Jump to content

Electrification


Lysanderix
 Share

Recommended Posts

I agree with some of what you say but would point out other early electrification schemes by Southern Railways which did not use 25kva…and the use of direct current by Dutch State Railways. That said, I still maintain our lack of electrification and our reliance on Victorian infrastructure is entirely political with rail having a low priority.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the electrification was first thought of, pre WW2, DC traction was the norm, but by the time it finally got installed AC was seen as a cheaper option. DC meant heavier gauge conductors, larger overhead gantries, lineside rectifier stations and heavier feeder cables, in fact the Woodhead line had feeder cables for most of its length. AC on the other hand could use lighter and cheaper equipment. Whilst I accept the Dutch use the DC system they had an extensive system already installed by WW2, we had nothing! Technology moved on, and although some of the Southern had DC overhead lines, Shenfield for example, there was not much else, so it made sense to use AC for all new lines. You could argue Woodhead was too early, but I could never understand why it could not be converted to AC, another political decision I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wasn’t t he majority of Southern electrification third rail? One claim made for the Woodhead line was that electricity was generated by trains descending and used by those climbing to the summit…….perhaps someone knows if this was so☺️

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lysanderix said:

Wasn’t t he majority of Southern electrification third rail? One claim made for the Woodhead line was that electricity was generated by trains descending and used by those climbing to the summit…….perhaps someone knows if this was so☺️

It was indeed so the braking action of the locomotives actually put power back into the lines. This still applies to modern locomotives. I believe also that modern diesel locomotives have the ability to put power back into the locomotive. After all all modern diesels are also electric, the traction motors run of electric generated by the diesel engine.

The third rail system was a way around the expense of overhead systems including not altering the height of bridges. Of course the big problem is the risk of electrification by people on the ground.  I should imagine that level crossings would be a big problem for a third rail system. I don't even know if there are any on a third rail system?

The conversion of the Woodhead line to 25KV was considered, but British Rail management did a report and showed it was too expensive. However some of the overhead system was converted, but only in the Manchester area and that was due to the conversion of other lines to 25K. In fact the 25KV overhead line comes to a stop at Hadfield, where the continuation to Woodhead is now lifted. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although most of the Southern region has 3rd rail electrification there were a few outlying lines that had overhead, in fact I believe the initial trails of the Woodhead loco's took place on the Shenfield line. There are many level crossings on 3rd rail systems, the conductor rail stops at either side of the road and the train coasts through that bit, although with a passenger train other collector shoes will be in contact with the power rail.

The idea of putting power back into the overhead is called regenerative braking. I think all electric locomotives have this capability, and it is interesting to note that it is easier to achieve on AC than DC. Diesel loco's tried regen braking, the class 50's were fitted with it initially, but it was removed during the first rebuild. The Americans favour a rheostatic braking system with the motors acting as a braking effect and the resultant heat from the resistors vented through the roof.  We don't seem to favour this type of braking instead relying on vacuum or air systems, but then our trains are a lot shorter and use a different type of air brake system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the government has come up with a report which they call the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP). It's a 164 pages long, but I will extract the relevant sections for Sheffield. 

The first thing is that the Midland Main Line WILL be electrified.

completing electrification of the Midland Main Line (already being electrified to Market Harborough) to Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield via Derby. Combined with the new East Midlands high speed line above, this would give Sheffield and Chesterfield almost exactly the same journey times to London as existing HS2 plans. Electrification will also bring forward decarbonisation of existing diesel services, which will speed up services and improve reliability to towns and cities on Midland Mainline, such as Leicester, Loughborough, and Long Eaton.

In other words they will electrify the lines already there towards Sheffield. But the HS2 trains will either stop at Nottingham or Derby or after being run on dedicated tracks, they will be able to travel onwards mixing with other services on the old lines. I guess with some improvements.  Date of completion - 2030 - estimated.

3.89 The Government's commitment on NPR related only to Manchester-Leeds, but the IRP has also considered Manchester-Sheffield links. Currently, the journey between Sheffield, one of the core cities in the Northern Powerhouse and the centre of the South Yorkshire region, and Manchester, takes 50 minutes, despite the cities being 30 miles apart.

3.90 The Government agrees with Transport for the North that any further future improvements to Manchester–Sheffield would best be based on an upgrade and electrification of the existing Hope Valley Line.

No Woodhead Line re-open.

