Discussion:
Edinburgh Trams opens for service
(too old to reply)
David
2014-05-31 11:02:23 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.

I was one of an *entire trams-worth* of people who made their way to the
Gyle Centre tram stop (thank you, nearby passing Airlink bus service)
for the 05:00 first service to the city centre. There were so many people
present that I think that at least a few unfortunately could not get on
and had to wait for the next tram. (I arrived around 04:30, thinking
that would be plenty of time, expecting maybe 50 people to be there, and
had to join a long queue for the ticket machines!)

While there were undoubtedly more than quite a few train fans amongst the
passengers, turnout was not entirely $nerdy_male_trainspotter_stereotype,
with a wide variety of ages of both men and women, and also including a
number of family groups with enthusiastic children.

There was a huge cheer as the first tram arrived from the depot (a not
in service tram passed through just before I arrived at the tram stop),
and quite a party atmosphere once we were on board. The tram was
absolutely crush-loaded, but thanks to wide aisles and vestibules not
quite as cramped as a similarly busy bus would have been. There is
good provision of grab poles for standing passengers (also helps to
balance your camera for photographs.. ;-) ).

Some people had made hand-drawn posters welcoming the trams, which were
popular with press photographers and TV crews. In particular, somebody
had made a "Take me to Leith" poster as a reminder that the route is
only half-finished at best. Hopefully we will see action in the not too
distant future to complete the planned route to Leith/Newhaven (one of
the most densely-populated areas of the city, and one of low car ownership
and strong demand for public transport (not just 'distress purchase')).
With the utility moving works already done and the trams and rails
already purchased, hopefully track-laying, overheads erection and tram
stop construction would be relatively easily done (once the remaining
part of the project reached that stage and the disputes with contractors
came to an end, construction progress did speed up *noticeably*).


Unfortunately, there are only relatively few places where the trams can
reach anywhere near the route's 70 km/h top speed (some non-continuous
sections alongside the railway, through Edinburgh Park, some sections
between the depot and the airport), but the acceleration away from tram
stops does help to save time.

Certainly the tram is considerably faster than the comparable stopping
bus services (eg #22) (remember that the airport isn't really the
destination as such, it just happens to be one of many places on the
route of a line serving *multiple* trip generators (but not so many
high-density population areas, oops) - there was _supposed_ to also
be a fast rail link to the airport).

There are a surprising number of very tight bends and wiggles on the
route, even in non-built-up areas, where speed has to drop to 30 km/h
(20 mi/h) or below, including an excruciating 10 km/h curve between the
A8 underpass and the site of the future Edinburgh Gateway tram stop,
all of which give the line a bit of a 'fairground ride' feel in places.

While the locations of most sharp bends are adjacent to stops, where
trams will be slowing anyway, I can't help but feel that slightly
less-tight curves (where surroundings would have allowed it) would have
allowed a faster approach to stops and could have shaved off at least a
couple of minutes' journey time over the full length of the route. Even
the relatively straight bridge over the railway at Stenhouse seems to
require quite a substantial slowing down (in the middle of an otherwise
fast section).

I timed the trip back into the city from the airport as a slightly
underwhelming 38 minutes, even with traffic lights and tram signals
on-street turning in our favour as we approached (non-stop along
Princes Street (apart from the tram stop) is a very novel experience!).

It'll be interesting to see how usage fares over the coming weeks once
everybody gets their initial joyride out of the way over the course of
the weekend. As I've said before, I have no doubt that the tramline will
be a huge time-saver and capacity boost for workers at Edinburgh Park,
Gyle, Gogarburn, etc, helped with interchange at Edinburgh Park station
(and Edinburgh Gateway to come).

The on-street section between Haymarket and York Place is considerably
faster than travelling by bus, so that may also be of help to people
passing *through* the city centre (or travelling close to a tram stop).
Edinburgh residents will know that at peak times it can sometimes just
about be faster to walk the length of Princes Street than remain on a
bus stuck in an endless queue of other buses. Festivals/holiday season
will be a particularly interesting test as to what difference the tram
will make there (the tram won't be held up by tourists asking route
or fare questions or fumbling for change, which can easily waste several
minutes at each bus stop!).

But really, it still needs to go to Leith (and the southside). Bus #49
is the new 22 as regards peak loading problems (huge demand for
north-south journeys, but most buses from Leith/London Road go along
Princes Street, and then a poor 49 turns up at just the right time to
change buses for the Bridges axis..) and indeed is about to be switched
to double-deckers to help ease capacity problems.

For me personally, I think the tram might give "Murrayfield" Sainsbury's
and the Gyle Centre the slight travel time edge over Cameron Toll or
the other edge-town shopping centres (alas poor Ocean Terminal which
was supposed to benefit from the trams as well).


On that note, this is possibly likely to be one of my last usenet posts.
I've been pretty much in write-only mode of late, I don't really have
sufficient spare time for usenet any more, it doesn't lend itself well
to reading from different computers (assuming you even have a decent
usenet client on each), and although some groups (notably uk.railway)
are still healthy, it seems that very very few new people are finding
and using usenet nowadays. I think I probably therefore have no choice
but to go where other people are tending to hang out nowadays. I have
a horrible feeling that nowadays that's increasingly the ad-infested
spyware cesspits of Failbook and Tw*tter, but if there are any good
railway/transport and Scotland/Edinburgh [1] forums out there
(suggestions welcome), maybe that's where I have to head off to..?

[1] citycyclingedinburgh is probably as good a start as any. I don't
really want to have to follow multiple forums (at least usenet is "all
in one place"), but.. :-(


Things are certainly improving railway-wise from when I first started on
usenet. With ever-increasing electrification in Scotland and ongoing
service improvements (Cumbernauld recently electrified and
(re)integrated into the North Clyde line with increased service
frequency; new through services between Ayr, Glasgow and Edinburgh (via
Carstairs); the Waverley route rebuilding continuing..), the situation
for rail and other public transport is a lot better nowadays than it was
back in the 1980s.. :-)

All the best to everybody I've chatted with on usenet over the years.. :-)
I may perhaps still continue to post occasionally, but probably no longer
regularly..

Ding-ding and away..


David.
Geoff Pearson
2014-05-31 16:27:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.
I was one of an *entire trams-worth* of people who made their way to the
Gyle Centre tram stop (thank you, nearby passing Airlink bus service)
for the 05:00 first service to the city centre. There were so many people
present that I think that at least a few unfortunately could not get on
and had to wait for the next tram. (I arrived around 04:30, thinking
that would be plenty of time, expecting maybe 50 people to be there, and
had to join a long queue for the ticket machines!)
While there were undoubtedly more than quite a few train fans amongst the
passengers, turnout was not entirely $nerdy_male_trainspotter_stereotype,
with a wide variety of ages of both men and women, and also including a
number of family groups with enthusiastic children.
There was a huge cheer as the first tram arrived from the depot (a not
in service tram passed through just before I arrived at the tram stop),
and quite a party atmosphere once we were on board. The tram was
absolutely crush-loaded, but thanks to wide aisles and vestibules not
quite as cramped as a similarly busy bus would have been. There is
good provision of grab poles for standing passengers (also helps to
balance your camera for photographs.. ;-) ).
Some people had made hand-drawn posters welcoming the trams, which were
popular with press photographers and TV crews. In particular, somebody
had made a "Take me to Leith" poster as a reminder that the route is
only half-finished at best. Hopefully we will see action in the not too
distant future to complete the planned route to Leith/Newhaven (one of
the most densely-populated areas of the city, and one of low car ownership
and strong demand for public transport (not just 'distress purchase')).
With the utility moving works already done and the trams and rails
already purchased, hopefully track-laying, overheads erection and tram
stop construction would be relatively easily done (once the remaining
part of the project reached that stage and the disputes with contractors
came to an end, construction progress did speed up *noticeably*).
Unfortunately, there are only relatively few places where the trams can
reach anywhere near the route's 70 km/h top speed (some non-continuous
sections alongside the railway, through Edinburgh Park, some sections
between the depot and the airport), but the acceleration away from tram
stops does help to save time.
Certainly the tram is considerably faster than the comparable stopping
bus services (eg #22) (remember that the airport isn't really the
destination as such, it just happens to be one of many places on the
route of a line serving *multiple* trip generators (but not so many
high-density population areas, oops) - there was _supposed_ to also
be a fast rail link to the airport).
There are a surprising number of very tight bends and wiggles on the
route, even in non-built-up areas, where speed has to drop to 30 km/h
(20 mi/h) or below, including an excruciating 10 km/h curve between the
A8 underpass and the site of the future Edinburgh Gateway tram stop,
all of which give the line a bit of a 'fairground ride' feel in places.
While the locations of most sharp bends are adjacent to stops, where
trams will be slowing anyway, I can't help but feel that slightly
less-tight curves (where surroundings would have allowed it) would have
allowed a faster approach to stops and could have shaved off at least a
couple of minutes' journey time over the full length of the route. Even
the relatively straight bridge over the railway at Stenhouse seems to
require quite a substantial slowing down (in the middle of an otherwise
fast section).
I timed the trip back into the city from the airport as a slightly
underwhelming 38 minutes, even with traffic lights and tram signals
on-street turning in our favour as we approached (non-stop along
Princes Street (apart from the tram stop) is a very novel experience!).
It'll be interesting to see how usage fares over the coming weeks once
everybody gets their initial joyride out of the way over the course of
the weekend. As I've said before, I have no doubt that the tramline will
be a huge time-saver and capacity boost for workers at Edinburgh Park,
Gyle, Gogarburn, etc, helped with interchange at Edinburgh Park station
(and Edinburgh Gateway to come).
The on-street section between Haymarket and York Place is considerably
faster than travelling by bus, so that may also be of help to people
passing *through* the city centre (or travelling close to a tram stop).
Edinburgh residents will know that at peak times it can sometimes just
about be faster to walk the length of Princes Street than remain on a
bus stuck in an endless queue of other buses. Festivals/holiday season
will be a particularly interesting test as to what difference the tram
will make there (the tram won't be held up by tourists asking route
or fare questions or fumbling for change, which can easily waste several
minutes at each bus stop!).
But really, it still needs to go to Leith (and the southside). Bus #49
is the new 22 as regards peak loading problems (huge demand for
north-south journeys, but most buses from Leith/London Road go along
Princes Street, and then a poor 49 turns up at just the right time to
change buses for the Bridges axis..) and indeed is about to be switched
to double-deckers to help ease capacity problems.
For me personally, I think the tram might give "Murrayfield" Sainsbury's
and the Gyle Centre the slight travel time edge over Cameron Toll or
the other edge-town shopping centres (alas poor Ocean Terminal which
was supposed to benefit from the trams as well).
On that note, this is possibly likely to be one of my last usenet posts.
I've been pretty much in write-only mode of late, I don't really have
sufficient spare time for usenet any more, it doesn't lend itself well
to reading from different computers (assuming you even have a decent
usenet client on each), and although some groups (notably uk.railway)
are still healthy, it seems that very very few new people are finding
and using usenet nowadays. I think I probably therefore have no choice
but to go where other people are tending to hang out nowadays. I have
a horrible feeling that nowadays that's increasingly the ad-infested
spyware cesspits of Failbook and Tw*tter, but if there are any good
railway/transport and Scotland/Edinburgh [1] forums out there
(suggestions welcome), maybe that's where I have to head off to..?
[1] citycyclingedinburgh is probably as good a start as any. I don't
really want to have to follow multiple forums (at least usenet is "all
in one place"), but.. :-(
Things are certainly improving railway-wise from when I first started on
usenet. With ever-increasing electrification in Scotland and ongoing
service improvements (Cumbernauld recently electrified and
(re)integrated into the North Clyde line with increased service
frequency; new through services between Ayr, Glasgow and Edinburgh (via
Carstairs); the Waverley route rebuilding continuing..), the situation
for rail and other public transport is a lot better nowadays than it was
back in the 1980s.. :-)
All the best to everybody I've chatted with on usenet over the years.. :-)
I may perhaps still continue to post occasionally, but probably no longer
regularly..
Ding-ding and away..
David.
But just think what could have been done with £1 billion to improve lives
for so many people in Edinburgh. No one would have voted for trams over
almost any other project. There could have been 1000 projects each costing
£1 million. I am ashamed to have worked on it in 2002 and failed to prevent
it being built. At least the SNP could see Emperor's clothes - which is
what this project is.

Same goes for the Waverley line - it didn't make financial sense when priced
at £65 million in 2002. There will be ghost trains on that line soon.
Scott
2014-05-31 17:45:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 31 May 2014 17:27:30 +0100, "Geoff Pearson"
<***@hotmail.com> wrote:
[snip]
Post by Geoff Pearson
But just think what could have been done with £1 billion to improve lives
for so many people in Edinburgh. No one would have voted for trams over
almost any other project. There could have been 1000 projects each costing
£1 million. I am ashamed to have worked on it in 2002 and failed to prevent
it being built. At least the SNP could see Emperor's clothes - which is
what this project is.
Same goes for the Waverley line - it didn't make financial sense when priced
at £65 million in 2002. There will be ghost trains on that line soon.
I suppose it depends on how you attribute a value to public transport
projects and environment. What about the lives of people who don't
have cars? By 'financial sense' do you mean cost - benefit analysis
(which I get the impression is a bit discredited now) or do you mean
all projects should produce a financial return?

If the latter look what happened last time the question was asked:
http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/general/2008/09/01-serpell-report-feature.html
The Real Doctor
2014-06-01 09:15:31 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Geoff Pearson
Same goes for the Waverley line - it didn't make financial sense when
priced at £65 million in 2002. There will be ghost trains on that line
soon.
I think it's much more likely to be like the Alloa line and carry many
more passengers than forecast.

Ian
David
2014-06-01 11:00:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Geoff Pearson wrote in ed.general
[..huge snip..]
Post by Geoff Pearson
But just think what could have been done with £1 billion to improve lives
for so many people in Edinburgh. No one would have voted for trams over
almost any other project.
Hi Geoff,

Edinburgh has very high, and increasing, bus usage, has (fortunately) no
enthusiasm for 1960s-style destruction and road-building, and an inner
city layout that poses limitations on where buses (and other traffic) can
actually go.

Many of our buses are extremely busy and you eventually reach a point where
you can't effectively increase bus capacity without actually adding to
traffic problems, so a higher capacity higher speed alternative becomes
needed (hence urban rail, metro and tramway systems here and elsewhere).

At one point the #22 bus (whose route the tram was originally intended
to supplement or partially replace) was running every 4 minutes to try to
meet peak demand, but these were just bunching up and adding to Leith
Walk / Princes Street congestion. Also, with single door access (and
on-board ticket purchase and checking) you just can't unload and load
fast enough to maintain that sort of required service. The #22 eventually
was then replaced by double-deckers (which of course incur a further
dwell time penalty as passengers have to go from and to the top deck),
at a slightly lower frequency, but that was clearly still just a
sticking plaster solution, hence the need for trams or some other
alternative..

I completely agree that the £1G cost is appalling and a complete
embarrassment and burden, although I do have to wonder how come certain
banks which were after all saved by the taxpayer (and which will
actually benefit enormously from the tram line directly passing some of
their major office locations) couldn't have had their arms *very* strongly
twisted to offer highly preferential loan interest rates to cover the
funding shortfall.

Unfortunately, we couldn't foresee the problems that occurred and that
the expenditure would increase massively over the original far more
reasonable planned budget. I don't have the specialist knowledge to know
whether or not the original budget was entirely realistic, but the
original project would have at least provided a good start on the
makings of a proper (and properly useful) network. (I think that this
is a problem we have with public sector mega-projects (not just
construction, eg, IT projects) in general, that many of us can't do a
layman's analysis of the costs, and the politicians just see a large
figure and think that therefore it must be good..).

