Tram-train


Tram-train

A tram-train is a light-rail public transport system where trams also run on main-line train tracks for greater flexibility and convenience. The Karlsruhe model pioneered this concept in Germany, and it has since been adopted on the RijnGouweLijn in the Netherlands and in Kassel and Saarbrücken in Germany.

There is November 2007 proposal to introduce tram-trains in Leeds, England. [ [http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/road/Hopes-rise-for-tramtrains-pilot.2962865.jp Hopes rise for tram-trains pilot project in Yorkshire - Yorkshire Post ] ] [www.wypta.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/851429CF-0FB0-4485-B0F2-1D62BD812285/0/RWG16MAY2008ITEM7.pdf] On 18 March 2008 the Department for Transport released details of a plan to trial tram-trains on the Penistone Line for two years starting in 2010. On June 5, 2008 the Government of South Australia announced plans for train-tram operation on the Grange line. [ [http://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/general/pdfs/OMPbudget.pdf untitled ] ]

Most tram-trains are standard gauge, which facilitates sharing track with standard gauge mainline trains. An exception is in Nordhausen, where both the trams and the trains are narrow gauge.

Its advantage over separate tram and train systems is that passengers travelling from outside a city need not change from train to tram, though some passengers are displeased by the replacement of regular trains with tram-trains, which usually lack amenities such as on-board toilets.

Technology

Tram-trains have dual equipment to suit the respective needs of tram and train, such as support for multiple voltages and safety equipment such as train stops.

The idea is not new: in the early 20th century, interurban streetcar lines often operated on the same tracks as steam trains, until crash standards made old-style track sharing impossible. The difference between modern tram-trains and the older interurbans and radial railways is that the tram-trains are upgraded to meet mainline railway standards, rather than ignoring them (an exception is the USA's River Line, for reasons explained below). The Karlsruhe and Saarbrücken systems use an automatic train protection signalling system called ‘PZB’, or ‘Indusi’, so that if the driver passes a signal at stop the emergency brakes are applied. Regarding deadman's pedals and deadman's handles, a Sifa must also be operational on railtracks as well .

The River Line light-rail line in New Jersey runs along freight tracks with time separation: passenger trains run by day, and freight by night. This, like the O-Train in Ottawa, Canada, and the Newark City Subway extension in Belleville and Bloomfield, New Jersey (with similar FRA-imposed time-share waivers), does not qualify it as a tram-train per se, whose chief characteristic is shared-use of mainline tracks at all times.

Existing systems

* Karlsruhe, Germany - 750 V DC/15 kV AC
* Nordhausen, Germany - 600 V DC/on-board diesel engine
* River Line (New Jersey, United States) - on-board diesel engine
* Saarbrücken, Germany
* Zwickau, Germany - on-board diesel engine (Light-weight RegioSprinter diesel trains which also operate over street tramway as TrainTrams)
* Paris, France (Line T4)
* The Hague, Netherlands (RandstadRail)
* Kassel, Germany (2006)
** 600 V DC/15 kV AC and (different tram-trains)
** 600 V DC/on-board diesel engine

Proposed systems

In the UK

The Penistone line from Huddersfield to Sheffield (currently a diesel heavy rail service operated hourly) is to be converted for tram-train use. The tram-trains on this route may later be linked to the Sheffield Supertram system to enable through running into Sheffield city centre. The two-year trial is expected to start in 2010. [ [http://www.northernrail.org/news/475 Northern Rail - News - Innovative ‘Tram-Trains’ To Be Trialled In Yorkshire ] ] A tram-train trial in the Manchester area was ruled out as the Department for Transport wanted to trial low-floor tram-trains, and Manchester Metrolink floors are at train height. http://www.gmpta.gov.uk/uploads/agendas/1/110/Reports/Item%2010%20Rail%20Issues%20(1%20February%202008).pdf] Tram-trains being trialed in Leeds and York were not seen as options as there is no existing tram system in either Leeds or York.

Other suggested schemes for England include:
* Leeds to York via Harrogate
* Leeds to Wakefield
* Leeds to Bradford via Bradford Interchange
* Leeds to Selby
* Manchester to Marple
* Manchester to Northwich (via the direct Manchester Metrolink line to Altrincham)

In Europe

* Braunschweig, Germany
* Grenoble, France
* Liberec to Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic
* Manresa, Catalonia, Spain
* Mulhouse, France
* Nantes, France
* RijnGouweLijn, Netherlands
* Strasbourg, France
* Turku, Finland (see Turku tram)
* Wrocław, Poland (2005) - 600 V DC/3 kV DC
* Réunion Tram Train in Réunion, France
* TramCamp in Camp de Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain
* Line extensions to the Midland Metro in the West Midlands conurbation, England
* Lines B and C of Porto Metro, Porto, lines currently using "Eurotram", expected to use "Flexity Swift" tram-trains in the first quarter of 2008 in order to increase speed.

In Australia

* Adelaide, South Australia - Tram-train connection for the Adelaide Metro's Outer Harbor/Grange train lines and City West-Glenelg tramline extentsion announced in 2008 state budget as part of a 10-year $AU2 billion public transport upgrade.

Manufacturers

Models of tram designed for tram-train operation include:

* Bombardier’s Flexity Link
* Bombardier-Adtranz A32.
* Alstom’s Regio-Citadis

References

ee also

* Karlsruhe model

External links

* [http://www.lightrail.nl/TramTrain TramTrain - the 2nd generation: Searching for the ‘ideal’ TramTrain-city]
* [http://connectedcities.eu/guide/t4.html T4: tram-train Les Coquetiers]
* [http://www.kasig.com tram-train of Karlsruhe transformed in a subway in the center]
* [http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/road/Hopes-rise-for-tramtrains-pilot.2962865.jp Leeds City Region proposal ]


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