Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:42 pm

electricron wrote:
Myrtone wrote:Yes, but building platforms up to the entrance step height of the "city" rolling stock (not substantially higher than sidewalk level), is surely possible in all locations across the network and since you are probably going to need new vehicles soon and that these will almost certainly be low floor, and that (juding from photos and footage I've seen from as far back as the 1980s) some stops in wider streets already have platforms, these and the rebuilt stops will provide level boarding to the new vehicles.


I would like to add that when Philadelphia orders new streetcars to replace the cars they have now, they will be expected to provide level boarding in one way or another in accordance with the "Americans with Disability Act". The existing streetcars can only operate because they were grandfathered. New streetcars will not be so lucky.


The Philadelphia PCCs were built with wheelchair lifts to comply with ADA. New cars could do the same.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby Disney Guy » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:57 am

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(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby 25Hz » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:38 am

As much as i adore the PCC cars, what we really need is low floor articulated trams, or intermediate height floor LRV with all intermediate height platforms. See photo for example of later

http://subwaynut.com/hblr/exchange_plac ... lace11.jpg

We have modern materials and systems that don't need high floors to work, even when snow is involved.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby Myrtone » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:21 am

That photo clearly shows low level platforms. Do the wheelchair lifts on PCC cars still require platforms to make them work. These stops both have platforms:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7119320@N05/3821435561/in/photostream/ http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AQm3_ciVQP4/TbnVoG9RrYI/AAAAAAAARak/nYG5LV6gUIo/s1600/Philly10.jpg

Have those wheelchair lifts ever broken down when the trams are in service?
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby Patrick Boylan » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:09 am

Most Philly rail lines' street stops have no platforms. Route 15 is probably the one with the most platforms, but still most of its stops have no platforms and load straight from the street.
I've never seen one in action, I assume these wheelchair lifts work on the street as well as platforms.
I also assume the wheelchair lifts must have broken while in service. Murphy teaches us that anything that can go wrong will. Fareboxes, air conditioners, motors, overhead wires, all have broken. I see no reason why rt 15 PCC wheelchair lifts should be an exception.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby 25Hz » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:13 pm

Myrtone wrote:That photo clearly shows low level platforms. Do the wheelchair lifts on PCC cars still require platforms to make them work. These stops both have platforms:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7119320@N05/3821435561/in/photostream/ http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AQm3_ciVQP4/TbnVoG9RrYI/AAAAAAAARak/nYG5LV6gUIo/s1600/Philly10.jpg

Have those wheelchair lifts ever broken down when the trams are in service?


In my own opinion (in the realm of streetcar/tram/lrv/trolley) low level requires a step down from the vehicle's bottom step. Intermediate height meets the bottom step, and high level meets the interior floor height of the car.

With main line rail, low level would be anything requiring the use of the steps in terms of operational terminology, but the actual platform (if there even is one) would follow the same terms as stated above. Trust me, there is a difference between low and intermediate height, just ask anyone that has stepped onto a foot stool boarding or alighting a train.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:13 am

25Hz wrote:
Myrtone wrote:That photo clearly shows low level platforms. Do the wheelchair lifts on PCC cars still require platforms to make them work. These stops both have platforms:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7119320@N05/3821435561/in/photostream/ http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AQm3_ciVQP4/TbnVoG9RrYI/AAAAAAAARak/nYG5LV6gUIo/s1600/Philly10.jpg

Have those wheelchair lifts ever broken down when the trams are in service?


In my own opinion (in the realm of streetcar/tram/lrv/trolley) low level requires a step down from the vehicle's bottom step. Intermediate height meets the bottom step, and high level meets the interior floor height of the car.

With main line rail, low level would be anything requiring the use of the steps in terms of operational terminology, but the actual platform (if there even is one) would follow the same terms as stated above. Trust me, there is a difference between low and intermediate height, just ask anyone that has stepped onto a foot stool boarding or alighting a train.

For full-height single-level cars, you are quite correct. For low-floor cars or bilevel cars (most modern LRVs and the Superliners, for instance) a low-level platform meets the car at floor level or a bit below, an intermediate platform would require a sizeable step down and some ducking to get into the door, and a high-level would be quite unuseable. All in your perspective, I suppose.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby 25Hz » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:53 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
25Hz wrote:
Myrtone wrote:That photo clearly shows low level platforms. Do the wheelchair lifts on PCC cars still require platforms to make them work. These stops both have platforms:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7119320@N05/3821435561/in/photostream/ http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AQm3_ciVQP4/TbnVoG9RrYI/AAAAAAAARak/nYG5LV6gUIo/s1600/Philly10.jpg

Have those wheelchair lifts ever broken down when the trams are in service?