Some of the potential and then actual problems should really have been
obvious to the Council and their 'experts': leaving inadequate time for
utilities diversion and 'known unknowns' in ancient city centre streets
was such an obvious risk that I really do not know how this was not
considered. Somebody stupidly clearly felt that it was more important
to 'see' tracks being laid as soon as possible in Princes Street (oh no,
absolutely no risk of FAIL there..) than allow safe contingencies for
utilities diversions over-running and instead schedule the project work
to start tramline construction at the 'easy' greenfield end at the
airport and work inwords (with additional construction work sites
starting in the city centre only as the streets became fully cleared of
utilities and signed off as ready for tramway construction to start).
Post by Geoff Pearson
There could have been 1000 projects each costing
£1 million. I am ashamed to have worked on it in 2002 and failed to prevent
it being built. At least the SNP could see Emperor's clothes - which is
what this project is.
I agree that small projects can each make a difference, and indeed we do
see these such as through walking and cycling improvements, or the
re-opening of the West End - Queensferry Street junction to buses, and
we certainly do need to keep reminding politicians that lots of small
things are just as important as big shiny things that they like to
attach their names to (Pedal on Parliament tries - with some success -
to make this point).

As I wrote above, Lothian Buses certainly try hard to keep enhancing and
improving the reliability of their services, but on certain corridors
you simply reach the limits of what is possible and so you need to step
up to the next level of capacity, which inevitably makes for a 'big
project' when starting from scratch.

Now that we have half a tram route running, we do need the other half,
which will provide a huge relief to Leith, and, equally as important,
help the fares income of the system. On the other hand, now that we *do*
have the start of a system, I almost wonder what the economics of a
"smallish" enhancement of a branch from Balgreen to Corstorphine (along
the former railway) would be (I'm not sure, though: I suspect that the
housing density of Corstorphine isn't really enough, which is why the
#26 and #1 buses go literally all around the houses to serve areas away
from the main street.)
Post by Geoff Pearson
Same goes for the Waverley line - it didn't make financial sense when priced
at £65 million in 2002. There will be ghost trains on that line soon.
Why do you say that? I've had to travel to the Borders by bus, they take
forever! Even if you have a car, it still takes a long time (perhaps
that makes a case for some road straightening, etc, but then you have
the risk of spoiling the countryside which is presumably part of the
reason that people live and visit there). There may also be scope for
some faster limited stop buses, but on twisty country roads that still
just doesn't offer the journey quality of a smooth railway line.
(Perhaps, at the risk of trolling, a case could then be made for
building a busway along the railway track bed, but you're limited by bus
speed limits and lose the advantages of the railway linking quickly into
Edinburgh city centre and the possibility of further extension and
rejoining the railway network southwards.)

The people of the Borders need improved public transport to help them
access Edinburgh and the rest of the central belt, and equally well,
reopening the railway makes the Borders more accessible for daytrippers
and tourists, which will help to boost the local economies.

Pretty much every railway reopening has been much more successful than
anticipated [1], and while being more rural, this one may not be quite
as wildly successful, it will still be very useful. The way to help
support this line's success, I feel, is to provide a 15-minute frequency
(at peak times at least) in the 'metroland' area as through services
between Gorebridge and at least as far as Edinburgh Park and/or
Inverkeithing. This would make a huge difference to commuters (or other
business travel or leisure journeys) which a 30-minute frequency just
cannot provide.

[1] Possible exception: Maryhill, where the buses are more frequent and
cheaper (a reason why local transport services should have a common fare
structure), but the areas the line passes through also have many other
problems that a rail service can't solve in itself.


David.
Richard Tobin
2014-06-01 11:14:47 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
Now that we have half a tram route running, we do need the other half,
which will provide a huge relief to Leith
No, what we need is many years with no roadworks or building in
central Edinburgh. A party that proposed this would win every seat on
the council.

-- Richard
Geoff Pearson
2014-06-01 11:34:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
Geoff Pearson wrote in ed.general
[..huge snip..]
Post by Geoff Pearson
But just think what could have been done with £1 billion to improve lives
for so many people in Edinburgh. No one would have voted for trams over
almost any other project.
Hi Geoff,
Edinburgh has very high, and increasing, bus usage, has (fortunately) no
enthusiasm for 1960s-style destruction and road-building, and an inner
city layout that poses limitations on where buses (and other traffic) can
actually go.
Many of our buses are extremely busy and you eventually reach a point where
you can't effectively increase bus capacity without actually adding to
traffic problems, so a higher capacity higher speed alternative becomes
needed (hence urban rail, metro and tramway systems here and elsewhere).
At one point the #22 bus (whose route the tram was originally intended
to supplement or partially replace) was running every 4 minutes to try to
meet peak demand, but these were just bunching up and adding to Leith
Walk / Princes Street congestion. Also, with single door access (and
on-board ticket purchase and checking) you just can't unload and load
fast enough to maintain that sort of required service. The #22 eventually
was then replaced by double-deckers (which of course incur a further
dwell time penalty as passengers have to go from and to the top deck),
at a slightly lower frequency, but that was clearly still just a
sticking plaster solution, hence the need for trams or some other
alternative..
I completely agree that the £1G cost is appalling and a complete
embarrassment and burden, although I do have to wonder how come certain
banks which were after all saved by the taxpayer (and which will
actually benefit enormously from the tram line directly passing some of
their major office locations) couldn't have had their arms *very* strongly
twisted to offer highly preferential loan interest rates to cover the
funding shortfall.
Unfortunately, we couldn't foresee the problems that occurred and that
the expenditure would increase massively over the original far more
reasonable planned budget. I don't have the specialist knowledge to know
whether or not the original budget was entirely realistic, but the
original project would have at least provided a good start on the
makings of a proper (and properly useful) network. (I think that this
is a problem we have with public sector mega-projects (not just
construction, eg, IT projects) in general, that many of us can't do a
layman's analysis of the costs, and the politicians just see a large
figure and think that therefore it must be good..).
Some of the potential and then actual problems should really have been
obvious to the Council and their 'experts': leaving inadequate time for
utilities diversion and 'known unknowns' in ancient city centre streets
was such an obvious risk that I really do not know how this was not
considered. Somebody stupidly clearly felt that it was more important
to 'see' tracks being laid as soon as possible in Princes Street (oh no,
absolutely no risk of FAIL there..) than allow safe contingencies for
utilities diversions over-running and instead schedule the project work
to start tramline construction at the 'easy' greenfield end at the
airport and work inwords (with additional construction work sites
starting in the city centre only as the streets became fully cleared of
utilities and signed off as ready for tramway construction to start).
Post by Geoff Pearson
There could have been 1000 projects each costing
£1 million. I am ashamed to have worked on it in 2002 and failed to prevent
it being built. At least the SNP could see Emperor's clothes - which is
what this project is.
I agree that small projects can each make a difference, and indeed we do
see these such as through walking and cycling improvements, or the
re-opening of the West End - Queensferry Street junction to buses, and
we certainly do need to keep reminding politicians that lots of small
things are just as important as big shiny things that they like to
attach their names to (Pedal on Parliament tries - with some success -
to make this point).
As I wrote above, Lothian Buses certainly try hard to keep enhancing and
improving the reliability of their services, but on certain corridors
you simply reach the limits of what is possible and so you need to step
up to the next level of capacity, which inevitably makes for a 'big
project' when starting from scratch.
Now that we have half a tram route running, we do need the other half,
which will provide a huge relief to Leith, and, equally as important,
help the fares income of the system. On the other hand, now that we *do*
have the start of a system, I almost wonder what the economics of a
"smallish" enhancement of a branch from Balgreen to Corstorphine (along
the former railway) would be (I'm not sure, though: I suspect that the
housing density of Corstorphine isn't really enough, which is why the
#26 and #1 buses go literally all around the houses to serve areas away
from the main street.)
Post by Geoff Pearson
Same goes for the Waverley line - it didn't make financial sense when priced
at £65 million in 2002. There will be ghost trains on that line soon.
Why do you say that? I've had to travel to the Borders by bus, they take
forever! Even if you have a car, it still takes a long time (perhaps
that makes a case for some road straightening, etc, but then you have
the risk of spoiling the countryside which is presumably part of the
reason that people live and visit there). There may also be scope for
some faster limited stop buses, but on twisty country roads that still
just doesn't offer the journey quality of a smooth railway line.
(Perhaps, at the risk of trolling, a case could then be made for
building a busway along the railway track bed, but you're limited by bus
speed limits and lose the advantages of the railway linking quickly into
Edinburgh city centre and the possibility of further extension and
rejoining the railway network southwards.)
The people of the Borders need improved public transport to help them
access Edinburgh and the rest of the central belt, and equally well,
reopening the railway makes the Borders more accessible for daytrippers
and tourists, which will help to boost the local economies.
Pretty much every railway reopening has been much more successful than
anticipated [1], and while being more rural, this one may not be quite
as wildly successful, it will still be very useful. The way to help
support this line's success, I feel, is to provide a 15-minute frequency
(at peak times at least) in the 'metroland' area as through services
between Gorebridge and at least as far as Edinburgh Park and/or
Inverkeithing. This would make a huge difference to commuters (or other
business travel or leisure journeys) which a 30-minute frequency just
cannot provide.
[1] Possible exception: Maryhill, where the buses are more frequent and
cheaper (a reason why local transport services should have a common fare
structure), but the areas the line passes through also have many other
problems that a rail service can't solve in itself.
David.
I've lived in Edinburgh for almost 40 years, cycle to many places routinely
(and cycled to work every day) and use my OAP bus pass for the rest. I also
worked on Scottish Government transport policy on several occasions. I've
been asking here for some time whether anyone plans regular use of the trams
and what journey that would cover. I don't recall anyone identifying a
routine journey they would take. I do go to the airport from time to time -
on business I use the bus, for holidays I take my car. The tram won't change
that.
o***@two.three
2014-05-31 17:12:58 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.
Thanks for your interesting account - considerably more thoughtful and
informative than the media reports I've seen (so far, at least).

Having said that, the tenor of what you say suggests that you take a fairly
positive view of the trams. In that sense, it echoes what I see as the
Pollyanna-ish attitude of much of Edinburgh Council. I confess that I'm much
less positive.

I could go on about how the construction cost and time have increased whilst
the distance travelled has decreased but we all know this (although it's
worth remembering that the effective cost doubled in the project's lifetime,
from about £27.7m per km to over £55.4m per km).

Instead, I will point out:

- the disruptive/delaying effects which tram priority traffic lights have on
buses (and their passengers), particularly at the West End and Haymarket road
junctions

- the consequences, particularly in the rush hour, of a stationary or
broken-down tram on Princes St (and we've already had a breakdown there)

- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping distance
which is twice that of a bus).

As well as these points, it seems that the tram is not all that impressive
from the passenger's point of view. For example, according to the relevant
timetables, the tram takes 35 minutes to go from the middle of Princes St to
the airport whereas the Airlink bus takes 30 minutes for a journey which is
slightly longer in distance. And the bus fare is £1 cheaper.

Again, going from York Place to the Gyle, the tram is scheduled to take 29
minutes; the No 22 bus is scheduled to take 31 minutes from Elm Row to the
Gyle - a slightly longer journey and with more stops. In fairness, however,
in this case the fares are identical.

Doubtless, to conform to apparently fixed views in the Council of just how
worthwhile trams in Edinburgh are, various bus timetables (and some routes)
will be altered so that the deterioration in service is less obvious - and
the trams can be talked up.

The trams are of practical use to only a very small proportion of Edinburgh's
population. It seems to me that the vast majority of people will experience
disbenefits.
Charles Ellson
2014-05-31 17:48:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by o***@two.three
Post by David
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.
Thanks for your interesting account - considerably more thoughtful and
informative than the media reports I've seen (so far, at least).
Having said that, the tenor of what you say suggests that you take a fairly
positive view of the trams. In that sense, it echoes what I see as the
Pollyanna-ish attitude of much of Edinburgh Council. I confess that I'm much
less positive.
I could go on about how the construction cost and time have increased whilst
the distance travelled has decreased but we all know this (although it's
worth remembering that the effective cost doubled in the project's lifetime,
from about £27.7m per km to over £55.4m per km).
- the disruptive/delaying effects which tram priority traffic lights have on
buses (and their passengers), particularly at the West End and Haymarket road
junctions
- the consequences, particularly in the rush hour, of a stationary or
broken-down tram on Princes St (and we've already had a breakdown there)
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping distance
which is twice that of a bus).
As well as these points, it seems that the tram is not all that impressive
from the passenger's point of view. For example, according to the relevant
timetables, the tram takes 35 minutes to go from the middle of Princes St to
the airport whereas the Airlink bus takes 30 minutes for a journey which is
slightly longer in distance. And the bus fare is £1 cheaper.
Again, going from York Place to the Gyle, the tram is scheduled to take 29
minutes; the No 22 bus is scheduled to take 31 minutes from Elm Row to the
Gyle - a slightly longer journey and with more stops. In fairness, however,
in this case the fares are identical.
Doubtless, to conform to apparently fixed views in the Council of just how
worthwhile trams in Edinburgh are, various bus timetables (and some routes)
will be altered so that the deterioration in service is less obvious - and
the trams can be talked up.
The trams are of practical use to only a very small proportion of Edinburgh's
population.
Just like e.g. any single bus route is only of practical use to a
small proportion of the population.
Post by o***@two.three
It seems to me that the vast majority of people will experience
disbenefits.
o***@two.three
2014-05-31 23:14:03 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Charles Ellson
Post by o***@two.three
The trams are of practical use to only a very small proportion of Edinburgh's
population.
Just like e.g. any single bus route is only of practical use to a
small proportion of the population.
True, but Lothian Buses operate about 70 bus routes and these can be added
to, subtracted from and re-routed temporarily or permanently at minimal cost
and almost instantly.

The tram is in essence a single bus route which took 7 years and nearly
£800,000,000 to construct but can only go backwards and forwards on the same
route for all time.
David D S
2014-06-01 13:40:28 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by o***@two.three
Post by Charles Ellson
Post by o***@two.three
The trams are of practical use to only a very small proportion of Edinburgh's
population.
Just like e.g. any single bus route is only of practical use to a
small proportion of the population.
True, but Lothian Buses operate about 70 bus routes and these can be
added to, subtracted from and re-routed temporarily or permanently at
minimal cost and almost instantly.
The tram is in essence a single bus route which took 7 years and
nearly £800,000,000 to construct but can only go backwards and
forwards on the same route for all time.
You've missed out the problem of the overhead wires attracting
lightning that will fry unwary pedestrians; the fact that the rails
will be an
irresistable target for metal thieves; and the highly positive
signature that
electricity will have to any alien spaceships on surveying work, this
leading
to a higher risk that tram passengers will be abducted and anally
probed.
--
David D S: UK and PR China. (Native BrEng speaker)
Use Reply-To header for email. This email address will be
valid for at least 2 weeks from 2014/6/1 21:37:28
Graeme Wall
2014-06-01 13:43:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David D S
Post by o***@two.three
Post by Charles Ellson
Post by o***@two.three
The trams are of practical use to only a very small proportion of Edinburgh's
population.
Just like e.g. any single bus route is only of practical use to a
small proportion of the population.
True, but Lothian Buses operate about 70 bus routes and these can be
added to, subtracted from and re-routed temporarily or permanently at
minimal cost and almost instantly.
The tram is in essence a single bus route which took 7 years and
nearly £800,000,000 to construct but can only go backwards and
forwards on the same route for all time.
You've missed out the problem of the overhead wires attracting
lightning that will fry unwary pedestrians; the fact that the rails
will be an
irresistable target for metal thieves; and the highly positive
signature that
electricity will have to any alien spaceships on surveying work, this
leading
to a higher risk that tram passengers will be abducted and anally
probed.
Seems appropriate for the city that invented cottaging…
--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
Graeme Wall
2014-05-31 17:55:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by o***@two.three
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping distance
which is twice that of a bus).
That explains the wholesale slaughter of pedestrians and cyclists in
Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham tehn.
--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
o***@two.three
2014-05-31 23:14:54 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Graeme Wall
Post by o***@two.three
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping distance
which is twice that of a bus).
That explains the wholesale slaughter of pedestrians and cyclists in
Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham tehn.
I wasn't aware of this wholesale slaughter but, if you say it's happening, I
suppose it must be.

