Midland Metro

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by Class 172 Fan, 9 Jan 2015.

  1. TH172341

    TH172341 Member

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    Saw good progress was being made on Snow Hill stop the other day; am I right in thinking it will be linked up to the mainline station, St Chads entrance? I.e The glass staircases at the northern end of the station?

    Must say I miss the T69s - the CAFs are far inferior in terms of comfort. The suspension is very firm, and useless on the Wolverhampton street section and pointwork (e.g West Brom). Although sitting at the far ends seems far better and smoother, and also near the articulated sections where there is no bogie underneath. The panelling vibrates loudly on the Wolverhampton street section (more so than the T69s) and on certain sections. The heating systems are also feeble at times when compared to the T69s.

    The pull off is not refined in any way unless the driver is very tentative in applying power - just jerks into movement literally. The seats are the final straw - had to endure a lot of long trips, many end to end now and suffering back pain as a result of it afterwards. Combined with the suspension and vibration, they're horrific for these longer trips. The Fainsa seats are a luxury in comparison!

    I'm usually all for new stuff, however here it's the opposite! They look great, and performance wise superior. However in terms of comfort they're a disappointment sadly.
     
    Last edited: 16 Mar 2016
  2. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Rather disappointingly, I have to agree with much of what you say. The seats are quite terrible when compared to virtually anything else but, presumably, few people travel very far and will therefore just put up with it. A great shame that key detail like that has been overlooked.
     
  3. TH172341

    TH172341 Member

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    It is disappointing - if they did have better seats, such as the Edinburgh Trams do (which are also CAF) it would be excellent. The firm suspension would then be partly offset by the better seats.

    I accept that the Wolverhampton street section is probably due to the nature of the track - however pretty inexcusable when the Priestfield to St Georges section was closed for so long last year!

    Talking of T69s, is there any real long term plan for them yet, or is it just storage in the hope of further extensions justifying the use of them in the future?
     
  4. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Weren't they a possibility for the IOW line if/when they decide what to do with it ?
     
  5. baz52

    baz52 Member

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    I think the new caf urbos3 are much better in every way.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    also I belive there is an idea to convert the old T69s for the isle of wight all the old ones are going to storage.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    oh btw yes the new snow hill metro station will be sort of part of the mainline rail station the entrance to the metro station will be just a few yards up from the rail station entrance.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    oh btw yes the new snow hill metro station will be sort of part of the mainline rail station the entrance to the metro station will be just a few yards up from the rail station entrance.
     
  6. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Can you please explain what it is that makes you believe that the new trams re 'better in every way' as I'm struggling to think of anything at all (and the original stock wasn't exactly perfect either !).
     
  7. baz52

    baz52 Member

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    The urbos3 type are much better designed all round, and faster and much quieter , and can run without OHL where required.
     
  8. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    1)Better designed all round, have you sat on the seats it feels like im sitting on pure plastic!
    2)And since when has the acceleration ever mattered? They also lurch when they set off!
    3)Can they, so if you took a tram off the OHL line right now it would just work,
    No?
    Did not think so :roll:
    Sam
     
  9. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Trust me, the new trams are much more comfortable than the stuff I used on the Subway in New York! Want to sit on pure plastic? That's all you'll get!

    Same applies to the Metro in Brussels for that matter...
     
  10. baz52

    baz52 Member

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    Thank you, techniquest, ..... anyway what I should have said is that the Urbos3 trams can run without the OHL system over short parts, with the battery power packs installed, and as such that is what will be in the city centre, when that section is completed in the next couple of years, and I think you find in most modern forms of public transport the seating arrangements are much different nowdays than years ago! For example less softer seats, also there have better onboard info etc, and more stylish design, and more importantly can cope with city centre streets better.
     
  11. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Better on-board information is something the UK seems to be slowly leading on. Compared to New York's Subway, we're decades ahead!
     
  12. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    That doesn't say any more than you said before !

    I think we must be travelling on different trams as these are amongst the worst for comfort I've ever been on (and I've been on hundreds).
     
  13. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Have you been on a tram in Brussels? They're not exactly comfortable, nor are Edinburgh's lot. I used to not find the M5000s in Manchester too comfortable compared to the lot before them, but I've grown to tolerate them now.
     
  14. TH172341

    TH172341 Member

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    The T69s weren't perfect, I'll admit that. The electrical problems they suffered at times were tedious, and towards the end of operation some of the panelling was in need of fixing back on - Tram 16 springs to mind! Literally had a wall pillar in the upper section at one end detaching from the wall.

    However the seating and suspension was far better than the CAFs, not to mention the initial move forward was actually smooth. The CAFs suspension is non existant at times, and the lurch forward more reminiscent of 72 stock than a 21st century tram.

    The CAFs though do benefit from better performance, and will offer better reliability in the long term (although had a couple instances now of them failing/breaking down on me). Design wise they're far more stylish and appealing; and more spacious as well. The onboard information system fuctions well and is far clearer than the T69s, so are more accessible. Can't say they're any better noise wise though - go on the Wolverhampton street section - even at speed not much different to the T69s.

    The M5000s, of which I've ridden numerous times, I much prefer. The suspension is more refined, and the accleration doesn't lurch. The seats are virtually the same, however thanks to the suspension the ride is certainly more preferable to the CAF.

    Really the CAFs are bare bone trams designed for short distance hops - certainly not for those who have to ride from say, Priestfield, to Birmingham; which many do, particularly in the peaks.
     
  15. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    The point I'm trying to put across is that while CAF trams aren't perfect, there is worse out there. Admittedly I prefer Metrolink's M5000s but then the lot in Sheffield aren't too bad either. Nottingham's lot are my favourites.
     
