in round there.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2018, 01:35 PM

3. Nice! AKA "Rapid Streetcars"

The Alstom Citadis Spirit, the Siemens S-70, streetcars that can go fast and go some distance.
I got a tour of the Sacramento Siemens plant recently. Loved that!

In practice, where interurban trains (like Sonoma Marin or the San Diego Sprinter) share with freight trains, these aren't an option.

Possibly, equipping them with PTC, Positive Train Control, might overcome the incompatibility.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2018, 06:50 AM

4. This project opened for business a couple of months ago

Sadly, a flat bed trailer jumped traffic lights and collided with a tram on opening day. I still haven't caught this to work yet, but I'm sure that I shall.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 01:07 PM

5. We Used To Have Things Like Those Here In The US

They were called "Interurbans." Admittedly, they weren't that fast, but they not only ran on street car tracks in the cities, but also ran at higher speeds out beyond city limits on their own rights-of-way.

Of course the breathless journos writing today's copy don't know anything about that.

To name a few interurban systems:

The Key System

The Pacific Electric Railroad

Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee,

Texas Electric Railway

Washington, Baltimore and Anapolis Railroad

Indiana Railroad



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