Trackless trams in the South East Corridor are the key to improved mobility.
I have met with Josef Seidler from Vicinity Centres and Ben Vivekanandan from Monash University to discuss their proposal to introduce trackless trams from Caulfield to Rowville.
This $1.45 billion Trackless Rapid Transit (TRT) proposal would connect Caulfield station, Chadstone, Monash Clayton and Rowville, improving access to jobs and services as well as slashing billions from the cost of a heavy rail transport link between Caulfield and Rowville.
These high-capacity electric TRT vehicles could be up and running on route by 2025. We are seeing the benefits of this new technology. Trackless trams are cheaper, more flexible and faster to construct than heavy rail
“It is so critical that we improve mobility in the South East economic corridor. Travel times may be bearable now, but we know that congestion will almost double by 2030. We have to prepare for the future.”
These trackless trams could carry up to 1800 passengers per hour in each direction, delivering travel times of 20 minutes between Caulfield and Monash Clayton and 11 minutes between Monash Clayton and Rowville.
I believe this proposal has merit and will be advocating for state and federal investment in the project.
Trackless trams will not replace heavy or light rail but rather complement them.
Are Trackless Trams just a new name for electric buses?
Yes and no. Trackless trams are like electric buses, but better.
Optical guidance systems replace rails, with rubber tyres on railway-type bogeys replacing steering.
Optical guidance delivers very precise ride quality, without the sway of buses. Multiple carriages offer greater capacity – up to 210 passengers per carriage – than buses.
It replaces the noise and emissions of buses with electric traction from batteries recharged at stations in 30 seconds or at the end of the line in 10 minutes.
This technology has all the speed (70kph), capacity and ride quality of light rail but without all the downsides.