Resolving safety, operational and accessibility challenges
Pictured above, the Domain Interchange, is one of the busiest and most complex tram stops in Melbourne, Australia with approximately 1600 trams servicing more than 14,000 passengers every day. The existing track configuration, ageing infrastructure and small loading area for passengers presented safety, operational and accessibility constraints.
Yarra Trams engaged GHD to design a four-track configuration with overhead wiring and cabling. This included two new accessible platform tram stops, remodelling of road profiles, provisions for site drainage, and updates to traffic signals, street lighting, landscaping and urban design features.
David Leonard, GHD's Principal Rail Consultant, says, "Developing track configurations for the multitude of arrival and departure tram route combinations necessitated an exceptionally complex design that combined local design excellence with technology.
"The innovative solution also needed to provide safe access for passengers and accommodate the general road traffic. The outcome was a safe and functional solution that addressed the requirements of multiple stakeholders."
The design took advantage of the latest advancements in the fabrication of points and crossings, which provide greater durability and reduce maintenance. Fabricated in the Czech Republic, the new points and crossings were thermit* welded into the junction, a first for the Melbourne tram network.
The major benefits were:
- Increased safety and comfort of passenger interchange from accessible platforms
- Enhanced segregation of tram services to reduce travel time and improve reliability
- Improved track geometry to prolong asset life and reduce track related incidents and derailments
David adds, "One of the most rewarding aspects of this project was that the demolition of the existing facilities and construction of the new infrastructure took place over a 14 day site occupation period.
"This could not have been achieved without a complete and unambiguous design."