If, on the other hand, you were just being sarcastic, then you might like to
consider that the rails constitute an extra slipping/sticking/tripping hazard
for pedestrians and cyclists with nary a tram in sight.

Of course, if there is a tram in sight, you'll doubtless remember as you lie
in the road that its stopping distance at 20mph is 28 meters as against 12
meters for a bus. And, although I wouldn't want to be hit by either, I'd
choose a 20 tonne bus over a 56 tonne tram.

The saving grace of the tram is that, for much of its route, it's segregated
from pedestrians and other traffic. Ironically, part of its route took over
what had been a 1.5 km guided busway which segregated the No 22 bus from a
relatively narrow road it had previously used. The bus is now back on its
old route.
Charles Ellson
2014-06-01 05:19:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by o***@two.three
Post by Graeme Wall
Post by o***@two.three
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping distance
which is twice that of a bus).
That explains the wholesale slaughter of pedestrians and cyclists in
Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham tehn.
I wasn't aware of this wholesale slaughter but, if you say it's happening, I
suppose it must be.
If, on the other hand, you were just being sarcastic, then you might like to
consider that the rails constitute an extra slipping/sticking/tripping hazard
for pedestrians and cyclists with nary a tram in sight.
A hazard which (apart from wartime blackout times) seems to be little
reported. Perhaps people are more stupid than they used to be ?
Post by o***@two.three
Of course, if there is a tram in sight, you'll doubtless remember as you lie
in the road
Ah.
Post by o***@two.three
that its stopping distance at 20mph is 28 meters
Gas, electric or water ?
Post by o***@two.three
as against 12
meters for a bus. And, although I wouldn't want to be hit by either, I'd
choose a 20 tonne bus over a 56 tonne tram.
or just look where you're going and avoid both ?
Post by o***@two.three
The saving grace of the tram is that, for much of its route, it's segregated
from pedestrians and other traffic. Ironically, part of its route took over
what had been a 1.5 km guided busway which segregated the No 22 bus from a
relatively narrow road it had previously used. The bus is now back on its
old route.
Claudio Calvelli - to email replace qwertyuiop with c.news
2014-06-02 09:53:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Charles Ellson
Post by o***@two.three
that its stopping distance at 20mph is 28 meters
Gas, electric or water ?
In the context, I'm sure it'll be parking meters.

C
Graeme Wall
2014-06-01 06:42:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by o***@two.three
Post by Graeme Wall
Post by o***@two.three
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping distance
which is twice that of a bus).
That explains the wholesale slaughter of pedestrians and cyclists in
Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham tehn.
I wasn't aware of this wholesale slaughter but, if you say it's happening, I
suppose it must be.
If, on the other hand, you were just being sarcastic,
What, me be sarcastic, perish the thought!
Post by o***@two.three
then you might like to
consider that the rails constitute an extra slipping/sticking/tripping hazard
for pedestrians and cyclists with nary a tram in sight.
Which the rest of the world has been able to cope with for over a
century. As did Edinburgh for a long time. Tell me, how do the rails
form a trip hazard?
Post by o***@two.three
Of course, if there is a tram in sight, you'll doubtless remember as you lie
in the road that its stopping distance at 20mph is 28 meters as against 12
meters for a bus. And, although I wouldn't want to be hit by either, I'd
choose a 20 tonne bus over a 56 tonne tram.
You've not read all the discussions about tram braking systems then?
Post by o***@two.three
The saving grace of the tram is that, for much of its route, it's segregated
from pedestrians and other traffic. Ironically, part of its route took over
what had been a 1.5 km guided busway which segregated the No 22 bus from a
relatively narrow road it had previously used. The bus is now back on its
old route.
--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
d***@yahoo.co.uk
2014-06-01 09:25:18 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 01 Jun 2014 07:42:56 +0100, Graeme Wall
Post by Graeme Wall
Post by o***@two.three
Post by Graeme Wall
Post by o***@two.three
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping distance
which is twice that of a bus).
That explains the wholesale slaughter of pedestrians and cyclists in
Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham tehn.
What, me be sarcastic, perish the thought!
Post by o***@two.three
then you might like to
consider that the rails constitute an extra slipping/sticking/tripping hazard
for pedestrians and cyclists with nary a tram in sight.
Which the rest of the world has been able to cope with for over a
century. As did Edinburgh for a long time. Tell me, how do the rails
form a trip hazard?
Edinburgh tramways were until the 1920's cable hauled* so there was at
one time a central slot to cope with as well. Then the bicycles of the
early 20th century were robust things that took a workmen to work
wearing hob nailed boots etc and had sensible tyres with a bit of
width to them .
Modern cycles tend to have thin tyres with much higher pressures and a
smaller contact patch which while fine for leisure/sport cycling may
not be the best choice for a daily commute.
A lot of it is vanity and fashion ,less anyone think I'm popping at
Cyclists Motorists are just as bad driving around with low profile
tyres which give far less protection to wheel damage on the pothole
infested roads of Britain and then want councils to pay for damage to
their fashion statement.

* Electrified when Edinburgh and Leith boroughs and thier tramways
became one. Until then passengers had to change cars at the boundary.

Found this on Wiki when I was up there recently and reading up on the
old system and where to see the building with a pulley.
"they deliberately planned the changeover so as not to affect public
opinion. They were nervous of the effect of the hoardings and a
half-finished job."

Seems a lesson from the past was missed there.

G.Harman
Roland Perry
2014-06-01 07:18:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by o***@two.three
Of course, if there is a tram in sight, you'll doubtless remember as you lie
in the road that its stopping distance at 20mph is 28 meters as against 12
meters for a bus. And, although I wouldn't want to be hit by either, I'd
choose a 20 tonne bus over a 56 tonne tram.
The Nottingham trams have skirts which would stand a much greater chance
of deflecting someone than the front of a bus.
--
Roland Perry
Recliner
2014-06-01 07:44:24 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roland Perry
Post by o***@two.three
Of course, if there is a tram in sight, you'll doubtless remember as you lie
in the road that its stopping distance at 20mph is 28 meters as against 12
meters for a bus. And, although I wouldn't want to be hit by either, I'd
choose a 20 tonne bus over a 56 tonne tram.
The Nottingham trams have skirts which would stand a much greater chance
of deflecting someone than the front of a bus.
So do the Edinburgh trams:
Loading Image...

In particular, it would be much harder to be trapped under the wheels of a
modern tram compared to a bus.
Charles Ellson
2014-06-01 17:24:04 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 01 Jun 2014 02:44:24 -0500, Recliner
Post by Recliner
Post by Roland Perry
Post by o***@two.three
Of course, if there is a tram in sight, you'll doubtless remember as you lie
in the road that its stopping distance at 20mph is 28 meters as against 12
meters for a bus. And, although I wouldn't want to be hit by either, I'd
choose a 20 tonne bus over a 56 tonne tram.
The Nottingham trams have skirts which would stand a much greater chance
of deflecting someone than the front of a bus.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/45/Edinburgh_tram_02.jpg
In particular, it would be much harder to be trapped under the wheels of a
modern tram compared to a bus.
Older trams had various forms of lifeguard which generally meant you
had to come in from the side to have any chance of going under the
wheels. One that I was on in Blackpool a few years ago managed to drop
the lifeguard at the beginning of a slope as it hit the ground due to
the number of passengers crammed in.
The Real Doctor
2014-06-01 09:17:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by o***@two.three
If, on the other hand, you were just being sarcastic, then you might like to
consider that the rails constitute an extra slipping/sticking/tripping hazard
for pedestrians and cyclists with nary a tram in sight.
Something which does not seem to be a problem in any of the other
British or European cities with trams.

Ian
charles
2014-05-31 18:46:04 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
In article <***@news-europe.giganews.com>,
<***@two.three> wrote:

[Snip]
Post by o***@two.three
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping
distance which is twice that of a bus).
I coped quite happily with the old trams - and I'm still alive many years
later having been in Croydon, Manchester & Sheffield, too.
--
From KT24

Using a RISC OS computer running v5.18
o***@two.three
2014-05-31 23:15:08 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by charles
Post by o***@two.three
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping
distance which is twice that of a bus).
I coped quite happily with the old trams - and I'm still alive many years
later having been in Croydon, Manchester & Sheffield, too.
Not everybody does:



Less visually, in 2013 Edinburgh Council received reports of 68 accidents
involving pedal cycles where their wheels slipped on or got trapped in tram
lines.
h***@yahoo.co.uk
2014-06-01 08:52:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by o***@two.three
Post by charles
Post by o***@two.three
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping
distance which is twice that of a bus).
I coped quite happily with the old trams - and I'm still alive many years
later having been in Croydon, Manchester & Sheffield, too.
http://youtu.be/aE3W4kEBhuE
Less visually, in 2013 Edinburgh Council received reports of 68 accidents
involving pedal cycles where their wheels slipped on or got trapped in tram
lines.
Well, then, they'll have to learn to work with the tram lines, just like
many of them need to learn to work with other traffic on the road,
rather than believe that they are morally superior for riding a bicycle.
David
2014-06-01 12:35:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
Post by o***@two.three
Less visually, in 2013 Edinburgh Council received reports of 68 accidents
involving pedal cycles where their wheels slipped on or got trapped in tram
lines.
Well, then, they'll have to learn to work with the tram lines, just like
many of them need to learn to work with other traffic on the road,
rather than believe that they are morally superior for riding a bicycle.
"Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"

Sadly, this applies more to the Council than cyclists, although I don't
disagree that some cyclists would greatly benefit from (good quality)
cycle training and a dose of common sense and empathy (faults which also
apply to many drivers, with rather more serious consequences for those on
the receiving end).

Many cyclists who may be competent and experienced cyclists otherwise,
simply may not know that you need to cross tram tracks at an oblique
angle to be as safe as possible. The Council has done some work to raise
awareness of this, but it probably needs to continue for some time
(perhaps backed up by posters in trams, on buses and at tram and bus
stops, and leaflet inserts in the Spokes newsletter, etc, demonstrating
what to do (not just not-very-useful "Beware of tram tracks" signs -
*tell us how*) and be fully incorporated into cycle training so that at
least new cyclists are fully aware of the issue.


There are some pretty nasty hazard points on the tram route where
appallingly poor road design forces cyclists to cross tram tracks at
shallow and unsafe angles (eg, Princes Str at South St Andrew Str,
Princes St at Lothian Rd / South Charlotte St, Haymarket Station,
Haymarket Yards).

These hazards were pointed out repeatedly by cycling organisations
during the design phase, but the Council ignored them and did not
improve the designs to make them safer. One of the duties of a roads
authority is to design roads to be as safe as possible for all road
users. The Council failed spectacularly here, and so most blame for
incidents (they're not accidents, because there is nothing accidental
about something caused by unsafe design) must point to the Council, and
not to cyclists who are having to try to cope with dangerous road
infrastructure as well as potentially dangerous other road users.


Those who are being rather smug about this and saying that they coped
fine in the days of old tram systems (when there was also less other
road traffic, let us not forget) should maybe try cycling in Edinburgh
itself and see if they still feel that the tramlines are not a very
real problem!


David.
August West
2014-06-01 14:15:43 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
Many cyclists who may be competent and experienced cyclists otherwise,
simply may not know that you need to cross tram tracks at an oblique
angle to be as safe as possible.
Unfortunately, in at least two places (where entering and leaving
tram-only road areas), the tram tracks themselves cross the normal road
traffic line at an oblique angle, creating a danger to cyclists.
Cyclists there must make an awkward, unexpected (to drivers) and
potentially dangerous maneuver to cross them at a non-oblique angle.
--
I second that emotion
h***@yahoo.co.uk
2014-06-01 16:56:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
Post by o***@two.three
Less visually, in 2013 Edinburgh Council received reports of 68 accidents
involving pedal cycles where their wheels slipped on or got trapped in tram
lines.
Well, then, they'll have to learn to work with the tram lines, just like
many of them need to learn to work with other traffic on the road,
rather than believe that they are morally superior for riding a bicycle.
"Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"
Sadly, this applies more to the Council than cyclists, although I don't
disagree that some cyclists would greatly benefit from (good quality)
cycle training and a dose of common sense and empathy (faults which also
apply to many drivers, with rather more serious consequences for those on
the receiving end).
Many cyclists who may be competent and experienced cyclists otherwise,
simply may not know that you need to cross tram tracks at an oblique
angle to be as safe as possible. The Council has done some work to raise
awareness of this, but it probably needs to continue for some time
(perhaps backed up by posters in trams, on buses and at tram and bus
stops, and leaflet inserts in the Spokes newsletter, etc, demonstrating
what to do (not just not-very-useful "Beware of tram tracks" signs -
*tell us how*) and be fully incorporated into cycle training so that at
least new cyclists are fully aware of the issue.
There are some pretty nasty hazard points on the tram route where
appallingly poor road design forces cyclists to cross tram tracks at
shallow and unsafe angles (eg, Princes Str at South St Andrew Str,
Princes St at Lothian Rd / South Charlotte St, Haymarket Station,
Haymarket Yards).
These hazards were pointed out repeatedly by cycling organisations
during the design phase, but the Council ignored them and did not
improve the designs to make them safer. One of the duties of a roads
authority is to design roads to be as safe as possible for all road
users. The Council failed spectacularly here, and so most blame for
incidents (they're not accidents, because there is nothing accidental
about something caused by unsafe design) must point to the Council, and
not to cyclists who are having to try to cope with dangerous road
infrastructure as well as potentially dangerous other road users.
Those who are being rather smug about this and saying that they coped
fine in the days of old tram systems (when there was also less other
road traffic, let us not forget) should maybe try cycling in Edinburgh
itself and see if they still feel that the tramlines are not a very
real problem!
David.
Anybody who rides bicylces for any length of time, be that in either and
urban or rural setting, should know that you need to take care when
crossing rail tracks of any sort. It's actually a bit of a given.
Charles Ellson
2014-06-02 22:49:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 1 Jun 2014 13:35:33 +0100, David
Post by David
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
Post by o***@two.three
Less visually, in 2013 Edinburgh Council received reports of 68 accidents
involving pedal cycles where their wheels slipped on or got trapped in tram
lines.
Well, then, they'll have to learn to work with the tram lines, just like
many of them need to learn to work with other traffic on the road,
rather than believe that they are morally superior for riding a bicycle.
"Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"
Sadly, this applies more to the Council than cyclists, although I don't
disagree that some cyclists would greatly benefit from (good quality)
cycle training and a dose of common sense and empathy (faults which also
apply to many drivers, with rather more serious consequences for those on
the receiving end).
Many cyclists who may be competent and experienced cyclists otherwise,
simply may not know that you need to cross tram tracks at an oblique
angle to be as safe as possible. The Council has done some work to raise
awareness of this, but it probably needs to continue for some time
(perhaps backed up by posters in trams, on buses and at tram and bus
stops, and leaflet inserts in the Spokes newsletter, etc, demonstrating
what to do (not just not-very-useful "Beware of tram tracks" signs -
*tell us how*) and be fully incorporated into cycle training so that at
least new cyclists are fully aware of the issue.
There are some pretty nasty hazard points on the tram route where
appallingly poor road design forces cyclists to cross tram tracks at
shallow and unsafe angles (eg, Princes Str at South St Andrew Str,
Princes St at Lothian Rd / South Charlotte St, Haymarket Station,
Haymarket Yards).
These hazards were pointed out repeatedly by cycling organisations
during the design phase, but the Council ignored them and did not
improve the designs to make them safer. One of the duties of a roads
authority is to design roads to be as safe as possible for all road
users. The Council failed spectacularly here, and so most blame for
incidents (they're not accidents, because there is nothing accidental
about something caused by unsafe design) must point to the Council, and
not to cyclists who are having to try to cope with dangerous road
infrastructure as well as potentially dangerous other road users.
Those who are being rather smug about this and saying that they coped
fine in the days of old tram systems (when there was also less other
road traffic, let us not forget) should maybe try cycling in Edinburgh
itself and see if they still feel that the tramlines are not a very
real problem!
The video does seem to indicate a specific problem that needs solving.
While it could be solved by cyclists taking an appropriate route over
the tracks that hits the problem that nothing seems to indicate or
encourage such a route that could be followed. At the least it could
be done with some appropriate paintwork but that will fail as soon as
someone takes a short cut (or slips on the painted bits). In practice
some kind of physical encouragement/guidance would probably prevent a
too-oblique crossing of the tramline but its form would depend on the
actual layout which cannot be determined just from that video.
The Real Doctor
2014-06-02 23:41:07 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Charles Ellson
The video does seem to indicate a specific problem that needs solving.
While it could be solved by cyclists taking an appropriate route over
the tracks that hits the problem that nothing seems to indicate or
encourage such a route that could be followed. At the least it could
be done with some appropriate paintwork but that will fail as soon as
someone takes a short cut (or slips on the painted bits).
I have see firm rubber inserts in the grooves suggested. That sounds
possible.