3.91 The Hope Valley route has also been identified as a potential candidate for electrification by the Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy. Moving heavily loaded freight trains using electric traction would enable journey times to be reduced and make best use of the available network capacity. Work by Network Rail has shown that – if combined with a connection to the HS2 station at Piccadilly – electrification and upgrade of the existing Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield could give a journey time of between 30 and 35 minutes and support up to four trains per hour (2 via Marple and 2 via Stockport). The scope of interventions that need to be delivered within the Peak District National Park will need careful design to ensure environmental impacts are mitigated and reduced as far as possible.

The Report also rejects any new line between Sheffield and Manchester largely on the grounds of the Peak District Park.

3.93 Works to improve the Hope Valley line are already underway, including line speed and capacity works, the removal of a bottleneck at Dore, and provision of a freight loop at Bamford. These works could help facilitate a possible future third fast Sheffield to Manchester service each hour.

3.94 Network Rail’s capacity analysis suggests that three NPR trains per hour between Manchester and Sheffield can be operated via the Hope Valley Line with trains continuing to Stockport through targeted investment, using the
existing Network Rail station at Manchester Piccadilly. This would likely require the doubling of the Hazel Grove chord (to enable three trains to be evenly spaced, around every 20 minutes) and restoration of a third line between Dore and Sheffield, although more detailed analysis is needed to confirm this. The infrastructure required on the Hope Valley route itself is potentially similar if four fast NPR trains are planned. However, operating a fourth train
via Stockport into the existing Piccadilly station would require either a major package of interventions on the existing railway or a reduction in other services in the Manchester area.

3.95 The feasibility of a connection from the Hope Valley line to the HS2 station at Manchester Piccadilly has also been explored. This could use a section of the Marple Line, and then join the Leeds approach line to the new Manchester Piccadilly station. Strategically, this would have benefits in terms of faster journey times from Sheffield to Manchester, Manchester Airport, Warrington and Liverpool, and could allow a 4tph fast service between Sheffield and Manchester: two via Stockport and two via the Marple route. This would also mean some long-distance NPR services would not need to use the Castlefield corridor. However, costs for the initial designs of the Marple connector appear high, raising challenges in terms of affordability and value for money; and there are potential conflicts with Transport for Greater Manchester’s longer term ambitions to extend Metrolink services onto the Marple line.

There's a summing up on this:

Any future development work will therefore focus on an upgrade of the Hope Valley route, including capacity and line speed improvements, and route electrification; and an assessment of whether there is a case for moving from three to four trains per hour taking account of demand, costs, and service options at the Manchester end of the corridor.

Sheffield and Leeds to Hull: Rationale and alternatives considered
3.97 Connections to Hull from Sheffield and Leeds are currently poor, with journey times of 77 and 57 minutes respectively. Hull is a key port and integral to the regional economy.

This sums up the current situation. And what they think should be done is below:

3.98 The Government agrees with TfN that any future development work on routes to Hull should focus on electrification and line speed improvements to improve journey times from Hull to Leeds.

Sheffield to Leeds: rationale and alternatives considered
3.99 Sheffield and Leeds are the two largest cities in Yorkshire, and the core of their respective regions. However, despite being 39 miles apart by rail, connectivity is poor, with the fastest journey time currently being 40 minutes, which is only achieved once per hour for most of the day.

Again the current situation. So what are they going to do about?  They don't know.
Connections will be further considered within the work on how best to take HS2 services to Leeds.

By around 2030 passengers could see:
• Electrification of the remaining sections of the Midland Main Line to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield, bringing forward decarbonisation of existing diesel services, laying the ground for future high speed rail services to Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield, and ensuring that key routes to the East Midlands and South Yorkshire will be contributing to achieving net zero.

In conclusion the government will spend money on electrification of the Midland Main Line to Sheffield, but I don't know about if it will reach Rotherham. 

There are plans to do something about the Hope Valley line, but it will run into problems with either the Peak District Park or the Manchester Lobby sections, especially over the loss of some services or the Metrolink proposals wanting to use the same routes. There is no mention in the report about the costs of doing the two major tunnels on the line. Would they be higher enough to take the overhead lines?  

There will be nothing done on the lines between Hull and Sheffield. They are looking at the Sheffield to Leeds service, which probably means that nothing will happen for a lone time.

My thoughts are unchanged. These plans are about benefiting London with faster rail links. If you were really cynical. I would say it's so they can get MP's to London quicker.  The ultimate saving on chauffeur driven cars.      

