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Bengaluru Light Rail

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Metro Rail

A tram-train is a light-rail public transport system where trams also run on main-line train tracks for greater flexibility and convenience. Most tram-trains are standard gauge, which facilitates sharing track with standard gauge mainline trains. Tram-trains have dual equipment to suit the respective needs of tram and train, such as support for multiple voltages and safety equipment such as train stops.


Example of such light rail include the Bombardier Flexity swift model which can share metro infrastructure or run on streets

Bombardier Flexity SwiftFlexity swift on street

This light rail system can be run as a connector service to the metro. This can run at grade on medians of broad roads like ORR, IRR, Bellary road etc. It can also run on elevated tracks or go underground where necessary. It can share metro infrastructure (power lines, signaling systems, rails, low platforms) and because it is low floor it is disabled, stroller and luggage friendly and can also double up as connections to airport. 

My proposal is to run such a light rail along the following routes

1. IRR connecting Byappanahalli Metro station to Madivala serving Indiranagar, Airport road, EGL Business park, Koramangala along the way.

2. ORR Connecting Peenya to KRPuram

3. Bellary road Connecting MG road/Chinnaswamy metro station to Hebbal interchange 

4. Chord road Connecting soap factory metro station to Vijaynagar Metro 

5. ORR connecting KR Puram to Silk board.

6. Bannerghatta road Connecting Silk board to RV road metro station via madivala.

7. ORR connecting mysore road metro station to Silk board


idontspam's picture

Bumping this up

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Need to give alternative models a serious thought. Though there are lot of places this can be used. Running this on all the routes I have suggested may be overkill. Need to have a feasibility study on where this can be leveraged best. I would assume mostly in routes which involve both surface travel and along CRS/metro tracks combined. I would think this can used for our airport link inexpensively if planned properly.
pink2blue's picture

Sharing metro infrastructure??

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The first picture in your post seem to be of tram running close to Stockholm Globen and second one seem to be that in Amsterdam.

As you have said metro infrastructure shring could be difficult, as the metro uses the third rail and is standard guage in the case of namma metro where as tram uses overhead lines. Also the maximum speed on grade is 40 unless it is dedicated rail road for it. 
However yes a feaibilty study may be needed; atleast if it is implemented in Bengaluru it may save a lot of greenary.
As far as running this service for interconnectivity to metro & ring roads as done in Stockholm City is right suggestion.
idontspam's picture

Re: pink2 blue

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You are correct. The first picture is the Tvärbanan from Sickla Udde to Alvik which runs thru Globen. Its the same rolling stock in the other picture as well.

Below is the same Tvärbanan on the street in Stockholm. This is in Hammarbysjöstad towards Gulmarsplan. The bus line 74 shares the dedicated corridor. This is more of a light rail than a tram (hence the name tram-train)

Tvärbanan on the street

Perhaps can be used as a feeder for Metro

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IMO, the Malleswaram Metro lies along 4th Main road (one end from Mantri Greens and the other End at IISc Entrance).

A Tram train of the above sort can be used as a feeder to the Metro. But that depends on the capacity of the tram-train. If BMTC buses can be used without significant investment, then there would be no need for such tram trains.

But i think tram trains can be used in smaller cities like Coimbatore, Kochi and Mangalore. 
idontspam's picture

Light Rail Vs Bus

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Each tram-train carriage like this model can take 270 passengers and 2 carriages make up a train. This means each train can carry 540 passengers.

A double articulated bus specially built for BRTS like the ones used in curitiba Brazil can carry 270 people in total. Some other models as low as 180 people (200 on average). Single articulated buses which are typically used as large volume feeders can carry around a 100 people. These would ideally be feeder services on routes that dont need a train.

idontspam's picture

Small town solution?

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"But i think tram trains can be used in smaller cities like Coimbatore, Kochi and Mangalore."

Definitely smaller towns could look at this as an alternative backbone to expensive metro which wont come their way.

But if this means we dont need it and is a small town solution and not suitable for a large city. Here is a piece of history. Stockholm opened its metro in 1950 and 50 years later in 2000 they opted to construct the tram-train line to beef up some connectivity.

No they didnt go for maglev or something spectacular.

BMRC has proposed mono in south Bangalore to cover some areas not covered by metro (map on their site). This tram-train solution can be used in other areas. I would think a large density area like IRR between Byappanahalli and Madivala would be a perfect candidate to start.