Ian
Charles Ellson
2014-06-03 02:25:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Tue, 03 Jun 2014 00:41:07 +0100, The Real Doctor
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Charles Ellson
The video does seem to indicate a specific problem that needs solving.
While it could be solved by cyclists taking an appropriate route over
the tracks that hits the problem that nothing seems to indicate or
encourage such a route that could be followed. At the least it could
be done with some appropriate paintwork but that will fail as soon as
someone takes a short cut (or slips on the painted bits).
I have see firm rubber inserts in the grooves suggested. That sounds
possible.
WRT the scenario in the video, it looks like the problem is more on
the lines of skidding along the top of wet rails so the inserts might
not make much difference in that case.
Julian Bradfield
2014-06-03 10:54:23 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Charles Ellson
On Tue, 03 Jun 2014 00:41:07 +0100, The Real Doctor
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Charles Ellson
The video does seem to indicate a specific problem that needs solving.
...
Post by Charles Ellson
Post by The Real Doctor
I have see firm rubber inserts in the grooves suggested. That sounds
possible.
WRT the scenario in the video, it looks like the problem is more on
the lines of skidding along the top of wet rails so the inserts might
not make much difference in that case.
Having been there and done it, getting the wheel caught in the tracks
is definite *a* problem, if not the only one. It's worse than
skidding - with a skid you have a chance to recover, but once the
wheel goes into the track, you're down at once.

The rubber insert idea is being developed (mostly for extra
durability) by the city of Zurich, which also has significant problems
with bicycle/tram interactions (contra all those claiming it doesn't
happen elsewhere). The Dutch also use it in places.
Julian Bradfield
2014-06-01 09:38:04 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by o***@two.three
Post by charles
Post by o***@two.three
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians (and not only from the fact that they have a stopping
distance which is twice that of a bus).
I coped quite happily with the old trams - and I'm still alive many years
later having been in Croydon, Manchester & Sheffield, too.
http://youtu.be/aE3W4kEBhuE
Indeed. Back in December, I did exactly that (resulting in a massive
three-week bruise), after months of crossing that line without
problems. It only takes one tiny misjudgement to get a wheel caught,
because of the very acute angle between the rails and the road, and
the lack of space available to turn into a more obtuse angle before
crossing. (And I have quite wide tyres - 35mm - not racing tyres.)
Since then, I use the jag lane provided, which has its own hazards -
mostly conflict with people still doing it the direct way!
David
2014-06-01 12:11:52 UTC
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Post by o***@two.three
Post by David
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.
[..]
Post by o***@two.three
Having said that, the tenor of what you say suggests that you take a fairly
positive view of the trams. In that sense, it echoes what I see as the
Pollyanna-ish attitude of much of Edinburgh Council. I confess that I'm much
less positive.
"Fairly positive" is about right. Don't get me wrong, I certainly have my
criticisms too, but I didn't repeat them because, as you say, I think we
all know what the main problems have been.

[..]
Post by o***@two.three
- the disruptive/delaying effects which tram priority traffic lights have on
buses (and their passengers), particularly at the West End and Haymarket road
junctions
That's useful to know, I wasn't aware of this (I don't pass through
Haymarket very often, and the West End only at off-peak times (where I
hadn't noticed any delays - apart from trying to turn across the tram
tracks by bike cycling from Lothian Road into Princes Street - not fun).
I would hope that they continue to monitor the situation and tweak
timings as necessary. There are significant bus route changes and
improvements as of today which may also affect how many people make
their journeys (as indeed will the tram actually opening to live service
itself).
Post by o***@two.three
- the consequences, particularly in the rush hour, of a stationary or
broken-down tram on Princes St (and we've already had a breakdown there)
I didn't know there had already been a breakdown. I thought they were
supposed to be able to use another tram to propel it out (and I thought
they had tested that scenario pre-launch)?) Is that what they did?
(muses: Do they have a battery powered 'tow tram' in case there is a
power failure? Do the overheads have multiple redundant feed points to
minimise the risk of failure?)

There are also turn-backs at Shandw\\\\\\West End and Haymarket if it
all goes really wrong (a broken down bus on Princes Street, while not
(literally) impassable would still cause substantial disruption in
itself until removed, so I think we just have to accept that no system
will be 100% perfect, and all cross our fingers..)
Post by o***@two.three
- the extra - and more deadly - hazards which trams pose to cyclists and
pedestrians
I know, these have been well reported in the cycling community and
indeed all of most hazardous points pointed out repeatedly during the
design phase - and ignored by the Council. :-(
Post by o***@two.three
(and not only from the fact that they have a stopping distance
which is twice that of a bus).
I thought that trams were supposed to be able to stop pretty sharpish
using emergency braking?
Post by o***@two.three
As well as these points, it seems that the tram is not all that impressive
from the passenger's point of view. For example, according to the relevant
timetables, the tram takes 35 minutes to go from the middle of Princes St to
the airport whereas the Airlink bus takes 30 minutes for a journey which is
slightly longer in distance. And the bus fare is £1 cheaper.
I agree that the end-to-end tram journey time is slightly underwhelming
(see my previous comments about sharp bends) but also consider that it
will probably take 5 minutes to walk to your bus stop from Waverley Bridge
for your ongoing connection (assuming that relatively few people are
actually going to somewhere adjacent to Waverley Bridge (station
passengers excepted). Princes Street tram stop, on the other hand, is
pretty much surrounded by bus stops in all directions, which is a nice
bit of integration (ditto York Place).

Regarding ticketing, the Airlink bus is sort of isolated: bus-only day
tickets (to include ongoing journeys) aren't valid on it (and never have
been, this is not a new change to 'encourage' tram use: perhaps Airlink
suffered from the 'premium service' mindset and so you had to purchase a
separate day ticket if needed - not such a cheap deal overall), only the
new Airport Zone day ticket which is valid by tram or bus and allows
people to use whichever is more convenient for them, depending on where
they are going. (So the Airport Zone still attracts a premium, but at
least it is now fully integrated.)
Post by o***@two.three
Again, going from York Place to the Gyle, the tram is scheduled to take 29
minutes; the No 22 bus is scheduled to take 31 minutes from Elm Row to the
Gyle - a slightly longer journey and with more stops.
On a bad day (or August ;-)), your bus can get absolutely jammed up and
delayed for 5 minutes or much more at the top of Leith Walk, Leith Street
(especially - the Post Office junction can be a nightmare) or Princes
Street. I can genuinely see it being quicker to take a via-York-Place
bus instead, changing to tram and then (if necessary) changing back to
a bus (probably the bus ahead of the one you would have previously
caught!) somewhere else en route, depending on where you are going.
When I worked in the Edinburgh Park area (pre-busway), the #22 often got
quite wedged in traffic in the Saughton area as well.
Post by o***@two.three
Doubtless, to conform to apparently fixed views in the Council of just how
worthwhile trams in Edinburgh are, various bus timetables (and some routes)
will be altered so that the deterioration in service is less obvious - and
the trams can be talked up.
Perhaps there may be some of this, but it's also the case that a lot of
bus routes are approaching capacity (you can only add so many buses
before they just start to add to congestion, especially given that so
many buses converge on the East End or West End), and so we need to step
up to the next level as well. (I'd like to see greatly increased
frequency on parts of the routes of the #38 (RIE - Western Corner at
least), #5 (at least Morningside - Nicolson Square) and possibly also
buses along the full length of Melville Drive (south side of Meadows) so
that you can avoid the core city centre entirely if your only reason for
passing through is because you are passing through..)
Post by o***@two.three
The trams are of practical use to only a very small proportion of Edinburgh's
population. It seems to me that the vast majority of people will experience
disbenefits.
I have to disagree. They are certainly far less useful than the full
Leith/Newhaven route would have been (let alone the Granton circle), but
they *will* be of great benefit to thousands of workers at Edinburgh Park,
Gyle, Gogarburn (including those from further afield who can connect at
Edinburgh Park station (and in time, Edinburgh Gateway)), to users of
Ingliston Park & Ride, and (a benefit that I hadn't realised until
yesterday), in considerably saving time in getting across the city
centre - if only they continued to Leith..

Unless you are lucky in your common journeys and are served by the right
bus routes, most of us are used to having to change buses somewhere en
route (eg, watch at Omni Centre as people change from London Road -
Princes Street buses to Leith Walk - Bridges buses), Changing to tram
is no different and I am sure more people will pick up on the fact that
you can use it to avoid Leith Street and Princes Street jams, even if
the rest of the route we may only use occasionally. (You'll notice I
didn't even mention the airport, that's almost just a trivial
side-benefit, albeit an important one.)


David.
h***@yahoo.co.uk
2014-05-31 18:30:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.
I was one of an *entire trams-worth* of people who made their way to the
Gyle Centre tram stop (thank you, nearby passing Airlink bus service)
for the 05:00 first service to the city centre. There were so many people
present that I think that at least a few unfortunately could not get on
and had to wait for the next tram. (I arrived around 04:30, thinking
that would be plenty of time, expecting maybe 50 people to be there, and
had to join a long queue for the ticket machines!)
While there were undoubtedly more than quite a few train fans amongst the
passengers, turnout was not entirely $nerdy_male_trainspotter_stereotype,
with a wide variety of ages of both men and women, and also including a
number of family groups with enthusiastic children.
There was a huge cheer as the first tram arrived from the depot (a not
in service tram passed through just before I arrived at the tram stop),
and quite a party atmosphere once we were on board. The tram was
absolutely crush-loaded, but thanks to wide aisles and vestibules not
quite as cramped as a similarly busy bus would have been. There is
good provision of grab poles for standing passengers (also helps to
balance your camera for photographs.. ;-) ).
Some people had made hand-drawn posters welcoming the trams, which were
popular with press photographers and TV crews. In particular, somebody
had made a "Take me to Leith" poster as a reminder that the route is
only half-finished at best. Hopefully we will see action in the not too
distant future to complete the planned route to Leith/Newhaven (one of
the most densely-populated areas of the city, and one of low car ownership
and strong demand for public transport (not just 'distress purchase')).
With the utility moving works already done and the trams and rails
already purchased, hopefully track-laying, overheads erection and tram
stop construction would be relatively easily done (once the remaining
part of the project reached that stage and the disputes with contractors
came to an end, construction progress did speed up *noticeably*).
Unfortunately, there are only relatively few places where the trams can
reach anywhere near the route's 70 km/h top speed (some non-continuous
sections alongside the railway, through Edinburgh Park, some sections
between the depot and the airport), but the acceleration away from tram
stops does help to save time.
Certainly the tram is considerably faster than the comparable stopping
bus services (eg #22) (remember that the airport isn't really the
destination as such, it just happens to be one of many places on the
route of a line serving *multiple* trip generators (but not so many
high-density population areas, oops) - there was _supposed_ to also
be a fast rail link to the airport).
There are a surprising number of very tight bends and wiggles on the
route, even in non-built-up areas, where speed has to drop to 30 km/h
(20 mi/h) or below, including an excruciating 10 km/h curve between the
A8 underpass and the site of the future Edinburgh Gateway tram stop,
all of which give the line a bit of a 'fairground ride' feel in places.
While the locations of most sharp bends are adjacent to stops, where
trams will be slowing anyway, I can't help but feel that slightly
less-tight curves (where surroundings would have allowed it) would have
allowed a faster approach to stops and could have shaved off at least a
couple of minutes' journey time over the full length of the route. Even
the relatively straight bridge over the railway at Stenhouse seems to
require quite a substantial slowing down (in the middle of an otherwise
fast section).
I timed the trip back into the city from the airport as a slightly
underwhelming 38 minutes, even with traffic lights and tram signals
on-street turning in our favour as we approached (non-stop along
Princes Street (apart from the tram stop) is a very novel experience!).
It'll be interesting to see how usage fares over the coming weeks once
everybody gets their initial joyride out of the way over the course of
the weekend. As I've said before, I have no doubt that the tramline will
be a huge time-saver and capacity boost for workers at Edinburgh Park,
Gyle, Gogarburn, etc, helped with interchange at Edinburgh Park station
(and Edinburgh Gateway to come).
The on-street section between Haymarket and York Place is considerably
faster than travelling by bus, so that may also be of help to people
passing *through* the city centre (or travelling close to a tram stop).
Edinburgh residents will know that at peak times it can sometimes just
about be faster to walk the length of Princes Street than remain on a
bus stuck in an endless queue of other buses. Festivals/holiday season
will be a particularly interesting test as to what difference the tram
will make there (the tram won't be held up by tourists asking route
or fare questions or fumbling for change, which can easily waste several
minutes at each bus stop!).
But really, it still needs to go to Leith (and the southside). Bus #49
is the new 22 as regards peak loading problems (huge demand for
north-south journeys, but most buses from Leith/London Road go along
Princes Street, and then a poor 49 turns up at just the right time to
change buses for the Bridges axis..) and indeed is about to be switched
to double-deckers to help ease capacity problems.
For me personally, I think the tram might give "Murrayfield" Sainsbury's
and the Gyle Centre the slight travel time edge over Cameron Toll or
the other edge-town shopping centres (alas poor Ocean Terminal which
was supposed to benefit from the trams as well).
On that note, this is possibly likely to be one of my last usenet posts.
I've been pretty much in write-only mode of late, I don't really have
sufficient spare time for usenet any more, it doesn't lend itself well
to reading from different computers (assuming you even have a decent
usenet client on each), and although some groups (notably uk.railway)
are still healthy, it seems that very very few new people are finding
and using usenet nowadays. I think I probably therefore have no choice
but to go where other people are tending to hang out nowadays. I have
a horrible feeling that nowadays that's increasingly the ad-infested
spyware cesspits of Failbook and Tw*tter, but if there are any good
railway/transport and Scotland/Edinburgh [1] forums out there
(suggestions welcome), maybe that's where I have to head off to..?
[1] citycyclingedinburgh is probably as good a start as any. I don't
really want to have to follow multiple forums (at least usenet is "all
in one place"), but.. :-(
Things are certainly improving railway-wise from when I first started on
usenet. With ever-increasing electrification in Scotland and ongoing
service improvements (Cumbernauld recently electrified and
(re)integrated into the North Clyde line with increased service
frequency; new through services between Ayr, Glasgow and Edinburgh (via
Carstairs); the Waverley route rebuilding continuing..), the situation
for rail and other public transport is a lot better nowadays than it was
back in the 1980s.. :-)
All the best to everybody I've chatted with on usenet over the years.. :-)
I may perhaps still continue to post occasionally, but probably no longer
regularly..
Ding-ding and away..
David.
Well, congratulations to Edinburgh.