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 19/11/2021 at 14:53, History dude said:

These days electrification really isn't necessary. The locomotives can have engines that are super efficient or could work on green fuels. Lots of them are already in operation. And the cost of electrification is more expensive. Not only do you have to put in gantries and the wires, but rebuild bridges to take the cable. It also would require disruption to the services already operating. Plus you would need new locomotives. And these days they tend to come in sets with the carriages too.  So even greater expense. In railway terms anybody who talks about electrifying a line simply wants to waste money.    

Really fast high speed lines as we have seen require their own routes. Other countries in that respect had the space to just build a line, without the issues the UK has. You can't really convert the old Midland line to a high speed route, so putting wires on it is just not worth the money.

"These days electrification really isn't necessary. "   Oh you haven't fallen for Grayling's limp output have you?  Look, trains that are required to travel long distances at high speeds come in two types. Diesel or electric. Rule out diesel because of pollution and you are left with ....electricity. Electric cars take hours to charge to go 200 miles at 70mph carrying four or five people at most.  If you want trains which are about 200 times the weight of an electric car, to travel at 120 mph over that distance you will need a train full of batteries with no room for people. It will do one trip a day. Ah, I can hear you say What about hydrogen?   Well if those two trains that crashed in Salisbury had been hydrogen fuelled I can say with some certainty that there would have been one hell of a bang and not much would have been left of Fisherton Tunnel.  There is no magic bullet. The equations regarding mass, speed, torque and load just don't work....or if they did the French and Germans would be eating us to it as they already have with TGV and ICE. The West Coast mainline HAS been converted to a satisfactory high speed route even after the failure of the first tilting trains. But you are correct in one detail,  overhead wiring is hugely expensive, is an eyesore, has weaknesses in snow and high winds and needs extensive tunnel and bridge re-shaping. So why not third rail electrics? I would happily sit on a 100 mph train like the ones I used to commute into London on from Southampton, and even more so travel to Manchester through the Totley Tunnel, knowing that the countryside isn't disfigured, the air isn't filled with poisonous fumes and the cost of my ticket is being kept down. There is no logic in the industry's reluctance to use the same system that carries millions of Southerners every day throughout Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and South Dorset. I imagine that the concrete industry and the steel gantry makers have something to do with it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't fallen for any propaganda. There are alternative fuels to diesel and I don't mean hydrogen. Even electric trains have to get the power produced from somewhere and that has to be generated by something. Wind and wave power have problems too. Some power stations are now Zero Carbon, but this will be at the cost of something else.

The whole concept of electrification is not to get rid of Carbon, but just to meet a target on it. And since the railways are controlled by the Government they can do that far easily then telling a individual to stop driving a car.

But the hidden part of this whole thing is to continue in a false belief that London has to have everything because it is the Capital City.  The fact that they are not interested in improving the rail link between Sheffield and the port of Hull should tell you that straight away.  Nor the fact that Leeds and Sheffield can't have a decent rail link a distance of (as they say) 39 miles which would be cheaper to build and faster in construction then the 159 miles to London.

The tilting trains did not fail. A bunch of drunk journalists went on a ride on them. Modern trains do tilt into the curves any problems were ironed out. 

You make a good point on third rail systems. But a quick look in my 2013 edition of British Railways Locos shows only 750 volts DC third rail systems.  I think this explains why they can't switch to a ground system of 25KV.

In June 2011 Peter Dearman of Network Rail suggested that the third-rail network will need to be converted into overhead lines. He stated: "Although the top speed is 100 mph, the trains cannot go over 80 mph well and 25% of power is lost from heat." Agreeing that conversion would be expensive, he said that the third rail network is at the limit of its power capability, especially as trains become more advanced in technology.

I'm assuming for various safety reasons you cannot put a 25KV AC line on the ground on a third rail. DC systems also require more power stations. Edison the man who (claims to have) invented the light bulb, in the first system of electric light wanted to use DC power stations. And of course he was stupid in that respect. All power stations are now AC.  Otherwise there would be power stations all over Sheffield now. 

   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's worth having a quick read of Wiki's article on third rail: advantages and disadvantages.  Briefly, there are significant safety issues: workers, trespassers, passengers falling and in case of breakdown/accident.  Speed is constrained both by efficiencies and the contact ramps.  Third rail systems are more prone to snow, leaves and ice buildups.  The insulators are shorter, and hence limit the voltage, as does the air gap (at 25kV a third rail system would spark to ground).

Some locos and power cars are "dual supply" and can operate on both DC third rail and AC overhead.  such systems are not without their problems; a shoe left down can damage trackside fittings and a pantograph left up can damage signals.  Problems like this, and the expense of dual fitting trains, explain why switching from overhead to third rail just for tunnels would not be productive.