  16. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Yes, Brussels, Edinburgh, Milan, Krakow, Zurich etc etc.

    The point I'm making is that these are our newest trams and others (like Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield) have managed to have seating that is at least moderately comfortable. So why hasn't Midland Metro learnt any lessons from them ?
     
  17. Seacook

    Seacook Member

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    But the comparison is not with trams in other countries but with the ones that were replaced which had far more comfortable seats. Travelling on the metro - as I did yesterday - is now a far less pleasant experience.
     
  18. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Most 'proper' metro or tube trains etc are designed to carry the majority of their passengers standing. In addition, many only travel for a few stops. To me, that's quite a bit different from the Midlands Metro.
     
  19. baz52

    baz52 Member

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    the midland metro has about 80 seats and the about 130 standing total is 210. yes I gree that some have very few seats and some are ie 75% standing , so I think far better to have like our metro has plenty of seating, there was about c2c a little while ago when they had metro type trains, and lots of people wanted proper trains instead.
     
  20. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    The Midland Metro has 54 seats, 156 standing, so less seats, which as previous posters have said is not ideal for the work that they do.Plenty of people use the tram for long distance both in peak and off-peak, meaning that you have more chance off having to stand for longer periods of time.
    Sam
     
    Last edited: 24 Mar 2016
  21. baz52

    baz52 Member

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    yes your quite right. about the number of seats etc. sorry forgot number. but anyway , they are much better than the old ones.
     
  22. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    That's your personal opinion others including me may have different (I certainly do)
    Sam
     
  23. Heartland

    Heartland Member

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    I regard the delay in completing the Midland Metro to Birmingham New Street (or is it Grand Central?) a farce. It is alleged to have some trials on the final section in April. Various issues have led to the delay including the permission to fix overhead cables to buildings and a concern if the Metro electrical operation will adversely have some impact at New Street. It may well be that the contractors were working elsewhere and their lack of available staff caused the delay! But hopefully trams will be running soon along the full length- that is before the new extensions are commenced.
     
    Last edited: 26 Mar 2016
  24. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    DLR B07 stock does something similar. It moves a tiny distance, hesitates, then continues, whereas the B90/92/00 stock is smoother. Still, it is a good reminder to always hold the handrail! :P
     
  25. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Oh I know that, but my comments were more regarding someone's post suggesting they may as well be sitting on pure plastic seats on the Midland Metro. Having done just that (sitting on plastic seats) in other countries, I felt the need to point out that the Midland Metro's trams are actually a lot comfier than it was suggested they are.

    I don't agree they're uncomfortable for long distances either, I did Bull Street to Wednesbury Parkway in one move without leaving my seat, then the same on the following tram to Wolverhampton St Georges. At no time did I feel uncomfortable, and I'm not exactly the lightest lad around. If I was doing the entire distance in one go, I might have got a bit sore towards the end, but then again I've done line 5 from one end to the other in one go on the Brussels Metro and I was actually surprised how comfortable it was. And I was a bit bigger back then too!
     
  26. duffield

    duffield Member

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    Re the electrical interference issue, does anyone with the relevant expert knowledge have an opinion as to whether the concerns about the tram overheads interfering with New Street operations are ridiculously over-cautious (given the distance from the tram overheads to - say - the signalling and overheads of the mainline railway)?
     
  27. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    There are two issues here.

    Firstly the DC return current of the tram can run into hundreds of amps, and some will escape from the preferred route down the running rails because they can never be perfectly insulated from the surrounding ground. A DC track circuit operates on a current in the region of one amp, and for similar reasons that isn't perfectly insulated from the rails either. So even a small part of the tram return current could, in the wrong circumstances, cause a wrong-side failure and a major accident. Much of the West Midlands has been re-signalled with more modern equipment having greater immunity from stray currents (much of it also being approved for use on DC railways). However I believe New Street itself is about the last area that still has DC track circuits.

    The other possible issue is various AC frequencies and harmonics generated by the tram's traction package. These are at much lower currents than the DC but can find their way into nearby railway track by induction as well as conduction. I was involved in an exciting experiment in 1998 to measure this using the Birkbeck-Beckenham section of Tramlink and the adjacent railway, with results up to about 7% if I recall correctly. This is the same sort of problem that caused so much trouble for new EMUs in the 1990s, mitigated by the indirect means of creating current in the railway but exacerbated by the trams not being designed to avoid producing frequencies that would be problematic. Reed track circuit and vital FDM systems are particularly vulnerable, because a single AC frequency can cause a wrong-side failure in these. I'm not sure if any of those are used at New Street. The problem is also less severe with modern IGBT drives which run at higher frequencies that are not of concern to the signalling, rather than the older IGBTs which tended to operate a lot of the time in the critical signalling frequency ranges. This incidentally is one reason behind the distinctive "gear changing" noises of things like Networkers - the drive needs to hop around its operating frequency range to avoid using particular parts of it.

    In either case instinct says there isn't a problem but it's extremely hard to prove. Hence there will have been some preliminary analysis and testing to provide a theoretical justification that it will be OK before the infrastructure is built. But as a final confirmation some testing on the ground provides confidence that the actual results are similar to what was predicted.
     
    Last edited: 31 Mar 2016
  28. baz52

    baz52 Member

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    the metro tests are on april 23rd so I understand from another website. and also the last T69 tram has left now too.
     
  29. baz52

    baz52 Member

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    only two weeks to the midland metro tests on april 23rd.
     
  30. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    Nope 16 is still in the depot.
    Sam
     

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