It is a shame, truly it is, that the trams themselves do not have a
postbox, which would mark letters posted that day with first-day of service.
h***@yahoo.co.uk
2014-05-31 18:50:24 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.
I was one of an *entire trams-worth* of people who made their way to the
Gyle Centre tram stop (thank you, nearby passing Airlink bus service)
for the 05:00 first service to the city centre. There were so many people
present that I think that at least a few unfortunately could not get on
and had to wait for the next tram. (I arrived around 04:30, thinking
that would be plenty of time, expecting maybe 50 people to be there, and
had to join a long queue for the ticket machines!)
While there were undoubtedly more than quite a few train fans amongst the
passengers, turnout was not entirely $nerdy_male_trainspotter_stereotype,
with a wide variety of ages of both men and women, and also including a
number of family groups with enthusiastic children.
There was a huge cheer as the first tram arrived from the depot (a not
in service tram passed through just before I arrived at the tram stop),
and quite a party atmosphere once we were on board. The tram was
absolutely crush-loaded, but thanks to wide aisles and vestibules not
quite as cramped as a similarly busy bus would have been. There is
good provision of grab poles for standing passengers (also helps to
balance your camera for photographs.. ;-) ).
Some people had made hand-drawn posters welcoming the trams, which were
popular with press photographers and TV crews. In particular, somebody
had made a "Take me to Leith" poster as a reminder that the route is
only half-finished at best. Hopefully we will see action in the not too
distant future to complete the planned route to Leith/Newhaven (one of
the most densely-populated areas of the city, and one of low car ownership
and strong demand for public transport (not just 'distress purchase')).
With the utility moving works already done and the trams and rails
already purchased, hopefully track-laying, overheads erection and tram
stop construction would be relatively easily done (once the remaining
part of the project reached that stage and the disputes with contractors
came to an end, construction progress did speed up *noticeably*).
Unfortunately, there are only relatively few places where the trams can
reach anywhere near the route's 70 km/h top speed (some non-continuous
sections alongside the railway, through Edinburgh Park, some sections
between the depot and the airport), but the acceleration away from tram
stops does help to save time.
Certainly the tram is considerably faster than the comparable stopping
bus services (eg #22) (remember that the airport isn't really the
destination as such, it just happens to be one of many places on the
route of a line serving *multiple* trip generators (but not so many
high-density population areas, oops) - there was _supposed_ to also
be a fast rail link to the airport).
There are a surprising number of very tight bends and wiggles on the
route, even in non-built-up areas, where speed has to drop to 30 km/h
(20 mi/h) or below, including an excruciating 10 km/h curve between the
A8 underpass and the site of the future Edinburgh Gateway tram stop,
all of which give the line a bit of a 'fairground ride' feel in places.
While the locations of most sharp bends are adjacent to stops, where
trams will be slowing anyway, I can't help but feel that slightly
less-tight curves (where surroundings would have allowed it) would have
allowed a faster approach to stops and could have shaved off at least a
couple of minutes' journey time over the full length of the route. Even
the relatively straight bridge over the railway at Stenhouse seems to
require quite a substantial slowing down (in the middle of an otherwise
fast section).
I timed the trip back into the city from the airport as a slightly
underwhelming 38 minutes, even with traffic lights and tram signals
on-street turning in our favour as we approached (non-stop along
Princes Street (apart from the tram stop) is a very novel experience!).
It'll be interesting to see how usage fares over the coming weeks once
everybody gets their initial joyride out of the way over the course of
the weekend. As I've said before, I have no doubt that the tramline will
be a huge time-saver and capacity boost for workers at Edinburgh Park,
Gyle, Gogarburn, etc, helped with interchange at Edinburgh Park station
(and Edinburgh Gateway to come).
The on-street section between Haymarket and York Place is considerably
faster than travelling by bus, so that may also be of help to people
passing *through* the city centre (or travelling close to a tram stop).
Edinburgh residents will know that at peak times it can sometimes just
about be faster to walk the length of Princes Street than remain on a
bus stuck in an endless queue of other buses. Festivals/holiday season
will be a particularly interesting test as to what difference the tram
will make there (the tram won't be held up by tourists asking route
or fare questions or fumbling for change, which can easily waste several
minutes at each bus stop!).
But really, it still needs to go to Leith (and the southside). Bus #49
is the new 22 as regards peak loading problems (huge demand for
north-south journeys, but most buses from Leith/London Road go along
Princes Street, and then a poor 49 turns up at just the right time to
change buses for the Bridges axis..) and indeed is about to be switched
to double-deckers to help ease capacity problems.
For me personally, I think the tram might give "Murrayfield" Sainsbury's
and the Gyle Centre the slight travel time edge over Cameron Toll or
the other edge-town shopping centres (alas poor Ocean Terminal which
was supposed to benefit from the trams as well).
On that note, this is possibly likely to be one of my last usenet posts.
I've been pretty much in write-only mode of late, I don't really have
sufficient spare time for usenet any more, it doesn't lend itself well
to reading from different computers (assuming you even have a decent
usenet client on each), and although some groups (notably uk.railway)
are still healthy, it seems that very very few new people are finding
and using usenet nowadays. I think I probably therefore have no choice
but to go where other people are tending to hang out nowadays. I have
a horrible feeling that nowadays that's increasingly the ad-infested
spyware cesspits of Failbook and Tw*tter, but if there are any good
railway/transport and Scotland/Edinburgh [1] forums out there
(suggestions welcome), maybe that's where I have to head off to..?
[1] citycyclingedinburgh is probably as good a start as any. I don't
really want to have to follow multiple forums (at least usenet is "all
in one place"), but.. :-(
Things are certainly improving railway-wise from when I first started on
usenet. With ever-increasing electrification in Scotland and ongoing
service improvements (Cumbernauld recently electrified and
(re)integrated into the North Clyde line with increased service
frequency; new through services between Ayr, Glasgow and Edinburgh (via
Carstairs); the Waverley route rebuilding continuing..), the situation
for rail and other public transport is a lot better nowadays than it was
back in the 1980s.. :-)
All the best to everybody I've chatted with on usenet over the years.. :-)
I may perhaps still continue to post occasionally, but probably no longer
regularly..
Ding-ding and away..
David.
How is payment made, BTW? Can one use their contactless card to pay? I
thought that, in one of the videos that I saw of the first day of
revenue service, an indication on a tram that allows that method of
payment.
Charles Ellson
2014-05-31 21:31:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
Post by David
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.
I was one of an *entire trams-worth* of people who made their way to the
Gyle Centre tram stop (thank you, nearby passing Airlink bus service)
for the 05:00 first service to the city centre. There were so many people
present that I think that at least a few unfortunately could not get on
and had to wait for the next tram. (I arrived around 04:30, thinking
that would be plenty of time, expecting maybe 50 people to be there, and
had to join a long queue for the ticket machines!)
While there were undoubtedly more than quite a few train fans amongst the
passengers, turnout was not entirely $nerdy_male_trainspotter_stereotype,
with a wide variety of ages of both men and women, and also including a
number of family groups with enthusiastic children.
There was a huge cheer as the first tram arrived from the depot (a not
in service tram passed through just before I arrived at the tram stop),
and quite a party atmosphere once we were on board. The tram was
absolutely crush-loaded, but thanks to wide aisles and vestibules not
quite as cramped as a similarly busy bus would have been. There is
good provision of grab poles for standing passengers (also helps to
balance your camera for photographs.. ;-) ).
Some people had made hand-drawn posters welcoming the trams, which were
popular with press photographers and TV crews. In particular, somebody
had made a "Take me to Leith" poster as a reminder that the route is
only half-finished at best. Hopefully we will see action in the not too
distant future to complete the planned route to Leith/Newhaven (one of
the most densely-populated areas of the city, and one of low car ownership
and strong demand for public transport (not just 'distress purchase')).
With the utility moving works already done and the trams and rails
already purchased, hopefully track-laying, overheads erection and tram
stop construction would be relatively easily done (once the remaining
part of the project reached that stage and the disputes with contractors
came to an end, construction progress did speed up *noticeably*).
Unfortunately, there are only relatively few places where the trams can
reach anywhere near the route's 70 km/h top speed (some non-continuous
sections alongside the railway, through Edinburgh Park, some sections
between the depot and the airport), but the acceleration away from tram
stops does help to save time.
Certainly the tram is considerably faster than the comparable stopping
bus services (eg #22) (remember that the airport isn't really the
destination as such, it just happens to be one of many places on the
route of a line serving *multiple* trip generators (but not so many
high-density population areas, oops) - there was _supposed_ to also
be a fast rail link to the airport).
There are a surprising number of very tight bends and wiggles on the
route, even in non-built-up areas, where speed has to drop to 30 km/h
(20 mi/h) or below, including an excruciating 10 km/h curve between the
A8 underpass and the site of the future Edinburgh Gateway tram stop,
all of which give the line a bit of a 'fairground ride' feel in places.
While the locations of most sharp bends are adjacent to stops, where
trams will be slowing anyway, I can't help but feel that slightly
less-tight curves (where surroundings would have allowed it) would have
allowed a faster approach to stops and could have shaved off at least a
couple of minutes' journey time over the full length of the route. Even
the relatively straight bridge over the railway at Stenhouse seems to
require quite a substantial slowing down (in the middle of an otherwise
fast section).
I timed the trip back into the city from the airport as a slightly
underwhelming 38 minutes, even with traffic lights and tram signals
on-street turning in our favour as we approached (non-stop along
Princes Street (apart from the tram stop) is a very novel experience!).
It'll be interesting to see how usage fares over the coming weeks once
everybody gets their initial joyride out of the way over the course of
the weekend. As I've said before, I have no doubt that the tramline will
be a huge time-saver and capacity boost for workers at Edinburgh Park,
Gyle, Gogarburn, etc, helped with interchange at Edinburgh Park station
(and Edinburgh Gateway to come).
The on-street section between Haymarket and York Place is considerably
faster than travelling by bus, so that may also be of help to people
passing *through* the city centre (or travelling close to a tram stop).
Edinburgh residents will know that at peak times it can sometimes just
about be faster to walk the length of Princes Street than remain on a
bus stuck in an endless queue of other buses. Festivals/holiday season
will be a particularly interesting test as to what difference the tram
will make there (the tram won't be held up by tourists asking route
or fare questions or fumbling for change, which can easily waste several
minutes at each bus stop!).
But really, it still needs to go to Leith (and the southside). Bus #49
is the new 22 as regards peak loading problems (huge demand for
north-south journeys, but most buses from Leith/London Road go along
Princes Street, and then a poor 49 turns up at just the right time to
change buses for the Bridges axis..) and indeed is about to be switched
to double-deckers to help ease capacity problems.
For me personally, I think the tram might give "Murrayfield" Sainsbury's
and the Gyle Centre the slight travel time edge over Cameron Toll or
the other edge-town shopping centres (alas poor Ocean Terminal which
was supposed to benefit from the trams as well).
On that note, this is possibly likely to be one of my last usenet posts.
I've been pretty much in write-only mode of late, I don't really have
sufficient spare time for usenet any more, it doesn't lend itself well
to reading from different computers (assuming you even have a decent
usenet client on each), and although some groups (notably uk.railway)
are still healthy, it seems that very very few new people are finding
and using usenet nowadays. I think I probably therefore have no choice
but to go where other people are tending to hang out nowadays. I have
a horrible feeling that nowadays that's increasingly the ad-infested
spyware cesspits of Failbook and Tw*tter, but if there are any good
railway/transport and Scotland/Edinburgh [1] forums out there
(suggestions welcome), maybe that's where I have to head off to..?
[1] citycyclingedinburgh is probably as good a start as any. I don't
really want to have to follow multiple forums (at least usenet is "all
in one place"), but.. :-(
Things are certainly improving railway-wise from when I first started on
usenet. With ever-increasing electrification in Scotland and ongoing
service improvements (Cumbernauld recently electrified and
(re)integrated into the North Clyde line with increased service
frequency; new through services between Ayr, Glasgow and Edinburgh (via
Carstairs); the Waverley route rebuilding continuing..), the situation
for rail and other public transport is a lot better nowadays than it was
back in the 1980s.. :-)
All the best to everybody I've chatted with on usenet over the years.. :-)
I may perhaps still continue to post occasionally, but probably no longer
regularly..
Ding-ding and away..
David.
How is payment made, BTW? Can one use their contactless card to pay? I
thought that, in one of the videos that I saw of the first day of
revenue service, an indication on a tram that allows that method of
payment.
AFAICT you have to buy a ticket from a machine (cash or card accepted)
before getting on the tram if you don't have a Ridacard, day ticket or
entitlement card :-
http://edinburghtrams.com/tickets
Graeme Wood
2014-06-01 12:04:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Charles Ellson
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
Post by David
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.
I was one of an *entire trams-worth* of people who made their way to the
Gyle Centre tram stop (thank you, nearby passing Airlink bus service)
for the 05:00 first service to the city centre. There were so many people
present that I think that at least a few unfortunately could not get on
and had to wait for the next tram. (I arrived around 04:30, thinking
that would be plenty of time, expecting maybe 50 people to be there, and
had to join a long queue for the ticket machines!)
While there were undoubtedly more than quite a few train fans amongst the
passengers, turnout was not entirely $nerdy_male_trainspotter_stereotype,
with a wide variety of ages of both men and women, and also including a
number of family groups with enthusiastic children.
There was a huge cheer as the first tram arrived from the depot (a not
in service tram passed through just before I arrived at the tram stop),
and quite a party atmosphere once we were on board. The tram was
absolutely crush-loaded, but thanks to wide aisles and vestibules not
quite as cramped as a similarly busy bus would have been. There is
good provision of grab poles for standing passengers (also helps to
balance your camera for photographs.. ;-) ).
Some people had made hand-drawn posters welcoming the trams, which were
popular with press photographers and TV crews. In particular, somebody
had made a "Take me to Leith" poster as a reminder that the route is
only half-finished at best. Hopefully we will see action in the not too
distant future to complete the planned route to Leith/Newhaven (one of
the most densely-populated areas of the city, and one of low car ownership
and strong demand for public transport (not just 'distress purchase')).
With the utility moving works already done and the trams and rails
already purchased, hopefully track-laying, overheads erection and tram
stop construction would be relatively easily done (once the remaining
part of the project reached that stage and the disputes with contractors
came to an end, construction progress did speed up *noticeably*).
Unfortunately, there are only relatively few places where the trams can
reach anywhere near the route's 70 km/h top speed (some non-continuous
sections alongside the railway, through Edinburgh Park, some sections
between the depot and the airport), but the acceleration away from tram
stops does help to save time.
Certainly the tram is considerably faster than the comparable stopping
bus services (eg #22) (remember that the airport isn't really the
destination as such, it just happens to be one of many places on the
route of a line serving *multiple* trip generators (but not so many
high-density population areas, oops) - there was _supposed_ to also
be a fast rail link to the airport).
There are a surprising number of very tight bends and wiggles on the
route, even in non-built-up areas, where speed has to drop to 30 km/h
(20 mi/h) or below, including an excruciating 10 km/h curve between the
A8 underpass and the site of the future Edinburgh Gateway tram stop,
all of which give the line a bit of a 'fairground ride' feel in places.
While the locations of most sharp bends are adjacent to stops, where
trams will be slowing anyway, I can't help but feel that slightly
less-tight curves (where surroundings would have allowed it) would have
allowed a faster approach to stops and could have shaved off at least a
couple of minutes' journey time over the full length of the route. Even
the relatively straight bridge over the railway at Stenhouse seems to
require quite a substantial slowing down (in the middle of an otherwise
fast section).
I timed the trip back into the city from the airport as a slightly
underwhelming 38 minutes, even with traffic lights and tram signals
on-street turning in our favour as we approached (non-stop along
Princes Street (apart from the tram stop) is a very novel experience!).
It'll be interesting to see how usage fares over the coming weeks once
everybody gets their initial joyride out of the way over the course of
the weekend. As I've said before, I have no doubt that the tramline will
be a huge time-saver and capacity boost for workers at Edinburgh Park,
Gyle, Gogarburn, etc, helped with interchange at Edinburgh Park station
(and Edinburgh Gateway to come).
The on-street section between Haymarket and York Place is considerably
faster than travelling by bus, so that may also be of help to people
passing *through* the city centre (or travelling close to a tram stop).
Edinburgh residents will know that at peak times it can sometimes just
about be faster to walk the length of Princes Street than remain on a
bus stuck in an endless queue of other buses. Festivals/holiday season
will be a particularly interesting test as to what difference the tram
will make there (the tram won't be held up by tourists asking route
or fare questions or fumbling for change, which can easily waste several
minutes at each bus stop!).
But really, it still needs to go to Leith (and the southside). Bus #49
is the new 22 as regards peak loading problems (huge demand for
north-south journeys, but most buses from Leith/London Road go along
Princes Street, and then a poor 49 turns up at just the right time to
change buses for the Bridges axis..) and indeed is about to be switched
to double-deckers to help ease capacity problems.
For me personally, I think the tram might give "Murrayfield" Sainsbury's
and the Gyle Centre the slight travel time edge over Cameron Toll or
the other edge-town shopping centres (alas poor Ocean Terminal which
was supposed to benefit from the trams as well).
On that note, this is possibly likely to be one of my last usenet posts.
I've been pretty much in write-only mode of late, I don't really have
sufficient spare time for usenet any more, it doesn't lend itself well
to reading from different computers (assuming you even have a decent
usenet client on each), and although some groups (notably uk.railway)
are still healthy, it seems that very very few new people are finding
and using usenet nowadays. I think I probably therefore have no choice
but to go where other people are tending to hang out nowadays. I have
a horrible feeling that nowadays that's increasingly the ad-infested
spyware cesspits of Failbook and Tw*tter, but if there are any good
railway/transport and Scotland/Edinburgh [1] forums out there
(suggestions welcome), maybe that's where I have to head off to..?
[1] citycyclingedinburgh is probably as good a start as any. I don't
really want to have to follow multiple forums (at least usenet is "all
in one place"), but.. :-(
Things are certainly improving railway-wise from when I first started on
usenet. With ever-increasing electrification in Scotland and ongoing
service improvements (Cumbernauld recently electrified and
(re)integrated into the North Clyde line with increased service
frequency; new through services between Ayr, Glasgow and Edinburgh (via
Carstairs); the Waverley route rebuilding continuing..), the situation
for rail and other public transport is a lot better nowadays than it was
back in the 1980s.. :-)
All the best to everybody I've chatted with on usenet over the years.. :-)
I may perhaps still continue to post occasionally, but probably no longer
regularly..
Ding-ding and away..
David.
How is payment made, BTW? Can one use their contactless card to pay? I
thought that, in one of the videos that I saw of the first day of
revenue service, an indication on a tram that allows that method of
payment.
AFAICT you have to buy a ticket from a machine (cash or card accepted)
before getting on the tram if you don't have a Ridacard, day ticket or
entitlement card :-
http://edinburghtrams.com/tickets
You can also use an m-ticket using the smartphone app.
h***@yahoo.co.uk
2014-06-01 16:23:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Charles Ellson
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
Post by David
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.
I was one of an *entire trams-worth* of people who made their way to the
Gyle Centre tram stop (thank you, nearby passing Airlink bus service)
for the 05:00 first service to the city centre. There were so many people
present that I think that at least a few unfortunately could not get on
and had to wait for the next tram. (I arrived around 04:30, thinking
that would be plenty of time, expecting maybe 50 people to be there, and
had to join a long queue for the ticket machines!)
While there were undoubtedly more than quite a few train fans amongst the
passengers, turnout was not entirely $nerdy_male_trainspotter_stereotype,
with a wide variety of ages of both men and women, and also including a
number of family groups with enthusiastic children.
There was a huge cheer as the first tram arrived from the depot (a not
in service tram passed through just before I arrived at the tram stop),
and quite a party atmosphere once we were on board. The tram was
absolutely crush-loaded, but thanks to wide aisles and vestibules not
quite as cramped as a similarly busy bus would have been. There is
good provision of grab poles for standing passengers (also helps to
balance your camera for photographs.. ;-) ).
Some people had made hand-drawn posters welcoming the trams, which were
popular with press photographers and TV crews. In particular, somebody
had made a "Take me to Leith" poster as a reminder that the route is
only half-finished at best. Hopefully we will see action in the not too
distant future to complete the planned route to Leith/Newhaven (one of
the most densely-populated areas of the city, and one of low car ownership
and strong demand for public transport (not just 'distress purchase')).
With the utility moving works already done and the trams and rails
already purchased, hopefully track-laying, overheads erection and tram
stop construction would be relatively easily done (once the remaining
part of the project reached that stage and the disputes with contractors
came to an end, construction progress did speed up *noticeably*).
Unfortunately, there are only relatively few places where the trams can
reach anywhere near the route's 70 km/h top speed (some non-continuous
sections alongside the railway, through Edinburgh Park, some sections
between the depot and the airport), but the acceleration away from tram
stops does help to save time.
Certainly the tram is considerably faster than the comparable stopping
bus services (eg #22) (remember that the airport isn't really the
destination as such, it just happens to be one of many places on the
route of a line serving *multiple* trip generators (but not so many
high-density population areas, oops) - there was _supposed_ to also
be a fast rail link to the airport).
There are a surprising number of very tight bends and wiggles on the
route, even in non-built-up areas, where speed has to drop to 30 km/h
(20 mi/h) or below, including an excruciating 10 km/h curve between the
A8 underpass and the site of the future Edinburgh Gateway tram stop,
all of which give the line a bit of a 'fairground ride' feel in places.
While the locations of most sharp bends are adjacent to stops, where
trams will be slowing anyway, I can't help but feel that slightly
less-tight curves (where surroundings would have allowed it) would have
allowed a faster approach to stops and could have shaved off at least a
couple of minutes' journey time over the full length of the route. Even
the relatively straight bridge over the railway at Stenhouse seems to
require quite a substantial slowing down (in the middle of an otherwise
fast section).
I timed the trip back into the city from the airport as a slightly
underwhelming 38 minutes, even with traffic lights and tram signals
on-street turning in our favour as we approached (non-stop along
Princes Street (apart from the tram stop) is a very novel experience!).
It'll be interesting to see how usage fares over the coming weeks once
everybody gets their initial joyride out of the way over the course of
the weekend. As I've said before, I have no doubt that the tramline will
be a huge time-saver and capacity boost for workers at Edinburgh Park,
Gyle, Gogarburn, etc, helped with interchange at Edinburgh Park station
(and Edinburgh Gateway to come).
The on-street section between Haymarket and York Place is considerably
faster than travelling by bus, so that may also be of help to people
passing *through* the city centre (or travelling close to a tram stop).
Edinburgh residents will know that at peak times it can sometimes just
about be faster to walk the length of Princes Street than remain on a
bus stuck in an endless queue of other buses. Festivals/holiday season
will be a particularly interesting test as to what difference the tram
will make there (the tram won't be held up by tourists asking route
or fare questions or fumbling for change, which can easily waste several
minutes at each bus stop!).
But really, it still needs to go to Leith (and the southside). Bus #49
is the new 22 as regards peak loading problems (huge demand for
north-south journeys, but most buses from Leith/London Road go along
Princes Street, and then a poor 49 turns up at just the right time to
change buses for the Bridges axis..) and indeed is about to be switched
to double-deckers to help ease capacity problems.
For me personally, I think the tram might give "Murrayfield" Sainsbury's
and the Gyle Centre the slight travel time edge over Cameron Toll or
the other edge-town shopping centres (alas poor Ocean Terminal which
was supposed to benefit from the trams as well).
On that note, this is possibly likely to be one of my last usenet posts.
I've been pretty much in write-only mode of late, I don't really have
sufficient spare time for usenet any more, it doesn't lend itself well
to reading from different computers (assuming you even have a decent
usenet client on each), and although some groups (notably uk.railway)
are still healthy, it seems that very very few new people are finding
and using usenet nowadays. I think I probably therefore have no choice
but to go where other people are tending to hang out nowadays. I have
a horrible feeling that nowadays that's increasingly the ad-infested
spyware cesspits of Failbook and Tw*tter, but if there are any good
railway/transport and Scotland/Edinburgh [1] forums out there
(suggestions welcome), maybe that's where I have to head off to..?
[1] citycyclingedinburgh is probably as good a start as any. I don't
really want to have to follow multiple forums (at least usenet is "all
in one place"), but.. :-(
Things are certainly improving railway-wise from when I first started on
usenet. With ever-increasing electrification in Scotland and ongoing
service improvements (Cumbernauld recently electrified and
(re)integrated into the North Clyde line with increased service
frequency; new through services between Ayr, Glasgow and Edinburgh (via
Carstairs); the Waverley route rebuilding continuing..), the situation
for rail and other public transport is a lot better nowadays than it was
back in the 1980s.. :-)
All the best to everybody I've chatted with on usenet over the years.. :-)
I may perhaps still continue to post occasionally, but probably no longer
regularly..
Ding-ding and away..
David.
How is payment made, BTW? Can one use their contactless card to pay? I
thought that, in one of the videos that I saw of the first day of
revenue service, an indication on a tram that allows that method of
payment.
AFAICT you have to buy a ticket from a machine (cash or card accepted)
before getting on the tram if you don't have a Ridacard, day ticket or
entitlement card :-
http://edinburghtrams.com/tickets
You would think that they would have sought to introduce contactless
card payment from the start.
Paul Corfield
2014-05-31 23:45:04 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 31 May 2014 19:50:24 +0100, "***@yahoo.co.uk"
<***@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

