All conductor cabins in trams will be replaced by a service desk. This service desk improves the contact between conductor and passenger, according to a test we conducted in recent months on lines 1 and 2. Travelers feel more welcome and better served.
Mark Lohmeijer, director of operations & technology: “GVB wants to become the best city transport operator in the Netherlands and believes that this can be achieved by treating travelers with hospitality in a personal way. The service desk supports this in various ways. We notice that the openness of this service concept is well received by both travelers and employees.”
After a thorough evaluation of the test with those involved, some adjustments were made to the test design, such as a different seat and more room to move for the conductor. The first tram with the definitive service desk will run from 23 February, alternately on lines 1 and 2.
The conversion of the remaining 150 Combinos is expected to be completed in October 2018. The first converted tram will be festively inaugurated with passenger-oriented surprises on board and a special visit between 10 am and 12 noon and between 2 pm and 4 pm.
The conversion took place from the end of February to the end of October 2018 in our Lekstraat tram depot. A professional team of technicians and fitters worked there from early in the morning until late at night on the conversion. In a time frame of 15 hours by tram, both the conductor’s cabin was dismantled and the service desk was completely installed. In the video below you can see that process accelerated, in 50 seconds.
Conductor’s desks elsewhere
German-language Wikipedia has an article on “Schaffnersitz” – which translates to “conductor’s desk”.
Schaffnersitz is a – now largely extinct – facility in a tram, trolleybus or bus that serves as a permanent workplace for the conductor for tickets sales or for ticket inspections. It is usually a waist-high enclosure arranged in the entry area of the vehicle, with the conductor usually sitting with his back to the window and serving the passengers from the side or front. Completely closed conductors’ cabins are less common.
The conductor’s desk is usually elevated above floor level, so that the door areas can be overlooked, and include:
– desk with payment tray, often with integrated coin dispenser
– microphone to make stop announcements
– departure signal to the driver, as a replacement for the traditional bell cord
– buttons for door operation, if this is not done by the driver
Conductor’s desks are usually used in conjunction with “fahrgastfluss” (“pay-as-you-enter”) operations, where passengers board via one door, pass the seated conductor, then exit via any of the other doors. Sometimes conductor’s desks are only used during the busy rush hour periods, with the tram driver taking over fare collection duties off-peak.
Occasionally there were also long articulated trams with two conductors’ seats, an example of this was the Stuttgart type SSB GT6 . In this case, the two conductors sat in front of and behind the joint, each responsible for one half of the car. Even bidirectional vehicles sometimes had two conductors’ seats so that passengers could always get on at the back as usual, regardless of the respective direction of travel.
The power for an electric railway has to come from somewhere – and that place is a traction substation, a facility that convert hogh voltage electricity from the power grid to the voltage and frequency that trains or trams use. The vast majority of them are fixed in place, but a number of tramway and railway operators across Europe have mobile versions, able to be deployed wherever they are needed.
The SBB operates a massive fleet of mobile traction substations – 18 in total, with 17 permanently positioned pending the construction of fixed substations, as well as a mobile spare. The usage of mobile substations commenced following the Second World War, when military planners saw the advantage of being able to relocate a substation in case of attack, or quickly replace damaged facilities.
The Austrian Federal Railways have eight mobile substations (fUW) built between 1986 and 1993. They are used to provide short-term support to the traction power supply, as a backup while equipment in stationary substations is upgraded, or as an interim step before the construction of additional stationary substations.
The tramways of Vienna also have a long history of mobile traction substations. Known as Gleichrichterwagen or fahrbare Umformeranlagen the first unit was built in 1925, and was used to meet the demands of peak traffic on Sundays or summer public holidays.
Unidirectional trams are common across Eastern Europe and the former USSR, with reversing loops provided so trams can turn around for their reverse journeys. But the Ukrainian capital of Kiev once turned trams a different way – on a turntable.
Inaugurated on 2 April 1965, the need for the turntable disappeared a few months after opening, when the Kiev Metro was extended across the Dnieper River to “Hidropark”, “Livoberezhna” and “Darnytsia” stations.
The tram turntable was removed at an unknown date, but the tram line along the river remained until 2011.
Turntables are a common sight on railways, allowing rolling stock to be turned around. But the Kiev Metro had a unique piece of engineering at their first train depot – the «Метролифт» (metrolift) that combined turntable with train lift.
Construction of the Kiev Metro commenced in August 1949, with the first stage running 5.24 kilometres from Vokzalna and Dnipro. Due to the deep level construction of the line, the new line only reached the surface at one location – Dnipro station, where the metro met the Dnieper River on an elevated viaduct.
Delays in construction saw tunnels towards the proposed depot at Shulyavskaya postponed to a later stage, so the search began for a replacement location. Construction of an underground link at the Vokzalna end of the line was rejected, leaving Dnipro station as the only option. This constrained location made provision of a railway depot difficult, with the river bank preventing the construction of a curve back to ground level. The solution – a temporary depot beneath the viaduct, accessed via the rotating train lift – the «Метролифт».
The train lift was the length of a single metro carriage, and would lower each car from the elevated station to ground level, where the train would be rotated 90 degrees to meet the depot tracks. The depot was constructed parallel to the Dnieper River and had space for the repair of two carriages at a time. Equipment included a gantry crane, repair shops, and a warehouse for spare parts and materials.
