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Ding Ding! Prepare to keep safe around Auckland trams

Media release

Friday, July 29 2011

Ding Ding! Prepare to keep safe around Auckland trams.

With the installation of tram tracks now complete and operational testing about to begin within Wynyard Quarter, Waterfront Auckland is encouraging cyclists, pedestrians and motorists working in and visiting the area to be vigilant and keep themselves safe.

One and a half kilometres of parallel 11 cm wide steel tracks have been laid in Halsey Street, Gaunt Street, Daldy Street and Jellicoe Street within Wynyard Quarter.

From early August, the tracks will carry two historic trams running in a clockwise direction on a 15-minute circuit.

““It’s been more than fifty years since the public has encountered tram tracks and trams operating on busy city streets,” says John Dalzell, the Chief Executive of Waterfront Auckland. “In the meantime the gauge of cycle tyres has changed and tram tracks are a potential hazard to cyclists who might not be aware of them in the roadway.”

“Cyclists need to be aware of the double rails, avoid cycling on them if possible, and if they need to cross the rails to do so at right angles. The rails can get very slippery when wet so we should all take care when crossing roads where tram tracks are installed.”

When Auckland Trams take to the streets early August cyclists, pedestrians and motorists all need to raise their road safety awareness.

“These trams are very quiet and while they move relatively slowly they do weigh around 17 tonnes and can’t stop quickly to avoid a potential collision. Plus if the rails are wet they require a greater distance to slow down and stop,” says Mr Dalzell.

The 48-long W2 tram weighs 17 tonnes, seats 52 people and has a driver and conductor onboard. The smaller X-1 tram IS 31 feet long, weighs 9 tonnes, seats 32 people and has one driver onboard.

Both trams have front and rear indicators and warning gongs that ring when the tram pulls out on to the road as it leaves each stop.

Waterfront Auckland has contracted Auckland Tramways to operate the “Dockline” tram within the Wynyard Quarter.

Auckland Tramways CEO John Smith says the tramway infrastructure will be tested and drivers trained to operate the two historic trams over the coming week.

“We fully expect to have our trams operating on Saturday 6 August, the weekend that Waterfront Auckland celebrates the opening of the first stage of the Wynyard Quarter,” he says.

Mr Smith says the two historic trams, already painted a vibrant carnation red colour, have now received their logos and personal tram numbers which are a continuation of the tram number sequence from the last time trams travelled on Auckland city streets in 1956.


© Scoop Media

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