[snip]
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
How is payment made, BTW? Can one use their contactless card to pay? I
thought that, in one of the videos that I saw of the first day of
revenue service, an indication on a tram that allows that method of
payment.
There seems to be three options

- ticket bought from a machine at the stop using cash or debit /
credit card. No change is given!

- mobile phone ticketing where you activate your ticket before
boarding my scanning a QR code on a reader at the tram stop. You need
to load an app to your smartphone for this option to work.

- smartcard ticket (Ridacard) which has to be purchased in advance
through a travel shop. You must touch in on a reader at the stop
before boarding a tram.

There is NO contactless bank card acceptance for travel without a
ticket as is envisaged in London.

The Edinburgh trams and buses websites talk about a "City Zone" and an
"Airport Zone" for ticketing and pricing purposes. I think the City
Zone (for trams) is the entire line *except* the Airport. For the
buses the City Zone is the entire network *except* on Airlink 100 to
the Airport. However if you opt to take the slow route you can reach
the Airport on bus 35 using a standard ticket and not paying any
premium fare.

Interestingly the tram is shown as Route 50 on the Lothian Buses Bus
Map but I haven't seen any reference to Route 50 on the trams website
or the trams themselves.

Also there is no single journey through ticket allowing people to take
a bus and then connect to the tram (or vice versa). The Day Ticket
(which is good value) *does* allow unlimited travel on buses and trams
except to the Airport (unless you pay a premium price for Airport
travel). The scale of the premium for travel to the Airport is very
steep indeed and I imagine the on board ticket checkers are going to
be kept busy making sure everyone's paid the right fare to / from the
Airport. Whenever I next get to Edinburgh I suspect the bit to the
Airport will be the bit I don't use!
--
Paul C
Charles Ellson
2014-06-01 05:40:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 01 Jun 2014 00:45:04 +0100, Paul Corfield
Post by Scott
[snip]
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
How is payment made, BTW? Can one use their contactless card to pay? I
thought that, in one of the videos that I saw of the first day of
revenue service, an indication on a tram that allows that method of
payment.
There seems to be three options
- ticket bought from a machine at the stop using cash or debit /
credit card. No change is given!
Not given for at least 30 years in Edinburgh.
Post by Scott
- mobile phone ticketing where you activate your ticket before
boarding my scanning a QR code on a reader at the tram stop. You need
to load an app to your smartphone for this option to work.
- smartcard ticket (Ridacard) which has to be purchased in advance
through a travel shop. You must touch in on a reader at the stop
before boarding a tram.
There is NO contactless bank card acceptance for travel without a
ticket as is envisaged in London.
The Edinburgh trams and buses websites talk about a "City Zone" and an
"Airport Zone" for ticketing and pricing purposes. I think the City
Zone (for trams) is the entire line *except* the Airport. For the
buses the City Zone is the entire network *except* on Airlink 100 to
the Airport. However if you opt to take the slow route you can reach
the Airport on bus 35 using a standard ticket and not paying any
premium fare.
Interestingly the tram is shown as Route 50 on the Lothian Buses Bus
Map but I haven't seen any reference to Route 50 on the trams website
or the trams themselves.
Last year route 50 was the Moonwalk service :-
http://lothianbuses.com/assets/files/Service-50-Moonwalk.pdf
There is no route 50 in the index to route maps :-
http://lothianbuses.com/plan-a-journey/route-maps
and although a "new entry" on the map it doesn't appear in the list of
changes.
Post by Scott
Also there is no single journey through ticket allowing people to take
a bus and then connect to the tram (or vice versa). The Day Ticket
(which is good value) *does* allow unlimited travel on buses and trams
except to the Airport (unless you pay a premium price for Airport
travel). The scale of the premium for travel to the Airport is very
steep indeed and I imagine the on board ticket checkers are going to
be kept busy making sure everyone's paid the right fare to / from the
Airport. Whenever I next get to Edinburgh I suspect the bit to the
Airport will be the bit I don't use!
Paul Corfield
2014-06-01 08:33:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Charles Ellson
On Sun, 01 Jun 2014 00:45:04 +0100, Paul Corfield
Post by Scott
[snip]
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
How is payment made, BTW? Can one use their contactless card to pay? I
thought that, in one of the videos that I saw of the first day of
revenue service, an indication on a tram that allows that method of
payment.
There seems to be three options
- ticket bought from a machine at the stop using cash or debit /
credit card. No change is given!
Not given for at least 30 years in Edinburgh.
Err not given on Lothian Buses services. It is given if you catch
First or Stagecoach buses or a rail service. I do understand the
issues about the buses but I am genuinely surprised that machines at
tram stations are so basic that they've been bought without a change
giving facility. The machines will need to be serviced anyway so
what's the issue with not giving change? It seems extremely
"unfriendly" for a service with premium fares serving the Airport.
Lothian Buses' own Airlink 100 *does* offer change - presumably in
recognition of the fact that a significant proportion of users will be
visitors to the City and possibly not familiar with the transport
system.