In my own opinion (in the realm of streetcar/tram/lrv/trolley) low level requires a step down from the vehicle's bottom step. Intermediate height meets the bottom step, and high level meets the interior floor height of the car.

With main line rail, low level would be anything requiring the use of the steps in terms of operational terminology, but the actual platform (if there even is one) would follow the same terms as stated above. Trust me, there is a difference between low and intermediate height, just ask anyone that has stepped onto a foot stool boarding or alighting a train.

For full-height single-level cars, you are quite correct. For low-floor cars or bilevel cars (most modern LRVs and the Superliners, for instance) a low-level platform meets the car at floor level or a bit below, an intermediate platform would require a sizeable step down and some ducking to get into the door, and a high-level would be quite unuseable. All in your perspective, I suppose.


Absolutely. Mainline railcars tend to be taller both in terms of suspension, and total vehicle height, including main line "light rail" equipment, but it generally does vary from format to format, ie superliner vs amfleet or PCC vs low floor LRV. There is no agreed-upon standard for platform heights from system to system, but obviously you need them to be at minimum floor height and no taller, because that would be ridiculous (and as you said, unusable).

At langhorne station here in PA, boarding philly bound trains is at a bottom step level platform, while boarding outbound trains, you step down onto filler panels between the rails, and then step back up onto platform. Just one example how you can even have both at the same station.... That raised curb vs step down is similar i think.

In any case, for streetcar lines in this area, i think it is a win-win-win. The streetcars become more useable, autos and trucks can not worry so much about going in the wrong lane (some trafficable areas are not continuous), and no need to do any major track relocation project.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby Myrtone » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:05 am

I don't know what the ADA requires but in my country the Commonwealth DDA specifies a step height no more than half an inch. The minimum practical streetcar floor height is 14'' TOR, which defines the minimum possible step height without a platform. Getting wheelchairs over a step that high would require a very long and cumbersome ramp which might not always fit and would not get wheelchairs over the gutter. Kneeling suspension, like on buses, is also not an option, given the mechanical limitations of rail vehicles. There is also a limit to the height of platforms in the street environment, platforms as hight as the floors of K-cars would not work. So if the ADA regulations are similar, then were are forced to conclude that low floor with platforms slightly higher than the sidewalk level is, for all intents and purposes, the only solution.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby dowlingm » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:51 am

Toronto built some bulb outs on Roncesvalles (504 King)

Some side island platforms were reprofiled before the Bombardier Flexity cars arrived but they had to redo it after as it wasn't deemed a proper fit.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby Myrtone » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:49 am

I've heard of those and also that the new LF-LRVs in Toronto have powered ramps, which provide wheelchair access both from sidewalk level platforms and also street level stops. But they don't get wheelchairs over the gutter, though I've heard that more kerb cutouts will be added to address this, which raises the question of why don't you rebuild them as platform stops.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby dowlingm » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:55 am

The Flexity cars do have 2 stage ramps depending on platform or street stops. Street stops are being retained where there is insufficient road allowance for side islands and where eliminating the curb lane as a bulb out would has been deemed impractical / a war on the car.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby Myrtone » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:36 am

The solution, implemented here in Melbourne is to just raise the curb lane to make a drive over platform, known as an easy access stop, which is the topic of this thread.
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby dowlingm » Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:51 am

myrtone - I don't know why that solution wasn't looked at in Toronto for main arterials with streetcar routes. Perhaps the issue was around winter road maintenance (how the ploughs would handle the sloped surface). Unlike Melbourne we never got around to abolishing snow here :)

Here's a current CLRV with a Roncesvalles streetcar "bump out" (note that cyclists permitted to use it but pedestrians have right of way)
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Re: Ramped/raised curb lane streetcar stops

Postby Myrtone » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:08 am

Vienna reportedly has some drive over platforms and they get snowy winters too, surely their snowploughs will handle the sloped surface. I understand that bicycles are permitted to drive over the bulbous but must stop when the trams stop.
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