Steepest adhesion worked tramline?

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Comstock

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I was walking up Market Street in Nottingham today, alongside the tram track, and it struck me just how steep it felt. Its probably nowhere near the steepest tramline in the country- but I wonder what is?
 
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Peter Mugridge

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I'm sure I've seen it quoted that it's the Sheffield system which holds the record - at least in the UK.
 

the sniper

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I'd have thought the section of the Midland Metro extension in Birmingham that runs up/down Stephenson Place (between Stephenson Street and Corporation Street outside New Street rail station, parallel with the 'McDonalds ramp') must now be up there with the UK's steepest street running sections of tramway? It looks steep! I could never imagine trams running up and down it before they built it...
 

Clip

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The bit from George st to Reeves corner on the Tramlink seems pretty steep - though they only go down it.
 

snowball

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I seem to remember reading somewhere recently that Sheffield has the steepest gradient and that it's 6%. Wikipedia says the Sheffield trams are capable of 10%.

Pity there aren't more published statistics on this sort of thing.
 

edwin_m

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Pretty sure the Sheffield network has gradients of up to 10% using trams with all axles motored (I'll ask a collegue who is working on the tram-trains whether they do as well). The Nottingham Incentro has five bogies and eight motors according to Wikipedia, and I assume the Citadis are similar. Croydon and Manchester have two bogies motored out of three and both have a ruling gradient of around 6.5%, though as pointed out the short section on Church Street is steeper but used downhill only. Usually the gradient is set not by what the trams can cope with on their own, but by the need for a working tram to pull or push a failed one.

I read somewhere there is a 13.5% adhesion worked gradient in Lisbon although Google finds a couple of people suggesting it is 14%. I suspect if one fails on that they will have to pull it out with a road vehicle, or let it roll down to somewhere less steep.
 

Merthyr Imp

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It's perhaps worth remembering that the old fashioned pre-1940s trams in Nottingham also used to run up Market Street.

I can't answer for the Sheffield or Birmingham systems, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the 'old' trams in many areas of the country also coped with similar gradients.
 

61653 HTAFC

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It's perhaps worth remembering that the old fashioned pre-1940s trams in Nottingham also used to run up Market Street.

I can't answer for the Sheffield or Birmingham systems, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the 'old' trams in many areas of the country also coped with similar gradients.

I'd cautiously agree that some of the first generation tramways would have fairly steep sections in places. The Huddersfield system would have had some quite severe inclines on the Longwood branch, and at Chapel Hill to the West of the town centre. In both cases these wouldn't have been long climbs though, compared to some sections on the modern Sheffield system.
 

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I read somewhere there is a 13.5% adhesion worked gradient in Lisbon although Google finds a couple of people suggesting it is 14%. I suspect if one fails on that they will have to pull it out with a road vehicle, or let it roll down to somewhere less steep.

Ooh I remember that one when I was out for the Euros some years back and thought it was a bit much so didnt get on it out of fear lol .
 

Comstock

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Just out of interest, are trams better or worse than trains at coping with gradients?
 

Rick1984

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I always thought the hill down Crookedholm between Kilmarnock and Hulford seemed quite steep for trams.
 

Robertj21a

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Pretty sure the Sheffield network has gradients of up to 10% using trams with all axles motored (I'll ask a collegue who is working on the tram-trains whether they do as well). The Nottingham Incentro has five bogies and eight motors according to Wikipedia, and I assume the Citadis are similar. Croydon and Manchester have two bogies motored out of three and both have a ruling gradient of around 6.5%, though as pointed out the short section on Church Street is steeper but used downhill only. Usually the gradient is set not by what the trams can cope with on their own, but by the need for a working tram to pull or push a failed one.

I read somewhere there is a 13.5% adhesion worked gradient in Lisbon although Google finds a couple of people suggesting it is 14%. I suspect if one fails on that they will have to pull it out with a road vehicle, or let it roll down to somewhere less steep.


I doubt that any tram line will be steeper than the famous ones around the Graca area of Lisbon - routes 12 and 28 if I remember correctly.
 

WatcherZero

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Graca is 1/9 Sheffield has 1/10 on Netherthorpe Road, Manchester has a 1/15 on the Eccles line through Salford Quays.
 

Busaholic

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If the Croydon Tramlink extension to Crystal Palace ever goes ahead, depending on where it actually terminates I'd imagine the current UK records will be challenged.
 

WatcherZero

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Certainly not, they've tendered for stock capable of a maximum 6% gradient.
 

bluegoblin7

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Steepest second generation is Supertram with a maximum gradient of 1 in 10.

Steepest heritage is Pockerley Bank at Beamish, climbing at 1 in 16.

Other notable (and often misquoted as steepest) climbs are Blackpool's Gynn Hill at 1 in 30 and Crich's 'extension' from Wakebridge to Glory Mine, also at 1 in 30.
 

Flying_Turtle

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I doubt that any tram line will be steeper than the famous ones around the Graca area of Lisbon - routes 12 and 28 if I remember correctly.
Indeed
on the 28 you have the Calçada do Combro ( calçada = very steep street; ç = ss )
Calçada do Combro

https://goo.gl/maps/o8DAr6yo8Rq

However it is said that this small stretch between the intersections might be steeper:

Calçada da Estrela 10

http://maps.google.com/?q=Calçada+d...1934826ebe3e91:0xe3ab323cb4c179f8&hl=pt&gl=pt

Still on the 28 this small bit is also tough:
Tv. São Tomé 3

https://goo.gl/rmaps/sdDeAou63eS2

Regarding the 12 it "shortcuts" the 28 . Just go uphill from here:
R. Cavaleiros 112

http://maps.google.com/?q=R.+Cavale...19338629511047:0xc7cdd3520716974a&hl=pt&gl=pt
 

Clip

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Which indicates to me that Crystal Palace was nothing more than a worthless Boris Johnson mayoral election 'promise'.

Didnt it get canned again about a month or so after he last won the election?
 

Pigalle

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What about the inclines up and down Waverley Street and Mount Hooton Road in Nottingham?
 

Firesprite

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Richmond Hill (1 in 8) in Bournemouth on the old tram network. Had the added problem that at the bottom of the hill, the power soruce changed from overhead to conduit to cross the square.
 

edwin_m

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Do rubber-tyred trams count ?

As they have a better grip they will always be able to climb steeper gradients than steel wheel systems. The limiting factor for rubber-tyre systems is probably passenger comfort (slipping off the seats etc).
 

TRAX

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Yes, hence my question. Comfort-wise there aren't any differences compared to conventional steel systems.
 

edwin_m

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Yes, hence my question. Comfort-wise there aren't any differences compared to conventional steel systems.

No, but although a rubber tyre system could be engineered for 20%+ you probably wouldn't want to because the passengers would be falling off the seats.
 
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