I can't think of a new light rail or Metro system that's opened
anywhere without change giving ticket machines.
Post by Charles Ellson
Post by Scott
Interestingly the tram is shown as Route 50 on the Lothian Buses Bus
Map but I haven't seen any reference to Route 50 on the trams website
or the trams themselves.
Last year route 50 was the Moonwalk service :-
http://lothianbuses.com/assets/files/Service-50-Moonwalk.pdf
There is no route 50 in the index to route maps :-
http://lothianbuses.com/plan-a-journey/route-maps
and although a "new entry" on the map it doesn't appear in the list of
changes.
Yes but route 50 *is* shown very clearly *on* the bus map. I only
mentioned it as it seems odd to show it there but not carry the logic
through elsewhere.
--
Paul C
charles
2014-06-01 09:01:05 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Paul Corfield
Err not given on Lothian Buses services. It is given if you catch
First or Stagecoach buses or a rail service. I do understand the
issues about the buses but I am genuinely surprised that machines at
tram stations are so basic that they've been bought without a change
giving facility. The machines will need to be serviced anyway so
what's the issue with not giving change?
The reason the busses stopped giving change was theft. All the money goes
straight into an underfloor safe box - leaving nothing for the casual
thief. Money going into a roadside ticket machine can go into an "under
the pavement" safe.
--
From KT24

Using a RISC OS computer running v5.18
tim.....
2014-06-01 08:00:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Scott
[snip]
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
How is payment made, BTW? Can one use their contactless card to pay? I
thought that, in one of the videos that I saw of the first day of
revenue service, an indication on a tram that allows that method of
payment.
There seems to be three options
- ticket bought from a machine at the stop using cash or debit /
credit card. No change is given!
It appears that is "using coins"

which is a bit ridiculous given that the fares available includes one at 5
quid

tim
Roland Perry
2014-06-01 09:00:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by tim.....
Post by Paul Corfield
There seems to be three options
- ticket bought from a machine at the stop using cash or debit /
credit card. No change is given!
It appears that is "using coins"
which is a bit ridiculous given that the fares available includes one
at 5 quid
Not that unusual. The car park machines at Royston station when I parked
there to get to London were coins-only (might have been upgraded now, of
course) and didn't even take £2 coins (actually they did, but thought
they were 50p). The current fee is £7/day.
--
Roland Perry
The Real Doctor
2014-06-01 09:24:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roland Perry
Not that unusual. The car park machines at Royston station when I parked
there to get to London were coins-only (might have been upgraded now, of
course) and didn't even take £2 coins (actually they did, but thought
they were 50p). The current fee is £7/day.
Last time I was in St Ives (Cornwall) a weekly ticket in the car parks
cost £34. Unfortunately, the machines which sold them were programmed to
take a maximum of £30 in cash, then return it.

Ian
David D S
2014-06-01 13:47:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by tim.....
Post by Scott
[snip]
Post by h***@yahoo.co.uk
How is payment made, BTW? Can one use their contactless card to
pay? I thought that, in one of the videos that I saw of the first
day of revenue service, an indication on a tram that allows that
method of payment.
There seems to be three options
- ticket bought from a machine at the stop using cash or debit /
credit card. No change is given!
It appears that is "using coins"
which is a bit ridiculous given that the fares available includes one
at 5 quid
tim
At least they don't do the dodge of not offering change,m but have
ticket
prices of 3.76, 4.17 and so on.
--
David D S: UK and PR China. (Native BrEng speaker)
Use Reply-To header for email. This email address will be
valid for at least 2 weeks from 2014/6/1 21:47:04
tim.....
2014-06-01 21:05:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David D S
At least they don't do the dodge of not offering change,m but have
ticket
prices of 3.76, 4.17 and so on.
That used to be West midland's trick

but I think they have stopped that now

tim
Theo Markettos
2014-06-01 22:37:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by tim.....
It appears that is "using coins"
which is a bit ridiculous given that the fares available includes one at 5
quid
"TfE said 25 extra ticketing services assistants had sold tickets at stops
where the machines had broken down yesterday, including York Place and
Haymarket.

The problem is believed to have been related to the machines filling up with
money."

http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/edinburgh-trams-21-000-users-on-first-day-1-3429480


There are worse problems to have...

Theo
The Real Doctor
2014-06-01 09:22:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Paul Corfield
Whenever I next get to Edinburgh I suspect the bit to the
Airport will be the bit I don't use!
The last tram stop before the airport is only five minutes walk away ...

Ian
tim.....
2014-06-01 09:34:38 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Paul Corfield
Whenever I next get to Edinburgh I suspect the bit to the
Airport will be the bit I don't use!
The last tram stop before the airport is only five minutes walk away ...
That's not what Google reckons (17 minutes)

tim
The Real Doctor
2014-06-01 10:11:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by tim.....
That's not what Google reckons (17 minutes)
To walk from Ingliston Park and Ride to the Airport? Golly.

Ian
Claudio Calvelli - to email replace qwertyuiop with c.news
2014-06-02 09:39:50 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by tim.....
Post by The Real Doctor
The last tram stop before the airport is only five minutes walk away ...
That's not what Google reckons (17 minutes)
It is 5 minutes for people used to walking, and I'm sure I've walked
past that stop (before it existed) and to the airport in a short time,
it might not have been 5 minutes, but definitely no more than 10.

Google's estimate will be for fat americans who can't find the way
out of their cars.

C
Ian Cunningham
2014-06-01 09:50:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Paul Corfield
Whenever I next get to Edinburgh I suspect the bit to the
Airport will be the bit I don't use!
The last tram stop before the airport is only five minutes walk away ...
I'm not sure there is pedestrian access from the Ingliston Park and Ride
to the Airport terminal. I recall seeing signs to that effect in the car
park there

Ian
The Real Doctor
2014-06-01 10:12:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Ian Cunningham
I'm not sure there is pedestrian access from the Ingliston Park and Ride
to the Airport terminal. I recall seeing signs to that effect in the car
park there
Well, of course they would say that, wouldn't they?

Ian
Roland Perry
2014-06-01 10:13:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Ian Cunningham
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Paul Corfield
Whenever I next get to Edinburgh I suspect the bit to the
Airport will be the bit I don't use!
The last tram stop before the airport is only five minutes walk away ...
I'm not sure there is pedestrian access from the Ingliston Park and
Ride to the Airport terminal. I recall seeing signs to that effect in
the car park there
If there's no quick access from one to the other it would explain why
it's not such a glaring loophole in the fares scheme.

One thing's puzzling me though - I can't see any trace of the tram
route, despite Google claiming it's 2014 imagery.
--
Roland Perry
The Real Doctor
2014-06-01 11:16:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roland Perry
If there's no quick access from one to the other it would explain why
it's not such a glaring loophole in the fares scheme.
You can walk from the car park to the road outside. The road outside
leads to the airport terminal.

Even for hose who don't want to walk, Ingliston Park and Ride plus bus
or tram to the terminal works out a lot cheaper than airport parking.

Ian
The Real Doctor
2014-06-01 11:24:23 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roland Perry
One thing's puzzling me though - I can't see any trace of the tram
route, despite Google claiming it's 2014 imagery.
The pictures on Google Earth are ancient ... no sign of the trams and no
sign of the extension with gates 13 - 23, which opened some time (five
years?) ago.

The same picture is used in Google maps - though if you choose the map
rather than the photograph, the extension is shown.

Ian
Recliner
2014-06-01 11:43:03 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian Cunningham
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Paul Corfield
Whenever I next get to Edinburgh I suspect the bit to the
Airport will be the bit I don't use!
The last tram stop before the airport is only five minutes walk away ...
I'm not sure there is pedestrian access from the Ingliston Park and
Ride to the Airport terminal. I recall seeing signs to that effect in
the car park there
If there's no quick access from one to the other it would explain why
it's not such a glaring loophole in the fares scheme.
One thing's puzzling me though - I can't see any trace of the tram
route, despite Google claiming it's 2014 imagery.
Does Google ever show a copyright date other than the current year?
Roland Perry
2014-06-01 15:40:10 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Recliner
Post by Roland Perry
One thing's puzzling me though - I can't see any trace of the tram
route, despite Google claiming it's 2014 imagery.
Does Google ever show a copyright date other than the current year?
They seem to have changed something (yet again). The imagery copyright
date used to be aligned with the photography (my house being 2009 iirc)
but they've bumped them all to 2014 now.
--
Roland Perry
Recliner
2014-06-01 16:02:07 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Recliner
Post by Roland Perry
One thing's puzzling me though - I can't see any trace of the tram
route, despite Google claiming it's 2014 imagery.
Does Google ever show a copyright date other than the current year?
They seem to have changed something (yet again). The imagery copyright
date used to be aligned with the photography (my house being 2009 iirc)
but they've bumped them all to 2014 now.
Probably easier for them, rather than having to keep track of the ages of
all the component image fragments. A single screen may have blended images
from multiple sources and ages, so it's much easier to just use a single,
current year copyright date.
Roland Perry
2014-06-01 16:30:54 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
In message
Post by Recliner
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Recliner
Post by Roland Perry
One thing's puzzling me though - I can't see any trace of the tram
route, despite Google claiming it's 2014 imagery.
Does Google ever show a copyright date other than the current year?
They seem to have changed something (yet again). The imagery copyright
date used to be aligned with the photography (my house being 2009 iirc)
but they've bumped them all to 2014 now.
Probably easier for them, rather than having to keep track of the ages of
all the component image fragments. A single screen may have blended images
from multiple sources and ages, so it's much easier to just use a single,
current year copyright date.
It seems the dates are still available if you use Google Earth at a
sufficiently close zoom level. Edinburgh airport 2005 (I don't believe
the 1st Jan), my house 25th July 2008.
--
Roland Perry
David
2014-06-01 13:36:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Paul Corfield wrote in ed.general
Post by Paul Corfield
- smartcard ticket (Ridacard) which has to be purchased in advance
through a travel shop. You must touch in on a reader at the stop
before boarding a tram.
Hi Paul,

Ridacard is just the standard Lothian Buses season ticket which has now
been extended, under Transport for Edinburgh, to include the trams as
well (but not local rail services, we still have some way to go for full
local transport integration).

It's a bone of contention amongst many that Ridacard isn't very smart at
all: it's purely a season ticket, either ongoing or for fixed periods.
It doesn't have stored value capability like oystercard, which would
make it handy for people who don't travel by bus or tram every day.

The touchcard reader is also used by holders of Scottish concessionary
bus passes (only Edinburgh citizens and holders of cards issued for
disability reasons). Whether the card and reader determine validity or
this relies on the ticket inspectors, I don't know.
Post by Paul Corfield
The Edinburgh trams and buses websites talk about a "City Zone" and an
"Airport Zone" for ticketing and pricing purposes. I think the City
Zone (for trams) is the entire line *except* the Airport. For the
buses the City Zone is the entire network *except* on Airlink 100 to
the Airport. However if you opt to take the slow route you can reach
the Airport on bus 35 using a standard ticket and not paying any
premium fare.
Sneaky loophole! I'm sure it won't be long before people suss out that
you can get cheaply from/to the airport by buying a City day ticket,
taking a #35 bus to Ingliston and then changing to a tram there
(although I suspect that for many people who may have just come off a
long flight, with heavy luggage, with limited knowledge of Edinburgh,
paying the extra cost will simply outweigh the hassle factor otherwise).

ObPedant (it is usenet, after all): the far end of East Lothian Buses
service 113 out into East Lothian isn't part of the city zone.. ;-)

ObPedant2: I see that East Lothian Buses have quietly become Lothian
Country Buses, I wonder what routes they are planning to take over
next.. Shaking up the abysmal FarceBus in West Lothian would be fun to
watch..

(I had assumed that the LCB green was a deliberate homage to Eastern
Scottish green, and not greater London's Green Line Coaches, but now I
wonder..)

http://lothianbuses.com/services/lothian-country-buses
Post by Paul Corfield
Interestingly the tram is shown as Route 50 on the Lothian Buses Bus
Map but I haven't seen any reference to Route 50 on the trams website
or the trams themselves.
Yes, I spotted that, and forgot to mention it! The route map has now
become rather more Harry-Beck-like, previously the route lines were
still slightly stylized but the angles bore more resemblence to actual
geography.

(I see that the Waverley line has also appeared on the map..)
Post by Paul Corfield
Also there is no single journey through ticket allowing people to take
a bus and then connect to the tram (or vice versa).
Likewise if you need to take more than one bus to complete your journey,
which is also a source of annoyance to many people (for example, if you
are not making a return journey the same day (eg, travelling to the
station for a trip away)).

I suppose they have considered that for most journeys they have
considered that if you are going somewhere, you will be coming back
again (and so the day ticket is good value), but, still..
Post by Paul Corfield
The Day Ticket
(which is good value) *does* allow unlimited travel on buses and trams
except to the Airport (unless you pay a premium price for Airport
travel). The scale of the premium for travel to the Airport is very
steep indeed and I imagine the on board ticket checkers are going to
be kept busy making sure everyone's paid the right fare to / from the
Airport.
The fare to the airport isn't really that much more than the existing
Airlink fare (but obviously the media will pick up on it), and unless
somebody is actually travelling to somewhere on the Airlink route, the
flexibility of the Airport Zone day ticket may be more useful to most
travellers, so it might perhaps have been better marketing to have said
that a less flexible Airlink-only ticket was a discount on the "standard" (ie,
tram-inclusive) "product offering". It would not surprise me if the
separate Airlink-only fare goes away at the next fares increase, but
that the Airport Zone fare does not increase to help avoid flak.

Besides, fleecing tourists (I mean, helping ensure that they contribute
towards local infrastructure that they will use), is pretty much
standard practice throughout the world.. ;-)

I'm sure locals will soon pick up on the #35 loophole, and daily
travellers will probably have a Ridacard anyway (I don't know whether
the airport makes any special arrangements for its staff, and possibly
for shift work public transport may not be convenient anyway).

Business travellers using the airport fairly frequently will probably
be in a sufficiently well-paid job that it will not be a big deal (or on
expenses), so I suspect that it really just comes down to the tourists,
most of whom will probably just pay anyway for the convenience (after
all they've just paid for a flight to get here, and the rest of their
holiday, so it's still a tiny fraction of their holiday costs).

All of us reading here are probably used to checking out transport
options at our destination and working out what's cheapest, but many
people are probably just reasonably content taking whatever is offered
to them as "the obvious choice" when they arrive at an airport.