And delivering trains
Delivery of metro trains to the depot was equally convoluted. Each carriage was delivered from the Mytishchi Machine-building Factory by rail to Darnitsa station, where a temporary ramp around 150 meters long was constructed towards the neighbouring tram line. Each carriage was place on temporary bogies so that it could negotiate sharp tramway curves, and then transferred via the tram network, crossing the Dnieper Rover via the Paton Bridge, until it arrived at the temporary depot, where standard bogies were then reinstalled.
On 21 October 1960 the first metro carriage was lifted up onto the viaduct at Dnipro, and a test train ran the next day. The new line opened to the public on 6 November 1960.
Due to the difficulty in accessing the depot, the majority of trains were stabled overnight in the running tunnels, only being lowered to ground level for major inspections and repairs. This procedure remained in place until 1965, when the eastern extension of the Metro to Darnytsia was completed, including the Darnytsia електродепо (electric depot) between Livoberezhna and Darnytsia stations.
The new depot also made the delivery of new trains to the Kiev Metro system much easier – trains transferred from the mainline network thanks to a Трамвайно-залізничний гейт (tram-rail gate) provided at the neighbouring Київ-Дніпровський (Kyiv-Dniprovsky) station.
Footnote – turntables never die
The remains of the metrolift at Dnipro station were removed in 2011, but the replacement Darnytsia depot still has a turntable for the turning of metro carriages.
The Waterloo & City line on the London Underground is shuttle service that runs between two stations, with no surface connection for trains. Instead the depot is located underground, with a vertical lift once used to transfer rolling stock to and from the tunnels, until it was replaced by road cranes.
But it took a while to pin down – from the air I found a few possible locations, but none of them matched on Google Street View. Turns out the escalators were boarded up in 2018, removing them from view, so I needed to go back in time to see them.
About the car park
Luigi Walter Moretti was an Italian architect known for his postmodern designs, and the car park at Villa Borghese was constructed between 1966 and 1972.
The car park is in the city center of Rome and has been built at the end of the 1960s in order to solve the problem of the increasing number of cars in the tourist area of the Italian capital. The parking is completely underground and hasn’t changed the original topography. The 13.5m square structural grid of concrete umbrella pillars supports the prefabricated domes and a coffered roof. Circular’s eyes give rhythm light and air.
The car park, designed to accommodate up to two thousand cars, is spread over two underground floors for a total of 3.6 hectares. The structural system foresees a square grid of 3.30 m, which organizes the position of the reinforced concrete pillars, while some parts of the floors are made using prefabricated components. In addition to the car park, the structure includes a 6000 square meter shopping center. After construction, the greenery was completely restored, ensuring the continuity of the park in Villa Borghese even above the imposing structure.
It was a lovely afternoon on via Veneto, and so we naturally decided to explore–hope you’re ready for this–an underground parking garage!
The garage is by Luigi Moretti. It houses 1800 spaces for automobiles, 210 for scooters and motorcycles. It was completed between 1965 and 1972, which accounts for the hybrid look of late modernism and early brutalism (the concrete noted earlier).
Whatever its appeal, it was sufficient to lure a major international modern art exhibit–known as Contemporanea–which inhabited the structure in 1973, a moment when such an idea could not only be imagined, but brought to fruition.
The garage’s architectural reputation would seem to rest (like the garage itself) on its graceful, space-age columns, and on its concave roof treatments, with a nod to the occasional provision for natural light.
And YouTuber Alessandro Califano went on a drive through the car park in 2010.
The project involves the extension of the existing underground car park which, with the 200 new car park places included in this reform, will reach a total of 2,000 places distributed over three floors. Saba will also develop a new tourist bus parking area, connected to Rome’s public transport system, comprising 81 places, as well as the expansion of retail space and storage complex up to the 19,540 meters square (it currently measures 11,030 square meters).
This also includes the construction of an operations and maintenance terminal for electric buses with capacity for 125 vehicles, which will be used by the municipal public transport agency. Management of the existing parking area for motorcycles with capacity for 206 spaces is included as well.
Finally, a residents car park with 360 spaces will be constructed, located on the third floor of the complex. This action will go along with the construction of a mechanised walkway that will connect the car park to the Piazza del Popolo via a pedestrian subway. The construction is subject to the premarketing of 80% of the spaces for residents, a presales period that will last six months.
Europe predominantly uses 1,435mm standard gauge, while the railways of the former Soviet Union use 1,524 mm broad gauge. As a result at Vadul Siret our train was split up into individual carriages, lifted up by jacks, and the bogies swapped over.
Uithoflijn tram derailed at FC Utrecht stadium: ‘A terribly loud thunder’
Jeroen van Barneveld
February 16 2021
A tram on the Uithoflijn derailed near the FC Utrecht stadium on Tuesday morning after a collision with a delivery van from supermarket chain Jumbo. There were no injuries, reports the Utrecht Safety Region.
The tram ran almost completely out of its rails around 11 a.m. and ended up transversely on the Laan van Maarschalkerweerd. The emergency services came out en masse. A trauma helicopter was also called in to provide medical assistance.
Safety region Utrecht expects that the tram recovery will take hours. U-OV reports that the overhead wires are badly damaged and that there are probably no more trams running on the Uithoflijn today.
You can see the site of the crash on Google Street View – the light rail tracks crosses from one side of the road to the other at a set of traffic lights.