Incidentally, Edison might not have been that stupid.  Although voltage conversion in AC systems is easy, there are advantages in using High Voltage DC (HVDC) systems for long haul or sub-sea cables.  Most run at 100kV to 800kV, thought the Chinese had one running at 1.1 MV.  Reliability is lower and end-point costs are significantly higher, but cables are significantly cheaper.  HVDC also allows grids with different frequencies and phasing to connect.  However, this is a bit of a tangent, I can't see HVDC directly being any part of railway electrification.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Government would be better spending money on overhead monorail systems. These are already running in several parts of Japan are easier to construct than railways and tram systems. They have a near to nothing accident rate. They are not effected by snow or leaves since the track is located in a tube, with the power picked up by rail inside the tube. Using the same supply as Supertram. They run on tires and so like electric cars are silent, unlike the trams which are really noisy.  Plus they can't knock anyone down. They never get stuck in traffic jams, unlike trams. Construction is simple. All the track sections are constructed in prefabricated sections. The supports that holds the track up also in sections. They are piled drilled into the ground. Stations are reached via stairs or lifts. The gap under the monorail is enclosed in station sections. So even if a passenger were to fall it would be less then ten feet. But the monorails would stop at the door entrances to the station and the doors to both would form a link. The station doors only opening when a monorail is at them. 

Most of the monorails operating are suburban systems so don't go much faster than 50 mph, so they compete with trams rather than trains. But I reckon the 39 miles to Leeds would be a doggle to build and a faster monorail could be built. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the interesting and, at times, learned comment….but does anyone know how many times we have been promised electrification of the line?😋

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 22/11/2021 at 11:42, History dude said:

It was indeed so the braking action of the locomotives actually put power back into the lines. This still applies to modern locomotives. I believe also that modern diesel locomotives have the ability to put power back into the locomotive. After all all modern diesels are also electric, the traction motors run of electric generated by the diesel engine.

The third rail system was a way around the expense of overhead systems including not altering the height of bridges. Of course the big problem is the risk of electrification by people on the ground.  I should imagine that level crossings would be a big problem for a third rail system. I don't even know if there are any on a third rail system?

The conversion of the Woodhead line to 25KV was considered, but British Rail management did a report and showed it was too expensive. However some of the overhead system was converted, but only in the Manchester area and that was due to the conversion of other lines to 25K. In fact the 25KV overhead line comes to a stop at Hadfield, where the continuation to Woodhead is now lifted. 

Level crossings or even footpath crossings are not a problem. With connectors at each end of the train, even a short three-coach unit, one connector is still in contact when the third rail is absent for the crossing. So the conductor rail stop well short of either side of the crossing. Of course you get trespassers but (a) Network Rail have spent millions fencing off the entire network and (b) if you stand on a train line expect to end up dead. Kids still get electrocuted when they mess about with Overhead Line equipment or ride on carriage roofs. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, History dude said:

The Government would be better spending money on overhead monorail systems. These are already running in several parts of Japan are easier to construct than railways and tram systems. They have a near to nothing accident rate. They are not effected by snow or leaves since the track is located in a tube, with the power picked up by rail inside the tube. Using the same supply as Supertram. They run on tires and so like electric cars are silent, unlike the trams which are really noisy.  Plus they can't knock anyone down. They never get stuck in traffic jams, unlike trams. Construction is simple. All the track sections are constructed in prefabricated sections. The supports that holds the track up also in sections. They are piled drilled into the ground. Stations are reached via stairs or lifts. The gap under the monorail is enclosed in station sections. So even if a passenger were to fall it would be less then ten feet. But the monorails would stop at the door entrances to the station and the doors to both would form a link. The station doors only opening when a monorail is at them. 

Most of the monorails operating are suburban systems so don't go much faster than 50 mph, so they compete with trams rather than trains. But I reckon the 39 miles to Leeds would be a doggle to build and a faster monorail could be built. 

I can't see how the huge concrete construction would be either invisible or eco friendly given that concrete/cement is one of our biggest causes of atmospheric pollution? The latest electric trams in Europe have hidden third rail conductors in city centres which are only live just ahead of the tram as it passes over and then is dead again after it passes. Technology at work. In Birmingham a stretch of street has no overhead line but the trams run on battery for the short distance they travel up it. These are good ideas that are worth pursuing. They also make third rail electrification as safe as humanly possible. At much less cost. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, MartinR said:

It's worth having a quick read of Wiki's article on third rail: advantages and disadvantages.  Briefly, there are significant safety issues: workers, trespassers, passengers falling and in case of breakdown/accident.  Speed is constrained both by efficiencies and the contact ramps.  Third rail systems are more prone to snow, leaves and ice buildups.  The insulators are shorter, and hence limit the voltage, as does the air gap (at 25kV a third rail system would spark to ground).