David.
Graeme Wood
2014-06-01 14:20:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
Paul Corfield wrote in ed.general
Post by Paul Corfield
- smartcard ticket (Ridacard) which has to be purchased in advance
through a travel shop. You must touch in on a reader at the stop
before boarding a tram.
Hi Paul,
Ridacard is just the standard Lothian Buses season ticket which has now
been extended, under Transport for Edinburgh, to include the trams as
well (but not local rail services, we still have some way to go for full
local transport integration).
The PlusBus ticket scheme allows you to use the trams (but not to the
airport): http://www.plusbus.info/edinburgh
Post by David
It's a bone of contention amongst many that Ridacard isn't very smart at
all: it's purely a season ticket, either ongoing or for fixed periods.
It doesn't have stored value capability like oystercard, which would
make it handy for people who don't travel by bus or tram every day.
The touchcard reader is also used by holders of Scottish concessionary
bus passes (only Edinburgh citizens and holders of cards issued for
disability reasons). Whether the card and reader determine validity or
this relies on the ticket inspectors, I don't know.
Post by Paul Corfield
The Edinburgh trams and buses websites talk about a "City Zone" and an
"Airport Zone" for ticketing and pricing purposes. I think the City
Zone (for trams) is the entire line *except* the Airport. For the
buses the City Zone is the entire network *except* on Airlink 100 to
the Airport. However if you opt to take the slow route you can reach
the Airport on bus 35 using a standard ticket and not paying any
premium fare.
Sneaky loophole! I'm sure it won't be long before people suss out that
you can get cheaply from/to the airport by buying a City day ticket,
taking a #35 bus to Ingliston and then changing to a tram there
(although I suspect that for many people who may have just come off a
long flight, with heavy luggage, with limited knowledge of Edinburgh,
paying the extra cost will simply outweigh the hassle factor otherwise).
ObPedant (it is usenet, after all): the far end of East Lothian Buses
service 113 out into East Lothian isn't part of the city zone.. ;-)
ObPedant2: I see that East Lothian Buses have quietly become Lothian
Country Buses, I wonder what routes they are planning to take over
next.. Shaking up the abysmal FarceBus in West Lothian would be fun to
watch..
(I had assumed that the LCB green was a deliberate homage to Eastern
Scottish green, and not greater London's Green Line Coaches, but now I
wonder..)
http://lothianbuses.com/services/lothian-country-buses
Post by Paul Corfield
Interestingly the tram is shown as Route 50 on the Lothian Buses Bus
Map but I haven't seen any reference to Route 50 on the trams website
or the trams themselves.
Yes, I spotted that, and forgot to mention it! The route map has now
become rather more Harry-Beck-like, previously the route lines were
still slightly stylized but the angles bore more resemblence to actual
geography.
(I see that the Waverley line has also appeared on the map..)
Post by Paul Corfield
Also there is no single journey through ticket allowing people to take
a bus and then connect to the tram (or vice versa).
Likewise if you need to take more than one bus to complete your journey,
which is also a source of annoyance to many people (for example, if you
are not making a return journey the same day (eg, travelling to the
station for a trip away)).
I suppose they have considered that for most journeys they have
considered that if you are going somewhere, you will be coming back
again (and so the day ticket is good value), but, still..
Post by Paul Corfield
The Day Ticket
(which is good value) *does* allow unlimited travel on buses and trams
except to the Airport (unless you pay a premium price for Airport
travel). The scale of the premium for travel to the Airport is very
steep indeed and I imagine the on board ticket checkers are going to
be kept busy making sure everyone's paid the right fare to / from the
Airport.
The fare to the airport isn't really that much more than the existing
Airlink fare (but obviously the media will pick up on it), and unless
somebody is actually travelling to somewhere on the Airlink route, the
flexibility of the Airport Zone day ticket may be more useful to most
travellers, so it might perhaps have been better marketing to have said
that a less flexible Airlink-only ticket was a discount on the "standard" (ie,
tram-inclusive) "product offering". It would not surprise me if the
separate Airlink-only fare goes away at the next fares increase, but
that the Airport Zone fare does not increase to help avoid flak.
Besides, fleecing tourists (I mean, helping ensure that they contribute
towards local infrastructure that they will use), is pretty much
standard practice throughout the world.. ;-)
I'm sure locals will soon pick up on the #35 loophole, and daily
travellers will probably have a Ridacard anyway (I don't know whether
the airport makes any special arrangements for its staff, and possibly
for shift work public transport may not be convenient anyway).
Business travellers using the airport fairly frequently will probably
be in a sufficiently well-paid job that it will not be a big deal (or on
expenses), so I suspect that it really just comes down to the tourists,
most of whom will probably just pay anyway for the convenience (after
all they've just paid for a flight to get here, and the rest of their
holiday, so it's still a tiny fraction of their holiday costs).
All of us reading here are probably used to checking out transport
options at our destination and working out what's cheapest, but many
people are probably just reasonably content taking whatever is offered
to them as "the obvious choice" when they arrive at an airport.
David.
tim.....
2014-06-01 21:04:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
Paul Corfield wrote in ed.general
Post by Paul Corfield
- smartcard ticket (Ridacard) which has to be purchased in advance
through a travel shop. You must touch in on a reader at the stop
before boarding a tram.
Hi Paul,
Ridacard is just the standard Lothian Buses season ticket which has now
been extended, under Transport for Edinburgh, to include the trams as
well (but not local rail services, we still have some way to go for full
local transport integration).
It's a bone of contention amongst many that Ridacard isn't very smart at
all: it's purely a season ticket, either ongoing or for fixed periods.
It doesn't have stored value capability like oystercard, which would
make it handy for people who don't travel by bus or tram every day.
The touchcard reader is also used by holders of Scottish concessionary
bus passes (only Edinburgh citizens and holders of cards issued for
disability reasons). Whether the card and reader determine validity or
this relies on the ticket inspectors, I don't know.
Post by Paul Corfield
The Edinburgh trams and buses websites talk about a "City Zone" and an
"Airport Zone" for ticketing and pricing purposes. I think the City
Zone (for trams) is the entire line *except* the Airport. For the
buses the City Zone is the entire network *except* on Airlink 100 to
the Airport. However if you opt to take the slow route you can reach
the Airport on bus 35 using a standard ticket and not paying any
premium fare.
Sneaky loophole! I'm sure it won't be long before people suss out that
you can get cheaply from/to the airport by buying a City day ticket,
taking a #35 bus to Ingliston and then changing to a tram there
(although I suspect that for many people who may have just come off a
long flight, with heavy luggage, with limited knowledge of Edinburgh,
paying the extra cost will simply outweigh the hassle factor otherwise).
But will passengers arriving at the airport (by plane) have any choice.
Where will they buy a "non airport" one day ticket?

tim
Claudio Calvelli - to email replace qwertyuiop with c.news
2014-06-02 09:47:12 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by tim.....
But will passengers arriving at the airport (by plane) have any choice.
Where will they buy a "non airport" one day ticket?
These can be bought by boarding a number 35 bus at the airport. Which
will also help getting to a "city zone" tram stop.

C
The Real Doctor
2014-06-01 09:16:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
On that note, this is possibly likely to be one of my last usenet posts.
I don't think I have ever seen a post from you before. What newsgroups
do (did) you inhabit?

Ian
Geoff Pearson
2014-06-04 07:33:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David
As everybody reading here probably knows, Edinburgh Trams opened for
service today, Saturday 31 May 2014.
I was one of an *entire trams-worth* of people who made their way to the
Gyle Centre tram stop (thank you, nearby passing Airlink bus service)
for the 05:00 first service to the city centre. There were so many people
present that I think that at least a few unfortunately could not get on
and had to wait for the next tram. (I arrived around 04:30, thinking
that would be plenty of time, expecting maybe 50 people to be there, and
had to join a long queue for the ticket machines!)
While there were undoubtedly more than quite a few train fans amongst the
passengers, turnout was not entirely $nerdy_male_trainspotter_stereotype,
with a wide variety of ages of both men and women, and also including a
number of family groups with enthusiastic children.
There was a huge cheer as the first tram arrived from the depot (a not
in service tram passed through just before I arrived at the tram stop),
and quite a party atmosphere once we were on board. The tram was
absolutely crush-loaded, but thanks to wide aisles and vestibules not
quite as cramped as a similarly busy bus would have been. There is
good provision of grab poles for standing passengers (also helps to
balance your camera for photographs.. ;-) ).
Some people had made hand-drawn posters welcoming the trams, which were
popular with press photographers and TV crews. In particular, somebody
had made a "Take me to Leith" poster as a reminder that the route is
only half-finished at best. Hopefully we will see action in the not too
distant future to complete the planned route to Leith/Newhaven (one of
the most densely-populated areas of the city, and one of low car ownership
and strong demand for public transport (not just 'distress purchase')).
With the utility moving works already done and the trams and rails
already purchased, hopefully track-laying, overheads erection and tram
stop construction would be relatively easily done (once the remaining
part of the project reached that stage and the disputes with contractors
came to an end, construction progress did speed up *noticeably*).
Unfortunately, there are only relatively few places where the trams can
reach anywhere near the route's 70 km/h top speed (some non-continuous
sections alongside the railway, through Edinburgh Park, some sections
between the depot and the airport), but the acceleration away from tram
stops does help to save time.
Certainly the tram is considerably faster than the comparable stopping
bus services (eg #22) (remember that the airport isn't really the
destination as such, it just happens to be one of many places on the
route of a line serving *multiple* trip generators (but not so many
high-density population areas, oops) - there was _supposed_ to also
be a fast rail link to the airport).
There are a surprising number of very tight bends and wiggles on the
route, even in non-built-up areas, where speed has to drop to 30 km/h
(20 mi/h) or below, including an excruciating 10 km/h curve between the
A8 underpass and the site of the future Edinburgh Gateway tram stop,
all of which give the line a bit of a 'fairground ride' feel in places.
While the locations of most sharp bends are adjacent to stops, where
trams will be slowing anyway, I can't help but feel that slightly
less-tight curves (where surroundings would have allowed it) would have
allowed a faster approach to stops and could have shaved off at least a
couple of minutes' journey time over the full length of the route. Even
the relatively straight bridge over the railway at Stenhouse seems to
require quite a substantial slowing down (in the middle of an otherwise
fast section).
I timed the trip back into the city from the airport as a slightly
underwhelming 38 minutes, even with traffic lights and tram signals
on-street turning in our favour as we approached (non-stop along
Princes Street (apart from the tram stop) is a very novel experience!).
It'll be interesting to see how usage fares over the coming weeks once
everybody gets their initial joyride out of the way over the course of
the weekend. As I've said before, I have no doubt that the tramline will
be a huge time-saver and capacity boost for workers at Edinburgh Park,
Gyle, Gogarburn, etc, helped with interchange at Edinburgh Park station
(and Edinburgh Gateway to come).
The on-street section between Haymarket and York Place is considerably
faster than travelling by bus, so that may also be of help to people
passing *through* the city centre (or travelling close to a tram stop).
Edinburgh residents will know that at peak times it can sometimes just
about be faster to walk the length of Princes Street than remain on a
bus stuck in an endless queue of other buses. Festivals/holiday season
will be a particularly interesting test as to what difference the tram
will make there (the tram won't be held up by tourists asking route
or fare questions or fumbling for change, which can easily waste several
minutes at each bus stop!).
But really, it still needs to go to Leith (and the southside). Bus #49
is the new 22 as regards peak loading problems (huge demand for
north-south journeys, but most buses from Leith/London Road go along
Princes Street, and then a poor 49 turns up at just the right time to
change buses for the Bridges axis..) and indeed is about to be switched
to double-deckers to help ease capacity problems.
For me personally, I think the tram might give "Murrayfield" Sainsbury's
and the Gyle Centre the slight travel time edge over Cameron Toll or
the other edge-town shopping centres (alas poor Ocean Terminal which
was supposed to benefit from the trams as well).
On that note, this is possibly likely to be one of my last usenet posts.
I've been pretty much in write-only mode of late, I don't really have
sufficient spare time for usenet any more, it doesn't lend itself well
to reading from different computers (assuming you even have a decent
usenet client on each), and although some groups (notably uk.railway)
are still healthy, it seems that very very few new people are finding
and using usenet nowadays. I think I probably therefore have no choice
but to go where other people are tending to hang out nowadays. I have
a horrible feeling that nowadays that's increasingly the ad-infested
spyware cesspits of Failbook and Tw*tter, but if there are any good
railway/transport and Scotland/Edinburgh [1] forums out there
(suggestions welcome), maybe that's where I have to head off to..?
[1] citycyclingedinburgh is probably as good a start as any. I don't
really want to have to follow multiple forums (at least usenet is "all
in one place"), but.. :-(
Things are certainly improving railway-wise from when I first started on
usenet. With ever-increasing electrification in Scotland and ongoing
service improvements (Cumbernauld recently electrified and
(re)integrated into the North Clyde line with increased service
frequency; new through services between Ayr, Glasgow and Edinburgh (via
Carstairs); the Waverley route rebuilding continuing..), the situation
for rail and other public transport is a lot better nowadays than it was
back in the 1980s.. :-)
All the best to everybody I've chatted with on usenet over the years.. :-)
I may perhaps still continue to post occasionally, but probably no longer
regularly..
Ding-ding and away..
David.
Anyone commuting on the tram? From where to where?
The Real Doctor
2014-06-04 22:01:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Geoff Pearson
Anyone commuting on the tram? From where to where?
Ingliston Park and Ride to the city centre?

Ian
Geoff Pearson
2014-06-05 07:23:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Geoff Pearson
Anyone commuting on the tram? From where to where?
Ingliston Park and Ride to the city centre?
Ian
I'd take that bribe too:

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/ingliston-park-and-ride-users-get-tram-fare-cut-1-3256980
Alan Smaill
2014-06-05 11:18:04 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Geoff Pearson
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Geoff Pearson
Anyone commuting on the tram? From where to where?
Ingliston Park and Ride to the city centre?
Ian
http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/ingliston-park-and-ride-users-get-tram-fare-cut-1-3256980
Having fewers cars in the city centre is A Good Thing For Us All, IMHO.
--
Alan Smaill
Richard Tobin
2014-06-05 13:04:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alan Smaill
Having fewers cars in the city centre is A Good Thing For Us All, IMHO.
In my experience (e.g. sitting in a bus for 15 minutes waiting to
turn into Princes Street), most of the traffic jams don't involve any
cars at all. The widening of the pavement and the central reservation
for the trams mean that buses are constantly waiting for other buses
to move.

-- Richard
Geoff Pearson
2014-06-05 13:42:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alan Smaill
Post by Geoff Pearson
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Geoff Pearson
Anyone commuting on the tram? From where to where?
Ingliston Park and Ride to the city centre?
Ian
http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/ingliston-park-and-ride-users-get-tram-fare-cut-1-3256980
Having fewers cars in the city centre is A Good Thing For Us All, IMHO.
--
Alan Smaill
But The Real Doctor hasn't abandoned his car - he has a choice of public
transport systems from free parking at Ingliston and has, rightly, taken the
one he was bribed to take - the tram. He never was going to drive into
town.
Alan Smaill
2014-06-05 15:47:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Geoff Pearson
Post by Alan Smaill
Post by Geoff Pearson
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Geoff Pearson
Anyone commuting on the tram? From where to where?
Ingliston Park and Ride to the city centre?
Ian
http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/ingliston-park-and-ride-users-get-tram-fare-cut-1-3256980
Having fewers cars in the city centre is A Good Thing For Us All, IMHO.
--
Alan Smaill
But The Real Doctor hasn't abandoned his car - he has a choice of
public transport systems from free parking at Ingliston and has,
rightly, taken the one he was bribed to take - the tram. He never was
going to drive into town.
He's not the only person who will take the tram from Ingliston, though ...
--
Alan Smaill
The Real Doctor
2014-06-05 17:34:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Geoff Pearson
But The Real Doctor hasn't abandoned his car - he has a choice of public
transport systems from free parking at Ingliston and has, rightly, taken
the one he was bribed to take - the tram. He never was going to drive
into town.
I take the train from Lockerbie to Haymarket, then walk.

Ian
Geoff Pearson
2014-06-06 04:06:19 UTC
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Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Geoff Pearson
But The Real Doctor hasn't abandoned his car - he has a choice of public
transport systems from free parking at Ingliston and has, rightly, taken
the one he was bribed to take - the tram. He never was going to drive
into town.
I take the train from Lockerbie to Haymarket, then walk.
Ian
So how does Ingliston figure in your commute?
The Real Doctor
2014-06-06 11:40:10 UTC
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Post by Geoff Pearson
So how does Ingliston figure in your commute?
I doesn't. But you expressed doubt about whether anybody would commute
by tram and I pointed out that they are actively going for the commuter
market.

Ian
Geoff Pearson
2014-06-06 15:27:01 UTC
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Post by Geoff Pearson
So how does Ingliston figure in your commute?
I doesn't. But you expressed doubt about whether anybody would commute by
tram and I pointed out that they are actively going for the commuter
market.
Ian
That wasn't what I meant - I was looking for someone who was actually
changing their commuting pattern to include the tram routinely. In other
words, a customer likely to travel 5 days a week, rather than the occasional
jaunt.
Graeme Wood
2014-06-06 17:06:28 UTC
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Post by Geoff Pearson
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Geoff Pearson
So how does Ingliston figure in your commute?
I doesn't. But you expressed doubt about whether anybody would commute
by tram and I pointed out that they are actively going for the
commuter market.
Ian
That wasn't what I meant - I was looking for someone who was actually
changing their commuting pattern to include the tram routinely. In
other words, a customer likely to travel 5 days a week, rather than the
occasional jaunt.
A friend of mine is commuting from Bankhead to the West End. He works at
Standard Life on Lothian Road.
The Real Doctor
2014-06-06 22:28:58 UTC
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Post by Geoff Pearson
That wasn't what I meant - I was looking for someone who was actually
changing their commuting pattern to include the tram routinely. In
other words, a customer likely to travel 5 days a week, rather than the
occasional jaunt.
Oh, right. Sorry.

Well in that case, I expect a lot of the current Ingliston + bus
customers will swap to trams, since the cost is the same.

Ian

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