Trams Having Limited Capacity On Broadway? – SURELY NOT!

A repost from May 2019.
With the the City of  Vancouver and TransLink continued telling big porkies about LRT, the following is enlightening!
Leipzig Tram

The ongoing planning charade currently being played out by the cities of Vancouver & Surrey, and TransLink with the proposed Broadway SkyTrain subway, is being fueled by professional misconduct, by all professionals and most politicians involved.

A notable exception is Vancouver City Councillor Colleen Hardwick.

Today, the message being relayed around the world is that the city of Vancouver lacks any modicum of professionalism, which is both a dark message for companies wanting to locate here, but also it sends a welcoming call to money launders, flim-flam artists and alike.

The following is a 2014 email from a real transit engineer from Germany on the subject of tram headway’s and capacity (Capacity is a function of headway). He is answering questions that were put to me by several local politicians claiming that LRT cannot obtain the same headway’s as SkyTrain.
I relayed the email to said politicos and bureaucrats. As of yet, I have not heard a reply!
A coupled set of trams in Leipzig.

 Question)  It is not possible to operate 36 trains per hour as traffic signals
  will hold them back.

Answer) That’s the whole point of traffic light pre-emption. Which does not
*increase* the green phase for streetcars, but *shift* it in time. So
automobile traffic does not wait longer, it’s just different drivers who
wait, statistically.

If there’s no significant automobile traffic parallel to the
streetcar/light rail tracks (as typically the case in those “transit
malls”), you can even dynamically reduce the green phase for the trains
to the strict minimum required to clear the crossing (less than ten
seconds, even for a four-car set), which will actually *increase* the
green phase for crossing automobile traffic.

Right here next door, Leipzig is easily running 40 trains per hour on
sections shared by several routes. And the infrastructure is not
nearly at capacity, neither concerning trainset length (platform
length would allow 60m instead of 42m), nor concerning frequency. Other
operators do as well or even better. Karlsruhe’s 80 trains per hour are
running through a pedestrian street. Calgary’s transit mall precisely
seems to suffer from a lack of traffic light pre-emption, judging form
the videos.

Another example, from Czechia, the streetcar at Prague. The section
from Karlovo Namesti east to I.P.Pavolova carries the routes

4: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
6: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
10: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
16: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
22: 4 min 15 trains/h

That’s 45 trains per hour.

The tracks from Karlovo Namesti to the north carry the routes

3: 4 min 15 trains/h
6: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
14: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
18: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
22: 4 min 15 trains/h
24: 8 min 7.5 trains/h

That’s 60 trains per hour.

The tracks from Karlovo Namesti to the south carry the routes

3: 4 min 15 trains/h
4: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
10: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
14: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
16: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
18: 8 min 7.5 trains/h
24: 8 min 7.5 trains/h

That’s 45 trains per hour as well.

All figures given are for the morning peak. There are various other
networks in Europe that have similarly dense operation on sections
shared by several routes. 40 trains/h is not uncommon.

 Question)  In a subway, 31 trains are possible per hour with 14,640 passengers.

Answwer) Boston’s green line is running 40 trains per hour, 90 second frequency. On
sight in the tunnel, without ATC. Four branches, six minutes frequency
each. They are running four-car trainsets for events so the platforms
would be long enough.


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