Some locos and power cars are "dual supply" and can operate on both DC third rail and AC overhead.  such systems are not without their problems; a shoe left down can damage trackside fittings and a pantograph left up can damage signals.  Problems like this, and the expense of dual fitting trains, explain why switching from overhead to third rail just for tunnels would not be productive.

Incidentally, Edison might not have been that stupid.  Although voltage conversion in AC systems is easy, there are advantages in using High Voltage DC (HVDC) systems for long haul or sub-sea cables.  Most run at 100kV to 800kV, thought the Chinese had one running at 1.1 MV.  Reliability is lower and end-point costs are significantly higher, but cables are significantly cheaper.  HVDC also allows grids with different frequencies and phasing to connect.  However, this is a bit of a tangent, I can't see HVDC directly being any part of railway electrification.

I have read Wiki....and many more authoritative pieces on third rail (3R) and I cannot agree. The latest system in Amsterdam has a rail about a foot off the ground which is covered by a fibre glass sheath on top, outer face and underneath. The contact runs through a slit in the fourth side. To get electrocuted you would have to put your hand inside and touch earth with the other hand.  Don't fancy that myself. The sheath makes it virtually weatherproof and obviates shorting to ground. A mile of it would cost a hundredth of the cost of a mile of OHL. There is clearly a conspiracy against 3R but it isn't coming from the people who hate seeing the countryside spoiled ...nor the people who travel on it day after day down South. Bi-mode electric trains could serve both an electrified higher speed main line and short distance, landscape-sensitive areas such as The Hope Valley. So why can't we do it?   I suggest that too many people think that Wikipedia is the Encyclopaedia Britannica. It ain't. Oh and by the way, the last time I photographed a train on the Midland line at Clay Cross, about a year ago...it was a bi-modal train...a diesel loco with 3R , a Class 71 !! Still finding some good uses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, fentonvillain said:

I can't see how the huge concrete construction would be either invisible or eco friendly given that concrete/cement is one of our biggest causes of atmospheric pollution? The latest electric trams in Europe have hidden third rail conductors in city centres which are only live just ahead of the tram as it passes over and then is dead again after it passes. Technology at work. In Birmingham a stretch of street has no overhead line but the trams run on battery for the short distance they travel up it. These are good ideas that are worth pursuing. They also make third rail electrification as safe as humanly possible. At much less cost. 

There's no concrete at all. The track and sections are steel or metal. The supports too. As you can see from this video they could run on the middle of a road system. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many years ago when-the reordering of the Moor was being planned I recall a monorail system was proposed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Years ago the monorail systems were not very good and were not the underhanging type. Lots of them could not switch tracks, but this has been solved. They required the extensive construction methods that new railway lines do now. But as you can see this type of system in the video, it doesn't need you to dig up the roads to lay tracks like the Supertram system did. I bet those support poles where installed very quickly.  The track lifted into place with some big cranes. I would Imagine that from one station to the next the poles were all put in in around a month, maybe even less?

In case you are wondering how people would get in case of emergency and it wasn't in a station. You would go down one of the tube type things built into the underside of monorail. Just like the escape chutes you see on jet aircraft when they are on the ground. In Sheffield they only needed to clear the top side of a double decker bus. So not very high. 

This system was built a few years ago and so there are lots of improvements now. The open style stations are more suited for warm countries, the ones I mentioned in my post would have the passenger area enclosed. They are employing the same thing on the new Tubestations in London.  When you see a video like that you begin to realise that Governments just like to waste money in constructing things that could have been done in a different way.  All that digging underground. And all they needed to do is stick a few steel posts in the ground and in less time and less money have a new fast transport system.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Lysanderix said:

Many years ago when-the reordering of the Moor was being planned I recall a monorail system was proposed.

