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Green Line - is it at capacity? Post covid?

  • 31-05-2021 8:42pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭ iffandonlyif


    AngryLips wrote: »
    That's not the impression that the NTA are giving in the above Examiner article. The implicit suggestion seems to be that extending Metro to Sandyford via an alternative route through UCD would negate the need to upgrade green line.

    Zaney wrote: »
    “Sweat the asset” my guess is Green line metro delivered in piecemeal. An extension here, a crossing closed there, bit by bit until hey presto you’ve metro south (as far as Sandyford at least).

    The asset is already sweating.



    90206860_90206860-390x285.jpg


    Alternative routings would ease some of the burden, but by the time any of those come on line the crowding will be even worse. 'Metro South' has got to happen; there's no way they are considering embarking on some N11 routing simply to avoid provoking the ire of the Dunville Avenue brigade.



    I expect they are waiting until it becomes untenable not to upgrade. 'We can make all these problems go away if you give us a year to upgrade the platforms.'


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,194 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    Luas as of 2019 was completely rammed. We've a bit of respite at the moment but that won't last long. Are these people for real? Upgrades were needed 7 or 8 years ago. Planning them now for decades in the future won't cut it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,806 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    The asset is already sweating.



    90206860_90206860-390x285.jpg


    Alternative routings would ease some of the burden, but by the time any of those come on line the crowding will be even worse. 'Metro South' has got to happen; there's no way they are considering embarking on some N11 routing simply to avoid provoking the ire of the Dunville Avenue brigade.


    I expect they are waiting until it becomes untenable not to upgrade. 'We can make all these problems go away if you give us a year to upgrade the platforms.'

    That photo is of the Red Line at Jervis. Not really relevant to the Green Line.

    But it is pertinent to point out the following:

    - there are nowhere near the full number of red line trams in daily service, so there is still plenty of scope to increase capacity on that line by increasing frequency. That fleet is nowhere near being sweated.

    - eight additional 55m trams have been delivered for the Green Line and all of the existing trams have been extended to 55m which has increased capacity significantly

    - not all of the green line trams are in daily service so again there is scope for increasing frequency especially on the branches to/from Broombridge and Cherrywood


  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭ iffandonlyif


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    That photo is of the Red Line at Jervis. Not really relevant to the Green Line.


    It's a generic 'Luas is at capacity' picture. Passenger volumes on the Green line are higher than on the Red, and my experience, at least, is that crowding is certainly worse on the Green line.



    I don't know enough to comment on your claims but I instinctively feel you are overstating the extent of spare capacity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,806 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    It's a generic 'Luas is at capacity' picture. Passenger volumes on the Green line are higher than on the Red, and my experience, at least, is that crowding is certainly worse on the Green line.

    I don't know enough to comment on your claims but I instinctively feel you are overstating the extent of spare capacity.

    “Was” worse. I don’t think either line is really under pressure right now are they?

    Until we see society returning to normal, it’s difficult to assess what the level of commuting will be. Commuting habits may change significantly.

    But aside from that, you cannot ignore the fact that while the Covid pandemic has been with us, all of the 26 original Green Line trams have been extended to 55m - that’s a large amount of additional capacity in every single tram on the Green Line, along with the additional 8 55m trams that have been delivered in the past eighteen months, in addition to the original 7 55m trams that had already been delivered. That’s 41 55m trams.

    As for overstating the spare capacity, I don’t think I am.

    Having sat down and analysed the two full timetables (available on the TFI website), my calculations are that the Red Line timetable requires 27 out of 40 trams in service each day, while the Green Line timetable requires 32 out of 41 trams.

    Allowing for say 3 trams as maintenance cover, that still leaves plenty of scope for expansion of frequency.

    Note that LUAS frequency did not drop during the pandemic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭ donvito99


    LXFlyer wrote: »

    But aside from that, you cannot ignore the fact that while the Covid pandemic has been with us, all of the 26 original Green Line trams have been extended to 55m - that’s a large amount of additional capacity in every single tram on the Green Line, along with the additional 8 55m trams that have been delivered in the past eighteen months, in addition to the original 7 55m trams that had already been delivered. That’s 41 55m trams.

    That's 41 trams making up a system that will carry less than half of MetroLink on the same alignment.
    The Red Line timetable requires 27 out of 40 trams in service each day, while the Green Line timetable requires 32 out of 41 trams.

