More on Karlsruhe, new Trams, headway, pedestrians & bicycles

Ai??Germany-based Vossloh has won a ai??i??75m contract from Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe (VBK) and Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (AVG) to supply 25 low floor tram trains, with an option for 50 additional trains to be deployed in Karlsruhe, Germany. Under the contract, the company will supply its new tram train, the Citylink NET 2012, equipped with the modern traction system of Vossloh Kiepe. The tram trains are designed to suit the requirements of the city and can carry maximum of 224 passengers. The delivery of the trains will begin in October 2013.

This comment on the Karlsruhe Tram, Tram-Train system was posted yesterday on the Light Rail Progress Professionals (LRPPro) group forum

KarlsruheAi??is a surface street running railway with 45 second
headway. Whilst the street is pedestrianised , those trams at 45 second
headways are mixing it with quite heavy foot traffic and a considerable number of bicycles.

Anywhere other than Germany this would probably be considered
extremely dangerous and operations would have been cut back or even suspended.

The ‘TramTrain’ vehicles that run on the mainline are equipped with
DB’s standard inductive automatic train stop technology, but this would be of little use at such close headways, it’s designed to prevent
‘signal passed at danger’ accidents on a ‘block signalled’ railway -
and the tram only vehicles are not fitted with it away.
The Germans seem to have a different slant on ‘safety’ thatAi??we English
speakers do. They seem to assume some degree of common sense in their workers and public – where as we seem to go out of our way to protect idiots from them selves. (And the German system seems to work – they don’t kill hordes of workers or bystanders with their ‘dangerous’ practices!)
In the outer suburbs of Eastern Berlin there are two ‘interurban’ tram
routes (87 and 88) that are one step from rolling museums – but seem to carry a pretty large load of locals anyway. Both are single track with loops. Both have sections of single track running along roads – and not in the middle, but to one side – so that in one direction the trams are running in the opposite direction to the road traffic!. Suggest that anywhere else and all sorts of traffic engineers, urban planners and who knows who else would have a complete hissy fit meltdown at the mere suggestion!
But in these outer suburbs if a motorist sees a tram approaching them they just pull out onto the wrong side of the road to give the tram space. Motor traffic running in the same direction as the tram just holds back or stops to allow the oncoming traffic to get out the way of the tram. I’ve not seen that level of driver courtesy anywhere else in either Canada or the US!.


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