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West Midlands Metro trams going blue 2019

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Radiorails

master brummie
I presume the ballasted areas of the tramways are laid on the former railway track bed. At least no other users are held up there.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
A question re the new battery trams.

When a tram leaves or rejoins the overhead wire system to run on batteries, does the driver of the tram have to raise and lower the pantograph manually or does it happen automatically?
I can't give you a definitive answer to this question as it is one that I would have asked myself and would want to stand and watch the actual changeover in Stephenson Street. However on the national rail network at Farringdon in London, I have watched the changeover from third rail to overhead and the train has always been stationery when the driver has activated the raising or lowering of the pantograph. I have also been on a London Overground train when the train has stopped for the changeover at North Pole Junction. However when Eurostar ran into Waterloo, I was never conscious of the changeover between overhead and third rail.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
The driver, as far as I know in some instances, can lower the panto and coast to the other non-overhead section.

As an aside I mention that my garden railway operates on track power or battery power. A switch has to be changed and the locomotive has to be stationary to do it. ;)
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
I presume the ballasted areas of the tramways are laid on the former railway track bed. At least no other users are held up there.
The ballasted areas are the off road sections whether on former railways tracks or not. At tramstops the tracks are normal tramway grooved rails as pedestrians can walk across the tracks.
 

Bob Johnson

master brummie
Another question.
Who or how are the points changed on the system? e.g when a tram is on the 'out' track on Broad st, the track terminates at the library, after leaving the terminus, how is the track switched so the return journey can be made on the 'In' track to Grand Central. Is this something that's done automatically by a sensor fitted to the tram or is there a 'Master' control room somewhere that monitors the system and controls track switching?
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
I presume the ballasted areas of the tramways are laid on the former railway track bed. At least no other users are held up there.
There is some footpaths along the line in the Black Country. In the West Bromwich area for instance.

Yes from Snow Hill, Birmingham to Priestfield, Wolverhampton.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Another question.
Who or how are the points changed on the system? e.g when a tram is on the 'out' track on Broad st, the track terminates at the library, after leaving the terminus, how is the track switched so the return journey can be made on the 'In' track to Grand Central. Is this something that's done automatically by a sensor fitted to the tram or is there a 'Master' control room somewhere that monitors the system and controls track switching?
The crossovers are nearly always 'trailing' that is that they are always designed so that a tram running 'wrong road' ie on the right hand side will be switched 'right road' at the crossover. So when a tram departed from Grand Central for Wolverhampton the points would always be set to take the tram over to the left hand side. These points will be spring-loaded so that an incoming tram will just push the points blades out of the way.

The only 'facing' points on the system are at Broad Street and Wolverhampton termini to determine which platform the tram will be directed into and at Wednesbury Parkway where there is a third platform for trams entering and leaving the depot. I am not sure how these are controlled. I suspect that at the termini, it is all automatic with the signalling system sensing which platform is free and if both are occupied setting the signals for a third incoming tram to stop short of the points. The signalling will also stop a tram coming in if there is a tram leaving the terminus making a conflicting move across the points.

One thing I did notice when the trams were terminating at Grand Central. If there was a tram at the terminus, a second tram would always wait in Corporation Street, but I never saw any signalling to control this.

On old tram and trolley bus systems there were often sensors just before the points which checked if the tram or trolley bus was taking power at that point the points would go one way and if not taking power the points would go the other way so the driver controlled the points with his controller or accelerator peddle.
 

Bob Johnson

master brummie
The crossovers are nearly always 'trailing' that is that they are always designed so that a tram running 'wrong road' ie on the right hand side will be switched 'right road' at the crossover. So when a tram departed from Grand Central for Wolverhampton the points would always be set to take the tram over to the left hand side. These points will be spring-loaded so that an incoming tram will just push the points blades out of the way.

The only 'facing' points on the system are at Broad Street and Wolverhampton termini to determine which platform the tram will be directed into and at Wednesbury Parkway where there is a third platform for trams entering and leaving the depot. I am not sure how these are controlled. I suspect that at the termini, it is all automatic with the signalling system sensing which platform is free and if both are occupied setting the signals for a third incoming tram to stop short of the points. The signalling will also stop a tram coming in if there is a tram leaving the terminus making a conflicting move across the points.

One thing I did notice when the trams were terminating at Grand Central. If there was a tram at the terminus, a second tram would always wait in Corporation Street, but I never saw any signalling to control this.

On old tram and trolley bus systems there were often sensors just before the points which checked if the tram or trolley bus was taking power at that point the points would go one way and if not taking power the points would go the other way so the driver controlled the points with his controller or accelerator peddle.
Interesting reply.

Thanks David
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
One last tram photo from 2019. New Year's Eve, 31st December 2019.

From Victoria Square, saw tram 18 "Just Eat" at Town Hall Tram Stop.

 

Heartland

master brummie
The pantographs are lowered and raised at Grand Central when the tram is stationary.

There are various cross overs. On the recent section, there is one at Grand Central, one at the start of Pinfold Street and the two at The Library. Trams run into either platform at the Library. They stop at the crossing before heading to either platform. Driver control would be the answer, I would suggest. When ever there was tram in Pinfold Street, there was a time interval before the tram signalled it wad crossing over and starting to cross over.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Ellbrown's photo above (post 133) shows the double cross over to allow movement between both lines and both platforms. If you look at the the points in front of the tram they are set the tram to move from the left hand line to the right hand platform. These are 'facing' points as I mentioned in my post (128) above. The points in the left (as you look at the photo) are 'trailing' points set for the straight ahead movement.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
This thread is now closed. A WM Metro Tram 2020 thread for general comments about the trans is here.



A thread for continuing development and progress of the tram system is here.

Viv.
 
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