    Allowing for say 3 trams as maintenance cover, that still leaves plenty of scope for expansion of frequency.

    There may be more trams, but on both lines there was a serious bunching issue that transpired every morning and evening caused by street running. It would be interesting to see what would happen if even more trams were to be thrown at the pre Covid problem, where do you hold the trams now? Typically you'd have one waiting to depart northbound on Harcourt At, one waiting to get into the recently cleared platform, and a third waiting to come on to Adelaide Rd from the ramp at Charlemont.

    This and the fact that we're the longest trams in Europe is the surest sign of the inappropriateness of this mode on the Green Line and the necessity of a grade separated, metro service that is more efficient at moving the thousands pre Covid and the thousands more post covid.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,806 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    donvito99 wrote: »
    That's 41 trams making up a system that will carry less than half of MetroLink on the same alignment.



    There may be more trams, but on both lines there was a serious bunching issue that transpired every morning and evening caused by street running. It would be interesting to see what would happen if even more trams were to be thrown at the pre Covid problem, where do you hold the trams now? Typically you'd have one waiting to depart northbound on Harcourt At, one waiting to get into the recently cleared platform, and a third waiting to come on to Adelaide Rd from the ramp at Charlemont.

    This and the fact that we're the longest trams in Europe is the surest sign of the inappropriateness of this mode on the Green Line and the necessity of a grade separated, metro service that is more efficient at moving the thousands pre Covid and the thousands more post covid.

    I was countering the specific point that a poster made that the system is sweating.

    It isn’t. There’s plenty of capacity in the fleet on both lines for the medium term now that the additional trams have been delivered and existing trams extended, particularly given that there will be a likely drop in commuting numbers due to increased numbers working from home.

    Long term is a different issue and that’s what the NTA need to plan for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,363 ✭✭✭✭ Podge_irl


    Capacity in the fleet is irrelevant after a certain point. Capacity on the line is the limiting factor.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭ D.L.R.


    We're wasting one of the few railway lines in Dublin on a dinky toy tram service.

    That should be easy to grasp for anyone but apparently not..


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,806 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    D.L.R. wrote: »
    We're wasting one of the few railway lines in Dublin on a dinky toy tram service.

    That should be easy to grasp for anyone but apparently not..

    If that’s aimed at me, I reiterate that I have no issue with Metrolink, other than I would not be overly happy with an extended closure of the Green Line in the future to convert it as per the current plan.

    I was merely responding to someone who claimed that the existing assets were being sweated. I’m pointing out that those assets have been expanded siginificantly during the pandemic which will deliver a lot of additional capacity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,806 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    Podge_irl wrote: »
    Capacity in the fleet is irrelevant after a certain point. Capacity on the line is the limiting factor.

    It is relevant that the money we spend is put to good use and the assets sweated.

    Whatever about the Green Line where the additional trams will certainly deliver an increase in service levels in the short term, I do wonder about the rather large apparent surplus of trams on the Red Line that aren’t being used, but that’s for another thread.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,194 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    If the line was used for heavy rail and connected to the Broadstone terminus underground where it was continued as heavy rail, as planned in the 70s. None of this would be a problem of course, there'd be buckets of capacity and we could have an on street tram network separately that wasn't required to act as a high capacity commuter railway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,758 ✭✭✭ Shedite27


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Luas as of 2019 was completely rammed. We've a bit of respite at the moment but that won't last long. Are these people for real? Upgrades were needed 7 or 8 years ago. Planning them now for decades in the future won't cut it.
    How many people on here that took the Luas 5 days a week in 2019 are planning on taking the Luas 5 days a week in 2022?

    I'm not, 2 days at most. The capacity issue on Sandyford - SSG has probably been taken care of I reckon


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,454 ✭✭✭✭ salmocab


    Shedite27 wrote: »
    How many people on here that took the Luas 5 days a week in 2019 are planning on taking the Luas 5 days a week in 2022?

    I'm not, 2 days at most. The capacity issue on Sandyford - SSG has probably been taken care of I reckon

    I’ll be back on it soon, work supplied a parking space for the last year and with managers due back in the office over the next few months I’ll lose it. Same with a few people here.
    Whilst I think there will certainly be a bit of respite in the short term there will still be a huge amount of people that just can’t work remotely either through necessity or employers not allowing it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,363 ✭✭✭✭ Podge_irl


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    It is relevant that the money we spend is put to good use and the assets sweated.

