Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tram Congestion and Level Crossings

There has been much made recently of a couple of passengers fainting on peak hour morning trams, allegedly as a result of the stifling atmosphere caused by the crowded conditions. Below is my proposal to fix this admittedly significant problem- congestion.
So first we must identify the problem.
The problem is over-crowding. A combination of poor roads (particularly South/ANZAC Hwy at the moment), good publicity (do your bit for the environment) and service improvements (now takes you all the way to where you want to go) has left the tram system overwhelmed and under prepared.

What is the solution?
Make the trams longer (they're not linkable, but the government is allegedly looking into how to lengthen them) or get more trams (at present not possible because boom gates are not allowed to be down more than they already are).
The first is obvious and should be taken care of as a matter of urgency. Additionally, Memo Ministry of Tranport: all future trams must be couplable, as this makes life much easier for everyone.
The second is more interesting. It suggests a natural limit to services. But this is a fallacy: it just means that the tram must be, as far as possible, which is to say completely, independent of the road system. No major road should have a level crossing, and minor roads should be either blocked, or the government should accept that during peak hour, the boom gates will be down more often than not. If the trams were separated from Morphett Rd and others, it could cross there almost permanently during peak hour without disrupting the traffic flow along those other roads.

In summary, the short-term solution to tram overcrowding is to lengthen the trams. In the long term, the government must make a point of completely separating the rail and road transport systems so that the two can operate independently, and increase frequency of train services. This means an expensive infrastructure development programme, dotting Adelaide with under- and overpasses. Another major problem is the Park Tce level crossing on the Grange/Outer Harbour routes.

Fix it now, Minister Conlon!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Proposed Addressees

Here is a list (complete at the time of viewing: I will update this post rather than create new ones in the future) of people to whom I will send a copy of my plan for the rail link to the airport, when I have completed it.

My parents.
My sister.

Federal and state leaders of government.
Federal and state ministers for transport and infrastructure.
All sitting federal and state politicians along the proposed route.
All sitting federal and state politicians along the proposed route extentions firstly to Glenelg and Grange, and then to Sellicks Beach and Outer Harbour.
All local councils along the proposed route and route extentions.

Other Interested Parties:
Southern Cross Railway.
Broadspectrum Oval.
Cowandilla Primary.
Marion Rd businesses.
The Adelaide Airport Corporation.

Other bodies:
The Property Council of Australia (SA Branch).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Airport Rail Link

I have decided upon a project for my Resource and Environmental Economics major essay: it will be a cost benefit analysis of a rail line from Keswick to the airport.
I have decided that rail, being independent of roads, is preferable to light rail, which is more efficient than cars but operates on the same infrastructure and therefore stops at traffic lights, etc., but that both are better than buses, which are a stop-gap measure while you're fixing rail lines or building new ones.
Keep an eye here for a detailed proposal, coming soon, to build a train line from Keswick to the airport and beyond. It will come in the form of a letter, which I will post to TransAdelaide, Charles Sturt, West Torrens and Adelaide City Councils, the premier, the transport minister, the local, state and federal tourism organisations, members of state and federal parliament in all seats through which the line will run, Adelaide Airport Corporation and anyone else I can think of. It'll be fun :D

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Level Crossings

Level Crossings kill. People get trapped on them, dumb people drive in front of trains, in country areas, people don't look properly and get run over. Besides which, trains should always have right of way, but that shouldn't have to mean cars stop.
Against cars though I am.
But cleveRail will endeavour to build a city without level crossings. Main roads will pass over or under, and minor roads will simply stop. They will then either be renamed on one side, or, as in Goodwood, "Essex St Nth" and "Essex St Sth" will eventuate.
A city where the rail and road systems are completely independent of one another, and where, even at night, trains are actually faster than cars at moving you from A to B. That is my vision for Adelaide/Australia.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Tale of Two Modes of Transportation

The Airport wants to build a hotel. I was at first skeptical of the demand for through-passangers at Adelaide, I see us as an end-station, rather than a transit airport. But Jas convinced me that there is demand enough to justify it.
Miners, principally. And their attendant beaurocrats shuttling about from Perth to mines in central South Australia- their flights are often early-morning or late-evening, and so a place of rest at the airport would be most welcome.
And of course it will suck some tourist trade, it will be promoted that way since the Airport Corp. stands to gain significantly from premium services on site. But I still think a better (rail) link from the airport to the city is necessary- the current tram could be extended along North Tce, down West Tce and then out to the Airport via Sir Donald Bradman Drv. This will improve access and replace the truly inadequate bus 'service' that currently runs.
Of course, my preferred option is to build an actual train line, probably turning West south of Mile End station and running parallel to Richmond Rd right into the airport. It would stop at IKEA, the airport terminal/hotel and then terminate at Harbour Town, unless I could convince people to make it go to West- or Henley Beach and terminate there.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Getting Rich

I spoke about my plans yesterday in a German oral entitled, "Was taete ich mit meinem Reichtum, und wie kaeme ich daran, reich zu sein?"
Out tutor expressed a concern that I might not get rich building rail, and that a much better way to go about it would be to go into politics and let others go broke providing the environment with a good rail system. But I am certain in my own mind that getting rich is possible. She didn't think that DB was actually a successful company. But I'm sure they are, even if it requires government subsidies or relatively few services compared to when it was a public company.
I'll just campaign for better subsidies to support a public-service similar system.

As though it were that easy.

My latest idea for the tram is extending it to West Tce, down to Sir Donald Bradmad Drive and then terminating at the airport. (With stops at Export Park, Harbour Town and the new industrial park as well as the terminal itself.)
Then you would make both this and the Glenelg service terminate at Adelaide Train Station. Then you extend the tram around to South Tce and Hutt St/East Tce and have it connect back up. You make this ring tram free and the others paid, even within the city. Stops all this confusion with shuttle trams and whether you have to buy a ticket and when.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Competition

So today I read two interesting things. Sir Rod Eddington today proposed $18b worth of road and rail infrastructure for Melbourne, finally extending the lines beyond the 1950's teminuses. Taking ten-fifteen years to build, it will be a while before anything actually happens. But it will be interesting to watch.
On the same page, a private concern, "Australian Transport and Energy Corridor Ltd." has announced it wants exclusive rights to build a railway from Toowoomba and Moree. This would form part of a rail link from Melbourne to Brisbane.

I'm worried other people are doing what I wanted to do. But I'm glad someone's doing it. And I'm hopeful I'll be able to buy it off them in time, and my company will be the one to own all of Australia's railways.

On the other hand, that particular rail project (the one from Melbourne to Brisbane) has been on the cards for over 100 years, so it's not really desperate. Or maybe it is?