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General railway discussions

drum118

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July 9, Trois-Rivières Québec: QGRY (Québec Gatineau Railway) 2502 EMD GP35 (12/1964) Working Trois-Rivières Québec Yard
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July 9, Edmundston NB:CN 9590 EMD GP40-2LW (0/1975) + CN 4800 EMD GP38-2W (1/1974) Moving Cars To Repair Shop Be Repair
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mind_the_gap

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(This is an edited crosspost from my CPTDB account. The original posts can be found here and here.)

As of today, Monday, August 9, revenue service has officially started on the Tampere (Finland) Tramway.

Tampere Tramway - Start of service 8/9/2021 (Official)

Official NYSSE system map (pdf, tram lines in red)

(original post follows)

I've been wanting to share this LRT project with you all for a long time, and figured now would be the appropriate time to post since construction is wrapping up, testing is beginning, and enough videos have been posted online. This project is very near and dear to me since it's happening in my hometown, and today I'd like to briefly showcase what has been built there. I find it very interesting to compare this city with Waterloo, Ontario as both: 1) experienced major growth thanks to a cell phone company, 2) both are major university centres, 3) both are midsize cities in their respective nations, 4) both built Phase 1 of their LRT networks, and 5) both had trolleybuses.

Tampere, Finland is located about two hours north of Helsinki, and is the second largest city with a population of about 240 000. Known as the "Manchester" of Finland, Tampere was a major industrial centre. All that remains of that past now are several preserved historic buildings. During the late '90s and early 2000s, Tampere experienced rapid growth thanks to the success of Nokia. Nokia, where the mobile phone company got its' start is the neighbouring city west of Tampere. As a result, Tampere became a major tech and university centre. Historically, Tampere had been a trolleybus city (until 1976) - Helsinki, Turku, and Viipuri (Vyborg) having been the tram cities. As early as the 1900s, plans had existed for a tram network, but were eventually shelved mainly due to cost and war.

Enter the 2000s. Hervanta, a new suburb in the south end had been designed as a "student suburb", and was rapidly expanding thanks to high density zoning and several university facilities. Two bus lines running mostly along a motorway to the city centre serve as the primary connection. Even with articulated buses, these two routes were struggling to meet demand. In 2016, to encourage further growth and be able to meet future demand, the controversial decision was made to build an LRT ("pikaraitiotie" in Finnish, directly translated: "express tramway") mostly parallel to the motorway in the suburbs, and centre-of/side-of-road ROW in and near the centre.

Phase 1 consists of two LRT lines. Line 3 originates on the western edge of the city centre and runs eastward along the main shopping street. Line 1 originates at the shopping centre/bus station. Both lines meet west of the railroad station, run through a tunnel under the train tracks, and split again shortly after. Line 1 continues east to the main hospital, and line 3 runs south mostly along the motorway. Phase 2 consists of a western extension from where line 3 terminates to Lentävänniemi. Phase 1 is expected to be in service in August, while completion of phase 2 is projected for 2024. From Wiki, phase 1 will run 16km (9.9mi) and have 24 stops (4 overlapping). The depot is in Hervanta.

In this map you can see the LRT routing through Tampere. Red is phase 1, blue is phase 2. This is the official route map that will be posted in the trams.

The three-section vehicles are built by Škoda Transtech and are based on the original Helsinki Artic design (aka. ForCity Smart), but adapted for light rail (wider, bi-directional, doors on both sides.) Worth noting is that this network has been exceptionally built to standard gauge - Finnish gauge is 1 524mm. I haven't been able to find a reason for this, but it did allow Tampere to purchase a second-hand German tram to begin testing before the prototype unit was ready. The trams from Helsinki are incompatible due to the much narrower 1 000mm gauge.

Finally, for all you transit geeks out there, I'll include some transit porn courtesy of Metrobug on Youtube. What is shown here is testing over the entire route with the prototype and a production unit, including high-speed (70km/h / ~45mph) testing along the off-street ROWs.

Tampere Tramway, part 1 – Škoda ForCity prototype tram on test run

Tampere Tramway, part 2 – Prototype tram on new sections

Tampere Tramway, part 3 – First trams in city centre

Tampere Tramway, part 4 – Prototype’s Final Run (+ more test runs)

Tampere Tramway, part 5 – Goodbye Prototype

Tampere Tramway, part 6 – Christmas Tram

Tampere Tramway - First Passengers + Tram Ride

Tampere Tramway - Škoda ForCity trams in city centre

Official tour of the tram (English subtitles available)

Thank you for reading. For further information, please consult the project's official website (in English).
 

Northern Light

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Wall Street Journal reporting (and Globe and Mail sharing that reporting) that CP will raise its bid price for KCS.

 

drum118

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crs1026

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Can the proposed Banff-Calgary rail use hydrogen train like the Alstom Coradia iLint?

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It’s theoretically possible, but it would be a poor choice for that service. The Banff route would need a much higher passenger capacity, more range, and possibly on board amenities. That would argue for a different flavour of railcar. Once the technology matures, hydrogen propulsion is certainly a reasonable goal.

- Paul
 

Allandale25

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Northern Light

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