    Whatever about the Green Line where the additional trams will certainly deliver an increase in service levels in the short term, I do wonder about the rather large apparent surplus of trams on the Red Line that aren’t being used, but that’s for another thread.

    Saying the timetable only uses 32 out of 41 trams and therefore the asset isn't being sweated is not correct though.

    The ability to expand at this point has nothing to do with the number of trams, it has to do with the capacity of the line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,194 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    Shedite27 wrote: »
    How many people on here that took the Luas 5 days a week in 2019 are planning on taking the Luas 5 days a week in 2022?

    I'm not, 2 days at most. The capacity issue on Sandyford - SSG has probably been taken care of I reckon

    In a few short years it'll be back rammed again even if there's partial WFH. Growth will swallow up all that capacity very quick


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    D.L.R. wrote: »
    We're wasting one of the few railway lines in Dublin on a dinky toy tram service.

    That should be easy to grasp for anyone but apparently not..

    What is easy to grasp is the two so called "toy" tram lines carry almost the same number of passengers as the entire Irish Rail network!
    LXFlyer wrote: »
    It isn’t. There’s plenty of capacity in the fleet on both lines for the medium term now that the additional trams have been delivered and existing trams extended, particularly given that there will be a likely drop in commuting numbers due to increased numbers working from home.

    The Luas is actually one of the highest capacity and highest frequency tram lines in the world. It very much is at or near max capacity for light rail.

    As others have pointed out, it isn't about the number of trams available, the limitation is the junctions and how many trams can pass the junctions per hour.

    There is a certain frequency above which you can't increase frequency further without closing junctions permanently and that is what converting to Metro basically does.

    It is the same issue that DART suffers from and why a big part of Dart+ will be closing junctions.

    Luas also has the extra complication of on-street running and the variances in journey time that leads too.

    Capacity of a line is mostly driven by these factors, not number of vehicles available.

    Luas is very much at close to max capacity for a non fully separated transport system.


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,214 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatInABox


    NTA/TII currently predict that the Green Line has enough capacity to serve until 2030 or so. At that point, they have a plan to increase the frequency of trams on the line. This plan will result in most of the at grade junctions closing.

    In my opinion, they are highly optimistic with their passenger predictions, based on an assumption that most of the new passengers from new developments (Cherrywood and all) coming on stream will work in Sandyford, and not in the city centre. If it's the other way around, with most working in the city centre, then the Greenline will be in trouble by 2027 I'd guess.

    Seeing as their upgrade plan will close most of the "problem" junctions (and it'd be a short term fix at best), I'd hazard a guess that they'll look very seriously at just doing the Metrolink upgrade instead. I'd eat my hat if they're not looking at ways to do the Metrolink upgrade offline somehow, perhaps by temporarily CPOing the gardens either side of the line, creating a detour, and then digging out the middle to do the upgrade. That'd reduce the Luas downtime to the minimum needed to do the commissioning and testing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,609 ✭✭✭✭ ted1


    Shedite27 wrote: »
    How many people on here that took the Luas 5 days a week in 2019 are planning on taking the Luas 5 days a week in 2022?

    I'm not, 2 days at most. The capacity issue on Sandyford - SSG has probably been taken care of I reckon

    Are you forgetting the thousands of people who will use it from cherrywood


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,985 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    They are highly optimistic, but also they are highly optimistic about closing junctions.

    Don't forget one of Dublins most ridiculous level crossings (Merrion Gates) could not be closed because of a sustained NIMBY campaign. They need to put several years onto any of their timetables to get around any legal challenges.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,806 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    Podge_irl wrote: »
    Saying the timetable only uses 32 out of 41 trams and therefore the asset isn't being sweated is not correct though.

    The ability to expand at this point has nothing to do with the number of trams, it has to do with the capacity of the line.

    I'm not worried about the Green Line in this context to be honest, as the additional trams will be used to enable trams that are currently operating between Parnell and Sandyford to extend to Broombridge or Cherrywood.

    Those assets will be used and sweated.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,806 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    bk wrote: »
    The Luas is actually one of the highest capacity and highest frequency tram lines in the world. It very much is at or near max capacity for light rail.