Vasanth's picture

Light Rail - Metro - Commuter Rail

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I hope you might have gone through and other websites which promotes light rail. Basically, Bangalore SWR line runs on Broad Gauge and Namma Metro runs on Standard Gauge. Also main line SWR uses overhead traction and Metro uses third line within track like the London Style.

Another factor is where can you get the extra lane for trams? 

BRT can be implemented without much overhead such as the track maintenance, overhead line maintenance etc.

Our traffic is not lane disciplined and generally not disciplined. The turning radius of our streets are so narrow.

Trams cannot achieve the speeds of a Bus in a BRT. Given a free road, our Vajras can comfortably make 100 kph. Trams being so narrow structure and given that it operates on the street, such high speeds can be dangerous.

Breakdown of a tram or light rail on the streets could clog the entire street.

Seeing all these factors, most of the new transport planners are going for BRT rather than tram. Tram or light rail was an older technology which had may pitfalls due to which transport planners discovered the BRT.

Trams can work say for example from Nayandahalli Metro Station to Gnanabharathi Headquarters in Bangalore University.

Monorails are probably better solution for narrow roads but the cost is comparable to Metro based on the recent evaluation done by a Monorail company for Bangalore routes which makes its implementation questionable because of the advancement of Metro technology giving tough fight to Mono. If it would have been half or even 3/4 the cost, then could have been considered. Mono technology also has improved over a period of time, people still compare the failure models of Seattle and Amusement Parks and not the successful Mono implementations of Japan.

idontspam's picture

BRT & Tram

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If you are picthing BRT all your questions apply to that as well. BRT is not any less dengerous, requires the same dedicated lanes, can clog the same streets, has similar turning radius. You cant do 100KMPH even with BRT. Typical speeds will be 35 to 40kmph. as a domain doesnt exist. Symbolically, Light rail as defined by Americans varies from the tram-train I am talking about. Please look up wiki for tram train and its successful implementation. It makes for interesting read.

blrpraj's picture

grade separation

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Any workable solution light rail or BRT must be grade seprated. In the absence of lane discipline, lax law enforcement, a huge mix of pedestrian traffic crossing roads at all points, any solution without grade separation is ineffective. Ideally speaking, for example, the new elevated tollway being built to cater to electronics city must have been conceived as a dedicated elevated busway running vestibuled buses.
idontspam's picture

Track record and statistics

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ABIDe needs to take a long hard look at this light rail option before throwing everything but the kitchen sink at monorail. Not that I am against the theme park toy train system... but dont put all the money in the Scomi basket.
Vasanth's picture

Simple Question

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A simple question - In Bangalore we see many underpass works and cable works done frequently. Can an LRT take a detour in such cases unless until a new track is built?

Buses Can.

Can LRT run on full of potholed roads ? Buses Can.

Can LRT be a self feeder digging into internals of all the localities. Buses can be self feeder and can operate in Mixed Mode too.

idontspam's picture

LRT Vs bus

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Wrong comparison, LRT/tram train doesnt replace bus. They work as connector lines. Buses feed Metro and tram train at stations. Tram train need to be thought of as a train operating like mono and metro not competing with buses. Tram trains are quasi metro, they wont snake into the local streets, they will run on arterial streets and need stations.

Tram train saves cost on laying elevated tracks while it offers convinience of street level stops and metro like volumes. 

blrsri's picture

LRT better

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we have discussed this many times in Praja before...

LRT is..
- Cleaner..doesnt burn fuel for running like BRT..atleast not in cities
- Organized
- Smaller foot-print on road(less than BRT)
..and so on!

Road digging shouldnt be a problem..while laying the tracks we can make provision/ducts for all cables and utility line..which shoudl bring some order there..however digging affects BRT too!

I use the mysore road and airport road everyday..I see atleast 10-20 busses infront of me and many behind me all the time during peak hours..whats observed with these busses is that they are very unruly..turn the way they want and stop the way they short they are a pain..

All these busses have a common destination..on mysore road its mostly market and few to majestio..on airport road its to marathahalli..cant these points have LRT?
I think they should..just because we couldnt get the metro there!

idontspam's picture


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Another example of how Tram Train having the advantages of train can blend in different environments and transport systems seamlessly comment guidelines

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