Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

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Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

Postby MacRiada » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:35 pm

As I suggested in a topic on the Auckland board, there is the possibility of importing the Melbourne Z class trams for use in New Zealand. The Z class is from the 70s (Z1 & Z2) and early 80s (Z3) era, so therefore they are high floor trams, but otherwise have been mostly be upgraded to have more modern features like digital displays.

These trams are to be replaced by the new E class trams which are being built. However there many Z1 trams are already been removed from service and are available to buy right now.

As I said in the other thread, they don't look half bad when sporting a more modern livery.

Click to view full size

I am interested to to hear what others think of the idea of using them on Christchurch's Southern tram loop.

The loop's stage one tracks were/are 90% complete, with really only the overhead wire needing to be installed. Of course, that was the situation in early February 2011; things have changed a bit since then. Still it would be silly to "throw the baby out with the bath water" and rip the tracks up.

The line runs from the square, then past the (soon to be rebuilt) bars on the strip, runs through the re:start mall on Cashel street, down High street and past were the new bus exchange will be. Stage one was only meant to go as far as Tuam street, but stage two was to go to the polytechnic.

It would be somewhat of a replacement for the yellow buses that once ran through the city (which have been sold), but would add back a bit character that Christchurch has lost.

As the these trams are not historic vehicles, there is the possibility of having all-over adverting on them. If you went with a younger audience product, you could have them advertise say the V energy drinks. This would certainly make them stand out, but the advertisement would also then show up in the many photos that tourists take of the trams. Therefore the fares would not need to be as costly as they are with the historic trams.

I also think that it would be best under the metro system, with the fares set the same as the airport bus. $7 a loop or a hours worth of usage, but only $2.40 with the metro card (and with free one hour transfer to bus or vice versa).

Anyway, how crazy and idealistic do you think this idea is?
Last edited by MacRiada on Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

Postby Andrew » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:38 pm

What's their disabled access like? I think mobility requirements require any PT vehicle newly brought into NZ service needs wheelchair access.
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Re: Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

Postby MacRiada » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:58 pm

Andrew wrote:What's their disabled access like? I think mobility requirements require any PT vehicle newly brought into NZ service needs wheelchair access.


As High-floors, err probably poor or non-existing.

The D class trams (Siemens Combino) might be an alternative tram as is low floor (D1 2002/D2 2004).

The D class tram has fallen from grace after it was found out it has a manufacturing error, meaning a major reduction of the seating (D1: 32 seats, D2: 56 seats) due to strengthening, and a reduced life span of 25 years (from now) left on the clock.

Therefore Melbourne might not mind getting selling/loaning some of them to Christchurch.

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Re: Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

Postby pete » Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:32 pm

Slightly off topic, but you say the yellow buses have been sold. I assume you mean the electric buses that were free? If so, that is very disappointing. They were extremely popular and ideally suited to the inner city streets. Only problem they had was that they were very small inside.
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Re: Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

Postby MacRiada » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:26 pm

pete wrote:Slightly off topic, but you say the yellow buses have been sold. I assume you mean the electric buses that were free? If so, that is very disappointing. They were extremely popular and ideally suited to the inner city streets. Only problem they had was that they were very small inside.


Yes I meant the electric buses. I do know they were owned and run by Redbus, it is just that you caught me using a local vernacular. :oops:

Half of them were sold in early 2012 on TradeMe, with the other half to be sold off at the end of the 2012. I know for sure that the first lot was sold as busnews.co.nz ran the story with Trademe links. However the site disappeared halfway through the year, so I can't say for sure that the second lot was sold.

