Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Electric trains will significantly boost capacity

Electric trains will significantly boost capacity

by Matt L
July 4th, 2013

http://transportblog.co.nz/2013/07/04/electric-trains-will-significantly-boost-capacity/

It’s become clear to me from comments and posts both on here and elsewhere that a lot of people really don’t understand just how difference our new electric trains will have on the capacity of the system. It seems that many think that the trains will be just new versions of what we have now, or perhaps just a small bump in capacity and that we won’t be able to get substantially more people onto them, limiting the capacity of the entire system. But nothing could be further from the truth. With this post I hope to show just how much of a difference these new trains will make.

To start with it is worth explaining what we have now. At the moment we have an eclectic mix of trains each with different characteristics. Our current types of train are:

ADL - Two carriages – 136 seats with space for another 54 people standing. Sometimes two are joined together doubling the capacity.

ADK – Four carriages – 270 seats with space for 108 people standing.

SX Set – Five carriages – 282 seats with space for 114 people standing. We only have one of these sets.

SA Set – Four carriages – 250 seats with space for 100 people standing.

SA Set – Five carriages – 320 seats with space for 128 people standing.

SA Set – Six carriages – 384 seats with space for 154 people standing.

Note: these figures are based on what I could find online so they may be out by a little bit. Standing capacity is based on Auckland Transports current capacity ratio of four people standing for every 10 sitting.

But how does that compare to electric trains? The new trains are three carriages long however each carriage is a bit longer than the ones on the trains we have now). They will have 230 seats with space for 145 people standing. They will operate a either as a single three car set or combined with another EMU to form a 6 carriage long train. Because of the length of each carriage, a six car EMU will be considerably longer than a six car SA set. The six car EMU will be 144m in length compared to the six car SA set at approx. 120m long + the locomotive.

But I don’t think that just saying that trains will be longer and have more capacity really helps people to truly understand the impacts that the EMUs will have so I have put together this little image to try and illustrate it.


Click for big version.

As you can see from both the figures and the chart above a single EMU has equivalent capacity to a four car train on the network today. By comparison the capacity of a six car EMU absolutely dwarfs anything we have today with it being able to move approximately 40% more people than our longest trains today (of which we only have a few).

But this isn’t the end of the story. Our current rolling stock is stretched thin which is preventing us from running longer and more frequent trains which is one of the reasons most of the trains around the network only have four carriages. The number of EMUs we are getting will allow us to run more longer trains than we do now meaning the capacity increase is actually even greater than I previously mentioned. It is expected that during the height of the peak period, all trains arriving at Britomart – with the exception of those from Onehunga – will be 6 cars in length and the difference that this will make will be astounding.

As an example the western line currently has four trains an hour during the peak period. Based on the current rolling stock used, trains arriving between 7:30am and 8:30am are currently a mix of four, five and six cars in length. This gives a total capacity in the peak hour of just under 1900 passengers. With electrification it will be possible for the western line to have six trains an hour with each being six cars long. That will boost the total capacity of the line during the peak hour to 4500 passengers, a 140% increase.

Even Papakura which already has 6 trains departing in the peak period sees a substantial increase in capacity as a result of these new trains. The impacts of this are shown below.


Click for big version.

As you can see the impacts of our new trains won’t just be that they are faster, quieter, cheaper to run and more reliable but they will add substantial capacity to the overall network. That capacity will be put to good use by the new bus network as well as the rail system in general being more attractive. By my calculations overall seat capacity on the network during the height of the peak should increase by about 150%. It is also this extra capacity that means we should easily be able to reach 20 million trips a year with our new fleet.

Low floor section of our new electric trains

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

New HiveMind Project: What Should We Do About Sugar?

While most people agree that increased sugar consumption is a major cause of too many New Zealanders being overweight and obese, what we should do about this remains a matter of debate and argument. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Vladimir Putin’s Wonderful, Fabulous, Very Good Year

Safe to say that no-one, but no-one has had a better 2016 than Vladimir Putin. What an annus mirabilis it has been for him. Somehow, Russia got away with directly interfering in the US election process, such that a friendly oligarch is about to take up residence in the White House, rather than a genuine rival. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Media Normalisation Of Trump

We all supposedly agree that the media is going to hell in a tabloid handbasket, but the trends to the contrary can be a bit harder to spot. In his 1970s book The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe had mocked the way the media instinctively acts as what he called The Victorian Gentleman. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: The Reality Of Fake News

Fake news as reality; the inability to navigate the waters in which it swims; a weakness in succumbing to material best treated with a huge pinch of salt. That, we are told, is the new condition of the global information environment. More>>

Alastair Thompson: Helen Kelly And The Compassionless People
I wasn't a close friend of Helen Kelly's. But her passing has moved me to tears more than once in the past two weeks. I feel honoured to be one of the many who worked with her and was helped by her. More>>

Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On News From The US Election Eve

Here’s a somewhat scary headline from October 30 on Nate Silver’s 538 site, which summed up the statistical factors in play at that point: “The Cubs Have A Smaller Chance Of Winning Than Trump Does” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news