Warren gives thumbs up to single deck rail
When the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering makes a public statement about urban infrastructure, it is well worth paying attention to.
The Warren Centre operates within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sydney, but is a self-funding not-for-profit organisation whose influence extends far beyond the university walls into the broader community.
While the Warren Centre has over 25 years of operation, its Sustainable Transport in Sustainable Cities project was a landmark in its cross discipline approach to the urban environment and its depth of community support and involvement. However when its City of Cities report was delivered in 2004, politicians and senior public servants were conspicuous by their absence, with one council employee making it clear he was attending as a private citizen, in his own time.
That situation has changed somewhat, with some changes in NSW being influenced by the report, though not to the extent of “lock, stock and two smoking barrels”, and the report has had influence outside of its initial target of the Greater Sydney area.
The City of Cities concept broke the Greater Sydney Region into a series of separate cities interconnected by high speed rail and with each city being a hub for the surrounding area, with a hierarchy of transport (including pedestrian) within the city and other reforms to make each city more liveable. An enduring legacy of the project is the 10,000 Friends of Sydney organisation that has galvanised community support.
The Warren Centre’s endorsement of a NSW State Rail System Infrastructure decision to use a single deck system was endorsed for a number of reasons. The needs of Sydney have changed from when the double deck trains were conceived.
A higher density population demands faster and more frequent services, with speed of getting people on and off trains being an important issue. Double deck trains have disadvantages in this area, as well as the size of the envelope required for tunnels and the gradients on which they can travel at speed. A move to single decks can significantly reduce the cost of constructing future infrastructure.
Single deck rail equipment is also readily available around the world and cheaper than the purpose-built double deck equipment currently used. It is better for the environment, better for the economy, and better for the community. The key to unlocking the transport puzzle is to commit to long term planning and innovative thinking.
The current evolution of the work on urban reform is “The Urban Reform Project”, and there are opportunities for the industry to get involved directly or through sponsorship.
For more information visit: http://thewarrencentre.org.au/
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