Yes it was. It was called Sheffield MiniTram and I reported on it for Morning Telegraph. I still have a cutting of the article. It was abandoned because it was expensive, didn't carry sufficient people, and, like the monstrous system proposed above, was hugely unsightly. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's unsightly at all. The poles and trackway could actually be painted to match whatever environment it was in. For example passing through some woodland it could be painted a dark green. It certainly isn't expensive and it would carry more people than supertram. And unlike Supertram it wouldn't kill anyone in the street. The death toll from Supertram alone exceeds any other considerations. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I  don’t find any of the ones I have seen attractive…..as for Supertram killing anyone ,I suspect that all forms of transport carry a risk and monorail is still to be widely used to reach any firm conclusion..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, History dude said:

I don't think it's unsightly at all. The poles and trackway could actually be painted to match whatever environment it was in. For example passing through some woodland it could be painted a dark green. It certainly isn't expensive and it would carry more people than supertram. And unlike Supertram it wouldn't kill anyone in the street. The death toll from Supertram alone exceeds any other considerations. 

What death toll?  Does not even begin to compare with cars v cyclists and pedestrians. A ridiculous comment. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Railways, motor vehicles, bikes, trams, horses have always knocked people down and killed them. A monorail cannot do that. Unless your a MASSIVE 30 foot giant. Of course if the thing collapsed then somebody might get hurt or killed, they could crash into each other, but even then only the back end or front end people would be at risk.  You could fit a catch net along the edge of the track, just in case somebody fell out of a door, or a device that produced a net in the event of door failure. BUT that would be very low risk.

A monorail is probably more safer than walking somewhere.

Presumably the poles in Japan have been tested for earthquakes, so the chances of them falling down are so low. I would imagine the only way an accident like that was to happen is if someone saved some money and used the wrong materials.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, fentonvillain said:

What death toll?  Does not even begin to compare with cars v cyclists and pedestrians. A ridiculous comment. 

A friend of mine shortly after it was constructed got his bike stuck in rails and as a result was killed.  So one too many as they say.

Sheffield University Report
Tram-related injuries in Sheffield
I.C. Cameron a,*, N.J. Harris b, N.J.S. Kehoe b

During the final decade of the old Sheffield tram system there were an average of 60 serious tram-related accidents per year.

Of course you do have to take into account that any injuries a person might lead to further complications, such as cancer. Of course these deaths are ignored by road uses and the lobby that supports the mass carnage of road transport, because it doesn't look good for them.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don't want to demean what you say but as a kid cyclist from 1951 to 1961 when there were trams all over the city, especially round London Road and Ecclesall Road where I lived I never heard of a single traffic accident  involving a cyclist and a tram or a tramline, either adult or child.  It beggars belief that you could think of this as a reason to ridicule tram systems. I was born in 1942.  I walked my kid sister to Denby St Nursery every morning across London Road then re-crossed it to get to school in Sharrow Lane. By your statistics I should have been dead a long time ago. Instead I am proud to have been a copper and a journalist serving my home city for a good proportion of my working life. 

0.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a matter of interest my dad was knocked down by one of the early trams, you go on about when he was a boy on City Road. My mum was knocked down by a bus in Commercial Street (the driver rushing home to watch the match), my sister by a push bike. And I was knocked down by a car at the top of Hurlfield Road. So we were all "lucky" in that respect. 

The mini tram system was years ago. The technology to deliver them has moved on vastly since then. Electronic control of systems that make the monorails safe. They use the same power supply of the Supertram. They even have points like railways! 

There's nothing wrong with the tram system, however it does have flaws to it. It has the same issue with railways that are electrified. Snow of course can stop the service too. It can get stuck in a traffic jam. It can and has crashed with other road vehicles. It can knock people down. During the construction phase it caused MASSIVE amounts of disruption to people using the roads it was running on and was slower to construct. Even now the rail replacements that have to be carried out cause the Supertram system to have MASSIVE changes and delays for weeks on end and road closures where rail runs on roads. It is very noisy, you can hear the trams rumbling from some distance, even if they are only doing 30 miles an hour.

In comparison with the Japan monorails going at the same speed as the tram systems. They can't get stuck in traffic. They are not effected by the weather, they can't hit anything on the ground. They don't need rail replacements, since they don't run on them. And having looked at the construction methods they just require those poles pile driven into the ground. The sections of track made off site and just lifted into place. Causing little disruption during construction. And probably cheaper to build.  And due to the fact they run on tyres in the tube, like electric cars they are quite running. There are several videos of them on YouTube and in one the monorail passes by a scenic area and all though you can hear birds singing, when it passes by there is not a sound. 

The only thing as you say is how they look. But if you have looked at the HS2 mocks up the track system on that is just as obtrusive and I bet when that goes past you know it!  

I bet that if somebody that lives near a Supertram track today knew that a that type of monorail could have been built at less cost than the tram, they opt for the Monorail over the tram.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...