    As others have pointed out, it isn't about the number of trams available, the limitation is the junctions and how many trams can pass the junctions per hour.

    There is a certain frequency above which you can't increase frequency further without closing junctions permanently and that is what converting to Metro basically does.

    It is the same issue that DART suffers from and why a big part of Dart+ will be closing junctions.

    Luas also has the extra complication of on-street running and the variances in journey time that leads too.

    Capacity of a line is mostly driven by these factors, not number of vehicles available.

    Luas is very much at close to max capacity for a non fully separated transport system.

    I am fullly cognisant of the capacity of the line in terms of how many trams can be operated. It's nuts watching them in the city centre at the height of the peak, especially when they get stuck on either Liffey Bridge blocking the traffic on the Quay behind them. The NTA have quite obviously put a sticking plaster in place to try and avoid dealing with the real problem which is how to deliver the Metro service south of the city centre.

    But my point re fleet utilisation was more of an aside, due to the photo posted earlier. I was really focussing on the Red Line fleet in terms of the daily fleet utilisation. My beef is that about 25% of the fleet in Red Cow (leaving aside the maintenance requirement) is sitting idle each day and I don't see any plan to deal with that.

    That's a fair bit of capital investment that isn't being used, for which you and I paid for through our taxes, and are not getting a return from our taxes.

    It's all well and good saying that the line has X capacity. We still have a fleet of trams fully paid for that aren't being used.

    What are they going to do with them?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,454 ✭✭✭✭ salmocab


    ted1 wrote: »
    Are you forgetting the thousands of people who will use it from cherrywood

    Hundreds of homes to be built on the central mental hospital with little parking too along with plenty of other smaller developments. Along the line.
    Think there’s nearly two thousand to go in up above carrickmines too, they will take a long time to come on board but there’s too much planned to be waiting for the it gets too rammed.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    It's all well and good saying that the line has X capacity. We still have a fleet of trams fully paid for that aren't being used.

    What are they going to do with them?

    New trams were bought that entered the fleet in 2020, but given covid and reduced passenger numbers as a result, they haven't really been needed at the time. Much like the Enviro400ER's aren't currently badly needed, but very welcome to see.

    There is obviously no point operating the entire fleet when demand is low, carrying air and causing increased driver costs, wear and tear on trams etc.

    Obviously as passenger numbers return to pre-covid levels, we are likely to see more trams out operating at a higher frequency and better utilisation of the new larger fleet.

    While the new and longer trams are extremely welcome, they are a mere bandaid on the very fast growing capacity requirements of these routes. At best they will only take the pressure off for a few years. Only moving to Metro and building Dart Underground will give the truly massive jump in passenger capacity that these lines desperately need.


  • Registered Users Posts: 498 ✭✭ Murph85


    The lack of luas priority over cars is laughable at many junctions, one easy win, that they dont seem bothered with...

    I've asked it before, but at peak times, why not have trams with far fewer seats operating?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,454 ✭✭✭✭ salmocab


    Murph85 wrote: »
    The lack of luas priority over cars is laughable at many junctions, one easy win, that they dont seem bothered with...

    I've asked it before, but at peak times, why not have trams with far fewer seats operating?

    Practically all the seats are over the wheels so if the seats weren’t there there wouldn’t be room to stand anyway.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,064 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    There was a long back and forth here about someone proposing double deck trams and trams with no seats (or double decks with no seats) if you want to go back and look for it - feels like two or three years ago now.

    I think all of the conventional seats are on the wheels and equipment boxes in the fully low floor trams on the green line; with only a few singles, perches and flip-downs in the low floor sections - the flip seats being the rear restraint for wheelchair-using passengers. There really isn't anything more to be squeezed out capacity wise without going longer again - with all the issues that entails. They are already the second longest trams in use anywhere I believe, and not by much.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    L1011 wrote: »
    They are already the second longest trams in use anywhere I believe, and not by much.

    Yes, Green Line is 55m, the longest are CAF units in Budabest at 55.9m. A difference barely worth mentioning.

    Add to that a frequency of every 3 minutes for a non separated, street running system, with lots of junctions, pretty damn impressive. One of the busiest tram systems in the world.