Edit: Checked with database, all of them have been sold.
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Re: Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

Postby pete » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:02 pm

That's a great pity. They were great to ride in and very quiet in an otherwise extremely loud Colombo Street. They were ahead of their time and their loss is a great step backwards. I guess they were mechanically unreliable or something similar? Although I guess they were getting on in years but certainly from the passengers point of view they were fantastic. A real loss.

re the Melbourne trams, would they not be a little long for the tight curves in ChCh? Other thing I see is that the tramway was built as a heritage line to complement the colonial English nature of ChCh. The Melbourne trams would not fit that image.
On the other hand, I guess that ChCh has gone for good, so maybe the tramway should be repositioned to become light rail and part of the transport plan fir the city, rather than just a tourist experience.
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Re: Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

Postby Kalelovil » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:31 pm

pete wrote:I guess they were mechanically unreliable or something similar? Although I guess they were getting on in years but certainly from the passengers point of view they were fantastic. A real loss.

Yes, the on-board Capstone Micro Gas Turbines used to recharge their batteries were very unreliable in operation. There were conflicting plans to fix and replace the turbines or just pull the hybrid powertrain out and replace it with a modern diesel engine, but then Designline entered liquidation and they were permanently withdrawn.
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Re: Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

Postby MacRiada » Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:59 am

pete wrote:re the Melbourne trams, would they not be a little long for the tight curves in ChCh? Other thing I see is that the tramway was built as a heritage line to complement the colonial English nature of ChCh. The Melbourne trams would not fit that image.
On the other hand, I guess that ChCh has gone for good, so maybe the tramway should be repositioned to become light rail and part of the transport plan fir the city, rather than just a tourist experience.


From what I understand, the Southern loop was build so it could be reused by newer vehicles at a later date.

The Southern loop has very few surviving heritage buildings, none of which were renown before the earthquake.

I still think that the heritage trams have a place, but I could only see it working again on the Northern loop
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Christchurch needs accessibility for all

Postby MacRiada » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:52 pm

Here is a related article on stuff if anyone is interested:

Christchurch needs accessibility for all
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Re: Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

Postby MacRiada » Sat May 17, 2014 10:54 pm

Tram operators beseech city council to stay on track

The operators of Christchurch's heritage tramway say it is vital the city council finds money to complete the High St tram loop.

Christchurch Tramway Ltd expects the original tram loop down Rolleston Ave and Armagh St will be open to the public this spring but it is worried a second loop that will allow its trams to travel through to High St will not be completed despite over 95 per cent of the track is already laid.

Costs for completing the loop are not yet calculated but expected to be less than $1.5 million.

Christchurch Tramway wants the council to put that money in its 2014/15 Annual Plan so the loop can be completed ahead of the opening of the ICC Cricket World Cup in February.

Tramway managing director Michael Esposito told councillors yesterday that completing the second loop would help revitalise the central city by linking the High St shops with other shopping precincts and anchor projects.

"Christchurch Tramway understands the difficulties the city has faced in putting together an Annual Plan which meets the most urgent needs of the city.

"We also understand, however, more now than any other time in our history, the need to showcase our city, the need to tell both New Zealand and the rest of the world that the Christchurch recovery is well under way and that our city is once again a great place to visit, relax and spend time [in]," Esposito said.

Some 60,000 passengers had travelled on the tram since it reopened last November and there was widespread support from within the business and hospitality sectors for the completion of the loop.

New Regent St business owner Rowena Watson pleaded with the council to put money aside for completing the second tramway loop, saying it was the only way in the short-term to link areas of the city centre.

"For the growth of the inner city it is vital," Watson said.

"Businesses are in an unprecedented crisis in the inner city and we found that when the trams were reinstated in November 2013 that numbers to our business precinct increased dramatically," Watson said.

"The tram adds colour and drama to a dire landscape and Cantabrians really need this."

The New Regent St owners' group chairman David Manning said the extension of the tramway was critical and the funding required "relatively small".


http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/t ... y-on-track

From my understanding, most of the cost is because they want to rip up the corner of High street and Cashel street to build a new left hand turn North-West onto High street. Where it now only has a right hand turn South-East onto High street.
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Re: Future of Christchurch's Southern Tram Loop

Postby medo » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:41 pm

Image

It’s hard to follow what’s going on from a faraway. I know that funding for a second loop for Christchurch's heritage tramway has been secured but I don’t understand why they now talking about a second loop instead of the stage one as that was before the earthquake. Is something changed or there is no hope for the stage two?

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