Saturday, June 5, 2010

Temporary Switch

I'm a fan of Veke on facebook but most of the time I have no idea what they are talking about because Hungarian to English translation leaves much to be desired. But I enjoy their work covering trams in Budapest and other Hungarian cities. So it was kind of cool to see how an emergency tram switch would be employed when a section of track was closed due to what I believe is some sort of flooding. While they fix it, this ramp allows trains to move forward without having to dig into the track surface. Check out the blog through google translate here. Also check out the youtube video below.

11 comments:

D. P. Lubic said...

We used to do the same thing, back when we had the sense to have electric street railways.

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=100&p=768237

Looking forward to when we bring all this good old stuff back.

Bob Davis said...

I've seen temporary crossovers in service on the San Francisco Muni "N" line--I may even have movies of cars running over them (verrrry sloooowy and carefully!) At Orange Empire Ry. Museum (Perris, CA) we recently placed a set of "hose jumpers" on display. These were devices that would fit over the tops of the rails. They had a ramp at each end, and cast iron pieces with "archways" that fire hoses would fit through, allowing streetcar service to continue while firefighting was in progress. Here again, slowly and carefully were the watchwords.

ant6n said...

Another nice example image of these kind of temporary switches used during construction can be found on wikipedia (German) here.

Joel said...

They're also used in Amsterdam during construction work. I'm a moderator at this (dutch) forum about public transport, and someone posted these pictures, which show them: http://ovinnederland.nl/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=2170&hilit=tram+wissel&start=132

david vartanoff said...

Bob Davis is correct. I have B&W stills of PCCs using the temporary crossover during trackwork.

Ryan said...

I have a lot of friends in Budapest and visit often, and from what I can tell, the article's talking about installing the temporary tracking to help trains prevent having to turn around at Margaret Bridge. Margaret (or Margit) bridge has been a bit of a local joke for years-people wouldn't drive across it or would hold their breath the whole way for fear of it collapsing. In August of '09 they took it out of service except to some trams and buses, but running at low speed and only single tracked. The addition of these temporary crosses will (presumably) allow them to continue work on the bridge and install new tracks while letting trains cross to whichever tracks are currently out of the construction zone. I was just there in March and these weren't anywhere around the city-they look pretty neat in practice, though!

Peter said...

The proper designation of this equipment is California Switch. In Europe it is still in wide use during construction work hampering normal street car traffic. The video shows two recently purchased California switches of the Budapest tramway network, which are used to keep traffic running during construction.

The video is taken on the Grand Boulevard route where world's busiest tramway line operate. More than 200'000 passenger use it every day. Actually a metro would be more suitable for this line, but this is not possible since the main sewer channel is under the Grand Bouelvard.

You see also world's longest tramway car in the video. It is a Siemens Combino Supra, which is 177 ft long.

btw: This is the California switch used last year in Zurich during major rework of Stadelhofenplatz.

Daniel Sparing said...
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Daniel Sparing said...

Whoa, I am glad you follow our site! There is also an even more frequently updated Facebook stream, still in Hungarian, though:
http://facebook.com/vekehu

Your interpretation is correct, in fact one of these switches was used before a tunnel flooded, and the one on the video because of a bridge reconstruction.

(The bridge does have tram traffic during reconstruction, but at this moment the temporary tracks were moved from the south to the north side in some days.)

These two new temp switches (in Hungarian, called sg. like "crawling switches") are extremely useful in Budapest also because the regular, built-in switches in the Budapest network are relatively rare - for example, an accident on the Grand Boulevard effectively cripples half of the busy line.

We are not so good in English versions yet, but just tell me if you need translating help! cheers.

Daniel Sparing said...

@Ryan: there are two temporary, low speed tracks on the bridge, they used to be on the south side and were moved to the north side during the video.

Daniel Sparing said...

@Peter: I wouldn't prefer a subway on the Grand Boulevard, as currently this is the only pleasant street around, while the radial roads have been transformed to urban highways by the subway.

Budapest was not as smart as Z├╝rich abandoning the idea of metros for trams and heavy rail tunnels.

The Dresden CarGoTram is a litte bit longer :)