Monday, April 19, 2010

Perhaps a New Game

It's called, spot the wires. Sure are ruining this nature scene for everyone! This is Turin, Italy.

Italy Transport

17 comments:

Joseph Eisenberg said...

How much does it cost to build rails like that, with grass growing in between? I've seen that video showing the construction of a grass-covered tramway in Paris, where the process looked a little complicated. This line looks simpler, with exposed railroad ties showing.

I think we would see many more people advocating for light rail in this country if it looked this good. I like ballasted track, and it is much more permeable to storm-water than concrete, but everyone loves a grassy median.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Joseph I think it was just gravel and grass seeds got in and were a bit wild. I think this is something that happens organically over time. But yes I agree that if more rail lines looked like this I think more people would be interested and it would be environmentally friendly.

W. K. Lis said...

Bombardier has catenary-free technology available (at a higher cost of course). See http://www.bombardier.com/en/transportation/sustainability/technology/primove-catenary-free-operation for more information.

Gordon Werner said...

The only real problem with having a grass ROW for a light rail line is that the grass has to be maintained ... i.e. mowed.

I assume lines that have numerous grass ROWs will have some sort of mower MOW vehicle that cuts the grass as it travels up and down the lines ... but that is still an added expense that concrete ROWs do not have

Faith said...

Is that a streetcar or LRT?

I would love to know how they do maintenance too. That would be the first thing any government agency would likely ask.

MB94128 said...

This is where what I call a "Hoover" car would be useful. Put a mower pod on the front link and the vacuum system would suck up the trimmings along with any garbage along the tracks.

I too would like to see some shots of station / platform maintenance cars from a couple of systems. I've heard that the London Underground has one or more specialized cleaning cars but haven't seen any pictures. How does New York City deal with their subway trash ?

Gordon Werner said...

the NYC Subway has a special Vacuum train (photos here: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/showpix?ncartype=75 ) that sucks up trash.

Kyle said...

Having lived in Italy, I can assure you that the grass growing there wasn't planned. If it is maintained, I'm sure some guy who is mowing the grass in the park across the street, just carries a weed wacker over and cuts the grass, considering it is only that tiny area.

Matt Fisher said...

I spotted the wires!

Uh, Faith, that's a streetcar (tram) in Turin.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Most of Turin's light rail lines are tramways and operate in mixed traffic and some dedicated ROW. I guess here in the US we'd call them streetcars. But ultimately the lines blur somewhere.

MB94128 said...

Thanks, Gordon.

That's larger than what I was imagining but for NYC it would make sense to have something that big. My concept would be about the size of a regular LRV unit or a little smaller.

General info. on VAKTRAK
Close-up image at Wikipedia
Vendor page

Monica said...

you don't have to mow the grass. A low bar on the front of the train mows it everytime the train passes.

Bob Davis said...

Many years ago there was a light-rail oriented publication edited by Joseph P. Saitta (not sure about spelling). One of his pet peeves was overbuilt overhead: bulky, obtrusive structures more suitable for main line electrification than city streetcars or light rail vehicles. I remember one comment (not sure if it was his or not)--"What were the engineers thinking? Were they planning to run GG1's?"

MB94128 said...

GG1 Info.
Basically a double locomotive, back-to-back, in one frame. HUGE !
Flank shot of PRR #4800
More images at TrainWeb.org
History page at Statemaster.com

Adirondacker12800 said...

New Orleans would be able to give techincal details about how the grass is maintained and how much it costs.

http://www.railpictures.net/images/d1/7/5/5/2755.1119146220.jpg

Urban Group5 said...

looks like they have not been used in a while. Check out my website, we took a picture of rails in New York, (Post Activity 4 - Scavenger Hunt) The old rails in New York have been covered with roads, but somehow they are still very visible.

Stephen Karlson said...

I remember that gripe about light rail catenary, although I believe I saw it in The New Electric Railway Journal. The reference to a GG-1 is apposite, although the writer I recall invoked the Shin Kansen.

Directly-suspended trolley wire need not be for relatively slow urban streetcars. The North Shore Line had more miles of fast track under such wire than it did under the more substantial compound catenary in Chicago's northern suburbs.

The weeds and grass occur naturally. North Shore, almost to the end, spent a lot of money on weed spray.