    Yes, you can probably squeeze some more out of the Green line to Stephens Green, with a 2 minute frequency, by extra turn-backs and closing junctions. But now you are well on your way to a Metro anyway and very much at maximum capacity for a tram.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭ D.L.R.


    bk wrote: »
    What is easy to grasp is the two so called "toy" tram lines carry almost the same number of passengers as the entire Irish Rail network!

    The Harcourt St railway has more capacity than a street tram can ever use.

    Permanently using this high capacity rail corridor for a low capacity tram service is not a serious transport strategy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,806 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    bk wrote: »
    New trams were bought that entered the fleet in 2020, but given covid and reduced passenger numbers as a result, they haven't really been needed at the time. Much like the Enviro400ER's aren't currently badly needed, but very welcome to see.

    There is obviously no point operating the entire fleet when demand is low, carrying air and causing increased driver costs, wear and tear on trams etc.

    Obviously as passenger numbers return to pre-covid levels, we are likely to see more trams out operating at a higher frequency and better utilisation of the new larger fleet.

    While the new and longer trams are extremely welcome, they are a mere bandaid on the very fast growing capacity requirements of these routes. At best they will only take the pressure off for a few years. Only moving to Metro and building Dart Underground will give the truly massive jump in passenger capacity that these lines desperately need.

    That service level has been the case since well before Covid. LUAS service levels have not dropped during the pandemic.

    There has been a surplus of trams sitting idle in Red Cow for some time. That's what I'm getting at.


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    D.L.R. wrote: »
    The Harcourt St railway has more capacity than a street tram can ever use.

    Permanently using this high capacity rail corridor for a low capacity tram service is not a serious transport strategy.

    The green line carries more passengers then the DART. It carries more passengers then any other route in Ireland. There is nothing low capacity about it!

    Converted to Metro, it will carry vastly more passengers then any heavy rail line in Ireland ever will.

    Far more goes into the success of a transport system then simply heavy rail good, light rail bad!

    Size of vehicles, frequency, degree of grade separation, signalling, power systems, acceleration, simplicity of service, fully automated driverless, etc.

    The Luas has been ridiculously successful. The decision to go with standard off the shelf, mass produced light rail system, standard gauage, standard power systems, standard signalling, vehicles used in more then 50 other cities has been a massive success.

    Look at how relatively easy it has been to expand Luas over the years, lengthen platforms, easily buy new trams, lengthen existing ones. Expand capacity relatively cheaply and without much fanfare or issues, meanwhile Irish Rail struggles to buy even a relatively small number of extra carriages for the ICR's.

    Luas has been a massive success and hopefully the lessons learned will be applied to Metro.
    LXFlyer wrote: »
    That service level has been the case since well before Covid. LUAS service levels have not dropped during the pandemic.

    8 of the new trams were only ordered and arrived in 2020!

    7 others new 55m trams had arrived in 2018, but these were needed as the 26 existing 43m 402 trams were each sent off in turn to be lengthened to 55m.

    You said:
    LXFlyer wrote:
    Having sat down and analysed the two full timetables (available on the TFI website), my calculations are that the Red Line timetable requires 27 out of 40 trams in service each day, while the Green Line timetable requires 32 out of 41 trams.

    But in 2019, they were only 33 trams on the Green line (7 55m + 26 43m). So 32 out of 33 would be pretty high, though I'd assume that wasn't the case in 2019, frequency was probably lower then.

    They only reached the number of 41 trams on the Green line at the end of 2020, when the 8 new trams arrived. In other words in the middle of the pandemic.

    While it might be true that Luas service levels haven't dropped due to the pandemic, I suspect that they have delayed increasing frequency as planned, as the new trams have arrived as passenger numbers are down so much. As passengers numbers pick up, I'm sure we will see an increased frequency be put in place.

    Also keep in mind, that all the trams on the green line are now all 55m long. In 2017 the green line had just 26 43m trams. Now it has 41 55m trams. If as you say that just 33 of them are in use, that is 33 x 55m trams versus 26 x 43m trams since 4 years ago.

    That is still a massive increase in both frequency and capacity (due to longer trams) in just 4 years. And mostly probably isn't currently needed due to lower passenger numbers.

    There would be no point in increasing the frequency now and operating all trams and putting wear and tear on them with so much extra capacity already on the line and passenger numbers low.


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